Warnings: slash, Kirk/McCoy

Disclaimer: I own very little and certainly not this.

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas, everywhere you go...

Leonard McCoy growled as he heard the cheery music and did his best to ignore it as he walked quickly to his dorm room from the hospital after his shift. It was late and cold and all he wanted to do was get back to his room without being assaulted by the excessive holiday cheer. But things rarely seemed to go his way as the irritating Christmas carols seemed to follow him wherever he went these days.

McCoy hadn't always been a Grinch around the holidays. In fact, at one point in time, it had been his favorite time of the year. Back when he had a loving wife and a beautiful daughter. Back when he could visit his mom without feeling an overwhelming sense of guilt. Back before he had lost everything that had ever meant anything. But now, the holiday season was tainted by memories that only served to remind him of how much he had messed up.

However, through the taint, there were still a few memories that brought a bitter smile to his face. He could remember Christmas as a child, waking up early in the morning and running into his parents rooms, a small bundle of unconstrained excitement. He could remember the hot chocolate that his mother would make, using some spices to give it a certain taste that he could never replicate, no matter how many times he tried. He could remember Joanna's third Christmas, how her face had lit up when she opened her presents, how her small arms had felt wrapped around his waist. He could still see Jocelyn's smile, could hear her laugh, like tinkling bells.

And this was his first Christmas without his daughter. True, it had been two years since the divorce, but last year he had spent with Joanna in Georgia, and even managed to exchange a few civil words with Jocelyn This year would be the first year that he wouldn't have his daughter, wouldn't be able to see her face light up on Christmas morning, wouldn't be able to hold her. He sighed. 'Tis the season his ass.

At last he made it to the room that he shared with one of the few things that had made the past two years bearable: Jim Kirk. Wonderful, beautiful, arrogant, selfish, insensitive, thoughtful Jim Kirk. A man whose sorrows outnumbered his by tenfold, yet still managed to smile at the world, as if daring it to throw more trials in his path. As if to say, 'go ahead, do it. I can take it and still come out on top'. And he probably could, too.

But Bones (stupid nickname, he should have put an end to it ages ago) knew things about Jim that most others were too blind to notice. He knew that said smile was merely a mask, something to keep people away. He knew that, for all Jim's I-don't-give-a-damn attitude, deep down in his heart of hearts lay a small child that maybe wasn't hugged enough or maybe didn't hear 'I love you' as often as he should have.

So maybe McCoy was fucked up, but it was a selfish joy to realize that Jim was at least as fucked up as he was.

Bones keyed in the code to his room and walked in, only to stop abruptly, gazing around the room in shock. There were Christmas decorations everywhere! A Christmas tree in the corner, tinsel scattered around the room, garland hanging from various places along the walls, even the scent of cinnamon wafting from the kitchen area. And in the center of it all was Jim, a Santa hat on his head as he sang one of those god awful Christmas songs: "Walking in a winter wonderland."

As soon as McCoy entered the room, Jim stopped and turned around, a large smile lighting up his face. "Hey, Bones, what do you think?" Jim asked spreading his arms wide, his Santa hat falling across his face and a sparkle in his bright blue eyes.

Bones looked around one more time, not saying anything, taking in the sheer amount of Christmas decorations. He looked back at Jim, whose smile faltered slightly when McCoy's grumpy expression didn't shift in the slightest. And without saying a word, Leonard spun on his heel and left the room, and Jim, behind him, the door sliding closed with a hiss.

Of all the times for Jim to want to partake in normal traditions, he had to chose now? When Leonard was feeling at his least festive? When all he wanted to do was curl up in bed and sleep until this damned season was over?

He came to a halt and collapsed against the wall, not really having the energy to go anywhere. He sighed. It wasn't Jim's fault that he wasn't in the mood for all of this holiday nonsense. For all he knew, Christmas could be a big deal for the Kirk family, although he somehow doubted it. From what he had managed to piece together about Jim's childhood, his mom hadn't been around much and his stepfather simply hadn't cared. But he still couldn't fault his friend for wanting to get into the holiday spirit. Even if he wanted no part of it.

He sighed again, pushing himself off the wall and stood staring at the door to his room. No, it wasn't Jim's fault. It wasn't fair for him to take out his foul mood on his friend, hell, his best friend. Possibly the best friend he had ever had. Taking a deep breath, Bones keyed in the code for his room and stepped inside again.

Christmas carols still filled the room, but Jim's Santa hat was now lying on his desk as he slowly moved around the room taking down his decorations. It was as if a fist had grabbed hold of his heart and squeezed tight, momentarily rendering him immobile. He had never seen Jim look so defeated, as if someone had given him Christmas and then taken it away.

Oh...wait. He had.

Bones rolled his eyes and cleared his throat, causing Jim to turn around and offer him a weak smile, the telltale sign that his mask was coming back. Bones hadn't seen that mask for months, and he had worked so hard to see Jim, just Jim, as he was meant to be. And he wasn't going to let it come back.

Numerous apologies tried to force their way out of him, but instead he looked toward the Christmas tree in the corner and muttered, "You haven't decorated the tree yet."

Jim followed his gaze and shrugged. "I was waiting for you."

Silence fell between the two men, Bones standing frozen in the doorway, and Jim holding a piece of garland in his hand, a guarded expression on his face, watching to see what he would do next. So Bones forced himself to move towards the tree and looked in the box that was presumably holding the ornaments. He looked back towards Jim, an eyebrow raised.

Jim just looked back at him for a moment, holding his gaze as if trying to decipher what was going on in his head, before allowing a shy smile to spread across his face again. Abandoning the strand of garland, he joined Bones and together they began to pull out colorful orbs to hang them on the tree. They worked in silence, occasionally meeting each other's eyes before bashfully turning away.

This was new, this kind of interaction. And it was nice...kinda endearing.

"Christmas used to be a big affair in my family, before...everything," Jim said all of a sudden, looking at the ornament that he was hanging with sudden interest. "We would wake up early and open the presents, Sam and me, and my mom would make hot chocolate and she'd always read us 'The Night Before Christmas'." A smile flashed across his face and then faded just as quickly. "Of course, that was over ten years ago...and you seemed so...I figured it was time for a good, old fashioned Christmas."

Wonderful, beautiful, arrogant, selfish, insensitive, thoughtful Jim Kirk. That was thing about Jim. He could be the world's biggest ass and then turn around be the best person you could ever hope to know. And Bones couldn't help the small smile that slid over his face in return while his heart seemed to grow three times in size. Goddamn Grinch indeed.

"It looks good, Jim," Bones said after a moment, unsure of how to respond to Jim's confession. Taking a step back from the tree, he caught a whiff of whatever delicacy Jim had hidden in the kitchen. As if reading his mind, Jim shot a smirk at him before disappearing into the kitchen. A moment later, he walked back out, carrying a plate of gingerbread cookies, in the shape of gingerbread men and everything.

"I didn't have time to decorate them," he said pausing in the doorway and setting the plate down on his desk, "but they should still taste alright."

Bones walked over to him to get a better look at them, shooting Jim a look that he hoped conveyed his gratitude. As he got closer to Jim, though, he noticed that the other man seemed nervous and tense, almost as if he was having an internal struggle.

"Jim?" Bones asked tentatively, looking at his friend with concern.

At the sound of his voice, though, he seemed to relax and a lazy grin spread across his pretty pink lips. He glanced up and the grin became more sly, more purposeful. Bones followed his gaze and did his best not to roll his eyes. "Mistletoe," Jim murmured, his voice softer. Before Bones could respond, Jim had leaned forward and pressed his lips to his gently, almost chastely. It took a moment for Bones to accept this as reality and return the kiss, but when he did, he made sure that he gave as good as he got. However, it didn't seem like Jim was too intent to pressure him into something that he might not want, so Bones ended up pushing Jim against the wall, deepening the kiss, caressing and coaxing Jim's lips open. Jim complied easily and Bones didn't hesitate.

It was everything he could have ever hoped for. He tasted of cinnamon and spice and just plain Jim...and possibly a hint of his bourbon. If he hadn't been so invested in his current action, he would have given Jim his 'stop-drinking-my-good-stuff' rant. As it was, it was hard to care about anything else when under the influence of Jim Kirk.

What the hell are we doing? The thought crossed, unsuspectingly across his mind, and it gave him pause. Jim whimpered, bringing his hands up to run through Bones's hair, resting one at the nape of his neck. But the sound brought Bones crashing back to reality, landing with the unpleasant bump known as consequences. Bones managed to push himself away, leaving Jim against the wall, panting, his blue eyes flying open, watching him with a confused expression on his face.

Bones found that he was equally out of breath and took a moment to compose himself which he spent glaring at Jim.

"Dammit Jim!" Bones growled after a moment, finally getting his breathing under control. "You put that there on purpose."

"Did not," Jim countered, pushing off from the wall, inching his way back into Bones's personal space.

"Jim."

"So what if I did?" A familiar smirk slid onto his face, as if it belonged there. But Bones could see the uncertainty behind it and dammit, it made him want to fight the world on his own if only it meant never having to see that look again. And really, consequences be damned. They'd be fine, no matter what. So he leant forward and gave him a quick kiss before pulling back again, a smile playing at the corners of his own lips.

Jim smiled, one of his pure, sweet, genuine smiles that reminded him of how young he really was. In the background, the Christmas carols played softly and Bones found that he wasn't nearly as annoyed with them as he had been earlier. Jim seemed to notice that the music was still on too and sang softly, "The lights are turned way down low, let it snow let it snow let it snow. When we finally kiss goodnight-".

"Shut up, Jim," Bones muttered, and let Jim lean in to kiss him.

Wonderful, beautiful, arrogant, selfish, insensitive, thoughtful Jim Kirk.

"Merry Christmas, Bones," he whispered against his lips, eyes still closed. It was possibly the most beautiful thing he had ever seen.

"Merry Christmas, Jim."

A.N:

I really love Christmas so I figured I'd write a Christmas story! Thanks for reading. I always appreciate feedback and whatnot. It helps me grow as an author and stuff. Haha. Happy holidays.