Author: Hypatia Kosh
Series: TOS
Codes: McCoy
Rating: PG
Feedback: Please
Archive: yes, Trekiverse; all others please ask
Beta: Farfalla. Thanks!
Summary: An excerpt from McCoy's personal logs.

By Hypatia Kosh

I spent yesterday evening nursing a headache.

It was a throbbing pain that started somewhere behind my forehead and ended deep in my soul. I poured myself another drink, to distract myself from the pain. I'd lost another one, and no amount of alcohol would wash that away.

I looked at my hands. Worthless. Useless. I go into black moods at times like these, and last night was no exception. I holed myself up in my office, tellin' everyone I didn't want to be disturbed, hopin' that I would be.

Jim came by. He's been a good friend these last few months. He always seems to know just when to show up, with almost preternatural precision. Even Spock swears there's something unnatural about him, and he's not the superstitious type.

Jim accepted a drink to be sociable, but made me put the bottle away. Our captain is supremely driven and has great self-control, and he expects all of us under his command to be the same. Trouble is, he's an elemental sort of person, very physical. He doesn't seem to realize that not every man is built the same way. Sometimes, I just gotta cut loose or I'll go crazy. But it's all right. His heart is in the right place.

Jim lent me a sympathetic ear and told me not to blame myself. I wasn't ready to hear that yet, and I'm still not. Callahan didn't have to die. I keep thinking, if only. If only we'd intervened more quickly, more accurately. There's always something more that can be done. That thought keeps me going most of the time; I was flaying myself with it last night.

Jim, on the other hand, was making himself responsible, because he had to. I don't know of any other way to put it. He's got the weight of the ship and 450-some odd lives, and it's a lot for one man to bear. Though he didn't seem so affected when I saw him last night. Just concerned, and determined. He pressed me about contamination procedures and I did my best to reassure him. I think the Psi 2000 incident has him spooked. Out here in the wilds of space anything can happen, and sticking by the tried and true can get you killed. I think he knows that better than anyone.

Jim said he didn't want to leave me alone with a bottle and cupful of regrets, so he saw me back to my quarters. Don't know why he went to the extra trouble, but I did appreciate it.

Makes me wonder who keeps him sane when the darkness closes in. I do my best, of course; it's my job as chief medical officer, and my duty as a friend. He doesn't make it easy, though. He always holds something of himself apart. No matter how close we get, I think I'll never touch the core of him. Maybe that's why I resent Spock. He touches Jim in a way I can't. Every time he does that it makes me feel frustrated and lonely. And this is a man, or rather a Vulcan, with all the social graces of a computer interface and the social skills of a pile of rocks.

Shit, Spock. You are an enigma.

I didn't sleep much last night. Headed into sickbay at the crack of dawn, if there were such a thing as dawn on this bucket of bolts, and did the autopsy. Cleaned up and prepared the body so we could put that boy to rest. Then I caught a nap while Chris covered for me. She practically shooed me out of sickbay. Good thing, too. I guess that rest did me a lot of good. I'm always telling people about the benefits of a good night's rest so I might as well take my own advice for once.

I've made the report in my medical log. Lots of instrument readings and observations and not a lot of answers. Maybe someone cleverer than me at Starfleet Medical can make sense of it. I've done my part for now. And yet, 'if only' is still ringing in my ears. I suspect it will for a long time. In the meantime, I can only try my best, and keep my nose above water--and Jim's nose, and, hell, that crazy Vulcan whom Starfleet Command in their infinite wisdom chose to assign as first officer, his nose too. I guess that's all anybody could be expected to do, under these circumstances.