Fandom: ST: XI
Warnings, contents & kinks: [click here]Hand kink, hair pulling, schmoop, h/c
Beta'd by: elfwreck and geckoholic
A/N: I gave yeomanrand a prompt and ended up writing it myself. Joke's on me, I guess.
Summary: Jim takes a while to find his way to sickbay.
Jim is the last person to walk through the sickbay's doors to get checked. He's walking gingerly, and Leonard can already tell from a distance that he should've insisted that Jim arrive earlier.
Leonard watches as a nurse waves Jim over to him, and watches Jim turn around and light up once he spots Leonard. Leonard offers him a tight smile in return that looks more like a grimace than good cheer.
"You should've come here earlier," he scolds Jim once he makes it to Leonard.
Jim throws himself into a chair with abandon that his body can't afford and winces. "What, no hello?"
Leonard motions at his desk where clutter covers most of it. "Does it look like I've got time to say hello?"
"You look like you could use a hello yourself," Jim says, his eyes trained on Leonard, unblinking.
Leonard grunts and squints down at the padd in his hand. He's not used to this side of Jim: caring, intense, and responsible for Leonard's welfare. It's supposed to be the other way around, with Leonard taking care of the kid and Jim doing the best he can to get to the top.
It gives Leonard a jolt to realize that Jim is already at the top.
A noise he can't recognize escapes his throat, and so Leonard stands up and walks behind Jim to close the curtains that surround the place he's claimed as his office after the CMO's official office was destroyed by the Narada's attack.
"Shirt off," he tells Jim and picks one of the tricorders lying on his desk. "Don't think I didn't notice the way you're walking."
Jim asks, "Shouldn't you ask me to take off my pants, then?"
Leonard glares at him.
Jim raises both his hands in surrender before tugging his shirts off. The motion isn't as smooth as Leonard would like; Jim struggles with raising his elbows, and as he peels his uniform away, a motley of yellowing bruises reveals itself to Leonard.
Glaring harder, Leonard demands, "Why didn't you come in earlier?"
"Didn't need to," Jim says with a shrug.
"Didn't need to my ass," Leonard mutters and places his hand against Jim's neck. His touch is light, tracing with his own fingers the path of another's across Jim's skin. "You didn't tell me you got strangled."
Leonard reluctantly retracts his hand from Jim's neck and down to his chest. He checks Jim's ribs for breaks and cracks and bruises, and finds what he expected.
"Just bruises," he eventually declares and removes his hands. His fingers twitch against the air, itching to touch the pattern of yellows and purples on Jim's skin. "I can give you something to make the healing process quicker." A quick glance at Jim tells Leonard exactly what Jim thinks of that, so he adds, "or I could just leave you to suffer in peace."
Jim beams at him. "That would be great, thanks."
Leonard rolls his eyes. "You can put your shirt back on, now."
"Gimme a hand?"
"What are you, four?" Leonard asks, but helps Jim anyway so as to not strain Jim's bruised ribs. He's helping Jim put a hand through the sleeve when he spots the bruises on Jim's palm, the color dark and vivid around the knuckles.
He hisses. Captures Jim's palm in his hand. Turns it over so he can assess the damage. Jim is left struggling into his other sleeve without the help of either Leonard or his other hand, but he doesn't say anything to Leonard, and Leonard isn't paying much attention to anything else.
"It's just bruises, Bones," says Jim.
Leonard knows that, but still he doesn't let go of Jim's hand. "Why didn't you come to me earlier?"
Jim says, "Other people needed you more."
"Bullshit," Leonard says emphatically. "It wouldn't have taken more than five minutes to fix, and you know it."
Jim doesn't say anything to that. He's watching Leonard, instead, watching Leonard's right hand holding his own, watching Leonard's left hand joining it, covering it. He watches all of that, and has nothing to say to Leonard.
"Damn it, Jim," Leonard says. "I'm your friend. I'm allowed to worry." He looks up, and catches Jim swallowing before meeting his gaze.
Leonard holds it for a moment, wills Jim to see what he means, then drops his eyes back to Jim's bruised hand. The bruises are all over Jim's palm and fingers, and also at the back, but the wrist is clear of them. Leonard traces the skin over Jim's carpal bones with his thumb, smoothing over the bumps as lightly as he can without tickling.
He debates with himself for all of a minute before he raises Jim's hand and lowers his head, and he touches his lips to Jim's pulse point, feeling for the flutter and the give and take of the veins. He hears, distantly, Jim's sharp intake of breath, and he can feel Jim's heartbeat quicken, and that is encouragement enough for him to press closer, to breathe Jim in and ensure himself that Jim was really here.
A hand settles on the top of Leonard's head, blunt fingernails running along his scalp. Jim gently tugs his head up by the hair -- doesn't stop until Leonard complies. Then Jim slides it down until he's cupping Leonard face.
"I'm fine," Jim says, looking Leonard straight in the eye and tracing his own patterns over Leonard's cheekbone. "Promise."
Leonard shakes his head in quiet disagreement, but he shuts his eyes and lowers his head to rest against Jim's hand.
This time, he'll let it slide.
originally posted at dreamwidth