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Title: Duty
Author: Yuma aka mrwubbles
Recipient's name : goldvermilion87
Rating: PG
Series: TOS
Pairing/Characters: McCoy, Kirk, Amanda Grayson, mentions Spock
Word Count: 1300+
Disclaimer: Luckily, I don't own them. Otherwise, they would never survive. ~cackle~
Summary: Post "Journey to Babel", they all watch out for each other in their own ways. For happy_trekmas prompt.
Warnings: Vague spoilers to "Journey to Babel"
Author's Contrite Note: This should have been posted much sooner, but my swiss-cheese brain decided RL, the holidays in general and PT were more than I can handle so promptly deleted the memory of three fics I was supposed to post. I wish I had a nobler excuse: like I was making toys or baking cookies for needful children but no, Yum@ plumbed forgot. (hence the icon above. Bad, Yuma, bad) Sorry. I hope, late as it is, this fic is what you hoped for. Thank you for sharing this fun prompt!


Leonard looked up. He needed to blink his gritty eyes twice before Amanda Grayson's delicate features finally came to focus. Manners long hammered into him as a child brought him unsteadily to his feet.

Elegant white hands waved him back down to his seat. "No, no, please, Dr. McCoy. I just thought you might want this."

It was then Leonard noticed the steaming mug set on his desk. He smiled—it felt like it took a lot more muscles than it should do, though—and pulled the mug towards him with both hands. He savored the warmth seeping into his body as he held it close to him; ship-wide environmental controls could never truly replace the thick cloak of Georgian sunshine on your back.

The rich roasted scent of coffee, good coffee, greeted his senses as he raised the cup. One sip and his eyebrows rose.


Years melted from—how should they call her?—Grayson's face when she smiled, her eyes only a tinged worried now, no longer dull and bleak as before. Hearing both her husband and her son survived an experimental procedure under the worst possible conditions has peeled the shadows away from her. Leonard had thought she was beautiful before; now he knew how even a man of logic like Sarek could have been entranced.

"Considering the day you had," Grayson sighed, "it felt warranted." She smoothed out her robes and tipped her head to the spare chair by his desk. "May I?"

"Please." Leonard spared the adjacent room a glance but thankfully, the bio-monitors had been content to simply drone: melodious, steady, finally uninterrupted by one of them damn fools.

"You haven't left." Spock's mother studied him with a familiar intensity Leonard knew her son inherited. Her eyes widened a fraction and she checked over her shoulder. "Are they all right?"

"Yes," Leonard assured her before the wrinkle between her eyes could fully form. It wasn't worth mentioning the brief scare of an infection that plagued both men; not when it was already under control. Sort of. "Your husband is recovering perfectly. I'll be releasing him n the morning."

"Then is it Spock? Or the captain?"

Yes and yes. Leonard forced back a wince and schooled what he hoped was a convincing smile. "I'm only here to—"

In the next room, a monitor twilled.

Muttering under his breath, Leonard was grateful he at least remembered to excuse himself before levering out of his chair, and taking the four steps needed to enter the inner Sickbay. Let's see, it was Spock before, so now it must be—

"Jim!" Leonard growled. "For God's sake, man! Get back on that bed!"

Jim scowled at Leonard, his hands clawing the foot of Spock's biobed. He apparently didn't notice he was stripped of his command uniform top for medical scrubs. It would have been impressive if Jim's face wasn't bleaching to an even paler pallor.

"I just wanted to see—"

"I know! You just wanted to see if Spock is all right even though I've already told you two times before and you can see across the room for yourself without getting up, but no, you have to try to undo my handiwork and drag your corpse over to his bedside!" Leonard's hands twitched. He should have given him the 10ccs of thamodrayzine, after all.

Jim stared at him blankly, no longer trying to look authoritative, only upright, his elbows now resting completely on the footboard.

"You did?" Jim mumbled. "I don't remember that…" He visibly swallowed.

All right, make that 20ccs.

Leonard reached Jim just as his knees buckled and ducked under a damp arm—damn, looks like his fever is back—to let it drape over his shoulders.

"Come on," Leonard said gently. He could see Jim gulping convulsively out of the corner of his eye. "I have a nice hypospray for you, Jim my boy."

Jim fidgeted weakly. He leaned heavily on Leonard before he locked his knees to try to step away.

"Dammit, Jim! Hold still! I'm a doctor, not a crutch!"

"I don't know," Jim said wispily, "sometimes, I think you're both." The smile he gave Leonard though could easily be a grimace.

Leonard rolled his eyes, not willing to let himself be swayed. He hefted Jim closer to him. He briefly considered getting help—maybe from someone who could happily lug around a grown man—but he knew Jim always tried to appear indestructible to his crew. Exploring so many unknowns, the crew of the Enterprise needed someone to be a consistent, steady buoy against the vacuum of space. No, this was for Spock and Leonard's eyes only, a privilege that often kept them up nights.

"Come on, Jim," Leonard tried again, his voice dropping to a soothing drawl. "Try not to break the back of your kindly old doctor, okay? Let's get you back in bed."

"No, I got to…see for myself…" Jim tugged at Leonard's grip like a leashed puppy.

Leonard sighed. "Fine. One minute." He grimaced as he braced Jim. He was getting too old for this. "Careful." Together, they took halting steps closer to Spock's bed.

Pulling away from Leonard, Jim planted both arms on the side of the bed. Brows knitted, Jim scanned Spock, who was asleep/meditating/maybe unconscious because Leonard gave him 20ccs after the idiot tried to do the same exact thing Jim was doing right now. Leonard had sprinted over in time to see Spock stumble away from Jim's bed, aiming crookedly for Sarek's bed, but only managing to crash into the portable hemo-filter.

Idiots. All of them. Why was he the only one with common sense in this tin can?

Leonard opened his mouth to berate his friends—it made the time go faster and his heart rate calmer—but the words petered out, faded into thought as he took in Jim's expression. Jim stared unblinking at Spock's face, his lips pressed together into a thin, white slit. He'd seen that face once before: a cloudy, pensive look that bored into your soul, willing you to do as he demanded and survive. It was at Jim’s brother's bedside, hidden from view, away from the nurses, in the doorway, his commanding presence muted to a shadow.

It wasn't obeyed then.

"He'll be fine, Jim," Leonard rested a hand over the hand curled close to Spock's left arm. Jim had settled fingers a hair's breath away from the pulse point, but not close enough for Vulcan touch telepathy. Nevertheless, Leonard could have sworn he saw Spock's right ear twitch. He knew it; damn computer was part cat.

"You did a good thing, Bones," Jim murmured. He finally let Leonard tug him away from the bed towards his own. "Spock wouldn't ever admit it, but he was worried. In his own way."

With each step, Jim staggered more drunkenly. He fell gracelessly onto his bed, his face twisted. A groan hissed out between clenched teeth as Leonard hauled his legs up to set him in a supine position.

"You see?" Leonard scolded as he succumbed to temptation and pressed a hypospray to Jim's neck. "Forget two days, you fool. It's four days now. Keep getting out of bed and it'll be eight."

"Mutiny," Jim mumbled as his eyes slowly drifted shut.

"If I was captain," Leonard scoffed, "this would be the healthiest, most inoculated crew in the fleet." He gave Jim's shoulder a brief squeeze. "You did good, too. Letting Spock out of his duty to save his father. No more suicidal, martyring gestures for a week, though. My heart can't handle it."

There was a glimpse of brown eyes, glazed with painkillers, dull with fever, which fixed on Leonard's face as if trying to decipher something, see behind layers for a truth Leonard wouldn't speak out loud.

"He'll be fine, Jim," Leonard promised as he drew the covers up to Jim's chin. "The best doctor in the fleet is watching him."

Jim furrowed his brow, like a toddler fighting bedtime, but the fever finally won out and Jim's face relaxed in sleep.

Leonard stood there for a long time, staring at Jim. He settled a palm over Jim's brow, his back relaxing its stiff position when he felt cool, dry skin. Leonard let out a shuddering breath. The Andorian blade did a lot more damage than anyone could have imagined. It had been filthy, blunt; brewing noxious disease wherever the assassin had concealed it. And that poison fled into Jim and settled in his bones, erupting when fever struck.

The monitor over Spock's bed beeped an octave higher. Leonard scrubbed a hand across his face and grunted in agreement.

It had been a damn near thing. It made Spock's reckless and dare he say it, emotional behavior, understandable.

Briefly, Leonard wondered if his face had mirrored Jim's silent plea when he and Chapel had stood by Jim’s bed hours before, watching the hemo-filter try and try again to extract the infection.

Leonard’s face screwed up. Of course not, because Jim was going to be fine. He was his doctor, after all.

Turning to check on Sarek and Spock's readings, he caught Grayson standing by the doorway.

"I thought," she said in a subdued voice, her eyes flicking from her son to Jim, "Spock was refusing to help his father because of his duty; his loyalty to this ship, to Starfleet." She lifted her gaze to him.

"But it was to him, wasn't it?"

Leonard studied Amanda Grayson. There was no resentment in her voice. Slowly, he nodded.

"It goes both ways." Leonard was compelled to add.

"Appears more like it goes three ways, Doctor McCoy." Spock's mother smiled. "Unless this ship, your captain believes in working his crew this hard."

Leonard shrugged. His mouth quirked at the corners. He gave all three monitors a critical look before deciding it was safe to return to his office.

"I think your coffee is still warm, doctor." With a fluttering twirl of robes, Spock's mother left the doorway.

Leonard gave his friends one final look.

"Night, you two," Leonard whispered before leaving the room to join her.

The End

Author's Acknowledgments: Many thanks to my beta penfold_x, who came to my rescue, weathered my constant "but maybe...", my midnight fic tweakings. Thanks! And look! Remembered to post. Finally!

Pssst: Feedback is like cookies. I like cookies. -lol-


( 9 comments — comment )
Dec. 24th, 2010 06:03 pm (UTC)
This is a very sweet story. (And very well-written. :-) )I enjoyed it quite a bit. Thank you!

Have some virtual cookies!
Dec. 28th, 2010 03:53 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I'd really enjoyed the chance the prompt gave me to try my hand on TOS!
Dec. 24th, 2010 10:45 pm (UTC)

Journey to Babel is one of my top five fave episodes, and to find a missing scene fic for it makes me so happy I can't even tell you. I've had a week from Hades and this truly made my night. Bones is just flat amazing here, and Spock and Kirk are adorable even though Spock isn't even awake (testimony to how good this is, yay :D). Even though he isn't mentioned, I can just see Sarek lying there pretending to be asleep and silently LOL-ing during the drama. XD

All that to say, Bones was awesome. Amanda was awesome. the whole fic is awesome. You are awesome. *creeps on you a little, offering cookies*

Dec. 25th, 2010 04:18 am (UTC)
Agreed and I WANT YOUR ICON!
Dec. 28th, 2010 03:54 pm (UTC)
Aw, thank you! JtB was one of my personal favs as well!
Dec. 26th, 2010 06:57 pm (UTC)
Oh, this was a wonderful take on JtB aftermath. Thank you for sharing. :D
Dec. 28th, 2010 03:55 pm (UTC)
Yes, her icon is FTW! :)
Dec. 26th, 2010 08:12 pm (UTC)
Enjoyed this!
Dec. 28th, 2010 03:55 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
( 9 comments — comment )

TV Quote of the Day

Do you wish me a good morning, or mean that it is a good morning whether I want it or not; or that you feel good this morning; or that it is a morning to be good on?

~ Gandalf "The Hobbit"

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