Fandom & Pairing: Star Trek Reboot (aka AOS, ST XI, etc.), Kirk/McCoy
Warnings: SCHMOOP ALERT!
Word Count: around 2000
Summary: A missing scene between Jim's award ceremony and the "Buckle up, Bones" scene.
Disclaimer: Any resemblance to anything whatsoever is purely coincidental.
A/N : hitlikehammers requested fluffy hurt/comfort for her birthday. I'm not sure it's fluffy, exactly, but the ending is sweet enough to rot your teeth. :D? I hope you like it, bb!
Addendum: This fic has been remixed by the completely amazing linelenagain. Make sure you go read it: A Hard Act to Follow. The title does not lie - I'm glad I don't have to follow that act! :D
Jim was nowhere to be found, goddamn it. Kid had a way of disappearing when he wanted to brood in silence, picking at whatever was bothering him like a scab and not letting anyone close enough to help him, maybe even heal him. Stubborn ass. They'd only been back from the Narada engagement for a couple weeks, and Jim had been avoiding Bones as much as possible.
Fortunately, over the three years that they'd roomed together at the Academy, they'd developed a weird kind of hive-mind connected-at-the-brain thing and so Bones usually had pretty good instincts as to where he could find Jim. He'd tried all the usual places with no success, so it was time to go for the more esoteric. On previous occasions he'd found Jim up a tree in Golden Gate Park, in the shuttle simulator, even once in the children's section of a local bookstore, reading a kid's book about a penguin, for some bizarre reason.
This time, he finally located Jim in the far upper back corner of the darkened and silent auditorium where only three nights before he'd been honored, applauded, and officially awarded command of the Enterprise. Jim was sitting on the floor against the wall, with his legs bent, his chin resting on his knees, and his arms wrapped around his shins. Bones snorted. How melodramatic. Generally the best way to approach Jim in this mood was to be casual, act like nothing was out of the ordinary. Anything else would spook him and he'd clam up. God forbid he acknowledge that he had psychological needs like every other human being.
"Ah, there you are, Jim." He slid down the wall, settled beside Jim. He nudged Jim's shoulder with his own, hoping for a nudge back. He didn't get it. Damn it. Kid was being unresponsive - that was always the hardest to pull him out of. He sighed, pulled his flask out of his uniform's inner pocket, waved it in front of Jim's face. Jim ignored it. Bones felt a tingle of true concern now. It wasn't like Jim to turn down an offer of booze.
Well, if casual wasn't going to work, he might as well go for blunt. Really, it wasn't like he had that many other weapons in his arsenal anyway. "Talk to me, kid."
There was no response. Damn it. Now he was getting really worried. "For god's sake, Jim, I'm trying to help here. The least you could do is acknowledge my existence." Okay, that had been kind of pissy and uncalled-for, but seriously, the kid was freaking him out. At least it seemed to finally spark some kind of recognition in Jim.
"Fine, Bones, you're there. Now fuck off." The words were harsh, but the tone was off. In fact - it kind of sounded like Jim had been crying. Or oh Christ, even worse, like he was still crying. God damn it. He was terrible at dealing with tears, always had been. It made him feel helpless. He purely hated feeling helpless. Jocelyn had once told him that he could heal people's bodies but he couldn't comfort anyone's spirit worth a damn. It had stung, but he knew she was right.
Still, this was Jim. And for Jim, he would try. Hell, he'd probably try to fly to the moon under his own power if he thought it would help Jim. He mentally smacked himself upside the head. Now was not the time to be dwelling on his unrequited love for the kid. This was about what Jim needed, not about Bones.
So, feeling ten different kinds of uncomfortable, he reached one arm out and slung it over Jim's shoulders. He heard Jim's startled intake of breath, and felt heat rushing to his face in response. What the hell was he doing? Oh god, this was weird. Still, he'd started down this path, he might as well see it through. So he roughly pulled Jim closer to him, giving him an awkward one-armed hug. Jim was tense and stiff at his side.
He sighed. "Relax, kid. It's okay. It's just me."
The words were lame, but somehow they seemed to help, because Jim gradually unbent, leaned into his side. They stayed like that for several minutes, easing into this new level of closeness. It wasn't like they'd never touched each other before, but it had always in a casual guy-ish way - slaps on the arm and the like - or in a medical context, since Bones had to patch Jim up practically every other day after he pulled some damnfool stunt.
Eventually, he heard snuffling again, and knew Jim was trying to hold back another round of tears. Idiot would bottle everything up like a goddamn Vulcan and then he'd explode. And since he'd appointed himself the kid's keeper, it was up to him to make sure that didn't happen, even if he felt completely unqualified to handle this situation.
So he pulled Jim in further until he was completely within the circle of Bones' arms. Jim didn't even make a token objection this time, just curling into Bones until they were - there was really no other word for it - cuddling, and Jim was finally letting loose with wracking sobs that tore through his body. Bones let his fingers stray into Jim's hair, carding through the short strands.
He murmured soothing nothings into Jim's ear, falling into an almost trance-like state. He'd always kind of worried that if they ever ended up in this kind of proximity, he'd get hard and give away his carefully-hidden secret, but no, this wasn't sexual at all. It made him feel strangely proud, in an way, to be able to do this for Jim, to provide him with some sort of comfort that he knew Jim wouldn't accept from anyone else.
Eventually, Jim seemed to wear himself out, and shifted to breathing raggedly instead of choking out sobs. He didn't move, though, and Bones wasn't inclined to let him go. So they stayed where they were, and it should've gotten more uncomfortable as time went by, but somehow it didn't.
When Jim finally spoke, it startled Bones out of his reverie. "I'm in love with you too, Bones." His voice was hoarse and rough, but there was a mischievous note to it that was so perfectly Jim that it made Bones weak with relief.
Then his brain caught up with the words Jim had just uttered. Wait, what? "I - you - what?"
Jim let out a rusty chuckle. "I said, 'I'm in love with you too, Bones'."
Ignoring Jim's declaration of affection, which was just too outlandish to deal with, Bones went with his default state - cranky and defensive. "What makes you so goddamn sure I'm in love with you?"
This time Jim's laughter flowed more freely, and the sound was a sweet stab to Bones' heart. "Well, for one thing, you risked your career to sneak me onto the Enterprise. Kind of a clue there."
Bones harrumphed. "Jim, you risked your life to save the entire planet. Does that mean you're in love with everyone on earth?"
Jim waved this off. "That's different. I was just doing what was necessary. Anybody in my position would've done the same." Bones shook his head, but a tiny smile tugged at his lips. Jim's faith in people, despite all the mistreatment he'd received over the years, was something that Bones admired about Jim, and, fine, yes, loved about him. Not that he'd admit it.
"That's all I was doing too, kid, when I snuck you onboard." Well, that was a blatant lie, but Jim didn't have to know that.
"Bones, you're a terrible liar. But fine, if you want to play it that way, there's also the fact that you actually looked for me and found me and held me while I cried like a little baby. That's some dedication right there." He sounded embarrassed.
"Jim, anyone would've had a stress breakdown after what you've been through. It's a completely normal psychological reaction. I'd be a pretty poor doctor and a poorer friend if I didn't try to do something about it."
"Okay, Bones, if you want to be stubborn, there's also the fact that for the last ten minutes you've been murmuring in my ear about how much you love me and want to take care of me and can't live without me and stuff." Jim sounded a little bit bemused, a little bit bewildered, and a little bit in awe.
Bones felt his entire face flood with heat. Oh, shit. Shit, shit, shit. He prepared himself to deliver a truly blistering stream of invective, the likes of which had never before been heard or even contemplated. It was going to be a thing of terrible beauty.
But it never got a chance to happen, because Jim tipped his head up towards Bones', lowered his lashes, and then Jim was kissing him, and oh god. Instantly, he knew that this was it. He'd never have believed it if he'd been told beforehand, would've laughed in the fool's face who tried to tell him, but yeah, now he believed. This was meant to be. He and Jim. This was all the passion, all the tenderness, all the hope and love and yearning for the future together that he'd always tried to convince himself was there with Jocelyn, but it never had been.
The kiss became deeper, more possessive. They clung to each other, ravaging each other's mouths and letting out helpless little gasps of pleasure and desire. It was messy with saliva and the remnants of Jim's tears and it was desperate and hot and needy. And then - then it changed. As if they both realized simultaneously that they were meeting no resistance from the other, they calmed. It was still just as hot - and oh yeah, now Bones was definitely getting hard - but somehow now it was reassuring, too, full of unspoken promise and awakening joy and the knowledge that it would be the two of them, together against the world, for as long as they both lived.
It had to end eventually, and so slowly they wound it down, shifting into lazy nips and licks and presses of their lips together. Finally, Jim let out a shuddering sigh and rested his forehead against Bones'.
"Wow, Bones, if I'd known you were that good of a kisser, I'd have done that ages ago." Jim sounded content, or as close to it as he ever got, and Bones finally, finally relaxed. He was going to be okay. Wouldn't do to be too obvious about his relief, though, so he snorted.
"No, you wouldn't have. You were too busy having sex with everything that moves to look twice at me. And you needed to get that out of your system. Because, Jim," and here he let his voice become deadly serious, "I don't share. I mean it."
He felt Jim shudder a bit against him in reaction, and he felt a small thrill of satisfaction. He punctuated his statement with another possessive kiss, and felt Jim's surrender and his acquiescence.
"Now that you're mine, kid," and there was another shiver, "we've got a lot of lost time to make up for, so what do you say we go back to our room and start on that?"
A smile spread across the kid's face, so wicked and devilish and yet so happy that Bones felt a bit dazed. "You think you can keep up, old man?" Jim said, and then he was pushing out of Bones' arms and onto his feet and sprinting out of the room with a wild yell of triumph and challenge.
Bones shook his head, got up and followed at a more sedate pace. He had a feeling he'd be chasing a giddy and reckless Jim through the entire goddamn galaxy for the rest of his life, and really, he couldn't think of anything he'd rather be doing.