emiliglia: (mccoy/kirk)
Title: The Devil You Know
Rating: NC-17
Pairings: Kirk/McCoy, McCoy/Gaila, Kirk/Gaila
Word Count: 4,515
Warnings: possibly canon minor character death
Summary: Inspired by this prompt at [livejournal.com profile] st_xi_kink and the [livejournal.com profile] hc_bingo prompt motion sickness - As it turns out, it isn't the start of a beautiful friendship.


When Bones (and Jim is totally going to start calling him that; he can't wait to see the look on Bones' face when he does) hands over his flask filled with good bourbon based on the way Jim's taste buds are sighing ("Don't anthropomorphize your body parts," Bones spits through his teeth), he thinks it's going to be the start of a beautiful friendship.

They lose each other during matriculation, and after hours of filling out paperwork and being handed some shiny, brand new cadet uniforms that Jim swears are burning holes in his retinas with how bright they are, he enters his assigned dorm room only to laugh when he sees who his roommate is.

"Oh, great, it's you!" Jim says, dropping his uniforms on the closest bed since, judging by the way Bones is already sprawled on the other one with his forearm draped across his eyes, the other's clearly been claimed already.

Bones moves his arm aside, looking at Jim blearily. He repeats what Jim had said, but with significantly less enthusiasm.


They go to the cadet bar that first night, after Jim washes the blood off his face and Bones shaves, which makes him look less like an asylum escapee and more like the young and too smart cadets they're surrounded by.

Jim behaves himself. He sticks to beer, avoids Cupcake and friends when he spots them across the room, and when he talks to people, there's no ulterior motive of fucking behind it.

He loses track of Bones at some point but doesn't think anything of it. Just because they're roommates doesn't mean they have to stay joined at the hip, and they're both adults. Hell, they're older than a lot of the other cadets Jim's seen so far.

He leaves before last call, no longer able to handle the other overly-exuberant cadets when one manages to spill a pint of beer in Jim's lap. The guilty party would actually seem apologetic if she'd stop giggling around the words, so Jim just leaves after getting the worst of it to absorb into a handful of napkins in the bathroom.

The mystery of the missing roommate is quickly solved when Jim returns to his dorm to the sight of a whole lot of naked green and tan skin. The red-headed Orion cranes her neck to look at him in the doorway with a lazy smile on her face. "Oh, hi, you must be Jim!" she says like she's genuinely pleased to meet him, like she's not currently riding Bones with the tips of his fingers digging into her thighs (and holy fuck, but it's really hot).

"I'll just be in the bathroom," Jim responds, since it is why he came back, and he's not exactly sure how else he's supposed to react to this sort of situation. It's not like he's ever lived with anyone before. His dick seems to know what it would like to do, so Jim sets the water to cold and takes longer than usual, figuring it would at least be polite to give them time to finish.


As it turns out, it isn't the start of a beautiful friendship.

Jim will come back from class or the library or office hours to either some sort of impromptu party in his dorm room or Bones doing the horizontal mambo with any number of species or genders.

"It must be a human thing," Gaila muses, drinking something that Jim would call tea if tea had the same consistency as pea soup. She'd been assigned as his lab partner in their Introduction to Warp Theory class, and aside from the strangeness of the first time they'd met, Jim thinks they've actually become friends. "My roommate doesn't seem to like it either."

Jim focuses his attention back on the engine diagnostic readouts on the screen in front of them, wondering if Academy Housing would care if he and Gaila switched rooms for the rest of the term.


Bones gets back from a hospital shift and immediately starts changing out of his uniform and into civvies. "I'm going out, kid, did you want to tag along?"

Jim clenches his jaw, keeping his gaze on the PADD sitting on his desk in front of him. "No, man, I'm good."

"Suit yourself," is Bones' response before grabbing a jacket and heading out the door.


It makes him a bit of a creeper, Jim supposes, but he's grown tired of working on the essay assignment for his class on pre-Federation history course. Jim's not sure how watching his roommate sleep is supposed to be more interesting, but he really can't figure the guy out.

It isn't that Jim's being judgmental about how Bones goes out drinking and then brings back some random he, she, or it, which more often than not leaves Jim sleeping on the couch in the lounge downstairs. It would be really hypocritical of him to think he could criticize Bones' choice in lifestyle.

And it's not like Bones doesn't work hard, or at least from what Jim sees in their room. He does his assignments, complains about the idiots they have teaching some of the medical classes, and he takes on hours at both the on-campus clinic and Starfleet Medical.

Jim just supposes that he sees it all for what it really is - running. Drowning in work and then using any and all idle time with the easy pleasures of sex and alcohol Jim can easily relate to. He knows Bones is divorced and that it was anything but civil, but Jim doesn't think that's what his roommate is running from, what keeps that crease between Bones' eyebrows, even when he's asleep.


The night Bones comes back from the bar barely able to walk with bloody knuckles on his right hand, Jim curses up a storm that concludes with, "What the hell did you think you were doing? If you get arrested they'll put you on probation or kick you out of Starfleet altogether."

Bones is leaning on him heavily as Jim has his hand in the sink, running warm water over it to see that the abrasions aren't really that bad. ''C'mon, kid, you need to loosen up."

"I spent the last eight years being loose," Jim seethes. "And stop calling me kid!"

"I wouldn't have thought you'd be so goddamn uptight from the way you looked on that shuttle," Bones slurs, nearly face-planting into the sink when Jim wrenches away from him.

"I don't owe you an explanation for anything, but you're not going to remember this in the morning anyway. Captain Pike pulled a lot of fucking strings to get me here, and I can't throw the opportunity away by acting like I had been. I don't have three degrees like you do; I still have things to prove." Jim storms out of the bathroom, deciding to go for a walk to clear his head and get some damn space.

When he returns to his dorm room, Bones is either asleep or just pretending to be, and Jim is glad for it.


They do a good job at avoiding each other (for roommates, anyway) until Starfleet's first mandatory qualifier for all cadets, the spacewalk. It's pass or fail, and by fail Starfleet means they kick your ass out. As if that wasn't enough, someone thought it would be a good idea to make it a bonding exercise, which of course means that Jim is paired with Bones.

Bones who looks green around the gills, and the shuttle hasn't even taken off yet.

Jim entertains the idea of Bones washing out because he can't complete the test, the thought of the blissful peace of having the room all to himself, but Jim's really not that type of person. "You doing okay there, Bones?" he asks, which earns him a half-hearted glare.

"Bones? Where the hell did that come from?"

It's what I've been calling you in my head sounds way too creepy for Jim to use it as his response, even if it is the truth. "Well, you're a doctor. Surgeons used to be called sawbones, so…"

"Yeah, kid-" he winces, "-sorry. I get it."

The takeoff sequence starts, and Jim glances out the window as they lift off the ground, heading higher and higher into the atmosphere. "Don't bother apologizing; you don't even know what you're apologizing for."

"Maybe, but I'd think you don't like being reminded that you're younger than me when you're still older than most of them." Bones waves vaguely back in the direction of the academy. "Am I close?"

Jim swallows dryly; he hadn't thought Bones gave a rat's ass about him, but here he is being sympathetic. "Yeah, you're close." The shuttle lurches as it breaks atmo, and Jim notices the way all of the color seems to drain from Bones' face. "Bones?"

"Do they fail you for throwing up?" he asks, fingers twisting into the material of his EV suit.

"You just need to complete the walk," Jim says, noticing the way Bones' eyes are glued to the floor and that they haven't really moved aside from looking over at Jim a few times. "Hey, Bones, come on. What causes motion sickness? Tell me."

"It's caused by a sensory discrepancy," Bones replies, groaning a little when the shuttle veers hard to starboard. "If you feel motion that you're not seeing or vice versa."

"So maybe it's not a good idea to be staring at the floor, huh? Come on, switch seats with me; then you can stare out the window."

They change seats, Jim keeping an eye on Bones as he moves to make sure he doesn't pass out or puke on Jim. There's a sheen of sweat on his forehead, and once he's fallen into Jim's vacated seat, Bones is resting the side of his head against the cool window, watching the apparent angle of Earth change as the shuttle continues to move.

"Feeling better?" Jim asks as the shuttle begins to slow until it stops completely, just drifting in space.

"I'll live," Bones replies gruffly.

Before Jim can make a joke about how certain he is, the light above the airlock changes from red to green, signaling that Jim and Bones can start their spacewalk when ready. Jim stands, grabbing a helmet to hand to Bones before snagging one for himself. "Let's do this, Bones. I'll even buy you a drink afterward if you think you'll be able to keep it down."


Jim stays true to his word, and Bones looks like he's ready to start singing Jim's praises as he slides the cold beer across the table. Bones drinks deeply, and Jim blames the fact that they're sitting across from each other on him not being able to pry his eyes away from the way the muscles in Bones' neck flex as he swallows. When Bones smiles, setting the glass down, Jim can't help but follow suit.

"I prefer this method of achieving that floaty feeling," Bones says, and Jim laughs genuinely, not forcing it as he thinks about how he knows how funny Bones can be, but Jim never tended to appreciate it because he'd been too busy being pissed off at the guy most of the time. Bones clears his throat, his expression looking somewhat constipated. "Thanks for, uh, what you did up there." He tips his head up to the sky just in case Jim thinks he could be talking about anything other than the spacewalk from a few hours ago. "I don't like being off the ground, doesn't matter if it's a shuttle or an EV suit."

"I think that means you have control issues, man," Jim says, pointing his finger accusingly at Bones even as he keeps his tone light. Bones' expression shifts momentarily, and Jim has the sinking feeling that he hit the nail on the head. He remembers when they first met on the shuttle to San Francisco, how Bones had made it sound like he had no options left besides enlisting, and he thinks that maybe he can understand him a little bit better. Jim would get into trouble because it meant that when people looked at him with disappointment and pity, it was because of his wasted potential, not because of who his father was.

"Yeah, well," Bones begins lifting his glass in the air. "To grabbing the bull by the horns, I suppose." Jim raises his own beer, and they clink together, but Jim can barely make out the sound over the noise in the bar.

Jim doesn't notice Gaila until she slides into the empty seat between him and Bones, giving Jim a friendly smile before she leans across the table to whisper into Bones' ear. Jim looks away, not wanting to acknowledge that he's going to get ditched in a matter of seconds, and is confused when Gaila's in his face with a bright, "I'll see you in class tomorrow, Jim," before she walks away.

"You're not leaving with her?" Jim asks, too surprised to be embarrassed by the way his voice squeaks on her.

Bones' eyebrows knit together. "I came here with you; I'm not that rude."


The parties either stop or have found a new location as they aren't in his and Bones' room anymore. Bones has also either run out of fellow sentients who want to sleep with him (which Jim seriously doubts because, hello, Bones is fucking hot), or he only has his guests over when Jim isn't around.

Jim can't remember the last time he found a pair of underwear that isn't his or Bones' on the floor.


Jim gets back from a study session to Bones furiously glaring at a PADD in his hands. "You're going to give yourself a headache well before it bursts into flames," he says.

"Goddamn housing regs won't let me have a single," he huffs. "I don't want to end up with a roommate that's old enough to be my kid."

Jim's about to say don't be ridiculous, Bones, you aren't that old when he's hit with an idea. "Why don't you just request to keep the same assignment?"

"Because that won't keep me from having a roommate who isn't even old enough to drink unless you request the same."

Bones finally looks up from the PADD, eyeing Jim critically. "You asked not to be moved?"

"I'm taking summer courses, so I don't want to have to deal with moving my shit."

"But don't you hate living with me?" Bones asks, eyes wide and tone incredulous.

Jim just responds with a lazy shrug. "Better the devil you know, right?"


They go out to the bar every Thursday night, each week alternating who's buying. Those nights they show up, drink, and leave together, and it's about the third week into their second year that Jim realizes he thinks of Bones as a friend.


"My roommate's not going to be around tonight," Gaila tells him during lunch.

"I'm not your booty call messenger," Jim says around a mouthful of turkey sandwich. "You have Bones' comm number."

She rolls her eyes dramatically, and Jim wonders if it means the same thing to Orions or if she's picked it up from Bones. "I'm not trying to proposition Leonard. I find you to be an attractive human specimen and think we should have sex."

Jim's impressed with himself for not choking on his food. It's a good thing that he hadn't been drinking when Gaila had decided to be her usual frank self, since Jim's sure Gaila might've ended up wearing it and then all offers would've been off the table. "Don't you think that'd be weird?"

She blinks owlishly. "I don't think I'll ever understand humans and their constant need to attach emotions to sex."

What Jim should say is, "You've slept with Bones, and I want to sleep with Bones. I don't want to use you in a misguided attempt at transference or whatever."

What Jim does say is, "What time do you want me to come over?"


Jim wakes up to the sound of Gaila's voice only to realize she's still asleep and muttering about hyperspanners. He leaves, figuring he'd better get out before Gaila's roommate returns.

His and Bones' room is dark when he gets back, and he's glad he won't have to explain where he's been to Bones until the morning. Bones can be such a goddamn mother hen, and Jim still hasn't figured out how he feels about having slept with Gaila besides the overwhelming sense of blissful relaxation that can only be brought on by great sex and an orgasm.

He gets to the sleeping area the same time the bathroom door slides open, Bones stepping out in nothing but a towel with his hair wet and droplets of water running down his bare chest. "I slept with Gaila," comes shooting out of his mouth before Jim can even process what he's saying.

"That's great, Jim. You really needed to get laid," Bones drawls, and Jim's too distracted by how tightly the towel's stretched across Bones' ass to think too hard on how he'd been hoping for a different reaction out of Bones.


It doesn't take very long for Jim to stop feeling bad about using Gaila as a substitute. It's all just sex to her, so he doesn't think she'd really care. Although she'd probably think that he's an idiot for making things difficult instead of just having sex with Bones.

What he does feel bad about is that, after failing the Kobayashi Maru for the second time, he doesn't realize she's fallen asleep in the middle of his tirade because she keeps on talking like she's still awake and listening to what he's saying. She helps him figure out how to beat the test without even realizing it.

He really should stop seeing her.

"I think I love you," she says when they're fooling around in their underwear, and Jim's brain sputters to a halt.

"That is so weird," he responds, because Gaila's supposed to be the safe one who doesn't associate sex with emotions.

He can't be here if she loves him.


To: Gaila
From: Kirk

>>> I'm sorry.

To: Kirk
From: Gaila

>>> I love you, Jim, even if you are an asshole, but I'm not in love with you. Go be with Leonard.


Jim goes to Bones' assigned quarters the second the Enterprise's computer gives him that as Bones' location instead of the secondary sickbay. He's exhausted and everything fucking hurts, but he's not going to admit that publicly. He's thinking he wouldn't mind a sedative, to be blissfully unconscious as his body heals.

The message from Gaila, a response to the one he'd embedded the cheat in, had hit like a punch to the gut, and he's bruised enough already as it is. He tries not to imagine her sending it on the shuttle to whatever ship she'd been assigned to or maybe writing it while she was traveling at warp, the ship automatically sending it out with a data packet when they arrived at Vulcan, right before her ship had been destroyed. He'd wanted the Orion woman on Enterprise to be Gaila so badly that he didn't even notice the wrong uniform color, and he'd written off the missing sunny disposition as her being angry, and righteously so.

Now he just feels like he's going to be sick. He'd probably feel better if he actually did throw up, but it's been too long since he's eaten.

Jim arrives at Bones' quarters, pressing the door chime and nearly falling into the room when permission's given for him to enter. Bones is in front of him in an instant, gentle hands palpating his flesh as Jim tries not to hiss too loudly in pain.

The way Bones is frowning, his bottom lip sticking out slightly and the wrinkle between his eyebrows even more apparent in the dim lighting of the room, Jim really can't help himself. He leans bodily into Bones, relaxing against him as he rests his head on Bones' shoulder. When Bones doesn't push him away, Jim turns his head so its pressing into his neck, his lips just barely grazing Bones' skin until it sinks in that Bones still isn't pushing him away, if anything he's holding him tighter with his arms curled under Jim's to hold onto his shoulders, so Jim just brushes his mouth against a spot of skin under Bones' ear, trailing kisses to a stubbled jaw and chin before reaching that stubborn bottom lip.

"Jim," Bones says, and Jim can hear it as much as feel it. "No, we can't."

Jim's body tenses, not understanding Bones' words as he still hasn't tried to gain some distance between them. "We can't what?"

"Seeking physical connection and comfort after an emotional trauma is a common reaction."

Jim pulls away, his eyes narrowing. "Reciting facts for me, Bones? You sound like Spock."

Bones looks comically exasperated, but then he's surging forward, holding Jim's face in his hands as they kiss. Some section of Jim's brain starts cheering when he realizes that he's being walked over to the bed. Jim fists his hand in Bones' shirt, trying to pull him down on top of him, but Bones swings Jim's legs onto the mattress and grabs a blanket, laying it on top of Jim.

"Rest first," Bones says, his accent rough in Jim's ear. "Then go to sickbay to get your injuries treated. You won't be able to use the excuse of allowing the more serious ones to go first since they'll be done by then." He's running his fingers along Jim's scalp, and Jim will admit to how nice it feels as he follows the touch. "I want you, Jim, I really do, but I want you to want me, not just what I can give you."

He leaves Jim alone in the dark, not dwelling on Bones' words for too long as he quickly falls asleep.


Between debriefings, interviews, funerals, commendation ceremonies, the goddamn finals that are still happening despite everything that's happened, graduation itself, and then doing all sorts of captainly things to make sure everything will be perfect when it's time for the Enterprise to launch, life back on Earth is really fucking busy.

"I'm having a hell of a time trying to find other doctors for my staff," Bones is griping into his bourbon. "M'Benga is going to stay with the refugees."

"Yeah, the Vulcans definitely need him more than the ship does," Jim agrees. He wants to be back in space so bad that he can practically taste it, and their launch date seems simultaneously too soon while being not soon enough. He still can't believe that Bones is going to be there with him, Bones who'd never wanted to be assigned to a ship but will be on the Enterprise simply because Jim wants him to and had asked. He hadn't even liked Bones that first year, and now he can't imagine going anywhere without him. "We should share quarters," Jim says, mirroring the arched eyebrow that Bones is giving him.

"We are sharing quarters, Jim," Bones says, leaning forward to set his drink down on the coffee table next to his feet.

"I mean on the ship."

Bones looks at him like he's trying to figure out how he works cell by cell. "You do understand that, as the CMO's primary responsibility is the captain's health, my quarters aren't very far from yours, right?"

Jim rises slowly from where he's sitting at his desk. "Yes, but you could still be closer."

"What about the quartermaster? He'd have a heart attack trying to figure out how to get another bed in there."

"Heart attacks stopped being a serious health threat well over a century ago, Bones." He straddles Bones' legs before lowering himself onto Bones' thighs. "Besides, we'd just share the one."

Bones snorts. "I've seen how you flail in your sleep, Jim. I'm not risking getting hit in the head every night."

"I'd make it up to you." Jim's mouth is just barely brushing against Bones'. "I promise."

"You better not hog all the blankets," Bones says, the corners of his mouth twitching into a smile that Jim just has to taste.

They kiss, alternating between slow and exploratory to fast and hungry as they rock against each other. Jim can feel the groan building in Bones' chest before he hears it. He smiles against Bones' mouth when he feels his hands skimming along his sides, reaching under his shirt to splay over the small of his back. Jim's cock is straining in his pants, needing more friction than it's getting, so he manages to release his grip on Bones' upper arms to pull off his shirt but is pulled back down when he tries to stand to take off the rest of his uniform.

"No, you stay," Bones says, his irises just narrow rings of copper. His cheeks are flushed, lips red and wet, and it's nothing Jim hasn't seen before but knowing Bones is like this for him and Jim's barely even touched him brings up a surge of possessiveness. Jim watches Bones' fingers as they unbutton their pants, and Bones' hands slide down them to grab Jim's ass and pull him even closer as Jim gets Bones' shirt off.

Jim's certainly not going to complain about half-dressed messy handjobs on the couch. They have plenty of time to be patient and explore later, and Jim nearly comes right then just thinking about fucking in the captain's quarters while at warp, nothing but the thrum of the engines and stars streaking by around them. He'll have to keep that thought to himself, though, as he doubts Bones would view it the same way.

"Jim," Bones says, his voice a strangled gasp. "I'm gonna-"

Jim swallows his words and the pleasured groans with a hard kiss as he feels Bones tensing under him before coming in Jim's hand. Jim can feel that he's painfully close, too, and is pushed over the edge when Bones grabs his hand, licking and sucking Jim's fingers clean.


One perk of the captain's quarters is the hot tub in the bathroom.

The downside is that said bathroom is shared with the first officer, and Jim's too busy sucking a bruise into Bones' chest while getting his ass fingered to remember to lock the adjoining door. It slides open to reveal Spock with a towel draped across his shoulders, and Jim swears he sees the tips of his ears turn greener before the door shuts in his face.

"I prefer it much more when I'm not the one doing the walking in on," Jim decides. He'll find out later how annoyed Spock is by the sheer amount of paperwork that will get dumped on him.

Bones rolls his eyes, and Jim's sure he's about to start ranting at him, so he slides under the water between Bones' legs, determined to get Bones to come before Jim needs to come up for air.

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