The Greater Good (Kirk/McCoy NC-17) 1/6

  • Aug. 16th, 2011 at 5:03 AM
emiliglia: (au!kirk/mccoy)
Master Post & Mix


Atlanta

+

Leonard's standing next to the helipad, the wind whipping around his hair and lab coat, watching the Medevac chopper land. He already feels sick to his stomach, and he hasn't even climbed in the damn thing yet.

He tightens his grip on the cooler in his hand, this precious thing that he has to transport to another hospital that will mean the difference between life and death for a twelve year old boy with a bad heart.

He can do this. He has to do this.

The pilot waves for Leonard to approach, his face almost completely obscured by his helmet and aviators. Leonard ducks as he gets closer, trying to keep out of the buffeting wind created by the spinning rotor blades overhead. He pulls the door open, climbing inside with a silent prayer, and shuts it behind him before strapping in as tight as the belts will allow. Not like they'll do any good should anything happen.

Leonard screws his eyes shut during takeoff, stomach feeling all too well how the helicopter lurches as it gains altitude. He clenches the cooler in a white-knuckled grip, his purpose for this trip on repeat in his head in a poor attempt at keeping the nausea at bay.

“You doing okay back there?” The pilot calls from in front of Leonard, who opens his eyes to respond but almost immediately regrets it as he swallows bile.

“I'm fine,” he grits out, not wanting to make smalltalk. He just wants this trip over with. Leonard doesn't care how expensive it'll be to take a cab back, he's willing to do it. He only had to use the Medevac helicopter to begin with since the trip by car would've taken too long. The heart is only viable for so long, and there's more kids out there that need them than donors on the market.

“Sure, if you're normally green. You're not going to throw up back there, are you? I'm going to be the one that has to clean it up, so please don't.”

“I don't like flying, I get motion sickness, and I tend to not do well in small, enclosed spaces. The odds don't seem to be in your favor.”

“They sure picked the right sawbones for this ride, didn't they?” The pilot has a laugh in his voice, which irritates Leonard that the bastard seems to be amused by this, and it only manages to make him feel more sick. “Why don't you come up front and take the co-pilot's seat? Being able to look out the window instead of at the back of a seat might help with at least the motion sickness and the claustrophobia, but I doubt it'll do anything about your fear of flying.”

It might save him some dignity, Leonard supposes, so he unstraps himself from the seat and shakily goes to the cockpit.

“I'll try to make this nice and smooth for you, Doc,” the pilot says, offering an indulgent smile. “I'm Jim Kirk, by the way.”

“McCoy,” he responds, although he doesn't see the point in the introductions when he plans on never having to see the pilot again. He doesn't need to relive this experience. “Leonard McCoy.”

“Why don't you tell me about the patient you'll be saving today?” Jim asks, seeming genuinely interested instead of just trying to be polite, and Leonard lets himself get lost in the science and detailing the procedure he's going to perform once they land.

And because Leonard is the type of person who thinks that the universe is out to get him, this is not the last time he meets Jim Kirk.

+

He stops at the hotel bar three blocks from the hospital when he gets off-shift. Leonard plans on getting absolutely shit-faced; there are perks to your wife – ex-wife – getting the house as is commute is suddenly much shorter, but there's no way in hell Leonard's going to stay at the hotel across the street from work. He doesn't need his co-workers knowing; he already knows the looks they give him when they think he can't see them.

Plus, this hotel's cheaper, and he's paying alimony now.

Leonard barely notices the guy who sits next to him at the bar until he orders a beer and a hamburger, raw, with extra salt on the fries. “That shit will kill you,” Leonard mumbles more into his drink than to his neighbor, and nearly spits out the bourbon when the guy says his name.

“McCoy?” he asks, sounding too pleasantly surprised for Leonard's taste. He doesn't want to acknowledge that yes, it's him, but he's also known since he got the room here that someone at the hospital was going to find out sooner or later. He takes a sidelong glance, but he can't place the face at all, and Leonard may be a bitter divorcé now, but that doesn't mean he's gone blind.

“Probably hard to recognize me without the helmet and sunglasses,” the guy says, completely unfazed. “Jim Kirk. You almost threw up in my chopper last week? You were really being serious about taking a cab back, huh? I never got to hear how the surgery went.”

Leonard is pretty certain he wouldn't have set foot in the helicopter at all had he been able to tell how young the pilot looked. “His body took to the transplant well,” Leonard says, not really wanting to talk to anyone, but saving that kid's life had been one of the best things to happen to Leonard in a while now, so he doesn't mind reliving it for Kirk's benefit. “He won't get to play for the Braves when he grows up, but that's better than the alternative.” He looks Kirk over again, no longer able to resist asking. “Are you even old enough to be in a bar?”

“I'm old enough to do lots of things,” Kirk says, flashing a smile that Leonard does remember as his mouth had been the only part of his face that Leonard could see clearly. Kirk snags a fry when his food arrives and points it at Leonard like it's an extension of his finger. “I think you need to worry less about my age and more about how your fear of flying most likely stems from serious control issues.”

Leonard snorts, putting his drink down on a coaster to face Kirk more fully. “I'm a surgeon, of course I have control issues. Have you ever gotten a heart to restart with your hands? You're going to get first-hand experience if this is how you treat your arteries.”

“I bet you have one hell of a bedside manner, Sawbones,” Kirk says around a mouthful of red meat.

“You're not my patient,” is all Leonard says, bristling at the implication that he's not good at his damn job. He finishes his drink, no longer interested in trying to forget his name as he pulls his wallet out of his back pocket to slap some cash down onto the wooden surface of the bar. “For your sake,” he says quietly, “I hope you never are.”

He doesn't miss the confused expression on Kirk's face as he leaves.

+

Leonard rolls his eyes at the back of a becoming-too-familiar blond head in line at the cafeteria and doesn't even pretend to be surprised when Kirk slides into the seat across from him. “Are you stalking me?”

“Pilots need to eat, too, and I can't help it if this place is a trauma one center. Look, I'm even eating a salad this time.”

Leonard's starting to feel like there's only one Medevac pilot in the greater Atlanta area, and he somehow has a sixth sense for Leonard's location. “Taco salad hardly counts,” Leonard responds dryly.

Kirk just gives him a half shrug. “It's the thought that counts, right? Besides, I won't be able to eat anything good once I'm deployed.”

“Good to you seems to equate swimming in grease.” Leonard's carbo-loading himself; he's got a surgery scheduled later that's going to take six hours assuming everything goes well. His brain finally registers the entirety of what Kirk had said to him and skids to a halt. “Wait, what do you mean by deployed?”

“Once I have enough flying hours in, I'll be starting my fleet assignment. What did you think, my mom bought me flying lessons as a kid?” He sounds bitter, which of late has been Leonard's favorite mood, but on Kirk it just doesn't fit right. “NROTC paid for college.”

Right, Leonard thinks, feeling like an asshole. Because not everyone has parents that can and will pay for college. Jocelyn had thought he was wasting his education, too, by going to a state university instead of a private school. And not even on an athletic scholarship. She'd thought he was destroying his chances at getting into a good medical school.

“Look, sorry, I'm being a dick,” Kirk says, looking remorseful. “I just noticed that this hospital has a McCoy Wing, but that's a common enough last name, right?”

McCoy Wing is what it says on all the signs, but the actual glass doors separating it from the elevator lobby read that it's the David McCoy Memorial Wing. Between Jocelyn and his grandfather, Leonard can't wait for his residency to be over to get the hell out of Atlanta. His father hadn't even worked in this hospital; he had his own practice, but Leonard knows that his grandfather had donated the money so Leonard would have to see his father's name and face whenever he passed by the terminal disease ward. He's not going to unload all of this on Kirk, though.

He clears his throat before stumbling through as much information as he's willing to share. “The David McCoy Memorial Wing was named after my father.”

“I'm sorry, Bones.”

Leonard had been halfway through his medical internship when his father got sick and had moved to Atlanta for his residency years to be closer. His first year had seen his father moved into the hospital for terminal care before slipping into a coma, and Leonard had been the health care proxy that knew about his father's living will, had been the only family member to know that David had signed the DNR forms.

“No need to apologize; it had nothing to do with you.”

Jim keeps spearing stalks of lettuce but isn't actually eating any of them. “My dad's dead, too, but I never knew him. Gulf War. And I-”

Whatever Jim's going to say is interrupted by the incessant beeping of Leonard's pager, and it looks like it's Leonard's turn to be the one apologizing. “Sorry, Jim, but my patient who's going into surgery in an hour is coding; I have to go now.”

Jim's responding smile is half-hearted, and Leonard just wants to say something to make it better, but all he can hear is Jocelyn's voice in his head berating him for always needing someone to fix, some pet project of a broken human being because being a goddamn surgeon isn't enough for him.

His patient dies on the table, and the chief of surgery sends Leonard home.

The generic art and starched sheets of his hotel room is nothing like what he'd call home, but right now, it's all he has.

+

Leonard's been lying in bed for three hours, feeling too twitchy to sleep, and he's getting sick of alternating between staring at the clock across the room and the ceiling above him.

He changes into shorts and a T-shirt, pulls on his sneakers, grabs a handful of nips from the mini-bar, and hopes that the gym is empty at one in the morning. During the elevator ride he contemplates just blowing through the booze he has on hand, but that sounds too much like something an alcoholic would do, even to him. Like drinking while on a treadmill is going to seem so much better.

The gym itself is empty but the pool it overlooks isn't. Someone's doing laps from one end to the other, masculine lines of muscle cutting through the water with seemingly no effort. It creates a strange metronome that he finds oddly soothing, his footfalls against the treadmill and the swimmer curling his arms over his head to push them back into the water.

He nearly falls off the treadmill and gives himself a concussion off the control panel when the swimmer pulls himself out of the pool and removes his goggles. Leonard thinks its sheer mental exhaustion keeping him from acting rationally, but he finds himself in the locker room before he registers moving.

Jim startles at the sight of Leonard; he has a white towel draped across his shoulders, and his hair is sticking up in wet spikes like he'd been trying to dry it vigorously. “Bones? What the hell are you doing here?”

“I barely know you,” Leonard begins, and he has no idea where his brain is going with this, but he figures he's willing to go along for the ride. “I barely know you, and I like that I barely know you, which is saying a lot because I don't like a whole lot of anything these days. You don't know that my divorce got finalized last week; that in my grandfather's eyes, I killed his son; that half the damn city either thinks I'm a bastard or looks at me with hangdog expressions when they think I'm not looking. I'm twenty eight years old but might as well be one hundred for as exhausted as I feel and living in this hotel certainly isn't helping with what the mattress is doing to my b-”

He recognizes the chemical taste of chlorine before the feeling of Jim's lips on his, Jim's hands framing his face as his wet body presses against Leonard's front. And Leonard isn't going to delude himself about how good it feels to have someone wanting him like this again. Jocelyn had become cold and distant after David's death, like he'd been her own father and had more of a right to be upset than Leonard, but they'd been having their problems long before that.

Leonard backs Jim into the lockers, the hollow, metallic sound of Jim's shoulders hitting them ringing in his ears as he moves to chase the water droplets that are running down Jim's face from his hair.

“Goddamn it, Bones,” Jim gasps, his breath shuddering. “I'm leaving in two days.”

“I seem to recall that you're the one who started kissing me,” Leonard says against the nape of Jim's neck, and Jim's laugh does nothing to ameliorate the ache growing in Leonard's chest.

“Come up to my room,” Jim says, and Leonard has to pull back to look him in the eyes, to see nothing that even remotely resembles sympathy.

“Is the Navy paying for it?” Leonard asks, although he's not entirely sure why he needs to know.

“No. I had time off before having to head to Mayport. It's supposed to be used to spend time with family, but...” Jim trails off, his gaze going distant before regaining focus. “Well, Iowa's a shit-hole, and there aren't a whole lot of different ways to be a volunteer pilot outside of large cities.”

Two days, Leonard thinks. Two days before Jim goes to Florida, and then where? The South China Sea? The Persian Gulf? He presses a kiss to Jim's jaw, feeling Jim relax against him.

“Come on, Bones; let me get dressed and then we'll go upstairs.”

Leonard pulls away reluctantly, averting his gaze as Jim changes as he isn't sure what's proper etiquette here. He's fairly certain that he's being invited up for sex, but he doesn't want to make an assumption and be caught openly staring only to have misinterpreted Jim's intentions. After six years of marriage, he doesn't exactly know the rules of whatever it is they're doing anymore.

“I'm not taco salad, am I?” Leonard asks suddenly, and he feels like he's going insane.

“I don't even know what that's supposed to mean,” Jim responds, Leonard watching his toned abs disappear from sight as Jim's T-shirt is pulled down.

“You know, something you won't be able to have once you're deployed.”

Jim laughs the same way he did when Leonard was in the helicopter, like he's trying to placate the crazy guy. “Yeah, well, what about you? Am I a rebound? Some sort of message you're trying to get across to your ex? Whatever's easier for you to think, Bones; either we're both using each other or we aren't, but I'd still like you to come upstairs.”

“Hang on, let me at least buy you a drink first.”

They exit the locker room, Jim trailing behind Leonard. “I really don't think they'll let us in the bar dressed like this. Uh, Bones, you're going the wrong way.”

Leonard enters the gym to grab the nips he'd left in a pile in the treadmill's cup holder, Jim still clearly confused but on his heels anyway. “I bet you're a gin drinker,” Leonard says, handing over the tiny bottle, and he's really loving the sound of Jim's laugh. Something about his smile just lights up his whole face.

“You have dimples.” Jim leans forward, pressing a kiss to each corner of Leonard's mouth. It seems that Jim's smiles are contagious, too. “You can't be completely curmudgeonly and have something that adorable.”

They get to the elevators, alternating between drinking and chasing the flavor in each other's mouths as they ascend. Jim's room is actually on the highest floor he could be on without having to pay for a penthouse, claiming he wanted the view.

“I think I'd like to appreciate a different view,” Leonard says, the alcohol buzzing through his veins and making him feel loose-lipped and warm.

“You're all hard shell with an ooey gooey center, aren't you, Bones?” Jim huffs into his ear, limp from his workout. The hour is not helping either of their alcohol tolerances at all.

“Why do you keep calling me that?” Leonard asks, trying to remember if Jim has ever called him by his name, and all he can come up with is the one time the other day in the bar. “You do know my name, right?”

“Because it's shorter than Sawbones?” Jim's voice takes on a conspiratorial tone. “Do you actually want me to call you Leonard?”

He really doesn't. Leonard is what Jocelyn had called him when their marriage started to grow cold, her tone suggesting he was equivalent to something stuck to the bottom of her shoe. She'd always called him Len before that, his family the only ones who called him Leo or still got away with Lenny, and at work he's McCoy. “Bones is fine,” he ends up saying, which results in Jim giving him this look that seems to say, See? I know you better than you know yourself. “The amount of clothing we're both still wearing, though, is certainly not.”

“Not disagreeing with you there,” Jim replies, looking Leonard over like he doesn't know where to start first. Leonard reaches out to pull Jim's shirt off, resuming the imaginary trail he'd started down in the locker room.

He licks a fine scar on Jim's abdomen, hoping the appendicitis hadn't been allowed to progress too far before he had surgery, and then Jim's fingers are in his hair, holding and twisting it in his grip, not exactly pushing, but what Jim seems to want isn't anything Leonard isn't willing to do for him. Leonard has no problem pulling Jim's sweatpants down over narrow hips, and Jim seems to have been too eager to get completely dressed earlier as he isn't wearing any underwear. His cock is already hard, and Leonard shuffles forward on his knees to press his own erection against Jim's leg, to let Jim know that he's right there with him.

If they had more time, Leonard would tease, take it slow and explore every square inch of skin with his hands and mouth to see what made Jim squirm and moan the most, but the threat of only having two days is running constantly in the back of his mind. He knows he's being melodramatic, but he feels like this is his last gasp of air before he's trapped underwater.

+

“Where'd you go to school?” Jim asks, the bathrobe he'd worn to accept the room service delivery barely hanging on his frame. It's not even five in the morning, and they're eating fried chicken with biscuits and gravy in bed.

“Ole Miss for undergrad and Tulane for med school. You?”

“Pre-law at VT.”

Leonard tears off a piece of biscuit, dipping it in the gravy before letting it dissolve in his mouth. He has a residual dislike of lawyers from his divorce proceedings, but he sees Jim as an idealist instead of a bloodsucker breaking the bank over peoples' misery. “You looking to serve in JAG?”

Jim shrugs. “If I decide to make a career in the Navy, maybe. I already have a minimum commitment of five years on active duty, but because I did the flight training, it'll probably be more like ten. It'll be a while before law school is even a viable option. I could be in my thirties before I get out.” Jim crinkles his nose mockingly. “That's even older than you are now. And you'll be pushing forty with the house, the picket fence, and the prestigious career.”

It sounds lonely to Leonard, but he doesn't want to kill Jim's playful mood by saying so. “Just don't forget the dog if you're giving me a yard.”

“Mm, yes. Some sort of ugly ass rescue mutt that you probably found eating out of garbage cans in back alleys.”

“Those purebreds are all overbred,” Leonard says agreeably. “I'm not paying to get its hips realigned every time the thing takes a shit.”

“Don't try to kid yourself, Bones; you totally would.”

Leonard lets Jim laugh at him because it means he's going to start kissing him, and when they accidentally spill gravy and chicken grease all over the bedspread, they just grab their clothes and the salvageable food before moving down to Leonard's room.

+

Leonard takes one of his sick days and thinks like he should be feeling put upon when the administrator tells Leonard that he can use his mental health days, if he'd prefer, “Bless your heart,” but then Jim starts sucking on the back of his neck, and he can't bring himself to care about much else.

“Bones,” Jim says against his skin like he's sharing a secret. “I want you to fuck me.” Then again, maybe not so much.

“You're so romantic you'd make Shakespeare weep,” Leonard responds, rolling over to face Jim, and they're lying so close that their noses are touching.

Leonard can feel Jim's smile growing against the side of his face. “Oh, wilt thou leave me so unsatisfied?”

Reaching around Jim's waist, Leonard grabs his ass in both hands, pulling closer so their hardening cocks brush against each other and they have to weave their legs between each other's. Jim presses his chin against Leonard's shoulder, his breath hot and heavy.

“Bones,” Jim gasps, rutting, “gimme your hand.”

He does, and Jim brings it up between them, leaning back a little to be able to look Leonard in the eye as he takes Leonard's middle three fingers, licking and sucking on them before bringing them back down to his ass, and Leonard thinks it has to be one of the hottest things he's ever seen with Jim holding onto Leonard's wrist, fucking himself slowly onto Leonard's fingers.

Leonard groans out something that might be God or Jim or some combination of the two. His fingers brush against Jim's prostate – he can feel it as much as he can hear the hitch in Jim's breathing, see the way his eyelashes flutter. Leonard curls his fingers, grazing it again, and Jim releases his hold on Leonard's wrist to bring his hand up and takes both of their cocks in hand, stroking them in counterpoint to Leonard's fingers in Jim's ass.

It's all too much and yet not enough, their mutual orgasms hitting like another mark in a countdown to when the real world is going to catch up with them. Leonard reminds himself about endorphins when Jim kisses each of his eyelids before capturing his mouth.

+

Jim doesn't even seem like the same person in his service khakis, but that might have something to do with the fact that it's the most clothing Leonard's seen on him since Jim joined him for lunch in the hospital's cafeteria. He keeps fussing in the mirror, adjusting his name tag and rank insignia until he thinks they look even only to start fiddling with it again.

“My hair's too long,” he says, even though Leonard thinks it isn't.

“Isn't that why there're barbers on bases?” Their eyes meet through the mirror. “I could come visit, you know. Meet you in Jacksonville if you get a few days off.”

“I don't think that's a good idea, Bones,” Jim replies, his voice strangely cold.

“DADT's been repealed for a couple years now, you know.”

“It's not that.” Jim averts his gaze, lowering his hands to his sides, clenched into fists. “You...” He pauses, closing his eyes. “You were right before. You're taco salad.”

It feels like a bucket of ice water has been dumped on his head. “Get the hell out of my room,” Leonard practically snarls while staring at his feet. In the back of his mind is playing a soundtrack of all his negative traits in Jocelyn's voice. Leonard looks up to see Jim still standing there, but this time Jim's facing him directly. “Get the fuck out!”

Jim shoulders his duffle bag and leaves in silence; the click of the door's lock setting seems deafening.

Leonard finishes off the minibar and then goes downstairs to resume his drinking until the bartender throws him out on his ass. He thinks maybe it was security that brought him back to his room, but he's not exactly sure.

All he can think about anymore is that he needs to get the hell out of Atlanta as soon as possible, and he doesn't care if he needs to start his residency years over to do that.

Part 2 - Part 3 - Part 4 - Part 5 - Part 6


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