"Out good doctor has been rather elusive for the past few weeks," Jim commented to Gaila when they were walking across the Academy Campus the next day.

The Orion looked up. "Now that you mention it… he has, hasn't he? What's up with him? Busy, busy, busy?"

Jim shook his head. "Don't think so. I was at Medical yesterday and everything seemed pretty quiet."

"You think, it's a girl?" She asked eagerly.

"Or a guy."

"Whoa, McCoy swings both ways? That's news to me!"

"Believe me. I know he does."

"So, who'd it be?"

Jim shrugged. "I haven't got the faintest idea."

Well, omitting my suspicions about him and Pike, but really, that's rather ridiculous…

"Let's find out!"

Large, warm hands settled on Christopher's shoulders and he didn't need to turn around to know who it was. He had been sitting peacefully on a bench in a secluded corner of the extensive park-like grounds surrounding the Academy, enjoying the spring sunlight and reading. Now a slow smile spread over his face.

"Checking on me, Dr. McCoy?"

"Of course. Making sure you're not eating any more less-than-edible stuff."

Chris shuddered at the recollection. "Nothing that's still alive. I promise."

"Good." McCoy walked around the bench and sat down next to him. He had a half-eaten ice-cream cone in his hand and the sunlight was painting glossy reflexes on his black hair. This combined with the deep blue uniform that accentuated his eyes, he looked stunning.

Chris put his PADD away, deciding that there were more important and interesting things right now, especially as the younger man lent close, hesitating only seconds before he captured Chris' lips in a kiss. Chris responded, giving him a warm welcome. The taste of chocolate ice cream filled his mouth.

"I thought you said 'no candy'?" He asked when they came up for air.

"Um… I'll make an exception for this one…"

Chris chuckled. "There you go. And did you feel any wriggling worms?"

"Maybe I just haven't detected them yet. A more thorough search…"


"Well, he's obviously not in his room," Jim said, sounding faintly exasperated. They had searched half the campus, including the medical facilities and the gym for Bones.

Gaila was forced to agree. Looking at the locked door she frowned. "He could be anywhere. You really don't know where else he might have gone?"

Jim shook his head.

"You're looking for McCoy?" One of the younger doctors at Medical who was working with Bones and knew Gaila – knew her intimately, from the look he gave her – passed them in the hallway.

"Yeah." Jim instantly disliked the man, jealousy raising its head inside his chest, but he was curious.

"Well, I just saw him about half an hour ago with Pike."

Pike again!

"Uh… thanks."

The physician nodded, then started walking away, throwing a last smiling glance at Gaila.

"What's he doing with Pike?" The Orion asked, too puzzled to notice the hopeful smile of her admirer.

"No clue. Let's find out."

"No way. You're not sleeping with Pike!" Jim was staring at his best friend in shock.

Bones rolled his eyes. "No Jim, I'm just here to keep him company while he's reading reports."

"Oh," Jim breathed. "Really?" He eyed the doctor suspiciously.

"Why, of course Jim. And pigs can fly," Bones snorted. "Hell, and you're supposed to be a genius?!"

Pike himself chuckled softly. He found the whole situation to be vastly amusing. He'd forgotten to lock the door, which had resulted in two of his cadets walking in on him and Leonard, but the incredulous look on their faces was priceless.

"You know, hard to believe as this may be, I do have a private life," he told them.

Gaila blushed a deeper shade of green.

"So how long… I mean… uh…" Jim seemed at a loss.

"Four weeks," Pike told him cheerfully and Jim gaped at him.

"Wait… and you didn't tell me?" He asked his best friend, sounding almost hurt.

"I knew you wouldn't believe me anyway," Bones replied smugly.

"I… I think I'll leave now…" Gaila muttered. "Come on, Jim…"

Jim shook his head. "I still don't…"

Bones gave an exasperated sigh, then walked over to his lover, pulling him into a firm embrace and kissing him in front of everyone.

Gaila turned olive green.

"There. You happy now?"

"I am," Pike said, resting his head against his shoulder.

Jim swallowed. "Whew… okay… I believe you, guys."

"Glad to hear that. Now go away, both of you, before poor Gaila suffers a heart attack."