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[personal profile] damalurbackup
title. Drink Away Her Memory
characters. McCoy/Jocelyn, Kirk
warnings. Aaaaangst, aka: none.
wordcount. 761
summary. McCoy and Kirk are drunk in a field.
notes. Written for the kink meme. The OP requested a McCoy/ex story inspired by the song "Whiskey Lullaby."

It was an expansive night, one of those nights where it was impossible to believe that the world was contained beneath the sky, where the stars seemed close enough to reach out and touch and where the air was heady and sweet.

They were, of course, drunk.

"So, Bones," Jim said, and twisted onto his stomach like a snake in the grass. "How come you still wear your wedding ring, if you're divorced and you hate her guts and all that?" Jim was maybe a little drunker than drunk, his words slurring together so that you hate her guts and all that came out y'hater guts an' allat.

Bones could think of worse ways to spend his spring break than drunk in a field with his best friend and better ways to spend his spring break than answering questions about Jocelyn; he blew out a breath and twisted the ring from his little finger. The band was a simple silver, the inscription inside nearly worn away by the constant rub against his skin. He held it up to the sky at arm's length.

"She's dead, Jim."

"Hwuh?" Jim said, and then hacked as he tried to take a swallow of brandy; he ended up dumping half the bottle down his front. "Thought you were divorced."

"Yeah," Bones said, with what felt like remarkable patience, because he'd never been patient and because he did not talk about this; Jim wasn't the only one drunker than drunk. "But she was still my wife. Christ, I've been head-over-heels for her since I was seventeen, and that's not gonna change just 'cause she divorces me or dies."

There was a moment of silence, punctuated only by a hiccup, and then Jim said, "Bones, you have feelings."

"No shit, kid," Bones growls. "What did you think I was, a Vulcan or something?"

"No," Jim said. "Guess I always thought you hated her. People hate their exes, right?"

Bones fumbled blindly for the bottle. He'd have to be near liver failure to get through this conversation; down went a quarter of the remaining liquor, and he sighed. "I never hated her, Jim. She cheated on me, okay? She cheated on me and divorced me and couldn't deal with it. They found her face-down on her bed with our wedding picture in one hand."

"Fuck, man," Jim said, and Bones felt a tug on his hair, like Jim was trying to pat his head or something. "...Why'd she cheat on you?"

A firefly landed on his nose. Bones let it be. "She was lonely, I guess, and I wasn't there. Got involved with an inoculation program on Dramia II. Dammit, Jim, I was a wreck—we'd lost a kid together, my dad had just died and that's a whole other shitpile, and we couldn't hold it together. I came back from Dramia and caught her in bed with some sonuvabitch, and..."

"She killed herself," Jim finished.

Bones laughed, only it was a little closer to a sob, creeping up his throat and choking off his air. "Yeah. After a while. They never confirmed it was suicide, but what the hell would it have been?"

"And you enlisted in Starfleet."

"And I enlisted in Starfleet." Bones took a ragged breath. "Guess you noticed I was kind of a wreck at first. She died three weeks after we took off for here."

"Jesus Christ, Bones," Jim swore, and Bones passed him the last of the brandy. "Why didn't you tell me?"

"I don't know, Jim," Bones said, and dug the heels of his palms into his eyes. He felt suddenly tired and old and completely drained of the lazy camaraderie of ten minutes ago. "I don't know."

Jim snorted. The moon came out from behind a drift of clouds; Bones found it ironic that the stars were almost completely drowned out by the lights of the city at Starfleet HQ. Jossie had always been enamored with California, but they'd never visited the west coast.


"What, Jim?"

"What was she like?"

Bones hesitated and thought of the first time he'd seen her, dancing by herself in the middle of the gymnasium; he thought of the way she'd looked when she came home from the archives smudged with ink and grinning; he thought of the way she'd glowed when she was pregnant and of the way they'd found her clutching that damn picture. The coroner said he'd had to pry it out of her grasp.

He slipped his wedding ring back on.
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