Listen by AKO

McCoy has a problem, and Kirk and Spock are helpless as they watch it play out.

Categories: Fiction Characters: McCoy
Crossover Fandom: None
Genres: Kirk/Spock Slash
Other Languages: None
Specific movie: None
Story Type: Angst
Trope (OPTIONAL): None
Universe: Abrams Universe, ST:TOS Original Universe
Warnings: None
Challenges: None
Series: Perennial
Chapters: 8 Completed: Yes Word count: 5816 Read: 79260 Published: 07/13/2013 Updated: 07/15/2013
Story Notes:

Follows the series "Progression."

1. Tenderness by AKO

2. Forlorn by AKO

3. Alone by AKO

4. Support by AKO

5. Wanting by AKO

6. Feel by AKO

7. Again by AKO

8. Love by AKO

Tenderness by AKO
Author's Notes:

McCoy visits the home of Kirk, Spock, and T'Bis, and suffers his memories.

After dinner, Jim and McCoy went into the living room.  McCoy had his glass and bottle of Kentucky sour mash, Jim held a snifter of brandy.


“Sure I can’t help clear the table?  I still remember how to wash dishes.”


Kirk smiled.  “Spock’s night to clean up.  He and T’Bis will have it done in no time.  Have a seat, Bones.”


“Where do I sit?”


“Oh, guests get that big, comfy chair.  We have the couch together.  See, there’s my stack of work, and Spock’s datapadds are on that endtable.”


“Real domestic.”


“We do try.”  Kirk smiled, and settled on his end of the couch.  He propped his feet up on the coffee table, and sipped his brandy.  “How long are you here?”


McCoy set the bottle down, after pouring another couple of fingers in his glass.  “Fleet is still trying to get me on staff to teach Xeno at the medical school.  I’ll probably do a few guest lectures.”


“Why don’t you stay here in San Francisco?”


“Oh, Jim.”  McCoy looked at the liquid in his glass, as he gently swirled it.  His voice dropped to a near-whisper.  “Joanna sometimes dropped by at the clinic.  We’d walk home together, and spend a few hours talking.  Then Jocelyn transferred.  I keep hoping they’ll come back.  If I leave Georgia, the hope is gone.”


Kirk reached over and put his hand on his friend’s arm.


T’Bis skipped in the living room, next to Spock.  He walked over to the couch, and she kept skipping to stand in front of McCoy.  “Uncle Bones, Uncle Bones, do you want ice cream?  Daddy and I have it after Eventide, and Mehk pretends he doesn’t want any, but he eats some too.”


Spock sat on his side of the couch and propped his feet up on the coffee table.  Kirk sat back and interlaced his feet with Spock’s.  They both watched the interaction play out with T’Bis and McCoy.


“Sweetheart, I’d like to finish my drink first, okay?”


“Okay, Uncle Bones.  Do you want to see the puzzle that Pi-ma’at Sarek sent me from Vulcan?”


“I would love to see your puzzle, T’Bis!”


The little girl brought a board from her bedroom and set it on the floor at McCoy’s feet.  It contained a five sided, three-dimensional figure covered in triangles.  “This is called pleenok, Uncle Bones, and it is to teach me logic.”


McCoy took a sip from his glass and caught Kirk’s eye over the rim and wiggled his eyebrows.  “Now that’s just amazin’, T’Bis.  Show me how it works!”


T’Bis began to re-arrange the triangles on the figure.  “I have to keep turning them, and the goal is to eventually make all the sides match.  It isn’t very easy to do, and I must have patience.”


“I’m very impressed, Darlin’.  I don’t think I would have the patience to do something like that.”


“Uncle Bones, we all benefit by learning logic.”


He smiled as he drained his glass.  “I’ll drink to that.”  Turning to Kirk, he said, “Why have the two of you got your feet braided together?”


Spock raised an eyebrow.  “It pleases Jim.”


McCoy stared.


“Uncle Bones, I have this side of the puzzle completed now.”


“T’Bis, Honey, that’s real pretty.  You have much more patience and logic than I’ll ever have.  Come give Uncle Bones a hug good-night.”


“Oh.  We haven’t had ice cream yet.”


“I’m sorry.  It’s been a long day, and my trip just tired me out.  I’m sure Daddy will have ice cream with you, I need to head on to bed.”  McCoy grabbed his bottle and stood up.  “Jim, Spock, I thank you for your hospitality, but I’m gonna say Good Night now.”  He bent down to hug T’Bis.


“We understand.  Everything you need is in the guest room or the attached bath.  And first one up in the morning makes the coffee.”


“Oh, I can manage that.”  He touched his forehead with an index finger in a mock salute, and headed for the guest room he’d been shown earlier.


After closing the door, McCoy placed his empty glass on the desk by the window and sat in the nearby chair.  He sloshed out another few fingers’ of whiskey, then placed the bottle next to the glass.


As I look at the letters that you wrote to me
It's you that I am thinking of
As I read the lines, that to me were so dear
I remember our faded love


The old song played in his head, and he pulled his personal datapadd out of his duffel.  A chip carried in a pocket slipped into the port, and he re-read a love letter written from long ago, before the marriage, before the daughter, before the bitterness, before the fighting, before the divorce.


He had seen tenderness, love, and happiness in the next room.  He had once held the potential for that kind of happiness in his own life, and the love letter was reminder of what could have been.


The “sippin’ whiskey” was harsh as he drank in big gulps until the glass was empty.  He threw the padd on the bed.


I miss you, darling, more and more every day
As Heaven would miss the stars above
With every heartbeat, I still think of you
And remember our faded love


Despite all the professed fondness McCoy had for bourbon, he tasted ashes.  His own love was destroyed, burned bridges between two people who could only hurt each other now.


As I think of the past and all the pleasures we had
As I watched the mating of the dove
It was in the spring time that you said goodbye
I remember our faded love

I miss you, darling, more and more every day
As Heaven would miss the stars above
With every heartbeat, I still think of you
And remember our faded love
And remember our faded love


He held the whiskey bottle between the flattened palms of his two hands, and rolled it back and forth, back and forth.  The day Jocelyn walked out, he could see her holding Joanna’s hand as they dodged the raindrops through the yard, on the way to the aircar.  It was a spring rain, warm and gentle, and McCoy thought the gods were crying with him.  Her words echoed in his head: “I love you, Len.  I always will.  I know you love me, and I know you love Joanna.  But here’s the thing—you love that bottle more.”


He punched in a name to the comm unit sitting on the desktop.  A woman’s voice answered.


“Christine.  It’s Leonard McCoy.  I’m ready to listen about that place you wanted me to go.”





End Notes:

(“Faded Love,” written by Bob Wills, performed by Patsy Cline)


Forlorn by AKO
Author's Notes:

Their friend, Leonard McCoy, begins the long road back to sobriety.

McCoy left a memo cube on the dining table and walked out the front door of Kirk and Spock’s home at 3 AM.   He had spent his whole life avoiding confrontation and didn’t see a reason to change now.  He told himself it was to keep his personal problems from affecting T’Bis, but he knew that was bullshit.


It was foggy, and he gave a misted kiss on the cheek to Christine Chapel when she picked him up at the curb.  He slid in the front seat and pulled his duffel into his lap.  “Thanks, Chris.”


She patted his hand.  “You’re doing the right thing, Leonard.”


“I hope so.”


“When was your last drink?”


“Shortly before I walked out the door”


“We’ll say 2:30 AM, then.  Where’s the bottle.”


“In my duffel, Chris.  But there isn’t even one good swallow left in it.”


She hit the brakes and pulled to the shoulder.  “Pour it out.”


“Aw, Chris, come on.  It’s almost empty, I swear.”


“Pour.  It.  Out.”


Grumbling, he doused the scrubby weeds with the amber liquid.  He shook the bottle for good measure and watched the last drops fall.  “Happy now?”


“I’m happier for you.”


Once the door was closed, Chapel aimed the aircar to the coastal flyway and programmed the dash control for the community Carmel by the Sea.


“I don’t smell coffee, so I guess Bones is still asleep.”


T’Bis came running into the kitchen.  “Daddy, there’s nobody in the guest room, and this was on the table.”  She handed the memo cube to Kirk.  Spock stood behind him with his hands on Kirk’s shoulders while they both listened to the cube.


“It was time for me to go.  Chris is taking me to a place she knows in Carmel.  I’ll get in touch later.”  McCoy’s voice sounded raspy and thick with emotion.


Spock wrapped both arms around Kirk’s waist, and kissed his mate’s neck.  Doctor Christine Chapel was a fellow crewmember from their Enterprise days, and she was an outspoken proponent of substance abuse rehabilitation.  Her own experience with alcoholism following the death of her fiancé, Doctor Roger Corman, made her especially compassionate in dealing with fellow addicts.


“I knew this day was coming.”  Kirk tossed the cube from hand to hand, as he looked at the ceiling.


Spock squeezed his hug a bit tighter.  “We all did.”


After the medical examination and the inspection of his baggage, McCoy was assigned to a room and handed a datapadd.  “The daily schedule is posted on here.  We take all our meals together, and everyone participates in the discussions.  No outside contact the first month.  Some of our residents use the padd to keep a journal, or just write down their thoughts.  It’s not required, but with your ordinary distractions removed, you have a lot of time to just think.  If you have any questions, we’re happy to help.”  McCoy flopped on the bed with the datapadd in hand, and looked forlorn.  “Doctor?”


McCoy looked up at the staffmember.  “Yes?”


“Welcome.  We’re glad you’re here.”


God, he wanted a drink!  He thought about those last drops of whiskey that Chris made him pour out onto the weeds, and wished he could feel their coolness against his tongue right this minute.


And his mind drifted to the last few drops rolling out of a bottle, years ago…


He sat at the kitchen table at his grandmother’s house.  Grandma emptied a bottle into her coffee cup and eased herself into the chair opposite his.  Leonard poked his sandwich crust with his finger, and wished for the thousandth time that his mother would pick him up and take him home.


“Finish your supper, Lenny.”


“I want Mama.”


The woman took a swig from the cup and squinted at the chrono over the door.  “Another three hours yet, Lenny.  She’s in the Emergency Department again tonight.”


“Where’s Daddy?”


“Out runnin’ around, as usual.  Sorriest day of your mama’s life was when she dragged him here and said she loved him.  For all his education, he can’t keep a job and support his family!  Your mama’s a hard-workin’ woman, and deserves better than him!”


“Don’t talk about my daddy like that!”


“Don’t you sass me, young man!”


Leonard ran out of the house, slamming the screen on the front door.  He’d find his daddy, and they’d go home and wait for Mama together.  He didn’t have to listen to Gramma say nasty things about Daddy!


The young boy finally found his father sitting at the bar in one of the small grills next to the main road.  Doctor David McCoy was discussing microbiology with a disinterested bartender.  He walked softly up behind the stool and tugged on his father’s shirt.  “Daddy.”


The bleary-eyed man turned around.  “Lenny?  Where’s your mother?”


“She’s working, Daddy.  I wanna go home.”


“Yeah, she’s working all right.  More like working over that pharmacist…”


The bartender was drying glasses.  “David, take the kid home.”


“Turn up the music, barkeep!  That’s Patsy Cline, singing the truth!”


Your cheatin' heart
Will make you weep
You'll cry and cry
And try to sleep.

But sleep won't come
The whole night through
Your cheatin' heart
Will tell on you.

When tears come down
Like fallin' rain
You'll toss around
And call my name.

You'll walk the floor
The way I do
Your cheatin' heart
Will tell on you.


“Come on, David, this is no place for a kid.  I’ll call a cab.  Go on home now.”


The man stumbled down, and the boy kept him from falling.


It wasn’t the first time this had happened.


End Notes:

(“Your Cheatin’ Heart,” written by Hank Williams, performed by Patsy Cline)

Alone by AKO
Author's Notes:

Kirk and Spock try to explain to T'Bis where Uncle Bones has gone.

McCoy was in the watering hole next to the hospital.  He had stumbled out the side door and gone to the closest place where he could throw back a few quick ones.  Anything to numb the hurt of his battered heart.


She was supposed to be different.  She had watched him suffer through two other breakups, and she promised to care for him where the previous girlfriends had ripped him to pieces.


He allowed himself to think, “Maybe this is ‘The One.’”


He realized the music system was playing a Patsy Cline song, and he put his head down on his arms and cried.


I'm crazy for feeling so lonely
I'm crazy
Crazy for feeling so blue
I knew you'd love me as long as you wanted
And then some day
You'd leave me for somebody new

Why do I let myself worry?
What in the world did I do?

Oh, crazy
For thinking that my love could hold you
I'm crazy for trying
And crazy for crying
And I'm crazy for loving you

Crazy for thinking that my love could hold you
I'm crazy for trying
And crazy for crying
And I'm crazy for loving 


McCoy threw the journal datapadd on the bed and paced his room.  Great!  Now he had an earworm, he’d hear that tinkling piano and throaty voice all day in his head.  And God help him, he could feel the glass in his hand and taste that bourbon.  The pain was as fresh today as it was then, and once again he wondered if he’d always be alone.


Christ!  Even Spock was a married old man now, and with a kid!  When McCoy first met the hobgoblin on the Enterprise, he figured that was the coldest son-of-a-bitch ever created.  Pointy-eared computer with a durasteel rebar up his butt!   He never dreamed that years later, he’d be friends with the guy.


And Spock and Jim had that adorable daughter, T’Bis.  Damn, that kid was cute, and smart, and so friendly, too.  Who’da thought a stuck-up Vulcan could have such a loving, outgoing child?


That T’Bis was almost as pretty as …NO!  No, he was not going to think about Joanna now.  This was his problem, and he wasn’t going to drag the only good thing in his life down here in the ditch with him.  He’d wallow in his own slime, and keep her far, far above him, never to be tainted with his failings.


“Daddy, where did Uncle Bones go?”


“T’Bis, come over here and sit on the couch next to me.”  Kirk put his arm around his daughter and pulled her close.  “Sweetheart, Uncle Bones is…very unhappy.”


“He drinks a lot, too.”


A surprised look passed between Kirk and Spock.  Kirk looked down into his daughter’s big eyes.  “Sometimes, yes he does.”


“When he drinks a lot, he doesn’t want to do anything.”


“No, you’re right.  And that’s a problem.  Life is meant to be lived.  We are all supposed to learn, and grow, and share time with friends and family.”


“Did he go someplace to get better?”


“We hope so, Sweetheart.”


T’Bis looked to Spock.  “That’s logical.”



End Notes:

(“Crazy,” written by Willie Nelson, performed by Patsy Cline)

Support by AKO
Author's Notes:

Memories hurt.

McCoy thought of Jocelyn.  She was so different from anyone he’d ever dated before!  First off, she had nothing whatsoever to do with medicine: Jocelyn was a teacher.  She loved kids, and kids loved her, and she was a bright, shining star when surrounded with her students.  McCoy wanted to capture that brightness in a jar and keep it on his desk.


It was probably no coincidence that when he first met her, he wasn’t drinking at all.  There was no need to pickle himself then.  He worked double shifts at the hospital and had sworn off dating forever.  Eat, sleep, work, that was enough for him.


One of his coworkers had dragged him off to a picnic.  “Come on, Len!  You need to go outside, breathe fresh air, feel the sunshine on your face again!  You’re getting moldy.”  It was the promise of real fried chicken that finally forced him to relent.


He hadn’t even made it to the tables heaped with food, when he saw Jocelyn.  She was sitting under a tree with a straggly group of childlren, enchanting them all with a story.  She acted out the parts, and had the kids following along, moving their arms, jumping up and down, and laughing at all the silly voices she made for each character.


Their eyes caught, and he couldn’t look away.


McCoy was NOT going to fall in love again.  All he got was heartbreak and hangovers.


Jocelyn smiled and told him, “You never can have too many friends.”


He took her fishing.  He walked barefoot on the beach with her, and laughed when she chased the waves to pick up shells.  He carried a pile of shells in the trunk of his car until they stunk so bad, he found it easier to sell the car than get rid of the smell.


Jocelyn was accepted for a teacher exchange program, and she was so excited.  McCoy feigned enthusiasm, all the while telling himself that it was good they take a break from each other.  Because, dammit, he was not falling in love again.


He drove her to the spaceport, and watched until long after the ship was gone.  And he felt the brightness drain out of his life.  She wrote long, newsy letters, full of descriptions that drew vivid pictures in his head.


And he would have a drink or two to help him sleep at night.


Sometimes three.


See the pyramids along the Nile
Watch the sunrise from a tropic isle
Just remember darling all the while
You belong to me

See the market place in old Algier
Send me photographs and souvenirs
Just remember when a dream appears
You belong to me
I'd be so alone without you
Maybe you'd be lonesome too and blue

Fly the ocean in a silver plane
See the jungle when it's wet with rain
Just remember till you're home again
You belong to me

I'd be so alone without you
Maybe you'd be lonesome too and blue

Fly the ocean in a silver plane
See the jungle when it's wet with rain
Just remember till you're home again
You belong to me


He met her at the spaceport when she returned.  He gave her a ring, and she answered his question with a hug so tight it hurt.


It was one of her letters from the trip that he was reading at Jim and Spock’s place.  She was his shining star, so bright, so beautiful, she illuminated his life even with a letter.  He could admit it to himself now that the shining star association is what probably pulled him to service in Starfleet.  He craved that brightness in his life again after Jocelyn was gone, and perhaps he could reach out and touch it in space.


Jocelyn was right about one thing: you never can have too many friends.  Jim and Spock, he couldn’t find two people more precious to him in all the universe.  He knew they were in the shadows behind him with every step he took here in rehab.


And Christine.  Quiet, strong, and probably the most compassionate person to ever draw a breath.  Someone who will pick you up at three in the morning to save your life.


How did a grumpy drunk from Georgia rate such wonderful people as his friends?


That kind of support didn’t come in a bottle.


End Notes:

(“You Belong to Me,” written by King/Price/Stewart, performed by Patsy Cline)


Kleenex and chocolate to all readers.

Wanting by AKO
Author's Notes:

McCoy's life, as sung by Patsy Cline.

McCoy kept going back in his mind to the scene of “domestic bliss” at Jim and Spock’s place.  They were seated at opposite ends of the couch, and intertwined their feet together on top of the coffee table.  Vulcans do not like to be touched.  They can sense the emotions of others through contact, and emotions are to be controlled at all times.  Yet here was Spock, playing footsie with one of the most emotional people McCoy had ever known in his life: James T Kirk.


Okay, Jim and Spock had been bonded for years, and anybody who knew the two of them could tell how much they meant to each other.  And granted, the footsie-playing was being done in their own home.


It was so intimate, it ripped McCoy’s heart out of his chest, and shredded it to molecules.


And Spock had said, so simply, “It pleases Jim.”


How long had it been since someone done such a small, intimate gesture for McCoy, only because it pleased him?


Yep, look at all those shredded pieces of heart, sprinkled all over the floor.


Right after he and Jocelyn were married, there was that intimacy, that sharing, that pleasing of each other.  He wanted to lay the Universe at her feet, and to bask in her brightness.


And that’s what they did.


While I give to you and you give to me
True love, true love
So on and on it will always be
True love, true love

For you and I have a guardian angel
On high with nothing to do
But to give to you and to give to me
Love forever true

But to give to you and to give to me
Love forever true
Love forever true


The early days of their marriage had been so romantic, just remembering them made McCoy blush.  He used to joke that fifteen minutes after saying, “I do,” Jocelyn had become pregnant.  Every second of that pregnancy was a miracle, and McCoy thought he died and landed in heaven when he first held his baby daughter in his arms.  That he and Jocelyn had created this incredible, perfect creature by making love melted him to goo.


When did it go bad?  McCoy knew there was no single moment he could point to and say, “This was the beginning of the end.”  Life inevitably rears its realistic head, and the fairy tale turns to reality.  A doctor works long hours.  A teacher puts in a lot of personal time to prepare for the next day.  They both had jobs requiring them to give-give-give, and when they got home, sometimes it seemed there was simply nothing to give any more.  Both looked to the other for replenishment, and came up wanting.


Jocelyn had Joanna.


McCoy had bourbon.


End Notes:

(“True Love,” written by Cole Porter, performed by Patsy Cline)

Feel by AKO
Author's Notes:

McCoy tries to hide in space.

There was the crying springtime rain when Jocelyn left, taking Joanna with her.  They’d make attempts at reconciliation, but both knew it was over.


McCoy couldn’t admit it then, but he did love the bottle more.  Especially since he crawled to the bottom of it and stayed there.


The first scene was the church, then the altar
Where we claimed each other, with tears of joy we cried
Our friends wished us luck there forever
As we walked from the church, side by side

The next scene was a crowded courtroom
And like strangers we sat side by side
Then I heard the judge make his decision
And no longer were we man and wife

I hate the sight of that courtroom
Where man-made laws push God's laws aside
Then the clerk wrote our story in the record
A church, a courtroom and then goodbye

We walked from that courtroom together
We shook hands and once again we cried
Then it was the end of our story
A church, a courtroom and then goodbye


He barely remembered their day in court.  Although he made a rough joke of it for years, Jocelyn hadn’t cleaned him out.  He willingly signed over everything: the house, the car, all personal property, custody, whatever she asked for, or whatever her attorney asked for.  His lawyer tried to get him to keep something, anything, but McCoy waved him off.  Make a clean break, walk away.  Cut off the dead limb, clear out the infection, cauterize the stump, maybe it would heal.


He couldn’t see for the tears in his eyes when he stumbled outside.


“Len, Len, wait…”  Jocelyn chased him down on the sidewalk.  He just wanted to get away, but she grabbed his arm.




“Joss.  No, please.  I gotta go.  Joss…I’m so sorry.  I hope…no…just…I’m sorry.”


He ran away, back to the room he was renting.  And he stayed drunk for days.


When he sobered up, he enlisted in Starfleet, and told the recruiter he wanted to leave immediately.  He was put on a transport for San Francisco that afternoon.


He functioned through training.  It was mind-numbingly boring, but that was okay.  He desperately needed boring, he needed to have his entire life chopped into pieces and controlled so he didn’t have to think.


He was a medical machine in uniform: wind him up, turn him on, and he could patch pieces together and rebuild broken bodies.  Stick him in a can, launch him into space, and let him practice medicine.  It was perfect.


And don’t think.  Turn off the thinking until after shift, and there’s always a bottle in each port.  Every resident of the galaxy made some type of intoxicant, and they all functioned to erase the memories.


If he could have just stayed an automaton, it would have worked.  The brightness of the stars had attracted him to Starfleet, and the blackness of space helped him hide his pain.  But he had to go and make friends.


Kirk should have stayed a drinking buddy.  The two of them could kill a bottle together or soak a weekend in booze, and it was great.  Kirk was a hotshot, though, and attracted trouble like honey draws bees.  One of the bodies he was always patching up was Kirk’s, and he wanted to strangle the kid when he was in one piece.  Then the kid made Captain and picked up the Enterprise, and insisted McCoy serve as the CMO.


Damn, he didn’t want to care about anybody!


Kirk was fun, and smart and intensely loyal.  He had a first officer that wore pointed ears and a snotty attitude, and McCoy took secret delight in baiting the guy.


Vaudeville forever missed out by not employing Vulcans to play the straight man in all comedy routines.


Every single person posted to the USS Enterprise was a credit to Starfleet.  It humbled McCoy to serve with them.


McCoy discovered he could feel, still.


And dammit, he hurt.


End Notes:

(“A Church, A Courtroom, and Then Goodbye,” written by Miller/Stevenson, performed by Patsy Cline)

Again by AKO
Author's Notes:

Bones is approaching the end of this journey.

McCoy still belonged to Starfleet, but he was on an indefinite leave of absence.  Sort of.  He had helped with the tribunal on New Vulcan when the abuses of Gol had been exposed, and the experience left him drained.  All Enterprise crewmembers had served with valor, not only during the five-year mission, but with the whole V’ger debacle.  Many of them stayed in Starfleet, others had retired.  McCoy elected to “inactive reserves,” and was trying civilian life in Georgia again.


He kept in touch with some people: Jim and Spock, of course, and he heard from Christine Chapel after she received her doctorate degree in Behavioral Medicine.


And he was an honorary uncle to T’Bis.  Oh, that little girl had won his heart!  She had been created from the madness of bioengineering that took place on New Vulcan, but her very existence was a blessing to all around her.  You take the epitome of good qualities from both Jim Kirk and Spock, roll them together in a ball and crown it with curls and stick pointed ears on it, and you’d get T’Bis.


In Georgia, McCoy was able to hang out his shingle as “an old country doctor.”  He worked at a family practice clinic and welcomed the slow pace of ear infections, busted arms, and reminding people to eat right and exercise.  The best part was seeing Joanna regularly.  He lived and worked in the same town where Jocelyn and Joanna had settled after the divorce.  Joanna would often come by the clinic after school and do her homework while McCoy saw patients.  Then they’d walk to his house and spend time talking at the kitchen table.


McCoy found the bourbon bottle didn’t get empty so fast these days.


“Len, it’s Jocelyn.”


He smiled at the comm unit.  “Hello, Darlin’, what can I do for you?”


She sighed.  “I need to tell you something, I want you to hear it from me first.”


“I’m all ears.”  McCoy smiled at himself, because that line made him think of Spock.


“I’m getting married, Len.”


Whoa!  Talk about dropping to the center of the earth.  McCoy didn’t remember the rest of the conversation.  He barely remembered how to breathe.


Sweet dreams of you
Every night I go through
Why can't I forget you and start my life anew
Instead of having sweet dreams about you

You don't love me, it's plain
I should know, I'll never wear your ring
I should hate you the whole night through
Instead of having sweet dreams about you

Sweet dreams of you
Things I know can't come true
Why can't I forget the past, start loving someone new
Instead of having sweet dreams about you


Sure enough, that bottle of bourbon became his very best friend.




It was the beginning of the end.





End Notes:

(“Sweet Dreams,” written by Don Gibson, performed by Patsy Cline)

Love by AKO
Author's Notes:

It's finished!

It was graduation day in Carmel By the Sea.  McCoy knew that all the other people who were completing the program were looking forward to seeing family members in the audience.  He felt like he was the Last Man in the Galaxy.  Oh, Christine Chapel would be there, and he was damned grateful for her support and the absolute kindness of her heart.  His biggest problem in Life, however, had been feeling so absolutely alone in everything.  It was time to pull on his Big Boy Boots now, and admit that he was the only one who could control how he reacted to everything .  He wasn’t sober for anyone else but Leonard H McCoy.


Life is like a mountain railroad
With an engineer that's brave
We must make the run successful
From the cradle to the grave

Watch the curves, the fills, and tunnels
Never falter, never fail
Keep your hand upon the throttle
And your eyes upon the rail


He sat in the front row with the others, and waited for the director to call his name.  When he walked up to the podium to receive his certificate, he saw an arm waving from the audience.  Someone needed to go to the bathroom?


It was T’Bis!  “YAY Uncle Bones!”


McCoy felt tears flood his eyes.  Spock was probably having seven different Vulcan fits over her display of emotion!  Kirk was next to her, a big grin plastered on his face.  And if it wasn’t ol’ Pointy Ears himself, raising one eyebrow and almost showing a smile.


He loved them.


After the ceremony finished, people dispersed.  McCoy made his way to the Kirk family, and Jim grabbed him in a bear hug.  T’Bis strangled his neck with her embrace, and she kissed him on the cheek.  “We’re very proud of you, Uncle Bones.  Daddy said you worked very hard, and I’m glad.  I don’t want you to be unhappy any more.”  Spock not only shook hands, but covered their grip with his left hand.


“Bones, there are some folks in the lobby who want to extend their best wishes to you, as well.”  Kirk led their group through the doors to a large atrium.


Dammit all to Hell!  Uhura, Scotty, Sulu, Chekov, Christine…how they all managed to show up in one place at the same time will be the mystery of the ages.  His hand was just about pumped off his arm, he was hugged and kissed and fussed over.  Each and every person told him how much he meant to them, how his presence in their lives was a valuable thing.


A young girl came running down the hallway and tackled him in an embrace.






Standing off to the side was Jocelyn.  She came up to him and ran her hand down his arm. “Len.  We’re so proud of you.”


If I could see the world
Thru the eyes of a child
What a wonderful world this would be
There'd be no trouble and no strife
Just a big happy life
With a bluebird in every tree

I could see right, no wrong
I could see good, no bad
I could see all the good things
In life I've never had
If I could see the world
Thru the eyes of a child
What a wonderful world this would be

If I could see the world
Thru the eyes of a child
Smiling faces would greet me all the while
Like a lovely work of art
It would warm my weary heart
Just to see thru the eyes of a child

I could see right, no wrong
I could see good, no bad
I could see all the good things
In life I've never had
If I could see the world
Thru the eyes of a child
What a wonderful world this would be


If a shuttlecraft dropped a bag of plasticrete blocks on his head, it couldn’t have hit him harder.  Jocelyn had practically interrupted a honeymoon to bring Joanna here for his “graduation.”  These people had done God-knows-what to come from the four corners of the galaxy to show their support.  Jim, Spock, and even T’Bis had been there for him, always, completely, totally.


Of course, Christine had been telling him for years, “When you’re ready, Len, just let me know.”


McCoy had never been alone, not really.



End Notes:

(“Life’s Railway to Heaven,” written by Snow/Tillman, performed by Patsy Cline)

(“If I Could See the World,” written by Masters/Pope/Satterwhite, performed by Patsy Cline)

OH, this has been such a painful journey to travel!  I am filled with such appreciation to all who made the trip with me.

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