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Bones has this genteel southern refinement that can, and has, charmed the pants off anyone – well, except for Jim, but only because Jim’s seen him drunk off his ass and singing Take Me Home Tallulah and there’s no coming back from that.

Jim just hasn’t known a lot of people like him. Even coming from Riverside, where mid-western hospitality was like a festering wound filled with potato casseroles for new neighbors and volunteering for Sunday School, Jim is startled by Bones’ rock-solid foundation of moral conduct. It’s all Yes ma’am and No sir and letting women cut in front of him in the chow line while somehow making them feel like dainty southern belles, which is hilarious because Bones is not that guy. The word ‘curmudgeon’ was invented for people like Bones. He’s a grouch and will bitch about literally everything, and that’s if he actually likes the cut of your jib -- if he doesn’t, you’re on a one-way train to fuckedville.

What freaks Jim out is that Bones isn’t two-faced like the people in Riverside could be, and didn’t turn on the charm only when the situation called for it: he was that guy all the time. Bones holds the door open for him if he gets to it first, lends him the jacket off his back in San Francisco’s sudden freak rain storms, and always walks closest to the curb on the sidewalk like he’s just jumped out of an old-timey holovid called Manners of the Southern Gentleman. He picks up the check whenever he invites Jim out for drinks, and on the nights when they have dinner before he’s got a shift at the clinic, Bones will still walk Jim to the door of their dorm hall before going to the hospital.

It isn’t just manners, either, though that would be enough to contend with. When Bones promises he’ll be there he’ll be there, even if he doesn’t know what it is he’s agreed to beforehand.

Bones has helped him, in no particular order, steal the red couch from the Pathfinder dorm common room on four separate occasions, drive back from Sacramento with the CalState mascot costume Eddie the Golden Eagle strapped to the roof of his car, and rig a truly breathtaking practical joke against the Security cadets during Frosh Week involving buckets of orange pudding, sixty-three ill-gotten rubber chickens, and a kitchen timer. Jim maintains that it was not his fault they triggered the fire retardant system, though he will admit, if pushed, that he should have considered the fumes a blow torch makes when trying to burn through plastic while planning his shenanigans.

Bones has done all of it grumbling and bitching and in the case of the Fiasco of 2254, screaming his head off, but he’s done it because Bones keeps his word.

For the first few months they’d known each other Jim had been gun-shy about Bones and his manly manners and his manly word of manliness, and relying on either had felt like the biggest mistake he could ever make. In his experience people weren’t trustworthy like that, and for the most part that’s true. They said one thing and then did whatever the hell they wanted anyway. People except Bones, anyway. Jim had come to rely on it, to trust Bones’ word, and that had translated to trusting Bones, which had freaked Jim out so bad he’d avoided their dorm for three days.

The neat – and by ‘neat’ Jim means so incredibly messy even he was astonished by his fuckery – dividing line between friends and something more happened the night Bones came to find him at the Sunfire Bar, after the second Maru. Jim, who amazingly enough had never actually failed so spectacularly at anything in his life, had only been neck deep in a really good bottle of vodka when Bones had taken one look at him and paid his tab before bodily dragging him out of the bar.

They’d yelled and shouted abuse at each other and then Bones had grabbed him and they’d had The Kiss That Will Live in Infamy, which somehow or another resulted in Apology Donuts from Sacramento, which then resulted in Jim getting fucked to within an inch of his life in Bones’ dorm room.

It’s weird how he feels, in the days and weeks after. Not in a bad way, not at all, but Jim can admit, at least to himself, that he feels different. He doesn’t know how to explain it to anyone, let alone Bones, or himself.

In Jim’s experience, people don’t fuck like Bones, generous and focused on their partner’s pleasure. Bones is like – he’s like a force of nature, so it makes sense that he’d fuck like a hurricane. Jim doesn’t know why he’s so surprised by that, but he is. Bones doesn’t just fuck him, he takes Jim apart, muscles his way between Jim’s thighs, or pushes him up against the door to their dorm and takes him down until Jim’s sobbing. He wrings orgasm after orgasm out of him, two at least but sometimes three, or on one memorable occasion four in one night, and Jim would be pretty pissed off about the way Bones is kind of treating him like a girl if he wasn’t getting off on it so much. Bones ticks every single box off in his head, and the thrill of being taken, of never knowing what Bones is going to do next, only serves to make Jim hornier than he’s ever been in his entire life.

He loves it. Loves the way Bones takes him apart, the way Bones strokes him just right, fills him just enough. The way he stretches Jim out for his big cock, talking him through the stretch that Jim kind of hates and only endures because he knows Bones is going to be inside him afterward. The way he pushes Jim over onto his belly or moves his leg this way or that, gets him just the way he wants him, like Bones knows exactly the way to make Jim lose his mind and the only person standing in the way of that is Jim.

Jim likes it, the way Bones makes him feel, how far he pushes him.

He’s terrified of what will be left when Bones gets tired of him.

“There you go sugar, just like that,” Bones murmurs, tightening his hold on Jim’s wrists up over their heads. He nudges his hips and Jim squirms and tightens his legs, shudders into a curl at the heat, the thickness of Bones’ cock so deep inside of him.

It’s late afternoon and Bones’ dorm room is lit up with the reds and purples of the setting sun. They’ve been here for hours, and the room smells like sex and sweat. Jim had gotten to suck Bones’ cock for the first time and gotten overwhelmed with the taste of him, how good he filled Jim’s mouth, the swell of Bones’ balls in his hand, and had come all over Bones’ big, heavy thigh. Bones had moaned like it was ripped out of him, “Jesus, look at you, creaming yourself at the first taste,” and Jim had sucked him all the harder in retribution and not at all because he wants as much as Bones was willing to give him.

Bones is hard as rock inside him but waiting, patiently, for Jim to get himself off. Jim feels the way he always does when Bones takes him apart, like he’s learning the rules to a game he never even knew existed, but he likes it, oh God, he loves it. He isn’t allowed to fuck himself back on Bones’ cock, can only squirm on it, pulse it against his abused and swollen prostate with every squeeze of his ass. He chokes on a wail, and Bones is laughing against his back like the biggest asshole, but at least now he’s fingering Jim’s nipples just the way Jim likes. He shudders, panting, as Bones thumbs his left nipple lightly, his fingertips catching on tacky sweat and making each stroke that much better.

Jim circles his hips and squeezes down over and over on Bones’ cock to work his prostate hard. He’s been dribbling precome so bad it’s left a puddle on the bed, smeared all over his belly and thighs, and when he tugs on his wrists Bones tightens his grip on them even more. “Bones,” he moans, twisting against his hold.

“Just let it go,” Bones says, kissing down his neck, over his bicep, down into the hollow of his armpit. It makes Jim writhe so bad he loses the steady squeeze-and-release that was going to give him his orgasm, and he wails, yanking on his wrists. “Bones please, please let me come.”

“I am letting you come sweetheart,” he says, mean fucking bastard that he is, as he loves on Jim’s neck and makes Jim thrash.

“I want you to fuck me,” he cries, because they’ve been at this for what feels like forever and he’s so full, he’s so full and fucked open that it hurts. The tension in his thighs, in his back, in the spread open stretch of his hole – he’s hurting and he never wants it to stop. “Stop teasing me you fucking asshole, I’m serious, I can’t, I can’t.”

“Of course you can,” Bones murmurs, but he’s smiling like he hasn’t been hard and buried in Jim’s ass for a continental age. “You’ve been wanting this all day. You think I didn’t see you squirming in Xenolinguistics, rubbing the seam of your trousers against your ass? The way your eyes kept tracking me? Poor thing,” Bones says, pressing kisses into Jim’s armpit. It’s a shot right down to his cock, and he whimpers. “You’ve wanted me since this morning, haven’t you sugar?”

This morning, this morning when Bones had woken him up with his tongue in Jim’s ass. Jim had been so surprised, bleary with sleep, that he’d panted and writhed without shame. Bones had hauled Jim’s hips up and spread his cheeks and had rimmed him until Jim had just about screamed, then wet his fingers and pushed them in and tapped against Jim’s prostate until he’d come, untouched, fingers knotted in the pillow under his head.

“No,” Jim moans, squirming and tugging at his wrists. “Yes, wanted you, I want your cock and you won’t give it to me. Come on, Bones, please.”

“Shhh it’s alright, I’ve got you. Teased you too much, didn’t I?” and Bones drops his hand down between Jim’s legs. For a second Jim thinks he’s going to finally grab his cock, give him some relief, but instead he strokes down under Jim’s balls and massages his perineum, and Jim loses his goddamned mind.

He’s making some kind of noise, he knows he is, and Bones is talking to him, calling him darlin’ and sweetheart and saying yes Jimmy keep going, and Jim is squeezing on Bones’ cock and circling it tight to where he wants it, and Bones is massaging that same spot from the outside, just right under his balls, and then orgasm hits and sweeps him along for the ride. It goes on and on and on, different from anything he’s ever experienced, and then Bones starts to fuck him in tight, hot little thrusts and Jim is shuddering and his cock is dribbling and he has the dizzying realization that he still hasn’t come, and he doesn’t know what’s happening except Bones lets go of his wrists to hike up his leg, changes the angle enough to grab Jim’s rock-hard cock and stroke it in time to his thrusts, and Jim has a second orgasm, violent and explosive, come shooting up his chest and throat and he’s flying, head rushing and body shaking and pleasure deep low in the cradle of his hips, so fucking good he can’t take a breath. Bones is coming too, he can feel it, his fingers clamped on Jim’s hip as he fucks his way in, deep, rolling his thrusts to give Jim all of him. To make Jim feel as good as he possibly can.

He can’t breathe.

It isn’t panic, not exactly, that has Jim scrambling up and off Bones, putting distance between them and pressing his burning-hot back against the cold dorm wall the bed is against, gasping for air and shuddering with aftershocks. Bones gets up onto his elbow, eyes wide, says, “Jim? What’s wrong, did I hurt you?”, his cheeks flushed and hair mussed, breathing hard. His cock is dark red, shiny with lube and smeared with come, the come Jim can feel dripping out of him. He wants to stuff it back in, or – no, he wants Bones’ fingers in his ass holding it inside, wants to beg him to let him keep it and Jim’s suddenly completely certain that yes, he’s lost his goddamned mind.

He tugs his knees up to his chest, shudders at the tense pull in his groin when he does it, the way aftershocks of pleasure zoom up his spine from where Bones massaged between his legs. His cock is still throbbing; he’s covered in his own come, and he doesn’t know how there’s so much of it, only he wants to flop down on his back and let Bones do it to him all over again. It sends a shooting terror through him, and he knuckles his eyes, presses his hands there against his face. “I need you to not talk to me right now,” Jim mumbles to his knees. “Just. Don’t talk, okay?”

“Okay,” Bones says, but he sits up, too, crossing his legs there on their bed. He’s still breathing hard, and he’s got hickeys down his neck that their uniform will just hide, and the way he’s sitting makes it seem like he’s got a little pooch, and Jim loves it, he loves the pooch and the hair hanging into Bones’ eyes and the way he’s flushed, chest and arms and cheeks and belly, the come he’s got all over him, Jim’s come, and he wants to rub it into Bones’ skin so he’ll always smell like him and oh, fuck, fuck.

Jim is maybe starting to freak out a little bit because Bones gives him his jacket when its raining and buys him lunch almost every day, and the nights they spend together Bones presses soft kisses into Jim’s skin, each a promise, begging him to understand that Jim can trust each and every single one because Bones keeps his word.

Jim wants all of it, and not just because the sex is so good – he wants the house and the dog and dinner together at night and sharing the same bed, wants Bones to be the first thing he sees in the morning and the last thing he sees at night, wants him bitching and complaining about his work and massaging Jim’s feet like he does sometimes if Jim asks him, wants to cook his mom’s famous potato casserole for him, wants to do everything for him if Bones will let him, just let him.

Bones is watching him with that same tenderness he always gets after he’s taken Jim apart and put him back together, but his eyebrows are creased in the center, worried. “Can I talk now?”

“No,” Jim says, raggedly. “Yes. I don’t know.”

“Did I hurt you?”

He rubs his face with his shoulder, drags his fingers through his hair. He still feels the pulses of what Bones did to him between his legs, echoing in the open heat of his ass. “No. No, you didn’t hurt me.”

“You sure about that? Cause you’re shaking like a damn leaf,” Bones says, and brushes his fingertips over Jim’s ankle, just lightly, like he’s afraid to touch him more.

He’s right, Jim realizes – he’s trembling all over. “I’m okay.”

“I took it too far. Didn’t mean to get that intense, I’m sorry.”

“No, it – that isn’t it at all. Okay maybe it is, a little, but I liked it. More than liked it,” Jim says, rubbing his cheek again on his shoulder. “How did you – I came without coming.”

“I’m a doctor,” Bones says, rolling his eyes, and Jim feels a fierce, yanking tug in his heart. “You’ve got a really sensitive prostate. Thought you’d like having it massaged from both ends.” He smirks a little, but his eyebrows are still creased. “You sure I didn’t hurt you?”

“No, it’s – it was good. You’re killing me, Bones,” Jim says, scraping his hair back out of his eyes, if only to cover his face with his hands for a second. “You – you just give, and give, and give, all the time. You touch me just the way I like, even when I didn’t know I liked it beforehand.”

“Yeah?” Bones says, looking mightily pleased with himself, and still, somehow, not getting it. “You satisfied, Jim?”

“It’s way more than that,” Jim says. “It’s all I can think about.”

Bones smiles at him, soft and private, the kind of smile Jim didn’t even know Bones had in him until they started sleeping together. He hides it behind the hand he runs over his mouth, rasping over his stubble, and Jim swallows the moan because it’s the same sound Bones’ stubble makes when he’s rubbing his cheek against Jim’s thigh. Bones looks up under the hair falling into his eyes, glowing and gorgeous and fuck, fuck. “Why don’t you come back over here.”

Jim thinks about it for a second, then a second more, before unfolding himself and knee-walking back to where Bones is sitting. Bones pulls him right onto his lap, Jim’s knees on either side of Bones’ hips. It’s so intimate, the way Bones gazes up at him, the way he cups Jim’s jaw, runs his big hand down Jim’s flank to the jut of his hip. “You jumped off me like you had a spur in your backside. What’s got you so panicked, huh?”

Jim clenches his eyes shut, turns his face away, but Bones just turns him right back. He looks at Bones helplessly, touching the bruise he’s left on his jaw. “I want you. All the time. I want to kiss you, want to have sex so you’ll look at me all satisfied, like I can give you what you need, too. It hurts how much I want you, how much I want to give you. It’s rewriting everything, Bones.”

Bones’ smile softens even more, and he presses his thumb to the swell of Jim’s lower lip. Strokes it soft, intimate, just the way he did when he pressed Jim down between his legs, let him suck at his cock until it filled his mouth, until Jim was surrounded with the taste and smell and heat of him. Jim groans, soft, can feel the twitch down deep low in his belly, the heat of renewed interest. He stares at Bones, helpless. “I’m sorry. You’re so good to me, so good for me, and it’s really fucking me up.”

“You’ve got nothing to be sorry for,” Bones says, and hugs him, arms wrapped around him, something Jim didn’t think happened during sex but sure seems to happen a lot with Bones. He buries his face there against Bones’ neck. “Jim, you gotta be blind not to realize how crazy I am about you.”

“Seriously?”

“Of course, you idiot,” Bones says, pulling back so they can look at each other, but he’s smiling now, his hazel eyes all crinkled and laughing and just a little sad. “You’re all I think about. The way you look at me, the way you open up for me. You drive me crazy.”

“I’m not fishing Bones, but seriously?”

“Yeah, knucklehead, seriously.” He strokes Jim’s hair back from his eyes, gazes at him with his heart there in his eyes. “You know I don’t go for the touchy-feely crap, so I don’t really have the right words. All I can tell you is that it’s never been like this for me. It’s like everyone who ever came before was just a warm-up for you.”

Jim smiles at him, and Bones smiles back, and they sit there like a couple of idiots just beaming at one another for longer than Jim cares to think about, only – only there’s come everywhere and he’s getting sticky, and also the emotions are suffocating him, so he climbs to his feet, offers Bones his hand. “We should shower.”

“You got come in my hair, you went off like a damn bottle rocket,” Bones agrees, and Jim laughs out loud when Bones takes his hand. He stops Jim in the doorway to the bathroom though, and brushes his thumb feather-soft along the line of Jim’s jaw, to the hollow under his ear. “Sometimes this is just the way it works. You don’t go looking for it, but it ends up on your doorstep. Don’t want you thinking this ain’t serious for me, because it is.”

“It’s serious for me too.”

“Well alright then,” Bones says, and chews on his lip a minute like he’s trying to control his smile. He totally fails. “If we’re gonna do this, we’re gonna do it right. Going out on dates. Chocolates on Valentines. Comm messages that make people want to gag with how fuckin’ cute we are. Slow dancing in front of all our friends at weddings. All that touchy-feely bullshit.”

Jim grins. “You’re such a romantic, Bones.”

“You’re damn right I am,” Bones replies, but kisses him, so tenderly Jim’s heart hurts, and he thinks yes, you are. When he pulls back his eyes are dark and filled with everything they weren’t saying. “We gonna do this then, Jim?”

Jim takes his hand again, and smiles.