Sometimes, late at night, Pavel Andreievich Chekov worried that, deep in his heart of hearts, he was not a true Russian. He could never call Russia a happy country with a perfectly straight face, but it was his home, and he loved it without reservation. And that, he thought, may have been part of the problem.
The Russian people took an almost perverse pride in being as fatalistic as possible; angst was a Russian invention, after all. The conditions of poverty and oppression that fostered these attitudes were long since over when Chekov was born, but that didn't mean that they didn't still apply, maybe more so than ever. But Chekov- Chekov had just never felt that way. Maybe it was because he was only eighteen, maybe he really had lived a charmed life, but Chekov had always been- and remained- an idealist.
When he was young, his mother had told him that he could have anything he wanted, and Chekov had never found any reason to doubt her. And so, he did exactly what he wanted, and he did it perfectly, because he knew he could. He came top in his class, he won the Starfleet Academy Marathon, he received perfect marks on everything- and it never occurred to him to think that sex wasn't just one more thing he couldn't do perfectly.
It wasn't like he hadn't had any number of very generous offers. It was just that he had a perfect vision in his head of what his first time should be like and who it should be with- someone kind and polite and patient, someone who knew what he was doing, someone- and he felt this was very important- someone who loved him.
Anything that didn't measure up simply wasn't worth bothering with.
And, then, all of a sudden, Pavel Andreievich Chekov got everything he'd ever wanted.
Kirk was tanked.
He didn't even know what they were drinking or how much he'd had, just that he loved everybody a whole lot and wanted to tell them all, personally.
"Where is Pasha?" he asked, though it came out a little like wurshpaaash, which probably meant something impolite in some language he'd never bother to learn. "I wanna tell him I like his hair. He's my favorite."
"He was just here a minute ago," Scotty replied, peering under the edge of the table. "Oh! Look over there."
The officers in question were sitting across the way, quite close together even for such a tiny table. McCoy leaned in to Chekov's ear, saying something that made the younger man grin and duck his head shyly. When McCoy laced their fingers together, Chekov's blush was visible all the way across the room.
Kirk stood up to get a better look, and possibly to cheer for them. "Well, I'll be goddamned."
Scotty pulled him back down into his seat. "Shut it," he hissed. "I think they're havin' a moment."
McCoy lay a hand against the side of Chekov's face, kissing him lightly before asking him something, staring at him like there was no one else in the room. Whatever it was, Chekov approved, because he smiled and nodded happily in response, standing up and letting McCoy lead him out of the crowded bar.
"Now they're gonna get married and have babies," Kirk sighed, collapsing amiably against Scotty's shoulder.
"The two of them?" Scotty asked, still staring after them like he really didn't believe what he was seeing. "Unless you know something I don't, I don't think it's bloody likely."
"Bones is a doctor. He'll figure it out," Kirk assured him. He sighed again. "I shoulda hit that when I had the chance."
He waved a hand. "Which ever." He pointed shakily towards the bar. "D'you think that girl behind them would fuck me?"
"Do you nae remember?" Scotty asked, shaking his head. "She dumped a drink on your head when you asked."
"Oh yeah," Kirk said, nodding. "So... no?"
"Time to go," he answered, standing up.
"But it's early. Everybody's still got pants on and everything."
"It's gone midnight," Scotty protested. "Besides, I've got a whole bottle of brandy back in my quarters."
Kirk let himself be levered up out of the chair. "That's why you're my favorite."
"You won't be saying that when I drink you under the table. Again."
He grinned. "Oh, you're so on."
McCoy woke up in the wrong bed.
It wasn't just that it wasn't his own bed; it was the wrong bed on many, many levels. And, God, if he'd known he'd remember everything, he'd have had a whole lot more than one drink.
Wait. He only had one drink. And even if he'd been hammered last night, he was much more of a "tell everyone to fuck off and die" drunk than a "wake up in your barely-legal subordinate's bed" one.
So what had happened? He was having an okay time, talking to Jim, who was playing some drinking game with Scotty that involved slapping the table a lot and swearing profusely. And then that bimbo in the green skirt had spilled her drink all down the back of his shirt. And then he'd gone out to the bathroom to clean up; but it had been dark, and he'd stepped off the path into a bush or something, something that made a hissing sound and smelled awfully funny- he'd thought it was a snake at first, and felt like a total jackass when he jumped straight up in the air.
And then he'd gone to the bathroom, and when he'd come back out he'd known exactly what he was going to do.
He'd gone straight to where Chekov was dancing, right up behind some androgynous blue-skinned person, taken him gently by the wrist and led him away.
And he told Chekov everything he knew he wanted to hear- Christ, he'd even pulled out his goddamned accent- and yeah, some of it was true, but some of it definitely wasn't.
He'd followed Chekov back to his room and made love to him just the way he'd always- much as he'd cursed himself for thinking about it at all- thought about doing. Holding Chekov down, one hand splayed wide and heavy on his hip, while he sucked him off, slow and sloppy. Just fingering him for a long, long time, working him open until Chekov was all but sobbing with need, his words a broken babble of English and Russian and some stuff that definitely wasn't either. Finally, finally sliding inside, just in time to drink in the perfect bliss on Chekov's face when he came, eyes fluttering closed, no sound at all except his heavy, panting breaths. Riding him slow and easy until he came again- a criminally short amount of time, since feeling that unbelievable tightness clenching around him for a second time had been enough to send him over himself. And then, when they were both sleepy and satisfied, he'd curled himself up behind his lithe young body, leaned down close to his ear and whispered-
Oh God, he'd told that poor boy he loved him.
And he remembered every second of it; but he remembered it like it had happened to somebody else, like he was an intruder on somebody else's private moments.
Also, while this was not the first time he'd had sex that he'd felt guilty about in the morning, it had never made his tongue swell before.
He had no idea what was happening, but by that point, he definitely knew something was very wrong, possibly the sort of thing that was going to end with him up to his knees in patients.
He knew the gentlemanly thing- hell, the only thing that would possibly prevent him from being goddamned scum- was to wait until Chekov woke up, then calmly and carefully explain that he, McCoy, was going to hell for ever and ever, probably by way of the morgue.
But then he decided that getting the hell out of there was the better part of valor.
Chekov looked even smaller, if such a thing was possible. "He was not there when I woke up. I called sick bay, but Nurse Chapel says he will not see me."
"That rat bastard," Kirk gritted out. "I'm going to punch his fucking teeth in."
Spock stepped easily between him and the door. "Captain, it would be most unwise for you to confront Doctor McCoy."
He narrowed his eyes, looking coldly at his first officer. "Give me one good reason."
Spock inclined his head slightly in acquiescence. "Though you are similar in height, his body mass is significantly greater than your own. If you wish to enter a purely physical confrontation, I must insist that you be accompanied by another crew member." He drew himself up slightly. "My physiology makes me the most logical choice."
Kirk stopped dead in his tracks, just staring at him for a moment. Finally, he shook his head, clapping Spock on the shoulder. "You can get the next one."
Spock gave what might have been a shrug. "It is your prerogative."
"Goddamned right it is."
"Leonard Horatio McCoy!"
"The sign says 'Quarantine' for a reason."
"Fuck quarantine, I'm going to kick your sorry ass!"
McCoy didn't even lift his head from the table. "Don't bother wasting your energy," he said, with a huge sigh. "Just throw me out of the airlock. I don't deserve to live."
"Are you drunk?"
"Extreme depression, coupled with histrionic outbursts, is," he stopped to take a huge, shuddering breath, "the final stage of infection."
"Infection from what?"
He passed over a padd without looking. "Moonflower. Got sprayed on the way to the bathroom last night."
Kirk looked up in alarm. "Should I be in here?"
"It's fine," he replied, sniffling. "I'm not contagious. I just didn't want to talk to anybody."
"Why didn't you tell somebody when it happened?"
"Didn't know what it was then. If I'd have known that I'd- dammit, Jim, I'm a monster!"
"You know, it doesn't mention your worst symptom."
"Yeah, it doesn't say anything here about why you're acting like a huge fucking drama queen."
McCoy ignored him. "I took his innocence! I promised him the moon and the goddamned stars, Jim!"
"Jesus fucking Christ, Bones, we live on a spaceship. I think we've got enough to go around."
"And I still can't deliver!"
"I can't believe this."
"Neither can I! I ruined him!"
"I came here to kick your ass! Why am I comforting you?!"
McCoy suddenly jerked straight up, blinking and shaking his head like he was trying to clear it. "Oh," he said, touching the sides of his head like he was expecting them to be cracked or bulging. "That was horrific."
"I hope to God. That or I was briefly possessed by a fifteen year old girl."
"I'm sorry about the kid. I'm- I'll-" he made a face that Kirk had long since realized meant McCoy was about three drinks too sober to finish the sentence. "When you see him, send him to Nurse Chapel. He should be fine but, just in case."
"You want me to take the sign down?"
McCoy looked at him like he'd grown another head. "Of course not."
It occurred to Kirk halfway back to the bridge that he forgot to kick McCoy's ass, but honestly, he was just a little too weirded out to do it.
McCoy put hand over his eyes. "Kid, you don't want me. I'm a bitter, bitter man. I drink too much. I get in fights. I'd probably kick a puppy if it pissed me off enough."
"I can't give you anything better than what you have."
"I am officer of Starfleet, not little woman to be put up in house with baby and dog."
"Could you love me?"
"I was going to ask if you love me, but I realized was not fair question for first day of relationship. But if you are thinking you could love me, one day soon, this I can work with."
"What're you gonna do if I say no?"
"Punch you in the mouth. After that, I am not decided."
"You know this is crazy, right? I'm fourteen years older than you."
"I have decided I do not care."
"I snore. Real loud. All the time."
"Then it is your responsibility to buy me ear plugs."
"You're too young to be a stepfather."
"That is problem."
"Hell, who am I kidding? Joanna'll love you."
"You have not answered question."
"I was hoping you'd forget."
"Dammit. Yeah, kid, I think I could."
"Excellent. You cannot call me kid anymore. Is creepy thing to call boyfriend."
"I'm not gonna call you Ensign, that's for damn sure."
"Call me Leo."
"And now, we go to bed."
"Don't you think we ought to maybe take this slow?"
Pasha gave him an eyebrow lift to rival even Spock's.
"That was a really stupid question, wasn't it?"
"Wery much so. I have much lost time to make up for."