The story is complete. I'm posting the three parts on my journal over the next three days, then farm it out to the comms. Enjoy!
Title: I'd Take a Bullet Meant for Both of Us
Pairing: Kirk/McCoy, Pike/McCoy, implied Kirk/various (including Kirk/Pike)
Warnings: mirror!verse morals, consent issues (of the dub-con and coercion variety), uneven power dynamics, and various kinks, including (highlight to view, or don't if you prefer your kink non-spoilery)
humiliation, public sex, light bondage, use of toys, threat of bloodplay, BDSM, fisting, off-label use of controlled substances, sensory deprivation, rough sex, physical violence (including violence between partners), description of injuries and a few medical procedures, and very brief contemplation of suicide.
Word Count: 22,700 total. This part: ~7200
Author’s Note: Thanks to jaune_chat for the constant encouragement, beta-work, and word-smithing, and thanks my whole f-list for listening to me flail.
Summary: When backed into a corner, McCoy had to make a deal with Christopher Pike, Commandant of Cadets at the Imperial Academy. If Kirk had been there, he might have been able to tell McCoy that was a mistake. Kirk, at least, had taken some tactics courses. McCoy must stumble through the consequences of his deal and strike a dangerous balance between the suspicions of two powerful men.
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The disciplinary holding cells at the Imperial Academy had always reminded McCoy of the yawning maw of some alien beast poised to devour its prey. Even Kirk’s sunny smile couldn’t banish the oppressive menace exuded by the plain black walls and low ceilings.
“It’s the third time this semester,” McCoy muttered as he wrapped Kirk’s bruised ribs, a souvenir of the detention guards’ overenthusiastic restraining methods.
“Only three?” Kirk asked. “I can do better than that.”
“Well don’t.” McCoy would have liked to know for sure if the ribs were actually cracked, but the discipline board considered using med scanners on detainees a waste of Imperial resources. To get in even these rudimentary supplies, he’d had to threaten the door guard—McKenna—with some creative altering of ‘Fleet records; with a few clicks, he could make it look like the man was scheduled for chemical castration, for instance. That was usually a convincing argument for cooperation.
“It’s not like it looks bad on my record, Bones,” Kirk said. “The Empire isn’t about enforcing obedience, it’s about maintaining terror. They’re seeing what I can do.”
“Did you have to do it with Admiral Tanill’s daughter? In his office?”
“It’s not like she didn’t want it. I remember a lot of ‘oh yes, oh yes.’” Kirk looked thoughtful. “Of course, I guess there was crying afterwards when I tied her up and took those codes off her padd…”
“Great, so you fucked her and broke her heart.”
“Jealous?” Kirk grabbed McCoy’s wrist and squeezed hard. “Have I not been giving you enough attention?”
“Stop screwing around.” McCoy cinched the end of the bandage a little tighter than necessary.
Kirk didn’t even wince, the bastard.
“I know what I’m doing, Bones. It’s fine.” Kirk pulled his uniform shirt back on.
“It’s not fine, Jim. They’re talking about a public whipping.”
A momentary dim in the wattage of his ever-present grin. “Bullshit.”
“I heard them.” McCoy threw his supplies back into the thin medical kit. “Tanill’s mad as hell.”
“It’ll be fine.”
“Not if you get expelled.”
“Tanill can’t expel me,” Kirk laughed.
“Sure.” McCoy looked quickly over his shoulder at the empty corridor behind the force shield. He didn’t see any listeners, but he didn’t know what recording devices they planted in these cells.
“He can’t.” Kirk grabbed McCoy’s chin to pull him back. “Bones, listen. This is just a power play thing. You can’t let them scare you.”
“You may not have the survival instincts God gave a mayfly, but--.”
“Bones, really. I’ve got this one.”
McCoy might have imagined it, but he thought he saw just the slightest shadow of brittle fear behind the devil-may-care grin. And the worst part was that here, under possible surveillance, Kirk would never say anything to give that possible weakness away. And if McCoy pressed further, he’d be in for a punishment of his own once Kirk was out of this. If Kirk got out of this. If Kirk didn’t…
“Bones, tell me you won’t do anything stupid.”
McCoy was under no illusions that his relatively easy life at the Imperial Academy had anything to do with his own merits. He was a damned good doctor and a valuable asset, yes, but without Kirk’s protection, he’d be prey to any number of more powerful predators, ones who might not share Kirk’s unconventional predilection of keeping McCoy unbroken. Kirk preferred his toys with spine and a little bite; few others held to that way of thinking.
“Bones,” Kirk said with a snap in his voice like the crack of the whip McCoy knew he knew how to yield. Kirk was still watching him, waiting for a response.
McCoy managed a crazed half-smile in return. The smile had been meant to re-assure, but Kirk looked disturbed. “Sure, nothing stupid,” McCoy said.
Kirk darted forward, moving too damn fast for a man with busted ribs, caught McCoy by the back of the neck, and pulled him into a sharp kiss.
“Doc. Time’s up.” McKenna appeared outside the cell. “Hey! This ain’t a conjugal visit.”
Kirk laughed and kneaded McCoy’s ass until McKenna punched in the access code, stomped in, and pulled McCoy back by his uniform jacket.
McCoy shrugged him off and spun to give McKenna a scathing glare.
“Get moving,” McKenna said. He didn’t touch McCoy again, but he quickly restored the force barrier to wall in Kirk, whose eyes had turned hard and cold when he’d touched McCoy.
“See you soon, Jim,” McCoy said, and headed out through the dark, looming hallway.
McKenna shadowed him out of the corridor of cells. When they were out of earshot, he said, “Hope your boyfriend likes taking it up the ass as much as you seem to.”
“Fuck off, McKenna.”
“Tanill may not be able to get him expelled, but he can give him a corrective tour of duty as an manual laborer on one of those mining scows, where ensigns are nothing but pretty bedwarmers. Well, pretty when they arrive.”
“He won’t do that to Kirk.”
“You remember what Archer did to that guy who beamed his beagle into oblivion?”
McKenna shrugged. “Compared to Tanill, Archer is a patient and merciful man.”
McCoy strode across the green expanse of campus like a man with a purpose. The problem was, he had no idea where to go or what to do. Kirk always had a plan, a whole web of plans, in fact, and right now none of those plans were doing McCoy any good whatsoever. He knew McKenna was prone to bragging. Unfortunately, McKenna usually had all-too-reliable gossip, thanks to his regular visit to his advisor’s bed.
That meant McCoy needed to call in some favors, or find someone with influence from whom to beg a favor. The problem was, here in the Imperial Academy, no one wanted to help Kirk. His peers saw him as a rival, his superiors as a future competitor. McCoy could think of only one man on the whole campus who might view Kirk as too valuable an asset to be wasted in a trumped-up prison sentence.
Captain Christopher Pike: the man who’d dragged both McCoy and Kirk out of their troubled lives and into Imperial service.
McCoy hated asking for a favor empty-handed, but he knew of no weak spots in Pike: no drugs he was addicted to, no vulnerable family, no enemies McCoy could touch. Kirk would know what to offer as a bargaining chip. Damn inconvenient he couldn’t be consulted. Still, with limited options, McCoy had to choose the best one available. He set off for the Command and Tactics building, holding fast to the hope that Kirk’s guardian devil would be in his office.
To McCoy’s surprise, the door to Pike’s office stood open, like a cave mouth beckoning unwary travelers. When McCoy edged into the open doorway, he saw Pike seated behind an old-fashioned wooden desk, rhythmically tapping a stylus against his padd.
McCoy had come this far. He took one step further. “Captain Pike.”
“Doctor McCoy,” Pike said, then looked up. His smirk warned McCoy want to make an excuse--any excuse--to leave, but when Pike beckoned with two fingers, McCoy stepped into the room and closed the door behind him.
Pike watched him expectantly, so McCoy said what he’d came here to say. “Cadet Kirk’s been taken in for a disciplinary hearing.”
“Of course, sir.” McCoy clenched his jaw, berating himself for not thinking this through more thoroughly. Of course Pike knew; the man had sources everywhere.
“Sir… The hearing…” McCoy stumbled. If Pike knew about the charges, he must know the punishment Kirk faced. He should have spent more time preparing an argument for helping Kirk.
“Did Kirk send you here?”
“You came here of your own volition, then.”
“Yes,” McCoy snapped, then added a begrudging, “Sir.”
“Should have known. If Kirk had sent you, he’d have made sure you knew what you were doing.” Pike stood up. He began to make a slow circuit of the room. “So, you do have a little initiative when you’re off Jimmy’s leash. Let’s see what you can do with it.”
When Pike moved out of his line of sight, McCoy felt his skin prickle in anticipation of pain. “Sir?”
“Tell me why you’re here,” Pike said from entirely too nearby.
“Will you talk to the discipline board? I’m sure if you put in a good word, they’d make sure his punishment is fair.”
“Fair. What would you say a fair punishment is for seducing a man’s daughter? You’re a father yourself, aren’t you?”
“Yes,” McCoy said, though hardly any sound came out.
“How would you feel if a cold-hearted bastard like Kirk charmed is way into your daughter’s heart—Johanna is her name, isn’t it? Her heart, and her skirt, and used her the way Kirk used that girl.”
“I--.” McCoy’s voice tangled up in his throat with a lump of rising terror. He shouldn’t have come here. He should have found another way to help Kirk. He hadn’t thought to bring danger on anyone else.
From behind him, Pike chuckled. “You’re lucky I don’t give even half a damn about your daughter, or Tanill’s either.”
McCoy shut his mouth. In truth, he wasn’t sure if Pike’s statement was a good sign or a bad sign.
“You know, doctor.” Pike strolled around to the front of his desk, and leaned against it, looking for all the world like a man participating in a casual chat, perhaps about academic matters. Maybe dispensing friendly advice on career goals. “You’re supposed to have a calming influence on Kirk.”
“I’m supposed—?” McCoy sputtered. Funny no one had mentioned that duty on his intake interview.
“Keep him from getting into trouble like this. He seemed to settle down for a while last semester when you first moved into his quarters.”
“I never moved--.” McCoy cursed his lack of strategy. Kirk would have known how to artfully dodge such accusations. “It’s against cadet regulations to--.”
“And now this semester, trouble again at every turn,” Pike continued smoothly, ignoring McCoy’s floundering. “What’s the matter, Doctor? The magic gone?”
“I can’t help his crazy risk-taking—“
“It’s in my best interest that Kirk have a steady bed-mate,” Pike went on. He may as well have been talking about changing the color of the damn curtains in his office. “Someone to keep his needs met, keep the edge off his temper. If he has someone sucking his dick regularly, he won’t go hunting as many influential people to piss off. You could be that for him.”
“I’m a doctor, not a whore,” McCoy snarled.
“You’re too smart a man to lie to yourself, McCoy.” Pike smiled, not unkindly. “Now tell me why you came here.”
McCoy swallowed hard to get rid of the tightness in his throat that worsened with Pike’s every word. “I came here to get Jim out of trouble.”
“You mean to keep yourself out of trouble.”
“Apparently the two are related.”
“Yes they are.” Pike spread his hands in a reasonable facsimile of generosity. “So you thought you’d ask me for help.”
“And what were you prepared to give me?”
“You have an interest in Kirk, too,” McCoy temporized.
“We’re not talking about me. We’re talking about you.” Pike watched him intently, unblinking. “What are you prepared to give me to intervene?”
McCoy felt a flush creeping up past the high collar of his uniform. It wasn’t as if he hadn’t considered this possibility when he’d come to Pike, but the talk of whores was making it all uncomfortably real. “Whatever you need.”
“Whatever I need.” Pike stalked closer. “What I need, Doctor McCoy, is for Kirk to stop sticking his dick into every political minefield on this campus. So I’ll propose a deal.”
McCoy waited. His mind whirled through half a dozen possible deals Pike could propose: none of them sounded appealing.
“I’ll help you on this one, if you make sure that for the rest of his time on campus, Kirk doesn’t sleep with anyone except you.”
McCoy couldn’t stop himself. Hot hysteria bubbled up inside him, and he laughed in Pike’s face: one nervous outburst of sound. When he realized Pike was watching him, entirely straight-faced, he choked down his disbelief. “Sir. You want me to make Kirk, what, monogamous?”
“Oh, you could,” Pike said slowly.
McCoy looked for a trace of mockery in Pike’s expression, but found none. Maybe Pike was the delusional kind of mad. “I know him,” McCoy began.
“You don’t know Jimmy as well as you think you do.” Pike smiled, and McCoy wondered what could possibly have made Pike come to that conclusion. “That’s my offer.”
“Then I can’t help you or Kirk.” Pike turned on his heel, strode back behind his desk, and sat. “You’re dismissed.”
“Sir—.” McCoy took a step forward.
“Yes, cadet?” Pike turned his attention to the padd he’d been working on before McCoy’s interruption.
McCoy made himself breathe. He couldn’t prevent Kirk from sleeping around campus. That would be like keeping a rabid bobcat on a leash, stopping a volcano from erupting, dragging a meteor off course. But if he didn’t try, and Kirk was shipped off for punishment, McCoy was sentencing himself to an unenviable fate: dead at best, at worst a piece of meat for predators to squabble over.
Pike sat placidly at his desk, running his stylus over a padd as if he hadn’t just proposed a task that McCoy was no more likely to accomplish than he was to pass the Kobayashi Maru. Pike looked as if he’d be content to sit there all afternoon, pointedly not watching McCoy squirm.
“Sir.” McCoy knew what he had to do. Pike was offering his help, and all he seemed to want in return was the impossible. “I can try.”
Pike’s gaze leapt to him, pinning him in place. “Do better.”
McCoy had gone too far to consider retreat now. Pike knew how desperate he was, and refusing would only give Pike the satisfaction of thinking him a coward. “I’ll do it.”
“There’s a good boy. Now give me your word.”
“I give you my word.” McCoy tore his eyes free of Pike’s and looked to the floor. He could feel the weight of his impossible promise smothering him already.
“Look at me.”
Pike’s words forced obedience out of McCoy. McCoy found himself locking eyes with the flinty-eyed man.
“Say, ‘Captain Pike, I swear Jim Kirk will spend every night from now until graduation in bed with me.’” Surely Pike could see the angry flush rising in McCoy’s skin at each word. “Say it.”
Though every inborn sense of preservation screamed at McCoy to stop, he said, “Captain Pike, I swear Jim Kirk will spend every night from now until graduation in bed with me.”
A sharp shine lit up Pike’s eyes. “Good. You can go.”
McCoy stayed where he was. “Kirk’s disciplinary hearing?”
“I’ll handle it. And McCoy? Jim is not to know about this conversation. If he finds out we’ve spoken, the deal is off. Now go back home. You’re going to be busy tonight.”
“See, Bones? I told you there was nothing to worry about!” Kirk said when he showed up at their dorm room that night, grinning like one of the large gods of the universe. He pinned McCoy to the mattress and took him hard, as a punishment for his lack of faith, but McCoy welcomed it. He’d known that keeping his promise this first night wouldn’t pose a problem. McCoy was worried about every night after this one, each one another battle, stretching in an inescapable road from now until graduation.
In a way, McCoy wished Pike had just asked for something simple: fucked him hard in payment for a favor and called it even, rather than sentence him to this ongoing hell. McCoy didn’t want to spend his free time plotting Kirk’s seduction. In the past, he had manufactured ways to avoid Kirk when he couldn’t bear his whims. Now even that freedom had been stripped away.
After just one day of sitting through his classes, the sense of confinement had begun to seep into McCoy’s skin, putting him in a foul mood. Back at his dorm room--Kirk’s dorm room--he’d nearly bitten Christine Chapel’s head off when she’d stopped by to borrow his notes from a Chemical Weapons lecture. McCoy threw himself down at his desk after she left, and was contemplating breaking out his bourbon stash when he heard the unmistakable voice of Jim Kirk in the hallway.
“Christine! What brings you to this side of campus?”
Her reply was too soft to hear, but it didn’t matter. Kirk was back, which meant McCoy had to find some way to keep him here tonight. And he probably had about fifteen seconds before Kirk walked in and announced his own plans--whatever those might be. Quickly, then.
McCoy rubbed the back of his hand against his mouth to bruise his lips. He scrubbed a hand through his hair to muss it as he made a quick circuit of the room. He was back at his desk before Kirk began entering the door code.
When Kirk plodded in, smelling of a hard sweat and toting his workout bag, he immediately narrowed his eyes at McCoy. “Where have you been?”
Kirk’s eyes darted around the room, picking up clues: the sheets McCoy had rumpled, the stack of books he’d knocked over, and the significantly depleted bottle of lube open on the nightstand. He frowned. “Doing what?”
“Studying. I have a xeno diseases practical tomorrow.”
“Yes.” McCoy knew the danger of feeding into Kirk’s paranoia. When Kirk felt threatened, he turned readily to violence, and McCoy would regret allowing Chapel to face Kirk’s wrath. But if McCoy could push him just far enough, he could gain Kirk’s undivided attention, for a while at least.
“You’re done studying,” Kirk said.
McCoy spent the rest of the night being reminded just how exhausting Kirk’s undivided attention could be.
McCoy rested his head against the shower wall as the hot water pounded his sore muscles. He’d left Kirk snoring into the pillows in the other room, but he could never be sure how long such a comparatively innocent state would last. He really shouldn’t dawdle, but the heat and the opportunity to be still and brain-dead for a few minutes kept him indulging longer than he should.
He hadn’t been able to calculate the figure with any accuracy, but McCoy estimated he’d slept less than seven hours in the past three days. He’d survived med school under similar conditions, but he’d been younger, then. Besides, in med school his sleepless nights had been spent studying, not being pounded into the mattress by his seemingly-tireless roommate. McCoy hadn’t realized exactly how strong Kirk’s sex drive was until he tried to get it focused exclusively on him.
At last McCoy pushed himself upright, shut off the shower, and tried to shake off his exhaustion along with the water. He listened, but heard no sound—not even snoring—coming from the bedroom. He snatched a towel from the rack, tied it hastily around his waist, and charged out of the bathroom.
Kirk sat propped up against the headboard with his legs slightly spread, holding a padd in his left hand and stroking his half-hard cock with his right hand.
“A little early for porn,” McCoy muttered. He retreated back into the bathroom, feeling a bit foolish at his panic, but not so foolish as to leave Kirk entirely unattended.
“Not porn,” Kirk called distractedly. “Just going over some research. Come suck my cock.”
“Just got out of the shower,” McCoy called back. He grabbed the last remaining towel off the rack and began rubbing himself dry. Because he was going to get dressed and go to class. Any minute now.
“Took long enough,” Kirk replied. “Come on!”
McCoy cinched the towel more tightly around his waist and strode out into the bedroom. Kirk set the padd aside, but didn’t stop touching himself as McCoy dug through his dresser for some clean clothes.
“Stalling isn’t actually endearing, you know.”
McCoy seized a pair of clean-enough briefs from the drawer and pulled them on. “Not stalling. I have class.”
The bed creaked, and McCoy whirled around to see what fresh madness Kirk was up to, but he’d only shifted to sit on the foot of the bed. He cocked his head at McCoy, examining him with the same kind of intensity he’d just been devoting to his studies. “You look like hell, Bones. Blow off your classes today.”
“So I can blow you instead? No, Jim.” Refusal was one of McCoy’s most effective tools for dealing with Kirk. Or it had been, pre-promise. Kirk enjoyed a challenge, so McCoy could hold onto some shred of dignity by back-talking Kirk at every turn. Now, though, McCoy found himself teetering on the dangerous edge of a bluff. He dragged a pair of uniform pants out of the dresser, saw that they were Kirk’s, tossed them aside in disgust, and kept looking.
“Come on. You know you’d rather be playing with me than terrorizing your lab mates.”
McCoy finally found a clean uniform folded in the back of the drawer, and picked it up. If he didn’t give Kirk something, he’d take his pleasure elsewhere: that McCoy knew from experience. However, refusal might work to McCoy’s advantage, if he could only play it right. “No, Jim. I’ve got priorities.”
“Assisting Pruri in terrorizing first-year cadets is your priority?”
“It is today.”
“I can think of something more fun.” He leaned forward, eager as a puppy wagging its tail.
In moments like this, McCoy felt almost as if he and Kirk were something less complicated. Lovers, maybe. Partners who could taunt each other, and flirt outrageously and play hard to get for the fun of it. McCoy started to smile, but wiped it away with the back of his hand. “We have different ideas of fun,” he said.
“Come on, you’re too tired to be useful in the lab, anyway.”
“Then I’m definitely too tired for your bullshit.”
“If you stay here, you can lay down the whole time.”
McCoy pretended to consider the offer, but he already knew he’d give in. He couldn’t afford to let Kirk find satisfaction somewhere else. On the other hand, McCoy didn’t want to make it too easy for Kirk. Kirk didn’t like easy. McCoy said, “I have a shift at the hospital at three.”
Kirk glanced at the chrono, as if calculating. “I can have you put together and cleaned up by then.”
That didn’t sound promising. McCoy’s scowl deepened.
Kirk watched him for a moment, his tactician’s brain clearly mulling over before the possibilities, then said, “I’ll let us sleep for an hour before we start.”
No mercy of Kirk’s came without its price, so McCoy should have expected to wake up naked with his limbs tied to the bed. McCoy struggled slowly up out of his torpor. Kirk must have been awake for some time—or perhaps he’d never actually fallen asleep, because he sat on the edge of the bed, flipping his father’s knife open and closed with impatient flicks of his wrist.
“Why d’you have ‘at?” McCoy slurred as he tried to drag himself into wakefulness.
“It’s sharp,” Kirk answered. He dropped the blade flat against McCoy’s belly and dragged it across with only enough force to scratch the skin.
That catapulted McCoy into full alertness. “No cutting. You promised no cutting,” McCoy said quickly. He didn’t like to remember what he’d done to extract that promise, but the memory flared anyway, hot and uneasy. He pushed it down ruthlessly. “Jim.”
“I know. Calm down.” Kirk ran his fingers down the path of the blade to soothe the scratch. “Anyway, I thought you were just going to lie there.”
McCoy forced himself to lie back down. He trusted Kirk, after a fashion. After more than a year together, the two of them knew the steps to this merry dance: Kirk pressed McCoy for more than he wanted to give, McCoy resisted, and Kirk got his way eventually. This deal with Pike upset their delicate balance: McCoy dared not push Kirk the way he had been. That didn’t mean he had no sense of self-preservation, however. “Fine. I’ll just lie here, then.”
Kirk flipped the knife closed and slid it onto the bedside table. “That sounds like a challenge, Bones.”
McCoy just raised an eyebrow in response. In the end, he did a great deal more than just lying there.
McCoy had been busy stitching together a victim of the disciplinary committee all afternoon, so the first he heard of the gossip was a whispered conversation at the nurse’s station in the hallway outside the surgery. The other nurses shut up as soon as they saw him coming, but Chapel waved him down. “Doctor. Have you heard?” She scrolled through something on her padd and held it up to show him.
McCoy squinted at the display: pilot rankings. At the top, where Kirk’s name should be, was the name Hikaru Sulu.
McCoy glanced at the circle of nurses surrounding him: all tense as if waiting for an outburst. Instead, he asked, “What happened?”
“Some tactics cadet was messing around with the nav settings in one of the hangers,” Chapel said. “It caused some massive glitch. They ended up grounding a whole squad of shuttles and cancelling a training flight.”
“And?” McCoy prompted.
Chapel’s confidence must have made the rest bold, because a nurse McCoy didn’t recognize piped up with, “One section of the advanced flight class didn’t get to go up at all, so they missed a chance to earn credit towards the standings.”
“I heard that cadet did it on purpose, to help his friend rise in the rankings,” another nurse said, leaning forward to thwart the prying ears of the rest of the hospital. “Pretty smart plan.”
“Well he’s an idiot if he wants to earn Kirk’s wrath,” said a third. Her eyes darted to McCoy. “No offense.”
“None taken.” McCoy said. He nodded to Chapel. “Thanks.” He strode off to change, leaving Chapel’s friends to make what gossip they would out of his reactions.
Instead of playing least-in-sight as he usually did when Kirk’s mood turned dark, McCoy kept close tabs on Kirk’s whereabouts through listening to rumor-mill grist about Kirk’s revenge machinations. When he felt the stares of curious cadets wondering and whispering about how Kirk’s man would respond to the scandal, he would turn and bestow a grim smile and the craziest eyes he could muster, which were very crazy indeed. Let them read what they wanted into that.
Just after sunset, McCoy wandered into his and Kirk’s room with a fresh bottle of whisky, pretending he didn’t know he was walking into a trap. Later, clinging to the mattress and panting with Kirk’s hand inside him, he told himself that this was his choice: one he preferred to being passed around by the senior command-track cadets. He even believed it, in moments when the pain wasn’t shouting down conscious thought.
McCoy caught sight of the chrono at oh three hundred, when Kirk had finally draped himself over McCoy and fallen into an exhausted sleep. The position should have been uncomfortable, but Kirk’s heavy weight pressed a sense of satisfaction into McCoy: he’d read Kirk well enough to know what he needed, and he’d successfully fulfilled his obligation for another day. For now, his promise to Pike could stay on the very short list of oaths McCoy hadn’t violated.
McCoy ducked into the med cadets’ locker room and pulled up his shirt to rub cream on the welt marks Kirk had given him specific orders not to remove. McCoy had put up only a token resistance that morning when Kirk had brought out the cane. Usually he’d try anything short of begging—McCoy did not beg—to re-direct Kirk’s interest at such times, but when the blows fell, McCoy couldn’t help his relief at being the one Kirk was hitting. In light of Pike’s deal, it beat standing grumpily in a corner waiting to heal a temporary playmate before he, she, or it was unceremoniously evicted. A chiming from his padd interrupted his ministrations.
I want to see my handiwork again, Kirk’s message read. Come to the science library on your lunch. Bring your cocksucking lips.
Normally McCoy might have ignored such a command, hoping Kirk would get bored and find someone else to stroke his ego. This time, McCoy only saw the opportunity to give Kirk something to do tonight. He snatched the dermal regenerator out of his bag and began to erase the welts.
“There is absolutely no physical chance of my getting it up again for at least twelve hours,” McCoy panted.
“You’re no fun, old man.” Kirk’s smirk might have meant he was secretly pleased. “Well, you rest. Bars should be closing down in a few. I’m sure I can pick up something to keep me occupied.”
“Wait.” Even in his weakened state, the force of McCoy’s call made Kirk’s pause. “My bag. Bring me my bag.”
“Bones,” Kirk said warningly. “I thought you learned your lesson about messing with my work.”
“My bag, damnit.”
Kirk’s expression turned thoughtful. He prowled over to the doorway, grabbed McCoy’s bag, and tossed it onto the bed.
McCoy summoned his strength to sit up and told his aching muscles to quit their whining. He yanked open the bag and pressed a hidden latch to open the compartment of weaponized substances. He pulled out a vial of brilliant blue liquid, as startlingly cerulean as Kirk’s eyes. “Old, am I?” He loaded a half dose into his hypospray, thought better of it, then loaded the whole dose.
Kirk drifted closer. “What the hell is that?”
McCoy pressed the hypo against his neck and deployed it. He felt the rush almost immediately as the compound hit his bloodstream, leaving behind warmth and a painfully intense energy. He flopped back against the mattress, gasping for air.
“Bones! What--?” Kirk rushed to his side and snatched the hypospray out of his loose grip. “What the hell are you doing?”
McCoy’s buzz settled into a pleasant glow that pooled in his groin. He sat up. When he saw Kirk standing by the bedside, he may have licked his lips.
Kirk’s expression breezed past alarm and went right to excitement. “Bones, did you just give yourself sex pollen?”
“Your voice sounds dirty.”
That little stunt kept Kirk occupied for three days.
McCoy thought perhaps Kirk was getting suspicious. One morning, as Kirk was enjoying a leisurely blow job, he said, “I haven’t seen Gaila in weeks.”
McCoy wrapped his hand around the base of Kirk’s dick and squeezed. “Mind your manners,” he snapped, “Or get someone else to do this.”
“I might. Hand me my padd.”
Kirk looked at McCoy in the penetrating way that meant he was working through a problem: fitting evidence to possible causes and extrapolating favorable outcomes.
McCoy mustered a considerable amount of will to prevent himself from fidgeting under Kirk’s scrutiny. He’d never been clear on what, exactly, Kirk seemed to find so goddamn fascinating that required staring at him all the time.
“Padd,” Kirk said again.
McCoy tightened his grip on Kirk’s erection. “No.”
Kirk’s speculative gaze brightened into a smile. “Possessive all of a sudden?”
McCoy bared his teeth and fitted them gently over Kirk’s cockhead.
“Alright.” Kirk nodded as if he’d discovered something. With a generous wave, he said, “Show me what you’ve got. You’ve got five minutes to get me off, or I’m going to find a better offer.”
McCoy took ten minutes, but afterwards, Kirk didn’t complain.
Last month, McCoy would have made an excuse--taken extra shifts at the morgue, purposely injected himself with Bolian Influenza, anything--to avoid a night out with Kirk and his command-track classmates celebrating the end of their Techniques of Conquest practical. Today, he merely gifted Kirk with a toothy snarl when informed that his presence would be required, and left it at that.
The scene at the bar was a tangled mess of predatory instincts, machismo, and lust. McCoy spent most of the evening planted at the bar, watching Kirk hold court. He left for three minutes to hit the head, and when he returned, Kirk had one of his classmates pressed up against the bar, his hands tucked in the back pockets of the man’s uniform, pressing their pelvises together.
Pulse quickening, McCoy shoved his way to the bar. He made certain to jostle the interloper when he raised an arm to hail the bartender. “Bourbon, straight,” he told the woman. He turned to see Kirk and his grope-ee looking at him: Kirk with amusement, the other man with irritation.
“Having fun, Bones?” Kirk drawled.
“I can smell the sex on you across the damn room.”
“That’s the point,” Deserves-a-Hypospray-of-Poison sneered, and rolled his body against Kirk’s.
Kirk held the man tighter against him, but he kept looking at McCoy. “Maybe you’re just specially attuned to my pheromones.”
“Pheromones my ass,” Kirk’s playmate muttered. He squirmed out of Kirk’s grip to retrieve his drink from the bar.
McCoy silently congratulated himself on judicious application of his mighty glare. He took his drink from the bartender, raised it vaguely toward Jim, and slugged it back. “Let’s go Jim.”
“No. I’m not ready to leave.”
“Fine. Drink alone, then,” McCoy said, but he didn’t go for the door. Threatening to leave was one thing. Walking out of here now would essentially mean giving up on Pike’s deal.
Kirk scanned the place, including his comrades, who had started to take an interest in the conversation. “If you’re so eager, we’ll do it here.”
“Do you have any idea how filthy this place is?” McCoy tried to laugh it off, but his voice sounded brittle, even in his own ears.
“Then go home. I’m sure I can find someone else who’s game.”
A test. McCoy saw it in Kirk’s eyes. He was testing some theory about McCoy’s odd behavior, seeing if the pattern would hold.
“Come back with me.” It was the wrong move. McCoy knew it as soon as he saw Kirk’s eyes harden. McCoy should have known better than to tell Kirk to do anything, especially in front of witnesses, and if he’d been at the top of his game, he would never have made such an amateur mistake. He tried to backpedal. “I’ve got a bottle of Kentucky bourbon I’ve been saving. Better than this swill.”
“I’ve been spending too much time in the dorms. We’re staying out tonight.”
McCoy didn’t bother to ask whether he was included in that we. He’d stay wherever Kirk was. At least Kirk let him knock back the rest of his drink before hauling him out to the dance floor to the accompanying leers and catcalls of Kirk’s classmates. McCoy was debating whether to protest that he couldn’t dance, or simply demonstrate, when Kirk pulled him through the last of the gyrating crowd and shoved him into the shadows against the wall. McCoy huffed as the impact knocked the air out of him.
Kirk pressed the length of his body up against McCoy, pinning him to the wall. “You haven’t been helping me celebrate. It’s like you’re not even happy that I’ve mastered the techniques of conquest.”
“What do you want, a card?” McCoy snarled. If he put up enough bluster, perhaps he could drag Kirk off what seemed to be an entirely terrible trajectory.
“A present.” Kirk ground up against McCoy, invading any personal space he might have tried to claim. “You, on your knees.”
“Not here, Jim.”
“Right here. Get on your knees.”
“Not in public.”
“This isn’t a negotiation. Knees, Bones. Now.”
“Outside, at least. The alley.”
“I won’t say it again.”
Kirk pulled away and turned his back. In another moment, he’d disappear into the crowd. McCoy’s hand darted out and caught Kirk’s shirt. Kirk turned back. He waited. McCoy kept his eyes on Kirk and nowhere else. He ignored the press of bodies around them, the bass thump of the music that rattled through his rib cage, the smell of sweat and lust rolling off the dance floor in pulsing waves. He only saw Kirk’s blue, hard eyes, with no trace of a bluff in sight.
McCoy slid to his knees.
He didn’t have the control to do anything more, but that didn’t seem to be a problem. With a harsh, “Fuck,” Kirk unzipped his pants, grabbed a fistful of McCoy’s hair, and shoved his already hard cock past McCoy’s parted lips. McCoy only had to concentrate on catching a breath here and there as Kirk used him.
His own dick strained against his pants. Kirk’s hands on him—hell, his mere presence—stoked McCoy’s arousal in a response so strongly ingrained that even these circumstances couldn’t dampen it. Kirk braced his free hand on the wall behind McCoy’s head and fucked his mouth faster. McCoy closed his eyes. He concentrated on the familiar taste of Kirk’s skin sliding across his tongue and the tug of Kirk’s hand in his hair. Those comforting sensations helped his focus, but his body’s stubborn arousal refused to let him drift away.
“That’s it, Bones. Now look at me.”
McCoy forced his eyes open and tried to focus on Kirk to the exclusion of all else: no flashing lights in his sight, no undulating bodies, no bright patches of color and dark pools of shadow.
“Yes.” Kirk tightened his grip on McCoy’s hair and pushed his head back. McCoy’s eyes fell closed again as Kirk shot stripes of come across his face, hot and sticky against his lips, his cheek, dripping off his chin. For a moment they stayed frozen like that, a filthy tableaux in the rush of the party around them.
Then Kirk’s slack look of pleasure morphed and hardened into a satisfied smile. Kirk zipped himself up and tousled McCoy’s hair. “Stay.” He turned, threaded his way through the crowd, and was lost to McCoy’s sight in moments.
McCoy sat where Kirk had put him, statue-still in his place, with the warm remnants of Kirk’s issue drying on his face. The music and noise of the club faded back into focus, and though he knew logically that it all was simply continuing at the same level, the whole scene suddenly seemed too bright and too loud.
He stayed where he was for almost a minute, staring sightlessly into the writhing mass of revelers and gasping in air as if he could smother the rapidly expanding panic welling inside him. His body told him in no uncertain terms that what he’d swallowed was coming back up. McCoy staggered to his feet, shoved rudely through the crowd, and threw himself at the emergency exit. Even the humid San Francisco night air was a balm after the too-close atmosphere of the club. He braced himself against the wall of the building while his stomach emptied itself violently.
Too much, too far. He was losing it: losing Kirk, losing his gamble against Pike, losing everything he’d worked for or wanted. The only damn thing that mattered anymore was spinning out of his reach. He’d spent years dancing around Kirk’s harsher orders, resisting or avoiding what he couldn’t bring himself to do. In a matter of weeks, Pike had him tearing down every barrier he’d put up against Kirk’s total invasion of him. At this rate, McCoy would have nothing left worth defending, and then Kirk, having taken everything he wanted, would leave him. The thought sent McCoy slumping forward against the wall, unable to stand.
McCoy felt hands touch his shoulders and jerked away. He spun clumsily and tried to bring his hands up into some semblance of a defensive pose. He was going to have a hell of a time fighting if the world kept tilting and swimming the way it was now.
“Hey, Bones. Just breathe. You’re okay. Breathe.” The hands were now held up in front of McCoy, and they seemed to belong to Kirk, who was edging toward him warily.
McCoy dropped his fists, stumbled a few steps back to lean against a clean stretch of wall, and let Kirk approach.
“That’s good.” Kirk had some sort of cloth—napkins, from the bar?--in his hand. He wiped McCoy’s face, and his mouth, and tossed the rag off to the side with the rest of the garbage before pulling McCoy’s arm over his shoulder. “Party’s boring, anyway. Come on, let’s get you home.”
On the following Tuesday, McCoy happened to glance at the chrono when he was up to his elbows in the guts of a first-year cadet, one of six casualties of on a training mission gone wrong. His shift had ended two hours ago; Kirk had gotten out of class twenty minutes ago. When he didn’t find McCoy at home where he expected him, he’d go find something else to do.
McCoy attached the suture he was holding, then pulled his hands out of the kid’s body and started to strip off his gloves. He’d clean up later; Kirk didn’t mind a little blood.
“Doctor?” the nurse called.
“I have to go,” McCoy said. He pushed out of the operating room and discarded his mask, his gloves.
The nurse followed him. “Doctor!”
“He’s stable enough. Get someone else to close him up.”
“Doctor McCoy!” She planted herself in front of the door, still holding up hands in blood-stained gloves.
“Get someone else or let him die. He’s the one who botched the mission and caused this mess. Get out of my way.” He elbowed past her and ran, not caring who saw him or what they thought.
At the room, McCoy found a note scrawled on a padd on top of his bed. “Out with friends. Don’t wait up.”
McCoy threw the padd across the room, where it met its demise with a sickening crack.
[Done here? Move on to Part Two]