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16 December 2011 @ 10:00 am
When You Come Back In From Nowhere  
Title: When You Come Back In From Nowhere
Author: erynwen
Rating: PG-13
Word Count: 2321
Summary: Jim goes missing. Bones searches for answers - and finds something he didn't see coming.
A/N: Written for space_wrapped prompt: There is a TOS episode in which Spock and McCoy watch the video of Jim that he made for if he was killed on a mission, and it makes them realize some things, right? So, that, only what McCoy finds is the stash of stuff Jim has bought various people (his mom, his nephews, his bridge crew) for Christmas, with a list of the things he means to get McCoy, except there's a lot of crossing out and fretting over getting McCoy's gift just right, maybe with things like "me, wrapped up in a bow" crossed out (like, with notes to self of he wouldn't want this?). When they get Jim back, McCoy makes it clear actually yes, all he wants is Jim. Title from the lyrics of the Song "My List" by The Killers.

Thanks to jactrades for putting up with my (sometimes very) poor grasp of English grammar and for betaing the shit out of this despite being sick *squishes* (All the mistakes you find in here are mine, though *gg*)

“What do you mean he’s stuck?” Wide-eyed, Leonard looked around the transporter room and hoped his ears were deceiving him.

Scotty glanced up at him for a second before his eyes dropped back to the controls, hands flitting over buttons and regulators.

“I mean that the Captain is lost somewhere between the planet and the ship. Somewhere,” he waved a hand vaguely, “in the void in between.”

“You're saying he's a set of molecules drifting around out there?” Leonard hated the sound of the words the moment they left his mouth.

Scotty made a move between a nod and a shrug, and Leonard's stomach clenched in fear.

“And if we don't get him back...” Leonard didn't want to end that sentence, didn't even want to think it.

Scotty scowled at the control panel. “He'll stay that way.”

Leonard blinked slowly at Scotty’s head as he tried to understand what was going on.
“But how did that…”

“I don’t know, and you standing here, asking me stupid questions isn’t helping.” Scotty’s eyes never left the control panel.

Leonard pinched the bridge of his nose, took a deep breath. Oh, he was going to kill Jim as soon as they got him back. If they ever got him back.

“And you’re sure Jim didn’t tell you the adjustments he made to the transporter before the beam out?” They’d already been over this, but Leonard wanted - needed – to be sure the engineer hadn’t forgotten something.

Scotty let out a frustrated breath as he finally looked up.
“No, he didn’t. Just said he wanted to try adjusting the targeting scanners, that since no one planned on going planet side in the next few days it wouldn’t be a problem, and that he knew what he was doing.”

“And you couldn’t tell him to keep his fingers to himself?”

“You know how he gets.” Scotty made a frustrated noise at the back of his throat.

Yeah, Leonard knew. He could only too well picture Jim’s reassuring smile, a wave of his hand brushing away any concern. He’d seen Jim put on that nonchalant attitude far too often. Nothing good ever happened when he acted like that.

“And he is the captain,” Scotty added as he scrunched up his nose in concentration.

Leonard huffed out a breath. “He’s stupid, that’s what he is.”

Scotty shrugged and bent his head back over the panel. Leonard could see the tension in his shoulders, the sweat on his forehead. The man was worried, too, and not only about his job. Leonard had seen the strain in Scotty's body the moment he had walked by the transporter room on his way to his quarters, and now almost wished he hadn't asked what was wrong.

Leonard raked a hand through his hair as he looked around. Even here, Jim had attached Christmas decorations to every unused surface he could find. Leonard had scoffed, not telling Jim that it actually looked rather nice.

Now, it felt just wrong.

Leonard's eyes settled on the transporter pads, as if Jim would turn up if he stared at them long enough.

“Couldn’t you just, I don’t know, reset the system or something?” Leonard knew it was a stupid question before asking it, but he had to say something or feel completely helpless just standing there.

The snort from Scotty was all he needed to hear. “Not until I know where the Captain is, else he’ll re-materialize in space.”

Leonard closed his eyes as that mental image threatened to take the breath from his lungs. Damn Jim and his stupid ideas.

He lifted trembling fingers to his temples, and found himself wishing Spock was there to help them, impassive, unemotional bastard he could be. But of course, he was on leave to spent Christmas with Uhura, to meet her parents back on Earth.

A mumble from Scotty caught Leonard's attention.


“I said, if only he’d left a record of what exactly he changed…”

“I bet he did. And I bet he left it in his quarters.”

“Some help that’s going to be, since I can’t get in there,” Scotty said as a bead of sweat ran down the length of his nose.

Leonard smiled humourlessly. “Well, consider yourself in luck. I can.”


Leonard cursed Jim’s “creative chaos” for the thousandth time as he moved on to rifling through the desk drawer.
How he was supposed to find anything in this mess was a mystery to him. Not for the first time in the last few hours he wished he could just turn around and yell at Jim.

Instead he stepped away from the desk, eyes scanning the room. If Jim had made any records at all, they could be anywhere, really. Back at the Academy, it sometimes took Jim hours to find a specific book or file, despite Leonard’s complaints and threats to find someone else to study with. Why he had put up with Jim’s antics all these years Leonard couldn’t explain to anyone, himself included.

In the last year, Jim's system seemed to have improved, since he didn't spent all his time looking for his files any more, but his room still looked like a bomb had gone off only seconds before.

Still caught up in his thoughts of Jim - and various ways of kicking his ass when he returned - Leonard continued combing through the captain’s quarters. He refused to think about what they would do if they didn’t find Jim, or he turned up heavily injured, or even dead.

Leonard searched in the bathroom, under the bed, in Jim’s dressers. He ended up with far too many candy wrappers and an unbelievable number of dirty socks, but no file, nothing about the transporters.

He was about to give up when his eyes fell onto Jim’s nightstand, barely visible under a pile of gold shirts. He almost slapped himself for not thinking of it sooner, and leaned down to yank open the drawer.

There was a small personal PADD – lying between even more candy wrappers and a few tissues. Leonard rolled his eyes at Jim’s sweet tooth as he switched the PADD on. A few second’s wait then his fingers moved over the display as he searched through the files.

A document title caught his eye. Secret Christmas Mission. Leonard wouldn't be surprised if Jim named important files that way, and his brow furrowed as he opened it.

But it was only a list of things Jim wanted to get the crew for Christmas. Leonard wondered for a second whether Chekov would really want that as a present then moved to close the file again, when a name caught his eye. His own name, at the very bottom of the list.

Leonard couldn’t keep himself from reading the jotted notes Jim had left in the messy scrawl he called handwriting.

Bones. What to get Bones?

A bottle of bourbon - Nah, that’s too obvious. And I never get the brand right, anyway.

What does he want?

… time with Jo. How about a small Christmas miracle? Maybe I should

kidnap the girl

kill his ex - think smaller and actually feasible!

Maybe I should wrap myself in some shiny paper, and wait for him to come back from a late shift one night. And when he unwraps his present, he’ll find me... naked.
Maybe I should stop writing down my fantasies and come up with a real present.

Romulan Ale - Yeah, it’s illegal. But it’s also booze. And maybe I should stop giving him alcohol all the time. Wouldn’t want him to think I think he’s an alcoholic. Even though it’s a nice stress relief.

Well, a blow job would do that job too… Which I would happily give him, altruistic as I am…

The list ended there. Leonard shook himself, realizing that he’d been staring at the PADD for God knew how long while his mind tried to process the words he’d seen.

What the fuck?

Jim wanted… Jim had… but since when… Leonard clutched the PADD in his hand. His breath rattled in his chest as he tried to think.

All those years, and now, of all fucking days… Leonard shook his head. sliding the PADD into the pockets of his pants, and growled, “Jim, if you ever come back, you stupid idiot...”

He sat down on the bed for a second as he tried to come up with another corner of the room, of the damn ship where Jim could have left a record, any record. Shifting he felt something hard against his thigh and frowned.

His fingers slipped under Jim’s rumpled covers and closed over another small PADD.



Leonard started ranting the moment Jim’s body became solid in the transporter room.

“You crazy, idiotic bastard. What on Earth did you think you were doing? You had me worried sick!”

Jim blinked at him, blue eyes confused, tongue darting out to lick his pink lips uncertainly.

“Uhm, it’s good to see you too, Bones.” Jim smiled that crooked little smile, the one that always meant he was trying to calm Leonard down without really knowing what he’d done wrong.

“Oh, shut up.” Leonard stepped up to him, a finger poking at Jim’s chest. “Next time you think you need to experiment with anything on this ship, don’t. And I want to see you in Sickbay, like, yesterday,” he added, stabbing Jim’s chest in emphasis.

“Bones, what the hell? I’m fine.”

“That’s for me to decide, not you.” With that, Leonard turned around, fuming, and strode out of the room.

He was still angry when Jim turned up in the otherwise deserted Sickbay ten minutes later.

Jim shuffled his feet as he leaned against a biobed, his hand against his neck. “Bones, I really don’t…”

“Shut up, Jim. Sit down and let me have a look.”

Leonard barely registered that Jim complied without so much as a peep, was too angry and worried to care. He snatched up his tricorder and set to scanning Jim head to toe. He only just resisted his urge to poke and prod at Jim himself, to verify that he was really back.

He realized his hand was quivering slightly as the tricorder passed by Jim’s face. Leonard took a deep breath, then another.

“Bones?” Of course Jim had seen his trembling hand too.

“What did it feel like?” Leonard couldn’t shake off the image that had gripped his mind since Scotty had first called him, an image of Jim drifting through darkness, waiting for them to find him.


“Being in space, a swirl of molecules neither here nor there?” Leonard swallowed hard.

“I didn’t know it had happened, actually. Scotty had to tell me after you… left. For me, it was one moment on the planet, and the next…”

“… I was shouting at you.” Leonard let out a shaking breath. Oh, damn.


Leonard raked a hand over his face. “Sorry.”

“You were worried.” Jim shrugged his shoulders.

“Fuck yeah, I was. And it’s true. You are an idiot.”

Leonard heard a chuckle as he looked past Jim. He couldn’t face Jim’s understanding, knowing gaze just now. He scowled at the cheery Christmas decoration that a certain someone had put up in Sickbay without his consent instead, at the stupid reindeer grinning down at him.

A quiet chime announced the ship’s midnight and Leonard’s eyes flicked toward the chronometer, only now realizing the date, someting he'd completely forgotten when he'd started worrying about Jim.

“It’s Christmas.” His voice sounded strange to his own ears.

Jim groaned, and Leonard looked down at his friend. “What? Are you hurt?”

“No, I just… I haven’t gotten you anything.”

Leonard’s brow furrowed for a second, then he smiled, hand gliding unconsciously to the pockets of his pants.

Without thinking, he stepped closer and leaned down, his forehead almost brushing Jim’s. He felt warm breath ghosting over his lips as Jim’s mouth opened in surprise. His hands lifted almost on their own accord, cupped Jim’s face, fingers gliding over his stubbly jaw. He could see Jim forming a frown as he leaned in more and sealed his lips over Jim’s.

Jim went still beneath him, just for a second, then pulled back with a confused look on his face.

“The fuck, Bones?”

Leonard felt foolish for a second, opened his mouth to scoff or to apologize. Instead, he heard himself say, “I found your list.”

“What list?”

“This one,” Leonard answered, retrieving the PADD from his pocket.

For the first time in years Leonard saw Jim blush. “Oh that stupid thing.”

Leonard leaned forward, and kissed Jim again. “Not stupid,” he murmured against Jim's lips. “Not stupid at all. In fact, I think this,” he added as he tapped his finger on the display, “sounds quite good.”

Jim read the words Leonard pointed at and smiled, a wicked gleam in his eyes. “I think that can be arranged.”

Leonard laughed, and as they kissed again, Leonard thought dimly that this Christmas could definitely be worse.

The End

nessaniel: cenk uwe umarmungnessaniel on December 16th, 2011 10:15 am (UTC)
Ohhh, that was wonderful and christmas-y and now I feel all warm and happy inside.

Thanks for this cute little fic and now I imagine Jim running around the ship hanging stuff up everywhere (a mistle toe above the door of Spock's room perhaps? A singing reindeer on bridge? Ohh the possibilities <3). xDDD

Btw, I love your icon! *__*
erynwenerynwen on December 16th, 2011 02:23 pm (UTC)
Aw, thank you for your review. Now I feel all warm and happy ^^

I just pictured Jim trying to wrap a bow around the whole ship - with Scotty and Spock scowling, and Bones being all "Told you, he's mad".
And I don't know if you ever watched "Boston Legal", but in one episode, Alan has this rack on which he put mistletoe so always standing under it. I guess Jim would get one of those, too XD

(no subject) - amine_eyes on December 17th, 2011 11:31 pm (UTC) (Expand)
secretsolitairesecretsolitaire on December 16th, 2011 01:33 pm (UTC)
Aww. ♥
erynwenerynwen on December 16th, 2011 02:24 pm (UTC)
I take you liked it? *gg*

(And holy shit, your icon *thud*)
(no subject) - secretsolitaire on December 17th, 2011 05:44 am (UTC) (Expand)
sangue: christmas ho hosangueuk on December 16th, 2011 05:53 pm (UTC)
eeeeeeeee! A perfect Christmas story. I'm so glad the little accident got them together :D :D Thank you for the lovely happy ending and for taking part in our fest, bb!
erynwen: sunglasseserynwen on December 19th, 2011 09:15 am (UTC)
Thank you for your feedback. I'm glad you liked the story ^^
drinking rum and writing some: km christmastherumjournals on December 17th, 2011 01:53 am (UTC)
so sweet! love that prompt, i'm glad someone chose it!
erynwen: dreamyerynwen on December 19th, 2011 09:16 am (UTC)
I knew I had to write it the moment I saw it ^^ Glad you liked it ^^
crazyiladycrazyilady on December 17th, 2011 11:19 pm (UTC)
Awww! You just gave me the warm fuzzies. :) I need to go hug a kitten or something...
erynwenerynwen on December 19th, 2011 09:16 am (UTC)
:D Glad you liked it ^^
amine_eyesamine_eyes on December 17th, 2011 11:32 pm (UTC)
Awwwwwwwwwwwwww :)

I love how you described the feelings of everyone and showed the actions in so little words, it felt wonderful :)))))

And the LIST! D'awwwwww Jim :D
erynwen: unferynwen on December 19th, 2011 09:16 am (UTC)
Thank you, I'm glad you liked it ^^
kayenemkayenem on December 18th, 2011 02:03 am (UTC)
What an enjoyable Christmas story. Thanks!
erynwenerynwen on December 19th, 2011 09:17 am (UTC)
Thanks for reading. I'm glad you liked it ^^
Kimura Carter: Smiley Joneskimuracarter on December 18th, 2011 04:52 am (UTC)
Oh, just lovely! Adorable!
erynwen: hugserynwen on December 19th, 2011 09:17 am (UTC)
Thank you ^^
Life is a Contact Sportnorthernwalker on December 18th, 2011 06:12 am (UTC)
Aww, they're such boys. Jim is trying so hard and Bones is world-class oblivious and they're just so cute!! I want to pinch their cheeks, then lock them in a room together
OpalineEgweneopalineegwene on December 19th, 2011 04:39 am (UTC)
...with a one-way observation mirror...

Yay for the boys! And thanks for the fic!
(no subject) - erynwen on December 19th, 2011 09:18 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - northernwalker on December 19th, 2011 01:36 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - erynwen on December 19th, 2011 09:17 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - northernwalker on December 19th, 2011 01:37 pm (UTC) (Expand)
norfolkdumpling: xmas - st hoho hypospraynorfolkdumpling on December 18th, 2011 12:12 pm (UTC)
Nothing like a bit of peril to get our boys together! Very sweet, and funny too! :)
erynwen: chris_closeerynwen on December 19th, 2011 09:18 am (UTC)
Thank you ^^
siluria: ST_Bones_bluesiluria on December 18th, 2011 07:00 pm (UTC)
That is so sweet! I love Bones and his panic too.
erynwen: smileerynwen on December 19th, 2011 09:19 am (UTC)
Glad you liked it ^^
(Deleted comment)
erynwenerynwen on December 19th, 2011 09:19 am (UTC)
Aw, thank you ^^
Away from her, you loved her more: santa bonessullacat on December 22nd, 2011 09:21 pm (UTC)
Arg, how scary for Leonard to think of Jim all as particles! D: But the ending was gorgeous, and very sweet. Big smile on my face right now! ♥!!!
erynwenerynwen on December 23rd, 2011 08:41 am (UTC)
Thank you, I'm glad you liked it ^^