Pairing: a hint of Kirk/Spock and platonic Kirk/McCoy
Word Count: approx. 900
Disclaimer: They're not mine, unfortunately.
Author's Note: This was inspired by the song "Cheer Up (You Miserable Fuck)" by David Ford. The italicized sections are lyrics from the song. I originally wanted to write a Kirk/Bones hurt-comfort story, with Bones being the main focus (the miserable fuck). But, as I started writing, the story seemed to develop a mind of its own... and I ended up with this. No beta, so apologies for any errors.
WARNING: character death
Summary: Kirk is dealing with tragedy, and he eventually finds comfort in Bones.
It had happened in a flash, and there had been no way to stop it. Despite this, Jim Kirk blamed himself. He always blamed himself when they lost a crew member, but he took this death particularly hard. Losing his first officer was like losing his right arm. He knew Spock wasn't afraid to die –he saw it as part of his duty as a Starfleet officer– but that didn't make it hurt any less.
Ghosts, walk through the walls
They catch your rise and falls
Then sink back to sleeping, again
It had been several months, but he still missed Spock's presence as he walked the halls of the ship. He still noticed the absence of a second pair of footsteps, perfectly in-step with his own. He felt a stab every time he glanced over at Spock's former workstation, heard the whirling sound of the viewer, and saw an unfamiliar back facing him. Even during meal times, when he'd walk through the mess hall and plunk his tray down next to an empty chair, he missed his first officer.
And dust, it settles on shelves
Will you shake me from myself
And tell me I'm alright?
As Captain, he knew it was his duty to remain stoic and level-headed, to not let his mourning affect the daily life of the ship, and to keep things running like a well-oiled machine. Jim threw himself into his work, and while he was on duty –as long as he refrained from glancing at Spock's corner of the bridge– he could usually pretend that everything was normal. Off-duty hours, however, were a different story. He spent much of his time locked away in his quarters, desperately seeking an explanation of how and why. Running scenarios over and over in his head, wondering if there had been something he'd missed – some key element that would have allowed him to save Spock's life that day.
And all the time on your own
The flowers have grown
Under your feet
Over time Jim began to wonder if he was the only one left on the Enterprise who still mourned the loss of Spock. Everyone seemed quite happy to move on – smiling, laughing, living. He couldn't deny the feelings of resentment that had begun to pervade his thoughts. It was only during his scheduled medical examination that he realized someone else had been similarly shattered by Spock's death. He hadn't had much interaction with his chief medical officer since they'd brought Spock's broken and bloodied body back to the ship. Perhaps it was a means of self-preservation, or maybe he'd just been blinded by his own grief, but it hadn't occurred to Jim that Bones might be suffering as well. It sure as hell hadn't occurred to him that McCoy might be in need of an ear to listen, or a shoulder to cry on.
And don't, don't you think that it's time
You said, "Hey, this one is mine"
Maybe do what you want to do?
He'd known Leonard McCoy for several years. He'd grown accustomed to his snark and his apparent anger in regards to everyone and everything – and more specifically, his caustic banter with Spock. While Jim certainly didn't expect Bones to celebrate the loss of their first officer, he hadn't imagined the doctor would mourn for more than a few days or possibly a few weeks. It was almost like a punch to the gut then when, in the middle of the examination, Bones paused and muttered, “it was my fault.” The medical equipment continued spinning and humming, as Jim raised his eyes and met the sad eyes of his doctor – his friend. As Bones began to turn away, Jim's arm jerked up to stop him – clasping his hand around the doctor's wrist.
'Cause you, well you are no fun
And I'm so dumb
But please let us not be lonely, again
Still sitting on the examination table, Jim pulled Bones towards him and enveloped him in a clumsy hug. A whole slew of words began pouring from Bones's mouth: “if I'd done this” and “if I'd been quicker” and finally, “it should've been me.” Jim listened silently with his forehead against Bone's shoulder, and his fists entwined in the doctor's shirt. As the last confession escaped from Bone's lips, Jim felt his breath hitch and he let out a quiet whimper. Shaking his head, he held the doctor close to him. They stood there for quite sometime, holding each other, releasing the sadness and guilt they'd had pent up inside them for so long. It was awkward, and it was sad, but somehow they both knew they needed it.
And you, you wear your mistakes
And I know mine
But please let us not be lonely, this time
They didn't need to explain that neither man was at fault, and that neither of them placed blame. They also didn't need to vocalize how much they now needed each other – it had become very clear. As time went on, Kirk made a habit of tossing a few sarcastic comments in his doctor's direction, while Bones made a habit of occasionally catching up to Jim in the hallway and walking in-step with him. They knew that neither was a replacement for Spock, but it was a reminder that they were going to be okay.
Cheer up, you miserable fuck
This has gone on long enough...