So, yes, I am one of those poor souls experiencing an unexpected obsession with the new Star Trek movie.
Smug Wonderful Bastard
“She’s dead, Jim. I’m sorry.”
Jim Kirk looks crushed. “What? No! Bones!” And sounds kind of whiny.
“I don’t know what you’re so surprised about. You’re the one who killed her.”
“You helped,” Jim protests. “You have to do something.”
“Damn it, Jim, I’m a doctor, not a distillery.”
Jim giggles as he continues to stare longingly at the empty bottle of scotch. “That doesn’t even make any sense.”
“Says the man who expects me to break out my last bottle of Scotch for him.”
“Aha!” Jim flings a finger into the air and shoots McCoy a mock glare. “So you are holding out on me. I knew it.”
“Greedy bastard,” McCoy mutters, but he knows it doesn’t sound nearly sincere enough to put Jim off. “The stuff isn’t cheap, you know.”
Jim pouts at him. “Aw, come on, Bones, it’s not every day that a man passes the Kobayashi Maru. In fact,” the pout shifts to a grin, “it’s not any day. Because nobody’s ever passed it but me.” Jim slouches back in McCoy’s armchair, arms resting against the armrests, legs spread. “I think you should call me ‘Captain.’”
McCoy has to shift his focus off of Jim’s crotch before he can answer with a snort. “Dream on, kid,” he says. “Besides, you cheated.”
“I took advantage of previously untapped resources to secure a favorable outcome in the face of a seemingly impossible situation,” Jim informs him. “And that, dear Bones, is what captains do. Well, good captains, anyway.”
The kid has a point, not that McCoy is about to admit it. Instead, he raises an eyebrow and asks, “I wonder how Cadet Jamison would feel about being called a ‘previously untapped resource.’”
“Oh, she was just itching to rebel. Besides, I totally made it worth her while – believe me.”
Jim’s leer leaves no doubt as to how he made it worth her while, and McCoy most definitely believes him.
“I mean, I’m a fucking model cadet,” Jim continues, as he really starts to buy his own press. “I did what I had to do to get the job done.”
“To get what you wanted, more like.” McCoy likes to pretend he hasn’t bought a thing.
Jim shrugs it off. “Same diff.”
And maybe it is. Jim Kirk has a truly remarkable talent for being completely selfish and utterly selfless at the exact same time. Ask Leonard McCoy – he knows.
“Speaking of…” Jim says, voice sliding easily into a cajoling cadence, “how about that Scotch you promised me?”
McCoy is well aware that he made no such promise and it’s a waste of good whiskey to serve it to someone who’s already on his fifth or sixth glass, but still…
He looks again at Jim and at everything Jim is doing his best to display. “Gonna make it worth my while?”
Jim doesn’t hesitate – slides out of his chair and onto his knees, crawls across the space between the armchair and the desk chair that holds McCoy. Six glasses of Scotch might make anyone try to undo a zipper with his teeth – the difference with Jim is that he can still actually do it.
“Oh fuck,” McCoy groans.
And Jim’s just getting started.
A minute ago, McCoy was mentally reviewing his bank account and how best to replenish his dwindling liquor supply.
Now the only thing he’s thinking is, Don’tstopdon’tstopsweetmotherofgoddon’ty
Or maybe that’s what he’s actually saying because he swears he can feel Jim’s lips curling into a smirk around his cock. Smug, wonderful bastard.
He can feel Jim’s hair between his fingers, Jim’s scalp beneath his fingertips. He should probably be worrying about how Jim’s supposed to be breathing, but he knows Jim won’t let a minor obstacle like lack of oxygen stand between him and getting the job done.
Getting what he wants.
It’s a fine thing to be what Jim Kirk wants.
Sure enough, the suction continues and then there’s the humming and that thing Jim does with his tongue, and McCoy couldn’t control his hands or his hips if he tried.
Jim doesn’t seem to mind, just sits back on his heels afterwards and grins.
McCoy slumps down into his chair with no desire to move again. Ever. He does manage a vague gesture-like movement of his arm in the general direction of his dresser. “Bottom drawer,” he says, figuring he’ll need to come up with a new hiding place once he comes up with new Scotch.
Jim pushes himself to his feet and crosses the room, bending over to open the drawer and giving a nice view of his ass as he extracts the fresh bottle. He stands and turns back toward McCoy, still hard in his pants. McCoy’s planning to help him out with that – just as soon as he can feel his fingers again.
“Besides,” Jim concludes, like they’ve been discussing it all along, “it’s not cheating if you don’t try to hide it.”
This, McCoy decides, brain moving slowly but surely, is somewhat of a motto for Jim Kirk, who never really tries to get away with anything and so gets away with everything.
It works for him.
And, hell, it works out nicely for McCoy, too, who’s still a little gun-shy even three years post-divorce and who’s never really been about labels.
They have what you’d call an open relationship – if you were inclined to call it a relationship at all.
In any case, they’re friends.
And commitment’s not about all the people you stay away from, even if you want them. It’s about the one person you’re always there for, whenever he needs you.
“Cadets McCoy, Leonard H. and Kirk, James T., your presence is required at the Assembly Hall at oh-eight-hundred. Morning classes have been cancelled. The time is now oh-seven-hundred. Thank you.”
McCoy rolls onto his back, throwing his arm over his eyes to shield them from the gradually brightening lights. He hears a soft groan as Jim stirs beside him.
“Cadets McCoy, Leonard H. and Kirk, James T., your pres—”
“Computer, snooze,” McCoy orders before it can finish repeating its announcement. The lights stop brightening. He considers telling the computer how much he hates the fact that it always knows who is in which room when and has to get all personal about things, but he’s too tired to waste the energy. The computer is programmed to ignore all complaints of a non-medical, non-emergency nature.
McCoy’s about to roll out of bed to take the first shower when Jim’s arm slides over his rib cage, followed by Jim’s leg sliding over his leg and Jim’s morning wood pressing against his hip. Jim’s hand begins working its way down his torso by feel.
McCoy bats the hand away before it can reach his cock, not without regrets. “Lay off, you horny bastard,” he mutters. “Didn’t you hear? We have to be at the Assembly Hall in an—Oh shit, Jim, you don’t think—? Good god, man, your breath!”
He brings up his elbow to ward off the intended kiss, leaving his cock unprotected – a fact Jim seizes upon immediately. And literally.
“Damn it, Jim…”
“If I promise not to kiss you, will you fuck me?”
McCoy takes a moment to consider the offer, while the strokes of Jim’s hand make it harder and harder to refuse.
He starts to roll towards Jim, pushing Jim’s shoulder to urge him to turn onto his stomach when…
“Cadets McCoy, Leonard H. and Kirk, James T., your presence is required at the Assembly Hall at oh-eight-hundred. Morning classes have been cancelled. The time is now oh-seven-oh-six. Thank you.”
So McCoy adds a foot to Jim’s hip instead, and gives hip and shoulder a sharp shove. “Fucker,” Jim cries as he hits the floor.
“Go take the first shower. I have a feeling you’re going to want to look presentable. And don’t jerk off in there. We’re in a hurry.” Even as the words leave McCoy’s lips, he realizes he’s just guaranteed that Jim will take his sweet time.
“Fucker,” Jim repeats, but he lifts himself off the floor. “Thanks a lot, computer,” he mutters as he heads for the bathroom. “Way to salt my game.”
The computer does what any intelligent person would do.
It ignores him.
They make it to the Assembly Hall on time and looking presentable, no thanks to Jim.
Even though he’s been expecting it since the announcement, McCoy is still surprised when they call Jim forward to face an accusation of ethical misconduct. He’s never seen Jim’s official record, but he can’t imagine that anything about its contents would allow the Academy to see a single part of this Kobayashi Maru incident as ‘aberrant’ or ‘unexpected.’
He’d wager those contents could be summed up in about ten words: Brilliant mind; boundless energy; unmatched creativity. DOES NOT follow rules.
In other words, yesterday was par for the fucking course, and either Starfleet can’t live with Jim or they can’t live without him, but someday soon they’re going to have to make up their damn minds.
And, yeah, McCoy knows he’s the pot calling the kettle black, but then again, maybe he made his mind up years ago, somewhere between that time Jim threw up in his shoes and the Annual Cadet Ball their first year.
The shoe incident is not worth recalling – especially since he really liked those shoes and all the cleaning technology the twentieth-third century has to offer never could get the smell out – but he doesn’t mind remembering the ball.
It started off in the usual way – McCoy resistant and Jim insistent…
“Hey, Bones, whatcha doing’?”
“Studying,” McCoy says, without looking up from his reader. He’s pretty sure he was drunk when he programmed the computer to give Jim free access to his room a couple months ago. He’s not sure why he hasn’t fixed it since.
Jim continues into the room, making himself at home in the armchair McCoy has recently come to think of as Jim’s. He really should get around to changing that access. “So,” Jim’s saying, “have you decided who you’re going to ask to the ball yet?”
“Studying, Jim,” McCoy repeats. “I know you’ve never done it, but surely you’ve observed the practice once or twice.”
“Hey, just because you’ve never seen me study…”
“Goodbye, Jim.” McCoy scrolls down on the reader, deliberately ignoring the pout he knows is on Jim’s face. “I’ll see you for dinner,” he adds when Jim has finally reached the door.
He looks up just in time to catch Jim’s grin.
Jim demands the right to face his accuser directly. Turns out it’s the guy who programmed the test, and McCoy can’t really blame him for calling Jim out. McCoy figures if he’d programmed the test, he’d be pissed at Jim, too. Unlike the pointy-eared bastard in question, however, McCoy would have the good grace to show it.
No sooner has McCoy settled himself across the table from Jim in the dining hall than the harassment resumes.
“So, have you decided who you’re going to ask to the ball yet?”
“I’m not going,” McCoy says, not bothering to hide his irritation.
“Why not?” Jim whines.
“Why?” McCoy counters.
“Because it’ll be fun.”
“I can name and describe twelve nasty and fatal transpecies diseases that would be more fun than a school dance.”
Jim looks down at his still nearly full plate of food and back up at McCoy. “Please don’t.”
“Then drop it.”
“Aw, come on, Bones. Don’t you think you should get out more?”
It’s a familiar tune.
“Acamarian necrotizing fasciitis can enter the body through even the smallest laceration of the skin. Once there the bacteria rapidly begin to consume the flesh, turning it soft enough to be peeled away from the—”
Jim throws up his hands in surrender. “Letting it go,” he says.
McCoy stops talking, smiling as he lifts his fork and digs into his dinner. Jim, he notices with no sense small satisfaction, does not.
It’s fucking rich, that damned Vulcan telling Jim how he’s supposed to have felt during the Kobayashi Maru. And bringing up Jim’s father like that? Way the fuck over the line. McCoy’s fingernails dig deep half moons in his palms while he tries to prevent himself from jumping down there and punching the bastard himself.
Besides, any idiot knows Jim never just gives up.
To Jim’s credit, he manages to go one whole day without mentioning the ball. Of course, it’s a day in which McCoy doesn’t actually see Jim, but still.
The following night finds them hanging out at their regular bar, however, and when Jim brings their beers back to the table, he holds McCoy’s just out of reach.
“Bones,” he says with utter seriousness, “you have to go to the ball.”
McCoy snatches the beer out of Jim’s hand before Jim can blink, then takes a long, slow drink before answering. “No, I don’t. I checked. There is no regulation requiring cadet participation.”
Jim rolls his eyes. “Like I would cite a regulation at you. You know what I mean. It’ll be good for you. Admit it – you have no good reason not to go.”
“I have a hundred.”
McCoy sighs. “I have finals next week and, unlike some people I know, I have to actually study to pass them.”
“Whatever,” Jim waves a dismissive hand. “You study too much. You’re at the top of your class.” It seems not to occur to him that those two things might be related. “I bet you could pass those tests in your sleep,” he concludes. “Next?”
“I’m almost thirty years old and divorced and that is too fucking old and too fucking…divorced to be going to a school dance.”
“That’s bullshit, Bones, you’re twenty-eight and not half as old or as cynical as you like to think you are. Trust me. Next?”
McCoy thinks he’s probably twice as old and twice as cynical as Jim will ever be willing to believe he is, but he moves on. “I hate corsages.”
“See, now that’s—” Jim stops and blinks at him. “What? Did you seriously just say you hate corsages? That made your top three reasons?”
“I hate them a lot,” McCoy says.
For someone who accused Jim of cheating to get what he wanted just last night, McCoy is surprisingly not okay with anyone else doing it this morning.
‘So what if you feel manipulated?’ he wants to yell at the grim faces staring down at Jim in judgment. ‘Get over it! Don’t you see it’s what you need? What you’ve wanted all along?’
After another day or so of fairly constant harassment, Jim finally reveals what McCoy takes to be his true motive.
“So what you’re saying is that you want to sleep with this woman and she won’t sleep with you unless you take her to the ball and she won’t go to the ball with you unless you can find a date for her friend and you want that date to be me?”
“Well, you know…” Jim is doing his best to look sheepish, but McCoy doesn’t buy it.
“So it’s not about having fun or me getting out more. It’s about you getting laid.”
“It can’t be about having fun, you getting out more, and me getting laid?” Jim asks.
McCoy sighs. “Can’t you find some other poor fool who actually wants a date to this blasted dance?”
“Bones,” Jim says with absolute sincerity, “you are the only poor fool that I want to spend an entire evening with.”
“Except for this poor fool of a woman you want to screw.”
“Oh, Bones, you should see her…”
McCoy just rolls his eyes, but they both know who’s won.
Not that he’s not worried about Vulcan, or about heading off into space for that matter, but McCoy breathes a sigh of relief when news of the distress call interrupts the proceedings. Maybe a good emergency will help the Academy to put things in perspective and see that this whole thing with Jim is just a waste of time.
“Who was that pointy-eared bastard?” Jim asks him as the other cadets exit the assembly hall to prepare for the mission.
“I don’t know,” McCoy says with a smile, “but I like him.”
Because as long as nothing comes of it, it never hurts for Jim to be knocked down a peg once in a while, and McCoy’s doesn’t have time to make that his full time job. He is a doctor, after all.
The last time McCoy danced was at his own wedding.
He wasn’t any good at it then, either, but at least he was in love.
Or thought he was, anyway.
Now he’s just shuffling his feet and staring off over his date’s shoulder and wishing someone would beam him out of this ballroom and back to his dorm. He hates transporters even more than he hates shuttles, but he thinks in this case it might be worth it.
Especially if there’s some kind of transporter that could beam him back about five hours to before this whole ridiculous thing began.
Or at least back to the moment before he asked her how she ended up in Starfleet, because that’s when she started talking.
The story started when she was five years old and it hasn’t stopped since.
Not that McCoy’s surprised by any of it. (Except possibly her impressive lung capacity.) All in all, she’s exactly what you’d expect of a woman who couldn’t get a date of her own but insisted one be found for her.
But then McCoy figures he’s probably exactly what you’d expect of a man who only agreed to go on a date to get his best friend to stop whining at him, which doesn’t make him any great catch either, so he doesn’t hold it against her. He’s been nothing but absolutely polite and solicitous for the last three hundred and thirty seven minutes.
Never let it be said that his mama didn’t raise a gentleman.
Nothing in that upbringing, however, requires him not to hold it against Jim.
And McCoy intends to.
Just as soon as Jim comes back from wherever he and his date disappeared to when they stranded McCoy and this woman by the punch bowl over half an hour ago.
For some reason he’d thought maybe she’d talk less if they were dancing.
He doesn’t know why.
The collar of his dress uniform is tight and itchy around his neck.
McCoy is in the middle of vowing never to let that damn kid talk him into anything ever again, when the damn kid in question appears next to them on the dance floor.
“May I cut in?” he asks.
“Of course,” McCoy says, stepping back from his partner with a silent sigh of relief. Not that he’s going to forgive Jim just for taking this woman off his hands for half a song or so. Really, it’s the least Jim can do.
But instead of being faced with Jim’s back as Jim wraps his arms around McCoy’s date, McCoy finds himself faced with Jim’s front as Jim slides his hands up McCoy’s arms to rest on his shoulders.
His own hands come up naturally to rest on Jim’s waist and there they are, shuffling together.
“Jim?” McCoy asks.
Jim glances over his shoulder to make sure the woman is out of hearing distance. “What?” he asks. “You thought I wanted to talk to her? Please.”
McCoy doesn’t know quite what to say, so they just dance for a minute.
McCoy doesn't remember ever standing this close for this long.
He pretends he's not noticing how good Jim smells or just how blue Jim's eyes are. Jim's got a nice face when it isn't covered in bruises, but McCoy isn't noticing that either.
McCoy swallows. "You owe me one," he says, trying to break whatever mood it is he feels forming between them.
"You're right." Jim cops to it easily. "I swear I didn't know she'd be that bad. Wanna get out of here?"
"What about your date?" McCoy glances around. "I thought you wanted to..."
Jim smirks. "We did," he says. "In the bathroom about ten minutes ago."
"Classy," McCoy mutters. "Please tell me you washed your hands."
Jim doesn't answer, just shifts one of said hands up to the side of McCoy's neck, running a single finger under his collar, sliding it along bare skin. "C'mon. Let's go. I'll help you study for your Basic Engineering test on Monday."
It should be a euphemism. Especially with the way the skin on McCoy's neck still tingles and the way that Jim looks at him when McCoy strips off the jacket of his dress uniform first thing after getting back to the room.
But Jim does actually help him study for his Basic Engineering test.
And that's all.
And that's when McCoy realizes the kid might not be such a selfish bastard after all.
They don't fuck for the first time until almost a week later. After finals.
Things are crazy in the shuttle hanger and McCoy's about to go into space - on the motherfucking Enterprise, no less - but all he can see is the look on Jim's face as he's told that he won't be allowed on the mission.
McCoy's sure they'll be back in a couple of days and he's sure that Jim will be able to charm his way out of trouble then. Jim'll graduate with everyone else – a year early, in fact – and get his first assignment, his first real chance to play space cowboy, and he'll be admired and adored and fucked regularly and he'll forget all about that one time some pointy-eared bastard kept him from going and helping a bunch of other pointy-eared folks with their earthquake problems.
McCoy is absolutely certain of all of this.
But then there's Jim's face.
Jim, who's so good at simply willing the world to work the way he wants it to, that you can't help but feel bad for him when he doesn't get his way.
Jim, who'd never even consider leaving a man or woman behind, least of all McCoy.
It’s not hard to imagine life without Jim Kirk. No harder than it is to imagine life without Starfleet. He’s no fresh-faced cadet. He’s lived them both before.
And he knows exactly who he'd be hanging out with these days if he'd never met Jim on that shuttle.
He's not the only older, wearier cadet at the academy. He's not the only divorcé.
Those should be his people. The ones he’d sit with in the bar at the corner table, nursing a too-long series of whiskies and scoffing at the antics of the young and pretty and stupid.
He would have enjoyed that once – the way a cynic enjoys being let down by the world, by the universe.
So, yeah, McCoy knows exactly what his life would be like without Jim and it's crazy in the hanger and the shuttles are boarding fast.
The answer comes to him before the question: Melvaran mud fleas.
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