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The Enemy Within

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His blood boils over with the need to restrain and control. Bones writhes in the ‘fleet-issued sheets that adorn the Captain’s bed, licking his lips in a wanton fashion that betrays how full they are – and how slick they are after he’s sucked Jim off. “Jim,” the man in question moans, tugging on the restraints keeping him securely fastened to the bed. “What the hell,” he gets out, loosening the tie by just enough to slip out.

Jim needs to control him.

He’s a force to be reckoned with, surging forward and pinning Bones to the bed, his fingers wrapping around Bones’ wrist and holding him too tightly to be comfortable. Small red fingerprints begin to blossom under his touch and it’s invigorating and arousing and Bones is his, all his, he’s not allowed to be anyone else’s and Jim’s touch will make sure of that.

The marks on Bones’ wrists aren’t enough. There need to be more. There needs to be no question as to who Leonard McCoy belongs to.

“Jim!”

He leans down to kiss down the angry line of Bones’ neck, taking perverse pleasure in the way he smells.

“Jim! Wake up!”

He eases back from Bones, watching with horror and panic as the man and the bed begin to dissipate into a hazy nothingness, soon replaced with a too-white room and Bones looking down on him with concern.

“Damn it, man, your heart rate was off the charts!” he complains, rapidly looking between Jim’s charts and Jim himself. For a confusing moment, Jim can’t place where he is. He knows that Bones belongs there, but Jim’s the one in the bed instead of the other way around. That’s not right. There are no marks on Bones’ wrists and for some reason that makes him angry, like he’s hungry to put them there.

He takes in a deep breath and places himself.

It’s been a week since he woke up from the transfusion – more weeks than that since Bones first pulled a medical miracle – and he focuses his scattered attention on the doctor looming above him. Jim licks his lips and wonders if he should mention the dream. It’s a dream, though, nothing more. Bones would probably yell at him for wasting his time.

“Look, Bones,” Jim says, taking care to inhale and exhale deeply, watching as his heart monitor decreases pace in turn. “See? I’m better.”

Bones looks like he doesn’t believe him, but he assents with a short nod. “Don’t give me a heart attack when I just hauled you back,” he grumbles. “I’ll be outside doing my rounds with patients who have the good sense not to shuffle off the mortal coil,” he says, and god, but that snide and sharp edge in Bones’ voice shouldn’t give Jim so many shivers down his back.

He’s going to restrain that man. He’s going to hold him down and mark him until he’s blue and black and Jim’s going to make Bones like it as much as he likes the image.

Shit, thinks Jim, who’s never thought along these lines before. What the hell is wrong with me?

Foreign blood pumping through his system doesn’t rush to give him the answer, but it mingles with Jim’s and coalesces to form a new version of an old captain, mixing stronger impulses with subconscious ones pushed too far down to rise up.

What’s happening to Jim? Nothing that hasn’t been hiding under layers and layers of repression, boiling steadily for years and ready to break the surface.

*

This time in the dream, they aren’t alone.

They’re in Jim’s quarters, but sitting in the corner of the room with his fingers steepled is Khan; an interloper in a dream where he doesn’t belong. Bones is on top of Jim, riding him with a frantic rhythm, like he hasn’t got enough time in the world to be on Jim, in him, around him, everywhere.

“You like this, don’t you?” Khan murmurs as Bones rides him, head tilted back as abject pleasure shows on his expression. “You’re welcome.”

“What the fuck have you got to do with it?” Jim barks out.

“Who the hell are you talking to, Jim?” Bones pants. “You still able to think? M’doing this all wrong, then.”

Jim does his best to focus on Bones.

“You don’t think that your brain would allow you to access these sorts of dreams, these sorts of thoughts without me, do you?” Khan taunts, every word interspersed by Bones’ frantic gasps. Jim’s torn between watching the way Bones is falling apart above him and wrenching his gaze to the side to make sure Khan isn’t advancing to ruin what he’s finally achieved. “My blood gave you this. Your impulses were weak, your desires feeble. You want this man and you didn’t know how to take him and now you do.”

“He’s mine,” Jim gasps.

“He’s yours,” Khan agrees.

Jim should be frightened of the fierce confidence that accompanies Khan’s agreement, but soon Jim doesn’t give a damn who’s there with them. His hand working Bones’ dick with sure strokes, Jim’s dick filling up Bones and all that tight heat around him and every kiss feels like it could bruise.

When Jim wakes up the next morning, he checks his wrists for bruises from being held down and isn’t sure what to think when he’s flooded with disappointment to find a clean slate.

*

His options to confide in are limited.

Due to the highly classified nature of what Bones did for him, Jim doesn’t exactly have a lot of people to ask. In the end, he comes down to Uhura, Spock, and Carol. He’s not sure he’s ready for Uhura and Spock to know about the intimacy of his dreams, but Carol is in that grey area where she’s still a stranger, but close enough that he trusts her.

“Do you have a minute?” he asks her, two fingers lightly on her elbow to pry her attention away from the daily reports.

“Mm, maybe one,” she murmurs distractedly, barely looking up. “Unless this is about the new shipment? I could give you five, in that case.”

“It’s a personal matter,” Jim admits, flashing a polite (and strained) smile to the clusters of passing engineers and other science officers. He feels like all his secrets are on display here, even though he’s sure not a single one of them know about the tempest raging in his mind. “I need to ask something and it’s going to sound ridiculous.”

That gets her attention. She looks up from the PADD at him with confusion and curiosity, cocking her head to the side. “Now I’m intrigued,” she admits. “What is it?”

He nods his head to the side, bringing her into one of the common use offices so that half the engineering deck doesn’t hear about his little predicament. “Have you ever heard of a blood transfusion that was followed by a kind of...echo?”

“Echo?”

He smiles wryly at the unintentional joke. He doesn’t know if he should bother beating around the bush because she knows exactly what happened that day. She knows about the blood rushing through his veins that turned dead cells into live ones, all over again. “I’m starting to think that maybe Khan isn’t as out of the picture as I’d thought. I think I’m carrying some piece of him.”

“From his blood?” she asks. He could kiss her for the way she sounds genuinely curious; there’s no dismissive tone, no disbelief, no incredulity. “Doctor McCoy did mention that he had concerns you might tote him about...in fact, why aren’t you asking McCoy?” she asks.

Seven hundred and five people on his ship and Jim swears that all of them are too smart for their own good.

He presses his lips together, grits his teeth, and debates telling her the truth. In the end, he decides on a shade of it. “I don’t want to get him panicked when it could be nothing more than a little post-traumatic stress disorder from all the dying,” he jokes, arching his brow. “Will you do me a favor, though? Will you look into the transfusion thing? Quietly?”

“I’m not entirely sure a case like yours has ever existed,” she says, “but I will. Give me some time,” she says, reaching out to squeeze his bicep before returning to her work.

*

Jim hasn’t sleptwalked in years. Back when he was a kid, he used to wake up in the strangest places after having managed to walk there in his sleep. The habit faded away at Starfleet – either because his habits had changed or the mass amount of security made it harder for him to get out – but ever since the engagement with Khan, Jim’s started to notice he wakes up in strange places.

Tonight, he wakes up and he’s got one hand wrapped around Bones’ throat, pinning him to the bed while he straddles him.

Bones is nearly blue in the face, struggling to get Jim off of him. “Please,” Bones cries hoarsely.

It panics Jim so intensely that his heart skips a beat and he staggers off the bed and doesn’t stop until his back hits the wall. The shock of the hit is enough to bring him back to himself, staring at Bones with wide-eyed horror.

“Jim,” Bones mutters, rubbing at his throat. He’s rasping and god, but Jim hates the fact that instead of being primarily concerned with the fact that he just tried to choke Bones, he’s fighting the arousal of what Bones’ voice is doing to him.

He needs to get away from Bones right the hell now.

He falters backwards, knocks over the antique table lamp from Bones’ night table in the process, catching it barely before it tumbles to the ground. The thirst to control Bones and have him has been quickly supplanted by fear and now he’s left staring at Bones and the marks on his neck while dread settles in a deep pool in his stomach.

“It was a mistake,” Jim ekes out hoarsely. “I was sleepwalking and I guess...”

Bones is looking at him with such worry and concern that it’s practically choking Jim when all he wants to do is crawl back into bed with him and never leave. Except that he can’t trust himself right now. What happens if he closes his eyes and slips right back into that subconscious place that wants to claim Bones, no matter the cost?

“Jim...”

“Bones, I have to...”

“At least come for a checkup!” Bones’ voice trails after Jim long after he’s into the hallway, safely away from temptation and taunting.

*

Carol’s research comes back a week after the sleepwalking incident.

I’m afraid I haven’t seen anything on whether your personality can be affected by a blood transfusion, even in cases of psychic-resonating species. I’m sorry. –CM

And maybe that terrifies Jim more, because what if this has been him all along. What if he’s losing it? What happens when Bones finds out about the kind of thoughts he’s been having? What if this is the first step before he loses Bones, too, the way he’s lost so much else?

Shit.

*

Eventually, he buckles.

“Bones,” Jim says tiredly, when he comms Bones after another night of a forced awake state. He’s scared of the dreams he might have and of where his body might take him when he shuts his guards down. “Do you have some time? I think there’s a problem.”

There’s a pause on the other end of the line. Hesitation, maybe, from when Jim nearly strangled Bones in his sleep. “I’ll be right there,” Bones finally says, because the truth is that no matter what Jim does to him, Bones will be there for him (and it goes both ways). That probably isn’t healthy, if he thinks about it.

Jim absently rubs at the itch at the inside of his elbow, where veins pump and where the blood might have been flowing into his body steadily, infecting him with new thoughts (or possibly just inflaming the ones that were already there). Bones is there within minutes and Jim finds he doesn’t know where to start.

“Jim?” Bones prods.

“Remember when you asked if I was feeling power hungry? Despotic?”

“Yeah?”

“Maybe something else,” he admits weakly. “Bones, I can’t stop dreaming about ...” Shit. Say it, Jim. Say it out loud. “I want to mark you. I want to hold you down until you beg me to touch you and then I want to make you scream and I swear to god, Bones, this is new. I...”

He struggles with what he means to say. Because what do you say in a situation like this? How do you blame a maniac’s blood in your system for what he’s been thinking and dreaming about? How does he reconcile the fact that he still wants Bones so bad that it sometimes feels like the ache will devour him whole if he doesn’t get him?

“Jim,” Bones starts warily.

“I’m scared it isn’t me in control,” Jim interrupts, finishing his thought. “Because Bones, I love you and yeah, I’d be crazy not to want you, but not like this,” he says, discomfort making his cheeks flush. “I shouldn’t have to take stims so I don’t accidentally wander into your room and try to choke you to get my hands on you; so people see my fingerprints on your skin. That’s fucked up,” he says.

“Yes,” Bones admits with a steady nod. “Jim, that is fucked up. Why didn’t you tell me sooner?”

“Because what if it was me?” Jim says, that sick twist in his stomach confirming his fears that he genuinely thinks that could be a possibility. “And maybe dying stripped away some hesitation and now I’m seeing my brain for what it truly is?”

“We’ve already talked about the fact that you’re a goddamn mish-mash of crazy right now,” Bones reminds him. “Jim, forget Khan’s blood pushing through your system. You died and that’s enough to make a normal, well-adjusted person, go through something. You had your issues before that. Maybe this is your attempt to regain control because you know that no matter what you do to me, I won’t go anywhere. Maybe if you mark me, you think you’ll keep me. The human psyche and mind is a strange thing. I barely know the half of it and it was one of my points of study,” he says. “Jim,” he says, quietly. “How long has it been since you slept?”

“When did I try to strangle you?”

“Five days ago.”

“Since then,” Jim says.

“Damn it, Jim...”

That growl isn’t good news. He holds up his hands to defend himself, wanting to protest that he’d been afraid of a repeat incident, or worse. “Look, I’ll get some sleep, but I need you to secure me to the bed or use your CMO code on the door.”

Bones looks like he doesn’t like the idea, but eventually he nods.

“I’m locking you in for a full twelve hour period,” he finally says. “Promise me you’ll spend some of that time asleep?”

“Soon as the stims wear off,” Jim swears. “Really, Bones, I promise.”

It’s probably crazy, but Jim thinks he’d do anything for Bones. Sleeping in a locked room where he can’t get out is a pretty small demand, as far as asks go.

*

Three hours into his mandated twelve-hour rest period, the door opens.

Jim blearily opens his eyes from his sleeping state and stares at the shadow in his doorway. He’d been asleep, he knows that much, but he still feels faintly groggy – like he’s been drugged and he wonders if Bones had snuck in as soon as he’d fallen asleep to dose him with something. Maybe he’s still asleep and this is a dream. “Who’s there?” he mumbles, barely turning over but to grab for a pillow and drag it closer to his chest.

“Me, Jim, it’s me,” Bones murmurs, crawling in beside him.

Weary with the last residual stims wearing off and the lethargy of sleep clinging to his limbs, he’s slow to protest, but he blearily tries to push away at Bones. “No,” he gets out. “No,” he says, brokenly. “I’ll hurt you.”

“I don’t care.”

“You should.”

“When I met you, I threw up on you and you didn’t give a damn,” Bones says, wrapping his arms around Jim’s torso and pulling him in close. “I was a razor cutting down everyone around me and you forced yourself closer and closer. Right now, your brain is a crazy wasteland of ideas helped along by PTSD, grief, and Khan’s blood, so we’re gonna teach it what’s normal. I’m going to train you to play nice, James T., but you have to let me.”

The hand over his stomach tightens and the warmth pouring off Bones’ body and his soothing voice coalesce to calm Jim into something of a comatose state when mixed with his exhaustion. “I’m scared, Bones,” he whispers those words again, the words that keep haunting his waking nightmares and the ones that hit him when he’s asleep. “Why didn’t you let me stay dead?”

“Because this time, I couldn’t leave me sitting there all pathetic,” Bones confesses. “I’m a selfish bastard, Jim. At least let me ride out this fear with you.”

“I could hurt you.”

“Jim, every time you get hurt, you hurt me,” Bones says wearily. “You don’t hurt me by letting me get close. You hurt me when you leave. Hate to break it to you, but I can’t let you die, Jim. Afraid my old heart can’t take that.”

“Have to live forever, huh?”

“Who knows,” Bones murmurs against his earlobe, brushing a soft kiss there. “With Khan’s blood in your system, you just might.”

Without Bones, though, what’s the point?

*

The sleepwalking stops.

The dreams don’t.

Eventually, they twist and become softer and kinder. Jim’s fingers don’t itch to choke Bones anymore, but he never loses that need to possess him, but Bones teaches him how to shape it into something that won’t destroy them and burn them alive. Jim learns safe words and how to knot restraints and learns to introduce pain into the nights of pleasure to sate some new part of him he can’t truly understand.

The shadow of Khan still lurks in his blood, but with Bones at his side (and in his bed), he’s not the enemy that he once was.

He’s more of a bad memory – a nightmare of a story that’s told to children to make them behave.

What’s happening to Jim Kirk?

Nothing that Bones can’t help him through.