My inspiration has been pop songs here lately, apparently. This one was inspired by the P!nk song of the same name. Wrote it in two nights at about 3 in the morning. Unbeta'd, so all mistakes are mine and mine alone. Enjoy.
Jim Kirk didn't do love.
So when he met Leonard Horatio McCoy, whom he quickly renamed Bones, he wasn't expecting to fall in love. Hell, he wasn't expecting anything, really.
It started as a one time thing, meeting up at the bar on occasion, Bones bitching about classes and idiot kids running around campus, Jim listening with an amused expression, eyeing the coeds grinding on the dance floor but not truly seeing them. They'd get hammered (Jim more so than Bones), and then they'd find themselves stumbling into Bones' room (always his, never Jim's), hands ripping at clothing, lips smashing together, until they fell onto the bed, always making Bones chuckle for reasons Jim never really figured out.
The next morning, Bones would always wake up before Jim, and he'd be long gone by the time Jim woke up, head throbbing with a hangover. Every time, he'd find a hangover hypospray on the nightstand next to the bed, with a note in scribbled cursive saying, "Thought you could use this, kid. –Bones"
It worked for them. They still had an easy friendship, the kind that meant Jim could sneak into Bones' dorm whenever he wanted and borrow his clothes, or simply crash there if he didn't feel like dealing with his roommate, and Bones could ream Jim about how careless he was, all while fixing his latest bruises and cuts and broken bones. The kind of friendship that meant they could go without seeing each other for weeks, and the next time they met up, nothing had changed.
Jim liked what they had. So did Bones.
But something was starting to bother Jim. He couldn't put his finger on it, but whenever he saw someone else flirting with Bones-or even rarer, Bones flirting with someone else-he felt…wrong. His stomach dropped, and it felt like an iron vice was squeezing his heart. He'd get irrationally upset whenever the other person dared to touch Bones, and he'd find himself fighting off the urge to break the person's fingers.
It wasn't jealousy that was eating at him. Nope. Not at all. Jim Kirk didn't do jealous.
Just like he didn't do love.
But then things began to change, and he couldn't figure out if he liked it or not. Their drunken one night stands (that really shouldn't be classified as such anymore) became less and less frequent, and when they did happen, Jim found himself drinking less and less, wanting to actually remember the way Bones' skin felt beneath his, the way his lips felt when they brushed over his cheek, his ear, his neck, his chest, his own lips, the way Bones' accent would thicken when he was particularly aroused, sighing out a soft, "oh, darlin'," whenever Jim touched him. He'd catch Bones studying him when he thought he was asleep, and once, he caught a glimpse of his expression, and he nearly ran right then and there.
Bones was looking at him like he loved him.
Jim Kirk didn't do love.
So he did what he always did in situations like this; he ran. He stopped answering Bones' comms, and he slept in his own dorm, earning him a strange look from his roommate, who'd grown used to having the room to himself. He avoided all the bars they went to, and whenever he hurt himself, he'd ask for someone-anyone-other than Doctor McCoy, despite the fact that he was listed as his primary physician and emergency contact. He usually got his way, too, thanks to knowing all the nurses (and having slept with the majority of them), and being a general charmer.
Finally, Bones got tired of chasing after him. His comms stopped, and Jim felt safe returning to their old haunts.
He went back to chasing anything that moved, falling into bed with a different person almost every night. Sleeping alone was beginning to drive him insane.
But none of those bodies felt right next to his. He'd find himself lying awake after sex, staring at the ceiling, wondering what Bones was up to-had he given up on Jim totally, or was he just biding his time? Was he with someone else? Jim had heard rumors about the doctor, had heard that he'd been seen around campus with Gaila, Jim's orion friend.
Eventually, his curiosity got the best of him. Taking a deep breath, Jim punched in the access code to Bones' dorm and stepped inside. He nearly jumped out of his skin when he realized Bones was in his room, sitting at his desk with a glass of whiskey in hand, leaning back in the chair and staring at the glass contemplatively. He looked up whenever Jim walked in, light from the hallway spilling in and making him squint. Who knew how long he'd been sitting in the dark?
Swallowing around the lump in his throat, Jim stuttered out a greeting. Bones simply raised an eyebrow, took a sip from his glass, and stared him down.
Shit. Jim didn't think he could do this. No, this was most definitely a bad idea.
He turned to leave without another word, when the sound of chair legs scraping against the floor stopped him. He didn't need to turn around to know that Bones was standing behind him. Sure enough, strong arms slipped around his shoulders, pulling him in close. He felt Bones' face press into his neck, lips brushing against his skin as he murmured soft curses at Jim for leaving him for so long.
It was when Bones growled at him for being an idiot that Jim found the will to move, lifting his hands to cover Bones' tentatively, unsure of where things would go from here. The only thing he could say for sure was that this? It felt right.
So he wasn't surprised in the least when he was twirled around, nor did it startle him when he felt Bones' lips against his. He didn't fight or protest at all, simply relaxed against him and kissed back, the vice around his heart releasing its grip at last.
But it wasn't love Jim was feeling.
Because Jim Kirk didn't do love.
No, it was some other unidentifiable emotion, one that made his heart soar with happiness and his body tingle all the way down to his toes. Some nameless emotion that made his body flood with warmth every time Bones touched him, made him grin like an idiot when they fell into the bed and Bones chuckled at him like he always did.
It was an emotion that gripped his entire body when they were finished, lying together in bed, Bones' arm thrown around Jim's waist, as if to keep him there. As they exchanged lazy kisses, it made Jim's heart constrict in his chest and his eyes being to water.
He held the tears at bay (because he really had no reason to cry), and cracked a joke whenever Bones made a comment about missing him. He felt horrible about it, but he couldn't help himself. He didn't need Bones thinking he was falling in love with him.
Because he wasn't.
He just missed him a lot. Bones was his only really close friend, so of course he'd be lonely without him. That's all this was. Loneliness. So when Bones wrapped himself around Jim, his arm flung tightly around his waist, as if to hold him there, it didn't make Jim panic or feel like running away. It made him feel warm inside, and secure. Because he was lonely. That was it.
In the morning, when he usually awoke alone, he found Bones still lying in bed with him, arm still wrapped securely around his waist. He was sleeping soundly, a peaceful expression on his face. Jim found himself both wanting to leave and wanting to stay there for the rest of the day. Before he could make up his mind, Bones stirred and smiled at him.
That morning was the start of…whatever they had. Whatever it was, it meant they didn't see anyone else, and ate their meals together whenever they could, and every night, Jim found himself in Bones' bed. Some mornings they'd shower together, and others, they'd linger in bed until the last second possible, rushing to get dressed and race to their classes, Bones grumbling at Jim for making him late, Jim snarking back about Bones being an old man.
It was an easy relationship, and they were both happy with it.
Until something started to bother Jim. He'd find himself waking up in the middle of the night, that vice-like feeling returning to his chest. The feeling was always accompanied by a vague sense of dread, and the image of Bones walking away from him. Those nights, he'd curl up in a ball, pressing as close as he could and wrapping his arm tightly around Bones' waist, as if to keep him there.
He'd find Bones staring at him sadly, almost as if he knew how much Jim was fighting against his feelings, as if he wanted to say something but was holding himself back. And that? That scared the ever loving shit out of him.
So it came as no surprise that when Bones finally said it, the words spilling out of his mouth almost without control or thought, Jim did what he does best yet again: He ran. Not right away, no. He smiled sweetly at Bones, pulling him in close and murmuring "me too." But the words were hollow, and Bones knew it too; that's why his kiss lacked its usual passion, and his touch was distant.
The next morning, Jim was gone long before Bones woke up.
He left for a month this time, miserable beyond belief; he didn't know what this was, this emotion that was eating him up from the inside was. It couldn't be love.
Because Jim Kirk didn't do love.
Or did he?
When the month ended, Jim realized he couldn't do it. He couldn't keep going on without Bones. He wasn't just lonely; he was incomplete. He'd live, all right; but he'd be miserable.
So it came as no surprise that he unconsciously found his way to Bones' dorm that night, punching in the code and walking in like he used to do. He didn't find Bones there this time. He was probably still at work in the clinic, or off studying for an exam.
Jim waited for him. He waited so long, in fact, he fell asleep on Bones' bed, one pillow clutched to his chest as he slept. It was Bones' growly voice that woke him up, the one that told him Bones was surprised, and not in the pleasant way.
This time, he didn't know what to say. It wasn't until Bones snarled at him, threatening to throw him out if he couldn't give a reason for being there.
The words came tumbling out, one right after the other, explaining why he'd run, how he felt, and begging for Bones to take him back, to make things official. Bones remained silent through the whole spiel, eyeing Jim suspiciously.
When he was done, Jim had to clutch the edge of the bed to keep himself from getting up and making a run for it. He'd never been this open with anyone, and now that he had? He wasn't so sure he liked feeling so vulnerable.
It wasn't until Bones finally broke down, opening his arms and pulling Jim in for a tight hug that he allowed himself to relax, to stop trying to run away from everything. His next words were whispered, those three words that he'd been fighting against so long.
Jim Kirk didn't do love.
Unless it was Bones. Bones would always be the exception to the rule for Jim. Always.
The next morning, when Jim woke up to find Bones gone, he almost had a panic attack. He felt his heart sink and his eyes begin to water involuntarily, until he heard the shower shut off in the bathroom.
And then he was faced with a partially clothed Bones, one who was smiling warmly at him and climbing onto the bed to straddle him and kiss him softly, murmuring those words against his lips. This time? Jim didn't run and didn't panic. Instead, he felt himself smiling against Bones' lips, murmuring a soft, "I love you, too," into his mouth before kissing him again.
Jim Kirk didn't do love.
But he could make an exception for Bones.