A/N: I've had this idea for a long while, but kept delaying it for some reason. Today, after reading some comments, I finally decided to write this story. I still think Scotty deserves much more attention than he gets…

Disclaimer: I don't own Star Trek.

The Shutdown

Spock's anguished yell still resounded off the objects around as he stood up and stormed out of engineering. Uhura's hand was still covering half of her face as she threw a hesitant look over to Scotty who was standing beside her, unmoving, a single tear just about to escape his eye. Without saying anything, she turned and followed the Vulcan, tears making her view blurry.

And once again it was quiet. Scotty stood there for what felt like eternity. He didn't notice when exactly Spock and Uhura had left. He could barely notice his surroundings at all. He still couldn't move. Was even afraid to move, as if moving would break his trance-like state and make him face the fact that the events that had just happened were not a bad dream. It was still not quite real in his mind.

A dull beeping from the machines told the engineer that the decontamination process was finally complete. He was suddenly very aware of the tear that was now sliding down his cheek. Staggering, he took a few shaky steps towards the glass door, trying by all means to avoid looking at what—who—was behind it and failing miserably, as it was the only thing he could see now. His captain, his fellow crewmember, his friend. The person he had worked with, fought side by side with, shared laughs, fears and concerns with. Dead. The final moments before the blackout were now replaying in the Scotsman's mind. How could I let this happen? I could have stopped him. I should have stopped him. I am the engineer, it was my job to fix the ship…

His muscles felt like they had frozen, as it took him too much of an effort to press a few buttons to unlock the door. Gingerly, he walked up to the door and pressed his forehead against the cool glass. He shut his eyes, feeling more tears escape them but at the same time barely registering them. Taking a deep breath, he pulled the lever to open the door.

As the door slid open, Scotty dropped to his knees, just fast enough to grab the captain's shoulders before he fell down. The weight of his friend's dead body felt horrifyingly heavy in his arms as he dragged it out of the chamber. He paused for a few seconds, Jim's upper body lying on his lap, his face a terrifying unmoving mask of pain and death. It still felt like it wasn't quite real. Like this wasn't happening to him. As it he was watching it from aside. Mesmerized by his own movements, he flew his shaking hand across Jim's eyes, shutting them for the one last time.

For a minute he couldn't stand up. It sometimes happens. When there's too much pressure applied to the systems, the engines would often shut down. His systems should have given up long ago. It was a miracle it was only happening now. Somehow, he felt grateful for that. He was falling into an autonomous mode, where his mind was paralyzed with blind grief, not giving any space for pondering on all of his feelings and emotions. He was grateful, because it was a sensation that didn't let him break down completely. With automatically coordinated and barely registered movements he put his friend's body on the floor and got up to his feet.

It took him getting halfway closer to the communication panel until he realized the walk wasn't aimless, as he was going to contact Dr. McCoy.

"Engineering to sickbay," he didn't recognize his own voice as he spoke. He heard the CMO's voice reply but didn't make out any separate words. "Send someone with a stretcher," he took a deep breath before adding: "and a body bag".

That was when the lump in his throat finally rendered him speechless. He couldn't say a word when two of the ship's medics came in with a stretcher. He remained silent as they were putting the captain on it. He didn't utter a sound during the entire walk to the sickbay and couldn't force his mouth to open upon seeing Dr. McCoy's panicked face.

After all, nobody demanded any explanations from him. And for that, he was thankful.

The End