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Title: Helpless
Author: thallissa
Pairing(s): Kirk/McCoy
Rating: PG
Word count: 664
Warning(s): None
Summary: For Trek H/C Prompt Table  # 31.  Helpless

Nurse Chapel dislodged the iron grip the captain had on the biobed and guided him to a nearby chair.

"He'll be OK, sir," she began as she pushed him gently down. "Head wounds tend to look far worse than they actually are."

Rationally Jim knew this, but he just glared hard over her shoulder at the medical team as they continued to treat his lover.

He leaned back briefly and rubbed at his eyes vigorously in an attempt to erase the painful image of Bones taking a bullet that was meant for him. He'd never felt so helpless as he did in that one brief moment when Bones had pushed him out of the way. The old fashioned projectile had grazed the doctor's temple, and he'd cried out and hit the ground - hard. There was so much blood and he'd lain lifeless for what seemed an interminable amount of time before Jim came to his senses and demanded a beam out.

"Jim?" the familiar voice croaked, startling Jim out of his stupor. He leaped up and was beside him in an instant. He glanced at Nurse Chapel and she indicated to the medical staff to move away to give them some privacy. Bones lifted a shaky hand and Jim grabbed it tightly and brought it to his chest.

"I'm OK, Jim. Got a thick skull."

The captain ignored the doctor's attempt at levity and took several deep breaths in order to compose himself before speaking softly. "Don't you ever, ever do that again, Bones."

"I'm sorry, Jim. I'll promise you anything, you know I will. But I can't promise you that."

Jim looked at his lover harshly for a second, then nodded in quiet understanding. He couldn't ask of Bones something that he himself was not willing to give. For if the situation were reversed he knew he would have done the exact same thing.

"Fair enough. But you are never setting foot off this ship again."

"Whatever, kid." Bones grinned at the likelihood of that ever happening then winced as pain shot through his head. "Yeah, I think I'll leave the hero stuff to you from now on."

"Good man." The captain leaned down and their lips met in a gentle caress. Out of the corner of his eye he became aware of another presence and a gentle cough confirmed his suspicion.

"I think that's my cue to leave." Nurse Chapel smiled an apology and he returned it with a wink before leaning in for one last kiss. "Get some rest, Bones. I'll be back later." He moved aside to allow the nurse to perform her duty but felt himself reluctant to leave. It had been too close a call and for once Jim could completely understand exactly how Bones felt when his captain had been injured on a mission. He thought of the numerous occassions that the brilliant physician had brought him back from the brink, and he felt an ache in his chest at the thought of the void the man would leave if he were no longer in his life.

"Jim," McCoy prompted. "JIM!" he repeated finally gaining the captain's attention. "I'm still here, so stop dwelling on what could have been and git before my head nurse throws you out."

Christine snickered at the horrified look upon the captain's face.

"OK. I'm going, I'm going." He raised his arms in mock surrender. "You'll comm me if anything changes?"

"Of course, sir. And if the doctor behaves himself he may well be discharged by this evening." The look she gave the CMO was eerily familiar and Jim chose that moment to finally leave. He waved over his shoulder as he exited the sickbay feeling decidedly lighter than he had been for some time.

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