Sneakin' Around

Summary: McCoy has a lover and they both want to start off keeping things discrete. But Bones never realized how much fun sneakin' around would be, especially when it starts driving Jim crazy. Good clean fun. Friendship, not slash.

Rating: T

Disclaimer: Don't own them or profit from them, but I sure would like to borrow McCoy for a little while...

It had all started innocently enough. A security officer had been abducted in the line of duty and Jim, as per usual, had come up with some harebrained plan to free her. McCoy had agreed to come along, first because they had reason to believe that the officer was injured and might need immediate help, and second, because Jim's cockamamie schemes usually resulted in Jim getting the tar beat out him (and that time proved no exception). Eventually, they got everyone out and McCoy patched her up. Since head injuries were tricky beasts even in the 23rd century, he'd kept Jessy in sickbay a little longer than usual. It wasn't love at first sight or anything like that, but she did have a sly wit that he couldn't help but appreciate (and okay, to be honest, a fine figure too).

Still, it might not have come to anything except that she'd sent him a thank you in the form of some truly premium bourbon. When he'd run into her in the lounge and went to thank her for the thank you, it turned out she was a connoisseur of single malt scotch and they'd traded barbs about the relative superiority of their preferred drinks and then traded shots. Afterward, he insisted on walking her back to her quarters, because even if they were on the Enterprise and she had the combat rating to kick his ass twelve ways to Sunday, no true Southern gentleman let a lady who'd had few walk home unescorted. Before long, they were trading more than shots and as it turned out single malt tasted pretty damned good when served that way.

She wasn't in his chain of command, so there was no problem really except that McCoy was, to put it mildly, a bit gun shy. His history when it came to relationships was considerably less than stellar and going through a divorce in a small Southern town had been bad enough. The prospect of a relationship playing out in the fishbowl of an enclosed 435 person community was downright daunting. Fortunately, Jessy felt the same way and on top of it was moving up in her department which meant a certain degree of discretion was required. People who handled the security info of everyone else on the ship didn't dare let everybody else know their business, let alone wind up in the middle of public soap operas. So they'd decided to keep things quiet, at least until they were more certain where this was all going.

There was only one person who needed telling and that was Jessy's CO. That would satisfy protocol, but more importantly her CO (whether he liked it or not) had become a bit of father figure to a lot of his people, and to an orphan like Jessy in particular. No decent gentleman got involved with a lady without talking to her father first.

McCoy had a good relationship with the Security Chief - born of a mutual impetus to keep Jim from killing himself on away missions - however, McCoy had watched Jim spar with Giotto. While Jim was a good fighter and the Chief was twice Jim's age, the first few times it had looked like a lion cub trying to pick a fight with a full grown panther.

Jessy had laughed when he admitted to being nervous and pointed to the target-shooting trophies on her shelf. "Len, if you do me wrong, the last thing you'll have to worry about it is 'Pop' coming after you."

Someday he'd figure out why he was attracted to strong, take-charge, and somewhat intimidating women.

As it turned out Giotto had been more uncomfortable with that interview than he had, but gave in to being placed in the 'Pop' role and even issued a joking (or at least Len hoped it was joking) threat. He'd proven a valuable ally though. Any time someone in security wound up in sickbay, which was pretty frequently, he assigned Jessy to check on them and discuss their prognosis. Officially it was part of grooming her to move up in his command team. Unofficially, it was a great excuse for McCoy to invite her into his office and lock the door.

There was only one fly in the ointment. Unfortunately it was his best friend and Captain. Len loved Jim like a brother – an annoying, pushy kid brother with next to no respect for personal space and privacy. In the three years they'd been roommates Jim had discussed both his own exploits, and the frighteningly unsuitable women he thought Bones should try to pick up, with all the tact and subtlety of a drunken stripper. Letting him know about this relationship while it was still in its fledgling stages struck McCoy as about the worst idea since Prohibition. However, keeping Jim in the dark, especially when he'd grown accustomed to 24/7 access to McCoy as a sounding board, wasn't easy.

Len caught Jessy around the waist when she tried to quietly slip out of bed. "Whoa there darlin', no reason you can't stay a little longer."

She turned and ran her fingers lightly along his shoulder. "04:00 – the Chief's in the gym by 05:00 and I intend to be there ahead of him today."

"If you want a work out," Len murmured, planting hot kisses along her neck, "I think I could find a way to get your heart rate up."

"I don't doubt you could." She kissed him once firmly. "But this is my way of showing 'Pop' that this relationship isn't going to affect my efficiency."

McCoy chuckled. "Fine then, last thing I want is Sam having to talk to me about keepin' you out past curfew."

She rose from the bed and looked over a beautifully sculpted shoulder to deliver a riposte when they heard the door open.

"Bones, are you awake?"

Jessy dove into the bathroom and Len jumped out of bed, stalking into his living room with every intent of seriously violating the Hippocratic Oath. "What the hell are you doin' here, Jim?"

"I had an idea about…" Jim's brows scrunched together. "Why are you naked?"

"Dammit, Jim!" He grabbed a throw from the couch and wrapped it around his waist. "It is 04:00 and until an inconsiderate, idiot man-child of a Captain came barging into my quarters, I was in bed!"

Jim looked at him slyly. "You never used to sleep naked."

"That's because I never knew who – or what – my over-sexed moron of a roommate was gonna drag back to our dorm at literally any hour regardless of whether I was in there trying to sleep or not!" McCoy advanced on him, eyes widening and voice dropping to a dangerous growl. "Guess what? We're not roommates anymore – for which I thank God! – so you don't get to come barging in any time you damn well feel like it even if you don't have some floozy with you."

"You're grouchy this morning."

"Grouchy? You want to see grouchy? Use your command code to bust into my quarters one more time for no damn good reason and I'll show you grouchy." Bones lifted an eyebrow in the look that said try me. "In fact, I guaran-damn-tee that I can teach you whole new definition of grouchy."

"What's the matter?" Jim chuckled. "Did I interrupt a date with your right hand?"

"Out, Jim. Unless you'd like both your hands to wind up looking like balloons again," Bones threatened, punctuating each word with a finger jab to the chest. "Get. Out. Now."

"Fine," Jim held his hands up defensively and backed out the door. "But you seriously do need to get laid."

McCoy bit his lip, glaring at the door even long it had closed until warm arms wrapped around him from behind. "You know, I think I could help with that."

He turned in her arms. "Thought you had to get to the gym, darlin'."

"Tomorrow. A surgeon's hands are important." She grinned and lifted his hand, slowly kissing each finger. "I want to make sure these aren't over-worked."

AN: DarkEidolon requested this some time ago in connection with an early story in Tales of a Security Chief, Vol. II. I'd meant to write it as a longish one-shot, but the story seems to want to be multi-chapter.

Like it? Hate it? Please r&r.