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Bones is hot. Jim knows this. Objectively and subjectively, he can look at Bones and think, "Damn." But for some reason, a reason Jim has never quite been able to figure out no matter how many ways he tries to come at it, his brain never flipped from Bones is hot to Try to fuck Bones.

So, instead it's all drinking buddies and study partners and Jim doing something dangerous and Bones fixing it afterward. It's casual arms around Bones's shoulders and laughing at Bones's dry humor and remembering that April 7th is a bad day for Bones. It's sitting at Bones's side when he tackles his fear of flying and telling Bones why he doesn't like birthdays. It's asking him to take those extra classes so he can be Jim's helmsman on the Kobayashi Maru.

It's all of that, and then suddenly, it's more.

Jim's talking about the relative merits of the Constitution-class design over some of the older models, going on about the conduits and the nacelles and how their dilithium usage is more efficient in the long run though it requires a larger unit of the precious element from the start. "And anyway, it's a good model, great for reaching parts of space we've never charted before, not even the Vulcan Science Academy's brainiacs. Can you even imagine being that deep into space?"

He walks past Bones to find his shoes and without warning Bones's hand reaches out and grabs him by the wrist, a tight circle that, yeah, Jim can break if he really wants, but instead he pauses and looks up. He lets the heat from Bones's hand sink into his skin and feels something shift when he meets his eyes. "Bones?"

And Bones just makes this low sound, tugs at Jim's wrist until Jim finds himself straddling Bones's hips, sitting on his lap at the edge of the bed. Bones breaks his hold only to reach up and grasp Jim's face, pulling him forward until their lips meet, and Jim lets him, lets Bones change and redefine their relationship, rewire the parts of Jim's brain that never allowed Jim to think about this before.

It’s easy.

And Jim's always been a quick study.

--

At first, they fuck for the sheer novelty of it. In public restrooms, in empty classrooms. They drag each other down or climb on top of each other. They bend each other over every goddamn surface in their dorm.

Twice.

They fuck like they're cramming for a final in a class they didn't even realize they were in, memorizing every line and plane and texture, every gasp and moan and grunt.

Jim has always enjoyed sex, and not in that generic way everyone does. He likes an orgasm as much as the next guy, but it's the details that make it amazing. The laughter and the mess.

With Bones it’s all that and more.

It's the contrast between the excitement of the undiscovered and the thrill of knowledge that familiarity breeds. It's the transition from one to the other.

--

It's been one of those days. No, actually, it's been one of those fucking months. He feels it in every muscle in his body.

The Academy isn't easy. It's not supposed to be easy. He knows that, learned it in the first twenty-four hours after arriving.

It's unofficial policy here that the curriculum is front-loaded. The most time consuming, the most physically and mentally demanding year of their entire academic career is the first. That way, if someone’s going to wash out, they do it early on, don't waste resources that could be going to another kid who might not have the scores, but possesses twice the drive.

A cadet has to want it. More than they want anything else in the world.

And Jim does want it.

He wants out into space. He wants to get so close to the stars they could burn him. He wants it so bad he jammed an already jammed schedule so full that he's classed with the fourth-years even though it’s only his third.

Which is the main reason why, despite the fact that most of his peers are finally starting to breathe a little easier, he's still having hell days like this one. Thankfully, it's a Friday, and one where he can actually take a breather.

He just needs to figure out how to fucking breathe again first.

The fact that it's been entirely too long since he and Bones have been in the same place for longer than two minutes may also have something to do with it. Which is why when the door slides open and Bones walks into their room, Jim's on him in five seconds flat, knocking all the air out of Bones's lungs as he pushes him hard against the wall.

"Christ," Bones coughs, flailing in confusion as Jim attacks his neck with teeth and tongue. "What -- Jim! Oh, fuck."

Jim cups Bones's dick through the fabric of his Academy-issued slacks, working it with single-minded determination until Bones bucks against Jim. "That's it," Jim hisses at the point where jaw meets neck, just under Bones's ear. "Want you, Bones. I want to fuck you."

Bones's eyes flutter closed and he groans, pushes at Jim's shoulders. "Okay, yes! God, just -- I need to… Could you wait a sec--?"

"No," Jim interrupts sharply, catching Bones's wrists and slamming them against the wall on either side of Bones's head. He slots his knee between Bones's legs and presses his whole body against Bones’s, leaning in so he can brush a kiss just at the corner of Bones's mouth. "I don't want to wait,” he whispers, his breath and lips ghosting against Bones's. “I've waited all fucking week, every day thinking up new ways to make you come. I love watching you come, Bones. Did you know that?"

Eyes still closed, Bones licks his lips, shakes his head. "What the fuck?" he asks on an exhale.

Jim hums as he tugs Bones's earlobe with his teeth, chuckles as he flexes his fingers around Bones's wrists. "Fucking love the way your mouth presses shut so tight, like you're afraid of what you might say, the sharp little breaths that come through your nose, the bright flush of red all over your face and neck and chest... First time, I almost couldn't believe it… mouthy as you fucking are and you go silent right when you come."

Bones makes a harsh, frustrated sound, twists his hands in Jim's grip. "Goddamn it, Jim, okay, Jesus. What are you playing at? Just -- I thought you didn't want to wait?"

"I don't. Don't want to wait a single second more to have my hands on you.” Jim pushes Bones's arms up above his head so he can hold them there with just one hand. “I'm going to see exactly what it takes to make you just as loud when you come as you are every other moment of your life."

Bones doesn't make any more token attempts at freedom, just opens his eyes to stare back at Jim, rapid pants making his chest rise and fall against Jim’s.

Jim leans away enough to unfasten the front of Bones's jacket. He pushes his hand inside and under the t-shirt to palm the warm skin at Bones’s side and then around to the small of Bones's back. He presses in close again.

"I'm going to strip you out of these goddamn clothes, spread your legs as wide as I can, and tongue fuck you until you're so hard you can't remember your name. And that’s just for starters."

A strained groan fills the air as Bones grinds down against Jim's leg. "Jim, Jim… Oh god, you're such an impossible, bratty tease, you son of a --"

Jim cuts him off with a quick kiss, nips at his bottom lip in warning. "Be nice. Don't you want to hear about what I'm going to do next?"

"I don't want to hear about any of it,” Bones snaps, breathless as he rolls his body against Jim's again, biting at his bottom lip, worrying flesh already puffy and swollen from Jim's sharp kisses. “I want you to do it already."

A wicked grin curls over Jim’s mouth. "Patience, as you have so often reminded me, is a virtue."

"Fuck patience," Bones says.

"Succinct, but not an option, 'cause see, I'm kind of curious now if you're just going to rub yourself off right inside your goddamn pants.” Jim works his fingers under the waistband of Bones's pants, squeezes a handful of Bones's ass. “I kinda think you will. I think you're going to rut against my leg like a fucking teenage boy until you ruin your underwear coming all over yourself."

Bones moans, his hips working without pause now, riding Jim's leg in a frantic rhythm. "Please."

Jim feels his own dick throb at that word. "Fuck, never heard you beg before. It's nice, a little nonspecific, but I like the sentiment. Maybe if you could tell me exactly what you want…"

"Oh god, I hate you," Bones says without any heat, his breath catching and his eyes slipping shut again.

"Yeah, but you won't when I'm done with you. Where was I? Oh right," Jim says, rocking up to meet Bones's efforts, letting Bones feel exactly how hard he is, too. "After I'm done rimming you, when you're putting your newfound skill of begging to good use, asking so pretty for me to fuck you, I'm going to crawl up your body and fuck your mouth instead, get your lips and chin and face all sloppy wet, pin your arms at your side with my legs so you just have to take it."

Sucking air in through his nose, Bones presses his lips together in a thin line, his eyebrows scrunched together in a look of pure distress, and Jim knows he's close.

Jim tips his head down to speak directly into Bones's ear again, going in for the kill with a low, brutal tone, "And you know what? I think I'm just going to go ahead and come, gonna pull out just in time to splash it all across your face. And then, when you want to come so badly you'll do anything, I'm going to get that vibrator you think I don't know about, and I'm going to make you fuck yourself with it while I watch."

Bones comes with several hard jerks against Jim's body and an almost pained whine at the back of his throat that even his closed mouth can't silence.

Just another example of Bones redefining their entire relationship without a word.

The thought floats through Jim's brain in that suspended, surreal moment when his lust and reason haven't quite figured out who's winning this round. Half a second later, it's swept away in a flood of need. The need to forget everything he just promised and fuck Bones with the kind of desperate abandon that can bring even Jim's best laid plans to their knees.

And then he's releasing Bones wrists and pushing him down by his shoulders with almost too much force considering Bones's post-orgasmic state.

Too bad Jim doesn't care.

He's at least fucking Bones's mouth, he has to, even if the rest gets postponed for when he can fucking function again.

The best part is that Bones doesn’t seem to care either, just drops down, hands snapping into motion the instant Jim takes a handful of his hair to tip his face up toward him, reaching to yank open Jim's fly and get his cock out.

Bones’s mouth is parted now, and Jim reaches out to trace his puffy bottom lip as his tongue darts out to flick against the pad of Jim's thumb. Jim groans as Bones gives his cock several slow, long strokes, teasing just under the head with a swipe of his thumb.

"Bones," Jim breathes, voice barely steady. Bones's thick lashes brush his cheek as he looks down, guiding Jim's cock to his mouth. "Fuck, Bones."

Bones slackens his jaw, hands finding Jim's hips and digging in, urging him on. Bones glances back up and Jim thrusts in without hesitation. Bones's mouth is slick, inviting heat, his cheeks hollowing out to create perfect suction and Jim knows this isn't going to take long.

He fucks Bones's mouth with the kind of reckless aggression he's rarely used up to this point, making Bones grunt and sputter, making him moan for it. He takes it so fucking beautifully, face just as wet and messy as Jim predicted, eyes shining and wide as he looks up at Jim, letting Jim thrust deep, Jim’s cock hitting the back of his throat.

Jim tightens one hand in Bones's hair, the other shoots out to brace himself against the wall. "Oh god, yes, your fucking mouth, that's… that's good, so fucking --" He breaks off, breath catching in his throat. He can feel his balls tightening, feel the first ripples of his orgasm and he has to fight to keep his eyes open, wants to see every second of Bones like this, on his knees for Jim, getting his face fucked and loving it.

Bones makes a needy, desperate sound, his fingers digging even harder into Jim's hip, and Jim realizes what Bones is asking for just in time to pull him off Jim’s cock and watch the sticky white stripes fall across Bones's mouth and cheek and chin. Bones moans outright, utterly debauched as Jim finally releases his hair to give himself a few lingering pumps, his whole body shaking.

When Jim feels like he can speak again, he drops to his knees right in front of Bones. "You okay?" he asks, feeling suddenly a little guilty, the aftermath of orgasm making him question everything that just happened.

Bones is still breathless, still unsteady, but he nods, his voice rough, "Yeah."

Bones reaches up to wipe off his face, but Jim stops him, leaning forward as if for a kiss, then cleaning his mouth and face with meticulous brushes of tongue and lips. Bones shivers and sighs, his arms going around Jim, and when Jim is done removing his own come from Bones's skin, Bones pulls him in for a real kiss, deep and satisfying.

Any remaining concern drifts away and a grin splits Jim's face as he reaches down to brush teasingly at Bones's groin, laughing loudly-- a shock in the quiet -- at the disgust on Bones's face.

Bones grumbles, pushing him away and maneuvering around to stand up. "Can't believe you made me come in my pants, Jim."

"I can't either," Jim agrees, still grinning. "It was fucking hot."

Bones rolls his eyes, but Jim can see the smile trying to fight its way to the surface. Bones always gives himself away in the set of his mouth.

"Come on, kid, time to clean up the mess you made.” He reaches down and offers his hand to Jim with a lift of his eyebrow. “You know how Starfleet is about personal responsibility."

Jim's pretty sure he's been in love with Bones a while, but it's in that moment that he knows.

--

Jim’s a fairly self-aware guy.

This is neither good nor bad, just a fact that allows him to manage himself and his issues in a vaguely effective and efficient manner. Not to say he doesn't have his moments of irrational, id-like behavior (his late teens/early twenties being a prime example), but generally speaking, Jim's got a good handle on his own wants, needs, and motivations.

The Academy has helped him hone that self-awareness to exacting precision. Jim craves respect, responsibility, and trust. He's a natural leader that cares about people on a deep, fundamental level. According to the psych evals Jim found when he hacked the classified portion of his own personnel file, this makes him ideal for command, in spite of his past record and tendency toward… impertinence.

In any case, Jim isn't flying blind. He’s just… never seen that stuff as having much to do with his sexual relationships. Never seen the appeal of power exchange, with its latent, old-fashioned concerns about topping and bottoming. Never done more than dabble with dominance and submission.

(He had this girlfriend when he was 20 who loved to tie him up and Jim had no problem with that at all. If it makes someone's freak flag fly and everyone is adult, sane, and consenting, Jim'll try almost anything once.)

He knows what happened with Bones is different, though.

He feels it when he catches himself tracking Bones's movements around their room or watching Bones from across the quad or the mess hall. He sees it in the way the tension between them has shifted,

But, more than anything, it’s there in the inexplicable urge to hold Bones down and fuck him until he begs.

And then fuck him some more.

Okay, so it’s not exactly subtle, the way he craves seeing that perfect look of need and want on Bones's face, wants to put it there again and again.

But it’s more than that, too. He wants to take care of Bones. Wants it to a degree he's never wanted with anyone else.

Bones stalks across the noisy mess hall and slams his tray down on the table.

"I just had to practically incapacitate someone over my damn salad and it wasn't even the last one! I hate midterms. Everyone is a lunatic. I have half a mind to start sedating people. Gonna have a rush of patients from stim overdoses. Goddamn reckless idiots, the lot of --" He cuts short as he finally looks up and sees Jim staring at him. "What?" he snaps, sounding self-conscious.

Jim shrugs, lets his gaze drag over Bones's body, what he can see of it anyway. "Nothing."

Frowning, Bones takes a bite of his salad and chews it while he looks at Jim warily. "I don't have time for your shit, just so you know."

"No shit to be had," Jim says, holding up his hands in a placating gesture, but he doesn't keep his mouth from quirking up on the side. Sometimes Bones is ridiculously easy to wind up.

"You're a terrible liar." Bones brandishes his fork in Jim's direction, but then he rolls his eyes, apparently deciding Jim is nonthreatening after all, and takes another bite before adding, "Anyway, listen, I'm doing a shift at the clinic tomorrow, but not until ten, so I was figuring on catching that guest lecture Lieutenant Commander Bartall is giving at eight. Did you wanna go?"

"Hmm," Jim says noncommittally. He makes no effort to hide how he watches Bones's tongue dart out to lick a stray bit of dressing from the corner of his mouth. "Depends."

"On what?" Bones still has a small fleck of dressing on the edge of his lips.

Jim reaches out and wipes it away with his thumb, and Bones freezes. Jim pops the digit into his mouth, sucks it clean and says, "On how tired I am after fucking you all night."

Color blooms on Bones's cheeks and he immediately looks down to stab viciously at a tomato. "We're in public, you reprobate," he mutters, though Jim already knows there's no one sitting near them.

"You like it,” Jim says, laughing. “In fact, I bet you'd love if everyone knew just how much you like it from me."

Bones's eyebrows are scrunched up in the middle. He's trying to look angry, but he's not succeeding. "Shut up!” he hisses. “Shut your damn mouth, Jim!"

"Why?” Jim asks, delighted. “Am I getting you hard?"

He leans forward and brushes his fingertips against Bones's hand, just a fleeting bit of contact, but Bones jerks his hand away.

"Yes,” he snarls. “Are you happy? Jesus Christ!"

"Little bit. Be happier if I was fucking you, though. You've got one more class, right?"

Bones is hunched in on himself but he still answers, like he can't help himself. "Yeah."

"Well, I've got two. You should be waiting for me when I get back."

Bones scowls at his salad. "Dream on, jackass."

Jim smirks, gets up and heads to his next lecture with a bounce to his step.

--

To say that Jim likes to push limits is a bit of an understatement. He thrives on finding the exact point at which something or someone can (or will) go no further. He likes finding the pinnacle of ability, the peak of performance, in himself and everything and everyone around him.

He's also eerily good at it.

So, when Jim rolls in after his classes and Bones is not in his bed sans clothing, he's a little surprised.

Also disappointed, but definitely surprised.

There's a note on the digiboard where they keep things like their calendars and grocery list, and conduct their ongoing battle over the environment controls. Jim frowns and steps forward, tapping twice on the blinking icon to bring up a hastily scribbled message.

Had to run to the lab. Last minute problem with group project. Be home later.

Jim's mouth goes flat as he steps away, strips off his uniform jacket, and dumps it down the laundry chute before making quick work of the rest of his clothes.

He's still lost in his own thoughts as he starts up the sonic shower, letting the pulsing vibrations wash over him. He hates the knots tying themselves in his stomach, the suspicion that Bones's note is disingenuous. Could there be a problem at the lab? Sure, of course, but the timing of it blows.

Which leaves him with the possibility that he pushed too hard, read things wrong. That this shift in their sexual routine is nothing more than surface: the illusion of risk, a pantomime of aggression to get their blood pumping. But Jim's instincts have him convinced it's more and if there's one thing he's learned again and again, it's to trust his instincts.

It's just that doubt has wormed its way in.

Maybe he needs to come at this another way.

Jim pads to the closet and snags his favorite jeans, the soft, faded blue jeans sliding over his hips like a perfectly made glove. Sighing, he yanks a t-shirt on over his head before digging through a drawer for socks. He's sitting on the bed, tying his shoelaces when the door slides open and Bones stomps through.

"Sorry," Bones barks, stripping out of his uniform almost as quickly as Jim had as he heads toward the bathroom. "Goddamn Harrison couldn't tell the difference between his ass and a hole in the ground. There was nothing wrong with the bacteria cultures, he just wasn't cueing up the right magnification."

With practiced ease, Jim stands from the bed and swings his leather jacket on, tugging it into place as he lifts an eyebrow at Bones. "Sucks, so hey, I'm running out. Gonna grab some dinner. I'll be back later."

The look on Bones's face almost makes him back down. "What?"

"Oh, I can wait if you want to come, too?” Jim shrugs like it’s no big deal. “I just know how you like to stay in on Fridays."

"I thought -- I was going to cook," Bones says dumbly.

"Were you?" Jim asks, striking a note of innocence as he observes the clouds rolling into Bones's expression.

Bones makes an irritated sound and starts shoving clothes down the laundry chute. "Guess not. You go on ahead, Jim. Don't let me stop you."

Fighting not to roll his eyes, Jim watches the flex of muscles beneath bronzed skin as Bones turns away, the shift of Bones's wide shoulders and the tilt of his narrow hips. Bones's unselfconscious stance on nudity within their quarters always makes for such a nice view.

Jim licks his lips. "Well, if there was something you wanted, you know all you have to do is ask."

"Are you joking?" Bones snaps. "You're the one who --"

"Oh, so that did sound good to you?” The sarcasm is creeping into Jim’s voice. “Sometimes you're so hard to read."

"Being deliberately dense isn't attractive on anyone,” Bones drawls, “and it sure as shit don't look good on you." He pushes the dark lock of hair off his forehead and crosses his arms like he's trying to hold himself together.

Or keep Jim out.

Jim shrugs. "I thought I’d look good tonight with your mouth wrapped around my cock, but maybe that was just me."

Frustration mounts, swells across Bones's face, bringing high color to his cheeks. His mouth is slick and parted, breaths coming short and fast. His voice is hoarse. "What the hell do you want?"

Jim knows he's on the verge of pushing Bones right to where he wants him.

"Maybe I want a little more than tacit compliance, Bones. Maybe I want to know beyond a shadow of a doubt exactly what makes you tick. Can you do that? Can you tell me what you want? Can you show me?"

Bones growls -- a low sound that Jim recognizes on an instinctual level -- and sets his jaw, determination written on every feature as he closes the distance between them, hands cupping Jim's face and the back of his neck. "You need your goddamn ego stroked?” he snarls against Jim's mouth. “Is that it?"

Jim smiles back, calm and cool, and when he licks his lips again, his tongue catches Bones's mouth too, they're so close. "What I need is to know that you understand what's happening here, that you want it."

"And the fact that I've been letting you isn't proof enough?"

Jim's lips twist. Bones's eyes are a starburst this close up. "Not with you,” Jim says. “Not with us. You'd let me do a lot of things you didn't necessarily want."

It's just a statement of fact, if an uncomfortable one. Bones jerks like he's been hit. "Son of a bitch," he says, but he presses their bodies closer anyway.

Jim's careful only to rest his hands on Bones's hips, not to hold onto him. "Try again."

"Fine!" Bones pushes him away so hard, Jim loses his balance, only barely remembers there's a bed waiting to catch him as he falls gracelessly onto it.

"That’s the spirit," Jim says, a little breathless as he watches Bones grab the lube out of the drawer before tossing it onto the bed next to Jim's hip.

Bones leans over and pops Jim's jeans open with impatient fingers, tugs them down over Jim’s hips, the denim rough against Jim's skin and swiftly hardening cock. Jim hisses but lifts and squirms and shimmies to speed the process along. Bones doesn't even bother to get them all the way off, leaves them tangled around Jim's ankles, caught by his shoes. He straddles Jim's thighs and snatches the lube up.

Bracing himself against Jim's chest with one hand, Bones reaches between his legs with the other, pressing slick fingers into himself. Jim feels the oxygen compress in his lungs as Bones's hazel eyes lock with his, never wavering as he bites his lip against the stretch he must be feeling.

"That's right," Jim whispers, makes himself keep his hands at his sides. "Let's see how much you want it."

Bones's voice hitches, his body shifting. Jim can only assume it's to add another finger. "How many is that, Bones?"

"Three," he says on an exhale.

"That's enough," Jim announces firmly, smirking at the mulish glint in Bones's eyes.

He doesn't obey right away, but it's sooner rather than later that he sits up and pulls his fingers free. He's almost panting now, movements hurried and unsteady as he squeezes more lube to his palm and takes Jim in hand. "I thought you wanted me to do this?"

Jim laughs, bright and open, and doesn't bother to stop his hips from pushing up into Bones's grasp. He pulls his arms up to rest his hands behind his head, propping it up so he has a better view. He watches as Bones maneuvers himself into position.

Bones has a natural grace that Jim never tires of seeing.

"Go right ahead," Jim offers, like it’s the polite thing do. He sucks in a sharp breath as his cock nudges against Bones's entrance, but he doesn't have to egg him on any further. Bones sinks down slowly, surrounding Jim, wet and hot and grasping. It's so fucking perfect, Jim can't hold back the groan as Bones settles into position, rolling his hips gently until Jim slips another inch deeper.

The dark, satisfied sound Bones gives him in return almost undoes Jim -- and his resolve. He grits his teeth and locks his fingers together underneath his head just to keep from reaching out. His voice is rough as he asks, "Is this what you wanted?"

Bones is already so far gone that he only nods, fingers curling against Jim's chest as he rises and then pushes back down on Jim's cock with a rock of his hips. His eyes are wide but unseeing, lost in pleasure as he picks out a rhythm, lifting and sinking, again and again.

Bones doesn't just fuck himself on Jim. He screws himself, grinds down with a hard tilt and twist, a quiet whine building at the back of his throat, and Jim's fucking toes splay trying to control his own body as Bones rides him for all he's worth.

"Oh holy fuck," Jim swears, blinks against the sweat stinging his eyes. "God, look at you, so damn good at that."

"Oh god," Bones gasps. His eyes finally slip shut, but he picks up the pace.

"You gonna get yourself off like this?” Jim asks, trying to ignore the rush of heat, the tightness in his stomach, the shiver under his skin. “Is that all it takes? Just my dick in your ass?"

Bones grunts, a choked off sound, as he shakes his head in short, jerky motions like he doesn't mean to give himself away. "Please."

"Oh, so this isn't all you wanted?"

"Jackass," Bones spits out, opening his eyes like it's actually painful.

"There you are," Jim says, forces his voice steady as he meets Bones's unfocused eyes. "Go on, tell me."

Bones shakes his head again, his lips pressed tight together. He tries to balance with one hand as he reaches for his own cock, but his rhythm stutters and he has to let go to catch himself, groaning in frustration. "Dammit, Jim, please."

"Say it," Jim demands, words grinding against each other. He feels like he's going to break his own fingers trying to hold back. "Say it right fucking now, or I swear --"

"I want you to!"

"You want me to what?"

Bones's eyes squeeze shut again, and the rest bursts forth in a rush, "Hold me down and fuck me, you smug bastard! Dammit, make -- make me take it, make me come!"

Jim's got his hands on Bones's hips before the words are all out, kicking off his shoes and pants so he has the leverage he needs to flip them over, to get Bones underneath him. His dick slips free and Bones actually whimpers, clutches at his shoulders, and Jim can hardly think straight as he fumbles to get himself back in position. He thrusts deep with a single, hard snap of his hips and listens as Bones goddamn fucking sings with it.

"There you go, Bones, that's it," he says mindlessly, falling forward to mouth at Bones's jaw, teeth grazing skin as he slaps into Bones's willing body over and over, too overwhelmed to do anything but chase his own release and hope Bones is right there with him. "Good boy, such a good boy."

Bones comes with a desperate shout ripped from his lungs.

--

Jim looks up from his dinner (cereal, not just part of a balanced breakfast, thanks) to follow Bones's movement around their room. He's been cranky as hell for about three days now and it's not even Jim's fault.

"Goddamn it! Where the hell is my PADD?" Bones isn't looking at him, so Jim takes another bite of his Space-O's, extra marshmallows. (He loves saving all the marshmallows for the very end.)

Bones whirls around. "Oh, that's just great, Jim. Give yourself early onset diabetes and completely ignore my question!"

Milk dribbles down Jim's chin, cold and sticky with sugar. He swallows, stretching his tongue as far as he can to lick his chin clean. He observes Bones for the space of a few breaths. "'Kay."

Jim can tell Bones is about two point five seconds away from going nuclear. His mouth gets pinched, white bordering plush red, and his eyes are more cool green than warm brown. "Thanks for being so damn helpful!"

"Uh huh. So, do you want to tell me what's really wrong with you?" Jim doesn't really ask because he thinks Bones will give him an honest answer, more to gauge the seriousness of the situation by the vehemence of the rant given in response.

Bones snorts and turns away like he's going to ignore Jim entirely, then whips back around, hands flying in forceful, stabbing movements. "Everything is just peachy, Jim, just fine, aside from the fact that half my professors are idiots, I don't know how Harrison, Forbes, or Montgomery ever passed their boards, let alone got into Starfleet Medical -- the supposed beacon of modern fucking medicine -- and for some ungodly fucking reason, I agreed to TA a class for Dr. Winters and come to find out, she's going out of town for two weeks right before finals, which basically means I am teaching that class to a bunch of nervous, neurotic first years who are going to eat up all my goddamn time when I could be studying for my own fucking finals!"

Jim squints. "Was that all one sentence?"

Bones seems stricken speechless with fury, opening and closing his mouth for several seconds. Jim isn't worried. Bones gets angry before he can process any other emotion.

Jim's used to it, but he's also done letting Bones throw this particular hissy fit.

"Listen, it's been three days. Three days since you got off the comm with your mother. I know that you know that I know about that and that I also know you've been in a piss poor fucking mood since then and that I'm smart enough to connect the two. So, I see a couple of options here. One, you pour yourself a drink, sit down, and tell me what the hell has you so worked up, or, two, you keep on acting like this until I get tired and do something about it, which still ends in you telling me what the hell crawled up your ass and died."

"And what do you think you're going to do, Jim? It's none of your damn business what I talked to my mother about and if I'm in a bad mood, then you can either ignore it or fuck off."

"I don't know,” Jim snaps, “maybe if you keep acting like an obstinate preschooler, I'll just bend you over my fucking knee and spank it out of you."

He's not sure where it comes from, but when Bones's mouth slams shut, his lips compressing and air whistling through his nose in quick bursts, Jim realizes he's just stumbled onto something he most definitely cannot act on right this second.

Fuck, he hates when his mouth gets ahead of his brain.

His hands already tingle with the phantom sensation, but he forces himself to file it away. He takes a deep breath."Just… tell me what's bothering you, Bones. Let me help."

The fight goes out of Bones all at once, like he's been deflated. He flings himself onto the couch and groans, staring up at the ceiling. "You really are the worst ever."

Jim doesn't reply, waits Bones out instead.

There's a sigh and then, "There's nothing you can do, okay? It's… my mom's selling the house. It's a stupid goddamn thing to be pissed about, and I'm not mad at her. Just, I've always thought I'd buy that house one day. And I can't, not right now. So, I guess that’s the way it is."

Jim pauses, trying to think of the right thing to say. He spent most of his life being shuffled between various relatives while his mom was away and home was nothing more than the old Kirk farmhouse, a decaying building lacking in all the modern conveniences that a kid thinks they can't live without.

He's never really had any sentimental attachment to a single place.

Still, "I'm sorry, Bones."

Bones shrugs. "Yeah, me too."

Jim gets up from the kitchen table and puts his cereal bowl and spoon in the sterilizer. Then he walks past Bones to Bones's desk, opens up the second drawer and pulls out the PADD Bones was looking for. "You put it in there last night after you finished your assignment."

"Oh." Bones cracks a guilty smile. "Thanks."

--

Bones's mood improves for the most part, downgrading from Apocalypse Now to everyday ire with just a touch of melancholy. Jim knows he should probably leave it alone. Bones's mom will sell the house and Bones will get over it and all will be fine.

He still finds himself searching for the real estate ad, pulling up the professional holos of Bones's childhood home.

It's a two storey blue house with white trim, attached garage, a garden and a pond on the property. There's a tree probably older than the house casting shade over the front yard, a tire swing hanging from one of its sturdy branches. A wraparound porch leaves him with visions of Bones's parents sitting out front and watching their son catch fireflies in a jar. The gabled roof and paned windows add that classic, old-time look, and Jim can so easily imagine the kind of childhood a person might have there.

In this picturesque setting Jim always associated with traditional North American stereotypes.

The home of the perfect family.

The gold standard.

At least according to the history books.

Did Bones garden with his father? Mow the lawn for his mother? Did he learn how to fish sitting on the edge of the pond next to a kid from the neighboring property?

Jim knows at least half of what saddens Bones about the whole situation is that last physical connection to his father, to the happy memories before home became a 9'x7' hospital room.

He taps the icon to return to the front page of the ad and his eyes are drawn to the bolded red font at the top right corner: 300,000 Credits.

Jim has no idea what the housing market is like in Georgia, or anywhere for that matter, but it seems like a reasonable price, even if it makes no difference.

Cadets don't earn real wages. Room, board, and a small personal allowance is about all they get by way of material compensation. Bones probably makes a little more, being a doctor, but Jim doubts it's enough to get any sort of loan on. He's not really familiar with Bones's finances, but he's always gotten the idea that the ex-wife took more than her half of their assets at the close of their marriage.

So really, it doesn’t matter if 300k is dirt cheap or a rip-off: Bones can’t touch it.

Jim closes the query and puts the PADD down. He shouldn't even be thinking about this, shouldn't have let himself be nosy. There's no point in it, except to see even more clearly Bones's loss.

What's Jim going to do about it? Buy it for him?

…Well.

No.

That would be…insane.

Even if he could, technically.

How would he even broach that with Bones? "Hey, so, I just happen to have a shitload of credits my mom put in savings for me from my dad's death. I never wanted to use them before, but I thought why the hell not? Real estate is always a good investment!"

That would go over great, he can see it now. Buying your boyfriend a house just isn’t what people do. Not at his age. And not at this stage in their relationship.

Is Bones even his boyfriend?

Not that he typically gives a shit about labels or conventions.

And definitely not where Bones is concerned.

--

He manages to put the thoughts aside for about a day and a half. Then his Advanced Command Theory class gets cancelled and he gets back to their room about two hours early. It's pitch black, the windows have been polarized. He freezes immediately and lets his eyes adjust to the lack of light, strains to hear any noises. The only thing that filters in is the steady, even breaths of someone sleeping.

"Lights five percent," he whispers.

The small amount of light is just enough for him to make out Bones -- or at least a mound of blankets in a vague Bones-sleeping-shape -- curled up in his bed.

Jim does a quick mental check of Bones's schedule. No reason for him to be asleep in the middle of the day and Bones isn't really prone to naps anyway. Kicking off his shoes and shucking his jacket, Jim approaches quietly.

"Bones?" His voice is hushed.

There's no answer.

Jim frowns, reaching out to lift the edge of the blanket and carefully climbing in. It's warm beneath the heavy comforter, warmer still as his body settles next to Bones's. He curls around him, hand finding warm skin and gliding over stomach muscles to tug Bones against him.

"Bones?" he tries again, a murmur in Bones's ear, lips brushing delicate skin.

Bones finally stirs, shifting back into Jim, an affectionate rumble in his chest. His voice cracks as he slurs, "Jim, what're y'doing here?"

"Class got canceled. Better question, what are you doing here? Are you sick?"

"If I was, you'd be pretty stupid, crawlin' in here."

Jim laughs, just the gust of breath against the back of Bones's neck. He wriggles closer and presses a kiss below his hairline. "I'll take my chances."

Bones huffs. "You would."

"Yeah," Jim agrees.

Sometimes Bones needs to be pushed.

Sometimes he doesn’t.

Moments pass with only their quiet breaths, the muted rustle of bodies pressed together.

"I guess my mom's decided it'd be easier to just sell most of the furniture with the house,” Bones admits softly. “She doesn't see the use of putting it in storage and there's no need for it at my aunt and uncle's place in Bordeaux."

Jim's eyebrows scrunch together and he nuzzles at Bones's neck while he thinks of how to respond to that. He tries to keep his tone neutral. "Did you ask her to store it for you?"

Bones shifts, his head shaking. "No. She… she would if I asked her, but she's right. There's no point." He pauses, clears his throat before adding, "Not like I'll have a house any time soon to put it all in, anyway."

There's more bitterness in Bones's voice than he's allowed to seep through before. Bones letting him hear that feels more significant than anything else that's passed between them and Jim's heart aches. He doesn’t let himself think anymore, "You could."

Snorting, Bones rolls within Jim's arms until he's lying on his back, his face turning in toward Jim’s. "You don't need to lie just to make me feel better."

Jim feels a flash of hurt. He frowns, pressing up along Bones's side as he hovers over him, poking him in the chest. "When have I ever lied to you?"

Instant regret forms on Bones's face. "Jim, I didn't mean it like that. I know you were just trying to help."

Pursing his lips, Jim rolls his eyes. "I know exactly how you meant it, and what I'm saying is, I'm not lying. You could. You could have your childhood home."

"Have you lost your mind? Why would you even say that, dammit?" Bones jerks away and starts to sit up, but Jim stops him with a firm hand on his chest and a leg hooked up and over Bones's flannel-clad hips and thighs.

"Because I mean it? Listen! No, Bones, just hang on."

Bones looks mutinous now, hurt flaring bright in his eyes and Jim sighs, giving up the ghost and rolling fully on top of him, straddling his waist.

"Get off me," Bones says, tone inviting absolutely no argument.

"Not until you listen to me. I'm being serious! I -- fuck, I know this sounds crazy, believe me, but I don't care. I've got the credits to buy your house, okay? Just… lying around, and you can have them or we can do it as a loan or whatever you want, but you can keep your house!" Jim says it in a rush, feeling reckless and relieved all at once.

Bones stares at him, expression unreadable. "Don't be stupid."

Jim tries hard to clamp down his frustration. He knew Bones wouldn't just go with this. "Don't be stubborn," he fires back.

"This is ridiculous.” Bones's jaw locks, his teeth clicking together. He studies Jim's face for a long time, eyes darting back and forth and finally lets out an exasperated breath. “You're actually serious," he says, sounding amazed. He looks past Jim, over his shoulder, his hand coming up to push into his wild, bedhead hair. He doesn't seem angry anymore, just sad. "I -- Jim, no, okay? I just… I can't take your credits. Buy your own house or save it for when you need it or… just anything but giving it to me."

"Bones, it's not like that. I won't --"

"Please, just drop it," Bones interrupts, sounding even more tired than when Jim first woke him up. “I can't talk about this anymore.”

Jim wants to argue. He wants to make Bones understand that Jim doesn't want the goddamn money, that there's a reason it's been sitting in a savings account since he gained access to it nearly seven years ago.

Most of the time, he would.

He would push and prod and refuse to back down until Bones gave in; until he realized that Jim was right.

Until he let Jim take care of him.

Bones is being honest, though. He can't handle this right now. So, Jim takes a breath and a tactical retreat.

"Okay."

Bones looks relieved. He reaches up and curls his fingers into the front of Jim's t-shirt, pulls him down. "Good, c'mere then."

Jim goes willingly, his mouth meeting Bones's in a sweet press. Bones's tongue flicks out, traces the seam of his mouth and Jim melts into it, opens up as he cups Bones's face. It's nice, comforting. It's an apology.

Bones's hands roam over his shoulders and down his back, push up under synthcotton and skate along his spine. All the while, Bones's mouth keeps up the firm pressure against Jim's, exploring with teeth and tongue. Jim grins into it, lazy and happy, losing himself in the moment and pushing aside his worries.

It's the kind of slow, easy making out Jim sometimes feels he could indulge in forever. He settles over Bones more fully, shifts to slot his leg between Bones's thighs and revels in the satisfied groan it elicits.

Bones's mouth slides over his chin, goes off center and then traces up, his tongue gliding over Jim's scar and following the curve of his mouth. Jim shivers, lets Bones easily roll them again until it's Bones hovering over him, lifting up to pull at Jim's clothes until Jim complies with the getting undressed portion of the agenda.

Bones takes his time, explores Jim's body slow and easy, and when he finally grabs the lube and starts working Jim open, it's with a marked patience, like he wants to memorize every moment. Jim rubs soothing palms up and down Bones's back as Bones moves inside of him, face pressed tight to the crook of Jim's neck.

He gives himself over to it, lets Bones take what he needs.

--

He tries to bring up the house thing with Bones one more time. He gets shut down again and this time without the make-up sex. In fact, Jim's surprised it doesn't end in a hypo to the jugular.

It's downright weird to be so consistently denied by Bones. It leaves him feeling wrong footed just when he thought they were getting somewhere. He can tell the sale of his childhood home is still bothering Bones, knocking him off his game. He can also tell Bones views Jim's offer as genuine and isn’t worried about it affecting their relationship.

No, Bones’s problem is that he wants his house on the terms he always imagined he'd get it on.

He wants to buy it himself.

Jim’s problem is that he doesn't do well with being denied the opportunity to resolve a problem when he has a damn solution.

He gets that what he's doing is dangerous, could push Bones past the point where their typical song and dance will make amends, but he also believes beyond a shadow of a doubt that it's the right thing to do.

He comms the real estate agent in the morning and offers the listed price plus some if he can remain anonymous in the purchase. The guy seems thrilled, though he's obviously trying to play it cool as he makes noise about taking Jim's offer to the seller. Jim gets a communication back within two hours notifying him that his offer has been accepted. The sale is closed two days later, with Jim to take legal possession fourteen days after that.

Jim intends to tell Bones once it's all over and done with, once he has a game plan at the ready.

Bones, of course, shoots that to shit.

He flies through the door with the kind of crazed look that has sent lesser mortals fleeing for their lives. He wastes no time launching into the exact reason for his fury. "There'd better be another James Tiberius Kirk who just bought my mom's fucking house, Jim, or I swear I will end you. Who the hell do you think you are? I told you no! I know you have a hard time understanding the meaning of the word, but in this instance, it meant don't do whatever the fuck you want, my explicit wishes be damned!"

"You said no, I couldn't give or loan you the money, that you wouldn't take it!” Jim corrects with perhaps more flippancy than he should dare. “You can't stop me from buying a damn house."

Jim knows he should stop talking, but he can't help it. Bones has always gotten under his skin.

Hell, the dude fucking lives there.

Jim's generally pretty happy about that, but it also makes him stupid sometimes. "And anyway, how the hell do you know? It was supposed to be anonymous!"

Bones crosses his arms and sneers. "Well, first thing you should know about your new house is that it's just outside a rural town with a population a little over three thousand. Everyone knows everyone else's business, even when they're not supposed to. So, imagine my mother's surprise when her bridge partners let it slip that some kid named Kirk was the one buying the house. She just commed me very interested in why you of all people would be buying it!"

"Tell her I liked the garden."

"You liked the garden," Bones repeats slowly. He glares at Jim, hand coming up to rub reflexively at the back of his neck. He shakes his head and he almost looks like he's vibrating. "I can't believe you."

Jim stands and tucks his hands into his pockets. He sighs as he pushes himself up on his toes just to rock back onto his heals, stalling as he makes himself think. He's tired of thinking. He just wants to shake Bones until he stops fighting Jim on this.

"Well, believe it. Papers are signed. Fourteen more days, and it's officially my first house. By the way, you can tell your mom there's no hurry. I won't have a chance to get out there until winter break, anyway."

Bones's hands curl into fists at his sides. "Fuck you, Jim!"

Jim's patience breaks like an old rubber band, too rigid to have anymore give, falling apart without even the satisfaction of a snap. He sets his jaw. "Calm down."

"This is the last fucking straw. You can't just go around --" Bones cuts off with an audible intake of breath as Jim makes his way across the room.

Jim's in his personal space before Bones can even blink. "You think I could watch you be fucking miserable when there's something I could do about it?"

"I think you should have realized it wasn't your place!" Bones shouts back, fury radiating off every line of his body.

"It wasn't my fucking place?" He wishes he could stop this from spiraling anymore than it already has. His hands itch to touch Bones, to soothe away his anger and just… make him understand.

Bones looks uncomfortable in his own skin, shifting restlessly. "Dammit, that's not -- you're twisting my words!"

Jim takes another step forward, meeting Bones's eyes calmly. "And you're twisting this into something it doesn't have to be. Why are you so determined to make this a problem?"

Bones crosses his arms.

"This would make you happy if you just let it and quit being a stubborn jackass. I'm sorry it didn't work out the way you meant it to, but refusing to accept that isn't going to change it, either."

"So, what? You're just going to run around fixing all my problems for me, Jim?" The edge to Bones’s voice may be cynicism or insecurity or both.

Jim's first instinct is to say yes, to shout it. He's honest enough with himself to know he would do anything in his power to take care of Bones, anything Bones needed. The thing is, he's pretty sure Bones would do the same for him. He doesn't understand why this is an issue, why Bones is so… afraid.

"Well, I'm sure as hell not just going to walk away when you need me," he finally says.

Bones's breath catches sharply and he tries to turn away, but Jim reaches out in an instant, jerks him closer until they're chest to chest and grasps the side of his face. "Bones, just… let me."

There's too much tension in every muscle of Bones's body, like he's bracing for impact. His expression is wary and wanting all at once. Jim kisses him and it's a spark on a fuse.

One minute, it's just a kiss, and the next, Jim's hands are touching everywhere, curling into fabric and pulling it away, lifting and yanking until Bones's cadet reds are a wrinkled mess on the floor next to Jim's.

Jim wraps a firm hand around Bones's cock and rests the other on the small of Bones's back. Bones arches into the touch, fingers digging into Jim's shoulders for balance as Jim works him, hand moving in a steady rhythm, mouth dragging across Bones's jaw and down his neck. He loves the heat of Bones's skin under his mouth, the taste and texture, the feel of Bones's pulse against his tongue.

Bones groans as Jim latches on, sucks a mark just to the left of his Adam's apple and doesn't let up until he pulls the exact right sound from Bones.

Jim drags his teeth over the fresh mark and Bones shudders against him. "Jim."

Bones's cock jumps in his hand, thickening with every stroke, with every flick of tongue against his clavicle and shoulders. He traces circles with his fingertips against Bones's back, dipping teasingly over his ass.

Bones tangles a hand in Jim's hair. "Jim,” he says again, “please."

"Hmm?" Jim asks, voice gone rough. He squeezes Bones's cock, too tight on the upswing, just the way Bones likes it and watches his jaw drop in pleasure. Jim swipes his thumb over the tip, rolls his wrist to twist his entire palm across it.

Bones shudders, tips his head forward and presses his forehead to the side of Jim's face. He's panting right in Jim's ear and Jim feels possessive on a level that almost scares him. Bones's breath gusts hot across his cheek as he mumbles, "Don't -- don't stop."

Jim's cock throbs at Bones's words and he bites his bottom lip as he picks up speed. "Wasn't planning to. Wanna see your knees buckle, wanna watch you come with nothing but me to hold on to."

Bones makes a sound caught between laughter and a whimper. "You -- you just, ah, want to see me fall on my ass."

Jim slides his hand down over the curve of Bones's ass, pulls him in closer."When are you going to realize I'm never going to let you fall?"

"Oh god, you're -- you're using a hand job as a metaphor."

Jim grins and Bones gives a whine of protest as Jim lets go of his cock, but it's only so he can lick his palm and grasp it again, get the right mix of friction and glide. Bones gasps and his hips buck. "That's it, Bones, come on. Don't make me wait."

"Goddamn, nnh, impatient -- I can't just --"

"You can and you will," Jim cuts him off, voice darkening. "You think I missed the way you reacted the other day? When I said I should spank you?"

Groaning, Bones shakes his head, dropping his face to tuck into the crook of Jim's neck.

"Because if you don't come for me in the next fifteen seconds, that's exactly what I'm going to do. You deserve it, too, the way you acted today. I'm going to bend you over and turn your ass red. And then you’ll be begging just to be allowed to come."

Bones shakes hard, blunt nails digging into Jim's skin, and comes with an incoherent sob.

Jim holds him up through it, true to his word, and when Bones settles, breathing hard, Jim starts manhandling him to the bed, turning and shoving him down on his stomach before climbing in after him. Bones is already drawing his knees up underneath him, spine curved beautifully as he presses his face against the sheets, the fabric bunching in the clutch of his fists.

"Fuck, goddamn," Jim swears, marvels at how willing Bones is, bordering on needy, and so gorgeous. Spitting into his palm to mix with Bones's come, Jim smears it against Bones's hole, plunges one, then two fingers in and listens to Bones moan for it.

He leans in to spit again, watches as it slides down the crack of Bones's ass to where his fingers are disappearing into it. "I think I'm going to fuck you like this, Bones, with just your come and my spit. Would you like that?"

Jim works a third finger in and Bones whines.

"I want to hear you say it," Jim snaps, reaching around with his other hand to tease Bones's cock, finding it half hard already. Jim twists his fingers and presses hard against Bones's prostate.

"Yes, you fucking --"

Jim releases Bones's cock and lands a hard smack against Bones's ass. "Ask nicely."

Bones makes a choked sound, fingers scrabbling against the bed as he arches and pushes back onto Jim's fingers. "Oh god, Jim. You have to, I need --"

Two more sharp slaps on already pink flesh as Jim continues fingering Bones with relentless intent. "Not until I hear what I want to --"

"Please! Please, goddamn it," Bones pants, breathless music to Jim's ears.

Jim licks his palm, gets it sloppy wet to slick his cock. He pushes in with one long, steady press, never easing off, feeling the perfect grasp of Bones around him, barely slick enough. By the time he's fully seated, Bones is whimpering and nudging his hips back mindlessly. Jim eases back just to rock in with a hard thrust, does it again and again, slow and measured, and Bones lets out an abbreviated, hitching whine with each one.

"That's right," Jim says. Leaning forward, Jim hooks an arm under Bones's arm, catching his shoulder and holding him in place as he sets a quick pace, rolling his hips to the soundtrack of Bones's pleas and moans.

Bones's mouth is parted wide, shiny pink flesh turned dark with kisses and bites. "Oh god," he breathes, eyes wide and unfocused. "Jim."

Jim licks the sweat from the back of Bones's shoulder, sucks another bright mark that makes Bones moan. He hums and kisses the tender bruise softly. "I'm going to spend all afternoon fucking you," he says. "I'm going to fuck you until you can't breathe without thinking about my cock inside of you."

"Yes."

Jim groans, shifts his body and changes his hold so he can slap into Bones harder, every rough thrust setting sparks up his spine. He wants to leave no part of Bones untouched, needs to crack him open and see the way his heart beats and blood pumps, wants Bones shivering and exposed just for him.

"That's my boy,” Jim mutters, “so good."

Bones's breath stutters and he turns his face into the bed, muffling his desperate whines, hiding the details as he arches and writhes beneath Jim.

Jim fists the dark, damp strands of Bones's hair, forces Bones to turn his head back to the side. "Don't you dare hide from me."

Shaking his head, Bones presses his lips together until they're turning white at the edges, his eyes shut tight, and Jim can see something like panic warring with intense lust in the set of his features, the arc of his eyebrows.

Tightening his hold on Bones's hair until he gasps, mouth falling open, Jim adjusts his angle, aims more directly for Bones's prostate and hisses, "So fucking obstinate, I'm going to have to spank your ass, aren't I? Is that what you want? You want me to make you a good boy?"

Bones sucks in an audible breath, his entire body freezing up and his knuckles gone white against the sheets. He comes like it's an involuntary reaction, whining out a broken, "Daddy, please."

Jim bites down hard on Bones's neck, stifling his groan as his orgasm rips through him.

He goes heavy and limp over Bones, breathing hard and trying to make sense of what just happened, of the quiet whimpers Bones is making as he comes down off his own high.

Fuck, Bones just said that.

Jim kisses the bite mark he left and sighs as he finally makes himself move, easing out of Bones and shifting to the side.

Bones moans weakly, pushes his knees out from under him as he collapses down onto the mattress, apparently unconcerned with the mess Jim knows he must be lying in. Jim reaches out to rub circles on Bones's back, his brain still spinning around how fucking hot that was.

Jim wonders if Bones even realized it was lurking, waiting to slip out.

Jim's not embarrassed or ashamed. He long ago put aside any sexual head trips and hang-ups. People can't always control what they say or do in the heat of the moment, what gets them off. For the most part, by the time you're old enough to have sex, all the psychological landmines have already been laid.

As unintentional responses go, blurting out daddy isn't even that weird.

Really, the only shocking part is that it was Bones.

Oh, and how fucking hard Jim came the minute he heard it, how right it felt.

No, Jim isn't going to get bent out of shape over this, not when the foremost thought in his head right now is how to make it happen again.

Of course, that doesn't mean Bones won't.

He can feel the tension start to spike the second Bones shifts and turns his face away from Jim, curling up on his side. Jim swallows. His brain supplies him with an arsenal of who's-your-daddy? jokes that he rejects without hesitation. As much as he wants to establish this as no big deal, laughing right now would probably set Bones off in a bad way.

He settles his hand on Bones's hip but doesn't squeeze. "Bones?"

There's a long pause and when Bones does answer, it sounds scratchy and vulnerable. "Yeah?"

"Are you freaking out on me? Because in case you couldn't tell, I liked it." Jim figures this is a safe approach. Straightforward and honest, but not so serious that Bones feels cornered into discussing why exactly he just called Jim daddy while he was getting his brains screwed out.

Bones sits up without looking at Jim, swings his legs over the edge of the bed. "There's nothing to freak out about, Jim. It was sex. Listen, I need to jump in the shower, I have clinic duty."

Jim frowns as Bones stands and makes his way toward the bathroom. What happened to screwing all afternoon? "Okay," he says, dragging the word out.

Bones doesn't look back, just disappears into the bathroom with fresh clothes.

Eventually, Jim gets up, too, pulls on a pair of shorts and runs a hand through sweat-damp hair.

It looks like avoid and ignore is the order of the day.

--

Jim's not really sure what he expects out of Bones when he gets back from his "shift at the clinic." (Stubborn bastard probably went in and worked just for the excuse.) It's not Bones pausing in the doorway, sighing as his shoulders drop, and walking over to where Jim's sitting to lean down and press a soft, plush kiss to Jim's mouth. "Thanks for the house, Jim. I want to pay you back, okay?"

Dazed and amazed, Jim watches with his mouth hanging open as Bones flashes a small smile and walks to the head, stripping off his uniform for a post-work shower. As he disappears behind the sliding door, Jim frowns.

This seems like a pretty fast one-eighty.

Especially for Bones, who stewed a full twenty-four hours once before accepting Jim's apology over eating the last of Bones's cookie stash. (The guy has a wicked sweet tooth.)

Jim knows Bones. Jim knows that the house is too important to Bones for him to stay stubborn in his refusal of Jim’s good deed. But this? This is too soon for acceptance.

Bones is deflecting, redirecting Jim's focus.

Sneaky bastard.

Jim narrows his eyes at the closed bathroom door.

Bones is obviously freaked out over what he said, so much so that he's bypassing a potentially legitimate opportunity to give Jim shit for a few weeks. Jim could accept this little deal, let the whole thing go for now, and only bring it up if (or when) it happens again.

It might even be in Jim’s best interest.

Jim considers this option for a whole fifteen minutes.

He licks his lips, eyes still locked on the closed bathroom door.

Then again, doesn't Bones have a free night on Thursday?

--

Jim sits on the edge of Bones's bed, knees spread wide and elbows propped on his thighs as his fingers card over a length of black material. It's simple synthcotton, not too soft but not too rough. It's been cut about a meter long by fifteen centimeters wide, perfect for bunching and knotting, for fitting between Bones's lips.

Jim doesn't want Bones to feel forced into confronting the whole daddy thing, but he does want to make him say it again. This is a conundrum, but not an unsolvable one.

He glances up when he hears the door whistle open. Bones stops the second he's over the threshold, meeting Jim's intent stare.

"Jim?" Bones's gaze flicks down to the cloth Jim is still twisting and sliding between his hands. He swallows visibly before looking up again. "Jim, what are you doing?"

"Waiting for you."

"What the hell for?"

Jim's grin is sharp. He glances down at the strip of material, easily ties a knot in the center, gives it a tug to tighten it and repeats the action. When he looks back up, Bones is staring at what is now a makeshift gag.

"See," Jim begins, "you and I have something we should talk about, but --" Bones opens his mouth, anger and embarrassment flooding his face, but Jim gives him a hard look and raises his volume, "BUT, dammit, Bones, listen to me! You clearly don't want to talk about it. So, I got you a little something to help out with that."

Jim holds up the gag, lets it hang between them. Bones looks at it again and then back at Jim. "What makes you think I'd let you -- do that?" He shifts his weight from one foot to the other and Jim can already see the arousal fighting to the surface over the anger.

Shaking his head, Jim tsks. "You've got a piss poor poker face, Bones. Here's the catch. I'll let you wear this, let you keep whatever you want safe inside, but if you put this on, you're agreeing to let me do… whatever I want with you."

Bones's eyes widen. Desire and fear flicker over his face like headlights shining past a window. "Jim --"

"Do you trust me?"

Bones looks offended. "Of course I do!"

"Good, then either you want this or you don't, and it's got nothing to do with the rest of our relationship. So, make a decision, and I'll respect it." Jim lifts his eyebrows expectantly, doesn't say anything else. He's already planning on pushing Bones's limits hard enough, and whatever else happens, he wants it to be Bones's choice.

The gag still dangles from the tip of Jim's fingers and Jim tries not to hold his breath as he waits for Bones to speak. Several long seconds pass, Bones's respiration rate slightly increased, his fingers fidgeting at his sides, but finally, Jim sees his shoulders drop. "Okay."

"Okay," Jim repeats with a nod. "Come here and put it on yourself. I want to see you do it."

Bones hesitates for just another moment before he takes a breath and strides forward, snatching the thing out of Jim's grip with a grumbled sigh. "Goddamn pushy --"

Jim laughs as he looks up from his perch on the bed. "Go ahead, get your licks in now, Bones."

"Ass," Bones mutters without any real heat. He brings the gag to his mouth and then pauses, snapping, "You've sterilized this, I hope?"

"Yes." Jim rolls his eyes. "Now quit your stalling."

There's a frown on his face, but finally Bones obeys, opening his mouth as he slips the knot between his teeth. Jim doesn't miss the slight tremble that runs through Bones as he draws the ends behind his head and begins to tie them together.

"Tight enough so it doesn't come loose when I fuck you," Jim adds, smirking at Bones's answering glare.

Bones crosses his arms when he’s finished, his entire posture self-conscious as Jim stands and approaches.

Jim tucks his hands behind his back, folding them together as if he's one of their commanders, inspecting the ranks. He does a slow, close circle around Bones, looking him up and down.

Bones's eyes follow him as much as possible, watching and waiting. Jim can see the beginnings of Bones's erection, tenting his Starfleet-issued slacks. Stopping in front of Bones, Jim reaches out, slips a finger between Bones's cheek and the black cloth stretched across his face.

"Comfortable?" he murmurs. "You might have this on a while."

Bones's nostrils flare, but he gives an affirmative grunt.

"Good," Jim says, reaching out again, this time to unfasten Bones's jacket.

Jim has always appreciated the act of undressing another person, the intimacy of it, whether it's fast and frantic, or slow and sensual like this. Undressing Bones is a particularly pleasing activity, though, for the simple fact that it gets Bones going so easily.

Maybe that should have been Jim's first clue.

He pushes the red top over Bones's shoulders, steps even closer to him so that their chests are almost touching as he eases it down his arms. He gives Bones a slow smile, lingering just a fraction longer than necessary before pulling back to drape the jacket over the nearby chair. Bones lets out an irritated huff, but his cheeks are flushed and his eyes bright with interest.

"You know," Jim says conversationally, as he steps in again to slide his fingertips beneath Bones's undershirt, pushing it up and letting them glide over the smooth skin of Bones's sides, "I hope you appreciate the sacrifice I'm making here."

Bones lifts one eyebrow, along with his arms, which allows Jim to pull his shirt over his head. Again, Jim steps away to lay it over the chair. He could toss each article of clothing onto the floor and Bones wouldn't give a damn, but he knows the care he's showing is getting under Bones's skin as much as the rest of it.

"Because," he continues, "I like hearing your voice. I like when I'm making you feel so good, you have to tell me about it. I like knowing exactly how much you love it, having my cock in your ass."

Air whistles rapidly through Bones's nose and he makes an undignified sort of whine that has Jim's heart pounding in response. Jim licks his lips and lowers himself with sure grace, kneeling in front of Bones.

"Hold onto my shoulders if you need to."

He grasps one of Bones's ankles and tugs gently until Bones lifts his foot. His hands settle on Jim's shoulders and Jim quickly tugs his shoe off followed by his sock and then guides Bones in switching to the other foot so he can repeat the process. He tucks each sock into the corresponding shoe and then stands, sets the pair on the floor beneath the chair before returning to Bones.

"But I'm a reasonable kind of guy."

He hooks his fingers under the top of Bones's pants and tugs, making Bones stumble forward, hands coming out to catch himself on Jim's chest. Bones’s fingers curl into the fabric of Jim’s simple white t-shirt.

"And I seem to have a weak spot for giving you what you want."

Jim's nimble fingers make easy work of unfastening Bones's pants, opening the fly wide. He hasn't broken eye contact and he doesn't want to. Bones is eating up every word, his natural default of irritation an amusing screen over the blatant lust burning behind it.

Jim dips his hand inside, gives Bones a bit of quick, rough friction. Bones groans behind the gag and his hips snap into Jim's hold. Jim grins and lets him go, pushes his red slacks down over his hips along with his underwear and bends down to help him out of them. Bones shoots him a disdainful look, grunting pointedly.

"Be patient, Bones," Jim scolds, tone mild as he shakes out the pants and gives them the same treatment as the rest of Bones's clothes. "If I want to stand here all night and never let you come, that's what we'll do."

Bones makes a contrite sound and huffs, and Jim chuckles. "Good boy."

Jim's amusement doubles at the immediate reaction he gets from Bones, the full on wanton moan. "Yeah, that's right. I know you like being a good boy for me."

Bones's eyes flash and Jim presses in before Bones can decide to panic over that comment. He crowds Bones, palms his hips roughly and jerks his body flush with Jim’s own. "But don't worry," he says, leaning in to mouth along Bones's jaw, teeth scraping against his five o'clock shadow, "I know you've been on your feet all day. I won't make you stand much longer. Besides, it'll be easier to spank your ass once you're spread out on the bed for me."

Bones sways on his feet, leaning heavily into Jim. Jim wonders if Bones even noticed that Jim didn't say a word to reassure him he would be coming tonight.

Jim holds him steady a moment longer, sucks on his earlobe before he finally starts walking backwards, pulling Bones along to the bed. He turns them at the last moment and shoves Bones down, loving his indignant squawk as he bounces on the bed.

"Center of the bed, Bones, and turn over," Jim orders, watches the hesitation before Bones grits his teeth around the gag and follows Jim's direction.

Bones turns his head to face Jim, one cheek pressed to the bed and hazel eyes snapping with something Jim can't wait to unleash, something like anxiety and petulance and lust.

Jim crawls onto the bed, kneeling next to Bones's hip. He catches Bones's wrists and pushes them up and over his head, guides his hands to curl around the headboard. He squeezes them once, a silent instruction.

"I'm not going to tie them," he whispers -- as though Bones had asked, as if Bones could ask. "You know why? Because I want you to be able to take your gag off when you're ready to say it, when you need to say it."

Jim rests a moment, reassuring Bones -- reassuring them both -- with the weight and heat of his body. He holds onto Bones’s hands and tilts his mouth down to brush a kiss to Bones's cheek, just above the stretch of black material. He feels Bones shiver, feels the tension start to fade from his muscles.

Kissing him once more, Jim sits up, lets his hands slide back down Bones's arms, tickling over his underarms and grazing his ribs. Bones's skin pebbles with goosebumps.

"And trust me,” Jim adds, eyes narrowing, “you will."

Bones grunts, teeth clamped down on the black knot, but he doesn't move to get away or stop the proceedings.

Jim takes a moment to indulge in the sight of Bones like this, stretched out in bed for him, for Jim to do whatever he likes. He feels his cock stir in the strict confines of the jeans he has on and decides he's officially overdressed.

He corrects this oversight in record time.

"Would you believe you're the first and only person I've ever wanted like this?" he asks as he clamors back onto the bed.

Bones scowls back.

"No? I bet you think I'm a bossy, domineering little shit, hm? That it's always got to be my way?” He starts tracing idle patterns over Bones's back. “But you know, before I realized how goddamn hard you come when I get pushy, the closest I'd ever gotten to this was letting an ex tie me up.” Down to the dip of his spine and the swell of his perfect, round ass. “And if that's what you wanted, I'd let you do the same."

Bones groans, muffled and frustrated as he arches under Jim's touch.

"But that's the exact opposite of what you want, isn't it?"

Bones gazes at him with narrowed, accusing eyes, air rushing in and out through his nose and around the gag, and despite the reproach he's attempting to project, he looks nothing so much as vulnerable. Jim feels his chest tighten.

"What I don't think you realize is how much I like taking care of you, Bones. 'Cause that's what this is, isn't it? Giving you what you want, taking care of my boy?"

Eyes fluttering shut, Bones whimpers, rolls his hips against the mattress.

"Pull your knees up,” Jim snaps, voice gone hard. “Spread them wide."

Bones shudders but complies, hands tight around the headboard. Jim slides his hand over that ass, fingertips trailing, dipping down between his legs. Bones whines, his spine curving and pushing back into Jim's touch.

Jim smiles, presses two knuckles to Bones's perineum as he thumbs dryly at his hole. The strangled sound Bones makes is utterly gorgeous.

"You like that, I guess." Jim takes his hand away to tease his fingertips back up his spine.

Bones cranes his head to flash Jim a hateful look.

"What'd I say about patience? Besides, I believe I promised you a spanking, and I know you've had one coming for a while, haven't you?"

Bones makes several muffled sounds like he's trying to say something, and Jim laughs, bending down to look him in the eye.

"Did you forget your pretty mouth is gagged, Bones?" Jim taps a finger lightly over Bones's stretched lips. "But you know you can take it off any time you want. Not that I'll stop. You'll just be able to tell me exactly how it feels to have the palm of my hand smacking your ass."

Jim sits up and lands three quick swats that echo through the room.

Bones's reaction is instantaneous, his entire body jumping, its trembling punctuated with ragged moans.

Adrenaline floods through Jim's system like he just drove off another cliff. He makes himself take several deep breaths while he rubs the reddened flesh. Sweat has broken out over Bones's skin, making it shiny and slick. Jim drags his other hand up Bones's spine and across his shoulder, earning another light tremor. Bones’s eyes blink open.

"Christ, Bones, didn't know you had that in you." Jim brushes Bones's bangs from his forehead. "I'm going to give you thirty more. Can you handle that?"

There's a pause and Jim can see the conflict in Bones's eyes, his desire for more and his embarrassment to admit it. Finally, he nods, face rubbing against the bedspread.

"Okay." Jim starts again right away, keeping one hand on the back of Bones's neck, not to hold him down but to reassure him. "Okay."

Jim's hand falls again and again, spreading the blows evenly over every inch of Bones's ass. Each one is a sharp crack in the too-quiet room and by the time he reaches fifteen, Bones is whining steadily, knuckles white as he clings to the headboard like a lifeline.

Jim's never seen anything so perfect.

His cock throbs, aching for some kind of contact and it's all the self-control he has to keep from rubbing off on Bones's side.

Bones cracks at twenty-five, body practically vibrating under Jim's hand, chest heaving with sobs. He's biting down so hard on his gag, Jim wouldn't be surprised to discover holes in the cloth.

Jim pauses, slips his hand down to wrap his fingers around Bones's cock. Jim squeezes him, strokes him slowly as he admires his own handiwork.

Bones's ass is bright red now, radiating heat, and his hair is a sweaty, disheveled mess. Jim wants to fuck him so bad he can almost taste it. It doesn't help that Bones has started fucking his fist like he might die if he doesn't come soon, spreading his knees wider to get the right leverage, shameless in his need.

Jim doesn't recognize his own voice. "If you come without my cock inside you, Bones, I'm not going to let you come again until you take your gag off."

Bones makes a choked, gasping sound and Jim feels him pulse in his hand, riding out his orgasm hard. Jim waits until Bones is a boneless, whimpering mess, then he lands the last five swats, hand sticky and wet from Bones's come. Bones shudders, his breath hitching, and Jim can't take it anymore.

He grips his own cock too tight and strips it desperately, biting his bottom lip as he comes over Bones's backside with a groan. "Ah, f-fuck," he stammers, falling forward. "Bones, goddamn, you -- fuck"

Wiggling under Jim's weight, Bones huffs as if to echo the sentiment.

Jim lies there for an indeterminate amount of time, slowly catching his breath and cataloguing the events of the evening so far. His face is plastered to the small of Bones's back, and he mouths lazily at Bones's skin as he stares down the slope of it to his neck. He can just see the dazed expression on Bones’s face over his shoulder.

Sighing after another few moments, Jim pushes himself up and off the bed, padding toward the bathroom. "Be right back, don't move."

Bones hasn't even bothered to open his eyes yet when Jim returns with a washcloth. He grins as he settles back onto the bed and gently wipes his come from Bones's sore ass. Bones makes a small, distressed sound and Jim purses his lips. "Did you want something for that?"

There's no wait for Bones's refusal, the noise he makes is as clear as if he'd spoken the words: Hell no.

"Christ, okay." A surge of pride spreads through Jim’s chest like a shot of fine bourbon, warm and fiery. "But I want you to tell me if you change your mind. I'm a fan of your ass remaining comfortably functional."

Shifting around the bed, Jim smoothes his palm over the heated flesh of Bones’s ass. Bones shivers but accept the touch easily. "Fuck, so damn good, aren't you? Always take it so fucking well, anything I want to give you."

Jim spreads his ass cheeks apart with his thumbs and stares at Bones's tight, sensitive hole. He leans forward and plants a soft, closed-mouth kiss against it. Bones mewls, canting his ass up as much as possible, presenting it to Jim, willfully obedient to Jim's whims.

All Jim’s whims except one.

One that Jim damn well knows Bones wants.

The one he made Jim want without even trying.

Licking his lips, Jim pulls at Bones's legs until Bones pushes them out from under himself while Jim works a pillow under his hips. He settles down between Bones's spread legs, ass elevated and tilted to just the right angle for Jim's mouth.

"Been a while since I've done this, hasn't it?" he asks, his breath tickling over the sensitive nerves.

Bones makes an indecipherable noise, his hips moving restlessly. Jim holds him still, hands tight on stinging skin, keeping him open and exposed. Jim licks, wet flat of his tongue on the bunched ring of muscles, over and over, as Bones quivers and writhes, throaty sounds tumbling steadily out despite his gag.

Jim pulls back after several minutes, sighs purposefully, letting the warm gust of air tease Bones. "Always in such a hurry to get fucked, don't get to take my time with you as much as I'd like."

Jim traces a circle around Bones's entrance with his fingertip and then pushes it in to the second knuckle. He presses the tip of his tongue in alongside his finger while he slides it in and out, a parody of what he knows Bones craves.

Sitting up, Jim pushes a second finger into Bones's spit-slick hole, and Bones jerks, biting down hard on his gag as he grunts.

Jim’s stomach twists with the clawing desire for what Bones is holding back.

"Stubborn," Jim hisses, twisting his wrist on a slide and flashing his teeth as Bones whines desperately. Jim presses his fingers to Bones's prostate with intent, too much stimulation that he knows will have Bones sobbing, frantic for relief in moments.

Bones doesn't disappoint, lights up like a supernova.

Jim shoves his other hand under Bones's hips and squeezes his semi-soft, oversensitive cock, making Bones push back harder onto his fingers in an effort to get away from the fist gripping his dick. Jim feels it jump in his hand, starting to fill again, and he gives it another squeeze. "Don't know why you won't just say it already."

Bones’s cheek drags against the mattress as he tries to shake his head. Jim can sense his rising panic. He leans low, whispers the words into Bones's skin, "I know you want to, Bones, know you want to let it out for me."

Jim pulls his two fingers free, lets go of Bones’s cock, and fumbles to add lube already before pushing three fingers back into Bones without hesitation. Bones mewls, and Jim worms his other hand right back under him, finds Bones fully hard now.

"So damn greedy," he says nastily, letting his words push at Bones as much as his actions. "Just want to take care of you, Bones, just want to give you what you want. But how am I supposed to do that if you keep trying to hide what you want most?"

Jim knows he's playing dirty now, if he wasn't all along, but he doesn't care.

He needs to hear it.

The realization crashes into him with such intensity, he has to shut his eyes.

"Beg for me, tell me who always takes care of you, and I will,” he swears, sliding a fourth finger in and aiming every thrust of his hand toward Bones's prostate. “I'll give you my cock and make you come, make you see the goddamn stars."

Bones releases the headboard so suddenly, it might as well have burned him, fingers tearing away the gag. "Daddy,” he sobs, every syllable dragged out, as his whole body shudders violently. “Oh fuck, please, Daddy."

Jim nearly comes before he can pull his fingers out and flip Bones over. He grasps his own cock, guiding it to Bones's ass, pushing in with one sharp, hard slam of his hips. Bones is pulling him in, wrapping himself around Jim, as the words spill out, a reverent litany of Daddy and please.

Jim can’t get deep enough, can’t fuck Bones hard enough. "God, yes, take it, Bones, fucking take it."

Bones is utterly undone beneath him, mouth falling open on a wrecked moan, sucking in shaky breaths that catch and come out as whimpers, as breathless pleas for more. He stutters, sounding panicked, "Can I -- I need to -- to come, please."

"Fuck, yes, want you to, right now." Jim shoves his hand between them, barely gets his hand around Bones's cock for a few quick strokes before his face is screwing up and he's coming in hard pulses.

Bones's entire body shivers with his release, air stuck in his throat as he clings to Jim. "Daddy," he whines.

Jim kisses him hard, kisses the word right out of Bones's mouth, as his thrusts go staccato and rapid until his orgasm rolls through him.

Bones is warm and sweat-slick as Jim finally goes still and heavy on top of him. He’s gone all slack and accepting, the occasional whimper and murmur escaping him, eyes closed. Jim brushes a gentle kiss to his jaw, presses his face to the gag now hanging loosely around Bones's neck.

They lie like that for a while. Jim listens to Bones's breaths, feels the rise and fall of his chest.

After long minutes, Jim finds a bit of energy, bites down on the black cloth and tugs it playfully. "Bones," he whispers, dropping the material from his mouth.

"Yeah?"

"Thanks," he says, worming around until he finds a decent place to put his elbow and pushes himself up on it. He meets Bones's eyes and offers a small smile.

Bones looks distinctly wary, crease deep between his eyebrows. "You're welcome?"

Jim indulges in a soft chuckle, presses his mouth to Bones's pursed lips. Eyes fluttering shut, Bones gives in, letting Jim lick his mouth open with purposeful, slow sweeps of his tongue. He devours every centimeter of Bones's mouth, claims it thoroughly. When he finally pulls back, he stares down at Bones, letting his voice take on authority when he asks, "I take it this won't be a problem anymore?"

"Jim --" Bones starts, hesitating.

Still half-hard inside of Bones, Jim thrust pointedly and snaps, "Who?"

Bones's mouth falls open, moaning, "Daddy!"

Jim nips at his chin, makes a satisfied noise. "Good boy."

--

When Jim wakes up, he doesn't move or open his eyes immediately. Bones isn't in bed with him, he can tell that much. His heart thumps insistently and he makes himself breathe in an even, deep rhythm that keeps the self-doubt from taking shape.

When they eventually went to sleep last night, it was on a good note, Jim is sure. Well, he was more sure before waking up in bed alone. Jim doesn't expect that he's cleared the entire minefield, but a decent path for exploration doesn't seem out of the question.

He makes himself open his eyes and sit up.

"Morning," Bones says from the kitchenette.

Jim blinks, squints through the sunlight pouring in from the open window. Bones has on an apron over the t-shirt Jim was wearing last night and a pair of flannel pajama bottoms that Jim's also sure belong to him. The t-shirt was snug on Jim. Stretched across Bones's ridiculous shoulders, it's obscenely, delightfully tight. The pants ride low on Bones's narrow hips.

Jim throws the blankets back, grabs his boxers from the floor and hops into them as he stumbles toward the kitchen. "Morning," he finally says back, giving Bones a sleepy smile.

Bones sweeps his gaze down Jim's body and then rolls his eyes. "Clothes are generally a good idea in a food prep area, Jim."

"Mmm, well, too bad someone stole all of mine." Jim slips his hand under the bottom of the shirt, sliding his palm over Bones's back and pulling him close for a kiss.

Bones sighs into it and when Jim pulls back enough to look at him, his eyes are bright and focused. Hell, the man practically looks happy. "See, Jim, you've got this thing, it's called a closet. There are more clothes in it."

"But you lack this magical thing yourself, since you are not, in fact, in your own clothing?" Jim counters, pushing his hands under the top of the pants, grabbing handfuls of Bones's ass.

Bones flinches, hips pushing against Jim's. His cheeks flush lightly with color, just tinged with pink… probably about the same shade as his sore ass. "Yours were convenient," he says, voice slightly strained.

"Mmm," Jim hums, unconcerned as he ducks in to steal another kiss. He releases Bones after a moment and reaches for a piece of the cantaloupe Bones has sliced up.

Bones smacks the back of his hand before he can get a hold of anything. "You just had your damn hands on my ass, Jim. Wash 'em before you touch our food, would you?"

Jim feels something ease inside his chest as he stares back at Bones's ire-filled face, frowning for all he's worth. He didn't even realize he was waiting for it until it happened, but he can't help the laughter that bubbles out. "Yeah, okay."

Bones lifts an eyebrow. "And what's so funny?"

Jim shrugs, ducks around Bones to wash his hands at the sink. "Just -- I liked last night."

Glancing over his shoulder, Jim can see the blush has returned to Bones's face, this time in full force. "You kind of made that clear," he drawls, voice dry but expression less sure.

Jim turns and meets Bones's eyes. "But it's funny, 'cause I like right now, too."

Bones studies Jim, eyes flicking back and forth like he's reading a book. Whatever story Jim’s face tells, it seems to settle Bones. He clears his throat and nods. "Yeah, me too… on both counts."

Jim leans in and presses one more kiss to Bones's lips, teases his tongue along the seam of his mouth until Bones relents and opens up.

Which provide a perfect distraction for Jim to grab several pieces of fruit.

He breaks the kiss and darts out of reach, popping one into his mouth gleefully.

Bones rolls his eyes again, unsuccessful in his bid to hide his own grin. "Brat," he grumbles. "I did actually cut those for you. No need to act like a criminal."

"Pfft! I've always been a criminal, Bones.” He spreads his arms wide, waggling his eyebrows. “Didn't you know it's against the law to look this good?"

"Oh dear god, someone save me."

Jim pops another chunk of cantaloupe into his mouth, tongue chasing the juice from his lips. "Hey, Bones?" he asks, a brilliant thought occurring to him.

"Yeah?" Bones picks up his own piece of fruit, eating it and licking his fingertips clean.

"You're off next weekend, right?"

Bones crosses his arms and cocks his hips to the side, leaning against the counter. "Yeah, why?"

He knows he's testing the limits of this new thing they have, cobbled together without any blueprint, but who’s Jim Kirk if he can’t take another chance, trust in that instinct to leap without looking?

Jim shrugs, casual as he eats another bite. "Just thought maybe you'd like to give me a tour of our new place."

Jim forces himself not to fidget in the tense silence, not to back down from what feels like the riskiest bluff of all time. Bones doesn't look upset, just thoughtful, but the pause drags on until Jim doesn't think he can take another second.

"Sure, if you want,” Bones says as if it's the easiest thing in the world (and maybe, now, it is). “We can take the four o'clock shuttle to Atlanta on Friday. My mom's leaving for France tomorrow, so it'll just be the two of us."

"Good." Jim can feel his heartbeat in his throat, and it's only by concentrated effort that he doesn't let out a whoop of victory. He crowds Bones against the counter instead. "Now, why don't we grab a shower?"

Bones's arms are already wrapping around his neck. "I was going to make waffles."

Jim pretends to consider that. "And bacon?"

Bones snorts. "Fine, whatever."

"Hmm, an enticing offer, but I think I'm going to go with fucking you in the shower.” Jim watches the mix of desire, amusement, and exasperation play across Bones's face. “Then you can make me bacon."

"Oh god, I really hate you," Bones grumps, but he lets Jim manhandle him toward the bathroom.

Jim pushes him up against the door with an audible thump and whispers roughly, "Wasn't last night's spanking enough to keep you in line? Or do you need a reminder on how good boys don’t tell lies?"

Bones's nostrils flare and he bites down hard on his bottom lip.

Grin wicked, Jim reaches out and pushes the button to open the bathroom door. They stumble through it together, Jim tugging on Bones’s apron strings as they go.

--

"Goddamn it, Jim, did you remember to call someone about mowing the lawn? Mrs. Henrickson just commed my mom who just commed me about how she happened to drive past the house and it looked 'absolutely overrun.' Do you know how long that old bat has been jumping at any opportunity to complain about the property? Ever since the county surveyor said she'd put her fence three feet into our land, twenty years ago!"

Jim's not sure exactly why any of that matters, but he does comm someone about the lawn.

Then he bends Bones over the china cabinet, shoves a vibrator up his ass and spanks him until he comes all over himself.

Jim really is a sucker for keeping Bones happy.

--

fin