Sky (skyblue_reverie) wrote,

Trek Fic: To Give a Hand to Each (Pike/McCoy, R)

Title: To Give a Hand to Each (Part 36 of To Talk of Many Things)
Authors: mga1999 and skyblue_reverie
Fandom & Pairing: Star Trek Reboot (aka AOS, ST XI, etc.), Pike/McCoy
Rating: R-ish
Spoilers: None
Warnings: References to/discussion of attempted rape
Word Count: Around 7800
Summary: The correspondence and personal journals of Christopher Pike and Leonard McCoy. Plus some Jim.
A/N: From mga1999: THIS IS ALL HER FAULT. SHE DID THIS. NOT ME THIS TIME. From skyblue_reverie: ...Yeah, okay. Guilty as charged.

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To: Christopher Pike (
From: Leonard McCoy (
Date Sent: Tuesday 2260.197

Dear Chris,

Everything out here is all right. At least it is now. I don't know if you'll get this comm before word of what happened reaches you, but I at least wanted to try.

There was a transporter malfunction of some kind. An away team was exploring one of the uninhabited chunks of rock in the neutral zone -- Spock's idea, naturally. Jim went down with the landing party -- against my advice, I might add -- and one of the dumbasses from security fell into a pit and got some kind of strange ore-dust on him. When he beamed back up, Scotty could see something was wrong and got him into decontamination. Thank god for that, or it might've been worse.

But the goddamn dust had already fucked up the transporter, apparently, and when Jim beamed back it split him into two. We didn't know it at first, but pretty soon there were reports all over the ship that Jim was acting erratically. Meanwhile, the transporter was all screwed up and the rest of the away team were stuck on the planet with a massive oncoming ice storm, so we couldn't even send shuttles to get them.

Jim showed up in sickbay and asked me -- politely! -- if he could see me in my office. That was my first clue that something was wrong. Then when we got into my office, he started crying. Not just crying but weeping -- full body sobs. He said that he was so sorry that he'd caused trouble between me and you and that he loves and needs us both. Then he started talking about how he wanted to make things right with his mother, and would I help him write a comm to her, apologizing for being a terrible son. By this time, needless to say, I was completely frantic, trying to figure out what the hell was wrong with him.

Then a second Jim showed up, walked right in and sneered at the crying Jim. He started berating him, saying that he was worthless and a coward and a weakling and that he'd never do anything right, that he was a fraud who didn't deserve his command. Shit, it was goddamn painful to watch. The other half -- the non-abusive half -- just shrunk up into a little ball on the floor in the corner of my office, pulled his knees to his chest and put his head down, like he was expecting to be hit at any moment and couldn't do anything more than make himself as small of a target as possible. I knew he'd had a rough childhood, but that's a classic reaction to physical abuse. God damn it.

Then the aggressive Jim started saying that the other Jim's attachment to me was a weakness, that he'd be better off without me. That he was just going to airlock me and be done with it. I have to admit, I got chills. I really believe he would have done it. Anyway, that finally spurred the other Jim into action and they started fighting. Knock-down, drag-out vicious fight the likes of which I've never seen before, and I've seen some doozies. I thought they were going to kill each other. I was trying to get in there with a hypo but there was no way to do it - they were moving too fast. So I called security, who got them pulled apart and tossed them in separate cells in the brig.

Scotty and his team, meanwhile, had pulled some kind of mystical mumbo-jumbo with the transporter so that it could re-integrate the halves. But neither Jim would consent. They each hated the other half and each one said he'd rather die than have to rejoin the other.

I tried to talk with them -- separately, of course. I tried to convince each of them that he was a necessary part of the whole, but fuck, Chris -- they wouldn't listen to me. One Jim only wept in my arms and begged me not to make him do it, and the other one tried to lunge at my throat when I went into the cell. When I tried talking to him from outside the forcefield, he just sneered at me and wouldn't say a word.

Finally it was Spock who talked him -- them -- whatever -- into it. He talked to each of them privately. I don't know what he said or did, but he got their consent. Grudging, but consent all the same. By this time the away team was suffering from severe hypothermia, caught in the storm, about to die. Neither Jim would do anything about it -- one because he didn't know what to do and was afraid to make a wrong decision, since if the transporter was still fucked up it could kill them all, and the other one because he said they'd stood by while he was marooned alone on Delta Vega, and if he could survive that, then they could damn well survive this. Good god, Chris, he was so bitter. I felt like shit, because I stood by too. I knew he was upset about it, but I didn't know it was still weighing on him so heavily.

Anyway, Scotty got Jim reintegrated just in the nick of time and he made the decision to try beaming up the away team. Thank god, they were all okay. I had to rush them off to sickbay for emergency treatment for hypothermia, but they're all doing well now and won't suffer any long-term effects.

I don't know what's going to happen with me and Jim. After I was done treating the away team, Jim came to me and told me that he knows we need to talk about what happened, but that he's not ready yet. He asked me not to push him, said he'd come to me when he'd "processed" it, whatever that means. But against my better judgment, I said that I would honor his wishes. He did let me sedate him, though, and he's in his quarters, sleeping. He should be out for at least eight hours.

It gave me a lot of insight into what makes him tick, Chris. How much he's fighting against himself, every day, trying to reconcile the different parts of himself. How much he relies on me for stability, and how much he resents that. I don't know what to do about it, though. I hate that our friendship is hurting him, but I know he needs it too.

The other thing that happened when he was split -- God, Chris, I don't even know how to say this. Before he came to attack me in sickbay, he tried to rape his yeoman. She managed to fight him off, thank god, and gave him a giant gash on the face when she hit him with a broken mug. But he's wracked with guilt about it, and as much as she knows intellectually why it happened, she's traumatized as hell. For now, Spock has reassigned yeomen so that Rand doesn't have to interact with Jim directly. But she's already put in a request for a transfer as soon as we're back home, and I don't blame her. I tried to talk to her about it, but she didn't want to deal with me, since I'm his best friend. I don't blame her there, either. She did talk to Christine, and hopefully that'll help some.

Fuck, Chris, this was the last thing we needed at the beginning of what's going to be a stressful tour anyway. I'm sure we'll manage, because we always do, but goddamn it, I wish this hadn't happened.

And in the midst of all this shit, I'm goddamn jealous of Spock. That he could convince Jim when I couldn't. And that Jim doesn't seem to hold a grudge against him for marooning him on Delta Vega, only against the rest of us for not interfering to stop it. What kind of a person does that make me, that I'm even thinking about that, given all that's happened and how badly everyone involved was hurt?

Anyway, that's what's been going on. I love you, Chris, and I think about you every damned minute. Stay safe out there.


Personal Journal of Leonard H. McCoy
Tuesday 2260.197

Well, that was a shitty way to start our tour of the neutral zone. What almost makes it worse is that there's no one to blame, no one Jim or I or anyone else can focus our anger on. At least it's over, and hopefully we'll be able to put it behind us. And the collateral damage is fairly limited. Yeoman Rand got the worst of it, and I'm goddamn sorry for what she went through. Other than her, the two Jims spent most of their time with me, only having passing interactions with the rest of the crew, so there's that at any rate. I've got Jim sedated right now, sleeping in his quarters.

The way the story's being passed around the ship, Jim was split into his "good" half and his "bad" half. But it's not that simple. Strong and weak is closer, but that isn't quite right either. I don't know how the hell to describe it, but it was two different halves of his personality, and he needs both. The two halves balance and even somehow enhance each other. I guess what I'm getting at is that he's more than the sum of his parts.

The long-term effects of this on him, though... I just don't know. I'm sure he's going to go through worse crap than this during his career. But for this to happen when he's just gotten his command and isn't all that confident yet, despite his cocky facade... it sure as hell isn't ideal, to say the least.

Then there's how it's going to affect our relationship. I'm not sure if he feels more ashamed of the clingy way one half behaved or the murderous way his other half behaved. And... there's more to what happened than I told Chris. When the first Jim was talking to me, one of the things he said is that he wished to god he was gay so that he could be with me and make me stay with him. He said he'd experimented with guys at the Academy, hoping that he'd get to like it so that we could be together. Just about broke my goddamn heart.

Then when the other Jim came in, he said maybe he ought to just bend me over my own desk and fuck me, see what had Pike trailing after me like I was a bitch in heat. Then he said, "Nah, I think I'll just airlock you and be done with it." But it was really that first threat that set Jim off. The other Jim, I mean. God damn, this entire situation is so unbelievably fucked up. So anyway, then they started fighting and I honestly thought they were going to tear each other to pieces.

And that, more than anything, is why Jim doesn't want to talk to me about what happened. Hell, I've got no idea what to say either. I can't believe I'm going to say this, but in a way it makes me understand where Elliott was coming from. Not that she was right to dump that all on Jim -- she absolutely wasn't. But good lord, Jim's view of me is more fucked-up than I thought it was. Part of him needs me and is paralyzed by the thought of me leaving, and the other half resents and hates that fact -- maybe even resents and hates me a little. The second part of that worries me, and it really shouldn't surprise me, but it does, and it hurts. And god help me, but his dependence on me -- well, I have to admit I like that. I probably even encourage it. Me and my goddamn need to be needed. Shit, I don't know what to do about all of this.

I'm half-worried that if I tell Chris this part of it, he'd tell me that this just confirmed his belief that Jim was unfit for command and that I ought to use my authority as CMO to relieve him of duty. Even aside from that, I don't know if I should tell him the rest of my conversation with Jim -- for one thing, it's incredibly private and personal for Jim and I don't want to betray him that way. Plus, of course, it wouldn't help with Chris's jealousy over Jim. Damn it. I just don't know. Both of the people that I'd normally turn to for advice are obviously not an option in this situation. And as much as I respect Christine and Nyota and value them as friends and colleagues, there's no way in hell I'm going to share something like that about Jim -- their captain -- with either of them.

Guess I'll just have to muddle through on my own. But for now, enough bitching. It's time for bed. I just hope I can sleep.

Personal Journal of Leonard H. McCoy
Wednesday 2260.198

Just finished knocking some sense into Jim with Spock's help, of all people. Apparently when Jim woke up this morning he went straight to Spock and told him that he was removing himself from command and that Spock was acting captain, effective immediately. Spock tried to convince him that "that course of action was illogical" but Jim wouldn't listen. So eventually he at least convinced Jim to hold off on making it official until he'd had a little more time to think about it. Then Spock came straight to me. According to him. Actually I suspect he went to Nyota and she told him he was going to have to deal with me. The look on his face when he asked me for help -- it was like he'd sucked a lemon.

We strategized a bit, and we came up with a pretty clever plan, if I do say so myself. We used reverse psychology. Pretty primitive tactic, but it worked like a charm. We called Jim into my office in sickbay, said we both had to talk to him. Then I told Jim that I supported his decision to step down, that it was obvious he was in no shape to command, and that maybe he should be confined to quarters until we could get back to the nearest starbase. I said of course we shouldn't continue with our mission in the neutral zone. I'll never forget the way his face hardened and his eyes sparked when I said that. Anyway Spock and I staged a fight -- well, that part wasn't hard, I can't stand the arrogant bastard -- and the more I insisted that Jim wasn't in any shape mentally to command, the madder he got. Finally he snapped and told me off, said that he was perfectly capable of command and that of course we weren't going to abandon our mission, the Federation needed us, etc. etc.

He gave me such a pissed-off look before he stomped out of my office. If looks could kill, I'd be a smoldering hole in the floor. Then about half an hour later, he stomped back into my office, all wounded indignation, and said "That whole thing was a setup, wasn't it?" I admitted it was, and for a moment I thought he was going to deck me. Then he threw his head back and laughed. That was good to hear. I know we need to talk, and I know this is going to stay with him, but at that point, I knew he was going to be okay. I can't even describe how relieved I am.

To: Leonard McCoy (
From: Christopher Pike (
Date sent: Friday 2260.200

Dear Len,

I got your comm this morning. I've been at a loss for what to say all day. I still am. I haven't been able to access the official report yet. I'm assuming it's just delayed getting to me like everything else. These communication arrays seem to be doing their job, and it looks like three days from where we are to you.

All I can say is that I'm sorry, Len. I know there is nothing I can do or even say. If I was there right now, I'd just pull you into my arms and listen because I can only begin to imagine the hell you went through. I will say this, though, I have been through some strange experiences myself during my tenure. I've done things under the influence of alien control that I'm not proud of. The only thing I can say to you, and to Jim, is that you have to remember who you are. You have to know that it wouldn't have happened if you were yourselves. It's not an excuse, it's a fact. A hard fact to swallow, but nevertheless the truth.

Jim is going to be going through hell for awhile. I think it took me a good six weeks the first time something like that happened to me before I felt any semblance of normal. To everyone else, I seemed fine. You just have to give him time, Len. And reassure him you still love him despite what happened.

As far as your jealousy of Spock. I get that it probably doesn't feel good that Spock was able to talk 'the Jims' into reintegrating. But you have to remember, you're so close to Jim that it makes sense that Spock was able to reason with them instead of you. Considering the situation, you'd probably be the last person to be able to get them to agree. The Jim that was crying in your office was probably convinced you were better off without him and he should just be allowed to die so he wasn't a burden to you anymore. Spock, of all people, knowing their rocky beginnings and the trust they are still forming -- It makes perfect sense that someone who's not emotionally invested to be able to reason with both of them. It had nothing to do with you. Spock certainly doesn't mean anything close to what you mean to Jim. You know that.

Still, I understand the feelings. Feelings are completely irrational, by their nature. Usually the more I would try to understand them -- I'd end up feeling even worse because I couldn't. Just don't let it stand in the way of making sure Jim is okay. You might need to ply Jim with more bourbon, or, hell, just hypo his ass and get him to talk to you. I don't know how your talk with him about the session with Elliott went, or if that even happened.

Fuck, Len. Jim didn't need this to happen right now. Of course, you didn't either. I'm so sorry. What can I do? If I could real time comm with Jim, I would. What I'll do instead is send him a few files of reports and my logs from when things like this happened to me. Maybe it will help. He might not want to read it right now, but hopefully at some point he will. One thing I want to caution you on greatly, though, is that if he's anything like me, he's not going to be at all rational. Since I don't even know how soon you commed me after -- God, it's only been a week since I left. I was wondering why I hadn't heard from you. Not a good way to start your tour in the neutral zone. Fuck. What was he thinking going down there after you told him not to? I thought he had gotten better about that? Fuck.

I'm sorry. I'm not angry at Jim. I'm just feeling helpless and frustrated and wondering why Jim can't seem to catch a break lately. I think what bothered me the most about what you said is when he wanted to contact Winona. That sent chills up my spine. That and how he cowered in the corner. I know you know more than I do about his childhood, but I do know a few things. I picked up a lot when I was doing my research and interviews of the Kirk family, including Winona, for my dissertation. Probably a lot more than they thought they'd revealed. From what I know about him and Winona -- Well, what he said about being a terrible son? Fuck, Len. It comes from the fact that she never believed him and I'm pretty sure she told him that, flat out. He acted out in response -- of course he did. Having said that, and maybe I've said too much, but I'm more worried now than ever about Jim with this happening. Just take care of him. I know you will, but trust me when I say you might need to ignore pretty much anything he's telling you about needing time. Time to beat himself up about it alone is not what he needs. Believe me.

I'm going to send those files to Jim right now along with a brief note. I don't want to say much, as I don't think hearing from me will be helpful right now. And please, Len. Stop blaming yourself for Delta Vega. I think if you think about it rationally, you know Jim doesn't blame you either. While him being apart like that does show you a lot of things about him, it's not him, Len. It wasn't real or rational or necessarily true. Because we both know that Jim would never rape anyone. He would never intentionally harm anyone. He'd rather harm himself first. And God help me, that's what I'm worried about the most right now, if he can't get his mind past all this.

I'm sure you realize most of this. I'm sure you're keeping an eye on him. Please, Len, just take care of him even if he may not want you there. Maybe my reasons are somewhat selfish, but I know if you lost him -- Well, I know I'd lose you too.

I love you. More than anything. Please let me know if there is anything at all I can do. I want to help. I love Jim. My heart is just broken for him right now, and for you.

Take care of yourself, honey. You'll both be in my constant thoughts and write me as soon as you can with updates.



To: James Kirk (
From: Christopher Pike (
Date sent: Friday 2260.200

Dear Jim,

I know nothing I can say right now will make anything that just happened any better. But I'm attaching some files -- Reports from when things happened to me. Times I did things I would never do if I was myself. I just want you to know that I understand, and that nothing you did or happened is your fault. Those two people were not you.

I know it will take time for you to believe that, make some semblance of peace with it. But you will. I promise. In the meantime, let Len help you. He's worried and scared to death about you right now, and frankly so I am.

I love you, Jim. You're important to me. I know I haven't done a very good job of showing that as of late, but it doesn't change the fact that I do.

If you want to discuss anything in my reports, or talk more about this, feel free to write me. I want to help.



Personal Journal of Leonard H. McCoy
Saturday 2260.201

Well, Jim and I finally talked. I had to run him down and corner him -- for the most prominent person on the ship, he certainly can be elusive when he wants. I finally found him inside a Jeffries tube in engineering, puttering with something and making Scotty crazy. I dragged him off to my quarters (more booze there) and told him we had to talk. He got flippant and said "Bones, nothing good ever starts with those words." Then he tried to tell me he had a senior staff meeting and had to go. I reminded him that I'm part of the goddamn senior staff and if there was a meeting I sure as hell would know about it. He kind of deflated at that. He's really not on top of his game if that lame excuse was the best he could come up with.

He said he needed fortification for this, so we had a couple rounds without talking. Then he motioned for me to go ahead and I said, "All right. I listened to the recording of the session, so let's talk about the bullshit that charlatan so-called-doctor laid on you." He blinked at that. Definitely wasn't expecting it. Score one for me.

I asked him if he wanted to pursue a complaint against Elliott and he said no, he'd rather just forget the whole thing. She deserves to have her license revoked but if Jim doesn't want to go through that process, I'm not going to push him. Then I asked if there was anything he wanted to talk about related to the session with Elliott, and he said "Nope!" No surprise there. I said "Wanna try again? How about the things she said about your parents?"

She'd told him that he had "parental abandonment issues." Thank you, Doctor Obvious. She said that since his father went out in a blaze of glory, it was apparent that he was trying to do the same thing, and that he was only going to drag me down with him. Then she said that he obviously needed parental attention and guidance, and that it wasn't fair of Jim to look to me or Chris for that. So then, then she suggested he try to "reconcile" with Winona.

I reminded him of this -- I mean, obviously he remembered but he wasn't going to bring it up unless I made him talk about it. I told him again that she had no right to say what she did, that she didn't know him at all, as a person or a patient, and was totally unqualified to offer those opinions.

He got quiet and said "Well, she kind of has a point about the whole 'blaze of glory' thing." What could I say to that? So I told him that his future isn't predestined, and if he just took some basic precautions with his safety, stopped throwing himself into harm's way, he'd be much less likely to end up a dead hero at a young age. He said he'd think about it. That's about the best I was going to get out of him on that.

I asked him about his mom, whether what Elliott said had triggered the thing about comming her when he'd been split. I told him that no matter what, he wasn't a terrible son. He started shifting around uncomfortably and said, "Bones, I don't wanna talk about that right now. Some other time." I told him okay, but that I'd hold him to the promise of talking about it some other time. Besides, we had bigger fish to fry - we needed to talk about what had happened with the split, and we both knew that was going to be a goddamned awkward conversation.

Then I said, "So," and with that one word, his whole body tensed up. Then I leered as obnoxiously as I could (and that's pretty damn obnoxious, having watched Jim do it for years) and said "Wanna fuck, find out what it's like?" He obviously wasn't expecting that and he blinked at me a couple of times before he burst into laughter. I added that if he really wanted to, I could arrange a threesome with him and me and Chris. He wrinkled up his whole face at that and said "Ew! Ew! No! Gross!" Lord, it's easy to push his buttons.

Anyway, that broke the tension. He asked me if I'd told Chris what happened. I said that I'd told him some of the stuff, but not any of the sexual parts of what had happened between us. I said I didn't know whether I should tell him that stuff or not. Jim didn't say anything but he looked so freaked out that I told him I wouldn't tell Chris. The more I think about it, the more I think it's the right decision. There's just no good that could possibly come from telling Chris about that, and it would be such a huge invasion of Jim's privacy. Anyway Jim thanked me profusely.

Then he said that he hoped I knew that he wasn't pining for me or anything. I waved it off and told him that I was so damn hot, it was only natural that he'd wondered what it'd be like. And I told him that he didn't have to change a damn thing about himself to get me to stick around, certainly not his sexual orientation -- not that such a thing is possible -- and that I'd be pissed if I ever found out that he'd tried to do that again. I told him that I liked him just fine, and he made a great best friend as an immature loudmouth tomcat but that we'd never have worked out as anything more anyway. Not that I hadn't ever thought about it, before I met Chris, and I admitted that to him. He asked whether I had ever fantasized about his "hot bod" during the Academy, and I rolled my eyes and told him to get over himself. It was a tacit admission, though, and he damn well knew it. He grinned. I think it made him feel better that he wasn't the only one who'd at least thought about it. Also made him feel better to know that despite whatever curiosity, lust, whatever you want to call it, that's between us, it's never going to go anywhere, and so it's safe to have those feelings. I don't know if that makes sense, but that's the best way I can explain it.

Then I asked him about what had happened with Rand, how he was dealing with that. He said, "How do you think I'm dealing with it? I'm dealing the best I can. I feel like shit." I asked him if he'd gotten a comm from Chris with the reports of things he'd done while he wasn't himself, and he said he had, and that it had helped a little. I reminded him that he would never have acted on his impulse if he wasn't split, that he himself never had any intent to hurt Rand. But he said that a crime isn't measured by someone's intent but by the consequences. So then I reminded him that Chris had given Nero the codes to earth's protection grid. If Jim hadn't intervened, that would've meant the destruction of the entire planet, something far worse than Jim had ever contemplated even in the blackest depths of his soul, and according to Jim's logic Chris would have been guilty of genocide, billions of people dead. Jim got indignant and said that that wasn't Chris's fault, that he'd never have done that if he was in control of himself, and I told him what was sauce for the goose was sauce for the gander. He shut up and glared at me. At least I think I gave him something to think about.

That was the toughest part of the conversation out of the way, so both of us felt a little lighter. He apologized for threatening to kill me, and I told him there had been plenty of times when I'd have cheerfully tossed him out an airlock, as he damn well knew, if I hadn't had any brakes on my impulses. And then as for the clinginess, I could see he didn't want to bring it up, so I told him that I need him as much as he needs me and that I like the way our friendship is, and if that means I'm a little fucked-up in the head, then so be it. He said "We'll both be fucked-up together then, huh?" and I said hell, yeah.

There was one more thing that was bugging me, so I asked him how in god's name Spock had gotten the two halves to agree to reintegrate. He groaned and told me that Spock had logicked him into it. He'd told the "mean" Jim that if they stayed separate, he'd be going to a penal colony for the rest of his life, and that was a fate worse than death. When that failed to convince him, he told him that the "nice" Jim wouldn't be imprisoned, so from then on, the public face of Jim was going to be the indecisive, weak, clingy Jim, and that's who everyone would think of as "James Kirk," and he wouldn't be able to do a damn thing about it.

Then he went to the "nice" Jim and told him that if they stayed separated the "mean" Jim would of course be tried for his crimes, but that there was no guarantee that he'd be convicted, and if he wasn't, or if he ever got out of prison, then he'd be after me, trying to kill me, and he'd be relentless. He pointed out that "nice" Jim was in no condition to be able to effectively keep me safe, from "mean" Jim or from any other threat out there in the galaxy.

He also told both Jims that they'd lose the Enterprise, which is obviously true. I think that was the final straw for both of them, and so they agreed to the reintegration.

Gotta admit, that bastard is clever. He hit both Jims right where they live. I wouldn't have given him that much credit for understanding and being able to manipulate human emotions, but I think he's way more familiar with emotions than he'll ever admit to, repressed asshole that he is.

Anyway, after that the topic turned to more mundane things, and we chatted for a bit just to make sure we were both okay. We are, and I think we'll be able to put this behind us now. Jim's going to be just fine. He's a resilient son of a bitch.

To: Christopher Pike (
From: James Kirk (
Date sent: Saturday 2260.201

Dear Chris,

Thank you for the files. I haven't read all of them yet, but I will. I'm doing okay now. Bones and I talked last night. We actually sat up most of the night talking and I fell asleep on his couch. It was like old times at the academy. I feel a lot better this morning, other than a lingering headache. Don't tell him that. Not about the headache, I already told him that, I mean that he made me feel better. He's already bad enough now that he snagged you. He doesn't need more of an inflated ego. That's supposed to be me.

The only thing... Well, I just can't get the look on Yeoman Rand's face out of my mind. Or the sound of her screaming. I was happy not to sleep last night, because the nights before, I woke up hearing her screams. I know in one of your files you had actually tortured and killed someone... I don't mean to bring up bad memories for you, but how do you get over something like that? I know what they taught us in command school. I can recite verbatim Starfleet's edict on matters like this. It just doesn't... It doesn't help.

The stuff with Bones is easier. Maybe it shouldn't be, but he doesn't blame me for anything. Part of me still thinks he should. I, or them, said some terrible things to him. But we've aired it all out. We had breakfast in his quarters and he was back grumbling at me about the amount of bacon I eat. Does he do that to you? Shit, Chris, he drives me crazy sometimes.

Worst part of all of this. If I had listened to him in the first place and not gone on the away mission, this never would have happened. I know if Bones had his way, I wouldn't go on any exploratory away missions. I get it, I do. But there has to be a happy medium. I thought we'd found it before, but now it seems murky again. I wish I'd listened to him this time.

Hope your mission is going well. I need to get to the bridge. Beta shift today. I never thought I'd wish for a nice uneventful day, but I really need it right now. Bones too.

Take care, and thanks.


To: Christopher Pike (
From: Leonard McCoy (
Date sent: Saturday 2260.201

Dear Chris,

Well, Jim and I talked. I won't go into too much detail, but I think we're okay. And he'll be okay. Maybe not right away, but eventually. There's a few things we didn't discuss - his mother, Delta Vega - but the conversation was heavy enough as it was. Those things can wait for a bit.

Meanwhile, the rest of the crew -- except Rand -- is pretty much back to normal. They don't know all of what happened, and they don't need to know.

Rand's still shaken up, of course. I asked Christine whether she thought she should be taken off duty for a while, but Christine said no, it was better for her to have something to do, and I respect Christine's judgment on that.

I don't know what else to say about all that. Honestly, I think I'd rather just put it behind me.

What else can I say? Well, the Neutral Zone has been quiet so far, which is a good thing. I think even Jim's relieved that we haven't seen any action -- we've had more than enough shit going on as it is.

How's everything with you? How's Sato getting her rocks off, if no one wants to deal with her crap anymore? Just tell me something to distract me, here.

Tell me something happy. Right now I'm a morose bastard who can only think about how shitty things have been here and how much I miss you and wish you were here to lean on. God, I miss your smell, and your arms, and your laugh. Your voice in general. You've got a goddamn sexy voice, have I ever told you that?

All right, I'm going to end this before I get embarrassingly maudlin, if I haven't already. Take care of yourself out there. I miss you, darlin'.


To: Leonard McCoy (
From: Christopher Pike (
Date Sent: Tuesday 2260.204

Dear Len,

I was relieved to hear from you and Jim. I still cannot pull up the report on Starfleet databases, but I suppose that's par for the course with me out here. I'm sure it took a few days for Jim to write it too. I'm glad he's doing okay, and I was more than relieved to see your ring return to green the last couple of days. Thank God for that, because seeing the other colors when I don't know what's going on isn't exactly fun.

Nothing going on so far with our mission. Just tons of open space. Nothing inhabitable. Haven't even come across a ship or even signals from any. I know it won't last, but I have to say it's been nice. I'm trying to get the new crew members acclimated, and the twenty they sprung on me at the last minute -- Fuck, Len, they're babies. Rushed through the academy because we're still short ships and crew. I think these graduated a year early, but unlike Jim and others who have done so, they aren't anywhere near ready.

Can I make a suggestion about Yeoman Rand? See if she can transfer to the Defiant. Suggest it be temporary. I think the Defiant is only in the Neutral Zone another thirty days. After the thirty days before the Defiant moves on, she can decide if she wants to make it permanent or go back to the Enterprise. I think if she has some time away, it will be good for not only her, but Jim too. I was going to suggest this to Jim, but I think it might be better if you have Christine bring it up to Yeoman Rand. If I'm out of place with this, I'm sorry. I'm just trying to use my experience with things like this to help.

As far as Sato -- I honestly don't know what she's doing. I don't think I want to know. All I care about right now is that she's doing her job. Which she does, very well. I don't think I told you this, because we didn't exactly talk about 'work' much while we were on shore leave, but they seem to have decided that the Exeter is a training ship as well as being expected to carry out our exploratory mission. I have six fourth-year command track candidates on board. Starfleet feels they will get more experience while the complete their studies 'in the field.' Don't even get me started on how I feel about this 'fast-tracking,' as they call it. Part of me knows it's needed, but the other part -- Well, it's just a mistake. They Admiralty complains loudly about Jim being young and inexperienced, but they have two Constellation-class and ten Miranda-class ships readying to launch in the next six months. So they need officers to fill them. That will continue for the next four years until the fleet is back at full strength. Honestly though, I really don't consider it full strength when you have inexperienced kids flying the ships. Not everyone is a Pavel Chekov or a Jim Kirk.

Well, I certainly got off on a tangent there. Guess I'm a little frustrated. Over half my meetings and comms while we were on shore leave were regarding these issues. Thankfully, they listen on some issues. They're concentrating on recruiting from the private sectors next year, especially in the medical and science fields. We're scraping the bottom of the barrel with what's left in Starfleet. You know that from how few well-trained personnel you have. Philip goes on and on about how he'd be better off not having anyone sometimes -- That's how bad some of them are.

I miss you, Len. I think about you all the time too. I've been watching our vids, just to hear your voice and see you. I don't know if anything in here was particularly happy. Oh, I can tell you that Grandma won the tango competition. Beat out people half her age. I'm starting to get comms from both her and my mother about starting to plan the wedding. I honestly don't even know where to start with that, Len. I don't want them to get carried away, and we've both done this before. I don't have the heart to tell them I just want something small, so I'm going to see how it goes, I guess. Remind me I allowed this later when they've invited half the planet. God help us.

Love you, honey. I'll write again soon.


To: James Kirk (
From: Christopher Pike (
Date sent: Tuesday 2260.204

Dear Jim,

I'm glad to hear you're doing better. Take your time reading the files; I know it's not easy. I read through a few of them myself when I was looking them up to send you. A lot of them, I haven't seen since they happened.

It does get better. Really. I'm sorry to say that it gets easier the more times things like that happen. And you're right, nothing they can teach you in class can prepare you for it. Jim, you didn't even get the benefit of serving on a ship to see things happen for a few years before you got your command. So give yourself a break, son. You're doing exceptionally well, all things considered. You've had a hell of year so far, with -- Well, with Dr. Elliott and other things.

I got a comm from Len and he said you two talked. I'm glad. Just keep talking to him. As for Yeoman Rand, I would like to tell you how you get over it, but truthfully, you don't. Everything that happens always stays with you in part. If it didn't bother you a month, a year, or ten years later -- Well, I like to believe it reminds us of our humanity and how easily we fail sometimes, even if it isn't under our control. And it wasn't "Jim" who did that, that's the most important thing you have to remember. Some things are just not under our control, and we're kidding ourselves if we think they are. You aren't those two separate people, Jim. You're so much more than that. And I'm proud, more than proud to have played a part in making you the incredible man you've become.

As far as finding a happy medium with away missions. You know that if Bones had his way, he'd keep you on the ship every time. Well, maybe not that bad, but pretty close. If I can suggest something -- just for awhile, stay on board. I'm not saying forever, I'm not saying stay after everything has been checked out by the first away team -- Just give him some time. He went through hell this year thinking he was losing you, Jim. Keeping you on board is as much for him right now as it is for you. He understands why you need to go, and I'm sure he'll come around. If he doesn't, just spend every away mission when you aren't part of with him in medical or keep him up on the bridge with you and -- Well, just be you. That should have him pushing you onto the transporter pad before you know it.

Write anytime you need to. I'm glad I can help.


On to next part
Tags: fic: trek, pairing: pike/mccoy, series: to talk of many things
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