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Into the TARDIS | Back to the Future

Business As Usual, Part Five: Mystery Date

A/N: It's been a while. I have been, and always shall be, a lazy rat. The fact that this chapter has been written at all is all thanks to monsieurbleu , who drew me a giftart as a filthy dirty bribe. I'll link it at the bottom as it's a bit spoilery for this chapter.
Fandom: Star Trek
Series: Business As Usual (tagged as "whorefic")
Pairing: Pike/McCoy in this chapter, as well as McCoy/expensive whiskey
Rating: I'm going with PG-13 because of alcohol and innuendo and swearing. *shrug*
Warnings: Pike is a GQMF. Also, the usual prostitution stuff, little bit of melancholy angst, alcohol... that kind of thing.
Summary: Leonard has that fancy party to go to, with Chekov in tow... and the kid's being tight-lipped about who hired him for the evening.

Pavel locked eyes with himself in the mirror as Leonard leaned around him to straighten his tie, only to find that it had become a victim of the kid's restless fingers. He planted his hands on Pavel's shoulders, spun him around, loosened the tie and started from scratch, muttering about mathematical geniuses who couldn't even knot a tie right. The kid's nervousness was understandable; this would be his first big fancy event and he was bound to feel out of his depth. Leonard had spent the last couple of days trying to prepare him, but he was half-convinced that all of his advice would all go out of Pavel's head as soon as they entered the ballroom.

“We can only hope your date wants you for your looks, not your social skills,” he said as he attacked Pavel's hair with a brush. The curls flattened down a little until the kid reached up and ruffled them up again; Leonard merely rolled his eyes and turned his attention to his own hair instead.

“If this is another attempt to find out who has hired me for the evening, you will not get me that easily,” Pavel replied, running his hands down his shirt and tugging at the tails.

“You're a mess; tuck yourself in.” Leonard hooked the jacket that hung from the back of a chair with the tips of his fingers and offered it to the kid. “And then put this on and stop fiddling.”

Pavel did as ordered without complaint while Leonard combed out his fringe and brushed it over to the side in its usual parting, checking the mirror for stray hairs. “I guess I might as well give up trying to figure it out,” he added, breaking the silence. “I'll find out soon enough anyway.”

He wouldn't admit to Pavel how much it had been niggling at him, but the kid wasn't known to be secretive, which made this sudden secrecy all the more significant. He'd got his invite to the party the day after Leonard had found out Pike wanted him on his arm, which had been pretty short notice as it was. Since no-one had turned up in person to choose a date, he could only assume that Pavel had been asked for by name, which meant it had to be one of their regulars. Who did they know that could possibly have wanted to take Pavel to a fancy party?

“You boys better be ready,” Nyota called from the hall, “Taxi's waiting.”

Pavel muttered a panicked curse in Russian while Leonard grabbed his jacket and gave himself a quick once-over in the mirror. They both rushed to follow her down the hall and across the foyer, polished leather shoes a dull counterpoint to the sharp click of Nyota's heels. It was no surprise to find practically the entire household waiting to see them off; Leonard rolled his eyes as Gaila kissed him on the cheek and told him to have fun. Sulu, meanwhile, had his hands on Pavel's shoulders and was beaming at him proudly like a mother seeing off her son on his prom night.

“C'mon,” he said, grabbing Pavel's hand, “We're gonna be late.”

The taxi driver probably knew exactly what they were and why they were dressed up so nice, because he didn't say a word to them during the journey across town. This suited Leonard's nerves well; they sat in the back of the car in silence, gripping each other's hands, Leonard praying to a God he didn't really believe in to help Pavel get through the evening without fucking up. When they pulled up to the front of a posh hotel that Leonard guessed was the venue, Pike was out front, waiting for him. Pavel's date, on the other hand, was noticeably absent.

Pike's body might have aged in the time Leonard had known him, but his smile had never lost its brilliance. His voice was as warm and welcome as a strong cup of coffee as he greeted him with his name.

“Leonard.” One arm gripped his sturdy wooden cane tightly, but he reached out to him with the other, and Leonard couldn't stop the fond smile that crept over his lips as he took it gently and tucked it under his own.

“It's been a while,” he said, hearing his voice deepen a little as their shoulders pressed together, sharing heat. “You're looking good, for an old guy.”

Pike chuckled, his face coming to life in a mosaic of laughter lines. “So are you,” he shot back. “I think you've put on a little weight since I last saw you, though.”

Leonard was on the verge of supplying his own witty retort when Pike's gaze shifted to a point over his shoulder. “Isn't that the kid you work with?” he asked, nodding towards Chekov, who was running his tie through his hands and pacing a little as his head darted from left to right, covering both entrances to the car park. “What's his name... Chanko? Cherpov?”

Suppressing a bark of laughter, Leonard answered: “That'd be Chekov, Pavel Andreievich.”

“Cute,” Pike muttered. “How old is he, fifteen?”

“Seventeen,” Leonard corrected. Pike didn't sound at all derisive or patronising, but his tone had carried enough amusement to get Leonard's hackles up.

To his credit, Pike picked up on the change in Leonard's tone, because he sounded concerned when he asked: “He isn't here on his own, is he?”

Leonard shrugged. “He wouldn't tell me who he's here with. All I know is that a client requested him the day after you called.” He hoped to hell the kid hadn't been stood up, because if the client didn't show, Leonard was going to track him down and castrate him without anaesthetic.

He felt Pike's weight shift, using him as a second cane as he took a couple of steps forward. Bless his heart, he was going to see if the kid was OK. “Hello there,” he said, his eyes warm and kind. “Pavel, isn't it? I think we've met before.”

The kid blinked at him in surprise before he realised who was talking to him, and his cheeks flushed as he reached out to shake Pike's offered hand. “You are Mr Pike,” he said, shifting his weight from one foot to the other without seeming to realise that he was doing it. “Leonard, uh, talks about you.”

“Only good things, I hope,” Pike replied with an easy smile. “So which of my colleagues is lucky enough to have you on their arm tonight?”

Pavel shot Leonard a quick glance and his throat contracted a little. Before he could flounder for too long, Leonard rescued him with a quick: “Now Chris, you wouldn't want Pavel to betray the confidence of his client, would you? He's supposed to keep it a surprise.”

He felt a quick squeeze around his bicep, and Pike gave the kid another one of his smiles. “OK, well, you take care out here. We'll see you inside. Nice seeing you again, Pavel.”

As Pike steered him inside the hotel, Leonard thought he heard a forlorn “See you later” and hoped again that Pavel's date turned up soon.

“Not much of a talker, is he?” Pike said. They had emerged through the doors into a thick crowd of people, mostly married couples; the men well-groomed and well-fed, the women in expensive dresses. They weren't the only same-sex pair, although it was possible that they were the only couple with such a large age-difference between them. Leonard was used to the calculating stares, the double takes and the whispers behind gloved hands, but it was reassuring to see that Pike didn't seem to give a shit either.

“He's just nervous,” Leonard replied, his nose already picking up the scent of expensive alcohol. He didn't notice at first that Pike was steering him straight towards the bar because they kept stopping every few steps to say hello to some new stranger, but it shouldn't really have been a surprise. Even for someone who didn't know him as well as Pike did, his fondness for liquor wasn't exactly well hidden.

“We'll keep an eye out for him,” Pike promised. “I still remember what it was like for me: youngest ever executive in the company, straight out of business school and not the slightest clue what to do with myself in a place like this.” He made a complicated hand gesture towards the barman; all Leonard could translate was that he wanted two of something.

“You still don't really fit in here,” Leonard said, leaning in close to his ear in order to be heard. A drink was pressed into his hand and he held it at his hip, delaying that first perfect taste. “Sure you've learned all the niceties and the... fancy hand gestures, which you have to teach me, by the way-”

“A tradesman never gives away his secrets,” Pike cut in with a slight quirk of his lips.

“But deep down you still believe that work is about getting your hands dirty,” Leonard finished. “You play along with all this,” he gestured with his free hand, “but you just want to get back to your basement, change into those paint-stained jeans and mess around with some sheet metal and a blowtorch.”

“You'd look good with a few grease-smears on that pretty face of yours,” Pike quipped, safe in the knowledge that Leonard knew better than to take him seriously. Since he'd gotten married, his business interactions with Leonard went no farther than dinner dates and pleasant company. “I'm sure I could find a way to put that smart mouth of yours to better use.”

Leonard took a sip of the liquor, which turned out to be whiskey of some sort, although he'd killed off his taste buds too long ago to identify it as anything other than 'good'. “If it's a pretty face you're looking for, I'd try Chekov,” he muttered. “I'm too old for 'pretty'.”

“You're young enough for me.” Pike seemed at ease leaning against the bar, far more than he had been when navigating his way through the orbit of his colleagues' social spheres. He gestured with his glass and added: “All good things come a little matured.”

Old enough to be married and divorced and have a daughter he hadn't seen for years, but Pike didn't need to know that. He and the past had an understanding; he would leave his memories well alone, and they wouldn't come back to bite him in the ass. The life stretching ahead of him was uncomplicated, just the way he liked it... at least it had been until Jim had turned up. Jim was a variable that he hadn't planned for, a fork in the road up ahead and he hadn't decided yet whether he would keep going straight, or take the turning into bat country.

“You're a hard man to read,” Pike said, his smooth voice cutting into Leonard's train of thought. The older man's brow was wrinkled, as if he could read Leonard's mind if he concentrated hard enough. Leonard wouldn't put it past him. “Penny for your thoughts?”

“Oh, it's nothing,” he said, waving a hand as if to brush the thoughts away. “Just you know. Life, the universe, everything.”

“Well,” Pike said thoughtfully, sipping his drink and setting it down. “We can't be having that. Leonard McCoy, would you care for a dance?”

The answer to that was actually no, but for you, gladly, but Leonard made do with “that's what I'm here for,” and allowed Pike to lean on him as they found their way through the crowd and into the ballroom next door, where a dozen couples were already twirling in a fast waltz. Leonard and Pike set themselves up in the periphery and began to waltz more slowly, a concession that had to be made for Pike's crippled leg. Leonard had often wondered how strange the scene must look from above; the two of them forming a sedate counterpoint to the neat symmetry of the other dancers, dresses fanning out around the women as their feet moved fast enough to make his eyes water.

Pike was a confident dancer; he always insisted on taking the male role and leading Leonard gently through the familiar steps. Normally, he wouldn't appreciate being manhandled, but Pike never treated him like a fragile woman. Having met the man's wife, Leonard could hazard a guess as to why; he imagined that when the two of them danced she was a strong force, full of energy, taking her husband's guidance and moving with him, rather than allowing herself to be led.

He allowed his chin to rest on Pike's shoulder, nose brushing against the rough stubble of his cheek. Like himself, Pike was one of those men with a permanent five o'clock shadow. It felt nice to be in his arms, the scent of his cologne in the air, present but not offensively strong. He wondered whether Pike could sense the pleasant warmth of arousal that unfolded within him, a primal reaction to being in his strong, protective embrace. This was how it felt with Jim, fingers curled in his chest hair, the thick muscles of his legs flexing around Leonard's waist.

“Your mind's wandering again,” Pike murmured, perceptive as always. Leonard frowned the memories away and concentrated once more on the here and now, trying not to draw parallels between Pike and Jim. Pike was a gentleman, he knew his boundaries. He could easily have fallen into the same trap he had with Jim, but Pike had always given him the slack when he pulled back, never pushed past his carefully constructed defences.

His hands tightened around Pike's waist and shoulder, the hard material of his jacket crumpling slightly under Leonard's fingers. He felt Pike squeeze back, firm and reassuring and so familiar that Leonard could almost have believed he was dancing with a lover, not a paying client.

The song finished just in time for him to pull away with an apologetic smile, shifting both hands to Pike's waist to take his weight. “You need another drink,” Pike said firmly, lowering his cane to the ground and slouching slightly as he leaned into it.

“If you want to keep dancing, that's...” Leonard scowled at his feet, biting back a curse. “I don't want to inconvenience you.” A client shouldn't have to baby him, dammit. He was being paid to be here, he should be the one looking out for Pike and catering to his needs.

Pike merely smiled and took his arm, guiding him gently away from the other dancers. Leonard wasn't the type to take the man's soft heart for granted, although sometimes he wondered whether allowing himself to be taken care of was just another service. He was here to play a role, just like he did with every client; the fact that he was fond of Pike just made the role easier to fulfil.

“There's that Chekov kid again,” Pike said as they neared the (now crowded) bar. The venue was starting to fill up, and Leonard was finding himself becoming slowly boxed in by a sea of expensive hair styles.

“Do you see who's with him?” he asked, craning his neck to catch a glimpse. Not that he gave a damn who Pavel's date was. Curiosity wasn't a sin, last time he checked.

“I can't tell; too many people.”

Pavel caught sight of them before Leonard had found him in the mass of tuxedos. He started to wave them over, but aborted the gesture half-way through when he remembered where he was. The quick burst of movement caught Leonard's eye and he grinned at the kid, hoping to put a smile on his freckled face. He didn't exactly look like he was having the best of times.

“Find your date?” Leonard asked once they'd got close enough. Being on the arm of a man with a walking stick had its advantages. Excruciating politeness was a character trait of the rich that he had no qualms about exploiting if it got him to the bar more quickly.

“Yes, he is just buying drinks,” Pavel said, throwing a quick glance over his shoulder. Maybe he thought he would be able to keep Leonard and his date apart, but Leonard wasn't about to let him get away with it.

“Same again?” Pike said quietly in his ear, and he nodded, letting him catch the barman's eye and do his hand signal thing. He felt an arm slip around his waist and leaned a little into the touch.

“So come on, when am I going to meet this mystery man?” Leonard asked, raising an eyebrow at the kid. “You know I don't like surprises.”

Pavel's smile drained off his face as his eyes slid to Leonard's left. He felt a quick press of heat against his left arm as the newcomer brushed past him, and he caught a familiar scent just as the man turned, sending a thrill of recognition twisting through his stomach.

“I should've fucking guessed,” he growled as Jim Kirk took his place by Pavel's side, a glass in each hand. He handed a clear drink over to the kid and kept an amber liquid for himself. The smell of his aftershave lingered in the air where he'd passed Leonard, a scent that had graced his pillow so often that it never really went away.

“Fancy seeing you here,” Jim said pleasantly with a smile that didn't quite reach his eyes. He nodded at Pike, his gaze flickering over him quickly before he caught Leonard's eyes with his own and held his gaze.

“Jim,” Leonard said evenly, his eyes narrowed until everything blurred and the man in front of him could have been a complete stranger. He reminded himself that Jim had every right to be there. Jim was perfectly entitled to hire whoever he wanted. As long as he held those thoughts tightly in his mind, he'd be able to get through the evening without strangling the asshole for dragging Pike and Chekov into their fuck-up of a relationship.

And when the evening was over, he was going to give the bastard a piece of his mind.

Oh gosh, a cliffhanger D:

Here's the giftart. Thanks Aiden <3. (Note the fancy bowtie bitches, coz that is just badass)


( Join orgy — Sex me up, baby )
Aug. 12th, 2009 07:42 pm (UTC)
god, i love you.
My pike looks like a woman
Chekov is creepy
and Bone's head is too big.
also, note the fancy bowtie.

this is fantastic and i love youuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu.
Aug. 12th, 2009 07:50 pm (UTC)
*edits entry*

There's now a note at the bottom about the bowtie. Sharing the bowtie love, yo.

Thanks for motivating me, sexyfacepants. Hopefully the next part gets written soon because I kind of left it on a cliffhanger and you know how much I fail at being productive >
Aug. 12th, 2009 08:30 pm (UTC)
Love this series and was so happy for another installment.

Two impressions:
1. Pike is amazing and the comparisons between he and Kirk are great
2. The image of an arm tightening around Pike's waist while dancing stuck in my mind rather strongly. Sigh. Why am I so fascinated by him?
Aug. 12th, 2009 08:58 pm (UTC)
Keep telling me that and I'll be that much more motivated to keep writing ^__^ (seriously, it's mostly because I don't want to let a whole bunch of people down that I force myself to keep writing - and then end up enjoying it once I've started.)

1. Jolly good, I happen to think that he's pretty amazing too.
2. That would be because Pike is a damn sexy older gentleman and anyone would jump at the chance to dance with him, bless his heart.

Glad you liked, and it's nice to see people are still enjoying this series :)
Aug. 12th, 2009 10:27 pm (UTC)
Yay! It's back! :DDDDD

I'm so excited you're continuing this. LEONARD, JUST GIVE IN TO JIM, OKAY? ♥
Aug. 12th, 2009 10:50 pm (UTC)
I'm excited that you're excited <3

NEVER, HE IS TOO DAMN STUBBORN (he can't deal with the intensity of Jim's manly love)
Aug. 12th, 2009 11:01 pm (UTC)
Oh, lovely! Need to keep track of this series, dammit.

Also, do you know there's pike_2009 out there for Pike fic? Would be wonderful if you could link it there too :)
Aug. 13th, 2009 11:24 am (UTC)
Ooh, I didn't know about that community. *scurries off to link*

Sorry this series is so inconsistent - makes it harder to keep track of :/
Good to see people are still reading despite my failure to update :)
Aug. 12th, 2009 11:05 pm (UTC)
On Leonard, you can't get mad at Jim for taking another boy when you were already claimed for the evening. [easier said then done of coarse :)]
Aug. 13th, 2009 11:38 am (UTC)
Leonard can get mad at Jim for anything. It's one of the perks of being an illogical being.
Aug. 13th, 2009 12:14 am (UTC)
I also find it odd that McCoy would be upset if he knows the call for Chekov came in after McCoy was already hired. Seems like he's getting upset just 'cause the plot needs him to be upset.

Very enjoyable otherwise. I especially liked Pike/McCoy.
Aug. 13th, 2009 11:45 am (UTC)
I think you misunderstood Jim's motives - He's only at the party because he found out that Leonard was going, otherwise he wouldn't have been there - that's why the call came in after Leonard was hired. Leonard is also angry because Jim forced Chekov to keep it a secret from him and brought him to a party where he was clearly out of his depth, thus making him miserable. Then there's the fact that he was having a lovely Jim-free evening with Pike, and Jim turned up to spoil it.

This will become more clear in the next chapter. Sorry, I thought it was clear that Jim is there because of Leonard.
(Deleted comment)
Aug. 13th, 2009 11:58 am (UTC)
High praise indeed. I shall bring you tasty treats while you hang from that cliff, coz I wouldn't want you to starve. Maybe a little entertainment, in case you get bored of adoring Chekov.
Aug. 13th, 2009 09:41 am (UTC)
Yay! Update! I continue to adore this series. And Leonard is so...Leonard like :)
Aug. 13th, 2009 12:01 pm (UTC)
I'm pretty sure it would be difficult to make him un-Leonard-like. You could start writing the sentence "he cuddled the puppy closer and thought that this was possibly the bestest day ever" and he'd start growling at you until you changed it.

Thanks for reading ^__^
(Deleted comment)
Aug. 13th, 2009 07:21 pm (UTC)
1) Thank yoou ^__^

2) Oh gosh, a stalker o_O (yay, I appreciate it)
Aug. 15th, 2009 09:27 pm (UTC)
gah. the cliffhanger is killing me. ;_;
Aug. 16th, 2009 01:26 pm (UTC)
Ah yes, I left you on a cliffhanger because I secretly hate all of my fans, and not because I'm a lazy git >.>

(Thanks for putting up with me <3)
Sep. 9th, 2009 02:47 pm (UTC)
It took me forever to comment because I'm a horrible procrastinator but I've finally forced myself to go through the list of stories I've saved to comment on. *grin*

I was so excited to see that you posted more and I had to go back and reread it before commenting because it's just that good. Leonard continues to be adorable. Him trying to find out who Pavel was going with kept cracking me up and I laughed so hard at the reveal that it was Jim. I bet he did it on purpose just to piss Leonard off.

I can't wait for more and next time I'll try to reply right away.
Sep. 9th, 2009 06:55 pm (UTC)
Note to self: get off your lazy arse and write the next chapter. (Finish the femmeslash you're working on first.)

Leonard is the most adorable thing ever, bless his cranky heart. There's no end to how much I love this series - it's my baby - even though I have been very lazy about updating. Things are going to come to a head in the next chapter, so stay tuned ;)
Jan. 1st, 2010 06:25 pm (UTC)
business as usual

your story is amazing! pls update soon!
Mar. 9th, 2010 02:50 am (UTC)

I will buy you another muse, yes?

Bake cookies?

Bribe you somehow?

( Join orgy — Sex me up, baby )