You’d be surprised how hard it is to find a free picture of an Ugly Christmas sweater without people in it. Impossible. I settled for a hand but I am not satisfied

Photo by Brigitte Tohm on

Leonard was a typical bad patient. He knew he was. But he wasn’t supposed to be in the hospital being treated. He was supposed to treating them.

Then to be in the hospital on what was both Christmas Eve and the sixth day of Hanukkah, well, he was even more annoyed than usual.

He was in the middle of eating a tasteless meal of boiled chicken and baked broccoli. Okay, he guessed it was supposed to be the other way around. Whatever. It was nasty.

And in strolled Kirk. Jim.

Jim was dressed casually in jeans and an ugly Christmas sweater. He carried a poinsettia in a pot, which Leonard guessed was supposed to be for him. His mood soured more.

“What the hell are you bringing me that for?”

Jim, smiling warmly, put the plant on a table on the other side of Leonard’s hospital bed. He seemed, as usual, unfazed by his friend’s ill humor. They’d been pretty much like that their entire lives. Well since meeting like two hundred years or so ago.

“Merry Christmas.” Jim reached into the pocket of his pants and produced a paper bag which he placed on the table by Leonard’s unappetizing meal. “Happy Hanukkah.”

“What’s that?”

“A jelly donut.”

“Thank God.” Leonard grabbed the bag and tore into it, retrieving the oozing fried monstrosity. He took a large bite. “It’s good.”

“Chew, don’t talk with your mouth full.” Jim pulled up a chair and straddled it with the back of the chair toward Leonard. He dangled his arms over it. “Don’t think I’ve ever seen gray chicken, even on the Enterprise.”

“Thanks for this. But not the plant.”

“You don’t like poinsettias?”

“I do. But it implies I’m stuck here when I want to get out.”

Jim sighed. “Hate to break it to you, Bones, but you are. Your doctor’s talking about letting you out maybe a couple days after Christmas.”

“That’s outrageous.”

“You had a myocardial infarction. They want to be careful.”

“Just a tiny one.”

Jim snorted. “There’s no such thing as a tiny heart attack. Not to me anyway. You scared the crap out of me.”

Leonard sighed and nodded. “Sorry about that, kid.”

“Not a kid anymore, Bones. None of us are. I had to clear that sufganiyah.”

“I know. It just stinks being here. And why are you here anyway? Shouldn’t you be with your husband?”

Jim smiled and Leonard knew why. He smiled every time someone called Spock his husband. They’d been bonded close to five years now, but Jim seemed to never get over that they were.

“We’re having dinner with our parents when I leave here.”

“I’ll never get over Sarek and Winona being a thing.”

Jim laughed. “It works for them. For now anyway.  I think Spock’s vaguely disapproving but whatever. They seem happy and Sarek’s mentioned bonding.”

“So that’ll make Sarek your father-in-law and your stepfather.”

“Something like that.” Jim rose and moved closer to Bones and took his hand. “Hey, don’t scare me like that.”

“I know, I know,” Leonard grumbled. “I’ll take better care of myself.”

“You do that. And I have a big surprise for you, so don’t freak out.”

“Another poinsettia?”

“Better than that.” Jim bent down and kissed Bones’ forehead. “He’s ready,” he called out.

The door to Leonard’s room opened and a young teenaged girl rushed in.


“Joanna,” Leonard whispered.

Jim smiled down at him. “Merry Christmas, Bones.”

And as his daughter threw her arms around him, Leonard saw Jim depart with a wave.