I was given a list of tropes I needed to hit if I really wanted to consider myself a true trekkie writer. I've crossed Pon farr off the list. Next up was time travel. Time travel. How?!
Seriously guys, I have no idea what this is, only that it's Bones being a grouchy bastard who tries really hard to do the right thing, and Jim being the adorable and sneaky kid who is totally going to drive him to a nervous breakdown. It's my happy writing place of shameless h/c fluffiness. I'll be coming back and hiding here when work drives me nuts or complicated plotlines threaten to make my brain pop.
"Shit! Shit! Bones!" He heard Jim's voice a split second before his leg gave out beneath him and looked down in stunned fascination at the arrow that had struck him through his left thigh.
They were supposed to be carrying out routine scientific studies on a planet whose peaceful inhabitants knew of the Federation but had little interest in joining. McCoy wasn't sure how tagging along to keep Jim from driving Spock to distraction while he did scientific type things ended up with him getting shot in the leg, but one minute they're studying an unfortunately shaped piece of fauna while waiting for an ion storm above them to pass and the next it's pandemonium.
McCoy didn't even think they were the targets of the violence, not when both projectiles and phaser fire were darting over their heads with little regard for who they might be hitting.
McCoy went down hard, all feeling in his leg rapidly numbing. At least it didn't hurt, he supposed.
He looked across to where Jim and Spock were pinned just a few feet away. The bodies of two young Ensigns lay between them.
McCoy's fingers curled around his own phaser. He raised it, firing at the figure who had appeared behind Jim. He went down, but the movement cost McCoy his cover, and a second arrow hit him hard in the shoulder.
The force of the impact knocked him back hard, his head hitting compacted earth and his vision dimming.
He was just about able to hear Jim calling his name and Spock ordering their immediate beam up to the ship, ion storm be damned, but as the familiar tug of the transporter pulled him apart at a molecular level, McCoy felt his consciousness flee.
He didn't wake up in sickbay. That was the first thing he knew, even before he opened his eyes. When he did, the first thing he saw was the fading sunlight through the gaps in a wooden roof. It had been early morning when they had been attacked, which meant he'd been out for some hours.
The second thing he noticed was the distractingly uncomfortable blanket he lay on and the way it made him itch. He was shirtless and one of his pant legs had been cut away just above the entry wound. Both injuries had been wrapped in clean, neat bandages.
On closer inspection, whoever had applied them had done a half way decent job. Spock or Jim, perhaps, given that they were most likely still on the planet and neither side that had been shooting had appeared all that concerned with the preservation of life.
He looked around, his head protesting as he tried to sit upright.
The building he was in looked like it could have been a barn of some kind. Equipment filled out the bulk of the space, but looked rusty and unused. He was laid out on several sacks, another blanket tucked over him to stave away the cold. And it was cold. Freezing, actually. McCoy shivered and reached for one of the sweaters that had been folded up by his side. There was no sign of his uniform, his phaser or his comm.
He'd just about managed to wriggle into the sweater, his bandaged arm throbbing painfully with the effort, when he heard the barn door open from the outside.
McCoy froze, painfully aware that he was unarmed and injured, and not one hundred percent certain that the person entering the barn was friendly.
There wasn't much he could do, though, other than lay there like an idiot, waiting.
It wasn't Jim or Spock who walked through the door though. It wasn't one of figures who had attacked them, either.
The boy who entered the barn couldn't have been more than eleven or twelve years old, his golden hair long and messy and his eyes widening in surprise. McCoy stared at him in shock. The arrows must have been tipped with something. A hallucinogen of some kind. He knew those ludicrously blue eyes, and they sure as hell didn't belong to some slip of a child.
The boy clutched a bowl of broth in his hands, a bottle of water and some towels stuffed between his elbow and his chest. Seeing McCoy awake and coherent stilled him in his steps. He obviously knew McCoy was going to be there, and judging from the bandages might even have been the one to have treated him, but he looked far too frightened for those actions to make sense.
Sensing he was possibly scowling at the kid, Bones tried to look as unintimidating as possible. "Hey." He said, using the soft voice he used with Joanna. "I'm not going to hurt you." The boy blinked at him, clearly assessing how much of a threat he posed, before carefully sneaking forward. "Did you do this?" McCoy asked, indicating his bandaged shoulder. The boy nodded. "Thank you."
Clearly McCoy owed the kid, and it was only that gratitude that stopped him demanding answers. Where was he? Where were Jim and Spock?
The boy shrugged one skinny shoulder and placed the broth and water down close to McCoy's side before scooting back on his heels, well out of reach. McCoy took the spoon with his good hand. "Thank you." He said again, suddenly ravenous. "Do you have a name? I'm-"
"Leonard H. McCoy, M.D. Starfleet Lt. Commander, 9908762." The boy said suddenly, his voice quiet and slightly hoarse, as though he didn't use it very often.
McCoy stared at him, his mouth hanging open. "How did you-?"
"I found your I.D." The child said. "I looked you up. There is no Lt. Commander Leonard H. McCoy in Starfleet."
"Pretty sure there is, kid," McCoy said, taking a spoonful of broth. It was rich and thick, but most importantly it was piping hot.
The kid shook his head. "There isn't. I checked. Which makes you either a spy or a time traveller. I don't mind which. Time travel would be cooler, though." McCoy was surprised by the number of words that came out of the boy, especially when he seemed so shy and skittish.
"I'm not a spy." He said dryly.
"I guessed not. You'b be a pretty bad spy to not even have a proper cover story in place."
"I did get shot." McCoy pointed out in mild disgust at himself. "Twice."
"You bled a lot." The boy nodded. "I've never done stitches before. I don't think they're very neat." He brushed aside that mop of unruly hair and McCoy couldn't help but recognize him. There was something so familiar about the set of his mouth, the hint of strength in his chin…and of course those eyes. If he didn't know better he'd say he was looking at Jim's son.
"You did a pretty good job from where I'm sitting." McCoy praised.
The kid didn't look convinced. "Your fever got pretty bad." He admitted. "I wasn't sure what to do."
That made McCoy frown. "I had a fever?" He asked, and received a nod in return. "How long was I out?"
"Six days." The boy said. "If you didn't wake up today I was gonna take you to a hospital."
McCoy gapped at him. Six days? "Was there anyone else with me?"
"No. Just you." So god alone knew where Jim and Spock were. Maybe they were hurt as well? They would never have just left him behind.
"I don't get it. Why didn't you take me to a hospital?"
"Thought you were dead a first." The boy shrugged again. "You showed up in one of the corn fields with a Fleet I.D that doesn't exist. If you were a spy I might have got you in trouble. You had a phaser." That seemed like very reasonable logic from a child's perspective, McCoy supposed. Still, it was impressive he'd been able to keep McCoy stable in a barn without any medical help.
"So where are we?"
"My uncle's farm." The kid said. "Don't worry, he never comes out here."
"Did he help you?"
"No." He shook his head firmly. "No, he doesn't like people. He wouldn't have helped."
So some scrawny kid had hauled McCoy's ass out of a field and into a barn then played nursemaid for the past week to a grown man who might have posed a real threat to him once he woke up. What kind of lunatic child did something like that?
"Who are you, kid?" McCoy asked in amazement.
"Jimmy! Get your ass in here you little brat!" The shout came from some distance away, but the kid shot up in fright.
"I have to go. Drink the water, you need to stay hydrated. Are you warm enough? I can get you more blankets. I'll bring breakfast in the morning. You should try sleep." He fired the mad jumble of words at McCoy as he scrambled to his feet and ran for the door, leaving a stunned McCoy staring after him.
No way. No goddamn way.
This kind of thing did not happen to him.
It happened to Jim. Jim did stupid things like this all the time. It had happened to Spock. McCoy was the sensible, non Voddoo practicing, sane member of their little triad. This kind of thing did not happen to him.
But even he could put two and two together and come out with four. If it looked like a mini-Jim, thought like a mini-Jim, and did the crazy kind of things he imagined a mini-Jim doing…
Spy or time traveller, wasn't that what the kid had said?
Dear god above, how the hell did he get himself into these things?