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Yet There's Still This Appeal

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Jim knows that Bones is going to figure out what happened as soon as he catches sight of the bed, and sure enough, as Bones walks through the door of their shared room, there it is—the contorting eyebrows as he catches sight of the perfectly made bed, with the sheets that absolutely weren't there when he left this morning to attend class, and there's the dark glare at Jim, who's sitting on his own bed, studying, the image of the model student and roommate.

Well, Jim's grades might be enough to keep him at the top of his class, but he's nowhere near the model roommate, as both he and Bones know full well.

"Goddammit, Jim," Bones snaps for what has to be the fiftieth time by now, "you've got a perfectly good bed right there, what the hell do you need to use mine for when you're bringing your one-night stands back to our room?"

Jim purses his mouth in mock-contemplation, and says, "See, I think this one could be considered a one-day stand, actually--"

"I don't give a damn what you call 'em, so long as you quit fucking them in my bed," Bones growls, shrugging out of his red cadet jacket.

Jim just smiles innocently and listens to Bones grumble on about aggravating roommates with no proper sense of boundaries and how one of these days, he's really going to jam Jim full of some drug that'll cause impotence for at least a week, just see if he doesn't.

He won't though, and they both know it. This isn't the first time this has happened, after all, not even the second or the third or the fifth, and as much as Bones might grumble and bitch (and oh, how he does), as long as Jim has the sheets changed and the bed remade by the time Bones gets back to the room, Bones'll just accept it as just another hazard of life as Jim Kirk's roommate.

Which works just fine for Jim, of course. Better than it should, honestly, but as long as he doesn't have to explain himself then he can keep on going, just as he has been.

*

The first time Jim does it, it starts as an accident. He's drunk that night, he's so completely drunk and so is the girl he's with, both of them stumbling into the dark room, laughing hysterically as he shouts out, "Lights, lights forty—oof!"

The back of his legs hit something and he goes tumbling back, and the two of them fall onto a bed, and he goes with it, surging up to kiss her on her laughing mouth, his hands tangling in her dark curls.

"Mmm," she'd said happily, sitting up in his lap to shimmy out of her shiny top, and Jim leaned back, grinning as he enjoyed the view—

—only to take a breath and realize, the bed feels subtly different than normal, and the view—Jim glances around and realizes that somehow he's managed to land on Bones's bed, instead of his.

"Oh, fuck," he groans, laughing at the same time. "C'mon, we should get up, this isn't my bed, it's my roommate's—"

But instead of laughing and getting off him, the girl—Clara—just tilts her head, her smile becoming mischievous, wicked. "Your roommate's bed, huh?" She wriggles in his lap, rocking up against him, and Jim hisses, his hips rising involuntarily. "Kind of hot, don't you think? His bed, with the two of us in it—"

Jim opens his mouth to respond, and what comes out is, "Yeah. Yeah, it—fuck, c'mere," he urges, pulling her down to lick at her mouth. And later, when he's fucking her into the sheets, it's Bones's sheets he's pressing her into, Bones's pillow that her dark hair is spread out on.

Thankfully, Bones is off at some medical conference in Tokyo, won't be back for another day, which gives Jim plenty of time to launder the sheets and make the bed in the morning. Jim doesn't spend much time brooding about it; he's got a sim test in two days that he's determined to ace, and he needs to prep for it.

When Bones gets back the next day, he doesn't notice anything's different, or if he does, he doesn't say anything to Jim.

The first time it happens, it starts as an accident. The second time, not so much. And after that…well.

*

Jim has absolutely no idea why he keeps doing this.

Wait, no—that's a lie. He has ideas, sure, but none of them make any sense. There's just—it's always an added charge, tumbling into Bones's bed with someone on the nights that Jim has the room to himself. There's something about it, deliberately taking someone in Bones's bed, pressing them against sheets that aren't Jim's, looking down at someone and remembering the sight of Bones sprawled out in that same bed, fast asleep, in the mornings when Jim's woken up before him—

Whatever it is, it works for Jim, and he's not going to question it too hard.

*

Bones notices eventually, of course.

"Jim, what the hell did you do to my bed?" Bones calls out while Jim's in the shower.

"What?" Jim calls back.

"These aren't the same sheets that were on here when I left," Bones says, and Jim's stomach leaps for a moment as he freezes under the hot spray of the water, but he forces himself to relax. Not a big deal, it's not a big deal.

"Yeah, I changed them yesterday," Jim says, wondering if he can leave it at that.

Bones is quiet for a moment and Jim can just picture it, picture the bewildered look he's giving the closed bathroom door, the way his eyebrows are contorting in confusion. "Yeah, I got that part, what I'm wondering is what the hell you even did to it in the first place that—" There's another pause, and then Bones is saying, more loudly, "Jim, did you sleep with somebody in my bed?"

Jim winces despite himself, and turns the water off. "Technically, no, I didn't."

There's another pause, and then Bones is saying blankly, "Jesus Christ, you have got to be kidding me."

Jim winces again, and quickly grabs a towel to wrap around his waist before he comes outside.

When he steps out of the bathroom, Bones is staring at him like he can't believe this. "You—what the hell's wrong with your bed?" he asks.

"Yours was closer," Jim says lamely. "I swear the sheets are changed."

Bones looks at him for a moment, then at the bed. "Pillowcase too?"

"Yeah," Jim says quickly. "Yeah, totally."

Bones 'hmphs' under his breath, and then says in a half-growl, "You do this again, I'll kick your ass straight into next week, you realize?"

Jim breaks out into a smile that he can't even help, and promises, "Won't happen again, Bones."

And he honestly does mean to keep his word. Mostly.

 

*

Jim hasn't shared a room with anyone since he was a kid, which might explain why he's still occasionally gets tripped up by the…intimacy of living with Bones.

Not that they're fucking. They are absolutely not fucking, no matter what anyone might think, and a surprisingly large amount of people do seem to think it, even though they're completely wrong.

No, they just live together and study together and go out together and stumble back to their dorm room together late at night when they're drunk.

Jim's watched Bones drag himself out of bed in the mornings, hair wild and boxers hanging low on his hips, stumbling on his way to the bathroom, eyes at half-mast and his accent thick from sleep. Jim's always been a morning person and Bones really is not, and that combined with the long shifts Bones usually ends up working at the hospital generally means that Jim's the first to get up in the mornings.

More often than not, the first thing Jim sees in the mornings when he wakes up is Bones, still fast asleep in his own bed, lying on his back with arms and legs akimbo, his mouth slightly parted.

Jim's woken up to the sight countless times, he's still not sure why it still trips him up on occasion, why he'll lie there a few feet away and just watch Bones' chest rise and fall evenly.

He always shakes himself out of it, and goes about his morning routine, and soon after he's woken up Bones' own alarm is going off, so it's not like Jim could linger, even if he wanted to.

*

Jim doesn't have many firsts left when it comes to sex, to be honest, but this is one of them.

"God, you're so fucking hot," Gary groans against Jim's throat, his tongue flicking out to lick along Jim's skin.

Jim laughs, his head spinning pleasantly thanks to the large quantities of booze they'd drunk earlier, before Gary had dragged him to the backroom of the bar and shoved his hands down Jim's pants. "C'mon, you going to fuck me or what?" he asks, and Gary lifts his head, his eyes gleaming in the dark.

"Yeah," he pants, "Yeah, turn over, okay?"

Jim does just that, lying down on his stomach and turning his face into the pillow, Bones' pillow, taking deep breaths as Gary's hands hook under the elastic of his boxers, Jim lifting up his hips as Gary slides them off.

He can smell Bones' shampoo on the pillowcase.

Behind him, he hears the sound of Gary opening the container of lube, and Jim thinks about this morning, his memory flashing back to Bones' face half-buried in his pillow, hair going every which way—

Slick fingers are probing at his entrance, and Jim's done this so many times before, he doesn't know why he's shivering so hard now, why his fingernails are digging into the sheets, why he's panting with an open mouth into the pillow, Bones' pillow, as one finger works inside of him and twists and pushes, in and out, and then it's two fingers and it burns a little, although in a good way and Jim pushes himself up on his elbows, hanging his head—

"Fucking gorgeous," he hears in this low rumble, and Jim shivers once, all over, because Gary's voice has gone all dark and rough and Jim had to have drunk more than he'd realized, because for a second he'd thought, for just a second it had sounded like—

But Bones' hands are bigger than Gary's, his fingers are longer, he'd probably—Jim hisses as Gary's fingers brush against exactly the right spot—he'd probably take a long time working Jim open, probably draw it out, but God, maybe he'd be just as relentless as Gary is, maybe once he'd found the right spot he'd just keep working it until Jim was shoving his hips back on his fingers and gasping out, "Jesus, fuck, come on already—"

Gary's laughing now, high and breathless, nothing like the way Bones would laugh, that low amused chuckle that Jim can wring out of him sometimes, at exactly the right moments, and he's pulling out his fingers, and pulling Jim up by the hips until he's braced on the bed on his elbows and knees, waiting—

When Gary pushes into him, Jim groans low and long in the back of his throat, and he pushes himself up onto his hands, bracing himself as Gary starts to thrust.

He's breathing through his mouth and nose, and Gary's gripping hard at his hips, hard enough to leave bruises, and Jim can't decide if Bones would do the same, if he'd press bruises into Jim's skin with his strong hands, if he'd bite at Jim's shoulder before sucking on the mark, if he'd breathe hotly against the nape of Jim's neck, his lips brushing against Jim's skin.

Would he talk? Jim bets he'd talk, Jim bets it'd be a mix of the filthiest things mixed with endearments, he'd say, "God, you're so tight, fuck, you feel good around my cock," and Jim's heard Bones call people "darling" before, he might do it with Jim, he might—he might drop kisses all along Jim's shoulders, might drop his face into the crook between Jim's neck and shoulder and just pound at him, mouthing all along the skin, soft lips and tongue, right before wrapping a hand around Jim's cock and jerking him off, his grip tight and hot and perfect—

Jim bites his lip and shoves his hips back and forth, his eyes squeezed shut as he gets fucked in Bones' bed, Bones' sheets, thinking about Bones's hands and mouth and cock and warm body on him, and when he finally comes, it's with the sharp smells of sex and sweat and Bones, always Bones, all around him.

*

In the morning, after Gary's gone, Jim stands there in his boxers, bruises on his hips and a bite mark on his shoulder, and stares at the unmade bed, with rumpled and stained sheets.

Within a few minutes, he's stripped everything off and shoved it down the laundry hamper, and remade it with clean sheets, clean pillowcases, and a clean blanket that smell of nothing, not of sweat and semen or of Jim or of Bones.

When he's done, Jim stares for a moment at the perfectly made bed, and then shakes his head and goes to take a shower.

Bones gets back from his medical conference the next day, and neither one of them bring it up. He doesn't know if Bones notices the new sheets, and he doesn't ask.

*

Bones is Jim's best friend in the world, without question. He's patched Jim up after bar fights and jammed him with hyposprays to ward off hangovers. For the last two years, Bones managed to break the Jim Kirk tradition of getting blackout drunk and/or starting a brawl during his birthday.

There aren't that many tangible things in the universe that Jim loves, not important things, anyway—but out of everything, sometimes he thinks he might love Bones the most.

Jim has no problem admitting that to himself, because it makes sense—of course he loves Bones, because Bones is awesome, but this is not the romantic, flowers-and-candy kind of love that people make so much of a fuss about. It's not that, of course it's not that, because they're friends, they're as close as they can possibly be, and, if he's pressed, Jim will even admit that he needs Bones in his life—but it's not that kind of love. It's not that.

Still. Jim admits that it's easy to blur the lines a little bit, and maybe that's what he's been doing with this whole thing of bringing people to the room and sleeping with them in Bones' bed.

So he stops doing it, and it's easier than you'd think, even if sometimes his mind will just…stutter sometimes, remembering the smell of Bones' sheets, what it felt like to bury his head in that pillow and just…let himself go.

But it's fine. It's probably good that he's reestablishing this boundary or something. Whatever.

Still. Sometimes, when he wakes up early in the mornings and glances over to see Bones fast asleep in his bed, tangled up in the sheets, eyes closed and his face open and relaxed—his brain'll have one of those stutters, just for a moment, just for a half-second.

Jim gets over it though. He always does.