A/N: If you're not familiar with the song Two Outta Three Ain't Bad by Meat Loaf, a) listen to it, it's awesome and b) the title is derived from it and the fic is insired by it. It's an absolutely heart breaking song.
It was written by Meat Loaf songwriter, Jim Steinman. Steinman was inspired by Elvis Presley's song I Want You, I Need You, I Love You and wanted to write a simple love song based on it. Instead he wrote Two Outta Three Ain't Bad. Go figure.
All this info, and much, much more, can be found in Todd In the Shadow's brilliant "Top Ten Songs About Mediocre Romances" video, which is at http: / thatguywiththeglasses .com /videolinks /teamt /tis /tpsr /32760 -top-ten-songs-about-mediocre-romances (just take out the spaces)
Two Outta Three Ain't Bad
He makes a pathetic figure; sitting by himself at the bar, shoulders hunched and nursing a glass of strong, cheap vodka between his hands. Not that he cares much at this point. About anything.
No, that's not true. He cares too much, that's why he's in this position. He's been drinking for almost two hours, unsuccessfully looking for blessed apathy at the bottom of every glass. All it's done so far is make him even more depressed. Still, he keeps trying. If nothing else, this scene is at least comfortingly familiar.
Leonard grunts something in greeting and downs the rest of his drink. Beside him, he can hear Nyota pull up a chair and sit down, not so much ordering as demanding a tall glass of Romulan ale from the bartender.
"Make that two," she adds when she notices Leonard's glass is empty. He raises it at her as a half-assed thank-you.
They sit in silence as the bartender prepares their drinks. As soon as he puts them down in front of them, Nyota grabs her glass and drains almost half of it. Leonard raises an eyebrow, impressed despite himself. "Are you lookin' to pass out in an alleyway later?"
All he gets in response is a withering glare. "What are you doing out here, anyway?" She asks snidely. "Shouldn't you be warming the Captain's bed?"
Leonard has become well accustomed to such insinuations about his relationship with Jim (hell, half his time at the Academy went into telling people that no, he and Jim were not dating and yes, that meant Jim was available). They've never bothered him too much. But now it's different. Now it feels like someone's pouring salt on an open wound.
"I don't know," he answers sarcastically. "Shouldn't you be engaged in your regulated, bi-weekly coitus with the Commander?"
He's clearly hit a sore spot, because Nyota actually flinches.
"We broke up," she mutters into her glass, so quietly that Leonard almost doesn't hear her.
And great, now he actually feels bad about that barb. "I'm sorry," he offers, as if it's any consolation.
Nyota takes another big sip of her ale and doesn't say anything.
They're fall into uncomfortable silence. There's faint music coming from somewhere and it takes Leonard a couple of moments to recognize the singer as Elvis Presley. He's always had a soft spot for the King of Rock, ever since he danced to Love Me Tender with his first girlfriend on their first date.
It takes Nyota roughly five minutes to finish her drink and she quickly signals the bartender for a refill. It seems she's intent on catching up to Leonard.
"Why are you here?" She repeats her question from earlier.
Leonard doesn't look at her, opting to stare into his ale instead. "Do you hear the music playing?"
"Yeah." She sounds confused.
"Do you recognize it?"
It takes her a little bit longer than it took Leonard. "Presley. Suspicion, right?"
Leonard looks up at her and smiles half-heartedly. "I'm impressed, Lieutenant. It's not one of his better known hits."
Nyota shrugs. "I had a phase."
Leonard nods speculatively. "Then you probably know his song I Want You, I Need You, I Love You?"
"Yeah," Nyota replies, clearly still uncertain of what exactly Leonard is doing other than deflecting.
Leonard throws his head back and almost empties his glass. He licks his lips, no longer tasting like bottom-shelf vodka. "You know Jim's in love with Spock, right?"
The question is completely out of left field but all Nyota does is nod bitterly. "It's not unrequited."
"I figured as much," Leonard says. "Honestly, I'm surprised you two lasted so long. It should have been over months ago, if you ask me."
Nyota snorts derisively. "Thanks. Now are you going to tell me why you're here?"
"I'm getting there," Leonard replies, annoyed. "Where was I?"
"Presley's song and Kirk loves Spock," Nyota recites impatiently. "And I don't see how the two are related."
Leonard smirks humorlessly. "Despite what people might think, Jim and I have never slept together. Not until last week."
Nyota's eyebrows practically hit the ceiling. "Seriously? I know I joke about Kirk being a man-whore, but-"
"Stop it," Leonard commands instantly, much angrier than he really should be. Jim doesn't deserve Leonard rushing to his defense right now, but he can't help it. It's instinctual. "He was depressed, alright? Something about unrequited love-"
"Not so unrequited," Nyota mutters under her breath.
"-and that's all it meant," Leonard finishes, ignoring the interruption. "He needed comfort and I happened to be there. That's all it meant."
It's the repeated last statement that does him in, as comprehension immediately dawns in Nyota's eyes. "It wasn't," she says, almost in an accusatory tone of voice. "It meant more to you."
Leonard grimaces and takes a small sip, finally finishing his ale. "Jim told me he wanted me, which was hard enough to resist. Then he told me he needed me and after that, I couldn't turn him away. I've never been able to refuse those baby blues of his, anyway."
There's something almost like pity in Nyota's expression. No, not pity. Sympathy. That takes the sting of it, a little bit.
"He didn't tell me he loved me," Leonard whispers in a hoarse voice. "But he wanted and needed me. I guess two outta three ain't bad."
He clears his throat and blinks rapidly, as his surroundings have suddenly gotten much hazier than they were a moment ago. Nyota doesn't say anything to him, instead ordering (demanding) another drink from the bartender.
"Here's to us losers," she says with a raise of her glass.
Leonard snorts and raises his glass to meet hers. "To us losers," he echoes.