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Souls Who Collect Dust (because it will never stop hurting)

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Leonard was a happy child, who didn't have much to complain about, beyond the most privileged of problems such as a ripped shoe, or the humidity in his little Georgia ranch reaching a new peak.

His family was whole, and well-off, and his parents stood by each other like rocks but above that loved each other unconditionally.

Living on a farm was its own host for challenges that a city kid wouldn't expect. Just as if Leonard were to be suddenly dropped into the city, he may flounder. His Ma made sure to raise him with the knowledge of a city boy but the heart of a country kid, and sometimes those lessons stuck, sometimes they didn't.

Either way, he learned to always greet strangers with ma'am and sir or mx, to push in his partner’s chair, and above all else to be kind and hospitable.

Leonard loved his Ma. When he grew up, he wants to be just like her.

Strong, kind, and brilliant.

Leonard was a happy child, and was ignorant to the struggles of his Daddy and Mama. They tried to save the arguing for when he was with the horses out back or at school, and his Daddy tried to hide the shaking in his hands when he went too long without a drink.

He ignored the way his Mama’s eyes would sometimes leave this plane, would go somewhere within her own mind, but would always drift back slowly, inevitably. He did not see the way his Daddy’s eyes would go hard and cold when presented with the reality they were currently in: aliens in every corner he looked, aliens that ripped them of their culture and all while they, humans, colonized their planets, and terror on both sides.

Leonard was a happy child.

When he was four, he went on a vacation to Aberdeen with his parents. It was a special trip, one meant to celebrate his Daddy getting a promotion at the country hospital he worked at.

It was Leonard’s first time on a plane, and he took great interest in hogging the window seat so he could watch the clouds drift by outside, watch the stars and pretend he could grab them easily.

“One day, I'll be traveling in those stars!” Leonard pointed one grimy finger to the small porthole, his Mama indulging him by patting the hand that was resting on hers.

His Daddy leaned over from where he sat in the aisle seat, and loomed over Leonard as far as he could. “Ya will do no such thing, ya hear me young man? Space is… dangerous. Ya’ve lost a lotta great grand daddies and mommies because of it. Space is good for nothing but death and taking away ya loved ones.”

Leonard gulped, eyes wide and lips twisted in a pout, “Yes, sir.”

His Mama sighed, exasperated at her two men, but didn't comment.

There wasn't much excitement on this trip, except he got to meet a boy five years his senior who preferred to be called Scotty, thank you very much. Scotty was weird, Leonard thought. He spoke too fast and loud and maybe he was a hypocrite because he did the same thing, but when Scotty did it he sounded like he was speaking to thin air.

Leonard didn't get it, but it was fine, because he got to see new rolling hills and got to tumble down them until his pristine shirt was rumpled and grass stained.

Scotty’s parents were okay, but they were adults, and they stayed with Leonard’s parents most of the time. It was awfully kind of them though to let them stay with them for a while, and they brushed it off as being family friends.

Which, whatever. Leonard had bigger priorities, like finding out if Scotty’s Daddy was as big of a sucker for puppy dog eyes as his was.

Leonard loved the ranch, he really did. And as he grew, he was given the freedom to explore more. He wasn't a disobedient child, no more than any normal toddler was, and so he stayed within the boundaries lines and didn't push it.

Sometimes, when his Mama wasn't busy tending to the house and her freelance jobs, she would take him down to the marsh that was located at the very edge of the back of their land.

One day, Leonard wanted to ride his horse through this, to feel the wind in his hair and the slap of strong muscles under his thighs.

But he was still too young, and so instead he lay in the big, airy gazebo in the middle of a body of water, his head pillowed on his Mama’s lap and sometimes brushing aside the yarn that fell over his nose from her knitting needles.

Those days were always wonderful, as Leonard would always doze off under the warm Georgian sunshine and his Mama’s crooning lullabies, feeling safe and warm and loved.

At some point, Leonard transitioned from toddler to big boy and that meant more responsibilities. He now had to take full care of his horse, including letting her trot around each day when he woke and before he slept. Her name was Biscuit, as her hair was the same color of the biscuits his Mama would make from scratch for special occasions.

For a while, Biscuit was his closest confidant. There was something soothing about a life being placed in his hands and in return respecting and nurturing that life. It was scary, sure, but Leonard had fallen out of enough willow trees to know that life just came with scariness.

Biscuit was a lovely companion, listening to his still-a-child-yet-old-enough-to-know-better woes, his happy tales after another long day of school, and his hopes and dreams.

But a part of Leonard yearned for more, always more.

Leonard is seven and has experienced death for the first time, up close and personal.

Their parents had let them go kayaking on the condition that they behave themselves and watched each other's backs while they themselves sat on the shoreline, keeping a lazy eye on them all.

And they had, for a while. The river had been smooth with the half hearted pushes of rows, until one of his older cousins decided it was a good idea to pick on the younger ones and it had escalated into full on kayaking war, complete with rows being thrown at heads and hasty ducks to avoid getting hurt.

It went too far, as fights always did, and one of the younger, more fragile kids got hit, hard above their brow bone and the injustice of it was that it really had been an accident, one sibling trying to shift away for safety had bumped into an attacking one and it was downhill and the next thing Leonard knew was that his cousin, young and soft and very bright, was in the water and vaguely Leonard could hear screams for help and water drenching him but-

Later, they told him that David had suffered a concussion and that had led to his drowning.

The doctors said big words like trauma and psychologists and post traumatic stress disorder, words Leonard didn’t understand and didn’t want to.

Things were hard for a while after that, with the family trying to find even footing on uneven soil. There were a lot of fights, a lot of finger pointing, and all Leonard knew was that his Mama and Daddy tried to stay neutral, out of the way, and it mostly worked because they were left alone.

His baby sister was born quietly when he was eight, and she was the softest, most precious thing he has seen. He doesn't think he will ever see or hold anything as precious as Donna (later, when Johanna is born, he will think back to this moment in the old sterile hospital and realize he was wrong).

But for now, in the one of two country hospital’s they have in their small town, a little girl was born, a girl that had quickly put the McCoy men around her pinky finger, wrapped so tight it would never break lose.

She is so soft, and Leonard gazes at her with wonder and promises he will always look after her.

They are moving from the ranch, and Leonard is staging a revolt.

He doesn't want to leave, not at all, this ranch is their home. This ranch with the marsh, and the crickets and fireflies that come out late at night and early morning, and it's where Leonard has grown up and made friends.

So, no. Leonard really doesn't want to leave.

Mama tells him the new ranch will be close to the city on the opposite side of Georgia, and even be close to the ocean, close enough that they can make day trips out of it without strain. And since there's so many rivers around, there may even be a marsh or a place for him to hide when everything overwhelms him.

But- Leonard doesn't want to go. But he's nine, and doesn't have much of a choice.

The new school is bright and boisterous, with city and country kids mixed together. Leonard has come at an awkward time, in the middle of the year, and it shows in how the other kids pick up on that awkwardness and reciprocate to him.

It's two weeks in, and he hates the school. He hasn't made any friends, and lunch and recess are very lonely. He's glad they were able to bring the horses, because he doesn't know what he would do without Biscuit.

It’s halfway through week two that someone two years his senior approaches him, and he is wary. Leonard has seen enough movies and books to know that the older approaching the younger in school is never a good thing, and usually an opportunity to bully the younger one.

Mark Rousseau is known through the school as a boy who is highly intelligent, always excelling at everything he got his hands on.

Leonard expected jibes at him or his status as the the new kid or anything, really. He didn't expect him to come up to him, all smiles and warmth, and to welcome him into his group of friends.

It’s nice, even if Mark wants to go into Starfleet when he grows up, which his Daddy has repeatedly told him is bad.

He doesn't really get it, aside from the whole exploring and meeting new people bit, but to be fair, he does want to be a professional horse racer when he grows up, so maybe he can't judge too harshly.

Anyway, Mark’s friends- and by extension now his- are immediately smitten with his dimpled smile and his hazel eyes that old ladies and his Mama like to coo at and call cute.

Minus the homework, school is fun again.

Now if only he could get used to the new ranch.

Donna is shooting up like a weed, and in two years she has managed to crawl and walk around, a spitfire of a McCoy.

She is finally learning to jump and pull her toys around and there is even recognition in her eyes when Leonard speaks to her while babysitting.

He doesn't always like babysitting, but sometimes it's okay, especially if Mama is free enough to help him. He just wishes, sometimes, he could go out to play with Mark and his friends after school, like a normal ten year old.

His birthday is coming up soon, and his Mama and Daddy decided to let him host a birthday party at the ranch, complete with games and balloons and all the fun stuff kids got at parties.

The invitations were already sent out and RVSP’d, and now it was just a matter of waiting. Leonard could wait. He could totally wait patiently.

(He couldn't.)

They're sitting on the far edge of the property, and playing truth or dare. Leonard, foolishly, chooses dare.

Johnny gets a wicked grin across his face, and Leonard feels his stomach bottom out, because he's known Johnny for almost three years and that's not a nice look.

And it wasn't.

Leonard’s dare was to eat a worm. A god damn alive, wiggling little earthworm. And, well, Leonard knew how this would go. He could refuse and be automatically shunned for being a coward, and on his birthday no less, or he could risk getting sick with all the infections and diseases his Daddy sometimes ranted about.

Leonard chose incorrectly. He pinched his nose and swallowed the worm whole, trying not to focus on the slime of it going down or the way it felt.

He shuddered, and opened watery eyes. His friends were all looking at him, wide eyed and shocked that he actually did it.

“Holy shit , Leonard.” Mark finally broke the silence with the new curse words he was learning.

“All hail King birthday Leonard!” Xochi cheered, getting up and wrapping her flower crown around his head in facsimile of a crown.

Leonard spent the rest of the week in the hospital, sicker than he had ever been before, while his Daddy and Mama just alternated between paternal second hand shame and worry.

Leonard has never put much stock into xenophobia, not really seeing the point of it. Sure, most of his school was Terran, with a few different species thrown in, but still . How could anyone put judgment on someone's species? It was just so barbaric and medieval.

Even so, his Daddy liked to take them out after Sunday church to a group of “like-minded individuals with the correct set of morals and ideas.”

Leonard was pretty sure that was a sneaky way to say they were being racist and xenophobic.

Leonard hated it there, with all the hot, stuffy pews and the smell of mold and the people who were just so mean. He didn't ever want to be that mean to anyone.

Even his Mama, who tended to not really care about much of what went on in the household, was incredibly uncomfortable there. Like she preferred to be anywhere but this room with the people with creepy laughter and their creepy eyes and hateful words.

This was another of those things that Leonard wasn't able to get out of, like pop quizzes and getting in trouble for practical jokes or even no dessert before dinner.

His Daddy said that Leonard’s Mama had a bit of wanderlust in her, that she liked to travel and see new places and meet new people.

And his Daddy could never say no to his wife. So when she asked if they could go to Texas, to see the sights and let the children play with new horses, he hummed and hawed but eventually said yes.

(What Leonard didn't know, not until years later, was that his Daddy was starting to show signs of sickness and his parents wanted to create fond memories before he got more sick.)

Texas was nice, Leonard guessed. Except it was true what people liked to say, about Texans treating Texas like a country and not a state. It was certainly… intense.

He tried shielding his baby sister from most of it, but she was so rambunctious and willing to get into trouble just to get into trouble that it was difficult. She was the complete opposite of Leonard, where he was willing to hunker down when told to and painfully shy around strangers.

Leonard was sure all the grey hair his parents were getting was because of Donna. But each time she got near scolded, she would bat her eyelashes and give off her best eight year old puppy eyes, complete with a grin that could give angels a run for their money.

The trip was quiet and somewhat boring to Leonard, until the day they visited an open ranch and he was allowed to ride the horses. It was tough going, trying to find one who didn't paw at him or move away. It was at the near end, when he was starting to lose hope and resign himself to an ill fit, when he saw her.

She was the most beautiful Appaloosa horse, almost as beautiful as Biscuit, and he was in awe of her mostly dark coat with some white and brown spots thrown in. It reminded Leonard of oreos.  

She was just tame enough to let him approach, but still had that spark that Leonard knew would make riding her fun and exciting.

And it was true. For the first twenty minutes, as they galloped and transitioned from high to slow, she was a beauty. She took commands well but was elegant when she executed them.

Leonard realized they traveled further than they had meant to when he saw the edge of the forest, and helped her turn around so they could go rest.

And it would have been fine, if the trees hadn't started rustling, scaring the horse so she was jumpy. Leonard tried his best to calm her with a pounding heart, but it was to no avail.

A snake darted out into the clearing, and the horse ran for dear life, Leonard desperately clutching onto her hair so he wouldn't fall.

When Leonard could just see the ranch in the distance, the horse tripped and Leonard flew off the horse in what felt like slow motion. He saw the horse trip behind him, and get back up and continue her gallop, snake long having since given up for easier prey.

And his body hit the floor with a thud, and there was ringing- and shouting- and then black.

When he woke, it was to beeping and soft sobbing.

There was a weight on his chest, and for a brief moment the biobed picked up on his anxiety until he was able to look down and see Donna curled on his lower abdomen, fast asleep and with one ear pressed against his stomach.

His memories of what happened were sketchy, all he remembered was getting on a horse and trees, and then nothing after.

His Daddy came in not long after he woke up with the resident Doctor, and they were able to explain to him that he had a nasty tumble and could expect some memory loss, but not a whole lot. They did caution him to be more careful in the future, and honestly? Leonard knew there was a family history of doctors in the McCoy line, but being a doctor just seemed like a lot of work.

Everyone knew that the Darnell’s and Treadway’s once had a marriage for protection contract, spanning far back before the Third War. Nowadays, neither needed the protection, but they still maintain close connections, building themselves up on each other so that within their small town, they’re the ruling families.

With that said, even Leonard could see that Jocelyn really did not like Clay. She was perfectly lovely to him, calm and cordial, but beneath the honey sweet words was a cutting edge, stiff and meant to hurt without letting him know it was on purpose.

It was skill Leonard could reluctantly admire, being the shy seventeen year he is.

It was their last year together, and some American traditions never went away, no matter how silly. One of those was senior prom, and a part of Leonard was pleased to see everyone get so buzzed with excitement the closer it got, and another part of him dreaded the thought of having to ask someone to go with him. It was better if he went alone, even if it made him feel like a coward sometimes.

The year passed quietly for Leonard, as Mark, his one real friend in this town, had moved away to join Starfleet. He didn’t really get the appeal of going out into that void, but to each their own. When Mark left, his friend group was still left back while some others moved onto college, and it was nice to not be left alone, even if he did sometimes get a little lonely.

The senior prom was as he imagined: boring and too hot. There were couples all over, and Leonard was sure some of them weren't sober and three seconds from having sex in public.

He was leaning against the wall, nursing a fruit punch, when he heard bickering coming his way.

The crowd parted for the yelling couple, and Leonard realized with a jolt that it was Jocelyn showing visible disdain for Clay. Leonard tried not to listen, but he couldn’t help overhearing the parts where she fought him, calling Clay boring and not good for her future. Leonard looked at Jocelyn, really looked at her, and his eyes widened at her flushed cheeks, with her high cheekbones and curly red hair piled on her head and spilling down her collarbones. Leonard looked at her, and thought, oh shit , and realized he was smitten.

He may have said that out loud, wide eyed and open mouthed, because both Clay and Jocelyn turned to look at him. Clay glared at him, paying him no mind, but Jocelyn narrowed her pretty green eyes at him, all calculation. A slow smile spread across her face, and Leonard knew it was not a nice one.

She bounded the rest of the way across to him, elegant even then in her soft pink dress, and latched herself onto his arm. “See, Clay? I don’t need ya when I’ve got a future doctor with me.”

And Leonard didn’t think to say: no, not a doctor, not really sure actually; because Jocelyn was even more beautiful up close, her wide eyes batting her eyelashes at him, a small grin looking up at him, smelling like flowers and vanilla. And shit, Leonard was really, really smitten.

“Oh yeah? I bet he can’t even protect ya, not like I can!” And Clay squared up with Leonard, close enough that he could see his freckles.

Leonard had only a single moment to think oh shit before Clay was swinging, and he reflexively dodges. Instead of hitting him, his fist grazed the wall, causing him to pitch forward and knock off balance.

He stumbles back to his feet, and with one last stumble, he gets up in Leonard’s face. Leonard reflexively flinches, raising a closed hand to push him away. Clay takes this as assent, and manages to land a hit on Leonard’s cheek.

Leonard stumbled into the wall, grunting and holding a hand against his bruising cheek. From the corner of his eye he can see Jocelyn- wide eyed and flustered.

He is but a teenage boy with a hot headed attitude, and so he swings back, hitting the way his daddy taught him.

Clay goes down like a deck of cards, too inebriated to really fight, and Jocelyn continues watching him with wide eyes.

Leonard looks down at his bruised knuckles, hisses when it hurts to shift them, and bites his tongue at Jocelyn’s sudden pampering.


Jocelyn doesn’t much speak to him after that, but sometimes he can catch her watching him.

And then, suddenly, they are graduating in a whirlwind and Leonard is too busy packing his bags to think of girls-

And Ole Miss is so much more beautiful.

His roommate isn’t what he expected, and he doesn’t really know how to interact at first, until Sinnit Arvid himself rolls his eyes and forces him to come to his gymnast competitions.

It thaws the ice and makes living easier.

He spots her again, sitting under an oak, fanning herself against the Georgian humidity.

Her red hair is piled up on her head, long strands falling down to stick against her slender, elegant neck.

She still has a smirk that would make men fall to their knees, and the air of no nonsense clings to her even from where Leonard stopped in his tracks to see her.

She spots him easily, backpack held loosely in his hands, and seems to startle in recognition.

A small, shy smile makes its way onto her face, and Leonard feels his feet move before his brain can actively process it.

The dirt is hard packed, and the tree stiff against his back, but it’s all worth it to hear Jocelyn’s honey smooth voice laugh with him.

Their first date is at a jazzy, 21st century smoky restaurant. Leonard insists on dressing formally, even period typical, and Jocelyn just shakes her head in fond confusion but does as he asks.

He shows up in a suit that is tailored to accentuate his features, but Jocelyn makes him feel like his feet were kicked out from underneath him.

She is radiant in her cherry red cocktail dress, one that shimmers in the low tone lights, and Leonard never wants it to end.

Sinnit takes him to meet some of his gymnast friends, insisting he needs to make more friends outside of the ones he already had from high school.

Leonard doesn’t want to, but when Sinnit gives him those puppy dog eyes his resolve crumbles.

There, he meets Emony Dax, a Trill with far more wisdom in her eyes then she should have for her age.

Her and Leonard hit it off immediately, and later after her competition they- along with Sinnit- decide to go out for a celebratory dinner.

It is there that he finds himself confiding in the Trill, a burnt cigarette in his calloused fingers, and tells her the things he is too afraid to tell his parents and Jocelyn.

Emony Dax smiles at him, encouraging and soft and open minded.

So he spills himself to her, and trusts her to catch him.

A week later, he knows what the taste of Emony feels like on his lips. Jocelyn and him are like water and vinegar- sometimes on, sometimes off.

If they had been together, he would never had kissed her.

A week after that, he has started the medical track.

Emony’s words echo while he fills the paperwork: you have the steadiest hands I have ever seen .

Emony leaves with soft kisses and quiet words of encouragement, and while a part of Leonard hates goodbyes, another part is grateful he was able to meet her.

His Daddy’s health starts deteriorating while Leonard is still pre-med, and Leonard is helpless to watch it happen.

He had offered, pleaded and begged, to be able to drop out from school but his Daddy had strictly forbid him, stating his education was more important than an old man.

It doesn’t stop Leonard from illegally getting laboratory time, desperately trying to find a cure for Pyrrhoneuritis. If his instructors notice, they turn a blind eye due to his circumstances.

He runs himself bone thin, and it wasn’t enough- he wasn’t enough.

His Daddy gives him a phaser, and begs .

He has never seen David McCoy beg, and it makes him drop the phaser as if he was burned.

His Daddy’s funeral is small and quiet, contrary to what the real David is- was .

It’s around then that the drinking starts, as he raids his Daddy’s old liquor.

And if he sometimes walks by a mirror and sees the ghost of his Daddy hanging around his bent, weary shoulders and sunken face, he pretends he doesn’t flinch away.

Time passes in a blur after that, with him applying to medical schools eventually and Jocelyn and him moving in together.

Before he knows it, he looks down and finds matching engagement rings on their fingers and thinks- oh, so this is it.

The marriage to Jocelyn is a whirlwind. She is finishing the last touches to her law degree, and Leonard is a year away from medical school, and perhaps it is not the best time, but it is their time.

All Leonard knows is one minute he’s thinking about pacing the pews of the old, traditional church in their hometown or throwing up, when suddenly he is unveiling Jocelyn and feeling like his entire life was made to be here, now.

If he has stray thoughts that he is making a mistake, he pushes those away and continues to smile.

When Joanna is born, Leonard feels like he is flying without the nausea and fear.

If a part of him hisses that the birth of his little girl made him happier than his wedding, he squashes it and pretends he doesn’t hear it.

Perhaps they could have had JoJo at a better time, but if they had waited Leonard knew it would have been kept waiting with careers like theirs.

They are happy, so happy, and Leonard never wants it to end.

All good things end, Leonard realizes.

He is the town pariah, and he has sought refuge at his Mama’s old ranch, the walls too big now that Daddy was gone.

He feels like a ghost in his own body, and doesn’t need much of a push to escape.

He meets him in a hangar bay, bloody and bruised, while he feels like one wrong move and he will float away from his body.

They share his booze, which turns into stories, which ends in exchanging comm numbers and James Kirk shooting him a lazy salute and a see you later, Bones .

He doesn’t even have time to question it, to protest, because this kid is a whirlwind and Leonard has found himself stuck in the middle of it, somehow.

He pretends he doesn’t scream when he finds Jim lounging on his empty apartment floor later, and Jim pretends he didn’t laugh at his shock for hours.

Living with Jim is nothing like living with Jocelyn. For one, he drinks most of his booze, the fucker, and two, Jim is so rarely quiet that the moments he is never cease to knock Leonard off balance.

There is something so, so wrong with Jim, and he doesn’t like to diagnosis before given all the facts, but he just knows something went wrong during childhood.

No adult would space out the way Jim does, and he would chalk it up to premature space birth, if he also didn’t see the way his hands would shake, how he would retch around the smell of burnt meat, how the only times he slows down are when he’s boozed to the gills. 

No healthy adult has ghosts for best friends the way Jim carries his.

And Leonard would know, since all his have names and stories.

If he ever thought he could live without Jim Kirk, the one event in sophomore year when he took a survival course proved otherwise.

It’s probably not healthy, but nothing about either of them is.

He is the most infuriating person he has ever met, and he has been friends and roommates with Jim for years now.

They spend more time fighting than interacting, and Leonard is sure he’s one wrong comment away from ripping off Spock’s head.

And yet, and yet-

He makes his blood sing .

He’s brought to task suddenly, and he’s sure he should be offended by the blooming bruises on his bicep, except he’s more distracted by the memory of Spock’s washed out, stricken face.

It feels like childhood ghosts are chasing him, and he realizes he still carries his skeletons on his back.


Christmas is the worst time, with him aching to see his little girl, aching to hold her and smell her hair.

They end up in a dogpile that week, and surprisingly it is Spock who is adept at helping him through the soul crushing loneliness, want, and post hangover.

Everything is on fire, and Leonard can barely see past the haze of smoking circuits and panicked bodies.

He sees his best friend turned lover and his maybe-could-be-a-best-friend-also fly away, and he is screaming at them, pleas to please not leave him, not where he cannot follow, knowing fully well they won’t hear him anyway.

They let him see his little girl, and she is so big now, but that doesn’t stop her from asking him to carry her around as if she were a toddling child.

He acquiesces, having missed this part of her growing up, and spends all his free time catching up, taking her out, and just sitting around on his Mama’s porch swing.

It’s perfect, but he can’t help noticing he’s missing the other two most important people in his life.

He hopes JoJo will get to meet them someday.

He comes home to a full house, everyone chatting and finding some way to heal in the aftermath.

He finds Hikaru curled over Chekhov, and Ben on the other side, so both men dwarf the quaint boy and you only see his curls peek out.

In the kitchen, he finds T’Pring debating the ethics of marijuana use with Gaila, and Gaila’s laughter is so raucous it causes her curls to bounce despite where they are trapped in one of T’Pring’s slender hands.

After dropping everything off and making sure the perishable food he brought is stored safely, he goes to find his lovers.

He finds them in their bedroom, Spock sitting in front of the vanity and dolling himself up, Jim sitting on Leonard’s favorite rocking chair.

Spock spots him first in the reflection, and he makes a sound of surprise before turning around, long hair fanning around his face.

Leonard feels heat pool in his belly, and before he knows it he has Spock’s hair in his hands and is pulling him in close, as close as he can, as he tries robbing Spock of his air.

Spock lets loose a low keen, and Jim is suddenly there, kissing Spock on a pointed ear, rubbing his hands across both their backs and hips.

They fall into the bed in a whirlwind, clothes discarded, and later when they are sated and too lazy to clean up, they curl into each other, Spock in the middle of their blanket nest.

It’s not perfect, yet, but it will be.

For once, Leonard isn’t afraid.

He brings them home, a few months later, to meet JoJo and Biscuit’s successor and his Mama.

It’s perfect, in a way he never expected.

JoJo and Jimmy hit it off like a wildfire, and his Ma takes to cooing at Jimmy’s pretty eyes and helping Spock dress up to make Leonard feel like he is experiencing continuous heart attacks.

She is especially won over when Spock shoos her out of the kitchen, and cooks her a traditional, three course Vulcan meal.

She laughs at Jimmy’s attempts to help but is more hindering, until Spock also shoos him away and pulls Leonard by the wrists to come help him, low tendrils of affection and amusement sneaking past Spock’s careful control. 

Later, when they are sitting on the porch swing, a bottle of beer and a chocolate bar between them, Leonard looks at his two lovers under the peach dying light and feels like he is finally home.