Work Header

To Talk of Many Things

Chapter Text

trek fic: Of Cabbages and Kings
Hello lovely people! So [info]mga1999 and I wrote an epistolary as a comment fic during the last battle at the ship wars. It's McCoy/PIKE, people. I BROKE MY OTP OMGOMG WHAT IS HAPPENING TO ME. I blame [info]mga1999 completely.

Title: Of Cabbages and Kings (Part 1 of the To Talk of Many Things 'verse)
Author: [info]mga1999 and [info]skyblue_reverie
Fandom & Pairing: Star Trek Reboot (aka AOS, ST XI, etc.), Pike/McCoy
Rating: PG-13 for language and mention of naughty bits in a medical context
Spoilers: None
Warnings: None
Word Count: around 4000
Summary: A correspondence between Doctor McCoy and Admiral Pike takes a turn for the romantical.
Disclaimer: Any resemblance to anything whatsoever is purely coincidental.
A/N : Might be the first in a series? WDK (We don't know). Bribes of cookies and fic will totally be considered when we make this decision. On a more serious note, we tried to be sensitive to the disability issues inherent in this pairing, while still keeping the guys (who are NOT known for their sensitivity) in character. I hope we succeeded, but please let us know if not. We ♥ PWDs!

From: Leonard H. McCoy (
To: Christopher Pike (

Admiral Pike:

Just checking in to make sure you’re doing your physical therapy. I know it’s a pain in the ass but if you want to walk again, you’ve gotta do it. And no bitching about Nurse Traeger either – I know she’s got breath like a sewage plant, but she’s the best there is.

Things are going fine here. Jim’s only tried to get himself killed twice and has only pissed off one alien government by sleeping with their president’s daughter, so I think we’re doing pretty well so far.

I enjoyed getting to know you when we were on earth, sir. Maybe next time I’m earthside we can get a drink and catch up? After I check you over and make sure you’ve been following your p.t. regime, of course. And if you haven’t, I’m going to give you hell.

-Leonard McCoy

To: Leonard H. McCoy (
From: Christopher Pike (

Dr. McCoy:

Glad to hear from you. Nurse Traeger and her breath are the least of my problems. You haven't met my p.t. therapist, or should I say Drill Sergeant. You remember those classic Rambo movies? Or maybe closer to that one guy, what was he called, The Rock? Imagine them, but bigger and meaner. After my first real session with him, I couldn't move again for days. Yes, it's better now, but not much.

I'm trying not to get discouraged, because that seems like it would diminish the miraculous work you did on the Enterprise to even get me this far. I've never been a man to take things sitting down, so I'm not giving up. You told me it wasn't going to be an easy road, but what I didn't realize was how lonely it would be. Not that I don't get visitors, but when you are stuck in a bed or a chair... I'm really starting to feel isolated I guess. Enough about me.

I'm actually surprised that Jim has only tried to get himself killed twice. The expected numbers were much higher in the betting pool. I'm sure the only reason it's so low is you're there. You've always had a way with him, which is why I did everything I could to make sure you were together to keep each other safe. I worry about you both.

I look forward to having a drink with you.


To: Christopher Pike (
From: Leonard H. McCoy (


I hope it’s all right to call you that. You signed your last email with that, and I’m generally not one to stand on formalities anyway. Jim gets ridiculously smug when I call him “Captain,” so I save it for special occasions. Can’t have his ego getting even more inflated than it already is.

You’re seeing Kirala for p.t., right? Yeah, he’s tough, but he’s good. And the extra arms really help him to make sure you’re positioned correctly when you do your exercises.

I can’t believe those Starfleet bastards are letting you get isolated. They should be falling all over themselves to kiss your ass every single day. You did as much as anyone to save the god damned planet, after all. Anyway, getting out and about and interacting with people is just as much a part of your recovery as the p.t. So stop feeling sorry for yourself, go out and do something you enjoy. With other people. If you’re seeing someone, you should take them out.

I, ah, meant to thank you for making sure Jim and I got assigned to the same ship. That fool gets more reckless every day, if such a thing is possible. I reign him in as much as I can, and as much as I don’t like the pointy-eared bastard, Spock keeps him in check too. No one can stop the raging libido, though. Although I did threaten to hypo him with a drug that’ll render him impotent if he doesn’t stop throwing himself in the way of every projectile coming at one of his crew.

Life here is okay, but it’s damned dull when it’s not terrifying. I miss the sky and actual fresh air. And don’t get me started on this synthehol crap. Don’t suppose you could pull some strings to get us planetside. Nah, never mind. I wouldn’t want to put you in that position.

I’ll hold you to the drink, though, next time I’m there.


To: Leonard H. McCoy (
From: Christopher Pike (


Please, I have never been one for formalities unless I have to be. Like I told Jim when I recruited him, Starfleet was in great need of a new direction, new blood. Sometimes I think they stand on stodgy old traditions a bit too much for what it's worth.

Yes, it's Kirala for p.t. And yeah, I guess I have to agree the extra arms have been helpful, especially when I'm about to keel over. Between you and me, he's started flirting with me. And those extra arms mean he's extra handsy, and I'm not enjoying it like a certain Captain we both know would. And speaking of him, I have found myself having to limit calling him 'Captain' myself. I swear last time I vid commed with him, his head didn't fit at the top of the screen.

Don't blame Starfleet for my isolation, Len. It's probably my fault. I'm feeling sorry for myself. Hate going places in the chair. Hate having to depend on anyone. I've been alone a long time, Len. It's been just me and whatever ship I was on. So no, I'm not seeing anyone. And being like this doesn't exactly make me a catch.

I know you like transporters even less than shuttles, but you should try to get down to the surface whenever you can. It will help with how you're feeling about being on the ship. Trust me. Plus, there is the extra advantage of being down there to keep Jim out of trouble.

And don't worry, they generally don't leave new crews out too long before bringing them back. I'll be glad to see what I can do. I could really use that drink.


From: Leonard H. McCoy (
To: Christopher Pike (


Damn it, man, Kirala flirting and getting grabby with you is completely unacceptable. I’ve made some calls to people I know at Starfleet Medical and ripped ‘em a new one for allowing that to go on underneath their noses. And don’t worry, I didn’t tell them that you were the one to tip me off. I have plenty of patients who are seeing or have seen him for p.t. Anyway, he’s been reassigned and he won’t be using those extra hands of his for doing anything more than scrubbing floors and cleaning bedpans from now on.

Your isolation might be self-imposed, Chris, but that doesn’t mean that those around you don’t share in the blame for it. If I were there I’d haul you outta bed myself and make you go do something. And I don’t want to hear any crap about you not being a catch. You’re still the same person you were, chair or no chair, and anyone would be lucky to be with you. You’re a damned good man, a certified hero, and handsome to boot. So don’t let me hear you putting yourself down.

I am worried about you, though. With all you’ve been through – hell, all you’re still going through - you’re at much higher risk for clinical depression. I’m gonna attach to this email the contact info for several psychiatrists and psychologists I know. Give one of them a call, all right?

Also – and good lord this is awkward – but as your doctor, I need to know: has your sexual functioning returned? Have you been able to achieve and maintain an erection, and have you had an orgasm? If not, it’s not cause for concern, but I’d like to keep an eye on that because you are not ready to be put out to pasture yet, and sex is an important part of life. It’s not the only part, as someone we know seems to think, but it is significant.

All right, moving on. Yeah, I go down on nearly every away mission – some idiot’s always getting hurt and needing medical attention, and it isn’t even always Jim. But alien planets and alien skies – well, I’ll admit it’s interesting, and sometimes beautiful, but I’m a homebody at heart. Give me real Terran soil and blue skies any day. I’d have pushed for a planetside posting, but I couldn’t let Jim go gallivanting off on his own. Maybe someday, if he grows up, settles down a little, I’ll think about transferring off this flying death-trap. And yes, I know the Enterprise is your baby too, but I’m not one for space travel. You know that.

Speaking of Terran soil, I just heard that we’re going to be heading to earth for some repairs that apparently can’t be done anywhere but earth’s space dock. You wouldn’t happen to have anything to do with that, would you? If you did, don’t tell me, I don’t want to know. As I learned from rooming with Jim for three years at the Academy, plausible deniability is the best defense.

Anyway, it looks like we’ll be there in a few weeks. And you are coming out with me, like it or not. No moping around in bed. Pick your favorite spot and we’ll go have a drink or a bite.

Take care of yourself (and I mean that literally),

To: Leonard H. McCoy (
From: Christopher Pike (


I've never been one to mince words and have been told more times than I can count that I'm a pretty blunt and to the point guy, but I think I have met my match in that regard. Now I know why Jim looks up to you so much. It's nice to have someone who isn't blowing sunshine up my ass like everyone around here seems to be. From the beginning, you have been honest and answered every question I had when others have given me the run around. You don't know how much I appreciate that.

I will admit, I am probably as much to blame for the situation with Kirala as he was. I do know, however, that someone in my condition should obviously not be made to feel as uncomfortable as I was. I called a psychologist after your last e-mail and had an appointment with her yesterday. While I wasn't thrilled that all the names you gave me were female, I understand why you did now. So thank you. I had a good talk with her, and then commed my old friend Philip Boyce. I believe you met him a time or two. And by the way, he agrees with everything you've said, so consider my ass kicked twice.

I made myself go out to dinner tonight with Admiral Barnett and his wife. He'd been asking since Kirk's commendation ceremony and I'd been putting him off. And while I'm not ready to fill my social calendar again quite yet, I promise that I will go out at least twice a week, even if it's only over to the mess to eat with the other cadets. I went and sat in on a tactics class this morning, and I'll admit it felt nice to be able to contribute. If I never get out of this chair, at least I know I might have a shot at being an instructor.

I know you don't like space, believe me, I know. In fact I'm going to tell you something very few people know. I was almost like you once. I had this unbelievable fear of space. Not so much flying. Shuttles, I never had a problem with. But the first time I went off planet with my parents when I was eight? I caused so much trouble on the shuttle they had to return to Earth. Obviously, I got over it. In fact I joined Starfleet when I was seventeen to force myself to get over it. I love space and can't imagine never being out on a ship again, so don't sell yourself short that you won't grow to love it too. You're far too talented to be wasted dirtside. Not everyone has what it takes to be CMO, Len. There are far too many ships out there that aren't lucky enough to have a great doctor like you.

So now, I've run out of things to talk about except the awkward part. And I have to tell you, so far, you and Philip have been the only ones to broach that subject with me. He said they usually broach this subject a little further down the road, but he always felt that was wrong. And you are both right, I think part of the reason I was making myself so isolated is because I am feeling like a lesser man. Whether you or anyone say differently, that's how I feel. And no, things aren't quite working down there yet. So your answer to everything would be no. Philip said not to worry. The psychologist told me not to worry. But hell, Len, I'm worried. It's bad enough being in the chair, but if I can be so blunt, not being able to get an erection, or the thought of that part of my life being over? I think that scares me the most.

I've been Starfleet all my life, to the detriment of my social life. I did try marriage once, and it failed. And honestly it was my fault. I didn't care about anything but space and whatever ship I was on. But in the back of my mind, I planned on taking the Enterprise out for her five years and then accepting Admiral and coming back, maybe teaching a few years and finding someone to settle down with out in the desert when I was done.

So hell, Len. I feel like I'm imposing on you telling you all this, but I have to admit, I enjoy the letters we've been sending back and forth to each other. And I'll be blunt, I'd like to get to know you better. But I feel like I shouldn't given my current condition. It wouldn't be fair, and you deserve a whole heck of a lot more than I could give you.

If you don't want to have that drink anymore after what I've said here, I understand.

Be safe,


From: Leonard H. McCoy (
To: Christopher Pike (


I’ll get to the point first and then respond to the rest of your email. Yes, I’m interested. No, you’re not a lesser man. You let me decide what I “deserve” or not, and as I said earlier, anyone would be lucky to have you. And dammit man, of course I still want to have that drink. I’d want to do that even if my answer was no – I hope your opinion of me is better than that. But since my answer isn’t no, we’ll definitely get together. And since it’ll be a – hell, I guess “date” is the right word, although that makes me feel like a goddamn teenager - can I take you to dinner instead?

Now, moving on to awkward topic #2. In all likelihood, your sexual functioning will return to normal over the course of the next few months. You’ve got to give it time. And no matter what, that part of your life is not over. Human sexuality is more about the brain than the body anyway, and I’ve had permanently paralyzed patients who had very satisfying sex lives. But we’ll take it one step at a time, and I don’t think that will be your situation. And here’s where I have to make an embarrassing confession – you know that new neural growth stimulator that’s been in all the medical journals? Well, probably not. Anyway, I know the guy who invented it, and I had him send me a working prototype. I’ve just done some computer modeling with it so far, but I think it might make your recovery a hell of a lot faster. I – oh lord this sounds bad – I’ve been modeling the neural regeneration of the nerves involved in sexual response, not just those involved in mobility, and the results are very promising. I swear I didn’t have any ulterior motives when I started this project. I was just doing it as your doctor and friend, and I didn’t tell you because I didn’t want to give you false hope if it was a bust. I’ll show you my results when I’m there, and we can discuss possible treatment scenarios.

All right, thank god that’s all over with. At least since we’re the both to-the-point, we’ll never be in any doubt as to what’s on each other’s minds.

I’m glad you’ve been getting out and meeting with people. Listen to me, certified misanthrope, encouraging you to socialize more. Jim would laugh his ass off. You know – your mentioning possibly being an instructor got me thinking. That’s a damn good idea – the best thing for you would be to get back to work, have something to focus your energy on. Could you be a temporary instructor? Teach a class or two while you’re planetside and then hand ‘em off to someone else when it’s time to move on? I bet any number of starry-eyed cadets would love to take tactics from you.

As to me and space – I doubt I’ll ever grow to love it. Tolerate, yeah. Appreciate, maybe. But I’ve seen that gleam in your eye that you and Jim both get when you talk about exploration and deep space missions, and it’s just not me. I really do appreciate your sharing your story with me, Chris, and don’t think I’m not honored and flattered that you trusted me enough to tell me that. But don’t hold your breath that I’ll become a fanatic about space. And as for all that nonsense about my being uniquely qualified to be a CMO and being wasted dirtside, well, pardon my language, but bullshit. I’m just a country doctor, and it’s just as important and fulfilling to save lives and heal people on a planet – even if they’re just regular folk, not Starfleet personnel - as it is in space. Being a doctor isn’t what I do, Chris, it’s what I am. I’m a healer, as corny as it sounds. And life is life to me, whether the patient is a hover-bike mechanic or a starship captain. Er, sorry to go off on a tangent there. I’ll get off my soapbox now. Anyway, point is that I’ve already found my calling, and it isn’t exploration. But that’s all right – I’ve been dragged into it anyway and I do love my job here on the Enterprise. DON’T tell Jim I said that.

Well, that’s probably enough seriousness for one day. I’m going to go find Spock and goad him into an emotional reaction - that’s always good for a chuckle. No emotions, my ass.

I, ah, I’m really looking forward to seeing you.

Take care,

To: Leonard H. McCoy (
From: Christopher Pike (


First, I'll get to the point. Yes, I'd love to have dinner with you. Now you have a fifty-two-year-old man blushing.

As for my physical condition, I'm trying to believe what you told me. I've done some research, so yes, I'm feeling better about that for now. And God, Len, knowing you have gone to all that trouble and research to help me... Well, I'm not one for emotion most of the time either, which is why Spock and I always worked well together. I have to confess that I still have a pretty big lump in my throat just thinking about what you are working on. And don't give me that shit about it just being your job as a doctor. Country doctor my ass. They don't manipulate and re-model neurons on the dirt floor of their back office.

You sell yourself way too short, Len. And sure, I get that you'd be happy being that country doctor you seem to think yourself as. But I've been on a lot of ships, and seen a lot of CMOs come and go. But I'm telling you, the way you took over on the Enterprise and handled that desperate situation and aftermath... I'll be honest here. I don't think Dr. Puri would have done as well. You saved lives that he couldn't have and you know it, including mine. You are the epitome of what a Chief Medical Officer in Starfleet should be. So quit shaking your head and accept the compliment. That's an order, Lt. Commander!

I took your advice and spoke to Admiral Komack about doing a seminar on tactics during the winter break for any cadets not going home. He might have something part time for me in the spring, but in the meantime, I'm going to fill in as a sub and make myself available for lectures. I don't know how good I'll be at it, but since I had designs on doing that down the road, it can't hurt to get started.

I'll be honest, Len. I'm struggling. I'm a Starfleet Captain, these Admiral stripes be damned. I'm used to the unknown to some degree, but when no one can tell me truly if I'll walk again or when, I'm not dealing with that very well. If someone could tell me I'll be walking in 6.8 months, or running in a year, or that I'll be back on a ship in two, I could handle that. I would treat it just like a mission and see what I could do to shave some time off those numbers or make it safer and more productive. This not knowing, not having anything tangible to focus on, makes going through the p.t. and everything else... well, I'm not giving up, but there are days lately when I want to, and just accept that my fate lies in this chair.

And before you go getting all worried and comming my psychologist, I've talked to her about this and she assures me it's normal. And once you take a deep breath, you know it's normal too. I'm not giving up, Len. I believed you on the Enterprise that I'd walk again. And I'm believing you when you say that I'm not a lesser man even though I feel like that right now. I'm just admitting that this unknown thing is new for me. Jim and I are a lot alike in that regard. I was just as cocky and brash as he was when I was first Captain, even though I was many years older. That's what drew me to him in that bar, and why I knew he had a chance to be the greatest Starfleet Captain we've ever had if given a chance. And God, don't tell him I said that. Kid's head just keeps getting bigger and bigger on my vid screen.

I'm going to close now before I embarrass myself more. You think you are bad at this stuff? Well, you seem to be doing just fine compared to the blubbering fool I'm feeling like right now. I'll see you in a week. I'm looking forward to our dinner.

Be safe, and take care,


p.s. You need to have a word with a certain egotistical Captain who's decided to stick his nose into our business. I had an interesting comm from him last night. If I may quote: "You take my CMO from my ship, Admiral, and there isn't an outpost in this galaxy where I won't find you. Otherwise, you both have my blessings and I'm sure Bones will have you up and running in no time. Fuck knows he needs to get laid." Don't be too hard on him. And since this will probably make you want to bring out that hypospray that will make him impotent, you might want to rethink that. Do you really want to put up with a Jim Kirk in that condition? Didn't think so.

To: James T. Kirk (
From: Leonard H. McCoy (


The End.....???