Title: Submit, Fight, Fail, Fall (or why you can't fight the blood that's in you)
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 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.
When the chime rang insistently for the second time that day, Jim knew. Despite psi ratings that were practically in the toilet, he just knew that he was screwed.
Bones’ voice through the door comm, a measured, hard tone, only confirmed this.
Jim should have known, really, from the moment Bones had turned the tricorder on him, that this was coming. Maybe it had been coming from the moment they had become friends. Bones was in no way, shape or form a stupid man. And one only had to hear him talk about his field to realize that he was a brilliant doctor. Put the two together, and Jim was fucked. It had been wishful thinking, really, to think he could maintain the façade forever.
Jim heaved himself out of his bunk, his aching body protesting the motion and his head swimming slightly as he stood. He was not going to have this confrontation from his bed, no matter how shitty he felt. He straightened himself into as dignified a figure he could cut in a set of ratty grey sweats, and met the oncoming storm at the door, which slid smoothly open at Jim’s command. Bones’ face was blank and hard behind the upheld tricorder display, which boded worse than any raging scowl.
“Care to explain?” Bones asked in a flat tone that mirrored his expression.
Jim thought about making a crack, something to bring some levity to the situation. Then decided against it. It would not be well-received. “Why don’t you tell me, Bones? Looks like you already have your explanation. Otherwise you wouldn’t be here. Again.”
Jim walked into the common area and dropped himself heavily into a desk chair. Not surprisingly, Bones remained standing in the center of the small room, his form radiating tension. Christ. This was such a clusterfuck.
“I’m here for your goddamn explanation,” Bones ground out evenly, clearly clutching at the reins of his temper.
Jim sighed tiredly. He wasn’t ready for this. Give him a hundred years and he wouldn’t be ready for this. “What do you want to hear, Bones?”
The doctor finally lost his blank demeanor, his face twisting into a confused frown. “I want to hear that you aren’t doing this to yourself.”
Jim quashed the urge to wince at the older man’s expression. He would have rather an angry confrontation, the one he had been sure was coming. He could have dealt with that. He couldn’t deal with the betrayed expression on Bones’ face. Jim shrugged, aware of how flippant, how dismissive the gesture must have come across.
Right on cue, Bones’ face deepened into a severe scowl. “Fucking suppressants, Jim?”
Again, Jim shrugged. “Suppressants,” Jim confirmed, his voice almost a challenge.
Jim didn’t bother prevaricating. There was no point. “Almost five years.”
The doctor’s expression faltered slightly in his shock. “Five years? Do you have any idea what that long on suppressants could do to you?” he asked incredulously.
Jim fought the urge to roll his eyes. “Yeah, I read the warning label, Bones.”
Bones’ face regained his confused expression. “Then are you crazy? Because I know you’re not stupid, Jim.”
“Thanks for the vote of confidence.”
“Shut up,” Bones told him sharply, in full-on doctor mode. “Drug toxicity, permanent infertility, autonomic nervous dysfunction. And those are just a few of the risks. Worst case scenario is endocrine crisis and that can kill you! So tell me Jim, what the hell is worth all that?”
“Then uncomplicate it for me.”
The urge to avert his gaze from Bones’ own stare was overwhelming. Jim resisted, refusing to back down. He wanted to rage at the other man that what the fuck did he know? He would never have to get on his knees for anyone. Would never have to worry about whether he was going to get kicked while he was down there. Would never have to deal with his body’s own betrayal on a monthly basis. He was an alpha. Jim shook his head. “You wouldn’t understand,” Jim replied simply. The words sounded as petulant out loud as they did inside his head.
From Bones’ expression, he found them to be also. “Well I sure as shit won’t if you don’t explain it,” the older man protested, clearly exasperated by Jim’s evasiveness.
It was a testament to their relationship that Jim didn’t tell Bones to mind his own fucking business. Instead, Jim quickly tried to formulate some sort of explanation that would appease the doctor without revealing all of his own secrets. Jim had spent years erecting walls around the memory of his eighteenth year, around his own vulnerability and naiveté. And Bones was turning them all to ash.
Jim drew in a breath, looking off somewhere to the left of center. Shamefully, he couldn’t seem to look Bones in the eye and say the words at the same time. “I manifested at sixteen. There weren’t exactly a whole lot of supports in my life. Things went badly. I fucked up.” Jim huffed humorless laugh. “I fucked up a lot. Thought it would be better to avoid the whole issue. I didn’t really care about the consequences at eighteen.”
“Well you’re twenty-three now. And your answer is still to subvert every law of your own biology, no matter the risk? We’re talking about your life here, Jim.” The other man clearly found Jim’s explanation lackluster, and from the way his brows were drawn together, more than a little confusing. Bones focused on Jim with a penetrating gaze. Jim felt like that look could see through him; like all his secret shames were about to be laid bare. “What could be so bad to warrant five years of suppressants and suffering?” Bones asked him bluntly. “What happened?”
What could be so bad? The absurdity of the question, of the entire situation, struck Jim all at once and he couldn’t help the laughter that burst out. It was a bitter sound with a creeping edge of hysteria. All of a sudden it was too much, and Bones was too close. The memories from five years ago were suddenly close enough to touch. The shame and the anger rose up like a fucking tsunami. Jim’s face twisted into a mutinous expression. “I told you what happened,” Jim replied, his voice hard.
Bones fairly started at Jim’s swift change in demeanor. He recovered quickly, to his credit. “Relax, Jim,” he said in a tone that was probably used to placate his more hysterical patients. It grated on Jim’s already raw nerves.
“Fuck relax. You bust in here and give me a ration of shit about my choices, but they're my fucking choices,” he hissed.
“And I’m your friend, goddammit. I’d be a shit friend, not to mention a shit doctor if I didn’t do something about the danger you’re putting yourself in,” Bones defended, his own expression hardening.
“You may be my friend, but you’re not my keeper. It’s not your life to do something about. Go doctor your actual patients, doctor.” The last word was hurled like an epithet.
“Well excuse me for giving a shit about what happens to you,” Bones growled.
And that was the problem, wasn’t it? No one had cared enough before to try to break down all of Jim’s barriers. Because Jim had latched onto Bones’ offer of friendship all those months ago, this was the price. And after tonight he would lose that friendship, if the price for keeping it was total disclosure.
So be it.
“Thanks for your concern,” Jim shot back dismissively.
“Dammit, Jim –“
“It’s late, and I’m tired,” Jim cut the other man off, rising stiffly from the chair. “You know where the door is.” He brushed past Bones, whose expression warred between concern and anger.
The other man’s words were cut off as Jim swiftly crossed into the bedroom proper and tabbed the door shut, locking it, not that he thought Bones would try to follow. Jim had been clear enough, insulting enough in his dismissal. Bones would leave. He would walk out of Jim’s life, and Jim would see him for the next two years in class or across campus, and they would pointedly not talk about how they had once been friends.
Jim listened, staring at the bed where he had yesterday brought himself off to fantasies of the man in the other room. He waited for the sound of the outer door, for the sound of Bones’ heavy tread as he exited. Sure enough, it was only a few moments before he heard them.
He padded over to his bunk and collapsed onto it gracelessly. He was still sore, his head was killing him, and now there was a heaviness in his chest that had not been there an hour earlier. Jim curled into himself on the bed, the voice of his newly reawakened shame warring with the voice that told him he had just let something rare and precious slip through his fingers.