ecto_gammat: ([st])
ecto_gammat ([personal profile] ecto_gammat) wrote2015-02-10 10:39 pm

We're Like No Other

Title: We’re Like No Other
Fandom: Star Trek AOS
Summary: Leonard McCoy has met so many people in his profession that there isn't a single superpower left that surprises him. Until he meets Jim Kirk.
Notes: Companion fanmix for the super awesome fic All of Your Heroes and Saints, written by [ profile] acetamide for [ profile] startrekbigbang. This post contains spoilers for the fic, and also Star Trek Into Darkness. Please let me know if the stream isn’t working correctly or the download links fail.

01. freaks in uniforms – horrorpops
trying to put everything in a box
freaks in uniform,
creating norms
it's misguided unity

in it for the thrill
it's got its own will
you can go na-na-na-na yourself
can't keep it clean,
it's a live pinball machine
you can go na-na-na-na yourself

There’s a pair of guys sat across from them, one pyrokinetic and the other cryokinetic, and they’re having a battle of wills to see whose ability comes out tops. There’s a man with big ears sat near the door who keeps turning invisible, and a woman whose fingers are sparking as she talks to those around her. And then there’s Captain Pike, who keeps phasing through the walls to talk to the cadets.

All in all, it’s nothing he hasn’t seen before, but having someone who isn’t trying to impress him with an ability is refreshing and completely unexpected. But then McCoy reasons that maybe it’s a more passive ability like his own, one that can’t be shown as a way of greeting, and maybe he should stop overthinking this.

“Nice power, Cupcake,” Kirk drawls with a smirk, leaning forward with his forearms on his knees, and McCoy follows his gaze to where a burly man is manipulating some rocks in the air in front of him. “I bet terrakinesis comes in real handy in space.”

02. the end of the line – the offspring
you can't take back the one mistake
that still lives on after life it takes
in that one day that changed our lives
and bitter memories are left behind

please stay now, you left me here alone
please stay, i can't make it on my own
make it on my own
it's the end of the line

"Bones, she'd lost her husband – the first man she ever loved – when he was blown apart by Romulans while she gave birth to me. And then nearly fifteen years later she loses the second man she's ever loved when he's blown apart by the very son she gave birth to when the first husband died," Jim points out, looking amused though for the life of him McCoy can't find the funny side of this whole thing. "That'd mess even the most stable person up, and she was never quite all there after Dad died, I don't think. Anyway, she couldn't cope - she tried for a few months, but couldn't manage. I don't know how she found out about it, but the next thing I know, I'm being told to pack my bags and get ready for a vacation, because I was going to the Suresh Institute."

"You didn't get a say in this?" McCoy asks in surprise, and Jim just shakes his head as he shifts and rearranges himself on the sofa, propping his feet in McCoy's lap and shrugging.

"Like I said, Mom wasn't thinking straight. So she packed me off to the Institute and left me there and I came out six months later with no powers. I left home six months after that. She wasn't the only one who couldn't cope."

03. empathy – alanis morissette
there were so many times
i thought i'd die not being truly known
there've been so many moments
forever lonely in my vocation

you come along and celebrate each feeling
and there you are all honor and inquiring

thank you for seeing me
i feel so less lonely
thank you for getting me
i'm healed by your empathy
oh this intimacy

McCoy takes a deep breath and reaches out to rest a hand on Jim’s shoulder. His shirt is soft beneath McCoy’s palm, his muscles strong and his skin warm. “Thanks for telling me, kid.”

“Well you wouldn’t have given in asking otherwise.”

“You’re not wrong. Now what am I supposed to do with all of the time that I now have that was previously dedicated to working out your ability?”

“Well, I know what we can do on Saturday.”

“Do I actually want to know?”

“I sweet-talked a girl that I met the other night who works for the visitor information center and she gave me two free admissions to the paintball fields up in Vallejo,” he says with a grin, then a thoughtful expression comes over his face. “Huh, she was probably hoping that I’d take her. Shit.”

McCoy sighs heavily. He can think of a hundred and one reasons why this is a monumentally bad idea; Jim’s competitive streak is the basis of about half of them, and McCoy’s terrible aim and bad temper cause for the other half. But Jim is looking at him expectantly and somewhat giddily, and considering the amount of trust that he’s just displayed with his admission, McCoy can’t bring himself to say no to him. He’s finding it harder to say no every day.

04. i was wrong – sisters of mercy
in a bar that's always closing
in a world where people shout
i don't wanna talk this over
i don't wanna talk it out

i was quite impressed until i hit the floor
isn't that what friends are for?
pain looks great on other people
that's what they're for

McCoy opens his eyes again as Jim’s voice come from directly over his face; he’s come around to the side of the couch and is leaning over him, grinning from ear to ear. His nose is most definitely broken, there’s an impressive black eye forming, and there’s a thick cut on his lip that’s scabbed over.

“Get out of my face.”

“If you fix me?”

“You know, if you didn’t come home to a healer every day, would you still let yourself get into these messes or would you be slightly more responsible?”

“I didn’t have you for the last twenty-three years of my life and still ended up in both hospital and juvie on such a regular basis that I knew the names of all the orderlies and my arresting officers, so that’s probably not a great sign.”

McCoy glares up at him – gives him his best, most effective ‘fuck off’ face that normally has the other cadets that try inadvisably to annoy him – but it doesn’t phase Jim. There’s something slightly unsettling but nevertheless heartwarming in the way that Jim won’t move away because he knows that as much as McCoy grouses and grumbles and swears violently, he will always give in and heal any damage that Jim’s acquired over the course of the day. It’s sickening, really, when he thinks about it.

“You’re an ass,” he says flatly as he reaches up with splayed hands and touches the tips of his fingers to Jim’s skin. If he’s done it once he’s done it a thousand times, but there’s still something entrancing about watching the process – the way that the blood beneath the skin around his eye fades away, the way that his nose realigns and straightens with a gentle scraping noise, the way that the sensitive skin of his lip rapidly reknits into a smooth surface.

“You’re the best,” Jim says, the same as he does every time McCoy heals him – with a blinding grin full of shining white teeth and eyes that crinkle at the corner. He leans down and drops a kiss on McCoy’s lips before bouncing back up and away from the couch, back to where his coffee has finished brewing as McCoy’s nose wrinkles in displeasure.

“God, you are sweating that beer out, you need a shower. I can almost taste it on you, and I’ve been on the bourbon for the last hour, so that’s saying something.”

05. kiss ‘n’ tell – buzzcocks
i'm under your spell
go on then (kiss 'n' tell)
take what you can sell
go on now (kiss 'n' tell)
log on to the well
go for it (kiss 'n' tell)
come on now (kiss 'n' tell)
you want to
just kiss 'n' tell

Jim leans down to assess his own chest once he removes his hand – and then gives McCoy a pleased look, and leans forward to kiss him.

“Whoa there, kid,” McCoy says with alarm and pushes Jim away with a hand on his shoulder, casting a furtive glance around to make sure that nobody else has come onto the deck in the last five minutes. He looks back at Jim, whose head is tilted to the side with a quizzical expression on his face.

“Relax, literally everybody knows. Or at least, most people do.”


“Yeah, Scotty mentioned it when we were on the bridge and a few people overheard, plus people keep on seeing you trying to sneak out of my quarters at strange times of the day. You do realize that you’re not even half as stealthy as you think you are, right?”

“Scotty did what?”

Jim seems to notice the shift in McCoy’s voice because he looks up with a slightly sheepish expression, and his own tone becomes distinctly more placating.

“Look, he didn’t mean to, and he did apologize…”

“I’m going to dismember him,” McCoy says matter-of-factly as he hauls himself to his feet and brushes himself off. “I’m going to give him a really powerful anesthetic, and then I’m going to cut off all of his fingers whilst he watches, and then I’ll cut off his toes, and then I’ll heal him and start all over again.”


I am going to dismember him!” he says, rather shrilly, and the ensign that has just walked through the doors and onto the deck jumps in surprise and edges away from him as he stalks past; the last thing that he hears before the doors slide shut behind him is Jim desperately trying to explain to the poor boy why the ship’s Chief Medical Officer is threatening mutilation.

06. soulbreaking – the tea party
you can't stand the distance
you can't stand to not be afraid
you won't show resistance
you can't seem to run away
because every time the past's awakened
every time your soul starts breaking

in the face of the fire
you see angels conspire
will they hear your desires
will they stop your soul breaking
could they stop your soul breaking

But McCoy can’t fix the panic attacks that they both have at the most inconvenient times. He can’t seem to stop his hands shaking every once in a while, and has to take a step back and let somebody else take over. He can’t stop the way that Jim hates the turbolift now, the way that he always leaves the bathroom door open and avoids going down the Engineering decks unless he absolutely has to.

They don’t talk about what happened, but the crew knows, and they do McCoy proud every day – whether it’s reassuring McCoy that they’ve just seen Jim with Chekov in one of the labs, or not crowding Jim in the lifts and corridors, or just giving them space and time. He sees the way that Spock watches Jim a little more closely, he notices that Uhura will often bring McCoy coffee in the medbay when she’s off-shift, he’s aware that Sulu always seems to offer a sparring session when Jim’s getting particularly antsy.

They still have nightmares; they probably always will. But at least they’re not alone.

07. psychomania – the damned
the pleasure of the beast
is a’cursing through our veins
burn the night, burn the day
a burning light on our moonlight flight

everything blurs in the shadow
straight and true, shot like an arrow
tales of love, tales of terror
ghost riders go hell for leather
psychomania drives me crazier

“My first thought is that something must have been going on for me to pretend to kill Jim, but to be honest I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t fantasize about sedating him several times a week.”

“I thought that the standard sedatives don’t work on him?”

“Yeah,” McCoy says with a wistful smile and a burst of memory. “They just make him act really high. One time when we were at the Academy I tried to knock him out, but he just ended up convinced that a plastic bag was the pet cat that we didn’t have and stroked it for like, half an hour.”

Uhura looks both horrified and entertained, and her eyes widen in curiosity. “What were you sedating him for?”

“To make him sleep the night before one of his Advanced Subspace Geometry exams – he always dealt with exams one of two ways. Either he’d refuse to revise at all and get blackout drunk the night before and still pass with flying colors, or he’d take a shit-ton of Adderall and drinks gallons of coffee until he claimed that his notes sounded like they were in pain, and he’d still pass with flying colors,” he sighs, and shakes his head. “I swear I could never work out which method he was going to try until he was already too far into it to stop him.”

08. sun goes down – icona pop
oh, it's getting harder
please send me a sign
i can be your lighthouse
i'll be on the shore

i'll be waiting for you 'til the sun goes down
i'll be waiting for you 'til the sun goes down
i'll be waiting for you 'til the sun goes down
no tidal wave could turn me around

“What if we never find anywhere, Bones?” he asks and he sounds so bone-tired that McCoy is overcome with the memory of singing lullabies to Joanna when she was still small enough to fall asleep on his shoulder. “What if we just drift through space for five years, and never come across any civilized worlds?”

McCoy leans forward and kisses Jim on the forehead. “Are you kidding me? We’ve only been at this for four months and we’ve not really travelled that far. We’ll find something. And if we don’t after another few months, then we turn around and try in a different direction. It’s kinda up to you, Captain.”

Jim smiles tiredly and rolls away. “Shit yeah, I’m the captain.”

“And I’m your CMO. And I always will be, even if we drift for years and never find anything. I still will be even if we get lost and never make it home, and I will follow you to the edge of the universe if that’s where you decide to take us.”

He catches Jim’s eye and holds it, and he tries to convey all of the seriousness that he’s feeling into the look. What he said is true of course but he wants to make sure that Jim really, truly understands what he’s saying. He wants Jim to understand the depth of his feelings for him, and just how far he’s willing to go – beyond breaking Starfleet regulations to sneak him onto the Enterprise, beyond breaking Federation laws and resurrecting Jim from the dead. There is absolutely nothing that McCoy would not do for Jim and sometimes the thought scares him, but right now it just fills him with resolve.

Jim seems to understand at least part of what he’s trying to communicate, because he pushes in closer and kisses him as though they really are at the end of the universe.

09. icarus – bastille
standing on the cliff face
highest fall you'll ever grace
it scares me half to death

look out to the future
but it tells you nothing
so take another breath

your hands protect the flames
from the wild winds around you

icarus is flying too close to the sun
and icarus's life, it has only just begun
and this is how it feels to take a fall
icarus is flying towards an early grave

And then he sees Jim, standing right in the eye of the storm with his eyes closed and his hands clenched into fists, perfectly still as the desert whips around him – and McCoy realizes with a horrifying certainty that actually, Jim is the eye of the storm.

And now that he knows, he can see how the air is rippling in circles around him, throbbing and pushing outwards in waves of exploding force that tears through all of the matter around him and rips apart the atoms, and are causing the world to break down.

“Jim!” he shouts, but no sound comes from his mouth. There’s no air left – no particles to vibrate and take the call from his lips to Jim’s ears. There’s just the collapsing desert and Jim and a million photons that will be the next things to be destroyed.

He stumbles as his skin begins to tingle, and whatever it was that was shielding him from the force of Jim’s power gives way. The landscape’s barely recognizable now, and he can tell even though his eyes are covered that the area will soon be flattened and vaporized into the atmosphere. Everything in Jim’s radius has been; it’s only a matter of time before he himself is subjected to the shockwaves and torn into his component parts.

He falls to the ground, and Jim opens his eyes.

And he looks at him, finally noticing him in the midst of the destruction, and the last thing that McCoy sees is the expression on Jim’s face as it goes from blank to shocked to angry to absolutely terrified.

And then there is nothing.

10. public service announcement – the bravery
all this time i should have known
one of these days you'd follow me home
mess up my room and proceed to tempt me
and no matter how good i am, you learn to resent me

stop, drop and roll
stop, drop and roll
stop, drop and roll
you're on fire

A series of alarmed expressions are exchanged between Jim, Uhura, and McCoy – until it seems to clicks in all three of their heads at the same time and Uhura blushes just as much as Spock is whilst McCoy’s eyes roll up to the ceiling of their own accord.

“Uh yeah, sure, you guys crack on. Let me – uh, Doctor McCoy – know if you need anything…” Jim trails off, and Spock merely nods efficiently before moving towards the turbolift with Uhura following him.

“You have my thanks, but I find it highly doubtful.”

Jim watches them leave in a sort of mute, embarrassed horror and immediately turns to McCoy as soon as the turbolift has zoomed them away to Spock’s quarters.

“Oh my God, did he just go into pon farr?” he whispers, and his expression turns gleeful. “As if that just happened!”

“Could you at least try to be respectful?” McCoy hisses and leans in close. “It’s a very private time for him, you know that. No mocking.”

“You know what, you’re no fun at all,” Jim replies, but he’s grinning in a relaxed way and his eyes are twinkling; his head is tilted towards McCoy in a very particular way, and so he reaches out and gently presses his hand to the back of Jim’s neck with an affectionate smile.

11. declaration – killswitch engage
we will not return to the countless mistakes of the past
i will not relive the failures of the man i once was

only through dedication will i destroy all preconception

no longer will i let myself be truly satisfied with the standard
we will not return to the countless mistakes of the past

only through dedication will i destroy all preconception

He shifts; his foot slides forward as he twists his right hip, and his hand curls into a fist and punches forward through the air in front of him.

The rock on the very top is atomized in an instant; the rest remain untouched and perfect.

The first time that he’d managed to actually hit the right target, Jim had abruptly performed an elaborate victory dance that included ripping off his shirt and running around the quarry, and by the time that he was ready to continue it took him over five minutes to calm down enough to concentrate. Now though, he just aims and fires at each stone in turn, reduced the pyramid in size one by one until the last one disappears in a perfect puff of dust.

Jim pauses, and then stands up straight and closes his eyes to take three deep breaths. He opens them again and glances over at McCoy, and the intense look that had been in his eyes when he’d been targeting the rocks is gone and there’s just a playfulness there that McCoy hasn’t seen in a while.

When Jim starts to walk over to him, there’s a horrendous swagger in his hips. “Yeah, that’s right, I’m a molecular disintegration pro,” he says with a shit-eating grin as he comes to stand between McCoy’s legs. “You saw that, right? Every single one on target.”

“Really? Oh, sorry, I was distracted by my fingernails and was mentally composing a grocery list.”

“You are such a jerk.”

12. i caught fire – bullets & octane
cinco de mayo had the light in a while
well ok, well i lied
drinks in the car on the way to the bar
we are sin, that we are, yeah yeah

what's with the kids doing the same old shit
what a waste of life
when i was young, between the fingers and thumb
read between the lines, yeah

i caught fire under the red hot sun
now i'm laughing at everyone
yeah, i caught fire like a son of gun
but together we are the one

remember yesterday
hell, sometimes i can't remember my name
you can take a drunken picture of my face baby
but that ain't gonna get you laid

“So did I ever tell you about the time that Bones got absolutely wasted during third-year orientation week? He was supposed to be leading a tour of the Medical department at like, eight o’clock the next morning but we ended up at this party, I can’t even remember why, and we got split up. And when I find him again a few hours later, he’s shouting ‘OSTEOPOROSIS’ at this girl who’s got her arm in a cast, and then he threw a glass of milk at her, and yeah. We got kicked out of the party at that point.”

At some point during Jim’s cheerfully embarrassing tale – which they had agreed not to tell anybody ever again, mostly because the story actually ends with them both drunkenly stumbling into some sort of society induction and stuffing their faces with free food, and then getting kicked out of that, only to discover the next day that they’d gatecrashed the first ever meeting of the Starfleet Ukelele Society – Jo’s stopped talking to Pete and is staring at her father with a mixture of horror and amusement. McCoy’s pretty sure that he’s only projecting horror right now and oh my god he’s going to kill Jim, but then Jo snorts with laughter and shakes her head, and somehow normal conversation commences around the whole table.

“Yeah, well you’re the reason why the RA in first year had to specifically make the rule of ‘no lighting smoke-bombs inside the dorms’,” he mutters darkly, and Sam just laughs even harder.

13. bulletproof – paul stanley
some people say love comes once in a lifetime
some people say it's behind every door
i saw your eyes and i knew for the first time
no more playing my emotions
no more aiming at my heart

you make me bulletproof, that's what you do
i feel invincible when i am next to you
you got the arrows bouncing off my skin
i lost at love before this time i'm gonna win

McCoy leans closer to where Clay is sat on his left-hand side. “What’s with all those piercings in her ears?” he says in a low voice, and Clay offers him a sympathetic smile as he chases a few peas around his plate.

“Obviously she’s had one pair for years, but she got the second pair and the one in the top of her left ear whilst she was at summer camp,” he says wryly and shakes his head. “By the time she got home, they’d fully healed. She said that we couldn’t stop her from ‘expressing her personality’, and after a few weeks of battles we just gave in. It’s definitely not the worst thing that she could have done.”

“No, she could have gotten a tattoo,” McCoy agrees absently, and Clay looks at him askance.

“I meant she could have gotten her nose pierced. She’s twelve, Leo.”

“Sorry. I’m used to dealing with Jim, who has the same mental age as my daughter. And believe me, he once did get a tattoo when going through a phase.”

“Did he regret it?”

“Well I hope not, because the idiot got an anatomically-correct tattoo of both his left and right third and fourth ribs traced across his chest,” he blurts out, and immediately wishes that he hadn’t; he blushes furiously the moment that he’s disclosed it and mentally kicks himself. He sees the second when the cogs click in Clay’s head and focuses his attention firmly on his food.

“That’s actually kind of romantic,” Clay murmurs, and McCoy nearly chokes on his potato.

“Romantic? It’s horrendous!”

“No, it’s romantic. A permanent reminder of the ‘bones’ that protect his heart? That’s romantic, Leo.”

“It is not.”

“I’m happy for you.”

McCoy has serious difficulty swallowing his potato at that point. Whilst yes, he can proudly say that over the last seven years he’s actually become a real grown-up and no longer blames his divorce on Clay (and can even now admit that it was probably at least only half his own fault), he’d assumed that there’s always be some remnants of bad blood between them. He’d been an absolute dick to Clay when Jocelyn had first announced that she’d wanted a divorce and whilst Clay has told him on several occasions that he considers it water under the bridge, McCoy knows that he was still a massive asshole and hadn’t even really expected forgiveness, let alone a blank slate.

But Clay is happy for him. And when McCoy briefly glances up at the profile of his ex-wife’s new husband, he can see that the man is utterly sincere. Clay can see how Jim and McCoy are with each other and it’s not just that he’s accepting of it but that he approves, and he wants McCoy to be happy. It’s not a concept that he’s entirely familiar with and his mouth feels very suddenly dry.

“Thank you,” he mutters as he takes an enormous swig of water, and promptly chokes on it, much to the Kirk men’s amusement.

14. run for your life – the creepshow
like a train on a one way track
keeps on goin' never coming back
no don't wait until tomorrow

your night is vanished by the devil
your lies and empty promises
are never gonna make it right

run for your life
nobody’s gonna wake you up
run for your life
nobody’s gonna save you now

“Okay fine, say that it is possible,” he grumbles. “What sort of scale of destruction are we talking here?”

Spock and Carol both look to Jim, who meets their gaze unsteadily. McCoy hadn’t noticed it before, but now that he’s looking more closely, he can see the way that Jim’s shoulders are shaking, his fingers trembling as he runs his hands through his hair.

“Don’t forget, Iron Stars are entirely theoretical, all we have to go off is speculative data models – but we could still be completely wrong. I mean, the Klingons are claiming to have this technology, but what if it doesn’t work the way that they plan? What of instead of turning our sun into an Iron Star, they cause it to go hypernova?” Jim scoffs, and laughs nervously. “I mean, inducing cold fusion and then enough radioactive decay to turn the sun literally into a solid sphere of iron? That’s just… it’s just not…”

Jim,” McCoy says quietly, and Jim stops talking, and takes a long, shuddering breath. “Theoretically. How would this change things?”

Jim is silent for a long minute. McCoy’s not sure if he’s refusing to answer, or calculating a timescale, or maybe just running through all of the possibilities in his head. But he’s scared, McCoy can tell – he’s scared that the Klingons might be telling the truth.

“It depends how long the process would take,” he says eventually, and his voice is shaking. “But it’s less than ten minutes from Sol to Earth. Once the star turns into solid iron, it’s game over – not just for us, but for the whole Terran System. We’d only be able to survive for so long without solar power, and all of the planets’ orbits would change, as well as things like asteroids and meteors.”

“So is it even feasible to attempt an evacuation?”

Jim looks at Spock, who shakes his head imperceptibly.

15. right between the eyes – garbage
seek to destroy cause they're scared of you
that's why they try to make a fool of you
they're so jealous of my pretty star
cause you've got soul inside your shattered heart

stick it to them like a phoenix rise
there's nothing grander than the big surprise
they can't hurt you with their sticks and stones
about time
take them right between the eyes

Jim nods quickly and begins pacing as the machines run their projection, his eyes fixed on Spock as he moves around the bridge rubbing his hands together. “What is a Kuiper Belt Object doing moving away from the Belt, Spock?” he asks pointedly, and Spock’s mouth twists as he watches Chekov work.

“I think you already know what trajectory this body is taking, Captain,” Spock says flatly, and Jim nods impatiently as he turns on the spot.

“I want confirmation though. I want to be sure that it’s going to make it there before we go in and do something exceptionally stupid.”

“What the hell are you guys talking about?” McCoy interjects in frustration, just as Chekov looks up from the telemetry screen in triumph.

“The body is on a collision course for the sun,” he says proudly, but he doesn’t seem to register the dark looks that Jim and Spock are exchanging, instead going back to the screen and investigating the body more. “Its path will take it past Saturn and around Mars, before coming in towards the sun just behind Mercury, as you can see on this model.”

“That’s great Chekov, but I need to know more about this asteroid – specifically, I need to know if there is anything on it, like a device of some sort, any sort of technology that you wouldn’t expect to be there.”

“Are you guys seriously suggesting that the Klingons have stuck their Iron Star device onto an asteroid and shot it at the sun?” McCoy says in a low voice, and Jim winces.

“When you say it like that, it sounds kinda stupid.”

16. said – puddle of mudd
fearless i have fell in to a trap
and there's no way around it
everyone is crying in the back
my kin is around me
hesitating, there's no second chance
when you know you’re a loser
keep on trying
keep an open mind

i'm caught in a circle

McCoy doesn’t even register what he’s doing until his fist has connected sharply with Jim’s jaw and sent him reeling backwards against the stone wall with a shocked expression on his face.

“You selfish ass,” he seethes furiously, rubbing his knuckles. “People will die if you don’t do this. You really think that we’ll be able to evacuate the whole system before everything goes to shit? There’s no way in hell we’d manage it and even if we did, where would we go? There’s tens of billions of people relying on you to save the solar system, and you won’t even try. Where’s Sam right now, and Aurelan? Where’s your mother? Your nephews? Do you even know? Do you even care at this point?”

“You have no right,” Jim spits at him as he pushes himself away from the wall and rubs fiercely at the red mark on his jaw. “You have no idea what it’s like, you’ve never had to do anything on this scale when you know that you’re going to fail no matter how hard you try!”

“What the ever-living fuck do you think I’ve spent the last three years doing in the medbay, sitting on my ass and watching people die? Do you think that when the Narada attacked us, I just waited for the other doctors and nurses to take over? Do you think that when the Vengeance came for us and nearly destroyed our ship that I just watched it happen, you asshole?”

Jim’s face falls for a second, and he takes a tentative step forward.

“Bones, even you couldn’t save them all, I know that you tried…”

“Exactly. I tried. We all did, even though we knew that it was hopeless, because that’s what we’re supposed to do – that’s exactly what you were talking about back in your quarters, when I told you that this was ridiculous and you said that you had to try. Nothing has changed since then. You were the one who wanted to come down here to destroy the device, and that’s exactly what you’re gonna do.”

“That was when we thought that the device was going to be small! Not a goddamn meteoroid that’s fifty kilometers wide! I could control a small event, but this? I could open up a wormhole and create a parallel universe! I could destroy the whole galaxy!”

“But you won’t,” McCoy says firmly, grabbing Jim’s flailing hands and holding them still. “You won’t, because I am going to be right here beside you, and I know that you can do this.”

17. right before my eyes – course of nature
all the times i've felt alone
'cause i've been wrong
until now my life has felt so long

now every part of me is letting go
but i will never let you go
won't let you go, i won't let you go

i want you to stare
i feel like i'm lost without you
and life just can't be the same

took my breath away
i felt like i just lost you
right before my eyes

“It’s okay,” McCoy whispers, pulling Jim towards himself and pressing their foreheads together, blinking back tears as his eyeballs burn hot. Jim’s shoulder and hand are growing cold beneath his palms and his joints ache, and he keeps on counting down in his head. “It’s okay, I promise, everything will be okay.”

The words don’t sound though; there’s just the deafening silence and cold. McCoy had always assumed that he would die in space – it kind of goes with the job – but he’d hoped that he would be old and decrepit, that he’d live to see Joanna’s children growing up, and he’d be surrounded by people and happy and loved.

Instead, it will be here, floating in the nothingness whilst the Enterprise sits safely away from Jim’s apocalypse, waiting for a command to retrieve them that will never come. It will be here, holding onto Jim and counting down. He’s already past fifteen, so he knows that unconsciousness comes next, and then he won’t feel a thing as his body shuts down. He doesn’t mind, that much, really – it would have been nice to have grandchildren, but he’ll make do with saving the solar system with the man that loves him.

He closes his eyes and presses his lips to Jim’s as his body begins to tingle, bright lights sparking behind his eyelids. He wants to take a breath, but he knows that his lungs won’t fill with anything except star dust and Jim – so he just grips Jim tighter against himself.

18. our whole lives tonight – eyeshine
vivid signs that often come and fall across my face
visit me in memories and dreams that i displace
i find myself forgetting who i promised i would be
look at me, look at you, it's time that we believe

we started something here
we started something here

heart, don't fail me now
i'm counting on all that exists in me

this is our whole lives tonight
it may be our only chance to get it right
this is our whole lives tonight
it might be our only shot to get it right

“That boy is a maniac. He’s like a clone of you and your brother!” Bones exclaims. “How did he end up with none of Aurelan’s better personality? He’s a terror!”

“So you say, and yet you’re the one who gave him permission to date your daughter.”

“Don’t remind me,” Bones says, and his voice comes out muffled where he’s buried his face in his hands; Jim takes pity on him and after a moment, wraps an arm around his shoulders with a laugh and pulls him into his side as Bones sits back up straight. “I swear to high hell that if he hurts her –”

“If he hurts the indestructible girl?” Jim raises an eyebrow, and Bones punches him in the ribs.

Emotionally. If he hurts her emotionally…”

“Hey come on, Kirk men aren’t like that,” Jim protests lightly, but he catches the look that Bones shoot him from under his eyebrows and amends it hastily. “Any more. I mean Pete never will be, he takes after his dad for that, not me. But I’m not like that. Any more.”

Bones continues to glare at him for approximately four seconds, and then his face relaxes into one of those soft smiles that he rarely ever lets anybody see and which Jim cherishes, and leans his head on Jim’s shoulder.

“Yeah, well. I’ll give him the old one-two if he does.”

Jim smiles. “I don’t doubt it.”

He takes another deep breath; Bones’ warmth shifts against him comfortably as his ribcage expands, and he can feel the Enterprise breathing with him as they float on through the black.

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