AN: Hey guys! This is the third chapter in my "How They Came Together" series, and I'm going to do Sulu and Chekov, otherwise known as Chulu! So here we go, and please rate and review!
Chekov sped down the near empty corridor, doing his best to escape the derisive laughs of the cadets a dozen yards behind him. They had followed him out of his last class, and he had managed to slip into the rec room, but they had found him as he was sneaking from one building to the next. As he ran, he glanced at the the name plaques, wishing he could find someone he knew, someone he could call to for help. Chekov gasped, feeling a hand grab the back of his uniform, stopping him in his tracks. "Where do you think you're going?"
Chekov winced as he was thrown up against the wall. "Answer my question!"
Instead, he struggled to free himself, his feet dangling just above the floor. "Let me go!"
The group laughed. "I don't think so. Not yet."
The tallest one in the back added on quickly. "Do you have a girlfriend?"
"N-no," Chekov replied shakily.
"Well, it must be because you're not pretty enough. My friends and I can help with some slight facial reconstruction. Do you want us to?"
Chekov knew to give in. "Da."
The group laughed. "Look, he can't even speak Federation Standard."
The Russian's heart was beating so fast his chest ached, and his shut his eyes when he saw the man's fist raise. Just let them, He thought. Just let them and they'll ignore you for the week.

Sulu jumped at the large sound in the hall. He had been knee deep in his work, a project he hadn't started and was due in three days. He stood immediately when he heard another bang, followed by a cry of pain. He slid through his door, and anger, worry, and fear coursed through him from the sight. Across the hall was a group of cadets, Sulu thought he'd seen them before, were gathered around his best friend. The largest one had him pinned up by the front of his shirt, and was punching him repeatedly, with the others landing hits in Chekov's stomach. Every time a fist connected, Pavel would cry out, and it made Hikaru's stomach churn. Suddenly, Chekov glanced up between punches, and saw him. "Hikaru! I," He began, but was silenced by another hit.
The group turned around, and saw him. "Hey, cupcake, is that you? God, I hope I don't have to call Mr. Spock about this. He wouldn't be very happy, would he?"
The man turned around, and pleasure turned to concern. He dropped Chekov, who hit the floor and flinched. "You got lucky kid. We'll leave, but this is not over."
The group left as quickly as possible, hoping to avoid yet another lecture from Spock.
Sulu rushed to his friends side, and kneeled down. Chekov had his eyes shut tightly, trying to hold back tears. "Pavel, can you stand?"
Chekov looked at him, blood smeared on his face. "Y-yes. I'll just go back to my dorm." He stood, then slid back down, wincing in pain. "No way. You're not going anywhere."
"I'm not staying out here. They'll come right back."
Sulu's heart ached. "I don't expect you to. We're going to medical bay."
Chekov's eyes widened. "No. His father vorks there."
Sulu sighed. "Then you'll have to go to my room. Come on."
Sulu eased Chekov up by the elbows, and he bit his lip to keep from crying out. He had dozens of bruises over his body, only a few from the most recent incident. That's why he liked the cadet's uniform so much. It hid the marks. Sulu grunted as Chekov put his weight on him, but didn't let go. Walking back into his quarters, he half carried Pavel to the bathroom. Chekov eased himself down to the floor, and Sulu turned on the sink, dampening a rag with hot water. He turned around and started to clean the blood of his friend's face, but Chekov pulled away.
"Don't be like that. I'm not going to hurt you."
The Russian hesitated, then relaxed. Sulu slowly dabbed at the bruises, trying to be as careful as possible. After a few moments of silence, he began to talk. "How long have they been doing this to you? Tell me the truth."
Chekov answered after a few seconds. "A veek after I got here."
Sulu winced sympathetically. A year and a half. He's been going through this for a year and a half. He thought. "Why haven't you come to me? I could've helped you."
Pavel looked at the floor. " I didn't vant to bother you."
Sulu didn't hesitate to reply. "It would not have bothered me. You're my best friend."
"Still, I thought either they'd go after me more or start going after you."
Sulu sighed. "I know what you mean. But you still should have," he began, then was distracted. "Damn, your nose is bleeding again. Here." Sulu placed the rag up against Chekov's nose, holding it there until the bleeding stopped. By then, Chekov's left eye was swollen almost shut, and Sulu could tell he was in pain. "You're lucky tomorrow's Saturday, because you're going to have a black eye unless we go to Medical bay.
"I don't care. I'm not going down there."
"Okay, fine, it's up to you. Here, let me walk you back to your dorm."
Chekov blushed. "If you don't mind, I'd like to stay here."
"You can, but why?"
Pavel looked at the floor. "Vell, I share my dorm with those two Orion guys you saw."
Surprise swept over Sulu's features. "You're kidding."
Chekov smiled. "No."
Sulu sighed once again, stressed. "In that case, you can stay here whenever you want."
"Thanks Hikaru."
"No problem," He began, then really looked at his friend's face. "You look exhausted. In fact, you have been for the past few weeks. Are you okay?"
Chekov smiled. "Yes, it's just that my quarters were moved recently."
Sulu put the pieces together, and sympathy showed in his deep brown eyes. "Man, that must be tough. Maybe you should get to bed. It's nearly midnight."
Chekov began to stand. "You're right. Vhere do you vant me to sleep?"
"Take my bed. I'll take the couch."
Chekov shook his head. "Are you sure?"
"Don't worry, I'm used to it. I'll show you where it is."
They both entered the shared bedroom, and Sulu gestured to his bed. It was made neatly, with nothing out of place. The bed across from it, however, was a different story. Clothes were spread across it, most of them male, with a few feminine items as well. "Who do you share your dorm vith?"
Sulu chuckled. "Jim Kirk. Do you know who that is?"
"Yes, I know. Now I understand vhy you're so used to the couch."
Sulu laughed. "I know. It's like he brings home someone different every night. Fortunately for you, he said he was staying the night someplace else. Wherever that is."
Chekov sat on the bed, and they bid each other goodnight. He laid down, and his eyes drooped immediately. With a sore jaw but a warm heart, he fell asleep.

When Chekov woke, he realized that when his mother said that bruises hurt more the next day, she was right. He groaned as he sat up, then stopped dead in his tracks. Across from him was Kirk, still in his cadet uniform and sprawled across the bed, snoring. As quietly as possible, Pavel stood and tiptoed from the room. When he entered the living room, he saw Sulu, engulfed in a project. He glanced up when he heard the door open, and concern covered his features. "Your eye looks like hell. Let me get you some ice."
"Thanks. I thought you said Jim vouldn't be sleeping here," He replied.
Sulu laughed from the kitchen. "I know, that's what I thought. He showed up last night, drunk. He stumbled in here, kissed me, then passed out in there."
Chekov's eyes widened. "H-he kissed you?"
"Yeah, he must have really struck out."
Chekov laughed. He heard the replicator hum, then padded into the kitchen. Sulu quickly placed the bag of ice onto his friend's cheek. Chekov took it his own hand, accidentally grasping Sulu's. Hikaru pulled away almost immediately, and looked at him. They stared at each other for a moment, but their gaze was broken when Kirk stumbled into the kitchen. "Good Morning," He grumbled.
Sulu glanced at the clock. "It's twelve-thirty in the afternoon."
Kirk's eyes widened. "You're kidding. Damn, I was supposed to meet Gaila at noon. I got to go." Without changing his clothes, he rushed out the door. Sulu sighed.
"I still can't believe she lets him get away with this stuff."
Pavel chuckled. "I know. If I vas her, he'd be long gone."
Chekov sat down at the kitchen table, holding the ice gingerly against his face. They stayed in silence for a few minutes, each falling into their own morning pattern. Sulu offered him anything from the replicator, and Chekov took a small plate of eggs with a mug of chamomile tea. Sulu just grabbed a cup of coffee, and they just sat there across from each other. I wouldn't mind doing this every morning, Chekov thought, then immediately dismissed the idea as ridiculous, not knowing Sulu was thinking the same thing. "Chekov, do you want me to walk you back to your quarters to grab some new clothes? There's blood on the front of yours."
Chekov smiled. "If you don't mind."
"Of course not. Come on."
They both rose and walked to the door, then slid out. For once in a very long time, Chekov felt safe walking down the Starfleet corridors. As they calmly strode sown the hall, Bones started to pass them. He stopped when he saw Chekov's eye. "I have two questions: what the hell happened and why didn't you go to medical bay?"
Chekov looked at the floor. "Vell, I..."
"He was attacked by some security cadets outside my dorm. I would have brought him down, but he refused to go," Sulu interrupted.
Bones rubbed his temples. "Wait, he was attacked? Did you file a report?"
"No. Neither of us did."
"Well I'm going to. Your eye should heal up soon, just don't mess with it. I got to go."
Bones proceeded down the hall, and Sulu began walking the other way, Chekov following just behind. They got to Chekov's dorm quickly, and both his roommates were there. "Chekov, I'll wait out here for just a second. I want to surprise them."
Chekov smiled. "Okay. See you in a sec."
Pavel entered, and the door slid shut. Almost immediately, his roommates whistled mockingly. "Look, it's the Russian whiz kid! We missed you last night. Did you finally get a girl?"
"No. I stayed at a friend's."
"Who, that Sulu guy? He's about as useful as a Klingon dog," One of them said.
"Don't talk about him like zat! He's really smart!
One of them stood and walked up so close to him their chests nearly touched. "Really? Are you getting all brave now? Well, we'll just have to fix that."
The man pushed Chekov up against the dresser behind him. He winced, but relaxed when he saw the door slide open. The other two men must not have heard it, because they jumped when Sulu started talking. "Is there a problem, gentlemen?"
The other man, not occupied with Chekov, walked up to Sulu. He was towered over him, and Sulu had to lift his head up to look at him. "Who do you think you are?" he demanded.
"My name is Hikaru Sulu. Now, I should let you know I have Spock's number on speed dial."
The man chuckled, and his partner came up behind him. "Are you too scared to fight us yourself?"
"I didn't say that. Now, it if you don't mind, I came here with my friend so he could change," He began, then turned his attention to Chekov. "Pavel, go get changed. I think I have a lot of catching up to do with your friends here."
"Hikaru, are you," He began. Sulu gave him a smile, and Chekov nodded, then left.
"So, what were you guys," Sulu was cut off when he was pushed into the wall.
"We were just telling Chekov that you're about as useful as a Klingon dog."
Sulu reached into his pocket and pulled out his voice-activated communicator. "With one voice command, Security will be alerted, and they'll be down here in two minutes."
Both of them backed away, after trying to snatch the communicator and failed. Just then, Chekov came out, in his Starfleet Academy sweatshirt and jeans. He walked up beside Sulu, who smiled. Just before they left, Sulu added, "Oh, and it's not a Klingon dog, it's a mernok. And, they're one of the most intelligent domesticated animals in the galaxy. So, I'll take what you said as a compliment."
With that, both Sulu and Chekov left, and began heading back to Hikaru's quarters. "You vere really brave," Chekov murmured under his breath.
"No, I was just tired of them treating you like that."
"Thanks Karu."
"No problem."
They reached the dorm quickly, and Sulu opened the door. They stepped in, and Sulu sat on the sofa, Chekov following closely behind. Now's as good a time as any, Sulu thought.
He sighed, then looked at Chekov. "Can I ask you for a favor?"
"Anything," He replied.
"Well, I need some help... with my parents."
"Vat do you mean?"
Sulu sighed once again, this time more shakily. "I-I need help coming out to my parents."
Chekov felt his face go hot. "You mean,"
"Yeah," Sulu interrupted, gazing at the floor.
"Of course," Pavel replied.
Sulu looked up, surprised. He had never expected him to agree. "Are you sure you're comfortable with this?"
"Yes, Hikaru. You're my best friend."
"I just need you to be there. On the sidelines, I guess."
Chekov smiled. "Okay, Vhen?"
"I guess now, or I'm never going to work up the courage again."
Chekov sighed. "Okay. Let's do this."
Sulu stood and walked over to his desk, and Chekov stood just beside it. He flipped on the monitor, and the screen lit up. "Give command." It chimed in a monotone voice. Sulu rubbed his fingers together. "Call Reina Sulu." He ordered.
The computer made a low humming noise, signaling it was calling his mother. The screen lit up, and his mother's young face showed on the screen. "Hikaru! How are you?"
"Hey, mom. Look, we need to talk."
Concern spread on her features. "What's wrong Hikaru?"
Sulu glanced over to Chekov, who gave him a reassuring smile. I can do this, he thought.
"Mom, I-I'm gay."
His mother stared at him like a deer in the headlights, and the screen went blank. "Transmission ended by opposite user. Call again?" The computer asked.
"No. End program and shut down," Sulu snapped. The screen went dark, and Sulu leaned back in his chair. He covered his eyes with his wrist, and Chekov put a hand on his shoulder. "Are, are you alright?"
"Yeah, I think I just surprised her," Sulu said, but he didn't really believe it himself.
Chekov could sense the pain behind the words. "D-do you vant me to leave?"
"No. Don't go. I need something to keep my mind off that."
Chekov smiled. "I know just the thing."
By the time Sulu realized what was going on, Chekov had already dragged him down to the Rec Room. It was almost empty, just a few cadets around. He had nearly thrown him into the seat, but Sulu pulled away. "What are you doing?"
"Just sit down. I'll show you."
Sulu sat down in the chair next to the computer, and Chekov sat directly in front of it. "Computer, begin instrumental program," Chekov commanded.
"Personal use or recording?"
"Personal."`
The computer hummed, and a loading screen appeared. It lit up to a blue screen, and began speaking again. "Choose instrument."
Chekov looked down the list, searching for what he wanted. "Piano," He ordered. The speakers hummed, and a miniature set of keys rose from under it.
"Do you need sheet music accompaniment?" The computer asked.
"No."
"Program entered and saved. You may begin."
Chekov placed his hands on the keys, sighed, then began. Sulu recognized the piece almost immediately, even though he didn't play the piano. Beethoven, he thought. Sulu watched every movement of Chekov's hands, entranced by the sound that bled from the speakers. He sat in silence, allowing himself to really focus. He looked at his friend, whose brow was furrowed in concentration. He observed Pavel's frail fingers as they flew across the keys, bones almost visible in the light. Something about them unnerved him. They look so, fragile, He thought. So easily breakable.
Chekov glanced up for just an instant, and smiled at his friend. He turned back to the keys, fading into his own little world. When he played, he always saw blotches of colour in his mind, ranging from greens to reds to deep violets. They changed, writhed, and shifted, depending on the songs mood. Now he saw red, the colour of blood, twisting with
coppers and golds. It relaxed him, playing like this. It made him forget all the things that had happened to him that day, positive or negative. His siblings found it useless, but sometimes he felt like it was a lifeline, tying him to the world.
It kept him from falling.
All at once, the song ended, and Chekov was pulled back to reality. He took a deep breath, then spun to the side to look at Sulu. "Vat'd you think?"
"It was, amazing. I don't get how you do that."
Chekov blushed. "It's just a talent, I guess. Like you with fencing."
"I'm no good at fencing. Not compared to you with the piano."
Chekov smiled. "That's ridiculous. It's like comparing apples to oranges."
Sulu laughed. "Oranges are better."
That's when Sulu felt a hand on his shoulder. He turned around to find Gaila standing behind him, with a smile on her face. "Hello, Hikaru. Do you know where Jim is?"
Sulu shrugged. "No. He left about an hour ago to look for you."
Confusion, then anger spread across the Orion's face. "Then I'll just have to check every female cadet's room in the academy."
"Don't forget to check the commander's too. You never know, with his charm," Sulu said jokingly.
"I will," She snapped, then stomped off.
"He's in for it," Chekov sighed.
"If he's doing what she thinks he's doing, he'll be dead. You should see her when he's just flirting," Sulu laughed.
Just then, they heard the door across the room open, and both Orion men they had previously met strode in, along with several others. "Maybe ve should go," Chekov murmured.
"Yeah, you're right. I really don't think I can deal with six of them," Sulu replied.
They both rose to leave, and stepped out the door. They strode down the hall, and Chekov could tell his friend was still upset. He knew Sulu only let him stay because he didn't want Chekov going back to his own quarters, so he wasn't near his roommates. They began to pass Pavel's dorm, but the Russian stopped. "You go ahead. I'll stay here."
Sulu spun around. "No. That's not happening," He said stubbornly.
"Karu, trust me. I'll be fine."
"They'll come back, you know. I won't be there."
"I know. Relax. If they come, I'll call you."
With that, Chekov gave Sulu a reassuring smile, then slid through the doors. Sulu sighed, worried about his friend. He sped back to his dorm quickly, and entered the room. The apartment was empty, so Sulu slumped down on the sofa. He still couldn't get his mother's reaction out of his head. He couldn't decide if she was disappointed, or just plain frightened. He remembered when he was a child, how his parents had silently looked down on gay couples in the store, picking their children up from school, or just taking a stroll down the street. He also remembered how ashamed he had been when he realized he was what they always despised; how he didn't have the heart to tell them. Now that he had, he felt even worse than before. He loved his mother and father, it's just that, well, he felt that he could never live up to their expectations. He sighed, then decided to move over to his bed. He shoveled all the bits and pieces of his project into his arms, and shuffled to the other room. Sulu arranged himself so he was sitting indian style and leaned over to start working. He heard the front door open, and Gaila's voice rang through the hall. "I can't believe you! I just don't get it. Am I just not good enough?!"
Kirk sighed. "Gaila, you're perfect. You know that."
"No I'm not!"
"Of course you are. Come on."
Tears cracked in Gaila's voice. "If I'm so perfect, why do you need other women? Answer that!"
"Gaila, I don't. Like I said, she started kissing me! She was drunk!"
"Oh, bull! I know you, and I know Andorians. They're not like that. You are!"
Kirk sighed again. By now Sulu was leaning against the rim of the doorway, just so he could see them. Kirk walked over to her and put his hands on her elbows. "Not anymore. From now on, I'm all yours. I promise."
Gaila sighed. "Swear?"
Kirk smiled. "I would never lie to someone I love."
You just did, like, ten minutes ago, Sulu thought.
"Good. How about we continue this conversation, in my quarters?" Gaila offered.
"Of course. I would love that," He replied.
They both slid out the door, and Sulu finally took a breath. He sighed, then sat down and fell back into his work, desperate to finish it.
The next day, Chekov once again found himself racing down the hall, but know he had a destination to get to. He was being chased by the same people, but more had joined them. Instead of three, there were seven. Their numbers had seemed to slow them down, because their voices were distant and Chekov couldn't see them when he glanced over his shoulder. He found himself at Sulu's quarters quickly, and didn't stop ringing the bell until Sulu opened the door. He stared at the Russian, eyes wide. "Where's the fire?"
"Not fire. Orions," He gasped.
Sulu understood and moved to the side, gesturing for the Russian to come in. Chekov pushed past him, and slumped against the wall, wheezing. As he tried to catch his breath, Sulu began talking.
"I told you so."
"Told me vhat?"
"That they would come after you sooner or later. I knew they would, so again,"
"Don't you dare say it," Chekov said, glaring.
"Okay fine. I told you so!" Sulu sang.
Chekov rolled his eyes. "Are you going to tease me, or are you going to be nice?"
Sulu laughed. "I guess I'll do both."
Chekov smiled, and looked at him. "Vell, if you're going to be somewhat nice, I might ask you a favor?"
"What?"
Chekov looked at the floor, blushing. This is it, it's now or never, He thought. He took a deep breath, then answered.
"Vell, since I helped you with your... parents, I just thought you could help me vith mine."
Sulu stood in silence for a moment, eyes wide. The Russian didn't look up at him, just stared at the floor, embarrassed. Maybe I shouldn't have said anything, He thought.
He took this idea to heart, and began to push past Sulu toward the door, muttering apologies. Sulu caught him by the wrist. "Pavel, wait."
Chekov turned around, and tears glimmered in his eyes, refusing to fall. "Da?"
"Of course I will."
Pavel shook his head. "Don't do it if you don't vant to. I'm not going to make you."
Sulu sighed, giving him a reassuring smile in the process. He put a hand on the Russian's shoulder, and replied, "Chekov, like you said before, you're my best friend. Right?"
"Right," Pavel stuttered.
"Okay then," Sulu sighed, now sensing how awkward the conversation was becoming. "When do you want to... you know, tell them?"
Chekov glanced down at his watch. "Vell, they're in Russia. So ve vould have to do it now or tomorrow."
"It's up to you, Pavel."
Chekov looked at him questioningly. "Now, I zink?"
"Alright then," Sulu sighed, failing at destroying the blanket of awkwardness.
Chekov blushed once again, then moved over towards the computer. He flipped it on, and it chimed. "Give command."
"Call Svetlana Chekov," Pavel said shakily. What if she's not okay with it? He thought. What if she acts like Hikaru's mother and hangs up?
The computer hummed. When it lit up, Pavel's older sister showed on screen. "Pasha! How are you?!"
"Bela, I just need to speak to Mama," Chekov blushed.
She apparently didn't hear him, or just ignored it, Pavel wouldn't put it past her, and kept going. "Mama! Papa! Pasha's calling!"
He heard his mother's excited squeal in the background, and his father's strong voice.
I was hoping he'd still be at work, Chekov thought. His parents appeared quickly, and his mother squealed again. She babbled something in Russian, and Chekov's father glared at her jokingly. "No, don't do zat! Talk in standard so the other boy can understand you!" He said.
Svetlana noticed Sulu then, and smiled. "Oh! I'm sorry! Thank you Andreii!"
It seemed as though Chekov's family would never calm down, but Chekov finally settled them. "Mama, there's something I need to tell you," He murmured.
"Vhat, Pavel? Are you alright?"
"Yes, Mama. It's just that..."
Chekov took a deep breath, then blurted it out. He felt relief immediately, but a new worry washed over him. What will they say?
Sulu was just as worried as he was, knowing what could happen. He was expecting what he got from Reina, but for the same thing to happen to Pavel? Just the thought made his heart ache.
His mother, and father, stared at him in surprise for a moment, then Svetlana giggled. "I knew it! Your brother told me I vas vrong, But I vasn't!"
His father laughed, but his sister rolled her eyes. "I can't believe you couldn't tell before, Papa. I could."
"Oh! Vell then, you must be genius, like Pasha. Da?" He teased.
Bela sighed, then rose and left. "Bela is getting mean, isn't she Andreii?" Svetlana murmured to her husband.
"Yes, I'll have to talk vith her," He glanced at his watch, then continued. "Pavel, ve must go. Ve are going to wisit your mother's sister." Chekov could tell he wasn't very happy about it, either.
"Alright. Goodbye, Mama, goodbye Papa."
The screen darkened, and Chekov sighed. "Zat vent better than I thought it vould."
"What'd you expect to happen?" Sulu asked.
"I don't know. Just not zat."
Sulu laughed. "Hey, I thought you said you were an only child."
Chekov blushed. "I said zat because my brother and sister drive me crazy. They steal all the attention."
"I can assure you that's not true."
"It is! Do you zink I'm lying?"
Sulu laughed. "Never said that."
Chekov laughed in return. "Agree to disagree. Now, I should probably get back to my dorm."
Sulu, remembering why Chekov had shown up in the first place, stopped him. "No. Not with the roommates you have."
"Hikaru, but..."
"No, You're either staying here or somewhere else. Not your dorm."
"Hikaru, really. I don't need you to babysit me," He began, then noticing Sulu's stubborn expression, continued. "I'll stay if it makes you feel better."
Sulu relaxed. "Thank you."
"Your velcome." Chekov glanced at his watch. "I can't believe it's almost 11:00."
When the Russian yawned, Sulu replied, "I know. Take the bed."
"Hikaru, I took it last time."
"Which will mean you're used to it. Go."
Just before Pavel could, the front door slid open, and Kirk entered. "Hello, everybody. Meet the new and improved exclusive Kirk."
Sulu's eyes widened sarcastically. "You're kidding right? Exclusive?!"
Gaila appeared behind Jim. "Yep, he agreed, signed a contract, the whole thing."
Chekov laughed. "He'll find a loophole in it."
Sulu smirked. "Since when do they use contracts?"
Gaila sighed. "I had to use extreme measures."
"That's great. Now, if you guys are going to stay, keep it down. I'm trying to sleep."
Kirk laughed. "Oh, we're not staying. We're going with a bunch of other cadets to bother Bones in Medical Bay. Bye!"
With that, they turned and left. Chekov said goodnight and slumped down on the bed in the other room, exhausted. His eyes drooped, and he fell asleep.
When Sulu woke, Chekov was nowhere to be found. He must have sneaked back, Sulu thought. He took a sonic shower, pulled on his uniform, grabbed his bag and slid out the door. He sighed, realizing his day would be a hunt for the Russian.

Chekov strode into Sickbay, bringing a file down after physics class. The instant message unit was broken, so things had to be sent by foot. Pavel noticed Sulu almost immediately. He was with a female cadet, who was talking and laughing. As he passed them to reach the CMO's office, he heard what the group was saying.
"He stayed in your quarters? Wow."
"I know. It's insane isn't it?"
Are they talking about me? Chekov pondered.
"Then why did you let him?"
"I had to. His roommates aren't exactly nice to him."
"I've seen them. It's awful. It's just because he's so young and so smart."
They're talking about me. Great. Chekov thought.
"Yeah. Especially since he's... you know, him."
"I guess Chekov's, well, unique."
Sulu laughed. "I know. I can't stand being near him."
Chekov stopped dead in his tracks at the last comment. What?
Sulu spun his head around at the sound of a file PADD falling. He spotted Chekov, who was standing just a few yards away. His eyes glittered with tears, and a look of betrayal had washed over him. Oh no, Sulu thought, realizing what had happened. Chekov spun on his heel, running out of Sickbay at top speed. "Chekov, wait!" Sulu called, running after the Russian. "Pavel, you don't understand!"
Chekov didn't listen; just kept running. He was attempting to get away from Sulu, which didn't seem to be working. When he reached his dorm, he slid in and locked the door. He was alone, neither of his roommates were there. He slid down the rim of the doorframe, sobbing. Sulu caught up quickly, and began banging on the door.
"Pavel, let me in! You don't understand what I meant!"
"Go avay!" Chekov sobbed in reply.
"Pavel, please. You don't..."
"GO AVAY!"
Sulu sighed, and slid down on the opposite side of the door frame. He lowered his voice to the most comforting tone possible. "Pavel please. Let me explain."
"Just go, Sulu," he whispered.
"No. Please Pavel. Give me a chance."
After almost an hour of begging and coaxing, Chekov gave in. He slid the door open, and glared. "You have fiwe minutes."
Sulu took the opportunity, and strode in. Chekov kept his distance, and Hikaru didn't try to get any closer. The hurt on the Russian's face made Sulu ache with guilt. "Vhat you did vas a cruel trick. I trusted you and you lied to me."
Sulu sighed. "You don't understand what I meant."
"Then vhat did you mean?" Chekov asked, angered.
Sulu rubbed his fingers together. "Pavel, the reason I can't stand being around you is because it hurts too much."
This made Chekov even more angry. "Vhy does it hurt you? Huh?"
Sulu felt even more nervous than he had with with his mother. He took a deep, shaky breath, and continued.
"It hurts, because I... I've never fallen harder for anyone in my life."
Chekov's eyes widened in amazement. "Y-you love me?"
Sulu chuckled. "Yeah. Everything about you. I don't know why, I just know I do."
"You're lying. You couldn't lowe me."
Sulu smiled, but tears cracked in his voice. "Of course I do. I swear."
Pavel shook his head. "But I'm not beautiful."
Sulu sighed. "You are the most beautiful person I've ever seen. I mean that."
Chekov smiled, making Hikaru's heart skip a beat. "Hikaru, I... I lowe you too."
Sulu's eyes widened. "You're serious?"
Chekov took a few steps closer, so he was just a few inches from Sulu. "Yes. I'm just glad that you lowe me back."
Sulu took Chekov's head in his hands, hesitated, then pulled him into a warm kiss. Hikaru's entire body buzzed with electricity. Sure, he had kissed many people before, both men and women, but they never made him feel like this. He could feel Chekov sobbing against him, hot tears streaming on his face. Sulu then realized he was crying too, mostly in relief. He no longer had to keep what he felt a secret. And, God, for Chekov to feel the same way?
Well, that made it all the better.
Chekov shook, more excited than nervous. It was embarrassing, but this was... his first kiss. He felt his tears, and Sulu's, dampening his cheeks and shirt. At the moment, though, he didn't notice. Pavel thought that music was his only lifeline, tying him to the world. But now, he had another, and this one had a name; was living and breathing against him. Sulu.
The two held each other like that for a few moments, never having felt happier than they did that moment.
Bones passed the open door that led into the Russian dorm. He saw them out of the corner of his eye, and he stopped dead in his tracks. He looked into the doorway, and his jaw dropped. Chekov and Sulu didn't notice him, just kept their tight hold on each other. What the Hell? McCoy thought. He thought about interrupting, just because of instinct. But instead, he kept walking, realizing even he wasn't cruel enough to end a scene like that.
AN: I hoped you liked it! I worked hard on it, and bared through the stress of my life. {My granpa and cat died. :( } But, I made it through for you guys, and as Dr. McCoy would say, "A little suffering is good for the soul."