Pairing: James T. Kirk/Leonard H. “Bones” McCoy
Feedback: Makes me happy, just play nice
Disclaimer(s) can be found here
Beta: the absolutely amazing, patient, and obviously insane lanalucy, anything left is me ignoring her sage advice, or just being grammatically cantankerous. :P
Summary: Jim couldn’t believe it, if someone had told him three months ago, when he’d first broached the idea of the trip to his best-friend, that dragging him three thousand miles cross-country and a few hundred more down the Eastern Seaboard would have resulted in more smiles than he’d witnessed in the entire time they’d known each other, he would’ve either laughed in their faces or possibly orchestrated some ship-wide emergency that required them to return to Earth right then just so he could test the hypothesis.
AN1: It’s not my fault, I swear… it’s theirs!!!
Or to be more precise:
weepingnaiad for the one that started it all
and the one that fed the fire
josephineja for the one where I gave up and started writing in earnest
and the one that gave me an excuse to get Bones naked
the_dala for the one of Chris that really did not help :P~
and the one of Karl that just fueled the damn flames even hotter.
FYI jim_and_bones is a locked comm.
AN2: Okay, so anybody who knows me knows I get downright obsessive over details, like unhealthily so, to the point Arthur has to threaten me to get me to step back and see reason- case in point, I can tell you the exact route including driving distances and exit numbers that the boys take in this fic. I’m also a looooong time trekker, who swore she’d never ship TOS, so when finally giving up and succumbing to the call of AOS Kirk/McCoy I take getting my details right even more seriously- no crossing the streams any more than they already are. Which brings me the reason for this AN… the histories of AOS and TOS Bones are totally fubared imo, and that’s without even trying to take fanon theories into consideration. The simple fact that they both give multiple answers to things makes my world very confusing (Seriously, it’s like trying to keep track of Watson’s wives and bullet wounds!!! Actually, that’s easier.), but anyway, it is a testament to Arthur’s great and far reaching powers that I have thrown caution to the wind and just gone with it, so please forgive anything that doesn’t comply with AOS canon.
AN3: Copperhills, TN and the Burra Burra mining operation are real. And I am well aware that in 200 some odd years the destruction caused from the mining operations would be mostly healed, but damn-it there’s a reason the gods invented poetic license.
Also, for anyone interested this is the car.
AN4: I am not even slightly sorry for using that one phrase- trust me, you’ll know which one.
AN5: Huge thank yous to both mialoco *hugs* for reading over this and encouraging me and to nickygabriel for both running this and generally being supportive.
AN6: Totally unrelated to the fic in any way, shape, or form- why is it that every time I hear/read the term “emotionally compromised Vulcan” I automatically hear Lance Guest talking about being killed a million miles from Earth with “a gung-ho iguana”?
monkiainen created this lovely playlist as part of the journeystory bang/challenge.
~This is the long coming (or posting) of the first part of the New Memories series, and ‘prequel’ to New Beginnings.
Jim couldn’t believe it, if someone had told him three months ago, when he’d first broached the idea of the trip to his best-friend, that dragging him three thousand miles cross-country and a few hundred more down the Eastern Seaboard would have resulted in more smiles than he’d witnessed in the entire time they’d known each other, he would’ve either laughed in their faces or possibly orchestrated some ship-wide emergency that required them to return to Earth right then just so he could test the hypothesis.
As it was, he’d merely waltzed into Medbay one day, sat on the edge of Bones’ desk, and told him they were taking a road trip when they docked for the Enterprise’s refitting. And Bones, being accustomed to Jim’s odd declarations, set down his PADD- inventory could wait while he sorted Jim’s latest escapade and how much trouble they would get in because of it- and raised his eyebrow in question.
“C’mon, Bones. It’ll be fun. You and me cross-country. We can do it first thing when we get back, it shouldn’t take more than a week, and I know you’re looking forward to seeing your mom, so you could drop me in Atlanta or anywhere really, and go see her. At least you wouldn’t be taking a shuttle,” Jim had wheedled. He hadn’t known why it was so important to him that he spend some quality time with Bones, but it was. He needed it as much as anything.
“Would it matter if I said no?”
Jim had shaken his head. “No, not really.” He jumped off the desk, smiling as if he’d just been given command of the Enterprise, and really that should’ve given him a clue right then, but it didn’t. Instead, he winked at his friend, saying, “Trust me, Bones, you’re gonna love it.”
The look on Bones’ face when they arrived at the office to pick up the car Jim had rented- an actual car, a refurbished and upgraded, deep royal blue 1969 Mercury Cougar convertible- was priceless. Jim had to spend an inordinate amount of time going over all of the features and upgrades before the good doctor declared that it was probably not death on wheels.
The first two days passed quietly enough, both Jim and Bones enjoying the feel of the wind in their faces and the light sting of raindrops that tried to patter down from time to time, content to talk about nothing, listening to what Jim declared ‘road trip’ music, which was actually just fine with Bones- and if Jim noticed the way Bones’ lips moved along with the words, he just kept it to himself with a mental fist pump.
On the fourth day, farmland began to replace rocky foothills as they entered what had once been known as America’s Bread Basket.
Jim had gotten quieter and quieter as they drove through never-ending fields of corn and grain. He knew he’d reacted, but he’d thought he hid it well. This was supposed to be their vacation, more importantly, Bones’ vacation; Jim wanted to give Bones a chance to relax and just enjoy before going home and dealing with the memories Jim knew were still so raw. He knew Bones was excited to see his mom and spend the next three weeks with her, but he knew how it was to have truly good experiences tainted by memories of harsh, painful ones- he was reminded of that every year.
Unfortunately for Jim, he was on this little adventure with his best- over-observant- friend.
They were just outside the urban sprawl of St. Louis, when Bones finally told Jim to pull over. “Get out,” he’d instructed, sliding into the driver’s seat once Jim had vacated it. “Get in.”
“You know, Bones, if you wanted to drive all you had to do was ask.”
“Humph. The day you willingly give up control, pfft, doubt such a day even exists.”
Jim sat back and smiled at the barb; it felt good, comfortable.
For the next hundred and fifty miles or so, they drove in silence, Bones eyeing the road, the scenery, and Jim; until finally he spoke up, “So are you gonna tell me or do I have to drag it out of you?”
“Hmm?” Jim answered distractedly.
Bones snickered and shook his head. “Somethin’s botherin’ you. Out with it.”
“It’s nothing, Bones.”
“Yeah, nothin'. Like that big ball of fire in the sky’s nothing,” he’d grumbled.
Jim hadn’t answered. There was nothing for him to answer. These farmlands were where his roots were, or should’ve been, and as much as he’d wanted to get out, get away, he’d always thought for good or ill these were the lands he’d call home. But they weren’t, if anything they made him feel ill, like his skin was too tight and the air too stagnant and the sun burned, not the gentle heat, but fiery lapping burns and he just wanted to get away fast.
“Jim? Jim?” Bones’ concerned voice had broken through and Jim realized he was gasping for air.
“Fine. I’m fine, Bones,” he’d said with a hand on his chest as he tried to force himself to take deep breaths.
“Sure, ‘fine’,” Bones muttered. “We’re gonna have a talk about the finer points of the English language one of these days.”
“Bones,” he was hard pressed to know if it was exasperation or resignation in his voice. He sighed coming to what was an inevitable decision- not like he could ever keep something from Bones for long. “I just don’t want to be here. I mean, I don’t mean.” He stopped for a breath, it wasn’t like him to get so flustered, especially with Bones. “I want to be here with you. I just don’t want to be here.” Jim huffed, realizing how ridiculous he sounded. The hand on his thigh surprised him.
“Jim, I know what it’s like to get blindsided by memories.” Bones gave him a small, sad, understanding smile. “You don’t have to explain more than that.”
Jim chuckled. Of course Bones would understand. Leaning his head back on the headrest, he closed his eyes and tried not to think. He’d dozed off like that with Bones’ hand gently resting on his thigh.
“C’mon, Sleeping Beauty, time to wake up,” Bones’ gravelly voice told him.
Jim groaned, turning his head towards the familiar voice. “Sleeping Beauty got a kiss to wake her up,” Jim pointed out, eyes resolutely closed.
Bones grunted. “I sure as Hell ain’t anybody’s Prince Charming.”
Jim’s eyes popped open at that. Jim hated, absolutely hated that Bones felt that way about himself, when it was patently untrue. “You’d be mine,” he said- some defiant gut reaction.
Bones just snickered and opened the car door. “Get out here, before I pull you out.”
“All right, I’m getting, I’m getting. Anyone ever told you your bedside manner sucks?” he teased as he stood and stretched.
Bones let his arched eyebrow speak for him.
“Where are we?” Jim asked after taking in his surroundings. He noted the rocky soil and a small path that led off into a dense copse of trees.
“I want to show you somethin’,” was Bones’ cryptic reply.
Jim just shook his head and chuckled; it felt good to see this playful side of his friend. He only wished it came out more. “How long was I asleep?”
“Bones, it’s pitch black out; you must’ve been driving all night. Why did you let me sleep? Come to that, why didn’t we stop someplace?”
Bones stopped and folded his hands across his chest. “Jim, just shut up and come with me.”
“Yes, sir, Captain, sir,” he said with a snicker.
Shaking his head and rolling his eyes skyward, Bones turned his back and headed down the darkened path.
“Bones? Bones, hold up. I can barely see a thing.” As if to prove his point he slammed right into his friend’s chest.
“God, you’re loud,” he grumbled without any heat. He cocked his head to the right. “It’s this way.”
A few yards later they came out into a small clearing- a short cliff with three worn boulders that could’ve, and probably had been at some time, been used as seats. To Jim it looked remarkably like a ‘lover’s lane,’ though it was obviously no longer used as one.
“Sit,” Bones commanded, nodding at a wide boulder.
Once Jim was seated, Bones sat next to him. “The thing about memories, Jim, you can always make new ones.”
As if on cue, the air rent with the tingle of ozone and electricity as lightning strikes lit up the world around them.
Jim sat in awe as the lightning danced along the ground. Back in Iowa, he’d seen lightning dance before his eyes, but never in these playful white and blue stick figures that ran a gauntlet of emotions over reddened earth. In Iowa the lightning was stiff, solitary, unless it brought with it wind funnels; those, those he had seen dance and meld like lovers on the dirt landscape.
“Last time I was here was with Pam. Before we were married, when things were good.” He laid his hand on Jim’s shoulder and whispered, “New memories.”
Jim closed his eyes and wondered if he was understanding Bones right. If he was and if he accepted, it would change things. Then again, ‘new memories,’ maybe he was ready for a change. “Bones,” he whispered, quietly edging closer to him and sliding a hand passively around Bones’ lower thigh.
Jim felt it when Bones let out the breath he’d been holding then moved his hand to wrap his arm around Jim’s shoulders. They sat like that for an hour or more watching as dawn crept in, highlighting the scarred landscape.
“So,” Bones’ voice was rougher than usual and he stopped to clear his throat before continuing, “where do we go from here?”
Jim straightened; Bones’ arm sliding from his shoulders, but Jim just smiled, his ice blue eyes sparkling like sunlight playing on water. “Anywhere we want,” he said, leaning in for a kiss. It was soft and gentle, the kind of kiss Jim avoided and never even thought of initiating, but it felt right- a fragile kiss for a fragile beginning. He needed to let Bones know how seriously he took this.
It seemed to work, judging by the smile on Bones’ face when they pulled apart. Jim only had a moment to relish it before Bones was closing the meagre distance to capture his lips once again. His mouth demanded control, which Jim willingly surrendered. This was a kiss that spoke of declarations, of assurance, and of refusal to let go.
“Mm,” Bones virtually purred against Jim’s lips. “We should head back; this place can be brutal when the sun’s in full swing.”
“Whatever you say, Doctor,” Jim chuckled, earning him a patented McCoy eye-roll.
When they got back to the car, Jim checked the coordinates logged in the guidance system; he wanted to remember this place. “Christ, Bones, you had to have driven all night.”
Bones shrugged. “It was worth it,” he said simply as he slid into the passenger seat. Closing his eyes, he slouched down, letting his head loll onto the headrest, much as Jim had done hours ago.
“We can get a room here; get some rest before heading out. I was thinking we could head up the Old Blue Ridge Parkway.”
One eye opened with an accompanying arching eyebrow; Jim knew exactly what his friend was thinking and it earned Bones an eye-roll of his own.
“Nah,” Bones said, closing his eyes again, “wanna get outta here.”
“Too many memories?” Jim asked quietly.
That got Bones’ full attention; he sat up straighter and pulled Jim into a searing kiss. Panting, “No. I’d just rather not wake up to that view,” he said, indicating the mostly barren copper-coloured earth around him.
Jim laughed outright at that. He pulled up the map on the guidance system, tapped a couple keys, and gave himself a definitive nod. “I know just the place,” he smiled impishly. “Get some sleep. I’ll wake you up in a couple hours for a real bed.”
“Aye, aye, Captain.” Bones smirked as he settled back down in the seat and was out in a matter of minutes.
A little over three hours later, Jim was leaning over Bones gently shaking him awake.
Bones’ eyes popped open instantly- it was something Jim had almost envied at the Academy, Bones’ ability to be awake and fully alert virtually instantaneously, but in the years since being made Captain, Jim had developed a similar ability, though he doubted he could ever reach Bones’ level of skill.
“Where are we?” Bones’ voice, made more gravelly with sleep, asked.
“Cherokee, North Carolina. I thought it would be a good place to stop for the night.”
Bones looked up at the sky. “Jim, do I need to point out to you, of all people, that it’s still morning?”
Jim ignored him, grabbing their duffels from the back. “C’mon, our room’s this way.”
When Bones caught up to him, Jim was fiddling with an old fashioned doorknob.
“Keys, how rustic,” Bones commented dryly, peering over Jim’s shoulder, watching as he worked the latch with amusement.
It took Jim a moment to fit the key in the lock and get the door open. Once he wrestled it open, he extended his hand entreatingly. “Age before beauty.”
“No, women and children first, Jim.”
Jim smirked, but entered the room all the same. He tossed their bags on the nearest bed and flopped down on the other.
He heard a deep rumbling chuckle from the door and raised his head to look at Bones. “What?”
Bones merely chuckled again and came to sit across from Jim on the bed. “You’re impossible.”
“It’s part of my charm,” he smirked back. After a short moment his brow furrowed and he looked up at Bones. “But seriously, what did I do?”
“Nothin’.” He propped up on an elbow so he could hover over Jim’s face. “Jus’ you bein’ you,” his accent was getting thicker, and he caressed Jim’s cheek with his knuckles then closed the distance and kissed him.
Within minutes they were stretched out against each other, hands under shirts, kissing lazily.
“You know this isn’t why I stopped,” Jim breathed out between kisses.
“You complaining?” Bones asked, eyebrow incredulously raised.
Jim rolled his eyes and tugged on Bones’ hair to capture his lips in answer.
That night, after a day of kissing, sleeping, and eating, as they lay facing each other, Jim asked, “How long?”
Bones huffed. “Can’t remember not; though I don’t think I knew that’s what it was ‘til later. Still couldn’t tell you when that was.” He gave a small quirky smile. “You?”
Jim knew he must be blushing. “A month,” he admitted with a self-depreciating laugh.
Bones’ brow furrowed.
Tracing the furrow, gently smoothing it out, he continued, “It took a whole month before I knew I couldn’t live without you. I just didn’t know how to deal with it. You were just out of the divorce and you never seemed interested in anyone, let alone the guy who slept his way through half the Academy.”
“It wasn’t half,” Bones corrected, “a third, maybe.”
“You’re an ass, you know that?” Jim smiled as he chided.
“Oh, don’t act so surprised; not like we’ve just met.”
“No,” Jim agreed softly, moving in for a slow kiss. A yawn cut the kiss short.
“That’d be our cue to get some sleep.”
“It’s still early,” Jim countered.
“A bit. But if we sleep now, we can get started earlier.”
“Catch another sunrise.” Jim knew he was being a sap, but he couldn’t help it; he’d gone almost six years without this, he was going to enjoy it.
“If you want to.” Bones gave him a quick kiss. “Sleep. It’s been a long day.”
“Yes, Doctor,” Jim said through another yawn.
Jim woke up slowly with a leg wrapped around his and an arm slung across his chest. Next to him Bones was sleeping peacefully. Rolling onto his side trapping Bones’ leg between his own, Jim watched his friend- lover?- sleep. The hard lines around Bones’ mouth slackened and smoothed out during sleep still faintly there leaving Bones his classically chiseled look.
“Stop starin’,” Bones grumbled half-heartedly into his pillow.
Jim pretended to think about it. “I don’t think so; I like what I’m seeing too much.”
Bones groaned. “Shoulda known you’d be a sentimental bastard.”
Jim let out a small snort. “So says the man who drove all night to take me to see a lightning storm at dawn.”
“I’m from the South, it’s expected,” he countered, turning from his pillow to smile mischievously at Jim. “What time is it?”
“A little after 0800. Thought we could ‘rustle up some gr-uub’,” he said in a truly hideous fake Southern accent, “and head out.”
“Jim, you might be my best-friend and I might love you, but leave the accent to the Georgia boy.”
Rolling his eyes, Jim told him, “Fine. Fine. I’ll leave the sweet talk to you.”
“Good. Now that that’s settled, rustling up some grub,” Bones mimicked with a smooth roll of his tongue making the words sound sweet and not at all hick, “sounds like a fine idea.”
“Great.” Jim carefully untangled himself from Bones. “Dibs on the shower!” he called, half hoping Bones would follow him, but not expecting it. The bathroom, like everything else at the inn, was as Bones had called it ‘rustic.’ Old fashioned, circa twentieth century, it fit the mood of their trip perfectly. He’d only been in the shower a few minutes- fiddling with the knobs to get the temperature right proved a not insurmountable challenge- when he heard the door open and someone enter. Jim wasn’t going to push anything. He was happy to let Bones set the pace, for now. He heard the familiar sounds of someone going through their morning routine- brushing teeth, shaving… Jim had a fraction of a second before the toilet flushed and his shower abruptly went from comfortably warm to arctic levels of cold. He screamed, there was no two ways about it. “Jesus Christ, Bones!”
“Oops, guess I forgot,” he drawled without the slightest hint of remorse.
“You bastard. Just you wait. Revenge is sweet.”
“Not as sweet as hearing the great James T. Kirk scream. Now get a move on; some of us want breakfast before noon.”
Jim quickly finished his shower, grumbling about obstinate Southern doctors with passive-aggressive tendencies, then groaning at himself for how much it turned him on. Leaning his forehead against the antique piping, he silently wished for another shocking blast of freezing water.
Breakfast turned out to be an event in itself. Bones, usually so staunch in his and, whenever possible, Jim’s eating habits, surrounded them with stacks of thick buttermilk pancakes, flaky biscuits with dollops of fresh butter melting in rivulets across them, sage and maple sausage patties, crisp bacon, and scrambled eggs with jars of strawberry and apricot preserves, bottles of maple syrup, and dark thick molasses covering their table. Bones’ eyes glittered. “Dig in.”
Hesitantly, Jim picked up the bottle of molasses and stared as the spoon slowly tilted and sank to the bottom- he was sure the entire process took a good five minutes.
“Jesus, Jim, it won’t bite. It’s just molasses for cryin’ out loud.”
“Should take some back to Scotty to use as sealant,” Jim noted as he pried the spoon free.
Rolling his eyes, Bones plucked the spoon from Jim’s hand with a muttered, “Infant,” and dribbled some of the rich cane syrup on the side of his plate. “Eat,” he insisted. “Doctor’s orders.”
Jim snorted. “I want this recorded for posterity. Leonard McCoy encouraging me to eat a greasy, rich, unhealthy breakfast.”
“Don’t push it, Jim,” Bones grumbled.
“Sorry,” he said, meaning it. “I’m just not used to this side of you.”
“Hmph, don’t get used to it.”
Jim smiled as he picked up a much more welcoming pot of warm maple syrup; he had a feeling he’d be seeing more of this Bones and not just on this shore leave.
The Great Smoky Mountains rolled in deep green curves to the west; to the north four hundred and sixty-nine miles of parkway traversed the Blue Ridge itself.
Jim was silently awed by the sight; for all his world-wise ways he’d never really made it out of the Midwest.
“Beautiful isn’t it?” Bones said quietly.
“It is,” Jim whispered.
“There should be a spot to pull over in a couple miles. Stop; we got time.”
Jim nodded and turned off at the small overlook.
Making sure the car was in park, Bones reached over and shut the engine off before climbing out. “You comin’ or you plannin’ on sittin’ there like a lump on a log?” he tossed over his shoulder in his gruff tones as he climbed up onto the shale rock wall providing a semblance of protection from the rocky slope on the other side.
Jim scrambled out of the car and up to sit next to Bones on the manmade ledge. Bones was looking out over the green landscape with a look of serenity that Jim seldom saw; that one look alone was worth the entire trip.
“You know, Jim, the view’s that way,” Bones said, waving a hand towards the tree-covered hills, never looking at Jim.
“Trust me, Bones; you don’t know what you’re missing.”
Bones snorted. “There ya go again.”
“What? After how many years of sneaking, of ignoring, you really think I’m not going to admire you whenever I have the chance?”
Shaking his head, Bones muttered, “I’ve created a monster.”
Jim swung his long legs over the far side of the wall as he sidled up to Bones, thighs and shoulders pressing together. “Dr. Frankenstein,” he snickered, earning him a rumbling chuckle.
“We should probably get going,” Jim said after a while, not that he really wanted to go, but there was a lot of road and other places to stop and watch the scenery and Bones.
“Yeah,” Bones drawled, stretching the word into three long syllables. “Pro’bly right.” He tore himself away from the view and the feel of Jim pressed next to him. “I’m drivin’.”
Jim just chuckled and tossed him the keys. He was far from arguing, Bones, like him, loved to drive and it showed. And if Bones was driving it meant Jim could indulge in his new favourite hobby- openly ogling Bones.
The drive was peaceful; while sometimes it was nothing but rolling hills and mountaintops, other times they were surrounded by forest, thick trees on either side of them, branches reaching out to each other across the road, twining in and around themselves once they touched. Jim had the entirely too sappy- and not at all befitting James T. Kirk, Captain of the Federation’s Flagship- thought that he and Bones were like those trees, spending years reaching towards each other. He let out a derisive humph at his disturbingly romantic notions.
“What?” Bones asked.
“Nothing, man, just my mind wandering.”
Chuckling lightly, Bones smiled. “Yeah, this place does that.”
With a smirk Jim stretched out so that his head fell back against the seat and his booted feet, legs crossed at the ankles, rested on the doorframe, and settled in to watch the scenery and let his mind wander. He was busy watching the sky through the trees’ entwined branches and almost missed when Bones turned off the road. Jim turned to Bones in hopes of an explanation, but the good doctor was intently scanning the woods around them as if looking for something. Jim’s suspicion was confirmed moments later, when Bones let out a triumphant humph and pulled off to the side of the… ‘road’ would be generous, abandoned horse trail felt more accurate.
Without a word Bones got out of the car and headed into the woods.
Jim’s eyes quizzically followed Bones into the forest. Minutes passed and Bones didn’t re-emerge. Jim knew it was bordering on ridiculous to be worried about Bones of all people wandering around the Appalachias; still, knowing and knowing were two drastically different things. He made it another six minutes, not that he was counting, before hopping out of the car and following the path of disturbed foliage left by his friend.
He stopped short when he reached Bones. Any snarky remark he might’ve made died before reaching his lips.
Bones was crouched down on the balls of his feet at the edge of a quietly babbling creek.
As Jim watched, words began floating, broken and sporadic, to his ears; “should’ve” “didn’t know” “deserve” “fucked up” and “Jim” filtered to him. It didn’t take a genius to know who Bones was talking to. As quietly as possible with the dry undergrowth, Jim sat down behind Bones, one leg bent close, the other stretched out by Bones’ side.
Jim didn’t say a word, but Bones automatically moved from his crouch to set between Jim’s legs.
Jim let his arms fall loosely at Bones’ waist, just a comforting touch. “He used to bring you here,” Jim said as if he was stating the obvious.
“Yeah,” Bones sighed, looking out over the small stream. “I hadn’t thought about this place in years. Saw the turnoff and I had to.”
“Bones, remember what you said about not needing to explain?” he asked, brushing a kiss to Bones’ temple. “It goes both ways.”
Bones huffed, but laid a hand over one of Jim’s.
Smiling, Jim laced their fingers together. “This place is beautiful.”
“Mmm. When my first girlfriend and I broke up, Dad brought me up here. Told me all those things parents are supposed to tell their kids. We stayed up here for three days. By the time we left, well, the world seemed brighter. I remember we were all packed up, ready to leave, and he told me this place was as much mine as his now and when I found someone to share it with to hold on tight.” With those last words he squeezed Jim’s hand.
Jim sat happily, Bones half resting against him, until the humid southern air gave way to the chill of night in the mountains. He nuzzled into Bones’ neck, tightening his loose hold on his lover.
Bones turned his head, silently encouraging their foreheads to touch. “Jim,” he all but breathed.
“I know,” Jim answered. He didn’t need the words; he’d known Bones too long not to understand the things he didn’t say or do just as well as the things he did.
Bones gave Jim’s hand another hard squeeze then moved to stand. “C’mon, kid, let’s get back on the road ‘fore you catch your death. Just my luck to have you go off and die of pneumonia on me.”
“Bones,” he took the hand the older man offered, “don’t ever change.”
Bones grunted. “Lynchburg’s a couple hours away, thought we could stop there and head back down the coast tomorrow.”
Jim nodded. As Bones turned to walk away, Jim tugged on his wrist, pulling him back so he could kiss him.
“Mmm, that’s better; should hold me until we get to Lynchburg.”
Bones chuckled. “Brat.”
On the American West Coast the coastal roads were often high stretches that ran along rocky cliff faces towering over the blue-grey waters and beaches ranging from white sand to rocky granite. Here on the Eastern Seaboard the beachfront roads were just that. Pale sand that rolled in shallow dunes on either side of the roadways, giving the air a sharp sting as cars and transports roared past stirring up the sand in their wake.
Jim had taken the wheel when they left Lynchburg that morning and they were now well on their way back south towards Savannah. The sun was out, bright above them in the heat of the day, balanced against the smell of the ocean air as cool as the gentle waves it came from.
Next to him, Bones was sprawled- there was no other word for it- across the seat, jeans threadbare and soft, loose-fitting shirt opened just enough to billow in the wind, head tilted back to catch the sun, dark sunglasses that almost matched the black of his hair protecting his eyes.
Jim split his attention between the road and trying not to drool on himself whenever Bones swallowed. Right then, Jim was certain Bones looked more like some perfectly sculpted Adonis than one of the best and most touted doctors in all of Starfleet.
“Eyes on the road, Jim.” Bones’ words coloured with more amusement than admonishment.
“If you weren’t constantly distracting me,” Jim countered.
Raising his head, Bones turned to look at Jim over the top of his sunglasses with a huff. A moment later, his head was once again thrown back soaking up the sun, while the fingers of his left hand sought out the fabric of Jim’s shirt and shoulder beneath it, gently stroking. “Now, pay attention or I’ll take the wheel sooner rather than later.”
“Not helping,” Jim told him, darting an off-centre kiss to Bones’ teasing fingers.
“Mmm,” was Bones’ only reply.
Jim lasted almost an hour under Bones’ ‘innocent’ onslaught before he all but wrenched the car onto a semi-deserted access road. Throwing the car into park with a growl, he turned in his seat to nip and bite at Bones’ fingers. “You,” he said between nips, “are a horrible tease.”
Bones huffed a bitten off chuckle.
In one smooth motion, Jim was straddling Bones’ lap, rolling his hips wantonly. “You,” he repeated into a kiss. “…are…” He pulled back just far enough to give sharp bites to Bones’ lips. “…a horrible…,” he growled. “…tease!” He finished, giving in to a searing kiss.
Hands gripped Jim’s hips as Bones arched up against him. Jim didn’t think he’d ever felt something this good, a feeling that thoroughly deserved the deep moan that escaped through their kisses.
“Jim,” Bones growled, “our first time is not gonna be in a Goddamn car- no matter how Classic or iconic you think it is!”
Jim smirked, continuing to place insistent kisses along Bones’ jaw. “Lots of firsts to be had.”
Grunting, Bones replied, “Yeah, well, this first is gonna be in a bed. At least, a room!” even as his hands moved to squeeze Jim’s ass as he pushed his hips up towards Jim’s.
Nosing at the tender skin behind Bones’ ear, Jim murmured, “Nothing wrong with a good frot.”
“’cept the mess in our jeans,” Bones countered, thrusting against him again.
“We have more clothes in our bags,” Jim answered, tugging gently on Bones’ ear.
With a rumbling growl Bones wrapped an arm around Jim’s waist; his other hand reaching up to grab Jim’s neck, urging their mouths together. “You’re a brat and the last thing I should be doing is encouragin’ you.”
“No,” Jim said between kisses, “the last thing you should be doing is talking so much. Shut up- that’s an order.”
Bones chuckled into the kiss, but obediently let his mouth be occupied with sweeter things than words.
Tybee was a small resort island outside of Savannah. For hundreds of years it had drawn tourists and visitors, many of whom set down roots on the island. Driving onto the island was like entering another era- the hotels, motel, inns, and houses ran the gambit of Colonial, Antebellum, and Postbellum up to mid twenty-first-century Americana. Bones directed the car easily towards the southeastern end of the island. A century ago the U.S. National Park Service had taken purview over the island, halting any intrusive development and rebuilding the more historic portions. Today the area was dotted with lazy inns, cottages, restaurants, and meandering boardwalks that connected them all. Bones pulled into one of the sprawling inns proclaiming ‘Vacancy.’
Jim hopped out of the car, not bothering with pesky things like doors. “I’ll get us checked in,” he called over his shoulder. Behind him he heard Bones chortle and could just see the indulgent look on his face as he shook his head- the image never failed to make Jim smile.
The lobby of the reception building was quintessential for the area; a mix of old and modern with an ample garnishing of Southern comfort. “Hey,” Jim offered the woman behind the desk his best James T. Kirk smile, adding a flirtatious wink when her cheeks flushed a warm pink, “was hoping to check-in.”
“Of course, sir. Ah, number of occupants?”
Jim had to resist the urge to put a hand on her shoulder and tell her to calm down, but somehow he doubted it would help. “Two.”
The girl took a deep breath before continuing. “Two singles or a double?”
She looked over her screen and chewed her lip. “I’m sorry, sir, our only available double is reserved. We have a two bed double,” she added hopefully.
“Don’t mind him, darlin’,” Bones’ smooth timbre rolled like fresh honey as he stepped between Jim and the reception desk. “Reservation. Dr. Leonard McCoy.”
“Of course, sir,” she chirped. “Number nine, corner unit as you requested.”
“Thank you, darlin’,” he purred, taking their access cards.
“If you need anything-” she stopped mid-sentence when Bones gave her a smile and a wink.
Jim stared at Bones as they returned to the car to drive the short distance to their apartment. Once they were seated, Jim couldn’t hold back any longer, “Who are you and what have you done with my Bones?”
The man in question laughed heartily, then leaned across the seat and kissed him.
Sighing contently, Jim smirked. “I guess I shouldn’t get used to this kinder, gentler Bones.”
“That’s what I thought.”
As they pulled out of the parking lot, Bones laid a proprietary hand on Jim’s thigh. Jim would never admit it, but it was one of the most intimate and sensual touches he’d ever felt. There was just something about seeing Bones like this- knowing Bones was letting him see it. Sure he’d gotten glimpses of it before, but that was like seeing a shooting star, whereas this was witnessing a full on meteor shower.
Number nine turned out to be on the far side of the second block of apartments designed to match the image of ‘historical’ Tybee. Inside, it was warm and welcoming, the air regulator leaving the rooms cool and fresh; Jim opened the door onto a wide den area with a large steel grey sofa with shots of dark almost royal blue running through it, a matching love seat and recliner, and an old-style rocking chair with matching cushions, and plush sea grey carpet covering the suite’s floors. Dropping his bag by the sofa, Jim explored the rest of what would be their home for the next three days. The kitchenette and bathroom were coloured in the same calming tones. The bedroom. The bedroom was downright opulent with its burnished oak dressers and matching nightstands. Two wrought iron sconces bracketed the bed, blanketing it in soft faux candlelight. The bed itself was covered in more of that same steel grey; the fluffy comforter and mounds of pillows combined with the ambient lighting to give Jim the feeling he was looking at rolling storm clouds. With a wicked grin he threw himself onto the bed, wallowing in the billowy embrace. “Bones, get in here! This is incredible.”
When Bones finally sauntered into the bedroom, he let out a loud bark of laughter. Jim was flopped out on the bed rolling around like a cat, rubbing his entire body against the covers. “I don’t know if you’re a child or a cat,” he snarked indulgently.
“Reow,” Jim replied, rubbing his face against a puffy pillow that fell from the pile at the head of the bed.
Bones muttered something that might’ve been “infant” before he landed on top of Jim, pinning him to the bed.
Jim’s eyes twinkled as he looked into Bones’ green-hazel eyes as he surged up for a kiss.
Hands worked under shirts, settling on hips and the small of a back. Bones’ hands ran up and down Jim’s sides, lightly playing over his ribs and stroking his hips, while Jim’s hands pressed against his back, giving an extra boost to the friction they both needed, slipping under the waistband of his jeans and brushing the cleft of Bones’ ass.
“You know, we’re on a bed now,” Jim pointed out when Bones let their mouths momentarily separate.
Bones let out a huffed chuckle and smirked. “That we are, darlin’.”
Raising his hand to brush repeatedly through Bones’ dark hair, Jim sobered. “I never wanted our first time to be in a car.”
The lines of Bones’ face and the natural tension in his body seemed to soften further and he rubbed their temples together. “I know,” he whispered. Suddenly, like the flip of a switch, Bones was pushing himself up and away from Jim. “I also know I have a day’s worth of road grit on me- so do you- and I’d like to get it off.” With that he crawled off of Jim and stood.
Jim watched Bones head towards the bathroom, shedding his clothes teasingly as he went. He thumped back on the bed with a huff so loud he almost missed Bones’ next words.
“Are you comin’?”
Jim was up and tearing at his clothes in an instant.