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Outride the Sun, Part Three



PART THREE: WHAT’S MY LINE?



Leonard comes to when they throw him down into a cage of some kind, locking it behind him. He coughs, spitting up blood, and his entire midsection hurts from where they had punched him earlier. A part of him tries to analyze the pain—tries to identify it as kidneys or just abdominal bruising, or all of the above. Anyway, it hurts.

He scrambles to his feet, pulling at the bars. He feels dizzy and sick the longer he remains upright, but he tries to shove the sensations away, tries to focus on the important things—like, y’know, staying alive and all. On the plus side, he is alive—which he wasn’t really expecting. “What are you gonna do with me?”

The three fledglings smirk at him. “That is for our Master to say,” their leader says. His fangs show when he grins, canines too large for his mouth so they stick out grotesquely.

One of the others walks around his cage impatiently. “Nero did not say he had to be alive,” he growls. “I’m hungry!”

“Stay away from him, he’s nothing but skin and bones.” That smooth, easy voice is familiar, as are his cutting words, and Leonard’s stomach drops out from under him.

Fear. It’s fear, he thinks, but he knows that’s not quite true, especially when Jim Kirk strides into sight with that confident, loping gait of his. Kirk’s blue eyes focus on his own for a moment, and he feels a shiver up and down his spine. The vampire’s smirk grows a little, but he looks away, turning to the fledglings with a laugh. “You brought a Slayer’s pet with you, on purpose? Ayel, are you nuts?”

Ayel—that was the first one who had spoken—growls at Kirk. “I do as Nero bids. As should you!”

“Whatever,” Kirk says dismissively, all but rolling his eyes. He starts making loud sniffing noises. “He’s bleeding, too.” He keeps it up ostentatiously, switching to game-face as he goes right up to the bars of Leonard’s cage, gold eyes raking over him—inspecting him for damage. He turns back to Ayel with disgust. “Do you always take damaged goods to your Master? ‘Cause let me just tell you—it’s tacky.”

Ayel stands his ground, but the other two fledglings start to look nervous. “The boy isn’t harmed—much. He fought back.”

“One kid against three vampires?” Kirk turns to look at him again, and his game-face melts away. He snorts with laughter. “Seriously?”

Ayel shifts. “There were six of us. One of the Slayer’s other companions killed Temer, Mudil, and Sayam, and he himself took Sherya and Vasif.” He looks offended. “The others escaped. This one was wounded.”

“I’m impressed. Really,” Kirk says, and somehow Leonard knows it’s true—just that he’s not talking about the vampires. “So many of us for this big party of yours and some teenagers—and the kids win. Good job, guys.” He gives them all a thumbs up as he stalks around them mockingly. “You Narada cultists have it going on, alright.”

Ayel growls, as do the other two fledges, stretching their arms out and hunching their backs in defensive fighting stances. Kirk alone remains upright, smirking.

Waiting.

“Enough!” The voice is a dark bellow, and everyone but Kirk drops to their knees.

“Master Nero,” Ayel says worshipfully, “we brought you a gift.”

“You might want to return it to the store,” Kirk says snidely, glancing at Leonard again. “It’s been opened already.”

Ayel and the others growl, but Nero says nothing, just regards Leonard in his cage idly. He’s a big vampire, topping Kirk by several inches; his shoulders are broad, and he wears a heavy, fur-lined coat that comes close to sweeping the ground. He is not unlike a man looking at a zoo specimen as he takes Leonard in: mildly entertained but with an undercurrent of boredom. When he turns away at last, it’s with a completely dismissive shrug of the shoulder. “This you bring to me, my Ayel?” Nero asks his minion. “This”—and he glowers at Leonard—“pathetic creature?”

“Hey, who are you calling pathetic?” Leonard demands. The vampires turn to him, Nero raising an eyebrow quizzically. Okay, getting the vampires’ attention? Not my best idea ever. “You don’t know anything about me,” he blusters on, trying to stand as tall as he can. “I’ll have you know I’m a fierce demon killer!” Hey, he’s dusted six vamps himself these last weeks. That’s gotta count for something, right?

The fledglings look at one another and burst out laughing, but Nero says nothing. Nor does Kirk.

Swallowing, Leonard continues. “I know a shit ton of things about your kind.” He scowls, gritting his teeth. “Believe me when I say ya’ll aren’t long for this world. That’s all!”

When Nero and Kirk continue to say nothing, the vampires finally stop laughing, looking at each other in confusion. “Master?” Ayel asks hesitatingly.

Nero turns to his minion. “Where did you find him?”

“The library. As you bid, my Master.”

“The library,” Nero echoes. “And what pray tell did you find there?”

Ayel starts to look nervous. “Him and a—and a girl, Master. They were—prepared for battle.”

“He’s one of the Slayer’s pets, alright,” Kirk contributes. “I saw him with her and her friends.” He grins in that negligent, smirking way of his as he crosses his arms lazily. “She was very—protective—of him.”

Nero grunts. “What’s that supposed to mean?”

Kirk bites his bottom lip, as if he’s trying to repress the smile playing across his features. “I mean,” he says with an undertone of exasperated, mocking laughter, “that he’s her, y’know, guy.”

Leonard can feel himself go hot and cold all over again as he stares at Kirk. The vampire’s bright blue gaze meets his own, and he fights the urge to shiver. Instead he tries to look confident and strong and—and all those other things Nyota would expect from a guy. Like, oh, say, Spock, he thinks with only a little chagrin.

Nero frowns thoughtfully. “Interesting. Kirk,” he says to the other vampire, “I entrust the boy’s welfare to you. It won’t do,” he adds pointedly to Ayel, “to have our bait spoiled before the trap can even be set.”

Ayel flinches, but Kirk makes an elaborate bow. “Your will be done, Master Nero.”

~

To Leonard’s surprise, Jim Kirk seems to take his responsibility—seriously.

Leonard is sitting in the center of his cage, long legs stretched in front of him. The vampires leave him alone after a time: they suspend his cage high in the air, where no one without rope, antigrav boots, or supernatural strength can get to him. If he sits in the center, the cage shifts less under his weight, and he can pretend he’s not in mid-air at least. His stomach growls, and boredom is starting to war with the omnipresent fear for possession of his mind when the cage rocks wildly.

“Nyota?!” he calls out, but it’s only a wild hope.

“Sorry, kid,” Kirk says, long limbs insinuating themselves between the bars. He unlocks the contraption holding the door closed—Leonard had fooled with it to no avail—and slips inside, locking it again within a heartbeat. “Wrong number.”

Leonard scrabbles backwards, pushing himself until he’s as far away from the vampire as their confines will allow. The cage wobbles unsteadily under them, then finally steadies to something like equilibrium with him on one end and Jim Kirk on the other.

“Relax,” Kirk says, spreading his arms wide almost—peacefully. “I brought you stuff. Get over here.”

“The h-hell you say!” Leonard tries not to wince as his voice shakes. “I’m not afraid of you!” he adds for good measure.

“Of course you’re not,” Kirk says affably. He sits down cross-legged, and sets a variety of items in front of him in a neat row. “Water, bandages, nutrient bars. Tricorder and painkillers too, but you gotta show me what I’m dealing with first.”

Leonard stares at him. His stomach grumbles again, but more than anything he wants the water—a big bottle of it. He licks his lips, mouth dry, as he stares at the bottle—and then at Jim. He swallows thickly, his throat barely working. “What—what—?”

Kirk gives him a small smile and—it actually seems nice, somehow. “I’m not gonna hurt you, kid. Now, first thing we gotta do is see what kinda damage we’re dealing with.” He holds up the tricorder. “You know how to use one of these?”

“Yeah, of course.” Leonard catches it as Jim tosses it to him lightly. He stands up as he flips it open; the cage wobbles only a bit at the movement, and he instinctively spreads his arms out for balance. When it’s still again, he runs it over his midriff carefully, going over himself twice to make sure the readings are correct.

Two cracked ribs, and the rest of it is bruising. Well that’s better than he’d been afraid of. He flips the tricorder closed. “You got any tape?”

Kirk nods, holding up a roll of it, looking up at him from where he sits on the floor. “It’ll be easier if you let me help.”

Leonard looks down at him dubiously, but—he knows the vampire is right. “Okay,” he says at last.

Kirk stands up in a single graceful movement, leonine balance not rocking the cage at all. “Take your shirt off, Bones,” he says, unwinding the roll of bandages.

“What?!” Leonard gawks at him for a moment, flushing hard. “I—“

“—can’t get fixed up like that,” Kirk finishes for him. When Leonard doesn’t move a muscle, he rolls his eyes. “Dude, seriously? Look, if you don’t want my help I really don’t need to be here—”

“Wait!” Leonard says quickly, and the vampire pauses patiently. “I—look—sorry—I’m not—” Kirk looks amused as he starts and stops. “Fuck,” he mutters to himself.

“Mmm, maybe later,” Jim says, waggling his eyebrows flirtatiously, “but let’s get you taken care of first, alright? Now then.” He holds up a length of bandage. “Take your shirt off and stand as straight as you can.”

Leonard stares upwards helplessly, feeling strangely humiliated as he pulls his shirt up and over his head. He feels more naked than he really is, not to mention all too aware of his lanky frame. Nervous sweat pops up over his body.

“Oh god,” he mutters.

“Relax, Bones,” Kirk says in a quiet soothing voice. “Quit being such a spaz.” The vampire applies bandages and tape with a sure, surprisingly deft touch. He works quickly, then stands back to admire his handiwork. “Good enough,” he declares, and Leonard is abruptly aware of how very close they are to one another.

Up close, he can see the faint shadow of golden beard on Kirk’s cheeks, and those impossibly blue eyes. He has a chain around his neck too, disappearing under the white fabric of his shirt, so bright that it makes his skin look almost human. His leather jacket is old and beaten, and it fits him like a glove, too. Altogether, the vampire hurts to look at, and he can’t look away.

Jim’s lips twitch upwards as if in perfect understanding. “Bones?” he murmurs in a low, sensual overtone.

“Uh?” Leonard says intelligently.

“Do you have a cross in your pocket or are you just very happy to see me?” Kirk keeps that same seductive pitch, and it takes Leonard a moment to put sense into the words. He looks down in horror, and—

“Oh my God,” he says, pulling his shirt in front of him awkwardly, staring at the ceiling of the cage. “Oh God. One Mississippi. Two Mississippi. Three Mississippi. Four—”

Kirk laughs. “Sorry dude, I was just giving you shit.” He sits down, making himself comfortable again. “C’mon, you need food.”

“Five Mississippi, Six Mississippi,” Leonard mutters, keeping his crotch covered as he sits down. To his embarrassment, neither Kirk’s discovery nor Leonard’s attempt to distract himself is doing all that much to help his—problem. His cock strains almost painfully, hyper aware of the nearness of the vampire, which seems to thrill him far more than it should disgust him.

Kirk hands him one of the nutrient bars. “Just like Ma used to make.”

Leonard unwraps it, taking a cautious bite. The bar is filled with fruit and nuts, leaving a sweet aftertaste after he’s swallowed it all. His stomach still grumbles, saying the bar isn’t enough even though it has enough calories to get him through a day.

“So what’s your deal, man?” Kirk asks him when he’s done. The vampire hasn’t moved a muscle from where he sits at ease, one long leg stretched out in front of him, the other drawn up to thankfully block Leonard’s view of his tightly-encased bulge. Leonard’s cock twitches again and he resists the urge to fiddle with the shirt draped in his lap, aware that the movement would only alert the vampire and attract more of his comments. “Bones?”

Leonard flushes, this time in irritation both at himself for having gotten distracted and at Kirk for calling him by that ridiculous nickname. “Stop calling me that,” he grumbles. “I’m not that skinny!”

“Yeah, you are, kid,” Kirk responds without hesitation. He eyes Leonard with that intense blue gaze, appraising. “Don’t worry, you’ll fill out.” He smirks, crossing his arms. “I can’t wait.”

Leonard studies the floor of the cage. “Whatever. You’re assuming I’ll make it out of here.”

“Oh you’ll make it out of here, no problem, Bones. You’re a survivor.” Leonard looks up into the vampire’s face; to his surprise, Kirk gives him a small smile, one that’s more genuine than anything he’s shown yet. “Trust me. I know the type.”

“Type, huh?” That makes Leonard laugh for some reason—hell, it’s not even laughter, it’s giggling. Unhinged, damn near girlish giggling. Kirk frowns at him, and Leonard wonders if this is when the vampire is finally going to start acting like a normal fiend and just—just stop being whatever he is. “Type,” he repeats again, snorting with mirth.

“Bones,” Jim says very seriously, “you’re in shock.”

He’s right, Leonard thinks dimly, but he’s not able to really care as much as he needs to. He’s also abruptly aware of the fact that he’s shivering, and he pulls his shirt back on hastily. Wrapping his arms around himself doesn’t help; he feels frozen. “I’m not gonna die here!” he tells the vampire with his last ounce of stubbornness.

“No, you’re not,” Jim says soothingly. He peels off his leather jacket, leaving him in his tight white t-shirt. He drapes the jacket around Leonard’s shoulders. “This should help. It used to be pretty warm—before.”

Leonard clutches the ends of it closed tightly. The fabric lining is cool against his skin, though it does start to capture his body heat pretty quickly. And with Jim—Kirk, his mind corrects firmly, Kirk—standing so close, he grows warmer still, though this only partially abates the shivering.

“I don’t want to die a virgin,” he blurts.

Jim laughs at that—not in a bad way, just like he wasn’t expecting it. “I really don’t think that’s gonna be a problem, kid,” he says. He wraps a cool hand around the back of Leonard’s neck and presses his lips to Leonard’s own.

Leonard suspects it was meant to be a brief kiss, possibly even teasing.

It’s not.

The thing is, when Jim’s lips descend on his, cool and dry, Leonard is astonished enough that he opens his mouth in response. Jim’s tongue darts inside, sliding alongside his own, and when Leonard inhales in surprise, Jim makes a soft sound like something between a grunt and a moan. Leonard feels it echo inside himself even as he feels like he’s melting, like he’s in that dizzily weak state like that time he snuck too much of Dad’s Bourbon, and Jim pulls him close, the long lines of his body drawn up against his own.

When Jim pulls back, he looks—shocked, Leonard thinks.

Leonard stares back, because he can’t think of anything to say, and because he has the most painful boner he’s ever had in his life and it’s because of a vampire.

“KIRK!” Ayel’s voice, down below.

“I’ve gotta go, Bones,” Jim says, smirking confidently like—like everything’s normal. “See you later!” And then he’s slipping out of the cage and leaping gracefully to the ground far below. It’s like watching something fall in slow motion, and it’s beautiful and alien all at once.

“This is wrong on so many levels,” he mutters to himself, and returns to sit in the middle of the cage, Jim’s jacket warm around his shoulders.

~

He falls asleep at some point. It’s not an easy sleep: the slight motion of the cage plays a part in his dreams, but he can’t remember how exactly. He doesn’t feel rested when he wakes, either, just stiff and sore and with a powerful urge to pee.

“Morning, sunshine!” Jim is at the cage, holding onto the bars with his hands, the toes of his boots keeping him balanced as they rock in mid-air. He is as obnoxiously cheerful as ever. “How’s my favorite human?”

“I’ve got to go to the bathroom,” Leonard confesses. He ignores the “favorite human” crack—he just doesn’t want to know.

Jim blinks. “So—go.”

Leonard makes a face. “Unsanitary much?”

The vampire laughs. “Just go through the bars. The fledges will clean up—it’s what they’re for.” He smirks. “If you manage to hit Ayel, I’ll be in your debt.”

“You’re disgusting,” Leonard growls, but he turns his back to the vampire and does as he suggests. He gets it over with as quickly as possible, zipping up and then turning around to face Jim again, but the vampire is gone. He’s obscurely disappointed, but then he looks down and sees that Jim has left behind another bottle of water, some more nutrient bars, and an apple.

He munches the apple and one of the nutrient bars, saving the others for later just in case. Then he sits and—sits.

It turns out that being the prisoner of vampires? Can sometimes be really boring.

Leonard lays flat on his back in the middle of the cage, staring at the ceiling. The worst part, he learns pretty quickly, is he can’t let himself dwell on thoughts of his friends, or Mom and Dad. That hurts way too much, so instead he tries to remember what life was like before—before California and Slayers. To his dismay, it seems almost impossible. Everything before, his whole life back in Georgia, seems vague as a dream, cocoon-like and false.

This is real life, he supposes at last. Death and darkness, danger and silence. Demons and monsters and vampires—

“Hey, Bones! Whatcha doing?”

“Ah!” Leonard bolts upright in surprise as the vampire laughs.

“Sorry to wake you up,” Jim says, though he doesn’t sound all that apologetic. He’s perched just outside the bars of the cage, using his inhuman agility to balance just on its edge.

“Doubt that.” Leonard makes a face, heart still hammering, but—he is relieved to see the vampire. “You don’t have better things to do than check in on pet humans?”

“Well,” the vampire drawls, as if thinking. “I’ve tormented the fledglings, stolen candy from babies and torn the wings off some flies. I got bored,” he continues, “and you’re not boring. Whatcha doing?” he repeats curiously.

“I was—thinking,” Leonard answers slowly. “I’m not sure exactly how entertaining you expect me to be sitting in a cage.”

“Well. You don’t have to be sitting.” Jim waggles his eyebrows.

Leonard’s face burns, and the worst part is that he can’t think of a decent response. Not for the first time, he envies Nyota’s talent for the clever pun, the cutting riposte.

“I was just joking, Bones,” Jim says with surprising gentleness. “Geez.”

“Stop calling me that!” Leonard answers automatically.

The familiar smirk returns to its place on Jim’s lips. “But it suits you so well, Bones,” he answers. His long fingers are wrapped around the bars and he leans back into mid-air, head thrown back and spine arched in amusement. It defies gravity, and it makes Leonard sick to his stomach.

“Be careful!” Leonard calls out and is on his feet before he remembers who he’s talking to. He scowls. “Jesus!”

Jim has straightened, returning to as ‘safe’ a position as could be had this high up. “Were you worried about me?”

Leonard feels himself going hot all over again. “No.”

Unfortunately, Jim doesn’t buy it. (And when did he become Jim instead of Kirk? he wonders with another part of his mind, the part that isn’t completely frozen.) “You were!” the vampire crows eagerly. “You were!”

“No!” This cannot be happening, it just—it can’t be. He definitely didn’t care what happened to the vampire just now and the vampire can’t be laughing at him, and the vampire absolutely, definitely cannot be astonishingly cute when he laughs. “Oh God.” Leonard scrubs his hands over his face miserably as he sits back down.

His eyes ache with tiredness, and his skin is oily and unwashed. His cheeks itch and the slight stubble is rough against his palms. He’s scared and tired and hungry and he’s probably going to die here, and it’s really all just too much.

“Bones?” Jim’s words are soft and strangely concerned. The vampire is inches from him, kneeling on the ground, his hand cool and careful as he pulls one of Leonard’s hands away from his face to peer at him. He must have used his vampiric speed to slip inside the cage in those few seconds. Leonard thinks he should be more terrified than he is as he stares into eyes that are a brilliant, light blue, at lips that are wide and close to his.

“I’m gonna die a virgin, aren’t I?” he asks, apropos of nothing.

Jim chuckles, rich and low. “I very much doubt that,” he murmurs, and kisses him.

The vampire’s lips are dry against his own, and despite himself Leonard opens his mouth up to Jim’s. This should be disgusting, he thinks: unnatural, gross, appalling. He’s kissing a demon, for crying out loud, but—it’s fine. Better than, even.

He remembers to breathe belatedly, and Jim uses his inhalation as an excuse to deepen the kiss, to slip his tongue inside. Jim doesn’t taste like anything, he finds to his surprise; just cool flesh in his mouth, stroking and fluttering against his own.

Leonard is humiliated when he moans, and the vampire pulls back to peer at him, eyes half-lidded in lazy pleasure. Jim gazes at him closely for a heartbeat, then redoubles his sensual attack, sucking on Leonard’s bottom lip and using one hand to trail a light caress along the human’s body, making him shiver. The vampire pulls him closer, and Leonard is abruptly aware of his burgeoning erection, of the desire bolting through him like lightning.

He’s never been more aroused in his life, and it’s by someone undead.

He pulls back in horror. “This is a Stockholm Syndrome thing,” he blurts.

Jim stares at him. “’Kay,” he says blankly, blinking. He thinks for a minute as Leonard scrabbles back hastily, pulling himself to his feet unsteadily. The cage wobbles under them. “Wait, is that the thing with kidnapped people?”

Leonard licks his lips, still swollen from recent kisses. “That’s one way to put it.”

“Huh.” Jim sounds bemused. He stands up slowly, too, rubbing his jaw thoughtfully. Finally he grins at the boy. “You like me.”

“No!” Leonard protests. “Definitely not!”

“Yeah, you do.” Jim is grinning, smug as ever. “You so do.” To Leonard’s surprise, he takes a step backwards. “It’s cool. I like you too, kid.”

Leonard gapes at him.

“Yeah, I get that a lot.” The vampire is nonplussed when an infuriated yell erupts below them.

“KIRK!” It’s Nero, of course. He sounds—beyond angry, really.

Jim is unimpressed. “Crap. Be right back.” He slips out of the cage once more, descending to the ground below with liquid movements that should repulse Leonard.

Except, of course, like so much else about the vampire, they—don’t.

He sighs miserably, and returns to his spot in the middle of the cage. He’s aware of the vampires arguing over something far below him. Leonard strains to make out their words, but they are just out of earshot. Finally, he gives up, and lies back down.

Hours pass.

Without his comm. or anything, Leonard has no way to tell time. It’s dark in the factory; all the windows blacked out, of course, for the vampires’ benefit. He thinks it’s maybe night again when Jim returns, abrupt as ever.

Leonard is jerked out of a doze by something light hitting his chest: a bag of chips.

“Wake up, kiddo,” Jim says, bearing another bottle of water and an apple. “It’s dinnertime.”

“Kiddo’s worse than Bones.” Leonard tugs at the foil bag, finally ripping it open. "Oh. Your jacket." He hands it back.

“Thanks.” Jim shrugs back into the garment like it's a part of him. “You were hungry,” he remarks as Leonard all but inhales the chips, then the apple.

Leonard refrains from rolling his eyes, but only just. “Maybe you only eat once a night, but I’m used to three meals a day.” His stomach growls loudly in frustration; he’s still hungry. “And snacks,” he adds defensively.

“You’re too skinny,” Jim remarks, eyeing him closely. “Sorry I couldn’t bring more, but Ayel is having a shitfit as it is.”

“Why?” After some hesitation, Leonard polishes off the apple core, too.

The vampire shrugs. “Don’t worry about it. He’s nobody.”

“He’s Nero’s flunky and he nearly killed me and Gaila,” Leonard says acidly. “We need to work on your definition of ‘nobody.’”

It may be his imagination, but Jim’s eyes flash gold, but then they are that light blue again. “Don’t worry about it,” he repeats. He affects bored idleness. “Tell me something about yourself,” he says instead, then he perks up. “Oh, we can play Truth or Dare!”

“Yeah,” Leonard drawls, “and then we can braid each other’s hair and talk about boys.” He means the words to be cutting, but they don’t come out that way. They aren’t quite flirtatious, but they aren’t—not—either.

Jim looks interested. “Boys, huh.” He raises both eyebrows quizzically. “I’ve got competition?”

“Competition?” Leonard snorts incredulously. Jim looks baffled by his reaction. “Look, what—what do you think is going on here, exactly?”

Jim shrugs. “I told you. I like you, Bones.”

This—really doesn’t compute. “I’m your hostage,” Leonard points out, as if talking to a particularly slow child. “My life is in danger, your friends are planning on attacking my friends, and—and—Is this a date to you?”

And that—that gets a reaction, Leonard notes. “No,” Jim says too quickly. “Well, I mean. Um. It could be if you wanted it to be?”

Leonard stares at him. “Unbelievable,” he mutters. “The only guy who ever wanted to date me is holding me hostage and I’m gonna die. Fuck my life.”

Jim blinks. “I’m the only guy who ever wanted to date you? Dude, are kids these days retarded?”

“Gah!” Leonard groans, balling his fingers into fists in frustration. “Excuse me, can we focus on my imminent death here?!”

“You worry too much, man,” Jim says. His eyes flick up, past him, and for a half-second he starts before relaxing back into his familiar, smug confidence. “’Sides, the cavalry is coming. Don’t worry,” he adds, blue eyes turning gold as his game-face appears, fangs extending, “I’ll make a distraction. See ya, Bones.”

Leonard starts to tell him not to call him that for the eleven millionth time since Nero’s coven had brought him here, but the vampire is already gracefully leaping down from his cage.

“Hey, guys! Who wants to play a game?” Jim asks, pushing the fledglings around as he is wont to do. He hits each of them on the head in a mockery of playfulness. “It goes like this. ‘Duck! Duck! Dead!” He snaps the neck of the last one and the vampire bursts into dust.

Leonard should be horrified at the casualness with which he watches Jim kill, but really, he’s too focused on his friends coming to his rescue as they move quietly in the dim light of the factory.

“Leonard!” Nyota’s voice is fraught with worry as she takes in the bruises and cuts on him. “Are you—”

“Scrapes,” he says gruffly. “It’s nothing. Look, we need to get out of here—”

“Gaila and Spock have our backs, don’t worry.” The Slayer’s grin is damn near feral. “Any second now—there!”

“Spock, huh?” Leonard asks, almost dizzy with the relief at the prospect of getting out of here. “He’s a member of the team now, huh?”

An explosion rocks the building.

“Somethin’ like that,” Nyota mutters as the cage rocks wildly in mid-air.

“Whoo! Time to par-tay!” Jim sounds gleeful, but Leonard doesn’t dare look in his direction.

Nyota breaks the locks to his cage with ease. She shrugs at his expression—he had tried picking them, wearing them down, and of course they hadn’t given during his whole imprisonment. “Super strength. Sucks for school lockers, epic for getaways! C’mon!” She puts an arm around him, using the rope around her shoulder to rappel them down to the ground with ease. Any other time he’d be terrified of the height but, well, his life is being saved, so he’s over it.

Another loud boom, and the old building quakes around them again. “What is that?” Leonard asks.

Nyota looks sheepish. “Pavel and Scotty made it,” she answers. “I didn’t ask. And don’t tell Pike. He kinda doesn’t know.”

“Right. Keep the Watcher out of it. Got it.” Leonard’s not—he’s just not going to think about it. At all. He looks over as another vampire is dusted mere feet away.

“I got one!” Gaila says delightedly, appearing abruptly with a crossbow, the Vulcan at her side. She turns to Spock. “Did you see that? I got one!”

“I am most thrilled for you,” Spock says dryly, but it’s clear all his attention is for Nyota.
“Are you—”

“We’re fine,” she says hurriedly, meeting his glance and then looking away.

Yeah, nothing going on there. Idiots. Leonard snorts to himself. Something coils in his stomach like regret.

“C’mon, let’s get out of here, before—” Nyota breaks off, because that’s when the Master appears.

“Slayer!” Nero’s voice rings out. He regards the havoc before him with astonishing equanimity, half his coven dead, his nest falling to his ears around him. “You dare?!”

“It’s a hobby,” Nyota chirps back. She adopts a casual stance, one Leonard has seen all too often when she’s arguing with the other cheerleaders at school. “What can I say? I got bored of shopping.”

“Insolent—” Nero breaks off, looking down in shock. A stake sticks out of his chest. The vampire looks dumbstruck, and infuriated. “This isn’t how it goes! He promised—!” And then he’s dust.

“So weird,” Jim says, shaking his head. Then he shrugs, assuming his casual smirk as he takes in the rag-tag band of the Slayer and her friends. “Blah, blah, blah. All talk, no play. I hate dudes like him. Don’t you?”

“You!” Nyota’s voice drips with venom as she drops into fighting stance. “We’re going to finish this.”

“Guys, we’ve got to get out of here!” Hikaru appears, Pavel and Scotty following, all of them with faces covered in soot. “Like, pronto!”

“We will,” Jim promises Nyota. His eyes shift to Leonard just for a second, and he feels himself grow cold, then hot at the memory of their fevered kiss earlier. Then Jim’s gaze is completely on the Slayer. “But not tonight. We’ll dance some other time, ‘kay?” And then with supernatural speed he vaults upwards and out of the window.

“I’m going to kill him so bad,” Nyota mutters, but then their friends are pulling them away, and into the night.

Soon enough they are back at the library, and Pike looks stern, the Watcher infuriated that they didn’t call him. Spock and Nyota avoid each other studiously, Pavel sits at his computer to do research while Hikaru looks over his shoulder anxiously, and Gaila and Scotty flirt quietly in the stacks.

No one asks Leonard why he’s not more roughed up than he is, and he doesn’t know how to tell them about Jim Kirk chasing fledglings away from him or bringing him non-gross food and band-aids. Doesn’t know how to tell them he owes the charismatic vampire.

Doesn’t know how to tell his friends, his Slayer, that he’s kinda maybe, for the first time in his life, in love.

~

Okay, he thinks much, much later, after he’s gotten home and his parents have alternated between being relieved to find him alive after the “gang riot” at the high school and berating him for not coming home sooner (“I hid,” he says, eyes wide, “I was scared!” “For a day?” Dad asks. “I was really scared?” Leonard responds.), maybe love is too strong a word.

He’s sitting at his desk later that night, too jittery to go to sleep, too exhausted to do much of anything, so he’s not reading a PADD, and he’s definitely not thinking about, well. Jim Kirk.

He leans back in his chair, balancing with the toes of his feet against the legs of the desk as he gives up and just stares at the ceiling for a change in scenery.

After all, he tells himself fiercely, love was what he’d thought he’d felt for Jocelyn Darnell all through their stormy, six-month…thing. Whatever it was. Because it wasn’t a relationship in any conventional sense (he wasn’t rich or good-looking enough to take home to her parents, or really to be seen with any of her friends) because that required, you know, mutual respect and affection or hell, you know, just liking each other, but it was too territorial to not be dating (and after all, he had taken her to junior prom, even if she’d only danced the one dance with him), and, well.

Jim Kirk was a vampire, so how could he feel anything for him except possibly fear and loathing, and—and—and, okay, other things, too, judging from the way his blood rushed to his cock whenever he allowed himself to think of some—things.

Ergh.

Being seventeen sucked.

“Psst. Hey, Bones?”

“AGH!” Leonard falls backwards out of his chair, he’s so startled; he hits the floor hard as his PADD goes flying across the room. He looks over at his open window, where Jim perches neatly on the tree branch just outside of his window.

The vampire looks amused and apologetic at once, wincing in sympathy. “Sorry about that. You okay?”

“Uh.” Leonard bounces to his feet immediately. He glances at the clock: it’s almost three a.m. and the house is silent, and he doesn’t seem to have woken anyone up. “Um. Yeah, I think so.” He frowns at himself, because that should not have been his first answer. “What are you doing here? How did you find me?!”

“There are these things called directories, Bones,” Jim says slowly, a silent duh underlying his words. “Look, can I come in?”

Leonard feels himself flush. He stalks to the window, glaring at Jim fiercely. “Are you kidding me?!”

Jim gives him his very best little old me? look. “Seriously? Why not?”

“You’re a vampire, Jim,” Leonard says in exasperation. “Hell no, I’m not gonna just let you in.”

Jim gives him a mocking pout. “Even after earlier tonight? Harsh, man.”

Leonard scowls. “You threatened to kill my best friend, remember?”

Jim waves a negligent hand, shifting so that he’s lounging casually. It’s feline and inhuman and completely Kirk-like. “Slayer. Force of habit. Look, if she really means that much to you, I’ll leave her alone, how’s that?”

“Unbelievable!” Leonard stares at him, then finally waves his arms in frustration. “What do you want from me?”

Jim doesn’t even blink. “Duh. I want you, Bones.”

Leonard stares, feeling blood infuse his face before flowing straight to his cock. But—he couldn’t possibly— There’s no way—

Leonard gesticulates wildly again in bewilderment. “What does that even mean?” he demands at last.

Jim looks amused, then shifts so that he’s leaning close to the open window, close enough to kiss if Leonard only dared. “I mean,” the vampire says, drawing each word out with delectable slowness, “that. I. Want. You. Bones,” he concludes, pulling back and resuming his former, lazy pose.

“Huh?” Leonard says intelligently.

“Look, dude.” Jim laughs lightly, looking from side to side before meeting Leonard’s gaze, as if he himself were somehow embarrassed. “I’m not usually—into—humans, okay? Not like this. But—you’re just—” He breaks off, and Leonard has the distinct impression that if he had blood and breath, he would be flushing and taking a deep inhalation now. “I like you. Okay?”

“You can’t possibly! You’re—No!” Leonard is talking very fast, nervously. “It was a fluke. You’re a vampire. I’m a human. We don’t—we can’t—”

“But we did and we are,” Jim concludes for him. “Look, let’s try this again. Let’s pretend that—let’s just pretend, alright?” He looks—hopeful, is all Leonard can think. “Let’s just—try?”

Leonard stares at him, swallowing. He could count all the ways this is stupid and wrong and just—well, bad. But nonetheless, he hears himself speak as if from a long way off. “Alright then.”

Jim stares at him for a long moment, and then a bright, true smile transforms his face, and he looks so—just so human. “Hi,” he says softly. “Hi. My name’s Jim Kirk.”

“Hey,” Leonard says, voice low and gravelly. “Mine’s Leonard McCoy.”

~

After they say bye, after the kid has turned off his light and gone to bed for a few hours of sleep, Jim lingers. He feels like some stalker from a romance novel, but he wants to be on the safe side in case any of Nero’s cultists are still out for revenge. Jim hadn’t been lying about how easy it was to find the kid’s information in public directories.

What he hadn’t mentioned, however, was how he had hacked the system, subtly changing the information listed so that if anyone else who had the same thought would be led down a rabbit hole of false leads and wrong numbers. Jim was good with computers even when he was mortal; with a few centuries spent honing his skills, he can do almost anything he wants with them.

When dawn is approaching he decides Bones will be okay and heads back to his nest. It’s stupid, he knows, dangerous even, to be playing games like this with a Slayer’s pet—though if he’s honest with himself (and Jim Kirk is nothing if not honest), he knows it’s not a game.

Not anymore.

Next

Comments

( 2 comments — Add your .02 )
blcwriter
May. 18th, 2011 02:53 am (UTC)
*TWIRLING IN LOVE.*
karmic_fic
May. 26th, 2011 08:33 pm (UTC)
oh my goodness your vampire!jim is ADORABLE... seriously

first: the jacket, then: him being all befuddled after kissing, then: it can be if you want it to be, THEN: duck duck dead??

you are killing me here with the AMAZING... just saying
( 2 comments — Add your .02 )

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