TOS Kirk/McCoy

Title: A Day in the Life of a Starship Captain
Author: Liz Ellington
Pairing: Kirk/McCoy


A Day in the Life of a Starship Captain


It wasn't fair, Kirk thought. You planned and you calculated, you went over every last possibility down to the finest odds Spock cared to commit to, you examined all the data, you brought in all your specialists, and goddamn, if the situation didn't throw something at you that no one had anticipated.

They had studied this culture for a couple of tendays before risking a landing party, a much longer time, really, than they usually allotted. There were unusual aspects to this world; one society knocking at the door to space flight, all the others laboring under the most primitive subsistence conditions, exploited for their mineral wealth and shut out of the superior technology on the other continent. Every damn department on the ship had had a crack at this one before Kirk would allow a landing party, and when they finally did risk it, they'd had exactly ninety seconds to rubberneck before the klaxons went off all around them.

He never saw McCoy go down. He'd activated the emergency return signal the instant he saw the horde of men pouring out of a hole in the ground (mine shaft, Spock told him later), all armed with primitive but very lethal looking projectile weaponry. One moment he was turning to make sure all his people were being picked up, the next, he was standing on the transporter pad on the ship, with Len's blood pouring all over the place, and the red alert whooping in his ear. He felt the surge of the impulse engines even before he got as far as the intercom to ask what the hell was going on.

They figured out later, after analysis of all the data, that someone else had been there already. The disparity between cultures was due to tampering from a much more sophisticated non-native group, and their sensors had failed to disclose life signs around their beamdown site because of a very efficient shield. At the moment, though, all he knew was that Scotty was getting them the hell out of there, and that he had to get to the bridge as fast as he could. The twist in his gut, when he realized McCoy was badly injured, couldn't be allowed to slow him down. Chris and M'Benga were already bending over him anyway末there was nothing Kirk could do that wouldn't get in their way.

When things settled down a bit, and they'd all contributed what little they had seen to the debriefing, he stopped in at Sickbay for a moment to check on McCoy. There was no sign of Chapel or M'Benga, but one of the other nurses told him that Dr. McCoy had suffered a deep flesh wound in his thigh from something fired by one of the weapons. He'd lost a lot of blood, she said, but the wound had been sealed and he was going to be fine. He was sleeping right now, better not to disturb him. Kirk nodded, asked her to tell McCoy when he woke up that the captain had asked about him, and went back to work.

Before Spock interrupted him with the results of his analysis, he'd written and filed for transmission the whole slew of reports that had to be submitted after a cultural contamination incident, based on their having used the transporter in full view of at least a dozen natives. Then he had to redo the whole pile, of course, to reflect that it was not Enterprise who had contaminated anything. Between the debriefing, and two rounds of reports, and another hour spent reading the reports from all the other landing party members, and some time with Scotty to discuss what had prompted their hasty departure from orbit, it was late evening before there was any possibility of returning to Sickbay. Even then, he felt as though he should be going over the sensor data that had triggered Scotty's kneejerk reaction末two plainly visible ion trails curving up at them from the surface. Missiles, without question, except that two minutes later there was no sign of them. No indication that they had failed in flight, or had been deliberately aborted, or had blown themselves up. Just not there any more. Spock was working on it, but it didn't seem right somehow for him to be going to visit his lover in Sickbay while someone else did his thinking for him.

He said as much to Spock, or at least a sanitized version of it.

"That is illogical, Jim. You are exhausted. There is little more you can contribute to the analysis at this time, and Dr. McCoy would be grateful for a visit from you, I am sure."

"Okay, I can take a hint." He got up, touching Spock lightly on the shoulder. "Don't stay up too late yourself."

Spock opened his mouth to say something, no doubt, about the difference between Vulcan and human sleep patterns, obviously saw the teasing glint in Jim's eyes, and changed his mind.

"Good night, captain."

Kirk took the lift down a level and walked around to the double doors of Sickbay. They had tucked McCoy into one of the few private rooms, in the very back. His door was open and he lay in bed looking white and strained.

"Hi, Jim."

"Shit末they told me you were okay."

"I'm better than I probably look. Close the door, will you? It's too damn noisy out there."

Kirk bent down to kiss him on the forehead, taking advantage of the privacy.

"Sorry I didn't get here earlier. It's been a mess."

"I can imagine. They told me you had stopped in, though."

Ordinary conversation, to cover their feelings. They'd been lucky this time, Kirk thought. He'd not had to make the kind of decision that could have been required of him. Having to leave McCoy behind some day was the worse case scenario, always in the back of his mind, and he'd been spared that one more time.

He told McCoy the parts of it that he thought would interest him. Told him about doing the reports over again after all the time he had spent on the first version, because he thought that would make him smile. Told him he was there at Spock's instructions, and that got him another smile.

"Jim," Len said slowly, "do something for me?"

"Sure. What do you want?"

"Go lock the door, to begin with."

He raised an eyebrow, but did as McCoy wanted. "Okay. Now what?"

"Come here. Lie down with me."

"I can't末it'll mess up the telemetry. You know that."

"Fuck the telemetry. I'll show you how to turn it off. I need you."

Kirk looked at him in disbelief. "Don't tell me you're horny."

McCoy chuckled. "No, not all that much. I'm just wound up and I can't relax and my damn leg hurts, and it would feel good, that's all."

"This can't be a good idea," Kirk protested. "It'll make your blood pressure go up. What if the wound starts bleeding again?"

"Considering where my blood pressure has been, anything that would raise it has to be good for me. And I won't move around. Don't worry about my leg."

Kirk continued to look at him unhappily, and he said, "Jim, I'm all right. I'm still a bit rocky from losing so much blood, but that's all. The body starts to shut things down when you have that much fluid loss and it takes a while for the neurotransmitters and electrolytes to stabilize afterward, even with adequate fluid replacement. I'll be up and around tomorrow末I just feel like crap now. Come on, please."

Kirk said reluctantly, "You know you don't normally have to ask me once, much less twice. It just doesn't seem like a good idea. Can't you tell M'Benga to give you something for the pain, so you can sleep?"

"He already did. I've had as much as I can have, and the damn stuff makes me twitchy anyway."

He didn't ask again. It was unheard of for him to have practically begged even once, and he was obviously not going to do it again. Kirk put aside his better judgment. Len was professional enough not to do something that would hurt him. The only other consideration was doing it in privacy. One locked door was no deterrent to anyone with medical overrides.

"Okay," he said, before he could change his mind. "Just show me how to turn the bed off so we don't set off any alarms."

"You can't actually turn it off末there's a supervisory circuit. What we have to do is set the threshholds so high that nothing goes into alarm. Hit that blue button, the one that says 'Menu.' Right hand side, under the screen."

"It's asking for my ID."

"Well末give it your ID then!"

"I'm authorized on these things?" Kirk asked in surprise. He touched his thumb to the plate and the menu flashed up on the screen.

"Remind me to tell you a real horror story some day," McCoy said, "about a ship where the whole medical staff was incapacitated and nobody could use Sickbay because no one else was authorized to access anything. I included everyone of command rank, even Chekov."

"Okay, now what do I do?"

"Touch number four末see where it says 'Settings'? Okay, now hit the last selection."

"Threshholds?"

"Yeah. Move the first slider all the way to the top, the one that says 'Master.' Then hit Okay."

Kirk tapped the Okay button and the menu display reappeared. "Do I have to exit from it or anything?"

"No, it'll go away by itself after a while. 30 seconds or something, I forget what the timeout is. Don't worry about it."

Kirk turned back to him, still leery of being interrupted, regardless of how they had jimmied the bed. He thought Len would probably enjoy a good blow job, easy enough, no mess, over with quickly. He pushed the blanket down, but McCoy, seeing what he intended, stopped him.

"Don't末I'm already freezing. Just lie down with me末all I want is your hand. Take your trousers off."

"I'll get you another blanket. And there isn't room for both of us in there anyway."

"I don't want another goddamn blanket! Just末" He stopped and let out a long breath of exasperation. "Never mind, Jim. It was a bad idea. Go on to bed. I'll be all right."

"I'll do it. I said I would. I just don't want Christine or somebody waltzing in here and seeing me molesting their boss. How do we get you moved over a little bit without hurting anything?"

"Come around the other side, grab a fistful of sheet in each hand and pull."

Kirk tried that, found it worked, and contemplated the distance between McCoy and the edge. "If you fall out of there, your nice young colleague is going to have me in the brig."

"Better make sure I don't fall out then." His voice was gruff but he was smiling finally.

"Have you got some towels or something? So we don't make a mess in the bed?"

"Look in the drawer. Should be a stack of small towels."

Kirk pulled out the drawer, found the towels, and also a tube of sterile lubricant. He very reluctantly took off his boots and uniform trousers, set them on the chair and climbed into the bed with McCoy.

"I know I'm going to regret this," he muttered.

"M'Benga is the only one on duty tonight and he won't bother me if he doesn't get any alarms. I told him I wanted peace and quiet, not people poking at me every half hour."

They settled together, Kirk still stiff and uncomfortable. McCoy's legs were cold as ice and he laid one of his own carefully over them, understanding now why McCoy had wanted him to take his trousers off. Blankets were okay; warm skin was better.

They kissed gently for a bit and McCoy relaxed and cuddled closer.

"Warm enough now?"

"Mmm." He stirred and turned a little toward Kirk. "Make me come," he murmured.

His cock was flaccid, but twitched encouragingly when Kirk touched him. "Wait a minute," Kirk said. "I can make this better."

He reached behind McCoy's pillow where he had stashed the lube and squeezed a good dollop of it into his palm. McCoy grunted appreciatively at the sensation.

"Put some on my hand too," he said, fumbling at Kirk's groin with the hand that was down between their bodies, reaching into the fly of his briefs.

"Okay, but you lie still," Kirk told him. "Just hold me, I'll do the work."

They settled into an easy slow rhythm, Kirk backing off every time McCoy began to breathe heavily or to move. "Easy," he whispered. "We'll get there, don't grab at it." He drew up his leg to make a tent of the bedcover over them, and stroked McCoy the way he'd seen the other man love himself, alternating hard and soft touches, now squeezing just the head, now moving down to finger the balls, pushing himself into McCoy's hand in counterpoint to the rhythm of his own. He wasn't trying to reach orgasm, but the slick hot pressure felt good enough that he wasn't going to stop either.

It built slowly, until McCoy turned his head into Kirk's neck and said "Please," just a breath against the skin. Kirk began to stroke him more firmly, root to tip and back again, and McCoy quivered suddenly and let out a long breath. His hand closed hard on Kirk, and Kirk thrust into it twice, three times, and came himself, brought over the edge as much as anything by the feel of McCoy's cock pulsing and flowing in his hand, and the little involuntary sound he made when it happened.

They lay snuggled together until it looked to Kirk as though McCoy was drifting into sleep. He eased away carefully, used the towels to clean them up, and slipped out of the bed, thankful that he'd been able to pull this off without embarrassment for them both. He got himself into his clothes and brushed his hair back with his hand. Not too bad, he decided, glancing at the mirror over the sink.

He didn't want to wake Len to ask him how to put the bed back into its proper configuration, so he just touched the menu button and figured it out as he went along. Settings, Threshholds, move the slider back to approximately where he remembered seeing it, touch Okay . . .

"What are you doing," McCoy asked him in a sleepy voice, and then sharply, "NO! Don't reset it末" and all hell broke loose. "Ahhh, fuck!"

"What happened? What did I do?"

The annunciator over the top of the diagnostic panel blinked and chimed insistently. The screen itself bloomed with a red 'ALARM!' banner and began scrolling with text, faster than he could read it. The telltale over the door blinked and beeped. It looked to Kirk as though everything in the room had gone into spasms of electronic protest.

"What did I do?" he demanded again. "All I did was set the threshholds back where they were to begin with末that shouldn't have set anything off."

McCoy shook his head. "I should have told you not to reset it," he said. "The software doesn't just log real time data, it also calculates averages for different increments of time末one minute, five minutes, 30 minutes. Even if the instantaneous data is below the threshhold, it'll go into alarm if the averages exceed the settings, and you and I, Captain, just blew the short-period averages off the top of the scale. Make sure you're decent, because we're about to have company."

McCoy gestured at the door. "Go unlock that so he doesn't have to use his override. This is gonna be bad enough as it is."

"He won't know what we were doing."

"Oh yes he will. Just because we changed the alarm threshhold doesn't keep the bed from transmitting data, and the neurotransmitters associated with sexual arousal and orgasm are pretty specific. Along with blood pressure and muscle activity and a dozen other things. Joe is too good a doctor not to scan the log and every first year medical student knows the signature. It's part of your initiation into the medical fraternity."

"What, jerking off in the diagnostic beds to see what the telemetry looks like?" Kirk asked him in disbelief.

"You got it. And the female equivalent thereof. Don't look at me like that. It's important to know these things."

Kirk had to laugh, thoroughly amused in spite of the situation. The door opened and M'Benga came through it, not in much of a hurry. He shook his head at them, obviously taking in the rumpled bed and McCoy's off-center position.

"Just turn the damn thing off," McCoy told him. "I can't reach it and Jim's already done enough damage."

M'Benga hit this and entered that and the room went suddenly quiet. He raised an eyebrow at McCoy. "Len?"

"Doctor," McCoy said to him, "does the phrase 'Mind your own business' suggest anything to you?"

M'Benga just shook his head again, grinning. "Is it somewhere on the same page as 'Set a good example for younger officers?' Hold still."

He moved McCoy efficiently back to the middle of the bed, and tweaked a setting or two on the display. "What were you going to tell Christine when she reviewed the logs?"

"She's not on until second shift tomorrow. I'd have had plenty of time to edit them."

M'Benga rolled his eyes and raised a hand. "Stop! I do not want to hear this. I've been corrupted enough already for one night."

"Just consider it on-the-job training," McCoy told him, a little red in spite of his bravado. "Now go away, both of you, and let me sleep."

"I'll stay for a minute," Kirk told him, unwilling to walk out with M'Benga. He wasn't sure exactly what M'Benga might have figured out, and he didn't trust himself to react in a way that wouldn't damage their relationship as captain and subordinate. He didn't need the man to ever question whether the captain's decision about something was influenced by what M'Benga knew about him, or thought he did.

M'Benga gave them both a look, but departed, closing the door behind him.

"Shit," McCoy said, taking a deep breath. "He'll be discreet. If anyone had to find out, I'd worry less about Joe than just about anyone else."

"I'm not so much worried about him talking about us as I am about him continuing to work with you."

"We'll be okay. There aren't many secrets in a place like this. Go to bed, I'll be fine."

"I'll just put my head down here for a while."

He pulled up the physician's stool, higher than the visitors' chairs, and laid his head down on his folded arms next to McCoy. Leonard's hand caressed hs hair for a minute and then slid down to rest on his shoulder.

"Did you have a good time?" Kirk asked him, stretching up to kiss his arm.

"You know it."

He really meant to stay only until he was certain McCoy was asleep, but the next thing he knew, M'Benga was shaking his shoulder and saying "Wake up, Captain."

McCoy was awake, and smiling at him with a lot more color in his face than he'd had earlier. "Go to bed, Jimmy. You're wiped out."

He nodded, the fatigue and stress of the day finally catching up with him. He bent and kissed McCoy on the cheek, realizing too late that M'Benga was still standing there. Decided it didn't matter much, not any more, and wandered half-asleep back to his cabin, thinking that this had been one hell of a strange day, all things considered, and fell asleep to dream of a book called 'DMM for Dummies: 101 Unauthorized Uses for the Stryker Diagnostic and Monitoring Module,' with himself and Bones on the cover.

Finis

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