“Can you please try to stay on the ship for a while? I’m tired of patching up your injuries every time you beam down to some god-forsaken planet,” McCoy grumbled as he swabbed Jim’s arm with a dermal regenerator.
Jim smiled, wondering if Bones remembered that he had in fact sustained his most serious injury while on board the Enterprise. Though Jim had knocked himself about so many times since then, it was unlikely Bones would recall it; this was Jim’s third visit to Medbay in as many weeks. Which made a change from previous weeks when he’d only come there for stalking purposes.
Jim laughed out loud, thinking about his loitering in Medbay. This inevitably brought his mind back to the still-unfinished task of finding somewhere he and Khan could spend the night together without being interrupted or discovered…
“Jim… Jim?!” McCoy was nearly shouting.
“Huh?” Jim blinked and looked up, realising that he’d been staring at nothing, eyes unfocussed, his attention drawn inward to thoughts of when he’d made that promise.
“I said, your temperature just spiked and your resps have increased, are you all right?”
Jim flushed. “Uh…yeah,” he said, trying to keep his face expressionless and failing. Fortunately (or not), McCoy apparently thought Jim was just hiding an additional injury.
“You didn’t catch yourself on a thorn or any other part of a plant when you grazed yourself, did you? Some kind of toxin…?”
Jim nearly laughed. “No, no!” he said too fast. “I’m fine.”
McCoy’s gaze flicked to the biobed readout and then back at his patient. “Well, your temp’s coming down now but your face is all red. Just a sec.” He made his way across the large room to a darkened corner. Along the far wall, half-hidden behind a large piece of equipment Jim couldn’t readily identify, stood a self-contained cubicle Jim didn’t recall noticing before. McCoy disappeared behind it and emerged a moment later holding an honest-to-god textbook. He flipped through it and skimmed a few pages, then snapped it shut.
“What is it, Bones?” Jim asked as McCoy set the book down on the biobed opposite and picked up his medical tricorder again. He could feel his face slowly cooling, and he hoped Bones wouldn’t stay worried or suspicious much longer.
“What? Oh, nothing. Just looking up a type of poison I’d read about some time ago. It’s contagious through sweat and you were showing a couple of the symptoms just now. Wanted to make sure you –”
“Weren’t going to poison you?” Jim quipped.
“No,” Bones smiled. “There’s an antidote anyway, but you seem to be okay now. Feeling better?”
“Yeah, fine,” Jim said. “What is that thing, anyway?” he asked, motioning to the cubicle.
“What?” Bones looked around to see what Jim was referring to. “Oh, that’s the quarantine cubicle. Don’t use it now, we have the cabins next to Medbay instead which are much more practical. I keep it around for emergencies and for anyone that I can’t wrangle into the rooms.”
“What do you mean?” Jim tried not to sound too curious, but McCoy’s comment about the cubicle not being used had piqued his interest. Especially as it stood in a secluded, poorly-lit and rarely-used part of Medbay.
“Well, the biobed in that thing’s bigger for a start, so if the patient is, say, a Gorn, it’ll fit better than on the standard issue beds.” Bones liked to mention that Gorn story any chance he got, even though Jim had got an earful of it back in their Academy days. “But it’s too cramped to effectively look after someone, barely room to swing a cat. When it’s in use, I have to do everything remotely – a bit like the brig – rather than just put on a biosuit and walk around, like I can with the rooms next door.”
McCoy’s reference to the brig sent Jim’s thoughts to the brig’s occupant, which did nothing to help his blood pressure. Luckily the doctor wasn’t looking at any of Jim’s readings just then.
Squinting at the cubicle, Jim could see that there were heavy blinds to protect the interior from light, but the individual rooms would be better for that, too. He concentrated on breathing deeply, hoping to calm down a bit, and scanned Medbay. There were several doors into the unit, the main one being on the opposite side of the room from the cubicle, meaning that the cubicle wasn’t likely to get a lot of traffic passing by it. Already Jim was envisioning nights spent rolling around on that biobed, blinds pulled closed, warm breath in his face –
“It runs off the same air-circulation mechanism that’s used for the isolation rooms in the corridor, so it’s quiet at least. It’s soundproofed too. I’ll know that for the next time I have to deal with a Gorn in labor.” McCoy went on, interrupting Jim’s musings.
“Huh…” Jim said absently, having heard nothing past the word soundproofed.
Once again, McCoy’s attention was drawn to the display above Jim’s head. “Jim, I seriously think you’ve contracted something. Your bio-readings are all over the place.”
“I’m fine, Bones,” Jim assured him, rolling off the bed. The array of numbers and graphs disappeared as he broke contact with the bed’s sensors, though Jim knew they’d been recorded. He hoped Bones would be distracted or too busy to review them later. “I promise to shout if I start feeling unwell, okay? But for now, I have a ship to run.” He threw his gold tunic over his black undershirt and with one last surreptitious glance at the quarantine cubicle, walked towards the main door of Medbay.
Later that evening, Jim strolled down the darkened corridor that led to the small Medbay access nearest the quarantine cubicle. This door was smaller than the main Medbay entrance and needed either his or McCoy’s access code to open from the corridor side.
If Bones was there, Jim was prepared to ask if he wanted to get a drink or play squash or do something, anything, but luck was with him. No one noticed him enter. From his position in the shadows, Jim could see the three gamma shift personnel, all engrossed in activities in the more brightly-lit and active parts of Medbay. If this was standard, he and Khan might be able to enter the room and sequester themselves in the cubicle without being seen. Jim took the opportunity to slink over to the cubicle and investigate its locking device. As with most secure devices, it appeared to be programmable, which was a huge advantage. And if this device conformed to standard ship’s habitation protocol, it couldn’t be opened by anyone not possessing the occupant’s chosen combination. That combination could, of course, also be over-ridden by the captain or the doctor. But Bones himself had indicated he never used the thing, except obviously as a repository behind which to dump stuff he rarely needed.
Not being in use now for its primary purpose, the cubicle’s door was unlocked. Jim snuck in and quickly scanned the tiny room. There was nothing inside but a few tubes and trays and an old-fashioned centrifuge on a low table, and a pile of neatly folded but well-worn linen sheets atop the medbed. An area separated by a sturdy partition off to one side held a toilet, small sink, and a real water shower (Jim was grateful medical regulations stipulated as much).
It was perfect.
Jim pulled the blinds and waited ten minutes to see if his actions or his presence would be discovered. Nothing happened. He stuck his head out the door and risked a glance towards the main part of Medbay. Only one person remained and he was sitting a fair distance away, his back to Jim, facing the main entrance.
It was Jim's plan to sleep here, just to see what a typical night in Medbay would be like, and how easy it might be to use the place. Before retiring, he tested the soundproofing by dropping a tray onto the floor. It made a racket, but no one came to investigate, and he replaced the tray on the table.
He undressed and slid into the surprisingly comfortable bed. Staring up at the unfamiliar hermetically-sealed ceiling, Jim wondered if this latest plan was just going to get him further into trouble. Then again, maybe it was worth it…
”I’m – I’m not going to last long,” Jim panted into Khan’s hair. He buried his face in it, nuzzling even closer.
“Un-surprising,” Khan grunted back, arms clasping around Jim even more tightly. He pushed upwards rhythmically and in glorious counterpoint to Jim’s thrusts.
“Shffffp,” Jim squeaked. He couldn’t tell if Khan was teasing or not, but he hadn’t had sex this good in, well, ages, and if Khan was disappointed with its duration, he wasn’t the only one. Jim forced himself to slow his pace, when every sense told him to keep going and speed up.
Finally able to take a deep breath as Khan’s arms loosened around him, Jim felt long fingers trace up and down his spine. He smiled into Khan’s neck. Teasing, he decided.
After long moments of lazy, sensual movement, Jim stopped again and whispered against Khan’s warm skin, “You just feel too damned good…”
The response was a sigh. “As do you.”
Surprised, Jim lifted up to look into those uncanny eyes, searching for scorn, or at least amusement. But he found none. As Jim began moving again, Khan’s eyes closed, his breath deepening. Obviously he wasn’t as unaffected as he’d tried to sound. Delighted, Jim lowered his head and kissed him, long and slow, and wonderful.
Jim jolted awake.
Clearly he’d slept well for being in a strange bed. Almost too well. The warmth of the filtered air inside the room had lulled him to sleep easily, and his plans for this place had obviously influenced his thoughts enough that he was dreaming about their last encounter. Blinking, he squinted at the chronometer by the bed. He’d only been asleep for three hours; still plenty of time to get a good night’s rest…after he tested out the cold setting on the room’s shower.
Jim made sure that he woke long before Medbay’s alpha shift staff was due to come on duty. He watched as the gamma shift went about their early-morning routine. Not once did anyone venture outside the lighted areas of the cavernous room.
Anyone who worked in Medbay would see nothing awry anyway, aside from the cubicle’s blinds being closed. If they investigated they’d find the door locked, presumably by McCoy, and they’d assume he had his reasons – running light-sensitive tests or something. In any case, no one would have the combination to unlock the door. The only thing they could do was change the sound setting in order to hear inside the room, but it was unlikely anyone would do that if they thought the place empty. Jim would make sure the soundproofing was set to the highest level before using the place. It made sense that it would be the default setting; Bones had all but said as much.
Jim snuck out at 07:15 and went to his cabin to shower (a warm, but sonic one this time) and to change. He made it to the bridge earlier than usual, eager for the day to pass quickly. Later that evening, he’d tell Khan about the discovery. He’d do more than tell him; Jim was getting tired of sleeping with memories…
“Some scientific project,” Jim said nonchalantly to the guard in the brig. The guard didn’t even look up, just nodded. “Probably going on for a while, so he’ll be away most evenings. Find me if there’s a problem.” Although, that might prove more difficult than usual. Yesterday, Jim had reprogrammed the personal sensors for both himself and Khan: anyone looking for either of them now would have to comm rather than just check the ship’s display for their whereabouts.
“Yes sir,” the guard said, and pressed in the combination of numbers onto his console in order to unlock the door to Khan’s cell.
From the corner of his eye, Jim could see Khan stand and raise an eyebrow at the conversation, but Jim ignored him and smiled at the guard. “Thanks. Have a good night.” A little conversation and interest in his crew never went amiss, even when he was deceiving them. Jim didn’t dwell on that aspect of this arrangement. Technically, he was deceiving Bones as well, and he was pretty much used to that.
Khan joined him next to the guard’s station and Jim led the way out of the brig. “Are you sure you don’t want the manacles, Captain?” he asked as they reached the turbolift
Jim nearly tripped over his own feet at the suggestive tone in the man’s voice. “Shut up,” he muttered, as the doors closed in their faces.
“Am I really being taken to Medbay this time?” Khan asked as the turbolift rose.
Jim kept his gaze to the front, trying to stay as professional as possible, but he could feel Khan's gaze directed at him. He knew if he gave Khan any more attention than was necessary at the moment, his body would start betraying him the instant he strayed from the role of prisoner escort. “Yes.”
“So, you’ve failed with the task set you,” Khan said, and Jim may have imagined the slight tinge of disappointment he thought he heard in Khan’s tone.
“On the contrary,” was all he said, and they stepped out into the medical corridor. It was bright, being the main entryway into Medbay, but Jim quickly turned into a Medbay access hallway to the right of the turbolift that would lead them to the parallel secondary corridor. They passed the new quarantine quarters. These Jim had ruled out, as they had several very obvious indicators on their display panels when in use. The whole point was not to be noticed, even if it meant hiding in plain sight.
They entered Medbay at the rear, through the same door Jim had used the night before. He’d left the blinds on the cubicle closed when he’d left that morning, and sure enough they were still closed. McCoy apparently hadn’t noticed; as Jim had earlier observed, this area of Medbay was well-shadowed and it was unlikely anything would stand out as amiss.
Jim brought a finger to his lips, indicating Khan should be silent. He opened the door, double- and triple-checked the soundproofing, then motioned Khan in. He followed and secured the door behind him. “Lights, twenty per cent,” he said into the inky blackness, and a soft glow barely illuminated the small room.
“Well?” Jim said, proud of himself and smiling. He squinted and watched as Khan quickly took in the biobed and the cramped quarters.
Khan looked at Jim and his eyes gleamed in the dimness. “One of your few redeeming qualities, Kirk, is that you’re resourceful. But I think we both know how reckless you are too.”
Jim raised his hand, stopping the further criticism he knew was coming. “Before you say anything else, I’ve tested this place out – I slept here last night, and no one discovered me. No one comes into this part of Medbay. The other quarantine compartments –”
“I am familiar with the layout of Medbay, Captain. I’ve spent a great deal of time here, if you remember.”
“Then you know what I’m talking about.” Jim was restless, impatient. He wondered if Khan felt equally edgy being in such – literally – close quarters to one another. Jim’s fingers were itching to grab hold of the man. “There’s nothing to give us away on the display outside, no one noticed the blinds being pulled, and the lock can only be opened by me or McCoy.”
Jim's gaze followed Khan as he inspected the room, looked into the small bathroom. “Oh, and it’s soundproof.” He felt his face redden after he spoke, and he hoped Khan wouldn’t notice. Right.
Khan side-eyed him. “I am reserving judgement, but am willing to concede this is sufficient, if only for the fact that it will be you explaining things to the doctor if we’re discovered, and also because this cubicle contains a water-based shower.”
At the mention of Bones, Jim rolled his eyes, but Khan’s comment about the shower naturally led Jim’s mind down the path of using it...
“Later,” Khan said, evidently reading Jim’s mind. He took a step closer. “And unless you’ve brought spare clothing with you, I suggest you remove those you’re currently wearing before I tear them off your body.”
He didn’t wait for Jim to respond or even make a move to do as instructed before reaching up and pulling Jim’s face towards his. Jim quickly found his mouth full of Khan’s tongue.
Jim’s brain promptly shut down as a different part of his anatomy started doing the thinking for him. His arms came up around the strong body and he manoeuvred himself as close to Khan as he could.
They writhed together, Khan mostly holding them both upright, and Jim pulled the other man’s shirt over his head. “Hurry, then,” he said, as their mouths momentarily parted to make way for the removal of clothing. Jim tossed Khan’s shirt on the floor behind him and reached for his own.
Soon enough the shirt on the floor was joined by everything else. Jim didn’t feel cold, though; paradoxically it seemed the temperature of the small room had increased considerably with the removal of each item.
Now, standing naked with his back pressed sharply against the edge of the biobed and Khan on his knees in front of him, Jim wasn’t just feeling warm, he felt ready to explode. Literally.
“Fuuuuck…” Jim ground out between his teeth. His muscles tensed and the hand buried in Khan’s luxurious hair clenched into a fist. “Sorry,” Jim muttered, but Khan didn’t appear to notice, or if he did he didn’t care. Jim would have found such a grip extremely painful, and that turned him on even more.
He did stop trying to pull Khan’s hair out by the roots, only to have Khan suck harder at his flesh in response. Jim erupted into his mouth.
“Successful test of the soundproofing, I think,” Jim panted some moments later, leaning back on his elbows and looking down into those lovely eyes.
So far as he could tell, no one in Medbay had heard them – him – and come to investigate. Which was a good thing, given the frankly embarrassing moans and gibberish he’d been spewing out during one of the best blow jobs he’d ever received. Dammit, the man was better at everything. So far, at least.
“I even remembered to bring lube,” Jim said smugly, lying back on the bed and twisting his head from side to side in an attempt to catch sight of where he’d left the small bag containing it, along with his sonic toothbrush, and a few other toiletries. He’d not forgotten the appeal of the shower, after all.
“Save it,” Khan murmured thickly into his groin. He still knelt at Jim’s feet, his hands on the move: up and down the backs of Jim’s thighs, over his buttocks and higher, along the small of Jim’s back, before making the journey down again. “We’re not finished with those soundproofing tests.”
With that, he grasped Jim around the waist and spun him around one hundred and eighty degrees.
Jim grunted as his chest was pressed into the bed and he splayed his legs to keep himself from toppling over. He stretched out his arms to stabilise himself as warm hands began their journey up and down the backs of his legs again. “You sure – you sure you don’t want it?” Jim stuttered. Now seemed like a good time to have lube handy, if he was any judge of how things were proceeding.
“I’m sure.” Khan’s voice was a low rumble against the backs of Jim’s legs. He felt hot breath teasing the hairs at the top of his thigh, a tongue sliding against his overheated skin.
“Oh my god…” Jim moaned as his head dropped into the cradle of his arms.
“Mmm…I’m not moving from this spot,” Jim sighed. He remained bent over the bed, Khan draped over his back, still inside him. “I’m just going to command the Enterprise from here.”
Khan snorted, his breath ruffling Jim’s short hair.
“What, you think I can’t?” Jim turned his head and attempted to kiss the other man, but from this angle, and with Khan's hair mostly in the way, it was a bit of a challenge.
“Kirk, I don’t put anything past you.”
Jim felt Khan pull away and he stood up and stretched. His legs ached. Actually, everything ached. A hot shower would be just the thing to revive him. A hot shower and something to eat and drink maybe, but he’d forgotten about that. He didn't want to turn on the room's replicator as its use could be traced. Damn.
Because there would definitely be a next time. He reached out and grasped Khan’s arm. “C’mere.” Now that they were facing each other again and both upright, Jim was going to take advantage of it. “Kiss me.”
Khan narrowed his eyes, but leaned in to comply.
“What?” Jim asked as they drew apart. He licked his lips, savouring the taste.
“You are a very odd man, Captain,” Khan said. He looked directly into Jim’s eyes, as if daring him to disagree.
Jim laughed. “Says the man who likes me.” He nipped at Khan’s earlobe.
Khan pulled against Jim’s restraining hand. “Don’t be absurd.”
Jim wasn’t about to let go, and Khan stopped pulling away. “But I do absurd really well,” Jim countered, giving Khan his best smile. “Besides, you could use a little...absurd. You’re much too serious.”
Khan scowled but he leaned in and kissed Jim again, this time nibbling on his lip afterwards. “Next, you’ll be calling me a Vulcan,” he teased. His arms went around Jim and he playfully grasped two handful's of Jim's backside.
Jim sputtered. “Not a chance,” he said emphatically into Khan’s mouth.
Khan’s chuckle reverberated against Jim’s chest. His hands began wandering up and down Jim’s back and Jim countered by wrapping his arms around Khan’s torso, embracing him as hard as he could. His strength was nothing compared to that of the man in his arms, but Khan didn’t struggle or complain. He did nothing but kiss Jim again and again.