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‘Damn it, Christopher.’ Boyce’s low groan barely rasped the edge of his hearing. ‘Keep it in your pants, would you?’

‘Hmm?’ Pike flicked a glance at his friend seated next to him at the high table, then swiftly turned his eyes back out upon the crowded hall at the irritation he found there. Not that the escape attempt saved him from Boyce’s cynical snort.

‘Don’t play the innocent with me,’ he muttered darkly. ‘You’re staring at that poor boy so hard I’m surprised he hasn’t burst into flames.’

Pike flinched. ‘Like hell I am,’ he protested under his breath, proving the lie in his own words by daring to look again. ‘And he’s not a boy.’ Even in his cadet reds, McCoy projected all the maturity of a hard fought life, of raw genius tempered by more experience than any of his peers possessed. His difference from them all, even from James Kirk seated at his side, was obvious to the point of radiance: his proud shoulders, his talented hand suspended lazily mid-air from the back of his chair. That half-hidden, sardonic hint of a smile on those deliciously distracting lips…

‘You’re doing it again,’ Boyce interrupted dryly.

‘So what?’ he snapped, pressing his fingers hard into his eyes all the same with a self-conscious wince. He knew the answer to his own question – there was nothing appropriate about ogling a cadet at the annual commendations banquet, especially when seated in full view of the Academy’s best and brightest. ‘Sorry,’ he added grudgingly as he reached for his wine, for any sort of distraction.

‘How long?’ The apology must have stirred something of Boyce’s more patient nature. The question was soft, sympathetic in a way that tightened the ache in his chest.

‘Weeks,’ he admitted before taking a strong mouthful of his pinot noir. Twenty-six days to be exact but that was too close to telling.

Boyce whistled low behind his own chilled glass of chardonnay. ‘That would explain McCoy’s sunny disposition lately,’ he said. ‘Even that medal barely made a dent in his lousy mood.’

‘Leo’s not the type to give a shit about medals,’ he admitted, not without a strong dose of fondness. His applause had no doubt been a touch too enthusiastic at the moment McCoy had received his commendation for his off-term work on Capella IV, even if the doctor himself had been less than pleased at the attention; on the contrary, he had shied away with something wistful tightening his mouth as he shook hands with Boyce at the podium. Surely something he should cautiously address later, if he ever got McCoy on his own anytime soon. Repressing a useless sigh, he scanned the sea of cadets at their smaller circular tables, seeking out another illicit eyeful of his lover and sitting up alert as a predator as he noticed McCoy pushing his chair away from his table.

Pike’s eyes narrowed; McCoy was rising to his feet, exchanging a few indifferent words with Kirk and leaving his medal to the side of his water glass with all the indifference of a man taking a brief respite. Washroom, most likely, and Pike stirred with a flutter of interest, of intent.

‘Excuse me,’ he murmured as he swiftly drained his wine, pausing to thumb any lingering stain from his lips. Boyce glanced sharply at him, out to the room, then rolled his eyes.

‘Oh, you’re not,’ he groaned. ‘Here? Really?’

‘I have no idea what you’re talking about,’ he shot back as he stood, all his attention narrowed on McCoy’s progress to his nearest door. The washrooms were nearer the officers’ entrance to the hall, allowing him a few moments to smooth the creases in his uniform with an unhurried display that might have convinced anyone except Boyce, who snorted and shook his head.

‘If you don’t send that young man back in one respectable piece, today of all days…’

Pike grinned, as pleased by Boyce’s fatherly concern for McCoy as he was at the shivering temptation to ignore his warning, to corrupt his dear doctor with flushed skin, with bruises bitten along his throat and lips swollen red and raw with use. ‘Would I do that?’ he murmured as he slipped past the back of Boyce’s chair, sidestepping his way to the exit and ignoring the muttered Probably that followed in his wake.

The washrooms serving Bozeman Hall extended down a dark tiled corridor where only the discrete pinpoints of sharp overhead lighting revealed a glimpse of McCoy’s dark head and broad shoulders as he slipped into a washroom at the furthest end of the hall. Pike kept his distance as the door snicked shut, kept his watch as he flipped open his comm and pretended at a careful perusal of messages long since addressed. A Vulcan cadet scanned him quizzically as she passed; he acknowledged her with a stoic nod, refusing to admit the lack of logic in hovering outside so many unoccupied cubicles.

He drifted nearer to his target as he counted down the seconds in his head, and prided himself on timing it nearly right; he reached the door only seconds before he heard the lock give way. Pike shifted closer, held his hand ready to strike at the first crack of light between door and wall and there, there was his opportunity to shove his way inside, to crowd his beautiful Leo up against the nearest wall as he sharply set the lock again.

‘What the hell…’ McCoy stared down at him, wide-eyed and deliciously startled up against the tiled wall. ‘Chris? What’re you…’

He resisted the urge to silence McCoy with a kiss; instead, he smudged out his words with fingertips that flew irresistibly to the full contours of his mouth, testing the plush give of his flesh. ‘Shhh…’ he hushed, his gaze captivated by those lips as he nudged them apart, slipped a probing finger inside. ‘Wouldn’t want anyone to come knocking, would we?’

The sharp little intake of McCoy’s breath shivered against his fingers, followed by the invitation of that typically sharp tongue circling gently at his fingertip. ‘I don’t know,’ he said in a soft drawl as he drew his head back. ‘Might be I’ll need to call for help…’

Pike smirked as his hand slid down to the base of his lover’s throat, pleased to feel the rapid hammer of his blood beneath his touch. ‘You might,’ he allowed with a shrug, ‘if you weren’t the sort of boy who got off on being used by whatever commanding officer happens to break down the door.’

A defiant eyebrow flew upward, but not before Pike caught the hot leap of raw need in McCoy’s stare. ‘You might be mistaking me for the wrong kind of boy,’ he threw back with a telling squirm of his whole body. ‘They just gave me a fancy medal out there, see.’

‘Yes, they did.’ The pride that rekindled in Pike’s chest didn’t stop him from unfastening the collar of McCoy’s uniform, sliding the zip of his tunic slowly down the centre of his chest. ‘All the more reason to remind you of your place, Cadet.’

‘Is that so…’ The hand that slid down Pike’s back to draw him nearer wasn’t the least bit intimidated; nor were those full lips as they passed teasingly over his parted mouth. ‘Best show me, Captain…’

Pike claimed his long-awaited kiss with a rough growl and they were both gone, lost to a hunger of tasting and touching, hard and impatient up against the wall. For all his submissive flirting, McCoy responded with almost aggressive fervour, greed rumbling from deep in his throat as he shoved a hand down the back of Pike’s pants to grope at his ass, to shove him tighter to the thigh he nudged up against Pike’s groin. He followed the demand eagerly, shamelessly rutting at McCoy’s thigh as he sucked greedily at his bared throat, hands working impatiently beneath his unfastened tunic to claim firm flesh beneath his black undershirt.

‘Off,’ he muttered beneath his own rasping breaths, tugging ruthlessly at the obstruction of McCoy’s uniform. ‘Need this… off…’ He caught McCoy’s restless limbs long enough to strip the heavy outer tunic away from his body, tossed it impatiently aside. Once done, Pike pinned his wrists up above his head as he pressed in close once more, as much to rally his dwindling self-control as to hear McCoy’s inevitable moan in response to the light restraint.

‘Fuck, Chris…’ His head dropped forward on that breathy exhalation to brush a kiss across his brow. ‘Missed you, darling…’

Pike hummed his agreement, leaning in to nuzzle at his bare throat. ‘Missed you more.’ His hips rolled feverishly close, finding the answering weight of McCoy’s hardened cock through his trousers. ’Need you…’

Yes…’ McCoy’s pelvis arched firmly forward, an immovable wall of raw lust meeting his own aching body. ‘Fuck me… please…

‘No.’ It was a tempting offer, one that made his dick twitch hard against McCoy’s willing body, but Pike couldn’t ignore the pressures of time, the necessity of returning his lover to the banquet hall in somewhat presentable shape. ‘No, my greedy boy,’ he purred softly, blood quickening as he asserted control over his choice, ‘this is just a taste of what I’ll be doing to you later…’

A broken moan, slightly louder than was entirely safe, escaped McCoy’s parted lips. ‘Goddamned cocktease bastard,’ he growled, thrashing impatiently beneath his hold in an explicit invitation that Pike accepted with a feral grin. He brought McCoy’s wrists forcibly together, kept him pinned to the wall with one strong hand while the other closed around his throat.

‘Watch that dirty mouth of yours, Cadet,’ he warned softly. ‘Or else I’ll put it to better use.’

Those full lips twitched into a smirk. ‘Like to see you try,’ he drawled back, eyebrow hitched to match the dare.

‘I’m sure you would.’ And damn, that was tempting too, as everything about his Leo was, but he wanted more than a quick and seedy blowjob that would reduce this gorgeous man to his wet and willing mouth, would deprive him of all the sight and touch he craved.

He decided swiftly, urgent with need. ‘Come here,’ he ordered sharply, but he was already forcing McCoy to follow, flinging him the short distance away from the wall and towards the sink. McCoy caught himself against the countertop with a low grunt, clearly rattled but entirely eager judging from the hard, burning stare he threw back over his shoulder.

‘No, darling,’ he growled, thickly honeyed by raw sex, ‘you come here.’

Pike didn’t need the invitation; he was there, pressed up tight behind McCoy’s long body, groin flush to the firm swell of his ass. He dragged his hands up every lean line and contour, mouthing greedily at the nape of his neck as he groped McCoy’s thighs wider apart, slipped his hands under the hem of his black undershirt to expose his body in the facing mirror. His abdominal muscles twitched delightfully taut beneath the drag of his fingertips, dusky nipples turning hard as he shoved a hand below his waistband, groping his cock while working his trousers open.

‘I’m going to make you come apart,’ he promised roughly as he finally took McCoy in hand, nearly weakening himself to feel his lover’s silken heat finally defining the shape of his lonely fingers. His thumb teased at his slit, already slick with excitement but not nearly enough for the speed he craved.

He released McCoy’s cock, turned his attention to the mirror where he raptly watched the lewd smear of his thumb rubbing pre-come over McCoy’s panting lips. ‘You know what to do, my dirty boy,’ he murmured, trailing off with a soft moan as McCoy tilted his head to take his thumb into his mouth, working it obscenely with his tongue before pulling back to lap wetly at the palm of his hand. This impulsive display had hit Pike hard that first time they had done this, in the woods behind a backwater Georgia bar, and two years of familiarity had made McCoy more lascivious, more eager to lavish his worship over Pike’s sex-stained fingers.

Pike could have lost himself to the lewd play of that mouth at his hand, if they were anywhere but here. For now, it was a luxury he sacrificed too soon for the far greater pleasure of gliding his fist along the length of McCoy’s cock, fast enough to wrest a harsh shudder from the body that leaned back into him for support. This was what he had missed most of all - his Leo, pride melted down to molten want beneath his touch.

‘This is what you get for being too damned distracting,’ he growled as he worked his dick harder, faster. ‘You were practically begging for it out there…’

A rough laugh slipped through the cracks between McCoy’s stifled groans. ‘You weren’t much better,’ he shot back, ‘way you kept staring… could barely focus on anything that wasn’t you… ah…

‘Neither could I,’ Pike confessed. He pulled McCoy closer with a possessive arm about his bared torso, smudged his lips along the side of his heated throat. ‘So beautiful…’

In the mirror, he saw McCoy’s flush deepen at the compliment, caught the self-conscious twist of his mouth before he concealed it with a bow of his head. For all that his exquisite body was shamelessly displayed, his face remained fixed like that, hidden from view.

‘Look at me,’ Pike murmured, fingers firm on his jaw to turn his face upright, to force his reluctant gaze in the mirror. ‘Look at you,’ he added, an involuntary tribute under his breath. He drew his hand back down, enjoying the offering of his bared torso on his meandering way to the hard swelling still cradled in his other hand. He caught one peaked nipple with his wandering fingertips as he squeezed McCoy harder, breath catching at the visible shudder of arousal crumpling his lover’s face. ‘I want your eyes on me,’ he said, reinforcing the demand with a slow sink of teeth into a shoulder. ‘Whatever I do, I want to see you, right there…’

McCoy met his stare in the mirror with an uneven twitch of a nod, the points of his teeth anxious at his lower lip in a way that made Pike want to devour that fragile flesh for himself. Fuck, but he was too gorgeous for his own good.

He sank his teeth instead into the nape of McCoy’s neck, stifling an indecent growl as he resumed his long, steady stroke over the cock twitching desperately within his grasp. His Leo was close now, arousal no doubt sparked by the command he had laced into this chance encounter but the feedback loop of McCoy’s shivering obedience, his barely suppressed moans was driving on Pike’s own need, his erection grinding restlessly at McCoy’s ass. Pike thrust more deliberately, using his grip on McCoy’s cock to time it better, savage pleasure peaking as McCoy faltered and fumbled for a better grip on the edge of the sink.

‘Oh, fuck, Chris…’

That ragged groan shot straight to Pike’s cock, but was so dangerously loud that he instinctively slapped his left hand over McCoy’s mouth. ‘Shhh,’ he urged softly as another wrenching moan vibrated into his hand. While motivated by sheer necessity, Pike could also appreciate the heavier breathing and stifled noises that spoke to McCoy’s heightened arousal. ‘There’s my naughty boy,’ he purred as he fisted his captive harder, drinking in his squirming reactions in the mirror before them. ‘You love it even more like this, don’t you… you little slut… if only everyone waiting out there knew what you were really like…’

McCoy’s eyes pinched shut as a higher, more desperate noise muffled itself into his hand. Closing his eyes was against the rules, and Pike was fleetingly tempted to punish his disobedience, to deny him the release he so clearly craved but he had nowhere near the strength to refuse the wanton, disheveled creature facing him in the mirror - breathing hard, nearly destroyed by lust, trembling at the very edge.

‘Come for me,’ he ordered softly, and that was the best part of all, to see McCoy flinch and fall apart beneath his hand at the trigger of his hushed command. His head rolled back upon Pike’s shoulder as his hips snapped forward with the hot burst of semen staining the sink and mirror in a deliciously obscene display. Pike held him firmly through the aftershocks, murmuring mindless praise as his own erection rubbed feverishly at McCoy’s trembling body.

‘Good boy,’ he praised as the moans filling his hand subsided to ragged breaths; Pike gradually released his mouth, let his hand drift up to soothe through his sex-mussed hair. ‘So good…’

McCoy threw off his touch with a sharp toss of his head that left Pike briefly blindsided, unprepared for the force with which McCoy spun about and pinned him to the nearest wall. The air exploded from his lungs with the shock of impact, left him breathless as McCoy slid down his body to his knees.

‘Leo…’ He stared, struck speechless with lust as nimble fingers worked at his trousers and drew out his cock. With his uniform half-torn from his body and hair in disarray, McCoy looked roughly used and eager for more, kneeling on the dirty floor like a whore… Pike clamped his eyes shut rather than risk coming from the view alone, choking down a groan as the wet heat of McCoy’s mouth surrounded him, savoured him lavishly with slow undulations of his clever tongue. As much as it mortified him, Pike could already feel his balls tightening in anticipation; he bit his lip, firmly reminded himself that this had been a long time building, ever since those first stolen glances from the head table and it took little more now than a lascivious moan echoing around his cock for Pike to come apart with a shuddering gasp, fingers tangled in McCoy’s hair as he spent himself in that gorgeous mouth.

He slumped down the wall as the last of his release left his body, finding some stability in the cold tiled floor and the press of McCoy’s thighs between his splayed legs. A deeply satisfied sigh escaped him as he pressed in closer to his Leo, hands slipping beneath his unfastened uniform as he chased the taste of his own come on McCoy’s lips.

‘You have no idea how much I needed that,’ he murmured between lingering kisses, smiling faintly to himself as he felt McCoy’s dry huff of a laugh vibrate through his body.

‘I think I know full damn well, thank you very much,’ he drawled, thick with lazy satisfaction. ‘You aren’t the only one who’s been going without these last few weeks.’

‘I know.’ Pike pressed an apologetic kiss to his forehead, but drawing back was proving more difficult. His instinct to hold McCoy closer still warred with his too-sharp awareness of time and obligation, keeping him paralyzed between the two.

Somehow, McCoy read and understood the hesitation in his body. ‘I reckon we should make ourselves decent and get back out there,’ he remarked grudgingly with an anticipatory squirm of movement that dashed cold frustration over the embers of Pike’s post-coital calm. The very mention of out there made the indignity of being in here all too ridiculous, too much the rash foolishness of a horny, impulsive man he could barely recognize as himself. He wasn’t sure when his taste for calculated risk had taken this sideways leap into desperation, but no wonder Boyce had been so exasperated at his behaviour.

‘We should be doing better than this.’

McCoy’s lust-bruised mouth twitched unpleasantly at his unintentionally sharp tone before flattening out in a false shape of indifference. ‘Maybe,’ he conceded with a shrug. ‘Don’t see how, though.’

The dull tone of McCoy’s voice stabbed more viciously at Pike’s conscience than any reproach. All that world-weary experience aside, he was so young - too young to have resigned himself to this half-life of a relationship. ‘Tomorrow,’ he decided out loud. ‘Tomorrow night, you and I… we should…’

‘You’re busy tomorrow, Chris,’ McCoy interrupted quietly as he gently caught Pike’s hands, drew them away from his body. ‘I saw, on your schedule, you…’

‘I don’t care.’ He tangled their fingers tight together, refusing to let reality interfere with what was right. Not this time. ‘I’ll rearrange it,’ he promised. ‘It’s not that important, nowhere near as important as this.’

A dubious squint shot up at him from beneath dark eyebrows. ‘You ain’t telling me that this suddenly became more important than Starfleet,’ he protested with a toss of his head that managed to take in all the sordid mess they had made of the washroom. ‘Not after weeks of—’

‘Not this, he corrected impatiently. ‘I meant you.’

That swept the cynicism from McCoy’s face, leaving nothing but the more heartbreaking doubt beneath. His swollen lips moved noiselessly, attempting to give shape to the insecurities and desires churning in his averted eyes. If he ever did find the words, Pike didn’t want to hear them.

‘Just say you’ll come to me tomorrow,’ he urged, fighting to maintain a gentle calm. As much as his need still worried him deeply, Pike knew he couldn’t possibly leave this room, couldn’t continue to convince anyone out there without having McCoy’s answer to steady his heart for the next twenty-four hours of pretending. He watched avidly, breath coming easier as the first hint of a quiet, reluctantly satisfied smile tugged at the corner of McCoy’s stubborn mouth.

‘You just try to keep me away,’ he threw back in an easy drawl that demanded one more kiss, slow and grateful and still faintly tinged with the taste of sex. As ever, Pike lingered too long, but managed to draw away before that first hopeful twitch of his exhausted cock developed into anything worse. Instead, he made his peace with the slow stroke of his hand through McCoy’s hair, an attempt to tidy him closer to decency, to something he inevitably needed to return intact to the rest of the world.

‘Alright,’ he decided with a forced smile. ‘Let’s get you cleaned up.’