DISCLAIMER: Star Trek and everything affiliated with it belongs to JJ Abrams and all those other people who own it. All I own is the plot…
No one's quite sure how Jim manages to pull it off. Then again, no one's quite sure how he manages to pull anything off, really, no matter how many times they remind themselves that he really is much smarter than he acts. Jim just says something about how there is no judge in existence who will deny a Hero the right to see his kid, but soon after that surprisingly logical explanation all they hear about is Jim's awesome-ness and superior intellect and all-powerful charm and eventually they just kind of tune him out.
However Jim did it, they're all glad for it. Because the expression on Bones' face when Jim tells him his daughter is to be aboard the Enterprise for almost the entirety of her summer vacation is worth all of the grumpy muttering, angry lectures, and jabbed hyposprays they have endured up to this point. Jim's absolutely flabbergasted expression when Bones all but tackles him into a hug makes it all the more worth it.
Then there's the barely-suppressed smile that stays on Bones' face for the rest of their trip back to Earth—it doesn't waver no matter what idiotic thing Jim or Scotty or anyone else have done to land themselves or others into the sick bay. And it's all-too-easy to get the smile to stop being suppressed altogether, and when someone says something to make it show up there are several women (and more than a few men) on board who coo or drool in turns.
When they arrive on Earth, Jim announces that he has decided that Bones should get a few minutes alone with his daughter without people standing around gawking at them. The sentiment surprises but delights Bones, who gives them all a cheerful wave and practically skips out of the room when Jim dismisses him.
That's when Jim announces that of course the bridge crew is going to spy on them, now.
Of course they are.
And although they put up a weak fight about it, there isn't a person there (even Spock) who argues too hard against the proposition.
Which brings us to their present position, with all of them strategically and surreptitiously spying on a completely unsuspecting Bones, who totally didn't arch an eyebrow at Chekov as the gangly teen hid behind a street vendor.
There's no time to wonder about whether or not Bones knew they were there, then, because suddenly his face lights up in a way that puts all of the smiles from the past week to complete shame, and he's running forward and throwing out his arms.
"Joanna, Joanna, Joanna." He chants as he falls to his knees, embracing her as she falls into him, his face burying itself in her neck.
"I missed you, Daddy!" Joanna says when he pulls away, although their hands stay intertwined.
"I missed you, too, baby." Bones says, and Oh God those were definitely tears. Bones sniffs and wipes his eyes on a sleeve, and then it's like he has to keep touching her face and stroking her hair to reassure himself that she's real. "I missed you so, so much."
Joanna smiles at him, capturing his hands in hers, and then launches herself at him again. This time he stands with her in his arms, kissing her forehead with a loud 'smack' of his lips. She giggles.
A woman steps forward out of the crowd, a rather blank expression on her face, like she doesn't know or care to know that she's just interrupted what is obviously a heartfelt father-daughter moment.
"Jocelyn." Bones says, nodding at her even as he cradles his little girl closer to himself. "How's things?"
"They're fine." The woman, Jocelyn, says. She steps forward, tucking a stray bit of hair behind Joanna's ear, and they can see for just a moment how the three of them must have looked when they were still a family.
"I heard about the Enterprise." She says. "You've done real well for yourself, Len."
Inexplicably, this seems to drain some of the tension out of Bones' shoulders. "Yeah, I'm doin' alright."
"Still scared of flying?" She asks with a cheeky smile.
"It's not so bad." He says. "But don't tell anyone I said so. I've got a reputation."
She laughs. "Let me guess—big bad Dr. McCoy, jabbing peoples' necks with twice the necessary amount of force, bitching about anything and everything, and working harder than any ten doctors to discover a cure that's supposed to be impossible to make? And doing it, more often than not."
"Sounds about right."
"I always loved and hated that about you." She says, and Bones looks away.
"Yeah, well." He says, clearing his throat awkwardly. "Heard you…I mean, Mom said you took up with that Treadway boy."
"Boy?" She repeats, her eyebrows crawling towards her hairline. "Len, he's not three years younger than us—the same age as most of your crewmates, as I recall, if not older than a good many of them. And you can't tell me you haven't at least tapped the captain."
"I most certainly can." Bones says, and they're pretty sure they can see a blush starting at the tips of his ears. "And I'll thank you not to go bringing that sort of stuff up in front of Joanna."
Jocelyn rolls her eyes. "Oh, Len, don't be such a wet shirt." She says, and checks her watch. "But I've got to go. I'm meeting 'that Treadway boy' for lunch." She leans up and kisses Joanna's cheek. "I'll see you in a few months, sweetie. Give your dad the run around for me, will you?"
Joanna giggles and nods as Bones protests a little.
She smiles at him sadly, putting a hand on his cheek. "I'm sorry about the way things turned out, Len. You've got to know I never meant for things to get as ugly as they did."
Bones looks away and shrugs.
"I, um…I used some of your dad's estate to pay off the rest of your student loans." She says. "The rest is set up as a college fund for Jo. And I'm talking to the judge about easing up on you."
He smirks. "Keep this up and I'll start to think you like me, Joss."
She holds out her hand. "Besties?"
He gives her a dry look.
"Oh, come on, Len." She says.
He rolls his eyes and grabs her hand, pulling her forward and kissing her forehead with surprising gentleness. "Take care of yourself, Joss."
"You, too, you crazy old fart." She says, then pulls away, waves at Joanna, and leaves.
"Hag!" Bones calls after her, and then looks at Joanna. "Your mom's insane, y'know."
Joanna shrugs. "You married her."
It is late, now, and the command crew of the Enterprise has just gotten off of their shift and retreated to the officers' rec room. Jim and Spock have begun their customary game of chess, with Uhura watching. Sulu is draped all over the couch. Chekov is draped all over Sulu. Scotty is fiddling with something in a corner; the strange buzzing noises convince everyone that they have no desire to find out what he's doing.
Suddenly, Scotty lets out a triumphant noise, and the television situated in one corner of the room turns itself on. It shows what can only be Dr. McCoy's rooms.
"This is highly inappropriate behavior." Spock says with a stern frown as Jim jumps up out of his chair and slaps Scotty on the back approvingly.
"Shh." Jim says, waving a hand at him. "I wanna see! He's totally going to tuck her in; he might even sing her a lullaby, or something!"
But then Joanna bursts into the room, flopping onto the bed and looking at the door expectantly. Bones follows her in a moment later, chuckling a little as he kneels beside her bed.
"Where'd we leave off last time, punkie-doodle?" Bones asks.
"Jamie just got in trouble with Mr. Kingsley for cheating on a big exam at the Naval Academy!" Joanna says, hunkering down in her bed and watching her father with wide eyes. "Jamie's getting court-martialed, and they're trying to decide if he's gonna get expelled!"
"Ah, that's right." Bones says, and stand, folding his arms behind his back and closing his eyes as he seems to think something over. When he opens his eyes and begins speaking again, there is something about him that is completely different from the grumpy Bones they're used to.
"Just as the court-martial was about to decide Jamie's fate," Bones says, "a junior officer runs into the room. There has been a distress call from a nearby port, and all of the new recruits are being deployed to answer it!"
"What's happening?" Joanna asks.
"No one's quite sure." Bones says. "But it gets Jamie off the hook for the time being, so he and Dr. Bones run off to hear what ship they're going to be assigned to. Dr. Bones gets assigned to the HMS Crusader, the newest and best ship in the armada—but Jamie's name doesn't get called!"
"Oh, no!" Joanna says.
"Jamie is very sad." Bones pokes out his bottom lip and shuffles his feet.
"Dr. Bones isn't going to leave him behind, is he?" Joanna asks, obviously distressed by the thought. "They're bestest best friends! Dr. Bones can't leave Jamie behind!"
"Of course he's not going to leave Jamie behind." Bones says. "Because, you see, in all of the confusion, Dr. Bones grabs him and smuggles him onboard!"
Joanna claps her hands delightedly.
"Dr. Bones hides Jamie away in the infirmary." Bones says, crouching at the edge of the bed and peering up at his daughter as if he's hiding. "But as they're traveling, Jamie comes to a sudden realization—they're headed right for a trap!"
"Luckily, he gets to Captain Fisher in time to warn him. Mr. Kingsley—who is the first mate—tries to stop him, stowaway that he is, but Jamie makes himself heard. He explains to everyone with a little help from Niles, the communications officer, that the SOS they're hearing is all part of an elaborate plan by the very same pirate ship that destroyed the HMS Calvin—the pirates that killed Jamie's father!"
"Oh my goodness!" Joanna says.
"It's just then that the Crusader makes the final turn to the port that sent out the SOS." Bones says, his voice dipping dramatically. "Everything is in chaos! The rest of the armada has been destroyed—the ocean is littered with debris with the bodies of their fellow recruits. Captain Fisher decides to send a small team of recruits after some of the pirates, who are taking a battering ram to the door of the city. Jamie is one of the team members, as well as a man named Mr. Soto and another man named Mr. Olson. They take a dinghy to shore, but as they are disembarking, Mr. Olson is shot, the force of the bullet sending him careening back into the water!"
"Oh, yes! Jamie is next to disembark, and is immediately set upon by one of the pirates!" Bones jumps up, wielding an imaginary sword as he emulates a pirate. "'Yarr, ye scurvy dog!' The pirate yells. 'I'll have yer guts for garters!' As they begin to fight, Mr. Soto is attacked by the other pirate. Unlike Jamie, who relies on evasion and hand-to-hand fighting, Mr. Soto has a sword, and uses it as well as any master. He and the other pirate thrust and parry, parry and thrust, a deadly dance of blades." And, really, who'd have thought Bones could recreate a fight so spectacularly, when he not only hadn't seen the fight, but was also playing two roles at once? "Finally, Mr. Soto manages to push him back into a blazing fire the pirates had been using to bombard the town with firebombs, and rushes to Jamie's aid. He runs the remaining pirate through just as the blaggard is about to send Jamie over a cliff and into the choppy waters below." Bones falls to his knees, grasping at the bedcovers like he's slipping off. "Mr. Soto grabs his arms and pulls him up—"
Joanna, after receiving an expectant look from her father, obligingly fights to pull him up onto the bed, where he rolls over and gasps for breath as if he really has just been saved from a watery grave.
"And the rest," Bones concludes, reaching up and tapping Joanna on the nose, "is a story for another night."
"Awww!" Joanna whines. "Can't you tell a little bit more?"
"Nope." Bones shakes his head. "It's way past your bedtime, little lady, and if you don't get to sleep soon you'll never wake up in the morning."
"I will so!" Joanna says. "Come on, Daddy, pretty please with sugar on top?"
"Tomorrow, I promise." Bones rolls off of the bed and stands, gingerly tucking Joanna in.
Joanna sighs and yawns. "Daddy?"
"Did Dr. Bones get sick, since he doesn't like ships?" She asks sleepily. "You said last time he rode a ship, on the way to the Naval Academy, that he got sick and almost threw up on Jamie. But you didn't say nothin' about it, this time."
"This time he didn't get sick." Bones says.
"Well…because Jamie was there."
Her forehead scrunches up. "He didn't get seasick, just 'cuz Jamie was there?"
"How," she yawns again, "come?"
"It's not that Dr. Bones ever got seasick, per se. It's just that he was so scared of bein' on boats that it made him feel sick. But since Jamie was there, he wasn't so scared, anymore."
"'Cuz Jamie was his bestest best friend in the whole wide world." Bones says with a soft smile. "And when you're with friends, nothing's as scary as it is when you're all by yourself." He kisses her forehead.
"Night, punkie-doodle." He says, but her breathing has already evened out to signal that she has fallen asleep.
Back in the rec room, Scotty turns the television off. No one says anything, but they all look at Jim, who has a goofy little grin on his face. Uhura sniffles and wipes a few tears from her eyes, wrapping her arms around Spock.
"You kids sure are cozy." Bones grumbles as he enters the room a few minutes later, going over to the replicator and ordering himself a cup of coffee.
"Doctor," Chekov pipes up tiredly, "can you tell us the story of Dr. Bones and Jamie?"
Bones stiffens, his back to them.
"Chekov!" Scotty hisses.
Bones turns around slowly, eyes narrowed. "And where'd you hear about that, Ensign?" He asks in his scary doctor voice.
"We…might've tapped into the security feed in your daughter's room." As he speaks, Jim is wearing an innocent expression that belies his words.
"Uhuh." Bones says, unamused.
"It was so sweet, Doctor." Uhura says with a small hiccup. "Reminded me of my dad."
They're pretty sure they can see Bones flush in the dim light of the room. Everyone's quiet for a while as Bones retrieves his coffee and takes a seat on the couch next to Jim.
Then Bones sighs loudly and leans back in the chair.
"Once upon a time," he begins, his voice soft, "there was an old surgeon called Dr. Bones…"
A/N: I'm really obsessive about names. So, erm, here goes:
Jamie is Jim, obviously, and Dr. Bones is…well, Bones.
Mr. Kingsley is Spock, because Bones calls Spock 'hobgoblin,' and Kingsley is the surname of the first Hobgoblin villain in the Spider Man comics.
The HMS Crusader is the Enterprise, and the HMS Calvin is the Kelvin.
Captain Fisher is Captain Pike, because a pike is a type of fish.
Niles is Nyota, because it's an 'N' name and they wouldn't have let a girl do anything important on a ship back in the time period Bones' bedtime story is set.
Mr. Soto is Sulu, which should probably also be obvious. I considered calling him 'Mr. Roboto,' just for kicks, but decided against it, lmao.
And I didn't change Olson's name, because I'm lazy and he's not a very big character, so whatever, lolol.