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Author's Note: Written for Star Trek Reboot Drabble Challenge #3: Where No Drabble Has Gone Before
"Okay, here's what's gonna happen," Phil Boyce said as the hypo hissed against Pike's neck. "These little guys are going to start repairing the nerve damage at the cellular level. You might feel a little funny."
"That a technical term, Doc? Funny?"
"Yeah, smart-ass. Funny." Phil's blue eyes blazed beneath his shock of white hair. "The nanites work faster than any dermal regenerator. So first you'll get—"
"Shit!" Pike couldn't stop the word from escaping as sensation flooded his brain, making him squirm on the biobed.
"Pins and needles?" Boyce said mildly, earning a glare from Pike.
"Don't be such a baby." Boyce adjusted the monitors on the biobed, his attention split between scanning the readouts and Chris' face as he grimaced. "Does it hurt?"
"Not... exactly..." Chris grit his teeth against the sensation the entire lower half of his body was on fire. "It's like bugs crawling all over me."
"Just think—in days gone by, people actually paid to take drugs that would simulate the experience you're now getting for free."
Pike's eyes narrowed. "You're a sadistic bastard."
"Nope, I'm a doctor. You can tell, because I'm wearing this labcoat." He fingered the silver Life Sciences pin affixed to his lapel. "I can't give you anything—not without blocking the nanites' ability to do their job. Their heal rate is a hundred times faster than poly three. But blockers—even synthetic ones, will impair the neural interface. So you're gonna have to ride it out. Look at the bright side—you're getting more sensation back than you've had in weeks, right?"
"Christ." He closed his eyes against a new wave of not-quite-pain. "Yeah. And you think this'll work?"
"No, I shot you full of tiny robots on a whim." Boyce rolled his eyes. "Now wipe the drool off your chin and put on a happy face. You've got a visitor."
Boyce stepped aside, revealing a tall dark-haired woman in command gold, captain's stripes on her sleeves.
"What are you doing here?" Pike asked before he could stop himself.
She was—damn her—smiling. "Good to see you too, Chris."
"Sorry." He took a deep breath, and laid back down flat on the biobed. "I thought Yorktown was half-way to the Neutral Zone?"
"Last minute upgrades to our warp core intermix control computers. It seems the Enterprise chief engineer has very particular ideas which are spreading through the S.C.E.. Cait shouted down Nogura until he gave us an extra week in the Yards so she can finish the upgrades." She pulled a metal chair closer to his biobed, and sank down gracefully, one long black clad leg crossed over the other. "Why didn't you tell me today was the day?"
He continued to stare at the ceiling, his hands fisted at his sides. "I didn't want you to be disappointed, if it didn't work."
"Respectfully, Admiral," she somehow made his title sound downright dirty, "You're an idiot."
"So they tell me." Fire lanced through his legs, and he shifted on the bed. Her hand shot out to grip his as his back arched involuntarily.
"Do you need Phil?" she asked, her voice pitched low enough that it wouldn't carry.
"No—no, it's fine. It's just... uncomfortable." He kept hold of her hand. "Distract me."
She raised a brow, and he almost choked on a laugh.
"It's amazing to me how that steel-trap mind of yours can go straight to the gutter at the slightest provocation."
She leaned closer, until her lips brushed his ear.
"I wouldn't exactly call it 'slight'."
He glanced over, but Boyce was need in conversation with one of the other doctors. They had their particular corner to themselves for the moment, which was why he felt comfortable enough to reach up to cup her cheek, tracing the shape of her lips with his thumb.
"You know what I'm going to do, if this works?" he said softly. Her tongue darted out to moisten her lips, and he could feel her cheek hot beneath his hand. "I'm taking you out dancing."
She laughed. "Really? Dancing?"
"You mean like a date."
"I mean exactly like a date. The kind where I show up with flowers, and you wear something slinky, and we paint the town red. Not go to bed 'til dawn. The whole nine yards."
"I don't know if I have anything slinky."
"Sure you do. The blue number, with the low-cut back that you wore at Reed's wedding reception."
Her eyebrows shot toward her hairline. "Chris, that was seven years ago. How do you remember that dress?"
"It was a very memorable dress," he assured her. "I couldn't take my eyes off you."
"You never danced with me, at Reed's wedding reception."
"Did you want me to?" he asked, fingers tightening around hers.
She pushed a lock of hair off his forehead, her expression softening with fondness. "Why do you think I wore the dress?"
He remembered the curve of her back laid bare by the low-cut dress, and how much he'd wanted to trace the gentle curve of her spine. Which was precisely why he'd stayed with Boyce over by the buffet table for most of the evening. And then scheduled every officer and crewman who had danced with her to Gamma shift for a month, out of pure spite.
"Yeah, well, as we've established, I wasn't the sharpest knife in the drawer. But I plan on making up for lost time."
"And if this doesn't work?" she whispered, her thumb stroking the back of his hand rhythmically.
"You wear the dress anyway. And I still show up with flowers."
She leaned down and kissed him long and deep, to hell with Phil and whoever else might be watching.
"It's a date."