The touch is firm but fumbling, not how it used to be but commonplace by now. Fingers snake over his charcoal uniform, reaching from behind and grabbing tightly at Leonard's sides to make sure he doesn't move as he steps closer. Leonard just stands still, letting the man behind him search and connect with him.
Jim has always been a tactile person, always touching, always probing, always reaching out. It's just how Jim is, even from their first round at the Academy. Still, it's soared to new levels and, though, Leonard understands it, these moments where he has to stand so still while Jim comes to him are a stab to his heart.
Jim is pressed against his back now, warm and solid like no sun-soaked rock could ever be. His lips land bump against Leonard's uniform first, and Jim lets out an irritated huff that ghosts wetly across the doctor's skin, but then Jim's plush, slightly chapped lips meet his skin and the tension lets out of his body, even though his fingers tighten where they're come to rest on Leonard's hips.
"I'm never leaving this spot right here again," he whispers raggedly, nuzzling his nose behind the doctor's ear, making him shudder. His hand slides under Leonard's charcoal jacket, and for the first time since Leonard came home, since Jim came carefully towards him, still mindful of the furniture, Leonard feels Jim smile. "You're wearing your Ol' Miss t-shirt."
It's one of the few of his shirts—uniforms excluded—that Jim can recognize by feel alone.
Leonard stands still for a few more seconds as one of Jim's hands wanders up, looking for the zip to the doctor's jacket. However, after a few painful seconds, at one point feeling like Jim was trying to choke him instead of devest him of his overcoat, he brings his hand up to cover Jim's. The once-captain makes a frustrated noise at the back of his throat, but lets Leonard guide him the few centemeters over to the zip.
"I'll get it one day," Jim says, more frustrated than light, though he does make a valiant effort. He unzips the garment and Leonard lets him take it and throw it off in the direction of the couch.
It misses and Leonard will have to pick it up later so that Jim doesn't trip over it, but his general aim for objects he can't see has improved considerably.
"Don't stress about it. You're still getting used to this."
His tone is stressed, even to his own ears. He doesn't want Jim to get used to this. He shouldn't have to get used to this. He shouldn't have to need Leonard to stand so still, and he shouldn't have to work at finding a zip, or making a jacket land on the couch. Leonard should be able to fix this, but he can't. He can't and it tears at him as Jim strokes at the fabric of his Ol' Miss shirt.
Jim whooshes out a deep breath, his head landing on Leonard's shoulder with a little less grace than it used to. "Yeah, I know. It'll come to me eventually."
The words are slightly dejected, working what would usually be an upbeat statement into a punishment.
Leonard turns in Jim's grasp, upsetting the newly annointed admiral's—youngest one in history yet again at the ripe age of thirty-two—resting place on him. Jim looks up, his eyes still unbelievable blue despite the fact that his pupils have slowly taken on a milky film. When Leonard cups his jaw, there's a slight start, but not much. Jim can still sense him, even if he isn't always sure what Leonard is doing.
Leonard opens his mouth, but Jim cuts him off with an impatient flap of his hand.
"You think too loud, Bones," he says with a fondness…a sadness he only ever reveals in the confines of their apartment. "It wasn't your fault. We knew there was a chance of this back when we were taking classes instead of teaching them. We knew if my vision worsened there would be no way to reverse it."
"Never predicted you'd go blind, though," Bones grouses, resting his forehead to Jim's. "Shoulda seen this comin'. Maybe I coulda…"
"There wasn't anything you could've done," he intercepts. "I'm allergic to the only vision correcting medicine in the universe."
"Shut up…" Jim says pressing his lips to Leonard's, firmly putting an end to their conversation. His hands wander under the t-shirt—the one that Leonard may have dressed in to make Jim's day a little brighter. There's a smile creeping over Jim's lips when the doctor pulls him closer. This is something they're still good at. They're at the same playing field because even when Jim could still see they still stumbled and tripped over themselves.
"Don't worry about it, Bones," Jim tells him later in the night, as his fingers trail over Leonard's bare chest, mapping, relearning, no longer just a quirk of his personality, but something that he needs. Leonard rolls his eyes, the thought of 'that's likely' roaming over his mind until Jim continues, pressing his head carefully closer to rest on top of Leonard's head.
"I can still see you."