oh no but if jim has scars from tarsus imagine how hard physicals must be for him. because everyone always asks questions. they ask him and suddenly he can feel the whip peeling his skin away, suddenly he’s bleeding in the dirt again, look at this, this is what will happen to you.
but of course starfleet requires regular check ups. jim refuses as many times as he can; eventually, the doctor sighs and leaves him alone in the room. jim grips the edge of the bed and wonders if he can escape unnoticed.
then the doctor returns and–no–no–
“I’ll take care of him,” bones tells the other doctor. something inside jim tightens at the gentleness of the words. the other doctor nods, relieved, and leaves them alone.
the door clicks shut. bones says, “jim–”
“please, bones,” and god jim hates how his voice shakes, “I–I can’t. please.”
and there’s no way bones really understands, no way possible that he knows, because jim hasn’t told anyone, isn’t strong enough to admit to the twisted ugly dark that exists inside him– bones doesn't know, but he nods anyway, says, “okay.”
jim realizes he’s shaking just as bones puts his arms around him. he raises his hands, clutches at bones’ uniform. steadies himself.
Okay, let’s talk about how Bones can’t seem to sleep without Jim in the bed next to him now. It’s a thing that started out slow. First, he just likes to sit and stand next to him. Always just hovering slightly behind him then pressed close enough that their shoulders touch. He’ll convince himself it’s for appearance sake. Always needing to look like a united front.
Then, it turned into near cuddling on the couch when they watched movies and Bones trying not to nod off. Jim would bite his lip to keep from laughing until he just threw caution to the wind and pulled Bones closer.
Now, they sleep comfortably together in a bed that’s a little smaller than they’d like but just big enough to wrap around one another.
And on the few occasions that Jim is out of the bed earlier than him Bones will shuffle out of the bedroom; hair mussed and lazy warm from bedsheets and collapse on top of him wherever he maybe. This time Jim happened to be sitting on the couch with coffee.
“‘S too early to be up, g’back ta sleep.” Bones mumbled into Jim’s neck, pressing closer and settling down and already halfway back to dreamland.
“Goodnight, Bones.” Is all Jim can say, sipping his coffee with a fond smile; his free hand carding through his boyfriend’s hair.
let’s talk about academy era leonard mccoy and how good he probably looks on the lazier days when he’s dressed in an old pair of jeans and a t-shirt and his hair is still all ruffled from sleep as he reads through his notes for class
or mccoy in the gym with the muscles in his legs and arms and back all tensed and sweat dripping down his neck and his shorts just slightly too low on his hips
or in his cadet reds which of course fit just right with his hair all combed back and neat and how he probably pretends he hates wearing the uniform except it also feels kinda nice
let’s talk about how jim probably had trouble not making out with his hot doctor best friend 24/7 (not that len would have complained if that were the case)
but that text post of "here, can you hold this? *gives you my hand*" iT'S TOTALLY JIM TO BONES OKAY
I just. GUH. Imagine this at the end of STID, Jim calling Bones over to his hospital bed and asking him to hold something before promptly smacking his hand down in Leonard’s palm.
Leonard stares down at their hands, eyebrows so high they’re disappearing into his hairline. “The hell is this?”
“It’s a present,” Jim says, lying back on his pillows and closing his eyes. He's smiling, the cocky bastard, his hand solid and warm in Leonard’s. “You can’t give presents back. It’s rude.”
“I damn well can’t sit here all shift holding your hand, kid."
"But you will,” Jim says, with enough confidence that even Leonard doubts himself. “Because you love me.”
And then he falls asleep, because he’s Jim fucking Kirk and the universe revolves around him and his asinine whims.
Leonard fumes silently for a few seconds, then sighs and gives in, reaching out with his free hand to pet absently through Jim’s hair. Or maybe it’s been Leonard himself that’s been revolving around him the entire time.
six year old jim kirk has a comic collection he keeps in a battered box beneath his bed. he reads under his blankets at night and wonders if his dad saved as many people as iron man, as captain america, as superman. six year old jim kirk wonders why superheroes never seem to die.
twelve year old jimmy kneels in the snow on tarsus iv, the cold wind gnawing at his exposed skin as he stares at the hilt of the knife he’d buried in a man’s chest; there are so many colors, too many, the white and the globs of crimson and the deep brown of the tree branches against the flat iron sky. twelve year old jimmy stares at the knife and sees the huddle of kids he left crouched around a fire less than a mile from here. he sees the gun at the man’s belt, sees kodos’ insignia sewn on his chest. jimmy sees the man’s eyes, the color of leaves in the middle of spring, sees how they are wide open and sees how they see nothing. twelve year old jimmy kneels in the snow and learns why superheroes wear masks.
eighteen year old jim plants his feet on the cracked asphalt and tells himself he likes the taste of blood on his tongue. he doesn’t know the first thing about the man in front of him except that he currently wants to punch jim’s face in, and if there’s anything jim is good at it’s anger. everyone wants to fight sometimes. it’s a human itch. besides, this guy is an asshole anyway. eighteen year old jim tells himself this as he spits at the other man’s feet, as he dances back from a punch and lets his fist slam into flesh, crack bone. fighting bad guys, see, dad? he wonders if all superheroes have holes in their chests like him.
twenty year old jim forces a smile when his mom says happy birthday, sweetie. she says i’m so proud of you. your father would be too. she says you look so much like him. she is grinning, but there are tears threatening to fall, too, and when she hugs him he feels them soak into his shirt. he holds her tightly and whispers i love you and wishes those words didn’t always come out sounding like i’m sorry.
twenty-three year old jim t. kirk stops his bike at the shipyard as the sun is rising and stares at the skeleton of a starship. i dare you to do better. the ship will not be complete for another year or two; jim can see the sky through the holes in her. she looks so out of place here, in the middle of nowhere, stuck on the ground. she belongs to the stars.
jim kirk decides that all superheroes should be able to fly.
but imagine that bones writes resignation letters everytime jim is almost killed/almost died and jim finds them and he thinks that bones wants to leave him and it guts him because jim's in total love with bones and wants to marry him. (he even has the ring picked out) (❁´◡`❁)
hahahahah kay why
jim feels like someone took a sledgehammer to his heart. he can feel every piece break like fragile glass. the shards tinkle as they fall and it’s ironic that what is making such a beautiful sound is causing him so much pain. the jagged fragments cut into his lungs. he feels them dig a little deeper every time he tries to take a breath; it hurts like nothing he’s ever known before.
okay but my favorite thing is when jim and bones always fall asleep in the same bed at the academy while studying or talking etc. and neither of them ever talk about it because they don’t want to ruin what’s probably the best friendship either of them has ever had, never mind how nice it felt to curl up against one another.
but then one of them has a nightmare or just trouble sleeping so of course the other has to climb in bed beside them, pull them close, murmur it’s okay, i got you, just sleep. and it’s not really accidental anymore, but still. they don’t talk about it.
over three years at the academy, though, it becomes such a habit that neither of them can sleep once they get separate quarters on the enterprise. they stay awake for hours and hours, restlessness squirming and hot in their stomachs, staring at the ceiling until their eyes burn with exhaustion. it goes on for days, and they both know exactly what the problem is, but of course both of them are too damn stubborn to say anything about it.
then maybe one night the crew is just hanging out together after a long shift in one of the rec rooms. one moment jim and bones are sitting together on a couch bickering about something, and the next they’re slumped against each other, dead asleep.
they wake up in the rec room alone, a note from nyota on the table in front of them bearing the reassurance that yes, she did in fact take several pictures of the captain and the cmo cuddling.
“she’s just jealous that we’re a cuter couple than her and spock,” jim says.
bones tries to be grouchy about it, but jim is warm and sleepy beside him and he’s just slept better than he has in a while, so he just shrugs. “probably right.”
jim’s eyes flick over his face. “are you agreeing that we’re a couple, bones?”
“the only thing i’m agreeing to,” bones says, “is not waking up again for another five hours.” but he presses a quick kiss to jim’s jaw anyway, and something flips in his chest at the smile jim gives him.
jim and leonard exiting the shuttle together when they land, and even though they are nothing more to each other than a reflection of all-too-familiar bruises jim finds himself putting a supportive hand on len’s elbow, because the man still looks too shaky and pale for his own good.
leonard meeting jim again in class nearly a week later when they sit down next to each other, jim greeting him with a jagged grin through fading scrapes and a happy bones! (what did you call me, kid?) (‘all i’ve got left is my bones’, remember, doc? besides, i, uh, don’t actually remember your name.)
jim somehow ending up in leonard’s room for hours after class each day, their notes spread out on the floor around them, ignored– both of them too engaged in whatever topic they’ve managed to get hooked on discussing that afternoon
both of them staying at the academy for the holidays, spending christmas eating takeout and watching old films, feeling the most at peace than they have in years
they become roommates in their second year and jim is thrilled except he’s also kind of terrified of pushing leonard away. every time he returns in the depth of night with swollen wrists and black eyes he’s afraid this will be it, that this time bones will do more than scowl and snap at him– but bones never does, and his hands are always so gentle, and beneath all the stupid and reckless jim learns to hear please be safe.
jim helping leonard with his aviophobia– not to overcome it, not really, because leonard knows he never quite will, but to manage it, to work through it. they practice for hours and hours and jim helps him get his breathing steady when it gets to be too much and it gets to a point where leonard can go up in a shuttle for a good while without panicking, so long as he’s distracted; jim grins wide at him when this happens, says good. i cant explore the universe without you.
there are bad days for both of them. they learn how to hold each other together, though.
they collect all these inside jokes and stories and manners of speaking and they learn to hold conversations with glances and sometimes they smile at each other like nothing else even comes close to existing.
don’t think about all the times bones has probably pulled jim close, hands fisted in jim’s uniform, their foreheads resting together, bones’ voice shaking just the slightest bit as he murmurs i thought i’d lost you
Jim and Bones b o t h being terrible with feelings. Not in the way where they aren’t together because of it because they are. At least that’s what they constantly have to tell those whom don’t know. It’s hard to tell because beside painfully awkward embraces and hard, chaste kisses with chapped lips and too much teeth; they don’t show affection.
So when they are on shore leave on some beautiful planet akin to Earth Jim finds Bones sitting outside and presents him with a huge bell like flower swirled with vermillion, gold, and fawn; cheeks flushed and eyes turned in a different direction. Dangling it forward as if to say ‘here, take it before I change my mind or someone sees us.’
Bones’ mouth works silently in awed surprise and his heart pounds with a fondness only Jim can produce. He’ll take the flower and then pull Jim in close and lay a kiss so fine and so expressive that it’s silly a n y o n e could question their commitment to each other.
bones loves to do crossword puzzles in the morning while he eats his breakfast. but lately they’ve been getting stranger and stranger. what he doesn’t know is that jim has been creating his own and swapping them out with bones’ in an attempt at expressing his true feelings for bones. he figures it’s must be glaringly obvious; the clues are all about their relationship/friendship/experiences. but jim realizes that maybe he has to rethink his strategy when bones starts mumbling about 4 down, ‘a four letter word that rhymes with shove’, before yelling out DOVE in triumph
Len shivers at first. The strokes of the brush tickle and the paint is cold, and laying naked on his tummy like this is a whole new kind of vulnerability. Jim is straddling the backs of his thighs and the weight should feel reassuring, but to be honest he feels a little bit like a trapped animal.
Jim’s eyes on him feel different; he’s still gazing at him like a lover, but now there’s this assessment underneath (or perhaps it has always been there and Len just hadn’t noticed). Len feels like he’s being sized up; he’s being splayed open, bare bones and flaws on display. He loves Jim–he really, truly does–but when Jim is looking at him with this unadulterated affection in his eyes, Len has to swallow back the lump in his throat and look away before the butterflies explode out of him.
Another swipe of the paintbrush has a giggle leaving him in a rush; Jim smacks his bare ass, smiles a toothy smile even though Len can’t see, and warns him to behave.
The emotions of the moment are defused further when Len grumbles, “These linens are white–you better not drip any paint on them.”
“They’ll wash,” is all Jim says in reply.
There’s not much talking after that. The only sounds in the room are rustling sheets, soft breaths, and the distant patter of rain on the windows.
Jim has his tongue poking out from between plush, pink lips as he paints across the expanse of Len’s freckle-littered skin. Yellow as bright as a newly bloomed dandelion on a summer morning. Shades of blue, ranging from as deep as a brilliant sapphire to as light as the palest of morning skies. White as pure as snow. Greens that glitter on top of ocean waves. Black as dark as a night sky with no stars. Purples that flit like a hummingbird from flower to flower. Red and orange that burn as bright as fire.
It feels strange, to be under Jim’s hands like this. There’s no reason for it to be any different than when they make love, but it is and Len can’t help but squirm. He feels like he’s under a microscope and it’s uncomfortable.
“Bones,” Jim sighs, exasperated. “Will you stop your movin’?”
“Then quit lookin’ at me like that.”
Len tries to get up and turn around to have this conversation with Jim face-to-face, but Jim pushes him back down. “Like one of those pieces that hangs in a museum to be gawked at.”
An amused sound escapes Jim before he can stop it. “You’re more beautiful than anything hanging in The Louvre. And,” he says, punctuating his words by tapping the thin handle of his paintbrush lightly against Len’s side, “if you think I’d let anyone gawk at you… I’m selfish and you’re mine, Bones, I’m keeping this view all to myself.”
Len flushes at that. He falls silent and allows Jim to concentrate on finishing whatever has been painted on his back.
It only takes a couple of minutes before Jim is bounding away, yelling hold still! over his shoulder as he runs for the camera.
Jim is back just as quick as he had disappeared, landing with an oof! on the bed.
The mechanical clicking lets Len know Jim got a fair amount of pictures from who knows what angles, and he takes initiative and sits up.
Jim just smiles and hands him the digital camera so he can look at the pictures instead of awkwardly maneuvering to see his back in the bathroom mirror.
Len hadn’t had any idea what Jim had been painting, wasn’t even sure what he had expected to see, but it sure wasn’t this. There was no other word for it–on his back stretched the universe. Colorful planets, a swirling galaxy; Jim had even made it look like the stars were really shining.
Len’s breath catches in his throat. “It’s beautiful, Jim.”