Title: Problem-Solving in Three Parts
Author: tarotgal
Fandom: Star Trek Reboot
Pairing: Kirk/McCoy
Rating: PG-13
Disclaimer: Not my world or characters
Summary: Bones is not fond of space, but he is fond of something else
Notes: Written for Porn Battle XV: The Ides of Porn. Prompt: Star Trek Alternate Original Series, James T Kirk/Leonard McCoy, cold, flu, needy, frustrated, naked, comfort, away mission



Problem-Solving in Three Parts




When James T. Kirk next opens his eyes, he finds there is no warm body of Leonard McCoy beside him. Instead, the doctor is sitting on the edge of the captain’s bed, hunched over with his back to Jim and his fingers running repeatedly through his hair. Jim cranes his neck, trying to get a read on the man’s expression, but the hands block the view. He can, however, see that Leonard has cleaned himself up; the only one with dried lube and come on him now is Jim. Jim reaches out, stretching, and his fingers graze Leonard’s thigh, a feather light touch Leonard shivers at. “Hey. What’s the matter?”


Leonard shakes his head. “I’m not sure how much longer I can do this.”


The words make Jim go cold. He pulls a blanket up to cover himself to the waist as he sits. He supposes it has always just been a matter of time, but he hadn’t expected Bones to get tired of him so soon. He longs to argue, to beg, to explain how much he needs Leonard. But he knows it’s best now to make it easy on the man; he cares about him too much to do otherwise. “Nothing’s keeping you here.”


Dropping his hands, Leonard sits up straight and turns to Jim. “What?”


“This—what we are—I understand if—”


“No,” Leonard cut him off. “You’re the only reason I’m still here.” He reaches back, laying a hand on Jim’s, where it had fallen onto the bed. “I meant the ship.”


“What’s wrong with my ship?”


“Nothing, except that it’s a ship. I hate space. I feel trapped.” He gets up and strides, naked, to the window in the captain’s quarters. “We’re here, in this climate-controlled room, and six inches through this wall is death. No oxygen. Just the vast darkness and danger of space.  And I can’t pretend to be comfortable with it.” He runs his hand through his hair again. “It’s all fine for you. I’m stuck up here in this flying death trap—”


“My ship is not a—“


“While you get to go visit planets all the time. Learn about new technology. Make new friends. Flirt with women.”


“I don’t…” he trails off, seeing how pointless continuing would be. “Okay, I flirt a bit. But nothing happens. I’m just being friendly with them, making sure Starfleet continues to have good relations with their people. It’s you I come back to. It’s you I want in my bed. If you want to be here, that is.”


“I do. Of course I do.” He paces from one side of the room to the other, the conflicting emotions of anger and desire playing on his face. “I just don’t want to be on a ship.”


Jim can’t look at him when he says what he must, “You want me to put in for a transfer for you?”


Leonard takes too long to reply. He looks out the window at the stars and the black. He looks back at the bed and Jim, who won’t look up. He looks around the room for his clothes, which Jim had carelessly flung all over the room in his haste to get to fucking. “No.” He says again, and he picks up his pants. “I’m going for a run. If I tire myself out, I can’t get together the energy for a full-blown panic attack. And as long as I don’t see any windows, I can pretend I’m not even on a ship.”


Falling back on his pillows, Jim sighs.





The second he feels himself materialize, he takes off running toward the away team. Captain Kirk’s lying on the grass on his side, arms wrapped around his chest in a vain attempt to keep himself warm. “What happened?” Dr. McCoy asks, dropping to his knees beside the man and getting out his tricorder.


Kirk weakly lifts his head, trying to make his eyes focus on McCoy. He jokes, “Guess I was a little too friendly.”


“Damn it, Jim…”


And Spock is the one who explains, “We were walking back from dinner at the palace with the magistrate and his daughter and the captain momentarily lost consciousness and collapsed. He seemed cold, even though it is quite warm out here.” 


The readings on the screen confirm what McCoy had guessed this was. “Back. Both of you. Get back,” he says, and the two members of the away team take several steps away. “He’s got the Amarizite Flu, all right.”


As if right on cue, Kirk coughs. His whole body shakes with each cough. And he curls up, desperate for the moist coughs to loosen and expel what’s building up in his throat and lungs. As far as illnesses, go, this one’s not the worst by far, but Kirk’s going to be pretty damn miserable for a while.


“I want to go,” Kirk whines softly to his lover. He shivers violently, sweat beading upon his forehead. “Take me to bed.”


“Sorry, Captain. This flu is highly contagious during the first fifty hours. I can’t risk it spreading around the ship. We’re going to have to stay down here on the planet for the next few days.” McCoy wants to cup Kirk’s face in his hand, stroke one thumb against his cheek and then take him in his arms to warm him up. But the pointy eared second officer is watching, as is the kid in the red shirt, looking scared.


Kirk snaps forward with a nasty sneeze and rubs his nose into his uniform-clad shoulder. “We?” he says, weakly, but the word is full of hope.


McCoy nods. He’s not about to leave his lover on some strange planet to fight this flu on his own. Besides, he’s too close to Jim; he’s probably been infected already. Luckily, he’s already had the damn Amarizite Flu, but that doesn’t mean he can’t be a carrier and pass it on to the rest of his medical staff and his patients. Self-imposed quarantine is the only safe solution. “Yeah. You’re going to need constant care. Cold compresses, warm packs, blankets, tissues, steam treatments, balm on your chest… as if I weren’t busy enough, now the ship’s going to be without its chief medical officer for a few days.” He looks over his shoulder. “If you two haven’t caught it from the captain already, you’ll be free to head back to the Enterprise, but I am officially relieving the captain of duty. Until his fever’s down and his breathing clear, he’s not fit to command.”


Kirk sneezes again, all the proof any of them need that this is the right call.





Kirk walks into the transporter room to see Spock and an ensign already on the pad, waiting to beam down to the surface. Kirk smiles and takes his spot, then motions for Scotty to hold off for a minute. “We’re expecting one more.”


Everyone looks confused, as they should. But it’s Spock who speaks up, of course. “Captain, Starfleet mission protocol calls for away team parties of three crewmen. Neither our records of the planet nor the communication we just had with the planet’s leader would lead me to believe there is anything out of the ordinary. Who—”


McCoy walks through the door, with a brightness in his eyes Kirk hadn’t seen before. “Chief medical officer reporting for the mission, Sir.”


Kirk smiles warmly back. Then he looks over his shoulder at Spock. “After that last incident, I thought it would make sense for a medical officer to accompany the away team from now on. Just to…” to give him some fresh air, to keep him from panicking, to get him off the ship and keep Bones from going stir crazy. “Just to keep the sort of thing that happened last time from happening again. You never know when someone might get injured or fall ill.”


Spock considers for a while. “Captain, I believe this move shows—”


Kirk rolls his eyes and doesn’t wait for him to finish. “Shows a lack of trust in the planet’s population? Shows we assume the mission will be dangerous? Shows unjustified paranoia?”


Spock’s eyebrow raises. “I was going to say it shows great foresight. If this works, I should think we will need to make a formal recommendation to Starfleet Command.”


Kirk nods, turning his head to face forward again so Spock can’t see his grin. “Energize, Mr. Scott.”