Title: Live Like You’ll Never Die
Fandom: Star Trek: Reboot
Characters: Kirk ♂, McCoy ♂
Rating: T" src="https://penbrydd.groundline.net/wp-content/luxintenebris/rating/PG13.jpg" width="32px" /> (L2 N0 S0 V2 D0)
Warnings: A handful of expletives, a near-death experience.
Notes: So, FritzLindemann asked me for some Reboot Trek fic, in honour of the new film and all. Something with Kirk almost getting killed and Bones shouting about it. I’m… exactly 500 words over what I promised, which is completely unexpected, but I’m content with it, as it is. It’s maybe not the best Trek fic, ever, but that’s what happens when you don’t write in a fandom for three years.
There’s a thing that happens, when you wake up from a head injury, a strange swirly-rolling feeling that crawls across your body, like waves of crabs. And it was in that state that Jim Kirk first became aware of himself again. The background noise made no sense at all, and for a little while, at least, he was convinced the other people around him were speaking Romulan. It was good, then, that he hadn’t decided to open his eyes. He could be asleep a little longer, at least until he got off this boat full of crabs and jello. And that was a thought he was quite certain made no sense, but he couldn’t put together why, or which part of it was wrong.
The air smelled strange, like sweetened Andorian brandy, but on fire, and it crept into his senses, settling on his tongue like scorched caramel and dancing visions of stone dragons and flashes of green light across the inside of his eyelids. What was that? It looked familiar. And that was when he noticed he didn’t know his name. But, that had happened before. He was sure of it.
Who was he? No. Begin with what you know you know. He knew a language called Romulan, but he didn’t speak it well. He was a human; he felt human. He assumed he’d feel Klingon, if he were Klingon, so he trusted it. He was … from Iowa, and liked racing motorbikes. Iowa! That’s a place! Are you in Iowa? No, no. Iowa didn’t smell like this, it smelled like cut grass and grain. When did he leave Iowa?
It came back slowly. The academy, Captain Pike, that weird-ass Vulcan from an alternate universe… He heard a blip from somewhere over his head, as his mind started to reorganise itself, filling in pieces of the last few years, a little at a time. He was on a starship, most likely. He was James T. Kirk, Captain of the USS Enterprise, and there was a damned good chance he was on his starship. This didn’t feel like a hangover, though.
He heard some shuffling, to one side, and then a voice. "Gebm? Gebm, djoogno wayaar?"
That didn’t make any sense, but he was pretty sure it was supposed to. A tired and irritated noise squeaked out of him as he forced his eyes open. A huge blot of white light and blurry geometric shapes greeted him. Give it a minute. You probably smacked your head pretty hard. This he knew. This he’d done enough times before. Hit your head, get a concussion, everything looks funny for a few when you wake up. He’d come off the bike enough times to remember that.
"Whaagd—" That didn’t sound like his voice at all. His tongue still felt thick and slow, but he tried again, more carefully. "What. Did. I. Do." There. That was a good impression of Standard. He was sure he’d sound a little better once he finished waking up and had some water.
An incomprehensible jumble of irritation spouted from the slowly-coagulating pile of polygons to the side of his bed. Wait, that shape looked familiar.
A sourly irritated sound. Yeah, that was Bones.
"Little. Deaf." Not quite true, but close enough, for the moment. He’d get it together in a few minutes. "Water?"
It took him a few seconds to figure out which part of his body was his arm, and then hold out his hand, but Bones slapped his hand away and put a straw in his mouth. Probably a good idea. He wasn’t sure he could manage to hold a glass and move his arm at the same time, yet. Bones knew him so well.
The water helped, rinsing out the sticky taste of whatever that had been. He couldn’t smell it as strongly any more. Sick bay, he finally realised. He was in sick bay, and probably had been for a few hours, if his best (and really, only) friend’s shitty bedside manner had gotten this bad.
"Up?" he asked, and the bed bent, bringing him into a slightly more upright position. Yes, this was sickbay, and that was definitely Bones. Things were still a little glitchy around the edges, sure, but the world was starting to make a lot more sense. A deep breath. Another one, slower.
"Bones? What did I do?" Still slow, but at least it sounded like his voice, this time, and even better, he could tell those were actually words. "Slowly," he clarified. "Small words."
Bones seemed to relax a little, taking a penlight out of his pocket and squinting into Jim’s eyes with it. "Keep talking for me, Jim. You know who I am. Do you know who you are?"
"James T. Kirk, Captain of the Enterprise, man with a splitting headache." He hadn’t realised that last bit, until Bones started shining that light in his eye.
"Good. Do you know where you are?" Bones kept making notes.
"Sick bay. This is my ship."
"No, right now, it’s Spock’s ship. You’re on medical leave."
"Bullshit. I’ll be up in another hour. It’s not that bad. Give me something for this headache?" Jim groaned and squinted. "What the hell did I hit my head on?"
"Up in another hour? The hell you are!" Bones smacked the tricorder down on the table beside the bed and picked up a hypospray. "You’ve been unconscious for two days! What did you hit your head on? What did you hit your head on? According to Spock, YOU HEADBUTTED A KLINGON WARRIOR AND NEARLY GOT SLICED IN HALF BY THE TRANSPORTER BEAM. This is not appropriate behaviour for a captain, Jim! You can’t keep taking your first officer on away missions that nearly get you both killed! One of you is supposed to survive to captain this ship, and as much as I don’t want it to be that green-blooded hobgoblin, I want it to be me even less!"
Jim started to laugh and then stopped, with a groan as the pounding in his head got worse. "I headbutted a Klingon warrior? Did anyone take pictures? I don’t remember going on shore leave. How drunk did I g— OWW!"
Bones jabbed him with the hypospray. "It’s for the headache," the doctor grumbled. "You weren’t drunk. You didn’t get drunk. You didn’t get a drink at all, and you sure as hell weren’t on shore leave—"
"Well, at least I remembered that!" Jim tried to sit up from the bed. Tried.
"No, you didn’t! You don’t remember anything!" Bones protested.
"I didn’t remember being on shore leave, and I wasn’t!" Jim grinned. At least, he was pretty sure that was a grin.
Another hypospray cured him of the potential grin.
"Ow! Hey, wait. Did you say ‘sliced in half’? You can’t get sliced in half by a transporter. It’s either got a lock or it doesn’t." He was pretty sure of that.
"The beam was interrupted with a bat’leth, and so were you," came the dry reply.
"See? Nothing to do with the transporter. I almost got sliced in half with a bat’leth. Totally other thing." A pause. A lengthy pause. "Wait. Why was I on the wrong end of a bat’leth in the first place?"
"Dammit, Jim!" Bones cut himself off, gripping his temples. Finally, he spoke again. "Read Spock’s report. That pointy-eared hobgoblin has all the details.
"But, you’re the captain of a starship! You can’t be stepping in front of every bat’leth between you and whatever the hell it is you’re trying to do! Do you know how long you spent in the buffer, while Chekov and Scotty fiddled with the phase discriminator, trying to get that thing out of you?"
"It came back with me?" Jim tried to jump out of bed, but failed, sliding to the floor in a heap. "Can I have it? I want to hang it on my wall."
"I’ve got half a mind to leave you down there." After a few tense seconds and grumpy looks, Bones gave in, and hauled Jim back onto the bed. "I don’t know if it came out of the buffer. I don’t know if it’s still in the buffer, Jim, it was almost melded into your body! I’m still trying to make sure they put all your internal organs back in the right places! You can ask Scotty, as soon as you can walk down to Engineering and ask him, and I forbid you to try to get anyone to carry you down there! You need to be in bed!"
"I’m in bed! I’m in bed…" Jim trailed off into a yawn. "Why am I so tired?"
"Probably because you haven’t eaten in two days." Bones picked up his tricorder. "Call me when you wake up. I won’t have you talking the nurses into killing you with chilli fries."
Chilli fries… It was the last thought through Jim’s head as he drifted off, and Bones returned to monitoring his autonomic functions.