Title: Then, Now, and Always
Summary: A gift drabble for romennim–I hope that you feel better!
Leonard opens the recently delivered package and takes out a framed holographic photo. His face is soft with memory as he walks over to the bookshelf and places it between Jim’s ancient copy of A Tale of Two Cities and a ceremonial Vulcan goblet.
He hears Jim coming through the kitchen and the tell-tale signs of the thudding of discarded boots. On a sunny morning such as this one, Jim likes to go jogging down the country lane—and often comes back with the muddiest boots that Leonard has ever set eyes on. How Jim manages that when it hasn’t rained in over a month, McCoy has little idea; he just knows it’s one of James T. Kirk’s quirks (and he wouldn’t change that for all the worlds in the galaxy).
“Hey, Bones.” The man interrupts his musing with the ritual greeting and comes up behind Leonard to throw an arm over his shoulders. Jim takes in the strewn wrapping and empty box. “Joanna must have found some more of your things in the attic.”
“She sure did. Look.” Len points at the photograph. He doesn’t have to turn around to see the grin spreading on Jim’s face.
“I remember that!” Jim laughs and reaches out to touch the frame. “Wow, can you believe how long ago that was, Bones?”
Leonard drawls, “Quite a while, Jim. We certainly aren’t the spring chickens we used to be.”
Kirk’s hand strokes his upper arm. “Some things get better with age.”
McCoy returns the smile. “Don’t they, though?” He turns around and asks, “When’s Spock getting in?”
“His shuttle should arrive at the transport station later this afternoon. His last message is somewhere around here.”
Leonard leans forward to steal a kiss. “We’ll have to remind that old Vulcan why he shouldn’t go on such long trips without us, Jim.”
Jim doesn’t let Leonard pull back too far. “Oh, I think we can manage that. I really do.”
Twenty-two years ago…
McCoy leans on his elbows and breathes in the fresh air and a sweet scent reminiscent of pine. He thinks, I could stay just like this for the rest of my life.
Spock is on his right, sitting cross-legged on the blanket and hands lightly pressed together in his lap. The doctor deduces that the Vulcan is taking the rare opportunity to quietly meditate in such a serene atmosphere. Jim was right, of course; they both have enjoyed this outing very much. Here, at the base of a mountain (very similar to the Alps on Earth), Leonard’s faith grows that this budding relationship with Jim and Spock can work.
Jim, full from their leisurely picnic, is stretched out on his left—legs crossed at the ankles—and rests his head on Leonard’s thigh as he naps. McCoy occasionally lets his fingers drift through Jim’s hair—which he suspects is one of the contributing factors to Jim’s quick descent into sleep. (He’s grateful, because the Captain doesn’t rest as often as he should.) Len smiles to himself.
There is a hushed noise in the distance, and the doctor reluctantly pulls away from his view of majestic pearly white rock, which glints a rainbow of subtle colors in the sunny patches that peek through the tall green trees. Scotty is coming over the hill at a casual stroll, no lines of worry about him, so Leonard does not call out to the approaching man.
To his surprise, the Chief Engineer stops some feet away, pulls out a small device (that suspiciously looks like a holo-cam) and bares his top row of teeth in a grin. He winks at Doctor McCoy, and Leonard realizes that Mr. Scott—that sneaky bastard—has just taken a snapshot of the three tranquil and unsuspecting officers.
Later, after Leonard tenderly brings Jim back to awareness, they pack up the remnants of their picnic and beam home to the Enterprise, McCoy will return to the CMO’s office to find a photo sitting innocently on the corner of his desk. In it are three relaxed lovers who, in that moment, are content together.
It is a remembrance; it is a foretelling.
Here’s to the Official 100,000 word mark! Time for my (literal) vacation–I’ll be back eventually. :)