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Weathering a Counterfeit Alliance

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Stardate 2258.21 (Thursday, January 21, 2258)

 

Len smiled and kissed the top of the blonde head resting against his chest.  He moved slowly, sliding out of the bed and leaving the occupant sleeping. 

 

Len ran one hand over the foggy mirror, clearing a spot so that he could see to shave.  He ran the sonic razor over his chin as he mentally organized his surgical notes for the day.  He started slightly when he felt hands sliding across his chest, he gave a low warning growl, but reveled in the feel of the warm breasts pressed to his back as he finished his shave. 

He set the razor down and turned to gather the woman into his arms.

“Sorry, I didn’t mean to wake you.  He bent down and gave her a kiss.”

“I know how you can make it up to me.”

She smiled and ran one finger down the center of his chest and followed the trail of hair to the towel loosely fastened at his waist.  He caught her hand before she reached her target.

“Ah, ah, ah.  I have an early class, then I have to be at the hospital.”

“Just my luck.  You never want to play doctor with me.”

“I’ll see you in surgery, Nurse, and we’ll play doctor to your heart’s content.”

He appreciated the view as she walked away.  “You better put somethin’ on, you’ll catch a chill.”

“Oh, now you want to play doctor.” 

 

Len was just about to pull his black t-shirt over his head, when there was a knock at the door.  He stalked shirtless into the living area and palmed the control panel.  The door slid open as he greeted the visitor in his usual gruff tone, “Yeah?”  He was momentarily taken aback.  “Uh, Captain Pike, Sir.  Sorry.” He quickly started to pull the shirt over his head. 

“Is that the way you usually answer the door, Cadet?”

“I haven’t had any complaints yet.  Sir.”  He added belatedly.  One of these days his smart mouth was going to get him into serious trouble, but today Pike seemed willing to ignore the insolence in his tone.

“I’m here to see Cadet Kirk.” 

Pike inclined his head towards the bedroom where he could hear the sound of the shower shutting off and the bathroom door opening, but pulled up short when a woman’s voice called from the bedroom, “Len, do you know where my sweater is?”

Len moved to the bedroom door and spoke quietly before closing it.

He turned back to Pike, ignoring his questioning look.  “He’s not in at the moment.”

Len pulled on the jacket to his reds, grabbed his bag and ushered Pike ahead of him into the hallway as the door slid closed behind them.

Pike looked at him like he was trying to puzzle something out and Len refused to offer any further information.   He looked like he was doing a fine job jumping to his own conclusions.

“Thank you kindly for droppin’ by Captain.  I’ll be sure to tell Jim you called.”

“No, I think I’d rather tell him in person.”  He tilted his head towards the closed door, “Does Kirk still live here?”

“Technically,” Len kept his expression blank.

Pike was getting frustrated.  “Well, do you know where I can find him?”

“Seddins Hall.  Room 437.”

“Seddins Hall.”

Len shrugged.  “Last I knew.  Jim Kirk doesn’t see fit to keep me informed of his comings and goings.”

“Since when?”

“With all due respect, Captain, you’re goin' to have to ask him that.”

Pike didn’t think he was imagining the hard look in McCoy’s eye.   The man was angry.  Not at Kirk, at him.  Was this somehow his fault?  This duty assignment fiasco was getting out of hand.  If his prize cadet flamed out because of it, it would be his fault.

“Thank you.  Good day, Cadet.” 

“You too, Sir.”  Len waited until the lift doors closed behind Pike then headed in the opposite direction.

 

The pounding continued unabated.

“Yeah, yeah, yeah, I’m coming!” 

The door slid open as Jim ran one hand through his hair while zipping his jeans, “You better have a damn good reason for waking me up!  Oh, Captain Pike.  Sorry, Sir.”

“I’m sure you are…,” he leaned back and looked at the name plate beside the door, “Cadet Marlena Moreau.”

Jim winced as Pike moved around him and into the small room, taking it all in slowly.

“There a reason you’ve basically moved out of a graduate apartment and back into the plebe dorms?”  He delicately picked up a skimpy thong from the corner of the dresser, dangling it on one finger. 

“Self-explanatory, Sir,” Jim said as he grabbed the article of clothing and tossed it behind the couch.

“Indeed.”

“Is there a problem, Sir?” Jim was wondering why Pike was here.

“No. I'm just surprised, I guess.  I stopped by your room,” he walked around the room looking at photos and knick knacks and continued absently as he examined a stack of textbook PADDs, “McCoy gave me your new address.”  Then he turned to meet Jim’s gaze, “Seems he had a guest as well.”

Jim shifted uncomfortably, “Yeah, well.  Life goes on, huh?”

Why was Kirk living with a second year astrophysics student?  What the hell had happened in the time he had been gone to drive a wedge between these two cadets?   Because clearly something had driven a wedge between Kirk and McCoy, they had been damn near inseparable for the better part of three years and now they were barely speaking.  What had he missed while he had been distracted overseeing the outfitting of his new ship?