- Text Size +
Story Notes:

Follows the series "Progression."

Author's Chapter 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.”





Chapter End Notes:

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


You must login (register) to review.