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Bad Day

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Bones was sitting on the couch when Jim trudged through the door. He heard only the briefest of whispers around campus that day, hearing only that Jim was upset about something, but not what that something was. Now, seeing it in the flesh, Bones knew it was going to be a long night. Good thing he’d gotten the good stuff out of his secret stash in the closet.

While Jim shuffled behind the partition to change out of his reds Bones retrieved a second tumbler from the cabinet in the coffee table and then replaced his feet back on top of said table. When Jim came back into the living room he didn’t even bother stepping over Bones’ legs, just went around the back and far end of the couch before settling right next to Bones. It was a reflexive set of actions that followed - Jim extended his hand and Bones placed the empty glass in it, then filled it with the standard two fingers of bourbon, which Jim quickly drained. What happened next was not reflexive and definitely out of the ordinary.

With his head tipped back against the couch Jim extended his glass again in a silent “hit me again.” Bones raised an eyebrow but complied. Only after Jim drained this glass and two more did he sit up enough to set the glass on the table in front of the couch before he leaned against Bones’ side, pressing his arm uncomfortably against his ribs. Bones wriggled a bit, Jim moved just enough to let his arm loose, and Bones swung it up along the back of the couch. Jim instantly pressed back into Bones’ side.

“Bad day?”

There was a tiny shrug, just barely enough to feel, and Bones sighed as he reached for the remote. Not knowing what was bothering Jim he hesitated to turn anything on, but mindless noise was better than silence when Jim was in one of these moods. He flipped to school’s instructional video system and picked one of the medical videos for one of his courses knowing that nothing grossed Jim out.

Time passed without either paying much attention. Bones wasn’t really watching the information on the screen anymore than Jim was, but he knew from Jim’s breathing pattern that he hadn’t gone to sleep. Instead it was like one of those super slow time lapse videos from the twenty-first century - as more and more of the tension leaked out of Jim he got closer and closer to Bones, his body slowly molding against Bones. By the time the three hour video was over Jim was practically curled up in Bones’ lap, arms wrapped around his waist, head tucked against his chest, and Bones’ arms wrapped securely around Jim, one hand gently stroking the short hairs at the nape of his neck as the other let go just long enough to turn the screen off.

“Bones?” Jim whispered.

“Yeah, Jim?”

“Thanks.”

“No problem.”

Someday, Bones told himself, he’d ask Jim what had bothered him so much that he’d needed a hug and couldn’t ask for one, but for now he was content to let him sit there as long as he needed to. And if they woke up the next morning in the same spot on the couch, still curled together, that was fine by him too.