Authors: mga1999 and skyblue_reverie
Fandom & Pairing: Star Trek Reboot (aka AOS, ST XI, etc.), Pike/McCoy
Word Count: Around 6600
Summary: The correspondence and journals of Chris and Len. Chris and Len take the
A/N: From skyblue_reverie: Now I want a place like the Georgia farm. /whine mga1999: Hmm, only if it's never above 70 degrees and gives me a month of light snow. That can be arranged, right? :P
Click here for series masterlist with links to all prior parts
Personal Journal of Leonard H. McCoy
I'm back home. Lord, it's bizarre to write those words, to be back in this place. Even stranger to be here under these circumstances, sitting in what used to be my parents' bedroom and is now mine and Chris's. He's asleep. Luckily he fell asleep on his own, so I didn't have to sedate him. I would've, if I'd had to, but I don't like loading his system up with more drugs on top of everything he's already on, especially when his body is so out of whack already with the way he's been abusing it.
He collapsed yesterday morning in the hotel in Boca. Direct result of screwing with his meds, then pushing himself too hard physically and emotionally. I've got him stabilized as well as I can, given what I've got to work with, but I'm not going to be entirely sanguine until I've checked him out thoroughly at a fully-equipped medical facility. What I should do, as a Starfleet officer, is report that Admiral Christopher Pike has been experiencing uncontrolled neurological symptoms that lead me to question his fitness for command. God damn it. I hate being in this position. Not that there's a doubt in my mind what I'm actually going to do.
I've begged a few favors at St. Joseph's in Atlanta, where I did my residency. Thank god I still know some of the techs who work there. They're going to arrange it so I can get some time with the diagnostic equipment, off the record. I'll have to do all the scans and run all the bloodwork myself, but nothing will show on any official records that way. I'm sure that Chris's problems are just due to his idiocy with his meds, and I can get him stabilized and back to full health during our time here in Georgia. If not, though, I'm going to have to report him. He can't command a starship if he blacks out just walking across a room. I'd risk my career for him in a heartbeat -- in fact, that's exactly what I'm doing, since if it gets out that I've done this, my Starfleet career will be over and my medical license will be in jeopardy. If that happens, so be it. But what I won't do is risk the lives of the men and women on the Exeter by letting him resume his command if he's not back to full health. Hell, I know he wouldn't risk his crew either, so if he's not back at 100%, I'm sure he'll ground himself, much as it would kill him.
I've explained all this to him -- well, maybe more like ranted at him during one of my lectures yesterday. Not sure how much he really took it in, though, since he was pretty out of it. I'll go over it again tomorrow. We won't be going in to get the testing done for about a week -- that was the soonest they had unscheduled time on all the equipment I'm going to need. So for now, I'll just make sure he takes it easy. At least he seems to be fairly docile about following medical orders, for the moment.
One good effect this has had is that I haven't had any time to dwell on my bad memories of this place. Hell, I haven't spared a thought for Jim in a couple days either. And I really couldn't care less what the goddamn press is saying about me and Chris and our torrid May-December affair or whatever the hell they're calling it today.
Good lord. Just had a thought. If the press gets wind of Chris's medical condition, the shit is really going to hit the fan. I'll have to somehow get him into St. Joseph's without being seen. God damn it. Chris has more experience dealing with all of that than I do, maybe he'll have some ideas. I hope so, but come hell or high water he is getting a full workup.
Despite all of this shit -- and good god, it has been a lot of shit -- my commitment to him, to us, hasn't been shaken one iota. I wonder if some of this crap, his recklessness with his health, exposing me to the press, and to all of his family at the party, what we did at his tailor's, even the fight and the fucking the other night - I wonder if in some way he's testing me, testing my resolve. Making me prove myself to him. Not that he'd admit it, or even necessarily realize he was doing it. That makes a lot of sense, actually - it fits right in with his psych profile.
Whatever tests he wants to throw at me, though, whatever hoops he wants to make me jump through, I'm in this thing. He knows what my dealbreaking buttons are, and if he really wanted to get rid of me, it wouldn't be that hard. All this other stuff that he's throwing at me, well, I can take it. Wish I didn't have to, but if wishes were fishes we'd walk on the sea, as my mama used to say. I feel closer to her than I have in a long time, actually, being here. There's plenty of good history here too, and I'm glad I'm getting the chance to realize that, or remember it.
I'm getting ahead of myself though. We ended up staying at a hotel in Savannah last night. It would've been too late to try to push all the way through and get here in one night. We both slept well, and we slept in relatively late, and I insisted that we sit down and have a good breakfast before we hit the road. Chris felt strong enough to drive after that, and despite some misgivings, I let him. The drive was peaceful. We talked quietly about this and that, or sometimes we were just silent, taking in the scenery. It was a good silence, though. Comfortable.
I got more and more tense as we got closer, though. Chris could tell, but he didn't say anything, just kept shooting worried glances at me, and touching me reassuringly, putting his hand on my leg. We'd talked about stopping in Atlanta before heading out here, but I was too wound up to have enjoyed it at all, so we decided to skip it. We got here around midday.
I don't know what I expected, exactly, but god damn, I didn't expect what I saw. It looked exactly like I remember from my childhood. Down to the same kind of flowers in the windowboxes. Annie must've dug up some old holos and replicated the way everything looked in 'em. It was all I could do not to start crying. I almost expected my mama to step out onto the porch and tell me not to keep my visitor waiting outside in the heat, that she had iced tea ready for us inside.
Chris -- well, at first he looked so damn proud, he was practically fit to burst with it. My jaw was open and I couldn't say anything at all. After a minute, though, I think he realized that it was all just a little overwhelming for me. He took my hand, asked me if I was all right. I don't think I even answered him. He turned me until I was facing him, put his hands on either side of my face, made me look at him. He talked to me until I calmed down. I don't even know what he said. Just soothing nonsense, I guess.
After a while, I started feeling a bit more like myself. He asked if I needed to sit down, but I said I wanted to take the tour. I knew it was going to be hard, but I needed to face it, get it done. So I showed him all around. I know there were places where my tears were overflowing, but there were also places where I was smiling or laughing, explaining some silly quirk of the place, like the half-height closet under the stairs that used to be my favorite hide-out. Good lord, I remember playing "doctor" with Rebecca Howard in there when we were both far too young to understand the significance of our physical differences.
After all that, I think I must've looked a bit dazed again, because Chris sat me down in the kitchen, at the old pine table we always used to eat breakfast at, and he put together a quick lunch for us from the supplies Annie had left. It was almost surreal, eating there again, this time with Chris, with everything that's happened since I last sat at that table.
After lunch, well, Chris was looking ready to collapse, and I needed some time alone to deal with being back here. He said he didn't want to sleep in the master bed without me, so he lay down on the overstuffed sofa in the front room for a nap, and I took a ramble around the grounds. Some of it's pretty badly overgrown, but I can see the bones of how it all used to be, and it wouldn't take that much to get it back in good shape. For the first time in years, that actually seems like something I want to do.
When I got back, Chris was awake, poking around my daddy's old study. He'd found some holo-albums in there. We spent the rest of the afternoon looking through those, with me telling him stories from my past. Sometimes I just got quiet, looking at something that triggered a particularly strong memory, and Chris just let me alone when I needed that. Good god, I'm damn grateful that he was here when I came back here for the first time. I honestly think I might've turned tail and run if he hadn't been with me.
In the evening, after dinner, we vidcommed Annie, since we'd promised. By that time, I was mostly pretty collected, so I was able to sincerely thank her for everything she'd done at the place. She was so excited, asking me if I'd noticed this or that detail. I had to smile at her enthusiasm.
Afterward, Chris just looked at me with a question in his eyes, and I knew exactly what he was asking. I took his hand, led him up the creaky old stairs and into the master bedroom. This room, at least, looks a little different than it used to, which is a relief. New curtains, new sheets, and a red-and-white quilt of my grandmother's that I'm pretty sure I've never seen before, though it's got her embroidered signature in the corner. It's a wedding ring quilt. Wonder if Annie picked that one on purpose. Having met her, I'd bet she did. Don't think much gets by her. Wonder if Chris knows what that particular pattern is called, or what it signifies.
When we got to the room, Chris just stood there, waiting for me to take the lead. I took his face in my hands, and kissed him, slow and soft. It got deeper, but I kept it slow. I ran my fingers through his hair, again and again. I moved on to his jaw and neck, kissing him over and over and then unbuttoning his shirt. He just looked at me while I undressed him and then myself. We were both so solemn. It almost felt... well, the only word I can think of is sacred. That's how it felt to me, anyway. I led him over to the bed and laid him down on it. Then I covered him up with my body, leaning down over him. We kissed and touched for a long time; I don't even know how long. When I'd pushed us both as far as our endurance could take, I prepared him, put one of his legs over my shoulder, and slid into him, still holding his gaze. He had his hands on my arms, clutching at my biceps as I moved over him. I worked him slow and steady with my hand, and when we both came, it felt like letting go. Like falling into each other.
I rested my forehead against his, and just breathed him in for a while. Eventually I collapsed next to him, and he moved naturally into my arms, resting his head on my shoulder, and I covered us up with the blankets. We just lay like that, not talking and not needing to talk. Finally his breathing evened out, and I could tell he was asleep. We'll have to wash the sheets tomorrow, and I'm sure we'll be a sticky mess when we get up, but it was worth it. It was perfect.
I'll get back in bed in just a second, but I wanted to get down all these impressions before I forgot them. Feels like something momentous happened today. I claimed my place as head of the McCoy clan, such as it is. And I claimed Chris as my mate. Whatever happens in the future, for this moment, in this place, he belongs to me. It feels right.
Personal Journal of Christopher R. Pike
It's early. Once again, I've woken up much earlier than usual. It's so quiet out here. Much quieter than my place in Mojave. Of course, if there weren't the farm animals there it would probably be the same. Len is still asleep. So I slipped out and took a shower, and I'm sitting here in the kitchen sipping decaf and reading news. I really tried not to look at what was said about Len and I, but it was kind of hard to miss when it made the front page of even the legitimate news sites. I didn't look further than the headlines though, and I don't plan to either. I learned long ago not to bother. It just raises your blood pressure and you can't do anything about it anyway.
I don't even know where to start about yesterday. So I guess the beginning is a good place. We left Savannah late morning. He sedated me Saturday night, despite my slight protests. Yes, I was still stupid enough to try to reason with him. In the end, I just let him do it. I will admit here, but certainly not to him, that I do feel better. Of course sleeping ten hours straight will do that to you, and then another eight last night. We had a late breakfast and then he 'humored' me by letting me drive. I did notice his white knuckles holding onto the armrest.
They only got worse as we got close to his place. I didn't really know what to expect -- How he'd react. I'm glad we waited until daylight instead of getting in late Saturday night. His face when we finally pulled up -- God, the way his eyes got bigger, and there was a hint of a smile, but then -- I don't know, it's hard to explain. It's like he froze. His mouth was open, and I don't think he was even breathing. I had to grab his face and talk to him, telling him to breathe and that it was okay and just reassuring him that he wasn't alone. That helped, and we went inside. It was almost like he was seeing the place again as a child, if that makes sense. We held hands as he showed me the entire house, telling me little facts and memories. There were tears running down his face at times, but I just let him do what he needed at his own pace. I felt a bit -- Well, I felt helpless and unsure what he needed, what my place with him was.
When he looked like he was getting overwhelmed again, I pulled him downstairs and into the kitchen and sat him down at the kitchen table. Annie had done an amazing job of filling the fridge, so I quickly made us a few sandwiches. There was a full pitcher of lemonade in there and I poured us each a glass. She had put fresh flowers on the table, too, and we sat and ate in relative silence, each of us running through standard update messages from Starfleet on our comms.
After lunch, I was already worn out again, and I sensed he needed some time alone, so I took a nap on the big sofa in the sunroom in the front. Beautiful screened room with old-fashioned ceiling fans hanging throughout. It was pretty warm, but with the fans, I fell asleep quickly.
I didn't find Len in the house when I woke up an hour or so later, and figured he was out walking the property. I had no idea where to look for him, so I wandered into his father's study, made a few calls to the spacedock where the Exeter is to see how repairs are going. So far, they're on schedule, but they are just getting to the heavily damaged areas so it's possible they'll find more.
I had just pulled a few holo albums from the shelf and was looking through them when Len walked in. He looked a bit calmer, but I could tell it was still all a bit overwhelming for him. We took the albums back to the sunroom and spent some time looking through them. He'd tell me stories that went with the pictures. Sometimes he got quiet, and I just let him be until he was ready to move on. There was laughter, there were a few tears, but I felt honored to be here with him. To be able to help him face the ghosts that have been haunting him for too long. I honestly don't know how much I really helped, but later, he told me he wouldn't have been able to do this without me, and I admit that made me feel pretty damn good.
Dinner was delicious. Not only had Annie stocked supplies, she also did some cooking. There was a dish of the eggplant lasagna that I love so much, plus several others we'll just need to warm up. God, I love that woman. We vidcomm'd her after dinner, and thanked her and talked to her for awhile. She was so thrilled that Len was so touched and happy with everything she did. I know one thing, if I screw things up with Len, I'm not only going to have Jim and half of the Enterprise bridge crew to contend with, I think at this point Annie would turn on me too and kick my proverbial ass.
The best part of yesterday came after our comm. I was already getting tired again, and was worried -- Well, I didn't exactly want to fall asleep on Len before we'd made it up to the master bedroom. He seemed to understand, and grabbed my hand and led me upstairs.
We hadn't really gone in the master bedroom when he gave me the tour earlier. We'd just stood at the open door. So when we got there, he hesitated a moment before going in. After that, there wasn't a moment of hesitation. He completely took over and I just let him. The bed was beautiful. Hundreds of years old, beautifully restored and kept up over time. And the quilt that Annie put on it -- It was beautiful, and I know what it is. It's a wedding quilt. I doubt either Annie or Len thought I'd know that, and I'm sure Annie chose that one purposely. I had a great-grandmother who quilted too, but her quilts were passed down to female members of the Pike family.
The sex - God, it was amazing. He's amazing. It may sound a bit suspect, but there was something about being there with him, in that bed. It was almost like another piece of our relationship -- of us -- cemented into place. Like little by little over all this time, we're truly -- God, I don't even know how to describe it. I guess after last night, and after everything we've been through, I truly feel bonded to him. It feels right. And it's scary as hell to type this, but it feels like -- well, how it should when it's forever.
I'm not sure I believed in forever before. I've never really thought like that. I've always lived in the moment. Even though I married, I never really felt like 'this is the person I'm spending the rest of my life with.' It was never like that. Even with Robin. Sure, if things were different, I may have. But I never really thought of forever with them.
When I'm with Len, the way I feel about him -- I'm not sure if forever will be long enough.
Personal Journal of Christopher R. Pike
Well, today ended up being interesting. I was feeling sleepy again after I finished my last entry, so I went back upstairs and curled up behind Len. He barely stirred, and we slept another hour or so. I woke up again first, and Len was still sleeping pretty soundly. That surprised me, but I suppose the emotion of yesterday -- I think he was just spent. I was comfortable and happy so I just stayed, closing my eyes and drowsing again until I felt him starting to stir.
I had been hard off and on all morning, but when he stretched and his ass pushed into my cock, I couldn't wait any longer. I grabbed the lube from the nightstand behind me and poured some on my hand. I kissed the back of his neck and across his shoulder before biting down at the same time as my lubed hand grabbed his cock. Once he was hard, I rolled him forward slightly, lubed my fingers up again, and quickly got him ready for me. Like last night, neither of us said anything. We both know the intense need we have for each other at times, and this was one of them.
When he was ready, I rolled him back toward me and lifted his leg up and over my elbow, as I slid into him from behind. Fuck, he felt good. I still cannot fathom how good it is with him every single time. I took my time, fucking him slowly, kissing his neck, nipping on his ear, breathing heavily into it. It was heady, so much so that I whispered words into his ear that I don't recall exactly, but basically telling him that I was making him mine in this bed as well.
He turned his head back, twisting and pressing his lower body even more against me so he could reach my mouth. He wrapped his arm around my head as we kissed. I swear sometimes the hottest thing about him is kissing him while he's moaning into my mouth -- Feeling his breath hot on my face. I sped up, and told him to jerk himself off. I pulled his knee up higher and really started driving into him, hitting his prostate over and over. God, it was beautiful to watch him from behind like this, the look of pleasure on his face. He literally looked drugged and damn if I didn't get off on the fact that I made him that way. A few more thrusts and I was coming inside him. Len was still moaning, and I could tell by the hitching in his breath he was getting close.
I don't know how I did it, because I was barely able to move after I came, but I just had to taste him. I slid out, scooted back, pulled him over and took him into my mouth. A couple licks and I swallowed him down, sucking hard and fast. He came, bucking into my mouth as I watched him -- So fucking gorgeous as I swallowed all of it down and licked him clean. I stayed there, my chin on his hip as I watched him, mouth still open, breathing hard, tongue licking across his upper lip. And then he smiled, still lying there with his head back and God, I was gone. Completely. My heart, with God as my witness, it skipped a beat. Several, in fact. Len doesn't smile enough, but when he does -- Just -- God.
His hand came down to my head, but the rest of him still hadn't moved. He ran his hand through my hair and I closed my eyes at the feel of it. Finally, it slowed, and he whispered come here, and I crawled up with what little strength I had until our mouths met, tongues tangling as we turned on our sides towards each other and just kissed, and kissed, our hands in each other's hair, our legs entwined, and kept kissing until I swear my lips felt raw. I didn't care though. I didn't want it to stop.
Of course it did. In the form of Len's comm beeping. He rolled back enough to grab it off the nightstand. At which point he muttered several expletives and said the hospital had a cancellation and if we hurried he could go use me as a human lab rat. Well, those are my words, not his, but it's the truth. Instead of lying in bed and drowsing with Len, I was ordered into the shower and we were in the hover-car fifteen minutes later, and he even gave me permission to go as fast as I wanted. Talk about scary.
He was worried that I might be recognized, and if the press got wind of us going to the hospital -- Well, I agree, that wouldn't be good. So Len made a quick call at my suggestion to see if we could go in some kind of service entrance. I activated the top and darkened the windows on the hover-car before we got there. I was directed to land on a certain roof and we got in the same elevator the shuttles and ambulances use.
Once inside, we were headed to fairly isolated areas, so other than an orderly or a nurse, we didn't pass anyone until we got to the diagnostic lab that Len had arranged to use. I was a bit surprised when Len greeted the lab technician with a handshake that turned into a hug. Granted, I know he used to work here, but he never talks about anyone from his past. I think he mentioned a couple people from his Georgia days that he kept in touch with. I will have to ask him later.
He introduced me quickly to his friend Mark, who, after a few quick words with Len about one of the machines, disappeared and it was just us. I felt a bit awkward. This was the first time since he left on the Enterprise that he personally examined me. Granted, he's kept a pretty good eye on me whenever we've been together, but this was a complete physical. And I have to say, I think I understand now why ethically, they say doctors shouldn't treat family, because it was different now that we're together.
Thorough doesn't even begin to describe Dr. Leonard McCoy. I really tried to cooperate, but frankly having this thrown at me so suddenly -- Well, I not only got the look, but the eyebrow a couple of times too. It wasn't until after about three different tests that I noticed he was carefully transferring everything to his personal PADD and then erasing the results from the machine. I know he had mentioned that it would have to be off the record, but fuck -- I guess I really didn't think of the ramifications. He's risking a lot for me. Hell, his entire medical career -- all because I'm a stubborn idiot. I even tried to make a joke about looking for brain damage, but he wasn't amused. He's very serious when he's working. I finally just shut up and let him finish.
He didn't seem too happy when we were done. He told me he had to run the blood and a few other things himself in another area. What he said next, though, was what really surprised me. He suggested I go back to the house. He said he'd be a few hours and there was no reason for me to stick around. He wanted me to go home and rest. And he said that Mark was off about the time he'd be done and had offered to bring him home, and it would be nice to catch up with him. I honestly felt like I was getting the brush-off. I didn't like feeling like that. I deserve it, though. He did give me a kiss and walked me back to the elevator to take me to the roof.
So here I am at home. I napped for two hours. Took care of some Starfleet business. Talked to Annie and my parents. Len commed that they'd be here in about an hour and said he'd invited Mark to stay for dinner. So I pulled some steaks out, have fresh vegetables ready to steam, and potatoes ready to bake. Len told me we'd talk later when I asked him about the results, and I'll admit, I'm a little nervous. Not just about that, but also because Len has been acting a bit strange since we got to the hospital.
I hope my idiocy hasn't screwed things up with us.
Personal Journal of Leonard H. McCoy
God damn, that was an awkward dinner. Almost as fun as the time one of Jim's one-night stands invited herself to sit with us in the Academy mess hall and spent the entire meal throwing herself at me in some misguided attempt to make Jim jealous.
Chris did not like Mark, or maybe he just resented his presence, intruding on our limited time together. Not that I blame him. It wouldn't have been my first choice either, but after what Mark risked for both of us today, it would have been churlish not to at least offer him a meal.
Let me back up, though. The day started out perfect, with Chris waking me up by preparing me and then pushing into me from behind. He fucked me slowly, murmuring about how I'd made him mine, and now he was making me his, and how we both belonged to this place, and to each other, forever. I think it's the first time he's used that word out loud, and it thrills me as much as it scares me. I want forever with him, more than anything. But I swore I'd never put myself in this position again, never get in so deep that I could be hurt as badly as I was with Joss. Now, with Chris -- well, it's too late for that. I'm in deeper with him than I ever was with Joss. He makes me believe it's possible, though. Forever, I mean.
We were lazing around in bed, just catching our breath, when my comm went off. It was Mark, at the hospital -- they'd had a cancellation and I could get in on the diagnostic equipment I needed if we left in a hurry. So I practically pushed Chris into the shower and rushed us out the door. He wasn't thrilled about it, but he's still feeling guilty about how he screwed up with the meds, so he went along with it without too much fuss. At his suggestion, I commed ahead to Mark and got him to secure the rooftop so we could land there without going in the public entrance. Technically, the rooftop landing pad is supposed to be only for official vehicles, but once in a while a celebrity or politician or someone else who doesn't want to be seen for whatever reason manages to get permission. Permission we didn't have, naturally. Good lord, I hate sneaking around. Makes me feel jumpy as hell and guilty as sin.
When we got inside, Mark greeted us. I tried to shake his hand, but he pulled me in for a hug. He's always been a touchy-feely one. Anyway, he was a lifesaver today. He ran interference with the staff over the hovercar being parked on the roof, made sure we were undisturbed, and then after I did Chris's exam, he stayed with me while I ran all the tests. I had no authorization to be doing what I was doing, and if I'd been caught -- well, it would have been bad. For me and for Mark too. He'd have lost his job, no question about it, and we both could have faced criminal charges as well. But he stuck by my side so if we were questioned, he could say he was running some tests for patients and I'd just been helping him out, since I was in town and I'd come by to visit him today. Not exactly kosher, but not as serious a violation as running off-the-record tests on a Starfleet Admiral who isn't a patient at the hospital and whose doctor-slash-lover has no privileges at that hospital. I'd sent Chris home already -- there wasn't anything he could do, and his presence would have just complicated the situation if we were caught, and made us more noticeable and more likely to be questioned in the first place. Especially since he's fairly recognizable.
It was nice to get a chance to talk to Mark, although it was also a trip down memory lane for me, and most of the memories from that time aren't exactly sunshine and rainbows. But he either knew that or picked up on it, because he kept it light, just reminiscing about pranks some of the staff used to pull on each other, and catching me up on the latest gossip. There was an awkward moment when I asked after his wife and found out that he's been divorced for over a year now. But then he said that he was ready to date again, and he had a crush on some starlet and maybe Chris could introduce them, since according to the tabloids she's his secret love-child. I got mock-huffy and asked him what he was insinuating about my boyfriend. He said that he was insinuating that he's a sexy beast who's irresistible to male and female alike and would have beautiful, talented children. I laughed and had to agree with all of that.
He seemed a bit lonely, and with all he'd done for me, I just couldn't let him go home to an empty house, so I invited him to come to dinner. As soon as it was out of my mouth I realized I should have asked Chris first. But Mark was so damn thrilled that I didn't have the heart to take it back. So I commed Chris and told him Mark would be coming over. I could tell right away that Chris was -- not angry, exactly, but maybe a bit irritated and a little hurt. I was just hoping I hadn't screwed up too badly by inviting Mark.
I had, though. Chris was exhausted from all the tests today, and still not recovered from the health problems he brought on himself, and that's a combination that's bound to make him testy anyway. Then when I brought Mark home, without clearing it first... I don't know. Maybe he was jealous of Mark? That's ridiculous, though. Good god, Chris knows how much I love him and how badly I want him. How could he think I'd ever look in any other direction? I guess jealousy's not rational, though.
Anyway, I'm not sure if Mark noticed anything was off, since he'd never met Chris before today. Chris was definitely more stiff and formal tonight than he usually is. In fact, he was treating Mark the way I've seen him talk to a few alien dignitaries and a couple other Starfleet officers -- anyone he doesn't trust farther than he can spit. There were a handful of those at the Officers' Ball and I could instantly tell the difference in his manner, even though he was still faultlessly polite. I don't think Mark picked up on it. At least, if he did, he didn't let on. I felt awkward as all hell, though, trying to keep the peace, to be hospitable to Mark without riling Chris anymore.
Thank god Mark had an early shift tomorrow, so he excused himself fairly soon after dinner. I saw him off, and thanked him again for what he did for me today. I owe him one. Of course, he damn well knows it and told me that he'd be saving his marker for a rainy day. Fair enough, though.
When I got back inside, Chris had done the dishes and disappeared upstairs. Maybe he's just tired, or maybe he's pissed off. After I finish this up, I'll go on up and face the music. Guess there's no time like the present. At least, thank god, there's nothing wrong with him that a week or so of taking it easy and taking his damn medicines won't cure. I can face his moodiness, as long as I know he's safe and healthy.
Personal Journal of Leonard H. McCoy
Huh. Maybe there's something to be said for this talking business after all.
I went upstairs last night, worried that I'd screwed up by bringing Mark over for dinner, and it turns out Chris was worried that I was mad at him. We both tried to apologize simultaneously, and then we both tried to insist that the other one go first. It was like one of those old comedy routines. Finally we managed to work it out, and we were both so relieved we practically collapsed into each other's arms. I told him that he's fine, physically, that he just needs rest. He promised to take it easy and to actually listen to me if I told him he was pushing himself too hard. It didn't escape my notice that he didn't actually promise that he'd stop what he was doing if I told him he was pushing himself too much, but I suppose I can't expect miracles. I am starting to catch onto his tricks, though.
We were both too worn out to get up to anything frisky, but we kissed and held each other until we fell asleep, and I woke up this morning wrapped in his arms.
The sun's just rising now. Chris is still sleeping, and I'm sitting in bed next to him, writing this on my comm unit. I think I'll propose that we just have a quiet, lazy day at home. I know we could both use it. For now, I'm going to go make some breakfast. Maybe those peach waffles that Chris liked so much last time I made 'em. Well, maybe I'll just catch a few more winks first.
On to Part 27