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Thursday, June 2nd, 2011 14:17
Title: Shadows of the Day
Author: [livejournal.com profile] bandearg_rois 
Word Count: ~3170
Rating: R
Warnings: Violence, language (Bones is in this story, you know)
Summary: When a best friend and a lover are taken, what's a man to do?
Author's Note: Written for [livejournal.com profile] elfsausage  as an offering to [livejournal.com profile] help_japan . Sorry I'm so late with it bb!

Leonard was a strong man. He'd been beaten down a few too many times to be whole, but he was strong. And that strength was the only thing that got him through the tough days, when Jim was an idiot and Spock followed him into his idiocy. It was bad enough that his best friend got himself kidnapped and half-killed most days, but for Spock, the supposedly logical one, to follow in his wake was pure torture. And today was one of the days when he would slap the shit out of the other two-thirds of their little crew they'd built up over the last few years. He knew exactly who had them. Well, it was actually a toss-up between two or three people, but he knew where to start.

The sound of crunching bone filled his ears as he shoved Khan against the wall, and normally he would have winced, apologized, but there was none of that today. Not when his brother and the other half of his soul were missing. Khan looked unruffled but for the probable broken ribs and definite dislocated shoulder. And for some reason, Leonard didn't much like that look on him.

“Where are they, Khan?” he growled, twisting the dislocated shoulder.

“Where are who?” Khan answered, and Leonard was distantly glad not to hear the whistling that indicated a punctured lung; Khan was a useful fence, and a useful rat, for all that he ratted on both sides. Right now, Khan was trying to sound unworried, calm, but Leonard could hear the fear under that, almost taste it. Out of the three of them, Leonard was the one least likely to be doing this, using force to get his answers. He usually left that to Jim, who could do it with a smile and never let the victim know exactly what he was feeling, or Spock, who had no trouble with suspending emotion in order to do what he needed to do.

“You know damn well who I'm talking about, Khan. Where are Kirk and Spock?”

“Oh, them? I heard tell they passed through this port a few days ago,” Khan said, tone unworried, face lined with pain.

“If you tell me exactly how many days and where they were headed to, and who has them, I might be persuaded to heal up your shoulder and maybe your ribs.” He pressed on those ribs, hearing the creaking that meant the bones were shifting and getting closer to his lungs. Being a doctor came in handy sometimes. “If you don't, I might just find my way to shoving a rib into your lung and just... walking away. Which will it be?”

“Man named Ayel had them,” Khan said quickly. “Headed out toward Narada, last I heard.”

“Ayel? You're sure it wasn't Nero?”

“Sure as I can be. Had 'em trussed up proper, in cryo units.” Leonard immediately released him, pulling out his scanner and supplies.

“Well, Khan, you're lucky I like you. Not much, but it's enough to get you treatment.” The ribs were cracked, one broken, and he quickly went around setting them and putting the portable osteo on them, before setting his shoulder.

“It seems I'm lucky indeed,” Khan murmured, once everything was fixed. “That shoulder used to be my weak one.”

“Well consider that my payment for the information. Be careful with the ribs for a few days and you'll be fine. Tell anyone I came here, except for Kirk or Spock, and what I did today will seem like child's play. And I won't have any trouble sleeping. Got me?”

“Definitely, Dr. McCoy,” Khan said, and Leonard grunted before leaving the dingy hole in the wall shop, squinting slightly in the bright sunlight of the day he'd tuned out. He had a destination now. Narada was a space station out on the edge of known space, and Ayel must work for Nero in some way if they were headed out there. As he walked, he felt two people close ranks on him, walking on either side. Normally he would have been paranoid, but he recognized their footfalls as those of two of his friends here on this godforsaken dust bowl.

“Well, Len, where are you headed this fine day?” the one on his left asked, and he had to grin. Hikaru was always jovial, even when it didn't call for it.

“Well, I'm going to head out to Narada,” he answered, getting the reaction he expected; both of them stopped, and then caught up with him.

“Vhy are you going out there, Doktor?” Pavel asked, and for a moment Leonard wished for the time that Pavel had called him Baba. But that time was long past, and Pavel was his own man now.

“They have Spock. And Jim.” The gasps from them confirmed the fact that he'd been pretty successful in keeping their disappearance quiet, which was a good thing; meant that their enemies had no idea either.

“Len, I'm so...” Hikaru looked torn.

“Don't say it. I'm going to get them back.” And he was gratified when Pavel put a hand on his shoulder.

“Ve are coming vith you, Baba.” And just like that, there were three.


Three days later, they were still gathering supplies when another ghost out of his and Spock's shared past appeared. Nyota Uhura, one of the most dangerous women he'd ever met (including his ex-wife), walked onto the Enterprise, twirling one of the darts she disguised as hair sticks.

“So, I hear you're in a bit of trouble,” she said, leaning against the bulkhead.

“I wonder where you heard that,” he replied wryly, looking up from the panel he had half of his left arm buried in. The ship had taken damage in the fight that had taken them, and he was hard-pressed, even with Hikaru and Pavel's help, to repair it all adequately.

“Oh, a little birdy told me. I see you're having trouble with that... you'll end up electrocuting yourself if you're not careful.” Just as she spoke, a shower of sparks erupted and he jerked his arm back with a muffled curse, sucking on his fingers. “Told you.”

“Well, why don't you get down here and do this if you're so knowledgeable, Ndugu?” he bit out. She laughed, and for a moment he let himself miss the time when it was the four of them against the world, with Pavel tagging along for kicks.

“You know me better than that, Leonard,” she said, tilting her head like a cat. “But I just might have someone who can fix this mess for you. He's a genius with ships and almost anything mechanical, and he comes cheap. Would you like me to call him?”

“Is he a good man?”

“One of the best.” Leonard saw something in her eyes he hadn't seen since her first lover, Christine, had died, just before their maiden voyage. “His name is Montgomery Scott, though I don't know anyone that calls him anything but Scotty.”

“So you trust him?”

“Almost as much as I trust you, Leonard,” she replied, and that was more than good enough for him.


He almost regretted that as soon as he met the man. There was nothing immediately wrong with him, besides his abominable taste in liquor, but something just turned Leonard's stomach. It wasn't anything to do with his relationship with Nyota, because his 'little sister' could take care of herself. It was something else, niggling at the edge of his consciousness, and he just didn't like him. Truthfully, though, Leonard would probably never be able to figure out what it was that set him on edge.

But Nyota was right. The man was an absolute genius with machinery, and soon the Enterprise looked like it hadn't since they'd set out on her all those years before. And he really did come cheap, asking only for good sandwiches and passage to Earth when they came back by. At least until Pavel let slip that they were going to Narada.

“Ah can help,” Scotty said. “Ah'm nae slouch with a rifle, and Ah've been there before. It'll help, certainly.” And damn it but Leonard couldn't exactly argue with his logic. Besides, if something happened to the ship, at least they would have a mechanic, which was more than they'd had before.

And so it was that the five of them set out toward Narada, none of them really looking forward to what was about to happen. None of them, that is, except for Leonard. He was looking forward to seeing the look on that arrogant bastard's face when he came in and got his boys; it would be amazing. And he would not be subtle.


The Narada was a large floating barge of a space station, with random barbs and spikes giving it the appearance of a demented octopus on steroids. Leonard had been here many times, most of the time with Spock or Jim on a business deal, and he was glad now that he had an analytical mind and as near to an eidetic memory as was possible for a Human. It was almost like he could feel where Spock was, something reaching out for him through the light-years separating them.

When they got close, he set Hikaru to getting them close without tripping any of the sensors, and made his way to the airlock. Nyota, Pavel, and Scotty were already there waiting, and for some reason his blood chilled at the familiar way that Pavel handled the multiple weapons strapped to his body along with the pair of Sig Sauers he held in his hands. Nyota handed him his kit and he suited up, closely followed by Hikaru, who only packed explosives and two swords.

“What the hell are the swords for?” he asked irritably,and Hikaru just smiled serenely.

“I fence.” And that seemed to be that, though Pavel looked like he was fighting off giggles, which was a curious reaction.


The ship shuddered a little, and the airlock doors opened. On cue, Scotty sent the 4-wheeler, loaded down with C4 and other explosives careening into the station, taking out security and workers alike and blasting a hole through three inner walls before finally stopping.

Not one to let a distraction like that go to waste, Leonard led the way in, shooting anything that moved. There were no civilians on this station, only Nero and his men, so Leonard felt no compunction in kneecapping anyone he came across. And there were quite a few. Nero was big on protecting himself, so anyone working on this station was fully trained in something. Speaking of training, Hikaru seemed to be in his element, his swords dancing in the half-light put out by the flames.

'Fencing, my ass,' he thought as he took out yet another goon. Though goon was probably way too advanced for these cretins. Maybe he was being too harsh, though, as he got shot in the shoulder by one of the goons, and fell back to staunch the bleeding. Nyota laughed at him as she danced past, bullets and blades flying.

“This is why a medic shouldn't lead a rescue, Leonard!” she sang, and he flipped her off as he got a bandage on it, picking his gun up and outpacing her again. Everything from then on was a blur of bodies and screams and gunfire as he thought back to where Nero's offices and torture chambers were, and hoped with everything that he believed that his friend and his lover were still alive.


'This is bullshit,' Jim thought with a groan, as he was slammed with more electricity. “C'mon Spock, you can't tell me that you don't have a plan!” he called to his friend, wondering if Spock really did.

“You know my plan already, Jim,” the taller man said, seeming to lean serenely against the wall instead of being shackled as he truly was.

“But do you really expect Bones to be able to... to come get us?”

“You forget, Jim. I have known him far longer than you have and am far more aware of his talents that he has chosen, for whatever reason, not to show you.” As Spock spoke, sirens blared and the man going to work on Jim froze, turning to Nero, who sat, seemingly impassive, on a small, hideously ornate throne.

“Continue,” Nero finally said, his voice grating on Jim's nerves far more than the slightly-more-powerful-than-is-strictly-legal cattle prod wielded by Ayel. As Jim gritted his teeth in anticipation of the electricity, a speaker crackled to life on the far wall.

“Praetor, a five man team has infiltrated the facility. It's the crew of the Enterprise.” Jim felt a foolish rush of absolute hope in his chest at those words.

“Put them down,” Nero said quietly, and whoever it was started to give an answer, which was covered by a rush of static and then a cool female voice replaced him.

“I'm sorry, Nero, but I don't think that's going to happen today. I just want to let you know, the Shadows are coming for you, along with a few friends.” The speaker clicked off and Jim laughed.

“Looks like you're in deep shit, Nero! The Shadows aren't anything to sneeze at, you know.”

“The Shadows disbanded years ago,” Nero scoffed, and Jim heard a rare snort from Spock. “Something to add, Cousin?” Nero said, voice still quiet. Jim watched as Spock stood just a little straighter, and the edge of a smirk touched his lips.

“Yes, indeed, Cousin. The Shadows may have disbanded, but they still live. Therefore it is quite possible for them to have come together again to retrieve one of their own.” And Jim suddenly remembered that he knew almost nothing about Spock or Bones from before their meeting in a bar on the outskirts of the system, and that Nyota and Pavel had come along as a package deal.

“What are you saying, Spock? That Mr. Kirk is a Shadow?” Nero asked, leaning forward, quite interested.

“No, Cousin,” Spock replied, and Jim noticed something else; Spock's hands were free, and had been for some time. “I am.” And Spock was in motion, a dark blur of fabric and skin that was suddenly destroying Nero, cutting him to ribbons with his own blades. Jim watched in mixed horror and fascination.

And then the door opened, and Bones came storming in, Nyota hot on his heels, Pavel, Hikaru, and another man guarding their backs. Nyota came over and got him out of his bonds, handing him a pistol. “Nice to see you, Captain. Wish it was under better circumstances, though.” And Jim had to grin, because that was pure bravado on her part. He joined Pavel and the others, nodding to his young friend.

“Hello, Keptin!” Pavel said, and Jim could almost believe that he was still the shy, impulsive teenager that he'd met years before. The blood that smeared his cheek and the familiar way he held his weapons, however, belied that completely.

“Hey, Pasha. All grown up, I see,” he said, ruffling his hair. This whole thing was surreal, the thought that this little boy (not so little now obviously) could be one of the famed Shadows, and that he'd been crewing with four of them for over four years. He wondered where the fifth was, but then he remembered the look in Nyota's eyes for so long, and didn't wonder as much.

“Spock,” Bones said quietly, and the whirlwind ceased immediately, leaving Nero in tatters, literally, and Spock, covered in blood and blank-eyed. Nyota had already taken care of Ayel, and there was a moment of complete stillness before Bones went to Spock and removed him of the blades, which sprang all of them back into activity.

As they made their way through the wreckage that was once the Narada on the way back to the Enterprise, Jim's mind was whirling, wondering how many of these people were Shadows. He knew now that at least Nyota, Bones, and Spock were. Pavel might be, but then again he seemed really young for that sort of thing, and Bones had always been overly protective of the kid. Maybe he was too young, or just too young when they 'disbanded'.

And throughout their trek, he heard the low murmuring that was Bones talking to Spock, who still hadn't come back from whatever had taken him over in the chamber. Jim had never really understood the two of them, but they had never been a normal couple anyway, apparently. So he turned his thoughts to his girl, Enterprise.


Leonard's voice came to him through a fog of shock, something he recognized instantly as strange. He had a mysterious lack of memory concerning the time between speaking with Nero and Leonard talking to him.

“It's okay, Spock. We did what we had to. Let's just get back to the ship, and I'll make you up some soup, like Amanda used to make. Yeah?” Leonard's voice was not cajoling, not exactly. It was soft, but Spock recognized that as simple deference to the destruction around them rather than a wish to console him. Spock did not need consoling now, any more than he'd needed it at the time of his mother's death. He did not allow himself to be affected by strong emotions, on the whole, and this time was no different, despite the niggling annoyance of the memory loss.

The two of them had met as young men, full of idealism and optimism, and joined together, along with Nyota Uhura and Christine Chapel, to create the Shadows, the vigilante group that took out people like Nero all the time. As time went on, they’d become each other’s stress relief, even as Nyota and Christine became a couple of their own. Everything went exactly as it was supposed to, criminal after criminal being taken down by the four of them, until the day when they had taken on more than they could handle, resulting in the death of Christine, and the end of the Shadows.

That had shifted their relationship with each other yet again. Before, they had been each other's stress relief, and once they no longer had the need for that stress relief, Spock had assumed that Leonard would no longer seek him out. But the mercenary-turned-doctor had continued to find him, to ask for and offer comfort, both physically and emotionally. And Spock found himself responding, reaching out himself, until it was simply another thing they did.

And over the years, Leonard had shifted out of his 'battle' persona and into his place as a healer, while Jim and Spock had become the enforcers. For a few moments when he and Jim had been taken, Spock had a moment of what would have been called worry in anyone else that Leonard would not take up his Shadow mantle. And then he remembered what Leonard had said, only a day before everything had happened.

“I love you, Spock. If anything ever happens, I will not let you go. Ever. You got that?”

After that, it was simply a waiting game. And still, he had no memory beyond talking to Nero about the Shadows. But from what he knew about everything, perhaps it was simply better that he did not. Nero was no longer a problem for anyone, and the Shadows could fade into their namesake, becoming legend once more.
Friday, June 3rd, 2011 09:40 (UTC)
*spins you round* BB, this is magnificent! BAMF!Bones is just awesome, and I love the whole Shadows concept. I hope one day you feel all inspired to write an Adventures of the Shadows series :-D It'd be like watching TOS episodes!

Nyota Uhura, one of the most dangerous women he'd ever met (including his ex-wife), walked onto the Enterprise, twirling one of the darts she disguised as hair sticks.

Ohhhhhh yes! This is my head-canon Uhura. I can totally see her like this, with her little twirly sticks ;-) Actually, you've made ALL the characters fit beautifully into this AU without any of them acting out of character at all. Bones even fixed up the guy he beat up! That was genius :-)

Thank you for writing something so absolutely awesome, bb. I loved every single word. <3
Saturday, June 4th, 2011 03:31 (UTC)
This is my head-canon Uhura. I can totally see her like this, with her little twirly sticks

Yes! this is ALWAYS my head canon for Uhura... I don't like thinking of her any other way, especially not with Zoe Saldana as her actress.

I'M SO GLAD YOU LIKE IT!!! I agonized for days and days (ask haven, it was terrible) over the ending. I was all worried over whether it would really come off as good.

And of course McCoy would patch up the guy he beat... Khan's useful! lol 8-)
Saturday, June 4th, 2011 07:37 (UTC)
This entire fic is just so badass. And creepy, and awesome. Spock going all blank and literally tearing Nero to shreds was creepy and kind of wonderful.
Sunday, June 5th, 2011 01:11 (UTC)
I'm glad you think it's badass! I feel like Bones is quite the badass, no matter what others say about him *glares at husband*. And of course, I realize it's kind of creepy, but then again, everything about Nero is creepy. so thank you for reading my humble little story!
Sunday, June 5th, 2011 04:42 (UTC)
What a delightful AU. Love the merc/vigilante angle and love BAMF- Bones!!!
Saturday, June 25th, 2011 05:14 (UTC)
I'm glad you liked it!
Wednesday, June 8th, 2011 18:47 (UTC)
Loved this! You've created a really interesting world and somehow made it feel real in a short fic. Nero reminded me of the guy in Firefly who tortures Mal and Wash, it made me think how wonderful a Firefly AU with the Star Trek crew would be!

Any chance we'll see more of this Shadow creation?
Saturday, June 25th, 2011 05:13 (UTC)
Sorry it took me so long to get back to you, moving is hectic.

I'm glad you liked it, and the Firefly idea did occur to me, but then I was all 'hmm, what would happen if...'

I'm thinking about another installment of the Shadows, not sure what all I'm going to do though...
Thursday, June 23rd, 2011 23:27 (UTC)
I finally got to this and I love it. BAMF!Bones is awesome. I love Spocks faith in him.

Your Uhura is also wonderful. I've always seen her as a strong person.
Saturday, June 25th, 2011 05:11 (UTC)
Thank you! That was my first try at Spones and I'm thinking of writing a sequel or a prequel or something of the like...

I'm glad you liked it!