Title: Of Air And Angels
Rating: PG-13, at the very most.
Warnings: Fluff so fluffy you may well choke on it.
Disclaimer: Not mine, not making any money from this.
Summary: Awake on his wedding night, McCoy thinks.
Author's Note: Ninth and final installment in an overview of the Kirk/McCoy relationship using the poetry of John Donne. Other installments can be found here:
The Good Morrow
Break Of Day
Of My Name, In The Window
Many thanks to seren_ccd, who beta-ed her first piece of slash with this fic!
Twice or thrice had I loved thee,
Before I knew thy face or name ;
So in a voice, so in a shapeless flame
Angels affect us oft, and worshipp'd be.
Still when, to where thou wert, I came,
Some lovely glorious nothing did I see.
But since my soul, whose child love is,
Takes limbs of flesh, and else could nothing do,
More subtle than the parent is
Love must not be, but take a body too ;
And therefore what thou wert, and who,
I bid Love ask, and now
That it assume thy body, I allow,
And fix itself in thy lip, eye, and brow.
The light from the pleasure-planet’s moon was a subtle blue, and combined with the candles Jim had insisted they light, Len could see the sleeping body of his brand new husband stretched out beside him. Jim’s golden skin was smooth and unblemished, his cerulean eyes shut and a faint smile playing on his slightly swollen lips. He slept the sleep of the just, their wedding night well and truly consummated to the very best of his considerable ability. Len knew that he should be asleep also, but something kept him awake, nagging thoughts chasing around the back of his brain.
He’d promised to love Jim that day, standing in front of as many of their friends and their crew as they could cram into the main rec deck, broadcasting via ship’s comms to the rest. He had meant every damn word of his vows too, as he knew Jim had, knew it in his bones. But he had meant it the last time he had said those vows, to Jocelyn, and all the other times he had said ‘I love you’ to a partner.
What was love, anyway? How could one man love people as different as Jocelyn and Jim? Len was a scientist, only truly happy when things were neatly dissected, labelled and classified. How could he define what love truly is? And if he couldn’t do that, how could he guarantee that this time his marriage would work?
He looked again at Jim, the thin silky sheets draped loosely across the lower part of his body. He was the very picture of decadence, massage oil still gleaming on his skin. He looked like an angel, slipped down from above to give McCoy a taste of heaven. McCoy snorted. He’d better not let that slip out, or Jim would never let him hear the end of it. That, or go out hunting for a pair of wings he could try and wear during sex, and that could only end in disaster. Hilarious disaster, but disaster nonetheless.
Leonard McCoy was a child of love, born to parents deeply devoted to each other. His mother’s tragic early death had ripped apart his father’s world, and Len had been searching desperately for his entire life for the same kind of relationship they had shared. He thought he had found it with his first marriage, but no matter how much love they had between them, he and Jocelyn just couldn’t cope with life together. He refused to be the bitter man that had joined Starfleet drunk and depressed, not any more. The marriage may have failed, but their love had brought them Joanna, and there was no way that he would regret his daughter’s existence. His love for her had seen him through some of his darkest days, before he and Jim had turned their friendship into something different, something more.
He had spent his whole life desperately searching for love, only to have it fall into his lap and out of it again several times over. He played absently with the warm metal of his wedding ring, an old habit he had thought long forgotten.
Was love something ephemeral, something intangible? Some lovely, glorious nothing you hoped would drift into your life, as impossible to capture as a cloud, as hard to touch as the breeze?
Or was love something more physical, more real? Was love the ring on your finger, the man in your bed, the scars on your soul ?
Len shifted closer to Jim’s warm body and stretched out his hand. With the very tip of his forefinger he traced the outline of Jim’s lips, his eyes, his brow. The feather-light touches made Jim’s smile grow, and he stretched and sighed in his sleep. Jim’s hand moved up and rested on Len’s wrist, effectively trapping his hand there, close to his own body. Their rings clinked together gently, reminding Len of the shock on Jim’s face that day in Sickbay when Len had nervously proposed, scared witless that Jim would die before they could tell the world that they loved each other.
Of course, Jim was just shocked because he had been stashing wedding rings away in his underwear drawer for the best part of six months and had been working up the courage to ask himself. Len had been forced to kiss the pretty pout away from his lips for a long time before Jim relented and stopped sulking. In retaliation Jim had seized control of the wedding – venue, menu, honeymoon, the lot. He’d had Joanna smuggled in as bridesmaid, a fact that had thrilled both father and daughter, and selected a honeymoon villa not that far from a family-orientated hotel where Joanna was currently staying under the loving but strict care of a gaggle of babysitters. After a few hedonistic days, he and Jim would decamp to the hotel and spend the rest of their time with Jo.
It was the perfect honeymoon – time alone with Jim, something that they never had enough of, and time with both his daughter and his new husband. How Jim had persuaded Jocelyn to allow it, Len did not know, or want to know. He’d just chalk it up to another Kirk miracle, and hope he could do it again sometime soon.
Jim stirred, his eyes opening slowly. His smiled sleepily, and shifted closer to Len’s body.
“You should be asleep,” he yawned. “You can’t tell me I didn’t wear you out, old man.”
“I’m getting there,” Len replied, stroking Jim’s back with the long, soothing motion he knew Jim enjoyed. Sure enough, Jim wriggled with pleasure and made a noise that could be called a purr. He pulled himself firmly into the circle of McCoy’s arms and laid his head down on McCoy’s shoulder.
“Love you,” Jim murmured, sleep dragging him back down.
“I love you too,” Len replied, although the light snore from Jim probably meant that he hadn’t heard it.
The moonlight and candlelight combined and caught the burnished gold of Jim’s hair, the dull shine of the latinum that made up their rings.
Leonard McCoy was no closer to puzzling out what love was, but he had a feeling that figuring it out the how and the why and the wherefore wasn’t important. Feeling it, and living it and doing everything he could to keep the shapeless flame alight, that’s what counted. He dropped a kiss to the top of Jim’s head, and closed his eyes. Love had taken the form of a body, and he held it in his arms. That would do.