“I cannot believe a princess got so jealous of him that she had her followers curse him,” Uhura was mumbling to herself as she flicked her way through all the lore that belonged to this particular people. There were endless pages and the great length of their tomes came from them being a superstitious and highly advanced race. Princess Iliandra had taken one look at Jim, harrumphed with distaste, and had one of her healers blow a powder into his face.
McCoy had needed to restrain security from attacking so that he could demand answers.
“It was nothing, really. Well, nothing if he has a true love. A man like that, he must have someone waiting for him back home,” the Princess easily said, her insecurity showing as she clutched onto her dearest wife’s arm, as if trying to keep her beloved from chasing after the adventurous space captain.
Now it was security’s turn to restrain McCoy from attacking. “He doesn’t have anyone waiting for him.”
There was silence all around.
“Well, true love’s kiss wakes him,” the Princess explained as Spock worked on adjusting Jim’s slack body in his grip. “I’m sure a man who looks like that has been through many loves. You just have to find the true one.”
And so that was what they were in the process of doing. Uhura was busy going through the lore and McCoy had put in calls to all the people that could fit the bill. Carol Marcus and Spock-Prime were coming out of the woodwork to turn up and press a kiss to Jim’s lips to see if they couldn’t spark something.
McCoy was trying to bury his jealousy at the thought of either of them being the person to wake Jim up from his deepest sleep. It’d bring Jim back to him, but it would confirm that McCoy wasn’t ever going to be the one for him. And they had tried, they’d tried . They had slept together in the last year of the Academy, but then McCoy got jealous when Jim started getting avoidant and they argued and the incredible sex couldn’t even make up for the arguments they had about trust and intimacy.
It didn’t mean that McCoy didn’t spend every night buried in regret at something he still thought of as a mistake.
“It could do no harm,” Chekov was whispering to Sulu and Scotty. “And if he wakes, then we know he is our true love!”
“And the doctor will have your head on a pike,” Scotty hissed at him.
“We must take the risk,” Chekov announced firmly, sneaking forward and tugging on Sulu’s hand to bring him forward. “All good fairy tales were invented in Russia, it would be only fitting if I woke him and then shared him between Sulu and me, yes?”
Scotty just stared dubiously at the both of them. “Just plant one on the Captain, wouldja? Keenser can’t distract the Doctor forever, now can he?”
Chekov leaned in to make his attempt with a chaste kiss pressed to the Captain’s lips. Sulu leaned in next and even Scotty groaned and pressed one to the Captain’s lips before the three of them had to admit defeat. Nothing happened and the Captain didn’t rouse from his increasingly peaceful sleep. Chekov offered an innocent shrug and there was a look on his face that said it was better to have tried than not.
“Ah well. Now we let his past lovers try.”
“We’ve got time for that?” Scotty cracked.
McCoy sat by Jim’s bedside with a hand atop Jim’s, just watching the monitors as he slept on peacefully. His fingers were etching patterns on the back of Jim’s palm with no real direction, sitting there and thinking of what he was supposed to say to Jim after the week they’d had.
“Trust you to have a true love out there that’s probably on the other side of the universe. Carol kisses you and nothing, the Ambassador gives his Vulcan version of some kind of lover’s kiss and we get nothing out of it. Spock, Uhura, the trio of idiots who think I can’t watch a security feed. Hell, Jim, I even brought up Gaila and Janice to give it a go,” McCoy muttered, sighing as he clasped one hand atop Jim’s and one beneath. “I don’t want to have to fly in your one-night-stands, Jim. I don’t think watching you getting slapped while unconscious is going to do anything for me.”
McCoy stretched slightly, his back aching with the movement before he relaxed back into the chair.
“Hell, Jim, even Pike couldn’t do a thing. And I’ve never seen a man so embarrassed to try and so relieved to have it not work.”
He talked about the kissing trials for another twenty minutes before relaying the news of the day to Jim along with any other random information that he could manage. Hours seemed to pass with no issue and soon McCoy was off shift and was being persuaded by Chapel to leave for the night. He shifted and leaned on the bed with one hand, leaning over it to press a kiss to Jim’s forehead. “Night, Jim,” he mumbled. “We’ll see who we can find in the …”
McCoy eased back in shock. He swore that he’d just seen Jim blink and had seen his hand twitch.
“Bones?” Jim groaned out. “I feel funny.” McCoy was suddenly struck by the change of events and didn’t move. Bed seemed the most distance idea in the world as he hovered by Jim’s bed. “What’s happened to me?”
It was supposed to be true love’s kiss, not some protective kiss to the forehead. Apparently it could be McCoy’s lips anywhere on Jim’s body. He was stuck in the shock of that moment for a very long time as he gaped at Jim, at his true love and decided that it wasn’t entirely fair that he didn’t even get the romantic part of it.
So instead of explaining things to Jim, he was pressing his lips fervently and desperately to Jim’s in an attempt to save the moment and try and act as Prince Charming before the opportunity could slip away. Jim gave a muffled cry under McCoy’s forward kiss, but McCoy was busy mouthing words against Jim’s lips that he didn’t have the courage to say aloud.
I’m sorry, Jim. I’m so sorry. I’ll try harder this time
“They said you’d only get woken by true love’s kiss,” McCoy explained as he eased away, brushing Jim’s hair back from his forehead. “I wasn’t trying, it just happened and you woke up.”
“True love or not, Bones. I so need mouthwash before you assault me like that,” Jim said, blinking rapidly up at him.
McCoy couldn’t help a snort of laughter. “Jim, for my true love, I’ll overlook your heinous morning breath.”
“I love you too, Bones.”