Writing Challenge: Haze
Fandom: Star Trek (reboot)
Word Count: 629
Disclaimer: I don’t own Star Trek or any of the characters.
Jim and Bones made their way through the fog, occasionally bumping into each other. They’d developed more than one pattern of behavior in their first few months as roommates and friends, and the “go to Launch Pad to get drunk off our asses after every exam” pattern was determined to stick.
“Bones, I can’t believe you let that girl flirt with you the whole night,” Jim was saying. “She wasn’t even cute.”
Leonard eyebrowed Jim heavily. “She was a lot cuter than that fake blonde YOU were flirting with. Besides, she was only flirting with me because you weren’t flirting with her.”
Jim laughed. “What can I say, Bones? I have a thing for blondes, and she was brunette.”
They took their time meandering across campus, the heavy fog allowing them a rare moment without interruption. Between Jim’s three-year graduation plan and Leonard’s shifts at the hospital, they didn’t get many opportunities to just be together. The fog was also obscuring them from any of Jim’s adoring fans who may also be out for a moonlit stroll.
When they reached the quad outside their dorm, Jim sat down on the grass, leaning against a large oak tree. Leonard joined him, stretching out on the lawn, ignoring the moistness of the ground. The two of them sat there for long minutes, listening to the crickets, watching the low moon peek in and out of the haze.
“Bones,” Jim said, “what if we hadn’t met on the shuttle?”
Leonard roused himself from near sleep. “What d’you mean?”
“Well, imagine we hadn’t. We probably wouldn’t have met at all. You’d’ve gone on to do great things in the medical track while I worked my ass off to finish in three years, and we probably wouldn’t have had a reason to speak, ever.”
“Well, I guess that would be your loss then, wouldn’t it?” Leonard replied, amused by Jim’s suddenly pensive mood.
“Hey, I’m serious, jackass. It’s no secret that I haven’t really… well… that I haven’t attracted a lot of friends the past few months.” Seeing Leonard’s eyebrow, he expounded on his choice of words. “I’m not talking about lady friends, Bones. I’m talking about people I want to have around. People I want as a part of my life.”
Leonard contemplated Jim’s admission before he responded. “Yeah… I know what you mean. It’s not exactly been easy for me to make buddies with the infants in the medical track. I suppose if we hadn’t met on the shuttle, I’d be getting drunk by myself. Talking to myself, too.”
“Yeah.” Jim sighed. “Bones, what I’m trying to say is, I’m just glad I have you. When I was a kid, I always had Sam around… I’ve missed that.” Leonard sat up to get a clear view of Jim’s face. He’d barely spoken about his brother in the months since they’d become friends. “I’ve missed having a friend, Bones- someone I could talk to, look up to. I missed having… a brother.”
Jim smiled that rare smile he reserved only for the people he knew he could trust. Leonard smiled back, overwhelmed that Jim would think highly enough of him to compare him with the brother he openly admired. “Thanks, Jim. I’ve never had a brother, but if I had, well,” he looked up at Jim, reflecting on how important he’d become in such a short time. “I’d want him to be you.”
Jim smiled again, the hint of tears in his eyes obscured by the fog. He leaned against the tree as Leonard lay back against the grass, both of them secure in the knowledge that nothing more needed to be said. They stayed there as the moon continued to rise, enveloped in the haze, protected by it and each other.