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 / warning for references to past non/dubcon / 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 did his best to slip from Bones’ bed without waking the other man. He made it all the way to sitting on the edge before Bones awoke, causing Jim to curse inwardly. It was cowardly of him, he knew, to try and sneak out of Bones’ room unnoticed. He felt like an asshole and an ingrate, but he just couldn’t deal with this right now. He still felt raw after the events of yesterday, still reeling after the events of last night. He needed time and space.

Bones looked at him with a sleepy, confused expression that just made Jim’s heart ache. Jim reached up to run his fingers through the alpha’s thoroughly disheveled hair. “Go back to sleep. It’s early.”

Unfortunately Bones felt more like talking than sleeping. While Jim had too much of the former last night and not enough of the latter. “Were you leaving?” Bones asked, reaching up and running his hand down Jim’s arm. His voice wasn’t accusatory, but it gave Jim a sharp stab of guilt.

“I need a shower and I need to get back to my dorm,” Jim replied evasively.

“Jim,” Bones said, his voice part plea and part warning. “Don’t.”

“Bones,” Jim uttered miserably. “Why are you doing this?”

“Because I want you,” Bones explained simply, continuing to stroke his hand up and down Jim’s arm. “Why is that so hard for you to believe?”

“But why?”

The alpha raised an eyebrow. The expression was so familiar that Jim felt a lump in his throat. “I need to have a reason?”

Jim shook his head. “This is all my fucking fault. If I had never come to you in the beginning, then –“

Bones broke in, his voice insistent. “I would have wanted you anyway. I wanted you even before you came to me. I just didn’t realize it yet.”

Jim wondered where Bones got all this surety from. He seemed so calm, so convinced that Jim was it for him. And Jim felt like a pathetic fucking mess. “How can you be so sure about this, Bones? There are so many things you don’t know about me.”

“And there are things you don’t know about me,” the alpha countered. “You're not the only one with a past. It doesn’t change the fact that I want you for who you are. Not who you were and what you’ve done.”

Jim felt something fracture deep in his chest when Bones sat up, sheets pooling in his lap, and drew Jim toward him, taking his lips in a long, soft kiss. Jim couldn’t help but clutch at the other man’s shoulders, torn between pulling forward and pushing away. There was nothing sexual about it, despite the fact that they were both naked and sitting on Bones’ bed. The alpha pulled away and pressed his forehead against Jim’s own, hands resting on the omega’s sides.

“Please, Jim. Think about it.”

Jim thought. He thought about what it would be like to wake up with his best friend every day. To go through his heats with him, to know that he had someone he could trust to see him through each and every one. The idea was so seductive that Jim found himself captivated. He let out a long shuddering sigh.

“Yeah, Bones. I’ll think about it,” he replied, meaning it for the first time.


Jim did nothing but think about it.

It was the first thought when he woke up in the morning, and the last before he went to bed. It even invaded his dreams; sometimes bliss-filled dreams, sometimes nightmares. He ate, slept and breathed Bones’ question for the next solid week.

He distanced himself from the alpha. He wasn’t doing it purposely. It was just too much; to be with him and have to think about being with him. He found that when he was with Bones, the urge was overwhelming to simply give in, to say yes on the spot. It didn’t matter that Bones bitched and groused and indulged in way too much sarcasm like he always did. Jim found that he was drawn to these qualities as much as he was the softer ones.

So Jim buried himself in his classes. His course load was grueling thanks to his accelerated schedule. He saw Bones in the few subjects they had together, a few shared meals, and that was about it. But when he was around the alpha he couldn’t help but watch him, studying everything about him, his mannerisms, the way he scowled readily and smiled rarely. It made his smiles all the more valuable. And Jim would catch Bones looking at him sometimes, see the naked yearning on his face and the omega’s resolve to wait, to be absolutely sure, was nearly fractured every time. So he stayed away.

He missed Bones in his self-imposed exile, more than he thought possible. He wondered if this was a taste of how he would feel if he and the alpha truly went their separate ways. The thought of it, of no longer having Bones in his life made him feel like he had a block of ice in his guts. He needed Bones. But did he need him as a friend, or as a mate? The latter word brought back haunting memories of his years with Gary. Of having his identity subsumed by someone else. Of the sifling oppression and helplessness of it, the feeling of being trapped in an ever tightening cage. Trapped into something you had long sinced ceased to want. But that was Gary, and this was Bones, he would remind himself. Bones had never made him feel anything but protected and valued and equal. Jim found himself, much of the time, trapped in a cycle of contradictory thought, circling the same well-worn path and never getting anywhere.

But if Bones didn’t take him to mate, if he didn’t yield to Bones’ claim, one day he might have to watch the alpha claim another. The idea made him physically ill. He was stuck between two equally terrifying choices: losing Bones and having him. And the having was almost as terrifying as the losing.

Rarely, very rarely, he let himself imagine what it might be like if he said yes. He would lay in his bunk, in the middle of a sleepless night, and imagine what it would be like to have Bones there with him. To know that neither of them was going anywhere without the other. To know that he had someone to whom he belonged. Not in any kind of ownership capacity, but rather like having a home to return to; someplace that provided shelter and succor and protection from the harsh edges of the world. The thought was warm, and comforting, and simultaneously terrifying, and he would recoil from it, like someone who has seen something too bright, touched something too brilliant. It was either retreat from it or be burned.


Leonard wondered, as he sat poking at the fare the academy establishment laughingly called food, if this was what it felt like to have your fate completely in someone else’s control. As a doctor he held people’s lives in his hands. He wondered if it was anything like having your heart resting in someone else’s hands, waiting for them to either embrace it, or hand it back to you. Leonard remembered putting Jim off when he had asked Leonard to continue their monthly liaisons, remembered making him wait for the answer. If this was how Jim had felt at the time, Leonard owed him an apology.

It had been over a week since that night, the one where Leonard had laid his heart on the line and asked Jim for the right to claim him. Since then they hadn’t really been alone together. Jim was keeping his distance while he made up his mind, which Leonard could understand, even if it didn’t make the waiting any easier. Leonard honestly had no idea what was going on in Jim’s head, had no idea whether he was winning the fight for Jim or slowly losing ground.

Leonard continued his introspection as he indulged in one of his more recent bad habits. The public file of one cadet Gary Mitchell stared back at him from his padd. In the past few days his anger towards the man hadn’t lessened any. It probably never would. He would admit to scanning the mess every so often, seeing if he could pick out the now-well-known and well-loathed face among the crowd that had assembled for the evening meal.

“I wondered how long it would take you,” a familiar voice cut in from just behind him.

Leonard smiled grimly to himself. “Are you kidding? I looked up this fucker the very next day.”

Jim moved into the seat across from Leonard. He didn’t have a meal tray, but he was nursing a cup of coffee. Leonard looked at him pointedly.

“Relax, doc. I ate my dinner already,” Jim reassured, his lips twisting up at the corners.

“And now you’re just imbibing massive amounts of caffeine? At what?” He checked the time on his padd. “1900?”

Jim shrugged. The conversation felt awkward, stilted, and Leonard ran a hand through his hair in frustration, tossing his padd to the table.

“Tell me about it,” Jim agreed.

The alpha sighed. “I didn’t want it to be like this, Jim.”

“I know. I saw you here and I almost didn’t come over,” Jim admitted. “But the last thing I want is you thinking I’m avoiding you. I’m not.” Jim faltered for the right thing to say. It was a unique experience, catching Jim Kirk at a loss for words. “I just need time.”

“I know. I told you to take all the time you need and I meant it.” Leonard supposed he should take this as a good sign, one that meant Jim wasn’t dismissing his proposal out of hand.

Jim nodded. “Now do I want to know why you’re looking up my ex?”

“Probably not,” Leonard admitted, going with the change in conversation.

“Just promise me you aren’t going to hunt him down or something.”

An eyebrow reached for Leonard’s hairline. “The thought never crossed my mind.”

“You don’t lie very well, Bones,” Jim informed him dryly.

“I’m a doctor, not a politician.”

Jim laughed, and Leonard had to smile at the sight. He wanted to see Jim always like that, smiling and at ease. It hurt him to know that wouldn’t be the case. Hadn’t always been the case.

Leonard looked at Jim solemnly. “Quid pro quo, Jim. If I have to promise not to hunt down the son of a bitch, you have to promise to tell me if he tries to pull anything.”

Jim frowned slightly. “And if he does?”

Leonard scowled. “Then I know at least half a dozen ways to end him and make it look totally natural,” the alpha threatened, only partly joking.

“Uh-huh.” Jim's frown twisted into a smile, apparently not that averse to the idea himself.

They sat together in companionable silence, while the student body milled around them. Jim’s eyes kept traveling back to Leonard. His gaze on the alpha was considering, thoughtful, as if he were trying to glean some truth about Leonard he didn’t already know. Leonard tolerated the study with forbearance.

Jim downed the last of his coffee. “I should get back. I have an exam coming up. The history of first contact isn’t going to study itself.”

Leonard rose with him. “I’ll walk you.”

Jim looked at him with an amused expression. “I don’t need an escort.”

“Well, maybe I want the company,” Leonard said seriously.

Jim eyed him as if trying to gauge his sincerity. Leonard was sincere. He was, in many ways, old fashioned. He had been taught that you courted the omega you wanted to take to mate. And, besides, he wanted to spend as much time with Jim as possible before the younger man retreated to further think about Leonard’s proposal.

Jim apparently was satisfied by what he saw in Leonard’s face, waiting for the alpha to gather up his tray and dispose of it before they both headed out into the cool evening air. The sky was beginning to darken, and the silence was comfortable as the two men walked together, shoulders brushing occasionally. Leonard wondered what it would be like to do this every day, to know they were headed to the same destination, the same bed at the end of the night. To be able to walk across the campus with Jim and have everyone know that the omega was his. The feeling of contentment that settled inside him must have been visible on his face.

Jim gave him a sidelong glance, “Good thoughts?” he asked.

He gave the omega a meaningful look. “Very good,” he replied, the ghost of a smile on his lips.

The darkening sky made it hard to see clearly, but Leonard thought he saw a flush creeping up the other man’s neck. “You’re not making it any easier to make a decision, you know,” Jim informed him.

“Maybe that’s the idea,” Leonard admitted. “Maybe I’m trying to tip the scales in my favor.”

“That’s fighting dirty,” Jim said with shadow of his usual grin.

“All’s fair in love and war.”

Jim definitely did flush at that, looking very deliberately straight ahead. “Jesus, Bones. Who knew you were such a romantic under all that grumping?”

“Just don’t let it get around. You’ll ruin my reputation as miserable bastard.”

Jim chuckled, rolling his eyes before he turned his gaze forward again. Jim’s dorm came into view, and Leonard choked back a sigh. They would get there, and Jim would retreat again to ruminate on Leonard’s proposal. The next time he came to Leonard, would he come with an answer? Or would Leonard be stuck in this purgatory of waiting even longer? Jim’s next heat was in less than three weeks. Would Jim really make him wait that long? And what if Jim didn’t submit to his claim? Would Jim turn from him completely, or would Leonard have to go through Jim’s heat with the burning urge to claim, never being allowed to take what was right there in front of him?

Leonard was jerked from his thoughts when Jim stopped abruptly. Leonard heard his sharply indrawn breath. The expression on the younger man’s face made a chill run up Leonard’s spine. Eyes wide, lips parted, his face a mixture of surprise and anger. Leonard jerked his head around to follow Jim’s line of sight.

What the alpha saw made his blood feel like ice and fire, he was so filled with fury. There, leaning casually against the entryway of Jim’s dorm, illuminated by the artificial lighting, was the man who Leonard had cursed on a daily basis since the doctor had learned of his existence.

Leonard heard himself snarl, felt himself moving forward before even giving his body conscious permission. He was stopped by Jim’s hand on his arm, gripping hard, pulling him back. He almost shook the other man off, almost succumbed to the desire to bowl forward and launch himself at the son of a bitch.

“Bones! Bones, no!” Jim insisted. There was a kernel of fear in his voice, but it was steady. “Look at me!” the omega demanded.

Leonard tore his eyes away from Mitchell with a furious scowl. He took in Jim’s countenance. The younger man was pale, but the terror in his eyes had been replaced by determination.

“Stay here, Bones. Let me talk to him,” Jim said firmly.

“Bullshit!” Leonard hissed. “Jim, you’re not going face that fucker alone.”

Jim didn’t let go of the grip he had on Leonard’s arm. “We’re in public, in the middle of the campus. What’s he going to do?”

Every protective instinct the alpha had was rebelling violently against the idea. “Dammit, Jim-“ he started.

“Bones!” Jim interrupted, his voice sharp, his grip on Leonard’s arm tightening momentarily. “Will you can the overprotective shit for five minutes?”

Leonard’s scowl deepened even further. Jim was omega. He had no idea the level of rage that was buzzing through Leonard right now. Had no idea the fierceness of the urge to protect. Jim was asking for the impossible. Leonard opened his mouth to protest again.

“Bones,” Jim started, changing tactics. His voice was softer as he placed a hand on Leonard’s chest. “I need to deal with this. You can’t do it for me. He’s never going to leave me alone if I don’t deal with him.”

“Never going to-“ Leonard’s eyes widened in understanding. “He’s done this before? Jim, has he been harassing you?” The anger was back in full force. Leonard turned to look daggers at the man who was patiently watching them from a distance with an amused smirk on his face.

“Mostly just showing up to stare at me like some fucking creeper,” the omega confirmed.

A small part of Leonard’s anger refocused itself on Jim, accompanied by a sizeable amount of hurt. “Why the hell didn’t you say anything?” Leonard’s tone was accusatory.

“Because I knew you’d act like this! Christ, Bones, let me fight my own battles. I’m not some fucking flower that needs to be protected.”

There was some kind of test here, Leonard knew. Jim was a fiercely independent man. He would not tolerate being coddled, or stifled, or being treated like he was weak. But after what Mitchell had put him through, how could he expect Leonard to just stand there and watch Jim face him alone? Leonard remembered vividly the feel of Jim shuddering against him as he had wept out his fear and anger.

“Seriously, Bones. He can’t pull anything out in the open like this,” Jim pressed. “And you’ll be right here if I need backup.” Jim’s tone was low, soft, pitched to soothe. Jim was trying to placate him, Leonard knew. He also knew that a determined Jim Kirk could be an immoveable object. Trying to move him was futile, and would only damage their relationship, not to mention Leonard’s suit for the omega.

Leonard shifted his eyes to Mitchell and back, fighting back the urge to growl out his frustration. He gave Jim a short nod.

Jim’s hands fell away. He gave Leonard a pale imitation of his usual smile before he turned towards his dorm and the man who waited in front of it.

Leonard looked on, his every instinct protesting the fact that he was watching his omega walk away from him and towards his former mate. The mate who had betrayed him and abused him and who was still very much a threat in Leonard’s mind, despite the fact that they were out here in the open, with a smattering of cadets interspersed around them.

The alpha watched Jim approach Mitchell. He couldn’t see Jim's face from this angle, but he had a clear view of the other man. Leonard didn’t like this one bit. Didn’t like the smirk that widened across Mitchell’s face as Jim approached. Didn’t like how he stepped forward, getting far further into Jim’s space than Leonard would have liked. The alpha’s bearing was confident, even cocky.

He couldn’t understand what was being said from this distance, and he had to fight the urge to move closer. He had told Jim that he would let him handle this, as much as his every instinct balked at the idea. Time seemed to stretch out as he watched the two men.

Jim raised his hand in a sharp, irate gesture, and even from this distance Leonard could hear the sound of a voice raised in anger. Mitchell's smile widened. Leonard felt his loathing for the man grow even stronger, if that were possible.

Leonard’s tension continued to rise as he watched, until he was practically vibrating from it. It all broke over him at once when he observed Mitchell step even closer and grasp Jim by the arm. He was dimly aware of Jim swatting the alpha’s hand away, shoving him forcefully back, but by then Leonard was in motion.

Mitchell’s eyes widened slightly at the sight of the furious alpha advancing on him, the cocky expression leaving his face for the first time. He wasn’t fast enough to avoid Leonard when the doctor grabbed him by the front of his uniform and slammed him hard against the wall.

“You keep your fucking hands off of him,” Leonard snarled, getting right up into Mitchell’s face. Mitchell started to answer, the smile reforming on his face, and Leonard couldn’t resist pulling him forward just slam him back into the wall again, relishing the gasp Mitchell made as the air was knocked out of him.

“Now listen to me, you piece of shit –“

“Bones!” Leonard barely registered Jim’s hand gripping his shoulder.

“You stay away from him-“


“Or, so help me, I will put you in the fucking ground.”

“Bones! Let him go. It’s not worth it,” Jim gripped his shoulder hard, trying to shake him out of the rage that had descended.

Leonard didn’t take his eyes of the hated face of Gary Mitchell. “Not worth it? After what he did to you, give me one reason-“

But Leonard was cut off by the sound of Mitchell’s full-throated laughter. Leonard looked at him like he wanted to burn him to ash with his eyes alone.

“Been telling stories again, Jimmy?” Mitchell’s voice was amused, despite the fact that he was still being pressed bodily into the wall.

Leonard’s eyes narrowed, the urge to punch the other alpha right in his smug face was near-overwhelming.

“He always did tend towards the dramatic.”

Leonard could hear Jim’s voice, choked with fury, from over his shoulder. “Dramatic? You are so full of shit, Gary. You know what you did.”

Mitchell ignored Jim, focusing on Leonard instead, who still had his hands fisted in the other man’s uniform. “I don’t know what he told you, buddy. But he took it like a champ.”

Leonard drew his arm back.

“And he liked it.”

The feeling of his fist connecting with Mitchell’s jaw was satisfying, so much so that he had the urge to do it again and again. To do it until the other alpha stopped moving, stopped running his traitorous mouth. He drew his fist back for another swing, but Jim gripped him by the elbow, holding him back.

“Bones. Bones, please.” The raw pain in Jim’s voice was what made him stop, more than the restraining hand. This was hurting Jim. Any time spent in Mitchell’s presence hurt him, and as much as Leonard wanted to give Mitchell the pounding he so richly deserved, Jim was his first priority.

Mitchell stretched his jaw, his mouth reforming into the smirk that seemed to be a permanent feature. His eyes were cold, malicious as he studied Leonard.

Jim continued to plead with Leonard. “Bones, just let him go and let’s get the hell out of here.”

The two alphas glared at each other for a long moment. Then Leonard slowly released his grasp on Mitchell’s uniform, stepping away, yet not taking his eyes off the man for a second.

When Jim stepped up beside him, Leonard could feel him vibrating with anger and adrenaline. “Get the fuck out of here, Gary,” Jim ground out. “Come back and I’ll report you for harassment. We’ll see how that looks on your record.”

When Mitchell turned his cold eyes on Jim, Leonard was gripped with another urge to pound the man’s face.

The parties squared off against each other for a long moment, neither alpha wanting to back down. Finally, Mitchell, with his omnipresent smug expression, brushed past the pair, favoring Jim with another icy glare as he went. The few onlookers that the altercation had drawn quickly dispersed. Probably they feared getting caught in any discipline that might be meted out.

As soon as Mitchell was out of the immediate vicinity, Leonard turned to Jim. He took in the omega’s shell-shocked, glazed expression, his pallor, and made his decision. He wrapped an arm around Jim’s shoulders.

“You’re coming with me. You can stay at my place tonight,” Leonard told the omega.

Jim sighed out his exhaustion. “Bones-“ he started.

“Don’t argue with me for once,” Leonard said gently. “I’m not leaving you alone.”

Jim didn’t answer, he simply fixed his gaze downward, a frown creasing his brow.

“What?” Leonard asked.

“I think I’m gonna be sick,” Jim informed him dazedly, shaking off Leonard’s arm and stumbling to the shrubs that decorated the exterior of the dorm. Leonard followed him, placing a hand on Jim’s back as he retched, rubbing circles there. It was, oddly, an inversion of their first meeting, this time with Leonard comforting Jim.

The gagging sounds stopped and Jim rose shakily to his feet, wiping his mouth off on the back of his hand. Leonard didn’t place much stock in Jim’s steadiness at this point, so he wrapped an arm around Jim’s waist, taking part of the omega’s weight as his own.

They made their way to Leonard’s dorm, mostly concealed from curious onlookers by the evening dark. Once there, Leonard eschewed the stairs for the lift, all the while concerned at Jim’s silence, at the way he was leaning so heavily on Leonard.

When they reached Leonard’s room, the doctor tried to steer Jim to the bed, but the omega resisted. “I need a shower. I feel filthy.”

Leonard was torn between sympathy for Jim and anger toward Mitchell. “I’ll help you,” he offered, still unsure of Jim’s ability to navigate under his own power.

“No,” Jim refused. “I can handle it.” He reclaimed his balance and headed for the bath, leaving Leonard standing in the center of the bedroom. The alpha listened for the sound of Jim’s tread across the tile, for the sound of the water turning on, all the sounds that would indicate that everything was alright.

But everything wasn’t alright. His omega was hurting, and he couldn’t do anything to assuage it. He could have pounded Mitchell, continued hitting him until he begged for mercy. But that wouldn’t have helped Jim any, wouldn’t have made the omega feel any less dirty, any less used. Even now Jim was in the shower, trying to rub the imaginary stain off his skin.

Leonard went and sat heavily on the side of the bed. Truthfully, Jim wasn’t even his to protect. He still did not have an answer to his proposal. And he had no idea how this latest crisis would affect Jim’s decision.

Leonard sat and wallowed in dark thoughts as he listed to the sound of running water. And listened. And listened. An uneasy feeling crept in when Jim still didn’t appear.

Leonard crossed to the bathroom, calling Jim’s name through the door. When he didn’t receive any answer, he quickly tabbed in the lock override, trying to reign in the kernel of panic that settled in his gut.

He found Jim on the floor of the shower, huddled under the steady stream, his skin red from the heat of the water. Leonard quickly ordered the shower off, grabbing a towel and draping it over Jim’s naked shoulders before helping him up. As it was, Jim was barely carrying his own weight. Leonard had to sit him on the closed toilet seat in order to help him dry off.

“My mouth tastes like puke,” Jim grumbled.

Leonard sighed, helping Jim up and handing him a toothbrush and paste. He hovered close, worried about the omega’s ability to stay standing under his own power.

Jim examined the toothbrush, a small frown creasing his forehead. “This isn’t your toothbrush.”

Leonard rolled his eyes. “No, it’s yours.”

Jim looked at Leonard, a small smile quirking one side of his mouth. “You got me a toothbrush?”

“Only because you kept stealing mine. It’s unhygienic.”

“Uh-huh,” Jim replied. The amusement in his voice gave Leonard some hope. Jim proceeded to brush his teeth mechanically, then finally let Leonard lead him to the bedroom and help him into bed. Leonard stood awkwardly next to the bed, not sure whether his presence would be welcome at this juncture. His conflict was settled when Jim looked at him with red-rimmed, tired eyes and reached out a hand.

Leonard stripped down to his boxers before sliding in next to Jim. Contrary to Leonard’s fears, his presence seemed very much welcomed. The omega wrapped his arm around Leonard and moved flush up against him, tucking his head under Leonard’s chin.

Leonard sighed, returning the embrace, clutching Jim tightly, reassuring himself of the other man’s presence. Jim was silent for so long that Leonard thought he had fallen right to sleep.

“It was like we lived two different realities,” Jim started, his breath wafting over Leonard’s chest. “He said I was making it up. That it didn’t happen the way I remember it. He said I liked it.”

Leonard reached up to massage the back of Jim’s neck. “Abusers do that, Jim. They twist the past into whatever form they have to. But you know he’s wrong. You know what happened. You lived through it and you survived.”

“I was afraid that you-“ Jim trailed off.

“Afraid that I what?”

Jim’s grip around Leonard tightened convulsively. “I was afraid that you’d believe him.”

Leonard drew away to look Jim in the eyes. The red that surrounded them made them appear even more blue. “I would never do that to you, Jim,” Leonard countered fiercely. “I wouldn’t think that of you. Whether you accept my claim or not, I would never betray you like that.”

Jim was quiet for a long moment before he exhaled shakily. “I’m so sorry, Bones.”

For one heartbreaking moment, Leonard thought that he had his answer, and that he was being rejected. Jim must have seen the dismay in his face.

“No, Bones. Not that. I’m just sorry for making you wait. I’m sorry I can’t give you an answer right now. You deserve better than that.”

The relief that gripped Leonard was enough to make his head swim. “I don’t want you to answer right now anyway,” he replied gently. “You’re too upset. I don’t want you deciding for the wrong reasons.”

Jim nodded slightly, a weak smile touching his lips, before tucking his head back under Leonard’s chin. Leonard couldn’t help dropping a kiss to the top of the blond head. Despite the awful events of the day, Leonard felt a kind of contentment settling over him. Jim was safe and under his protection, in his bed and in his arms. It felt all kinds of right. Leonard listened to the change in Jim’s breathing as he dropped off to sleep, going limp against him, a solid, reassuring weight. And when Jim stirred with nightmares, late in the night, Leonard did his best to chase them away, whispering soothing sounds and reassurances into the omega’s ear. Promises that he was safe, and protected, and nothing could hurt him here.


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