velvetfiction: (chocolate&magic)
[personal profile] velvetfiction
Title: What Everyone Thinks
Author: [personal profile] velvetmouse
Recipient: [ profile] mistokath13
Fandoms: Highlander/Star Trek XI
Fandom 1 Characters: Methos
Fandom 2 Characters: McCoy, Kirk, most of the rest of the crew of the Enterprise
Pairings: none primarily. Background past Jocelyn/McCoy
Rating: PG-13 for language
Word Count: ~2700
Spoilers: Anything involving Methos in Highlander: The Series, all off the new Star Trek movie.
Warnings: AU
Disclaimer: None of these are mine. Just playing with them, I'll put them back when I'm done.
Summary: Jocelyn left him, yes. But that didn't even come close to the real reason Dr. Leonard McCoy joined Starfleet.
Notes: Written for the Fall 2010 [ profile] xover_exchange. Many thanks to my beta, E, for hand-holding, cheer-leading and typo-catching.


Everyone thinks he joined Starfleet because his wife left him and took everything, leaving him nothing but his bones. They aren't wrong, but that doesn't even come close to the real reason he joined Starfleet.


The bar is dark and smoky, not from tobacco smoke as it might have been in centuries past, but from the SynthaSmoke that hung in the air. For ambiance, the owner said. McCoy just grumbled about all the damage breathing in those chemicals might do. Which, of course, did not stop him from frequenting the place. Fake smoke aside, it was everything he looked for in a bar - dark corners to hide in, an incurious bartender who remembered your drink and didn't ask questions, and background music played at a level such that you could actually hear yourself think. When you wanted to think, anyway.

However, as McCoy stares down into the amber dregs of his drink, he tries very hard not to think about the shambles his life has become in the past forty-eight hours.

"That probably won't help, you know," a familiar voice says over his shoulder.

McCoy turns his scowl from the drink to the speaker. "What do you know about it, Evan?" he grumbles.

The speaker, a man of indeterminate age and remarkable only for his sheer normalcy, merely holds the doctor's gaze steadily.

"Right," McCoy concedes. "I guess you might know something about it, after all."

The other man - Evan - sighs, signals the bartender for two more drinks, and leads McCoy over to one of the small booths that line the wall.

"Talk," he orders.

"She left. Just walked out, went to stay at her sister's place. Left a note saying that her lawyers would be in touch."

"Alright, so she's a bitch. You pretty much knew this was coming, yes? She hasn't exactly been subtle about it."

"Yeah," McCoy agrees sullenly.

"So what the hell - oh crap. Jo?"

He nods miserably. "She took Jo. My little girl. Swore I wouldn't see her again until she was grown."

"Oh damn, Len. I'm so sorry." Evan reaches across the table and places his hands on McCoy's. "I'll help any way I can."

McCoy smiles slightly and angrily dashes the moisture away from his eyes. "I don't think even you can help me out of this one. You know who her lawyers are. She'll make up some shit about me, and Plimpton will bat his baby-blues at the judge and I won't see my daughter again for another fifteen years. I've already quit the practice so that she won't have the satisfaction of getting me fired."

"So what are you going to do now?"

McCoy shrugs and downs the remainder of his drink in one go. "I've got a standing offer from Barrens to take over his R&D lab at the University, but - "

"But that would put you on the same campus as Jocelyn, day in and day out."


Evan sighs in commiseration, but then looks at his friend shrewdly. "I - might - have another possibility for you," he says slowly.

"Oh?" McCoy's eyes narrow. "Oh no. Oh hell no. Dammit, man," he hisses, "you can't ask that of me. Not now."

"But I can and I am, Leonard. We need you. The work you did for us on the physiological changes the body goes through after the Quickening has revolutionized our understanding of what they - of what I - go through. You yourself proposed the next step - to track someone from pre-Immortal state, through their first death, and beyond. I'm offering you that chance."

McCoy says nothing but almost involuntarily glances down at his left wrist. Although he was not marked with visible ink, the way he might have been centuries ago, he thinks he can almost make out the UV-reactive brand that shows anyone who needs to know that he is part of the Watchers.

He glares at his companion again and drops his voice into a harsh whisper. "God dammit, you might be ten thousand fucking years old, but that doesn't give you the right to - to - " He gesticulates wildly, unable to find the right words.

Evan bears the onslaught with the same placid look he always wears. "I'm not making you do anything, Len. It was your own curiosity that wouldn't leave well enough alone when you stumbled over me five years ago. Don't you want to see your work through to the next stage? And it's fifty-two hundred years old," he corrects fastidiously.

"Dammit, Methos," McCoy growls, and Methos - Dr. Evan Adams in this particular lifetime - knows he has won. He learned very early that McCoy has two defining personality traits (well, two aside from being a grumpy bastard): a nearly insatiable curiosity about how humanoid bodies function, and a driving need to see things through to the bitter end.

He ruthlessly exploits both of those traits now. "So here's what I propose," he begins, ignoring McCoy's attempts to bang his head against the table. "The candidate we've got in mind is named Jim Kirk. We've got someone in place to try to nudge him into Starfleet, which means we need to get you out of here and into an Iowa corn field. . ."


Everyone thinks he rails at Jim every time the captain does stupid shit because he's afraid his best friend (or lover, depending on who you ask) will get himself killed. He is - but it's not Jim's death he's afraid of. It's what comes after.


It is a rant of truly epic proportions. Even the Alpha shift staff of Sickbay, who are largely used to their CMO's grumblings, stop and stare in amazement (or possibly appreciation - out of the corner of his eye, McCoy thinks he sees Chapel taking notes).

He knows he shouldn't go off on the captain like this, that Jim is just doing what he has to to protect his crew. But after Jim's third brush with death in the last two weeks, McCoy's heart seems to have taken up permanent residence in his throat, and he can directly attribute two more grey hairs to Jim Kirk (bringing the total count up to thirty-seven).

Jim long ago ceased to be just a subject of study, and became a close friend. McCoy knows he has lost some of his objectivity, but objectivity can be hanged when all that's between you and explosive decompression is a few feet of metal and a thousand of Starfleet's best and brightest. All of whom look to Jim to keep them out of trouble.

He gives strict orders not to let the captain leave, no matter how well he bats those baby-blue eyes, and stalks out of Sickbay, grumbling about the inherent idiocy of starship captains.

McCoy makes his way to the rec area. He isn't technically off-duty for another hour, but he knows no one will blame him for blowing off some steam before returning. Murdering one's captain is still a court-martial-able offense, no matter how justified it might be.

He strips down to loose pants and enters one of the practice areas, only to discover that it is already occupied. Methos is there, going through katas, sword in hand, like he had been trained by a master. He probably had. McCoy knows better than to ask, the answer will only disturb him.

The two men nod in acknowledgment, and McCoy makes his way over to the hanging bags to take out some of his frustration and fear on them, rather on his captain's head.

An indeterminate amount of time later (long enough for him to have worked off a good portion of his nervous energy, not long enough to leave him feeling completely drained), he senses a change in the room. He turns to find Methos has finished his katas and is now kneeling, with his sword across his

lap, a cloth in one hand and a bottle of oil on the floor next to him. The precise movements as the Immortal cleans his blade are almost hypnotic.

McCoy's lips quirk into a slight smirk. "Nearly ten millenia of civilization, mankind can make starships that can travel faster than light, can invent devices that will break you down to your component parts and reassemble you elsewhere, and yet you still run around cutting people's heads off with swords." He shakes his head in mock disgust.

"Ah, but at least we keep building better swords," Methos says with a grin, testing his thumb on the razor-sharp edge of his weapon. "Speaking of swords, how is the research coming?"

"It's a damned good thing that we no longer keep paper records," McCoy says with a roll of his eyes, "or I'd be running out of room for Jim's file. I swear, pre-Immortal or no, that boy gets into more trouble. . . "

"You know, you're not the first one to observe something like that." The other man's eyes suddenly grow thoughtful and McCoy thinks he can almost see the weight of five thousand years in them. "There seems to be a subconscious compulsion in many pre-Immortals to seek out dangerous situations. It's almost like they're driven to situations where their Immortality can be fully activated."

"They?" McCoy asks pointedly.

"Well, okay, we. But the point is that I that I bet if you did a study of people who regularly participated in significant risk-taking behavior, you would find a disproportionate number who had the potential to become Immortal. Fascinating. I wonder why no one made that connection before now."

"Probably because you idiots were too busy running around trying to chop off each other's heads to do anything remotely resembling proper research."

"Valid point," Methos agrees with a grin, and stands up fluidly. "But now that we have thought of it, perhaps this would be a good area for someone to do another paper in."

McCoy snorts. "So reinvent yourself as a head-shrinker or an anthropologist, and do it yourself."

"But my good doctor, where is the fun in that? No, no, much better to have someone else do it and reap the benefits with minimal effort on my part."

"Slacker," McCoy grumbles, and makes his way back over to the changing area.

He is nearly dressed again when his comm chirps.

"McCoy here."

"Sorry to bother you, Dr. McCoy." It's Chapel's voice and she only sounds that formal when she's really worried about something. Immediately, he feels his body tense in anticipation. "I finally got the captain to go back to sleep," she continues, "but some of his readings don't make any sense. I think you should come see this yourself."

"Dammit," he swears under his breath. "Alright, Chris, thanks. I'll be there in five. McCoy out."

Methos gives him a sympathetic grin. "Just think, more data for you to work with."

"Shaddup, old man. I'll see you later. I'd better go see what our boy genius has done with himself now."


Everyone thinks that Jim Kirk has the gods' own luck and somehow can cheat death. He can't tell them just how right they are.


The away mission is a clusterfuck almost before they finish materializing. McCoy has a bad feeling from the moment he sees their heavily-armed hosts. He's read the briefings, he knows that the axes and pikes are just part of the Cerani's ceremonial garb. And yet. And yet. Something doesn't sit quite right with him, and he surreptitiously makes his way closer to the captain.

That feeling is justified five minutes later, when fully half of the Cerani delegation start screaming (Uhura later says they were ranting about protecting their world from outside influence) and the Enterprise crew discovers just how sharp those "ceremonial" weapons are.

Jim, of course, is in the thick of things, and from what McCoy can tell, he probably saved the Cerani leader's life (a boon which, no doubt, Starfleet will appreciate), but it comes at the expense of an axe-swipe in the side.

McCoy works frantically on his captain, heart in his throat, but hands steady, knowing with growing certainty that this time he won't be fast enough to save Jim. His tricorder shows ever-decreasing vital signs and a disturbing rise of the electromagnetic fields around the body.

Suddenly there is a hand on his shoulder and another covering his right hand. "The best thing you can do is to let him go," a voice hisses in his ear. McCoy half turns to see Methos kneeling beside him. His science blues are covered in blood and there is one of the axes by his side. McCoy has no doubt that he and Sulu were more than able to hold their own against the natives.

Pulling his hands back to hold the tricorder steady is the hardest thing he's ever done. The two men observe in silence, oblivious to the fighting still going on around them, and keep their eyes pinned on the small numbers on the screen. Jim Kirk's vital signs flat-line and just for a moment, McCoy feels the wrenching pain of a doctor who has lost a patient. Then there is a spike in the other readings and a faint but steady heartbeat begins again. Oxygen once again starts to circulate in the captain's body, and all three men exhale in unison.

Just in time, too, as Spock makes his way over to where they are crouched over the captain's body.

"How is the captain, Doctor?"

"It was touch and go for a while, but I think he is stable enough to move now. Tell Scotty to hurry up with that damned transporter."

Spock nods, but raises an inquiring eyebrow at the presence of the man he knows as one of the physicists on his science team, Dr. Evan Adams.

"I have training in emergency medicine," Methos replies easily. "I saw that the doctor needed help with the captain, so I came over." What impresses McCoy the most is the fact that it isn't even a lie. Methos has five thousand years of medical training under his belt and has probably performed miracles in situations that McCoy can only dream of.

Spock nods again and taps his communicator. "Mr. Scott - three to beam up, and have a medical team standing by to assist Dr. McCoy."

"Aye, Commander." The tinny voice of the Scotsman is the most welcome thing that McCoy has heard in at least half an hour. He doesn't even flinch as he feels the transporter beam start to do its work.

They rush Jim into one of the private rooms in Sickbay, but McCoy's worry grows less with each passing moment. They have made it past the biggest hurdle now, and from what he knows, the
captain's body will largely take care of itself.

In the chaos it is a simple thing to slip Methos into the room with them, and then it becomes a waiting game. They must be present when the captain awakes.

Finally, after far too many excruciating minutes, they watch Kirk blink slowly at the bright lights of sickbay. He opens his eyes to see McCoy's scowling face.

"That was a close one, eh, Bones?" he says sleepily. "Didn't think I was going to make it that time."

McCoy does not respond with his usual quip about the idiocy of starship captains, but instead the doctor eases him up into a sitting position and turns to pick up a cup from the small table next to the bed. His newly-elevated vantage gives Kirk a clear view of the small room and he notices the second occupant standing by the door.

"Dr. Adams?" Kirk asks in confusion. "What are you doing here? Bones?" he asks, turning back to

McCoy clears his throat. "We need to talk to you, Jim." He hands the cup to the captain, who sniffs it suspiciously.

"Whiskey, Bones?" Kirk asks with a raised eyebrow. "I didn't realize this was on your list of approved treatments."

"You'll need it in a minute, trust us," says Methos.

"You're starting to scare me," Kirk says and gives his friend a worried look. "What happened to me down there that has you so worried? I mean, I'm here, I survived."

"Yeah, about that, kid. . ."


Prompt: Based on the requested characters Highlander/Star Trek Pairing: Methos/McCoy
(gen or romantic)
, and the themes Unexpected meet-up in a bar and Accidents Will


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