Author: Francesca Monterone PM
"… jeez, Bones, this is bad. Couldn't you have fallen for someone a little less difficult?"Rated: Fiction T - English - Hurt/Comfort/Romance - L. McCoy/Bones & C. Pike - Chapters: 7 - Words: 19,662 - Reviews: 13 - Favs: 14 - Follows: 8 - Updated: 06-14-10 - Published: 05-29-10 - Status: Complete - id: 6007125
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
McCoy gets into a serious spot of trouble, involving alcohol, erratic behavior and the beating up of two guys (and Jim, who tries to stop him) Pike has to intervene… but he has a rather unique way of doing so.
I do not own Star Trek or any of the characters, except for Anya Olivantes, Ryan and Samosa and the Archer kids.
I also took quite a few liberties with the existing characters and storyline: it's based on the newest film, mainly, but I changed a few things and omitted others, all for the sake of the story.
If you don't like male/male pairings, I suggest you either reevaluate your opinion or refrain from reading it ;)
Leonard McCoy woke up with what was literally the worst headache of his life. His whole body felt sore and bruised and the world seemed strangely out of focus. He blinked and noticed that his left eye was so swollen that he could barely open it. What on earth…? Then he remembered and was torn between burying his face in the pillows in total denial of all that had happened and making for a speedy escape towards the next high spot from where he could jump, thereby solving all of his problems.
"I'm going to kill myself," he announced.
"You wish," someone snorted next to him, and then Christopher Pike's face appeared in his field of vision. He was propped up on his elbow, watching Leonard intently, but with an unreadable expression.
Leonard groaned, turning away. He couldn't bear that steady gaze. It was just to humiliating, remembering all that had happened and knowing that Pike remembered it, too. "Fine, then I'll die out of shame."
"That's nothing people die from, or you ought to be dead by now. How do you feel?" "Horrible."
"That was to be expected," Pike said smugly. "You look a complete mess, by the way." "Yeah, thanks for telling me!" Leonard risked lifting the covers and had to admit that Pike was right. Most of his body was covered in blue and purplish bruises, cuts and scratches. His lips felt about twice their normal size and then there was the eye…
Cool fingers touched the side of his face. Leonard shrank back instinctively, then remembered that it was rather ridiculous, as Pike had touched a lot more than that the previous evening. "We need to get you to Medical. But not in this state, the poor nurses would get the shock of their lives."
Where did the man draw the energy to nourish his humor, even in a situation like this? "What'll happen to me now?" Leonard asked, although he was pretty sure about the answer. Pike surprised him, though. "You'll get up."
"Very funny. You know perfectly well what I meant."
"Oh, I do." Pike sat up, waiting for Leonard to turn around and look at him. When he finally had the attention he wanted, he sighed softly. "I expect you're waiting for me to tell you that you'll be thrown out of the Academy unceremoniously…? Well, guess what: I won't. In my opinion, it'd be the worst thing to do right now, so for the moment, you're staying. Literally… as you've apparently completely lost control over yourself and your life, I'll take over. Whether you like it or not, I don't care, but for the moment you're stuck with me and I'm not going to let you out of my sight till this mess is cleared up. Which means, you're going to stay here with me until further notice."
Leonard was staring at him. "What…?"
Pike nodded grimly.
"But… but… you're one of my instructors! I'm your student…! I can't…"
"You already did, so what's the fuss?" Pike shrugged.
"People will talk."
"Let them. I'd rather they talked behind my back about me having an affair with one of my students than about what really happened last night. None of my cadets, including Jim Kirk, ever got into the kind of trouble you're in right now and for your own sake, I'd like to keep it quiet. Otherwise, you will be thrown out of the academy, I promise you that. Therefore you'll shut up and do exactly what I tell you. You'll stay here with me, you'll continue your regular classes and your work at Medical, and you'll formally and publicly apologize to Jim and the other two boys. You will also completely abstain from alcohol in any form, at least for the next few months, and if possible, for the rest of your life. Furthermore, I've already made a call to Counselor Olivantes, and she's expecting you tomorrow morning at eight to start a regular program. You will attend to that program, no matter how humiliating you think it is. She's one of our best psychotherapists and quite possibly the only person around who can help you overcome your problems. There's punishment, too, obviously. I could hardly let you get away without it, so you're going to spend a lot of extra time at Medical, doing things you'd probably rather not do. Dr. Benedetti is going to oversee your work."
Leonard winced, yet he realized that Pike was actually being exceptionally indulgent. "Is there a punishment for seducing one of my instructors, too?" he asked softly.
Pike looked at him sternly. "Let's keep that part between you and me, shall we? Besides, I'd hardly call it a seduction. You desperately needed to get rid of some of that negative energy you'd built up inside yourself. It was sort of an emergency release. I just figured it'd be better if you took it out on a willing participant…"
Leonard shuddered, it was obvious what Pike meant by that. So he believes me capable of rape…? Well, last night, I'd probably have been…
"I won't tell you not to worry," Pike said, "but maybe it'll relieve your conscience to hear that I quite enjoyed myself. It was, although one of the most disturbing experiences of my life, rather exciting." His eyes twinkled.
Leonard shook his head. Really, that man's impossible…! He'd never figure him out. "I thought, you'd be freakin' mad at me", he remarked dryly.
"What makes you think that I am not?" Pike asked, raising his eyebrows.
Okay, he had a point there…
"Come on, get up."
Leonard tried to and instantly winced. Every movement was excruciatingly painful and somehow the room seemed to spin around him in a swirl of impossible colors. "I think I have a concussion", he groaned.
"Wouldn't surprise me." Pike put an arm around his shoulders, half pulling him, half pushing him up. "There you go, hold on…"
It was so humiliating, but there wasn't much he could do about it, so he let himself be led to the bathroom. The shower was large enough to admit four people, yet he would have preferred it, if Pike hadn't stepped in with him.
"You are very likely to slip and hit your head again, thereby sustaining some more lasting damage, so I am definitely not leaving you alone, no. Stop being embarrassed in front of me, Leonard. I've already seen you at your worst, as well as completely naked, so don't be such a pansy."
It was the first time Pike had actually used his first name and he wasn't quite sure whether to take that as a good or a bad sign. Whatever it was, the next moment, firm but gentle hands were helping him to get cleaned up, wiping dried blood and sweat of his skin, steadying him, combing through his wet hair. It almost felt like caresses, but he knew that Pike was just trying to help.
"Why are you doing it, anyway?" Leonard asked softly.
"Why am I doing what?" Pike asked in turn, resting soapy hands against his back.
"I can't have you endangering yourself and others."
"Why?" Leonard insisted. He wasn't satisfied with the answer he'd gotten.
"As for the latter, that should be obvious. Why I don't want you to hurt yourself… well, you'll figure that out in time. Once your self-esteem returns, I guess."
"What's my self-esteem got to do with anything?" Leonard asked irritably. He wasn't comfortable with Pike helping him so much. "Just answer the damn question, will you?"
"No, I don't think I will. You aren't ready for the answer just yet." Pike turned off the shower, stepped outside and handed his unwilling guest a large, fluffy towel.
Half an hour later, they were joined by Jim Kirk at the breakfast table.
"Jeez, Bones, you look like shit."
Leonard scowled. "Thanks for telling me. What are you doing here?"
"I enlisted his help," Pike said, helping himself to some coffee.
Jim studied his friend intently. "You know, this is all wrong. It should be you telling me that I messed up."
Leonard swallowed hard. "I'm sorry, Jim."
Jim waved his hand negligently. "Don't mention it. With all the trouble you got me out off, we're at least even now."
"He's not out of trouble, Jim. Not yet," Pike remarked, sipping his coffee.
"We'll fix it," Jim replied with his usual confidence. "And anyway, seeing that you haven't eaten him alive, sir, he's probably out of the worst."
Pike shook his head at him, but couldn't keep from smiling. Jim had that effect on most people. "What did you suppose I'd do? On second thought, no, don't answer that question…"
"Take him to his rooms to change, once you're done with breakfast, and then to Medical. I'll see you both at dinner, 1900 hours, where you two will be publicly shaking hands with Mr. Ryan and Mr. Samosa."
Jim groaned. "That's humiliating!"
"Yes," Pike told him firmly, "that is the point. I'm hoping it'll at least keep the other two boys out of trouble for a while. With you I know it won't do any good… you're both troublemakers of the first order."
"And yet you put up with us."
Leonard couldn't keep from staring at him. That kid was impossible! So what's this? He's being coy with Pike? Christopher Pike, of all people? I can't believe it!
"Don't make me regret it," Pike warned him, but there was a glint of humor in his lively grey eyes.
"I do not understand him. At all", Leonard remarked, when they had left Captain Pike's living quarters.
Jim turned his handsome, boyish face towards him. "Whom? Pike? What's there to understand? He cares about you. He cares about his people, like any good captain should do, and you happen to be one of them, for the moment. It's why everyone admires him so much, Bones. He gives people just what they need. He's a role model and a hero to his students, he's a loyal companion to his equals, he's something of a second father to me and to those of the cadets who aren't human, like that pointy-eared bastard Spock, he's the one who explains human nature and flaws. He saw you lost control, so he's restoring it to you. And I think he genuinely likes you."
I'm not so sure about the last one… hell, after last night, he ought to think the worst of me…
"Hm… I really don't know, what I'm supposed to do… how I'm supposed to react to him…"
"Be grateful, shut up and do what he tells you to do, it'll probably be the right thing. I know you have that little authority issue of yours, but consider him a friend, okay? Someone else might have kicked you out of the Academy. He's trying to help you." Jim was quite serious now, unusually so. "You do have friends, you know. And we worry about you. Nyota will have my head if she learns what happened last night."
"Then let's make sure she doesn't, shall we?"
"It's probably campus rumor by now."
"Oh, great," Leonard groaned. "Just what I needed…"
"You'll survive. It'll at least make your record a little more interesting" Jim said brightly. "That and the fact that everybody will be suspecting you of having a not-so-secret affair with Captain Pike, if he really means to keep you with him for the next few days."
"Days? It sounded more as if he was planning on weeks."
"Bully for you. You'll have a hard time denying it, then." Jim grinned wickedly. "Ah, the poor nurses! To think how they'll feel when they hear that the most handsome doctor at Medical is actually gay…"
"Jim, I'm going to hit you."
"Nah, you won't. Two reasons – first: you're still feeling bad about hitting me last night. Second: You know I'm right. Maybe you haven't admitted it to yourself, considering all the other personal problems you've had to cope with recently, but you certainly are more into men than women. Relax, Bones, that's perfectly all right. There are just as many nice guys out there as there are cute girls. Besides – if you're not interested in them, that leaves all the more girls to me."
"Don't you ever think of anything else?"
Jim stuck out his tongue at him. "At least I know how to have fun."
"I don't want to have fun. All I want is peace and quiet."
"If that's true, you shouldn't go around hitting people," Jim advised.
At Medical, everyone made a big fuss over Leonard, and it wasn't very long till the only thing he wanted was to run away screaming from their endless questions and ministrations. Jim stayed with him for a while, offering sympathy, if nothing else.
When they finally let him off, he went back to his quarters, sitting down on the bed, unsure what to do or think.
They were right. He'd messed up.
He'd lost control, and people had gotten hurt because of it.
Hell, you attacked your BEST FRIEND. Someone who cares about you, who trusts you, who is loyal to you, even now…
He'd told Jim that he was sorry, but that didn't even begin to cover it. It seemed to him, that his life had been steadily spiraling downwards into a dark, fearsome abyss, filled with shame, hatred, guilt, remorse, violence and other self-destructive feelings since sometime before his divorce. Sure, he had halfheartedly tried to start a new life by entering Starfleet, but look where it had taken him…
Running away, it seemed, did not help. The nightly horrors had caught up with him, and now it was even too late to run. He was drowning. His negative feelings where suffocating him and he saw no way to free himself.
Desperation settled over him like a dark cloud of dust, threatening to bury him alive. He wanted to scream it away, but no sound ever left his mouth. Darkness enveloped him, taking away reason, taking away light and hope, carrying him off into yet another nightmare.
There was no possible escape.
At a quarter to seven, Jim came to get him and found him sitting on the bed, face hidden behind a lab report. If his friend noticed his disheveled look and that fact that he had actually not been reading, he failed to mention it.
They traversed the long corridors in silence, arriving at the mess hall just in time.
Pike apparently wanted to stage an example, since half of the teaching staff as well as dozens of students were there waiting for them. He himself was sitting at a table with two other instructors and a pale, fair haired woman Leonard had never seen before. Nyota Uhura was there, too, standing close to Spock, who seemed to miss the point of the whole assembly. When she saw them, she almost came running.
"You idiot!" Her beautiful voice rang out clearly audible. Leonard winced. "What on earth possessed you…?" Nyota started, but Pike waved her off, as Ryan and Samosa had just arrived. They looked as annoyed and uncomfortable as Jim and Leonard. Leonard noticed, too, that Samosa's face looked even worse than his own and that Ryan's left arm was bandaged from wrist to shoulder. He instantly felt guilty at the sight.
Pike mouthed something that sounded suspiciously like "Go ahead and get it over with already!" and they reluctantly approached each other. Jim nudged Leonard, who stretched out a hand, forcing himself to voice his apology. Neither Ryan nor Samosa looked as if they truly believed him and he couldn't blame them. He also apologized to Jim – again, who smiled at him, whispering "It'll be alright, Bones."
Somehow, Leonard doubted that.
Pike waved them, as well as Spock and Nyota over to his table. The meal was uncomfortable, at the very least. Leonard felt both Nyota and Pike watching him, while Jim was desperately attempting to make polite conversation, Spock was silent as a grave and the blond woman eyed all of them curiously. Leonard's lip hurt too much to make him enjoy the food and actually, he just wanted to sleep and forget.
When everyone had finished dinner, Spock was the first to leave. Nyota looked as if she would have liked to follow her handsome instructor, but thought better of it and decided to vent her sorely tried feelings on Leonard instead.
"I was so worried about you, you moron!" she hissed. "Rumor had it that you'd gotten into a fight with two guys twice your size and that you were hurt…!"
"Ah, but you shouldn't always listen to rumor", Jim cut in lazily, lavishing his irresistible smile on her.
"Shut up, you! As if I didn't know you were in the middle of the whole mess, too!"
"That's hardly fair, Nyota," Leonard said, "for once, Jim tried to get me out of trouble."
"He did?" She eyed both of them suspiciously.
"Well… anyway, Leonard, you seriously messed up! What has gotten into you?" She seemed angry, but he saw real, heartfelt concern for him in her beautiful dark face.
There's another true friend you've disappointed…
He noticed that Pike was watching them across the table. Their gazes met and somehow, Leonard felt even smaller at the look in the other man's eyes.
Nyota, who seemed to fear that she'd been too harsh on him, took his hands in hers. "Promise me never to do anything that stupid again, Leonard…?"
He nodded mechanically.
That won't undo what you did, though.
Darkness again. Shame. Guilt.
A thick blanket of emotions, covering him, pushing him down…
Nyota squeezed his hands, then let go of them. "Have a good night." She got up, striding away from the table, but not without shooting him a last, worried glance.
Jim heaved a sigh. "Wish, she'd be only half as concerned about me as she's about you…"
But his friend was barely listening to him.
Not long after Nyota had left, Pike got up, motioning to Leonard to follow him.
"Good night, Jim…"
"Night, Bones… and…"
Leonard smiled sadly.
Be safe? Oh, that's a good one, Jim…!