Title: That Something Special
Word Count: 3,472
Disclaimer: I, in no way, own anything to do with this wonderful franchise. Just splashing around in the kiddie pool.
Summary: Bones is Chief Medical Officer and, as such, he sees things happen around a certain Captain, things that change the Enterprise's bridge crew lives. For the better.
A/N: Soooo, yeah. I wrote a Star Trek one-shot. A rather long one, by my standards. Forgive me, all Star Trek fans!
Leonard “Bones” McCoy is Chief Medical Officer of the starship Enterprise, and, as such, he sees things. Well, he makes it a point to see things since he needs to keep tabs on medical histories of the crew, particularly of the bridge crew, but that’s not all he sees.
Bones sees something special happening around one Captain James T. Kirk. He’s known Jim since their Academy days, so he was somewhat used to the antics the idiot pulled. Others, however, never really understood Jim’s behavior. Bones supposes that’s why he was Jim’s only real friend through those years.
It’s not that Jim didn’t want other friends, far from it. Bones knew for certain that the one thing Jim craves the most (though the little brat would never admit it) is a close group of friends, a family he never had but had always longed for.
It almost made him smile when he noticed how Hikaru Sulu joined Jim for meals, how the helmsman would defend his Captain against wary talk, how he entertained Jim when he was asked for a fencing demonstration. In fact, it made Bones shake his head in amusement at how devoted the lieutenant is to Jim, all because Jim did a moronically heroic feat by jumping to an almost certain death just to save Sulu.
Bones chuckled as he recalled Sulu in the Sickbay after the incident. The helmsman was in a semi-daze as Bones patched up his scrapes and bruises.
“He just jumped after me...” Sulu had said in a quiet voice, “just jumped with no hesitation. After me.” Bones huffed, placing the final bandage.
“It’s just what he does,” was all he offered to an awestruck Sulu. From that day on, Sulu was Jim’s man.
Montgomery “Scotty” Scott was the second person Bones saw fall flawlessly behind Jim. Ever since Jim brought him on board the Enterprise, Scotty had been a handful. The only one who could really control him was Jim, and sometimes not even him. Though, when it came down to it, Scotty would always be there with some of his illegally made liquor and a good joke for Jim.
Bones didn’t actually witness the moment Scotty accepted Jim; he assumed that happened sometime between Jim’s marooning and the final confrontation with Nero. Yet, Bones did witness certain things that helped move Jim higher in Scotty’s eyes.
For instance, there was the time when Jim gave Scotty premium Scotch Whiskey for his birthday, an event Scotty didn’t tell anyone about. Bones would have laughed at the awe and surprise on the chief engineer’s face if it weren’t for the fact that it was a serious moment.
Then, there was the time when Jim trusted his opinion over everyone else’s concerning the conditions of warping the Enterprise at speed 13.2. Scotty knew that took an extreme leap of faith on Jim’s part, and it made him feel worthy of having the Captain’s approval.
Whatever it was, one Montgomery Scott would always follow Jim, through thick and thin.
Pavel Chekov, as Bones would recall, was the third. Now, it wasn’t that the whiz kid was really against Jim. On the contrary, Chekov seemed to accept Jim merely because Sulu did, something Bones found hilarious for some reason.
Plus, it helped that Jim had enough faith in the kid to use his idea to save the world. Now, the kid just about beamed whenever Jim looked his way, giving a smile of approval. No, Jim had no problem with Chekov and vice versa.
Still, Chekov wasn’t completely Jim’s man. But something happened that changed that. Bones wasn’t exactly sure what happened that lead to the event, but he knew something was wrong when he entered Sickbay. For one thing, Jim was there, without any prompt or force from Bones.
The second, Jim was standing before a sobbing Chekov. Bones just stood there because, well, neither one noticed him, and it looked like a very private moment. The man was now kneeling before Chekov, who was perched on a chair, curled into himself. Bones couldn’t really make out the words Chekov was muttering; his sobs were too strong. Jim knew, though. Bones knew he knew because that look was on his face, the one of sheer compassion. And without warning, Jim reached out and pulled Chekov into a tight embrace.
Bones watched as Jim whispered soothing words into the kid’s ears, watched as Chekov’s arms hesitantly clung to his Captain, watched as Chekov quieted and fell asleep in Jim’s arms. Then, Jim picked the ensign up and placed him on a bed, tucking him in. Through all this, Bones didn’t move, not even when Jim looked up to find him standing in the doorway. Jim just smiled before pulling up a chair to keep an eye on the kid.
Since that moment, Chekov was undoubtedly Jim’s man.
First-Name-No-One-Knows Uhura was the last Bones observed to fall behind Jim, not that he blames the girl for taking so long. From what Jim told him back in the Academy, Uhura had every right to despise Jim. The fact that the idiot kept hitting on her even though she was with Spock – something Bones would never wrap his mind around – was another perfectly good reason. Still, Jim was never overly obnoxious towards her.
Bones was sure the two would never get on even ground since both were as stubborn as a mule. That is, until one event happened. They were docked at a space station in quadrant four for repairs. Jim allowed the crew a couple hours of leave. Spock, of course, opted to stay aboard to see that the ship was left in good hands. Jim wanted to stay too, but Bones wouldn’t have it as Jim didn’t have the Vulcan stamina to do so.
Unwillingly, Jim followed orders and ventured out into the station, Bones trailing behind him, making sure the Captain wouldn’t get in any trouble. Bones should have known better. Jim was looking through one of the station’s market places when he noticed it. Bones watched as Jim’s brow furrowed, first in confusion, then in anger, and watched as Jim began striding toward something. Bones followed in haste.
It seems that three very angry Mangalores (thuggish, ugly, tan humanoid aliens) had cornered Uhura. Now, Uhura was no damsel in distress; she could very well handle herself in a fight. However, this time, she looked frightened. That image, the image of a normally cool, collected, not easily scared woman now slightly cowering in fear, was probably what caused Jim to act so rashly.
He thrust himself between the enraged aliens and a very surprised Uhura. Bones wanted to slap himself. The apparent leader of the trio snarled at Jim, spitting vulgar obscenities and insults directed at Uhura. From what Bones could understand of the guttural noise, they were offended that Uhura, a female, was educated and held the position of chief communications officer aboard the Enterprise.
Jim narrowed his eyes before calmly and firmly stating that Uhura was one of the finest in StarFleet and that no man could outdo her in her job. The Mangalores howled with rage. The leader charged at them, but Jim was ready. Taking a beating from Spock on several occasions helped Jim out. He was able to outmatch the alien (though not without a beating of his own), and, because he defeated the leader, the other two grudgingly backed down.
Uhura looked baffled as to what to say, but Jim merely smiled as Bones treated his injuries. “I was just protecting my crew.” Jim had said before quietly cussing as Bones used a hypospray on him. From that one incident on, Uhura had a newfound respect for the Captain, for Jim.
As for Spock, Bones had no idea when the Vulcan matched the Captain’s stride. After the Battle of Vulcan, the two seemed to work peacefully together; there certainly weren’t any more fights to the death. But while Bones could pinpoint exactly when the other bridge crew members accepted and befriended Jim, he was at a loss when dealing with Jim’s relationship with Spock.
It could have started when Spock asked to board the Enterprise again, but nothing could have clicked that easily. After all, Bones witnessed the pair’s occasional fights. Not fights with fists – Jim would always lose that battle – but verbal combat.
The Captain and his First Officer had very different mind sets, and, when it came down to certain missions, the two usually butted heads about how to deal with them. Then again, as Bones recalled, the two never held a grudge and always compromised for the better of the mission. Bones sometimes had to wonder if those little arguments were the cause of their now close friendship.
But he couldn’t exactly be sure. All he knew was that Jim would join Spock in a rec room on their breaks for a game of chess. It was quite the sight to watch them play. While Spock had all the logic to win effortlessly, Jim had that stubborn, never lose attitude. He would make moves that would irritate his First, that were so seemingly illogical, yet they would prove to be Jim’s greatest weapon against Spock, throwing off his plan to win. So, as it turns out, Jim had won more games of chess than Spock.
The two would also eat meals together. That was another sight to behold. There, among the other crew members, were two of the best in StarFleet, just sitting down and chatting. Well, Jim was the one chatting. Spock just listened or voiced his opinion on the matter. During these meals, Jim would always joke and speak lightheartedly, trying to entice some form of emotion out of Spock, trying to make him less Vulcan and more Human. As he’d told Bones, Jim just knew Spock was more Human at heart.
Then again, Jim would actually have intelligent conversation with the Vulcan at times. Jim’s ever curious nature and need to be the best led him into discussions with Spock. The two would spend hours going over certain topics, either through discussion or debate. It made Bones’ head ache.
Any way you looked at it, the two were practically inseparable, glued at the hip. In fact, Jim himself stated jokingly that they were the “mommy and daddy” to the crew, a joke that Spock did not find amusing, especially when others wanted to discuss which was the mom and which was the dad.
Bones chuckled, though, because he could see what others didn’t. He saw how Jim’s friendship affected Spock. He saw how Spock’s eyes gleamed with alarm whenever Jim came back from a mission in less than perfect shape, saw how they lit up just a tiny bit when Jim did something warmly for him. It wasn’t a huge difference, but Bones could pick it up, something others couldn’t do. Bones saw that Spock would always have his Captain’s well-being and best interest at heart. He was Jim’s man, through and through. Because Jim was Spock’s first real, true friend.
Bones watched disbelievingly as the Klingon Commander snarled at the crew before closing the frequency. The entire bridge was silent, all eyes on their Captain, wondering if he would give in to the request. Bones saw Jim standing there, a perfect picture of tranquility, but he knew better. He could almost hear the wheels turning inside that stubborn head of his. Bones was positive Jim would pull some cockamamie idea of a getaway that would involve lots of damage to the Enterprise out of that head.
He, along with the rest of the bridge, watched as Jim moved his hand to his intercom. “Kirk to engines,” Jim called into the com. Bones made a quick glance at Spock, but all he saw was a blank face. No reaction? The Captain was just asked to surrender his life!
“Engines, Scott ’ere.” Came the reply.
“Scotty, how long till you can get the engines back online and ready for warp?” Jim’s face was still schooled perfectly into calmness. This worried Bones a little.
“Not ’bout another forty-five minutes, at least, Capt’n.” Came Scotty’s somber reply.
Jim nodded. “You got it. Make it count. Kirk out.” Jim turned suddenly to Spock, and the bridge crew jumped a bit at the quick movement. “Mr. Spock, I’m leaving you the ship while I give in to the Klingon’s demand – ”
“Jim, that’s ludicrous!” Bones objected, but it didn’t stop Jim.
“This will allow Scotty time to fix our engines. We all know Klingons are all about honor; they’d never expect a ship to leave its Captain.” Several crew members flinched at the thought, but still he continued. “The Enterprise has the finest crew around, and I’ll be damned if the Federation loses that greatness because of me.” He looked at each crew member, a small smile on his lips, before he sternly turned back to Spock. “As soon as Scotty gives the clear, you’re to warp the hell away.”
“Captain – ” Spock began, but Jim wouldn’t let him.
“Without hesitation. That’s an order, Mr. Spock.” Jim commanded, knowing that he had to play to that Vulcan love of rules. Spock pressed his lips into a thin line as he nodded curtly. Bones watched as Spock folded his arms behind him, standing erect, accepting Jim’s command. Damn hobgoblin.
Jim was still talking when Bones redirected his attention to him. “Sulu, Chekov, make sure you have a course plotted for a quick getaway. Be ready for Scotty’s signal.” The two men stared at him for a second before giving in to his request.
Then, Jim turned to Uhura. “Transmit to the Klingon Bird of Prey that I’ll be arriving on their ship via shuttlecraft due to the transporter being down.” He waited for Uhura’s hesitant nod before turning to the whole bridge crew. “It was the finest pleasure working with you all. You better not slack off just because I’ll be gone.” Jim smiled, and what hurt Bones the most was that is was a sincere smile. He’s insane!
Jim nodded to himself before making his way to the turbolift, Bones and, to both their surprise, Spock quickly on his heel. The three of them just stood there in the lift, like they did many, many times before, only this time there was no gentle banter, no light teasing, no talking of any kind. Bones expected it from the Vulcan, but not from Jim. It scared him, quite frankly.
The ride was short, thank whatever higher being there was, for the tension was rising, and Bones didn’t think either one of them could take it much longer. They made their way to the launch pads, Jim in the lead, flanked by Bones and Spock. Neither said one word.
When they finally reached the shuttle assigned to deliver Jim to his fate, Jim turned to his two closest friends. “Take care of her, Spock. She’s a good ship.” He said, clasping a hand on Spock’s shoulder.
“Jim...” Bones tried not to gawk as he witnessed Spock’s facade crumble slightly, his brow crinkling with worry. Jim smiled at him, squeezing his shoulder.
“I gave you an order, Spock, and I hope you’re Vulcan enough to see it through.” Jim smiled as he released his hold on his First. “Just remember you’re not the Captain of this ship until you warp away. Then you can follow your own orders, my friend.” Spock just nodded, his mask back on his face, resigned. Though, his eyes, Bones noticed, were ablaze.
Bones watched as Jim turned to him, that stupid grin on his face. “Take care of them, Bones. Give them all a hypo just for me.” He said as he grabbed his oldest friend’s shoulder. “As soon as Scotty says, this ship better be out of here.” He reminded as he let go of Bones’ shoulder. He turned to the shuttle and, before entering, said one last sentence, “Tell my mom I love her, always have.” And he was gone.
Bones just stared at the spot where the shuttle had been. He would have stayed there if he hadn’t heard Spock turn around and leave. Giving one last look, Bones rushed to follow the Vulcan back to the bridge.
“It’s damn ridiculous, I say!” Bones spat at the First Officer.
“The Captain gave his orders.” Spock quietly spoke.
“I don’t give a damn what he gave! He’s insane, and we have to go there and get him.” Bones was looking at the bridge crew. No one had said a word after Jim left, after Spock and he returned to the bridge, after they all saw the Captain’s shuttle enter the Bird of Prey. Bones had enough of it. “Damnit, Spock, Jim is your friend!”
“Then as his friend, I am respecting his wishes as Captain.” Spock replied with nonchalance, though his voice was a little tight. Bones almost couldn’t believe his ears, but then again, he was talking to a Vulcan. Still, he thought Spock’s Human side would be a little more compelled to save his friend.
“Sulu,” Bones turned suddenly, trying to think fast, “you’re his friend, too. Didn’t you say that you’d like to be able to do for him what he did for you? To just jump? Chekov, you’ve been wanting to go to a great length for him, to repay him somehow?” Bones was getting desperate. “Uhura, you have to have some compassion or respect enough to not just let him rot there!” Bones looked wildly among them, pleading with his eyes, praying for anything to change their minds.
“Dr. McCoy, if you are done – ”
“If I’m done? Good God man, we’re not discussing the weather here!” Bones was furious at Spock. “I see now that Jim was wrong about you.” He narrowed his eyes at the man before him who was so collected, so blank. “There’s nothing Human about you. You’d easily toss away your best friend all because of the idiot’s dumb, selfless order. And every one of you is no better!” He turned on all of them now. “How can you all be so thick?” With that, Bones left the bridge in stunned silence.
Jim felt as if his body had been continually compressed and decompressed. He couldn’t open his eyes, yet all he saw was a blinding whiteness. His throat ached, and air could barely pass in and out of his lungs. He heard sounds all around, but they were merely muffled voices. He tried to move, but he felt gentle yet firm hands clasp his own.
Slowly, an eternity, Jim began to recognize the voices. He still couldn’t see, and his body was still aching all over, but the voices became clearer.
“Goddamnit, Jim, what did they do to you?” Bones. He sounded so angry and hurt.
“Chekov, how are we with time?” Sulu, sounding extremely focused.
“Our trajectory is stable and should be back on the Enterprise within minutes.” Chekov, worried.
“The Klingons haven’t figured out we’ve infiltrated their ship.” Uhura, concentrating on alien transmissions, no doubt.
“You betta get ya arses back here this instant with the Captain, ya ’ear me!” Scotty. Furious and electronic. Must be through an intercom.
“It would be wise to focus on warping the ship away from the Bird of Prey than senseless yelling, Mr. Scott.” Spock. He was close to Jim. Why? Didn’t he order that they all leave? Where was the respect?
Jim groaned, trying to open his eyes. Bones was in his line of vision instantly. “Easy, Jim, we got you. You’re okay now.” Jim looked around the shuttle. Each of his friends were there, in some way, to help him out of a no win scenario. Bones, Uhura, Sulu, Chekov, Scotty and Spock.
He looked at Spock last, trying to form the question, ask why he didn’t follow orders, but nothing coherent came out. Spock, to his credit, already knew the question; he’d been expecting it.
“You would never leave any of us behind, Jim. To leave you would be illogical.” If he weren’t so delirious from the pain and medication, Jim could have sworn that Spock gave him a small smile. “Rest now. My friend.” Spock added, a gentle look in his eyes.
Jim began to relax. He was in good hands. As he drifted off to sleep, Jim knew that his friends, despite anything he’d say, would always be there for him, like he would be for them.
Bones sees something special happen around one James T. Kirk. He sees someone who is always on guard let down his defenses and rest in the care of the people who had become his family. My God, Bones thinks, that is something special.