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there’s a drumming noise inside my head

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After three years of living together at the Academy, and a year of serving together on the Enterprise, Jim doesn’t think that there’s much he doesn’t know about Bones.

Until now at least. Because it turns out that Leonard McCoy, professional growler, the guy who might as well have a patent on his variant of the “annoyed scowl” with which he seems to greet the universe—is also an epic, epic cuddler.

Under other circumstances, this might be just funny, or just another tidbit of information that Jim could file away in his brain.

But under these circumstances, it’s not so much ‘funny’ as it is a source of utter torment and frustration, at least as far as Jim’s concerned.

 

*

Nela is a beautiful planet, and when the Enterprise is ordered to fly over there to supervise negotiations between the Nelans and the Federation’s diplomats, Jim’s not at all disappointed over the thought of spending a week and a half on the planet’s surface. The Nelans are friendly and welcoming, and there are worse ways to spend your time than on a tropical planet with sandy beaches and cheap liquor.

Of course, because this is just how it goes when you’re in Starfleet, the negotiations don’t pass without some…complications.

Like this one.

“They think that Bones and I are what?” Jim hisses at Spock. Spock seems completely calm and impassive, but Jim knows that in the back of his head, Spock’s thinking, This is why we keep telling you to actually read the mission briefings instead of just skimming them, you moron. Only, you know, in his special Vulcan way, which would be something more like, Your habit of merely browsing through the mission briefings is frequently the reason why we as an away team find ourselves in predicaments such as the one we are in now, you small-minded and illogical human.

Instead of saying that, Spock says patiently, “Due to your introducing Dr. McCoy as your personal physician, the Nelans are under the impression that he is also your personal companion, which to their mind suggests—“

“—that Bones and I are married?” Spock opens his mouth, probably to correct him on the exact definition of marriage as it applies to the Nelans, and Jim cuts him off. “Spock. They’ve assigned us to the same room. They’ve given us only one bed to sleep in. They think we’re married.”

Instead of arguing with him further, Spock tilts his head a little and says, “Captain, I must admit that I do not understand the cause of your consternation. Did you and Dr. McCoy not share quarters while you were both cadets?”

“We didn’t sleep in the same bed—“ Jim starts to say hotly, but cuts himself off, because God, the topic of beds and the Academy is not something he wants to get into with Spock right now. Or ever. “Just—fine. Fine.”

And it’ll be fine. Jim’s—mostly sure of that.

*

This sort of situation was never covered in any of Jim’s command classes, and right now, Jim’s almost a little annoyed about that.

Bones hadn’t kicked up much of a fuss when he’d heard about their sleeping arrangements, nothing beyond a moment of disbelief, then rolling his eyes and muttering under his breath about away missions always going crazy whenever he got dragged along, but that had been it.

And now here they are, having been shown to their room by a smiling Nelan aide, and there’s a giant bed in the middle of the room, and Jim has no idea what to do next.

“Well, this is strange as all hell,” Bones mutters, breaking the awkward silence. He glances over at Jim and asks simply, “Left side or right?”

It takes Jim a second to answer. “Doesn’t matter,” he tells Bones, and Bones nods.

“I’ll be taking the left then,” he says, and goes to sit down on the edge of the bed, on the side he claimed for himself, and starts working off his boots. It’s the beginnings of a routine that Jim had seen countless times when they were living together in the Academy, Bones coming back to their room after a long day, sitting down on his bed with a sigh as he worked off his shoes, right before taking off the rest of his cadet uniform, stripping right down to a wifebeater and boxer shorts—

Yeah, Jim doesn’t really need to be thinking about the Academy days right now.

Bones looks up, and he’s still fully dressed except for his bare feet as he asks, furrowing his forehead, “Jim? Are you just going to stand there?”

“No,” Jim says after a moment, and toes off his boots, but then stands there awkwardly, not sure of the exact rules here—exactly how far does he undress here? Bones seems to have the same problem, as he sits there for a moment and then asks, “Undershirt and boxers fine with you? ‘Cause personally, I’m not looking forward to sleeping in my uniform.”

“No,” Jim says, relieved and panicked in equal measure, “no, that’s—that’s fine.”

Honestly, Jim doesn’t know why this is throwing him so much, he really doesn’t. Not only has he been in stranger situations, he’s seen Bones in far stranger gear—like the time they went to the planet where everyone dressed like they were living in the time of Ancient Rome back on Earth, and Bones ended up dressing like a gladiator—Jim still has the holos that Sulu took, of Bones stalking around in his breastplate and lace-up sandals, looking totally hot and pissed off. So, strictly speaking, this shouldn’t even register on his radar, seeing Bones barefoot, surreptitiously watching him get ready for bed.

Maybe it’s the normalcy of it, or the nostalgia factor—as captain of the Enterprise, Jim has his own quarters, so he doesn’t get to see this anymore, Bones stripping down with his unconscious grace, letting his pants fall to his feet and stepping out of them, pulling his uniform shirt over his head. He doesn’t get to see Bones anymore in his wifebeater with his hair ruffled, or look at the freckles exposed on his arms, the back of his neck.

Or maybe Jim can’t tear his eyes away because this is Bones, and Jim has never learned to be indifferent to him, never wanted to learn that particular skill set, even if he could.

Whatever it is, Jim’s breathing is just a little unsteady as he jerkily steps out of his clothes, trying and failing not to sneak glances over his shoulder at Bones, until he’s also down to his black undershirt and boxers, flexing his bare toes on the cool floor. Jim waits until he hears the sheets rustling, and then he turns around and gets under the covers, lying very still on his back next to Bones in the bed.

Neither one of them say anything for a very long moment, and Jim tries to find something of interest in the completely uninteresting ceiling. Finally, Bones sighs a little and says, “Okay, so this is still awkward.” His accent’s starting to slip out a little, the way it does at the end of a long day, and Jim smiles a tiny bit without meaning to.

“Just a little bit,” he admits, turning his head to look over at Bones, who’s looking right back at him, the covers pulled up halfway to his chest, hands resting on his stomach. “Can I trust you not to try and ravish me, Bones?” he asks cheekily, trying to break the spell that only he seems to be under.

Sure enough, Bones scoffs, rolling his eyes as he drawls, “Believe me, Jim, your virtue’s perfectly safe with me.”

Yeah, Jim believes him.

Still, after the lights are turned off, it takes Jim a lot longer to fall asleep than it should, long after Bones’ eyes have fallen shut and his breathing has gone steady and even. Jim’s just—he’s so aware of Bones lying right there, acutely aware of every centimeter of space that separates them in the bed, of how far he’d have to reach out to brush the back of his hand against any part of Bones’ body. It’d be so easy, too, that’s the thing—less than one meter of space and they’d be touching.

Jim doesn’t do it. He keeps his hands to himself and he lies very still, and eventually his eyelids start to grow heavy and the next thing he knows, he’s asleep.

 

*

If last night was a little awkward, then the morning after is almost excruciatingly so.

Jim drifts back to consciousness slowly, feeling warm and content, and while he’s still only half-conscious Jim murmurs in satisfaction as he presses against the warm form at his back, arching into the firm body that—

—and then his eyes snap open.

If this was a dream it’d be one thing, but, oh God, he is in bed with someone, he’s in bed with Bones, who’s currently wrapped around him like the blankets that somehow, in their sleep, got pushed down to their waists.

There’s not even an inch of space separating their bodies, both of them lying on their sides with Bones pressed in close against Jim’s back, and Jim’s skin is prickling at every point of contact. And God, the way that Bones is breathing softly against Jim’s neck, or the hand that’s resting on Jim’s upper thigh, warm and heavy even through the blanket—

And there’s the matter of the morning wood that’s currently poking Jim in the ass.

Bones is apparently a cuddler. This is possibly the most awesome thing ever, found out in the most awkward way possible.

Okay. This is not a big deal. Jim just has to move away from Bones, get out of this bed and get into the shower, and by the time he gets back Bones will have woken up and he won’t know a thing and it’ll be like it never happened.

Except that Jim can’t quite seem to get himself to move.

No, call it like it is—Jim doesn’t want to fucking move, and that’s why he isn’t, even though he should. There are at least ten different reasons why he should be moving out of this bed, and he isn’t, because Bones is breathing against his neck and his hand is on Jim’s thigh and Jim is hard, he’s hard and aching and he just wants.

He wants things that he has no business thinking about while Bones is lying next to him in this bed, sleeping and oblivious.

Right, okay. He’s moving right now. He is.

Jim takes a breath and slowly starts to move, setting his teeth as he goes to lift up Bones’ hand—and immediately freezes as Bones moves in response, huffing as he slowly opens his eyes and fixes them on Jim.

Neither one of them moves, and he’s not sure about Bones, but Jim isn’t even breathing right now. Bones looks at Jim, and then looks down to their bodies, pressed so close together, and then finally at the hand that is still resting on Jim’s leg, and then he actually blushes, his cheeks going pink in the morning sunlight, and underneath the nerves and the sheer shit, what now? factor of this, Jim’s kind of charmed by that.

God, he’s so far gone that it’s ridiculous.

But then Bones is moving away, sliding away from Jim on the bed, and Jim’s skin is cold where Bones’ body warmth once was. “Uh,” Bones is saying, his eyes still wide, even when they’re skittering away from Jim’s face in embarrassment. “Sorry, I’m—sorry about that.”

Jim sucks in a breath and manages to get out, “No, it’s fine. Go ahead and take the first shower.”

Bones opens his mouth again, probably to apologize some more and Jim can’t stand that, so he says quickly, “Bones, seriously, it’s cool.” He keeps his voice light and easy as he jokes, “My virtue’s still intact, I promise.” That finally seems to break the awkward tension, because Bones actually smiles a little bit, ruefully, even if his cheeks are still flushed, and gets out of the bed as he heads off towards the shower.

Jim waits until the door closes behind Bones, and then he groans under his breath and collapses, face-first, into the bed, and immediately goes still.

Jesus Christ. The bed smells like them, like him and like Bones, and it’s like a knock to the head and a punch to the gut, triggering old memories that Jim has tried so damn hard to push out of his head.

Jim gives himself a second to wallow, and then he pushes himself up on his elbows and gets out of the bed.

 

*

Jim didn’t know what he was doing, back at the Academy. He hadn’t understood it then, didn’t want to understand it, built a brick wall of denial and tried so hard to leave it at that.

But it’s been two years since he shared a room with Bones, two years since he took command of the Enterprise, and Jim grew up a little bit when he was busy focusing on other things.

Jim knows what he’s doing now, and when he gets a little breathless at the sight of one of Bones’ rare smiles, Jim doesn’t lie to himself anymore about why.

But he hasn’t done anything about it, because in five years, Bones has never once given a hint that he feels anything other than friendship, hell, Jim doesn’t even know if Bones sleeps with guys at all, and they’re not just Jim and Bones anymore, they’re the captain and CMO of the Enterprise, and it’s just—

But really, it comes down to the same thing it always has. Jim’s ready to take what he can get, and he's not willing to lose what he’s got.

*

The day goes smoothly enough, with Jim being polite and diplomatic and everything that a good Starfleet captain should be when conducting important negotiations. He does not think about beds, Bones in a bed, or him and Bones in a bed—no, he’s focused and professional.

And he absolutely doesn’t focus on how Bones never quite seems to look him in the eye for the entire day.

*

“I can take the floor tonight, Jim,” Bones offers awkwardly when they get to their room, and Jim stares at him.

“Yeah, not a chance,” he says without thinking.

“Jim, it’s not that big a deal,” Bones says, looking even more uncomfortable, and seriously, Jim’s not having it.

“You’re right, it isn’t,” Jim immediately says, “—which is why you don’t need to sleep on the floor.” He stops as a thought occurs to him, and says hesitantly, “Unless—if you really want, I could take the floor and you could—“

Bones stops looking awkward, and rolls his eyes. “Not a chance, Jim,” he automatically responds, and Jim has to laugh.

“Great, so we’re in agreement,” Jim says, brightly. “Nobody’s sleeping on the floor.” Then Jim thinks about what he’s actually agreed to, and wonders if it’s too late for him to insist on taking the floor. Bones probably won’t go for that, though, and it’ll look strange, anyway, after how he’d made such a fuss about Bones doing the same thing—

—plus, there’s that tiny little thing where Jim actually prefers sharing a bed with Bones, in just about any way he can. But then, Jim’s never been one for self-preservation, and he doesn’t see any sense in trying to pick up the habit now.

This has only been the second night they’ve done this, but it already feels strangely familiar, stripping down to their sleepwear and then going to their mutually agreed-upon sides of the bed.

Of course, because Jim can’t leave well enough alone, he remarks after a moment or two, “Never pegged you for a guy who likes to cuddle, Bones.”

Bones turns to glare at him, and Jim makes his best innocent face. “What? I’m just saying, you don’t exactly seem the type.”

Bones huffs, but after a moment he admits, “I was always a clingy sleeper when I was with Jocelyn, must not have broken the habit.”

Well, now Jim feels a little bit like an ass. “It’s okay, Bones,” he promises. “No big deal.”

Bones looks at him, and Jim can’t quite read the look on his face when he asks, “You sure about that, Jim?”

Jim feels his chest tightening up, but manages to say, with a smile on his face, “Yeah, of course. I can think of worse things to do that snuggle with my best friend for a few nights.”

Bones looks at him for a moment longer, and then nods, the corners of his mouth quirking up. “Got a point there, I guess.”

Soon after that, Jim turns the lights off and they’re lying there under the sheets in the darkness, and Bones is breathing deep and even next to him, and Jim thinks about Bones turning towards him, rolling over in the bed and wrapping his strong arms around Jim’s waist, pulling Jim in close.

Jim falls asleep imagining that he can feel Bones’ breath on his skin, Bones’ hands on his body.

*

The next morning is not a repeat of the first morning they woke up together.

It is, in fact, even more awkward than that.

This time, it’s Jim that’s curled up around Bones as if the man’s a life-size teddy bear, his arm curled around Bones’ stomach, and his leg thrown over Bones’ hip and leg. Jim doesn’t know whether it’s better or worse that Bones has got his arm wrapped around Jim’s shoulders in return, holding him close.

Bones is still out like a light, but as Jim glances down—not all of him is asleep, and Jim, of course, is awake in every sense of the word, his cock hard and heavy in his boxers, poking Bones in the hip, and Jim is really not proud of this, but it’s just so incredibly tempting to press forward, just grind his hips until he’s coming like a teenager in his underwear.

Jim needs to move right now. He really has to move right now. And yet—and yet he’s staring at the side of Bones’ face, at the stubble and the softly parted lips, and he wants this man so much that it almost hurts.

Doesn’t change a thing. He still needs to move. Jim gingerly starts to shift his weight, trying his best to stealthily move out of Bones’ grip and get out of here with at least some of his dignity intact—but of course, the universe and Bones apparently have different plans.

Bones shifts, his grip on Jim momentarily tightening before his eyes flutter open—and a part of Jim can’t help but notice that Bones has really very pretty eyelashes for a guy—and he turns his head to look at Jim, and then his eyes go wide, bright green in the morning light.

“Sorry,” Jim manages after a moment, his face going hot, so achingly aware of their position, of his arm slung around Bones’ waist, how he’s lying half on top of his best friend, and of the fact that Bones can feel Jim, hard against his hip. “Sorry, sorry,” he mutters as he pulls away, shuffling out of the warm cocoon that he and Bones had made in the blankets.

“It’s fine, Jim,” Bones tells him immediately, but there’s a look on his face that Jim can’t quite read, all he knows is that it’s completely focused on him and Jim can’t handle that, not right now.

“Mind if I take the shower?” he asks as he gets out of the bed, the stone floor cool under his bare feet.

“Of course not,” Bones assures him, still watching him carefully, looking for what Jim doesn’t know and doesn’t want to think about.

It’s just too much, Bones staring up at him from that bed, eyes still that bright shade of bottle-green, his body sleep-warm and his hair tousled—so Jim tears his eyes away and goes to the bathroom, shutting the door behind him and leaning against it heavily. He briefly considers banging his head against it a few times, but there’s a good chance Bones’ll hear it, and with his luck, he’ll end up giving himself a concussion.

They have water showers here, a luxury that Jim had learned to ration once he was on the Enterprise, and he lets himself indulge for a minute, tipping his head forward into the hot spray, just letting the water sluice over his body.

He tries to resist for a moment, but eventually gives in and wraps a hand around his cock, and lets himself fantasize, just for a second, about what could happen if he walked back out there right now, and slid right into the bed under the sheets, and pulled Bones close and kissed him and kissed him, putting his hands everywhere, on every inch of skin that Jim could reach, until Bones was moaning out loud, until he wanted it as much as Jim did, was going just as crazy—

His hand’s moving faster and faster on his cock, hard, rough pulls as he braces himself against the wall with his free arm, and Jim gasps at the images in his head, of Bones moaning, his head thrown back as his hands clutched at Jim’s shoulders and back, that gorgeous voice going thick with lust as he groaned out Jim’s name, begging him to go faster, harder

Jim’s eyes are closed when he comes, and he keeps them that way for a moment or two longer, catching his breath.

When he leaves the bathroom, he’s wrapped in a towel, and Bones is sitting on the edge of the bed. Jim deliberately does not look at Bones’ long legs, or at his bare feet on the floor, and says, jerking his thumb back behind him, “Shower’s all yours.”

“Thanks, Jim,” Bones says, and if Bones is still giving him that strange, searching look, well, Jim ignores that too.

*
Plausible deniability is a tool that’s gotten Jim out of many a jam, before when he was in Iowa and then at the Academy, and it’s something that’s held him in good stead as a Starfleet Captain.

This is maybe the first time it’s felt like a burden.

Objectively speaking, Jim shouldn’t have that much to worry about, after all, it’s not like Bones can throw any stones here when it comes to accidentally cuddling with someone, and really, he’s the one who started all of this in the first place with his sleep-cuddling.

And more to the point, if Bones hasn’t managed to pick up on what Jim’s been feeling for the last few years, there’s really no reason to think that he’s going to figure it out now.

That still doesn’t explain the way that Bones has been looking at Jim all day, like he’s a puzzle that Bones can solve if he just looks hard enough.

Needless to say, Jim’s a little bit on edge, and Spock is absolutely no help whatsoever, remarking at breakfast that morning on how 'well-rested' Jim looks, and inquiring blandly if he slept well last night. If it wasn’t childish and beneath him, Jim would totally kick Spock in the shins right now.

But Jim’s got bigger problems on his plate, like figuring out just what the hell to do once it’s time to go to bed, and he’s got to go to bed alongside his best friend and pretend like all of this is normal, like he isn’t about to crawl out of his own skin with how insane this all is.

It’ll be fine, though. Just a few more days, and then they’ll be back on the Enterprise and he’ll be back in his captain’s quarters that he doesn’t share with anyone, and he won’t be trying to fall asleep on a pillow that smells of Bones, or wake up entangled in the arms of someone he can’t have.

*

That night when they get back to their room, Jim’s the one who offers to sleep on the floor, keeping his face averted as he says it.

Bones’ reaction is surprising.

“Don’t be an idiot, Jim,” he says, looking at Jim in that level, calm way he has of his. “Let’s just go to bed.”

Jim’s face flushes, although of course Bones doesn’t mean—well, he doesn’t mean it how Jim wants him to mean it, and that’s all that counts.

Jim methodically strips out of his clothes, his face still hot, not letting himself look at Bones at all until he’s finished, and glances over to where Bones is turning down the sheets and slipping in under the covers.

Jim gets in right next to him, staring straight up at the ceiling and calling out, “Computer, lights off.”

The room goes dark and Jim exhales, closing his eyes as he tries to fall asleep.

“Negotiations seem to be going well,” Bones comments suddenly.

“Yeah,” Jim agrees. “They are. Starfleet should be happy.”

“Yeah,” Bones says. “Jim….”

Jim turns his head towards Bones. “Yeah?” he prods after a moment, when Bones doesn’t say anything else.

“Nothing,” Bones says finally. “Good night.”

“Night, Bones,” Jim responds, a little confused, but he turns his head forward again, letting it go and doing his best to fall asleep without worrying about what position he’ll be in when he wakes up.

*

Jim’s heard that the definition of insanity is repeating the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

He’s never thought of himself as crazy, but here he is, for the third morning in a row, waking up at dawn to the feel of Bones curled around him, Bones’ face tucked into the nape of Jim’s neck, his arm heavy and warm around Jim’s body, and his hand resting low on Jim’s stomach, fingers splayed open.

Jim’s not moving. He’s lying there, heartbeat speeding up, Bones’ body wrapped around his, their feet tangled up together, and he should get up, he should leave, he should—

But he doesn’t. He lies there, eyes wide open, not even a little bit drowsy, and—he lets himself have this, even if it can only last for as long as Bones wakes up.

Jim’s not exactly sure of how long they stay like that, how long it is before Bones slowly begins to stir, but he knows exactly when Bones realizes what they’re doing, can pinpoint to the second the moment that Bones stiffens up against him, awake and alert and clearly aware of where his hand is resting on Jim’s body.

He can feel Bones’ gaze on the back of his head, is almost as aware of it as the hand resting so low on Jim’s abdomen, and Bones finally starts to lift his hand up, starts to move away, and before Jim can think—before he can let himself think, he puts his hand on top of Bones’ and keeps it there, pressed against his stomach, Bones’ hand warm under his.

“Jim,” Bones says after a moment, and Jim’s never heard him say Jim’s name like that before, in that hushed tone, and Jim wants to answer, he does, he just can’t come up with the words.

But then Bones’ hand is moving lower, sliding down Jim’s stomach tentatively until his pinky and ring fingers are resting on the elastic band of Jim’s boxer shorts, and Jim just wants him, God, he wants Bones to touch him so much that he’s aching with it, about to go crazy with it.

He doesn’t want to talk, he just wants to push Bones’ hand down lower until Bones is cupping him through his boxers, until Bones has worked a hand underneath the elastic and then he’ll finally get it, he’ll finally understand and he’ll—

Jim twists around to look at Bones, and Bones’ eyes are wide, his pink, soft mouth parted as he stares at Jim, disbelieving, and Jim abruptly snaps, leaning forward and pressing his mouth against Bones’.

Bones’ mouth is warm and soft and he’s kissing Jim back, Jesus, he’s kissing Jim back and Jim is surging forward, his hands in Bones’ soft hair, desperate and needy, his hips shifting upwards, seeking friction even as he moans into Bones’ mouth, shameless.

And Bones is just as eager, only pulling away to groan out, “—goddammit, you should have said something—“

Jim just kisses him harder, clutching at his shoulders, his back, his hand splayed along the back of Bones’ neck, groaning as Bones presses him back down against the bed, his body warm and heavy on top of Jim’s. Jim pushes his hips up and absolutely does not whimper as his cock rubs against Bones’, but it’s a near thing.

“Jesus,” Bones groans as his hands slip under Jim’s shirt, sliding up Jim’s sides, and turnabout’s fair play, so Jim moves his hands until they’re pulling at Bones’ shirt, and Bones immediately gets the idea and sits up enough that Jim can pull the shirt off him completely, tossing it to the side before pulling Bones back down on top of him, warm skin everywhere, rocking his hips forward.

Bones moves his mouth downward, trailing along Jim’s neck, soft mouth and tongue lapping at Jim’s skin, and Jim groans, tipping his head back for more, only half-aware of what he’s saying when he gasps out, “God, please, just fuck me.”

Bones is aware of it, though, pulling his head back to stare at Jim, pupils blown. “Jim, are you—“

Yes,” Jim grits out, and if he wasn’t so turned on, he might almost laugh at the irony of the question. “Yes, God, Bones, please—“

That’s as far as he gets, because Bones is surging forward and kissing him again, his mouth hard and insistent, panting against his mouth, “Stay right there,” Bones growls before he’s scrambling off the bed and going for his little bag, and if he wasn’t still breathless, Jim would ask just where the hell he expects Jim to even go.

Instead, Jim lies there, panting and dizzy, staring up at the ceiling, thinking over and over again, holy shit, this isn’t real, this isn’t—but it is, he can still feel Bones on his skin, as if there are invisible handprints left all over his body, and then Bones is back, a packet of lube in his hand along with a condom, kissing the breath out of him, but then he pulls away and orders, “Take off your clothes, Jim.”

Jim does it, wriggles out of his clothes until he’s completely naked. Bones just watches him the whole time, kneeling on the bed, and the minute Jim’s finished he’s panting out, “Now you. You—“

And Bones does it, taking off his boxers and then crawling back up Jim’s body, and Jim hooks a leg around Bones’s and grinds up, and then they’re both rutting against each other, cocks sliding together and fuck, fuck, fuck it feels amazing but if they keep going like this, they’ll never last and—Jim hisses as Bones finds the exact right spot on Jim’s neck to worry at with his teeth—he really needs Bones to fuck him. Now.

He says so, and Bones groans low in his throat, dropping his head and saying, “You’re gonna be the death of me.”

His accent’s come out for real, dripping from his vowels like honey, and Jim’s reveling in it. “Yeah, not until you fuck me, Bones,” he promises.

And thank God, Bones is finally doing what Jim wants him to, slicking his fingers up and pushing into Jim with one finger while Jim shivers and pants and spreads his legs open wider, urging him on in every way that Jim knows how.

Jim loves this, loves every single second of it, the stretch and burn of Bones working him open with one finger, then two, that sharp burst of pleasure when Bones finds his prostate and presses hard, the way that Bones is staring at him, mouth parted, looking completely transfixed.

And then there’s the talking.

“This what you been wanting from me?” Bones asks, in that low, hushed voice that sends sparks running through Jim’s body. “Been wanting me to do this to you, work you open, drive you right out of your head—“

Jim’s been making incoherent noises ever since Bones added that second finger, but he manages to choke out, “Yes, Jesus—“

“You should have asked, Jim,” Bones says, still so hushed, leaning in as he tells Jim, “I would have done it, whenever you wanted me to, wherever you wanted—“

Jim moans at that, his head falling back against the pillow, loud and shameless as he shoves his hips forward onto Bones’ fingers, and people have called Jim shameless before, but this is one of the times that he’s really felt it, felt shameless and out of control and—

And then Bones starts working his third finger in, leaning in even further until their mouths are brushing together, and he says, “I would have done anything you wanted me to.”

“So fuck me,” Jim chokes out. “If you—then fuck me already, goddammit—“

And thank God, Bones is finally listening, and Jim groans as he pulls his fingers out, but Bones is slicking himself up and lifting Jim’s hips up, and Jim wraps his legs around Bones’ back, holding his breath for one endless moment as Bones pushes into him, thick and hot and oh God. Oh God.

“Jesus Christ,” Jim moans, tipping his head back and exposing his throat. Bones has gone wordless now, dropping kisses on Jim’s face and throat, his mouth hot and perfect, “—oh God, harder, c’mon—“

It’s perfect, Bones’s weight on him, staring down at Jim as he thrusts in and out, his hips snapping forward, and Jim’s melting back into the bed, sparks running up and down his body as he pushes back into Bones’s thrusts, until they’ve got this perfect rhythm going, until he’s being driven out of his mind and can’t think about anything else—

“When we get back to the Enterprise,” Jim pants out, arching his back at a particularly hard thrust, “you have to—oh fuck, Bones—you have to do this to me in your bed, I want—“

“Yeah,” Bones breathes out, staring down at Jim like he can’t believe Jim’s real. “Yes, God, Jim—“ He bows his head again, moving faster and harder, just—God, just pounding at Jim, and Jim arches up and comes, without a single touch to his cock, crying out sharply, his eyes squeezed shut.

Bones follows him soon after, groaning and collapsing on top of Jim, and Jim just tries to catch his breath, his hands moving over Bones’ back in circles, dazed, this lightness rising up inside of him that he doesn’t even know what to do with.

He presses a kiss against Bones’ temple and says quietly, “I’ve been wanting that for a long time.” It’s easier to say than he would have ever thought possible, with Bones’s face pressed into his neck, Bones’s body on top of his, still trembling with aftershocks.

He can feel Bones’ mouth moving on his skin, and finally Bones pushes himself up, and Jim hisses a little bit as Bones pulls out of him, but Bones kisses him lightly on the forehead and says, “Let me get something to clean us up, all right?”

Jim tugs on his arm, pulling him back down. “No, just—hang on for a minute,” he says, and Bones doesn’t argue, just curls back around Jim, his fingers tracing random patterns on Jim’s arm and shoulder.

Neither of them says anything for a moment, and Jim’s startled when Bones suddenly huffs a laugh against Jim’s hair. “What?” Jim asks.

“Just—I promised you your virtue was going to be safe with me,” Bones says finally, and Jim gets it and laughs, turning to look Bones in the eye.

“Good thing I didn’t promise the same thing, huh?” he asks, going a little breathless again at the outright fondness in Bones’ face, all of it directed right at Jim.

“Yeah,” Bones says, and Jim already knows that he’s never going to get tired of Bones looking at him like this. “I’d have to agree.”

*

“You seem particularly well-rested this morning, Captain,” Spock remarks again on their last day there, and Jim grins at him.

“Really? That’s odd.”

Spock’s eyebrow goes up a little. “Odd? Why would you say so, Captain?”

Jim’s grin gets even wider as he says, “Well, because I didn’t get much sleep last night at all. Or really, for most of this week.”

Now both of Spock’s eyebrows are rising up to his hairline, and Jim gives Spock his very best shit-eating grin as he walks away, moving to where Bones is talking with one of the Nelan dignitaries.

Bones sees him coming and smiles, eyes bright and fond, and Jim couldn’t stop grinning if he tried—not that he’s trying very hard, or at all, really.

He wonders what Bones will say to the idea of sharing quarters again. Somehow, Jim has a feeling Bones won’t mind.