Chicken Soup for the Gonads by Djinn

The apartment was quiet, set at the end of the hall, in a building full of visiting officers. The hallways had a transient air, and the maids and concierge had seen everything imaginable: torrid affairs, terrible break ups, heart-wrenching grief for officers back to bury a parent or friend. Sometimes it seemed that the very fibers of the carpets and furnishings had soaked up all the drama and passion and loneliness of the officers who had slept in these borrowed rooms.

Kirk had spent the first few days of his leave wishing he'd stayed somewhere else. But now he hurried back to the building, his meetings at Starfleet Command over, his arms full of groceries that he thought would help Chris get better faster. It was an odd feeling to have someone waiting for him, even odder to feel this protective of someone after just one night--someone he'd known half his life but never looked at twice as a prospective partner.

As he hurried past the concierge, the young woman working the front desk watched him wistfully. She wished she could make Captain Kirk as happy as he'd looked with the tall brunette he'd brought in with him the day before. She wished--she shook herself; it didn't matter what she wished. Maybe she should take that nice Doctor McCoy up on his offer of dinner?

As Kirk rode the elevator up, his anticipation growing as he got closer to his floor, Chapel was opening her eyes in his apartment. She was disoriented for a moment, wondering why her walls were white and the door was on the wrong side of the room until she remembered where she was and why, and smiled. If anyone had told her she would end up in Jim Kirk's bed, she'd have laughed them out of the room. She wasn't his type, he wasn't hers either. But if that was so, why was she grinning at just the sound of the front door opening? Why was she suddenly worried that she looked as shitty as she felt? Why was her heart beating terribly fast as he came into the room, his grin turned way up to "melt her heart" levels.

"Hi," she said, a smile lighting her face in a way that made his own heart beat faster. This woman...why in god's name hadn't he noticed her sooner?

"Hi," he said, sitting down on the bed, his hand going to her forehead. "Your fever's up."

"You can't tell that just from a touch," she said with a smile. But he was right; she was getting sicker not getting better.

"I can see it in your eyes," he said, and there was no grin this time. He looked worried for her, and she was touched.

"Come here," she said, pulling him down. His lips were so incredibly soft when he was being tender, his hair so silky as she ran her hands through it. When he pulled away from her, she said, "You're right though. I am sicker."

"I know." He smiled at her, pulling out a communicator. "Let's see if we can't do something about that?" He touched her cheek with his hand as he said, "Kirk to McCoy."

There was a long silence, and he leaned down, kissing her again, letting himself enjoy the feeling of having her in his bed--naked in his bed if he remembered correctly. He peeked under the sheet, waggling his eyebrows at her as he confirmed that yes, she was indeed naked under there. She giggled, a giddy, wonderful sound.

"--McCoy here, dammit."

Kirk realized that he must have missed McCoy's first reply. "Bones, your bedside manner leaves something to be desired."

"Maybe that's because I'm not beside a bed. I'm at the pool. Relaxing."

"Well, get your sorry ass down here. I have a patient for you to check out."

"Unless it's Christine, I'm not interested." McCoy's tone made Chapel wince. She'd have a bunch of apologizing to do to her former boss and friend. He'd only been trying to help her in the bar, and she'd been a little nasty.

"It is Chris. And she's sick. But thankfully at my place not at the bar." He winked at her, saw her smile and was glad that her spirits were up, even if her health had taken a downward turn.

"I'll be there in a minute. I just have to get my bag."

"We'll see you when you get here."

Chapel grinned, loving the way he said "we." He smiled back at her, and she thought he understood exactly what she was thinking.

He pulled down the sheets for a moment, running his hands over her skin.

Giggling again--how many years had it been since she giggled?--she said, "Is this your idea of an examination?"

"Why, yes, it is." He let his hand rest on her breast, his eyes darkening a bit. Lust, one hundred percent pure lust, shone in his eyes.

She wanted to pull him onto her and into her and never let him go. Instead, she looked down, embarrassed that she'd been sleeping all day, that she hadn't bathed. "I feel grungy. I was going to take a shower, but I got dizzy when I stood up."

His smile was a mix of helpfulness and utter lechery. "I can take a shower with you. Make sure you don't fall."

"You'd do that for me?"

"Hell, no. I'd do that for me." He laughed, the sound boyish and happy, making her grin. "I'm very selfish. You're sick, and all I can think about is how to get close to you."

"It's okay. I like it. I mean I look like crap, and you still want me. That's sort of amazing." She pulled him down again, kissing him, trying to get her fill of him before McCoy showed up.

He let his hands roam all over her, learning her body by heart, so that he could take the memory back to the ship with him, have her with him in some way when this leave was over.

She pulled away slightly, studying him, her eyes narrowing. "What's wrong?"

"I'm going to miss you," he said, feeling silly for saying it after one night. They'd been familiar strangers before last night--been strangers that way for years. Why did this feel so right so quickly?

"I'm going to miss you too," she said, taking his hand and squeezing it gently. Then, her expression turned devilish, and she began to kiss his palm, biting softly on the pads--he'd never realized there was a direct line from them to his groin. The door chime interrupted her just as she took his finger into her mouth.

"Hold that thought," he said with a laugh, as he extricated his finger from between her lips.

Too bad--she had a feeling she could have made him moan if she'd just had a few more seconds. She pulled the covers back up; her smile slightly wicked as she pushed her hair back. Shouldn't she have gotten dressed for this? What would Len think? On the other hand, she was lying in Jim's bed, an obviously shared bed. Even in a nightshirt or Jim's pajamas, what else could Len think?

Jim leaned down, pulling the covers up a bit more. He looked...possessive. And she found herself responding to that.

"And for the record you don't look crappy," he said, wondering if he shouldn't get her a t-shirt or something. Not that Bones hadn't seen them all nude at some point, but still...


"No. You look sexy as hell." She did too, with her hair all messed around her and her lips slightly swollen from kissing him. Her eyes were a dark blue in the afternoon light, and they softened as she looked at him.

"Not as sexy as you." She let her eyes travel down his body, stopping at hip level.

"Cut that out." He shook his head, already feeling the impact of her slow once over. She had the most amazing effect on him--especially on certain parts of him.

She forced her eyes up, surprised at how he responded to her--and how she could feel herself responding to him. Way to go, Chapel. Get yourself all hot and bothered before a medical exam. Yeah, that's smart.

The chime rang again.

"He probably thinks I'm dying in here. Go let him in."

Laughing, Kirk hurried out and let Bones in.

"You can't hear your chime?"

"I can hear it. I was...occupied."

McCoy took one look at Jim's grin and rolled his eyes. "Don't tell me you seduced her out of that bar?"

"Well, I'm not sure I was the one doing the seducing."

"But seducing was done?" And by the look on Jim's face it had been pretty damn good sex. McCoy had always sort of wondered what it would be like with Christine.

"It was mutually consensual seduction." Jim's grin faded, and he looked worried. "But she's sick, Bones. Sicker than she's letting on to me, I think."

McCoy nodded. That would be like Christine to hide how bad she really felt. "I'll check her out."

Kirk nodded, turning to the kitchen. "I'm going to warm up some soup."

"You brought her soup?" McCoy watched as his friend peeled open a container of chicken noodle soup from one of San Francisco's upscale specialty stores. My god, how serious were these two after one night? In all his years, he wasn't sure he'd ever seen Jim being so domestic.

"Don't look so worried, Bones. She sent me out for this herself." Kirk laughed, seeing the disbelief in his friend's face. Was it so out of character for him to take care of someone? He took a quick trip through memory lane and realized he usually didn't combine sex with this kind of homey comfort. When had he stopped looking for the whole package? Was it after Janice? After Carol?

McCoy watched him for a few moments, then went into the bedroom. Staring down at Christine, he realized she was probably stark naked under the rumpled sheets. "There a t-shirt shortage in this town?" he grumbled and was surprised to hear her giggle.

She never giggled.

"All right, young lady. Let's see what's wrong with you."

She smiled. Even though she felt like crap warmed over, she did feel young again--great sex and waking up with someone who actually knew how to be tender were fantastic ways to feel rejuvenated. Even with a fever of a hundred and three.

He was scanning her, the sound of the instrument bringing a wave of nostalgia. She missed being a doctor. Some days more than others. This was one of those days. Only she knew there were forty reasons for that. Forty dead reasons. "One hundred and four fever."

She'd been close. "I know. Glands swollen, blood pressure elevated, pulse a bit rapid."

He smiled. "That's a common reaction to being in Jim's bed, I'm told."

She laughed, that strange, light giggle that unnerved him a little even as it charmed him. He continued to scan her. "It's not viral." He got out his hypospray, filling it with antibiotics and some pain killers. "You have bacterial meningitis. How the hell you picked that up is beyond me." He watched her face; she didn't seem surprised. "Something you want to tell me?"

"Some of the Perillians were suffering from it. We were all working so closely during the fighting."

He nodded, had figured it was something like that. He shot her full of drugs. "Well, this should do the trick. You might want to go easy on the extracurricular activities until it takes effect."

She smiled. "Len, the drugs will take effect in a few hours."

"I know. Which is probably just about how long you two will last. I can diagnose raging lust as easily as a raging fever."

He sounded happy for them, but concerned too, and she understood that--they were both his friends, if this went badly...

He shot her a glance, his eyes twinkling. "The man is out there making soup for you, you know."

"He's not making it. He's warming it up."

"Same diff."

"Nuh-uh." She smiled, remembering the breakfast Jim had made for her. Scrambled eggs had never tasted so good. He'd said it was the dill; she thought it was the cook.

McCoy watched her expression grow soft, and smiled. It was high time she found some happiness. Jim was the last guy he'd have figured would give that to her, but if it worked for them, who was he to get in the way? He patted her shoulder. "You rest up. I'll tell Cartwright you need some time off to recover."

"How much time?"

McCoy's eyes were twinkling again when he said, "How long is Jim's leave?" Winking at her, he walked out of the room. He talked to Jim for a moment, then she heard the front door open and close.

Jim peeked in. "You hungry?"

She nodded and he thought she looked like she was more ready for sleep than food. But she sat up, the sheet slipping down, he thought accidentally, until he looked at her expression.

"Troublemaker," he said.


He realized that might be true, and it surprised him. There was a lot he didn't know about her. A lot she didn't know about him. It would be an adventure discovering those things together. Smiling, he went and got the tray he'd fixed up, carrying it in to her.

"Meningitis, huh?" he asked as he set the tray down.

She nodded, letting the aroma of the soup waft up at her for a few moments before dipping her spoon in. It tasted like heaven. "Thank you."

"All I did was warm it up." His eyes were so soft that she reached out for him, wanting to feel his hand on hers, his skin soft against her own.

"No, you warmed me up," she said. "There's a difference."

"It was my pleasure." His grin faded. He'd known how close to the edge she'd been. Had stood staring down into that same abyss years before. It had been one of the loneliest times of his life. "And my duty."

She nodded. She understood. He was more than just a friend, or a lover. He was a fellow officer. He'd come to her out of duty, out of responsibility. She looked up at him. "Duty didn't make me soup. Duty didn't make love to me."

He was trying to bite back a grin. "No, that was definitely not duty in bed with you."

She laughed. "Will you get back in bed with me?"

"Once you finish your soup, I will." He gave her a very stern look. "And then you will sleep."

"No sex?"

"No." He almost laughed at her expression. "Well, perhaps if you're good and sleep a few hours."

She smiled. A few hours was all she'd promised Len. "I'll be good."

He leaned down, kissing her, his lips no longer so soft. She knew that no matter how good she was, he'd be better. The thought made her shiver, in a deliciously sexy way.

"Now, eat." His hands ran down her back. Comforting, arousing, giving her more than she ever would have expected.

Kirk watched her face as he touched her. She was so damned open to him right now, didn't appear to be trying to hide anything, and he found that exhilarating. "Spock is going to be mighty sorry he left."

She shot him a look, thinking back to Spock's almost panicked face in the bar. "No, Jim. He won't."

"Okay, he probably won't. But he should be." He grinned, making light but not making fun.

And she was fine with it. She thought it might be nice getting to know Spock from this side of Jim's life. Maybe she'd get to know the real man, not the dream-Vulcan she'd had a crush on for so long. Or maybe not. She found it mattered surprisingly little.

As long as she had Jim, anything else was just extra added fun. She looked up at him, surprised again at how life went. He smiled down at her.

"It's scary," she said.

"Yes, it is." He didn't have to ask her what was scary. They were scary. This, them, sex, caring, maybe love someday. This was terrifying. But in a soft, quiet, very comfortable way. He might be scared, but he wasn't going anywhere. He was pretty sure she wasn't going anywhere either as she stared back at him with her gentle smile.

"Do you like walking on the beach?" he asked her, knowing she'd have no idea what he was really talking about.

"I do." She looked up at him. "I don't get much opportunity to do it though. Or I don't make the opportunity."

"Then let's go. Once you're well."

She smiled tenderly at him, and he had the feeling if he'd asked her to go to hell with him, she'd have said yes.

"Can we have sex before then?" she asked.

"Oh, all right." He rolled his eyes as if it was a great hardship she was asking.

She just laughed and went back to her soup. "Go get yourself some lunch, Captain. You'll need to keep your strength up if you're going to sleep with me, and have sex with me, and shower with me, and have sex with me, and walk on a beach with me, and have sex with--"

"--I get the picture, Commander. And aye-aye."

She winked at him, and he wanted to take away the tray and have sex with her right then. How long would it take the drugs to work?

"Go eat, Jim."

It was the voice of the nurse he remembered, and the doctor he served with later. And, he supposed, the voice of the commander he barely knew. He was going to enjoy getting to know her.

Especially in the biblical sense.

But first he had to keep his strength up. And up. And up. He laughed, and saw that she was grinning as if she could read his mind. She glanced over at him. Her smile a promise and a gift. One that he was ready to accept, ready to grab onto and not let go.

Their lips touched, pressing on each other hungrily, their tongues meeting--she tasted salty, and rich, like the soup he'd warmed up. He kissed her for a long time before he let her go and went to make himself some lunch.