„Lieutenant Y/L/N“, you said, handing over your PADD to the dark haired CMO. His eyes traced you shortly, then he grabbed your PADD, filing through it for a moment, and nodded. „Welcome aboard, Lieutenant. I’ll show you and our new nurses your quarters right away.“ He gave you your PADD back and started walking. For a lack of alternatives you trailed behind him. Not that he had prompted you to do so, but you got the undeniable feeling that he didn’t expect to have to. „You will be assigned to Beta Shift, as you’re a doctor, and we need one there“ he continued while striding through the Enterprise. „Medbay’s here. I’ll show you everything later. Nurse Wildner, Morgan, follow me.“ - you could tell the Doctor was the ‚no bullshit‘-type just by the look of him. He moved efficiently with some kind of permanent frown fixated on his face. You had heard of him of course. The famous Doctor McCoy, best friend to the even more famous Captain Kirk. The famous Enterprise. After you had left Starfleet Academy you had served three years on the USS Washington as an Assistant Doctor. You had applied to a position on the Enterprise just recently and it came as a surprise to you that you were not only considered but chosen.
„… you better remember the way to your quarters, otherwise you’ll have to rely on the floor map on your PADDs. I’ll not send people to fetch you because you forgot the way.“ you took a turn and changed floors. „We’re spread thin on supplies and personnel as it is, who would need those on a 5 year trip, anyway.“, he scowled, then stretched his arm out: „Right side - first door, Wildner; second door, Morgan; last door Y/L/N. There’s a replicator with standard settings, makes decent enough coffee, you’ll need it.“ For a second his eyes glanced over to his PADD, then he focused on his new team members again.
„I’ll have you all report in for a routine checkup at Beta shift in 3 hours.“ - at that you fidgeted slightly. „Is there a problem, Y/L/N?“, he asked briskly. This mans gaze was intense.
Your heart was pounding in your chest.. And since he was so close you could hear his heart pounding alike, slower then yours. The two nurses heartbeat was a faint throbbing in the distance.
But you would never allow him or anyone else to know that. Know what you knew. Know what you felt. Know about you. What you were. Different.
„Transfer personnel already took my medical exam before arriving, I can forward you the data right away“ - the frown on his face intensified.
„I am sorry, Doctor McCoy, if this is not standard procedure. I expected it to be, since …“ - „Alright, alright.“, he grumbled, „I’ll have a look at the data, just be there on Beta Shift. Get settled, everyone.“ and with that he turned around and was gone, leaving you and your new crew mates alone. You were off to a good start with your new superior officer.
„Well… uhm…I’ll have a look at my room and … see you later?“ you managed a half grin.
As the door of your room finally closed behind you a few minutes and half-hearted niceties later, you felt the weight of a mountain fall off your shoulders. Your first two hours on the Enterprise and you realized that this would be no walk in the park. Your CMO on the USS Washington had been more laid back - it was easy to manipulate your data, wriggle out of medical checkups and deceive your superiors just enough to blend in. It wouldn’t be that easy on the Enterprise, although you got away this time. Hopefully. Walking across your room, you noticed that your things had already been brought in. You opened your bags and filed through your stuff. Casual clothes, Uniform, a couple of books on radiation, general astronomy and alien linguistics, your favorite book about old world monsters. At the bottom you found a couple of unused hypos, your own little stash. No tranquilizers, though. There was no way you could’ve smuggled them in without risking to raise at least some concerns, so you would have to snatch some on your first shift when Doctor McCoy was away. Your ears twitched, but despite the shuffling of our neighbors left and right, the soft murmur of voices and the Enterprise herself it was relatively silent. You sighed.
It was not like you wanted to be sedated half your life, but whenever another doctor decided to check your vitals your heart rate and blood pressure had to line up with what was regarded as normal for a healthy young woman of your age. Due to your peculiar situation, your vitals were anything but that. So you had tried everything:
Meditation worked, but only if you could prepare for an upcoming examination and if you could keep your mind at ease for the whole procedure. This had once led to you getting a prescription for antihypertensives in your first year at academy. It had taken ages to get that off your record.
Breathing techniques could work in a pinch, with a healthy dose of distraction and lies on top.
Tranquilizers worked best so far - it took about three times the dose for a 90kg man to take you out, one would bring your vitals down far enough to pass the occasional, unavoidable test.
They had been your standard equipment since Academy, you always had a hypo on your person. You felt naked without it.
There were other effects, of course, that were more difficult to keep at bay. Some more, some less useful: Your hearing and sense of smell were unmatched, but by a few alien races. This had come in handy when working as a doctor. You were sadly not much stronger then a regular person, but your reflexes were good - so good, in fact, that you could’ve gone for it and become a pilot.
And then there was the change.
While able to force it by sheer willpower, there were also times were you couldn’t fight it back.
It was weird, it was painful and you had tried everything in your medical repertoire to cut it back as much at possible. Being on a radiation shielded starship, for example, already helped. The regular use of tranquilizers helped too. When you got your transfer orders, you had just started mixing up a new cocktail of tranqs and hormone stabilizers. You could keep it down to once every two months, but it was easier to go for once a month and just sleep it out in your room, curled up under the bed. How cliché.
Everything considered you had done well so far in your life. But deceiving Doctor McCoy would prove the biggest challenge you’d faced so far.
Every medbay in the galaxy smelled roughly the same: medicine, disinfectant and sick people. There was also a faint smell of blood that made something in you twitch - not in a bad way, though. It was like a pleasant tickle in the back of your head. This medbay had yet another quality to it, though, and that was Doctor McCoy. You filed through the medicine available, it was your second week on beta shift and relatively calm, and palmed a couple of tranquilizers when you were sure no one was watching. The weight of them was reassuring in your pockets and you’d need them later. It had been nearly a month since your last change and you started to feel restless. Preparations had to be made.
„Doctor Y/L/N“, a nurse called out and you turned around to see a couple of redshirts standing there. Four of them, two supporting the other two, whom did not look too happy.
„I’ll give you some painkillers for that broken rib of yours“, you said, applying a hypo. Bones, as he was called quite affectionally, had told you in the beginning that there were a couple of routine jobs: Training Accidents of Security, consisting of the occasional broken rib or nose and a concussion here and there. Intoxicated People at night - although this had gotten better, at least for the moment. A variety of interesting diseases transferred by more intimate means of contact, as graduating starfleet obviously did not automatically qualify people to act responsibly. As soon as away missions got into play, stuff would get more interestingly - the exact words the Doctor himself had used were not fit for replication - with more alien species, unknown diseases and imminent death in general. He had spent nearly an hour of your last shift to describe to you in great detail how an Ensign once reacted allergic to a certain plant on an away mission and that it had taken two days and two more away missions (with four more people developing a reaction), until they had isolated an enzyme responsible for the reaction.
He was always present in medbay. No, he was not present - he was a presence. He knew what happened here. Always. (Well, nearly, you thought smugly) Despite his grumpy looks and demeanor he knew the nurses and doctors he worked with by heart. He knew on whom he could rely on in a pinch, and who would break under pressure.
And he always worked overtime. Coffee was his closest companion, only challenged by the Captain himself.
You had no idea when this man slept.
Well, everyone here worked overtime and you weren’t sure when you slept too in general, but with him, it was different.
Heck, you’d discovered a few science officers running a still in the back of one of the offices. That scent was too obvious to ignore but Lieutenant Marcus swore it would taste like water when done. You had a slight suspicion that Chekov was involved in some of the shenanigans that had to do with alcohol on board.
With McCoy still in mind you signed your last report and finally handed over to the next shift. Glancing at your PADD you realized it was nearly midnight again.
Lights were turned down during Night Shift on the Enterprise and you enjoyed it tremendously. You had grabbed some food in the mess hall, socialized a bit and headed off to the fitness room when everyone else was leaving for their beds or shifts. You enjoyed the near silence. The low rumble of the ship, the whirring and humming of machinery. Countless breaths and slow heartbeats as you walked by their rooms. There were low moans of pleasure coming out of a few rooms and it stirred a feeling in your gut. Here, at night shift, you could run to your hearts content. Stretch legs, feel the air flow through your lungs and feel your muscles - stretching, aching, feeling alive. You opened your mouth to breath and the air tasted of sweat and flesh. Yes, you enjoyed it. It was a primal joy originating from deep within you. Your eyes glimmered in the darkened room and you laughed - a short, smoky sound.
Your joy was thoroughly lessened when someone opened the door, disturbing your meditative silence - but stirred your interest once you realized who had just entered the room.
„Doctor“, you mouthed. He looked up at the sight of another person training here and lifted his eyebrows. He was clearly as surprised as you were. You continued running, shooting him a grin. „I didn’t know my new Doctor had a thing for midnight runs“, Bones said, his dark eyes watching you. The line of his jaws were stressed for a second, then he relaxed visibly. You had never seen him like this - less official, less distant, in what looked like a sports uniform, still wearing science blue.
„Neither did I know that my new CMO frequented the gym.“ you shot back. He threw a towel over a chair next to a treadmill near you and started running, giving you an apologetic shrug.
For a while you ran along in silence.
You listened to him. The frequent inhale - thud thud thud - exhale - thud thud thud. The faint beating of his heart. The scent of disinfectant and sweat. It was intriguing. The animal inside stirred and purred.
„So .. you come here often..?“, you offered what was maybe the lamest ice-breaker in the history of gyms. It was obvious he was here more often. You could see it. Those calves were not formed by walking over to the bridge once too often.
„Can’t have everyone on their toes about their quarterly exams and then not give a good example myself“, his eyes softened somewhat as he answered you. You left your treadmill, grabbed your own towel and started rubbing sweat off your face and neck. Standing there you grabbed your water bottle, took a mouthful and leaned against your treadmill, just watching the Doctor. Yes. Intriguing. The efficiency and accuracy he displayed at work was mirrored in the way he ran.
„And you’re here for the view?“, he said, slightly mocking, and you raised your eyebrows in the same way he had done before.
„Maybe.“, you answered.
„I should’ve taken the shirt off then.’“, he observed.
„I’ll take you up on that one, Doctor McCoy.“, you shot him a grin with only so much teeth. The CMO answered with a dark chuckle that sent a shiver down your spine.
„Are you flirting with your senior Officer, Doctor Y/L/N?“, he sounded just a bit breathless, taking a leisure speed.
„Is that your professional assessment?“ - „Consider it an educated guess, woman. And I don’t know if flirting with a senior officer conforms with starfleet regulation.“ he did not sound all too serious about it (not with the look he was giving you).
You laughed, threw your towel over your shoulder and broke your eyes from the Doctor.
„You better invite me for coffee then, Bones.“ and with that you strode away, the animal in your chest purring with excitement. Maybe it was more difficult to stay undercover on this ship, but it certainly was a lot more exciting.
There's smut here. So if you don't like it, just skip the last part.
„Someone has stolen provisions.“
Doctor McCoy had been furious all day. You sipped at your coffee and hurried to join your co workers. It was a slow day and so everyone had to report in for inventory. He wanted every vial, every medicament, every hypo to be accounted for. Of course you knew where the missing sedatives went. But you couldn’t tell him and so you joined the others, counting and sorting everything in every cabinet in the Enterprises’ medbay.
„He sure is mad…“ mumbled Morgan and everyone giggled.
„I’d be too“, you confessed and gave them a wry smile. „Think about it, five year mission, stops far and wide in between, we’re never going to know what’s happening next.“ There was general consent about this and you felt a twinge of guilt nipping at the back of your mind. It was immediately silenced by what felt like a deep growl in your head. Silenced by the urge to run, stretch your legs, bury your teeth in raw flesh - with a whip of your head you snapped out of it, exhaling audibly.
„Everything okay, Y/N?“ three pairs of concerned eyes met yours and you forced another smile: „Yeah, everything’s fine. Bit of a headache.“- „You shouldn’t work so much and give yourself more rest.“, one of them patted you on the back and you had to bit your lip to not growl at her.
Yes, you felt guilty about all this - but you needed those sedatives.
Alpha Shift went by with a few headaches, someone with what looked like a cold and rummaging through cabinets. Beta Shift came and you started counting medicine - beginning with everything that started with an A and then simply continuing through the alphabet. It was simple and methodical. Beta Shift went - one more headache and a sprained ankle - and Night shift slowly came. You sent your nurses to sleep and watched the now silent medbay. You felt agitated. Still your mind tried to wander off, wanted to marvel at the idea of running and hunting. Going over to the replicator to make some more coffee - probably not the best idea - you started counting in-between breaths. It usually helped. Counting while the coffee was replicated. Counting while you sorted the inventory lists you had finished today. Counting while you saw in undeniable detail your own misdeeds. How had Bones even noticed? That man was omnipresent in the medbay.
You took your coffee and sighed.
Speaking of - their was a faint heart beat in the CMOs office. You hadn’t heard it most of the time, but as everyone was gone but you and your nurses’ relief for night duty, you couldn’t deny his presence anymore. Still agitated you replicated one more coffee, knocked and stepped in.
„Doctor McCoy“, he lifted his head as you entered and assessed you with a short glance. His eyes stopped at the sight of the mug. You saw two, probably empty, mugs already on his table, papers scattered across it.
„I thought you’d appreciate a coffee, since you didn’t find the time to invite me“ you smiled and he answered with a low chuckle - the sound of a man not in the state of mind for flirting, but appreciating the effort. „I also brought you the inventory we did today. I think we got a good grasp on what’s missing.“, you added, putting his mug next to him on a table, sipping at your own and leaning next to him at the table. You handed him over the documents you had held in a grip under your arm.
„You got a summary?“ he asked and started to file through the list. You could see how tired he was - or must be. „Despite the occasional missing bandage and a few misplaced antibiotics, it’s mainly sedatives.“ you took another sip and eyed him up closely. „Got any idea why anyone would do this?“
He shrugged and the frown on his face intensified even more, then sighing and throwing the documents on his table.
„Maybe an addict. It happens“, he took the mug in his hands without drinking from it. „A smart one at that, those sedatives“ he nodded to the lists „They all work without an receptor antagonist.“ - „I noticed“ Oh, Shit.
You withdrew from the conversation at this point, just sipping your coffee - how was that thing nearly empty again? - and listening to the now thunderous beat of your own heart. The change was so close, you could almost taste it. It ravaged behind your head - a primal desire to just be.
„We’ll find out who’s doing this“, he huffed and looked up at you. „And then we’ll be able to help that person and our inventory.“ - No. No you won’t, you thought and smiled down at him the same time. The beast in your chest had started to purr again.
McCoy got up and you were suddenly close. You could see the weariness in his eyes and there was a sudden urge to comfort him. You gave him a wry smile. „So, back to the gym tonight, Doctor McCoy?“ He shook his head: „That’s one selfless question, only caring about my physical well-being, huh?“ You grinned at that and got closer, beast purring louder. „Sport without supervision’s dangerous, you know.“ He flashed his teeth to what looked to you like a friendly snarl. „It’s good you’re a doctor then.“ he answered, voice an octave darker then before. „Can’t have you fail the quarterly physical exam“ - „I can assure you, I am in prime condition.“
His heartbeat was like thunder in your ears and the smile that stretched across your face had a wolfish quality to it, bearing teeth that were a promise and a warning at the same time. You were intrigued by the hard working doctor and from what you gathered hearing, smelling and seeing he was just as intrigued by you.
„I should see that for myself. Just .. making sure.“ you purred. His lips were on yours a split second later and you opened your mouth, welcoming his tongue in. There was now a passion in his eyes and movement that equaled yours with ease. There was something desperate, something longing you hadn’t seen in him before.
„That’s not within Starfleet Regulation, Mr. CMO“ you mumbled at his lips, your hands reaching up at him at the same time, pulling his face close to yours. He pushed closer with his body without answering, grabbing your hips with his hands and pushing you against the table. You felt him hard against you. „To hell with regulations, we’re in the middle of space. We could be dead any minute“ his voice was a low growl. You chuckled and let go of his lips, touching his check and jawline, slowly raking your teeth along his neck. A small moan left his lips, his hands left your hips, reached down your uniform dress until they rested on your legs. Surprisingly soft finger traveled your skin, leaving a burning sensation where they went. His fingers parted your knees, moving his hip between them and pulled you close to him. Neither of you were going to play idly around. You grabbed his shirt, pulled it up and pulled your fingernails gently over his chest. „Len“, you breathed and his lips touched yours again, he nibbled at your lower lip. You moved closer to the edge of the table, spreading your legs even more. He was close and there was a terribly huge amount of cloth between you and him. He pushed your dress further up: „Lift your arms“, he said and as you did as he told you, pulled the dress over your head and threw it over his chair. „What about the nurse?“ you asked and reached down to his pants, unbuckling his belt. „We’re in an important meeting“, he whispered back and for the first time ever you saw a grin flicker over his face. His hands cupped your breasts - still so much cloth between you and him - and massaged them. He breathed heavily. You slid your hands into his pants and shortly brushed over his length. The doctor bit back a moan and with one hand let go of your breast, reaching down and slipping his hand under your panties. They traveled around your back, shivering with desire, to the front and vanished between your folds.
You gasped as he pushed into you with two fingers. Now impatient you opened his pants and pulled them down just enough to allow for the movement you needed - wanted and expected.
„Aren’t you greedy, Y/N“, he whispered in your ear and bent his fingers delicately inside you. „I want you know, Leonard McCoy.“ you said with a husky voice barely recognizable as human anymore. „Good“, he growled. He was fierce. Fierce in everything he did, you discovered and his fingers left you, leaving you aching for more. You hastily pulled down the last cloth that was separating you from him and admired the view for a moment. He grabbed you, lifted you a millimeter to remove your panties and as you sat back down you wound your legs around his hips. He softly kissed your forehead and pushed gently against your entrance. „Okay?“ he mumbled. You nodded. He pushed into you - gently, at first, breathing heavily. You wound your legs closer around him, as if trying to pull him deep inside you. He let out a sharp breath. You enjoyed how he filled you, pushed deep into you. How his hands traveled your body, restless. He began to move. You grabbed the edge of the table to steady yourself and sunk your teeth in your lower lip. You moaned now. You tried to be silent but found it difficult. The beast inside wanted to scream with joy. His fingers wandered across your body, nipped at your nipples. His movements were now faster, harder. He gripped you around your hips and you felt how close he was now. „I want you, Len.“ you breathed and felt your climax crash around you. Your walls clenched around him, the beat of his heart, the repressed moans. You could feel it carry you away. You felt how he slowly stopped moving, his arms lifting you from the table and pulling you close.
A sigh left your lips.
„Nice getting to know you, Doctor McCoy.“
A growl and his still fast paced breathing at your ear were the only, and welcome answer to that.
Just an hour later you lay crouched in a corner of your room, ears pinched backwards, dreaming wolf dreams. The change had hurt, as always, but you had been carried by the high remaining from before. And since wolf thoughts were different then human thoughts, you had little worries about your future on the Enterprise.
When you woke up the next morning you were still changed, but didn’t mind. You had a free shift and despite your confinement, you felt pretty good. Everything was somewhat fuzzy in your head, but that was how things were as a wolf.
Human thoughts did not fully translate to wolf thoughts and vice versa. You got up, stretched your hind legs and ruffled the fur in your neck - more to see if you could do it, then to display anything in particular. Tapping through your room with the gentle click-click of your claws on the artificial ground you found a piece of meat your human self had left for you.
There was still the urge to run in your body, the urge to hunt and be free, wind on your nose - but you had the vague but persisting feeling that this was not possible. You remembered mating with someone the night before and it filled your body with excitement and content. You hadn’t done so in a long time and just like repressing the urge to run, it was not healthy. Your wolf self knew that as well as your human self, but was more willing to admit it. The dark eyed doctor had been your partner, something you’d never expected. But if everything went according to your wolf self, there’d be a lot of places on this ship you and the Doctor could use to explore each other. You bared your teeth and snarled.
The taste of raw meat occupied your mind for the next few minutes, your ears only twitching when someone was close, feet shuffling outside your room. The beeping of your communicator signaled to you that it was about time to change back. Your flanks raised and sank with a small whine. The desire to change back was small - something in your guts told you that this was not the way you were supposed to live like. That someone like you needed something else. Nevertheless you sat down, crouched and changed.
You had never seen your change from the outside, nor did you wish to. You had nightmares about being stuck in between. Nightmares about watching you from the outside - gruesomely bones breaking, shifting under your skin. Hair retreating and falling out. The sharp snap of your skull cracking and reforming.
And it hurt.
It was a sea of pain with no end to it.
You had never found a way to alleviate the pain.
There was only so much to cut back a cry of pain and the heavy panting associated with the pain. Almost too much to bear, you felt exhausted and hungry and irritated after every change, longing for a sedative.
And while you changed, while your fingers snapped back into position and your back reformed itself to allow for an upright walk, memories flooded back. Counting sedatives, the importance of hiding away, his lips on yours. Heated, passionate sex in his office. You groaned under the thought and a last wave of pain that left you panting on the floor, taking deep breathes as the pain ebbed away and left you tired lying there. Thoughts did not translate well. There was a fuzzy memory of eating that meat you had left outside and of vague feelings regarding your situation. It was more like emotions carrying over - emotions that were attached to situations and persons. The stuff that kept you from doing stupid werewolf-myth things: You did know not to eat your Captain and that biting and killing was bad. You just didn’t know on a rational level as a wolf, but on a primal level that connected these things with harm to yourself. It did make it difficult to lie to yourself - you may have had rationalized all attraction to your CMO away as a human, but being a wolf „lying“ was just no concept you fully got. Let alone lying to yourself. So, to safe yourself from trouble, you tried to refrain from self-deception as far as possible. Even if it meant fucking on an office table. Not that you regretted anything. The memory still sent shivers down your spine.
Ten or fifteen minutes later you finally got up, still a bit shaky on your feet and your stomach growling with hunger. Your change - or when you were injured in that regard - where the only times your body needed exponential more calories then a normal human did - you had calculated that this was simply the law of conservation of energy. Still naked you went over to the replicator for a big breakfast - bacon, waffles, pancakes - butter with your pancakes and syrup and sausages.
After shoving the second batch of pancakes down - and only then starting to feel at least a little full - you picked up your PADD.
From: CMO, Leonard McCoy
To: Doctor Y/N Y/L/N
Subject: Physical Exam
I know you’ve got a non-working shift today, but maybe you’ll join me for a coffee and a midnight run?
This is an automated signature -Every staff member of medbay reminds their assigned patients of quarterly physical exams. Exams are due until 2260.237. Fill out form 23C to be granted extension in special cases.
You giggled and put your PADD to the side. Your focus was still on food at this point, so you grabbed some more bacon. There was also the case of dog - well wolf - hair covering the floor of your quarters. Another Bling and another message. You wiped your hands with a towel and tapped at your PADD.
From: CMO, Leonard McCoy
To: Doctor Y/N Y/L/N
Subject: Fwd: Physical Exam
excuse the signature!
This was of course a personal message. Subject in case Jim gets his hands on my PADD again while drunken and files through whatever he deems interesting.
I could pick you up at your quarters, end of Beta shift?
Again, you put the PADD back and finished your breakfast, silencing your growling stomach. Priorities were important with your condition. Only after you finished eating you typed a reply to the doctor:
From: Doctor Y/N Y/L/N
From: CMO, Leonard McCoy
Subject: Re: Fwd: Physical Exam
hope you had a good nights rest.
Will gladly have coffee with you. See you at end of Betashift.
You got up with a smile on your face and started cleaning up. The next few hours went by fast - you had to get rid of the wolf hair, so that it wouldn’t accidentally end up in a cleaning bot. You would have to collect and burn it at some point on your voyage, but you felt assured that an opportunity would present itself sooner or later. Thank god you didn’t shed too bad. You had disinfectants to wipe the floor with in an effort to remove salvia and whatever you couldn’t brush away with the hair before.
Next step: Taking a hot shower to get rid of the smell of wild animal.
Just as change of shift commenced, someone knocked at the door. That smile on your face widened and you grabbed a hypo with a sedative. It knocked again.
„Coming!“, you yelled. You felt hot blood flushing through your veins. Your heartbeat wild and fast.
Maybe .. You stashed the hypo away behind your bed. Unused.
„Doctor McCoy“, the door slid open when you touched the screen next to it. You held your breath. He looked at you, a hint of concern in his eyes, carefully assessing you. For a moment you thought there was fear too. But whatever it was you saw vanished quickly behind his usual demeanor, albeit not as harsh as before last night.
„Y/N“ he said and you smiled, flattening your uniform dress with your hands. „Let’s go for a coffee.“
The Doctor was surprisingly pleasant company while having coffee.
He continued being pleasant company during a rushed meal in the mess hall and followed through with that in the gym, where you both enjoyed the silence of each others presence.
There was not much need for talk in your case anyway - you would never share your deepest secrets with anyone and Leonard seemed to just respect the distance you kept for yourself.
Running was good. You hadn’t taking sedatives in nearly 24 hours now and your heart was pumping hard and fast.
„You’ve got stamina“, the Doctor commented, at which you shot him a grin.
„I ran marathon as a hobby back on earth“ - this was only half of a lie. He probably imagined little pennants and hundreds of sweating people. Your mind produces the image of earth and crunching leaves under your toes and paws and the heat of a run, the smell of prey, how it squealed just a moment before ..
„Hff…“ that was the sound you made pressing air out of your lungs. Pushing the image away. Far away.
„Yeah .. just a small cramp.“
„Are your magnesium levels alright?“ That man was obviously never off duty.
„I’ve had them checked out.“
„I’ve got my tricorder in my jacket, I’ll check you out after workout.“
Was he .. concerned?
„If you say so…“, was what his voice said, but his eyes belied him. He would try to put a medical tricorder on you as soon as he got the chance. He was a bad liar at that - his quickened heartbeat and his not so subtle huffing where a good hint at what he really thought. Which made you laugh harder then you would’ve expected and forced you off your human hamster wheel. He quirked his eyebrows.
„You put that tricorder in my face, Leonard, it’s the only thing of you that’ll get close to me tonight - or tomorrow night“ you took in the look he gave you and let your grin show teeth: „Perhaps for the rest of the week, and you’re gonna regret that, I assure you.“
That was how you managed to get to spend the night at your CMOs quarters and wake up with your limbs entangled with his. You could feel his breath at your neck, slow and steady as his heartbeat was. An arm was wrapped loosely around your haunch, his legs entwined with yours. Your left foot rested on his calves, his other arm was straightened on the pillow over your head. The light in the room slowly began to brighten. You sighed, content with the moment.
The Doctor turned his head ever so slightly. You listened how his heartbeat slowly began to change. How his breathing sped up. It would be only moments before - yes, his lips brushed your neck. „You awake?“. „Been for a moment, yes.“. You turned your head to meet his gaze. His eyelids still heavy with sleep. That pair of dark eyes was inquisitive nonetheless and there was even a small smile on his lips. You felt your heart make a small jump at the sight. Aw, Shit.
He pushed closer, pressing a kiss on yours lips.
„Coffee?“ he whispered.
„You know a doctors heart, Len. That’s probably the sexiest thing someone has said to me in the morning.“
He chuckled softly, slowly straightening up and leaving the bed. His warmth still lingered for a moment after he left and you used the chance to roll on your back and admire the view from a wholly new perspective. Adding the smell of coffee, it was pretty close to a perfect morning.
„So…“ he began and you just hummed a vague sound of acknowledgement.
„You know, if you won’t stop staring and start listening I’ll have to put trousers on.“
„You’re always the spoilsport, aren’t you Doctor McCoy?“
With a roll of his eyes he put one cup on the nightstand, another in his hand, sitting down next to you. You noticed how his fingers clenched around his mug just a bit too much now. How he gritted his teeth in thought. His sudden change of mood was like a drop in air pressure.
„Do you… have regrets?“ you questioned carefully. Something dropped a tiny ball of ice in your chest, heavy and foreboding.
„Regret?“ he raised his eyebrows and the line of his mouth straightened. He looked serious, almost stern.
„This.“ you held your breath for a second, inched closer to him and bowed your head curiously. „Us?“ you added.
His answer was almost inaudible: „I don’t have the best track record with women“. You could sense a vulnerability usually hidden behind his rough demeanor. At this rate, this men would continue to surprise you for the next ten years and yet again you felt intrigued.
He lifted his head and stared at you intently.
„What is us, anyway?“ he inquired.
„Hm.“, he shrugged and put the mug aside. „So…“ this time he had your full attention. „Want to find out, Y/N?“
As fast as his mood had changed before, it now swung back. Flashing you a grin that made your heart jump and the animal inside howl with joy, he bowed down to you and pulled you into a fierce kiss. „We’ve got some time before my shift starts“. Laughing the both of you sank back on the sheets. By the time you left his quarters, you had to drink your coffee cold.
Your hands were shaking when you finally depressed half a hypo of sedatives into your skin.
Sex had been a surprisingly reliable way to keep the animal at bay, but by the time you had reached your quarters you felt restless. You stretched your fingers uneasy, staring at them, half expecting to see them break and form anew in this very moment.
About 36 hours.
That was your limit for now.
You remembered how furious the Doctor was. How he had watched you.
„I don’t have the best track record with women.“
You wanted to push further.
Hours melted into days, days became weeks and weeks finally culminated into months.
You had balanced your time with Leonard, your work and your ongoing venture to execute medical experiments on yourself. Your time with Leonard just consisted of hours in the medbay sometimes, making sure that you always were supplied with enough coffee. Bent over an operation table you had assisted him in saving a life after an away mission that had run particularly haywire. Bent over his office table you both had let off steam later that night, a short encounter of which you remembered the heat and the smell of paper and how his strong hands felt on your hips as they grabbed you - the both of you reminding each other that you were alive in a world were death loomed in every corner.
You had cut back on the sedatives and tried to compensate with more sport - which meant that any time you had for socializing with the rest of the crew was cut short in favor of gym time. Running seemed to soothe the animal within and you were proud of your effort to contribute to this mission.
Sometimes you even wished you could tell someone, anyone, Len - but you wouldn’t.
The most difficult of it all was your endeavor to learn more of your own condition - you had it all written down, encrypted and hidden away on your PADD, but still - all listed, scientifically recorded and filed. Your life in medical terms and through the lens of someone watching a strange insect. You had dug into genealogy - no uncles, no aunts, no how matter how distant cousins’ medical file was left unturned. Whatever you found you wrote down but it had all been for nothing. They were all perfectly normal, as far as humans went - there was a wide variety of sexual preferences, the usual amount of what was considered a black sheep (the good thing about a sprawling family tree was, that any black sheep surely would find that one branch of the family were everyone else was regarded as the black sheep and were they could blend in perfectly normal) and an even wider range of pursued careers.
Sadly no one was tagged with „Werewolf, Earth“ on their profile and you had given up on searching for that a long time ago in public forums. Apparently the myths of old still held their firm grip on human imagination, even after interstellar travel had opened their doors to everything curious and wonderful in the universe. Even after everything you had written down and checked and tested, your knowledge about your condition was patchy at best.
It had started when you were a teenager, with the onset of puberty and you therefore assumed that it had to do with hormonal fluctuations. However, your hormones where well within the range of what was considered normal for your particular case. For a good measure of inexplicable cliché, it seemed intertwined with radiation too. You would never forget the sudden realization as to how good it felt to step into the invisible embrace of radiation shields.
Over a decade of you changing into a wolf - how that worked you hadn’t the foggiest, even less how you survived the process as far as you could remember it. Breaking bones? Rearranging Organs like some oversized human caterpillar? That shit was the stuff for nightmares. There was a camera somewhere in your personal belongings you once had bought with the sole intention of filming the change but you never had the heart to follow through with your plans. Even your scientific curiosity had it’s limits, and that one was a limit of self preservation.
So, to cut things short: You hadn’t gotten any further in your studies. You had scribbled down two more things in your notebook:
- symptoms lessened since relationship with L.M.
- memory transfer more obscure w/o sedatives
It was the last part that made you worry the most. Carrying your memories from one form to another had always been inconsistent - you presumed that your wolf brain and your human brain just got their priorities mixed up, as well as the thing with translating your experience from one form to another. You put it this way: There was simply no way to translate the concept of a knife to a creature that had claws and fangs of its own.
Sometimes you felt that wolf memories came to you like day dreams or emotional flashbacks - you knew, but you didn’t necessarily remember.
If it was that hard to explain to yourself, it was a good thing you never had attempted to explain this to another human being. You knew that you suffered a new sort of disconnect when you entered your wolf form now.
From: CMO, Leonard McCoy
To: Doctor Y/N Y/L/N
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Fwd: Shore Leave Pictures Re: Re: Fwd: Physical Exam
Dinner and then Swimming tonight?
Will get you after Beta?
The message had been waiting on your PADD nearly an hour now to be answered. You sighed. Len in trunks, all wet and grinning at you sounded gorgeous. But the prickling in your fingers and the swarming sensation in your thighs and calves warned you to do so.
From: Doctor Y/N
To: CMO, Leonard McCoy
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Fwd: Shore Leave Pictures Re: Re: Fwd: Physical Exam
I have important work to finish. Let’s go tomorrow evening?
You waited for his confirmation and only after he expressed his regret over a missed opportunity you slowly undressed, folding your clothes and putting them on the table in your quarters. There was a ritual to it that made the pain that was yet to come more bearable. You drew a long breath and exhaled even slower - 5 seconds in, 10 seconds out. Calm washed through your brain und you felt a knot behind your forehead loosen as you welcomed the change.
The transition was always the same - trying to follow each step and to identify new steps was a good way to deal with what was happening. It was hard to imagine the freak out one had, when his right leg suddenly broke and reformed. Legs - Back - Belly. Organs shifting accordingly. That crush in your spine and in your skull. For obvious reasons you had never measured time, but you assumed that the whole horror show was done in less then three minutes. Your mind shifted the whole time. Your perception of what you considered hard facts became fuzzy around the edges and slowly dissolved, while emotion and instinct took over.
Something was different this time. What you had described as being disconnected from your human self back then you merely recognized as being unrestrained by obtuse moral codes now.
You stretched and your claws slipped with a screeching noise over the artificial ground. You hated it. Every bit of it. Stretching your back you turned around to inspect the room. There was a pile of clothes on the table. You launched yourself off the ground in one quick fluid motion and landed on the table, all four firmly up there - now you could put your muzzle into the stack of clothes comfortably. That smell. Human-You, a cocktail you referred to as ’Medbay’ and him. How intoxicating. How agitating. You snuffled and shoved the clothes down the table, along with some papers, scattering across the floor. Some part of you groaned. Bad Girl. The smell of him, your mate, was intoxicating. You could follow it through your room, it was nearly everywhere.There was the door, all shut and you gave it a try, dug at the door. It was of no use.
Bad. Bad. Bad.
It echoed in your brain, but rational thought was so easy to put down now.
Why could you not run outside, you argued with yourself. It was night now on this artificial world. Most were sleeping, the gangways nearly empty. You had sneaked through tubes and gangways once. You were good at hiding. You could actually feel your tail wagging with anticipation. It felt like watching your drunk self hit on that sexy Security-Officer in your first year at Starfleet Academy all over again. Your eyes grazed your room and locked onto the door panel.
Light scorched your eyes. A moan escaped your throat, raspy and low. The sound hurt deep in your lungs. You stretched your fingers. Yes, indeed, fingers. You had changed back in your sleep. Normally a guarantee for comfortable change something was wrong this time. Every inch of your body hurt. Pinching your eyes together to shut out the light you felt around the floor. It was wet and sticky. You coughed. Your senses returned slowly, snapping back into place one by one. Pain flooded your body, at first unfocused and just blazing everywhere, then slowly focusing on your right shoulder. You lifted your left hand and carefully touched that shoulder. Wet. Sticky. The skin your fingers touched was delicately soft. You forced your eyes open now, panic overriding pain. You were in your room.
Slowly straightening up you realized that there was blood on the ground. Around you.
Aching you moved into the bathroom and stared into the mirror: There was a gash on your shoulder - maybe a knife, you thought, a methodical strain of thought running parallel to the bubbling panic in your chest. It was all pink skin, already healed by your body during the change. It hurt and the fresh skin stretched uncomfortable around the moving muscle. There was only so much your body could do. You drew a deep breath, taking in the blood, the purple and black bruise around your shoulder. There was blood on your face and you tasted metal on your tongue.
Stumbling back into your bedroom you grabbed your PADD.
Alpha wouldn’t start for another 3 hours. It was technically still night time.
In that moment your communicator started blaring.
„Doctor Y/N required at Medbay. One injured. Heavily bleeding.“
You froze into place.
„Doctor M’Benga, what’s our status?“ - it was the special power of anyone who worked on call, not just werewolves, to get ready, dressed and cleaned of any bodily fluids within about 10 minutes if necessary. That’s how you stormed into the sickbays operation room A - the blue shirt slightly disarranged, hair still damp from a very short shower. You slid into the scrubs on auto pilot to get a look at the scenery.
„Ensign Bancroft was found 15 minutes ago. Mauling incident. Don’t ask me how. GCS 10. Lacerations on the face and his arms. Heavy blood loss due to injury at brachial artery, ligated now.“ Holy lord. You stared at the young mans face - or what was left of it. It was not the first time you saw these kind of injuries, but it was the first time that you … were the reason. Fear shot through you. They would incarcerate you for this, if they ever found out. Guilt crept upon you. Sneaked it’s tiny hands around your chest and squeezed it. God. You needed to concentrate, needed to work, now. Be professional. If you lost your cool now, you’d never forgive yourself. You’d never work as a doctor again. You pushed the thought away, leaving only place for professionalism and the now stretching itself out before you.
„Chapel, irrigate those wounds on his face with anti-bacterial solution 23“ - „Let’s patch him up“, M’Benga asserted grimly.
Where there was a surgery going, McCoy was usually nearby. There were jokes going around the medic team that he had persuaded Scotty to patch his Communicator and his PADD so that whenever there was an emergency surgery, he’d be commd, no matter if he were on call, duty, or otherwise. He was not satisfied with reports alone, he had to be there. This time you seemed to have dodged the bullet, at least as nightshift slowly descended into Alpha. No Bones. Yet. You patched that poor boy up the best you could. This was the most delicate, best suture you had ever delivered. Guilt seemed to propel your abilities to new heights, you thought bitterly to yourself. M’Benga and you had already discussed that that boy would’ve to stay for some time under the dermal regenerator. He’d also get preventive medication against everything you thought feasible in the situation. You were pretty sure to not carry any deadly diseases, but neither could you tell anyone what you knew, nor were you entirely sure how anything wolf in you reacted with a human. There had never been an accident. Talking of…
Still in your scrubs you watched Ensign Bancroft being carried out to his biobed in a private bedroom. Would he … change? You knew of no precedent. Were you now Patient zero to a werewolf epidemic? That would be… disastrous. No cure to that, being what you were. Not as far as your knowledge went, at last. You pulled off your bloody gloves and threw them in the sanitizer, following that you left the OR. Ah. Doctor McCoy. A smile crossed your weary face but he didn’t notice. Of course not - he probably fumed about not knowing about the surgery sooner and was extracting every bit of information from M’Benga he could. Luckily you had left a minute after him, or Bones would quiz you just as relentless as anyone else here. No special treatment for the person he happened to share his bed with. „Are you well…?“ Chapels blue eyes grazed your face. „Just a bit tired“, you smirked and shrugged. Shrugging hurt. You had almost forgotten about your own injury and tried to not pull a face at that. „Got the thing for you“ Chapel grinned and lifted a mug with steaming hot coffee. You would swear by your ancestors that the stuff replicated in medbay was at least 50% stronger then what you got anywhere else on the ship. Sometimes a coffee addict from Engineering sneaked in to replicate himself a mug. That’s how good the stuff was. „You’re an angel. I’d not know what we’d do without you.“ you shot her a big honest smile. „You better be awake, it’s gonna be a long Alpha for you today until M’Benga comes back from his beauty sleep.“ Christine paused and watched the two Doctors, standing next to you. „Assuming Doctor McCoy will ever let him leave.“
You usually covered Beta as second to M’Benga, but occasionally took over nightshift or assisted the big man himself on Alpha. Since Alpha was the busiest time on the Enterprise you’d usually be too busy to chat with McCoy. Not that you did not chat - you chatted with nurses and patients alike, but you and him were usually occupied with your own work, apart from five minutes for yet another coffee. That was all that kept you awake right now, anyway, as you’d technically not slept at all. There was a Security officer with a broken rib you’d tended to as Alpha drew to a close. He was a hearty fellow, joking during the whole procedure (which meant prescribing him something for the pain and making sure he’d restrict himself for the next weeks). He was a good flirt and seemed happy to test his skills at you. You didn’t mind but the disgruntled look Bones shot him near the end was about the funniest thing you’d seen in a while. „Thank you, dear Doctor“ the man grinned, running a hand of his through military styled short blonde hair. „Just be careful, it needs to heal. If you can’t rest, I’ll confine you to the sickbay.“ you said and closed his file on your PADD. Still grinning he clapped you on the shoulder, which made you draw a sharp breath. „I’m sorry, Doctor. Everything okay, Doctor?“ he asked, clearly shocked. „Yeah“, you grimaced at him and forced your eyes back into a smile. „Sport incident. Just be on your way.“ lazily waving your hand and forcing that smile a bit more, he nodded - not one hundred percent convinced - and left. You turned around, wanting to check Bancrofts biobed once more, only to see McCoy watching you with narrowed eyes. He’d seen.
„Shirt off.“ Unless your ability to interpret human sound hadn’t left you miraculously last night, that was no question. You were at Bones quarters - he had finished reading the reports on Bancroft so far, you had taken to the chance and eaten as much as humanly possible to add some substance to the amount of coffee you’d already had that day. „I’m …“ you began but he clicked with his tongue, expression stern. „I’m either doing this here, as your partner that happens to be a Doctor - an excellent one at that - or we’re going straight to medbay.“ A moment of silence stretched between the two of you. „Shirt. Off.“ he reiterated and from the tone of his voice, how gravelly it was, how close to a growl, you knew he was serious. Begrudgingly you grabbed your shirt and pulled it over your head, leaving your skin exposed to the cooler air. The bruise was still covering your shoulder - all dark blue and red and violet, expressing the colors of the rainbow. The barely healed gash was still there, of course. Red, thin skin stretching over your muscles. His face was unmoving as if carved from solid rock. He stepped closer to you. „Turn around.“ You did, turning your back to him and staring at the opposite wall. Feet shuffled, he moved closer, slowly letting out a previously held breath. Then his soft fingers touched the skin on your back - carefully, a lot deeper down then you had expected. Maybe you should’ve checked how far down this injury went. „Turn to me again“, said the Doctor and his voice was barely a whisper. Turning to face him again you slowly examined his face. His beautiful eyes had the cold glimmer of a distant star in them. There was no hot rage, but something else below that silent surface of his. The cold fury of clashing emotions. You could feel it raging, could see how it turned him upside down. His fingers traveled the gash. „Lift your arm.“ he said and you lifted your arm. It hurt and your face stiffened. „Hurts? Can you move it backwards for me?“ you did as he told you and followed through with a few other motions until he told you to lower the arm again.
„How did this happen, Y/N?“ now his eyes searched your face.
„It .. was an accident. In the gym.“
He snorted at that, something grim tracing the lines around his eyes and mouth now.
„Let me rephrase that, darlin’.“ there was something dangerous in his voice and you felt it was not directed at you. „Who did that?“
You shuffled uncomfortable at the question. How could you tell. What would you tell him. You didn’t know.
Hi Len, I was a wolf at that time and somehow don’t remember?
Yeah. Good luck with that, girl.
„I … cannot tell you, Len. I am so sorry. Please believe me.“ you hated the way your voice sounded like it was begging.
Gritting his teeth he backed up and left you for a second to grab his medical tricorder.
„Fine“ he decided then: „The moment you remember, you tell me.“ that was no question either. You had never seen him so … possessive? Or was defensive the right word?
„Now sit down for a moment, I’ll check you through.“
You opened your mouth to disagree at that but quickly closed it again when you saw his face.
Concerned. That was the word you were looking for. He was concerned. And professional. He would not have acted any different, were it anyone else on this ship. This was his crew and he felt responsible for the health of everyone. Being his significant other only gave him more edge in this matter. He stood in front of you, putting the tricorder to your face - given any other situation you’d have enjoyed the view and him, ordering you around in his bedroom. Now you waited for the whirring of the tricorder to stop.
„You’re readings are off, Y/N“ the tone of his voice dropped once more and now his eyes searched yours again. He pressed his left middle and index finger at your carotid. His lips moved the tiniest bit while counting, focused. „Way off.“ - „It was a very long and exciting day.“ you offered as a heartfelt, but poor excuse. It had been a long day and you got a feeling that those that followed would only become longer.
„We’ll check this regularly now. I don’t want to see you at work tomorrow, you’ll need bed rest. I don’t know how you got this gash on your shoulder, but this will be checked regularly too.“
„Doctors orders?“ you smirked as you tried to ease the tension.
„Are you teasing me for being concerned for your well being?“ he shot back but the tension did ease somewhat. Those lines around his eyes softened as he watched you now, the gruffness of his face smoothed as a smile tugged at his lips. You smiled back, still looking up at him, and carefully leaned your forehead on the fabric of his blue shirt. You felt his fingers touching your neck, wandering through the tiny hairs on your neck. How his heart beat faster then usually. „I promise you, Len“ you mumbled and lifted your face now to watch him „I’ll tell you, okay? It was an accident, don’t be worried.“ It was true. You would. Somehow. He nodded reluctantly. It was obvious that he wasn’t content. And he would put you in a biobed next thing in the morning. He didn’t need to tell you, you knew. If your shoulder hadn’t been so mobile, the gash not healed as good as it was, he’d have probably scooted you off to medbay in an instant. You got up from the bed and stretched yourself to brush a kiss on his lips. You wanted this to work out. With him.
„There’s no dodging me any more, young lady.“ said the Doctor. You pouted a bit, at which he nabbed at your lower lip with his teeth. „No amount of pouting and batting your eyes at me will change my decision. Or keep me from performing your exams myself anymore.“ his whisper had a raw quality to it. „You come to me, when you are wounded. I …“ he stopped and drew closer, pulling you into his arms, very careful not to put pressure on your shoulder. A strange sensation spread in your chest, warm and fuzzy.
„Yes, Sir.“ you said mockingly.
„Good girl“ he pressed his lips on yours and brushed a strain of hair out of your face.
The buzzing of your communicators woke the both of you - both of you jumped up, grabbed a pair of trousers and a blue shirt, getting ready in record time. You knew the emergency alert of sickbay by heart and by the time Bones had answered the call and forwarded you the details, you already had the door open and the both of you were hasting to your patient.
Ensign Bancrofts blood pressure had dropped, his temperature risen. When you finally got there he was shaking violently.
„Phenobarbital, Nurse“, you ordered, completely forgetting Bones presence in the medbay. If this was what you thought it was, you were the only one who knew what would eventually happen anyway.
You felt the gaze of his dark eyes on your back - worried, seizing you up, evaluating. You were not only his partner anymore, but also his patient and he was not happy with what he saw. The Doctor stepped over to you and his heavy hand rested on your un-hurt shoulder for a long moment, warmth sinking into your body as if to remind you of something. Then he got to work, next to you - ordering the nurses, analyzing the readings of the biobed faster then you had ever seen anyone do. Watching him work under pressure for the first time you started to realized why he was the CMO of the Enterprise, star fleets jewel. The best of the best. He ordered medication to keep the ensigns blood pressure in check, as well as to keep his seizures under control. When the biobeds alarm went off because oxygen levels dropped, he ordered you to assist. Working next to him you felt like being in med school again and you could not help but admire his efficiency, although it came coupled with a certain grumpiness you now understood as concern and the heavy weight of responsibility on his shoulder. You felt nothing but admiration in this moment.
Bancroft finally stabilized, at least for the moment, as Alpha drew near. Another sleepless night on the Enterprise, you thought, exhausted. Two days with barely any sleep and one disaster following another.
„That’s that“, Bones mumbled, typing on his PADD and then glancing over to you. „Now, Doctor Y/L/N, if you would lie down here please.“ he patted on an empty biobed. For a second the urge to run, to fly, was nearly irresistible. It welled up in your chest, a wave of jaw clenching fear, but ebbed away the moment it came. What could you do? Where should you run? It was a starship in deep space. In all likelyhood there were light years between you and the next Class M planet.
„Do I need too?“ you asked, words falling unwillingly from your lips.
„Yes, princess“ he scoffed and strode over to you. Grabbing your arm he pulled you along. „You’re irresponsible“ he continued and by the strain on his face, how his teeth ground, you knew he was angry. It radiated off him like heat from a sun. Now was the time to shut up and let fate decide.
You lay down on the biobed, taking a deep breath. You could feel the current running through the machine before it displayed anything, hear the soft hum of capacitors. „Let’s see.“
The sensors of the biobed sprang to life with a cacophony of alarms.
The available nurses stopped dead in their tracks, two ran over to were you where.
Bones stared at the readings of the biobed.
„I thought my tricorder might be defect“, his finger ran across the display, lowering the volume of the alarms and at the same time a glaring red prompt appeared.
Silence engulfed medbay, bar the sound of the machineries low hum.
„Y/N“, his brow furrowed deeper then it had ever before. His features went through an expression of fear, confusion and anger. A wild mixture.
„These readings are completely off…“ he grabbed his tricorder, as if to confirm the biobeds readings. „You should be …“ - „Dead?“ you offered, but he shook his head. „No. But certainly not happily talking to me.“ Happily definitely wouldn’t have been your choice of words.
„I …“ you drew a deep breath and just stared at him. Just now crept a deep fear into your heart and nested between your veins and arteries. It had hidden in the beasts fur, on his bared teeth, unbeknown to you but ever present as a constant nagging in the back of your head.
„I am sorry“ you whispered and heard your voice almost fail.
„I will… I will tell you everything I know.“ you were not sure if he could even understand what you said, instead you saw his fingers whirr across the biobed again.
„Is this your normal blood pressure?“ he asked, cool and distant and each word was a shard of ice pricking your skin.
„Yes. Len, please …“
„What about those hormonal readings?“ he cut you off again.
„Normal. Well. No. They are off, actually, but I don’t know …“
„Do you know you’re normal parameters?“
„I got them somewhere in my quarters. Len, listen, I …“
„What Species?“ you looked into his dark eyes as he asked you and it felt as if the heat would peel the skin off your bones.
„I don’t know.“
He shook his head and stared at the readings again.
„As far as I am concerned, Leonard …“ your voice was soft, trying to appease to him. „I’m human. I’m registered human. I will tell you everything.“ Stretching your hand you reached for his, warily touching his skin. It felt cool against yours. His fingers bent around yours, gently, and you eased against the motion - your heart rate dropping - then he led your hand back to you, putting it carefully on your chest. „We will have to talk about this with the Captain“, he answered and his voice sounded weary and tired.
„BONES!“ Kirks voice boomed through medbay, just as you got up from the biobed. There was no instant danger of you dying, so it was useless to keep you there and waste the resources.
„Lab results are back.“ Spock trailed behind him, his usual calm self. You drew in a deep breath. It felt like apocalypse dawning. Bones eyes fixated on the Captain and his Vulcan officer, his face unmoved. Spock lifted his PADD and opened the results. „I supervised sequencing of the data from Ensign Bancrofts wounds myself“, he began, stoic and methodically. „The DNA we gathered is of no known canid earth species. The results were also negative for …“ and off he went with a list of more or less likely species to deal such a wound.
Yeah, you’ll not find that in your database - you thought and the thought sounded sardonic even in your head.
„So we don’t know?“ asked Bones.
„It get’s better“ said Kirk and crossed his arms in front of him. „Tell him, Mr. Spock.“
„As Captain Kirk indicated it ‚get‘s better‘“, you could actually hear the quotation marks in his voice. „The DNA does match with a human at approximately 98%“
McCoys eyebrows went up at this.
Your eyes caught Leonards. You hoped they told him everything you were afraid to tell: That you were sorry. That you never had wanted to lie to him. That you missed his skin on yours already. That you’d wait for that grumpy man that had caught your heart by surprise. And of your love for him that had you throw away your career and all caution.
„Sir“, your mouth felt dry, your tongue sticking to the roof of your mouth.
Three pairs of eyes fell on you.
„It was me. Sir.“ you said and felt a lump in your throat. Unable to muster the courage to look at Doctor McCoy, you stared at Captain Kirks chest. Leonard.
„Would you care to elaborate, Doctor Y/L/N“ Kirk began and you were surprised by how calm he was about the whole affair. „I am looking at you right now and I don’t see a … well.. something with more teeth.“
„Not at the moment, no“, again, you drew a deep breath.
„I think Y/N has a lot to tell us.“ that was Leonards voice and still, you did not dare to look at him.
„Protocol states that we have to confine here for the time being. You will also have to charge her with the attack on a member of starfleet.“ Spock voice, again, an anchor in the current of events. Kirk raised his hands to wave at his remark, but you shook your head.
„He’s right Captain. I …“ you swallowed dryly. „I cannot trust myself. I’ll answer all your questions.“
You felt the heat of McCoys stare on your neck.
They said that an empty room echoed your human self in it and that therefor it was one of the hardest things to endure alone. Funny, as the Enterprises systems didn’t even recognize you as human - or anything else. You had never thought that the slight difference, that this one thing was enough for you to not really count any more. Maybe it was somewhat like with the Romulans and the Vulcans. You sat there, hands folded and shivering, not from cold or illness, but something deep within you shaking and rattling against your confinement. Your cell. Your cage. And there was your triumvirate ready to pass judgement over your maculate soul. Spock was collected and reserved, hands folded behind his back, watching. Kirk was pacing, thinking, watching you with two parts interest and one part caution. Bones was working himself through one emotion after another, you couldn’t bear watching it, though it was his voice that spoke first after you had settled down in your cell.
„I’ll need a blood sample, Doctor Y/N“, his voice was pressed as he stepped forward to open up a window in the glass wall. „Put your arm through here, will you?“ there was a ‚please‘ hidden in his voice, nestled in the barest hint of his southern drawl. You felt his affection more than you could actually observe it. Obeying you put your arm through the opening in the glass wall and watched Kirks careful step as he got closer, baby blue eyes piercing you.
„So, Y/N, feel free to explain any time.“
Not wincing as Bones drew blood from you, but still smelling the fluid, you turned your face to watch the Captain.
„I don’t know, what I am, Captain“, you said. A phial filled, but Bones took another one. You’d have done the same in his place.
„That is a rare thing in the universe, not knowing what you are.“ he lifted his eyebrows.
You raised your shoulders in defiance. „You can call me a werewolf.“ you offered and he laughed a short, cut back laughter.
„So you are a shapeshifter.“ the cold monotone was Spocks and you turned your attention to him.
„I guess. I can change shape - by will, but I must by force and under .. circumstances I can only barely determine. I only have one other shape, too.“ your breath left you as a long sigh. Bones was finished with drawing blood, his warm hand held your arm for a moment longer then was absolutely necessary. You felt grateful for it.
„Were your parents shapeshifter too?“
„No .. I .. you know what - access my room, you’ll find a book with notes under my mattress and I’ll give you the password to access a couple of encrypted files on my PADD. They’ll explain everything I know.“
McCoy closed the window in the glass and took a step back behind his questioning captain.
„How did the incident with Bancroft happen? Did you get in trouble?“
„I barely know him, Sir. He’s probably been to the sickbay once, can’t really remember, but that’s it.“
„Then why hurt him? And how?“
„I don’t know, Sir.“
„You don’t know how you hurt him?“
„No, I don’t know why I hurt him.“
He shot you a quizzical look. Spock was taking notes on the PADD, looking up to you ever so often. The doctor had crossed it’s arms in front of his chest. You could see his teeth working, jawline tense, eyes staring at a spot several meters behind your back.
„Please elaborate, Doctor Y/L/N“
„Sir,“ you began - a thought pounding against your forehead, as if trying to escape your mouth and break free of this horror show.
Just show ‚‘em. Show em. ShowemShowemShowem.
„God no,“ you muttered, closing your eyes and pinching your nose.
„What was that, Doctor?“
„Nothing, Sir. I .. it’s just hard to explain, that’s all.“
„Try me. I’ve seen stranger things.“
Another sigh and then you tried to explain - the disconnect between you and your animal half („So you lose your consciousness?“ - „No, it’s different. I know who I am, Sir. My wolf self is as aware of me being me, as I am being a wolf.“ It sounded rubbish the moment you spoke the words.), the change (They didn’t believe you, you could see it in their eyes) and the memories, the emotions, how things were and weren’t at the same time. Futile. It was as if to explain to a deaf child the sound of waves crashing onto stone.
Show em. Show em.
You groaned again and stared at Bones. The other two - you didn’t care. But Bones?
„I will show you. The change.“ you said and straightened up.
„But Leonard will go. Security will go. I don’t want them to see.“
„Security will go - „
„Sir, I don’t think it’s advisable to - „
„Spock, Security will go - but Bones here will stay.“
You shook your head. You would not basically flay yourself in front of your boyfriend. Or ex-boyfriend. You weren’t exactly sure about that.
„I will not go, Y/N“. That was his voice - he was addressing you, finally - just you. You opened your mouth to protest but he was having none of it.
„I am your Doctor, Y/N. Listen to me.“, his voice had lowered to the soft murmur reserved for frightened children and wild animals. You forced yourself to look at him.
„I am your Doctor and whatever … illness you’ve got there, we’ll figure it out.“
He didn’t understand.
Nor did the thought stem from the primal part of you, neither was it driven by your boiling emotions. It was a simple fact. He didn’t understand. That this was no disease, no illness, but a fundamental change down to the last molecule in your body.
„Okay“, you said and your voice fell flat.
You grabbed the hem of your blue uniform dress and pulled it over your head, effectively revealing your underwear.
„Ahem, Doctor Y/L/N, is that - „ - „I will damage my clothes if I don’t, or will get trapped. Just watch.“
You slipped out of your shoes, your underwear and a red touch flashed your cheeks, but as soon as you got rid of your last piece clothing you got down on all four and tried to arrange your limbs in a way that one could refer to as „doggy style“. In theory, this would help with the whole process. In reality you’d end up panting, lying on your side and whining like always. But it was ritual, and rituals kept the pain at bay.
You’d never seen the change through someone else’s eyes, but today yours would focus on the dark pair that belonged to Bones. Thickheaded, passionate Bones.
This time you felt the pain only as the horror in his eyes by the sound of your cracking bones.
You felt the pain as he drew on his composure as a trauma surgeon when your limbs rearranged.
You felt the pain as an endless stream of pity and compassion in his face.
And as the wolf took over all your eyes could see was a mate. Your mate. Would he be your mate after witnessing this? Could he ever lie next to that cursed body of yours? The abomination you were?
In the end you laid whimpering on your side, your sides heaving as they desperately drew air in. You stomach was clenching with hunger. You had barely eaten and already changed twice in such a short time. Not to mention that injury. Legs shaking you got up with all the dignity a wolf on a starship could muster. Spocks voice was an incoherent stream of complicated words on which you’d have to concentrate to really understand them. „Fascinating“ was what you understood as he kneeled down in front of the cell. Kirk seemed uneasy about what he had seen - and compassionate. Nothing you had expected.
And Bones. You turned around and heard the clicking of your claws on the ground. He spoke - again the slow singsong. You sat down in front of him and cocked your head, staring up at him, tail curled around your feet.
There was no need to remember exactly what he said. The exact words were of no matter to you now. They began to discuss with each other and long minutes passed. You watched them for a while, sniffed the ground and finally decided there was nothing to do - you jumped on the bed and curled up there, sticking your nose into the sheets and smelling the comforting odor of Starfleet Standard issue detergent.
You woke up hours later to the sound of two persons arguing, immediately realizing that one of those persons was Bones. Stretching on your bed you realized another thing - that you were human again. A pleasant surprise. One of the few you got.
„You cannot go in there, Sir. I am afraid I can’t allow it.“
„Can’t allow it?“ he huffed and made an aggressive step forward.
„I’m sorry, Sir“, the security officer straightened up and tried to keep his point blank stare just above McCoys shoulder.
„You know who I am, son? I’m your CMO. Your chief medical officer.“ his hand gestured wildly into your direction: „We’ve got a young woman in there who has just gone through a series of traumatic injuries. Repeatedly.“ he was basically shouting now, towering over the poor man.
„I will go in there and treat my patient and there’s nothing on this ship capable of stopping me.“ he strode over to your cell, shooting a look over his shoulder as if to see if the Security officer would try to actually do anything. He didn’t dare. A smile crept on your face as he approached the glass, you had just managed to put on your underwear and were reaching for your blue uniform.
„Don’t even bother getting clothed, young lady.“ he opened the cell just wide enough for him and his medical equipment to fit in. „And stop grinning to yourself, I’ve not even begun with you.“
His movements were methodical, but there was a certain edge to him, a sharpness you had not seen before.
„Sit down, I want to have a look a you.“
Not daring to say a word you sat down as he put his medical recorder to your face. It beeped.
„I’ve calibrated a new setting according to your notes.“ A moment of silence. „Yeah, even with this new settings, your data’s off the chart.“ There were dark circles under his eyes, emphasizing the lines on his face. Something hard glistened in the corner of his eyes.
„Listen, Len …“ you began and were immediately interrupted
„What? What, Listen, Len?“ his voice seemed only an inch away from shaking with fury, loaded with emotions so mixed up with another that they were indistinguishable.
„I’m… sorry.I didn’t want to… lie to you.“
„But you did“ he answered and bitterness dropped into every word he said. „You lied to me.“
„Yes, yes I did.“ you took a deep breath as he was taking your pulse and angrily nodding to himself.
„And I am sorry. I just … never told anyone what I was and … I wanted to go to starfleet so badly and… „ you stringed one word after another, afraid that if you didn’t vocalize them now, you’d never get a choice to say them again. „They’d never have let me and at some point I was so used to hiding it .. and I was so afraid if people would find out what a freak I am …“
He stopped in what he was doing, got a hypo out of his jacket and simply punched it into your arm.
„Are you out of your goddamn mind?“ Your mouth fell open, the silence following booming in your ears.
„Are you, Y/N? Because I think you must be. We’ve got all sorts of aliens on this fucking ship - that’s always one hull breach short of killing every single one of us anyway“ he took a deep breath.
„You think one person who occasionally changes into a fucking wolf would make any difference? Jim would’ve probably bought you a dog bowl as a birthday present.“
He stuffed the empty hypo angrily in his pockets and got another one, punching it into your arm with considerable force. You winced, both from pain and his words. After putting the second hypo back into his pockets he ran his hand through his hair, muttering under his breath before addressing you again.
„Fucking. Starfleet. Y/N. Imagine … Imagine what would’ve happened if you’d gotten injured. Nobody would’ve been able to treat you. WORSE.“ he raised his voice, a fire burning in his eyes now: „We would have treated you to death because we would’ve known nothing about your physiology. I would have killed you, with my own hands and out of good intent, just because you thought that next to that green blooded goblin and a piece of metal hurling us through space you …” he stopped himself in mid sentence and turned his face back to you. All of a sudden his face softened. The lines on his face smoothened. You felt tears in your eyes but too proud to shed them.
„I was afraid, Len. Don’t you understand?“
He walked over to the bed where you were still sitting, shoulders slumping down.
„I .. thought they’d never .. I am alone, Len. I don’t even know what I am.“
His dark eyes watched you and you could see the rage that he’d been feeding for the last couple of hours slowly ebbing away.
„I’m sorry“ you said.
„Don’t“ his hand cupped your face for a second, his thumb gently caressing your cheek.
„I ordered food to be brought. You need it. Eat. Sleep. We …“ he stopped in mid sentence again and shook his head, stepping away from you.
Without speaking another word, he left your cell and did not turn around again.
Emptiness followed McCoys departure and stretched from seconds to minutes, from minutes to hours. At some point you got food and at another point Chapel made her appearance. It was after Beta, the security guys watching your cell had switched shift about an hour ago. It was like another world behind your cell, a world you had no part of any more. They didn’t even seem to really care, but maybe that was your imagination, feeling more detached from the world outside your own then ever. Not even Chapels bright, kind smile managed to brighten your mood significantly, the words of your boyfriend, your partner still echoing in your ears.
I am so stupid.
„How are you holding up?“ she asked and sat down in front of your cell, grabbing a chair and pulling it over. „I brought you chocolate.“
You raised your eyebrows, forcing a weak smile to your lips.
„There’s no ill in space chocolate won’t lessen.“, she mused and gave you the kindest and most honest smile you’d seen since your incarceration. For all that had happened she seemed completely unfazed by the events unfolding - or blissfully uninterested of what you were. Shoving the chocolate through a temporary hole in your cell wall, her blue eyes traced over your face.
„Take a bite, Y/N.“ - though kind and warmhearted and smiling there was a resolve behind her words that easily matched the fiery temper of Bones. Obediently you took a bite, but the warmth that spread through your chest was that of another friendly being close to you.
The Enterprises’ head nurse continued watching you, seemingly comfortable with the silence that stretched between the too of you. You caught a whiff of medbay in the air, a scent that followed everyone along that worked there. It reminded you of home.
„He’s been hard on you, hasn’t he?“
You gave a noncommittal shrug and took another bite of chocolate.
„You know, Y/N,“ she leaned back in her chair and looked politely down to her fingernails.
„I’ve known Doctor McCoy for a while now and…“ she deep breath and lifted her head back up.
„He’s not …“, she stopped again and you cocked your head.
„He’s a kind man, if he allows himself to be that way.“ Chapel finally said, nearly whispering, as if talking about a long lost lover.
„And he’s an understanding man, if he is given the time to work through things.“
You nodded slowly, feeling a tiny ache pinching at your heart. You felt the sudden urge to touch her. Or be touched.
„Did he .. tell you?“ the question fell from your lips before your brain realized it. „About what he had said?“
Another smile tugged at her lips as she shook her head.
„Then how … ?“
„As I’ve told you: I’ve known him for quite some time, Doctor.“
Another pause followed, time enough for a lump to form in your throat while going through the words that had fallen for the hundredth time today.. The desire to change and give into your primal self grew in your chest, but you were not yet ready to face your raw emotions. Bottled up in some dark corner of your mind you feared it would probably kill you.
„He has a tendency to … get in his own way.“ she finally said, matter-of-factly, and let out a small sigh.
„How is Ensign Bancroft?“ you said, changing one uncomfortable topic for another.
„He’s in a coma. His body is …. fighting…whatever disease he’s got. We’re trying to work it out.“
You nodded slowly, guilt weighing heavy on your shoulders.
Chapel smiled again and knocked at the glass wall with her knuckles, as if to replace a friendly pat on the shoulder with that gesture.
„Keep the chocolate, eat up and don’t let your head down.“
A small smile crept upon your face.
„I’ll try my best.“
„Good girl. Everything else will sort itself out, eventually“ Chapel said, smiled, got up and left the room.
Gammashift meant night shift and only a skeleton crew remained to man the Enterprise. The lights were down, only main gangways fully lit. A comfortable darkness had blanketed your cell, the glas wall even lowered visibility to outside your cell,so that you’d be comfortable and not kept awake by the light at the desk of the remaining security personell. You lay on your back, arms crossed behind your head and slowly drifted off to sleep.
You felt cold air on your naked skin.
Earth still warm from the last rays of sun beneath your feet.
Your toes dug deep into the earth as you propelled yourself forward.
Breathing, rythmically, air pinching each time you drew it into your lungs.
There were feet next to you.
One-Two - Three-Four.
You turned your head but could not see.
Your own heartbeat was too loud, but faintly, as if far away, there was another one.
„Who…“ the figures footsteps beat louder now. Faster.
It advanced into the darkness that enveloped everything before your eyes.
„Wait“, you whispered and ran faster.
Nothing. No heartbeat. No footsteps. Just silence.
You stopped dead in your tracks as something -
You yelped awake. It was still dark and Alpha still seemed far away. Nothing. Already the memory of your dreams slipped away from the tight grip of consciousness. But still. A feeling nagged you, but you couldn’t pinpoint it and experienced had taught you not to listen too closely to what the wolf tried to tell you in your human form. With a sigh, you fell back on your bed and slipped into dreamless sleep.
Breakfast came and went without another incident. Time slipped by uneventful and change of shift marked it’s passing. It was in the middle of Beta when the captain himself made his appearance, followed along by his first officer like an oversized vulcan puppy. You straightened up immediately.
„At ease“, Kirk said at once. He positioned himself in front of your cell and his kind puppy smile was as unreadable as Spocks stoic expression. A slight nausea swept over you.
„Doctor Y/N“, he began, doing nothing to ease your tension by extending this longer then necessary. „I am very happy to tell you that investigation showed no evidence of you being our suspect.“
Silence fell. All thoughts went blank for a second.
„I.. what?“ you gasped in disbelief.
„Doctor McCoy was kind enough to provide a blood sample to our laboratories.“, the Vulcan continued what his Captain had begun and watched unmoved as your shoulders sank.
„Evidence suggests that you are not responsible for harming Ensign Bancroft, therefor your detention is without a legal basis and outside of starfleet regulation.“
„You’re free, as I said.“ Kirk said, as if a translation was necessary, and waved to the guards. „You heard me, that woman is free to go.“
The guard tapped on it’s PADD and the glass wall all but disappeared. You still stared at Kirk and his first Officer in disbelief.
„And.. what about…?“ you began, only to be cut off by another hand wave from your Captain.
„Until we decide how to handle the situation, you’re released from duty but free to assist Doctor McCoy should he ask and you feel up to the task.“
You nodded slowly.
A hot shower and a fresh blue dress later you felt ready to head back to medbay. Sitting around had never been your strong suit and as a meeting with Bones was unavoidable, you preferred to chose the place of the battle yourself. That’s how you made you’re way through the Enterprise and how the scent of medbay greeted you long before you laid your eyes on it, as always. But this time it filled your heart with dread, no matter how prepared you thought you’d be for what was coming.. It felt like you were approaching at a creeping speed. You knew you weren’t, but still - every step you made seemed to slow down time, to stretch a second into a hours. Entangled with Medbay was the scent of Bones. He and medbay were one. Inseparably connected. You turned around a corner, took another deep breath and stepped in.
There he was. Blue shirt, nicely wrapped up in his uniform and work, his dark eyes concentrated on his PADD.
„I report back for duty, Doctor McCoy.“
He lifted his head for a second and you could see ..nothing. Too much at all.
„Good.“ he said, seemingly unmoved, applying a Hypo to his patient without looking up again.„We’re one Doctor short and could use the help.“ if there was an attempt of a joke, it fell flat in light of the situation and your current lack of humour. „Security managed to get a couple of Ensigns hurt on our recent away mission - get started.“
And so you picked up work again, not exactly where you left, but close enough. Bones busied himself with patients and shouting and being his usual grumpy self, while you worked through broken bones, a nice laceration and some variants of the common space cold. A case of alcoholism busied your mind, discussing a treatment plan with one of the nurses until you noticed that it was already late into Gamma and the amount of patient slowly ebbed away. Bones was still there, as always. A feeling of familiarity eased into the situation. It would be easy to just get up, ask for dinner, just as before.
A tranquilizer would be nice now. Just to get that damn heartbeat down.
Not used to be fully awake.
A deep sigh escaped your lips and you rubbed your temples while leaning over that last bit of report you wanted to finish.
A nice tranq. Why not use one. Soothe the animal inside.
Groaning, you rubbed over your forehead and shook your head.
„Is everything okay?“ his voice was behind you all of a sudden.
„Yes…“ you turned around to face his stern expression.
„No..“, you corrected yourself and forced half a smile on your face.
„I’m having headaches for the past few hours. And .. it’s .. complicated.“, mumbling the last part you averted his eyes and stared over his shoulder.
Of course he had his medical tricorder in his hands only seconds later, putting the damned thing to your face. You suppressed a shiver as his hands brushed over your skin.
„You’re completely off tranquilizers right now?“ he asked. You could feel the warmth of his breath on your face now.
„Aye“, your answer was barely a whisper.
His warmth left your for a second, then he was back and grabbed your arm.
„Damn you, woman. You’re on cold turkey. I’ll give you one now, another one tomorrow evening. We’ll stretch intervals to two days then. We need to monitor your vitals. See how your body reacts“ and pushed a hypo into your arm.
„And yes, I had your secret stash collected by one of our nurses.“ he added. The deep frown on his forehead intensified. His voice was just short of a deep growl, a sound that resonated deep within you.
„I’m .. sorry…“, you whispered.
„I could’ve …“ he began and stopped himself, dragging his right hand over his face. He let go of your arm. Suddenly you could see just how tired he really was.
„Y/N. I … We…“ His sentence ended in an unfinished sigh.
„I am so sorry, Len.“ you repeated and though a part of you revolted you knew you sounded like pleading.
„I could’ve lost you, Y/N“ he finally said, staringdown at his hands.
Silence again, as you carefully stretched your fingers to meet his. His touch was soft as he gently grabbed your fingers. Warm and kind and everything he did no muster the courage to say. „I’m sorry I hurt you.“ you whispered. As you looked up to him the stern expression on his face softened.
„I’d love to.“
The sound of a medical alarm woke you up. Confused you stretched out your arm, only to land on a communicator the same second another, bigger hand did.
„It’s mine.“ the gruff voice of McCoy muttered, grabbing the thing with his one hand and not lifting the other from where it rested on your hip.
He had answered your most urgent question right after you had finished dinner.
Take that dress off, darling.
He did not fear to touch you. Nor did he shy away from you after what he had seen.
I did not tell you to take that off, yet.
Still, there was something different. His touch was more firm, his kisses more fierce then before. There was a desperation you had not felt before. He cared. Deeply. It would take time before everything settled down.
Bones sat up abruptly next to you, startling you out of your thoughts.
„Bancrofts dead.“ he said and his voice fell flat. „He’s been killed.“