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Aftermath

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The door chime sounds twice. Insistently.

Leonard sighs, a sigh the reaches to the depths of his soul. He's bone weary, a little drunk, and cold—so cold. “Lights, sixty percent.” He sits up, pulling the warming blanket around him a little closer, and pulls a book into his lap. He doesn't want Jim to see him like this, brooding and drinking alone. Jim hates it when he gets like this, and Leonard will spin the illusion for him.

“Computer, admit.”

He hears the doors hiss open and familiar footfall. “Bones?”

“Yeah, Jim.”

Jim's cold-reddened face appears around the bedroom partition. “Aw, Bones. You okay?”

Leonard snorts. “Two hours ago I was crossing a glacier on Rura Penthe with a chameloid who went rogue. What do you think?” He picks up the tumbler from the shelf beside the bed. “But compared to me two hours ago, I'm sittin' very pretty. Want one?”

“Please. Still trying to thaw out, huh?” Jim sits at the foot of the bed and nods his head at the blanket.

“I don't think I'll ever be warm again,” Leonard grouses, handing his captain a glass with a generous amount of bourbon. “These goddamn booties haven't made any headway in bringing back the feeling in my toes.” He uncovers the weirdly shaped soft boots on his feet.

Jim smiles, but then Leonard's words sink in. “You're not going to lose any of them, are you?” he asks, anxious.

“No, thank God for that. I had Chapel do a little water therapy on them just so I could walk without a limp.” He takes a long swallow of the bourbon and pulls the blanket closer around his shoulders. “I know this”--he holds up the glass--”isn't helping, but it's improving my mood.

“Why, Bones, I didn't think anything could improve your mood,” Jim teases, rubbing his hand on Leonard's knee.

Leonard hesitates, and stares into his glass. “At least I'm alive to be grumpy,” he says. He lifts his eyes. “Jim, I--”

Jim hold up his hand. “No need. I feel the same way.”

Leonard give him a patented grumpy look. “Now, how the hell do you know what I was going to say? You're a captain, not a mind reader.”

“Oh, but I am, Bones, when it's you.” Jim puts his hand on his friend's cold one. “You were going to thank me for being with you, for defending you on Rura Penthe, for helping you across the ice, for--”

“I didn't need any damn help,” Leonard says gruffly. “You should've left me there like I told you to.”

“Bones. . .Leonard,” Jim says with an affectionate and indulgent smile, “I would not—could not--have done that. Don't you know by now? I wouldn't be me without my Bones.”

Leonard tries to hide his smile. “Yeah, and what good is your Bones when he can't keep you out of trouble?”

“Oh, that. Well. . . .” Jim scrubs his hand over his face. “That wasn't exactly your fault, or mine for that matter. I was set up. You just came along for the ride.”

“Well, somebody had to be your wingman.”

“And a hell of a wingman you are. As always, Doctor.” Jim lifts his glass in salute.

They drink in silence for a long minute. “Did you ever,” Leonard says quietly, “did you ever think, even for one fleeting second, we weren't going to make it out of there alive?”

Jim take another drink and sighs. “Honestly—no.” He faces Leonard squarely. Confidently. “Never. I have faith in the universe. And in the ability of this crew to get us out of any jam we find ourselves in. It's happened before. It's always happened before.”

“Yeah, but--”

“No buts, Bones. And I had faith that this was not our time.” Jim slides up the bed and reaches for his Bones, who, with a sigh, falls easily into his arms. “Besides, in three months we stand down, and start the next great adventure of our lives. Yours and mine together.” He kisses Leonard's cool temple. “Awful lot of fish that need to be harassed. Books to be read. Planets to visit.”

“Sex to be had?”

Jim gives him a goofy, tender smile, then leans in and captures Leonard's lips gently. Leonard moans softly as his his hand fists in the front of Jim's shirt. Jim presses more firmly, shifting to face him, titling his head and slipping his tongue in to caress Leonard's.

He's missed this, Leonard has. Missed Jim's comforting warmth and smell, his touch and embrace. He feels Jim maneuver them to lay horizontal, chest to chest, pulling him closer; Jim's fingers work the buttons on his pajama top and before he can protest, sleeves are sliding down his arms. A warm hand replaces fabric over his heart. Leonard is so lost in Jim's kiss, it barely registers that Jim has removed his own uniform jacket and is working his way into the front of Leonard's flannel pants. He's so enthralled with the needy noises Jim is making that he doesn't realize Jim has pulled him even closer to his naked body and that he's thrusting his cock against his, wrapped within his impossibly hot hand.

Leonard breaks the kiss, urged by the need to breathe and gasp, “Jim!”

“I got you, Bones. Always,” Jim murmurs.

Jim's hand speeds up, presses heated flesh to heated flesh, slick now with their mutual arousal. Leonard closes his eyes, but his fingers find Jim's exposed nipple and twists it, like he has for eons, the way he knows Jim loves it. Jim's moan goes straight to his cock, and the frantic need to come hits him. He rocks his hips, and feels himself rushing to completion.

It's been ages since he's felt this, felt Jim's hands on him and his on Jim. With his quiet ecstatic cry, Leonard feels Jim's cock pulse, the splash of Jim's come on his stomach. If Jim has said anything, he's missed it, so caught up is he in the marvelous feeling of Jim all around him.

“I think,” Leonard says eventually into Jim's neck, “this is the first time in weeks I've felt warm.”

“I'm a hot guy,” Jim replies, chuckling, as he holds Leonard a little tighter.

“Modest, too.”

Soon, Jim releases him, and makes to rise from the bed. “Stay?” Leonard asks sleepily.

Jim smiles. “Can I brush my teeth first?”

“Of course.”

A quick visit to the loo for both, and they dress—Leonard in his flannels and Jim in his boxers--and crawl back into bed. Jim communicates with the bridge and sets the computer alarm for just a few hours in the future. There's a conference to crash and rogue Klingons and Federation officials to confront.

Leonard rolls onto his side with Jim's warmth spooned behind him. “I can't tell you how much I wanted you to do this back on that ice ball,” Leonard says.

“Me, too.”

“Could've had Martia.”

Jim gives his shoulder a shove. “Don't you dare go there.”

“Sorry. Couldn't resist,” Leonard snorts.

“Go to sleep, Bones. We're up in two.”

He sighs. “Short sweet dreams, Jim.”

Leonard knows he already has the sweetest of them all, with his Jim cocooned around him.