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30 June 2013 @ 11:12 am
Star Trek AOS Fic; "And Shadow Falls"  
Title: And Shadow Falls
Author: lastinthebox
Pairing: Jim Kirk, Leonard McCoy
Rating: R (language, violence, pre-slash)
Length: 2,243
Summary: Everyone has secrets.
Disclaimer: I don’t own any of these characters. I’m just playing in the fandom sandbox.
Notes: Written in response to classics_lover’s Star Trek prompt of someone got bitten by a werewolf on shore leave on comment_fic. This story is a very loose interpretation of the prompt, dealing less with the supernatural aspect and dealing more with the consequences the events have on Jim and Bones’ friendship. I probably could have fleshed this out a lot more than I did, but hey, it’s comment fic. The story’s not beta’d because I’m shy, and I don’t know anyone yet. Contains some spoilers for Star Trek Into Darkness.

And Shadow Falls

Jim’s asleep all of thirty minutes when he’s eased awake by the sound of the suite door shutting with a hiss.

He blinks against the light coming into the room from the bathroom and rolls up into a sitting position. Bad idea. His head’s pounding a battle drum rhythm, his back’s screaming from passing out on the floor, and if the empty bottle of brandy on the floor beside him is any indication of the night he’s had, Jim can only imagine how Bones must feel right about now. The sound of the good doctor cursing up a storm in between bouts of puking his guts out is a pretty clear sign Bones isn’t much better off.

“You okay, man?” Jim manages to rasp out.

He can barely hear his own voice over the pounding in his skull, so it startles him when Bones responds with a short, terse, “fine!” Jim’s wasted, yes, but he’s certainly not stupid. He knows what that kind of response means. He’s practically a subject matter expert in the field. It takes him a couple tries before he’s on his feet and stumbling towards the bathroom.

Jim doesn’t know what he’s going to do when he gets there, maybe hand the guy a glass of water or hold his hair back while he retches or something. The thought amuses him, but the laugh dies in the back of his throat when he steps into the room. What he sees shocks him sober, roots in him to his spot in the doorway. “Fuck, Bones! What happened?”

Bones glances up for a moment, eyes bloodshot and wild in a way Jim’s never seen, before his head’s disappearing back into the toilet and he’s violently emptying the contents of his stomach. The back of Bones’ leather jacket is ripped to shreds, and the white button-down he’d been wearing earlier underneath is tacky and brownish black with congealing blood and bits of fleshy-looking somethings Jim really, really can’t think about.

His stomach rolls, though he somehow forces himself forward, falls hard to his knees beside the other man. He reaches a hand out, but a strangled, breathless groan from Bones stops him. “Don’t touch. Don’t you fucking touch me.”

“Okay, Christ, okay! What the fuck happened to you?”

“Don’t know,” Bones pants. “Walking back from, from...shit! They came from behind. Tried to fight. T-too fucking strong. Fuck!

The stilted words send Bones back to the toilet, spitting and heaving and gasping for breath. Jim takes the time to evaluate the other man quickly as he can. He notices dark bruising on the back of his neck where his sweat-soaked hair doesn’t cover, but it’s not nearly as alarming as the three long gashes on Bones’ back.

The lacerations are ragged and deep, deep enough to see the pearly-pink fatty tissue, and bleeding steadily where the torn remains of his shirt haven’t stuck to cuts. Every movement rips at the tattered flesh, opening the wounds where the blood’s already started to clot.

His assessment is cut short when Bones vaults forward and vomits red, then jerks to the side right into Jim and falls completely still. And maybe Jim’s still a little drunk, but he doesn’t remember the next couple moments. Doesn’t remember calling up to the ship or “beam us up beam us the fuck up right fucking now” or the way his hands slip and slide in all the blood when he pulls Bones up close.

What he does remember is the frenzied beat of his heart pounding against his ribcage when he can’t feel Bones’ pulse, remembers being slammed back into his own body when they rematerialize on the ship. And he remembers the sick, stinking feeling of fear rip through his gut when the medical team rushes the transporter pad and whisks Bones away.


Jim decides not to panic.

He walks back to his quarters unassisted, washes his hands and self-administers a hypospray to clear his system. Then he changes into uniform, gets to the bridge, and has Spock cancel all shore leave and contact the planet’s authorities to file a preliminary report on the attack.

Uhura places a hand on Jim’s shoulder and Carol says some things meant to be comforting, and none of it means shit because Jim knows he’s about a hair’s breadth away from losing his cool. So he just smiles best as he can, the kind of thing a starship captain’s supposed to fucking do, and makes his way down to sickbay.


M’Benga’s talking at him about twilight sedation just until the fever breaks and how peculiar and wild dogs and no transfusions needed and never seen anything like it and medical miracle and two days tops until the CMO’s made a full recovery, but looking down at Bones’ still form on the biobed, all Jim can think is alivethankfuckinggodalive.


Bones wakes up.

He wakes up and pats the medical team on the back for a job well done and comes up to the bridge to tell Jim good looking out, gives him information for the report and goes back down to sickbay a few hours later for blood work.

As if not two days ago, Jim hadn’t found his pulse or seen him breathing, hadn’t slipped on the man’s blood coming off the transporter pad. As if it’s never happened.

And though he’s glad Bones is alive – of course he’s fucking glad – that same stinking, greasy feeling of terror he’d felt when the medical team had torn Bones from his arms never quite goes away.


Bones doesn’t talk about it, not to anyone and not if he’s not directly asked, and Jim doesn’t ask no matter how much he may want to, because he sure as hell knows what that’s like.

So it takes a couple weeks of carefully orbiting around each other before Bones actually seeks him out. Sets his tray down by Jim’s in the mess and smiles and wolfs down a huge meal in between snatches of a breathless story about finally making some headway on a cure for the common cold and isn’t that just fucking amazing?

Jim isn’t really paying attention, just nods and laughs in all the right places and feels slightly sick because there’s something so glaringly off about Bones, but he just can’t seem to see past the guy’s bright smile and the shine in his eyes and the incredible, searing heat when Bones touches his hand to ask if everything’s okay.

“I’m good,” Jim says, knocks knees with Bones for laughs. “Great, actually. How are you?”

Bones looks like he’s considering the question and trying to find the answer in the mashed potato mountain on his tray. But after a moment, he looks up and grins so wide, Jim’s breath catches and it sets his chest on fire.

“I’ve never been better.”


They fall back into their routine easy enough after that.

Bones goes back to his hyposprays and bitchiness and hiding the massive heart on his sleeve, and Jim goes back to spitting in Death’s face and leaping before he looks and every once in a while, engaging in diplomatic talks and shaking hands and kissing babies, just to round things out a bit. Because believe it or not, dealing in games of mortal peril can sometimes be exhausting, painful even.

Kind of like today.

“It’ll be safe, huh? Just showing our faces? Damn it, Jim! What the hell are those things?” Bones yells up from his side of the gorge. They’re not twenty meters away from each other, but it might as well be miles, what with those monster-beasts of hell’s umpteenth circle trying to scale up the smooth rock face to get at their midnight snack.

Jim thinks about it for a second, shakes his head a little to clear the cobwebs and instantly fucking regrets it, because the nausea hits and his vision starts to whiten around the edges. He puts a shaky hand up to his temple to apply pressure. His fingers come away sticky with blood. That’s okay, though. Head wounds bleed a lot. He’ll just lie down for a minute. No big deal. Bones will take care of it. He’s good at that.

Bones is screaming his name now, he’s pretty sure, but he can barely hear it over the sound of those things. He really hopes they don’t make it, or they’ll make it to Jim first, so maybe Bones can get away. He’s okay with that scenario. That works for him. The world flickers around him, pulling and stretching at the seams, tearing into the fabric of his consciousness.

Bones is screaming Bones is screaming Bones is -

And then there’s shadow on the gorge across from him. Shadow down in the valley. Shadow swallows the monsters whole, steals up the rock face, and blots out the moon and stars and sky. He feels hot breath on his face and a heavy weight on his chest. The sound of a thousand screams follows him into the dark.


They only survived, Bones later tells him, because Scotty’s a goddamn miracle worker.


When Jim’s wounds are healed and Bones gets off his case about being the smartest dumbass he’s had the misfortune to know, they both drink until Jim is seeing double and hugging the floor like a long-lost lover and Bones is laughing low and hot like it’s the funniest thing he’s ever seen and his eyes are flashing in the dark and isn’t that just odd, Jim thinks, before the thought drifts away.


And for a while, after alternate realities and Nero, after John Harrison and dying, life aboard the Enterprise goes on.


“Captain,” Spock says.

“Yes, Mr. Spock?”

“I believe Doctor McCoy is ill.”

Jim looks up from the mess of notes on his padd. “How so? He looked fine to me at the briefing. Healthy or whatever.”

“It is not something I can explain so easily,” Spock starts.

“Is it like something that you can’t quite see?” Jim offers.


“What can you see, Mr. Spock?”

“At the risk of sounding, how would you put it, dramatic...”


Spock considers Jim for a moment, pinning him down with that ever calculating, always uncomfortable stare. “Captain, I see a man struggling to stay in the light.”


“You’re hiding something from me,” Jim says simple and clear.

And he’s got to give it to Bones, really. If he didn’t know any better, if he didn’t know what to look for, Jim may not have noticed the ragedoubtfear shadow the man’s face before that pissybeautifulpetulant mask eases back into place.


Jim spits blood, laughs, and crowds Bones’ space until the other man’s up against the padded gym wall and Jim’s got his arms braced on either side of Bones’ head. He’s close enough to feel Bones breath hot and heavy against his cheek, close enough to count the freckles on his fucking face and watch the way the colors shift in his eyes or the way his pulse jumps at his throat.

“You think I can’t tell when someone’s pulling punches? Try again, Bones, before I feel insulted.”

“I’m done, Jim.”

He laughs again. It’s a bitter and awful even to his own ears and Bones visibly flinches, but Jim’s nothing if not persistent. He moves closer, sees that beautiful pulse jump and start at his throat. “Like hell you are, you haven’t even broke a sweat,” he says, blood rushing to his ears, beat of his heart racing in the tips of his fingers clenched into the padded wall.

Captain,” Bones says, “I’m done.”


Things come full circle eventually, of course, as they’re often apt to do.


They’re two days into leave when Jim finds Bones with his feet in the sand and a bottle in his hand, staring up at the bruised night sky.

His face is open and bright, expressive and soft-lined in a way Jim hasn’t seen in the months since they’d last been here. It’s the look of a man who has stopped running, who’s gone through hell’s high waters and somehow come out clean on the other side. Jim knows the look well. He’s seen it in his own mirror enough to recognize the signs.

Bones hands him the bottle without a word. Jim pulls off the top, takes a swig and sits down heavy on the wet sand. It soaks through his trousers, but the ocean water is as warm as the night, and Bones sits down next to him, radiating heat and comfort and something like home. Bones takes the bottle back and sets it between them like a boundary daring Jim to cross.

“You were right,” Bones says after a while. “I am hiding something from you.”

“I know.”

Bones regards him quietly for a moment before turning his face back up towards the sky. “Please understand I would never keep something from you I thought would compromise the integrity of the mission or your command of the ship. We all have secrets.”

“I know,” Jim repeats.

“Jim,” and this time Bones says his name like a prayer, “Jim, I don’t want to have secrets from you.”


He sits on the bed while Bones unlaces his boots and slips off his jacket and shirts, until he’s standing before Jim in just his trousers.

And Jim watches shadow fall as Bones begins to change.

Current Music: straight to hell; the clash
lastintheboxlastinthebox on July 7th, 2013 04:55 pm (UTC)
I was really trying to focus more on the human aspect with this story, much as I love those supernatural stories. : )

Thank you so much for reading!