Disclaimer: Star Trek doesn't belong to me. ♥
Word Count: 7515
Author's Notes: Thank you so very much to periariyx for being a wonderful beta and a grand source of healthy self-esteem! Also thanks to votaku, calicokat, and anyone else who has stayed with this fic throughout the several weeks it's taken me to finish. ♥
Summary: Mental asylum AU. Jim Kirk is a freak, just like the rest of them. Paranoid, schizophrenic -- the guy thinks he's the captain of a starship somewhere in the god-damned future, in space.
Warnings:: Contains violent imagery, smut, and general mindfuckery. You've been warned.
He first lays eyes on Jim Kirk a day after he arrives.
Bones -- they called him Bones after what he had done. He'd used to be a doctor, used to run his own little practice. 'Till the day he snapped, and tried to kill his now ex-wife. Truth be told, they said Leonardo DaVinci did the same thing -- cut up corpses to study how they worked. Bones just wanted to see how Jocelyn ticked. What made her think that taking his little girl away from him was right.
She'd gotten away from him though. She and Joanna, both of them got far, far away. Especially after they found all the corpses of patients that had died under Bones's care, all cut up and muscle suspended in fluid. He'd been working to save them. Killing to save lives. It was supposed to fix everything.
But no one believed him, of course not. He was the crazy person that just happened to keep piles of bones, bleached out on the patio in his back porch, studying how they broke.
Anyway. This Kirk guy.
He's this gorgeous kid, y'know? Can't be a day over twenty-six, twenty-seven, maybe. He notices his bone structure right away, the way his chin is strong and set and his cheekbones are high and visually appealing. And his eyes. Oh, those eyes are so blue that Bones thinks they remind him of jewels of some kind, maybe some sorta pale blue like robin's eggs. Bones has never seen eyes like that before.
It doesn't make sense. How something can be that damned beautiful, and still be crazy. Dammit, it doesn't make sense.
But sure enough. Kirk is nuts. Just like the lot of them.
Bones is unlucky enough to be right next to him when lights are out.
The kid screams at night. And not just like some of the younger patients, the ones that cry for their mommas. Kirk screams. And shouts at things that don't exist. He screams about invisible creatures and aliens and orders his crew around, like he's some god damned pirate captain. Bones can hardly make any damn sense of it.
"Warp 5! Warp 5! Get us out of her-" He finally snaps, and claps his hand over the kid's mouth. Those eyes are wide open, crystal blue and his body is shaking, his hands fumbling for controls that don't exist. Jim Kirk is a freak, just like the rest of them. Paranoid, schizophrenic -- the guy thinks he's the captain of a starship somewhere in the god-damned future, in space. Running around Mars, some shit like that. Kirk shakes under his grasp, and Bones can hear him yelling underneath his hand.
And then Kirk looks at him with those eyes, and the body stops shaking.
"Leonard McCoy," he introduces himself gruffly, not at all interested in the 'why are you here' bullshit. "You're too damn loud," he mutters, and finally lets go when the screaming underneath his hand stops.
"Bones," Kirk speaks, and it's soft.
Bones doesn't know how the kid knows that. An eyebrow raises and he looks down at him, almost ready to just throw his pillow over his head and hope that Jim falls asleep soon. Maybe the kid'll start exhausting himself by yelling things at nothing.
"Yeah," he finally repeats. "Bones."
Jim seems placated by this, a dreamy little smile coming over those lips. Whatever had been freaking the kid out before, he seems more happy now, more aware of his surroundings. Somehow, Bones is a calming influence on him. How the hell that happens, Bones doesn't have a clue. He's just glad that Kirk closes his eyes, and doesn't speak to him again and lets him finally have some damn sleep.
They eat lunch together. Kirk keeps muttering something under his breath about replicators and the food being too dry, and Bones can agree whole-heartedly about that, even though he doesn't understand what Kirk means. Kirk just seems to go off into his little fantasy world sometimes, those blue eyes opening wide as he looks up at the night sky, pointing out planets and star-systems that don't really exist.
He finally gets some real information from him, at some point. Born in Riverside, Iowa. Dad died in a plane crash, he was a pilot. Kirk seems to have this idea that his mother and him were both on a ship called the USS Kelvin, right when he was born, and his dad died saving him. McCoy can't help but stare at him, slightly piteously... Sure, Bones tried to kill someone, and he regrets that now, but he can't imagine being lost in the little fantasy world that Kirk seems to create for himself.
It's a textbook example of post-traumatic stress disorder, when Bones looks in deeper. His stepdad was a monster. Everything's off the record, and Kirk talks about it in group sessions with this emotionless little voice, speaking in large words and verbose language about something so traumatic as rape and harsh child abuse. It's no wonder he fancies himself this decorated captain of the future.
He calls this side of himself Spock. Kirk is entirely robotic and emotionless, claiming to be a -- an alien, actually. On his crew. Kirk goes into this mode when he's having his bad days, where every bad thing can be explained logically. He makes observations about other people without ever really caring how it affects them, pointing out flaws, and merely wrapping it up with a muttered 'fascinating...' as he wanders off.
Bones hates Spock. Hates it when this side takes the life out of those pretty blue eyes.
There's one night, one night where things get a little out of hand. Bones has been there a long time now. They don't have clocks anywhere, so he doesn't really know how many days have passed; days, weeks, months, whatever. He's got no family to go home to anymore, so it doesn't really matter. He's kept under control, his emotions are stabilized with drugs and injections, and he mostly doesn't try to fight it anymore when they jab needles in his body to calm him down.
Jim though. Jim takes his like a girl. Or a child. Bones finally has to hold his legs down while another holds his arms, keeping him still. The doctors jam a sedative in him, and they take him away, leaving Bones with an empty bed beside him tonight.
He was yelling and screaming again.
About Vulcans. And Romulans. And a planet being destroyed.
He has to save the Earth. They have to let him go, so that James T. Kirk, captain of the god-damned USS Enterprise can save the planet.
Kirk had grabbed his neck. Choking the life out of himself. Fighting with himself, in his head.
Bones deals with it with a steely face, kept up all night staring at that empty bed. Of course nothing seems to make sense to him -- Jim's read one too many science fiction books, maybe, or maybe he's just living in those fantasies of his.
Bones just doesn't get why he's the only one Jim trusts in this place. Jim only allowed them to administer the shot when Bones's eyes connected with his and his legs stopped kicking, that head rolling back, exhausted. There'll be solitary confinement for him for a few days, just so the doctors can look Jim over, make sure he's not hurting himself or anyone else.
Bones doesn't like the empty bed, he decides.
Jim Kirk comes back after a few days. They always do after they've been in solitary confinement, they come back and some of them have changed whether it be from an increase in medication or just the sheer realization of being alone, immobilized in a padded room where you can't hurt yourself.
There's bruises on his neck, from where he choked himself.
Bones looks on worriedly, almost afraid to touch him. In fact, despite Kirk acting his friendly self around him -- it's weird, like he's actually understanding what's going on. Like he's finally realizing where he is. That he isn't on any spaceship. He's here, with Bones, in the San Francisco Sanitorium. He eats lunch without any mention of the replicators, and his eyes don't go all far off and glassy as he looks at an Asian man tending to the flowers in the recreation room.
The day goes off without a hitch. For both himself, and Jim Kirk.
Bones is just kind of glad that the bed beside him won't be empty, because -- truth be told, he's kind of missed the mutterings. He'd never admit to missing the screaming, or the nightly terrors Jim seems affected by. This new medication seems to work, though, seems to fool his friend into complacency and relaxation -- he's been given some sleeping medication, and it makes sense that there are no screams, there are no mutters or vague commands.
He falls asleep, muttering out loud to himself to break the silence, wondering why the hell he'd missed that of all things.
Sleep doesn't last long. Not long enough; at least, not the full eight hours that Kirk is supposed to sleep. This time, though, he's not woken up by a yell to avoid Klingon missiles. This time, he's not bothered by a fitful shaking of limbs or a shriek.
This time, Kirk seems to have settled right in behind him, hot breath right in his ear, and it causes a tingle to shoot straight up his spine.
"He marooned me," Kirk murmurs, and this is way too wrong, the way Kirk is just pillowed up behind him, clinging to him for dear life. "Spock marooned me here." McCoy just wants to shout at him to get the hell away, because god dammit this is against the rules and would get both of them in serious shit. Kirk is shaking as he wraps his arms around McCoy.
"It's so cold." His voice is shaking. His teeth are shaking.
"It's not cold," McCoy mutters back finally, and turns to pull the blanket around Kirk, causing the younger man to burrow into him.
"It's fucking freezing on Delta Vega, Bones, you know that." The blonde is still shaking. McCoy checks for a fever, some sort of side effect of the new medications -- but no, this is just Kirk's crazy self.
"I'm a doctor, not a weatherman. How the fuck am I supposed to know what temperature it is on Delta Alpha?" McCoy snaps, even though he technically isn't a doctor anymore -- they revoked his license long ago.
"Delta Vega," Kirk is shivering against him, nuzzling into his neck. "Delta Alpha is warmer."
Oh. Right. Delta Alpha is warmer. Of course. He should have known.
"Jim, I -- " Bones starts to try and explain to him that he's not on some freezing desolate planet, already into it when he realizes that Kirk is snoring against his neck, fast asleep. He waits like that for a second, knowing it's against every regulation they have to even come into contact with each other like this. Bones shifts awkwardly, waiting for a few minutes, allowing himself to relax in the warmth of the body pressed against him, allowing the heat of another human body to warm him up just slightly. He turns his head and tries to avoid wondering what would happen if someone saw them like this under the covers, what everyone else would say.
It's too risky.
Bones finally shifts Kirk out of his bed, just to the edge and carries him back over to his own. Kirk seems to sleep again, stirring, mumbling something about Spock and memories and a little green thing called 'Keenser' whatever it is.
Bones just doesn't mention it again, and hopes that Kirk won't remember in the morning.
The doctors have taken to handing Bones two sets of medication.
One for him. The other's for Jim. Jim won't take anything from anyone unless it's from Bones, something the doctors have tried forcing on him -- but it's only worth stress and injections and the effort it takes to wrestle Jim to the mattress to get him to take something, so they've simply created a chain effect. They don't trust McCoy enough to give it to him by himself, so they him as they hand him the pills and the singular injection, watching as he nudges Jim and hands the pills over.
Jim thinks he's his doctor. Which is funny, considering. Kirk keeps mentioning hyposprays and the fact that most of these pills, McCoy could just jab into his neck. Maybe in the future, Bones thinks glumly -- maybe in the future, but Kirk just swears up and down that it's the year 2258. And Bones should believe him, because he's his CMO.
It sounds fun, sometimes.
Other times it just sounds miserable. Bones doesn't like heights, and he doesn't like airplanes, and he doesn't like the idea of space. He doesn't like the silence or even the dark, really, and being in space just sounds like all of his fears in one place, coupled with being alone.
But Jim -- Jim, the guy who's slowly started to come over and curl up next to him in his sleep every so often -- might make it bearable.
Bones has been here for two years, and four months. That's what his records say, at least.
The doctors and psychotherapists tell him that he is making excellent recovery. That he is becoming a well-rounded, albeit a little rugged around the edges, real-life human being.
That's not to say he isn't without his bad days. See, Bones is different from Jim. He's got no weird escapism technique, no multiple personality to pull him out of his head and start thinking everything through like it's some logic puzzle. Bones just has him and his head, and his eyes.
He stares at Jim a little too long.
He wonders if Jim's noticed yet, idly, somewhere in the back of his brain. But the younger man doesn't seem to notice that Bones isn't paying a damn bit of attention to their chess game. He just keeps focused on moving pawns and rooks and queens, while Bones falls for every maneuver, only haphazardly moving things in the way to keep him out of check.
Bones is distracted.
He's distracted by the way Kirk's smile works. The bones beneath muscles beneath flesh. The flash of enamel as Kirk takes his bishop. He's distracted by Kirk's wrist, the way the pale skin moves over just barely concealed veins. The way that Kirk seems to stare at him with those eyes, almost disappointed that they don't have multilevel chess boards here.
"Checkmate," and Bones has lost. His hand tightens around Kirk's wrist as he starts to take his king. Kirk stops, looking at him with those eyes, and Bones just stares, almost transfixed.
Kirk is Michaelangelo's David. Kirk is the perfect specimen of someone not completely perfect, but the image of ...imperfection. His eyes are a little too wide to be masculine and almost a little too bright to be human. Kirk'd appreciate that. Or Spock would, maybe. He looks almost average in appearance, that face kind of rugged from not having a decent shave in a long period of time. His body is beautiful. All sculpted muscle and sinew, shaped in such a perfect way.
He has been watching. All this time. Bones can't look away when someone's as fine a specimen as Jim. He can't help but obsess, to watch closely as his throat bobs when he takes a drink, to watch that body in motion. He's studied closely, too closely, monitoring the sound of his heart rate against his back.
"Bones?" Not afraid. Just questioning.
Bones drops Kirk's hand like it's made of fire, standing up so quickly that he ends up toppling his chair over.
He can't be near him.
He can't stop thinking about how beautiful Kirk would look splayed open on a bed, with that red, rich blood spilling over white sheets.
He can't stop thinking about how intensely erotic it would be to run his gloved fingertips along Kirk's insides. About placing a finger on his heart, feeling it beat.
That's when Bones knows he is having a bad day.
And that's when he excuses himself, tearing his eyes away and moving towards the two wards at the door.
He can't be around anyone when he's like this.
Bones hates solitary confinement. Maybe even more than this god-forsaken place as a whole. The doctors are shocked when he requests it, because he usually spends most of the time in the little white room staring at the walls, cursing the place. He sort of fears the whole being alone thing, in a way, just because there's silence and whiteness and it's a lot like space would be, maybe, if space came with white sheets, white walls, white curtains, and white everything.
Maybe space would be better. At least space is dark, with little pinpoints of light, or at least that's how Jim describes it.
Bones stares at the wall again. Jim. He has to get his mind off of Jim.
It's hard to think about anything else.
And it's too god damned quiet. There's the hum of the air conditioning, cooling him. Everything sounds mechanical and not at all alive, and that is after all why he submitted himself to the wards. To keep himself the hell away from Jim.
He wonders if Jim's blood tastes sweet.
He needs to stop this. This isn't healthy. This isn't right, the way he obsesses over him. It's not as though Jim is even anything like his wife, or like his victims that had died when Bones cut a little deeper, pushed the laws of life and death. This is Jim. This is a man who thinks he's the captain of a starship, who trusts Bones with his medication and who thinks they're out in god damned space somewhere.
This is Jim. This is his best friend.
Bones grabs a hold of himself and talks himself out of it. It's easy, kind of, to settle his mind at rest. If he doesn't have Jim, he won't have anyone here to talk to.
But he bet that he would stitch Jim up nice and pretty. There'd only be minor scarring, just enough to create that much more depth to his already beautiful body. He could just...look inside of him, an exploratory surgery, except that Bones isn't looking for bleeding on Jim's pancreas or fluid in his lungs. He's not making sure that Jim doesn't die.
He won't save Jim's life.
Bones shakes his head again and swears out loud.
The word reverberates in the empty room, and the nurse that sits outside looks in on him in the window, making sure that he doesn't need a straight jacket. He doesn't. He's no harm to himself without his scalpels or his scissors, and he has nothing to protect himself from. He's just got to talk himself out of it all, convince himself out of this bad day that he's having. They'll up his medication, he knows it, to make him calmer and more relaxed. It actually makes sense that these thoughts have returned -- the psychiatrist lowered his dosage just the other day, just the other day when they were telling him that he was well-rounded and gentle, and kind, in their own little words. Bones doesn't get it, because without the medication these thoughts wander in...
He doesn't want to think about a beautifully obscene dismembered Jim in his bed.
It wouldn't be so bad. If it wasn't so sick of him to think such a thing. Bones grumbles in frustration again to the empty air, waiting for these few hours to pass in which he can stop thinking about the other man as his own personal little dissection.
Solitary confinement does well for him, though Jim is nowhere to be found.
He tries looking in the usual places. The recreation room is filled with people. Jim isn't there though. Nor is he sleeping in his bed, or wandering the hallways
Bones looks for hours before he heads outside. It's nighttime, and Bones could kick himself for not looking out here sooner, out in the courtyard with the soft, earthy floor and the sparse grass and the big oak tree that shades in the daytime. Jim is under here, staring up at the night sky, looking concerned. For a moment, Bones thinks that Spock is more in control of Jim today, that the man will look at him in that infuriating way and start analyzing him like all the other shrinks in this joint.
Jim finally looks at him, and his eyes crinkle with his smile. Bones wonders if Jim had those lines before. Probably not -- this place can do that to you.
"You're back," Jim says softly, as if he can't believe it. Bones just grumbles something unintelligible under his breath and sits next to Jim in the grass.
"You left," Jim continues to speak, and he sounds almost betrayed. Hurt. "I thought....the Romulans...Ne-"
"I had to," Bones interrupts before he can start talking about that stupid stuff again. "I had to, okay?"
Jim looks troubled, as if this doesn't really compute for him.
"Look. I'm back, that's all that matters, right?"
Jim just kind of sits back a little more, wondering if he can accept that. He does with a beaming smile, and slides his hand around Bones's shoulders, draping over him. His friend seems to take his time in deciding whether or not to set his head there, but he does, finally, making himself more comfortable.
"I thought you were gone forever," Kirk speaks softly, relaxing.
"Out of this place? Hell no." Bones laughs at the very thought of it. They won't be letting him out for a long time.
Especially not if he keeps running his calloused fingertips over the soft skin on the back of Jim's neck like this, feeling every little bristle of hair beneath his hands.
It makes sense when Jim finally snaps.
Not in the usual way, no. Just in ...a way. It's like his self-control broke, and all of a sudden Bones's eyes fly open with shock as something warm and wet descends down his naked chest. Jim is crouched on the top of him, sliding down, his tongue just dragging along skin and his eyes searching for Bones in the dark.
It's almost tempting for a second to let it go on, but his breath hitches in his throat, too surprised, too freaked by the sudden advancement that Bones grabs Jim by the shoulders and shoves, the man in front of him looking slightly put off and unsure with himself, unsure how to handle Bones shoving him away. Bones isn't sure what to do either, after this, but finally growls out, "We're not supposed to -- " He almost finishes with 'touch each other'.
But they do that every night, so Jim could just as easily throw that in his face, and then it wouldn't happen ever again. There wouldn't be that brush of shoulder, or the warm weight behind him in his bed. Bones is confused, and rattled -- it's hard enough to keep his attention away from Jim when the man isn't waking him up with kisses down his chest. It's hard enough. And just like Jim snapped, Bones suddenly descends on him, still gripping him by the shoulders and pinning him to the bed.
"Why the hell did you just do that." He says it with a growling sound in the back of his throat, sleep-disturbed and angry. "What were you trying to do." It's accusing, and Bones canfeelJim'sheartbeatcanfeelhispulserigh
Jim just sort of smiles in that way he does and he chuckles, closing his eyes. Bones hates him, all of a sudden, and should really just get off from the smaller man and make him get in his own bed.
"Nothing, it was nothing," Jim finally responds to him, blue eyes flashing even though it's midnight. He looks almost predatory, like if Bones let him go he'd just go on returning to that nothing that he was doing. "You looked tense. I figured I'd help you relax." Jim's fingers are running over his arms, and Bones can't handle this much skin without thinking of what lies beneath it, and he's just so close to taking that Adam's apple between his teeth and biting down.
"It wouldn't help me relax, Jim," Bones growls, and he finally just breaks, but he doesn't go for the Adam's apple. Instead, he goes straight for Kirk's lips, and kisses him almost hard enough to bruise. He doesn't know what's happening to him, but he's shoving Jim down and kissing him, taking so much pleasure in how pliant Jim's mouth is, how that eager tongue is curling against his and how god damned right it feels and wrong it feels all at once. He can feel Jim moving underneath him, and those hands come up to latch around his shoulders and dig nails into his back.
"You like it though," Jim murmurs as he comes back up for air, husky and deep in Bones's ear. "You like it. You want me, I know it." His voice is ragged and dark, sensual in the best of ways.
"You're fucking insane," is all Bones can reply with, because he's fucking insane too. And it's crazy to think he wants this.
He can feel things. Feel the heat flushed on Jim's lips. Feel the blood rushing to the surface, feel heat radiating between their bodies as they just rutted against each other. Bones doesn't let Jim try and take off his clothes, because he knows that all that naked skin will really push him over the edge, will make him drag his nails along the surface until he bleeds.
Jim comes beneath fabric and Bones's hand, and the kid is all breathing hard against him, that warm heat tracing over Bones's ear.
Bones shoves him out of bed, after he finally falls asleep. Makes him get right back up and go back across the room -- it can't happen like that, and he's afraid of what the night nurses will say if they happen to pass by.
It's almost enough for Bones when it doesn't happen again. Kirk seems remarkably detached after the rocking of hips against hips and trying to find some relief. He still requests Bones as his unofficial doctor to supply him with medication, and the nurse lingers there, looking on uncomfortably as Bones grumbles and jabs the needle in Kirk's artery. They don't know anything, not really, at least -- they don't take Jim away from him, and they haven't told him to switch rooms immediately. And god, Bones knows that's what's going to happen.
It's pathetic of him. He berates himself nearly every minute of every day. Curses himself for letting it get out of hand. He knows enough basic psychology to know that Jim was just looking for something he craved, just finding sexual release as easily as one could find a heroin fix. And Bones knows that he shouldn't have. Bones knows enough to know that Jim Kirk was using him to feed his addictions.
And Bones wants it nearly as much.
He craves it like he craves a good glass of bourbon, or a decent cigarette. He's desperate for his fingertips to run along heated skin, and it's strange, because Bones has never once fancied himself a sex addict. Especially not with Jocelyn, when towards the end he could only quell his desire to bury deep underneath flesh and bone and sinew by her tying him to the bed and rendering him immobile, letting her control everything as she'd always wanted.
Jim's lips are sinful, Bones notices during one particularly odd lunch period, one in which Jim is all full of contradictions and strange parallel universes. He almost seems healed, almost, but he seems to have completely regarded the world around him as a transporter malfunction, and that’s apparently why Bones is here.
"Sulu, too." Jim supplies, helpfully.
"The gardener. You know. The one that takes care of watering all the plants outside? Look, I know everyone thinks it's crazy, but..."
Bones stares at him thoughtfully. "Who else is here?"
"You are, obviously, even if you don't remember anything." Jim is all cockiness and amusement, but he seems certainly okay with the fact that Bones doesn't know what the hell he's talking about. "Could've sworn I saw Uhura somewhere around here. Nurse's outfit looks good on her." He pauses for a minute, seemingly lost in his own head. "That's all I've seen."
Bones swallows his orange juice, and Jim claps a hand on his back. "It'll all be over soon. They'll find a way to get us. Scotty's brilliant." And Jim goes right back to chewing his celery, already having expressed his distaste with the replicated food in a far off voice.
James Kirk? The announcement crackles in with fuzzy static. They can't afford a new system. They've always crackled like that, ever since Bones first got here. You have a visitor.
"You'd think they'd call me Captain." Kirk seems to grumble something soft about insubordination, and stands to walk away.
Bones stares after him, watching him in motion, finally sighing and downing the rest of his juice, wishing like hell that there were something a little damn stronger in it.
Kirk is oddly silent when he returns, when he brings the chessboard and sets it on the table where Bones sits, reading a book and staring out the window. Chess unannounced usually means Spock. Fuck. Something happened, and Bones looks over at Jim, watching him quietly, studying the blank look in his eyes. Bones doesn't really care when Kirk starts putting things in their place, starts lining up blacks and whites and staring blankly at the board.
"How was it?" he asks gruffly, and moves -- Kirk (Spock?) let him be white, and he takes full advantage, moving the white piece into place.
"I do not believe it is of any relevance to you," Kirk responds automatically, sounding like a god damned computer. It makes Bones want to throttle him, but he doesn't.
"Shut the fuck up," Bones grits his teeth and stares at Kirk, who looks down at the chess board and makes a methodical move, silent as the grave. Bones lets out a frustrated sigh and moves again. "I didn't mean that literally," he adds on quickly, knowing the importance of being entirely honest and speaking things out. Spock doesn't seem to comprehend a word he says anyway. Kirk's just a damn wall when Spock's taking over, and all Bones can hope for is that Kirk returns in the morning, that he's his usual self.
Kirk raises an eyebrow, looking worried as he moves another piece. Bones just moves his king's pawn grumpily, watching as Kirk moves his queen. And then a bishop, and the queen again, and Kirk draws back.
"Checkmate." It's a god damned fool's mate, and Bones knows it. He already feels like a fool enough already when Kirk is staring at him like that.
"I spoke to my brother today," Kirk says softly, conversationally, and it's just barely Kirk peeking through because the blank stare just seems muted now as he looks at the table.
"Your brother?" McCoy raises an eyebrow. He wouldn't know what it was like to receive guests. Fine with him. Kirk's the only one he really needs anyway. It's a horribly co-dependent relationship, but the hospital doesn't make a move to split them up. They've talked to them both about possibly switching roommates, but Kirk is quick to shoot that down and the nurses are quick to defend them, maintaining McCoy as the only one who really can manage to give him his medicine properly. The hospital overlooks it. McCoy is paranoid they'll see them sharing a bed or catch the lingering touches, but he's been good about shoving Kirk out as soon as they're done, or carrying Kirk to his own bed once he's fallen asleep.
"My brother." Kirk nods slowly, thoughtfully. "He ran away when I was ten."
McCoy stares at him. There's still an awful lot of Spock's influence on the kid; he's gone emotionally void and is staring over at the wall.
"His name is Sam."
McCoy nods quietly, listening as he sets the pieces back into place.
"He says this place isn't getting me the help I need."
McCoy stares at him and grips at the table. Kirk is staring blankly back at him. "He said that the doctors told him I'm refusing medication half the time. That I'm not on Earth, literally. That these are all delusions." McCoy almost opens his mouth, claims that they are delusions, dammit, he's been telling Jim this all along. How the hell is Jim going to get better without him? How the hell would he even take his medication? McCoy's brow furrows. Jim is his. His and his alone, and he's not about to fucking give him up. Not for some god damned brother of his that showed the hell up out of nowhere.
"Please, Doctor. Try to understand. This is for my benefit." Kirk's voice is far off and it's hard to see anything in those emotionless blue eyes. He needs Jim. He needs Jim.
"They can't take you." McCoy's voice scares him. It's soft and somewhat tentative, on the edge of snapping. And he's staring into those eyes, begging Jim to look back at him. Begging for Jim back, and McCoy reaches out and grabs Kirk's hand, grabs him by the wrist. He can feel the pulse point. Can feel the blood rushing through Kirk's veins, and it sets him on edge. He could break the wrist beneath his fingers with one sharp snap, could gnaw on the artery there and keep Jim -- he'd be dead, but he'd be his, for himself, forever. McCoy shoves those thoughts down, focusing instead on pulling Kirk away from the recreation room, trying to regulate his breathing and breaking away only when he sees the guards look up. He moves past them and begs silently for Kirk to follow, and he does, albeit slowly.
"Sam's going to put me in another hospital." Kirk's voice is small and miserable.
McCoy yanks back at Kirk's wrist, grabbing hold again, shoving down that sick urge once more. He pulls him down to their shared room and closes the door behind him, and does what he's dying to do. He shoves Kirk against the wall and kisses him hard, hard enough to bruise, sinking his teeth into that bottom lip and feeling the taste of copper fill his mouth. He's sick, so sick, because he wants this before they take him away from him, and he rips at the flimsy fabric excuse for clothing, finally feeling Jim's heartbeat beneath his skin. His fingers dance over the left of Kirk's sternum delicately, feeling the pulse beat beneath his fingers.
There has to be another way.
It's not his finest moment.
No one will take you away.
In fact, he knows they'll be on the lookout for him.
Bones isn't sure if the man who was escorting Kirk outside to Sam's car is still alive. He very well may not be -- the blood was all over the pavement, and Kirk grabbed his hand too fast for Bones to even consider what he had just done. It was an accident, maybe. They're on foot.
I won't let them have you.
They're running as fast as they can, and Bones is thankful that throughout his stay at the sanitarium that he's kept in shape, that he can run this far this fast. Kirk can, too, thankfully, because they're miles away by now. It's quick enough after the fact for them to adopt a better pair of clothes from a donation center -- and they look normal, now. Normal people.
Everything is normal here. The sun is too damn bright. The traffic is heavy, and the San Francisco hills are hard on their legs as they get as far away as they can manage. Bones has nothing to his name -- Jocelyn has everything he gave up when he was put into captivity, and Kirk doesn't even remember where the fuck in Iowa he lives. Not that they can get to Iowa in their state -- with no money, they can't even afford a cab to get them right the fuck out of town, and their first night is spent huddled in a dirty alley.
We're not normal.
"San Francisco. We can go to Starfleet. Explain everything," Kirk mumbles beside him, freezing in that threadbare t-shirt, huddled close to him for warmth. "They'll...they'll send us by shuttle...craft..." He breaks out into a yawn, mid-sentence.
The worst thing about this is there's no medication. There's nothing to keep him grounded. Nothing to keep his mind from wandering over that finely toned musculature, nothing to keep him from running calloused fingertips over it. Kirk is fading in and out, and the delusions get worse as they go on. His thoughts are flickering in and out, and obsessing over the blood on the pavement, and god he didn't stay to watch the man's eyes close, didn't stay to see if he had actually died. Oh god, it's been so long since he's seen something like that.
Kirk never knows where he is. And he shrieks sometimes, and grabs hold of Bones's hand and drags him to somewhere else. Bones has to clap his hand over Kirk's mouth, has to keep him from attracting attention sometimes, and Kirk always ends up stilling in his arms. He feels the body beneath his hands, and sometimes he grips a little too tightly and Kirk has to cry out again to make him stop.
They're not normal.
They do not belong here.
Bones donates blood plasma under a fake name. They pay him, but it's not enough to feed them both for very long, and they keep wandering aimlessly throughout the city until they get to the outskirts of the mountains, surrounding them, trapping them in. Without food the madness is worse -- the hunger is worse, and Kirk isn't sane enough to restrain him for much longer. Bones feels his hands shaking from the lack of medication. No one can know who they are.
He has to restrain himself for Kirk, and repeats it like a mantra in his head. What he wouldn't fucking give for solitary confinement now -- an empty room with his thoughts, alone. Alone. He needs to be alone, but Kirk is a constant and it's the most frightening thing when Kirk moves closer to him, when Bones feels those cold-bitten lips on his own, leaning up and just brushing over his temple.
Bones refuses to have sex with him. He says it's because of the alleyway, because they're dirty and haven't had a decent shower since they left the asylum, and Kirk seems to accept those reasonings with disdain, shrugging and leaning his back against Bones as he tries to make himself comfortable.
He doesn't know, or doesn't seem to realize just how close Bones comes to snapping when Kirk sighs like that, letting his fingertips play lazily over Bones’s hand. Bones grips the other man's tight, convincing himself to keep his eyes open for the cops, for someone who will come and drag them away again.
It will never be normal.
As the days drag on, they both get worse.
Bones can't take it anymore. He corners Jim in the back of the alley and holds him and shakes, his body trembling. Kirk is wrenching a hand through his hair and talking in tongues, Vulcan or Orion or some shit like that, and maybe it's Spock that's trying to talk to him. Maybe Spock is back into Jim's brain, and that would be fucking amazing because at this point, McCoy needs someone to hold onto, needs something to ground himself. It's for their own good, his voice reminds him, softly.
All that's going to happen is that the police find them. Bones knows what's in store, remembers the police finding the tissues suspended in fluid. He knows that Kirk will be ripped from him, that he'll rot anyway in prison somewhere, or worse, another asylum. Bones shudders against Kirk's chest, his strong arms holding Jim tight.
I won't let them take you. It's a promise, and he whispers it aloud. "I know," is the response, and Kirk tries to assure him that they can find a job, that they can manage like this just a little longer. All they have to do is get out of town.
That's all they have to do.
Except it's damn near impossible.
Kirk was on a number of medications. Mood elevators. Bones gets a glimpse of human frailty with him, watches his eyes focus and unfocus, his body shake with withdrawal from some of the stronger pills. There are no sedatives here, nothing he can use to calm Jim down except his presence, and that's when his own madness kicks in. He obsesses over him more than usual, runs his thumb over crucial points, knows that if he put pressure just here, Kirk would respond beautifully.
He decides to do it with a heavy heart.
It's to save them both. They can't live like this. Running from every single sound, trying their hardest to survive amongst the San Francisco streets, keeping incognito this entire time. They're hungry and worn and can't go anywhere, not when there's an escaped convict on the loose, someone considered dangerous and someone considered missing.
Kirk continues to ask.
Bones doesn't like denying him.
When life turns into nothing but searching for scraps in trash cans, avoiding shelters for fear of someone finding them; when Bones can feel himself breaking into scattered pieces and fragments of reality, he wonders why he even bothers holding back.
It can all end here, Bones thinks, it can all go away tonight.
It's not even a very significant day. It just rains; and they've found a place to sleep tonight that overlooks the bay, huddled underneath a terrace for shelter.
He's dirty, bloodied and bruised. Bones doesn't know what possessed the kid to start a fight like that, but he had disappeared and came back with the broken nose and a fistful of bills, enough for them to have gotten something warm to eat. Bones doesn't want to know, just leans in and pops the broken bones back into place so that they won't heal incorrectly, and he knows well enough that it hurts. He takes care of Kirk with quivering hands, the blood running from the injury and coating his fingertips with a stickily uncomfortable warmth.
He listens softly as Kirk regales him with tales of a beautiful South African woman with flawless skin, and a distinguished older gentleman named Christopher Pike that's going to give Kirk the Enterprise.
It's amazing how placated Kirk is, like this.
He doesn't need to be here.
He doesn't deserve this life on the run, doesn't deserve having to live off of whatever they could find. His beautiful skin is marred with bruises and he tosses fitfully in his sleep, crying out for someone, something.
"We can't..." Bones murmurs to himself and runs a trembling hand over one of the bruises, slowly, softly.
Dogs barking, somewhere far in the distance. The panic settles in deep in his gut and he pulls Kirk awake, and the kid's eyes fly open, and he almost starts screaming.
Bones claps a hand over Kirk's mouth, throws him flat against the wall. "Shhh... Come on, Jim....don't."
The lights are getting nearer, and Jim stares up at him blankly. Bones presses him against the red brick of the building, his head curled into the side of Kirk's, and he presses his lips gruffly against the side of Jim's forehead, kissing the temple softly. Jim's hands find their way around Bones’s middle, his fingers digging into his sides.
The lights flicker right behind them.
Bones knows they're behind the pier, or maybe they're not, maybe he's almost as damn crazy as Jim, but he can't let them take him away. He promised.
Kirk pulls to his feet and drags Bones out into the bay.
Or maybe it's Bones that drags him out. The water laps at their weather-worn shoes and weighs them down, and they just go out further. The fog is settled there, and even if the lights point in their direction they just go out further, the freezing water up to their waists.
"Further," Kirk murmurs. "Almost there."
Bones follows without question, and he has a feeling he's done that before. The water level is rising, and by the time the police come - by the time the fog breaks with sharp beams of light, Kirk is already entirely underwater. Bones just follows, and takes a deep, deep breath.
He can see the beams of light still breaking the water, and sees Kirk's face, smiling at him, and can feel Kirk's arms surrounding him. He remembers what Kirk told him just before he sank beneath the murky surface.
Stay with me.
They can't get us here.
Bones can feel his lungs starting to give way, can feel the burning need to come up for air, but Kirk latches onto him like a weight.
With a sinking realization, Bones knows that Jim is struggling to breathe just as much as he is. But then Kirk's brilliant blue eyes, clear as ice -- they're closed when the beams sweep over them again, and --
Everything goes dark, and faintly, he can hear Kirk's voice.
Two to beam up.