akainagi: (trek - k/b in reds)
[personal profile] akainagi
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.


Jim awoke slowly. His body felt sluggish and drained, but he was comfortably warm, and he curled further under the covers before he registered the feeling of a long, masculine torso against his back, a set of legs entwined with his own, and a soft snoring in his ear.

It came back in a rush. His heat, his submission, the feeling of Bones above him and behind him and inside him. Jim’s cock, quiescent and equally exhausted by the night’s activities, gave a half-hearted twitch of interest at the recollection.

The omega tried to extricate his legs in order to turn over, and was met with a low, sleepy growl from his alpha bed-partner, who tightened his grip and reinserted his knee between Jim’s own. Jim gave up for the moment, going limp and pliant. Bones must be exhausted, having stayed up most of the night to watch over him (and what was that all about?). Besides, Jim had nowhere to be on this Sunday morning, and he had plenty to think about.

His first heat in five years, and it had been with his best friend. It had been new and terrifying and good. Satisfying in a way that half a decade of lonely masturbation hadn’t been. The fear had set in, like he knew it would. But it had been tempered by time and distance and the care that Bones had showed in pulling him together only to take him apart.

Jim had not known an alpha could take such care. Every alpha he’d ever been with in his heat had either been dominant to the point of Jim’s humiliation or rutted into him like an animal. He had never stopped to think, even in five years, that it could be any different. Maybe he had been wrong. Or maybe Bones was just as unique in that sense as he was in many others.

He had been right to trust Bones. Right to put himself in his friend’s capable hands. Before he had made his way to Bones’ dorm last night, he had been terrified of finding out that Bones was just like every other alpha at his core; domineering and willing to do anything for his own pleasure. Now he was immeasurably glad he had taken his chances with Bones instead of some random hook-up.

Jim brought a hand up to wipe the sleep from his eyes, careful not to jostle Bones, lest he get another growl. This should be more awkward than it was. He should be freaking out right now, but all he could manage to muster was a sense of tired satiety.

The snoring behind him petered off, resolving itself into a snort and a mutter of something that might have been “dammit.” Jim huffed a laugh.

“Whasso funny?” Bones muttered in sleepy irritation, not quite letting go of Jim just yet.

“You’re even cranky in your sleep. I’ll have you know, you growled at me,” Jim teased.

“I did. More than once. Don’t recall you complaining at the time.” Bones’ accent was more pronounced in his somnolent state, and the words came out in a slow drawl.

Jim managed to rustle up a blush for that one, despite the fact that they were wrapped naked around each other, and words were probably the least embarrassing part of this scenario. The heat rose to his face as he remembered the third and final time they came together, Bones taking him hard and fast and growling words of possession in his ear. Standard love-talk from alphas to omegas, but it still had been immensely arousing to hear at the time.

Jim choked back a sigh as the doctor moved away, untangling their limbs and allowing Jim to roll over on his back. He winced as he took stock of the vague aches in his bones and various parts of his anatomy. Even on suppressants, the aftermath of his heat had left him sore and wrung out. Apparently it was still doubly so without the drugs.

Next to him, Bones made a rare sympathetic noise. “Take a hot shower, it’ll help with the aches.” The older man shut his eyes, presumably to go back to sleep. “And you smell,” he pointed out with his usual blunt honesty.

Jim stepped gingerly from the bed, his full bladder and the promise of a shower enough to spur him to onwards. “Yeah, I smell like you,” was his parting shot as he padded to the bathroom, collecting his clothes on the way.

Bones was right, the shower went a long way towards relieving the aches, and even managed to make him feel a bit less tired. He washed himself thoroughly, knowing that while he didn’t have a problem with having Bones’ scent on him all day, Bones might. In fact, Jim had no idea how Bones felt about any of this. The anxiety that Jim had failed to feel earlier made its appearance.

He had simply shown up in Bones’ dorm room, in full heat, and begged the doctor to fuck him. And given that Bones was an alpha with a nose full of omega pheromones, he had succumbed in fairly short order. Jim hadn’t given him much of a choice, in the end.

Jim leaned his forehead against the cool tile of the shower, forcing himself to get his anxieties under control. Bones had not acted put-out this morning. He had acted remarkably content. For him, anyway. Jim hoped this attitude held, because he didn’t think he could stand another rift between the two of them.

Jim finally made himself to get out of the shower, toweling himself dry. He pulled on the jeans and shirt that he had worn over the night before, slightly more wrinkled for being on Bones’ floor all night. He hesitated for a moment over borrowing the other man’s toothbrush, and then figured what the hell. Bones had his tongue in Jim’s ass last night, so what was a little toothbrush sharing between friends?

Clean and minty and slightly wrinkled, Jim stepped back into the bedroom, greeted by the sight of his best friend seated on the edge of the bed, clad in boxers and a t-shirt, looking tense and contemplative. The doctor’s eyes immediately sought out Jim’s own. The expression in them was guarded. Bones was often a hard man to read, even more so right now. Anxiety buzzed its way through Jim’s guts. Was this the part where Bones came down on him for his inconsiderate behavior, his shitty-planning, his manipulation?

Jim’s old defensive urges tried to rear their ugly head, telling him to go on the offensive before he got his ass handed to him. But that hadn’t worked so far. Not with Bones, who knew enough about him to call him on his shit. He Owed Bones, with a capital “O”. Owed him his gratitude, rather than a bunch of hostile crap. For once he needed to do right by him.

“Feel better?” the alpha asked, his tone inscrutable.

“Yeah … thanks,” Jim couldn’t help the downward cast of his eyes as he said the last word.

Bones looked at him oddly. “Not a big deal.”

Jim sighed, plowing forward into territory where he dreaded to tread. “Not for the shower, I mean. Just … thank you. You could have booted me out on my ass. I wouldn’t have blamed you, the way I barged in here.”

When Jim dared to meet the other man’s gaze again, Bones’ eyes had widened, his lips parted slightly.

“Jim-“ Bones started.

“Shut up and let me get this out.” Jim knew if he stopped now the words would probably freeze in this throat. He took a deep breath. “I needed you and you didn’t let me down. You’ve never let me down. Not ever. You tried to take care of me from the beginning and I acted like a dick about it. And then in the end, when I needed you, you were there for me anyway.”

Bones just sat there, on the edge of the narrow bunk, looking across with a slightly awed expression that made Jim doubly self-conscious. The omega forced himself not to look down again.

“So … thank you.”

Bones looked at him for a long moment. If he had been any other one of the alphas who had bedded Jim, they would have made some crass comment about it being their pleasure.

Bones simply looked at him with the same awed expression. “You’re welcome, Jim,” he replied quietly. Then his lips curved into a half-smile that, despite his tired countenance, suited him.

Jim couldn’t help the relieved smile that spread over his own face. They were going to survive this. Jim hadn’t broken anything. It had been a hell of a bump in the road, but they would be fine. “Look, I’m gonna let you get some sleep.” The smile stretched into a grin. “You look whacked, man.”

The doctor raised an eyebrow, a gesture that on any one else might have been suggestive, but on him it was so familiar that Jim found the last of his tension ebbing away. “And whose fault is that?” Bones asked acerbically.

“I didn’t ask you to spend half the night staring at me,” Jim replied, his grin refusing to fade.

Bones looked at him the way he usually did when Jim said something he judged to be particularly obtuse. “I’m an alpha. It’s what I do.”

Jim wondered if Bones knew exactly how far from the typical alpha he was. Jim lifted up his hands in an amused gesture of placation. “Not that I’m complaining.” About anything, his mind added.

Bones just rolled his eyes.

Jim crossed the room to shove his bare feet in his sneakers, still smiling.

“Don’t you wear socks like a normal person?” Bones groused, apparently just because he could.

“I did, but someone tossed them somewhere and I can’t find them.”

“You sure you’re not complaining?” Bones called to his retreating back.

Jim turned one last time before letting himself out, his grin tempered into something softer. “No, I’m really not,” he answered.


Leonard watched Jim leave with a bemused expression on his face and a sense of warmth in his chest. Jim was okay. Leonard was okay, despite his exhaustion. There had been no recriminations, no hurt feelings, no angry words on either side. Some awkwardness, to be sure, but …

But it had been good. Better than good, actually. And it had been different. Different than it had been with Joce. With any other omega, really. Perhaps it was partly his healer’s nature, but there had been something deeply satisfying about being able to help Jim through this, with Jim’s fear and his almost naked need to be protected, to be gently dominated.

Leonard felt something unwinding in him, the sense of foreboding he had carried around ever since he had forcibly taken Jim’s suppressants away began to ease. Jim would be alright. His next heat, he would be prepared. He would be able to find himself an alpha who could tend to his needs without showing up on Leonard’s doorstep, blinded with need.

But would another alpha take as much care? Be able to read him like Leonard had? Give him what he needed the way he needed it?

A different kind of foreboding began to take up residence. Jim’s had survived this first heat, with Leonard’s help. And rather than being a charitable act for a friend, it had been a pleasure. Now Leonard would have to watch Jim find someone else, wonder if the person would do right by him. All the while knowing that he could take care of Jim the way he needed.

There was a part of him, the alpha voice buried beneath the veneer of modern civility, that whispered to him that he had taken Jim to mate, however briefly. That no other alpha could satisfy him the way Leonard could. That no other could protect him, provide for him the way he could. And the idea that another would be allowed to try tasted a bit like ash in his mouth.

Leonard rubbed a hand across his face, dropping his elbows to rest on his knees, still sitting on the bed that smelled of their combined scents, and wondered what he had done to himself.


Leonard did his best to put his misgivings about what they had done out of his mind, lest Jim see them and misconstrue it as embarrassment, or, worse, regret. He didn’t regret helping Jim, although maybe he should, given the circumstances.

He continued to pick up shifts over at medical at a frantic pace. He buried himself in work and coursework throughout the following week, only seeing Jim in the few classes that they shared. During them, they commiserated, and bitched and groused like they always did, and Leonard was confident that the only one who was having misgivings about the whole thing was him. His issues were his problem to rectify. He had no claim on Jim, no right to demand any semblance of exclusivity. No right to any say in what or who Jim did. Leonard had not helped him out for the promise of anything in return, spoken or unspoken.

In moments alone, however, Leonard found that he resented Jim a little, despite his best efforts not to. Leonard had functioned perfectly well in his aloneness before Jim Kirk had showed up and damaged his painstakingly constructed social bubble beyond repair. And that was before he had slept with the man. That was usually about the time Leonard forcibly reminded himself that he had played a part in putting Jim in that situation.

It was also around the time he usually reached for the bourbon.

Jim attempted to invite him out for drinks the weekend after … well, after. And Leonard tried to ignore the disappointed and fainlty hurt look in Jim’s eyes when he told him, in all honesty, that he had a shift to pull that night, not volunteering the fact that it would end with ample time to go out.

He spent the shift kicking himself, reliving that expression in between patients. That had been exactly what he had been trying to avoid. He had gone into this promising not to hurt Jim, and it looked like he was doing it anyway, just not in the physical sense.

So he was in a positively crotchety mood by the time his shift ended, so much so that he nearly ignored the ping of his comm as he trudged across the campus. He debated internally for a moment, then sighed, pulling the device out of his pocket and checking the display. It announced to him in bright, backlit letters that he had just received a message from Jim Kirk.

Kirk, J.T.: I’m at O’Malley’s. Stop by after work if you get the time.

Leonard felt another stab of something that felt like guilt. Jim was making all the effort here to keep their friendship on even keel. And Leonard was being a dick. It wasn’t Jim’s fault that Leonard couldn’t reconcile the impermanence of their physical relationship with their friendship. It was time to man-up.

A shower and a clothing change later and he was headed towards O’Malley’s Pub a few blocks from the academy grounds. The two of them had adopted it as their default hangout, given that they had reasonable prices, were relatively sanitary, relatively close, and had beer that didn’t taste like horse piss.

He found Jim in the back of the bar, standing next to a tall, dark haired man who seemed to be hanging on Jim’s every word with far too much interest. Jim was his usual animated self, smiling and gesturing, and leaning in to be heard over the thrumming bass of the music.

Leonard had to restrain himself from stalking over and forcibly inserting himself between them. As it was, he crossed the crowded room with more speed than was strictly necessary. He was nearly on top of the pair when Jim looked up and noticed him, his face transforming from a more polite smile into a genuine sunny grin. Jim’s dark-haired companion looked thoroughly disgruntled at the interruption.

“Bones! You made it,” Jim observed happily.

“Apparently,” he replied, glancing from Jim to his companion, willing the latter to quickly and silently fuck off.

“C’mon, Bones. Let’s get you a drink.” Jim said a polite goodbye to the other man, and began to make his way to the bar, clearly expecting Leonard to follow. Which he did, but not before favoring the sour-faced interloper with a satisfied smile of his own. He felt the other man’s glare on his back as he followed Jim, but he couldn’t bring himself to give a shit.

He let Jim order for them, knowing that the other man had a firm grasp of his likes and dislikes. A few moments later they were both in possession of jack boilermakers, making their way to one of the less-occupied corners of the bar.

“Glad you could make it,” Jim said as he took a swig of his drink. “What changed your mind?”

Leonard shrugged. “It was a shit shift,” he replied, which was partly true. “I needed a drink.”

“You could have had one of those back at your dorm,” Jim countered, his lips twitching up at the corners again. “Admit it. You just wanted to see my smiling face.”

And other parts of his anatomy. Leonard fixed Jim with his best glare. “Your ego is going to require surgical excision one of these days.”

Jim looked out over the landscape of the bar, silent for a moment. “I was beginning to think you were avoiding me.”

Leonard sighed into the rim of his glass. Never let it be said that Jim Kirk wasn’t observant. And at the most inconvenient times, too. The music continued to hum obtrusively in the background. Leonard was feeling far too on-display to have this conversation, but there they were, having it anyway.

“Look, Bones,” Jim started. “I know I fucked up. You saved my ass, and you know I’m grateful for that. If I had my shit more together, it wouldn’t have happened. But believe me when I promise you it won’t happen again. The next time, I’ll find myself an alpha, and-“

Leonard couldn’t help the harsh bark of laughter that escaped his throat.

Jim glowered at him, his expression filled with rising ire. “Dammit, Bones, I’m trying here. What do you want me to say?”

Leonard took a long pull off his drink, hoping to fortify himself. “Tell me something, Jim. Why do you think I was giving the stink-eye to that punk you were with a few minutes ago,” he asked pointedly.

“Him? Was he even an alpha?”

Leonard gave the younger man a patented are you fucking joking look. “Trust me, Jim, he was an alpha. I wanted to wipe the smirk off his face the second I saw you with him.”

Jim was looking at him with a slightly gobsmacked expression.

Leonard sighed his frustration. “Doesn’t mean I would actually do it. It’s biology, Jim. I can’t help it any more than you can help your heat.”

“And this relates to you avoiding me how, exactly?”

Leonard found himself caught between simultaneous urges to smack Jim upside the head and yell at someone to turn the goddamn music down. “Fuck. I can’t have this conversation in here,” he set his half-finished drink down.

“Is there somewhere you do want to have it?”

“Not particularly,” Leonard replied honestly. “But you started this, so let’s go.”

Jim didn’t argue. He just took a couple large pulls off his own drink before he set it down alongside Leonard’s and followed him out into the chill night air.

Jim looked almost ghostly pale under the light of the streetlamps as they walked back in the general direction of the campus. Leonard pulled his jacket around himself as they walked, warding off the chill. Jim seemed perfectly content in his shirtsleeves, with his damnable northerner’s constitution. They didn’t speak until they got away from the immediate crowd surrounding O’Malley’s.

“I don’t understand how you’re not freezing your ass off. It’s damn cold,” Leonard groused lamely, not quite sure how to restart the conversation, or even if he wanted to.

Jim rolled his eyes. They flashed a pale blue under the white glare of a nearby streetlamp. “It’s winter, Bones. And are we really gonna start talking about the weather? Seriously?”

“What do you want me to say?” he asked irritably, in a mirror of Jim’s earlier question.

“I dunno. Maybe you could explain the whole avoiding me thing? Or why every single thing I say to you seems to piss you off? Shit, man, start simple and tell me why you wanted to clock a guy who I only knew for about five minutes and had one conversation with?”

“I haven’t been avoiding you.” Not exactly. “I’m fucking busy, Jim.”

“And, yet, here you are, taking time out of your busy schedule so we can talk fucking circles around each other.” Jim’s voice had a definite edge of sarcasm.

Leonard shot a glare at Jim. “You want to talk, fine. Let’s talk about how I’m supposed to stand there and be perfectly fine with watching another alpha chat you up.”

Jim’s expression became less irate and more genuinely puzzled. “Why does it bother you?”

Leonard examined the ground as it passed under his feet. “I told you, Jim, it’s biology, pure and simple. Psychobiology and mating drives and shit that’s been bred into us since before we invented fire.”

Jim shrugged. “I don’t think all alphas are like that, Bones. Not all of them follow the same cookie-cutter mold,” he said in a manner that seemed totally self-assured.

It was Leonard’s turn to look, puzzled, wondering where this was going. Was this about the punk in the bar? “Hey, who’s the doctor here? I think I would know better than you.”

Jim stared ahead of them somewhere off into the distance. “I’m just saying, I know for a fact that there are some alphas out there who don’t mind sharing their toys.”

Leonard found the comment cryptic and mildly disturbing. “Yeah, well I’m not one of them,” he replied firmly.

Jim looked over at him. “Which leaves us exactly where?”

He’d been asking himself the same question all week. “Fucked if I know, Jim. I’m making this shit up as I go along, same as you are.” And it was true. He felt thoroughly out of his depth in a way he hadn’t in years.

“So this reflexive bout of possessiveness. It’ll get better with time, right? I won’t always have to worry about you clobbering any alpha I have a conversation with, will I?” The corner of Jim’s lips were slightly curved upwards, but Leonard could sense the seriousness behind the question.

“Yeah, Jim. It should go away,” Leonard replied, hoping he wasn’t lying. It would have to go away. The month would pass, and Jim would find another alpha, and Leonard would just have to fucking well deal.

Jim made a thoughtful sound and shoved his hands in his back pockets, walking on, still matching Leonard’s even stride. They walked for a few moments in silence, with Jim looking over at him every so often, a pensive look on his face.

“If you have something to say, spit it out,” Leonard ordered.

Jim looked like he was debating whether to speak, which in and of itself gave Leonard a feeling of trepidation. Jim Kirk was one of the most naturally loquacious people he had ever met.

Jim continued to study him, and Leonard was about to repeat himself when Jim asked him, “So in three weeks when I take another alpha, you’ll be okay with that?”

Leonard wondered if Jim was trying to bait him, because he fucking wasn’t okay with it, obviously. He should be able to be a good friend, to step back and let Jim make his own way, comfortable in the fact that he had helped the other man when he needed it. He should be satisfied that Jim was off the suppressants and didn’t hate Leonard for taking them away. But he wasn’t satisfied at all. Jim had been his, dammit. The memory of the way Jim had felt underneath him and around him, the sweetness of his submission was still fresh in Leonard’s mind.

“Well, I’ll just fucking have to be, won’t I?” he snapped.

Leonard was forced to halt his forward momentum when Jim abruptly stopped walking, planting his feet on the ground and looking tense and uncharacteristically nervous. The younger man looked at Leonard searchingly, like he was trying to see inside Leonard’s thoughts.

“No,” Jim finally replied. Then, quietly: “You really won’t.”

Leonard thought, for a horrifying second, that the past month of anger and tension and drama that had culminated in Leonard fucking Jim into the mattress had finally proved too much for the omega, and he was calling the end to their friendship right then and there. “What the hell are you saying, Jim,” Leonard asked, feeling the numbness start to creep in.

Jim closed his eyes for a moment and sighed, as if he was too tired at this point to spend any more time prevaricating. Leonard could relate.

“I’m saying it doesn’t have to be that way.” Jim stepped forward, encroaching just the slightest bit into Leonard’s personal space. At this distance, Jim’s eyes were bright and dazzlingly blue he met Leonard’s gaze.

“You enjoyed it, Bones. I could tell.” The corners of Jim's lips turned up wryly. “and you were very good at it. And if you don’t want me to be with another alpha, there’s only one solution I can think of.”

Understanding dawned on Leonard all at once, wiping his confusion and numbness away in a tide of combined horror and desire so strong it made his hands itch.

“Absolutely fucking not,” he said immediately. His voice was hoarse, and he didn’t trust that the sense of want burning into his bones wasn’t openly visible on his face.

It must have been, because rather than recoil or appear discouraged, a look of determination came into Jim’s eyes.

“Bones, you’ve already said you don’t want to see me with someone else.”

Leonard ran a hand through his hair, frustrated and still rather in shock at the turn this conversation had taken. “Where is this coming from, Jim? Are you just afraid of finding another alpha? Because you’re going to have to do it sooner or later.”

The statement was pitched to make Jim defensive; the man had never been good at facing his own insecurities. But Jim’s determination held, and he answered Leonard calmly, but assuredly, as if he were passionately debating a particularly salient point in class.

“”I know that. But right here, right now, I need someone I can trust, and you don’t want to give me up to another alpha, am I right?”

“Jim, you’re confusing biological urges with conscious …” he struggled for the right word, “desire,” Leonard finished, choking slightly on the word.

For the first time since Jim had dropped this bomb, a look of uncertainty entered his eyes. “So you don’t want me?”

Leonard wanted to answer that no, fuck it, he didn’t want Jim Kirk. But he did. He just didn’t want to want Jim Kirk. “Dammit, Jim.” His voice was strangled, barely more than a whisper. What the hell was he supposed to say that would dissuade Jim, but wouldn’t irreparably damage their friendship? “These friends-with-benefits things never work out,” he told the omega, “Someone ends up hurt.”

Jim smiled a genuine smile at that, one that carried a touch of fondness. “I’m a big boy, Bones. I know what I want. You weren’t the only one who enjoyed what we did. I came into it terrified,” he admitted. “But you made it … you made it good.”

Leonard remembered Jim’s uncertainty and tension that had morphed under his care into shameless writhing and moans of need. Such a memory was not helping Leonard’s determination any. “I’m glad, Jim,” he responded with all sincerity. “I’m glad I was able to help you, really. But that doesn’t mean we should make a habit out of it.” He could see such a habit becoming an addiction in short order. He was already badly proprietary about Jim after only one night with him. What would it be like if they continued? And what would happen when Jim wanted to move on? What would happen when either of them wanted to move on?

Jim’s eyes searched Leonard’s own for a moment, as if trying to glean some truth out of them that wasn’t readily apparent on the surface. Apparently he didn’t find it. “You don’t have to answer me right now. Think about it. I have time.”

Dammit. Leonard had tried to give him an answer already. Had tried to tell him no, and, in typical Jim Kirk fashion, the younger man had refused to accept it. Leonard opened his mouth to repeat the sentiment and shut the omega down once and for all, but what came out was totally different. He must be losing his mind. He was standing in the middle of the campus of Starfleet Academy arguing with his best friend about their sex life. Fuck Leonard McCoy’s existence.

“”I’ll think about it,” was what came out instead.


A week later, a week that had been filled with avoidance, interrupted sleep, and several near-anxiety attacks on the part of the doctor, and with lot of uncharacteristic patience on the part of Jim, Leonard McCoy found himself standing in the middle of the other man’s dorm room.

“You’re due again in fifteen days?”

“Yeah,” Jim answered blankly, waiting for the hammer to drop.

“Come to my place when you’re close. Call me and I’ll be there.”

The grin that spread across Jim’s face was heart-stopping, brilliant in its intensity. And for a moment Leonard let himself believe maybe he’d made the right decision after all.


He was due in fifteen days. In the end, he lasted ten.


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