Title: The Odds Are Better Together
Fandom: Star Trek TOS and AOS
Characters: Kirk, Spock, McCoy
Disclaimer: I humbly disavow any rights to Star Trek.
Summary: A collection of short drabbles about our favorite three! Mostly gen, some K/S/M.
Previous Parts: 1-4 | 5-8 | 9-12
Warning: 13. Torture.
McCoy cannot hold back his scream as one of the Things digs the tip of a plier under his nail bed and slowly peels off another fingernail. He wants to pass out from the pain (and horror), but they’ve injected him with a cocktail that keeps his brain sharp and sensitive to stimulus.
“Human,” another inquires politely from behind the chair to which he is bound. A bony, cold hand (appendage?—it’s three-fingered) weighs down his shoulder, another hand grasps his chin and wrenches his lolling head to the side. “Are you ready to answer my question? Or shall we continue?”
Leonard’s tongue is swollen from fierce biting (which did no good, he screamed anyway); it feels like a lump in his mouth, makes it hard to speak coherently. So he settles for a slow shake of no, and the hand releases his head which drops back down to his chest.
He almost doesn’t want to be rescued because his shipmates (friends, peers) will discover the shame of his breaking. These monsters—cruel, tortuous—are ripping his mind to pieces bit by bit as they massacre his hands, destroy the crux of his career. They haven’t begun amputation yet; small favors, really, Bones thinks.
Leonard is here because no man should be left behind—especially not an Enterprise crewmember for whom the CMO is responsible. In that bare second of a moment, the decision was easy. Turn around, save the life. Dangerous? Yes. Foolish? Perhaps. Regrettable? (He hears the echo of “Bones!” and “Come back!”)
McCoy allows his mind to wander as his torturer pauses to change tools.
Does he wish that he had never turned back? (Can Leonard deny his gut instinct?)
No. Should he lose his ability to doctor, he will weep over his broken hands but not hate himself for making the right choice. Never turn a blind eye to someone in need—this creed is entrenched in the essence of McCoy. A sin of omission is still a sin.
Should he lose his sanity or his life, well… It would be an ending, regardless. (The idle question: Can you regret when you are gone?)
Jim and Spock. Those are his only two worries now. If he could regret his actions at all, it would be for the sake of their heartbreak.
The Captain listens with a small smile and attentive eyes as an excited yeoman brags about his newborn. The man is bursting with pride. He is young, a first-time father—and claims to be the luckiest man alive. Kirk squeezes the yeoman’s shoulder and offers to grant leave so that the new parent can revel in the precious beginnings of fatherhood. This sends the man into a daze, as he shakes the Captain’s hand and bolts down the corridor to pack.
McCoy stands to the side, watchful. When Jim remains still for a moment too long, Bones steps up to him, runs a hand along the top of his back. “Care for a drink?” Jim accepts.
Leonard is pouring the proper medicinal amount of brandy as he idly says, “You’ve made Yeoman Liu a very happy man.”
“It’s the least I could do, in congratulations,” Jim replies just as idly. “Let him enjoy some quality time with his family.”
Oh Jim. McCoy slides Kirk’s drink over to him. “I remember when Jo was born. Now, don’t let anybody fool ya, Jim, my boy. A newborn is not pretty as a picture.” McCoy chuckles into his drink.
Jim leans back in his seat, eyes on McCoy.
“But—“ A fond smile grows on the doctor’s face. “—when it’s yours, she’s beautiful all the same. Jo was so tiny in my hands—I swear to you, it was the most surreal moment of my life.”
Jim drops his eyes, then, to the table. McCoy reaches out and places a hand over one of Kirk’s. “You’re a wonderful man, Jim. I’m so sorry—“ Len chokes here, momentarily, with emotion, “—that you were denied David’s first moments in this world.”
That strong hand under his shifts, clings. “It’s alright, Bones. I’m okay.”
“You will be one day, Jimmy. David will understand. I promise.”
It’s a promise made with the best of intentions, from the dearest of hearts. In Jim’s eyes lingers a small hope (a belief) that his friend will be right.
Leonard shakes the water from his hair like a dog. Spock takes one distasteful step back from the wet Human.
“Ah, c’mon now, Desert Boy! Live a little!” McCoy vigorously rubs at his hair with the towel Spock so kindly offered. “The water’s nice and cool.”
“Leonard, my core body temperature will—“
“Damn it, Spock! I know better than most exactly how your body will react! You’d be fine if you put on a thermal suit…”
“Unnecessary if I do not desire to swim.”
McCoy rolls his eyes. “Look at Jim.” They both turn to peer at the bright blob floating some distance out at sea. “Doesn’t he look happy?”
“At this distance, I am unable to verify his ‘happy’ expression, Doctor.”
Leonard switches tactics. “What if Jim were drowning—“
Spock opens his mouth, but Len cuts him off.
“—AND I were unable to help save him, Spock. What would you do?”
Spock is silent.
“You’d go out there and retrieve our Golden Captain. So don’t tell me that water makes you ill!” McCoy is deeply satisfied at this parting shot. (McCoy wins again!) He flings his wet towel at the Vulcan, which Spock side-steps easily (water-laden towels don’t travel well or far).
“Now get in that ocean, you blasted Vulcan!”
“I’m serious, no more excuses—“
“—Jim is no longer visible.”
“Huh?” McCoy swings around with wide eyes. Sure enough, there is a person-less float and no sign of their troublesome third. “SHIT!”
As it turns out, Vulcans can swim rather well—and quickly—if they must. By the time they drag a hacking Jim to the shore, McCoy is significantly impressed with Spock’s skills in the water. Jim coughs out more seawater and demands that Bones and Spock explain why they (almost successfully) attempted to drown him. (Jim Kirk can hold his breath in a dive for more than two minutes, thank you very much!)
Somehow, Leonard finds the entire situation pretty damn hilarious. Jim and Spock just stare at McCoy when he falls back onto the hot sand, laughing so hard that he cries.
“Where’s Bones?” Jim shifts his weight from foot to foot impatiently in front of the turbolift.
Spock refused to wear a costume, unlike the majority of happy, strangely garbed crewmen running up and down the halls of the Enterprise. Kirk, himself, is dressed in green tights and tunic, with a quiver of arrows slung over his back. He is missing his bow, however, which irks him to no end. It’s not like Jim would actually SHOOT an ambassador at this little soiree. He has a margin of diplomacy. Starfleet regulations are pain in the Captain’s ass more often than not.
The turbolift doors slide back and another horde of carousing people empty into the corridor, pushing past the Captain and First Officer without thought. Kirk yelps and surreptiously puts his back to Spock. (Some unknown hand just pinched his bottom quite hard.)
There is a single figure left in the lift, lazily leaning against one panel. Kirk starts with the cowboy boots, travels up those long legs, pauses at the (non-empty) halter slung much too low on cocked hips, black vest over a shirt with its first three buttons open and a red little cross-tie hanging down—finally, to the black hat tilted down over the man’s face.
When the hat rises, Jim meets a pair of amused blue eyes. God, it’s Bones.
“Might wanna shut your trap, Robin Hood, lest you catch something nasty.” McCoy uncrosses his arms and ankles, tucks his hands into his back pockets and eyes his Captain strangely (fervently). “Goin’ down?”
Spock answers for them both. “Yes.” Jim files into the lift behind Spock almost dumbly. After one minute of silence, he manages to clear his throat.
“That gun loaded, Bones?”
Leonard gives him the wickedest smile he’s ever seen. “You bet it is.” He shoots a quick glance at Spock. “Got a feeling it might come in handy later tonight.”
Jim has no response for that, merely tugs his tunic down with nervous hands.
So… How upset will ya’ll be if I stop at the 20th drabble? Granted, I am surrounded by (scary rabid) plot bunnies that breed at an alarming rate, but I think that my brain needs some cool-down time.
God, I love these boys so much! XD