Well, it wasn’t the first time McCoy had woken up like this. Head pounding, a sheen of sweat that made his clothes stick, slight nausea, and the light burning through his eyelids making everything worse. He was in a bed and hadn’t pissed himself, so that was plus.
He squinted his eyes open, trying to piece together where in the universe he was. Let’s see: Vega-S, weddi- no, shore leave. Hotel...Jim.
“Jim?” He groaned. Leonard patted around the mattress and found it was empty. He opened his eyes a little more, and called out to the room’s other bed. Nothing.
With all the energy left at his disposal, Leonard sat up. Today was gonna suck even more if he had to spend it looking for his friend. Wearing nothing but a shirt and underwear, he stumbled his way out of bed and through his hotel room.
Not in the other bed, not in the bathroom, or the closet. Panic was setting in- he remembered himself and Jim leaving the party, hanging out alone, doing something and then ending up back here together.
Bones snatched his clothes from the floor, kicking empty bottles of booze and wondering how the hell he was going to track down his friend. Jim was dead somewhere, he knew it. Choked on his own vomit, robbed and beaten, kidnapped in an Orion slave ring- was that a toe sticking out from the bed?
Leonard climbed back over his mattress, finding a familiar blond sandwiched between the wall and bed frame, wearing only black boxer briefs. McCoy’s concern subsided quickly into irritation.
“Jim, you fucking moron. Get up.”
“Hmm?” The younger man was slow to open his eyes, and was evidently very confused on how he ended up like this. McCoy stood and pushed the bed out of the way so Kirk could roll onto his back.
“Gave me a heart attack,” Bones huffed as Jim grimaced in pain.
“I can’t feel my arm,” he said, rolling his shoulder. “I can’t believe we live in 2267, and there’s still no cure for a hangover.”
Leonard flopped down on the opposite mattress and hummed in agreement. “Workin on it.”
“I have no clue what happened last night. Did we, ...crash a wedding or something?”
“Must’ve,” Bones agreed, “I thought the same thing when I woke up.” Another groan. “I’m never drinking again.”
“I’m never drinking with you again, that’s for sure.”
It was hard to argue over who the worst drinker was. McCoy consumed alcohol more often, but Kirk almost exclusively drank to get wasted. Most of the time, they knew when to stop. Other times...it was like this.
Jim heaved himself up moseyed his way into the bathroom. He splashed cold water on his face and-
He came out white as a sheet.
“I think I got married last night.”
Leonard shot up to a seated position. Sure enough, Jim was wearing a ring- probably some cheap metal they used for Vega-S weddings. “To who? That random girl you danced with?”
Jim was already at the monitor, pulling up his record. Leonard watched the other man’s eyes go wide, and face go bright red.
“Who is it?”
“Don’t lie to me, Jim,” he threatened, pushing him out of the way to look at the screen. Jim fell onto the chair, staring into space as Leonard read with absolute certainty that Jim was now listed as Captain James T. Kirk-McCoy.
He swallowed. “Well, all we have to do is undo it.”
“We can’t do that.”
“What do you mean we can’t do that?” He snapped.
“Bones,” Jim shot back, hazel eyes flashing up at him, “Starfleet is automatically notified when marital status changes. What do you think they’ll say knowing a Captain and his CMO got so drunk they got hitched? We’ll be disgraced!”
Leonard tugged at his hair. “I’m sure we’re not the first to-“
“Are you sure?” Jim asked, “Because I’m positive that I don’t want to find out.”
“We can’t stay married, Jim!”
“We don’t have to! As soon as our mission is over-“
“In three years? Are you insane?”
“We’re just pretending,” Jim pleaded, “It won’t matter. The only people who have access to our records are the higher ups. None of the crew is required to know.”
McCoy rubbed his face. He couldn’t believe what he was hearing.
“You want me to forgo a real relationship for-“
Jim’s laugh cut him off. “Aww, Bones, you’re not gonna cheat on me?”
“Will you shut the fuck up?”
Jim’s smile fell fast. Leonard was burning. How were they supposed to pretend they were married? How could he have done this?
“Ya know,” Jim said after a minute, “married couples have certain perks.”
McCoy squinted at him. At this rate, he never wanted to see Jim again.
“You’re thinking of staying together? What, until we retire?”
“Well, I mean, it’s not like we have to change much,” Jim shrugged, “people already think we’re together.”
That was true. Since the academy, people occasionally asked Leonard if he and Jim were a couple. A few brave souls even commented that they’d make a good one. But to actually tie the knot with him- especially with Jim thinking this was joke?
“I can’t believe I fucked up two marriages in a row.”
“Oh, come on, Doc. I’m a good catch.”
In spite of everything, Leonard actually managed an exasperated chuckle. “Of all the people I could play house with, I guess you aren’t the worst.”
Jim gave him a half lidded look, evidently pleased with himself. “Careful, Bonesy, it sounds like you care about me.”
He picked up his pants, revealing a small band. “Ope, here’s your ring.”
Leonard caught it and put it on. Positively surreal. It was a cheap thing, but it would pass for genuine. Did he really just let Jim convince him to do this? It could definitely be worse, he decided. Christ, it could’ve been-
“Oh shit, are you gonna tell Spock?”
Kirk pursed his lips. “Probably should.”
Bones covered his face and laid back down. “God, I can already see his smarmy little face.”