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Author's Note: Written for The Pike/Number One Prompt Table prompt #15. "discovery".

Empirical Data
by LJC

The Enterprise swimming pool was Olympic-sized, divided into lanes for laps, and was at the moment deserted. The overhead banks of lights were turned off, but the water itself was lit by underwater lights. Number One had to admit, the reflection of the water on the high walls was lovely.

"You did this at the Academy?" she asked, her voice echoing in the cavernous space.

"All the time," Pike assured her. "It's a time honoured tradition."

"And you never got caught?"

"Well... almost never."

She frowned. "You did use your authorisation code to seal the gymnasium, yes?"



He rolled his eyes. "Skinny dipping isn't skinny dipping unless there's the potential to get caught."

"I will never understand the allure of engaging illicit behaviour."

"Empirical research the only thing that'll convince you?" He pulled his uniform tunic over his head and dropped it unceremoniously to the deck. "Then I'll clearly have to give you a proper demonstration."

She gave him a cool appreciative look as he shucked his trousers, and he grinned when she ran the tip of her tongue over her bottom lip as he pants and socks joined the pile.

"This is insane."

He walked backward toward the pool and gave her one last wave before jumping into the water with a loud whoop. When he came up for air, she was stripped down to the skin and working on her boots.

"If this were a race, then I'd have already won, Commander," he said as he slicked his black hair back from his forehead and swam out to the middle of the pool. "What happened to that highly competitive nature I hear so much about from Barry?"

He laughed at her as she took the time to fold her clothes, tucking her socks into her boots and setting them carefully behind the stack of towels on the bench so they wouldn't get wet before she raised her arms over her head and dove cleanly into the water.

She came up beside him, her dark hair floating in a cloud around her shoulders she treaded water.

"So... what does one usually do, when engaged in this 'skinny dipping'?"

"Well," he swam closer to her, resting his hands lightly on her waist as he bobbed in front of her, long tanned legs scissoring beneath the water. "Part of the appeal is being someplace you're not supposed to be."

He leaned forward pressing a kiss to her mouth, sucking on her bottom lip as his hands tightened on her waist.

"And?" she asked as he pulled back.

"And then there's the rush of doing things you're not supposed to."

She gave a yelp of surprise as he pulled her under the water. She came up sputtering in outrage, and then it was all-out war. She pulled her arm back in a wide arc to splash him. He turned over on his back, kicking up spray. They splashed each other like children, their shouts echoing in the empty gymnasium until she ducked back under the water, and kept going until her feet touched bottom. Reaching out for him, she pulled on his calves until he had joined her.

In the near weightlessness of the pool she slid up his body, air bubbles escaping their mouths as she returned the kiss.

They came back up to the surface still wrapped around one another, and he pulled her over to the lip of the pool at the midpoint just before the bottom sloped, so her toes could just brush the bottom while her head remained above water.

"I think I'm beginning to see the appeal."

"Somehow I thought you would."

"You're just lucky the water's warm," she said as she glanced down, "or else a girl might be awfully disappointed."

She was rewarded by him pushing her up against the side of the pool, trapping her with arms braced on either side of her and one thigh between hers.


"That's Commander Brat, Captain," she said just before she reached down between them and did something very insubordinate that made him groan into her mouth as he kissed her long and deep while the water lapped against them.

She was just starting to wonder if all Earth rituals involving nude swimming ultimately came to this conclusion when the sound of the voices broke through their ragged breathing.

Exchanging panicked looks, they dove for the deep end of the pool closest to the entrance, flattening themselves against the wall under the protruding lip. Pike pressed up against her just has he had been before, but this time to shield her from the newcomers' view.

"...so weird, it's usually open during Gamma shift," came a woman's voice from the changing area. "I used to do laps when I came off shift."

"Maybe it's closed for maintenance?" came a second voice, also female.

"But there's nobody here—oh."

Unable to see what was going on, Number One could nonetheless make a pretty accurate guess the pile of clothes including the gold command tunic with captain's braid had just come into view. She flattened herself more tightly against the wall, ducking down low so her mouth and chin were still submerged while Pike drew himself up on his forearms on the side of the pool directly in front of her so his head and shoulders were visible.

"Captain!" came the startled exclamation, followed by the sound of footsteps scrambling backwards on the tiles.


"I'm so sorry sir—I didn't, I mean, we didn't mean to—"

"That's alright, Ensign..."

"Haines, sir."

"... Ensign Haines. I was just, well... I couldn't sleep. So I thought I'd swim a few laps."

"Of course sir."

"The thing of it is, I didn't have a suit, which is why the lock was engaged."

"Ohmigod," the other voice squeaked, and Number One muffled her laugh against Pike's abdomen, sending a tiny stream of bubbles to the surface. "I mean, we're so sorry, sir. I'm in Engineering and I had the override codes and we are so sorry, sir."

"That's alright, ensigns. But if you don't mind..."

"We'll come back some other time."

"I'd be much obliged."

"Enjoy your swim, sir."

Their footsteps receded, and when she heard the beep of the privacy lock being re-engaged, Number One reached up and pinched one of Pike's nipples. Hard.

"Ow! What was that for?"

"That was for convincing me to go skinny dipping in the first place." She grasped his shoulders and pushed down until he went under the water with a yelp of surprise.

"That was for not securing the privacy lock with your command code," she said as he came back up, shaking the water out of his hair.

She grasped the lip of the pool and pulled herself out in one smooth motion, water sluicing off her pale skin. She left wet footprints across the floor as she walked over to the towels.

There was a muted splash as he followed her, and she grabbed a towel off the stack, and threw it at his head. He caught it easily and swiped it over his shoulders and across his chest before wrapping it loosely around his waist.

"Had enough of engaging illicit behaviour, I take it?" he asked as he wrapped his arms around her from behind.

"I'm thinking of moving tonight's planned activities someplace a little more private."

"I like the sound of that," he said as his one of his hands slipped beneath her towel. "Damn."


"My socks got wet."

She rolled her eyes, and just kept towelling her long dark hair dry.