My Friend’s Confidence
“What’s the matter, Jim?” McCoy sat down beside his friend, in the Captain’s quarters.
“Everything, it seems…” Jim rubbed his face with the back of his hand.
“Hey,” Doctor McCoy touched that hand. “somethin’ in your eye, Jim?”
“Tears…” Jim sighed, tiredly, not bothering with the usual bravado.
McCoy stood, and moved to be directly opposite his friend, and thus, able to meet his gaze. He crouched down in front of Jim, and the sofa. He held Jim’s clutched hands.
“Have I really had myself wrong all my life?” Jim looked to him and asked.
“What is it that’s worth all these tears? Spock? What did he do?” McCoy fathomed.
“Nothing…” Jim replied.
“Ah…” McCoy surmised.
“I’m gay…” Jim sighed.
McCoy smiled gently. “I know. At least, I figured, somewhere in that complicated person that is you, you might at least have the tendency… What does it matter?”
“I’ve spent a whole lifetime chasing women..!” Kirk exclaimed.
McCoy grinned, not unkindly. “Yeah… They’ve chased you, too – Likely, still will!”
“Have I really been wasting so much time, fooling myself all this while?” Jim asked.
“Not foolin’ yourself exactly, Jim.” Bones noted.
“But there’s no need to, not in today’s world, our world, so why? Why have I been so stupid?” Jim pondered angrily.
“You’re anything but stupid, my friend.” McCoy squeezed Jim’s hands supportively. “Maybe, you’ve just not found the right man, the one to stop you from having too much fun keeping people guessing, and guessing wrongly. Or, maybe, you have found the one to love; you’re just afraid you can’t have him..?”
“How come you know everything?” Jim huffed, not grumpily.
“Because I’m a Doctor, Jim. It makes you the observant sort, if you aren’t already… All those medical readouts give you a head-start to guessing right.” Leonard H. McCoy said patiently.
“You’re the observant sort alright.” Jim informed his friend. “You know I love him.”
“Always have…” McCoy noted, with double meaning.
“Yeah…” Jim agreed.
“He won’t do anything about it, this love that exists between you, two? He won’t do what you want anyway?” McCoy inquired.
“I don’t know…” Jim lifted his gaze, from the floor, again, meeting his friend’s eyes. “Stupid, huh?”
McCoy leant forward and pulled his friend into an embrace, letting Jim lean on his shoulder. “I’ve told you; You are not stupid! Listen to me, will ya?” He smiled, though Jim could not see the kind gesture. “Do you want to talk to Spock about it?”
“I don’t know…” Jim repeated, crying despite his embarrassment.
McCoy drew himself back slightly, one hand touching his friend’s right shoulder, the other cupping the other side of his friend’s face. “Don’t be so angry with yourself.”
Jim stared at him, still bewildered and unsure.
Leonard moved again, taking his friend’s right hand in his, gingerly helping him to his feet. “Go lay down, Jim. Cry yourself to sleep if you need to. I won’t tell anyone.” He promised.
Jim smiled slightly, still holding his friend’s hand. “I’m so tired of it all…” He confided.
“I know, Jim; I know…” Leonard told him warmly. He began to walk Jim wordlessly towards the general area of his bed.
Jim sat down on the Starfleet issue bed, and looked up at the friend and Doctor before him. “What do I do about it all?”
“I’m not sure. I have my theories. We’ll talk about it, whenever you want… I’ll be here for you.” Leonard promised. He crouched down before Jim again, reached for the Captain’s boots, and began to help his friend remove them from his weary feet.
Jim smiled, so tired, and so grateful to Bones. “Thanks…”
McCoy put Jim’s boots to one side, massaging the tension from his feet automatically, as part of his Doctorly duties. “Come on, you, get some much needed sleep..!” He got up and helped Jim swivel his body around, securely into the centre of the bed.
As Jim reached for his duvet, McCoy handed the edge of it to him, making sure Jim placed it comfortably around himself.
“Get back to your other patients, my friend. I’ll be okay…” Jim promised.
“I have some ‘paperwork’ to go through in my Bag…” McCoy looked back toward the living room area, and his Doctor’s bag, on the table there. “Can I borrow some of your brandy stash, and stay here a while?”
Jim smiled. Bless you… He thought. “Be my guest…” He said, yawning. Then, he looked to Leonard. “Thank you, friend…”
“You’re my friend, Jim.” McCoy smiled. “Thank you.” He watched, until Jim closed his eyes in sleep, and then, he made his way back toward his bag to fetch his pads, filled with paperwork, before sitting down on the spare chair in Jim’s bedroom.