Jim wasn't even drunk the first time he propositioned Bones. In fact, he'd barely even started in on the tall frosted glass sitting on the bar in front of him.

"Give me one reason why we shouldn't just go for it, Bones?" Jim smiled at him as he raised his glass to his lips. Not just any smile, either. It was the smile that showed his teeth and had a slight quirk to it, as if Jim had already won the debate and you just hadn't realized it yet.

Of course he couldn't possibly be serious. And since they only had a few hours of leave left Bones didn't particularly feel like spending it as the butt of one of his friend's jokes. "One, Jim? I've got dozens. I think it'd be easier to write a list of the reasons why we should do something so damned stupid. Of which there are none."

"It's not stupid, Bones." Jim grinned at him again and raised his glass as if in toast. "And fine."

"Fine?" Bones didn't bother to hide his confusion.

"Yeah. The list. I can do that."


Bones found the first message early the next morning written on his bathroom mirror.

1. Because you'd be crazy not to.


The comm system in Jim's quarters chirped insistently for nearly a minute before he groaned, rolled over in bed, and finally answered the summons.

"Although 'crazy' is definitely a word I'd associate with you, I'd prefer if you'd keep your thoughts, and your libido, to yourself. And stop abusing your security privileges to break into my quarters."

Bones' voice was irritated and Jim could practically hear the other man rolling his eyes.

Jim thumbed the comm off without answering and burrowed back under the covers, a smirk plastered across his face.


Later that day as Bones was reviewing and signing off on that week's crewmember physicals, the PADD in his hand chimed softly, indicating a newly arrived intraship communication. He pressed the flashing indicator to receive the message.

To: Dr. Leonard McCoy, CMO

From: Captain James T. Kirk

Subject: Just face it, Bones

2. We're compatible.

Bones sighed and pressed two fingers to the bridge of his nose before forming his reply.

To: Captain James T Kirk

From: Dr. Leonard McCoy, CMO

Subject: You are delusional

In the way that we are both humanoid life forms? Not a strong argument outside of the "last creature in the galaxy" scenario, Jim.


The next morning, Bones stepped out of his quarters in time to see Jim and Sulu jogging down the hall towards him and looking far too chipper considering it was 0600. It took Bones several long seconds to tear his eyes away from Jim's naked chest, a fact not lost on the Captain. Though Jim said nothing he did grin and hold up three fingers as he passed.


Late that afternoon, McCoy retreated to his office after a hellishly long day orienting the new staff to the Sickbay – and how Medic Clevette survived this long in a medical career when the sight of a hypospray caused him to heave and then pass out completely escapes him – to find a PADD resting on his desk.

Bones briefly considered winging it out into the corridor for anyone to find but decided against that as a solution. No need to give the ship gossips new ammunition.

He picked up the PADD and noted that it displayed a personal message followed by several chapters of a common Starfleet-approved reference program used by medical cadets.

Bones –

Since you are in teaching mode today I figured I'd impress you with my significant academic prowess and provide a few examples of the scientific support for sex.

5. Sex is a normal part of life. (See: Chapter 2, General Health Topics, Subsection 28)

6. Sex supports and improves several body systems. (See: Chapter 18, Human Cardiovascular Topics, subsection 22, and Chapter 24, Human Immunology, subsection 19, and Chapter 38, Reproductive System – Human Male, subsection 42)

7. Sex is an excellent form of stress relief. (See: Chapter 56, Mental and Emotional Health, subsection 84)

Bones frowned down at the PADD. He then reached for the comm. system and signaled the bridge.

"McCoy to Kirk."

The Captain replied swiftly. "Bones! Read anything interesting lately?"

Aware that the entire bridge crew could likely overhear their conversation, Bones ignored the question. "You forgot number 4."

Jim's chuckle was audible over the comm. "No I didn't. Check your desk drawer."


Bones stubbornly finished all the reports sitting on his desk, quizzed the medics on emergency protocols, and picked a shaky Clevette up off the floor again before giving in to his curiosity.

Inside the top drawer of his desk he found four tubes of lube.


After the away mission with the rockslide that resulted in the entire team returning to the Enterprise bruised and limping, McCoy figured he'd have a brief respite from Jim's attempts at persuasion. Even James Kirk couldn't possibly feel randy when it hurt this much just to step down off the transporter pad.

In retrospect, Bones figured he should have known better.

All members of the landing party were ordered down to Medical. After receiving his clearance, Bones' only thoughts were for a long shower and his bed. As he undertook the daunting task of trying to put his shirt back on without raising his arms above the level of his chest – unsuccessfully, he might add – Jim limped over to him.

"You know, sex leads to orgasm."

Bones was still trying to figure out why this wasn't number one on the list when Jim continued. "And orgasm leads to endorphins, which are a natural pain-reliever. Just what the doctor ordered, wouldn't you say?"

Bones gave him a dark look and, reaching behind Jim's back, grabbed up a hypospray from the nearby workstation. "Why don't we cut right to the chase then?"

Jim's eyebrows shot up in surprise. "I hadn't thought you'd be so easy to convince. That's only number eight and I've still got- OW!" His arm shot up to rub the spot on the side of his neck where Bones had administered the injection. "Bones!"

Bones noted Jim's already dilating pupils as the other man staggered and half-fell into his arms, further wrenching Bones' sore shoulders.

As he supported Jim's weight until he could be handed over to the nearest medic, Bones convinced himself that his slight smile was due to his relief in surviving yet another away mission rather than to his fondness for the man currently draped across his lap.


Jim was apparently somewhat disgruntled by his CMO's underhanded tactics because Bones didn't receive any further additions to the list over the following two days. Bones began to suspect that Jim had decided to abandon his project and couldn't decide between feelings of relief or dismay.

At 2330 Bones contemplated putting aside his PADD and trying to sleep, a familiar chime sounded and Bones read the accompanying message.

To: Dr. Leonard McCoy, CMO

From: Captain James T. Kirk

Subject: Consider this

9. I'm the Captain, you're the CMO. Our respective positions narrow the playing field on the ship considerably – I don't want to take advantage of a subordinate and you won't cross that line with a patient. The perfect solution is for us to take care of each other.

It occurred to Bones to ignore the message. It wasn't as if he'd missed their interplay, certainly. He frowned and drummed his fingers against the surface of his desk before deciding that he couldn't resist.

To: Captain James T. Kirk

From: Dr. Leonard McCoy, CMO

Subject: Your "logic" escapes me

Your own logic – and I'm fairly certain Spock would object to the term being applied to your infantile argument – precludes the possibility of achieving your goal. You are among my patients; in fact you are one of the crewmembers to most frequently require my services. This places you firmly outside my "field" as you've labeled it. Additionally, I am outside of yours since I am (and it pains me very much to write this) one of your subordinates.

To summarize:

You have succeeded in providing support for my side of the debate. Congratulations.

Pleased with himself, Bones prepared to power down his PADD when it chimed again.

To: Dr. Leonard McCoy, CMO

From: Captain James T. Kirk

Subject: Do not bring Spock into this

Ooh, Bones, so you're my "sub" now? I didn't think you'd rush to that chapter so quickly when you've been so reluctant to open the book.

Pertaining to the reference to your medical duty, I certainly wouldn't mind expanding the nature of those "services" that you mentioned.

Bones sputtered. Horny little bastard.

To: Captain James T. Kirk

From: Dr. Leonard McCoy, CMO

Subject: Medical Records Update

Captain, I do believe that you are not currently up-to-date on all of your vaccinations. Please report to Sickbay at 0800 tomorrow to rectify this matter. There are only about 9 or 10 to administer.


Bones did not see Jim at all the next day. He suspected that the Captain was avoiding him.


The following day Chekov interrupted Bones' breakfast by handing him a hastily scribbled message.

10. You've put up with me for this long. Don't you think you deserve some sort of reward?

After properly digesting the mind-boggling ego wafting off the page, McCoy looked at Chekov who was keeping pace with him and apparently waiting for Bones to devise a response.

"Don't you think your skills would be better put towards something other than errand boy, kid?"

Chekov nodded his head fervently. "Yes, sir, but Commander Spock and Lieutenant Uhura both refused the task, and I think the Keptin was beginning to get frustrated."

Bones sighed and handed his reply to the young Ensign.

Send me a case of good whiskey then – God knows I could use it! I hardly think that what you have in mind constitutes a reward.

Expecting a reply in the form of another intraship communication popping up on his PADD or a note borne by an irritated member of the bridge crew, Bones was unprepared for Jim to appear behind him in Sickbay. He nearly jabbed himself with a hypospray containing a powerful neural paralyzer when Jim clapped him firmly on the shoulder, leaned over, and spoke directly into his ear.

"Actually, I know a number of people who would beg to differ, Bones."


To: Dr. Leonard McCoy, CMO

From: Captain James T. Kirk

Subject: Listen to reason

11. Since, as my physician, you are aware that I am currently free of disease and all my systems are in full working order (and yes, I do mean that exactly how it sounds) I am a far better candidate as a bedmate than some stranger in a bar.


To: Captain James T. Kirk

From: Dr. Leonard McCoy, CMO

Subject: I remind you that I have access to your full medical history

Since I am, in fact, aware that all your systems are currently working, I am also aware that your right hand is fully functional as well.

And bars are more your style.


The game continued. Sometimes Jim made several attempts per day while other days resulted in only one. He did not appear to be running out of ideas.


After the mission where the paranoid locals attacked the away team and killed Ensign Tyler, there were no notes for four days.

At 0300 on the fifth day Jim appeared at his door with a bottle of whiskey in hand. Bones had been awake reviewing the final report on Tyler's failed resuscitation and subsequent autopsy – fucking poison-tipped darts for crying out loud! – and eyed him for only a moment before gesturing the silent man over to a chair and going to fetch two glasses.

"Tyler's mother sent me a message." Jim fell silent and stared down into his glass.

Bones didn't reply, knowing that Jim would continue in his own time.

"She thanked me for notifying her personally, and for informing her that her daughter would be receiving a commendation for bravery." Jim sighed and shut his eyes. "I'm sending her kid back to her in a fucking box and she's thanking me with tears streaming down her face."

They sat together nursing a single drink each for nearly half an hour. Though the atmosphere was somber, the silence was comfortable.

Just before turning to leave Jim met Bones' eyes.

"Number twenty-six. Because we both spend far too much time alone in our quarters working well into the night."

Bones nodded. "Nature of the job, Jim."


Additions to the list resumed, and continued at a rate of one or two each day.

27. Because I suspect you'd be really, really good at playing Doctor.

28. The Captain's chair swivels and reclines. I'm sure you can see where I'm going with this.

29. Scotty insists that there's something special about sex in the Engine room. I did not inquire as to the extent of his experimentation.

30. My reputation is beginning to suffer.

31. I have it on good authority (Spock and Uhura's neighbors) that the crew quarters are soundproof.

32. Even Chekov is beginning to refuse to give you messages. You want to save the crew from charges of insubordination, don't you?

33. We've seen nothing but empty space for two weeks and I'm so bored my brain is oozing out of my skull.

34. Your nurses and medics are beginning to give me wooing tips. It's humiliating.

35. Because I can commandeer a shuttle anytime I want.

Bones wasn't sure how many of the suggestions were meant to be sarcastic. He didn't ask.


A Federation science team studying the natural energy resources had been out of contact with the Fleet for over a week and the Enterprise was sent to assess their status.

Jim presented Bones with reasons forty-seven and forty-eight right before they transported down to the surface of a planet that Bones didn't even bother trying to pronounce. He merely rolled his eyes and focused on recalling the particulars of the mission briefing.

Later, as he lay on the hard, dusty deck of the science station and tried to convince his body that it really did need to breathe to continue working, Bones spared a tiny bit of effort to regret not hearing reasons number forty-nine and fifty. The constant twitching of his muscles and the pain screaming from every nerve-ending soon distracted him from this disappointment, however.

Jim's face hovered above him, concern painted across his features. Bones could see his lips moving, but couldn't hear him over the annoying buzzing noise that filled his head. To the right he could see Uhura speaking urgently into her communicator and to the left he saw Spock examining the odd weapon that the creature crumpled at his feet had used to shoot Bones.

Bones spared one last look towards Jim's face before he finally passed out.


When Bones woke up in the Sickbay the next day, Jim was sitting by his bed.

Seeing that Bones had both awakened and appeared to be reasonably in charge of his faculties, he placed a hand on Bones' blanket-covered knee and squeezed.

"Forty-nine. Because you won't have to worry about disastrous missions ever again since I have no intention of ever letting you out of my quarters. Ever."

Bones smiled, and closed his eyes.


Bones was released from Sickbay the next afternoon with orders to remain in his quarters to rest. He chafed at being "ordered" by one of his fellow physicians, and one under his own management at that, but the truth was that he was still a bit shaken. His balance was off and his hands had a fine tremor that concerned him, despite Chen's insistence that it was a normal reaction to the jolt he'd received and would be gone by the morning.

An evening to himself with doctor's orders not to be disturbed wasn't entirely unappreciated.

Jim, being Jim Kirk, after all, defied those doctor's orders within a few hours of Bones' release and appeared at the door to Bones' bedroom. Bones reclined in bed propped up by several pillows and just looked at him. Jim remained in the doorway, leaning against the bulkhead, silent and with his arms crossed in front of him. He stared a Bones for a long minute before finally speaking.

"Fifty. Because I want you. Not just in bed, but everywhere. I want you on the bridge making sarcastic comments and in Sickbay patching me up and telling me off for my latest stunt. I want you debating the values of logic with Spock or the safety of the shuttles with Scotty."

Jim walked over to the bed and sat down. "I want you in the mess sharing a meal and in my quarters keeping me grounded when I want to break under the strain of an insane captaincy."

"Bones, I just… want you."

Bones just looked at him. Jim didn't squirm, look away, or attempt one of his usual cocky grins. He just peered back, gaze steady.

"Okay, Jim." Bones raised his hands to Jim's neck and pulled his best friend down towards him. The first kiss was soft, a light brush of his lips across Jim's. The second was firm, passionate, and accompanied by the slightest nod of approval. "Okay".