(Based on an idea by Angelise)
******* The Past
Jonny Archer whistled as
he made his way down the street. As much as he'd loved traveling the world
during the summer after high school, he had to admit that it would feel good
to go home tomorrow. All he had to do was pick up his last paycheck from
Yolande Cooper's public pool and he'd be all set.
In a way, this last stop
in London had been the most foreign-feeling of all. The language was the same
as home - mostly - and he'd assumed it would follow that the culture would be
the same too. The people he'd met had been nice, but a little more reserved
than what he was used to in California, especially that lady with the cute
little boy, Malcolm. It had been a week since he'd given the five year-old a
swimming lesson, but it still bothered Jonny that the youngster's mother
seemed to regard her son's fear of the water as an embarrassment. Given his
own close family situation, the teenager couldn't quite understand that
attitude and his reaction to the Reeds had begun to color his perception of
the English as a whole. It wasn't fair to them, he knew, but neither was it
fair to make a little kid shoulder the responsibility for a phobia that he
"Better stay in the
kiddie pool - or your mum's wash basin!"
The raised childish voices
interrupted Jonny's thoughts and he sped up to a jog, instinctively responding
to the potential trouble he heard in the unseen confrontation. He rounded the
corner to find a group of children in front of the building that housed
Yolande's pool. One familiar small figure had been singled out, the other
children surrounding the forlorn child and taunting him.
you should still be in your nappies, not a swimming suit."
Jonny came up behind the
group and laid a heavy hand on the last speaker's shoulder. Pressing down hard
on the tormenter and keeping her from running off, Jonny, otherwise ignored
the girl for the moment. Smiling at the boy he'd nicknamed Stinky, he used a
gentle voice to reassure his young friend. "Everything okay here,
face immediately turned towards him. "Jonny!" The child launched
himself at his rescuer and, even though he was a small missile, the teenager
still staggered back a bit as he caught him. Malcolm immediately hid his face
in Jonny's neck and the American automatically started rubbing his back to
Jonny frowned at the other
children, realizing he wasn't going to get an explanation from Malcolm. He was
impeded from questioning them, however, by Yolande Cooper's entrance into the
Casey," the teacher called out. "I want to see the three of you in
my office. Now." Her eyes swept over the remainder of the young crowd.
"The rest of you, inside and get ready for your lesson." As her
students trouped by, she looked at Jonny with Malcolm and her expression
softened. "Jonny, why don't you see if Malcolm's all right and join us in
a few minutes?"
Technically, Jonny Archer
didn't work for her anymore but he nodded his head in acquiescence. Part of
his ready agreement had to do with the respect he held for his mentor and part
of it had to do for the concern he felt for the child in his arms.
After the other children
were gone, Jonny walked over to a handy bench and sat down. As he did, Malcolm
sniffed and lifted his head.
Stinky?" Jonny asked, using the nickname now that the bigger kids were
"I guess so,"
Malcolm said, wiping his eyes. "You remembered to call me Stinky!"
"Of course I
did," Jonny assured him. "Those other kids, though, they seemed kind
of mean and I didn't want to use it in front of them." The tentative
smile that the five year-old had started when he mentioned his nickname faded
as Jonny brought up his tormenters. "The other kids were teasing you
about your swimming, huh?"
Malcolm nodded glumly.
"Why do they do that?"
asked. When Malcolm nodded again, the teenager drew a deep breath and tried to
explain. It was made harder by the fact that he didn't really understand such
behavior himself. "Well, my dad always told me that there's two types of
people who bully other people."
Malcolm asked when Jonny fell silent.
The American smiled at the
youngster's curiosity. Of course, in his place, he'd probably be trying to
learn as much about his foes too. "First, there's the lazy type. That's
the type of person who bullies other people because they're too lazy to do
something themselves. They bully people to intimidate, try and get them to do
things for them that they're too lazy to do for themselves. Like maybe doing
Malcolm shook his head
slowly as he considered. "No, Liesel doesn't ask me to do her homework. I
don't think she's that type."
Jonny blinked. He'd had to
bite his lip to keep from smiling at Malcolm's solemn consideration, but was
surprised that his homework example was even remotely applicable.
"Homework? Are you in any of the same classes?" He knew Malcolm was
small for his age, but the girl seemed at least a couple of years older than
his young friend. It seemed unlikely that with such an age difference, that
they would share any schoolwork.
"We have mathematics
together," Malcolm answered, becoming calmer by the minute. "What's
the second type of bully?"
"The second type of
bully are the ones that are afraid," Jonny explained.
Malcolm repeated. He obviously wanted to believe his hero but wasn't sure if
he should or not. "Why would Liesel be afraid of me? I'm not scary."
necessarily have to be afraid of you," Jonny tried to explain.
"Maybe she's afraid of something that she doesn't want her friends to
find out about, so she picks on you so they won't notice that anything's wrong
with her. Or maybe there's something that you do a lot better than her, so she
teases you about something you're not so good at because she's afraid people
will like you better than her."
furrowed again as he tried to make sense of the explanation Jonny offered.
"That's just silly."
"Yup, that just about
sums up bullying," Jonny agreed. "I never liked bullies."
Malcolm wasn't looking at him, instead seemingly fascinated by the laces on
Jonathan's sleeve. "Now that you know how bad it feels to be bullied, you
know not to do it to anyone else, right?"
agreed, looking up at Jonny with a firm expression that seemed out of place on
his child's face. "And if anyone tries to bully Maddie, I'll… I'll kick
them in the arse." The child slapped a hand over his mouth. "Oops. I
said a bad word. Sorry."
Jonny smiled at him
conspiratorially. "I won't tell anyone if you don't, Stinky." When
the boy giggled, he added, "Kicking someone, though, or hitting them,
isn't always the answer. It's okay to tell an adult if someone's being mean to
"Wouldn't that be
Jonny hedged. It would be easy enough to quote the trite Sticks and stones may
break your bones, but words will never hurt you at Malcolm but, as even the
five year-old knew, words could indeed be very hurtful. "You've got the
right to go to school or to swimming lessons without being bothered by
Malcolm reluctantly agreed, back to being fascinated with Jonny's shirt. He
gave a big sigh and looked up at his hero. "If the bully is the afraid
type, a grown-up should know so they can help her not be scared anymore,
Jonny was startled at the
boy's compassion and rewarded him with a hug. "Right. No one should have
to be afraid. Not even bullies."
Could you come inside now, please?" Yolande called to them from the
Jonathan got to his feet,
careful to balance the child he was still carrying. On an impulse, he bent to
whisper in Malcolm's ear. "But if a bully's trying to hurt you and
there's no grown-up around, it's okay to kick their arse as hard as you
Malcolm looked at him in
surprise and then giggled. "Right."
The teenager grinned at
him, pleased that he'd cheered the little one up. As a special treat, he swung
the youngster up in his arms, finally settling Malcolm so he was seated on his
shoulders. "How's the air up there?"
brilliant!" Malcolm exclaimed. "I feel like I'm flying."
Jonathan bounced a bit,
causing a few more smothered giggles, before making a show of pretending to
knock Malcolm's head against the top of door. By the time the twosome made it
inside, both were openly laughing.
Yolande had the other
children gathered at the pool door and she gestured for Jonathan and Malcolm
to join them. "We have a special presentation today and I'm very glad
that Jonny is here to share it with us." The swimming teacher held out
her hand to the little boy on Jonathan's shoulders and waved him down. Jonny
set Malcolm on his feet and stepped back as the child approached his teacher.
"Students, as you
know this is our final class," Yolande said as she gathered Malcolm to
her side. "Those of you who've had lessons with me before know that I
traditionally give out an award to the student who's progressed the most. I
don't think that any of us can argue," she shot the earlier troublemakers
a glare and Jonathan could see from their expressions that they'd been raked
over the coals, "that there's one student who's most deserving of the
award." With that, she pinned a blue ribbon on Malcolm's shirt. On it, it
read Most Improved.
Malcolm fingered the
ribbon with awe, before looking at Jonny with a smile that came close to
splitting his face. The other students gathered around him, patting him on the
shoulders and arm, asking to see his decoration. It was quite a change from
the scene that Jonathan had stumbled into before and he was glad to see the
happiness radiating from his young friend.
Yolande shooed the
children in towards the pool to start their final lesson, but Malcolm held
back. After the others had gone in, the dark-haired boy ran to Jonny, hugging
him around the legs. "Thank you, Jonny."
welcome," he answered, "but you did all the work."
"I wish you didn't
have to go home," Malcolm's voice was muffled as he pressed close to the
teenager. "I'll miss you."
"I'll miss you too,
Stinks," Jonny said, pulling back enough to squat down by the child.
"But tell you what, all you have to do is look at this ribbon," he
fingered the satin blue material, "and you'll know that you can do
said. With a final squeeze, he let go and ran for the door, pausing at the
last minute to turn around and wave wildly. Jonathan waved back and then
Malcolm was gone.
The teenager sighed as he
felt a warm hand on his arm. "He's a tough little squirt." He turned
to look at Yolande. "Did you read those bullies the riot act?"
"Oh, yes," Ms.
Cooper assured him. "And I'll do it again when their parents show
up." She patted Jonathan and then gave him a quick hug. "I wish I
had a ribbon to give you too - you did wonders with that child in the short
time you were here."
Jonny blushed. He wasn't
used to getting enthusiastic hugs from women his mother's age. At least, women
he wasn't related to, anyway. "Heck, I told Stink…, I mean, Malcolm,
the truth. He did all the hard work."
Yolande gave him a
searching look before letting go. "You know, something tells me that in a
few years, I'll be bragging to folks that I knew Jonathan Archer back when he
was Jonny Archer. You're going to go far, sweetheart, even if that Starfleet
idea you're dad's been talking about never gets off the ground."
The teenager's blush
deepened and he was glad when his employer turned to the business of giving
him his last paycheck.
Years later, though, with
the launching of the Enterprise, Yolande Cooper was proven absolutely right.
Captain Jonathan Archer
rolled his shoulders as he walked down Enterprise's familiar corridors. It had
been a very long but very rewarding series of days, helping the miners drive
off the Klingons that were intent on taking all of their hard-won deuterium.
Jonathan never had liked bullies and, even though he'd just met the colonists,
it just hadn't felt right to not help them.
But why did helping
someone usually end up with him aching all over?
Now that the Klingons had
been driven off, the deuterium had been loaded, and the Enterprise was headed
off to a new adventure, Jonathan had a chance to do something about those
aches and pains. He got the feeling that the rest of his crew felt every bit
as satisfied at helping the colonists, even if it had meant back-breaking work
for all involved. He didn't know about the rest of the crew, but Jonathan was
very glad that the entrance to his quarters was in front of him and he could
anticipate a nice, hot shower. He'd been through decon already and was
reasonably clean, but nothing took the place of clean water out of your own
The captain entered his
cabin only to realize that someone had beaten him there and that it wasn't
Jonathan," Malcolm smiled shyly from his perch on the bed.
yourself," the captain responded, grinning at the younger man.
Jonathan had been true to
his word when he'd promised Malcolm that they'd take their burgeoning
relationship slowly. It had just about killed him, but he'd done it. For a
long time, they'd stayed with private dinners and attending the movie
together, with few being aware of what was really going on. Malcolm had seemed
reluctant to go any further until Hoshi, of all people, had intervened.
Jonathan had heard from his usual source of information, Trip, that Hoshi had
sat Malcolm down and had a long talk with him, reassuring him that there would
be no repercussions from the crew if he and Malcolm become involved. Truth be
told, if had been anyone else, there probably would have been hard feelings,
about favoritism and the like, but it had been Malcolm Reed. Everyone knew how
by-the-book the lieutenant was and no one worried he would take advantage of
After that, their
relationship had gradually become more intimate. The two men had worked their
way to long, slow kisses after a meal and holding hands at the movie, but that
was about it. Now, seeing Malcolm on his bed, dressed in a sleeveless knit
shirt and loose pants, was giving Jonathan all kinds of ideas.
"I thought, if you
were as sore as I was," Malcolm said, "that a massage might feel
"That sounds like the
best idea I've heard all day," Jonathan responded eagerly.
Malcolm's smile broadened
at his lover's enthusiasm. "All right, then. Off with your uniform and on
the bed." He moved off the mattress and gestured Jonathan down.
"I thought I'd never
hear you say that," Archer teased, ignoring his instructions and grabbing
Malcolm into a loose embrace.
Malcolm let himself be
kissed, then pulled back. "On the bed, if you please."
stumbled in his haste to get his boots and uniform off, but soon he was safely
facedown in the prescribed position, still in his bright blue underwear. He
practically groaned aloud when he felt Malcolm's weight settle on top of him
as the British man straddled Jonathan's prone form. He did groan aloud when
Reed's hands started manipulating the tense muscles in his shoulders.
"God, that feels good. Don't stop."
"I've no intention of
stopping, thank you very much," Malcolm said tartly. "You weren't
kidding, were you, when you said you didn't like bullies?"
Jonathan tried to think
past the sensation of finally having his lover's hands on his flesh, but it
was hard (both the thinking and the flesh)."What do you mean?"
A quick brush of Malcolm's
lips across the back of his neck caused Jonathan to shiver. "All those
years ago, at Ms. Cooper's pool. You said you didn't like bullies. I guess
that hasn't changed."
Jonathan smiled as he
remembered. "No, I guess not."
"The Klingons, those
were the lazy types of bullies."
Archer tried to turn
around, but Malcolm's hands pressed him back down. "You remember
"Oh, yes," The
smile in Reed's voice could be clearly heard. "Jonny Archer's advice
stuck with me for a good, long while. And I kept that ribbon until it was
cried out as Malcolm hit a particularly knotted area. "Don't tell me that
this is just a schoolboy's crush?"
Reed rocked forward,
pressing his groin against the small of Archer's back. "Does that feel
like a boy to you," he whispered in Jonathan's ear, nipping lightly at
the sensitive lobe.
God," Jonathan groaned. He groaned again when Malcolm's weight abruptly
shifted off him. "Hey, where you goin'?" The captain lifted himself
up on one elbow, looking at his lover in dismay. Had he offended Malcolm, by
Malcolm was looking down
at him fondly. "I'll admit, though, that when I started dating, I did
have a tendency to stick to the tall, blonde, and green-eyed type. You ruined
Jonathan didn't have a
response to that and just smiled at him.
The lieutenant had opened
a container that had been sitting on the table and was smearing some sort of
ointment on his hands. "My sister makes this liniment for me," he
explained. "It's got a muscle relaxer in it." His expression turned
contemplative. "For some reason, she seems to think I manage to injure
myself a lot."
"I wonder why,"
Jonathan said wryly, making a show of ducking the glare that Malcolm shot him.
"You enjoyed yourself today, didn't you?"
Reed tilted his head as he
thought. "I suppose so. It's not often that I get to use the full range
of my tactical background. It felt good to exercise those muscles, if you
will. I don't often get the chance to practice ground maneuvers."
"I thought so,"
Jonathan said as he settled back. "I'm glad you had a good time, kicking
some Klingon butt."
"And no one got
seriously hurt," Malcolm added. Then, in a change of subject, gestured at
Jonathan with his chin. "Off with your shirt."
liniment-covered fingers at him. "This won't help your shirt at all, but
should help with your aches and pains a bit. Now, off."
Jonathan didn't need to be
told again. He sat up and stripped off the garment, then settled back on the
bed, face up. Malcolm didn't object to his change in position and again
straddled Archer's larger form. With a fierce expression, he started rubbing
the liniment into Jonathan's skin.
Archer's breath caught at
the sensation and he bit his lip to keep from crying out. The combination of
Malcolm on top of him and massaging him was almost more than he could take.
love?" Malcolm asked.
Jonathan responded. He kept his eyes closed, knowing that looking up into
Malcolm's face would be more than he could take. That changed, though, when he
felt Reed's body move. He looked just in time to see Malcolm remove his own
shirt, the ointment leaving sticking fingerprints on the soft gray fabric.
"What about you, Stinky, aren't you hurting too? Maybe I should give you
"Oh, I don't
know," Malcolm purred, wiggling until he was laying completely on top of
the bigger man. "What is a massage, but skin rubbing against skin. Seems
to me there's more than one way to massage."
Jonathan gasped as he felt
his lover's flesh pressing into his own. "C-can't say as I'd argue with
that," he said, bringing his hands up to cup Malcolm's bottom.
"Except for one thing, we've still got our pants on. There's not enough
rectified," Malcolm retorted, deft hands reaching for the waistband of
Jonathan's briefs. Archer eagerly cooperated, steadying his talented mate
while Malcolm stripped both of them of their remaining garments.
Both men were rewarded for
their efforts when their erections met for the first time.
gasped out, clutching Malcolm's closer. Reed was silent, but buried his face
in Archer's neck, licking and nipping at the soft skin there.
Moving in concert, the two
lovers rocked together. Jonathan automatically spread his legs and bent his
knees, cradling Malcolm between them. The younger man undulated almost
desperately, arching his back and pressing himself forward as though he were
trying to merge his flesh with Jonathan's.
How long they stayed like
that, Archer couldn't begin to say. It felt like forever and, at the same
time, it felt like just a moment or two. As in the rest of their relationship,
however, Jonathan was ready for completion first. "Aah," the captain
cried out, lifting his hips as his orgasm hit. Malcolm felt Jonathan's hot
semen against his belly and quickly followed, remaining silent but nipping
sharply at his lover's neck as his own body found release.
remained pillowed on Jonathan, panting lightly as he regained his breath.
Jonathan showered him with kisses as his big hands roamed up and down
Malcolm's back. Now that the captain had permission to touch his lover's skin,
he was loath to stop.
"We should have done
that ages ago," Malcolm sighed.
said noncommittally. He didn't want Reed to feel bad for taking longer to be
ready for this intimate stage of their relationship. "Does this mean I
can start calling you Stinky in front of the rest of the crew?"
Malcolm nipped him on the
chin. "Do it and you'll be sleeping alone for a good, long while."
"Does that mean that
if I'm good, I won't be sleeping alone?" Jonathan asked hopefully.
necessarily," Malcolm teased, "I'm rather fond of naughty. Just stay
away from Stinky, that's all I ask." Loving fingers traced Jonathan's
face. "Thank you for being so patient with me."
"It was my
pleasure," Jonathan assured him, before rolling them both between the
covers. Patience, he'd learned, had it virtues and, in his humble opinion,
chief among them was the man who'd finally graced his bed.
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