Title: With a Little Help From My Friends
Paring: S/Mc, K/Sc
Summary: In the aftermath of Spock's death, McCoy reaches out to two friends to give him security and comfort, and memories from years ago are relived in the process.
Disclaimer: I don't own TOS. I never have, and I never will. Star Trek and all of its relations are property of Paramount and Viacom. I only own this story. Anybody who has a problem with the thought of men in homosexual relationships with each other, please stay away. Flames and feedback are welcome. Please ask before putting this anywhere.
With a Little Help From My Friends
He was gone. The reality of that statement hit McCoy with such an intense feeling of grief that he simply shut himself down. He fell backwards in his chair, his elbows on his knees and his head in his hands, not even attempting to fight the tears that fell.
Gone. His lover, his bondmate, the love of his life, the only person to whom he had given everything, all that he was, and he was gone. His beautiful, passionate life mate had given his life for the ship, and in doing so, had left him completely alone.
McCoy's breathing came in shallow gasps, trying to get a handle on everything that had happened, while trying to let out his own pain. He was alone, and would be forever. Spock had pinched him to keep him from stopping him from the kamikaze action. McCoy could not say goodbye, because the Captain was saying goodbye. It made no sense. While the Captain had been saying goodbye to McCoy's own bondmate, the Captain's husband was trying to comfort the poor Doctor, who could only watch on with something akin to envy. It was a damned poor version of partner swapping.
It felt so strange. Within his mind, although he told himself Spock was dead, it was as though it was not quite so. McCoy couldn't explain it, he just felt terribly empty. He didn't want to be alone. Wiping his eyes with the back of his uniform sleeve, he went over to the autopsy table where the body of his love lay. The Vulcan looked so peaceful; McCoy was for a moment, struck with a twinge of jealousy. Had he ever given Spock such peace in life? He took the cold hand of the Vulcan in his and gave it a little squeeze. With a whispered, "I'll always love you." McCoy let go and left to hide in his quarters until the brass made him leave.
"Come on, Lad, you need to get up now." Scotty whispered to Kirk, as he tugged gently on his arm.
"Scotty, I can't." The response was said softly, his gaze remaining on the empty room in engineering.
"You've been here for six hours, Lad, you need to rest."
"No." The response was so faint, Scotty was unsure he had heard correctly.
With a concerned sigh, the Scotsman moved his hands to Kirk's shoulders and with a yank, pulled the man to his feet, turning the Admiral's head to look him in the eyes. "Jimmy, I'm taking you back to our quarters. You're going to rest. I can't give you a sedative, even though it'd help, because I refuse to bother Len. I know how much he meant to you, Jimmy, but think about what Len's going through right now."
The words kept Kirk silent for a few moments, and then he nodded slowly. "You're right, Scotty, I know. Did he leave when Spock was taken out?"
"Aye, followed him right through to sickbay, refused to let the orderlies push his bed."
Kirk nodded for a moment, sighed, and then leaned into the body of the engineer, while closing his eyes. "I can't imagine how he's feeling right now. And it hurts so much..."
"I know, Lad, I know." Scotty responded, as he helped walk Kirk to their quarters and help him to calm himself.
The next day the crew had gathered themselves in the torpedo bay for Spock's funeral. All were solemn; one was missing.
Kirk sighed as he leaned against the wall paneling. "I can't believe he's not here."
Uhura walked closer to him. "Don't be so hard on him, Admiral, you know what he's been going through."
"I'd think he'd be here."
Scotty looked at the group standing about depressed, at his husband leaning miserably against the wall, and then once at the torpedo tube in which Spock's body was laying He adjusted the bagpipes on his back and then slipped out the doorway, taking the turbolift to deck five.
The Scotsman rang the bell for entry. No response came. He rang again, still silence. Scotty knocked loudly on the door. "Len, open this damned door right now!"
The door remained stubbornly shut, but he could hear noises from inside. With a soft sigh, the engineer keyed his override code, not particularly happy that he was doing it. Finally, the door slid open and he walked inside.
McCoy sat at the foot of his double bed, staring straight ahead at the dresser, not paying any attention to Scotty.
The engineer moved closer to him, kneeling down beside him. "Len, come on Lad, you need to come with me. The whole crew's down there."
"I can't Scotty."
*Ach,* Scotty thought to himself, *why must they all be so stubborn?*
"Len, don't you want to say goodbye to him?"
The doctor's head lifted to gaze at Scotty, a strange shade of anger and hurt appearing within their depths. He opened his mouth to say something, and then clamped it shut. His head dropped back, and his eyes closed.
Scotty reached out, placing his hand on McCoy's arm and helping him to his feet. "Come now, Lad. Let's go and see him off, then." Placing his hand on McCoy's shoulder, he half-led and half-pushed him out of the cabin and down the corridors.
Arriving back on the torpedo bay, Scotty spoke softly. "Look who I found."
Seven heads turned around to look at the Scotsman and the doctor. McCoy's eyes fell immediately on the torpedo tube in the center of the room.
Scotty pushed McCoy closer to Kirk, whispering, "That's a lad," before resuming the position he had earlier, readying his bagpipe.
Kirk gave McCoy a look, a cross between sympathy and irritation, before beginning his speech. "We are assembled here today to pay final respects to our honored dead." He stopped a moment to compose himself before continuing. "And yet, it should be noted, that in the midst of our sorrow, this death takes place in the shadow of new life, the sunrise of a new world, a world that our beloved comrade gave his life to protect and nourish. He did not feel this sacrifice a vain or an empty one - and we will not debate his profound wisdom at these proceedings. Of my friend, I can only say this...of all the souls I have encountered in my travels; his was the most-" He faultered in his speech, unable to contain his emotions. "Human."
McCoy stood silently by as Sulu ordered the tube to be loaded into the cannon. As Scotty began to play "Amazing Grace" on his bagpipes, tears fell from McCoy's eyes. The tube was launched, and long moments of silence followed.
As the group began to disband, McCoy walked closer to the porthole, watching the path of Spock's tube long after it had landed on Genesis.
Kirk and Scotty were left alone with McCoy, and the Admiral made a move towards the doctor. Scotty's hand reached out to catch his arm. "Leave him be, Jim."
"Scotty..." Kirk began, and then stopped. He took a long look at the doctor. His shoulders were slumped, his head bowed, and his arms rested on the transparent aluminum of the porthole.
Kirk nodded finally, reaching his hand for Scotty's. "All right," he said quietly.
The Scotsman twined his fingers with Kirk's and they walked out of the torpedo bay, leaving McCoy to himself.
McCoy was unsure how long he stayed in the torpedo bay, well into Beta shift, possibly Gamma.
Finally feeling the urge to leave, he wanted to erase the memories of the past days from his mind, and he made his way to sickbay. It was dark and empty.
He scraped around for the key to the liquor cabinet and pulled out one of the bottles of Romulan Ale he'd gotten. One bottle for Kirk, one for him. He uncorked it and took a swig from the bottle, and then he quickly winced. The liquid tasted as it always did, but for some reason, his mind and body were telling him "no."
Sighing, he put the bottle down on his desk and slumped up against the wall. Lonely...he was lonely. There had only been one other time in his life when he had felt this badly. It was a different loneliness than the last time, but just as hopeless.
He stood against the wall for many moments, before coming to a decision. He could not be alone, not tonight.
He left his office just as quietly as he had entered, and sought out what he hoped could diminish the pain.
Kirk sat atop Scotty's body, leaning forward to kiss his husband softly as his arms wrapped around the man's neck. "I love you, you know that?"
Scotty, lying supine on the bunk, gave a nod of his head, his moustache brushing against Kirk's upper lip. "Aye, and I love you too, Jim."
They stayed in the position a few minutes, exchanging light kisses and tender touches. The sound of the door chime jolted them from their repose. They shared a glance between them.
Scotty rolled Kirk off him and rose to his feet, looking for his pants. "I'm in better condition than you are to get the door, Lad."
Kirk gave a nod and watched with pleasure as his husband bent over to pick up his pants, and then performed a reverse striptease.
With pants and a shirt back on, Scotty made his way to the door quickly, pressing the release button. He figured it was probably one of the cadets, or at worst, Chekov with a question from Sulu, up on the bridge.
The doors slid open to reveal the haggard face of Leonard McCoy. His blue eyes were clouded and there was deep pain engrained in his features. He spoke softly, the opposite of his usually gruff voice. His breath was tinged with the scent of alcohol. "Do...do you mind if I come in? I...I couldn't stand being alone."
"Who is it?" Kirk called from the sleeping alcove, pulling the sheets around his form just in case it required him to leave.
"Hold on a second, Jim," Scotty called back to him, before reaching out and taking McCoy's arm. "Of course you can, lad, come in, come in. Would you like something to drink? Jim still has that bottle of Romulan Ale you gave him for his birthday."
McCoy crinkled his nose in displeasure, reminded of his reaction from a little while ago. "No alcohol, Scotty. I have no stomach for it." The doctor followed the Scotsman into the middle of the quarters and took the offered chair. "I can't sleep. I just keep seeing it over and over again in my mind. It's driving me crazy."
Scotty patted his shoulder companionably. "I know, Lad. It's not an easy thing to deal with. Whatever you need, Jim and I are here to help."
Kirk, hearing about half of what was being said in the living room, had reached for his robe and quickly dressed. He came into the room with a smile plastered on his face, knowing exactly what McCoy would need. "Hey, Bones. It's a bit late for you to be wandering around. Come over for a late night poker game?" Kirk hoped his attempt at humor would not go too far.
"Gambling at a time like this isn't just inappropriate, Jim, it's illogical." McCoy had been staring off into space as he said that, possibly unaware of how it sounded.
Kirk shared a glance with Scotty, both concerned for their friend. Kirk sat down on the sofa beside McCoy and patted him gently on the back. "Then what is it you need, Bones? We're here for you."
McCoy sighed heavily, running his hand through his hair. "I don't...I don't know. I can't sleep; I can't work. I sure as hell can't stand being in my quarters anymore. The bed sheets smell just like him. Everywhere I look, I see something that reminds me of him. I hear his voice in my head. Telling me to calm down, telling me I need to go home. Telling me all sorts of things. I think...I think I might be going crazy."
"You're not going crazy, Bones. You're just tired and mourning. Isn't your inner psychiatrist telling you that it's normal?" Kirk was resting his cheek on his hand, watching his friend with concern. Scotty had taken the chair on the other side of McCoy and waited for the doctor to respond.
McCoy instead stayed silent, not dignifying the question with an answer. It was many minutes later, that he whispered quietly, "I didn't get to say goodbye."
"What is that, Lad?" Scotty spoke up.
"This is just like with the end of our first mission. I didn't get to say goodbye." McCoy's sorrow seemed to be about ready to give way to anger.
"He just up and left without saying goodbye to me. He made a decision in that Vulcan mind of his, and instead of letting me know about it, he just goes about it, not caring about my feelings or my opinions. Just going away. And what happens when I try to talk him out of it? He flat out ignores me. Last time we were separated by the walls of Gol, this time, you know what stood between us? A two-inch thick circle of transparent aluminum, and his damned stubbornness. And as a result, I'm slowly losing my sanity."
Kirk watched as McCoy let all of his feelings out, somewhat surprised. He had not been in a mood to listen to anybody's problems at the end of that mission. He had been immature and gung ho over his promotion, and more so over his new girlfriend. He glanced over at Scotty, asking silently, "Was it this bad last time?"
The Scotsman nodded at him. Scotty had been around to help his friend through the loss of his lover the first time. And had been the reason McCoy had resigned his commission to get his life back in order. McCoy had seemed fine after he had retired, but the months it took to get there...Scotty understood that a relationship with a Vulcan, who were so unexpressive, with McCoy being as emotional as he was and, although most people did not think so, toned it down substantially for Spock, resulted in a lot of unvoiced problems.
McCoy continued to babble on about V'ger. "You know what ended up saving both of us? He came to his senses and came looking for me. He had an apology on his lips the moment we were out of danger. He's not going to come back and apologize this time. Because he can't. All the stupid things he's done in the past, I've been able to fix. He'd get himself shot; I'd fix him up. Blood loss, poison, falling into ditches, diseases, radiation, all fixable. Hell, when he was sitting drowning in his own hormones, I did something about that, too. But I couldn't do anything here. He forced me to my knees and took away my ability to fight with him." McCoy buried his head in his hands, his eyes closing. His voice softened a bit. "Maybe he knew that if I had the chance to stop him, I would, and I wouldn't give up."
"Laddie, certainly you know he was doing it to protect you." Scotty cut in gently. "It was a gesture of caring. He didn't want you to have to watch the inevitable."
McCoy did not look up. "Then why didn't he say goodbye when he saw I was awake?"
"Bones, he had things he needed to get out at that point."
"To you, Jim, not to me." McCoy's voice was tinged with bitterness.
"Bones, I may not know Spock in the same way you've known him," Kirk was happy to see that the double entendre was lost on McCoy in his grief, as he didn't want an argument right now, "but I knew Spock. If he had something he needed to say, he'd have found a way to say it. Somewhere there is a message, I'm sure of it. And as soon as we get off this mission, I'll help you find it. So will Scotty, won't you?"
"Of course, we're here for you, Laddie, if need be, we'll go to Vulcan so you can take care of anything you need." The look on the Scotsman's face was one of encouragement.
McCoy looked up, feeling slightly better. The voice in his head was dimming a bit, but still there. "I'll need to sort through his personal effects."
"And if you want help, we'll help, Bones. All you have to do is ask."
McCoy nodded slightly, wanting to change the subject a bit in an attempt to make the voice go away. "What'd you think of your birthday gifts, Jim?"
Kirk's expression lit up a bit, a chance to talk about a book was never passed up. He quickly began giving the overview of the book Spock had given him. After a few minutes of explanation, he rose from the couch. "There's a passage in here I thought you'd like, actually, Bones. Let me go get it for you." He disappeared into the sleeping alcove to pick the book up from his nightstand.
Kirk returned to the living room, book in hand, just as Scott way laying McCoy's body out on the sofa. The doctor was fast asleep, his body finally having given way to exhaustion.
The Scotsman picked up the quilt he had taken with him on his first mission and space and tucked it around McCoy's body. Then he leaned in, and in the paternal gesture of his family, kissed the doctor on the forehead. "Sleep well, Len."
Kirk walked over to his husband, placing the book down on the table. "I guess I'll read this to him in the morning."
Scotty nodded, dimming the lights and moving back to the bedroom. "You should probably have Spock's quarters sealed, it'll do Len some good to not have that on his shoulders. And you should let him contact Spock's family. I know procedure, but this is a bit different."
Kirk agreed, as he sat down on the edge of the bed. "I'll get it all taken care of. I just hope we're right and Spock did leave something behind for Bones. He needs it."
Little did they know.