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October 12, 2009
“Damn it. There’s still no answer.” Jim lowers his communicator and looks across the small clearing at Bones. “I’m not even getting static, Bones.”

“Weller should have been back hours ago.” Bones tilts his head back and stares at the graying sky overhead. “It’s getting dark and looks like it might rain. We need to find shelter, Jim.”

“What we need is for this communicator to work so we can get the hell out of here,” Jim says, irritated that he’s starting to have doubts about one of his officers and annoyed that he can’t figure a way out of this situation yet. “Weller wouldn’t have abandoned us.”

“Maybe not. Maybe he’s injured or dead.” Bones shrugs as he looks back at the sky. “But we can’t keep waiting here. There’s no communication with the Enterprise in this valley, and we don’t even know where we are, so getting out of here is probably the best idea all around.”

“We’re lost. You can say it, Bones. My ego can take the hit,” Jim mutters, rubbing the back of his neck as he scowls at everything around him.

“I don’t give a damn about your ego, Captain,” Bones says. “I care about the fact that we’re on some planet with who knows what lurking in the forests around us and it’s getting late and could start storming any time, if those clouds are to be believed. You can continue beating yourself up for getting lost as we move or you can snap the fuck out of it and help think of a way out of this mess.”

Jim glares at Bones and takes a step closer to him. “You’re lucky that you’re my best friend, Bones. If anyone else ever spoke to me the way you do--“

“Yeah, I know.” Bones stares back, and Jim notices the nerve in Bones’ cheek start twitching as he straightens his shoulders. “I’m so lucky to be best friends with a reckless asshole who ignores his First Officer’s warnings about landing on this tree covered hellhole because some kiss-ass lieutenant mentions hearing that this place has an underwater palace no one’s been able to find, which, of course, leads to the asshole deciding it’s perfect for a small landing party and insisting that I come along because, and I quote, you don’t get out of medical enough, Bones, end quote. Well, I’m out of medical now, Jim. Happy?”

“Extremely,” Jim snarls, turning away from Bones before he did something stupid, like punch him or kiss him. He closes his eyes briefly at that thought and focuses on anything but Bones’ full lips and flushed face. Flushed with anger isn’t the same as passion, even if it’s easy to imagine it is whenever he’s jerking off in the shower and thinking about Bones. Which he shouldn’t do, but it isn’t like he can resist. And this isn’t helping him at all. He tries the communicator again, listening to Bones snort behind him.

“Get anything?” Bones asks in that snidely amused tone that Jim hates when it’s directed at him.

Instead of replying, he steps away and picks up his backpack from where he left it. He glances at Bones before nodding to his left. “Do you want to go that way or another?” he asks, offering an apology in his own way because he knows this is his fault even if he doesn’t like admitting it.

Bones studies him silently before he picks up his own backpack. His lips quirk into a wry smile, which lets Jim know that his apology has been accepted. “That way seems fine by me,” Bones decides as he walks over to join Jim. He reaches out and squeezes Jim’s shoulder. “We’ll get out of this, Jim.”

“Weller abandoned us, didn’t he?” Jim looks at Bones and watches his lips tighten as that nerve starts twitching again.

“Well, he might have gotten hurt,” Bones says thoughtfully, almost sounding convincing. It’s quite a feat considering the fact that Bones hasn’t liked Weller since he was assigned to the Enterprise three months ago and has bitched at Jim about the guy not ‘feeling right’, in that Bones’ sixth sense way of judging people.

“Maybe,” Jim finally agrees, not entirely sure whether he actually agrees or not anymore. He hopes that’s the case, even if he feels guilty for being a captain wishing an injury on a crew member. The alternative just isn’t something he wants to consider right now. He lightly punches Bones’ arm and knows that they’re okay when Bones grumbles at him as they start walking away from the clearing and enter the thick forest again.