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Title: Adventures in Being (Pretend) Married
Fandom: Star Trek 2009
Ship: Chapel/McCoy with a bit of Rand/Kirk thrown in
Rating: PG-13, with allusions to sexy stuff
Word Count: 4,770
Warning: mild language
Disclaimer: They are not mine.Oh, if only wishing made it so.
Prompt: An administrative error accidentally marries Chapel and McCoy. Despite the best efforts of the ship's harried operations officer, they're too far out in space/there's a comms failure/a McGuffin is blocking the signal so Starfleet Command can't be contacted to override the mistake.
Summary: McCoy and Chapel are force to act as a married couple for 5 days. At the end of the 5 days will their friendship still be intact? Or will it have become something more.
A/N: Thanks to the lovely and talented izzyfics for her fast beta job. I added bits after she looked at it so any remaining error are mine and mine alone. Also please leave a comment, all comments are loved and cherished. :)

For fringedweller, as part of the mccoy_chapel Fic Exchange. Hope you enjoy it!

Christine is exhausted. It’s been 48 hours since she last slept and she’s so ready to crash it isn’t even funny.  She’d drawn the first duty shift in sickbay after the crew returned from their vacation.

It’d been a good vacation. She’d enjoyed it. A nice little M class planet. She’d swam, drank the planet’s equivalent of fruity island drinks and had a pretty great time. They’d all re-boarded the ship after a 4 day break and then moved on to their actual target location, a young planet. Their job was to make contact, with emerging political structures and encourage joining or at least signing a treaty with the federation. And as usual pretty much everything went to hell in a hand basket after that.

The planted had turned out to be unstable and their exploration turned into a rescue. Her basic 8 hour shift turned into a 48 hour parade of burns, scars, and death. The Captain was spending the night sedated in sickbay because his body needed the time to let his skin heal after he’d been severely burned evacuating children from the vicinity of a lava like substance.

All Christine really wants is to take off her stinking uniform, use most of her months water ration and take the longest hot shower of her life. Then maybe the longest sleep of her life as well. She smiles a little, she is so tired her brain takes a few minutes to filter things. Like the fact that her code has just been denied and she can’t get into her room. She enters the code again. And again. And again for good measure.

She sighs. “Computer, open door. Access code Delta Bravo Charlie 8791.”

The computer’s voice chirps at her “Access denied.”

“Why? It is my room.”

“Negative. This room is assigned to refugees.”

“What the hell? Where was I reassigned? Why was I reassigned?” Christine nearly stomps her foot in frustration, but she stops herself, instead barking tersely at the computer. “Computer, what is the room listed for Lieutenant Christine Chapel.”

“Lieutenant Christine Chapel McCoy is listed in room 1225.”

Christine is more confused than she was to start. “What the actual fuck? Computer locate Janice Rand.”

“Yeoman Rand is in the Captain’s ready room.”

“Computer please alert her than I am on my way to see her.” Christine sighs and manages to drag herself down to the bridge, and after collapsing into an unused chair in the ready room, fills Rand in.

Janice is as perplexed as Christine is, but she makes a few inquiries in her pad. And then her fingers freeze, held over the screen, an undecipherable look on her face.

“Oh” was all that Janice manages to say.

“Fuck.” Christine swears fiercely. She’s known Janice for the better part of three years now and she’s never once seen her react this way to anything. She sighs, running a hand through her still-dirty hair and says, “Just tell me.”

“You are registered as married. Your room was reassigned when we took on the refugees because all unused rooms were taken.”

“I’m not married!”

“I know. But according to Starfleet you are.”

“How does that happen? How do I suddenly have a mysterious husband? Who is this person anyway?”

“It’s obviously a paperwork error. We will straighten it out.”

“Who am I married to Jan?”

“Chris, I don’t really think I need to answer that question.”

“Are you fucking kidding me?

Janice flips the pad so that it’s facing Christine and she can see for herself that no Janice is not kidding, she’s registered as married to Leonard McCoy. Her boss, the guy she’d been crushing on since the academy. The man with whom she’s been dancing around for years. They have come so close to starting something but everything always gets in the way; his ex-wife, the whole Carol Marcus thing, her ex-fiancé, and the her nearly dying thing.  The whole thing is like some sort of sick cosmic joke.

Though the more she thinks about it, the whole situation reeks of James T. Kirk.

“Fix it Janice. Please.”

Janice grimaces, “it’s not that simple.”

“Of course not. Why?”

“We’re out of communication range with Starfleet. This type of paperwork must be cataloged; all of the ships allocations are based on marital status. So I can’t issue you a room because you already have one. Further complicating things since we just took on refugees we are in a conservation usage pattern, meaning my ability to have wiggle room in the system is shut down to ensure optimum usage of resources.”

“So you are saying I have to just live with this?” Christine’s voice is taking on a higher and higher pitch, which would be distressing if not for the fact that she’s flipping out right now, thank you very much.

Janice cringes, then puts a reassuring hand on Christine’s arm, “Unfortunately, yes. For the five days it takes to get back into transmitting range, yes.”

Christine pulls oxygen in through her nostrils. She is an adult, damn it, she is a professional, and by God she is not going to lose her shit over something like this. And maybe, just maybe if she keeps telling herself that, it will actually be true.

Janice can see that Christine is barely holding on to her composure, so she takes pity on her. “You want to come have a drink with me? Then I’ll help you explain everything to McCoy?”

“Hell yes, let’s do that.”

**************************

In retrospect, letting Christine drink nearly half a bottle of hard alcohol had probably not been her best idea. But Christine had used the puppy dog eyes, and well, Janice was a soft touch.

So Janice curses her inability to say no to people as she helps support Christine’s body weight down the hall, and comes to a stop in front of McCoy’s quarters.

She hadn’t even realized it was late until she buzzes the door three times. She is contemplating just holding the button down until she gets an answer when the door slides open to reveal McCoy, sweats hanging low on his hips, an old faded t-shirt slipping off one shoulder and glasses on his face. “What the hell?”

Janice feels that is a pretty measured response for him, all things considered, so she just shrugs. “There has been a bit of an issue. Can we come in and discuss it?”

“Yeah, husband, can we discuss it?”

McCoy glances at Christine, when she speaks and is taken back. She looks pretty horrible. Her hair is matted and it's clear she’s not showered since the end of her shift. Her uniform is rumpled and she has the glassy eyes that indicate intoxication. He wants to shake her and snuggle her in equal measured because she is at once irritatingly drunk and looking kind of pitiful.

McCoy lets them in and helps her situate Christine in the chair near the desk, and then lets her drag him over near his bed, before he starts demanding explanations.

“What the hell was that about? Did she say husband? Just how drunk is she?”

Janice notices he doesn’t ask why she’s in his room. Why they would come to him, as if since it’s Christine in trouble, he would naturally be involved. She files that away for later and endeavors to get this over with as fast as possible. It really had been a long-ass day.

“Paper work error. You two are married according to Starfleet regulations.”

“I’ll kill him. I swear to God I don’t care if he’s the captain or not, I will just kill him.”

“I don’t think it was him. I’m not sure how he would have done it. He was occupied during the shore leave, and then we’ve been out of com range or on the planet the whole time. I really don’t think this is Jim screwing with you, I think its just a bug.  I will fix it.”

McCoy just rubs at his eyes, pushing his glasses out of the way. “How long?”

“Five days. Until then you two are officially married, with all the rights and benefits therein. Mazel tov.”

The look that he levels at her is dry, at best. “Thanks.”

“No problem, and sorry about getting her drunk and then leaving her here, she’d just wanted a shower, but got locked out of her quarters, and didn’t take the news that well.”

McCoy frowns at that. “Right.”

“Okay, she’s your problem for the night, I’m going to go crash. And don’t worry McCoy it will be ok.”

*****************************

He grumbles at Janice's attempt at reassurance, but she is out the door before he can really say anything else. And McCoy’s not really sure what to say to be honest.  It’s not that this is a fate worse than death, quite the opposite actually. More and more he’s been thinking that he and Chapel belong together. They are already friends, and colleagues, and along the way have been so close to being more that it is starting to physically hurt. He had a plan damn it, he had a plan to woo her. And being married to her was not part of the wooing plan. His track record with marriage isn’t exactly great.

McCoy glances over at Christine and chuckles seeing that she is asleep.  He goes to his closet, and after much digging around retrieves an old pair of boxers and a t shirt for her. He also manages to find a anti-hangover hypo. It would cure the dizziness and the headache, but not the nausea. It isn’t perfect, but it would be better than nothing.

All in all it only takes about 30 minutes to wake her up, administer the hypo and send her in the direction of the bathroom to change. He is already in bed and after only minimal arguing about whether or not they could share the bed, they end up both lying on polar opposite sides of the mattress, exhausted.

She turns off the bedside light with a sigh. “Sorry about all of this Len.”

He nods sleepily, his eyes drooping, “We will work it out.”

She hums a little, “Night McCoy.”

“Night darlin’.”

*********************

Christine wakes up the next morning and for a few minutes is completely disoriented.  She knows she’s not in her own room because she can hear noises coming from the bathroom, and well that doesn’t happen in her own room.  Plus there is just a clean masculine scent that lingers in the room. It’s so uniquely McCoy that for a moment she is even more puzzled.

But then it clicks with her. And she lets out a groan because the reality of her situation comes crashing down on her. She needs a game plan. And yet she has no chance for a game plan because McCoy emerges from the bathroom and Christine’s brain just shuts down.

He’s got a towel tied low around his hips and his hair is matted to his face, and she can’t help but notice how tan his skin is.  And suddenly she wants to drag him into the bed and do unspeakable things to him. She really needs to stop staring at him, but there is a droplet of water making tracks down his chiseled chest and she really can’t tear her eyes away.

He’s looking at her expectantly now, clearly he’d just said something and she was too busy ogling him to respond. She manages to croak out, “What?”

“You can use the bathroom if you want. I’m going to head to the mess. Do you want me to bring you anything back?”

“You don’t have to.”

“I know. But do you want anything?”

“Toast would be good. And coffee.”

“I’ll see if I can manage it.”

“Thanks, Len.”

“Not a problem.”

She smile and heads towards the bathroom. She seriously considers a water shower, just to cool herself off because a half-naked McCoy gets under her skin far more than she’d like to admit. But she doesn’t want to use McCoy’s water supply after he’s been great about taking this all in stride. She makes quick use of the sonic shower and still feels exhausted and wound up all at the same time. It’s going to be a long five days she thinks as she uses a comb she found in McCoy’s bathroom to comb her hair.

********************

McCoy is back and looking very irritated when she emerges from the bathroom, once again in the clothes he’d given her. But he’s got several boxes stacked neatly next to the bed, so that it something at least.

“Is this my stuff?”

He turns to notice her, and lets his eyes linger on her exposed legs, the shorts he’d given her were very short and her thighs are on display. He nods, “Yeah, managed to track down the folks who cleaned out your room and made them bring these back here for you. About the only thing I was successful at.”

“What do you mean?”

“Apparently married couples have to eat together. In order to ensure that they are allowed quality time there are a number of things that married couple get to do together. Apparently meals are one of them. And by get to they mean forced to, since I won’t be served if you’re not there.”

“What?” Christine’s indignant. Of all the dumbass things she’s ever heard.

“Right. That was my reaction exactly. So want to get changed and have some breakfast?”

“Sure. I’ll be just a second.”

Christine is back in the bathroom and out in her duty uniform in under 10 minutes. And they have food and a table to themselves in the mess hall within 20 minutes after that.

And while it will be a pain in the ass to have to wait for him for all her meals, it’s kind of nice. Normally she just grabs some toast and coffee and scarfs it down as fast as she can. But they chat over breakfast, about everything but work, which is really, really nice. She learns more about him, more about what he likes and about his daughter. He’s surprisingly forthcoming and she thinks that maybe just maybe this won’t be so bad.

***********************

It’s been three days and honestly McCoy’s not sure if this is heaven or hell.  Being married to Christine is both easy and difficult in equal measures. The being together, the always having her around, the having someone to talk to part, well that part he likes, he’s always liked it.

But the fact that she is always there, and he can’t touch her. He can’t reach across the bed and kiss her when she’s talking animatedly about the latest journal she written. He can’t pull her into a hug when she’s near crying because the research simulation for her thesis isn’t working out. And he certainly can’t pull her into his arm and spoon her at night, the way he desperately wants to. So all in all it’s great and horrible and he’s making himself crazy.

Because she is always, always, there. It seems that Starfleet policy on couples is to allow them (or well force them in McCoy’s opinion) to spend all waking hours that are not spent at their jobs together. He can’t even go eat without her. That first morning had been enjoyable and he likes their meals, he’s learned so much more about her, including a story about Mardi Gras with Janice and Nyota when they were all at the academy that had her blushing and laughing at the same time. But the fact that he can’t get served without her is just stupid. So they eat every meal together.

And they spend every night together in the room, more often than not they were reading together, but still, she is always there. Always within reach. Always sweet and kind and funny and God damn he can’t even think about her anymore without getting hard instantly. And that is the other frustrating thing: she is always there so he can’t even touch himself.

He’s taking a break in their, damn it, his room. And that’s the other thing he’s started to think about them as a them, rather than as individual people. He’s mostly just watching a vid and chilling out on the couch, but it’s the first time he’s has 10 minutes to himself since Christine arrived in his room. It’s glorious.

It’s also short lived, because Christine stomps into the room and if this were a cartoon she’d have smoke coming out of her ears. McCoy nearly laughs out loud at her displeased face, “What’s wrong?”

“I was going to go for a run, but get this, like everything else I have to have my husband to access the gym. Seriously, is it marriage or a prison camp?”

McCoy smirks at that. “Joint recreational time is actually one of the ones I know about. It’s supposed to ensure that couples retain a fit and active lifestyle together.”

Christine just growls at him in response and stomps towards the closet grabbing her lounging clothes and then stomps into the bathroom before slamming the door shut.

McCoy sighs, yeah, that’s about what he remembers marriage to be like. At least he’s consistent when it comes to pissing people off. He hits play to start the vid up once again, because he knows from his short lived experience with Christine that she will calm down and join him on the couch within a few minutes.

And once again she’ll be within arm’s reach and there is not a damn thing he can do about it. He grumbles to himself, “longest five days of my damn life.”

*************************

Christine is hiding in the supply closet. Of course she would deny that is what she is doing if anyone said anything, but she is absolutely hiding in the supply closet.

She has been living in McCoy’s back pocket for four days and she can’t take it anymore. He has been patient, he’s been sweet, he’s been funny, and damn it he smells so freaking good.

And she can’t hardly stand the idea that the day after the next she will be back in her own room. So she’s contemplating saying something to McCoy. She’s not sure how that conversation would go. At this point she’s considering passing him a padd, Do you like me? Do you want to have sex? Check yes or no.

She snorts to herself at the idea. Its genuinely crazy. And yet, all of this proximity to the man has made it damn near impossible to stop thinking about how she wishes it was a permanent thing.

She sighs, and then curses under her breath as she hears McCoy shouting for her out in the main part of the medical bay.

“What?” She nearly cringes as she hears it leave her mouth; it had come out far more harshly than she’d anticipated.

He gives her an undecipherable look.  And shrugs, “I’ve had a spot booked on the new holodecks that Starfleet is beta testing on the ship for weeks, but I was just notified…”

“That we have to do it together, right?” She interrupts him and he has a sheepish smile on his face.

“Right.”

“What time?”

“Right after shift. Do you mind?”

She shakes her head, “not at all.”

“Great. Thanks, I’ll come find you when its time.”

“Ok.”

Christine sighs as she returns to the closet to hide. She also smacks her head against the wall, because the look of genuine happiness on his face makes her stomach flip in anticipation. She growls in frustration. Of course she doesn’t mind spending time with him, that’s the whole damn problem.

******************************

McCoy blinks awake sleepily and checks the chorono to see what time it is. 0700.  He rolls his eyes and wills himself to go back to sleep, but he is awake and now he’s thinking about how he’s kind of disappointed.  In a few hours the Enterprise will be in transmission range and Christine will get her paperwork fixed and they will go back to living in separate quarters, back to only seeing each other at work, back to separate lives and it makes him want to stay in bed, stay asleep and pretend it’s not all happening.

He’s jerked out of his own thoughts when he feels warm breath on chest. He looks down to realize that he’s been holding Christine close. At some point in the night he must have pulled her close to him, so that they were spooning, but she’d shifted and now she’s facing him, her head on his chest.

And he freezes. So happy to have this finally happening, so terrified to move and wake her up. But of course his freezing is an unnatural move that startles her into alertness, well half alertness as she just hums a little and snuggles closer to him.

He can tell the moment she reaches fully awake because she freezes in his arm, goes preternaturally still. And he wants to pretend he’s still asleep but he glances down at her and she’s looking at him, so there really is no room for pretense at this point. He refuses to look away and her eyes are searching his, her eyelashes fluttering quickly, reminding him of the hummingbirds that would flock to the sweet flowers in his grandmother’s garden.

She must find what she’s looking for because she closes the little distance between them and kisses him. It’s sweet and a little startling, and she still tastes like the mint of her toothpaste, which is just improbable, but he wants to hold on to this moment forever, for it to never end.

He deepens the kiss, his tongue sweeping along her bottom lip and she lets him into her mouth with a little sigh that goes straight to his dick. She slides her hands into his hair and he pulls her even closer to him.

They kiss for a few moments more before they are forced apart in search of oxygen.  Both are breathing heavy and Christine bites her bottom lip when she finally looks at him.

He chuckles, “Well that’s one way to say good morning, darlin’.”

She blushes and shoves at his chest, “What can I say, I aim to please.”

He smiles at that and is about to give a witty retort when she interrupts him.

“What does this mean, Len?”

He sighs, and drops a kiss on her nose, and then speaks, “I think it means we can’t keep acting like we don’t have this attraction between us.”

“So its mutual?”

“Jesus Christ woman, were you not just kissing me a minute ago? Are you really that far out of your mind to think I’d let just anyone share my room, my bed, for five days?”

She smirks, “Well when you put it that way, there is a certain amount of sense to it.”

“I’ve been trying to find a way to ask you to dinner for months.”

“All you had to do was ask. I thought you were still hung up on Carol.”

“Please, there was nothing between Marcus and I. Besides, I’ve been hung up on you since the Narada incident.”

“Only you could decide you want to be with me in the middle of firefight McCoy.”

“What can I say, strong, sassy capable women just do something to me.”

“Call me sassy again and I’ll do something to you, but not quite what you’re thinking.”

McCoy laughs and pulls her in for another deep kiss.  When they break apart he speaks first, “I’m in Chris. We’ve spent the last three years dancing around one obstacle or another and just bein’ too chicken shit to ever even try. So I’m ready, I want to give this whole dating this a try.”

She nods and then favors him with a sweet smile. “I’ve been thinking it’s about damn time too. I want to at least give it a go. So, soon to be ex-husband of mine, want to go on a date?”

“How’s tonight sound?”

“Someones eager.”

“I’m not risking you changing your mind or the Enterprise warping into a war zone. So in the interest of striking while the iron is hot, how about dinner tonight? We can celebrate our divorce.”

She nods her eyes dancing with merriment, “I’d like that a lot.”

“Excellent.”  He leans in a gives her a chaste sweet kiss. And then a mischievous grin that he must have learned from Jim Kirk. “So what time are you supposed to meet Janice?”

“1000 hours.  Why?”

“Well I was just thinking, since we are both away on our day off, and what with this new relationship thing, maybe we could find a creative way to pass the time.”

She laughs as he ends his sentence with an eyebrow wiggle. “Well now I’m not that kinda girl McCoy. I don’t just put out on the first date.”

“You are technically my wife for a few more hours.”

Christine says, “True. It’s hard to argue with logic like that” before pulling him into a deep kiss.

They spend the morning necking on the couch like two teenagers, and Christine leave for her meeting with Janice with a smile bright as the sun and kiss swollen lips.

************

Jim Kirk finds Janice working on paperwork in his ready room when he comes in around noon. And he can't help but smile. They’ve been going strong as couple for about a year now and it still boggles his mind. Both because he’s been monogamous and happy for over a year and because she remains one of the only people he’s been in a romantic relationship who can put up with his shit for an extended period of time.

He leans over her chair and drops a kiss to her neck, then her cheek, and then her lips when she turns to face him.

She offers him a second quick kiss before speaking, “Hello sweetheart. How was the shift?”

“Long and quiet. Another half day and we should be back at ‘fleet headquarters. How was your morning? Get Christine’s paperwork fixed?”

“Yep. She’s back in her own cabin. No longer forced to spend every waking hour with McCoy.”

“Really? I saw her and Bones on the way to the mess hall, looking pretty cozy, if you know him well enough to know he’s kind of prickly about personal space.”

Janice nods, in what appears to be an all too knowing way. “Huh. How about that. Guess the whole paperwork error worked out for the best.”

He hums in agreement, and leans against the desk she’s working at, brushing a few stray wisps of her hair out of her eyes. She looks at him with a smile.

“You know they both accused me of doing that, messing with the paperwork.”

“It wasn’t you.”

“Oh, I know it wasn’t. It was you.”

Janice gives him an indecipherable look, “I don’t know what you are talking about.”

“Really? You’re pretty smug for someone who was just the shoulder to cry on for Chris’ little paperwork problem. Besides I was sedated in sickbay.”

She frowns at him, and give his hand a quick squeeze, “Please don’t remind me. I hardly slept that night.”

“Aww you were worried, you are so sweet.”

She gives him a playful shove, “Anyway I think someone would have to prove I messed with Chris’ personnel file, and I don’t think that will happen.”

Jim’s look is insufferable, “I knew it!”

“I just couldn’t stand to watch them dancing around each other. And the fact that married couples get to spend so much time together, I thought the constant proximity would force them to act one way or another. I never planned on the whole refuge thing forcing them to share a room. But honestly, I must say it turned out much better than I expected. ”

“I think I’m a bad influence on you. You were never this devious before we started dating. And you sure as hell would not have broken regulations to tamper with personnel files.”

She shrugged, “I didn’t break regs, just bended them a little.”  She pushes away her Padd and the paperwork she was working on, then offers him a sultry glance, “We both have some free time, want to see if you can influence me some more?”

Jim laughed pulled her towards the couch. He’s still surprised by this scheming side of her, but he’s certainly not complaining in the least.

Comments

( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
fringedweller
Jan. 5th, 2014 11:29 pm (UTC)
What a fabulous story! Thank you very much! I love that Janice has an evil side, and that nobody figures it out!
sleepygoof8784
Jan. 6th, 2014 01:31 am (UTC)
Yay! I'm glad you enjoyed it and the Rand twist, I wasn't sure but I wanted to posit a cause for the error.

PS-I love your icon!
hiddencait
Jan. 8th, 2014 03:41 am (UTC)
Oh yay - just yay! So much fun - and great to see new fic from you too!
sleepygoof8784
Jan. 10th, 2014 03:47 am (UTC)
Thanks! I'm glad that it was fun.
lullabymoon
Jan. 8th, 2014 01:36 pm (UTC)
Just fabulous! :D I had a great time reading it!
sleepygoof8784
Jan. 10th, 2014 03:48 am (UTC)
Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed it. And thanks for letting me slip in the exchange at the last minute. :D
seren_ccd
Jan. 9th, 2014 06:18 pm (UTC)
Janice!!!! Oh, you sneaky thing! This was FAB!!
sleepygoof8784
Jan. 10th, 2014 03:49 am (UTC)
Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed the Janice twist at the end, I just couldn't help myself. :)
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )