mijan: (Bones dreams of hyposprays)
[personal profile] mijan
Title: “The Harder They Fall” (3/3)
Rating: NC-17
Characters: Kirk, McCoy
Word Count: 18,000
Warnings: Intense, hardcore, and potentially triggery. Complete mind-fuck.

"Part 1”, "Part 2”


Jim slowly blinked his eyes open. The room seemed blurry around him, and he wasn’t sure how he’d ended up on his back. The surface he was laying on was soft, the air was warm, and although he was exhausted, his body felt oddly sated, and he just wanted to rest. There was a motion by his elbow, and he heard the sound of a tricorder nearby. Only a couple of seconds later, a hypospray hissed against his neck.

Grunting in protest, Jim swatted his hand clumsily. “Fuck, Bones... can’t ya... leave a guy alone?”

“Jim!” There was a clattering noise as the tricorder was tossed aside, and suddenly Bones had thrown himself across Jim’s torso, clinging to him tightly. “Goddamn... I’m so sorry... I shouldn’t have... Jesus, Jim... I’m... I didn’t... I’m so sorry.” His voice was so rough, obviously from a sore throat, that it didn’t even sound like him.

Jim squirmed under the added weight of Bones’ arms pressing on him, which made his back ache. “Ow... easy there,” he said, noticing that his voice sounded so weak.

Bones’ head popped up, and his face swam into focus - disheveled hair and haunted eyes - even as his arms were still gripping Jim tightly. “Are you okay, Jim? Talk to me. Can you focus on me?”

“I... I’m okay... it’s...” The sensation of Bones’ hands tight on his biceps broke through the mental fog, and like a slow tidal wave, everything came rushing back. He reached his hand up to clasp Bones’ shoulder, and realized that his hand was shaking. His arm was shaking. “Oh God...”

Suddenly, his whole body was shaking and shivering. The gritty details of the last couple of hours crashed through his mind like shattering glass. The mental image of himself, tied up, beaten, and debauched. The jolts of pain ripping through his body. The unforgiving lashes of the whip in Bones’ hands. The burning shame as his body had responded to everything Bones had done to him, and he’d had no control over any of it. And deep underneath it all, he hadn’t wanted any control.

And it had been Bones. He’d thought so, but he hadn’t let himself fall back on that. They'd both played it true, because that’s what Jim had wanted.

More to the point, he’d asked Bones to do this to him. Begged for it. He’d done this to himself, and he’d gotten exactly what he’d asked for - a brutal onslaught that would take him out of his head. He’d needed something to break through the thick, heavy fatigue that had been weighing on him lately. His failure with the Kobayashi Maru had left him unbalanced, scattered, and unfocused. He hadn’t understood why he was so desperate to take the test again, why he was fixated on it. What the hell was he trying to prove?

He hadn’t expected a real answer - just a temporary escape so he could wallow in the immediacy of the scene and then think about it later when he’d cleared his head. Instead, what he’d gotten was an epiphany like a kick in the gut that had left him reeling, and his abused body and mind were trying to pull it all together in the aftermath and not quite succeeding. Bones was anchoring him, and now he was clinging back like a drowning man with a life raft. Gasping for breath as the full weight of what he’d just experienced crashed over him in wave after wave.

“It’s okay, kid. I’ve got you. Just breathe.” Bones was still holding his arm tightly with one hand, running fingers through his hair with the other, comforting and soothing. “I’ve got you,” he said again. “You’re okay. You’ll be okay.”

“I know, I... oh God.” Jim blinked a few times, flailing weakly with one hand until his fingers found Bones’ arm and gripped it. Bones’ arm was solid and warm underneath his fingers, the one immovable rock in a world that seemed to be spinning out of control around him. He shook his head to himself, then tried to sit up, only to feel the ache in his back redouble and his head spin. “Ouch.”

Bones frowned, and his expression was twisted with concern. “Shh, easy, Jim. Breathe steady, okay? Here, take a few sips of this.”

Bones reached for something off to the side, and a moment later, Jim felt a straw being placed at his lips. He sipped at it automatically - something cool and a bit sweet that tasted faintly like those chewable vitamin supplements he taken as a kid. It was soothing on his throat, and he realized how thirsty he was. When he let go of the straw, Bones nodded and put the cup aside.

“That’s enough for now. But just relax for a minute. You were... I just need to check...” His voice trailed off as he grabbed his tricorder and began scanning.

Despite being shaky and breathless, seeing something so damned normal as Bones with a tricorder almost made Jim grin, despite himself. The peaky look on Bones’ face, however, stopped him. It almost looked like Bones was trying to hide behind his tricorder, carefully avoiding Jim’s gaze. Jim watched as Bones shook his head, grabbed the hypospray again, and snapped a vial into it. Even though he hated those things, he never protested or resisted Bones’ ministrations during aftercare, and Jim obligingly tilted his head sideways and didn’t flinch as Bones pressed it gently against his neck.

Although Jim knew he’d be physically fine without any medical help, and that all his body actually needed was a bit of rest and time for bruises and welts to heal, he also knew that this was the part of aftercare that Bones needed most, for his own sanity. Bones needed to fix what he’d broken, make it right, and take care of everything before he could let himself relax. And if that’s what Bones needed, that was fine by Jim. Within seconds, whatever had been in the hypospray began to work, and Jim felt some of the shaking subside, but Bones didn’t even make eye contact before grabbing the tricorder and scanning again.

Jim took a deep, careful breath to refocus himself. “Hey. Bones.”

But Bones shook his head, frowning fiercely at the small device. “Hold on. I’ve gotta make sure I’ve got you stabilized. I pushed you too far. This is all my fault. Your blood pressure is too low, and --”

Bones.” Jim reached out and put a hand on the tricorder, slowly pushing it down. “I’m not going to pass out again, so put that thing down for a minute.”

He reluctantly set aside the tricorder, then he grasped Jim’s hand, shaking his head. “My god, Jim, I’m so sorry. I was trying to play the part, and I wasn’t paying close enough attention. I should have realized what was happening. Especially with everything... with what I did to you... can you forgive me?”

“Why should I need to forgive you? I asked you to do it,” Jim insisted, as fervently as he could manage. “You couldn’t have known that I’d pass out. I told you... I had to get out of my head, and it was going to take more than usual to do it this time.”

“There could have been another way, Jim. This scene... it really pushed some limits. Yours, but also mine. I haven’t done anything like this before. I swore I never would. I was... I was always worried that I wouldn’t know the line until I crossed it.” Bones swallowed thickly, his Adam’s apple bobbing. “I’m afraid I crossed that line.”

“You didn’t. I asked you to do whatever you thought it would take to get me there.” He squeezed Bones’ hand. “I needed it.”

Bones grumbled. “I’d say that nobody needs that, but... I understand you, Jim.” He patted Jim’s arm awkwardly, then pulled back, picked up his tricorder again, and resumed scanning. His jaw was clenched, and his eyebrows were deeply furrowed.

Jim sighed in frustration, but had to suppress a grin at the image of Bones treating his tricorder like a damned security blanket. “Bones, I’m fine, okay? But you’re going to put a permanent crease between your eyes.”

“You gave me one long ago, kid.” His voice sounded even rougher than before, and shook his head in agitation. “Most of the games we play, I don’t actually hurt you. This time, I did.”

“True,” Jim admitted. “But it’s okay.”

Bones grunted in reply, but didn’t say anything.

“You know, I... thought it was you... but that was one hell of an act. Ever consider a career in theater?” he asked lightly, hoping to get Bones to relax.

Bones all but dropped the tricorder and stared at Jim in disbelief. “Jim, this wasn’t a goddamned stage performance,” he bit out sharply, obviously not relaxing at all. “I hurt you. I terrified you. I attacked you, drugged you, kidnapped you, tortured and finally raped you.” He took a deep breath. “I kept waiting for you to safeword. I actually hoped you would. Goddammit, I almost tapped out myself. I should have.”

“If you needed to, you could have, Bones. And I would have tapped out if I’d needed to. We negotiated this scene. We’ve been playing these games for almost a year.”

“We’ve never played like this.” Bones was peaky and tight-lipped, and he looked like he needed more help than Jim did just then.

Jim felt something in his heart ache at the remorse on his friend’s face. Bones had put aside his own reservations and had given Jim something that had pushed them both to their limits. It had probably been harder on Bones than it had been on Jim. “Bones. Bones. Stop that. I’m okay. Really.” He reached out a hand and touched Bones’ arm. “Besides, aren’t you the guy who taught me not to feel guilty about my needs?” He gave a sly grin. “Even if they are a little bit out of the ordinary?”

Bones didn’t move for a moment. Then, incrementally, his shoulders relaxed. “Yeah, Jim. I did. Funny thing about doctors... we’re better at giving advice than taking it.” He put aside the tricorder and picked up a dermal regenerator. “Just... let me take care of you for now, okay?”

Jim sighed and offered a resigned smile. “Sure. But lay off the hyposprays, would ya?”

Bones rolled his eyes and grumbled, “Big baby,” then leaned over and held the regen unit against Jim’s neck. The almost visceral memory of the knife Bones had used flashed through Jim’s mind, and the primal surge of fear that had surged through his body as the blade had pressed against his throat came racing back. The warm vibration in his skin from the regenerator was usually soothing, but the vulnerability of having something near his throat made him flinch. Instantly, Bones withdrew the device and sat back.

“Jim? Are you okay?”

Running his tongue over dry lips, Jim nodded. “Yeah. Yeah, I just remembered how I got that scratch. Knives are some scary shit.”

“I can heal that later and work on the other marks,” Bones said, his voice carefully neutral.

“No, it’s okay. I’m ready for it now. I just needed... it’s okay. Go ahead.”

Bones pressed his mouth into a thin line - that look he got when he wanted to say something but wouldn’t - and then leaned back in to resume his work. Jim felt his heart beat just a little bit faster until Bones withdrew the regen unit from his neck. Then, without pausing to speak, he reached for Jim’s hand and began working the device around the raw, red ligature marks on his wrists. Jim shivered slightly at the touch.

Really, he liked watching Bones work. He liked those moments when he was the center of Bones’ attention - as long as it didn’t involve hyposprays or verbose lectures regarding his own recklessness. He liked the way his stomach still fluttered just a little bit at the idea of Bones taking care of him. On the other hand, Jim didn’t like the way Bones looked so bleak and guilty this time. As Bones worked, some of the guilt on his face faded, and the familiar look of concentration took over his expression.

Finally, Jim looked away and glanced around the room, only now taking in his surroundings properly for the first time.

The room was sparse, and maybe five by five meters at the most. A table with Bones’ duffel bag of “toys” sat nearby. On the far wall was a set of shackles, a St. Andrew’s Cross, and a spanking bench that had been pushed out of the way. In the center of the room, a couple of ropes dangled from a sturdy cross-beam, and based on the way the ends were frayed, they’d been hastily severed. Mostly, the room was empty, with smooth surfaces. Meant to feel like a dungeon. Jim was lying on the one piece of normal furniture in the room - a leather couch draped in a soft blanket.

“We’re at Balls and Chains, aren’t we?”

Bones nodded, still focusing on his work healing Jim’s wrists. “They were willing to host this scene for me because of all the times I’ve patched up some of their clients under-the-table. And they know us well enough to trust that I wasn’t actually abducting and torturing you against your will. Ted helped me get you here.”

“Smooth, Bones.” Jim grunted as the ache in his back started to throb again, and he made a move to roll onto his front, but Bones stopped him.

“Easy, Jim... I’ll get to those in a minute.” He splayed a warm hand across Jim’s chest. “I couldn’t put you on your stomach while you were unconscious, and I’d rather wait until your blood pressure has been stable for a bit longer before I flip you over.” He shook his head, and an affectionate, chiding grin finally peeked through his mask of guilt. “After all this time I’ve trained you to breathe properly through a scene, you went and choked up on me.”

“See? Told ya it wasn’t your fault,” Jim said, pretending not to be as sheepish as he really felt. “You know,” he mused, “I wasn’t sure whether or not you’d play this scene anonymously.”

“It seemed like the only way to do it,” Bones grumbled, not stopping his work. “I thought if you weren’t completely sure whether or not it was me... at least when we started... then it would be more effective. So I tried to throw you off with that message I sent earlier.” He sighed deeply. “If it looked like it was routed through Starfleet Medical, I figured you’d think I was still there. And then, I didn’t send you any voice comms all week after I caught that sore throat going around campus. If it made it harder to recognize my voice here, I thought it might seem more real.”

Jim furrowed his eyebrows together, then remembered the message he’d received just moments before Bones had set everything in motion. “It did.” He twisted his lips thoughtfully. “That was... really creative. And you were right. It was more effective. You really thought this through.”

Bones merely grumbled noncommittally and switched to Jim’s other wrist. He still looked a bit uncomfortable, and Jim kept quiet, playing the part of the good patient, hoping it would help Bones settle down a bit. Finally, Bones settled Jim’s hand back down on the couch with a gentle pat. Jim started to flip over for him, but Bones held him back. “We’ll get to your back in a minute. Just let me just get those little punctures first.”

Jim nodded and followed Bones’ hands as he quickly ran the regen unit over the tiny pinpricks on his chest, arms, and thighs. “Those things were brutal, Bones. What the hell were they?”

“You’d be surprised,” he said, and reached to side. When he held his hand up, there was only the tiniest sliver of metal pinched between his fingers, barely a centimeter long, with a round disk at its base, perpendicular to the needle.

Jim let his mouth fall open. “That’s it? Those tiny little things? It felt like you were stabbing me with a set of Klingon cutlery!”

It was Bones’ turn to look sheepish, but he actually seemed just a little bit proud of himself. “The drug I used on you is something we use on patients with numbness from nerve damage. It’s short-acting, and causes increased sensitivity and nerve function so that we can begin physical therapy sooner. And the electrodes are for testing nerve conductivity. So when I combined the two, it made even the mildest electrical pulse feel much more potent. That way, I could produce some really strong effects without the risk of damage from the electrical current.”

Jim actually laughed. He should have known Bones would use a fancy trick like that. “Strong effects... yeah. That’s one word for it. I thought you were going to electrocute me.”

Bones gave Jim a sincere look. “I’d never put you at risk, kid.”

“I know.” He squirmed as Bones withdrew the regen unit from the last tiny puncture mark, leaving nothing but smooth, whole skin behind. “But you hit me with the whip before you drugged me. So... did you really go that hard?”

The sheepish grin turned into something deeply apologetic and almost painful. “Yeah. I did. And yes, it broke skin. Oh for God’s sake, don’t look so pleased with yourself. Damn masochist. You’re getting a dose of antibiotics after I patch you up.”

“Whatever you say, Doctor.”

Bones scowled at him, but Jim knew Bones’ bizarre quirks of affection well enough. “Okay, let’s take a look at your back. Here... give me your hand. Easy there.”

Carefully, Bones levered Jim up and helped him ease over onto his stomach. A moment later, the regen unit was humming away over his back, and Jim let himself physically relax, turning his head sideways to watch Bones as he worked. It didn’t take long for Bones to notice that Jim was studying his every movement. With a sigh, he laid a warm hand on Jim’s shoulder and began rubbing gently but firmly.

“Just a few minutes of this, kid. I’ll re-treat the deep ones later to get the last of the damage.”

“Leave the ones that didn’t break skin.”

“I thought you said you didn’t want a trace.”

Jim shrugged, feeling the deep ache of the damaged skin and tissue on his back. “Changed my mind. I want a reminder.”

Bones raised a curious eyebrow. “Oh?” It was an open-ended question, something he often did when he knew that Jim just needed to talk.

“I... think I really got what I needed out of this. More than I’d expected when I asked you to do it.” He swallowed against the dryness in his throat. “I went in needing to get out of my head, but I also knew that if I was going to keep trying to push limits like this... standing out... that I’d need to know what I was fighting for. Why I was doing it. Had to test my... my conviction, I guess.”

Bones nodded. “I thought you were saying something just before you passed out. Want to share your revelation?”

“I realized,” Jim said softly, “that I wasn’t doing it for myself.”

“Really now, Mr. Golden Pedestal?” His tone was sarcastic, but not cutting. It was actually a gentle invitation, if a teasing one.

Jim licked his lips, nodding slowly. “Yeah, really. I want to be a leader someday, but the reason I’m doing this shit now is to make sure I’m ready for anything later... so I can take care of the people I’m leading. Because...” He cleared his throat roughly. “Because I really do care about them, Bones.”

“I know you do, kid.”

“No, you don’t,” Jim said, thoughtfully, carefully. “I didn’t know it myself, but... I get it now. And I know why I was so furious when the Maru blew up on the simulator screen. All those people, Bones! And I was responsible for them.”

“It was just a simulation, Jim.”

Jim raised his head and looked at Bones until he met his gaze. “Someday, it won’t be.”

Slowly, Bones nodded, then turned back to begin working the dermal regenerator again.

Jim settled back down so Bones had easier access to his back, resting his chin on his folded arms and staring blankly at the wall. “I want... I guess I want people to trust that I can handle any situation. But first, I need to trust myself. Test myself. I think that’s why I keep sticking my neck out.”

“What do you mean?”

“If I test myself against everything I possibly can... even if it’s beyond anything I’ll actually need to do... then I know I can handle anything when the shit really hits the fan. Then I can trust myself to lead.”

He let out a slow breath, sinking deeper into the sofa cushions as the warmth of the regen unit soaked into his abused flesh. “That’s why I need to beat the Kobayashi Maru, Bones. Everyone’s going to think it’s just because I can’t leave well enough alone, and that I just need to show off. Okay, so maybe that’s a little bit true. But seriously, I need to know that I can think outside the box, and that I won’t quit until I solve every problem. If I give up on something now, in training, will I give up when it really matters? When there are lives at risk?”

“I don’t think you’d give up on people, Jim. I don’t think you know how to give up.”

“I hope you’re right,” Jim said, then glanced up to meet Bones’ gaze. “Because I realized... I care about them. Not just...” He paused, realizing he didn’t quite have the words for it. Nothing adequate anyway. There were no words he could use to describe why he’d been completely crushed after failing the Maru the first time, or the fierce sense of protectiveness that had welled up in him when he’d suddenly understood it for himself. No words to describe the split second when he’d realized it hadn’t been about winning for his own accolades. When he’d really known what the burden of command would ask of him, and just how desperately he was willing to give it. “I just... I really fucking care about them.”

A smile crept across Bones’ face. “Jim... I know.”

Jim felt his cheeks flush. “Oh.”

“Yeah, kid.” Bones turned back to his work, focusing on the dermal regenerator and the welts on Jim’s back, but he reached out with his other hand and squeezed Jim's shoulder. “I know.”

Jim nodded, then rested his head on his arms again, and sighed. “I also needed to remember that I’m nothing special.”

“You are -”

“That is,” Jim continued right over him, “I’m nothing special by myself.” A smile tugged the corners of his mouth, and he felt a familiar wave of heat behind his eyes. “But... I’m not in this alone.”

Bones nodded slowly. “You’ve got Nova Squadron. You’ve got your hand-to-hand team. The Xenolinguistics Club... even though I swear Cadet Uhura is going to twist your cock into a pretzel someday if she decides you’ve looked at her the wrong way.”

“Ooh, kinky. Maybe I should tempt fate there and see if she’ll do it.”

With a dramatic eye-roll, Bones grumbled, “Masochistic brat.”

“Yeah. But I wasn’t just talking about them.” Jim propped himself up on one elbow, ignoring the ache the movement caused through his back. “I meant you.”

Bones, who’d looked like he was about to protest and demand that Jim lie back down so he could finish the regen session, froze. “Jim?” he said vaguely.

“Bones, you were willing to push past all your limits and do this for me - to me - because I asked you to. You’ve saved my life. I’ve saved yours. There’s nobody else in the galaxy I’d want backing me up... or beating me up. If I’ve got you, then I know I’m not in this alone.” He licked his lips, which suddenly seemed too dry. He and Bones were close, sharing a unique friendship that they’d never bothered to define or limit. But they didn’t usually talk about feelings. Not like this. He didn’t really have the words for it, but he had to make sure Bones understood. “I know you care about me.”

Bones eyes widened, just a little bit, in surprise at such a plain statement. He nodded his comprehension. “I do, Jim. And you care, too.”

“About you,” Jim confirmed. “But also about them.” He tilted his head. “Everyone else. You took care of me, and I want to be able to repay the favor. And to be able to take care of everyone else when the time comes. But I have to be sure that I can, Bones.” He nodded to himself. “So I’ve decided... I’m definitely going to take the test again.”

“You’re really going to go back for seconds?”


Bones sighed in resignation. “It’s the goddamned Kobayashi Maru, Jim. That takes a special kind of masochism.”

“Then I’m perfect for the job.”

With a soft chuckle, Bones ruffled Jim’s hair. “Nobody’s ever beaten that test. Nobody’s supposed to beat it.”

“And nobody believed the faster-than-light travel was possible until Cochrane did it. Bones, the only difference between good men and great men is that the great ones didn’t give up when someone told them that something couldn’t be done. The great ones... they made the hard decisions - to find a different answer, to keep pushing themselves, or to put everything on the line for something bigger.”

The regenerator stopped humming, and a second later, Bones leaned on the edge of the sofa cushion, his face inches away from Jim’s. “So... you think you’re great, huh?”

Without hesitation, Jim shook his head. “No. But I want to be.”

Slowly, a smile curled one corner of Bones’ mouth into something affectionate and resigned at once. “You know, Jim... I think you will be.” He reached up and pulled down the blanket that was draped over the back of the couch, spreading it over Jim’s legs and up to his shoulders.

The room was warm enough, but the soft weight of the blanket seemed to settle all the way through Jim’s body, and he realized how exhausted he was from the scene. He closed his eyes and settled his head deeper into the folds of his arms. “Mmm... how long until we have to be out of here?”

“The manager owed me a favor. We’ve got it all night if you need it.”

“Nah,” Jim mumbled sleepily. “I just need a little while... maybe a half hour.”

“Only if your blood pressure is back up. I don’t need you passing out on the curb while we wait for the transport car.”

“Yes, Mom.”

Bones gave an exasperated snort. “You’re impossible.”

“Yeah. But seriously, I’d like to get back to campus.”

“Comfortable territory?”

Jim nodded.

“Okay. Then you’re staying in my room tonight,” Bones said firmly.

“Ooh, cozy. Breakfast in bed?”

Bones rolled his eyes. “Cheeky brat. Jim, you’re going to be an emotional mess tomorrow morning.”

Jim let his shoulders slump in resignation. “You know me too well, Bones.” He shook his head to himself and took a deep breath. “I know I haven’t really processed this yet. And yeah, I’m probably going to hit an emotional crash later. But it’s fine. I expected it.”

Bones grumbled deep in his throat and gave Jim an unreadable look.

Jim frowned. “Hey, are you okay?”

The look resolved into a pained grimace. “Mostly.”

“What is it?”

“Jim...” He sighed. “I did this because I want to give you what you need. I like giving you what you need. But... for the same reason... it hurt me to do this to ya, kid. I’m probably going to crash, too. Just... stick around this weekend, okay?”

Jim took in the stress lines around Bones eyes, and the tense press of his lips. Bones was a man who seldom asked for anything. Usually, after a scene, if he needed to cope with his own emotional aftermath, he’d keep his sanity by doting on Jim and checking vital signs like a nervous habit. And Jim would be a good patient and let him. It was the way they worked. The balance between them was complicated, rough around the edges, but intense and trusting. And they knew each other. So Jim knew that when Bones asked for something, he really, really needed it.

“I will, Bones. No problem. But... why?”

Bones opened his mouth, then closed it quickly and shook his head for a moment. When he spoke, his tone was subdued. “I just need to make sure I didn’t... that it’s okay. That you’re okay.” He coughed once. “That we’re okay.”

Oh. “We’re okay, Bones. We’re okay.”

A small smile, broken but hopeful, tugged the corners of Bones’ mouth. “Close your eyes, kid. Rest for a little while. Then we’ll head home.”

With a contented sigh and a nod, Jim closed his eyes and let his body relax deeper into the sofa cushions. A warm hand settled on his shoulder and began rubbing the length of his back through the blanket. The duller stings from the whip marks that Bones hadn’t healed sent a satisfying ache through him, riding on the back of the intense endorphin high that hadn’t quite worn off. Bones’ other hand reached up and gripped his arm.

Jim let himself give an appreciative sigh. “Thanks, Bones. For everything.”

“You’re welcome, kid.”

That night, if Jim found himself waking up on Bones’ couch with a start, heart pounding and muscles trembling, it was nobody else’s business. And if Bones woke up when Jim cried out, and then physically dragged him from the couch back to his bed even though it really wasn’t big enough for two grown men, it was only natural. If Bones got upset with himself during the night for what he’d done, Jim didn’t see the tears in the darkened room, and the sniffling could have been the remnants of the cold bug, even though he knew better. If they woke up in the morning with their arms and legs tangled together, it wasn’t their fault that the bed was too small.

If Jim returned to his classes with refreshed determination and a clear head, it was easy to wink at his classmates and hint at a good time he had last Friday. And if he snuck back to Bones’ room after class to wait for him with a bag of Chinese takeout, a pack of ice cold beer, and a warm embrace, then that’s what any guy would do if his best friend was having a rough time. And if Jim lied that his roommate snored too much so that Bones wouldn’t have to ask him to stay, it was a fair lie because Bones could see right through it and that was fine with both of them.

And then, when Bones showed up at Training Sim Facility Two a few weeks later, waiting to catch Jim as he marched out of his second failure at the Kobayashi Maru, it felt right. And if Jim wasn’t upset because he’d once again failed to beat the test, that was because he knew that it was only over when he gave up. And when he figured out how to crack the test months later after serving as bridge crew for someone else’s run at the Maru, he knew that Bones would be there to see him when he finally proved to himself, and the world, that he really was ready to take on anything.


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Date: 2011-01-03 11:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] syredronning.livejournal.com
Intense read! I love how inventive Bones is for Jim, to help him through this, but I also think that his kind-of-top-burnout is very believable and touching (been there, done it) and I kind of doubt he'd repeat something like that in the near or far future. Overstepping one's own limits and venturing into no-go land is a tricky thing, especially as it seemed to have him turned on too. Hard to reconcile for some people, and Bones' self-image is all about caring and not-hurting.

Jim has some residual trauma too, it seems. The whole scene brought the term edge-play to a new level, and while I'm glad Jim found his answer, I'm not sure it was worth it after all. YMMV and all, that's just my personal kinkster view :)

EDIT: Thought about it some more and yeah, it was worth it, but I guess Bones will be good in pushing the worst scenes out of his head soon, for his own sake. While Jim will relish in hot fantasies taken out of the whole. (Dangabit, you kicked my kink triggers and now I can't stop thinking.)

Really very intense and great take on why they'd do something like that. Thanks for sharing!
Edited Date: 2011-01-03 11:19 pm (UTC)

Date: 2011-01-04 12:35 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mijan.livejournal.com
Squee! I'm so glad you liked the story. I don't think I've ever read top burnout in a fic, and I wanted to see if I could go there. Both Jim and Bones had some trauma here, but in the end, it actually brought them closer together. I'm wondering if I should have worked harder to show the increased intensity of their relationship afterwards. I'm probably going to tweak that, actually. Huh, I'm still overthinking this. LOL.

It was definitely the extreme definition of edgeplay, but Jim never does things in half-measures. In the end, it was worth it for him. That exhaustion he's showing at the beginning of the fic... that was his internal experience of starting to slip into a depression. It's physical exhaustion, but also mental exhaustion. He really needed to snap out of it.

Anyway, I'm delighted that you enjoyed this! I'm going to go back and tweak a couple of things now. :D

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From: [identity profile] syredronning.livejournal.com - Date: 2011-01-04 05:38 am (UTC) - Expand

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Date: 2011-01-03 11:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] eldritchhorrors.livejournal.com
I said it before, but it bears repeating: your kink fics are hyper realistic, and I love them for it.

You changed the ending and it instantly pulled together in a beautiful, visceral, thinky way. I agree with Syredronning, about Bones' top burnout, and it isn't something tackled in many fics at all. I don't know if you practice a lot edge play, but I have, and it is easy (and scary) for the top to hit that ceiling as well.

And Jim's breakthrough...sigh. There is a feeling of awe you get when you reach that kind of epiphany through a scene, so I think that the boundary pushing was totally worth it.

Few people understand true power exchange, let alone write it, but you do it well, hon. Amazing work.

Date: 2011-01-04 12:29 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mijan.livejournal.com
I almost feel like I want to tweak the ending a bit more, but at the same time, I think I should just be satisfied with it, and walk away now.

I do practice a fair bit of edge-play, but more often as a bottom, mostly because MY cravings for sensation tend towards the edgy, and the subs I play with aren't "mine," and they have more traditional tastes. Even the total pain sluts... as long as I can whip, flog, spank, or paddle them hard enough, they're quite happy. When I bottom, I personally have a strong kink for needleplay and other medical play. I did enjoy electrical play the couple of times I indulged in it, but I don't personally own the equipment. I wish I did. The thing is, I only bottom for a very few select people, and my wife is one of them. She's the Bones to my Jim. She loves to give me what I need, but she doesn't want to *hurt* me, even if that's what I want. The top-burnout thing is something I see in her when we've done some edgier things, and I've needed to comfort her more after scenes than the other way around. I wanted to explore Bones' psychology more here, but I also didn't want to bog down the story, because if I went on with it for too long, it wouldn't work. But yeah, it's some intense psychology, and it's SO tempting to dig deeper into it.

Damn, I'm still tempted.

Anyway, thank you for taking the time to read, and beta, and I'm beyond thrilled that you've enjoyed this. :)

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Date: 2011-01-04 12:57 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lap-otter.livejournal.com
That was... really incredibly uplifting. And I think that when I read it again all at once, instead of being interrupted halfway through by a call from my fiance who is at boot camp, I will find parts of it incredibly personal and relevant. Bones, in this part, reminds me so, so much of my boy, in basically every way, and it moves me.

Thank you for writing this.

Date: 2011-01-04 02:36 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mijan.livejournal.com
I'm glad you enjoyed it. I turned the whole trope on its head, here. Or, at least, that was the intent. I wonder how many non-kink people will read it, and how many will understand it.

Date: 2011-01-04 02:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] gone-ashore.livejournal.com
Yay, you posted!

I like the paragraph that you added at the end. And the final scene feels much better. It's tighter and flows well now.

Love the whump!

Makes another plea for writing the scene through Bones' POV

Date: 2011-01-04 03:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mga1999.livejournal.com
Makes another plea for writing the scene through Bones' POV

Ooooo I agree! Ups the plea to a whimpering beg. *g*

And if you did do it from Bones' POV, you could always play with the end more like you know you want to. *ducks*

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Date: 2011-01-04 05:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lindmere.livejournal.com
I'll admit that following the reveal, it took a bit of a mental shift for me to accept that Bones was capable of this, but as usual you were extremely thorough and convincing and I believe that as someone training for command, Jim is prepared to push any and all limits. I always thought that TOS!Kirk's "superpower" was his self-awareness, especially when it came to the darker parts of the human psyche.

I also believe that Bones will have a much harder time getting over this, but it will definitely forge a stronger bond between the two men.

As usual, this was full of rich detail and extreme professionalism concerning all aspects of the Trek world, not to mention the craft of writing. A pleasure to read as always.

Date: 2011-01-04 01:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mijan.livejournal.com
Bones almost wasn't capable of it, and he only did it because Jim begged him. Jim essentially asked to be physically overwhelmed in this scene, and mentally went along with it once it started. The self-awareness thing... I agree. But sometimes, a person needs to get out of their head because their brain-gears are just spinning circles. It's hard to explain unless you've ever experienced it, but a hardcore "beating" scene can be amazingly cathartic.

Oh, Bones is definitely going to have the rougher time getting over of it... but that's where Jim comes in, to help support him in return, and build him back up again. A good D/s relationship has that sort of balance, and together, they both have what they need. :D

Anyway, thank you for taking the time to read and comment! I'm glad you liked it!

Date: 2011-01-04 03:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bandearg-rois.livejournal.com
OMG.... from reading that first part I had NO IDEA that this was what the end-up would be... I'm literally shaking, like had-to-leave-the-house-to-finish-reading-and-smoke shaking because this was just so... intense.

All the little things that just added up to this and seriously I'm not sure whether I actually read the whole thing because my mind was reeling so much...

But when Jim realized that the reason he was doing this shit wasn't because of him but because of everyone else... Oh bb my heart hurts so bad.

And then Bones... Bones was utterly magnificent, even though he was pushed out of his comfort zone... oh my goodness.... just....

Yeah, I'm probably going to leave a more coherent comment when I can actually think and not just react...

Date: 2011-01-04 04:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mijan.livejournal.com

This was supposed to be a mind-fuck, so it looks like I succeeded in that! But yeah, the whole thing was totally consensual. Jim was mentally playing along, and the blindfold combined with Bones saying, "My name isn't important," told Jim that he wasn't supposed to know who it was... so he went with that. That's why Jim's internal monologue never identified Bones.

And while initially, we find ourselves thinking, "Poor Jim!"... in the end, it's Bones who sacrificed much more. Because he cares enough about Jim to give him what he needs. Don't worry, Jim took care of Bones later. :)

Take a breather, bb. But thank you for pushing yourself outside your comfort zone to read this. I know the nature of this story automatically limits the number of people who would be willing to read it. I'm just glad it made the impact I wanted. Thank you. ♥

Date: 2011-01-04 03:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] affectingly.livejournal.com
That was extremely intense. Jim's psychological journey was impressive, but like so many people here have pointed out, it's Bones's emotional reaction and strain that shines above. Good work.

Date: 2011-01-04 04:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mijan.livejournal.com
*grins* Yeah, Bones was actually more interesting to write in this, especially through Jim's point-of-view filter. Thanks for reading!

Date: 2011-01-04 04:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] imagined-haven.livejournal.com
Wow. As someone whose only experience with this kind of thing is through the fanfiction and the stories, I'd wondered about how most of it seems centered around the bottom and thought, "Couldn't that happen the other way around? How does the top feel about this?" This... answered that and then some. A very intense read, and one I wouldn't "un-read" for the world.

Date: 2011-01-04 04:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mijan.livejournal.com
I'm delighted that you took the time and made the effort to read this one. And yes, difficult scenes are also a strain for the Top. I've seen Tops hit their own limits in scenes, too. A lot of times, when vanilla people write BDSM, they don't understand the fullness of the D/s dynamic, and that both sides have to give. I'm glad you enjoyed seeing that here. Thank you for reading!

Date: 2011-01-04 05:28 pm (UTC)
avictoriangirl: (kirk/mccoy - i am nothing more)
From: [personal profile] avictoriangirl
Ok, so you had me fooled at first, because I wasn't quite sure that Bones would be capable of doing that to Jim, but yeah, at the end of it all I was totally convinced. Just, OMG this was so intense I feel like I need to go lie down now! *whimpers* How is it that you are so freaking awesome?! ♥

Date: 2011-01-04 05:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mijan.livejournal.com
Well, I was definitely going for intense. I wanted to test my writing limits, and [livejournal.com profile] eldritchhorrors challenged me to write this while we were talking in the jim_and_bones chat room. The concept stuck in my head, and I wanted to see if I could do it. I was really nervous about it, and didn't know if it would work. I'm glad it did! Thank you for reading!

ETA: Technically, this is in the same line of "offshoot" fics from my Academy series as "In Perfect Trust." So... this is a year after that story, and Jim and Bones have been playing these games for a while. This is just the furthest it's ever gone - a one-time deal that Jim begged for.

As for my freaking awesomeness... born lucky? *wink*
Edited Date: 2011-01-04 05:35 pm (UTC)

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Date: 2011-01-04 06:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] savoytruffle.livejournal.com
Intense seems to be the word of the day here. You definitely pushed everybody's limits with this one, but I really like what they came up with in the end.

Date: 2011-01-04 06:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mijan.livejournal.com
I'm glad you liked it, even though it pushed some limits. Hell, it pushed MY limits while I was writing it. I didn't know I could mind-fuck myself just by writing a story, but I did. Thanks for giving this fic a try!

Date: 2011-01-04 07:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lilbatfacedgirl.livejournal.com
Wow, that was intense and intensely thought provoking.

The opening conversation really threw me. I actually had firm conviction the entire time that it was Bones handling Jim, due to a brilliantly placed "damn" in that first dialogue. However, it never occured to me that the other person talking was Jim, even though it seems so obvious now that I’ve re-read it. I actually suspected Pike and my mind went to this whole scenario where the brass is worried about Jim and are trying to push him to make sure he knows what he's doing and they turn to McCoy as the best person to find out. However, my wild conspiracy theory is not half as interesting and provoking as this tight little knot of internal psychological embattlement you wove for us here.

I had a difficult time with Bones' part in this at first, but as others have pointed out, it ultimately makes sense. Bones is a healer through and through and I think there is plenty of irrefutable proof that he will put the well-being of others before himself (a trait of all Enterprise officers, it seems). I personally don't believe thats always healthy, or would be healthy in the context of all relationship, but it always seems to work in the Jim/Bones dynamic, and the Jim/Bones/Spock dynamic for that matter, because they are all generally always giving of themselves. If only one of them was a consistent giver, that person would eventually be sucked dry, but they continually do it for each other, symbiotically. My long, drawn-out point is that even though Bones is causing Jim pain, which was difficult to process, he is ultimately providing healing at a deeper level. It’s almost like having to re-break a bone in order to reset it. Immediate pain to bring about an over-all healthier resolution.

Which leads me to my final point. You went really deep in their heads, like really deep and I absolutely adore that. I think it takes time and an awful lot of digging and examining to truly understand our motives. Most of the time, people don't really know why they're doing anything. They have surface reasons and they cling to them. This laid bare a lot of real motives, blatantly for Jim, more subtly for Bones, and did it in a incredibly realistic way. It made me connect to my own epiphanies and I firmly believe that the ability to touch a reader on a deep personal level is a mark of truly great writing.

Okay, this has become one long-ass comment. Sorry for all the ranting. I haven't read all the other parts of this series yet, so I suspect that will take up my evening.

*rubs hands in anticipation*

Date: 2011-01-04 07:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mijan.livejournal.com
Oh, big comment! I love those! *nibbles comment thoughtfully*

I wondered what people would think of that first scene. I had three people test-read it, and I got three different interpretations. 1. It was two complete strangers - a member of Starfleet, and some sort of "hit man." 2. It was a known Starfleet officer (either Pike or Toland - an OC you'll meet in the rest of the series) and an unknown "hit man." 3. It was a known Starfleet officer and Bones. Yes, I put the "damn" in there on purpose, as well as a few other almost-Bones-ish comments throughout the fic, so that when people look back, if they hadn't figured it out before, they'd say, "OH! SNAP!" But amusingly, nobody guessed that the other person in that very first scene was Jim.

The overall psychology in this story is a bit difficult to really explain to people who have never been into kink or BDSM. For vanilla people, it's hard to reconcile caring for someone with hurting them. There's another kink story I wrote for this universe... the first "scene" between Jim and Bones. You can find it on my Masterlist, a fic called "In Perfect Trust." The Dominant mentality is difficult to explain because most people would associate physical pain with cruelty. If someone is a masochist, however, the physical pain is something they seek. And a caring Dominant/Top will be able to give the bottom/submissive/masochist what he needs... but in a safe way. That's what Bones and Jim have here. Jim is someone who thinks too much, and who over-thinks sometimes. The immediacy and the sensations in a scene help him to get out of his head, and he also craves the attention he gets from Bones.

A friend of mine phrased it this way: "Beat me, whip me, scratch me, and make me bleed if you really, truly love me." Sometimes, the pain is for sexual pleasure, but sometimes, it's for a catharsis. Yes, like re-breaking a bone in order to set it. That's what Jim got here. In return, I hint at the fact that Jim takes care of Bones emotionally later, by being there for him. A good D/s relationship has give-and-take.

I'm very relieved, however, that the emotional dynamic actually makes sense to other people. I wasn't sure how it would be received. But I love getting into characters' heads, and making their thoughts and emotions accessible to the reader, so that seemingly nonsensical things make sense.

Mind if I ask, which other parts of the series have you read? The chronological order is this:
1. Convergence. 2. And All the King's Men. 3. Crossfire. 4. In Perfect Trust.
There will be more in this series, too.

Anyway, thank you for taking the time to read and comment! I hope my long, rambly explanation didn't bore you to tears. :)

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From: [identity profile] lilbatfacedgirl.livejournal.com - Date: 2011-01-04 09:00 pm (UTC) - Expand

Date: 2011-01-04 08:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] severinne.livejournal.com
This was very sneakily and intelligently written, because that possibility that the opening scene had set up Kirk making this request was floating in the back of my mind but rapidly vanished when I became convinced that Bones wasn't capable of doing (and more importantly imo, saying) the things he did in those first two parts. So finding out that both assumptions were correct - it's a set-up, and Bones really can't handle this responsibility as well as Kirk would like him to - was the mother of all mindfucks, and strangely gratifying as a result.

As ever, I'm blown away by your great characterization of Kirk as this exceptional military mind, you really get right under the skin of how he thinks and reacts under stress, but the way you twist it around and make it as much about Bones and his own limits was wonderful. Thank you, that was amazing :)

Date: 2011-01-04 09:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mijan.livejournal.com
I admit, I wonder what percentage of people reading this would even suspect Jim in that first scene. And I wanted that mind-fuck of throwing all those different possibilities out there, but in the end, you only see two characters in the entire story - Jim and Bones. If it makes you feel any better, this fic sent ME for a total mind-fuck, and I was the one writing the damned thing! LOL.

I'm flattered that you like my characterization of Kirk, and that his traits that make him a great military leader manage to show through even in a fic like this. I've known enough military officers (I AM one) to know that a lot of them actually crave things like what I showed here. Maybe not so hardcore, but yeah, it's common for people in high-stress leadership positions to crave the chance to submit, to get out of their own heads, to have someone else dominate them, and so on.

And Bones... oh Bones. You're right - he's NOT really capable of saying those things. In this fanfic universe I've written (same universe as "In Perfect Trust"), he and Jim have been playing kink games for a while, but nothing remotely as severe as this. That's why it took him a week to plan for it AND to psyche himself up for it. He also avoided Jim for the week so he could mentally prepare. And it took everything out of him to complete it. Jim took good care of him later, I promise.

Anyway, thank you for taking the time to read and comment! :)

Date: 2011-01-05 03:47 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pomme-noir.livejournal.com
Wow. I always find it fascinating to read D/s stories by those who actually practice. I enjoy learning more about the psychological aspect of it; and it allows me to vicariously experience it-which feeds my voyeur kink nicely. Very well written. I'm definitely going to go check out your other stories.

Date: 2011-01-05 04:35 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mijan.livejournal.com
Thanks! Although, just to note, I've never played a scene NEARLY as hardcore as this one. I've played some pretty hardcore scenes, but nothing like this. But I know enough about the psychology and techniques to be able to extrapolate.

If you like D/s stories, I'd recommend reading "In Perfect Trust." It's actually written in the same universe as this story here, but it's much "milder," and it shows the time Jim and Bones play and how it all started. And they're all part of what I call my "Academy Series," which includes (chronologically) Convergence, Crossfire, and AAtKM. They're all on my masterlist. I'm thrilled at the idea that you're interested in reading all of them! *Bounces happily*

Anyway, thanks for reading and taking the time to comment! :D

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Date: 2011-01-05 04:27 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ebilchickens.livejournal.com
Wow. This is really well written and put together. Beautifully done.

Date: 2011-01-05 04:35 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mijan.livejournal.com
Thank you! :)

Date: 2011-01-05 09:19 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dramapunk.livejournal.com
I just really need to comment and say I really appreciate people who write kink properly. I think my favorite part, is after how they where talking about how they had negotiated the scene and how they where both dealing with it.

It is really hard to find kink fic or even original works that don't make it out to be crazy, sick, or that just plan get certain things wrong.

Good work chicka.

Date: 2011-01-05 01:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mijan.livejournal.com
Thanks! I've been into BDSM since 2002 in RL, so I try to show it realistically. After a person has experienced the real thing, and understands it, seeing it represented wrong just grates and irritates and... yeah. Anyway, I'm glad you liked it! :)

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look I read it!

Date: 2011-01-05 09:50 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nikki4noo.livejournal.com
And I did it way before my bed time too!

Finally a bdsm fic that deals with the aftermath correctly. Even though you had given me a hint that this wasn't quite as it seemed, I was still second guessing the whole time. Like before, when you got me to read needle play, this time you got me to read a scenario that I never thought I would and I am glad that I did. Really well done and yes, there is the hint that it isn't fully solved and never quite will be between them, but that they will work through it and not ignore it.

I know that the Bones you see is quite close to the one I do. I see him as a Dom with the need and desire to continually care, he can't switch it off. Being a Dom isn't about the desire to hurt someone or be the 'master', it's about giving your Sub what they need. This was a wonderful look at how that is a fine line that can be crossed even with the best of intentions. Jim can't switch off his need to push himself to the limits, even when he does. Lovely little insight into the two of them so messed up, but working together.


Oh, and I love the start that I had to re-read to work out which was Jim and which was Bones. I know you do that quite well. ;)

Re: look I read it!

Date: 2011-01-05 07:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mijan.livejournal.com
I'm so glad you decided to risk it! See? I would never steer you wrong. Real BDSM, even when it seems brutal, is rooted in trust and compassion, and so many different emotions. To me, that's the most interesting part. And yes, I think we see very similar traits in Bones. That's why I adore him so much. :)

Date: 2011-01-05 11:20 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sangueuk.livejournal.com
Well, I certainly felt like I walked in someone’s shoes here, not just Jim’s, Bones' but the whole ‘scene’. This isn’t my ‘thing’ as such, but I tell you what is - your awesome skill as a writer, the incredible way you immersed us into Jim’s POV! The pacing and intensity was just right, and while ‘explicit’ and unwavering, intense, I never felt (given the material) that it was overly gratuitous. I love the ‘teaser’ at the beginning and I suspected it was Bones from then and once or twice as I read on eagerly. What I wanted to know was what on earth his motivation could be. And it’s because he loves him and cares for him and you outlined this convincingly to me, someone who hasn’t got a clue about this stuff. The 'money shot' for me, and for many readers, I suspect, was the psychological journey he went on, and what he learned about himself as a leader. It’s an incredible portrait of an awesome leader, of James T Kirk in all his humility and strength. The whole ‘top’ angle is new to me, and I’m grateful for the insight through the story and through the comments. An incredible piece of writing, my dear, brave and skillfully done. I’m vanilla as they come, but it’s my honour to rub shoulders with you! A masterpiece, bb!
Edited Date: 2011-01-05 11:23 am (UTC)

Date: 2011-01-05 07:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mijan.livejournal.com
Thanks for giving this a try, even though it's not your thing. *grins*

One of the things about BDSM is that the emotions are what drive it... the visceral physicality is the superficial aspect of the scene, but the emotions are its core. I'm glad you didn't think I lapsed into the gratuitous. Having been in the scene and into BDSM for quite a while, it can seem to some observers that some of the little things we do in a scene are superfluous, but taking out any of them would be like removing an instrument from a symphony. Every little thing weaves the experience for both the Dom and the sub, and basically, Bones was using all the "kinks" that he knew Jim wouldn't be able to resist. Jim wanted to be pushed like that, hence the reason he requested such a violent, realistic scene. A lot of people with "leadership" personalities seek such things, actually.

Whenever I write something like this, I wonder how vanilla folks will receive it. I'm thrilled, humbled, and generally squeeful that you think so highly of my writing. Thank you for reading this, and for taking the time to share your thoughts with me!

Date: 2011-01-08 02:28 am (UTC)
ext_230999: (Jones)
From: [identity profile] kimuracarter.livejournal.com
Wow. I think that you did an amazing job exploring Jim's psychological journey. Though I do eagerly add my voice to chorus asking to hear this (or preferably the aftermath) through Bones' POV.

I read this, and all along, I thought it might be Bones. And when all was revealed, I definitely had a hard time swallowing it. Not because you didn't do a good a job writing, but ... well, just because it is difficult to accept and understand. So, I gave myself a day to "marinate" and then read the whole thing again tonight. And this time, I do understand why he did it, and I was able to enjoy reading it as well. This last chapter especially is absolutely beautiful and so believable. Your Bones is SO consistent. Seriously, it's insane. All of his reactions are so in character and just perfect.

Well done.

Date: 2011-01-08 03:02 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mijan.livejournal.com
*blushes* Thank you. And thank you even more for taking the time to go back and read this again.

Hardcore scenes like this are harder for most people to reconcile with a deeply caring and compassionate Dominant character. The mindset in BDSM turns a lot of common assumptions completely on their heads. Examples: Hitting a person is cruelty, caressing a person is kindness. The details are so intricate and intangible unless you've experienced it.

Real life example, if you'll forgive me this. About seven years ago, right after I'd graduated, but was spinning my wheels because the Army kept screwing up my orders, I found myself in that sort of "mental itch" place that I described for Jim at the beginning of the story. I'd accomplished certain things, but I was in a holding pattern, and it was FRUSTRATING. I felt like a hamster on a wheel, I was almost numb in some ways, and I was almost starting to sink into a depression because I couldn't get out of my head. I couldn't ACT. Couldn't DO. And couldn't figure out how to mentally handle it and move on to the next step. So, I went to a trusted Dominant friend of mine. I was normally a Dom, but I'd sometimes switch. I'm 5'2". My friend was a 6' tall, 200 pound man. And I asked him to beat the stuffing out of me until I was bawling and crying uncontrollably.

And so he did. He cuffed me to a St. Andrew's cross, and pounded on me with his heaviest floggers and other percussion tools. There was no sex involved - just a good, old-fashioned beating. He pushed several of my limits (without ever violating them). I screamed and cried and howled and let it all out. In the "normal" world, a person would see a large, middle-aged man beating and abusing a petite 23-year-old woman. That's what it looks like from the outside. From the inside, it was the kindest thing he could have done for me. I felt so much better after that, I can't even describe it. I slept in his guest room that night - an amazingly restful sleep - and woke up feeling better and more alive than I had in months.

Now, I imagine what would happen if I asked my wife to do that. We play kink games, but she's a gentle person who doesn't actually want to hurt me. It would KILL her to do something like that to me... to actually make me cry. If I begged enough, she might do it, and I imagine she might react very much the way Bones did.

tl;dr ... A catharsis scene is really hard to understand from the outside, but the emotions are intense, incredible, and I can vouch from experience that it can really work like that.

BDSM isn't easy to understand from the outside. But... I'm profoundly satisfied that you saw Bones' characterization as being consistent. That's something I wasn't sure people could understand. (Did you read "In Perfect Trust?" It's set in this same universe, one year prior, and it shows the first time Jim and Bones play.) I'm flattered that you liked the writing, honored that you took the time to read it twice, and thrilled that it WORKED for you.

Thank you.
Edited Date: 2011-01-08 03:04 am (UTC)

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Date: 2011-01-08 05:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] vivid-moment.livejournal.com
I have to be honest that this is not my thing to read, but like what happened to me the other day when I saw a story; I read it because of the writer. And that is exactly what happened with this. When you have someone with such an understanding and grasp of language, and the obvious knowledge on how to write a story that makes perfect sense, you want to read it even with the content. And then when the depth of human emotion is understood and portrayed well, what the story is actually about is worth the journey. Well, it is in my book ;) And in this, the journey was haunting yet perfect. I definitely came out like I’d been put through the wringer or something, like I’d been in their shoes – especially Bones. I thought I knew every avenue a writer could take characters we know so much about and love so deeply, but I was wrong. After reading this the other day, I couldn’t even think about it straight, let alone leave you anything vaguely coherent. I mean, seriously, I was stumped (I still am). It made me forget how to use words. How do you keep making me forget how to use words because the same thing happened with AATKM? Exactly the same, and I’d just finished reading ‘Switch’ before I started on your story. I was, well – a mess after that. That fic owns a part of me, and then I start to read AATKM and I’m lost - again. Completely. It’s unbelievable how fics make me feel, but when the writings THAT good they can’t not affect me. I’m such a rambler when trying to review a fic that really affects me. I feel I never do the writer justice. I’m just so grateful, grateful beyond words that YOU share your wonders with us. The words haven't been invented to describe how wonderful, how painful, how perfect this fic was. TYSM <3
Edited Date: 2011-01-08 05:42 pm (UTC)

Date: 2011-01-09 05:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mijan.livejournal.com
Well, if this story put my readers through the ringer, then I feel like I accomplished what I set out to do. I know this isn't everyone's thing. It actually pushed MY limits when I wrote it... but I wanted to challenge myself. I wanted to see if I could make the emotions realistic, the story cohesive, and stay true to the characters in the process.

I've thought about writing Bones' side of this story. The thing is, if I told his part in sequence with this, naturally, it would ruin the impact of the "reveal." But my god, Bones went through hell during the week leading up to the scene. That's part of why he didn't contact Jim. He was busy mentally scripting the scene, creating the role he was going to play, psychologically picking apart Jim's weaknesses, and desperately trying to justify what he was about to do. And then when it came time to do it, he almost backed out, and during the scene itself... there were several points where he almost stopped. Jim was blindfolded so they could play the scene anonymously, but Bones also needed him blindfolded, because Bones knew that while he could say the words, his face would betray his reluctance, ambiguity, and distress.

Maybe I *should* write that.

I'm humbled and thrilled that you feel like I'm taking the characters to brand new places and through new plots and emotions. One of the things I swore to myself when I dug back into fanfiction was that unless I had a NEW story to tell, I wouldn't write. No writing fic just for the sake of putting words on the screen. I had to have something new to say. I need to have something in mind, a place I want to take the reader. I get such a thrill out of simply telling a new story, and having the knowledge that I'm bringing people on a journey they've never experienced before. At least, that's what I hope I'm doing.

Anyway, thank YOU for taking the time to read, and to share your thoughts with me. Forgive me for rambling. It's a Sunday morning, I'm fresh out of a Star Trek party, I'm only half caffeinated, and I'm relaxing with the ambiance of the snow outside my window. I hope you'll find my other stories just as engaging.

(Also, I read Switch. Yeah, that fic ate my brain, too.)

Date: 2011-01-11 11:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] crackemod.livejournal.com
Hi, just to let you know, your story has been recommended here (http://community.livejournal.com/crackenterprise/101592.html) at [livejournal.com profile] crackenterprise.

Date: 2011-01-12 01:39 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mijan.livejournal.com
Awww, thanks! *blushes* I'm glad somebody liked it! I was afraid I was going to scare everyone away before they gave it a chance... but if I didn't warn that strongly, I'd be in trouble for not warning. I'm glad people gave it a chance.

Date: 2011-01-12 01:09 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] azraelz-angel.livejournal.com
Came here via a rec at [livejournal.com profile] crackenterprise. I will admit this isn't usually a story that I'd read, but given the rec and the urge to read despite the warnings, I'm glad I gave it a go.

Great job. I thought that you handled the material well, and the conversation between Bones and Kirk, dealing with the aftermath, really helped the whole story come together, and made it easier to accept that Kirk would want/need that done to him, and why Bones did it.

Date: 2011-01-12 01:42 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mijan.livejournal.com
Thank you for giving it a chance! I wanted to try something like this... partially from a dare from a fellow writer with real BDSM experience... but I also wanted to push my limits. I wasn't sure if people would give it a chance, but I'm so glad you did. Thank you for reading, and for taking the time to leave a comment!

Date: 2011-01-15 12:23 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] therumjournals.livejournal.com
this was so intense! tbh, i thought the first convo was between jim and bones...and then second guessed myself halfway through because it was so convincing! i was hoping it was bones (just like jim was!) and i loved loved loved the aftercare and bones' "need" for it. also interesting that they're still "best friends" and that they have this intense relationship with nothing more. i didn't even remember what In Perfect Trust was when i first read the summary, but now that i think about it, it totally fits. well done!

Date: 2011-01-18 04:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mijan.livejournal.com
Sorry for the late reply - I've been on vacation since last week, with almost no time online.

First, YAY! I'm glad you liked it!

I figured that some people would immediately recognize the "anonymous" conversation as being between Jim and Bones. I also figured some people would guess it was between Bones and someone else entirely. And that other people would see it as being between two completely unknown people who are out to get Jim. It's been interesting to see people's reactions.

Aaah, the specific nature of their relationship here? All I can come up with is, "It's complicated." LOL. Best friends, and something more, to be sure, but it's not romantic. I think it's more interesting that way. *grins*

Thank you for reading! I'm so glad you liked it!

Date: 2011-01-17 02:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] merisunshine36.livejournal.com
Oh wow, where to start? I suppose by saying that this was that rare wonderful fic where I felt like I got to be inside the heads of both characters. I "knew" it was Bones but Jim was so deep into the scene that I actually clicked back to the beginning at one point to make sure I hadn't missed any characters who might be the ones topping him. I'll even confess that there was a moment when I thought, "oh god what if he's really being kidnapped how will he ever get over this?" despite my rational brain trying to clue me in to how this really wasn't the case.

And oh, Bones. Even though I was in Kirk's head, I think I empathized with Bones the most. This will sound horrible, but I think fandom (and the movie itself!) has kind of numbed me to Kirk's manpain. I still respect it, but I've read a healthy number of stories where Kirk deals with his need to prove himself, but not nearly as many for Bones. I can't imagine what it must have done to him to see Kirk pass out at the end. Tbh, I was kind of annoyed with Kirk at the beginning of the aftercare scene because (even though I knew he was trying to process his own emotions), I wanted to shake him and go, "Pay attention!!! This is harder on Bones than you realize!" Like, there was that moment where he realizes "Bones will always take care of me"--but who takes care of Bones?

Anyway, tl;dr it was hot and a mindfuck and my heart wibbled something fierce. It was awesome!

Date: 2011-01-18 05:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mijan.livejournal.com
Aaah, yeah, Jim was pretty deep into the scene. On some level, he knew, but he intentionally let go of that knowledge and just went along with it, because that's what he needed. But yeah, I wanted to reader to be taken along for the ride with Jim, which meant it needed to be a mind-fuck. (Hell, it was a mind-fuck for ME while I was writing it!)

And oh gods, yes, Bones. He'd push himself beyond any sane limits if Jim needed something from him. And yes, it took Jim a few minutes to become "aware" enough to realize that Bones was emotionally suffering after that scene. And that's why I hinted at Jim's ongoing "aftercare" for Bones, being there for him over the next few days, spending time with him, reassuring him. I'm into BDSM in the real world, and edge-play doesn't just demand a lot from the sub, like so many people believe. And Bones... the near-perfect example of the "Compassionate Dom," would push himself beyond his own limits if he felt his sub/bottom really needed it.

Anyway, tl;dr - THANK YOU! I'm glad you liked it!

Date: 2011-03-07 01:51 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] blcwriter.livejournal.com
I've never been able to come up with a more coherent compliment for this than... masterful, bb.

Date: 2011-03-07 02:50 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mijan.livejournal.com
*grins* Thanks! *tips hat*

Edit: Wait... "never been"? Does that mean you've read it more than once? I'm intrigued.
Edited Date: 2011-03-07 02:52 am (UTC)

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Date: 2011-03-13 03:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] abigail89.livejournal.com
Oh man! This was really intense...and I have to admit, so not my cuppa. I skimmed part 2 because if there is one thing I cannot handle, it's torture.

I think at some level I knew Bones was doing this, but I still couldn't read it. It was riveting and intense and very well written, but not for me.

Part 3, I read avidly. I think I understand the need for someone like Jim to have this level of physical and psychological torture; I think I understand his understanding of it.

And I'm glad you interjected Bones's discomfort. Yeah, THAT I understand, the fact that he may crash just as hard as Jim in the fallout.

Still, an excellent look into Jim Kirk's psyche.

Date: 2011-03-13 03:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mijan.livejournal.com
In full truth, the torture aspect is not my thing AT ALL either. But if I wanted to break down Kirk to that degree, I had to wear him out first. Once a person is physically tired and absolutely pumped up on natural endorphins, they become less self-aware, less capable of holding back, and less capable of mentally resisting. But to that point, I'm not into torture at all, and it was actually hard for me to write this. And the whole time, I was aware of how carefully Bones was walking a tightrope between the fact that he really didn't want to do this, and the fact that he knew Jim really wanted it, and on some level, needed it.

This definitely hurt Bones more than it hurt Jim. That's what I'm trying to explore in the other half of this story that I'm writing now. In my mind, Bones and Jim have been "playing" with BDSM for almost a year. They've done lots of different types of scenes, but never something harsh like this. Bones enjoys being a Dom, but not doing stuff like this, and it was hard as hell for him to do this for Jim.

I think I ought to write some of the other scenes they've done... some of the more normal ones.

Anyway, thanks for reading, even if it wasn't your thing. Now I feel like I owe you a cup of tea. ♥

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