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It was Martian Death Flu. Jim didn’t give a damn what McCoy said; it not just a virus; it was Martian Death Flu, and it was fatal. He was going to die, and McCoy would be sorry when he found Jim’s corpse--his disgusting, mucus-covered, cold sore-ridden, flaky-skinned corpse on the bathroom floor. Jim hoped that Starfleet Medical would yank Bones’ license, or better yet, send him to an Albarrian ore mine to spend the rest of his days draining pus from miners with disgusting sexually-transmitted diseases. It would serve the bastard right for not taking Jim seriously.


Jim curled up on the bathroom floor, too weak to stagger back to bed, and his bed was a mess anyway, the sheets rumpled, the pillows hot and scratchy, the lights too bright, the bedside table cluttered with half-empty glasses of water and piles of tissues. The floor was cold and hard, but Jim didn’t care; he was dying anyway; Bones had sent him back to his quarters to die. Jim curled up in a pathetic ball and waited for the Grim Reaper.


Someone came, but it was not the Grim Reaper. Strong, gentle arms picked Jim up, stripped off his sweaty t-shirt and sleep pants, and eased him into a hot shower, holding him steady as the blessedly warm water eased all his aches and pains. Those same arms wrapped him in an entire linen closet’s worth of fluffy, warm towels and dried him off, dressing him in fresh attire. The Not-So-Grim Reaper then picked him up and magically transported him back to his bed, which had fresh, cool sheets without a single wrinkle and a pile of pillows softer than a gaggle of tribbles. The Reaper propped him against the pillows and held a glass to his lips. Ah, root beer, cold and bubbly, soothing his scratchy throat. How had the Reaper known?


Jim murmured, “I’m making you the new CMO.”


“No, thank you, t’hy’la,” the Reaper replied gently. “Sleep now. You will feel better when you wake.”


Jim lay back. He wasn’t going to die after all. But McCoy was still getting transferred to that ore mine.

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