The weather woke you up before Nyota did. She was going to wake you up for your shift at 2- but she wasn't here yet and the tent was shaking from the force of the heavy lightning storm that was threatening to knock over anything the sitebuilders had worked on.
Part of you knew you should be scared by the loud cracks of thunder and torrential winds, however it was such common occurrence now that you'd begun to see it as an annoyance. The tent lit up with every flash, and through the angry grumbles of the sky you could hear Bones softly snoring in his sleep. He had wrapped his legs around the blankets and was turned onto his side with his face scrunched up and his mouth wide open.
You grinned down at him and carefully stepped over his legs, pulling the opening to the tent to one side and hissing as the bitter cold whipped at your face. You peered through the heavy rain and spotted a slim figure moving towards you- and upon realising it was Nyota you breathed a sigh of relief.
"Your turn to keep watch. Just shout if you see anybody unfamiliar." She patted your shoulder and walked away- you envied that she got to sleep for the rest of the morning. Your hair was already sticking to your face and the back of your neck, and you decided to jog to the lookout post to try and get some warmth to your bare legs. The wind was so loud that you couldn't hear yourself think- The once dry ground had become a cesspool of stagnant mud, so you pulled across the least sodden log you could find and perched on the end of it. No matter how much you tried, you couldn't stop yourself from shivering dramatically and you rubbed your arms to try and retain some sort of feeling.
"It's better that I'm here than out there alone." You whispered to the ground, reassuring yourself that it was worth the trouble and discomfort. "I'm being selfish for complaining. They've taken me in and looked after me and-"
The hand on your shoulder made you squeal with fright and you jumped what felt like 5 feet in the air. You turned to see Bones reaching down with a blanket, and wrapping it around your shoulders. He smiled from the side of his mouth and sat with you, ruffling your soaked hair. "Should'a woken me up when you left, 'course I heard you goin' anyway but I could'a helped you out. I made this the other day on watch and-" he jogged off into the fog and reappeared seconds later with a small structure, held up like a tall table. It was two thin sheets of scrap metal, held up on either side with two charred sticks of wood. It settled just above your head, and provided temporary shelter from the rain. "I figured this would make you feel better on watch. Not that you SHOULD be on watch, damn Uhura, riskin' your life like this..."
"I can handle myself." You turned away, trying to hold your head high but instinctively pulling the blanket further over your arms for much needed warmth.
"If I hadn't come along when I did, pretty sure you would'a burst into tears any second. Don't give me all that." He nudged your shoulder and adjusted the blanket so that you were both sat underneath it; with a closeness that made your body shiver more than the cold did. You'd almost forgotten what compassion and care felt like over the years, but speaking to McCoy like this you had a taste of both of those things and more- of home, and comfort. You became numb to the world, and the wild lighting, and the pouring rain, and the furious wind, and the biting cold. Every breath that fell from his mouth was more warmth to your body, and sitting together under the stars, you slowly began to drift off to sleep.
When you awoke, you were laid across the log in front of a small fire. Sunlight was just beginning to seep through the clouds and the rain had cleared, leaving the familiar 'after-rain' smell. McCoy was leant against the front of the log with his feet by the fire and his head resting against your stomach. He was wide awake, and carving an indistinguishable shape from some old wood.
"Oh god I'm sorry, I didn't mean to fall asleep on watch-"
You heard a soft chuckling as Bones stood, gesturing for you to move up on the log. "It's okay darlin', you're pretty sweet when you're sleepin'."
"It's not okay, I should have been looking out for everybody, it was my job and I've already fucked up."
"I was here, and I volunteered. You'd been on the run for days anyways so you needed sleep. It's no big deal." He sat on the right side of the log and placed his hand on yours, rubbing his thumb across your cold skin. He moved closer and followed your arm with his hand, until he had felt all the way up to your shoulder. "You're still freezin', hows about you move closer to the fire?"
When you were both sat by the fire, you dared to rest your head on his shoulder. For the first few seconds he didn't respond at all- but then he crept one hand to the left side of your waist and pulled you closer.
"Why did you thank me last night?"
"Thank you? I uh, I don't remember that."
"When I put you to bed, you thanked me for running into you."
"Huh, funny. I don't remember sayin' that at all. I guess they say drunk words are sober thoughts but uh, yeah."
"I suppose I should thank you too for, not killing me."
He turned to face you, so that his nose was millimetres from yours. "I thank myself every second for not making the decision to do so."
His breath was tickling the side of your jaw, willing you to move closer. His fingers on your waist slowly began moving up and down, softly reassuring you that they were still there. The heat from the fire began travelling the entire length of your body as you moved impossibly close, eyes beginning to close and lips beginning to touch. His free hand slowly began to move across the nape of your neck, bringing you closer- and for a moment the world came to a complete stop.
"McCoy, ____(Y/N), breakfast time. Get yer asses over here!" Scotty's voice echoed in the distance, jerking you both out of the moment. Opening your eyes, you noticed that Bones had moved and was facing the other direction.
"Look, uh, ____(y/n). I have lost a lot that I've cared about over the past few years. I can't allow myself to feel that pain again. Thanks for understandin'." He stood slowly, and walked away.
The tension at the fire at breakfast was thick and tangible. There was a slight nagging suspicion that Scotty had witnessed what had occurred previously, but you knew he had enough decency not to mention anything in public. Bones sat opposite you by the fire, next to Spock- which in itself was enough to make your heart sink. The beginning silence lasted about ten minutes as a can of warmed beans was emptied into the metal tin laying in front of you and you practically inhaled them- it’d been months since you’d had a hot meal. There was a small tinge of guilt in the back of your mind as you’d only just met these people and you were eating their food; but at the same time you were cold and upset and hungry, so you were grateful for whatever you got.
“So, uh, ___(y/n), how was your first watch?” Sulu broke the ice.
“It was kinda shitty. The rain was heavy and the wind was crazy. I figured it would get better by the end of the night but-” you felt Bones’ eyes burning into you as you stared into the empty metal tin “it didn’t. Stayed just as shitty as the beginning.”