Word count: 11,586
Disclaimer: I do not own Star Trek, Somewhere In Time or their characters. No infringement intended.
AN: Some dialogue may have been taken directly from SIT.
Summary: Under stress from his personal life and career, Leonard McCoy takes an impromptu break in a hotel by the sea. Whilst he is there he discovers a portrait of a handsome young man to whom he finds himself instantly attracted. Whilst researching the history of the portrait, he comes to realize that it is of the same elderly gentleman that had approached him 8 years earlier. This leads to a life changing obsession that will take him somewhere in time.
It took no time at all for Leonard to locate suitable clothing and the currency necessary for his trip back in time. He smiled to himself at the ridiculousness of what it was he was about to embark. He couldn't believe that he was actually going to attempt something that he had only heard of previously in the movies. But he had to try. Something was pulling him; some force stronger than he'd known before. It nagged at him, it urged him on until his every waking moment was willing himself back in the past. With the thoughts freshly in mind, he dressed appropriately and stood before the mirror in order to inspect his suitability and he turned his head to check his hair had been trimmed to the correct style. Satisfied with what he saw, he then began to remove all traces of the present and placed them securely in the closet. He pressed the play button on his tape recorder as he grabbed a handful of change and placed it in his pocket. He cursed when he realized the money was from the present and hastily removed it and dropped it into a dish on the top shelf in the closet. He grabbed the correct money from the dresser and lay down upon the bed. He closed his eyes and muttered along with the tape...
"It is June 27th 1912. You are lying on your bed in the Grand Hotel and it is June 27th 1912..."
He shifted on the bed uneasily and gripped his hat tightly in frustration. "It is June 27th 1912," he continued. "James T. Kirk is in this hotel at this very moment. His manager Francis B. Williams is in this hotel at this very moment..."
Hours later and thoroughly exhausted, Leonard McCoy sat up and almost cried with frustration. "Damn it!" he growled and turned the tape off abruptly. It wasn't working and he was so, so tired. He ran his hands through his sweaty hair and grimaced as he came in contact with the moisture.
"Damn it! Damn it! Damn it!" He took off his jacket and tie and hurled them on the bed, then grabbed his key from the night stand and headed out the door.
It was no surprise that he found himself once again staring at the beautiful face of James Kirk. The blue eyes were sparkling with what Leonard could only identify as love. He felt a pang of jealousy at the thought that that look was directed at someone other than him. "Damn fool," he muttered to himself and moved off to explore the Hall. He peered into the glass cases one by one and actually took an interest this time in their contents. As he reached the final case near the door, he noticed a guest register open in the centre. A thought suddenly occurred to him, and he punched the air excitedly in triumph.
"Pavel! Pavel!" he shouted as he knocked loudly at the door of the old man's cottage. "Come on," he grumbled as he knocked once more. Finally, the door opened to reveal a sleep mussed Russian clad only in plaid pyjamas.
"I'm sorry to wake you, but you are the only one who can help me. The things in the Hall of History display cases. Where did they come from?"
"The attic, Mr McCoy."
"Thank you, Pavel. Again, I'm sorry to wake you." Then McCoy was off once again. Adrenaline rushed through his body as he ran back towards the hotel.
The attic was dark and dirty and his flashlight barely helped him navigate through the gloom. He searched all the shelves and rummaged through box after box before he finally located a stack of old guest registers in a corner. He blew off the dust then checked the dates along the spines and smiled happily as he came across the one for 1912. Very carefully he flicked through the pages until he arrived at the appropriate month. He scanned the page slowly, careful not to miss any detail and there in faded ink was the signature of one James Tiberius Kirk. He swallowed hard as he turned the page then closed his eyes tight in silent prayer. For a moment he held his breath, opened his eyes and began searching for his name on the page...
"Oh my God, I was there. I was actually there."
Leonard's whole body shook with anticipation and excitement as he paced the floor of his room in the hotel. After a few minutes, he stopped and inhaled deeply in the hopes of calming his mind. "OK," he whispered to himself once he'd regained a measure of control. "Let's do this." He tucked in his shirt, straightened his tie and gave his hair a cursory once over. Another brief glance about the room assured him that all traces of the present were safely concealed so he lay down quickly upon the bed. His left hand fumbled to press play on the tape recorder beside him, but he paused when he realized his error. "Of course!" he exclaimed grabbing the machine tightly. "Damn stupid fool!"
Still cursing, he picked it up and leaned over the side of the bed and pushed it as far as he could underneath it. He lay back once again and after taking another deep breath, he closed his eyes tightly and began.
"It's June 27th 1912. You are in room number 416 in The Grand Hotel and it is 9.18 am. It is June 27th 1912. You are in room number 416 in The Grand Hotel and it is 9.18 am..." On and on he recited the words. Over and over and over again. Repeating, repeating, repeating. "It's June 27th 1912. It's June 27th 1912..." The exhaustion was beginning to overwhelm him and his mind could no longer distinguish between reality and dream. "It's June 27th 19...it's June 27th 1912...you are in room 41...it's 9...it's 9 am...It's June 27..."
He awoke slowly. He was uncomfortable and he ached in so many places. Experimentally he cracked open one eye and immediately closed it again as sunlight glared at him through the open drapes. Sounds of chatter and horses filtered in from outside the window and his curiosity piqued encouraging him to try once again. As soon as his eyes became more accustomed, he shifted a little and found himself sprawled awkwardly in a chair. A chair! He sat up suddenly as he became fully aware of his surroundings and a small smile played upon his lips. "I made it!" he gasped. "Oh my God. I made it." He stood too quickly and almost toppled over as his legs refused to cooperate. He grabbed the chair back for support as his exhausted body fought to stay upright. After regaining his equilibrium, he straightened and headed for the door. Still somewhat shakily, he moved through the hotel corridors as calmly as his excited state would allow. He recalled from the register that James Kirk was in room 117 on the first floor. After taking the elevator and turning several corridors, he was quickly upon it. Before his nervousness got the better of him, he rapped lightly.
The figure of a small plump man was revealed as the door opened fractionally. "Yes, monsieur?" he asked.
"Is Mr Kirk here?"
"No, I am afraid he is not." The man made to close the door, but Leonard stopped it with his foot. He'd come too far to simply give up so easily.
"Could you tell me where he is?" his voice contained an edge of desperation that did not go unnoticed by the small man.
"I'm sorry. I've no idea, monsieur." He replied apologetically.
"I'm sorry to have troubled you." Leonard turned and sighed as the door closed quickly behind him. "OK," he said to himself. "He's gotta be here somewhere."
After some time searching, it became clear that James was not in the hotel so he decided his next option was to search the grounds. He recalled Pavel telling him about the hotel theatre by the lake so he set off at a brisk walk.
The theatre was almost as grand as the hotel itself and Leonard wondered what it would have been like to have one of his own plays grace its stage. He admired it appreciatively for a few moments before stepping inside. At the entrance to the foyer there was a billboard and he found himself growing excited as he read the information displayed...
Francis B. Williams
The Famous American Actor
Mr James Tiberius Kirk
Wisdom of the Heart
Friday June 28th 1912 7:30pm
The reality of his situation was suddenly dawning on him. Seeing the name of the man actually in print in front of him gave him an incredible feeling of accomplishment. He could scarcely believe he'd made it. Professor Scott would have been proud. The tinkling of a piano distracted him from his musings so he let the sound be his guide. As he followed the sound he discovered a dress rehearsal was in full swing. He approached the stage, casting furtive glances about him. No one seemed interested in his presence so he took the opportunity to investigate further. It was becoming obvious that James was not in attendance so he made his way towards the back of the stage. It took no time at all to locate Mr Kirk's dressing room. After several soft taps, he was about to give up when it was opened by a gentle old lady.
"Oh, I'm terribly sorry, ma'am. I was looking for Mr Kirk's dressing room."
"And you have found it, young man. Now what business do you have with young James?"
Struck dumb for a moment, Leonard fought desperately for a plausible explanation. "Oh, erm, I'm the new playwright, ma'am. Mr Williams asked me to..."
"Aah, well why didn't you say so. You will most likely find him walking by the lake, my dear."
"Thank you, ma'am. I appreciate your help," said Leonard as he tipped his hat at the lady.
Leonard's breath hitched as he came upon James Kirk strolling along the water's edge. His heart raced and he began to perspire at the realization that he was actually here, just mere feet from the man that had plagued his dreams. Unsure of himself now, Leonard moved to a safe distance behind a tree to conceal his presence. It was suddenly all too real. What if James thought he was crazy? Hell, he thought, what if I am crazy? Self doubt was rearing its ugly head and he suddenly felt overwhelmingly terrified. A hundred scenarios flashed through his mind, none of which ended well. Shaking off his apprehension, he edged out from behind the tree. He stood perfectly still for a few moments and observed the younger man as he walked. He seemed wistful somehow, as though dreaming of a better place. Leonard longed to reach out and embrace him. "Damn it!" Cursing his cowardice, Leonard approached silently, falling into step behind the younger man. It took only a matter of seconds before his presence was acknowledged. James stopped abruptly and turned slowly to face him.
"Is it you?" he asked. "Is it?"
Leonard removed his hat and said simply, "Yes." He stepped closer. "Are you alright? I'm sorry if I startled you."
"No. No it's quite alright."
For a moment time stood still. Leonard could barely breathe as the man moved silently towards him. Beautiful blue eyes as familiar to him now as his own, gazed longingly upon him. Just as he was about to speak, a voice interrupted behind them.
"It's time to go into dinner now. Shall we, Kirk?"
James levelled an annoyed glare upon the newcomer and he turned to Leonard apologetically. "I'm sorry, Mr..."
"McCoy," Leonard offered. "Leonard McCoy."
"I'm sorry, Mr McCoy. I must go." James smiled wanly and fell into step beside the man Leonard recognized as his manager, Francis B. Williams. He appeared to be as unapproachable and unfriendly as his biography had stated.
"May I speak to you please?" Leonard persisted.
"I'm sorry, I can't."
A feeling of dejection engulfed him as he watched James Kirk walk away. Not to be deterred, he followed sedately behind them.
"Who was that young man?" asked Williams.
"I have no idea. I have only just met him?"
"You were conversing, Kirk. Yet, you claim you do not know him."
"No, I do not. Well not really."
James glanced behind him.
"Keep walking, Kirk. I shall be along momentarily." Francis stopped and waited until Leonard approached him. "Are you a guest here, sir?" he asked.
"Yes I am," replied Leonard.
"Then I must ask you to stop annoying Mr Kirk further and if you do not I shall see you put out."
Leonard gaped open mouthed as the brash older man walked briskly to Kirk's side.
"What did you say to him?"
"Oh, what I always say to men of his sort."
Leonard neared the dining hall with some trepidation as his first encounter with James Kirk had not gone quite how he had envisioned. He only hoped that his second attempt would prove to be more fruitful. He stood slightly on his tip toes in an attempt to see over the crowd of people. "May I help you, monsieur?" came a voice from beside him.
"I'm dining with Mr Kirk," he replied with an air of confidence that surprised him. The man acknowledged him with a bow of his head and returned his attention elsewhere.
Leonard walked through the busy room surreptitiously glancing around him. Finally, he sighed in relief when he found Kirk at a table towards the back of the room near the balcony. He appeared to be engrossed in conversation with the elderly lady beside him.
"May I speak to you, Mr Kirk? It is rather important," he asked, ignoring the furious glare from Williams.
Startled by the unexpected visitor, James looked up. Unlike his manager, he had not been aware of the man's approach. "Very well, Mr McCoy. Will the balcony suffice?"
"That will be perfect, thank you." Leonard followed the younger man and made sure to close the doors behind him.
When they were safely outside and away from prying eyes and ears, Leonard spoke. "You have no idea how far I have come to be with you, James."
"You do not even know me, sir," replied James a little surprised at the use of his given name.
"That's just it, I do know you. I know everything about you." With a modicum of caution he regaled every moment of his adventure.
"Do you honestly expect me to believe such a tale, Mr McCoy? It is hardly within the realm of possibility."
"I can assure you, James, it is. Would I be here now if it were not possible?"
James pondered all that he had been told. It was true that many of the things that Leonard had discussed with him, were not as yet common knowledge. "I am prepared to give you the benefit of the doubt, Mr McCoy...
"There he is!" a harsh voice interrupted. Leonard turned to find Francis Williams approaching with what he surmised, was hotel security. "That man is an intruder," he continued. "Please make sure he is escorted from the premises."
James looked on, horrified as McCoy was about to be physically restrained.
"Wait! I shall go with him."
"Kirk! Are you sure you want to do this?"
"Don't worry, Francis. I shall return momentarily."
They walked for some time through the grounds of the hotel discussing anything and everything that came to mind. James quizzed Leonard about his life in the future. Not that he fully believed that that was where Leonard was from of course. It was when Leonard revealed his occupation that James stopped and asked him suspiciously, "Aah, a playwright."
"No! It's not what it looks like. This is not some elaborate scheme to persuade you to perform in one of my plays." He was utterly dejected, so much so that James touched his arm gently and said, "It's OK, Leonard. I believe you. I mean, who is actually crazy enough to invent something like this. I'm sure there are easier ways to ask a guy out." He laughed heartily at Leonard's expression.
"OK. Wow! I mean... so..." Suddenly at a loss for a suitable rejoinder, he opted to change the subject. "So, what exactly is the matter with Williams?"
"He's just looking out for me like he has always done. A man such as you could sully my reputation," he wiggled his eyebrows suggestively and McCoy snorted in embarrassment. "Although," he continued more seriously, "I fear it is his bank balance that is of more concern." He turned towards the balcony doors. "I really must go."
"Wait!" implored McCoy. "When can I see you again?"
"I don't know." Then he was gone.
The following morning McCoy woke feeling stiff and achy, having spent the entire night asleep on a bench on the porch outside the hotel. He retrieved his watch from the pocket on the inside of his jacket and glanced briefly at the time. He was relieved to discover he had a while before he was due to 'officially' check in. Standing, he yawned and stretched and straightened his suit best he could as it would not do to approach 'Jim' dishevelled. He smiled at the pleasant realization that he now thought of James as 'Jim'. He suited it he decided. James was far too formal for a man whose eyes shone with mischief. It frustrated him to think of Williams reining in his true character.
The door opened almost immediately. Leonard took it as a sign that he was eagerly expected.
"Good morning," he beamed.
"Did you sleep alright?" asked Jim as he took in the other man's appearance.
"Not particularly. But then I was sleeping on a porch chair."
"Don't you even have a room?"
"Yes. Well I will have at 9.18. Room 416. Would you like to go to breakfast?" he asked hopefully.
"It's 6am!" Jim replied indignantly. "What I would like to do is go back to bed and get some sleep!"
"Well how about later then. Will you walk with me? Please."
Jim simply yawned, feigning disinterest.
"Say, 'Yes, Leonard. I would love to walk with you and talk with you and get to know you'. Please say yes."
"Yes! Now go." James closed the door, but opened it again briefly. "One o'clock outside the hotel."
Leonard grinned unabashedly at the now closed door. "He's crazy about me!"
After checking into the hotel, Leonard opted to take a light breakfast by the lake to pass some time before meeting Jim. Though he hardly had any appetite he attempted to nibble on a slice of overdone toast. He smiled, ignoring the burnt aftertaste as his thoughts wandered to Jim, causing his stomach to churn in anticipation and excitement. He was about to wash away the taste with a sip of his coffee when a figure sat down beside him.
"Williams," he stated simply without looking up. "Would you care to join me?"
Francis Williams ignored the obvious sarcasm in favour of getting to the point. "Why are you here, McCoy?"
"Eating breakfast. At least I was attempting to."
Leonard's reply irked the other man. "You know quite well what I mean. You will answer me," he demanded.
"What I will do, Mr Williams, is finish my breakfast."
"You are a playwright I believe," again he ignored the younger man. "I am familiar with the American stage, sir, yet I do not recall ever having seen a play penned by your good self. I have to admit that I have never even heard of you."
"Well, I'm pretty new, sir..." Leonard defended.
"Aah, I see. And do you intend to persuade Kirk to perform in one of your plays? I am sure that would be an excellent career move on your part."
"I can assure you, sir, I did not come here to persuade Jim into anything."
"Not even your bed?"
"How dare you..."
"How dare you sir." Williams stood and loomed over him menacingly. "I am warning you, McCoy. Stay away from James or you will regret it."
"Now you wait just a God damn minute. You can't just come here and threaten me..."
"I can do what I please, McCoy. Remember what I said now." Williams tipped his hat at Leonard. "Good day."
"He's following us you know," remarked Leonard as he ushered Jim away from the hotel.
"I know," Jim replied. "Come on." He grabbed Leonard's arm and steered him towards one of the many waiting taxi carriages that were provided for guests. He climbed in and encouraged Leonard to do the same. They chuckled like schoolchildren at Francis' glare behind them.
"He'll be furious," said Jim, still laughing.
Suddenly unsure and reminded of Williams' earlier warning, Leonard asked, "Do you wish to go back, Jim? I don't want to cause you any problems with your uncle."
"Oh no, Leonard. It will do him good to realize that I must have a life without him."
"As long as you're sure."
"Absolutely." Jim smiled longingly at Leonard and his heart skipped a beat. He could feel the warmth of the other man's leg seeping through his trousers. It was such a welcome, but frightening experience. Leonard picked up on his sudden tenseness. "Are you OK, Jim? We don't have to go anywhere if you don't want to."
"No, it's fine, Leonard. I am just a little nervous...and somewhat exhilarated," he added at Leonard's worried expression. "I am also feeling rather the rebel right now."
Leonard laughed. "Come on," he said as he halted the carriage near the lake. "Let's take a walk."
They spent most of the afternoon just walking and talking, simply enjoying each other's company. Jim listened avidly to Leonard's tales of the future. He did not question him however, choosing to believe that the man was everything he claimed to be. By late afternoon, they opted to sit for a while beneath a tree overlooking the lake.
"He's just looking out for me you know," said Jim as the conversation turned to that of his manager and uncle. Leonard snorted, recalling the older man's threats. "I'm sure he is, Jim." Leonard reached forward and tentatively touched Jim's face. "He can't smother you, Jim. You need to breathe. You need to live a little."
"I know. And I know Frank means well. He's just concerned for my career."
"And your virtue."
"Yes. And my virtue," Jim smiled. "You must understand how difficult this is for me. If anyone were to see us together like this, it could ruin my career. After all, it is not befitting a gentleman to be in such intimate company with another. Yet..." he paused." Yet I find myself unable to walk away from you. You are a beguiling creature, Mr McCoy."
"Beguiling?" he laughed. "I can assure you, my dear Jim, that my intentions are entirely honourable."
"Damn!" said Jim mischievously as Leonard laughed heartily.
As the afternoon drew to a close, they took the horse and carriage back to the hotel and sat for a while in the gazebo out front. McCoy glanced about him before leaning forward to kiss Jim, but the younger man pulled away shyly. "What time is it now?" he asked by way of a distraction.
Leonard took his watch from his pocket. "4.30," he replied.
"I must be getting back."
"Can't you stay just a little while longer?"
"No, I am afraid I have to rest a while before the play." Jim leaned forward and took hold of Leonard's watch. He inspected it carefully. "It's lovely. Where did you get it?"
"It was given to me," Leonard replied, gazing into Jim's eyes.
Jim handed the watch back and their hands touched briefly. A spark of something passed between them causing Jim to cough in embarrassment. "Shall we," he said as he cleared his throat.
Leonard reluctantly escorted Jim back to his hotel room in silence. He was loath to end what had been a wonderful afternoon. As they reached the door he asked hesitantly,"So when does the company leave?"
McCoy looked at Jim. It was not at all what he expected. He fought the lump in his throat. "Where are you going?"
Leonard was speechless for a moment, unsure what he could say to prevent Jim from leaving.
Jim broke the tense silence. "Thank you for a most pleasant afternoon, Leonard. I shall treasure our time together." He offered his hand and Leonard gripped it tightly and he stepped closer. "Couldn't we just talk a little longer?" he begged.
"I really should rest a while..."
"Very well then," Jim relented. "Just for a moment or so."
As they entered the room, Jim asked nervously, "What is it you want to talk about?"
Leonard placed his hat on a nearby table without answering and stepped closer to Jim. He took the younger man by the shoulders and pulled him close. Jim swallowed audibly as one of Leonard's hands caressed his cheek. Jim attempted to retreat, but the wall behind him stopped all movement. Another hand joined the first, then Leonard leaned closer for a gentle, tentative kiss. Within moments the kiss became more passionate and Jim circled Leonard's waist with his arms. His breathing was becoming ragged and he was finding it difficult to control his desire. "Oh, Leonard," he gasped as he pulled away for air. After a moment, they embraced tightly once again and as the kiss deepened Jim could feel Leonard's arousal matching his own. It was too much too soon. He did not have time for this. Before he could offer a feeble protest, a sudden knocking on the door startled them both and Jim pushed Leonard away.
"Kirk! Kirk, I know you are in there." Williams' voice insisted.
Jim glanced at Leonard briefly and straightened his jacket. "Come in," he said, attempting to sound normal. Leonard stepped back a pace as Jim's angry manager entered the room.
"Just what do you think you are doing?" Williams demanded as he stormed in. He was furious as he moved closer to James. "McCoy, I think you should leave."
"No. He shall stay."
"Kirk, you have no comprehension of what it is that you are doing. This man is clouding your judgement."
Jim stood tall and defiant. With a strength he did not know he possessed, he confronted his uncle. "Francis, our arrangement is strictly business. You have no right to interfere in such personal matters. I am an actor and you are my manager. That is all. I am not a doormat, do not attempt to wipe your boots on me."
"I think not, dear James. I am more than just your manager and you shall do as you are told. McCoy leave!"
Leonard turned to go, not wanting to intensify the situation further.
"Leonard," called Jim.
McCoy turned desperate eyes upon him.
"I shall leave a ticket for you at the theatre door."
He nodded his thanks and left.
"Now, Kirk. Time to rest," ordered Williams.
Jim offered no protest as his uncle made a move towards the door. As he reached it he turned to look at the younger man. "We shall of course discuss the matter of McCoy later."
Jim's fists balled at his sides as he attempted to rein in his anger. It was no use antagonizing him so he simply said: "Of course, uncle."
Francis smiled. "Good man."
As soon as his uncle left the room, Jim sat himself down heavily upon the bed and sighed in defeat. Would he ever be free of this man? Lord he hoped so. But how? The majority of his life had been spent in the guardianship of the unaffectionate man. Ever since he could remember, he'd been groomed for a life on the stage. You will be a star one day, my boy. Just like your mother and father before you. You are destined for great things, young James. Stardom runs through your veins. You will not disappoint me, do you understand? The sudden recollection made him shudder. "No!" he mumbled to himself. "I am not a child any more, uncle and I shall do as I damn well please." Decision made, Jim retrieved a small case from the closet and began to fill it with the bare necessities he would need for a hasty escape. His heart soared at the possibility of freedom and a life with the handsome stranger. "Tonight, uncle, after the play I shall begin a new life with Leonard and there is not a thing you can do about it!" His defiance shocked him, but the memory of the kiss, the gentle lips upon his own was enough to persuade him he was making the right decision. He removed his clothes and placed them neatly on a chair before lying down. For the first time in a long time he slept with a feeling of peace and contentment.
Jim Kirk hurried off the stage as soon as the curtain fell on the first act. He was restless and unsettled and for the first time in his life he could not wait to be away from the stage. He moved hastily toward his dressing room in an attempt to avoid the hotel photographer who'd been insisting all day that he needed a shot for the hotel collection. Unfortunately, his movements had not been swift enough."Mr Kirk, we really must take that picture," insisted the balding, overweight man. "Over here. Sit down please."
"Very well," replied Jim. "For just a moment. I have to change." He sat reluctantly, clearly uncomfortable with the situation.
"A little smile please," the photographer encouraged. Jim attempted to do so, but his heart was just not in it. He was filled with thoughts of being with Leonard, and he longed for the performance to end.
"Mr Kirk, a smile, please."
Jim glared at the photographer, but as he did so, he caught sight of Leonard beyond him, waiting in the wings. Jim's expression immediately softened, and all the love and desire he felt for the other man shone brightly in his eyes. His smile softened almost shyly as their gazes locked.
"Perfect!" exclaimed the photographer. "That's it. Don't move a muscle," he ordered gleefully; happy that he'd achieved the perfect shot.
Leonard gasped. It was this exact moment that had been captured in the portrait in the Hall of History. All for me, he thought. Jim was smiling at me. His heart sung with joy and love. The moment was broken all too soon though as Jim was led away to change. He gave a fleeting backward glance toward Leonard and then he was gone.
Leonard was enthralled by Jim's flawless performance. The play was nearing its end and although he eagerly anticipated a sweet reunion with the younger man, he didn't want the moment to end. It was a wonder to see such a young man deliver his lines with the ease and grace of a seasoned performer. A sudden tap on his shoulder startled him. He looked up to see a stage-hand holding a folded letter. He took it and opened it warily...
I must speak to you immediately. This is a matter of life and death so do not fail me.
I am waiting in the gazebo behind the theatre.
Leonard's heart hammered in his chest as he neared his destination. He could not possibly conceive of why Williams should wish to speak with him. But for Jim's sake he had no option but to attempt to clear the air between them. As he approached, he became aware that Williams was not alone. Undaunted, he stepped forward, outwardly showing more confidence than he felt inside.
"Have you any idea how long I have been with Mr Kirk?"
"Since March 1903," replied Leonard, unsurprised at Williams brusqueness.
"That is correct. Since March 1903. He was 16 at the time. His parents had just been killed in a sailing accident. Do you think I have looked after him for all these years to simply let you ruin everything for him? He could be a star if you stayed away from him. He could be one of the greatest actors of his generation."
McCoy glared angrily. "He will continue to act, continue to grow, continue what you want him to be, but he will do so with me at his side."
"My God! You really think you own him, don't you?" Leonard was furious and he could no longer stand to be in the company of such a man.
"I'll not let you destroy him!" Williams yelled after him.
Leonard was shaking. Whether it was through fear at what he saw in the older man's eyes or the pure, unbridled rage he felt at the audacity of the man, he was unsure. All he did know, however, was that he needed to return to Jim immediately. Something was not quite right and he was terrified that something was about to happen to his young lover.
Jim unexpectedly left the stage after only one encore. Francis was furious, but Jim paid him no mind. "What do you think you are doing, Kirk? Get back out there and take another bow."
"I will not, Francis. I have no time for this. I am meeting Leonard and you will not stop me."
Williams smirked once Jim was out of earshot. "I think not, dear nephew. I think not."
Jim was frantic. He'd searched the hotel, the grounds, even the entire perimeter of the lake and Leonard was nowhere to be found. He was out of his mind with worry. Unsure of his next move, he opted to return to his room to change into more appropriate attire. He was almost ready to once again set out on his search, when a knock came to the door.
"Leonard!" he sighed in relief, though he vowed to have a terse word or two with the other man. As he opened the door he was disappointed to see that it was Francis on the other side. His relief gave way to anger. "Where is he? What have you done to him?"
"I've done nothing, Kirk. McCoy has left. That's all."
"What do you mean?"
"He's gone. From the hotel, and your life."
"I don't believe you. I love him and he's going to make me very happy."
"What difference can that make now. He's gone."
"I'll find him, Francis. Don't you dare try to stop me. Now if you will excuse me, I must continue to change."
"Of course. May I remind you that we leave within the hour."
Jim nodded at his uncle, although he had no intention of leaving without one last search for Leonard. He returned to the hotel room that he had briefly occupied. There were no signs of Leonard anywhere. Even the borrowed shaving kit had gone. After one final glance, Jim left with a heavy heart.
Leonard groaned as he woke from his enforced slumber. He was bound and gagged and his body ached all over. He managed to roll onto his side and almost vomited at the sudden scent of manure. The stables, he surmised. Gingerly, he edged as far as possible from the awful stench. As he did so, he catalogued his situation. The stable was almost in darkness, but a slither of light from the door enabled him to catch site of a lantern hanging on a hook beside it. He sighed. How on earth am I going to reach that? Thoughts of Jim in a similar, possibly worse situation gave him the energy he needed to free himself. With enormous effort, and several minutes of painful manoeuvring and shuffling, he was able to reach it and dislodge it from the hook. He just about dodged it as it fell to the floor with a smash. He quickly set about retrieving a piece and began sawing through his bonds. He winced and gasped at every slice that cut into his skin as well as the rope. Finally, he was free. He removed the gag and took a moment to catch his breath.
Battered, bloody and exhausted, he set off back toward the hotel.
He rapped frantically upon the door. There was no answer. "Jim?" he yelled. "Jim, are you in there?" He was beyond distraught.
"Mr McCoy, sir?" Leonard turned to see Pavel walking down the corridor. He rushed toward him and grabbed him with bloody hands. Pavel stepped back in shock.
"What happened, sir? I'll get the doctor."
"NO!" Pavel, no I'm fine. Pavel, listen to me. Where is Mr Kirk? The Company?"
"They left, sir. As soon as they were packed. Mr Williams was awfully keen to get on the road again. Said they were due to open in Denver tomorrow night."
Leonard's shoulders sagged and his arms fell to his side dejectedly. He barely acknowledged Pavel's continued attempt at getting him to see the doctor.
"No, thank you, Pavel," he whispered. "I don't want to see anyone. Please," he begged. "Please leave me alone."
The sun was shining. It promised to be a glorious day. It fleetingly crossed Leonard's mind that he should at least attempt to clean up. The hotel guests would soon be going about their day. But he could hardly summon the energy to even think about doing so. He walked and walked and before he knew it he was back at the theatre. He stopped abruptly...
Francis B. Williams
The Famous American Actor
He could read no more. His eyes glistened with unshed tears. "Oh, Jim. What will I do without you?" He ran quickly toward the hotel. He had to leave. He could not take it any more. As he neared the hotel, he fell to his knees. His injuries prevented him from running any further. Exhausted and in pain, he looked up to the beautiful blue sky and prayed he had the energy to continue. He'd travelled so far, he could not even begin to imagine how he could possibly go on without Jim in his life. What would he do in a time in which he did not even belong.
Leonard shook his head in confusion. It could not possibly be...
"LEONARD!" There it was again. His heart pounded. He was fearful that it was just his imagination. He took several deeps breaths in order to gather the courage to look up. His name was called again, only this time it was closer...
"Leonard. Oh, Leonard."
He warily lifted his gaze. There, running toward him, was a man he feared never to see again. "Jim!" In moments they were in each other's arms. Leonard could barely believe it.
Jim stepped back briefly to take in Leonard's haggard appearance. "Oh, Len. What did he do to you? I couldn't find you. I searched...Francis said you left, but I refused to believe it."
Leonard sobbed in relief. "I thought you left me. When Pavel told me the Company had left for Denver, my heart broke. I didn't want to believe it either. I thought Williams may have harmed you."
"He would never hurt me physically. He manages just fine with words alone that he has no need." Jim carefully took hold of Leonard's hand. "Come, let me attend you. You are a frightful sight," he grinned mischievously. "Yet you are the most beautiful creature I have ever seen."
Leonard laughed briefly, but his joy turned into broken sobs. "I thought I'd lost you."
"Never. Now come."
"I can't believe you are here. I thought for sure that Francis had disposed of you, just like he does with any other unwanted intruders in my life, or rather his life I should say. Though it is usually with bribery or blackmail. I cannot believe he would stoop to such..."
"Shush," gentled Leonard, cupping his face. "It's OK, Jim. I'm here."
"I should have known in my heart that you would not willingly leave me." Jim leaned forward shyly and pressed his lips chastely to Leonard's, causing the older man to wince.
"I'm so sorry. I forgot. Come, let me tend your wounds." Jim took a hold of Leonard's hand and led him gently to the bed. As Leonard removed his suit jacket and shirt, Jim retrieved the basin of water from upon the dresser. He was relieved that his rooms had not yet been taken. After the previous twenty four hours, they needed time to reconnect before planning their future.
McCoy sat in silence as Jim cleansed and dressed his cuts and scrapes. The young man's movements were so gentle and tender that he only hissed once or twice as ointment was applied.
"Thank you," he whispered once Jim finished his ministrations.
"You are welcome," he replied shyly.
"Jim," Leonard began, unsure how to proceed."
"May I...may I kiss you?"
"Of course, but what about your injuries. You will start bleeding again."
"I'll be alright. We can take it slow."
"In that case, yes you may."
Leonard's heart skipped a beat as he leaned in close. He could feel Jim's breath on his face. The kiss began chastely, turning more passionate as the seconds ticked by. Leonard's arousal was increasing and he gripped Jim's arms tightly. As his body pressed closer still to the younger man Jim pulled back. "I'm not, I haven't..." He stood abruptly, and stalked over to the window. He sighed deeply.
"Jim, what is it? Did I hurt you?"
"No! No, I'm fine. It's just that I find myself in unusual territory, Leonard. I have led rather a sheltered life and to be in such intimate company with another is somewhat overwhelming."
"It's OK, Jim. We can take it slow." Leonard stood and approached Jim carefully. "We don't even have to do anything if it makes you uncomfortable."
"No, I want to. I just, I have not yet experienced..."
"No one has made love to you before?" Leonard asked, sensing Jim's discomfort.
"No." Jim blushed furiously.
"There is no need to be embarrassed, Jim. I will show you how wonderful it can be. I will love you as you deserve to be loved."
They spent the entire afternoon learning everything possible about the other. Kisses were traded and stories were told. They laughed, they cried, they made love until the sun began to set. It was only the unwelcome rumbling of Leonard's stomach that prevented them continuing into the night.
"We should see about getting you some food. You must be famished."
"I'm only hungry for you, dear James."
"Did that sound as awful as I think it did?" asked Leonard.
"Yes," Jim stated bluntly, while laughter shone in his eyes. "And tomorrow, the first thing I'm going to do, is buy you a new suit. They have a marvellous tailor here..."
"Hey," Grumbled Leonard indignantly. "What's wrong with my suit?" He eased himself from upon the bed and grabbed his jacket from the back of the chair where he'd previously discarded it. He put it on and turned toward Jim. "Look. It's really great. It's in good condition..."
"It's almost ten years out of date!"
Leonard ignored him and continued haughtily. "And it's got pockets everywhere."
Jim chuckled at Leonard's defence of his beloved, if somewhat unfashionable suit. His merriment did not go unnoticed.
"You may mock me, James Kirk, but you haven't yet seen the best part. It's got a special coin compartment for emergencies." He pulled out a coin and held it out to show Jim on the palm of his hand. He looked at in horror as he instantly realised his mistake; it was a coin from the future.
Jim knelt up on the bed. "Len?" he asked worriedly. Leonard reached out toward his young lover.
"Leonard!" shouted Jim as the other man began fading from view. "LEONARD," he screeched. "LEONARD, LEONARD..."
Leonard opened his eyes gingerly; his head was aching and his heart was pounding. He glanced about the room frantically. He was lying upon a bed in what was once Jim's room. A radio played the sports report in the distance and the sound of a motor car filtered in through the window. "No," he whispered. "No, no, no, no, no. I can't be here." He was breathing erratically and he began sweating profusely. Without a second thought, he left the room and headed for his own. It was just as he had left it, with no traces of the present in sight. He moved toward the bed and knelt down to retrieve the cassette player from beneath it. He quickly pressed play and nudged it back under the base. He lay down upon the bed and began reciting the words with which he had become so familiar...
"It's June...June twenty. Damn!" He rubbed his forehead furiously. He'd lost complete track of time. If he was too early, Jim would surely have no recollection of having met him and if he was too late, Jim may already have left. "Damn it!" He could barely remember. "You are in room number 416 in The Grand Hotel. It is June 29th...yes it must be. It's June 29th 1912. You are in room number 416 in The Grand Hotel and it is early evening on June 29th 1912..." Over and over he repeated the words. Over and over. "Please, God. Please." He sobbed uncontrollably as the décor about him remained the same. There was not even the barest hint of his passage through time.
For three long days, Leonard desperately willed himself back to the past. He'd not eaten and only slept when his body collapsed in exhaustion. It was on the fourth day that he sighed in defeat and left the confines of his musty hotel room. He walked the grounds for hours, retracing the steps he'd taken with Jim. He barely acknowledged that life continued to flourish around him. He was almost in a daze when he found himself beside the tree under which he and Jim first met. His head fell in utter despair; he'd never before experienced such heart ache. Deciding he could bare it no longer, he returned to the solitude of his room. When he entered, he moved a chair over to the window and sat down heavily upon it.
"Mr McCoy, sir. Are you in there?" Pavel turned toward his companion. "Are you sure he's in there?"
"Yes, sir. The maid says he's been in there for days."
Pavel knocked on the door once again. After several minutes of not receiving a response, he retrieved the master key from his pocket. As Pavel and his assistant entered, they discovered McCoy sitting in a chair in front of the window.
"Mr McCoy, are you all right, sir?"
As they approached they were shocked at the condition of their guest. "Oh my God. Let's get him on the bed." Together, they managed to lie him down. "Loosen his shirt while I get the doctor."
Doctor Puri arrived swiftly and immediately went to work examining his patient. "Looks like he hasn't eaten anything in a week. You had better call an ambulance."
Pavel looked up in shock. "It's such a shame. He's a fine man. He is going to make it isn't he?"
"I don't know," Puri replied.
Leonard could sense that he was no longer alone. There were voices talking above him, but the words were hushed as though in another room. His body suddenly became weightless and he found himself with the ability to float across the room. He turned his head slightly behind him. He could see Pavel, and the doctor beside him as he tried to revive him.
He should have been frightened, he realised. But as he observed his own body lying lifeless upon the bed, he felt nothing but serenity and calm. It was overwhelming and exhilarating and after days of heartache, despondency and despair, he welcomed the respite it brought him.
His attention was drawn to the window and he smiled at what he saw there. Amidst the light that shone gloriously through stood James, looking as handsome as the first day he had met him. James reached out toward him. "Come with me, dearest Leonard. At last we can be together, my love."
"Oh, Jim," choked Leonard as the young man embraced him.
Even in death, it felt like coming home.
AN: I did not want to warn for character death at the beginning of the fic as I did not want to spoil the essence of the story. To those of you familiar with Somewhere in Time, it would have been wholly expected anyway.