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Sea Of Waking Dreams

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"...and so, throughout the Equinox night, the Consecrated One is cherished and pleasured, filled to overflowing with offerings of love." Hierophant Nunki has a lovely voice, rich and rolling, and he picked a great setting for his pitch. Standing on this little temple balcony, breathing soft springtime air and watching the starlit cityscape glitter, Jim was pretty much already sold on this ritual the moment Nunki mentioned the nudity factor, but he's enjoying making a Hierophant work for it. "At the last and first, the moment of dawn, the Consecrated One is brought to union with the Illimitable Beyond." Maybe that's why even with his finely honed self-protective instincts it takes Jim a moment to hear the sense of the words beyond the sound.

But Jim gets it in time to disprove Bones's bitching about his supposed lack of self-protective instincts. "Wait, whoa," he says, spinning away from the oh-so-entrancing view, stepping back from his ever-so-gracious host; the air tastes intoxicatingly green and flowery but a prickle of adrenaline cuts through the haze. Nunki opens his amber eyes wide as he turns his gaze from infinity, looking moderately surprised at Jim's wary stance; they're pretty much the same height, but Nunki's a bit broader and used to the planet's higher gravity, and it probably won't help anyone be friends if Jim has to kick their head priest's ass. "I'm still learning your ways, of course, but with respect -- " Nunki lifts one deep-purple eyebrow, looking enough like Bones with a mauve paint job that Jim has to fight off the urge to grin. "Where I come from, 'union with the Illimitable Beyond' is a phrase with, um, distinct connotations of finality." After all, this is a diplomatic mission, and Jim mentally pats himself for his nice diplomatic wording.

Nunki stares at Jim another couple of heartbeats, then smiles, lips twitching under his soft purple moustache. Jim keeps a private tally of the number of times he makes someone make that face, and now he gets to add another person, race and planet; that's worth a grin, even though he makes sure to keep himself out of easy grabbing range. "You are perceptive, Captain James," which Jim likes the sound of so he doesn't bother with a correction. "In times past, before we opened our skies, the Consecrated One would be released from the world through a bright and honorable immolation." Okay, that kind of fades Jim's grin. "There are ancient songs of their climactic beauty, how they rose to incandescence as they passed to the Beyond." Nunki's got that faraway look again, so Jim takes the chance to slide back another step, setting hand on hip and fingers on the communicator in his pocket. "But in these latter times, when guests journey to us from beyond the stars, we consider them to have rejoined the Illimitable upon their return."

Nunki extends a hand, deliberately slowly, and Jim cocks his head and considers. "So, no immolation or other beautifully ritual ways to die?" he asks, because, really, he does too care about his own skin no matter what Bones says.

"My fellow ministers and chancellors all agree we would be friends with the Federation, and it is most friendly to return ambassadors unharmed. Especially one so winsome." Nunki rolls his voice lower, dark and velvety, and Jim spares a moment to enjoy being hit on.

It's not the warm fuzzies that make him trust Nunki, though, but the logic, or at least that's what he'll tell Spock later on when they're going over what's not going in the official reports. It takes more than just a document to make a treaty, but the Tianshetans do want this alliance, and the Enterprise was sent here, winsome captain and all, to make it work. If Jim gets laid to seal the deal, that's simply awesome multitasking.

So he slips forward again, putting a little swing into it as he steps within arm's reach. Nunki does reach out, looking at Jim with molten eyes as he sets his hand on the small of Jim's back. It feels just a little weird but more than a little nice to have a broad hand blanketing the base of his spine; Jim keeps his arms folded but leans slightly into the touch as he says, "Okay, then. Anything else I need to know about your Vernal Rite?" Jim succeeds in not saying 'orgy', and gives himself another point.

"Just this," Nunki says, drawing those eyebrows down fiercely. "My secular fellows, particularly the Chancellor and her aides, are awed by the Federation's power and eager for its gleaming advantages, but my purview is a region aside. My responsibility is to taste your soul as you taste ours, to witness the fragment of the Infinite within you for my people's sake. Will you stand for your people before us, beneath my planet's sky?"

Jim opens his mouth, but for a moment nothing comes out but a breath. He's been learning this last year just how literal a metaphor can turn out to be. "Just a little taste, right?" Nunki's lips twitch again, curling upwards rather helplessly, reassurance in his laugh lines. "Then, to stand for my people is why I'm here." Jim nods sharply and sticks out his hand as if Nunki feeling up his back weren't already a much more intimate gesture, but sometimes the formalities need to be observed. Or so Pike says, and he'll laugh so damn much when Jim reports this to him, even if just with his crinkle-cornered eyes. "I assent to demonstrate the Federation's good will by my participation in the Vernal Rite."

Nunki takes his hand, shaking it kind of diagonally, sliding the other around his waist to draw him closer, and Jim considers mentioning that the equinox is tomorrow night but that would probably be laying on the maidenly modesty a little thick. "We shall take great joy in sharing pleasure with you," Nunki rumbles, deep enough that Jim feels it in the pit of his belly. "I shall enjoy." Nunki drops Jim's hand to brush his across Jim's cheek, cupping his jaw gently in long, silk-skinned fingers. "Let me say, for myself, my birth name is Tsidetha'a." He's got Jim so close their thighs almost touch, close enough to breathe his warm fruity musk, and Jim certainly could go for a preview of ritual attractions. "I hope to hear it from you as we celebrate together."

"Tsidetha'a," Jim tries, rolling the cadence on his tongue, and Nunki looks pleased so he probably didn't fuck it up all that much. "In that case, you should know my birth name is Jim."

"Ji-im," is close enough to deserve a warm, bedroomy smile, and apparently these amber eyes darken the same familiar pupil-widening way. Nunki swipes his thumb down the corner of Jim's mouth and murmurs, "The rite is just a night away, but were it allowed I would kiss you now."

Jim amps up his smile a little more, unfurling it underneath Nunki's stroking thumb. "Your Sanctity," he says, keeping his cheek firmly pressed to Nunki's hand, "I bet you say that to all the Consecrated Ones."

~*~*^*~*~

Leonard is not, actually, worried. The Tianshetans were very gracious hosts, and he's reasonably sure Jim's safe with them as he reads Captain Kirk's dispatch about participating in their Equinox ritual to commemorate the newly signed treaty.

The next message is also from Jim, flagged 'personal'. And 'urgent.' Leonard forcibly doesn't worry as he opens it.

Bones,
I wanted to let you know a couple more details, because you're you and I'm yours.

The soothing rush of warmth produced by that line is followed hard and fast by deep suspicion -- just why is Jim buttering him up?

Their Vernal Rite is kind of like Thanksgiving, if instead of a big feast we had an orgy. I'm playing the turkey, but they're not going to roast me, I promise.

Leonard may possibly just have shouted, "What the hell, Jim," but his padd won't tattle on him if he did.

I've assured them that the legendary Jim Kirk prowess will satisfy all their needs, wants and desires.

"I bet you did, kid," Leonard grumbles through gritted teeth, his blood pressure steadily climbing, and reads onward.

So that's what kind of dance I'm at tonight. I promise I'll return without any new scratches or dents. Don't wait up. I'll be back before you know it to kiss that frown upside down.

Yours mostest,

Jimmy T.

Gripping the padd until the case creaks under his fingers, as if the text might change to something slightly less harebrained, Leonard reads the note again. "What," he mutters, dividing each word from the next, "the. Fuck, Jim?" For good measure he adds every curse and rude term he's learned since joining Starfleet, a soothing litany of profanity as he shakes the padd a little, rather like it were the shoulders of a certain young Captain with a brilliant smile and brighter eyes and no damn sense of self-preservation whatsoever.

When he's done cussing, and only then, Leonard sends Spock this carefully composed note: Commander, do you know the nature of the ritual the Captain is undertaking tonight? With great restraint, he doesn't fling his comm at the wall, or charge down to the nearest transporter room and demand to be beamed down, and of course it'd be Jim's foolishness that would make him want to climb into that goddamn contraption, wouldn't it?

Instead of a message in return, there's a chime at Leonard's office door, almost as if Spock has been awaiting a comm from an irate CMO. Leonard calls, "Enter," and watches Spock stroll in, imperturbable as ever; he opens his mouth to say, "Commander," and what emerges immediately after is, "Do you know what Captain Kirk is currently doing planetside?"

"Participating in a Tienshetan ritual," Spock says, clearly conveying with his particular tonelessness that Leonard should've read the briefing. "To facilitate cultural exchange between their people and the Federation."

"A sex ritual," Leonard adds, because that detail's kind of important. "Did you know he let them rope him into some kind of orgy? You sure he's in his right mind?"

"I saw no evidence that the Captain was drugged or coerced in any way." Not even an eyebrow lifts. "He informed me that he was eager to participate and that he has had similar experiences in his past."

"Yeah, he pulled a couple crazy stunts in his proverbially misspent youth, but isn't he supposed to be, I don't know, a grownup now?" Leonard bounces up out of his confining chair, waving his arms in ire. "Doesn't he know this week's new friends can't just make off with him and take advantage of him just because he's pretty?"

"It seems to me," Spock says, just slowly enough to convey his infinite fucking patience with all irrational humankind, "that Jim in no way felt taken advantage of."

"Well, that's because he's an idiot." Leonard gives up and does what he should have to start with, grabbing up his portable medkit and his comm. "McCoy to Transporter Room, stand by. McCoy to M'Benga--"

That worthy physician promptly chimes the door, then stares in some shock at the back of Spock's head as he finally hoists an eyebrow in Leonard's direction. "Doctor McCoy, where are you going?"

"Risa, clearly," Leonard snaps. "I'm heading to Xinani City, unless you're gonna order me to stay aboard, which I will note for the record would be under duress."

"I am issuing no such order, although the Captain did state that you were to remain aboard the Enterprise and, in his words, 'not get all worried'."

Leonard rolls his eyes. "Well, he didn't order me to stay put either. M'Benga, you've got the reins?" Waiting just long enough to see him nod, Leonard steps around both of them, dropping a quick line to Chapel for when she gets up, and heads out to go save Jim from his damn fool self.

~*~*^*~*~

As Hierophant Nunki ties a soft blindfold across Jim's eyes, he has to hold his face still against a reminiscent laugh. That birthday he spent in a dive across town from the Academy, when they'd dared him to fuck a dozen people, they'd blindfolded him then too, as if it mattered when he'd said he'd take on all comers.

It's the same -- the eager-breathing crowd surrounding him, the hungry thrum in the air -- and it's so completely different. Hand-drums thump around them, steady and low, and the assembled participants hum in rich harmony as Nunki smooths his fingertips over Jim's shut eyes, softly as kisses. "Closing the outer eyes opens the inner one," he murmurs, near enough for his breath to warm Jim's face, then raises his voice to call, "Come forth to the Consecrated One! Come forth in love and worship!"

Holy fuck, but worship they do. The hum opens out into a cheerful rolling song as at least five or six people wrap themselves around Jim all at once. He can't even keep count; he opens his mouth and it's stopped with kisses, soft lips caressing his own, one girl tangling her tongue with his, another smooching him almost demurely. Bare rounded breasts press to his sides as girls hug him, broader hands close on his shoulders as a stubbly-cheeked guy takes over the kiss, and he's hauled backwards both gently and firmly, tangled in all their sleek limbs. If they weren't so relentlessly friendly in every stroking touch, every inch of warm flesh pressed to his, Jim might just feel a little pushed around.

A rounded edge hits the back of Jim's knees, the dais he saw before, draped in rich cloths; the Tienshetans lower him onto it, a tender-skinned girl pressing pillowy breasts to his back and her soft fierce mouth to his pulse, a dozen hands stroking his chest and biceps and thighs. Already moaning, his skin fever-hot under the sensate deluge, Jim reaches out, curling his hands around a flexing arm and a firm asscheek; sliding them down and up, he finds a wiry-muscled waist as silky hair falls over his temples and a wonderfully pushy guy straddles him, slipping him a hot slide of tongue and closing gentle fingers around his dick.

Gentle, too gentle, and Jim bucks up into that hand and pushes back against the girl behind him as she nibbles his ear, seeking pressure, seeking a solid point of sensation. The guy kissing him growls and bites his lip and Jim eagerly growls back, the pain gorgeously sweet but not enough, not yet.

So of course they leave him, the girl giggling as she slides away, the boy nipping his upper lip and shifting off his lap. Hands slide along his chest and belly to press down his shoulders and lift his thighs, laying him out how they want him, stroking behind his knees as they settle his feet on the dais and then let go.

For a moment there's nothing but swirling air and rumpled cloth, singing voices and thumping drums, and Jim gasps, closing and opening his empty hands, quashing the urge to say something slapworthy. But, before he can really feel lonely a solid male body bears down on him, broad shoulders under his hands reminding him of Bones's for a moment before a moustached mouth brushes his.

Jim laughs into the kiss, hooking his legs around a muscular waist. Of course Nunki gets first turn; it must be good to be the Hierophant.

Nunki kisses him decorously, lips parted but nothing pushy, so Jim shoves fingers into sanctified purple hair and sucks on his tongue, saying as clearly as he can that he's no blushing virgin. Nunki rumbles in the back of his throat and takes the hint, pressing Jim warmly to the warm dais beneath them and kissing like he means it. The whole time the celebrants keep singing, clapping and drumming time, and Jim's made out to live musical accompaniment once or twice but nothing like this, nothing so encompassing, vibrating through him as he writhes under the man kissing him.

When Nunki lifts his head he's breathless between Jim's hands and hard up against Jim's ass, and Jim is so ready for this. "Captain James," Nunki whispers against Jim's mouth, and Jim absolutely has to grin.

"Your Sanctity," he breathes in answer, inhaling to say more, and half chokes when two big knuckly fingers, coated with something slippery-thick, press firmly against and into him. "Whoo," Jim yelps, feeling every sensate millimeter of their slide, and Nunki chuckles over his face. "Ah-" Obviously wise enough to know how to handle a babbling Jim Kirk, Nunki kisses him again, and Jim recognizes the tingle of another dose of skinsealing nanobots and laughs approval against Nunki's lips. He'll have to tell Bones, it might mollify him enough to admit he wants to hear all the juicy details, and remembering Bones' loving scowl and bottomless green-gold eyes warms Jim somewhere even deeper than Nunki's gorgeous long fingers can reach.

Nunki finds Jim's prostate and plays it with merciless skill, firing every nerve inside him, sparking thoughts on comparative anatomy as he groans happily; Jim retaliates by bucking up against Nunki's firm belly, dick rubbing on a trail of damp-raspy hair, licking deep into his mouth to wring a moan from him. Nunki pulls back frankly gasping, his nipples pebbled between their chests, and his voice is downright fucking wobbly when he calls Jim by drawn-out name. "Ji-im," he rumbles, deep enough to vibrate into Jim's blood, "you are winsome indeed."

"Thanks, Tsidetha'a," Jim pants, awarding himself a point for remembering and five for the amused puff of breath he wins. "Now come on, show me what you've got. Come--"

Nunki cuts Jim off with another kiss, and the last time Jim made a head priest growl the results were much more pointy and much less fun. His fingers burn sweetly inside Jim and Jim writhes into his fast hard thrusts, thrusting up against his abs, groaning shamelessly into his mouth, chasing pleasure and the orgasm sailing in like a star falling.

It hits, Jim catches fire and goes up in a glorious endless flash, squeezing tingling-tight around those fingers as he screams into Nunki's mouth. He thinks, in the space between shudders, that now he'll get fucked just as wonderfully, passionately ungently as Nunki just prepped him, but instead with a finishing softer kiss Nunki disengages, tugging from Jim's body and gently unwinding Jim's hands from his hair, and kneels up between Jim's thighs.

Everyone sings a loud cheer like their team just scored a goal, and Jim actually blushes, closing his fists around thick folds of drapery to keep from covering his heating face. "Rejoice!" Nunki booms, and Jim gives up and facepalms, panting against his wrist; he can hear excited squealing, fuck. "The Consecrated One has blessed with his pleasure our rite!" They holler louder, and, well, Jim did; his blush fades into rising general heat, into warm abashed pride, and he bubbles over with a delighted laugh as he listens to them sing praises to him, to what he embodies for them.

Nunki leans down, and Jim reaches up for him and kisses him again. "Pace yourself, Captain Ji-im," he murmurs in Jim's ear, and Jim's cheeks hurt from grinning. "I will return to you to close out the rite."

"It's a date," Jim answers, turning his head for one more kiss, lips pressed to kissed-sore lips. Nunki backs away, his deep voice joining the singing as the celebrants surge over Jim again, kisses hot on his palms and thighs, fingers stroking his belly and mouth, arms crisscrossing his body and bodies tucking into the curves of his arms and someone's tongue sliding sensuously over his balls. Hands curl around his ankles and wrists and palm his head, tilting it back, and Jim opens his mouth and lets them give him whatever they will, all the gifts of pleasure they've got for their Consecrated One tonight. A soft rounded breast slides over his chin, its resilient nipple perking on his tongue as the woman behind it chuckles alto and its pair warmly brushes his cheek; his new best friend's tongue slides up his dick, millimeter by flexing-wet millimeter, lips closing sweetly over the head and sliding down, and down, and gloriously all the way down till he hits the back of the friendliest throat on the planet.

A plump cock slides in the crease of Jim's palm and he curls his fingers around its shaft, twisting and stroking as he moans into the woman softly muffling him with her flesh, until she shudders happily and pulls away as the mouth on his dick slurps off with a farewell lick. Teeth close over both his nipples, sweet-hot sparks of sensation, and the Tiansheta let him gasp a little, stroking all his collected love-bites and bruises, before another cock pushes into his mouth and someone slings sleek thighs around his hips, vibrating with a groan as she? he? sinks him into squeezing-tight wet heat.

A girl, Jim decides at the particular feel of her flutter around him, when he nudges as deep as he can get and she squeaks out of tune and giggles lovably. He sucks on the dick in his mouth, running his tongue in the familiar crease behind the head, swallowing down the slightly alien taste, and when its owner trembles out a cry his balls slap warmly against Jim's forehead. He gurgles a laugh around it, floating up on the glorious rush as it twitches on his tongue, as the girl plants her hands either side of his waist and rides him, as the Tienshetans fuck him for all he's worth and Hierophant Nunki presides over the whole awesome rite.

~*~*^*~*~

At the high temple gate the Tienshetans declare the Security officers "not proper persons for the rite." Leonard will be damned if they'll keep him out, but the three warden priestesses look him up and down, their lantern eyes all but glowing, crinkling at the corners with mysterious smiles. After a long moment one nods, and in unison they say, "This way, Healer Leonard," and usher him through the gate into a whirl of gauzy sleeves, gauzy streamers of cloth dangling from the walls and ceilings, gauzy mists in the incense-laden air.

Leonard grits his teeth against the whisper-soft curtains billowing against his cheeks, the musky air setting off eddies inside his head, the distant music pulsing from the walls and thrumming through his blood. He needs to find Jim, to check him over and sober him up and get him out of here. He's sure they all mean this benignly enough, as giggling young acolytes step from hidden doors to join the crowd until he's surrounded by a dozen purple women in a scented cloud of silk and whispers; this ritual orgy thing must be a time-honored Tienshetan festival, but it's not one where he and Jim come from.

Well, even though Jim's done something like this before. Even though Leonard remembers finding Jim in the stickiest dive in San Francisco, smiling and naked, dappled with red bruises over a glowing rosy flush, laid out on a grotty mattress in a little back room, surrounded by whooping thugs who'd blindfolded him and taken turns fucking him mindless. Even though he remembers reaching down to cup Jim's head between his hands, to check it for blows and bumps, how Jim tilted his chin up demandingly and Leonard fell down into his gravity well and kissed him. Even though he remembers sinking to his knees and Jim's bare hot legs winding around his waist and how they cooperatively clawed open his pants...

... Leonard doesn't remember where he is. He's in a dim, windowless, doorless chamber, surrounded by ladies in fluttering robes, and the woman directly before him reaches up, her gossamer sleeves sliding back from her sleek lilac arms, hooks her fingers into his collar and tugs his shirts upwards, a girl on each side gripping his hems.

Wait just a damn moment here, he thinks, but of course he can't curse at a priestess, and as his shirts slide up over his head his mouth won't even open, the distant music reverberating through his useless brain, the air warm and heavy as a featherstuffed quilt on his bared shoulders. It's not until he blinks his eyes open to see a smiling girl reverently folding the top half of his uniform that he finally finds his voice. "Your Sanctity," Leonard gasps, "I need my clothes."

"We must prepare you to join the rite," she answers in a voice like warm honey, smiling gently, creases of laughter edging her eyes, long glittering strands woven into her midnight-blue hair. She's beautiful and not young, her skin finely textured, calm radiating from her soft hands curved to his cheeks.

"I'm not--" Leonard founders, his heartbeat synching to the drumbeat echoing all around them. "I'm not here as a participant, I'm here for my Captain, to ensure his welfare."

"The Consecrated One," she agrees, and the girls around her titter and sigh, of course, goddamnit, Jim. Leonard tries to reply and only gasps in another lungful of air, breathing flowers and smoke and ritual lust, as the priestess implacably continues, "Of course you have come for him, comely Healer. As his lover, you will reclaim him for your people at the climax of our rite."

"But I'm a doctor, not --" She strokes his mouth with the velvety pad of her left forefinger, and all his words dry up. Kneeling girls tug his boots away, lifting his feet one by one, and Leonard's face heats, but the smiling priestess holds his face between her hands, holds his gaze with her luminous amber eyes.

"You are the one we need," she tells him, such conviction in her low voice he almost doesn't notice the soft arms going still, warm and gauzy, around his waist. "You are the one he needs. Please, Healer Leonard, will you join us?"

Leonard inhales, looking into the warm light of her eyes, thinking of the blue fire of Jim's. He remembers the searing force of his orgasm as he lay tangled up with Jim on that grubby back-room mattress, remembers dazedly watching Jim's smile spread, sweet and uncomplicated below the thick black blindfold. If the Tienshetans are taking anywhere near this kind of pushy naked care of him, Jim must be absolutely glowing with delight by now, and Leonard needs to see it like he needs air. He exhales, "Yes," and the priestess smiles wider, bright and welcoming, rising on her toes to kiss him very gently as the girls swiftly undo his pants and shuck the rest of his clothes off. The temple ladies wreathe their arms around Leonard's waist and their fingers around his wrists, tugging him away from his uniform and his duties, leading him towards Jim.

~*~*^*~*~

Jim is floating, Jim is flying, Jim is submerged in sweet sleek bodies, whirling in a kaleidoscope of sex, having the time of his fucking life, heh, pun intended. He smiles under the lips on his and the girl giggles and shimmies against his face, tightening her plush thighs around his head, bouncing on his tongue; her boyfriend laughs throatily and speeds up, crackle-edged thrusts sparking down Jim's nerves, his dick twitching happily in their double grip, and holy hell but is he really gonna come a fourth time?

But there it is, the familiar supernova burgeoning, rising like a happy ache even deeper inside him than this talented boy is hitting on each stroke, and Jim hasn't come four times in one night since he was nineteen, except maybe that once. He gulps savory musk and groans into the girl's tender flesh, her fingers shaking around his dick as she rolls her hips under his clutching hands and cries out in a rippling ululation; her sweetheart muffles her in a kiss, drinking up her lovely noises as he leans harder into Jim, dragging her pleasure-lax hand up and down Jim's dick until Jim shudders and clenches and throbs through another firebright orgasm.

The celebrants sing a cheer, like they have each time Jim's come tonight, their sprightly harmony anchored by Hierophant Nunki -- Tsidetha'a's -- hoarse bass note. Their praise washes over him like a warm tide as the girl slides off Jim's face and curls beside him, kissing her juices off his cheeks as he slurps his off her fingers, as her boyfriend grips Jim's waist, moaning long and liquidly as he empties out his pleasure.

Jim flops supine, draping his hand around her soft-skinned shoulder, wiggles his creaking jaw and coughs up a laugh; he's absolutely melted, barely even twitching as the boy pulls from his gloriously sore body and brushes a kiss over his forehead, and only just manages to tilt his chin up in a wordless order for a kiss on the mouth. The boy gives it, smiling into it, and the girl kisses Jim too, and as they leave him the singing ebbs low. Jim sprawls out on the dais, red lights flickering behind his eyelids, his skin damply glowing under the sex-saturated air and the drums beating counterpoint to his galloping heart.

A ripple runs through the music, voices dropping out to gasp, feet whispering across the floor as the crowd parts around some momentous arrival. Jim hauls in his unstrung arms, dizzily levering himself up on his elbows. He doesn't need to see who's coming when he can feel the crowd's excitement crackling over him, the shock wave as this notable suppliant approaches.

Then a hand lands on his cheek, broad and long, careful and familiar, and Jim smiles beneath the touch and lets himself slide down again, laying his own hand over it as his heart pulses, reverberating inside him. He knows the man leaning over him even before he hears, "Jim," low and soft and richly accented. He stretches out, melting-warm and boneless, and reaches up to grasp a broad shoulder, tipping his chin up invitingly, not the tiniest bit surprised.

"Bones," Jim murmurs, and a minute shudder rolls through the solid muscle under his hand, the air swirling over him with an indrawn breath, his face cupped between two gentle hands as broad knees settle between his outslung thighs.

"Jim," Bones repeats, drawling his name out almost the way Nunki did. "You okay?"

Jim has to laugh, delight rolling warm through his belly, bliss streaming radiantly down his nerves. "Never ever better," he answers. "Come to me, Bones, come to me, come here." He tugs as he speaks, and Bones grumbles under Jim's hands on his shoulders, shifting forward but still too far away to feel.

"Goddammit, kid, you even lucid?" Bones grumps, but Jim keeps pulling as Bones breathes above him, trembles above him. "Jim, you look..." His hands slide down Jim's throat and over his head, checking him over. "Like a platterful of sex," and there's a growl in his voice whether or not he knows it yet.

"I'm all here, I'm awesome," Jim assures him. "Come on, bring your offering to the Consecrated One." Every word shines as he says it, he can see behind his closed eyelids as he finally feels Bones's reciprocal glow on his skin, as Bones settles at last into the cradle of his hips.

Bones snorts, but his voice is slowly melting, laced with wonder. "You sound like..." His hands slide down Jim's ribs, his arms strong and sturdy beneath Jim's back. "Like our crazy pretty hosts here, no wonder they made you their idol." And as Jim absolutely had faith would happen, as he grips broad shoulders with weary strength and curls his sweetly aching legs around a familiar muscular waist, Bones kisses him. He's trying for velvety soft but there's too much sex in the air and he trembles along with the drumbeat, his pulse fluttering against Jim's fingers over the curve of his throat. He rocks Jim's head back, humming apology behind his pushy tongue, and Jim laughs triumphantly and opens up to Bones bearing down on him.

The Tienshetans' voices rise around them, lifting them, and Bones twitch-gasps and pulls away maybe as far as his nosetip, tugging his lips from Jim's but immediately brushing them down Jim's cheekbone along the blindfold's seam. "They're singing," he mutters over Jim's face between kisses. "They're watching us and singing, what the hell."

What was it Nunki said with his arms around Jim's waist, just like Bones has him now? "They're witnessing the Infinity inside us," Jim dredges out of his sloshing brain, despite the sleek distracting shift of Bones's muscles under his hands. "They're watching us bless their rite. C'mon, let's show them how infinitely awesome we are, let's show them how Humans shine."

"That doesn't even," Bones grumbles, lips soft on Jim's temple, and Jim pushes a hand up over the squared hinge of his jaw to pull him down for another kiss. Bones blankets Jim with his body, beautifully heavy, grounding him as he flies; planed muscles surge along Jim's skin as Bones gathers up Jim's knees in his elbows, muttering, "Christ,"and "I shouldn't," and "goddamn it," over Jim's mouth as he pushes Jim's legs over his shoulders.

He should, and he is, and Jim tugs Bones closer with arms and legs and mouth and body, moaning his joy up into a shout as Bones nudges and then nails him, one solid thrust halfway in, an exquisite flare of sensation and a huge roaring rush sweeping through his head. Jim's exhausted dick twitches against Bones' belly and he thinks a dizzy laugh, gasping high and rough in the back of his throat as Bones groans over him, into him. His ass feels like it's glowing red, a thousand tiny elastic twinges around the head of Bones's cock inside him, and there's no way he can come again right now but Jim can't even care about that, he just knows he needs to feel Bones sunk into him balls-deep, crowning the depths and the heights of this ritual.

The music is overwhelming, throbbing drumbeats and multiplying harmonies, but beneath it all Jim can hear Bones's molasses drawl in his ear, "Jim, fuck, Jim, how in Creation," as he shivers between shoving forward and pulling back. Their heaving chests surge against each other, skin prickling against wet skin, and Jim doesn't even know what he answers as he pulls Bones in with the last of his strength, as they thump flush, heated hardness driving into tenderized flesh. Maybe he just screams as all the twinges run together in a spate of sensation, pressure and ache and so much pleasure, overwhelming and transcendent.

Bones smears an openmouthed kiss along Jim's cheekbone, an apology in his moan, and Jim laughs over his sore throat, savoring the sweet burn as he rolls his hips into it, gripping Bones's shoulders as Bones groans and thrusts dynamic counterpoint. There's a glorious intensity to the fire they're raising between them, even though or even because Jim's not aiming at coming at all, just feeling Bones working for it, every thrust driving him higher. He can see infinity above them, a whirl of countless stars, feels himself floating like he could fly without a ship, like he could dance with the Enterprise; he's grounded only by Bones pressing bared teeth to his pulse, shuddering in his hold, coming in endless wracking pulses inside him.

Bones slumps onto Jim as the room spins around them, mumbling soft profanities as Jim gasps and laughs and feels every last twitch and aftershock, and all the Tianshetans cheer louder and wilder and more hoarsely than ever. At length Bones's fingers gently slide the blindfold off, and Jim blinks his creaking eyelids open to a blurry wash of warm light, nothing distinct but Bones's face above him lit by luminous dappled-green eyes. "Jim," Bones murmurs, rough and velvety at once. "Jim, hey, stay with me."

"Bones," Jim answers, his smile tingling his cheeks, as everything fades to the warmest kind of darkness.

~*~*^*~*~

As he often does, Jim announces he's awake by sitting straight up, muttering, "Whoa," as he opens dazed blue eyes. Leonard leans forward in his chair to grip Jim's chin, and finds his pupils normal and reactive, his gaze sharpening with reassuring speed. "Bones..?"

Leonard makes himself let go and turn to pick up a cup of water from the little bedside table. As he hands it over he asks, "Jim. How are you feeling?" listening carefully to his own voice, precisely aware of every square centimeter of his uniform. He sounds reasonably professional, something like a Starfleet doctor, not like a man who recently fucked his whatever-they-even-are-to-each-other in front of a gaggle of singing, cheering, naked purple people.

Jim knocks back the water like a shot, his avid gaze prickling Leonard's face. "I could ask you that," he murmurs, setting the cup down to curl a hand around Leonard's wrist, over the broken braid of his rank. "Though I have to say it was perfect the way you brought up the end there." He smiles, bright and cheeky and heartrendingly gorgeous. "I guess I didn't dream it when their Sanctities Nunki and Niagen tucked us in, then, either?"

"Nope, that happened too." One glance and Leonard has to look away from Jim's shining eyes, from the memory of the warmly smiling priestess leading him to this snug little antechamber as he carried Jim apparently asleep in his arms, the Tianshetans crooning to them the whole way, the priest's moustache tickling as he kissed each of them gently between the eyes and tugged a thick soft blanket around them. "Should've known you weren't as socked out as you looked," he mutters, busying himself with taking Jim's pulse, and wishes he'd dressed Jim while he was asleep so he'd look like the Captain he is. So he wouldn't look as disheveled and thoroughly fucked and goddamn young as he is.

"I woke up a little when he was saying we'd blessed their festival with our union, but you had me, I was safe, so I let myself pass out again." Jim's pulse thumps steadily under Leonard's fingers, reassuringly normal, but kicks up a little just before Jim turns his hand to recapture Leonard's wrist. "Bones, seriously. Are you okay? Why are you here?"

That last has steel in it, and Leonard lifts his eyes to his Captain's, earnest and worried. "I came to save you from whatever alien whammy they'd put on you, and fell for it myself."

Jim snorts, and doesn't let go. "Because Spock would let that happen. I haven't been whammied and neither have you. Did you scan me?"

"Of course, but even a tricorder doesn't always catch --"

"Did you scan yourself?" Leonard glances towards his medkit, about to reach for it, but Jim keeps firm hold of his wrist. "Do you feel drugged or mind-controlled or messed with in any way?"

Three times, Leonard thinks as he shakes his head. He scanned himself as soon as he could make himself unwind his arms from around Jim, again an hour later when the temple ladies brought in a pitcher of water and their clothes, and maybe fifteen minutes ago when he stood up to stretch and administer another hypo of electrolytes as he waited for Jim to wake up. Each time he registered as absolutely normal, absolutely himself, without even the brainwave disruptions caused by telepathy; besides, the Tianshetans don't have that smug edge of telepaths. "No more than the usual confusion caused by dealing with you."

Jim smiles again and chucks Leonard under the chin. "There you go. I wouldn't let anybody mess with my head, you know. Or yours. Not that they needed to, I had an awesome time." He leans back on his free hand, stretching like a basking cat, his skin dotted with hickeys and finger-shaped bruises from his pinkened earlobe to the the line of the blanket across his hips. "God, this Consecrated One role was amazing, I haven't been laid like that since -- remember my birthday our first year?"

"Goddammit, don't remind me," Leonard snarls, and Jim has the sheer temerity to hoist his caterpillar eyebrows in surprise. "When you handed yourself over willy-nilly to a bunch of strangers for them to use you as they liked? I was worried sick then and I'm worried sick now, Jim!"

Leonard stops, not because he's anywhere near done, but because Jim's narrowing eyes flash and his throat consequently jams shut. "Save it for someone who was assaulted," Jim snaps; then those eyebrows of his fly up again, his mouth goes round, and this time his shock's just baffling. "Bones," Jim says, and then, "Leonard," with sheer gravity, "are you all right? Do you feel --"

Oh, fuck no, Jim's worried about him? "I'm fine, Jim," Leonard cuts him off. "Nothing bruised but my dignity, kid." Jim tilts his head like a curious puppy, and it's Leonard's turn to snort. "Hope the Tianshetans enjoyed the sight of my naked ass." His cheeks tingle at the thought, but... it should be bone-deep mortifying, instead of just weird with a side of heat.

Jim's smile sharpens. "I bet they consider themselves blessed for having witnessed its glory." He turns Leonard's hand over in his, palm up. "As well they should," he adds, looking down as if he needs to watch what he's doing, and runs his fingertip down a crease in Leonard's palm. "You didn't have to come after me," Jim continues, very softly. "I know this isn't ... really your comfort zone. But I don't mind that you did." He looks up into Leonard's eyes, and the pure blue shine in his eyes says much more.

Leonard blushes hot now, blood slamming into his cheeks and surging along his ears like it did when he was led into the courtyard and saw Jim, blindfolded and debauched and grinning, surrounded by singing naked Tianshetans; he squeezes Jim's fingers and, like he did then, he plunges forward. "I'd follow you anywhere, you know that," he says gruffly; Jim smiles, leaning just a little closer, so Leonard kisses him for a long moment, easy and sweet, before letting go.

"So what do you think, Dr. McCoy," Jim asks, turning to reach the basket of clothes, "of your first alien ritual?" Leonard opens his mouth, but as Jim shakes out his undershirt he adds, "I guess you're a doctor and a diplomat now, huh?"

Refusing to dignify that with words, Leonard rolls his eyes, but behind them he can still see the head priest and priestess's fond smiles, he can still feel the familiar exaltation of having Jim in his arms and the lilting rush as the Tianshetans cheered. Thinking about the way Jim's going to laugh when he describes being undressed by a dozen girls, Leonard can't keep the upwards twitch from the corners of his mouth, and Jim smirks sideways at him. "I think this was harebrained, reckless, foolish, and perhaps a smidge of fun."

"Aw, only a smidge?" Jim asks just before the door rattles under a light tap and a girl's voice murmurs an inquisitive noise. "A moment more, milady," he calls, to Leonard's relief, and starts dressing at medium-high speed, humming one of the melodies sung to them last night. When he bends to drag on his pants he adds, "Oof," just because Leonard's calmed down too much.

"Jim?" Leonard leans in, reaching for him, but Jim waves him off with a smiling headshake.

"I'm fine, Bones, I'm fine, just ridden hard and put away wet." Jim smacks at his hair with one hand, tugging his shirt straight with the other. "Wasn't this awesome? Tell me I'm wrong."

It still seems like it shouldn't be, but... Leonard considers the evidence before him, Jim's ear-to-ear grin and how he keeps forgetting to be horrified. "You're delusional," he parries half-heartedly, and Jim laughs radiantly, head tilted back on his strong neck, light in his tousled hair.

"You're smiling," Jim informs him, and steals one more kiss. "And the Tienshetans are waiting," he adds as he stands up, straightening up into the Captain before Leonard's eyes despite his fluffy bedhead and all the happy bruises under his clothes, and as Leonard gets up to follow Jim pushes open the door.