The Greater Good (Kirk/McCoy NC-17) 3/6

  • Aug. 16th, 2011 at 5:09 AM
emiliglia: (au!kirk/mccoy)
Master Post & Mix - Part 1 - Part 2


Leonard directs Jim to the location of the hospital administration before heading to the lab. It's surprisingly quiet – Spock nowhere to be seen, and it's not until Leonard looks in the animal room that he finds Chekov changing cages.

He takes the time to go through Spock's pathology reports, but nothing stands out. Only twelve test runs left...

Chekov comes out of the rat room whistling with a chipper, “Good morning, Doctor,” that leaves Leonard suspecting Chekov has finally spoken to Sulu again. Still doesn't mean Leonard wants to hear about it, though.

“Where's Spock?”

“He's at a meeting,” Chekov replies, and it's a fact he seems pleased to report. “Then he'll be reviewing proposals all afternoon.” He stays where he is, staring at Leonard, eyes squinted like Chekov tends to when he's thinking too hard.

“Was there something else?” Leonard asks.

“Well, now that you mention it... Maybe if you don't need me any longer, I can leave early today? The girls all have fresh water, food, and bedding. Could have the lab to yourself today, yes?”

It does sound tempting, being able to work in quiet.

There's a light knock a the lab door that has Chekov lighting up even further, and Leonard doesn't even need to ask as Chekov hurries over to let Sulu in. Sulu, who seems to be talking to someone animatedly, which makes Chekov's face visibly fall.

“Pavel, come on, you need to meet someone,” Sulu says, grabbing Chekov by the hand to pull him closer. Sulu's companion steps into the lab, looking like he isn't sure if he belongs or not, shutting the door quietly behind him. He looks confused when he sees Leonard, but it quickly shifts to amusement. “Pavel, this is Jim Kirk. Jim, you remember Doctor McCoy, right?”

Jim has a playful spark in his eye that sets Leonard on edge. “I'm not the kind of guy that forgets the people I make breakfast for.”

This both perks Chekov's interest and wipes away any irrational jealousy he had so obviously been feeling.

“He sure knows how to make a guy feel special,” Leonard responds dryly, which rids the smile from Jim's face. “Go on, Chekov, get out of here before I change my mind and make you sterilize everything.”

“You guys interested in joining us for lunch?” Sulu asks, genuine being polite while Chekov seems like he'd only tolerate the company if it meant getting more information about the breakfast Jim mentioned.

Not that there's anything to share.

“Nah, you two go on ahead. I have somewhere to be in a bit, and I'm sure Bones would rather just work in quiet,” Jim answers for the both of them, which Leonard is equally glad for and annoyed by. “Nice kids,” Jim says after Sulu and Chekov have left. “Is Pavel on work-study or something?”

“He's actually working on his doctorate in nanorobotics. Chekov's trying to develop a model that can be used for extremely localized chemotherapy.”

“Wouldn't tiny, healing robots make your job obsolete?” Jim asks, looking around at the different charts and microscope images tacked to the walls.

“They aren't doing the diagnosing, and it's more like a vaccine using programmed computers instead of a programmed virus.”

Jim stops in front of the digital image of the gel electrophoresis of the rats' PCRs. “Why's the one labeled Fifty Two different?” Leonard waits a beat as it clicks. “You're keeping one of your lab rats as a pet?”

“She's the only one that's responded to the treatment and made a full recovery,” Leonard responds, like Jim's opinion actually matters to him. “That rat is the only living creature ever to have survived this disease, and if I don't find what makes Fifty Two different, the research proposal won't be renewed.” Leonard chuckles sardonically. “Hard to get support to study a disease that only kills four thousand people a year. It's not even a quick death, either; it's long, slow, agonizing. Most people don't even know that the cells in your heart can grow malignant tumors.”

“Bones...”

“Too close to it, the grant board said. Like I'm the only one out there working on a disease they've been personally affected by.”

“Grant board?” Jim parrots, his tone disbelieving, and Leonard can't even look at him. “You weren't given funding? What's paying for all of this?”

“Spock's the lab manager for the university and helps when he can. Chekov gets paid on his own department's research grants.” Leonard shrugs, crossing his arms and leaning back against the lab bench. “The rest of it's all me.”

“Fuck, Bones.” Jim runs a hand through his hair, turning like he's looking for the nearest exit. “And people think I have issues. You, though... You made a pet out of the animal that survived the disease that killed your father, and I'm the one in therapy.”

Leonard's eyes snap to Jim's. “I never said-”

“Doesn't take much to put the pieces together,” Jim interrupts. “I remember that you said your father had died. You can't think I'm that bright, though, since I did have to use the military to get a degree.”

“I never-” Leonard tries to interject, but Jim is absolutely livid.

“I'm sorry that your dad died, Bones, I really am, but you can't base your entire life on that. It's been five years, and you may not be in Atlanta anymore, but nothing's really changed, has it?” His expression's shifted, and Leonard is surprised to see that Jim looks like he might be afraid.

Like he's scared that looking at Leonard now is what he's going to look like in the future.

“Jim.” He doesn't know what to say, though. His mind keeps cycling through Jim no longer being in the Navy, his shaky flying, his state in the hospital yesterday, and now the knowledge that he's in therapy. “What happened to you?”

Jim lets out a bark of a laugh that also sounds like a cry of pain. “I gotta go,” he says.

And he does.

+

Leonard's home for five minutes that night.

He pours himself two fingers of bourbon, sits on the couch, but when Fifty Two climbs up the arm rest to look at him, her whiskers twitching, he has to leave.

After his father's death, his marriage had become the embodiment of all of his guilt.

It seems now to be a rat.

Either way, he still returns to it at the end of the day.

He goes back to the hospital with an overnight bag. Leonard spends the night in the on-call room, and he knows he's found out when Christine sees him eating breakfast in the cafeteria the next morning.

Leonard's not sure he cares anymore. The only one he's been managing to fool into thinking his life isn't sad and pathetic, it seems, is himself.

+

He isn't actively avoiding Jim, but it is a week before their paths cross again in the form of a new heart being flown to Oakland for a woman on the national transplant list. The way it mirrors their first meeting isn't lost on Leonard, but before he'd been the doctor saving the life, not the one taking a life apart to piece it out for other patients.

Leonard stays in the back, and Jim doesn't speak beyond any radio chatter he has with air traffic control.

The heart gets dropped off and immediately brought into surgery as Leonard exchanges the necessary paperwork and signatures, and the staff in Oakland seems genuinely grateful – long-term patients are hard to stay professionally detached from, and Leonard wishes Mrs. Evans a swift recovery.

It's on the return trip when things get interesting, and compared to what actually happens, Leonard never thought he'd prefer Jim getting pissed off more.

The chopper lurches and drops, Leonard's stomach feeling like it's bottomed out. “What the hell was that?” There's no answer, and Leonard thinks that maybe Jim couldn't hear him, so he climbs up into the co-pilot's seat only for it to happen again. “Jim, what the fuck?”

“Put the damn harness on!” Jim shouts, and Leonard can feel his pulse pick up as Jim looks like he's struggling with the controls, his knuckles white with the strength of his grip on them.

The third drop has Leonard breaking out into a cold sweat, his stomach roiling. “I may throw up on you,” he groans.

“There's a crosswind over the bay,” Jim says, his jaw tight. “If I can gain some altitude, it won't be as bad.”

“And if that doesn't work?”

“Your seat cushion can double as a flotation device,” Jim responds sarcastically, and Leonard just stares at him balefully. “Tread water until the Coast Guard shows up and hope that's not before hypothermia sets in.”

Half an hour, Leonard thinks. Half an hour before losing consciousness, and then you're as good as dead.

He doesn't realize he's hyperventilating until Jim starts yelling at him.

“Bones, listen to me, dammit! You need to calm down!” Jim's eyes are wide and blue, though, his face pale. He's anything but calm himself.

“What a pair we make, huh?” Leonard says, laughing but it turns into dry heaving and he's tasting bile in the back of his throat.

Jim's teeth are gritted together as he fights the wind, trying to climb faster than the wind can push them to the side and make them lose altitude. Jim's yelling like it's giving him strength, and Leonard's eyes find the altimeter, watching the numbers steadily increase.

“Jim?”

“I got it,” he forces out, but Leonard doesn't feel like Jim is talking to him. He can see the sweat dripping down his face. “I got it.”

And it's like Leonard can actually feel when the crosswinds lose strength as the chopper is no longer shaking with the effort of Jim trying to keep it flying straight. Jim strokes the console like the helicopter is a favorite pet, saying things that Leonard can't quite make out, as Leonard slumps, boneless, in his seat.

Jim just looks surprised and giddy, like he hadn't expected to get out of it okay, which isn't a comfort to Leonard at all.

They get back to the hospital without incident, and Leonard can't get out of the helicopter fast enough. He's finishing off with the paperwork before he thinks that he should maybe make sure Jim isn't throwing up in a corner somewhere from the anxiety.

Leonard stops by the dispatcher's office, listening distractedly to an EMT on the radio describing an inbound case.

“Can I help you?”

“Yeah, I'm wondering if you know if Jim Kirk is still around or not?”

“Sent him home. No more flying today.”

“Right. Sorry for bothering you.”

+

Leonard finishes off his shift and goes straight to the VA center, and nearly runs into the woman he saw with Jim that one time as he ran up the sidewalk.

“My apologies, Lieutenant...” he says, hoping he didn’t get the woman’s rank completely wrong, but it looks like the same one Jim had on his uniform back in Atlanta, and that scene’s more or less burned into his memory.

“Uhura,” she responds with a soft smile.

“Nyota Uhura?” Leonard ventures. Her voice does sound familiar, and how common can the name be?

“That's right.” Uhura looks hesitant. “How did you know that, Mister...?”

“Leonard McCoy.” He offers his hand, and she shakes it with a surprisingly strong grip. “You might see my number on your missed call list a few times. Jim Kirk was my patient recently, and the contact number he gave was yours.”

Realization dawns on her face. “You're Bones?” She narrows her eyes, jabbing Leonard in the chest with her finger. “He's not having a good day. What do you want with him?”

It's such a weighted question, but Leonard can only respond with what he immediately knows. “I was with him on that flight today. I just want to make sure he's okay, and let him know that... Let him know that I'm okay, too,” Leonard finishes lamely.

Uhura seems to accept this answer, though, as she escorts him through the campus to the dormitory. “He's in room thirty three. Hurt him, and I will end you.”

“Yes, ma'am.”

He waits for Uhura to leave before knocking on the door, and it doesn't take long for Jim to open it as far as it'll allow with the security latch still in place. “I don't think it's a good idea for me to interact with you outside of a professional setting.”

Leonard snorts. “Your therapist tell you to say that?” He rubs his hand over his face. “Because you need to believe that things can be fixed, right? That people can heal? And I'm, well, not.”

Jim's gaze softens before he shuts the door. Leonard hesitates, turns to leave, but then Jim is opening the door all the way. “Come inside, Bones. I'd offer you a beer, but it's a dry campus.”

“Water's fine,” Leonard says, sitting on the couch and trying to look relaxed when he feels like he can't hold still, like he's still being buffeted by crosswinds and all he can do is try to keep heading in the same direction.

Jim puts the water down on the coffee table and sits in the armchair facing Leonard, his expression sad and somber, and it reminds Leonard of, for some reason, of the pastor's when he still went to church as a boy.

“I think I thought that, if I found a treatment, then it would cure the part of me that had been dying along with my father. I'm not the same man as I was before we found out he was sick.” Leonard picks up the glass, staring off into the middle distance. “Just ask my ex-wife.”

“I was bringing replacement supplies in.” Jim's voice is so quiet that Leonard can barely hear him. “The city was supposed to be under control, but there was never enough food, water, medicine, basic amenities... Got hit by a Stinger, blew the tail right off, crashed into a school. Eighteen dead, forty three injured, all of them were children.” Jim's eyes are wet with unshed tears, and Leonard wonders how many times he's had to tell the story like this, a recitation of facts, numbers that don't mean anything to anyone besides Jim. “How am I supposed to cure that part of me, Bones?”

Leonard swallows heavily, his mind supplying all the clichés that had been said to him when his father died, but none of them are actually true. It doesn't get better with time, and you can't just move on. “I'm starting to think it's more like losing a limb. You can't fix it, so you just have to learn to live with it. Adapt.”

“Partial soul amputation,” Jim says with a laugh that gives Leonard the chills. “Aren't we just fucked?”

“Completely,” Leonard agrees, taking one more sip before setting the water down. He reaches into his back pocket to pull out his wallet and take an item from it. “I know we aren't each other's favorite people with the exposed baggage and all, but if you ever get sick of having a curfew, you know where to find me, Jim.”

Leonard leaves the key on the coffee table, making his exit before Jim can even formulate a response.

He's not sure why they keep doing this, running away from each other only to gravitate back together, but while he's not sure how he'd feel about Jim agreeing to move in, Leonard knows that it will hurt him if Jim says no.

+

Five days later Leonard wakes up to the smell of coffee and bacon, and he actually smiles against his pillow.

+

It's been over six years since Leonard has lived with anyone, and it surprises him how easy the transition to having Jim as a roommate is. That's not to say that their relationship is easy, but Leonard has no problem adjusting to sharing space again. They may not exactly have figured out what the hell they are to each other with their past and current history, but it's nice to have someone around to drink beer and watch ballgames on TV with, even if Leonard hasn't been converted to a Giants fan for all the years he's been in San Francisco now.

And don't even get him started on the 49ers.

His feelings towards Jim... To say that they're complicated would be putting it mildly.

When they'd first met, Jim had managed to become the bright spot in a very dark time for Leonard. He doesn't like the way things had ended with them, but he can understand it. Leonard would be lying if he claimed to not still be attracted to Jim, but so much time has passed, and so many things have changed them. Not to mention that Jim seems to be this living reminder of the time when Leonard was at his worst.

Jim doesn't think Leonard's gotten past that period, though. It's almost like, to Jim, Leonard is an object lesson on what he doesn't want to become.

Leonard has the day off when a package arrives for Jim, and when Jim gets back and opens it, looking like a kid on Christmas morning, is when it hits Leonard exactly how stuck he is.

“Studying for the LSAT?” Leonard asks, and he remembers that Jim had aspirations for law school before. He just didn't know it was still something Jim wanted to do.

“I'm not going to stop trying to do what I want with my life just because I have PTSD,” Jim says, and his frankness stuns Leonard into silence. “I think Pike thinks I need a challenge to occupy my brain to keep it from running in circles over what happened.”

Leonard doesn't know how to respond, but Jim doesn't seem to expect him to. He rises from the couch, and Fifty Two, who had been asleep in her cage, perks up as Jim heads into the kitchen and actually climbs out to run after him.

“I think your rat's in love with me.” Jim returns holding the necks of two new bottles in one hand and Fifty Two on the other. He sets one of the beers in front of Leonard before resettling himself on the couch.

“You trained her to follow you.”

“I did not!”

“I think giving her a treat whenever she's in the kitchen with you is considered positive reinforcement.”

“I brought you beer,” Jim says like it proves his argument, but Leonard can't tell if the implication is that Jim just tries to please everyone and everything or if it means Jim thinks that Leonard's in love with him, too.

“You don't need to ply me with alcohol to get me to like you,” Leonard responds, trying to keep his tone light even though there's a heavy feeling inside of him.

Like he said, complicated is putting it mildly.

+

Leonard enters the animal room while Chekov's changing cages, whistling “Single Ladies” as he works. Chekov insists that the rats remind him of the music video, but Leonard had just started his second year of both med school and his marriage when the song had been popular, so he's not as familiar as Chekov seems to think he should be. And he adamantly refuses to look it up on YouTube.

One Seventeen looks miserable, curled up in a ball in the corner of her cage, but the rats never look happy during their twenty four hour fast. Leonard also suspects that they've figured out that when one of them fasts, she leaves and doesn't come back.

“Be ready to start in an hour,” Leonard says, leaving the room to see Spock already setting up the surgical table, his calm expression the complete opposite of how Leonard feels has he tries not to think about how he's running out of chances.

+

He's sitting in his armchair in the dark when Jim comes through the door, turning the light on and nearly jumping out of his skin when he notices Leonard. “Jesus Christ, Bones, you almost gave me a heart attack.”

“We're shutting down in two months.”

Jim puts down the backpack he'd been shouldering and moves into the living room to sit on the couch, facing Leonard. “I'm sorry, Bones.”

Leonard scoffs. “Don't pander to me; you all but outright said that you think I'm just aggravating old wounds, and you're probably right. If I shut down in July, Chekov should have enough time to find a new lab to work with before the semester starts. The kid's doing great work; he shouldn't lose opportunities just because my name's attached.”

“Spock and Chekov... They believe in what you're doing, Bones.”

“Well maybe I don't believe in me.”

Jim doesn't respond, and it's all the answer Leonard needs to get the hell of the room and go to bed. He can vaguely make out Jim talking to Fifty Two before he manages to fall asleep.

+

Once Leonard actually accepts that his research is over, it feels like there's been a weight lifted.

He's not exactly sure what to do with the remaining animals, though.

Does he continue his work for the remaining three animals in the hope that something works again, and he's able to determine the difference between the few successes versus the many failures? Or does he somehow hope he can find homes for them?

Leonard's not going to have them euthanized, he's determined that much.

He's just not sure how Jim would feel about having four rats running around the apartment. Leonard doesn't know how he'd feel about it, for that matter.

And Jim's so strung out as his LSAT test date draws nearer that Leonard isn't even going to try to ask him for ideas.

Maybe Spock knows of another lab that could use them.

+

The day of Jim's test, Leonard's flying with Sulu, and he's surprised by how long it feels like since he's been in a helicopter with someone other than Jim.

“Pavel said he needs to find a new lab to work with.”

“I can recommend some projects if he's having a hard time.” Leonard doesn't notice that he'd been holding his breath as they approached the bay until he releases it in relief that the winds are calm. “He'll be fighting off offers, though, once word gets out. It'll be better for him to be somewhere that actually has funding.”

“He may or may not have mentioned that he'll forgive you if you and Jim get laid. I'm assuming he meant with each other.”

“I'm so glad he's returned to his matchmaking phase. Last time his attention was focused on Spock, and he'd been just as unsuccessful as he will be now.” Out of the corner of his eye, Leonard can see Sulu opening his mouth to continue, but Leonard cuts him off before he gets the chance. “And don't say that he just wants me to be happy. Chekov only wants people to be happy when he's happy.”

“So his interest in your relationship with Jim only means good things to me, right?”

“Can we just do our damn jobs instead of talking about boys like a pair of thirteen year old girls?”

“Wow. I'm not going to admit this to his face, but Pavel's right. You really do need to get laid.”

“Just shut up and fly,” Leonard responds, but he can't summon up even half of the venom he tries to put into the words.

+

When Jim gets his LSAT scores back in the mail, he doesn't say anything about them. Leonard can't comprehend the idea that Jim might not have done well – he's had the prep materials for months, and Jim's visual memory is almost eidetic based on what Leonard’s seen of his navigational skills while flying.

Leonard probably would've just asked, but Jim's usually so eager to talk when something good has happened. With shutting the lab down, Leonard's not exactly sure he can handle any bad news, either.

After a few days he gets a phone call from Uhura. “I need you to get Jim to Rendezvous tomorrow night at nine, and if you know some people to invite to be there beforehand, do it. I think Pike and I are the only people he knows that aren't deployed right now.”

Leonard can only really think of Sulu, and then Chekov by extension. He supposes it would be polite to include Spock, as well, although Leonard doubts he would go.

“I think I can manage that.”

“Great!” Uhura responds. “Make sure Jim doesn't know what's going on – it's supposed to be a surprise. I'll see you tomorrow.”

+

There's no way Jim can't be suspecting anything when they get to Rendezvous, the tapas bar not being the sort of place that friends or roommates go to together.

Leonard gives the hostess his name, and she responds with, “They're waiting for you in the back,” which has Jim's eyebrows climbing to his hairline.

“Bones, what the hell's going on?” Jim asks as they trail behind the hostess.

Leonard doesn't get a chance to respond, though; at a round table with Uhura, there is an older man who must be Pike, Sulu, Chekov, and Spock, who surprisingly showed up, yelling a confused mixture of “Surprise!” and “Congratulations!” that actually has Jim turning pink as he stares at his shoes.

“I thought there was a thing called doctor-patient confidentiality,” Jim says accusingly to Pike.

“There would be if I were a doctor,” Pike replies. “And even then, LSAT scores don't exactly qualify. Being in the ninety-eighth percentile is something to be proud of, Jim.”

“Yeah, well...” Jim runs a hand through his hair. “Bones, this is Commander Pike, my advisor.”

“Leonard McCoy,” Leonard says, shaking Pike's hand, and he can't help but have the distinct feeling of being sized up.

“I've heard quite a bit about you, Doctor.” Pike smiles, but before Leonard can find out what he means by that, Pike's already preparing to leave. “I'm sorry I can't stay longer, but I don't think Jim would let himself enjoy this evening with a superior officer around. Congratulations, Jim; make sure you think about what I said.” Pike turns to address the rest of the group. “It was nice to meet all of you.”

Pike's barely been gone for ten seconds when Chekov speaks up. “We can order a round of shots, now, yes?”

“The minimum legal drinking age in this country is twenty one, which you are not,” Spock feels the need to point out, but Chekov doesn't seem dissuaded.

“It's not fair – I can drink in Russia. Here I have to use a fake ID all because of one year.”

Uhura, apparently, can speak Russian as she launches into a conversation with Chekov that decides for Leonard that they do, in fact, need alcohol.

Jim seems to agree as he looks like he's about to set off for the bar, but Leonard stops him. “This little shindig is for you; you're not paying for anything tonight.”

Jim wrinkles his nose at him in a playful way that has Leonard remembering a day spent naked in a hotel bed as Jim sits down next to Sulu. “Shindig? What is this, the 1800s?”

“That's going to be your last sober thought of the evening,” Leonard responds. He orders a round of Blackouts on the hunch that Jim will like them.

They toast Jim's LSAT score before taking the shots, and soon enough Chekov is dragging Sulu off to dance. Leonard goes back to the bar, wanting to see what's on tap, and he's just gotten a pint of the local seasonal brew when Jim slides into the stool next to him.

“Started feeling like the third wheel at my own surprise party,” Jim says, and Leonard looks back at the table to see Spock and Uhura in what seems to be a deep conversation based on the way they're leaning towards each other.

“She's a gorgeous woman and speaks two languages. Spock likes interesting people.”

“I think she's up to five, now, unless you count each type of cryptography as a language in itself,” Jim responds, looking wistful for a moment, and it makes Leonard wonder if he's not seeing their entire relationship.

“Are you in love with her?” he asks, trying to sound casual about it.

“I thought I was, once. Now she's more like family than any of my actual blood relations.”

“Does your mother know what you've been up to lately?” Leonard asks, although he has a feeling he can guess the answer.

“Does yours?” Jim retorts.

Leonard changes the subject. “What is it that Pike wants you to think about?”

“Is this a party or an interrogation?” Jim's laughing lightly, though. “I'm still just trying to digest the fact that law school can actually happen, now, and Pike's saying he can pull some strings, get me started in the fall part-time if go back in as a flight instructor for him.”

“For what it's worth,” Leonard responds, “I think you'd be good at it.”

Jim stares at Leonard for a moment, his expression unreadable, before giving a half-shrug. He waves the bartender over and leans across so Leonard can't hear what he's ordering. “Okay, seriously, we are done with sobriety and being serious for the night.”

Leonard looks over at the dance floor at Sulu and Chekov, who seem to be in the middle of it with the rest of the crowd gyrating around them like the couple has their own gravitational pull. “No amount of alcohol will get me out there, so don't even try.”

There's a definite gleam in Jim's eyes as he slides the new drink in front of Leonard, and its sharp burn as it makes its way down his throat will be Leonard's last clear memory of the night.

+

Leonard thinks the giggling might be coming from his own mouth as he tries to unlock his door, but he's not exactly sure. Jim's warm and solid and draped against his side, Leonard able to feel the rough-soft of Jim's beard against his neck, so it's entirely possible that the sound is coming from him.

“You're not my conjoined twin,” Leonard slurs, managing to get into the apartment and dragging Jim far enough inside that he can dump him on the couch. This has Jim curling in on himself with laughter that quickly devolves into hiccups.

“Bones, help me,” Jim says, gasping, reaching up in the air and wriggling his fingers like it's supposed to beckon Leonard to come closer. Leonard stands over him, arching an eyebrow, which renews Jim's laughter but does nothing for the hiccuping. He stands just out of arm reach, but underestimates Jim's motivation as Jim hooks his legs behinds Leonard's and pulls him down onto the couch with him.

“Dammit, Jim,” Leonard huffs against Jim's shoulder, trying to shift to roll off of him, but he thinks he elbows Jim in the ribs as he tries to move as Jim let's out an oof. “C'mon, Jim, let me up.”

“I think they stopped.” Jim's face is all pinched in concentration, which Leonard finds endlessly amusing while proving that it seems the giggling actually had been him. Jim moves his legs so they're between Leonard's instead of under him. “You saved my life.”

Leonard watches Jim's face, sees the way he licks his lips. “Maybe I shouldn't move, then. Make sure they don't come back.”

“That sounds like a good idea.” Jim stops craning his neck, lying down fully on the couch and closing his eyes. He's soon asleep, snoring lightly, and Leonard follows suit not long after, unconsciously rubbing circles into Jim's arm.

+

Leonard wakes up on the floor, his head pounding and ears ringing, and he hopes to god that the snoring above him on the couch is Jim.

He needs to find out what that drink was before he kills Jim so Leonard can never have it again.

After some more sleep, though.

Part 4 - Part 5 - Part 6


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