The sun is spreading a warmth across Dr. Leonard McCoy's chest in a way that even the hi-tech lamps on the enterprise fail to mimic. Sunblock has been applied the old fashioned way, though with a new formula that does not cause cancer. The white stripe on his nose is more for the sake of nostalgia than UV blocking.
This was something he deserved. Dealing with those two all day was not something he had trained for. People with limbs blown off. He had trained for that. Vulcans holding their own intestines while covered in green blood. He had trained for that. Helping people regrow organs lost. He had trained for that.
Listening to two men bicker over every decision and drag him, the doctor, on nearly every away mission was not in his training.
So he was taking his shore leave seriously. Him all alone on a tropical island.
He is lazily going over the chemical pathway for producing vitamin D when he hears Jim whispering. The pineapple filled with alcoholic goodness is sloshing about from his white knuckled grip.
Him. ALONE. Island.
That was the plan.
"Jim!" McCoy's tone was dangerous. He meant every threatening note. They had discussed this in depth. There were people on the ship who would be covering for him. Jim and Mr. Stuffy Ears would be doing Various Inspections while the crew rotated for shore leave.
Jim did not reply. After a few minutes, Bones suspected that it was a figment of his imagination. His fear had come to haunt him. He closed his eyes and went back to tracing the chemical pathway.
He was nearing the end of his drink. He could call another one down, but for now he would enjoy the quiet rustle of palm leaves. Occasionally a seagull would interrupt. The ocean was lulling him to sleep with its soft rolling of waves.
This was not a day for sleep, though. Bones was blissfully unaware of the fact that he was about to get several gallons of sewer water poured on him. Right now several caped heroes and uncaped heroes were being chased and their run would end on this beach. So many worlds away from their own.
Uhura's litungu had just began to play in the background of his half asleep dream when the first drop hit. He had only enough time to think, 'Rain?' before a deluge of water and people fell upon and around him.
A blond man in purple and black landed nearly on his feet, but tripped on the shifting sand. He landed across Leonard's legs with an 'Oomph'.
Him. ALONE. Island.
The brunette woman rolled over, covering her entirety in sand. Her hands were held together in a gesture Leonard recognized as prayer when he heard, "No grey Hulk. God, no Hulk. Please, no Hulk."
"I think it's clear." Groaned someone in a purple hood before they ripped off the head covering and mask to reveal that she is a blonde teenage girl. "His name is Solomon Grundy, by the way. Get off, Tim" A brunette young man was sprawled across her and made no effort to move. "There is a diaper in my reach and I will not hesitate to use it."
The brunette, Tim, popped off of the girl and took a few steps away for safety. "Oh great, another body of water." He said looking out to the ocean.
"What the hell just happened?" Demanded the half-naked doctor once the blonde man had crawled off of him.
"Hi sir, sorry to drop in on you, but can you tell us where we are at?" The brunette girl asked while wiping stray wet hair out of her face.
"Tau Ceti III" McCoy replied slowly.
"Not earth then?" The woman replied with drooping shoulders.
"No." The doctor rolled his eyes as he replied.
"Why can't shit like this happen to Superman?" The blonde girl flopped back into the sand.
"Shit worse than this has happened to Superman." Tim kicked some sand at the blonde girl.
"I'm also Hawkeye." The brunette woman puts her hands on her hips as she asserts this in the general direction of Hawkeye #1.
"Kate. Let's not confuse the guy." Hawkeye #1 pleads with the brunette, then adds, "Any more than being dumped on top of him."
"I'm Robin and this is Spoiler." Tim introduces himself and the blonde girl interrupting Kate's response.
"I'm covered in sand." Spoiler complains. "And we finally go to the beach, when we are doused in sewer water."
"This is my day off." McCoy mutters under his breath.
"We're from Earth. Have you heard of it?" Hawkeye #1 asks him.
"Yes." The doctor's reply is indignant. Of course he has heard of Earth. Then he remembers that he is not wearing a Starfleet uniform and that these people who have fallen out of the sky seem rather displaced. The Hawkeyes are matching in purple with Spoiler and Robin is wearing a cape. Leonard does not keep up with the styles, but two of them are sporting a bow and arrow for god's sake.
"Great. Do you know where we can go back through one of those light cracky things?" Spoiler pops into a sitting position.
"Yeah, are those a normal occurrence? Is it safe to go through them?" Tim/Robin asks as his face goes from inquisitive to mildly horrified.
Again McCoy can hear Jim's voice, but because Tim was talking he could not make out what was said. The tone, though, was one he used when arguing with Spock. It was annoyingly unmistakable.
"No." McCoy says lightly while he is distractedly searching for Jim.
"Not safe?" Came a squeak beside him.
McCoy turned to see that Spoiler was slack jawed staring at him. He quickly went to reassure her. "No. Not normal. I mean. I don't know. I'm just here for the beach." He scrubed his face with his palm.
"Oh, well." Tim reached out and gave Spoiler a hand up. "We'll be out of your hair, then. Sorry to ruin your day at the beach."
He almost let them go.
Him. ALONE. Island.
In the end, though, the Starfleet officer inside him had to stop them. Or maybe it was the knowledge that the island was small and they would be back anyway.
"Wait." He called after them. "This is a tiny island. It's just me."
"Oh." Spoiler turned her face towards the ocean. "Kind of like this all around? Just ocean?" She jutted out a thumb.
"Yep." McCoy said with a sigh. He should find his communicator that he had thrown at the beginning of his trip in the general direction of the tree patch behind him.
"Well, we come from Earth. Maybe like a different world. Universe. Something Because they dropped in on us first." Spoiler pointed to the two Hawkeyes. "I was telling Batgirl about Mysterion. Ti--Robin was laughing at us so we missed the first call."
"Grey Hulk." Kate corrected.
"Solomon Grundy." Tim corrected.
"Your universe's Grey Hulk." Kate rolled her eyes.
McCoy's eye twitched a little, but no one seemed to notice. Spoiler continued her explanation.
"Whatever. So we had to chase Grundy into the sewer. So it was all Robin's fault we were in the sewer. Kate and Clint appear." The two Hawkeyes throw up their hands at having their real names tossed around. "And we agreed to work on that whole universe rift thing when not trapped with a hulking mass of grey guy."
"See? Hulk." Kate said crossing her arm and letting a satisfied smirk cross her lips.
"Clint and I were bonding over hating sewers. When some green dude appears and runs Solomon Grundy into a corner and starts fighting him. We all sort of fell into the sewer. Except Batgirl, but she's basically Batman." Spoiler sighed a little. "Then we fell into a new rift and ended up here."
There was a silence.
A long silence that McCoy let stretch out a minute longer. Could he blame Jim for this? He was pretty sure he could.
"Dammit." McCoy finally burst. That blood vessel was probably throbbing in his neck, but he didn't care. "I thought it was just that pointy eared bastard and cocky jerk's fault. Apparently it's just me this shit happens to. Rifts in the damn universe that happen to only end up on my island during my first day of shore leave."
Tim raised a hand to interject, but drops it.
"Did you hear that?" Clint asks.
Spoiler just cracks up laughing.
"No, I mean like two guys talking. Er. Arguing." Clint sneers at a bandage on his arm that has a green, brown hue. He picks at it while everyone else carefully listens.
McCoy swears that is Jim's voice just beyond the palm leaves. He stands up and walks toward the greenery. Behind the large leaves he found a little glowing rift.
"Captain, I do not think it is wise to mess with the device."
Spock's voice drifts from the rift.
"Wow." Spoiler says from behind him.
"Yeah, pretty" Tim agrees with her.
McCoy picks up his communicator, grumbling curses at no one in particular.
"Scotty?" The doctor's voice comes out as more of a growl than anything.
"Someone forget the little umbrella in your drink, doctor?" The communicator squawked back.
"Five to beam up." McCoy ground out.
"Five?" the confused voice squawks out.
"Five. " McCoy sneered.
"Well what do you know? There's five of you. On it." The communicator chirped before McCoy snapped it shut.
The others gasped as they began to dematerialize. McCoy's stink face stayed in place all the way into the transporter room.
Scotty's smile widens as he looks at the costumed heroes. "Beach costume party? I wasn't invited? I have this little leopard print -"
"Where are the two idiots?" McCoy demands.
"Oh?" Scotty jogs his memory. "Cargo bay three, I think. Last I saw them, anyway."
The blond looks down at Keenser, who nodded to confirm.
The two blonds kept chatting with each other about various topics from the transporter, to the short 'vegetable dude', to the 'sweet' lights tracking the corridors.
They found the captain and chief science officer in the cargo bay. Spock's hand were on his hips. He was pretty sure the Vulcan's skin had a light green tint to it and believed that was a slightly raised blood vessel popping up just below his jaw line.
"Gentlemen." McCoy put on his best sarcastic smile. "Decided it would be a good idea to play with the mystery gadget?"
Spock tilted his head and inspected the four travelers behind him.
"No big deal. Nothing could possibly happen if you just 'turned a few knobs'." McCoy quoted Jim from an earlier conversation in which the captain had promised not to mess with the object.
"So, uh, something was happening?" Jim smiled at new comers.
"Rifts in space. Opening holes between universes. No big deal." The grin on the doctor's face probably makes him look like a mad man, but he does not care. He. Is. Mad.
"I told you it wasn't wise-" Spock squinted at the Captain.
"Can we just get home?" Spoiler raises a hand as she asks the question. Reminding McCoy that most of their visitors are kids. Who probably have school. If people who wear capes go to school on their planet.
"Yes, we will be trying to get you home as soon as we figure out the technology." Spock nodded Very Officially to the blonde girl. "I am sure it won't take us more than a few weeks."
"A few weeks?" Kate and McCoy cried at the same time.
"Mind if I take a look at that?" Tim asks the captain. Who surprisingly hands it over to boy.
"Starfleet protocol states--" Spock's eyebrow is raised in the Vulcan international sign of 'what the fuck idiot human?'.
"It'll be fine." Kirk blows the Vulcan off. Then he turns to McCoy, "It'll be fine, right?"
"The kids just want to get home." McCoy shrugs back.
"Yeah, see?" Kirk looked Tim over. "This one's wearing green tights. How bad can they be?"
"Thanks." Tim murmured. "Does this look familiar to any of you?"
Kate and Clint crowd around the object and inspect it. Tim turns it over to reveal a little button.
"We tried that." Jim sighs in frustration.
"Oh!" Kate pulled back her hand from the device which now had a door swinging open.
"Shit." Clint groaned as the blue light glowing from inside the device.
"Isn't that--" Kate started.
"Yep." Clint distanced himself a little from the object.
"Shit." Kate agrees, also taking a half step back.
"Um, guys. Kind of holding this terrifying object here. Mind filling me in?" Tim was holding the object securely, but also had stretched it out a bit from his body.
"Let's just close the little door." Kate reached out to help.
"It looks like a cosmic cube. Might not be, but it certainly would explain the bad multiverse juju going on." Clint is pinching his nose, where there is yet another bandage.
"Right. Handle with caution." Tim turns the device over and the nob swings down.
Opening a small rift in the cargo bay behind McCoy. The man jumps at the sound of a screech that sounds startlingly close to the T-rex from Jurassic Park.
"Close it. Close it. Close it." McCoy said while stepping further away from the rift.
Tim turned the knob abruptly. The rift closed. To his surprise, no new rift opened.
"Okay, so maybe it works like a decoder ring, or something? I don't know. These signs look familiar?" Tim addresses Clint.
"Could be the same on that damn staff, but I don't really know." Clint moves to be behind Tim and inspect the thing along with him.
"We can send in a tricorder next time." Kirk offers.
The two men near the gadget cock their heads in question.
"Um, the box that takes readings. Can tell us about what's inside." Kirk explains. McCoy can tell he is being helpful at least in part, because it means more playing with the mysterious device and pissing off Spock. This was just compounded because it also meant getting to help people, Kirk's other favorite pastime.
"We should do so with someone in an environmental suit in a separate room, as to not fill the cargo bay with noxious gas." Spock points out.
McCoy notes that this is good. The Vulcan has gone from completely attempting to stop them to simply stopping them from blowing shit up. Which is nice. He does not wish to blow up on his day off.
Tim, Kate, Clint and Spock stand around the device behind a force field while Kirk and Spoiler don environmental suits--with many more minutes of 'discussion' about a captain's duty between Spock and Jim. McCoy leaves.
Him. ALONE. Island.
There was still time left.
They discover that the rifts seem to only be opening around McCoy. When the first rift opens by his ear. Which is annoying, because that means he has to suit up too.
And so it goes that the Hawkeyes, Point Ears, and Tim/Robin take notes and turn the dial. While Kirk and Spoiler excitedly check out each rift.
"I think it works a bit like a safe lock. It's not as simple as pointing to a time-er-place. But you have to dial in the right combination to get somewhere." Tim and Spock sit together at the table examining his notes. The boy had pulled a pen and paper out for his notes from god knows where. Kate, Clint, Spoiler, and Kirk were all too busy talking about home versions of earth to notice when their food came.
McCoy grumbled when a pineapple drink arrived with a tiny umbrella. Scotty waved at him from a table in the corner. Next time the engineer came in, he was going not going to give him an anaesthetic. He twisted the umbrella until the paper fell off and he was left with a full drink of alcoholic pinapplely delicious crap he could not drink.
Their next set of trial runs seemed more helpful. They seemed to have reached the universe that Tim and Spoiler were from, but could not get the timing right.
Kirk dipped the tricorder in a last time before returning to the mess hall for dinner.
"I got a bite!" Jim smiled excitedly at McCoy.
Spock was yelling for them to back away and let go. Jim ignored him completely and proceeded to pull out...a bat? Or a girl dressed as a bat.
"Cass!" Squealed Spoiler while ditching the environmental suit to run over and throw her arms around the girl bat. Kirk was working on removing his helmet.
Spock took the shields down and began to argue with Jim about the protocols of letting in random objects onto the ship. Tim moved to greet the girl, careful to hold the device steady.
"We took care of Solomon Grundy. You've only been gone about an hour." Cass's voice is low and even as she reports this to Spoiler.
"Well, you guys better get home!" McCoy says cheerfully. He corrals the travelers near the rift. "Don't want to miss this opportunity. Great to meet you. Good luck with the capes."
It caused just enough confusion to work. All travelers and the device were through the rift before Spock could realize what he was doing.
"What are you doing?" Kirk's voice went high with exasperation.
"Going to take in the sunset on a damn beach." McCoy said while stripping back down to his swimsuit in front of the two.
"You just sent a potentially dangerous device into another universe with random travelers that did not even give us real names." Spock's vein was sticking out again.
"Yep. Some other universe." McCoy walked half naked down the corridor to the nearest transporter room.
"What about the two Hawkeyes? How do we know they are going to make it home?" Kirk complained while walking behind him.
"Who knows what other rifts were created from our search?" Spock trailed the captain.
McCoy told the operator where to send him and stood on the pad. He thought about an old set of videos his grandmother kept in her basement and smiled.
"I'm doctor, not a Time Lord."
The confused faces of the two highest ranking officers on the Enterprise faded into sunset. Bones sat back in his chair and found another umbrella drink sent down by Scotty.
Him. Alone. Island.