Hey, it’s a Kirk/Spock story! I’ve missed writing for these two.
And for Bones. Because, man. He’s so damn much fun.
In this story, McCoy can’t keep a secret. Especially when he’s been drinking.
Never A Good Sign
“Can I ask you a question?”
Kirk raised an eyebrow over his glass.
“Of course,” he said, surprised. “Since when do you ask for permission?”
“Ah,” said McCoy to the tabletop. His fingers traced the scars left by previous patrons--and he was humming to himself, Kirk realized. Never a good sign.
He set down his glass with a thud.
“Ok, out with it, Bones,” he said to the top of the doctor’s head. “What is it?”
McCoy looked up, his buzzing audible over the Aldeberans at the next table, but his eyes zipped around the room, taking in the local, uh, flora, the bar, the guy at the next table with a broken nose—
“Damn it!” Kirk said, raising his voice over the two Andorians arguing behind them. “What the hell’s the matter with you?”
The doctor sighed and leaned back in his chair. Took his goddamn time. Reached for his drink, downed it. Finally looked Kirk in the eye.
“You wanna tell me what’s going on with you, or do I have to guess?”
Kirk’s eyes widened and he felt his face flush. Thank the gods for the crappy lighting.
“Um?” he said, trying his best to look puzzled.
McCoy rolled his eyes.
“Don’t give me that!” he said, the alcohol putting him in full throat. “Save it for somebody who’ll buy it. Like, you know. Spock.” He waggled his eyebrows dramatically. Significantly, even.
Kirk sighed. He closed his eyes, letting the music thud in his ears for a while.
“Well,” he said at last, meeting the doctor’s gaze, this narrow pointed thing. It felt like the doctor was peering into his brain, and the rest of the words he meant to say got caught somewhere in his throat.
“Yeah,” McCoy said, shooting his chair back in triumph. “That’s what I figured. When in the hell were you going to tell me?”
Kirk shook his head, pressed the menu. Ordered a goddamn double.
“And why, exactly, would I need to tell you?”
The doctor’s mouth flew open, a storm of protest close behind, and Kirk held up his hands. “Ok, ok, yes, I know. Ship’s doctor, health of command crew, etc. etc.”
“Yup,” McCoy said, snagging Kirk’s drink from the server’s hand. “And, oh yeah, I am your damn friend, and all.” He tossed back the whiskey, grimacing. “Dare I say your best friend, once?”
Kirk glared at him and leaned over their empty glasses, his eyes flaring.
“Look,” he hissed, “I get it. You’re pissed. Fine. You have a right to be. But obviously, you didn’t need me to tell you—some little birdie got there first.” Who could it have been? he thought. They’d tried to be so damn careful—
“Yup,” the doctor said, his voice carrying across the room. “A little green birdie with pointed ears.”
Kirk choked. ”What?”
“Yes indeed,” McCoy nodded sagely. “Came to his old family physician for some good old-fashioned family planning.”
“Shut up, Bones!” Kirk snapped, drawing a stare from Broken Nose.
Kirk snarled at the guy and turned back to McCoy, who was calmly pouring another drink—his fifth? seventh?—down his throat.
“Could you be any more pleased with yourself?” he growled.
McCoy licked his lips, preening.
“Nooope,” he said, drawing out the vowel and a great big goddamn smirk. “No, ah think this is just about right.”
Kirk put his hand over his eyes, pinched the bridge of his nose.
Stage two: the southern accent.
“Na-how, Jim boy,” the doctor said, emboldened by the captain’s silence. “The way ah figure it, you’re a grown man: you can fuck whoever you damn well choose”—Kirk winced—“even if he is a green-blooded son-of-a-bitch.”
That got Broken Nose’s attention.
Kirk shook his head, covered his face again. “Bones,” he said firmly, calmly, hysterically. “I don’t want to talk about this with you right now.” Maybe not ever, he thought.
“Whiiiy the hell not?” McCoy asked, slapping Kirk on the shoulder. “Ah”m happy for ya’ll, I really am.” His face slackened for a moment, his mouth falling into a frown. “Ah just wish you’d ta tell me about it, that’s all. I didn’t like havin’ to hear from the other horse’s mouth.”
Kirk sighed. Propped his elbows on the table and jammed his chin into his palm.
“Bones,” he said softly, “I’m sorry. I should have told you. Myself. A long time ago.”
McCoy nodded vigorously, teetering on the edge of his chair.
“Yup, ya should have,” he said. He reached over and patted Kirk’s hand, smiling up into his face. “Ya shure as hell know how ta pick ‘em, Jim,” he chuckled, leaning over to fiddle with the menu. “Yup. Hell of a bird ya caught this time. So what happened? Why now, after all this time?”
Kirk shook his head, rolled his eyes, crossed his arms. “No, Bones,” he said, his mouth narrowing, his eyes dark.
“Aw, now c’mon. Ya can tell me.” McCoy crossed his hand over his heart, an overgrown drunken Boy Scout. “Ah promise—I shall not tell a soul.”
“No,” Kirk barked. Command voice. The hey, Klingons: don’t fuck with me voice.
Bones, I’m tired of your bullshit voice.
There was a long silence. McCoy just grinned at him, crosseyed blue and stupid, until his eighth? tenth? drink arrived.
Kirk had never been so glad to see a glass of bourbon in his whole damn life.
McCoy eyed him. Took a long swig of the stuff.
“Ah,” said the doctor finally. “Means that much to you, hmmm?”
And Kirk was a good liar. Hell, maybe one of the best. Trained for it, lived for it, avoided dying with it, too.
But right then, to Bones, for Spock: he couldn’t bring himself to even try.
Just gave the doc a little shrug and stared at his shoes.
McCoy, he banged his glass on the table. “Fine!” he shouted. “Fine, damn you. Ya don’t have ta tell me a damned thing, you jackass. I get it. I’m just a nosy old man.”
Kirk grinned, in spite of his goddamn self, and gave Bones an eyebrow.
“Nosy,” he said. “Sure. Among other adjectives.” He slipped the glass from his friend’s fingers and tossed the rest back.
“Mmm-hmmm,” said McCoy, his head nodding, his body beginning to droop over the table. “Yup. That’s me. Busybody McGhee. Mindreader. Soothsayer of Vulcans all.”
Kirk shot him a look, because wait just a goddamn minute. He knew that smug-as-hell tone. And that cat-canary smirk.
Never a good sign.
“Bones,” he said, pained. “Hold on. What did Spock tell you, exactly?”
McCoy grinned and rapped the top of Kirk’s head. Stood up quick, as sober as a fucking judge.
“Now, now, Captain, sir,” he drawled. “Surely you’ve learned by now: don’t try and bullshit the bullshitter, son.”
Kirk’s mouth moved indignant as he watched the doctor sail away, out past the bar and into the deep-edged night.
And by then, all Kirk could do was laugh.
And order another goddamn drink.