Authors: mga1999 and skyblue_reverie
Fandom & Pairing: Star Trek Reboot (aka AOS, ST XI, etc.), Pike/McCoy
Word Count: around 4900
Summary: Shore leave begins!
A/N: From skyblue_reverie: OMG the format, we're mixing it up a bit. I'm frightened, somebody hold me! mga1999: OMG I wrote a real-time excerpt for the next chapter. HOLD ME!!!
Click here for series masterlist with links to all prior parts
Personal Journal of Christopher R. Pike
Not sure what the hell I'm supposed to be doing with this. Dr. Rossen thinks it might be a good idea for me to start writing a journal every day since I'll be heading out to deep space next month and will be out of contact for the most part. I'll confess, I'm a little apprehensive -- I've come to rely on talking to Dr. Rossen more than I want to admit. I'm not sure how this is going to replace that. But I trust her, so I'm going to give it a shot.
The Exeter arrived at earth's spacedock this morning -- Or I should say it was towed in because of damage that occurred in the neutral zone. Damn Romulans and Klingons decided to attack a freighter from Altus 7 that was on its way to New Vulcan with building supplies. How they found out about it -- Well, obviously there is an intelligence leak that SFI will have to investigate. Luckily, we saved the freighter with its cargo intact although the ship was slightly damaged. The Romulans took out one Klingon ship, we took out the other and heavily damaged three Romulan ships before they retreated. The Exeter, however, took quite a bit of fire, and I lost fourteen crewmembers. I know it could have been much worse, but damn, I never get used to this, especially when so many of them were barely out of the academy.
There will be a brief memorial service after regular Sunday services for everyone lost during the last eight months on the Exeter. Twenty-two in the line of duty and one who died of a heart attack three weeks ago. Twenty-three souls entrusted to my care that I didn't bring home safely. This is the hardest part of my job -- I suppose it would be for anyone. I like to believe that it matters to me more -- Well, more than some commanders I've served under coming up through the ranks. I've always believed that your crew needs to know you're human, and not just -- well, a machine. I'm not sure I've always done a very good job at that. It's never been easy for me to be emotional. I always feel like I have to be the strong one for my crew. Everyone is looking at me for guidance. It's not an easy thing to balance, especially for me.
I got all the letters to next-of-kin written while we were being towed back. That never gets any easier either. One of the kids -- God, one of them was one of the ensigns I had been playing chess with for weeks. He was only twenty-two and simply walking down a corridor in the wrong place at the wrong time. Gone, just like that, into the vacuum of space. I--I think his parents are coming to headquarters next week to claim his personal effects. I asked to be notified if they do. I'd like to meet them, and tell them how much I enjoyed getting to know their son. I figure it's the least that I can do if I'm home when they arrive.
Speaking of home, God, it's nice to be back on earth. Usually I don't feel like that, but everything has been so -- It's just been one thing after the other the last couple of years. Mainly, my injuries, and I feel like I'm still recovering from that. Philip promises that in six months I'll be back to my old self. I hope he's right, because honestly I'm not sure what I'll do if he's not. I feel like I'm not the commander I should be. I feel like I let my crew down the last eight months. I only hope I can change that during the last four years of this tour. If this is indeed my last command, I refuse to accept that it's not going to get better than the last eight months.
I was glad to be able to do a lot of debriefing by vidcomm as we were being towed back. Tomorrow, I'm spending the day interviewing/selecting replacement crew for the Exeter. I'm taking on fifty-four more souls. Some will replace those we lost these last eight months, the rest are just new graduates. All of the ships' manifests have been smaller than usual after losing so many during the Narada battle. We still won't be up to full capacity, but we managed with even less the first eight months.
I really don't know if this is what I'm supposed to be doing. Dr. Rossen just told me to write down what's weighing on my mind. Everything I've typed here is, but of course it's not what's weighing on my mind the most. If I look up at my wall right now, there is a holo of Len and I that Philip took last time we were together. It's one that Jim put up. The Enterprise will be here tomorrow and I am both anxious to see him and scared to death. I feel like tomorrow -- Well, it's judgment day. When I talked to Dr. Rossen this morning, she reiterated that I'm not going to have a magical answer just by seeing him. Part of me knows that, but another part of me -- I feel like I'll just know. I feel better than I have just being home right now -- In our place, even though he's really not spent a lot time here. But I can walk through and see him: Standing at the kitchen counter drinking bourbon while I cooked, lying on the couch with his feet in my lap, stoking the fireplace, all the places we fucked. I see him everywhere and it doesn't seem like he shouldn't be here. I hope that's a good sign. I told Dr. Rossen I wasn't sure I could handle -- I mean, what if I still have doubts? She reminded me that everyone has doubts, but me -- I've always been sure of everything.
I know I love him. I can't imagine my life without him. I just want to know these feelings are real and not part of the nightmare of the last twenty-eight months.
Richard is expecting me so I guess I should get going. It will be a working dinner. I'm still determined to keep to our schedule if at all possible.
I'm really looking forward to getting away from it all.
Personal Journal of Christopher R. Pike
Well, dinner is ready and the Enterprise arrived later than expected at spacedock, so I figure I'd better write this before Len arrives.
Got a lot done today. Filled nearly every position on the Exeter. Still looking for an acupuncturist, but I'm determined to have one onboard before we leave. May need to take one on as a civilian contractor. I already talked to Richard about that, but I still hope to find someone in Starfleet. Have two candidates to vidcomm with from overseas, and one from Lunar One. Hopefully one of them will be a good fit. Took a break at lunch and went to the jeweler Len had his ring made at. Dropped off my crystal. She promises to have it ready before we leave for Georgia next week. God damn paparazzi were on my tail. Luckily, I slipped into a friend's nearby restaurant and then slipped out the back so they never caught me. I can just imagine what the headlines would have been from that.
Had the standard physical and psychological evaluation at Starfleet Medical today. God, I hate those. As if I haven't been poked and prodded enough the last two years, I got to spend two hours there this afternoon. I might have been a little hostile towards the shrink, but frankly, I didn't like his insinuations about whether I could handle my command responsibilities. Fuck him and the horse he rode in on. I'm pretty sure I told him that in no certain terms. I'm sure I'll hear from the Admiralty about it, but frankly I don't care. God damn pencil-pushers who have never seen a day in the black and have no idea what it's like. I may have had a pretty fucked up eight months, but we met every benchmark and then some and I was never not completely aware of what was going on on my ship, save for the two weeks I was at the starbase for surgery.
On a good note, I got to sign all the commendations for my bridge crew today. They'll get them before we ship out again. Not sure when that will be yet. There is no way they will have the repairs done when we were originally scheduled to embark. Current estimates put the delay about a week, but they just took her to the repair dock today. I've been keeping an eye on her diagnostics and so far they haven't found any damage we didn't already know about. If that stays true, it shouldn't be too bad.
In the meantime, I'm going to enjoy the extra time here on Earth and with Len. He'll end up leaving before me this time, which I'm already dreading. I'm much calmer today. I'm not sure why. I think seeing him on the vidscreen, hearing his voice when they arrived helped. Knowing that in a couple of hours, I'll hopefully have quieted the voices in my head. If not, like Len said before, we'll deal with it. I'm certainly not giving up on this relationship without a fight. We've been through too much, and not only that, whether I doubt my true feelings for him or how they started -- I care about him a lot. I do know that.
I have to believe that subconsciously, I know everything is okay. Just things I've done without a second thought -- Going to the jeweler, officially signing my copy of the wills, trusts, and adding him to my apartment. I didn't even hesitate. Since I am beyond cautious on things like that -- Well, it really helps with the doubts still plaguing me. I was honestly talking to myself earlier -- Telling myself to shut up when I was cooking and the self-doubt was at its worst -- It honestly had me feeling like I was having another panic attack. Luckily, there was still a half bottle of Len's bourbon and after a couple of quick shots, I was fine. Well, not fine, but I managed to finish making dinner, set the table, and now here I am writing in this ridiculous journal.
Mostly, I'm just tired. I'm bone-deep tired. I honestly feel like I could sleep for a week and still need to sleep more. Is this what getting older is like? Or is it just the stress of everything weighing me down? I know physically, I'm still not healthy either, and I'm sure that doesn't help. I wish I had been able to go home to the desert for a few days. Hopefully, Georgia and time there with Len will heal me the same way.
I think I'm gonna rest for awhile. Len said he'd probably be pretty late getting everything wrapped up before he can disembark.
I'm getting nervous again. I think it's time for another drink and a bit of sleep.
To: Christopher Pike (email@example.com)
From: Leonard McCoy (firstname.lastname@example.org)
It's really a little ridiculous, me comming you when I saw you this morning and I'm going to see you again in just a couple hours. But I've gotten used to writing to you about what's going on in my life, and it would feel strange to stop now, when there's so much going on. Dr. Pagao says it's a good way for me to process events, getting them down in writing, and he's probably right. He's after me to start a personal journal, actually, for things that for whatever reason I can't or won't write to you about. I've been resisting the idea, mostly because I think I don't want to admit that anything exists that I can't or won't tell you about. Maybe one of these days I will start a journal, but right now - I don't know, there's some comfort in knowing that you're going to read these words. I think I need that connection right now. Writing to no one would seem pointless, or maybe just lonely.
Lonely's the last thing I'm feeling right now, though. Good god, Chris, I can't tell you how incredible it is to see you again, be with you, hear you and touch you and taste you and smell you. Last night, when I arrived back home, when the shuttle docked in San Francisco, my stomach was completely tied in knots. I was so afraid, Chris - afraid that you'd take one look at me and say it had all been a mistake, just the influence of that damn bug. I knew rationally that that didn't make any sense, but that didn't make any difference to how I felt.
Then I got to our apartment, and opened the door. It smelled like heaven, and I knew you'd been cooking for me. For us. I can't explain it, but somehow at that moment I knew it was going to be all right. I came in, dropped my bags, took off my boots, and walked through the apartment. You weren't in the kitchen - you'd put dinner under a stasis field, so I kept going, and somehow I knew I'd find you in the bedroom. Sure enough, there you were, asleep in our bed. I know some people look different when they sleep - Jim, for instance, looks like an absolute angel when he's sleeping, which we both know is a big fat lie - but you, Chris, you look just the same as you do when you're awake. You looked so sad, so careworn, and yet you had that determined set to your mouth that said you'd be damned if you'd go down without a fight. I looked at you sleeping and I fell in love with you all over again.
So I sat down next to you on the bed, as gently as I could, because I didn't want to wake you yet. I couldn't resist touching you, though, so I ran my fingers through your hair. You're getting some silver in your hair, you know. I hope you don't cover it up, because it makes you look so distinguished. I find it incredibly sexy.
Anyway, I don't know how long I sat like that, just stroking your hair and watching you sleep. It felt like a privilege, to be able to be that close to you while you slept so peacefully, all unaware. I know that you generally don't sleep very soundly, especially if there's someone else around, and you're liable to wake up at the first noise or touch. I guess your subconscious recognizes my presence, knows I'm not a threat. I like that, darlin'. I like it a lot.
You woke up gradually, which isn't your normal pattern. That tells me how sleep-deprived you are, and I'm gonna make sure you get plenty of rest this shore leave. But you stirred, and made this little murmuring sound, and then your eyes opened and you focused on me and you said "Len?" in a whisper, as if you couldn't quite believe I was there and I might disappear if you spoke too loud. My eyes were prickling when I said "Yeah, darlin', it's me." God, Chris, the look in your eyes - it was full of wonder, like you were seeing heaven for the first time. I leaned down to kiss you and I swear it's like the whole world was holding its breath. I've never had another kiss like that one, Chris. Nothing could ever compare to it. In some ways it was like a first kiss, only better, because I already know you inside and out, the same way you know me, and I already love you more than I love my own soul.
We were still kissing, and I could taste the bourbon on your breath, the bourbon that I bought last time we were here together in the city. The thought of you, sipping my whiskey and thinking about me, it turned me on so damned much. So I started undressing you, so slowly, worshipping you with kisses as I revealed each bit of skin, and then when you said "I want you inside me," I just said "I know, baby," because truly, Chris, I already did. I knew what you needed, what you were going to say before you even said it. I wanted to go slow, really make it last, make it special for you, but fuck, neither of us had the patience for that. So then I finished undressing us both and prepped you as fast as I could - I just needed to be buried in you right then, and I knew you needed to feel me.
God damn, Chris, the noise you made when I sank into you. Still not sure if it was a gasp or a sob or some combination, but good lord, it went straight through me. Then you wrapped those long legs of yours around my back and pulled me in until there was no space between us. I fucked you with deep, long strokes and we didn't break eye contact once. I don't think we even blinked. Then your eyes started streaming with tears and just for that moment, my heart stopped and I wanted to die. But then - then you were smiling, and it was the purest, sweetest smile I've ever witnessed and I knew that you felt it - that you felt all the love between us and that you knew it was real. I couldn't have waited any longer if I tried, so I just let it happen, my whole body tensing as I came inside of you. I fought like hell not to throw my head back, because I didn't want to look away from your eyes once - I wanted you to see me, to see all the way into me and know how I felt about you, in a deeper way than I could ever manage with words.
Then I kissed and licked away all of your tears as I worked you with my hand, and I murmured in your ear everything that I was thinking and feeling in that moment. I know I said some ridiculous things, Chris, but I'm telling you, I meant every word. I still do, even if I'd blush to say half of that stuff in the light of day. You seemed to like it, anyway, judging by the way you came apart under me, how you spilled into my hand with your mouth open and your eyes closed tight, with a groan that sounded like it was ripped from the deepest part of you.
I don't even know how long we lay there, kissing and touching, barely talking but not needing words, until finally my belly growled and you poked it and laughed at me. I don't think Chateaubriand is meant to be eaten in bed, but somehow we managed, which is a good thing because I don't think I could have stood not touching you for long enough to sit at the table and eat properly. Best meal I've ever eaten, Chris, hands down. Both the food and the company, and how goddamn happy I was to be there with you, you feeding me little bites.
Last night, I think we both got the best night's sleep either of us has had in months. I don't sleep right when you're not next to me. I'm spoiled for you. But good lord, when you are there, wrapped in my arms or with your arms wrapped around me - it's the best feeling in the world. It's idiotic, but it makes me feel safe in a way that I've never really felt before. So thank you for that. Thank you for everything, Chris. I really am the luckiest bastard in the galaxy to have you, and that's the god's honest truth.
Well, you'll be home soon so we can get ready for Matthew's wedding. Only you, Chris, would set up debriefing meetings on a Saturday morning right before your godson's wedding. I know you want to get your Starfleet obligations over with so we can get away, but your single-minded dedication to achieving whatever your goal is both impresses and amuses me. You're one of a kind, darlin'. I'm not sure whether I should send this, or save it and send it to you later, when we're out in the black. You know, there's something appealing about actually getting to be with you when you read one of my comms. I always wonder what your face looks like when you're reading, whether you smile or laugh or get hard, or whether you have on your blank mask that hides what you're feeling. So maybe I'll wait and show this to you when you get home.
I love you, Chris, and god, I know now to my bones that you love me. I hope you know it too.
Personal Journal of Christopher R. Pike
For once I'm staring at this blinking cursor, not because I'm not sure what to write, but because I have so much to write, so many feelings -- I'm overwhelmed. I have an extra hour right now before my next appointment, and since I doubt I will have a chance to write later, with the wedding and what I have planned after -- Well, I guess it's a good thing that Jim cancelled our lunch plans.
I guess I should start at the beginning. I actually fell asleep after my entry last night. Wasn't sure if I would, with my stomach twisted in a giant knot. I was exhausted though. Next thing I know, Len was sitting next to me on the bed, running his hands through my hair. I can't possibly describe that moment. I was convinced I was dreaming. I was groggy. But as soon as his lips touched mine -- I forgot how to breathe. I can't believe I'm typing this, but I swear to god, he breathed life back into me. All the fears of the last few months -- I swear, they just washed away as he kissed me, as he touched me, as he made love to me. I don't think our eyes left each other when he was inside me -- God, I've never felt anything like it. Just an amazing sense of peace.
We didn't talk; we didn't need to. I know Len said something once about me being his soulmate, and until last night, I wasn't sure if I really believed such a thing existed. Last night though, I swear I felt our souls entwining when he was inside me, the way he looked in my eyes, there was a -- hell, I don't know how to say it other than like there was a current between us that got stronger and stronger with every kiss, every breath, every stroke. It had nothing to do with sex either -- Not that it didn't feel amazing -- It was just more than that. A bond. I don't know how to explain it.
I wasn't even aware that I was crying until he started kissing the tears off my face, whispering words in my ears. I love you, darlin'. I'm yours. Always. You're my baby. I love so much. I love making you come. Making you shatter. Come on, baby, come for me. When I came, I didn't even recognize the sound that erupted from my throat. I think I literally sobbed as I came down from the euphoria. We just gently kissed and touched -- I'm not sure how long. I couldn't believe he was really there, and for the first time in my life -- I know what love is. I really truly do. It's the best feeling in the world. To love someone so much, that every bit of selfishness I have inside me just disappears, because I know I would do absolutely anything for him. Never in my life have I come close to feeling like that about anyone.
There is no doubt in my mind that he's the one I'm going to spend the rest of my life with. Right now, I wish we could start that life together, but I know it's going to be awhile. And I know it's not going to be easy. It almost seems silly now, all the fear, all the stress, all of the hell I put myself through questioning my thoughts, my feelings for him. I would almost laugh, except it's not funny. I literally almost killed myself over it. Not to mention how all of this had to affect him. All I know, is I'm the luckiest bastard in the universe. I'm not sure what I have done in my life to deserve someone like Leonard McCoy, but I thank God he's in my life. He's made me a better person; he makes me want to BE a better person. I can honestly say right now that I am truly, truly blessed.
Last night was the first night I have slept more than eight hours straight in weeks -- God, in I don't know how long. I may still be sleeping more than usual, but it's been four or five hours at a stretch most of the time lately. Waking up next to him this morning, watching him sleep, running my fingers through his hair like he did mine the night before. It was so hard to get out of bed knowing I had to come in here to work. I knew I had to, though, if I wanted us to be able to get out of here like we planned. So I reluctantly crawled out of bed, making sure I didn't wake him, and got in the shower. I had just finished washing my hair when Len stepped in. He looked tired, but happy, and our lips -- The only word is melded. God, the steaming shower, and his lips on mine, and his hands everywhere on me. I honestly didn't know -- well, if I'd get hard again so soon. I haven't been able to lately, since I am still recovering. But I did and God, I had to be inside him.
It certainly wasn't my best effort. I pushed him up against the wall and hastily used the body oil to prep him, but he didn't complain. The moment I pushed inside though -- God, I thought my legs weren't going to hold me up. I had to rest a moment with my head on his back, but then I slowly started pulling in and out. We didn't rush, we didn't talk. I wrapped my arms around him, and he wrapped the one not against the shower wall across mine. The rest is just a blur of steam, and water, and moans, and when I came -- God -- I couldn't move. Couldn't breathe again. I might have even blacked out. Because the next thing I remember was his strong arms around me, and the water washing down my front as he stood behind me, kissing my neck, and mumbling. I've got you. Never going to let you fall, baby. I've got you. And then being wrapped up, first in a towel and then in my robe, and being led to the bed, and a few minutes later a cup of coffee being pushed into my shaking hands. And he was just there next to me, reassuringly, as I came back. I think I scared him, truthfully. I might have even scared myself. I know he lectured me a bit, told me I was going to be taking at easy from now on. As much as I know he's right, and that I need to rest -- I need to -- well I need to fuck him more right now.
I had to convince him I was fine to come in here today, and I am. I talked to Dr. Rossen for a few minutes this morning in between appointments, and she assured me that my body and mind have been literally experiencing emotional shock for so many months, probably these last two years, and now that I'm finally really recovering, and free of the toxins, there are going to be moments that are overwhelming -- I need to expect that. Right now though, I'm so overwhelmed with love -- God, it's simply the best feeling in the world.
I cannot wait to go home to him -- to get dressed and go see my godson get married. He says he gets emotional at weddings -- I think today, I just might trump him on that.
As a special treat, mga1999 has written a real-time piece to accompany this chapter. It can be found here!