Title: Come Hither and Welcome (2/?)
Fandom: Star Trek TOS
Summary: When Bones retreats, Kirk and Spock follow—which leads to a mystery; and this particular Mystery’s name is Leonard McCoy.
Previous Parts: 1
Leonard wakes up to warm sunshine coming through the windows whose curtains he’d forgotten to draw closed. He takes a moment to reorient and remember where he is. In less than twenty minutes, his meager items are unpacked, he’s showered and dressed in a pair of dark blue trousers and a white shirt which he leaves open at the neck. He pads barefoot down the carpeted hallway, hands tucked in pockets, to a small set of stairs hidden discreetly at the corner of the hall. He ascends them to a partially open door and onto the balcony that overlooks acres of carefully cultivated gardens.
There is a middle-aged woman perched on the edge of a chair with her arms folded on the balcony railing. She looks up as McCoy casually leans down and places a kiss on her cheek.
“Leonard,” she returns the greeting and sighs softly. “I take it you slept well.”
“I did indeed. Best night I’ve had in ages.” His eyes crinkle at the corners as he smiles.
She is quiet, then, as she slowly peruses him from the bare feet up to the smudges under his eyes. “I’m surprised that you haven’t contacted me before now, Len. That mission of the Enterprise’s has been all over the news.”
Leonard acknowledges the solemnity of her words with a short nod. When she pats the seat of the chair beside her, he accepts the invitation and sinks down into a slump of limbs. “Claire,” he says, “you wouldn’t believe the hell I’ve been through.” His accent thickens with each word. “I just… couldn’t take a minute more. I was going crazy, darlin’.”
Her response is all sympathy. “Well, you’re here now. You just rest up.”
“I plan to.”
There is a moment of comfortable silence between old friends. Then Claire asks, “Can I tell Tommy that you’re here? It would do him a world of good to see you.”
“Sure, I’d love to see him. How’s he doing?”
“Much better.” She reaches over and squeezes his forearm. “Thanks to you.”
Leonard shrugs at that. “I’m a doctor, Claire. Can’t be much else, really.”
Claire catches his eye and says, “Why, you’re a saint!” They both laugh. Then the woman stands up and tells her companion that there are some newly arrived guests in the east wing who require placating. “For gosh’s sakes, I don’t understand people these days—this is a retreat, not a resort!”
McCoy implies that he’d be more than willing to slip any disrespectful persons a sedative or two into their dinner wine. After all, only a fool cannot appreciate a fine Southern estate and country air.
Leonard stretches out his legs and leans back to take in the splendid view. As his eyes drift shut, Claire stays over his shoulder as she departs, “Oh and, Len? Welcome back. We’ve missed you.”
Jim double-checks the PADD. “Has Bones ever mentioned this woman before?”
Spock replies, “Not to my knowledge, Captain. Doctor McCoy’s acquaintances and colleagues are numerous. It is unlikely that…”
Jim interrupts unceremoniously. “You looked up this address, Spock. It’s in the middle of nowhere.”
“An incorrect assumption. I confirmed by satellite that there is indeed a large area nearby which indicates a structural development, yet is notably isolated from other communities.”
Jim looks unhappy. “Private property. Any registry records?”
“I am accessing the information now.”
Jim shifts his weight in the small shuttle seat, drumming his fingers on the armrest. Spock continues to work and does not acknowledge Jim’s fidgety movements. Eventually, the Vulcan speaks.
“Estate dating from early Terran nineteenth century, placed in the family name of DeMont.” There is the sound of soft beeping. “Jim,” Spock pauses. “The current owner of the DeMont estate is listed as Leonard Horatio McCoy-DeMont.”
Jim takes a second to soak up those words before he is hanging halfway into Spock’s lap to read the PADD. “Well… damn. Really?”
Spock’s eyebrow goes up. “I do not perceive a reason for doubt, Jim.”
“But Bones never mentioned that he owned property in Alabama! And his last name? Is that a family name or…” Jim swallows. “…from marriage? I don’t think Jocelyn’s last name was DeMont, Spock.”
“Doctor McCoy does not have a record of a second marriage.”
Jim stares at Spock. “You checked? When?”
If a Vulcan can look indignant, then Spock does at this moment. “Captain, as First Officer, it is a part of my duties to review all crewmen records.”
Kirk pats him placatingly on the shoulder. “So as far as Starfleet knows, Bones is only once-divorced.”
“By Starfleet records, correct,” Spock agrees.
They both turn back to the PADD with the word McCoy-DeMont glaring in unforgiving black and white. It’s something they don’t know about Leonard; perhaps a piece of information about their partner about which they should have known. Then there is no more time to contemplate the mystery before them because the overhead speaker announces an imminent arrival at their programmed shuttle stop. Kirk and Spock need only switch shuttles once more before they arrive at the proper Alabama terminal.
McCoy grins and swoops up the child from the bed to twirl him around. “Hey there, Tommy. What… higher? Sure thing, kiddo!” The boy squeals with delight. Finally, he sets him back down on the edge of the bed. “Now hold out your leg… no, Tom-boy, the other one. Good.” He makes a show of checking over the limb with great big hmmm‘s and aha‘s that keep the child’s eyes wide as saucers. Then he pulls the pants leg back over the sock before ruffling Tommy’s hair.
“Is it gettin’ better?”
“Sure is, little man. Soon you’ll be climbing up the Fiddler’s Oak to touch the stars.”
A voice says from the doorway, “Now don’t be giving him those kinds of ideas, Doctor McCoy.”
“Boys are known for their brilliant ideas, Ma’am. Just ’cause I said it, don’t mean he wasn’t already thinking it. Right, Tommy?” He winks conspiratorially at the young boy who giggles in response.
Claire keeps her arms folded like a scolding mother but her eyes are twinkling. “Do I have to separate you two?”
“No!” When Claire looks sternly at her son, he tacks on a sheepish “Ma’am.”
“Tommy, I know you’ve been in that dusty library—”
“I was readin’ about pirates, Mama!”
“Nevertheless, I can see your dirty pirate hands from here. Go on now and wash ’em.”
Tommy scoots off the bed with a “‘Kay.” Len lets the boy stead himself against the doctor’s body before he limps off in the direction of the bathroom.
Leonard turns to Claire and says, “He is doing better, but I’d like to take a look at Phil’s notes on his treatment.”
“Doctor Oshlakov’s log book is on my desk in the Blue Room.”
McCoy nods and stands up. They lock eyes and unsaid words pass between them. Then Claire breaks the silence. “C’mon then, Len. Cook’s preparing a special dinner for you.”
“Oh Lord, I hope it’s her Hunter’s Stew. I’ve been craving that since the moment I set foot on Earth.”
“Well, let’s collect Tommy and go down to the kitchen to see, shall we?”
“We shall, my lady.” He bows and lets the woman slip her arm through his. “I suppose I oughta visit the hospital tomorrow.”
Claire smiles up at him. “I suppose you should.”
Tommy is elbows-deep in running water and suds. He has to be enticed to Cook’s domain (apparently the woman is scary-large to small boys) with the promise of a sweet. Leonard carries him on his shoulders all the way to the kitchen.