Title: Another Notch in my Lipstick Case
Summary: Christine was going to wring Jim Kirk's neck.
Warnings/Notes: This was written for the McCoy/Chapel Fic Exchange over on LiveJournal drama_queen556 asked for Chapel to kick McCoy's ass in front of an audience. I stayed as close as I could to the prompt! I hope you like it!
The title is from Pat Benatar's Hit me With Your Best Shot. A very big thank you to the lovely fringedweller for the beta!
"Ladies, have I got a major scoop for you!" Janice Rand said her eyes sparkling with mischief and delight. She quickly slid into her place at the table where the other women were already seated in the mess hall.
"Oooh, dish!" Gaila said flipping her long braid over her shoulder.
Christine Chapel and Nyota Uhura shared a look. Then Nyota said, "Okay, next movie night, we're picking something from this century. No more 20th century black and white films."
"Hikaru says that the 20th century is the seminal time for movies and that all other centuries pale in comparison," Janice said.
"Oh, Hikaru says?" Christine asked with a grin.
"It's his name," Janice said loftily.
"Uh huh," Nyota said nodding seriously. "It certainly is."
"Anyway," Janice said with a glare at all of their smirking faces. "The captain just got notified of the annual fitness requirements from Starfleet. Apparently, they're turning it into something of competition and the captain is determined that everyone does as good as they possibly can. He's going to publish the new fitness schedule and the levels we've all got to strive for tomorrow."
"Oh, you're kidding!" Nyota said. "Like we don't have anything better to do."
"As if you've got anything to worry about," Gaila said. "As if any of us have anything to worry about. We're in great shape and this will be no problem."
As the women began to talk about other topics, Christine looked down at her plate with a horrible feeling in her stomach and wondered if Gaila had just uttered the most famous of last words.
Christine was going to wring Jim Kirk's neck.
She didn't care if it meant that she'd have to go on the run and take up piracy and nurse fugitives back together in some backwater planet somewhere. She was going to wring the captain's neck.
With her bare hands.
She stared at the list of fitness requirements all personnel had to meet in the next month that had just popped up in her message box. The individual requirements weren't too bad. She ran daily and worked out in the gym regularly.
It was the last item on the list that sent chills down her spine.
Hand to Hand Combat. Compulsory.
Seriously, she was going to take him out.
Despite the dreadful churning Christine felt in her stomach, she calmly closed the message and set her PADD down on her small desk. Not once did she let her apprehension show on her face as she walked into sickbay and straight into the Chief Medical Officer's office. She stood in the doorway and watched the occupier of said office grouse at a message of his own.
"Stupid... Out-dated... Who the hell did Jim manage to piss off this time?"
Christine's lips twitched as she held back her grin. "I was considering mutiny. I think we'd do well in black market surgery. Maybe take up piracy. What do you think?"
"I think I'm in," McCoy said looking up at her with gleaming eyes that belied his sour expression. "Not just because Jim is being moronically competitive, but because you already swear like a sailor when I get a drink in you and I'd really like to see you with a eyepatch."
"Only if you promise to get a peg leg and a parrot," Christine said as she settled herself in his visitor's chair.
"Yes to the parrot, no to the peg leg," he said. "I take it you've seen the latest?"
Christine nodded. "I've already made sure that each nurse has a dermal regenerator on hand at all times and to prepare cooling packs. I think I may send a list of standard do's and don't's to the gym to have on display."
"As in 'Do remember not to fall on your face' and 'If you've never been able to run ten miles in half an hour, Don't try it now,'?" McCoy asked.
"Something along those lines," Christine said.
"Do it," he said. "I'll speak to Martins in Recreations directly. He'll make sure people don't kill themselves too much." He shook his head. "What was Jim thinking?"
"That the Enterprise is Starfleet's flagship? That any and everything we do is held under a magnifying glass and then displayed for the universe to see?" Christine offered with a shrug. "That we're considered the best, therefore we should live up to our reputation in every single way possible?"
McCoy gave her a look. "You're being the voice of reason again."
"Am I? Sorry," she said with a small smile. "I need to work on that."
"So, you're not worried about all this?" he asked.
"No, no, of course not," she said looking down and smoothing her skirt.
McCoy didn't respond so she looked up to see him staring at her with a raised eyebrow. She sighed and rolled her eyes. "I'm not all that fond of some of the stuff we have to do."
"Tell me about it," he said. "I'm a doctor, not a tri-athlete. You, though. You look great."
Christine felt herself blush as McCoy delivered that last sentence in a deep voice. "I'm okay."
"Christine Chapel, are you fishing?" he asked letting a smirk appear. Letting the smirk appear. The one she always wanted to kiss off his face.
Their relationship, as it were, was still rather new. It had developed in the most natural of ways.
Doctor is belligerent and tends to yell. Head Nurse is disciplined and doesn't respond well to yelling. Head Nurse goes into CMO'c office one day to discuss the aforementioned yelling. Doctor and Head Nurse end up yelling at each other for an hour. Silence reigns in the sickbay for a week.
Then Doctor shows up at Head Nurse's quarters with a bottle of bourbon and a sheepish expression on his face.
Head Nurse lets him in. They become friends. Then they start dating.
Christine isn't exactly sure where the story ends because they haven't gotten past the polite kisses on the doorstep phase.
God, sometimes she really wished she wasn't so ladylike.
"I'm not fishing for anything," she said as she stood up. "I suggest you report to the gym sometime today if you want to get any practice time in."
She gave him a small smile which he returned. As she left the room he said, "You really don't have anything to worry about, Chris. It'll be fine."
Christine felt her smile slip a little but pulled it back up and headed out to start her duties for the day, McCoy's words ringing in her ear, but not providing any comfort.
Gaila, Nyota, and Janice looked over at Christine with wide eyes in perfect unison at the unusual greeting from the normally placid nurse. Gaila was the first to snap out of it.
"Awesome! Bones finally stopped being a gentleman?" Gaila asked with a smile.
"Gaila!" Nyota said. Janice just giggled.
"No," Christine said stabbing at her pasta salad. "Not that type of 'screwed'. I meant this whole fitness thing."
"Oh, that?" Janice said. "Why? I've seen your current stats, you're physically fit in every way."
"It's not that," Christine said. She sighed. "Do you know how long it's been since I engaged in hand to hand combat?"
The women shook their heads.
"A long time," she said. "When I was first at the Academy training to be a nurse. Then when I was there going for my doctorate, I didn't have to retake it. And luckily, who knows how, my away missions generally go smoothly."
"That's because the captain doesn't go with you," Nyota said wryly.
Christine cracked a small grin. "I just barely managed to pass the class the first time around. I'm just awful at that stuff. I freeze and I can't move. It's absolutely the most humiliating thing. I'm not like you all."
"Christine," Gaila said with sad eyes.
"What? I'm not," the nurse said. "I'm just not... fierce."
The table was quiet for a minute. Then Nyota frowned.
"Christine, who was the one who managed to figure out that it was the water that was sending everyone around the bend that time? And who was the one who talked the ensign down from that cliff edge?" Nyota asked.
"Who makes sure everyone on this ship is in perfect health and is still managing to study for her doctorate at the same time?" Gaila asked.
"And," Janice said. "Who is currently in a healthy relationship with the most obstinate man on this ship and also runs the entire sickbay?"
"Honey, you are fierce," Gaila said. "You're a Starfleet officer and you kick ass."
"Just not literally," Janice said with a grin. "But, that can be remedied."
"Look, we all know that technically, women are not as strong as men," Nyota said. "Muscle mass and all that."
"Well, it's a little more complicated than that," Christine started to say.
"Ah, ah! I'm making a point here," Nyota said. "However, despite, physical differences, ladies, we do have something on our side."
"Keen fashion sense?" Gaila offered.
Janice nearly snorted her orange juice as Nyota made an exasperated face at Gaila who just smiled brightly.
"Okay, in addition to no more films from the 1930s, no Buffy either," Nyota said. Christine giggled in spite of herself. "We have something amazing in our corner. Something fundamental, something that the entire universe depends upon. Something that the ship itself takes advantage of continuously."
"What? What?" Janice asked leaning over the table. Christine and Gaila unconsciously followed suit.
Chapel was up to something. McCoy was sure of it.
He just wasn't sure what exactly she was up to.
She was still his dependable nurse, always at the ready with a hypospray or preliminary diagnosis. But...
"She's leaving her shifts on time," McCoy said to Jim as they sat eating lunch in the mess hall.
Jim stared at him. "She's leaving on time? Right. I can see why you're worried. That's clearly a sign of deviant behavior."
"I'm serious, Jim," McCoy said. "She normally stays to discuss the current cases, or talk about her studies-"
"Or make out with you in your office?" Jim supplied with a grin.
McCoy glared at his friend. "I'm worried. She's worried. I can tell. Something's up and she's not sharing. She's also spending a lot of time in the gym. She's been reading a lot of articles on physics. Stuff about leverage and weights. She just been doing all this strange stuff."
"Strange stuff like chatting with Spock?" Jim asked.
Jim nodded his head behind McCoy who turned around in his chair to see Christine walking beside Spock to an empty table, her lunch tray in hand. He was saying something and she was nodding seriously, occasionally adding to the conversation. McCoy frowned.
"I'm sure they're just talking," Jim said.
"Right," McCoy said. Then he nearly growled as the Vulcan picked up Christine's hand and seemed to caress the spot between her thumb and index finger. McCoy growled. "Just talking."
"Now, Bones, wait," Jim said. "Hey, here comes Uhura."
The two men watched as Uhura made her way over to the table, sat down casually and started to talk to Spock and Christine as though her boyfriend wasn't holding her best friend's hand.
Christine nodded at whatever Spock was saying and then laughed lightly. She pulled her hand away and made a note on her PADD. Uhura smiled at her and then at Spock.
"What the hell is going on with my ship?" Jim asked.
"No idea," McCoy said with a bewildered expression. "But, I'm sure it's your fault."
Christine walked into sickbay and started her rounds right after lunch. She was on her third patient when she got the feeling she was being watched. She looked over her shoulder and saw Leonard staring at her from the door of his office. Christine arched an eyebrow at him and he wandered over.
"Everything okay?" she asked tapping the patient's vitals on her PADD.
"Not sure. Should I be asking you that question?" he asked in serious tone.
He sighed. "Look, Christine. If anything was bothering you or if you needed anything... from me, or something, you know you can always talk to me?"
"What? Of course I do," she said furrowing her brow. "What brought this on?"
"You just seem a little-- off," he said looking uncomfortable. "Distracted."
"Oh. Oh, I hadn't realized," she said looking down and feeling a little silly. "I'm probably overreacting, I just want to get it right."
"Get what right?"
"The fitness requirements," she said. "The hand to hand stuff."
McCoy stared at her and then smirked a little. "You're worried about the hand to hand combat?"
"Yes," Christine said. "I know it's dumb, but I was never very good at it and I want to do well and are you laughing at me?"
"No, no absolutely not," he said unsuccessfully fighting a grin. "I'm sure you'll do fine. When do you have your session?"
"Thursday, fifteen hundred hours," she said with a glare.
"Oh, me too," he said. "Don't worry, you'll be okay. And hey, if I happen to end up being your sparring partner, I'll be sure to go easy on you."
She froze. "Excuse me?" she asked in a terribly quiet voice.
"I'll go easy on you," he repeated. "It's no big deal. You really don't need to get worked up over this."
"Worked..." Christine closed her eyes for a moment. She was positive that there had never been a murder committed with a PADD before, but she was beginning to wonder if it was a feasible weapon.
Christine opened her eyes. The look she gave McCoy was enough to make him take a step back. "Leonard Horatio McCoy, if you dare to take it easy on me, I will never speak to you again. I will not receive any kind of preferential treatment. If we end up sparring together, you had best bring your A game because I plan to trounce anyone who steps onto that mat. Do I make myself clear?"
McCoy swallowed and said, "Crystal, lieutenant."
"Excellent," she said her eyes still flashing and her spine straight as an arrow. "I have rounds and you have a report that must be finished today, I suggest you get moving."
She didn't bother to wait for an acknowledgement, just turned sharply on her heel and strode across the room.
As she disappeared from view, McCoy let out a deep breath and walked stiffly back to his office. He palmed the door shut and locked it.
The next few days were filled with rather a rather tense silence in the sickbay and no matter how much Jim prodded, McCoy was not talking. McCoy had a feeling that Uhura knew about the 'discussion' because when the doctor went on the bridge she shot the most venomous look in his direction.
Finally, Thursday rolled around and everyone scheduled for the combat competition filed into the gym.
McCoy did his best not to stare at the figure his Head Nurse cut in her workout clothes. Her blue tank top stretched over her chest and left her slim, sculpted arms bare. He had the oddest urge to kiss the length of them and trace the curve of her clavicle. He shifted in place.
"Right, folks," Kirk said coming to stand on the mat, Yeoman Rand standing slightly behind him. "We'll call out two people at a time to the mat. The objective is to get your opponent on the ground for the count of ten. The pairs will be completely random, I promise."
McCoy really wanted to go over to Christine and say something, but she was whispering with Uhura and Gaila. He knew better than to interrupt those three.
"Okay, first pair!"
Two by two, the crew of the Enterprise took their turns essentially beating each other up.
There had been one rather tense scuffle between the captain and the head of security, but a grinning Kirk happily conceded that Lieutenant 'Cupcake' thrashed him soundly. They watched as Gaila took down one of the men from engineering with a well-placed kick. Everyone applauded when Janice Rand managed to fell Sulu with apparent ease.
McCoy could see Christine getting more and more stiff, a sure sign she was freaking out internally.
"Okay, now, we've got Christine Chapel and ah, Leonard McCoy," Jim said with a bemused expression on his face.
McCoy felt his stomach turn and watched as his nurse, his girlfriend, went horribly pale. Uhura whispered something in Christine's ear and Gaila squeezed her hand.
Christine nodded her head, did not meet McCoy's eyes and walked to the mat. McCoy sighed deeply and went to face the music.
He caught her gaze and she stared back at him with clear eyes.
"Hey," he said, then rolled his eyes at how idiotic he sounded. It worked though, because the tension seemed to leave Christine and she smiled.
"Hey, yourself," she said. McCoy studied her, her confident stance and the way she danced a bit on the balls of her feet. A terrible thought occurred to him.
"You're going to kick my ass, aren't you?" he asked with an unsure expression.
"I really am," she said. The whistle blew and the last thing McCoy was truly aware of before he hit the mat was the satisfied grin on Christine's face.
On one hand, it had gone much better than Christine ever expected. She retained all the moves she'd learned during her extra practice sessions and had deployed them fluidly.
On the other hand, she totally wiped the floor with her CMO.
She was a little afraid that the vid recording of the 'fight' had been leaked and everyone on board had watched it. People she hadn't really known before were grinning and giving her thumbs up in the hallway.
So, here she was, in front of his quarters, wondering what, if anything, she could possibly say or do to apologize. Short of promising to take all of the graveyard shifts and writing his reports for the next millennia, her mind was coming up blank.
Before Christine could change her mind, she palmed the chime to his quarters.
After a moment, the doors slid open and McCoy filled the doorway. He was slightly bent over and had a cooling pack on his shoulder. He raised an eyebrow at her.
"Hi," she said.
"Hi yourself, killer," he said with a pained smirk.
Christine winced. "I guess I deserve that."
"You most certainly do," he said. "Get in here, woman."
He stood back and let her in. She stepped in and looked around his small and rather spare room. There was a desk with several PADDs on the surface. She stood awkwardly and tried not to focus on how warm and male the room felt. His scent was everywhere and made her fingers itch to touch him.
He gingerly sat down on his bed, leaning his back against the headboard and propping one leg up.
"So, let's hear it," he said. "Just how did you do it?"
"Would you believe that I'm secretly a ninja in my spare time?" she asked with a weak smile.
"Frankly, yes," he said. "Now, 'fess up, Christine." He patted the spot next to him on his bed. She hesitated for a moment, then walked over and copied his position and leant against the headboard. She folded her hands primly in her lap.
"The first time I had to learn hand to hand things did not go well," she said. "I was such a klutz, I could barely get the movements right, I always ended up flat on my back. It was highly embarrassing and when the class was over, I told myself that I'd never have to worry about it again."
"And then, Jim comes along with the whole competition thing," he said.
"Yeah," she said. "I talked to the girls and we started to read up on fighting techniques that were designed for people with smaller frames. We also looked up other moves that opponents might not expect."
"Like that thing you did to my hand that made my whole arm go numb so you could throw me down," he said with wince, "for the third time."
Christine bit her lip. "It's a pressure point. Commander Spock showed me a few different ways to immobilize someone."
"So that's why you ate with him the other day," he said looking at her.
"Of course," she said meeting his gaze. "Why else?"
"Why else, indeed," he said not looking away, but a blush was stealing across his face.
"Leonard! Were you jealous?" she asked moving to face him.
"No," he said petulantly. "Why didn't you tell me you were feeling this way?"
Christine snorted. "I did! And you went all patronizing on me."
"Oh. Right. Sorry," he said. "God, Chris, I'm so sorry. It was insensitive and I'm... You know I'm no good at this. It's been awhile since I had to be the supportive boyfriend."
"Oh, you're not that bad," she said tenderly brushing a lock of hair off his forehead. He raised his hand to catch hers. He cringed as the movement jarred his pulled muscles and Christine made a sound of sympathy.
"I'd like to be better," he said.
"I don't need you to be the supportive boyfriend, Len," she said. "I'm capable of fighting my own battles."
"Tell me about it," he muttered.
She blushed, but continued, "I do feel bad about the whole thing, I'm so sorry, Leonard."
"Really?" he asked with a smirk.
"Really," she said pressing a kiss to his hand.
He smiled and leaned forward to capture her lips in a kiss. They let their lips massage each other lazily and eventually Christine found herself out of breath and straddling his lap. She pulled back to meet McCoy's darkened eyes.
"Maybe I should go, I don't want you to pull anything else," she said breathlessly.
"Don't you dare," he said. Christine started to protest, but he leaned forward and started to kiss the line of her throat up to her ear where he whispered, "Oh, darlin'. Don't you know every man fantasizes about having a strong woman on top?"
Christine smiled and with a quick move pinned him down.