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Title: Submit, Fight, Fail, Fall (or why you can't fight the blood that's in you)
Author: [livejournal.com profile] akainagi
Rating/Warnings/Spoilers: NC-17 / Spoilers for XI
Fandom/Pairing/Prompt: Star Trek AOS AU, Kirk/McCoy
Disclaimer: Alas, I do not own Star Trek.
Summary: Spawned by Word Wars over at [livejournal.com profile] jim_and_bones. Jim Kirk is an omega with a chip on his shoulder. He's convinced all alphas are assholes. Then he meets one that isn't.
Author's Note: This fic features the alpha/beta/omega trope. For a background on this trope check out the fanlore wiki HERE.



[CHAPTER 18]


Jim walked back to his dorm in a daze, his tread heavy, holding his jacket closed against the cool, damp night air. His mind churned.

”You don‘t trust me.”

The accusation sat like lead in Jim’s stomach. More so because it was true. He hadn’t trusted Bones. Was he even capable of trusting anyone? Or was he only capable of insulating himself, keeping a carefully gauged distance between himself and anyone who might hurt him.

”You think I’ll let you down.”

Jim had told himself that Bones had, in fact, let him down fucking spectacularly. Just like everyone else he had made the mistake of stupidly trusting back in Riverside. He had told himself that Bones’ threat to out him to the Academy was just another in a long line of disappointments.

“Because I don’t want to lose you!”

Was it really that simple? Bones had threatened to out him not because of some sense of disapproval or some overdeveloped dedication to the Hippocratic oath, but because he had been afraid for Jim? Had been trying to protect him?

“I don’t need anyone’s protection.”

He had told Bones that. Had spat it at him like Bones’ friendship was some kind of annoyance, some kind of stone around Jim’s neck.

Jim slowed his forward momentum, his eyes wide, the chill of the winter air forgotten. When had he become such a coward? At what point had he become so wrapped up in the cult of his own victimhood that he lashed out at the only person who cared about him rather than admit any kind of weakness?

He cursed under his breath. He cursed his own cowardice. He cursed Bones for shocking him into this introspective funk. He cursed every asshole in Riverside who gave him the shaft during his first twenty-two years of life. Mostly he cursed his broken ribs. Because there was nothing he’d rather do right now than head to the academy gym and beat the shit out of something. He wasn’t made for indulging in introspective angst. He was more inclined to take out his frustrations with his fists.

Which, come to think of it, was what started this whole clusterfuck of a night to begin with.


[CHAPTER 19]


The room was hazy. Unreal in the manner of things unimportant. The world was condensed to the space around them.

It smelled of sex and sweat and heat. Leonard’s side was comfortably warm where their bodies pressed together. The flesh under his hands was smooth, stretched over the defined musculature of a lean, male form. The sensation was familiar, as it should be. They had lain like this many times before, and would do so many times more. The knowledge created a feeling that was unrepentantly posessive, and Leonard couldn’t help sliding a hand down, following the line of torso and hip and thigh. His mate grumbled tiredly, the submissiveness of his heat replaced by his naturally irreverent personality.

Leonard couldn’t help the smile that broke through as he repeated the motion experimentally. He was rewarded with a repeated grumble and a halfhearted swat at his hand.

“Less pawing, more sleep,” his mate mumbled. Leonard could feel breath wafting over his skin with the words.

Leonard hummed noncommittally.

“Even when you’re dreaming, you’re a contrary bastard,” Jim muttered. “Why don’t you try sleeping?”

It was a useless request, and Jim knew it. It was hard-wired into an alpha to be watchful and protective after the tide of his mate’s heat receded, when an omega was exhausted and vulnerable.

As tempted as Leonard was to tease Jim further, he knew his mate was beyond weary, his energy reserves tapped by the frenetic nature of his own biology. Another smile ghosted across Leonard’s features as he felt Jim’s body again go slack and his breathing slow. Even in Leonard’s watchful state, he felt the warm weight of contentment.

Leonard remained sleepless while dreaming, until he woke like rising through water, his mind grasping for the last disappearing tendrils. And wondering, for some reason, why the space beside him felt so cold.


[CHAPTER 20]


Leonard was the last to arrive at the hangar, to his consternation. He didn’t need to be singled out in this class more than he already was. He had no illusions about his skills behind the helm of a shuttlecraft. He was easily the most inept pilot in the group, grousing long and loud to Jim on a regular basis that he was “a doctor, not a damn helmsman,” so why the hell did he need to learn to pilot one of these flying deathtraps anyway? He had no problems grasping the theory, it was the practice that made his stomach roll, his mind race and his feet positively itch for terra firma.

It had been a strange morning, his sleep last night filled with hazy dreams that he couldn’t quite manage to remember on waking. It had been a strange weekend, in fact, with that surreal encounter with Jim in the infirmary. The last time he had seen the other man, right before Leonard walked away, Jim’s eyes had been filled with shock and confusion. And a tinge of hurt that made something in Leonard’s insides turn hollow.

They were making quite a habit of walking away from each other lately.

Leonard gave in and scanned for Jim amid their small group. He was there, chatting with an attractive female cadet. He appeared animated and none the worse for wear after the weekend’s escapades. The woman beside him began to laugh, causing an answering grin to spread over Jim’s own face. Leonard was momentarily captivated by the sight.

Leonard was pulled out of his study by the barking voice of their instructor, a deceptively bland looking woman with ramrod straight posture and an unforgiving personality that could probably make iron bend to her will. The class quickly fell into military formation.

And because the universe apparently needed to demonstrate the perversity of its sense of humor, today the instructor willed sims with random partner assignments.

Leonard’s gaze immediately settled on Jim out of the corner of his eye. This was not good. He and Jim had gravitated towards each other in class the same way they gravitated to each other outside of it. They had formed a natural piloting pair from the beginning. Jim provided the grounding influence that helped Leonard get through the computer’s endless supply of hazardous simulated scenarios and terror-inducing disasters. Their instructor’s penchant for pulling random partnerships most certainly never worked in Leonard’s favor.

Today was no exception. He was partnered, ironically with the young woman who had appeared so captivated with Jim earlier. She was a competent pilot, and Leonard managed to copilot for her with a minimum of fumbling and heart palpitations, operating the computer with enough skill not to get them mock-killed. Yet the woman’s icy stare afterwards told him that his performance left much to be desired.

His turn in the pilot’s seat was another story entirely. The second he strapped himself in, he felt the rising tide of anxiety that came with even simulated spaceflight. Jesus, what the fuck was he doing, putting himself through this for the privilege of heading out into the deadly black vacuum of space? Fuck. He couldn’t do this. He couldn’t.

“You can do this,” Jim had told him the first time they sat in these seats together.

“Just break it down into steps. Forget about the sim part of it. It’s command and response. Input versus output.”

Hands sluggishly began to travel over the controls, tabbing commands as Leonard tried to still the rush of blood in his ears.

“You deal in scenarios all the time. You deal in lives, Bones. What’s a shitty little computer sim compared to that?” Jim’s voice had been confident. Where did Jim get all that confidence, confidence in Leonard, of all people?

Leonard tuned out the harsh, testy voice of his copilot, taking in the facts while doing his best to filter out the context. It was like a surgery, he told himself. Take the best approach, and when that isn’t effective, act quickly, act decisively. Alter the approach to one that has the greatest chance of success. Enter a command, enter a command, enter a command, until the positive outcome is achieved. No room for failure.

The sim went silent, the lights went up, and Leonard walked on wobbly legs out of the shuttle. He was greeted by the nonplussed faces of his classmates and the stony face of their instructor, who told him in no uncertain terms that his response time had been abysmal and he had been scant seconds from getting himself and his copilot killed.

Leonard gave the instructor her due acknowledgement and made a desperate beeline to the only person in the lot of them who mattered. Jim was standing off to the side slightly, looking squarely at Leonard and grinning fit to break his face. As it had earlier, something in Leonard illuminated at the sight.

Leonard was greeted with a slap on the shoulder and that brilliantly sunny expression, as if the past weeks had never happened.

“You kicked its ass, Bones,” Jim said with something akin to pride in his voice. “See. You can do it fine without me.”

No, I can’t. I didn’t. Goddammit, even when you’re gone you’re still here. Leonard wanted to explain, but something about it was too huge, and the utterance would be too irretrievable.

“You’re buying the first round tonight, Kid,” was what came out instead.


[Chapter 21]


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