Wingman, or (Four Times McCoy Helped Kirk Lay on the Charm, and One Time He Did so Himself)

Genre: Humor, Crack!Fic
Rating: PG
Time Frame: Academy days – post ST XI
Characters: Leonard "Bones" McCoy, James T. Kirk

Summary: There were times when he wished that Kirk would keep to the mentality of a five year old in all ways, and only coincide the thoughts of girls alongside those of cooties.

Notes: The crack had to come out sooner than later, and now here it is . . . I should be ashamed, I really should . . . (Oh, and brodiew, I'm sorry for taking the McCoy/Chapel route . . . But the muse was too lazy to create an OC.)

Disclaimer: I have Burger King toys, and glasses! Take that!

by Mira-Jade

(once stuck, struggling only makes it worse)

There were times – present situation included – when McCoy wondered just how he ended up friends with James T. Kirk.

It had seemed simple at the time - they were the only two new recruits attending orientation in civilian clothes – McCoy still reeking of the stench of public interplanet transports and spirits, and Jim still with blood staining the front of his shirt. Once you had a meeting like that, there were very few barriers to overcome.

They'd hardly been settled for two hours when had Jim decided to check out the local spots – once found, they took a steady flow of beers from a Caradian bartender and talked a bit about what brought them there: Jim of his father, and Pike's challenge; McCoy of an ex from the seventh layer of hell itself, and a little girl with a her mother's eyes and a smile bright enough to make anything better.

That evening, which had started out amiable, if not promising, had ended with Jim looking McCoy up and with a look that filled him with something approaching unease. (Now, after three years, McCoy knows to trust this feeling At. All. Costs.)

"You know?" Jim had said a bit slyly, his chin in his hand and his eyes flashing impishly, "You have all the makings of a classic wingman."

McCoy had raised a brow, ready to ask just what the kid meant when Kirk not so accidentally dumped his rather full drink on McCoy's lap.

"Good God, man!" Bones jumped away from the very cold mess, "Could you watch what you're doing?!"

"Oh, I am so incredibly sorry," Kirk fumbled with a handful of napkins, awkwardly patting the bar(and a very much protesting McCoy) dry. His voice had turned wobbly around the edges, his eyes refusing to make contact. "I'm just all nerves today – you know, first day jitters and all."

Bones raised a brow. "What are you talking about?" he snapped, addressing the uncharacteristic stammer that had invaded Jim's voice.

Kirk turned his head just enough to glare at him without being noticed by anyone around them.

Noticed . . .

Realization dawned right as McCoy heard the unmistakable sound of female laughter at the other end of the bar.

Oh, you had to be kidding . . .

Jim, after elbowing him when turning too quickly, turned to the sound of the laughter – a pretty red haired cadet and her two cohorts. "Good evening, ladies," he stammered out, refusing to meet their eyes. "I'm just such a klutz some times. It's amazing that my buddy here still agrees to be seen in public with me."

McCoy fought the urge to snort when Jim's arrogant demeanor morphed into something adorable(not to him, at least, but to them) and ridiculously awkward.

Another surreptitious elbowing.

Bones caught on. "I've gotten used to carrying you around now," he said slowly, trying to keep the bewilderment out of his voice.

Kirk's eyes dropped even lower, and a chorus of 'awws' escaped the girls when he turned impossibly wide blue eyes on them.

McCoy snorted.

They couldn't possibly be buying this.

. . . Could they?

Sure enough, Kirk had left with the red head, leaving McCoy at the bar with a napkin and a scribbled number that he stared at as if it were a serpent. After escaping one relationship, he wasn't quite ready to stick another knife back in so quickly, but Jim seemed determined to do so week after week after week.

And, for some reason, Kirk was convinced that he was crucial for these dubious . . . endeavors.

Once realizing that resisting made the stories more outlandish and the stunts more and more ridiculous, McCoy sucked it up, and went along with whatever scheme his friend came up with for the night. Eventually, somewhere down the line, his voice lost a bit of it's bite, and he laughed a bit more than needed when Jim was slapped after failed attempts.

The laughter usually stopped when he was included in the understandable tempers – guilty by association, and all that.

Someday, he will tell Jim that he is too old for this, and make it stick.

(same tactics, expecting different results)

During all of his time with Jim, McCoy saw enough to make him seriously doubt the combined intelligence of the female population. And yet, on the other side of the coin, he also saw enough to make him seriously applaud their efforts when dodging his friend's more . . . persistently obnoxious charm.

One of these woman was Uhura, and he wondered how she did it.

"Macy, Madelyn, Mara, Medea, Marilyn, Madge, Madonna? You know, someday we are going to run out of the alphabet, and then I will seriously have to make up a name for you."

"Go stun yourself, Kirk."

McCoy would have decked him by now.

" . . . Maya, Mabel, - I'm not really a big fan of these, are you? Maxine? Marla? Mia? Monroe?" . . ."

It was a ridiculously bright spring day that had brought the senior class out onto the academy grounds after class. Uhura had her things spread out on the grass, with the sounds of a dozen different languages seeping out of the twin earpieces she was switching in and out of her ears. Kirk, much to her dismay, had set up camp right next to her, his back propped up against the courtyard's rather large fountain and his legs spread lazily out in front of him.

He had done little to no studying since sitting down.

McCoy frowned from the autopsy reports he was marking up. "You know, one sexual harassment charge can get him out of your hair forever," he said in a conspiratorial whisper to Uhura.

" . . . McKenzie, maybe? Meadow – hippy parents? Megan – Hey wait a second here! You're supposed to be helping me." An offended glare to Bones.

McCoy snorted, unaffected. "I am helping you. I'm pulling you away before she decides to finally run out of patience and deck you."

"She happens to be proficient at tuning things out," Uhura muttered, moving her fingers almost reverently over the PADD laid out in front of her. "Especially mindless prattle."

Kirk glared a little enviously at the missive that was obviously more interesting than he was.

"Melissa . . . ? Myrilla . . .?"

Uhura pointedly turned up the volume on her earpiece.

Bones elbowed Jim's side. "Quit before the 'N's," he warned.

Jim sulked. "You're a crappy wingman," he informed him on a pout, looking over at Nyota to ascertain her reaction.

She didn't even blink.

Bones shrugged, "Thank goodness I'm a Doctor then."

Kirk made a face at him. And yet, his mood brightened with a green skinned girl walked by, and flashed him a pretty smile.

Hook. Line. And sinker.

Bones shook his head as Jim bounded to his feet, studying forgotten. "Hey! Gaila!"

Uhura did look up at that, rolling her eyes in much the same manner as McCoy. "I don't see how you put up with him," she muttered.

"It's my real talent," McCoy returned.

"I guess," she gave. The session on her PADD ended about twenty minutes later, and she left him alone in the quickly thinning courtyard. McCoy, grateful for the chance to make up some things during Jim's absence, took advantage of the quiet as best he could.

Later, when dusk was just starting to fall over the academy grounds, McCoy saw the unmistakable figure of Uhura walking along the far opposite edge of the fountain. She was shadowed by a much taller man, who's face he could not make out in the dying light. The orange light spilling down from between the trees threw them into odd planes of high and low shadows, giving the scene a warm glow that was not detracted from by the fact that the two did not once touch. The slight shift of their bodies - his head inclined towards her while her slim form curved in to mirror his - as they walked together spoke of something intimate to anyone looking.

With a smirk, Bones collected his things, and got to his feet.

He wondered how Kirk was going to take this.

(I'm sure a regulation, or twelve, has just been mercilessly slaughtered)

Three weeks into their five year mission, the Enterprise came to orbit the trading moons of Syndar Major. The planet, catering to the dozens of species passing through, was known for it's more . . . seasoned establishments, and it's friendly reception to those in them.

Of course, after a few slow weeks in space, Jim was quick to hand out shore leaves in rather generous shifts.

And, of course, McCoy found him sharing one with the Captain.

He fought the urge to fidget back and forth while Kirk was discussing some last minute things with Spock - "Captain, I feel compelled to review with you the regulations regarding a Captain imbibing spirits while under the mantel of a Starfleet officer . . ." and "Got it, no drinking and driv – er, official things." "I was not speaking in jest, sir." "Didn't think you were, Spock."Off to the side, Uhura was watching the two with a faintly bemused expression. Her amusement grew when she saw his apprehension. She walked over to him, laying a hand on his shoulder and whispering, "Just like old times, huh?"

McCoy snorted, seeing the humor in Nyota's eyes sharpen to something lethal.

"You're enjoying this too much," he complained.

"You'd better believe it."

An hour later found McCoy at the bar, nursing a much adored glass of whiskey, and shaking his head at Jim – who was conveniently without uniform, and surrounded by a cluster of the bar's more . . . friendly patrons.

He snorted before dropping his eyes to his drink. "Give the kid a shiny toy, make him Captain, and then set him loose. Smart, really smart."

There was a leggy, and uncommonly pretty Kirian woman leaning on the bar a few feet away. "That man's a Captain?" she asked him, surprise and something a bit more predatory in her tone. "Starfleet?" she questioned hopefully.

McCoy pursed his lips, briefly wondering what Jim would say if he told the woman that he captained a vessel that specialized in transporting Handorian mud flees across the Andora rim.

He gave into the inevitable. "The one and only."

Later, when Jim patted him on the back and mumbled a quick, "We need to remember this one." McCoy rolled his eyes one more time before making it back to the shuttle.

When he reported to duty the next day, Nyota's rather scathing wit to the hungover Kirk and Spock's more . . . patient annoyance was worth every inconvenience.

That still didn't stop him from jabbing the hypo into the kid's neck a trite harder than was needed.

(thank goodness the commanding officer has the tenacity of a cockroach when clinging to life)

"Good God, Jim, what mess did you get into this time?!"

"It wasn't my fault!"

"Really, Captain? There is a lot of evidence pointing to the contrary -"

" - You know, Nyota, I am sure that there is a regulation about snarking off to a commanding officer."

"Jim, Snark is not someone pointing out when you are obviously in the wrong."

"Just who's side are you on, Bones?"

"I told you, I'm not picking sides!"

"It sure doesn't look like it!"

"I'm acknowledging that you are an idiot! Again, that's far from 'picking sides.'"

"The snark regulation! It has to be somewhere - Mr. Spock, help me out here?"

"While there are regulations on the matter, I am not sure how relevant any of them would be in this situation."

"Thanks." Sarcasm.

McCoy snorted, trying not to smile.

"However," the Vulcan remedied. Kirk perked up. "There is a regulation on the misuse of Federation resources."

Another blast rocked the ship, causing the crew to hold on to various objects around their stations. Kirk turned a murderous glance outside the viewport even as his cheeks flushed a guilty red. "I have no idea what you are talking about!"

Spock still found time to raise a brow, inspiring many a mumbled curse from the Captain. "It is a misuse of federation resources to use your diplomatic connections to coerce a . . . relationship with the daughter of the Anji Ambassador. It is a further misuse to be engaging the said Ambassador's armada when things ended . . . less than well."

Kirk glared. "I didn't know that she was the Ambassador's daughter, and I didn't know that . . . certain things were a capitol offense down there."

Spock gave a short puff of breath that was the Vulcan equivalent of a sigh – Nyota and McCoy made up for him in glaring daggers at their friend.

"Besides," Kirk intoned mulishly, "I doubt that it's against regulation to fight to protect this ship and those aboard her."

Even Chekov and Sulu were looking at him funny after that one.

The droning din, punctuated by sirens and the telltale sounds of battle, was broken when Uhura muttered, "Maybe we can just space him and let the Anjians deal with him."

Kirk glared. "Now I know that there's a regulation for that one!"

Spock frowned. "Captain, have you ever read the whole of the regulations and their parameters?"

"Sure I have," Kirk waved his hand, brushing the topic aside.

McCoy snorted, drawing the Captain's attention.

"Hey, if my buddy here researched Anjian custom, like I asked him too . . ."

McCoy spluttered, "See here now, don't you dare try to turn this around on me!"

Kirk grinned rather viciously. "Ah well, since I am an expert at worming out of tight spaces, I can tell you all that you have no reason to fear."

More odd looks.

"Just because you have the same tenacity of clinging to life as a cockroach, doesn't mean that the rest of us have," McCoy muttered.

If Jim heard him, he made no comment.

When they made it away from the Anjian system without loss of life, Kirk was impossible to live with.

(if you can't beat them - walk a mile - victor; spoils - what's mine is yours . . . so on and so forth)

"Dammit Jim, I'm a Doctor, not a wingman!"

. . . in retrospect, it may have been a little late to protest now, but there were times when he felt that he had to put a bit of a foot down, at least in order to not completely feel like an idiot. Completely being the key word and all that.

Jim's eyes had that determined glow that they normally reserved for tyrants and murderers.

McCoy tried not to fidget.

"C'mon, Bones, it's just this once," Kirk tried to coax him.

Bones snorted. "Yeah, just once tonight. I think that you've run out your queue of favors."

Jim frowned. "Really?"

"Yeah. Really."

Jim was not to be swayed. "This one's different through," he insisted, a narrowing to his blue eyes that spoke of his determination. "You should see this girl – she's amazing. Blonde hair. Blue-gray eyes – kind of a stormy look, you know? And these amazing legs that never end . . ."

"You really are superficial, you know that?"

Kirk ignored him. "And at first I thought it would be hopeless, you know – she only had eyes for the Vulcan, and all that. Which, seriously, what is up with that? I will never understand . . ." his voice tapered off as he muled over one of life's great mysteries, before snapping back to the present. "Anyway, let's just say that she and Nyota had a . . . chat, and now she's up for the taking! I know that just a few nice words and a candlelit dinner or two . . ."

McCoy rolled his eyes.

"And, to make it better! She's one of your nurses. You could soooo drop a few good words about me."

Bones put two and two together, and was not at all satisfied with the five he came out with. "Wait a second, Chapel? Christine Chapel?"

Kirk gave him a 'duh' look that he didn't at all care for.

"You should really leave that girl alone," McCoy found himself defending her, much to his surprise. "She just lost her fiancée a while back, and the last thing she needs is a love 'em and leave 'em sorta fling."

Jim looked insulted. "Is that something I would do?"

McCoy gave him a pointed stare.

Kirk fidgeted. "I promise not to break her heart. Now, could you hook us up?"

His glare must really be losing it's touch. That was the only explanation.

And yet, he didn't have much choice when Jim pointedly grabbed his arm, and propelled him to an empty seat at the mess hall's bar. McCoy stumbled a little, and straightened himself out. When he reached out a hand to steady himself on the bar's edge, he found his hand right next to a fine boned one . . . that tapered off into the telling white uniform of a ship's nurse.

McCoy fought the urge to curse when he found Christine Chapel's concerned blue eyes on him

And well . . . they were kinda stormy.

Not that he was noticing, or anything.

"Are you okay?" she questioned kindly.

Grumbling under his breath, McCoy took a seat on the stool he had rudely been pushed into. Looking over at her again, he muttered, "I'm doing just peachy."

She smiled sympathetically before turning to whatever she was drinking – something pink and undoubtedly girly.

He turned a glance over his shoulder. Kirk gave him a thumb's up.

Taking a deep breath, he gestured for his usual shot of whiskey. He was really going to need it.

"I saw you arguing with the Captain," she started conversationally. "Is everything well?"

"Of a sort," he mumbled.

"Ah," she smiled a little.

Deciding to bite the bullet, he came out with it. "Actually, it was about you."

She blinked at him, confused.

"Yep. You see – our idiot of a Captain would like to take you to dinner, and has conveniently forgotten the fact that we are no longer in grade school when sending me over to ask for him."

She was silent.

"The note passing seemed a little juvenile," he said awkwardly, "so I figured I'd just come out with it."

His drink arrived. Thank the lord.

She taped her nails against the bar's top, before looking thoughtfully at him. "That was very sweet of you," she said simply.

He shrugged. "Well, Jim can't pull these sort of things on the Vulcan." His voice turned a little dark at the end of that. Lucky hobgoblin . . .

Christine smiled slightly at that. "You are a good friend."

Her smile was making him feel a bit funny. He took a swig of his drink to counter it.

And while he was here . . .

"Just what do you guys see in Jim, anyway?" he questioned. "I know he's a good man, and Captain to boot, but his relationship history is far from enviable . . . What draws you all to him?" There was nothing in his voice but curiosity, because he's far from being interested, of course. He's still annoyed with the situation, and just because Jim can manage to pick out one or two really amazing women among the masses doesn't mean that he'll turn into a flirting fool as well.

Christine sighed, her small shoulders shrugging underneath her uniform before she brought a hand up to twirl in the trailing ends of her hair.

He looked away.

A small smile lit her elegant features. "With Jim, I can't say that I know. Perhaps it is a confidence about him, perhaps a bit of it is his arrogance . . . or maybe, it is merely the type of girl he pursues that defines the interest."

He looked at her oddly, as if she had just given him the secret to life, and it was far from 42.

"What about you?" he asked a little darkly. "Are you one of those girls?"

She shook her head. "I'm not about the short flings, no." She fingered the ring that still hung from a golden chain about her neck. "Not at all."

He watched her movements a little too closely, months of working with her now letting him key into her mood simply from the way she fingered the forgotten gold.

She was inconveniently good at turning up his interest. He didn't care for it a bit.

"Would you like to grab a drink some time?" he blurted before his brain could catch up with his mouth.

He looked at her, horrified.

She laughed lightly, a tinkling sound that he enjoyed a ridiculous amount. "Doctor, we are having drinks now."

So they were . . .

"Dinner then." More words said without his permission.

She gazed at him oddly for a few moments, before something about her face softened to an almost tender expression. "My, my, my," she said gently, a new glow to her eyes. "Are you asking for a date?"

He hesitated once. Clenched his hands twice. Took a page out of Kirk's book. "I think that I just might be."

Her smile grew, a soft and gentle look that made something inside of him twinge in a way that wasn't quite discomfort. "Tomorrow? My shift ends at eight?" she took the next step, seeing as how he was currently content to stare.

He snapped out of it. "Sounds great."

With a nod of her head, she finished her drink, and then turned to leave. He swiveled in his seat so he could watch her walk away, enjoying the way her blonde hair bobbed prettily behind her due to the extra sway to her stride that hadn't been there before.

Jim, from the other side of the mess hall, was gawking.

McCoy's glare dared him to say anything.

No use.

To his credit, Kirk only ran a hand messily through his hair as he scowled. "All the good ones get taken," he muttered good naturedly. He turned a mock glare on his CMO. "You do realize that this makes you the crappiest wingman ever?"

McCoy rolled his eyes. "Or maybe you were the wingman on this one."

Kirk's eyes narrowed thoughtfully. "This is all due to me . . . Huh," he muttered, his voice lightening as he took a liking to the idea. Smiling widely now, he clapped a hand on McCoy's shoulder. "Any time, Bones."

As he walked away, he muttered, "Man, I'm good."

McCoy didn't bother saying anything to correct him. Instead he shook his head, and drained the last of his drink. Content to stay at the bar for a while and bask in this unforeseen turn of events, he wasn't really surprised when his plans were interrupted by Kirk being waylaid on his way out by a pretty ensign with bright eyes and a careful grin.

With a roll of his eyes, McCoy got to his feet, and went to make sure Jim didn't make a fool of himself – again. It was a role he was becoming surprisingly good at - never mind actually enjoying, after all of these years. In a very strange way, of course.

. . . well, just a very little, anyway.