Title: Untitled (8/?)
Summary Something has changed McCoy and he’s not sure how to explain it to his lovers.
Previous parts: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7
Warning: Some language.
It’s growing dark, and he’s chilled inside and out. His inner medical compass points dangerously close to hypothermia. But a man can’t drown in broad daylight and not attract some attention.
Every few steps makes his wet clothes bunch up in awkward places and sets off his cursing again.
It has been confirmed: his body is as royally screwed as his mind. He’d make a wonderful science experiment. Spock would be so beyond fascinated, the Vulcan would have to find a new catchphrase.
Leonard has seen some pretty far-fetched things in his time (mostly since his CMO commission aboard the Enterprise). Hell, even mind tampering isn’t new—it’s almost a regular occurrence.
(Because every species they encounter must be more mentally gifted than the old plain Terrans. …And there’s obviously a sign on his back that says “Hoodoo me” in large, bold translatable letters.)
But redefining basic body functions? Sweet Jesus… the physics must be astounding. This is why people chalk up crazy impossible shit to beads-and-rattles rather than science.
After two terrifying attempts, McCoy had managed to make himself stay underwater for longer than a minute. His brain sounded some pretty loud alarm bells twenty seconds later; deep breaths were not his forte. Don’t panic. Don’t panic.
If it had been feasible to hyperventilate underwater, he’d have been halfway to unconscious.
Then it happened, that snap in his chest (imagined alveoli bursting and tried not to pass out) and a creepy inward heat. Hardest of all had been fighting the instinct to keep his mouth shut, because there’s a fine line between taking a risk and being stupid. (As a CMO worth his salt, Doctor McCoy delivers this particular speech often—more often than should be necessary.)
But he did do it—sucked in water and let it sit in his lungs like it God-damned belonged there. And breathed out. In, out. Just like above the surface, only it’s not and (fuck) so very wrong.
A whooping four whole minutes passed, and McCoy had had enough. By then, it was also apparent that his eyes were screwed too, because they didn’t sting but sharpened the clarity of a spectrum of green (almost pretty). He might have been wearing a pair of invisible goggles.
Sitting on the dock, the doctor in him ran rampant. Spouting medical jargon, sputtering disbelief—wonder too—even drawing up a lovely little research title for the beginning of the many papers this would likely induce.
When he’d mentally fatigued himself, Leonard decided that all the eighth-world-wonder fame wasn’t worth being a fucking fish.
So here he is, trudging back to face down the indomitable two. Undoubtedly, they’ve missed him by now and will be full of questions. Questions he’s not sure he can answer without sounding like a loon (a petrified loon at that).
Maybe he should try for humor. Jim, Spock—guess what? I’ve been cursed by a sea witch, and now I can deep-sea dive without an oxygen tank! (Ha. Jim would probably envy this…talent. Until McCoy starts growing scales and razor-sharp teeth.)
And, oh yeah, I’ve seen you both die horribly too. All of Earth in fact.
(Ceri’a’s smile comes to mind, coupled with the word Inevitable.)
He contemplates turning around, walking into the sea, and staying there. But Spock would eventually start knocking on his brain, locate him, and let Jim knock Bones on his ass.
Speaking of, Spock’s been rather silent. Usually Leonard gets a couple of mental caresses across his shield (which he loves) throughout the day. But not recently. Can’t blame Spock for retreating. Leonard has not been entirely pleasant to be around since that first nightmare (and the utter exhaustion).
He just wants to be Doctor Leonard H. McCoy again—argument specialist and Jim-fixer-upper.
He just wants to be a man sharing his life with two wonderful people; Bones—who can enjoy a shore leave with good company, a good drink, and no complications.
He just wants to go back to before this hell-hole of a planet—even back to a packed Sickbay—and the insane thing that is Ceri’a (that she’s made him too).
But most of all, he wants to ignore the call of the waves at his back… because now (he realizes) there’s an itch inside his soul to return to the sea… lovers be damned.
Note: Now we know the mood of all three and what has to come next. Or does it? :) Comments welcome.