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For an anon poster (Janet, I presume): Kirk/Scotty with the word "haggis" (I added some S/Mc for good measure.)
Warnings: sad, character death


***

It had taken McCoy several calls to find out where Scotty might be, but now he took the steps down to the little cellar restaurant in south SF. "Mull of Kintyre" was written above the door, a promise of Scotland it could keep, McCoy thought as he entered the rather dark tavern. Wooden chairs and tables, and a bar that looked like it had been imported a century ago right from Edinburgh. Fake chandeliers lightened the room just to the level that one might find the food on the plate. Or a colleague one tried to find.

"Scotty…" he said as he stood in front of the table.

The engineer looked up from his meal that looked largely untouched.

"Doctor McCoy," he said acknowledging, but not really welcoming. "Must've been hard to find me."

"It was. May I…?" McCoy asked and pointed towards the empty chair opposite to Scott.

"Sure." He made a vague movement with his fork. Then he suddenly bellowed towards the bar, "Lachy, an ale for my friend."

The bartender vanished just as quickly as he had appeared from out of nowhere, and McCoy turned his concentration to Scott.

"We've come back as fast as we could," McCoy said.

Scott poked his food, and when he ate a little piece of it, it seemed to be rather to avoid talking than anything else.

"A part of me still can't believe it." McCoy stared down on the table. The surface showed quite a lot of edges – obviously people danced on them once in a while. The beer appeared in his sight and was put down energetically but without swapping.

"It's true," Scott said when the bartender was gone. "I saw it with my own eyes. Where the Captain had been, there was nothing but a large hole in the hull and empty space outside, the energy band gone."

McCoy closed his hand around the glass. It was cool and a little bit wet to his touch. It was also rather dark and strong, and when he drank, it made him crave some simple Altair water.

Scott stared down at his plate, and McCoy followed his gaze.

"That's haggis, right?" McCoy asked as he recognized the little dark-brown ball of meat.

"Yes." Scott put his cutlery away. "But I don't really feel like eating."

McCoy nodded, somehow at loss for words. They'd exchanged condolences and everything one might say in the first shock over subspace, and besides, they all were suffering bereaved. There was some additional bad conscience as burden for McCoy – and Spock, not that he'd admit to it – who had been off-world together and not felt like returning for a maiden tour with the new Enterprise. To remember that Jim always had anticipated dying alone wasn't making McCoy sleep well at night at the moment, but all in all, it had been fate. Who could've known that the best Captain in the fleet would be killed during the shortest of milk runs?

Maybe his proverbial luck just ran out after all.

"The first time I've been here, it was with the Captain," Scotty suddenly said.

"Hm?" McCoy looked up from his hypnotic stare into the dark beverage. "Didn't know that."

"After we'd returned home. After the court-martial. He wanted to talk to me and invited me to dinner. He chose this place because they have a reputation for the best Haggis."

"What did he want?" McCoy asked.

"Talking. About my nephew, his nephews…we exchanged family stories." Scott smiled sadly. "We had ordered two Haggis, but he barely touched his. When I finally asked him, he admitted he wanted to try it for me but couldn't stand it."

"Hm." McCoy took another sip of the brew and shuddered. Definitely not his taste. Or maybe only after the third glass…

"We had dinner once in a while here afterwards. On special dates. Without haggis for him, of course."

Something registered with McCoy. "Special dates?" he asked confused. "Do you mean…?" He stopped. Suddenly, some things made sense, certain little remarks he'd overheard between the two.

"Nobody ever knew. Nobody ever wanted to know," Scott said harshly. "For you all I'm just an engineering geek. You couldn't imagine I'd have needs besides nuts and bolts."

"You never seemed to need much more. I remember Romaine - but you never talked about anyone else. And Jim…"

"…didn't have a girl in a decade. Not that any of you would have believed it."

McCoy clutched his glass of ale and wished he could simply walk out of the bar. Scotty was right, to a degree – he hadn't thought about him as a sexual person in a long time. The episode with the belly dancer on Argelius had been bad luck, but all in all Scott was a geek in a nice way, much like Spock. Interpersonal communication just wasn't high on his scale of interests, and while he was sociable enough, he didn't have any steady relationships.

Of course, none of them rated really well when it came to that.

And Jim…he hadn't talked about his private life in the last years. With Spock and him together (due to the katra transfer and all), Jim had stayed their friend but had kept more to himself. McCoy remembered well the women that came and went in the past, and had never given it much thought that it might have changed.

"I'm sorry, Scotty," McCoy said finally. "Really sorry." He downed the rest of the ale to get free of the obligation it seemed to constitute right now. "I need to go. We'll see each other at the funeral?" He should've said something more, but felt overwhelmed by the situation. It was too close, too painful, and he hated to make more of an ass of himself as he felt he'd already done.

Scott nodded wordlessly. "See you," he murmured and grabbed fork and knife. Resolutely he cut a slice from the haggis and resumed eating. It was only when McCoy saw the shimmer under Scotty's eyes that he realized Scott was weeping. He went up and closed his hand over Scott's shoulder. "I wish we'd been here," he said, unable to keep his own tears completely from coming. "I really wish."

The body under his hand shook slightly. "Wouldn't have made a difference this time." The Scot's voice was barely audible. "At least he saved her. Our ship."

"Yes." McCoy tightened his grip for a second, then drew away. "See you on Friday at the latest."

He'd talk to Spock, McCoy thought when he went up the stairs. They could invite him to dinner tomorrow night. Without haggis.

***
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