Title: One Small Fraction of the Main Attraction
Character/Pairing(s): McCoy/Chapel, hints of Spock/Uhura, Kirk, Janice Rand, Sulu, Gaila/Scotty
Word Count: 3,400
Warnings: Mild language, an absurd amount of inner monologues
Disclaimer: Not mine! The title comes from 'Touch-a, touch-a, touch me' from the Rocky Horror Picture Show.
Summary: Five times McCoy touched Christine leaving her feeling rather unsettled. And the one time it didn't.
A/N: Thanks go to fringedweller for the beta! This is for hellokatzchen! The prompt called for McCoy touching Chapel and her not quite knowing how to deal with it. I hope this is close to what you wanted! It might verge on the edge of crack, so I do hope you like it!
The first time it happened, Christine brushed it off.
She was leaving one of exam rooms when McCoy came up behind her. He was asking her opinion on an article he was reading and his hand came to rest on her elbow as they walked through sickbay.
The truth of it was simply that Leonard H. McCoy was a tactile person. An extremely tactile person.
Someone did a good job? A firm handshake. Someone did a bad job? Well, at first they got a thorough chewing out and then a heavy hand on the shoulder with a severe stare. (People tended to make mistakes the one time in McCoy's sickbay.) God help you if you were Jim Kirk. One day, just for the fun of it, Christine marked on her PADD just how often McCoy clapped him on the back or shoved an elbow in his stomach.
She stopped tallying after twelve because it was just getting ridiculous.
Anyway, the hand on her skin came as something of a surprise and Christine, as politely as she could, pulled away from his grasp. Their conversation continued as they walked on.
He did it again as they were leaving the lab and once again, Christine pulled away. She thought she caught a flash of something in his eyes, but since the conversation never faltered, she figured she was mistaken.
He didn't make any mention of it and Christine thought that was the end of it.
The next thing to happen was McCoy putting his hand on her lower back as they walked through the halls. Christine found herself practically arching away from the touch and this time there definitely was a look of something in McCoy's eyes. She felt bad for pulling away but...
See, the thing was... Well...
Christine had this rule.
No liking doctors.
No liking doctors and then dating them.
No liking doctors, dating them and then falling into bed with them.
No liking doctors, dating them, falling into bed with them, and accepting their marriage proposals.
No liking doctors, dating them, falling into bed with them, accepting their marriage proposals, and then coming to the very harsh reality that you are never going to come first (figuratively and literally, by the way) and they are always, always, always going to ditch you for research that involves artificial intelligence and creepy female sexbots.
It's possible that last bit is a tad too specific and relates only to Christine and her ex-fiancé Roger, and it's a particular scenario only happens once in a lifetime, but the rule still stands.
That's what she tells herself when McCoy treats her nicely and appreciates her input. When he gives her that smirk of his that practically screams 'Why yes, I am a gentleman by day, but in the dark I can make you forget your own name'. Or something. It's not like she's thought about it.
Except that one time. (Okay, those five times, but really, who's counting?)
Therefore, whenever he actually touched her, she got this very unsettled feeling somewhere in the region of her diaphragm. She was reluctant to give it an actual label, so she just called it that something.
It usually went like this:
McCoy has to go to a staff meeting, Christine has to tag along to make sure he remembers everything. They leave sickbay, talking casually about all things medicine-related. His hand will fall to her lower back. It's warm and it sends chills of something up her spine and that something jumps up and down on her spleen.
Christine then moves away from his hand.
It happens about four times and then one day...it doesn't. His hand doesn't come to rest on her lower back and there are no chills. Her spleen is grateful.
She's not altogether sure if the rest of her is.
The third time something happens, it's really not McCoy's fault. Honestly.
It's Sulu's fault.
After all, he was the one that said the plant was 'absolutely harmless' and 'of course that pollen is perfectly safe'.
Sulu had brought the plant into sickbay because one of the vines had wound its way rather tightly around Sulu's arm and he didn't have the heart to cut it with his secateurs. He had hoped McCoy might have another option.
"Such as what exactly?" McCoy asked frowning at the vine as it tightened its grip on Sulu's arm making the man's fingers turn a lovely shade of blue. "Just let me cut with a laser scalpel, it won't feel a thing."
"You will do no such thing!" Sulu said cradling the flower pot closer to him. "It's sentient! It's alive! Of course it'll feel it!"
Christine studied the plant and noticed that the flower at the top had turned towards McCoy. It seemed to be glaring at the doctor. Well, as much as aflower could glare.
"We could try administering a local anesthetic?" she offered and feeling absurd doing so. McCoy gave her a look that clearly said, 'why are you going along with this?'
Then he said, "A sedative? For a plant?"
"Well, I think it might make Mr. Sulu feel more at ease," Christine said. Sulu nodded vigorously.
McCoy rolled his eyes. "I'm not sedating the damn plant! Chapel, get me the laser scalpel."
Three things happened next:
One) Sulu made a very sad noise.
Two) Christine put her hands on her hips and pursed her lips in McCoy's direction.
And three) The flower at the top of the plant spewed a great deal of yellow dust smack into McCoy's face.
Then there was a lot of coughing and spluttering and 'god damnit's' thrown around while Christine calmly pulled McCoy over to the decontamination sink. She plonked him down in the chair and pushed his head back under the stream of water. Leaning over him, she carefully washed away the pollen and daubed at his eyes, while Sulu scolded his plant. The plant, however, maintained a distinct air of smugness.
"How do you feel?" she asked eventually, reaching for her tricorder and scanning him.
"Fine," McCoy said through gritted teeth. "Dandy." He blinked a little and looked up at her. A lazy grin started to spread across his face. "Down right groovy, actually."
Christine blinked. "You feel 'groovy'?"
"Mmm hmm," he said his hands coming to settle on her hips. "You feel great, Chapel. Soft and warm and-" he leaned up and Christine stiffened as his face pressed into her neck "-you smell so good. Mmmmm."
"Ah, Mr. Sulu?" Christine called out, her hands just sort of hovering in the air above McCoy's head that was continuing to nuzzle her neck.
"Ye-ah. It's entirely possible that pollen isn't as benign as I thought it was."
The next hour was spent trying to keep McCoy from groping Christine while Sulu apologized like mad and the plant continued to look extremely satisfied with itself.
Finally, after McCoy had been sedated and was sleeping it off, Christine had a moment to breathe. She helped Sulu unwind the vine from around his arm and gave him something to rejuvenate his very numb fingers. She waved off his apologies and sent him and the still smug shrubbery back to the greenhouse.
Then she went to check McCoy's vitals. As she approached his bio-bed, even in his deep sleep, he automatically turned towards her and his hands flexed on the sheets. That something in her stomach lurched and attempted a polka. Christine checked his readings and was satisfied that he would wake up in fine form.
She started in on the rest of her duties, doing her absolute best to ignore how her skin still tingled from where his lips had pressed against the pulse in her throat or how his fingers had squeezed her hips so gently. She certainly didn't remember how his voice had sounded like sex-personified as it whispered into her ear all the things he desperately wanted to do to her.
Nope. She didn't think about it at all.
Except that she totally did.
The reception for the Grand Ambassador from Nuran Twelve, with most of the ship's crew in attendance, was going very well. Janice had really outdone herself this time. The largest recreation room on the Enterprise was covered in the lushest of decorations that the yeoman and the other staff had at their disposal. A large section of the floor had been cleared for dancing as the Grand Ambassador was extremely fond of the activity.
So far everyone had danced. Spock and Uhura had simply glided by and Christine couldn't help smiling at her friend. Gaila had managed to pull Scotty out for a turn and by the time they were done, Scotty had a look on his face that could only be described as 'goofy'.
Christine hadn't danced yet. To be honest, she really wasn't all that keen. She'd never been one for twirling around a room in front of other people, so she kept to the corners.
So did McCoy.
They eventually ran into one another in the far right corner next to the punch bowl. He gave her an extremely awkward nod and then just stood there in silence next to her, holding an empty glass.
Christine wasn't doing so well, either. She could feel the familiar stirrings of that something intermingled with apprehension. They hadn't really talked after the 'incident'. There had been a de-briefing with the captain and Mr. Spock, but she and McCoy hadn't said two words about it. In fact, most of their interactions lately had consisted of simple orders and nothing that wasn't related to medicine had crossed their lips.
It bothered her. And it bothered her that it bothered her. She wondered if she was going crazy.
"Room looks nice," McCoy said breaking Christine out of her thoughts.
"Hmm? Oh, yes! It's really lovely," Christine said. "Janice did a really good job. She really, really did."
Nice, she thought. How many more times can you say 'really' in the space of thirty seconds? Idiot.
"Oh, did she really?" McCoy said, raising a brow. She met his eyes and saw an amused glint and couldn't help but chuckle. "This sucks, Christine," he said.
"I know," she said. "I'm sorry I've been such a skittish dope about the whole thing."
"Chapel, I practically mauled you in front of our colleagues," he said quietly staring at his empty glass. "The very last thing you need to be is 'sorry'."
"Well, I should have at least-"
"No!" he said sharply, his eyes fixing upon hers. He swallowed and then said a bit more calmly, "No. I'm so sorry it happened."
"It was hardly your fault, you know," she said. "I looked over the analysis of the plant and short of stunning you, there wasn't any way of immediately counteracting it. In fact, you're lucky that it only made you, ah, amorous," she cursed herself as she blushed, "it could have been much worse."
McCoy nodded and said, "I read the same report. I'm still sorry, Chapel."
"And I still say there's no need, McCoy," she said.
He started to grin and she couldn't help grinning back. "Well, looks like we're arguing again," he said. "Back to normal."
A voice saying "There you are!" interrupted Christine's reply. She looked over to see Janice headed her way.
"Oh, dear," Christine said with a sinking feeling in her stomach.
"Don't you 'oh dear' me," Janice said, her determined smile not fading in the slightest. "Why aren't you two dancing?"
"Because neither of us want to make fools of ourselves in front of an audience?" McCoy offered.
Janice's eyes narrowed and her smile sharpened. "The Ambassador enjoys watching people dance."
"I'll bet he does," he muttered. Christine lightly kicked his foot.
"Janice-" Christine started to say.
"Ah, ah! No excuses! Dance!"
"We're not performers, yeoman," McCoy said.
"You're members of the senior staff, doctor," Janice said. "You have obligations."
Christine took one glance at their faces and recognized McCoy's mulish look and Janice's take-no-prisoners expression. In order to prevent an apocalyptic catastrophe, she grabbed McCoy's hand and led him to the dance floor, throwing a, "One dance, Janice. Come after me about another and I'm taking away all your chocolate."
"Have fun!" Janice said waving happily.
Once she got to the dance floor, it occurred to Christine that it had been an extremely long time since she'd danced. She froze and her eyes darted around at the other couples sailing past.
McCoy chuckled and held up her hand while his other hand settled against her back. "The look on your face right now."
"What's wrong with it?" she asked trying to follow his lead.
"You look like a herd of Klingons just came in the door with funny hats on their heads." He pulled her a little closer and her eyes stared at his right shoulder.
Christine snorted lightly. "You and your quaint turns of phrase."
"Hey, now," he drawled. "I've always maintained that I'm nothin' more than a country doctor."
The sound of his voice just above ear made her shiver and that stupid something did a backflip in her stomach.
The hand on her back was warm and firm, and they moved across the dance floor smoothly. She could smell him, feel his warmth and somehow this was making her head spin faster than his intoxicated frantic groping had managed last week.
She had the crazy desire to lay her head on his chest and listen to the rhythm of his heart. Or run her hands through his hair. Or trace the line of his jaw with her finger. Or tongue, possibly.
She was going crazy.
She had a rule. A very good, reasonable, rational rule. You obeyed rules. You didn't just throw them away because it happened to feel terribly good to be in the arms of a man who just got you and appreciated your mind and all your little idiosyncrasies.
Thankfully, the song ended and everyone broke apart and clapped politely.
Christine turned to thank him for the dance and found his eyes already focused on her face. Her lips parted as something not unlike desire swam in his gaze and he opened his mouth to say something.
"Bones! I had no idea you could dance."
Christine smiled at the captain as he approached. She uttered something inane and then left the dance floor. She then glued herself to a cluster of medical staff and as soon as the opportunity arose, she left the reception.
Once back in her room, she flopped onto her bed.
"You stop it right now, Christine Chapel," she said firmly. "Stop it right this instant."
Then she rolled over onto her side, bringing her knees up to her chest and squeezing her eyes closed. The something inside of her did the same.
They were running for their lives.
The locals hadn't been best pleased at the way the treaty discussion had been going and decided it would be best if everyone just got the heck off their planet.
Which was what McCoy and Christine were attempting to do as they followed the rest of the away team. Their pursuers were very persistent and were right on their heels.
McCoy grabbed Christine's hand and pulled her around a corner into a small hollow in the wall. Her back hit the wall as McCoy pressed into her front looking over his shoulder.
She always forgot how tall the man actually was. Christine put her hands against his chest and bit her lip, trying to make herself as small as possible.
The locals ran past their hiding place and they both sighed in relief. McCoy looked at her with a rueful expression and she grinned up at him.
Then his face fell and he jerked away from her, putting a fair amount of distance between their bodies.
The something in Christine's stomach let out a plaintive wail and slumped down on her kidneys.
"We, ah, we should find the others," McCoy said stiffly.
"Yes. Yes, we should," she said quietly.
They jogged towards the rendezvous point with at least two feet of space between them.
Christine was trying to enjoy the 'Oh, look! We survived! How about that!' party being thrown in honor of the Enterprise's latest brush with death. Gaila was tormenting Mr. Scott with abandon and it was terribly amusing. The captain was trying to goad Spock into cracking a smile while Uhura shook her head in reluctant amusement. Sulu and Chekov were snickering over their own little in-jokes and McCoy...
Well, he was nowhere to be seen.
Which is just as well, Christine thought. You have a rule.
But then, she remembered the look on his face when he pulled away from her. And the way his hands had felt on her body. And how much she enjoyed his company. And...
The something in her stomach leapt up into her lungs and shouted. Stop being so bloody stupid, woman! Go get your man!
But, but, what about my rule?, Christine asked.
Bugger your rule! He makes you happy! And his hands are made of magic, you crazy woman! the something said.
You've got a point, Christine thought. She took a deep breath and set her empty glass on a nearby table and left the recreation room.
With a determined stride, Christine found herself in front of McCoy's quarters, ringing the chime. She fidgeted and adjusted the skirt of her uniform. The door opened.
"Chapel? What are you doing here?" McCoy sounded bewildered and his face mirrored his tone.
"I- I-," Christine said fretfully. "I'm an idiot."
McCoy raised a brow and said, "Well, in that case you should probably get in here."
He moved to the side and Christine went inside his room. She stood awkwardly in the middle of the room, decidedly not looking at his bed. His rumpled, disheveled, oh, so big bed.
"Have a seat, Chapel," he said gesturing towards said rumpled, disheveled, oh, so big bed. She gingerly perched on the side while he sat down heavily next to her. Christine stared down at her hands and wondered where to start.
"Any time you'd like to start talking, Chapel," he said after a few minutes of silence.
She sighed. "Well, I kind of have this rule." She explained the whole sordid story with Roger and why she'd kept McCoy at arm's length and why she always reacted weirdly whenever he touched her.
McCoy frowned and gave her a look. "That's the stupidest rule I've ever heard."
Christine punched his arm. He laughed and said, "Easy, tiger. I get the reason behind it, but hell Christine. You can't just stop feeling things. That's not the answer."
"I know," she said. "I did say I was an idiot."
"True." They sat in silence. Christine became very aware of the heat emanating from his body and how she honestly longed to touch him. Then he asked, "So, what now?"
"Umm, well, I did have an idea," she said sneaking a look at him.
"Does it involve me putting my hands all over you and kissing you until neither of us can breathe?" he asked.
"Oh, sweet jesus, yes," she said as they turned to each other at the same time.
His hands were on her instantly and their lips met in a fierce kiss that took her breath away. Somehow she ended up straddling his thighs while her hands framed his face. McCoy's hands cupped her ass and pulled her closer, she moaned and he moaned and the something in her stomach moaned and started to do the lambada with her lower bits.
McCoy's lips found her ear and started to nibble. She shivered and said, "This- ah- might be moving - oh, right there - a little too - how are you doing that? - fast."
"Do you want me to stop?" he asked, sounding rather hoarse.
"No," she said breathlessly. "Never stop touching me."
"Not a problem," he said giving her a smile.
They fell back onto the bed and Christine soon found out for herself just how wonderfully rumpled and disheveled she could get on that oh, so big bed.