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Post #6 WS Short - Acapella

Title: Acapella
Series: Western Skies (Post #6 Short)
Author: Anrui Ukimi
God-like Beta: I don't bother her for shorts xD Let me know if you see something screwy~
Rating: PG
Warnings: AU, Wing!fic, Jim being a moron again
Word count: 3037
Pairings: Jim/Bones
Notes/Disclaimer: Not mine, I just like playing with them. :)

Obviously, #6 isn't finished. I've not been writing the last few months, except for a handful of paragraphs here and there, and I need to get back in the game. This short was the result of that determination, along with the inspiration caused by remnants of a childhood histamine headache condition that gives me bouts of dizziness and vertigo, usually in the wintertime. xD; I hope it doesn't stink too badly.

Besides the fact that WS!Jim obviously gets the Enterprise, there's no spoilers for the unfinished half.

The title is based on a specific song title, not the genre. :)

==================================


Acapella


Jim opened his eyes against the bright lights that filled the room, serving as his morning alarm. Better light than an irritating audio alert; those made him leap out of bed and perch on the closest high vantage point, as Bones had discovered the first day on the Enterprise together. Only the threat of the possibility of Jim breaking his against-regulations liquor in a future leap kept the doctor from keeping the audio alarm on strictly for his amusement. Jim snorted, stretching his arms and wings out carefully before allowing his muscles to fall lax against the mattress. He took a moment to allow his brain to boot, listening to the faint sound of the sonics coming from the bathroom. Right. It was time to get up. Jim sat up with a groan and stretched again, grimacing as he heard the bones in his arms pop with the effort. He felt like an old man, especially lately; he was no stranger to aches and pains, but things had been a bit off since that mission on Garo II a few weeks earlier. He had tried to go for a quick flight in the rec room the night before to burn off energy, but he had felt so disoriented that he had been forced to stop after only a few minutes. Not that he had admitted that to anyone. Swinging his legs over the sides of the bed, he closed his eyes and took a deep breath before pushing himself to his feet. It didn’t help. The room swam around him alarmingly, and he dropped back onto the bed, clutching at his hair. It was a good thing that Bones was in the shower, as Jim really didn’t want him hovering over him; he loved the man to death, but he freaked out over the sniffles. He didn’t want to know what he would do with a few dizzy spells. He was a big boy, he could take care of himself. Jim took another deep breath and slowly got to his feet, feeling his equilibrium try to assert itself as he stood stock still. After a moment, he felt almost normal again, and he made the bed and laid out his uniform as he heard the sonics shut off. It was just a bug of some sort, no need to get Bones all riled up over nothing. He’d be fine by the end of shift.

==========================

Jim’s improved health lasted until after he returned from his lunch break. He had been forced to cling to the walls of the turbolift as it returned to the bridge, closing his eyes against the whirling sensation that threatened to overtake him. He didn’t get dizzy. He barely remembered what it felt like, hell, it had almost been twenty years since the last time he could remember getting dizzy. It was one of the fringe benefits of the whole being skinny and feathered bit, and to have it suddenly abandon him was becoming a bit...alarming. Jim steeled himself as the doors opened to the bridge, stepping out carefully, but when half the bridge seemed to turn around and look at him, he knew he looked off.

“Is there a problem?” He grumbled as he slowly made his way towards his chair, trying to concentrate on his feet and not the spinning in his head or the eyes that were following his every mood.

“Captain, are you well?” Spock, of course; Jim sighed and tilted his head to look at his first officer, only to be forced to slam his eyes shut as the motion made everything spin faster, and he swallowed back the burst of nausea that accompanied the vertigo. This was getting out of hand. “Captain?” As much as the Vulcan would deny it, he could hear a tiny note of concern in his voice. Damnit. Forcing his eyes back open, he looked over at Spock, who had risen from his seat.

“I’m just feeling a bit under the weather, Spock, I’ll be fine once I sit do-” The room tilted alarmingly as he missed the step and fell forward; he managed to get his arms out to keep his face from smashing into the floor of the bridge, but the movement had cost him. The bile bubbled up his throat, and he let himself slump completely to the ground in hopes of refraining from humiliating himself further in front of his crew.

“Bridge to Doctor McCoy.” Uhura’s voice brought Jim back to awareness, and he tensed.

“No, I’m- I’m fine. Don’t call Bones-” A warm hand gently moved his left wing out of the way, and Jim knew from the smell of incense and sand that Spock was next to him. He tried to push himself up out of his sprawl, only to have Spock stop him. “Spock, I just-”

“Captain, you have been showing increasing signs of disorientation and fatigue over the past thirteen days. I initially believed that you would speak with Doctor McCoy about your symptoms, but it is clear that you have not done so.” The censure in Spock’s voice was crystal-clear, and Jim couldn’t resist a childish scowl before managing to shrug the Vulcan’s hand from his shoulder and sit up, only to slam his eyes shut and drop his head into his arms.

“I thought it was just a cold, and Bones gets so neurotic when people around him get sick-” The sound of turbolift doors hissing closed behind him cut him off, and Jim couldn’t bite back a groan as a familiar cadence of footsteps came up beside him.

“I’ll show you neurosis, you featherbrained idiot. I knew something was off the last week or so, but you kept denying anything was wrong. That’s the last time I trust you to tell me about your health-” Jim knew he was screwed when he couldn’t even dig up the proper vitriol to bitch right back at Bones, but luckily, his first officer intervened.

“It would be easier to do a direct transport back to Sickbay rather then attempt to move the captain, I believe.” Then again, his first officer could go jump off a cliff.

“No, no, just- just give me a moment. I can-” Bones cut him off with a snort, a harsh sound in contrast to the soft beeps coming from his tricorder.

“Jim, you can’t even sit up straight. Let’s just save you the additional embarrassment and transport you.” There was a pleading tone in Bones’ voice that stopped any additional complaint, and Jim let himself sag against his favorite doctor as the tingle of transportation overtook them.

=======================================================

Bones frowned at his tricorder before looking up to meet Jim’s barely open eyes. “You know, Jim, if you had just said something, I would have been able to take care of this a lot sooner. But because you let it go for so long, you are going to be laid up for a few more days while I clear this infection out.” Jim sighed and shifted a bit on the bed, wriggling his wings to try and find a more comfortable position.

“What in the hell is wrong, anyway?” Jim grumbled as he finally gave up trying to get settled on his back and flipped himself around onto his stomach, only to moan when his head promptly told him that moving was a bad idea. Bones hissed behind him in response.

“Damnit, Jim, stop moving, the nurses don’t need to be cleaning up after you. You’ve picked up some nasty slow-moving bacterial infection, probably from Garo II, as that was your last away mission, that’s been trying to melt your inner ear. You are lucky I can reverse this, Jim; fifty years ago and you would have been grounded for good. This is why you need to tell me when you aren’t-”

What?” Jim winced at the octave that came out at, but alarm quickly overpowered it. “Are you saying I can’t fly? Bones, I can’t, I have to-” He didn’t even realize he was hyperventilating until the hiss of the hypospray and the feel of Bones’ broad hand resting on his back snapped him out of his panic.

“Jim, calm down, don’t go getting yourself all worked up for no reason. I said fifty years ago we would be having a different conversation, not now. The damage is mostly topical at this point; think of it as a nasty sunburn, just on the inside of your inner ear. I am grounding you for at least a few weeks even after I finish the treatments, I don’t want to risk you flying into the ceiling of the rec room or something equally damaging if you push yourself too soon.” Whatever Bones had given him was definitely helping him relax, and Jim sighed as his tensed up muscles relaxed into the mattress.

“Only a few weeks?” Bones’ wonderful hand was gently rubbing at the area above his wings, and Jim told himself that the impromptu massage was the real reason that his voice sounded so shaky and young.

“As long as everything goes smoothly, only a few weeks.” Bones’ voice was unnaturally soft, and Jim sighed again as he felt his eyelids grow heavy. “Just relax, Jim, I’ll have everything done by the time you wake up.” Bones’ hand on his back moved up to his hair as he spoke, rubbing light soothing circles into his scalp as he drifted off.

========================================

After a day and a half in Sickbay, Jim finally managed to convince Bones to let him convalesce in their quarters on their nice, comfortable, definitely non-regulation bed instead of the barely tolerable slabs he was forced to endure every time he visited Bones’ domain. Although the treatment was completely successful, according to Bones, Jim’s equilibrium wasn’t returning as fast as he’d like, and he had been going out of his way to make sure Bones didn’t notice this. Bones had enough on his plate, and Jim had been taking care of himself all of his life. There was no need to get his favorite surly bastard (and he meant that in the kindest possible way) all wound up over nothing. His plan worked out for approximately twenty-four hours, when nature called before Bones had left for his shift. Eying the older man out of the corner of his eye, he pivoted his legs over the side of the bed and pushed himself to his feet, using his wings to help stabilize himself. He hated feeling like this, like he couldn’t control his body like the carefully honed instrument it was. He couldn’t risk giving up control. Things went badly when he was forced to do so. Jim shot another glance at Bones, who was staring with great intensity at a PADD that was probably telling him the secrets of the universe, then snorted silently and stepped towards the bathroom. He made it about three steps before he jerked his head at the sound of Bones putting his PADD down on the desk, the resulting whirlwind in his head knocking him right off his feet and depositing him painfully onto the floor.

“Damn it, Jim! Why didn’t you just-” Bones’ voice trailed off, and Jim heard him take a deep sigh before gently wrapping his arm around Jim’s waist and hoisting him to his feet. “Bathroom, right?” Jim didn’t bother to reply, and Bones sighed again before walking him to the toilet. “Let me know when you are done.” Bones walked out of the bathroom, leaving Jim to contemplate what had just happened. The expected lecture had been cut off, replaced by something that sounded a lot like resignation. It was a tone he last remembered coming out of his dad’s mouth over five years prior, when he wouldn’t return home and wouldn’t tell him what he was doing- Jim choked on his own spit as he finished and pulled his pajama pants back up. What the hell was he doing? He hated what he had done to Chris, had seen the way the man had just looked lost in the last few conversations they had bungled through before that day they ran into each other back in Riverside. Now he was doing it to Bones, who sure as hell didn’t deserve it either. He looked towards the closed door with trepidation; he needed to say something, but he wasn’t sure what.

“Jim, you alright in there?” Jim flinched at Bones’ voice, the guilt quickly overrunning his own pity party. If he could stand up to psychotic Romulans, he could face his own partner.

“Yeah, I’m okay.” Jim made his way to the door and stepped out, his balance only wobbling a tiny bit as he looked over at Bones. “Bones, I-” The other man shook his head and wrapped his arm around Jim’s waist again.

“Let’s get you back in bed.” Another minute found him safely ensconced back under the covers, and after a long pause where Bones just looked at him, the doctor sat down on the bed next to Jim. Jim could barely meet those warm hazel eyes.

“Bones, I wanted to- ah, err-” Jim couldn’t get his tongue to work right. Why in the hell was this so hard? “I-” Bones’ mouth twitched, but he remained silent. “I’m sorry.” It took the fact that the covers were trapped by Bones’ rear end to keep from Jim from wrapping his wings over his face out of some sort of childish embarrassment, but he knew that Bones had seen the twitch from under the sheets.

“And what are you sorry for, Jim?” Bones’ tone was still far too soft for Jim’s liking, but there was an edge there that told him that he was on the right track.

“I’m not used to asking- I’m used to taking care of myself.” Jim muttered the last few words, and Bones huffed.

“Jim, I know very well you aren’t used to asking for help. All I want is for you to understand that you don’t have to hide anymore. There’s no danger of getting Chris in trouble, no issues with revealing yourself; that’s all in the past.” Bones leaned in until his face was only centimeters from Jim’s. “I just want you to trust me.” Jim blinked, his mouth falling open from shock.

“Bones, I do trust you!” And he did, more than anyone besides Chris and John; he had no idea what Bones was talking about. “How can you say that I-” Two fingers over his lips cut him off, and he met the other man’s eyes with worry.

“Yes, I know you do, for the most part. You just don’t trust me enough to let me take care of you.”

“But-”

“I’m not talking about when I’m actually patching you up in Sickbay for whatever latest damn disaster you’ve gotten yourself into, I’m talking about the fact that you don’t tell me if you are feeling ill. Weeks, Jim; you could have told me immediately that you felt a bit off, and I would have figured out the problem in less than ten minutes. But you didn’t trust me enough, and here you are, laid up with intermittent vertigo spells and falling flat on your face because, again, you won’t just ask for some damned help!” Jim normally never so much as twitched when Bones got on one of his rants, but he couldn’t fight the guilty flinch at the anger and hurt on the older man’s face.

“I didn’t want to worry you.” Jim whispered, and watched as the anger bled out of Bones’ frame, the broad shoulders slumping slightly. After a moment, Bones swung his legs up onto the bed and laid down next to Jim, his hand coming up to cradle the back of Jim’s head.

“You damn idiot. Didn’t you think that doing this to yourself was just going to make everyone, and by everyone I primarily mean me even more worried about you? The Vulcan was two seconds from picking you up and carrying you to Sickbay the other day, and Nyota was about to sit on you to keep you from trying to get up again. They knew something hadn’t been right, just as I had.” Jim scowled, but finally dragged his eyes up to meet Bones’ familiar hazel.

“I’m sorry.” Bones quirked a sad sort of smile at the apology before leaning in to kiss Jim.

“I don’t ask for miracles, but could at least try to let me help you sometimes?” Bones murmured against Jim’s lips, Jim’s eyes crossing as he tried to focus on the face only centimeters from his. Bones was right, something needed to give, and that something was him. He had managed to weather the storm after everything else came to life, but he was still acting like it was him against the universe, even when it came to Bones. There was no good reason for it.

“I’ll try.”

“That’s all I ask.” The skeptical look Jim leveled on Bones told the older man exactly what Jim thought of the statement. “But if you let something like this go this long again, you feather-brained imbecile, I will hypo you with something that will make you resemble an Arbazan vulture, you got me?” Jim snorted, then grimaced.

“I don’t think you want to deal with the sudden urge to scavenge that would accompany that.” The grin that passed over Bones’ face was downright frightening, and Jim groaned internally.

“I’d just have Spock deal with you.” Yeah, that grimace wasn’t going anywhere any time soon. Jim tried to poke Bones in the chest, but the sheets were still trapping him down. He settled for a smirk instead.

“You are a bastard.”

“I cultivate it every single day before I get out of bed.” His limbs were still trapped, so he leaned in and bit at Bones’ bottom lip before replying.

“As long as you are my bastard.” Bones returned the bite, his eyes flashing with amusement.
“I am as long as you want me to be.”

“Oh? Should we pick out the retirement home now?” The hand that came down on his rear end wasn’t completely unexpected, but still-

“...ow.”

Comments

( 25 Tufa Towers a Leaning — Visit Negit Island )
(Anonymous)
Feb. 4th, 2011 02:29 pm (UTC)
ah, Jim being idiotic again. Still, lovely - especially the bit at the end about the retirement home. Especially since this ficlet means you're back in the "Western Skies" writing mode. Sort of.

Anyway, I think a ficlet is technically 1000 words or less... 3000 is more like the fic version of a novella I think... but take from that what you will.
aadarshinah
Feb. 4th, 2011 02:30 pm (UTC)
ic. sorry about that. LJ logged me out. Anyway, that's me, anyway, if you're curious who's was randomly reveiwing this fic.
anruiukimi
Feb. 9th, 2011 04:11 am (UTC)
Thank you! :D I'm working on that writing mode. ;)

Thank you again for your kind comment!
claudia_nic
Feb. 4th, 2011 03:41 pm (UTC)
Yeah!
Loved it..Jim being all Jim and Bones being really good at guilting him into being better. I can't wait for the rest of WS, but I'll be a patient little girl and not ask the question of doom :D

All the best writing!
anruiukimi
Feb. 9th, 2011 04:12 am (UTC)
Hee~ :3

Yay! I'm happy you like it! Don't bother asking the question, I couldn't give you an answer. xD;

<3
(Deleted comment)
anruiukimi
Feb. 9th, 2011 04:13 am (UTC)
I hope you liked it, dear. <3
mijan
Feb. 4th, 2011 05:54 pm (UTC)
Yeah, this possibly qualifies as "short story" instead of ficlet, but it's all good. I miss reading your Jim and Bones. :)

anruiukimi
Feb. 9th, 2011 04:13 am (UTC)
I bow to your expertise, and thank you! :D ♥
d_odyssey
Feb. 5th, 2011 01:57 am (UTC)
Excellent story. Great h/c, with Jim stubbornly refusing to admit the extent of his illness and asking Bones for help and Bones there for Jim, taking care of him, worrying over him and bawling him out for being an idiot. Voices were spot on, especially Bones lovingly lecturing Jim. Love this addition to the Western Skies verse. Anything from that verse automatically gets my immediate attention. Thanks for the lovely story - made my night.
anruiukimi
Feb. 9th, 2011 04:23 am (UTC)
Thank you for your wonderful comments! I'm really happy you enjoyed this. :D At first, I wasn't even sure if I'd finish it, but I did. At least for something, right?

Thanks again!
sororexitium
Feb. 5th, 2011 01:58 am (UTC)
There was much flailing and squeeing when I saw this. Literally, I couldn't form coherent thought.

Thank you so much for this!!

Can't wait for the entire thing!
anruiukimi
Feb. 9th, 2011 04:24 am (UTC)
...your icon is addicting to watch. O_o

Anyhoo, hazzah! I'm glad you liked it! :D

I'll try my best to get my ass in gear. ;)

Thank you!
ebilchickens
Feb. 5th, 2011 03:43 am (UTC)
Aw Jim. His actions were very in character for himself, not making it easy for other people to take care of him because he isn't used to it. Your Bones and Spock are perfect as well. Really glad to see more of this 'verse. Thanks for posting this.
anruiukimi
Feb. 9th, 2011 04:26 am (UTC)
Thank you! I'm glad it worked for you. :D I was a little worried about that after my gap in writing, but I feel better now. :)

<3
adafrog
Feb. 5th, 2011 04:58 am (UTC)
Glad you're writing again.
Silly Jim. Glad he has people who look out for him despite his being a moron.
anruiukimi
Feb. 9th, 2011 04:26 am (UTC)
Thank you! Glad to be back. :)

He needs a minder, doesn't he? Good thing Bones is usually up to the task~ ;)
weepingnaiad
Feb. 6th, 2011 10:22 am (UTC)
Poor Jim! He's just not good at trusting yet after a lifetime of having to hide. He'll get there. Glad that he has Bones and Spock & Uhura around to look after him despite himself.

Loved the retirement home line, too.

Always good to see more of this!
anruiukimi
Feb. 9th, 2011 04:31 am (UTC)
He will get there, it'll just be in little increments. :)

Thank you! :D You know their retirement home would be some place attached to the side of a cliff, somewhere. ;)
(Deleted comment)
anruiukimi
Feb. 9th, 2011 04:32 am (UTC)
<3 <3 Thank you! Glad to make people happy. :)
syredronning
Feb. 6th, 2011 06:26 pm (UTC)
Very, very happy to see a WS#6 scene. Very believable pattern of reaction by Jim :) Yum yum, and there's hoping this will work wonders for your muses *greedy reader is greedy*
anruiukimi
Feb. 9th, 2011 04:34 am (UTC)
Hey you! :D

Thank you! :D I'm hoping this will get some of my errant muses working again, that's for sure. ;)

<3
muchabstracted
Feb. 7th, 2011 01:54 am (UTC)
I really enjoyed this! I've been thinking through the last two installments of WS that it couldn't be coincidental that Jim ends up falling in love with such a caretaker, when he seemed to get so little of it growing up, even from Chris. Fun to see Jim's inevitable reaction to this. (And Bones's.)
anruiukimi
Feb. 9th, 2011 04:36 am (UTC)
Thank you! :D And I agree, Jim can use a cuddle and someone to take care of him. Chris did his best, but he had some serious responsibilities that made it so he couldn't always be there. Bones would sooner tie Jim down than to let him run off again. 8D

<3 <3
amarin_rose
Feb. 24th, 2011 01:44 am (UTC)
Jim is a silly man, isn't he? He can't keep it all bottled up inside. And I adore the title - Bones is Jim's music and he has to learn to harmonize instead of singing acapella!
anruiukimi
Mar. 1st, 2011 05:21 am (UTC)
Ack, I thought I had replied to this! My apologies. ^^;

Jim, in every incarnation, is a silly man. That's why he always needs a Bones around. ;)

Thanks a lot for your lovely comment! The title was inspired by the song Acapella (the lyrics, especially) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U8D9xCBcfzw but also the concept in general.

<3
( 25 Tufa Towers a Leaning — Visit Negit Island )