akainagi: (trek - k/b - broken)
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Title: Submit, Fight, Fail, Fall (or why you can't fight the blood that's in you)
Author: [livejournal.com profile] akainagi
Rating/Warnings/Spoilers: NC-17 / Spoilers for XI
Fandom/Pairing/Prompt: Star Trek AOS AU, Kirk/McCoy
Disclaimer: Alas, I do not own Star Trek.
Summary: Spawned by Word Wars over at [livejournal.com profile] jim_and_bones. Jim Kirk is an omega with a chip on his shoulder. He's convinced all alphas are assholes. Then he meets one that isn't.
Author's Note: This fic features the alpha/beta/omega trope. For a background on this trope check out the fanlore wiki HERE.




[CHAPTER 11]


McCoy, L.H. to Kirk, J.T.: Hey, asshole, where are you?

Leonard shot off the message with a mix of irritation and foreboding. Jim was not the type to miss classes. Despite his assumed happy, horny idiot persona, the man was serious about his academic future.

Leonard’s dismay might also have something to do with the fact that he now had to sit through Piloting 101 relatively alone. Jim’s occasional grounding chatter usually helped distract Leonard from his neuroses and from his general irritation with the class at large. The class’ fresh-faced majority looked at him as an amusingly ancient anachronism, despite the fact that he was less than a decade older than most of them. He managed to white-knuckle it trough the sim with a minimum of personal embarrassment. Thank god it had been one of the tamer ones.

Leonard’s schedule that day left him little time to investigate the mystery beyond a few irate texts between classes. Why was he so worried? Jim was an adult. It’s not like the kid couldn’t take care of himself. He had patched him up after enough bar-fights to know that Jim could hold his own.

And therein lay the trouble. Jim Kirk was a magnet for trouble, even when he didn’t go out actively looking for it. And Leonard couldn’t get Jim’s unsettled countenance from yesterday out of his mind. That split-second look of wide-eyed panic when Leonard had done nothing but reach over the table.

That was how he found himself outside Jim’s dorm room after his last class ended - a mind-numbingly dull lab section filled with shit he had learned years ago. He stood with his hand poised over the comm button, a voice in his head telling him that he was simply being paranoid and overbearing. Annoyingly, the voice sounded a lot like his ex-wife.

He firmly squelched his inner critic and jabbed the door chime. And waited. Pressed it again for good measure. Then he finally got fed up and held the damn thing down until a groggy, sleep-hoarse voice issued forth from the panel:

“Fuck off,” was the succinct greeting.

Leonard didn’t like the listless tone. “Not happenin’, kid.”

“Bones?”

“Who else would come looking for your sorry ass?”

“Don’t need looking after,” was the petulant reply.

“I’ll be the judge of that. Now let me in before I medical override the damned door.”

Leonard waited a few more moments. He was seriously tempted to make good on his threat when the door finally opened.

Leonard made his way through the study area and into the bedroom proper. He could make out Jim’s figure in the dimmed light, sitting on the side of his bed. The set of his shoulders spoke of exhaustion, even though it was pretty apparent that the man had been sleeping when Leonard arrived.

“Rough night, kid?” Leonard approached cautiously, trying to get a better read on Jim’s mood.

Jim appeared to be shivering, despite the sweats he was currently wearing and the fact that the ambient temperature was just short of sweltering. “I’m fine,” was the only reply the younger man offered.

“Fine, he says,” Leonard muttered under his breath. “Lights 60 percent,” he barked, caught somewhere between concern and outright frustration. He was in no mood to play games. Leonard had spent his whole day steeped in concern for someone who clearly didn’t want his help surrounding a matter that really shouldn’t be any of Leonard’s concern.

Except, when he took in Jim’s pallor and drawn features, he had to admit that he was very much concerned.

Leonard quickly fished into his case for his medical tricorder, noticing that Jim actually winced when it was pointed at him.

“Leave it alone, Bones,” Jim said in a measured tone that did not bode well.

Leonard ignored him, focusing instead on the flood of incoming data. Vitals were on the depressed end of normal. Brain activity was skewed on the high end of normal, presumably to compensate for the endocrine system, which was in complete riot.

Leonard snapped the tricorder shut decisively. “You and I have a date with medical, Jim. Your readings are all over the place.”

“I’m not going anywhere,” Jim replied in more of that carefully measured tone of voice.

Leonard picked up a pair of sneakers from the floor and tossed them onto the bed. “I don’t have time for this shit. You’re going to medical under your own power or I’m calling emergency services to drag you there.”

Jim’s expression turned abjectly mutinous, his voice finally breaking from its flat monotone and rising in anger. “I don’t need your help,” he ground out.

“What the fuck?” Leonard growled. “So I’m good enough to patch you up after you get your ass kicked in a bar, but not good enough for whatever the hell is wrong with you now?”

“Because I fucking know what’s wrong and there’s nothing anyone can do about it!” Jim shouted, then seemed to wince at the volume of his own voice.

“What do you mean, you know what’s wrong?” What was he saying? A feeling of dread settled itself in the pit of Leonard’s stomach.

It must have shown on his face. Jim shook his head slightly, meeting Leonard’s gaze evenly, the anger draining out of him in favor of exhaustion. “It happens. I’ll be fine by tomorrow.”

“It happens?” Leonard asked incredulously. “Jim, readings like that just don’t happen.” Leonard resisted the urge to reopen his tricorder and revisit the issue.

“They do for me,” Jim sighed. “Look, Bones, I’m not going to medical for this. So either accept it or activate the EMS on your way out.” Jim’s Jaw was set and his voice held a definite note of finality.

Leonard’s forehead drew together in a scowl, as he seriously considered the second option. Jim’s readings weren’t critical, but they sure as hell weren’t normal for anyone. But Leonard also knew that following through on his bluff could damage their friendship beyond repair, not to mention making Jim dig his heels in even further from sheer contrariness. Fuck. So this was why Leonard had spent so long avoiding interpersonal relationships. The shitstorm of trouble they invariably brought with them.

Leonard sat down heavily on the adjoining bunk. “Be reasonable here, Jim. I can’t just leave you here like this. I’m a doctor, goddamnit. I’m also your friend.”

Jim’s sighed tiredly. “I know, Bones. And I wouldn’t tell you that it’s nothing if it wasn’t. This happens every time.”

Every what? Leonard took in Jim’s wan appearance anew. Every month? Leonard asked him as much.

Jim’s face twisted into a grimace. The noise he made was halfway between a grunt and an affirmation.

“You go through this with every heat?”

The grimace turned into a frown. “Get a little more fucking personal, why don’t you, Bones?”

Leonard rolled his eyes, and leveled Jim with his patented grow the fuck up expression. “Don’t be such an infant,” he told his friend.

Jim’s expression darkened again. “I feel like shit, you bust in to here point a tricorder at me, give me a ration of crap, threaten me and call me names. You’ve done your doctorly duty, now kindly fuck off and let me sleep.” With movements that were far less smooth than his usual fluid form, Jim swung himself back into bed, facing pointedly away from Leonard, and drew the covers up over his ears. The sneakers Leonard had tossed on the bed went rolling back onto the floor, unheeded.

Leonard considered pushing further, even after this last dose of Jim Kirk melodrama. And decided on the seldom-traveled middle road. He rose from the edge of the other bunk. “I’ll be here before classes tomorrow to check you out. If your readings aren’t a whole hell of a lot better, you’re keeping that date with medical.

The only answer Leonard got for his trouble was a noncommittal noise and the disappearance of the top of Jim’s head under the covers.

Leonard let himself out, reopening his tricorder once he was out in the hallway. Hormone levels in a riot, low-level disruption in some of Jim’s autonomic functions, depressed vitals. The pattern of dysfunction triggered something in the back of his mind; knowledge acquired years ago, seen in theory but not in practice.

Leonard made his way from Jim’s dorm towards medical, his brain still turning over the problem. He had colleagues to consult.

-----


Leonard McCoy had never been particularly well-versed in the art of leaving well enough alone. His ex-wife had referred to the tendency as pig-headedness. Leonard preferred to think of it as being thorough. The fact that it was Jim’s health in question made it personal on a level where there might have otherwise been a measure of detachment.

Doctor Falman, for her part, looked at the readings on the tricorder with the look of a scientist who had just stumbled upon a singularly fascinating case study. Which was pretty much the case. As a fellow specializing in the study of the three human subspecies, she was the most likely person to weigh in on the information stored in Leonard’s tricorder. While her field of expertise was particularly in how the three groups related and thrived in the relative isolation of deep-space missions, Leonard was still confident that she would be of some help.

He just hadn’t counted on how enlightening the visit would be. The other Doctor was practically drooling over the data, and was not shy in expressing her desire to include it in her personal research. Leonard had several times, shell-shocked with revelations, declined rather pointedly. Leonard left Falman’s office feeling numb. By the time he found himself in front of Jim’s dorm for the second time that day, the numbness had been replaced with a sense of righteous anger and a growing sense of dread over the words that were very definitely about to be exchanged.

He hoped Jim was feeling better. Because it might impinge on Leonard’s ethics to kill an ill man.

[MORE TO COME]
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