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Home for the Holidays

Chapter Text

“You ready for this?” Bones asked as he hauled his and Jim's duffles from the landcar they had arrived in.

 

“Yeah, of course,” he answered with more bravado than he felt.

 

It was the winter break from their second year at the Academy and Bones' mother had sent a message that she would not accept Leonard staying away a second year in a row. He had had enough time to lick his wounds, now it was time to pull up his big boy britches and rejoin the family, his ex wife and his butt hurt feelings be damned. And to bring that friend of his he used as an excuse last year.

 

Jim was both afraid and in awe of this woman. Mostly in awe of. But a little afraid.

 

They headed towards the front door of a well preserved wood-look home with a wrap around porch, Jim trying to take his bag from Leonard the whole time. The other man just hissed at him to 'Quit it!' and continued to carry both bags until he let go of them on the porch and pulled a short woman with graying hair into his arms that Jim presumed was his mother.

 

“Look at you!” she exclaimed as she held the grinning doctor at arm's length and did indeed give him a good looking over. “You've put that weight back on but it's all muscle now. Starfleet's taking good care of you. Jim, don't you dare touch that bag. Guests don't carry their luggage around here.”

 

Jim snatched his hand away from where he had been trying to pick up his own bag as if he'd been burned. He was certain the movement had been out of both of their eyesight, but she caught him anyhow.

 

“Martin!” she shouted into the open door. “Come get your Uncle Leonard's and his friend's bags and take them to the spare room!”

 

A surly teenager meander out, gave Bones a passing “Hey.” while accepting a pat on the shoulder and picked up both bags, nodding to Jim in acknowledgment, then wandered back into the house.

 

“That's my sister Denise's boy,” Bones explained. “And this is Elanor McCoy, my mamma. Mamma, this is Jim Kirk.”

 

“It's nice to meet you, ma'am,” Jim said with a charming smile as he held out his hand. She took his hand just long enough to pull him into a hug, nearly hauling him off his feet. He swore he could hear Bones chuckling under his breath, though that could have been his ribs cracking.

 

“It's so good to finally meet you,” she said as she squeezed the breath out of him then held him at arm's length like she had with Leonard. “Every transmission I get from him it's Jim this and Jim that. I swear I hear more about you than what's happening at that school.”

 

“Maybe I'm what's happening at that school,” Jim joked, at a loss of what to say in light of this information and his deeply blushing friend.

 

“Oh, you,” she laughed and gently slapped his shoulder. “You're as full of it as he says.”

 

“It's not all good things I talk about,” Bones smirked at him. “It's mostly complaints.”

 

“You keep telling yourself that,” his mother chided. “Now get in here and lets get you two settled.”

 

The two young men were led into the house where Jim was greeted with a warm, festive environment. The sitting area had been decorated for the traditional season, complete with Christmas themed pillows on the furniture, a brightly decorated tree, and stockings hanging from the fireplace. As they passed the fireplace and up the stairs, he noticed that every stocking had a name on it, including one that said 'Jim' in green, sweeping letters.

 

“Do you have an uncle, or cousin, Jim?” he asked once the bedroom door was closed behind them.

 

“No,” Bones shook his head. “Why?”

 

“There's a stocking on the fireplace with the name Jim on it.”

 

“Oh, that's yours,” he said with a casualness that Jim envied. “Anyone who will be here Christmas morning has one. This year that's mom, Denise, Martin, you, and me. The rest of the family will be over that evening for dinner. But now I've got a question for you. Last year, I seem to recall you telling me you're Jewish?”

 

“Is that the question?”

 

“I guess I'm asking if there's anything we can include for you.”

 

“That's nice,” Jim smiled, feeling truly warmed, “but no. My mother's side of the family is proudly Jewish, which means technically I am, too, but I don't think anyone has been to temple in three generations. I, personally, am an atheist.”

 

“Well, this is hardly a religious celebration you find yourself in the middle of.”

 

“I'm good either way,” Jim shrugged, then finally looked around the room. “We sharing?” he asked, indicating the only bed in the room.

 

“Yep,” McCoy said as he plopped onto one side of the double bed. “This is my old room, turned guest bedroom. I think the mattress is new.”

 

“I thought it would still be decorated the way you left it,” Jim mused. “Unless you liked beige and floral arraignments?”

 

“Are you kidding? The moment I flew the nest my mother was in here redecorating. I'm lucky there's still a bed in here just in case I ever needed to come back. Denise's room got turned into a craft room. Yarn, bolts of fabric, an old fashioned sewing machine, shelves full of god knows what.... Not a bed in sight.”

 

“I think she was trying to tell you both something,” Jim laughed.

 

“Yeah, 'I love you, but get your grown asses into the world I spent twenty years preparing you for.”

 

“Not eighteen?”

 

“We're not barbarians,” McCoy slapped a hand over his heart, mock scandalized. “In all seriousness, you OK, with sharing?”

 

“As many times as I've spooned you while drunk?”

 

“And vis versa.”

 

“Exactly.”

 

“Good. Just checking. Now come on. I smell food and she's gonna want us to set the table.”

 

*~*~*~*~*

 

Dinner was amazing. If that one meal was any indication of what Christmas dinner was going to be like, Jim knew he had made the right decision when he agreed to come home with Bones for winter break. The only trepidation he had was sharing that bed. Sure, he had told Bones that it wouldn't be a problem. Which it wasn't, really. It was true that they had both woken up in compromising positions with each other, but that had always been after a night of hard drinking with no clear memories of how they got into that position and hang overs to distract them from being embarrassed.

 

But what about this time? There was no way they would be getting blind drunk at Bones' mother's house. They really couldn't afford the hang overs. The next day was the 23rd and she had already set out assignments for the two of them that would start with a 7AM breakfast. No, they would be going to bed soon and they would be doing so together and sober.

 

And Jim just knew he was going to do something to embarrass himself. He could start out on one side of the bed, but he was sure he would end up gravitating towards his friend's heat. He tended to be an octopus in the best of circumstances but add an unrequited crush to the mix and he was liable to spoon Bones in an all too sober state complete with morning erection poking the other man in the back.

 

“Got the dishes done mom,” Leonard announced and Jim, who had been helping him, was surprised to see that it was true. “Me an' Jim are heading to bed.”

 

“Alright you two. Sleep tight.”

 

“You, too. Love you, mamma.”

 

“Love you, too, sweetheart.”

 

After his own goodnight, they headed up the stairs, back to the room they were to share, Jim trying not to panic.

 

“You know, Jim,” Bones began in an almost dreamy tone, pulling Jim away from his thoughts of doom, “I didn't think I ever wanted to see this place again, but it sure is good to be home, at least for the holidays.”

 

Looking at the smiling, relaxed face of his best friend, and the man he was pretty sure he was falling in love with, Jim had to agree. And seeing Bones that happy? He could do this. He could survive sharing a bed with him for that look alone.

 

He had it bad.

 

To be continued tomorrow for day five – baking.

Chapter Text

Leonard woke up slowly, soft light hitting his eyes, the smell of coffee and his mamma's sausage gravy in the air. He smiled, remembering where he was, and buried his nose in the soft head of hair tucked under his chin, pulling the warm, firm body in his arms closer to his chest. He slowly slid his leg up between two muscular thighs, his dick waking up to rub against a hip, an answering erection rubbing against his thigh and a strong arm squeezing tighter around his waist. Jim's voice muttered nonsense, as he often did in his sleep, against his collarbone.

 

Suddenly, McCoy came completely awake, needing all of his control not to jerk back in surprise. He closed his eyes again and, one by one, relaxed his muscles before very gently pulling his leg back and away from where it had been resting against his best friend's balls. Slowly, he worked his way away from Jim, tucking a pillow against his head so he wouldn't be suddenly cold and moving the arm that was clinging to him to wrap around that same pillow. He managed to slide backwards across the bed until one foot hit the hardwood floor, allowing him to stand up.

 

For a few minutes, Leonard granted himself the luxury of watching Jim sleep. He looked so peaceful. Holding him so close in his arms had felt so good, so right. He shook his head and slipped out of the room and into the bathroom, closing and locking the door behind him. Once safely alone, he leaned against the sink and looked at himself in the mirror.

 

“God damn it, man,” he cursed at his reflection quietly. “You go around snuggling your best friend the first time you sleep in the same bed with him without a fifth of something in you, he's gonna figure it out. Then what are you gonna do?”

 

McCoy shook his head at himself and washed his face. He was so screwed.

 

^~^~^~^~^~^

 

“Time to wake up, sleepyhead,” Leonard announced brightly when he came back to the room, fully dressed and under control.

 

Eyes brighter than a sun, bluer than the clear summer sky (good lord, get a hold of yourself, McCoy) opened to blink blearily up at him. With a smile, Jim pushed the pillow away, kicked the blankets off, and stretched. The soft shirt he had worn to bed rose up just enough to expose his bellybutton and a fine trail of golden hair that disappeared beneath the elastic of his worn, low hanging sweats.

 

“Let me get dressed and washed up and I'll meet you downstairs,” he said, bouncing up from the bed.

 

“Huh?” Leonard replied intelligently, his brain taking a moment to switch gears from his decidedly x-rated thoughts. “Oh, yeah, see you in a bit.”

 

He left the room to give Jim some privacy as quickly as he could without it looking like he was running away.

 

^~^~^~^~^~^

 

The day was a busy one. They hauled in extra fire wood, carried in extra dining chairs from the storage shed and Leonard showed Jim how to pull apart the old table and put the two leaves in, expanding it to it's longest size. They gave the table and the chairs a quick polish, and once she saw how nicely they gleamed, Elanor had them polish the railings on the stairs and the mantel of the fireplace as well. It was a relief when she gave them a shopping list and sent them out for forgotten, last minute groceries.

 

“Y'all bring those straight on to the kitchen,” she said when she heard them come back. “You two get washed up. I'll have these put away in a jiffy and then you can get in here and bake cookies.”

 

“I'm sorry?” Jim pulled up in surprise, certain he must of misheard her.

 

“Don't worry, Leonard will show you,” she laughed.

 

McCoy shot Kirk a devilish grin, having not told him this part of it on purpose. He knew Jim had barely cooked, much less baked, in his life. He was looking forward to teaching Jim a thing or two. Who knew? Maybe Jim could pick up a new skill.

 

“Oh, OK,” he said with some trepidation while leading the way to the bathroom.

 

^~^~^~^~^~^

 

“Alright, kid, it's not really that hard,” Bones smiled. “Let me show you how to make the dough, then we'll roll it out, cut the cookies out, and bake them. We'll start with the basic sugar cookies.”

 

“OK.”

 

Bones chuckled, charmed by how nervous Jim was. It was sweet, really. How hard did he think making cookies could be?

 

^~^~^~^~^~^

 

“How is it,” McCoy breathed in the stunned silence, “that you can pilot a shuttle through an asteroid field, take on the biggest blowhard in the Academy in hand to hand, charm the pants off our diplomacy instructor...”

 

“Literally.”

 

“Yeah, literally,” McCoy continued, rolling his eyes, “and be at the top of every mathematics, sciences and engineering class, but you can't bake worth shit!? Even with me standing right over you!?”

 

“I don't know,” Jim panted, wiping the flour and sweat off his forehead.

 

It didn't do any good. Jim was covered in flour. So was Leonard. So was his mamma's kitchen, with the exception being the void patterns their bodies had left when flour and dough went flying due to a chain of events that Bones was pretty sure included mixing up the baking powder and baking soda, too much kneading, and a slick spot on the floor from a poorly cleaned up dropped egg. He still wasn't sure how even all that came together to cause such havoc, but he was pretty sure that had something to do with Jim Kirk being Jim Kirk.

 

“Can we try again?” Jim asked, genuinely wanting to, eyes shining out from his powdered face, biting his bottom lip in a nervous gesture.

 

“After a shower and change of clothes,” Bones nodded against better judgment. “And after we clean this kitchen, which we better do before my mamma sees it.”

 

“No problem, Bones,” Jim smiled brightly. “I'm as good at cleaning a mess as I am at making one.”

 

^~^~^~^~^~^

 

Things went better the second time around. Jim was smart, seriously smart, and a fast learner. Leonard just had to teach him the way he learned best; by example. Once he was shown how to do something, and was explained the difference between baking powder and baking soda, there was no stopping him. They had Leonard's sugar cookies, cut into reindeer and evergreens, in the oven and Jim was quickly getting the dough for the gingerbread men put together.

 

“Alright, you're being a little too delicate with that,” Bones grinned, reaching around Jim and sinking his hands into the dough next to Jim's, showing him how much pressure he was able to put into kneading the dough.

 

He realized how intimately they were pressed together about the same time he felt Jim realize it. Jim twisted in his arms, a startled look on his face. For a moment, time stopped as their eyes met and they both looked down at the other's mouth, licked their lips, and resumed eye contact. With startling clarity, Bones knew Jim was suddenly aware of how he felt. And he was pretty damn sure he knew what Jim was feeling.

 

Fingers left the dough then they were hugging, Jim's arms tight around his waist and face tucked into the crook of his neck as his own arms wrapped around the younger man's shoulders. They both took a shuddering breath, inhaling the scent of cookies and each other.

 

“Thanks, Bones,” Jim muttered from his hiding place. “Thanks for teaching me how to make cookies.”

 

“Any time, Darl'n,” Leonard stuttered out. “Any time.”

 

Jim squeezed him harder, as if startled, and snuggled in further, taking a deep breath. Bones took his own deep breath of Jim's bright, clean hair, squeezing back.

 

Leonard felt as if his entire existence had just shifted.

 

To be continued on day 11: Kisses Under the Mistletoe.

Chapter Text

When Jim had woken up that morning curled around a pillow that smelled like his best friend, he wondered if he had done something to embarrass himself, after all. But when he opened his eyes and saw Bones grinning down at him, he figured he had just snagged the pillow after he had left the bed. When he had stretched, though, he saw the way Bones followed his movements, the way his eyes trailed over his exposed flesh, pupils dilating, skin growing flush. He understood that look. He'd seen it enough times.

The rest of the day was filled with sexual tension. Jim caught Leonard staring at his arms as he lifted the fire wood, carried chairs, and polished furniture. Jim stared right back, enjoying the play of the doctor's muscles under perpetually tanned skin. When they began baking in the kitchen, some of his natural ineptitude around food preparation kicked in, but only because he was distracted. Every time Bones had to grab something, it seemed, he made it a point to brush against him, place a hand on a shoulder or even his hip, to lean in close. And he had to grab a lot of things.

Finally, after the disaster that was bound to happen finally happened and they cleaned up, the kitchen and themselves, they started over. This time Bones mostly kept his hands to himself and Jim was able to focus his mind on baking, not thinking of wanting to bend his friend over the nearest surface and feeling very confident that friend wouldn't mind at all. It finally came to a head when Bones started grabbing things again.

This time he grabbed Jim.

Jim couldn't believe it. Bones was pressed, shoulder to hip, all along the length of his back, his chin hooked over his shoulder, his hot breath wafting over his ear as he purred out instructions. Not being able to help himself, Jim turned around in his arms, twisting his back to look at him full on while his hips still faced the counter. He had intended to kiss him, to finally get it out into the open and let Bones take the lead from there, but then he was face to face with the best thing that had ever happened to him and he couldn't do it. He couldn't risk ruining them. He turned around more completely to face him and hugged him instead.

He wasn't even sure what he said, but he was sure of what Bones said. He called him 'Darl'n', in a cracked, strained voice that had him questioning everything that was happening.

Jim never thought for a minute that Bones could ever feel for him what he did for the other man. For the first time in his life, James T. Kirk was in love, and it was terrifying, especially being alone in his feelings. And then Bones started looking at him with lust in his eyes; something Jim knew what to do with. But could he? With Bones? He had spent all that morning wondering if a vacation fling would be OK for them, if their friendship could come out the other side unscathed. And then, just as he decided he would take the chance, to at least find out what having that body pressed against him felt like, and then swung in the opposite direction to save their friendship, one broken word from Bones and his emotions were swinging again, in a completely different direction.

Eyes wide, still tucked into Bones neck so he couldn't see the look on his face, Jim squeezed him harder, pulling him closer, and relaxed as he felt Bones bury his face in his hair and take a deep, shuddering breath. He savored the moment, knowing everything was changing. Once he felt like he had control of himself, he began to pull back, to gently lift his head up to look McCoy in the eye while still holding onto his waist, intending to finally kiss him.

Unfortunately, he was greeted with the smell of burning cookies and Leonard's wide, startled eyes.

“Damn it!” McCoy shouted and let go of Jim so quickly the blond lost his footing and ended up having to catch himself on the counter behind him, causing him to flip up the bamboo board he had been using to knead the dough for the gingerbread cookies and fling it to the floor. When Leonard turned around holding burnt cookies, he was greeted with the sight of Jim picking up the board, half of the dough stuck to the board, half to the floor, and Jim scowling at him. “What's that look for? Looks like we both ruined the cookies.”

“No, you burnt those, and you made me dump these.”

“So it's my fault.”

“Yep.”

“What on earth?”

They turned around at the sound of Elanor walking into the kitchen with her own bags of last minute shopping. She took in the burnt cookies in her son's hands and the dough that Jim was still trying to peel up from the floor and shook her head.

“You two have had enough time to make at least two batches of cookies. What have you been up to?” she asked, shooting Leonard a suspicious, and maybe knowing, look.

“Sorry, Elanor,” Jim spoke up before Leonard could. “Bones was teaching me how to bake and it got a little out of control.”

“Oh,” she laughed. “I remember Len's first time baking cookies. Didn't matter that I was right there telling him everything to do, we still ended up with dough and flour everywhere!”

Still laughing to herself, Elanor left to put her packages away, leaving Jim and Bones to stare at each other before bursting into laughter themselves.

“So I guess that wasn't the first time this kitchen was christened,” Jim smirked.

“Yeah, well, I don't remember it,” Bones replied, throwing a burnt cookie at his friend's head, “because I was only five at the time!”

“Hey, a first time is a first time, regardless of age,” Jim laughed, hitting Bones with a blob of dough.

“OK, OK,” Bones laughed. “We've made a big enough mess. Let's clean this up and start over. Again.”

Jim wondered how often they were going to be 'starting over.'

*~*~*~*~*

“Well, I am glad to see those cookies are finally done,” Elanor smiled as Jim and Bones brought out the finally perfectly baked and decorated cookies on covered platters. “Now that that's done, you two can put up the rest of the decorations.”

“The rest?” Bones scowled. “Mamma, the place is perfectly decorated.”

“The living room is, mostly,” she corrected, patting his cheek. “The stairs and dining room are bare, and this is where we're having dinner, after all.”

“Don't worry,” Jim smiled cheekily. “We'll get it all looking just as beautiful as the rest of the house.”

“Thank you, Jim. It's so nice not to get any back talk when I ask for something to be done.”

“I wasn't back talking,” Bones argued, but Eleanor just walked away, tsking as she went. “You,” he pointed at Jim playfully, “are turning my own mamma against me.”

“Am not.”

“Are too. Here, string up the garland on the stairs. She'll want it wrapped around the banister. I'll get the ceiling strung up.”

Jim shook his head, letting Bones have the last word, for the moment. He lost himself in the rhythm of wrapping the banister, ignoring the man working just feet and an arch away from him, out of sight but the sound of his whistling a reminder that he was still there. As if Jim could forget.

He was getting frustrated. Jim Kirk was a man of action but so far he had been thwarted in his goal to start something with Bones twice. Just a kiss, that's all he needed, to make his intentions clear. However, lost in his own head, Jim couldn't help but start to doubt again.

Was he really reading the situation right? He was so sure just an hour earlier that what he heard in McCoy's voice was more than lust. But now that he had time to think about it, was it even lust? Did he just surprise him? He never even kissed him. Did he ruin their friendship anyhow? McCoy was a perceptive man; he wouldn't have had to necessarily kiss him to cause a rift between them. How was he going to fix this?

“Hey, Jim,” Bones called, breaking him from his thoughts. “Come in here and tell me what you think, will ya?”

“Sure, Bones,” he called back and jogged down the stairs. When he got to the arch between the base of the stairs and the dining room he stopped, McCoy blocking his path. “You gotta move if you want me to see.”

Instead of moving or saying anything, Bones, with a look Jim wasn't sure he could believe, just pointed above their heads. Jim looked up and there, at the top of the arch, was a sprig of mistletoe. He opened his mouth to ask a question but he was stopped by a broad hand on his waist and another tangling into the back of his hair. When he tilted his head back down it was to meet Bones' eyes, wrap his own arms around his shoulders, and to meet his lips in a kiss.

The hand on his hip slid around his back and pulled him close. Two broad chests pressed against each other as heads tilted and lips slotted more deeply together. They parted just enough to take a breath and when they came back together, Jim was clutching the back of Bones' shirt as he opened his mouth to taste him and let himself be tasted in return.

Jim shivered, knowing things would never be the same between them again, and he couldn't be happier about it. He just hoped Bones didn't end up regretting it.

To be continued on day 13: A Walk in the Woods

Chapter Text

The kiss had gone from gentle exploration to heated in no time, but they managed to pull back from each other before things became physically awkward in the dining room. Leonard gazed adoringly at a panting Jim, his eyes shining and his lips pink and swollen. Unfortunately, those shining eyes looked nervous.

 

“Oh, Darl'n,” he started gently, wanting to allay any fears he might have. “I...”

 

“Boys!” his mother called from the kitchen. “I picked dinner up tonight! Go ahead and get the table set, if you'd please!”

 

“OK, mamma, one moment!” Leonard called back, then turned back to Jim to find him squirming out of his hold.

 

“Nuh uh,” he admonished. “Your mom needs us now.”

 

“Damn it, Jim,” he muttered, worried that this was going to be even harder than he anticipated.

 

^~^~^~^~^~^~^~

 

Dinner was uneventful, just the usual family chatter. Martin was asking a million questions of them about the Academy, more talkative that he'd gotten used to them being around, and Jim seemed content to talk about classes with the boy. Bones watched, wondering what was going on in that man's head. He tried to make eye contact, but to no avail. Jim was avoiding him.

 

Once dinner was over, Leonard hopped up, intending to take Jim upstairs to talk to him alone, but he evaded even that.

 

“I'll help you carry in the dishes,” he said to Martin, who was in charge of clearing the table that night while his mother started on the dishes.

 

“We did that last night,” Leonard argued, though only halfheartedly. He knew he needed to give him a minute before they confronted what had happened, and what might have happened if they hadn't been interrupted.

 

Jim looked over his shoulder at him, the first time since the kiss, his expression guarded, and just shrugged. Leonard nodded and headed upstairs, intending to straighten things up in the room so they'd have a comfortable place to talk. After several minutes, however, he knew Jim wasn't going to follow him. Plenty of time had passed for the table to be cleared. He sighed and headed back downstairs, hoping to find him easy enough.

 

He had a bad feeling that he wouldn't see him until morning unless he found him before they went to bed. He couldn't find him in the house and he didn't dare ask his mother, who was convinced they were already a couple despite Leonard's protests. If she thought the two of them had gotten into to a fight and could possibly break up... well, she wouldn't exactly lay blame, but she'd sure expect her son to try and fix it. And he wasn't sure he could fix this.

 

It was simply a fundamental problem of 'Jimness.' 'Jimness' was the result of a lifetime of issues that the young man had had little to no control over that had shaped his personality and made him who he was, the good and the bad. He didn't believe in giving up, but based on experience, there were some things he didn't believe in starting.

 

He lost his father to death by mysterious aliens and a big part of his mother to grief. He'd had a terrible guardian and lost his brother to escape him. He lost other relatives along the way and so, as much as he craved a family, he was skittish about having one. Just something else to lose. So he was fake with his friends and even faker with his bed partners.

 

Leonard “Bones” McCoy had been the exception. Maybe it was the loss he saw in him; the kindred spirit. Whatever it was, he behaved completely different with him. He opened up with him, he got drunk with him, he let himself be vulnerable with him. And when McCoy realized Jim had romantic feelings for him, he thought he'd be the exception there, too. And maybe he was, but in the completely wrong way.

 

Jim didn't care about screwing up other relationships because they weren't real. He and Bones were real, and Bones was realizing he may not have thought his tactic completely through. Just laying one on him clearly scared him, which meant Bones needed to find him.

 

“Hey, Denise,” he found his sister cleaning the last of the plates in the kitchen. “Have you seen Jim? I haven't seen him since dinner.”

 

“He asked about the woods in the back and then said he was going for a walk,” she replied with a sympathetic smile. “What did you do?”

 

“I kissed him.”

 

“Wow, you must have been awful.”

 

“Gee, thanks.”

 

“I'm joking, Len, lighten up,” she laughed and flicked suds his way. “I'm sure once you two talk, it will be OK. Just get out there and find him before it gets too dark and you can't see him in those 'woods.'”

 

“Give him a break, he's from Iowa. Hell, I've been in space so long, that little grove almost looks like a forest to me.”

 

^~^~^~^~^~^~^~

 

Leonard found him not too far into the grove. Where they were at among the oaks, it did kind of look like a forest out of a fairy tale; the leaves on the ground and the crickets greeting the dusk. He approached Jim carefully where he was leaning against a tree, twirling a dead leaf in his fingers.

 

“I'm sorry, Bones,” he whispered once the other man was close enough. “I suck at this. You shouldn't waste your time on me.”

 

“Are you saying that because you didn't want me to kiss you? If that's the case, I'm truly sorry. I shouldn't have surprised you like that.”

 

“No, I wanted you to,” he admitted. “But wanting something isn't always a good enough reason to go after it. Not when what you want can get you hurt.”

 

“Which one of us are you talking about getting hurt?” Leonard asked as he leaned next to Jim, as close as he dared. “If you mean me, I'm willing to risk my heart. You're worth it, Jim.”

 

The other man scoffed and tried to turn away, but Leonard gently placed a hand on his shoulder and turned him to face him.

 

“You are. And don't you start name callin'. I don't like people talking about my best friend like that. If you're afraid of you getting hurt, well, I gotta say, the Jim Kirk I know isn't afraid of shit. He's the bravest person I know. And as for failing and destroying our friendship? Well, he don't believe in failure.”

 

“But that's just it, Bones, losing you does scare me. You're the only friend I've ever let myself be myself around. You're the only person I've allowed myself to trust in a long time. I've never been able to tell anyone the things I've told you. I tell you everything, Bones. I can't lose you!”

 

“And do you regret it? All that trust you put in me?”

 

“No!”

 

“Then why would you regret taking the next step?” he insisted, squeezing the shoulder he was still holding. “If you trust me with everything else about you... damn it man, do you know how small of a step going from best friend you tell everything, to lover is?”

 

With a sigh that was half sob, Jim stepped the rest of the way into Leonard's space, not being able to resist those arms around him. Bones gripped him tightly to his chest and gently rocked him where they stood, kissing his temple as he did so.

 

“I'm scared,” Jim admitted again, one of those things that Leonard knew he'd never admit to anyone else.

 

“I know, Darl'n,” he assured. “I am, too, but I'm willing to take the chance. Come back to the house with me, come upstairs with me, and just let me hold you tonight. Give us a chance. I'll do my damnedest to not only make sure you never regret it, but to someday make you wonder why you put up such a fuss about it.”

 

“Well, with all this romance, how can I possibly say no?”

 

Leonard laughed in relief as he led Jim back to the room they were sharing.

 

^~^~^~^~^~^~^~

 

That night was a first for both of them; purposefully laying down in each other's arms. They both changed into t shirts and sweatpants, then Leonard lay down first and opened his arms to Jim. Jim only hesitated a moment before he crawled into bed and into the arms waiting for him. He tucked his head on Leonard's shoulder and wrapped his arm around his middle, relaxing as both of Leonard's arms came up to wrap around him securely.

 

“You alright?” Leonard asked quietly.

 

“Yeah. Yeah, I'm fine.”

 

And he meant it. He felt secure, safe, loved... Jim relaxed, let himself really relax. He relaxed and opened himself to all the possibilities of this thing that was coming to life between them, and accepted that he would do anything to keep it.

 

To be concluded on day 16: By the fire.

 

Chapter Text

Jim woke up to the feel of Bones' arms around him and his hand stroking down his back. He sighed happily and snuggled further into the sleep warm body, bringing his own arms around to slide up under McCoy's shirt and run over his back. In return, Bones moaned and slid his hands beneath Jim's shirt so that he could feel bare skin as well.

They tilted back just far enough to bring mouths together and lazily made out while their bodies woke up as they pressed every inch they could together. Jim felt a hardness forming against his thigh and shivered, his own answering arousal making itself known. He pushed against the man in his arms who responded by rolling over onto his back, pulling Jim on top of him. The new position caused their erections to slot together more fully, making them both gasp.

“You OK with this?” Bones asked as he lifted Jim's shirt. Jim responded by letting him take the shirt off and helping Bones with his own.

“I'm great. Are you OK with this?” he asked in return as he dipped his fingers below the waist band of Leonard's sleep pants and tugged down.

“Very much OK,” Bones breathed as he simultaneously lifted his hips for Jim and started pulling Jim's pants down.

Once they were completely naked, they pressed gasping mouths back against each other and ground their warm, firm bodies together until they were both completely satisfied.


*~*~*~*~*


“Well, that was a bad idea,” Leonard chortled as Jim narrowed his eyes at him and continued to get dressed.


“Laugh it up,” he complained. “It's not fair that you walked away with no injuries while I'm here with a bruised knee, elbow, and butt.”


“I'm sorry, Darl'n, I guess the shower was just too small to try that in.”Jim tried to maintain his glare, but he just couldn't, not with Bones smiling and laughing, his eyes shining and his dimples creasing his cheeks. He was stunning, and all Jim's, a thought that still brought a shiver of terror and an expectation of loss. But this was Bones, he reminded himself. His heart was safe with him.


“Come on, let's get some breakfast.”


They went downstairs to find Elanor already at the stove making pancakes while Denise and Martin were finishing up their breakfasts. She glanced over her shoulder with a smile before turning back to what she was doing.

“There they are! Y'all didn't pull my shower curtain down did you?”

“What?” Bones stuttered, turning red. Jim knew he was red, too. “Well, yes ma'am, but I put it back up.”


“Ew, mamma, we didn't need to know that,” Denise scowled. “It just sounded like a normal slip and fall.”


“I think we all knew that was two bodies falling,” Elanor admonished her as she loaded up two more plates.


“We could have pretended.”


Jim had never experienced that hope that the floor would open up and swallow him before, but he certainly was at that moment. And from the scowl on Bones' face, he felt the same way. The two were handed full plates and they sat down across from Denise and Martin at the kitchen table. As Denise got up to take her empty plate to the sink, she stopped by Leonard's chair long enough to whisper to him.


“I could have told you that shower was too small for that.”


“Ew,” Bones shuddered, scowling anew.


Jim noticed that Martin was doing a good job of ignoring them.


*~*~*~*~*


Elanor had them busy again, preparing for the next day, but as the late afternoon turned to early evening, she declared it was as good as it was going to get and everyone should enjoy Christmas Eve.  Jim wandered into the sitting room to see that the fire had been lit in the fireplace and three of the McCoys were on the sofa in front of it, enjoying cups of hot cocoa. He moved to take a seat on the love seat when he was stopped by a hand on his arm.


Jim turned to find that the fourth McCoy had snuck up on him and was standing so close he could see the hint of freckles on his nose. Jim suddenly wanted to take Bones somewhere tropical and lay on the beach with him just to see if those freckles would darken and if he had them anywhere else. He leaned forward and gave into the urge to quickly kiss his friend, his heart leaping anew at the ability to do so. When he pulled back, Bones was grinning and pulling him towards the kitchen.

“Come on,” he said as he handed Jim a blanket and picked up a thermos. “I got a surprise for you.”


“When did you have time to set up a surprise?” Jim asked suspiciously.


“It didn't take long.”


They walked back out into the grove they had been the day before and to the spot where they had confronted their feelings. In the small clearing was a pile of kindling and fuel for a campfire, all contained within a rustic ring of rocks that hadn't been there the day before. McCoy set about getting it lit as Jim spread the blanket close enough to feel the warmth but far enough away to be safe. Once he had the fire merrily burning, Bones joined him on the blanket, accepting a drink of the hot cocoa in the thermos as he wrapped an arm around his shoulders.


“This is nice,” Jim sighed as he leaned into the solid form of his lover.


“You still on board with all of this? With us?” Bones asked, sounding a little concerned, but not really worried.


“Yeah, I am,” he assured him. “I know I was a little hard to convince at first...”


“Not too bad, it only took a day,” Bones laughed and squeezed him closer.


“Yeah,” Jim smiled back, leaning back enough to make eye contact. “This is what I want. Once I finally admitted that I can do this, I can HAVE this, that it could work so long as it's with you.... I want this more than anything. I'm not going anywhere.”


“You want this more than a starship?” Bones asked with a raised eyebrow and a smirk.


“Yes,” he admitted, then grinned in that way that always blinded people. “But I'm going to have both, so it doesn't really matter. It's not going to be one or the other. Me, you and the stars.”


“Oh, joy,” Bones rolled his eyes then pulled Jim back against him as they turned back to gaze at the fire. “At least I'll have you to hold onto.”


Jim hummed in agreement, then kissed Leonard's neck. He had intended it to be just a simple brush of lips, but the warm skin felt so good against his lips and Bones smelled amazing, he ended up pressing several open mouthed kisses along the strong column before latching on to a spot just below his shirt collar and worrying the skin there.


“Damn it, Jim,” Bones moaned and laid them down on the blanket, Jim on his back, Leonard on top of him. “Just to warn you, you're about to get ravaged.”


“Oh, hell yes,” Jim groaned and spread his legs, delighted to feel that Bones was as hard as he was and didn't seem to have any qualms about removing their clothing out there by the fire. “Did, did you just pull lube out of your pocket?”


“Yeah, you OK with that? We don't have to...”


“No, I'm great with that, but I'm just realizing what a manipulative horn dog you are, getting me all romanced up and then popping out the lube. You expected to get laid the whole time, didn't you?”


“I didn't expect to,” Bones replied indignantly. “I just hoped, and prepared.”


“And that's why you're going to make a great CMO. Always prepared.”


“Oh, hush, you idiot,” and he kissed the man below him deeply, negating any perceived insult.


Jim had to admit that making out naked was even better than it had been clothed. The weather was a little on the cool side, but the fire next to them kept them from being chilled. He wrapped his legs around Bones' hips and pressed up, enjoying the feel of their lengths sliding together, something he had only just experienced that morning but was quickly becoming addicted to. Much to his disappointment, Bones broke the kiss and held himself up on his arms above Jim, grinning down at him.


“You ever have a manual prostate exam?”


“It that supposed to be sexy?” Jim asked in feigned disgust.


“It will be in a minute,” Bones growled, picking up the lube and popping the cap. “Once I'm done with you, you'll be begging for me to check your prostate.”


“You have got to work on your pillow talk.”


“Just you wait, Darl'n. You're going to have a whole different attitude about what's sexy talk and what isn't.”


*~*~*~*~*


Jim had no idea how much time had passed, but the fire had burned down low and the moon was rising high enough for them to see while lying on the blanket. Bones was running just the tips of his fingers up and down his chest, making him shiver.


“What do ya say?” Bones purred in his ear.

“Want me to give you another prostate exam?”


“Oh god,” Jim felt his belly flutter and he turned over so he was wrapped around the other man. “I couldn't handle that again right now, but definitely later. I can't believe that phrase now shoots lust through me. You suck. We're going to get our first assignment, I'm going to walk into Sickbay and see you, and I'm going to get a boner.”


“And people are going to think that's why you call me Bones.”


“Oh my god. I'd break up with you, but it wouldn't help. Instead of horny in Sickbay, I'd just be sad and horny in Sickbay.”


“Guess you're stuck with me then.”


“Guess I am.”

The End