Title: Love's Savage Secret
Author: Gixxer Pilot
Beta: Wicked Jade
Summary: Cop!Verse AU. McCoy's hope was that one day Jim would understand the concepts of shame, embarrassment and personal boundaries. This was definitely not to be that day.
Author's Notes: This story is what happens when I try to take a break from writing. No, I'm not kidding. I was planning to not write, but instead, I wound up with this. Wicked Jade and I have decided that I don't have plot!tribbles. I have plot!Gremlins. Get the adorable little Mogwai wet, and he multiplies. Feed the brood after midnight, and they go from cute and fluffy to rabid, satanic green creatures. This fic? The original idea was supposed to be part of another cop!verse story, so I'm pretty sure someone both fed my Mogwai and dumped a bucket of water over its head at 12.01. Thanks, guys. Aaaanyway, I hope you all enjoy another foray into my insanity. As always, comments are loved but never required.
Disclaimer: I own my Kindle and a bunch of free books offered on that platform, but I do not own Star Trek. I do not make any monetary profit from my work, so please don't sue.
Chris Pike would rue the day Jim Kirk developed the ability to tell his lieutenant 'no'. Kirk was sure of it; in fact, he was so sure, he could almost hear the words coming out of his mouth. He knew exactly how to structure the sentence, and what reasoning he would give for his decline. Pike would undoubtedly be amazed, because shock of all shocks – Jim actually thought it through! It was perfectly choreographed, well planned and logical. All he had left to do was execute the routine.
Kirk went through the same song and dance in his head every single time Pike asked him for a favor. The process each time never changed; he worked up a stellar argument to present to his boss that he thought was bombproof. But as soon as he found himself standing in front of the lieutenant's desk ready for this time to be the time, he chickened out and acquiesced to whatever Pike needed under the guise of because he was a nice guy.
In his heart, Jim didn't expect this instance to end any differently. Still, that didn't mean Kirk wasn't willing to give the lieutenant a sliver of his mind, brass on the man's shoulders or no.
"Hey, Lieu? Got a minute?" Kirk asked as he stuck half his body through the door of Pike's office.
Behind stacked boxes and a small mountain of file folders three feet high, the shift lieutenant peered at Jim through the tiny alley he'd made with the piles of paperwork heaped on his desk. He blew out a long, exhausted breath while he did his best impression of the Webster's definition of miserable. With his chin pillowed on the open palm of his right hand, Pike didn't even bother making an attempt to look officious. Instead, he replied despondently, "Do I look like I have a minute, Kirk?"
"I could come back," Jim offered, cringing as he motioned towards the door.
"No, no. Get your ass in here. I need a break from this damned paperwork. It multiplies like rabbits do - prolifically," Pike answered, his voice stopping the young man in his tracks. Chris straightened his posture and waved one arm above the boxes, inviting Jim into his office. "Just give me one second to finish this up and I'll be right with you."
Jim let out a little snort, tiptoed into the office and sat down in one of the plush chairs opposite Pike's desk. Off duty and in his street clothes, he slouched gloriously as he waited for the lieutenant to finish scribbling on the open report. Kirk opened and closed his mouth a couple time as he drummed his fingers against the fine wood tabletop. Pike, for his part, tuned out the annoying sound. Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, Chris snapped the file closed and raised his eyes.
"Now. What can I do for you?" he asked, the words rolling off his lips without effort.
Fidgeting ever so slightly, Jim reached up and rubbed his right ear as he felt his resolve begin to slip. The thought of delicacy in phrasing crossed his mind, but he scratched it off just as quickly as it came. Diving straight in, he inhaled and said, "It's, uh, this extra credit assignment you gave me. It's not that I won't do it, because orders are orders. But with all due respect Lieutenant, I think it's bullshit."
Pike raised an eyebrow as amusement danced through his eyes. "Why don't you tell me how you really feel, Kirk?" Chris replied, laughing lightly.
"I always do." Shifting, Kirk amended as he adopted a less formal tone. "But don't you think it's time for you to punish someone else with this job? We have new FNGs for you to torture, the fact in and of itself that Serdeski breathes qualifies as a offence worthy of discipline, and I just worked my way off Spock's shit list. Bones and I were shot at last week, and I really don't feel like repeating the situation, especially when it's said partner who's probably going to be doing the shooting."
Though he was able to keep his tone neutral and passive, Pike unable to keep the smile from blossoming across his face. Chris leaned back in his chair and chewed gently away at the end of the pen in his left hand. Titling his head to the side, he asked simply, "Afraid, Jim?" after a beat.
"Hell, no!" Kirk replied quickly, quite probably a little too quickly. "I'm a Kirk. I-"
"-Don't believe in no win scenarios. I know. I got it. You're normally my go-to guy for the tough jobs, and as much as it pains me to inflate your ridiculous ego, in almost three years, you haven't failed me yet," Pike finished with his officer, raising his hand in an effort to muzzle Kirk's standard argument. He leaned forward in his chair, interlaced his fingers and titled his chin down, adding, "But still, I can't help but think that you're a little bit nervous about your assignment, at least this time. Otherwise, you wouldn't be here, trying to weasel your way out of it."
"I'm not trying to get out of it," Jim mumbled, burying his mouth in his hand.
"Oh, yes you are," the lieutenant replied with an airy chuckle.
Kirk raised his head and glared at Pike. Damn the smug bastard – Jim knew the older man was simply toying with him, and having a hell of a lot of fun while he did it. "Fine," Kirk admitted. "So I'm trying to get out of it. But Spock would be proud of me. I'm doing it because it's logical. Did you hear the voicemail Bones left me after I called to check on him before shift today?"
"Well, listen," Jim said, pulling his phone from his pocket. He punched up the voicemail option, put the device on speaker, and dropped it unceremoniously on Pike's desk. The phone spun in a hapless circle while McCoy's familiar grown emanated from the petite speakers. Even the tinny, low-quality audio couldn't disguise the snarky bite in McCoy's voice, nor could it hide that the same voice was also congested, scratchy and downright ornery.
'Jim, I don't know how to make this any clearer-' McCoy began before a mighty sneeze overtook his need to personally insult Kirk. '-but I have Ebola. I am dying. I don't need any mothering and I don't want help. I would, however, like you to fuck. Right. Off.' Any further verbal tongue-lashing was cut off at the end of the sentence when the sergeant began hacking up his left lung. The coughing fit lasted just shy of fifteen seconds, and by the end, the sound elicited wholehearted cringes from both Kirk and Pike. McCoy cleared his throat to the best of his abilities, cursing when the first thing that exited his throat was a very un-manly squeak. He recovered enough to add, 'You come over here, I kill you. Simple as that. Now leave me alone and let me die in peace.'
Kirk cringed, hit the 'end' button for his voicemail and pocketed the phone. Looking Pike straight in the eye, he said, "Now do you see? I don't care if I'm going with a peace offering from your wife. If you send me over there, he's going to kill me. My partner will shoot me."
"Actually, Jim, that's why I chose you. I think you're the only person Len might not shoot the moment he sees you."
"Might not? That's really not that reassuring, Lieu," Kirk squeaked.
Pike shrugged. "Rock and a hard place. What are you gonna do?" he said. Chris reached under his desk for the extra plastic container of chicken soup Lynn dropped off at the station earlier in the evening, made specifically for her 'adopted son' McCoy. He handed the neatly wrapped package to Jim and said, "There. Now, get going, Kirk. You've got a delivery to make."
"Why can't Lynn do this?" he questioned, accepting the soup reluctantly. "She made this stuff, and Bones loves her. She should get the pleasure of delivering it."
"Jim, you know she normally would, if she wasn't running around like a headless chicken at the bakery. Uncle Mike's is slammed right now with two weddings, two graduations and a bat mitzvah, all in the next two weeks. Lynn made this for him at 12:30 in the morning; she's that busy. She said she'd stop over and check on him tomorrow morning when she can breathe, but we need a little bit of help. That's where you come in."
Jim sat back and pouted. "I still don't understand why it has to be me you're sacrificing."
Pike rolled his eyes at his normally over-exuberant officer and said, "Just go, will you? Stop being such a sissy and get your ass over there. When he's done swearing at you – or squeaking at you if he's lost his voice – he'll appreciate it. Just trust me, okay?"
"Just trust you? Famous last words," Kirk grumbled, staring at the unassuming homemade pot that was going to lead to his death. He swiped it off the desk, tucked it under his arm and glared at his boss. "Maybe the Ebola will take him out this time."
"Kiiirk," Pike warned, trailing off ominously. "Besides, he's not going to kill you. I promise. I'm talking from personal experience here, because I'm still alive."
"Whatever, Lieu." Jim pursed his lips and furrowed his eyebrows.
From behind him, Kirk heard the lieutenant call, "Just shoot first, Jim!"
Kirk stutter stepped, stopped and rolled his eyes. Oh, that was great advice. He turned his head and shouted at the top of his lungs over his shoulder, "I'm putting in for hazardous duty pay for this, and you'd better approve it!"
Next Up: Jim and Bones prove that Pike is right about at least one thing: Kirk and McCoy are the most effective old married couple in the entire world.