Word count : 936
Rating : G
Fandom : Star Trek Reboot
Pairing : McCoy/Chekov



McCoy watched the gentle rise and fall of the boy's chest as he slept. He didn't need to - there was no medical reason for him to be sat here well past the end of his shift watching a patient sleep. Still, the nurses and the doctor who had relieved him left him to it, just as they had when he had pulled the screens around Chekov's bed.
 
He wouldn't do this for any other member of the crew, not under these circumstances. Maybe if Jim was all cut up, or the Vulcan was dying he might sit a spell and monitor a little longer than normal, but he would never stay all night, and he would certainly not brush his fingers gently against theirs, just to let them know that someone was here.
 
He was a bad doctor, he decided. A good doctor should treat all his patients equally, not pick and choose the cute ones to give a little extra care for. Still there was some lingering suggestion that he was not a doctor right now. He was just a man, a foolish old man who couldn't leave Chekov's side because he cared for him too much.
 
McCoy jumped to attention as his patient started to stir. Those aqua blue eyes fluttered open, dimmed from the pain medication and the general fatigue which had failed to subside since he and two others had beamed back from Neskal 30 with poisoning from sulphor dioxide. His eyes were rimmed with raw looking pinkness and he rasped as he breathed. "Do-"
 
Before Chekov could speak Bones shushed him, reaching round for a glass of water and putting it to the Ensign's lips. He sighed as Chekov made to gulp at the liquid, and caught a dribble from the corner of his mouth. "Don't try and speak Ensign, your throat's as dry as dust." He took the glass once Chekov had had enough and set it down, watching as he started to drift off again. For two days he'd been like this. The symptoms he came in with were gone but they'd been replaced with a kind of exhaustion, and though his condition was definitely improving, McCoy didn't want to take his eyes from him.
 
Now sure he was asleep, McCoy stroked an errant curl back from the boy's face and let his fingers linger on his forehead. Asleep he looked even younger than he did awake, all the lines and creases which allowed for his sunny little smile and the look he got when he was working out a complex equation were gone, leaving just an unworried countenance in direct contrast to McCoy's constant scowl.
 
"Only not so constant since you've been coming around," he murmured. Chekov had become a frequent visitor to his quarters in the past few months. It had all started with a practical joke - a variation on the old shoe-polish on the telescope gag - which had seen McCoy administering an eyebath and a lecture on not looking into pipes on the engineering deck, no matter what Scotty told him was stuck down there. Chekov had had a look on his face that McCoy didn't like, one that made his smile seem a good few moves away, so he had schooled him in a few practical jokes which would wipe the smile off Scotty's face. Well, the kid was a natural. Soon enough he had pranked damn near every smart ass on that engineering deck in good style and diligently returned to his mentor to relate the stories, leaving McCoy laughing for the first time in a long time. One day Chekov had just been about to relate the fate of Ensign T'Pel's dress trousers when Dr Mori had needed the office and McCoy had suggested they re-locate to his quarters to finish the story. Now it was a weekly ritual, though this was the closest this ship came to Tuesday, and half the party was lying in a sick bed.
 
"Are you sleeping here again tonight doctor?" The voice of Nurse Roberts drifted from the other side of the screen.
 
McCoy cleared his throat and drew back the curtain, reaching for the blankets that had been proffered almost every night for the last three nights. "I should monitor him for a little while longer, thankyou nurse."
 
She nodded and withdrew, not wanting to second-guess the doctor. She was a highly skilled and experienced nurse but she gathered that whatever was keeping the doctor at this young man's bedside was not a medical matter. Pulling the curtain around the bed once more she left her shift glad that there were still doctors like McCoy around.
 
Wincing as his aching back twinged in the chair, McCoy dragged himself a little closer to Chekov's bed. His pale hand was twitching in his sleep and McCoy instinctively took it, allowing the boy's long fingers to curl around his as he dreamed fitfully. God, he hoped notbody would come around to see this - the grumpiness he carefully maintained meant that fools kept their distance and sometimes stayed away all together, just how he liked it. If it got round he was seen holding hands with a patient...a male patient...half his age, well, he would soon find himself the centre of a bad kind of attention. He let his ears attune to the sounds of the sick bay, and hoped that when nurse Chapel found him at the start of their shift, she'd be kind enough not to let anyone see him asleep, and gripping the hand of his Pavel like he would never let go.
.

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