Title: Sake and Vodka
Author: Farfalla
Email: blueberrysnail at yahoo dot com
Website: www.cosmicduckling.com
Beta: Hypatia
Series: Star Trek Original Series
Pairing: Sulu/Chekov (yes, I slashed Chekov. OK, now back to your regularly scheduled U/C. :-P)
Rating: PG-13, angsty
Archive: 2003 Slash Advent Calendar, ASCEM, To Steer a Clear Course (Skywise's PG Su/C archive)
Note: If you think you know where this story came from, you're probably right. My apologies. *blush; runs away*

~-~ Sake and Vodka ~-~

My hands are cupped and the water within them feels cool and refreshing on my burning face. It occurs to me that I should try to stop breathing so heavily, that I might accidentally inhale water and choke a little, but instinct of self-preservation is muted under the jagged edge of my raw heart. What does it matter, I tell myself, I'm choking already.

It's mostly my fault. Well, all my fault, I guess. It's with some kind of sick, Dorian Gray-style satisfaction that I realize no one would ever suspect what's going on inside my head. People look at me on the bridge, in the hallway, in the rec room, and they see the outside. Pavel Chekov, the goofy Russian, Pavel the mischevious little boy, Pavel the skirt-chaser. Girl-crazy Pavel.

Well, they're right. I do love girls. I love women. I love their soft, gropeable bosoms and their fragrant hair. I love the feel of their full lips squashed against mine. I love the slender lines of their legs, and how the current Starfleet uniforms let me get a great peek at them.

I didn't expect to fall so hard--for a man. And make a fool of myself.

Why do I do things like this with my heart? I'd blame it on the turmoil of breaking up with Miss Landon, but that would be denying the attraction I'd been feeling even from day one. And we'd become friends, Hikaru and I, his overenthusiasm over his numerous hobbies shielding him blissfully from the quirky ways my feelings would manifest themselves. I found that sometimes I acted even more immature around him, letting him be the straight man, if you'll pardon the tragic pun. I'm sure he never had any idea I had a crush on him. I never stopped flirting with girls even when he was around, so that's all he saw. But when I went back to my quarters at the end of the day and was lying in bed trying to fall asleep, it was his dark eyes, his tall, wiry body, that had seemed to have imprinted themselves within my dreams.

I never had any reason to think making an overture was anything more than ludicrous. Hikaru doesn't flirt as easily as I do, but I can tell when he loves a woman. He and Janice are going to end up married some day; they just don't know it yet. They keep letting their careers push them away from each other, but someday they'll be together.

In that strange part of my brain that my psychology professors at the academy called the "id", I knew that if I was ever going to have a chance for *anything* with him, it would have to be before then. Somehow in my mind, it wasn't really cheating if he and Janice weren't officially married yet. I suppose that doesn't make any sense, and is incredibly hypocritical. Amazing how cold and obvious everything is in the morning, with the sting of the bridge-lights in your sleepless eyes and the memory of an unrepeatable kiss still tasted on your mouth.

Last night, some of us had an impromptu Christmas party in Uhura's quarters. We had some cake, sang songs, watched some old holiday vids, and drank. A lot. Hikaru brought sake, and I brought vodka, and Riley brought whiskey, and before we knew it, everyone was rolling drunk. It seemed to make everything a lot funnier for a while, and then most of us got tired. Uhura started shooing us out around three.

I'd been watching Hikaru all night. Ever the adventurer, he was inspired by the sudden cornucopia of available beverages and drank much more than he was used to. He tried a little bit of everything, and then more little bits, and by the time we left Uhura's room he was walking into walls. He had stopped talking completely, and I had to steer him down the hallway to keep him from getting hurt.

With a hand on each of his arms, I lovingly guided him to his cabin. The tease of a new touch spurred me on, and I followed him inside. I obviously wasn't thinking too clearly, and I didn't even have a specific goal in mind. I just wanted to see what would happen.

He seemed wobbly, so I guided him over to his bed and helped him sit down. "Wow," he said suddenly, with a huge grin on his face.

I watched him with eagle-eyes. This was the first he'd spoken since that last drink. "What?"

"I can't feel my hands..." Then he chuckled, as if he was enjoying the experience.

"That's not good," I said lamely. Then, because I was drunk too, I said, "I'll try and fix it."

He watched me with beautiful, too-bright eyes as I took one of his hands in mine and started playing with the fingers. They were long and spindly, and I hoped I wasn't rubbing too hard as I tried to take away his numbness.

He closed his eyes and his head swayed a little. Was that good? "Am I hurting you?"

"No, no..." He sounded dreamy.

"In Russia, ve give wery good backrubs." Where had that come from?

"That so?" He opened his eyes and rolled them in my direction, shooting me a lazy grin. "Wanna demonstrate? I feel like warui kimochi ga kita ." I didn't understand what he was saying, but I think he was saying he didn't feel well.

Well, who cares what he said. He was asking me to touch him! I didn't need to be begged. "Sure!" I'm sure I was giving him that little shy smile of mine, the one that makes all the girls want to cuddle me.

I climbed onto the bed with my knees and crawled behind him. "This is an old technique passed down from a village north of Moscow," I volunteered chattily as I positioned his back between my knees. I'm sure he didn't care. I didn't care either. I wanted him. Oh, Mother Russia, I wanted him, and now here he was, right in my grasp.

Each of my hands found a home at the broad space between his shoulders and his neck, and gripped the muscle firmly through his uniform shirt. I kneaded his flesh with as much competency and care as alcohol and hormones would allow, travelling all across his back. It was welcome new territory for my hungry fingers. He apparently was enjoying himself as well. He groaned a few times and leaned back into my touch.

With him leaning back like this, his hair almost brushed my face. I inhaled deeply and grew dizzy in his scent. It crazed me further. When I exhaled it was onto his skin, the tender skin on the back of his neck. I knew, or I hoped I knew, what that would do to him.

"Ohh...." he murmured involuntarily.

The trick was to build upon the moment before it dissipated. I swiftly brought my hands to his neck to replace the sensation of the breath, and caressed softly from that place to the front of his shoulders.

He leaned back straight into my body. I froze with happy, panicked shock, then relaxed to recieve him. My hands, nervous, unsure of approval, moved farther down his chest. His face lolled near mine, jet black hair spreading in early-morning messiness across the gold of my shirt, standing out like the unexpectedness of this moment.

Farther down still I rubbed, now cupping his chest with sweaty palms, in disbelief that we were really here, and too scared to talk. He seemed completely relaxed, and I was almost afraid he'd fall asleep if I didn't act soon and the magic would be wasted and ruined.

His face was so close to mine already, and already upturned towards me. It took only an angled twisting of my neck to move my lips to his.

I could have died right there if it would have meant knowing nothing else but his lips, warm and pressed to mine. In that split second, I felt an overwhelming pang of love shake my body, and I wrapped my arms around him. He responded by licking his way into my mouth with a deliciously active tongue, and reciprocating the embrace. Soon we were lying down diagonally across his bed in a tangle of limbs.

I must have had a feeling that something wouldn't be right about waking up there together after a night of really heavy drinking, because when it was over, I went back to my quarters to sleep. I was still there when he fell asleep, though--in my arms. And my heart. Impossible to erase an image like that.

This morning I bounded onto the bridge like a puppy. I couldn't wait to see him. What I'd felt before was just a crush, an attraction to a friend, forgettable if necessary. Now I was in love, full, real love, and I'd had the night of my dreams. He was gorgeous. And he had enjoyed being with me in that way.

"Hey, Chekov!" he called to me from his station.

Suddenly shy, I went to my station and threw him a smile. "Hey!"

"Man, that was some party last night over at Uhura's place!" He was grinning, as usual. Of course.

"Yeah," I said, confused.

"I don't know how much I drank," he continued, "but it must have been an ocean or something. I woke up this morning in my quarters and I can't remember how I got there!"

"Maybe somebody brought you home," I offered, suddenly extremely nauseated.

"I guess," he said, brightly but puzzled. "Well, good thing they did. Uhura doesn't need people passing out in her room again after parties. Remember Halloween?"

"Yeah," I mumbled, turning green. "Keptin? I don't feel so good."

"What's this I hear about a party, Ensign?" Captain Kirk was smirking at me. I had nothing to say and looked backwards at him sheepishly. "That's ok, Mr. Chekov. Go ahead. You can have ten minutes. Ms. Burwell, take his shift till he gets back."

"Yes, sir," said Burwell, moving away from her engineering console as I stumbled away towards the turbolift. I could feel Sulu's concerned, friendly eyes watching me leave, but I didn't care.

And now here I am, hiding in the loo from my own idiocy and embarassment, wondering what to do next. My stomach, held at bay by my ill-fated and short-lived euphoria, now writhes and churns, and my head feels like someone's hitting it with a hammer. I was too busy falling in love to remember to take the detox pills again, apparently. In the last panicked moments before I'm forced facedown into the toilet, I decide that I need to talk things over with Hikaru, just to know. It's only fair to him, after all. And, besides, who knows...?

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