Continued from Part 1
It was a good thing, Malcolm Reed
decided, that he loved Trip so much. Otherwise, heíd be tempted to strangle
Barely repressing the urge to
instead toss the offending phaser piece across the cabin, Malcolm managed to
set it down calmly on the desk. How did Trip expect him to put the damn thing
together, anyway? Didnít he realize Malcolm was blind?
Reed sighed explosively. Yes, Trip
knew and had gone to great lengths to find him a task to give him something to
do. It was frustrating and nearly impossible to put a phase pistol back
together without being able to see it, but Malcolm loved a challenge. Even as
he cursed Trip, he blessed his thoughtful lover for giving him this one. Even
if it was just busy work.
A small device clipped to the arm
of Reedís shirt vibrated and the Englishman sighed again. The dismantled
phase pistol hadnít been Tuckerís only surprise. The
It was a good thing that Malcolm
loved Jonathan Archer so much, or he might just be tempted to strangle the
captain too. Although disabled, he was capable of spending an afternoon on his
own and didnít need a babysitter.
He hadnít realized heíd said
that last bit aloud until Jonathanís large hand cupped his cheek before
signing a gentle rebuke. What the captain conveyed was true, Travis was a
friend and not a babysitter. Reed could only hope that Mayweather hadnít
heard the comment. Isolated as he was in his world of darkness and silence, it
was becoming increasingly difficult to know when heíd said something out
loud and when heíd just thought it. A bad habit, that, and one he would need
to work on correcting before it became more deeply entrenched.
He felt Archer tilt his hand up and
then a new set of fingers was sending him a message. Travis, Malcolm was quick
to note, was particularly good as this Morse Code. But then, with Hoshi as his
lover and personal tutor, heíd had the best of teachers.
"Itís good to see
you..." Reed said, then broke off as he realized how stupid that sounded.
Altering his greeting, he tried again, "It was kind of you to come by. I
donít need for anyone to stay with me, but it shall be good to have the
A quick kiss to his cheek and then
the vibrating device told Malcolm that Jonathan had left. For the first time
since heíd been injured, both of his lovers had been needed on duty. Reed
had argued that he was capable of staying on his own, but Trip and Jonathan
had disagreed. It wasnít so much that they thought Malcolm would injure
himself in an accident, but that they worried that the ship would get into
trouble and Reed wouldnít know to get himself to safer quarters. With little
grace, Malcolm had eventually agreed. He was still grumpy about it, but knew
it wasnít fair to take it out on Travis.
"So, now that youíre here,
what do you want to do?" The armory officer asked. "Iím afraid a
movie is out of the question."
After being touched so frequently
by Jonathan and Trip, Mayweatherís hand felt odd on his own. The helmsman
had soft, warm hands with smoother skin than either of his lovers. It almost
distracted him from what Travis was suggesting. Abruptly, Reed pulled away.
"No, thank you, I donít care
to go down to the mess hall," Malcolm said curtly. "I prefer to stay
Apparently undeterred, Travis took
his hand again and explained his suggestion. Reed tensed at the younger manís
"I appreciate knowing of the
rest of the crewís concern," the armory officer admitted. "But Iím
not ready to go out into public yet, especially not to eat. Iíd feel like a
Mayweatherís grip on his wrist
hardened and the next message was conveyed a little more firmly. Malcolm felt
himself blush. "No, youíre right. If this had happened to someone else,
I wouldnít consider them a freak. Still... itís hard to get my bearings
when thereís lots of people around. Iím just not ready for that yet."
His friendís hand withdrew, to be
replaced with a small, smooth object that felt cool to the touch. Reed turned
it over and over, letting his fingertips figure out what it was.
"A chess piece?" He
finally guessed, smiling when Travis indicated that he was right.
A couple of hours and several chess
wins later, Malcolm was feeling much better about having a babysitter. Heíd
found being blind had actually improved his game, forcing him to focus
intensely in order to track all of the board movements. When Travis hesitated
over the suggestion of another match, Reed assumed that the helmsman was a
little tired of being beat.
"Whatís the matter?"
The lieutenant asked, sensing an underlying reason behind his friendís
reluctance. A few finger strokes later and he had his answer. "I didnít
realize that it had gotten that late," Malcolm apologized. "Trip
must be running a bit behind. Why donít you go ahead and go. Iím sure
Hoshiís waiting for you."
Mayweatherís gestures asked him
if he was sure and Reed nodded his head. "Iím positive. Porthos can
keep me company and it will only be for a few minutes. The captain will
understand; Iíll make sure of it."
With Reedís reassurances, Travis
left and, for the first time since being injured, Malcolm found himself
without human company. It was ironic. Malcolm had spent the first months on
Not liking that train of thought,
the armory officer got up and paced, trusting Porthosí canine sense to keep
the little dog from getting underfoot. The one expedition heíd actually
wanted to make outside their quarters had been to the exercise room, but his
lovers had protested, citing the limitations Phlox had dictated. Reed wasnít
used to such prolonged inactivity and he was aware that it added to his bad
"Perhaps, I can go for a walk
when Trip or John get back," he said aloud. Then, remembering how
surprised and disappointed Travis had been when heíd refused to go to the
mess hall, it occurred to Malcolm that maybe he didnít need to wait for his
lovers to return. Unlike Porthos, he didnít need to be taken for a walk; he
was perfectly capable of managing one on his own.
Torn with indecision, Malcolm stood
in the middle of the room, feeling Porthosí warmth as the beagle sat down
next to him. To go out into the corridors by himself... not knowing who else
would be there... the inevitable stumbles and very public mistakes....
The alternative, however, was to
remain huddled inside the cabin, isolated and burdensome on the men he loved.
He couldnít wait for Phlox to find a cure forever and if Jonathan meant to
defy Starfleet to keep Malcolm onboard, then it was up to Malcolm to prove
that he belonged there.
With his new resolve, the
Englishman felt his way to the door, stopping when his hand encountered its
metallic smoothness. "Reeds do not wallow," he said firmly.
"They take what life deals them and make the best of it."
Determined, Malcolm pressed the
device that would open the door and boldly made to go through it... only to
trip on a furry obstacle.
"Porthos," Reed grumbled
as he barely caught himself from falling by grabbing the doorframe, "you
are not exactly seeing eye dog material." Reaching down, he groped until
his hands encountered the beagle, then gently encouraged the beast back into
the cabin. Hand on the dogís collar, he commanded, "Stay," not
releasing it until he felt Porthos obey. Moving backwards, he cautiously made
his way out and shut the door behind him, confident that the dog hadnít
slipped past him.
It felt odd to feel a current of
air caress his cheek. It was obvious that Malcolm was in a longer space than
heíd previously was in and he found himself enjoying the sensation. Keeping
the schematics of the ship firmly in mind, Reed set out, one hand lightly on
the corridor wall to guide himself.
Luckily, he wasnít in the middle
of a shift change and the corridor was deserted. In fact, Malcolm had made
several turns before he was even seen. It was two of Tripís crew that
spotted him first.
"Hey, isnít that Lieutenant
Reed?" the first one murmured to the other.
"No way, heard no one but the
commander and the captain has seen him for days," she replied, not
bothering to look. "I guess he was hurt too bad and had to stay in his
"Well, guess again, because
that is him," her companion responded as Malcolm got closer.
"Evening, lieutenant, glad to see you up and around."
At first, the two ensigns didnít
know why the superior officer didnít respond. As he drew closer, however,
they could see the white film over his eyes.
"Oh, no," the second
crewman exclaimed. "It is true, he canít see."
The first one looked thoughtful.
"If thatís true, then he probably canít hear either." The manís
eyes widened. "Shit! The beta crewís got that mess down the way, heíll
probably trip right over it if he canít see itís there."
"Weíll have to guide him
past it," the second said, reaching as if to grab Reed. Her partner
"Donít think thatís a real
great idea," he said when she glared at him. "Hey, you didnít work
with him when we were installing that cannonÖ I did. The lieutenant would
not appreciate being led around like heís feeble, trust me."
She rolled her eyes. "So, what
are we supposed to do, let him fall and hurt himself just to save his pride?
Thatíll go over real well with the boss. Thatís his lover, you know."
"I know that," he
responded, "but, as Commander Tucker would say, thereís more than one
way to skin a cat." Moving a few feet down the corridor, the engineer
opened a channel on the communication system.
Within a few minutes, the news had
spread on the
Malcolm was blissfully unaware of
their protective maneuvers and would have been supremely embarrassed had he
known. As it was, he thought it was odd that heíd encountered no one, but
wasnít going to complain. He was also concentrating too hard on figuring out
how to get to his own quarters. Theyíd been mostly unused since becoming
Trip and Jonathanís lover, but he figured they were a safe destination for
this first outing.
Reed had just entered the final
corridor when Trip caught up to him. The chief engineer had been on his way to
the mess to pick up dinner when heíd heard what Malcolm was up to.
Breathless, heíd hurried to catch up. Tucker had just begun to move to
intercept his mate when his other lover grabbed his elbow.
"Donít, Trip, please,"
Archer asked. "Heís come this far, let him finish."
Tucker watched while Reed stopped
in front of a door. "But, why? If he wanted to get out of our quarters
for a spell, all he had to do was say somethiní. No sense wandering all over
by himself if one of us could help him."
Jonathan smiled. "Maybe that
was the point."
The two men watched while Malcolm
keyed in an access code, smiling at the tactical officerís wide grin as the
door opened. Heíd made it to the correct cabin and, unbeknownst to their
lover, they shared in his success. Trip sagged against the wall as they
watched Reed go inside.
Jonathan looked at the commander
thoughtfully. "Did you see the look on his face? Still think it was a bad
Trip shook his head reluctantly.
"No, I guess it was important." He grinned suddenly at the older
man. "But Iím glad I didnít know he was doiní it until he was
almost done, if you know what I mean."
Archer wrapped an arm around Tripís
shoulders. "Yeah, I guess I do. Letís give him a few minutes to savor
his triumph," the captain suggested as he guided Trip down the hallway.
"Then we can show up with dinner."
Alone in his quarters, Malcolm
grinned in satisfaction. He was handicapped but not completely helpless.
Perhaps, even if Phlox didnít figure out how to fix him, he could remain on
board. Heíd become Chefís chief vegetable peeler and bottle washer if that
was what it took to remain with his lovers.
Finding his way to a chair, Reed
settled down to wait. He knew that Trip and Archer would figure out where he
was eventually. Until then, the lieutenant entertained himself thinking of
ways to teach the crew how to navigate around the
The lovers were stretched out on
their bed and Malcolm had his shirt pushed up to reveal his stomach. The
armory officer would call out words at random and the other two men would race
to see which one could correctly tap it out in Morse Code in the least amount
of time. So far, it was a draw. Trip was faster but Jonathan more accurate.
Since Reed would reward the winner with a kiss, it was a hotly contested
"Címon, you two, I know you
know what the word means," Malcolmís voice was full of laughter.
"Iíve seen each of you perform the act, if you remember. It was
certainly a night Iíll never forget." He wished he could see his loversí
faces as he reminded them of that particular encounter. It had started by
Jonathan saying that they should watch each other pleasure themselves, so they
could know better how to pleasure each other. A little tentative about the
idea, Trip and Malcolm had made John go first and the captain had been quick
to prove why it was a very good suggestion indeed.
His first excursion out of their
quarters had been an epiphany for the impaired man. On the surface, it didnít
seem like much, just a short trip from one set of crew quarters to another. It
represented much more to Malcolm, however. In a small way, heíd proven to
himself that he wasnít completely broken, that even if the worst happened
and no solution was found to his blindness and deafness, that he could still
find a way to function. Reed still struggled with bouts of depression and
being crotchety, but overall his outlook improved. He still hesitated to eat
in public, but he was willing to venture into other parts of
What contributed even more to his
improved mood was the fact that Phlox had begun calling him to sickbay for
tests. Even though the Denobulan was closed-mouth about treatment options, it
was a huge relief for all three lovers to see the physician move past the pure
research stage and grow closer to actually treating him, sensing that some
sort of remedy, or attempt at one, had put all three lovers in a good but
anxious mood. The game had been born out of a desire to distract one another,
although the older men were careful when they played. Malcolmís bruises had
mostly faded but one or two lingered, plus his ribs were still tender.
Tucker and Archer concentrated,
long fingers flying on Malcolmís skin as they vied for completion. By the
time they were done, Reed was chuckling loudly.
"Trip, I think you need a
dictionary," Malcolm laughed. "Itís m-a-s-t-u-r-b-a-t-e, not
"I guess that means I win
again," Archer said smugly, leaning down for his kiss. The lieutenant
gladly gave it up, pulling Jonathanís head down for a thorough job.
"Yeah, well, Iíd rather be
doing it than spelliní it," Trip said, trying to hide his
disappointment. The evil look Jonathan gave him didnít help.
"Nothing stopping you. Donít
abstain on my account," the captain challenged.
Tucker was saved from answering by
a chime at the door. The two blonds looked at each expectantly and, having
felt the vibration from the warning device, Malcolm sat up and hurriedly
pulled down his shirt.
By the time Phlox entered, all
three men were sitting up and looking decorous.
"Good news, gentleman,"
the doctor greeted them. "Thanks to assistance from my friends at the
Interspecies Medical Exchange program, I do believe we have come up with a
course of treatment for Mr. Reed that should prove successful."
Archerís fingers moved to convey
the message to Malcolm. Trip would have been faster, but the news was too
important to risk any mistakes, even minor ones.
Malcolmís face tensed with
excitement. "Tell us more."
Phlox rarely had to be cajoled into
talking. "Itís a amalgamation of sonic bombardment, chemical washes,
and surgery, but I believe weíve found a combination of procedures that
should loosen and remove the blocks on the lieutenantís senses to allow them
to perform normally."
"And the risks?" Trip
asked, seeing that Jonathan was too busy translating to inquire.
"Minimal," Phlox assured
them. "Thatís why we took so long to devise a strategy to alleviate Mr.
"It sounds too good to be
true," Malcolm said, almost overwhelmed at the news. "But this
experience has taught me a thing or two about trust. When can you get
Phloxís ever-present smile
widened. "First thing in the morning." He nodded at the two sighted
men. "I shall expect you bright and early in sickbay." The physician
left them, sensitive to the possibility that the lovers might want private
time to celebrate.
Jonathan and Trip moved to embrace
their mate, too happy and relieved to even try any more sophisticated
communication. Malcolm lay content in their arms, trying to comprehend the
overdue turn of good luck.
"You were right... patience
and trust," he said, "I should have believed you." He turned to
kiss each of the other men.
The three men lay in a pile of
contentment, stroking each other in relief and joy that transcended the
sexual. The morning would come soon enough and, with it, a likely end to the
darkness that Malcolm had been plunged into. Anticipation would make the night
seem long, but at least they had one another to fill the empty time with
"Whatís takiní so damn
long?" Trip paced outside the frosted doors of sickbay. Their lover had
been inside with Phlox for hours and the engineer was impatient for news.
So was Jonathan, but he hid it
better. "Iím sure the doctor will tell us when he can. You donít want
him to hurry anything, do you?"
Tuckerís pacing stopped.
"No, guess not... but still...."
"I know what you mean,"
Jonathan said. "I thought I could stay on the bridge while the operation
was going on, but you see where that got me."
"Yeah, and I was gonna realign
the warp nacelles, but that didnít work out quite like I expected," the
chief engineer admitted. Shaking his head in disgust, he made a confession.
"I guess Iím as big a mother hen as you are...."
Their conversation was cut short by
Phlox coming out to talk to them. "Good news! Iím happy to report that
the procedures appear to be a success."
"Appear to be?" Archer
repeated with concern. "Youíre not sure?"
"All indications are that the
treatment worked every bit as well as projected," Phlox reassured him,
"but we wonít know for sure until Mr. Reed wakes up. Which should be
any moment now." The doctor gestured for the two officers to join him.
"I thought you might like to be there when he revives."
Trailing behind the physician,
Jonathan and Trip followed Phlox into sickbay, looking for their first sight
of Malcolm. The armory officer was the sole occupant of the healing area and
they made a beeline for his bed. Given the nature of their Starfleet careers,
theyíd seen each other in sickbay more often than any of them liked. This
time was a little different, though. On this occasion, Malcolm wasnít lying
there, injured. Instead, he was asleep from a procedure done to heal an
injury. It made a big difference.
Phlox nodded at the lovers in
satisfaction, then approached Mr. Reed with an injection. It hissed as it went
in, a sound the Denobulan found reassuring. "He should wake in just a
moment. Weíll just let him open his eyes naturally." Moving to the roomís
environment controls, the physician lowered the lights.
Sure enough, Malcolmís eyelids
started twitching and the lieutenantís head lolled on his pillow. Moving
sluggishly, he blinked his eyes open, staring ahead blankly. His eyes were
clear of the horrible white opaqueness but he didnít appear to be seeing
Trip and Jonathan felt their
stomachs drop to the floor with twin thuds.
"Malcolm?" Archer said
Reed slowly smiled. "Well, if
the two of you arenít a sight for sore eyes."
Trip whooped, covering his mouth
belatedly as he realized that a loud noise might not be the best thing for
Malcolm just laughed freely, a
joyful sound in the sterile room. "Do that again, Trip."
Tucker looked at Phlox for
permission and the Denobulan nodded benevolently. "Go right ahead,
commander, it will do him no harm."
Trip happily complied, then eagerly
went forward to give Reed a huge hug. He reluctantly let go when Phlox gently
insisted on running some tests. Only when the chief engineer looked to share
his jubilation and relief with Jonathan did he realize that the captain was no
longer in the room.
Frowning, Tucker stuck his head out
of the sickbay doors, easily spotting Jonathanís tall form a few feet away.
The older man was leaning against the wall, head bowed and hand over his eyes.
With a last glance back to see that Malcolm was busy with whatever Phlox
needed, Trip slipped out of sickbay.
"John, whatís wrong?"
Archer immediately dropped his hand
and looked up guiltily. Tucker took one look at the other manís face and
knew. "You didnít believe that Phlox could cure Malcolm, did you?"
Jonathan looked down again.
"Not 100%, no."
"Then why?" Tripís
voice held no disdain, only curiosity.
"I wanted to be strong, for
Malcolm... and for you." The captain admitted. "Most of the time I
hoped for a successful treatment, but sometimes, especially late at night, I
The engineer contemplated his lover
for a long moment. Then, moving gently, he clasped the other manís shoulder.
"You big boy scout. I could see why you wouldnít let on to Malcolm, but
you should have told me. I could have helped you, just like you helped
"I know..." Archerís
voice trailed off.
Tucker looked at him
affectionately. Malcolm wasnít the only stubborn one in this relationship.
"Come on," he encouraged his mate. "Heís waiting for
Smiling back at the engineer,
Jonathan wrapped his arm around Tripís waist, allowing himself to be led
back into sickbay.
The trio made love with the lights
Malcolm was positioned in the
center of the bed, sandwiched by the larger forms of his mates. Trip was
behind him, making slow thrusts as he gently but thoroughly took the smaller
man, swiveling his hips at the end of each penetration in a move designed to
drive Reed crazy. Archer was in front of him, kissing Malcolm and nipping
madly at his skin. The lieutenantís leg was thrown over Jonathanís hip,
giving Tucker deeper access to his body. Reed and Archerís cocks aligned and
the older man controlled their humping motion with arms wrapped around the
dark-haired manís torso, his large hands splayed against Malcolmís back,
refusing to set a quicker pace, no matter how much the Englishman pleaded.
After days of worry and limited
communication, the two older men were determined to prolong this experience as
long as possible.
At Malcolmís request, both of the
other men were being more vocal than normal, making moans and cries that was
music to his long-denied ears. Reed froze as Trip found the sweet spot inside
him, gasping at the sensation.
"Right there, Trip, right
there," he panted as he arched his back, trying to take his lover deeper
into his body.
Tucker looked over Malcolmís
shoulder at Jonathan, seeing a mirror of his own wicked grin. With unspoken
agreement, both men sped up, leaving Malcolm to writhe between them in
uncontrollable ecstasy. Trip jabbed his cock into Malcolmís prostate over
and over, feeling the tight sheath enveloping him contract in orgasm. Reed was
bathed in warmth within and without as his lovers joined him in climaxing, the
three men moaning in near harmony as their bodies reached completion.
Afterwards, Malcolm lay with their
two heads pillowed on his chest, absently stroking their hair as his lovers
drifted towards a satisfied slumber. The light was still on... neither Trip
nor Archer having the heart to ask Reed if they could turn it off.
"Whatís the matter,"
Jonathan asked sleepily. "Donít tell me youíre not tired?"
Malcolm smiled. "No, I am, but
I want to stay awake a few minutes more. Looking at you and Trip... I donít
want to waste the opportunity."
Jonathan kissed Reedís chest. Heíd
been by Malcolmís side through the whole ordeal but knew he only had a
glimmer of understanding. "Okay, but donít stay up too long. Remember,
youíre back on duty tomorrow. Even if itís limited duty, we donít want
you sleeping on the job."
Reed looked askance at him.
"Like I would forget. Go to sleep, John, and let me just look at you a
Jonathan nuzzled him one last time
and then closed his eyes, joining Trip in falling fast asleep. Malcolm smiled
tenderly as he listened to his matesí quiet breathing, the sound cherished
even more since he thought he might have lost the ability to hear it. Still,
after all was said and done, now that he was cured, he could safely say that
it had been a learning experience. Jonathan, as always, had been a tower of
strength and encouragement. Tripís insight into how to distract Malcolm had
been somewhat unexpected, but he should have known. The engineer was adept at
fixing things and that ability wasnít just limited to equipment. More than
that, though, Reed had learned his worth to his lovers; that they would be
willing to stand up to Starfleet for him. That meant a lot to Malcolm.
Malcolm had never thought of
himself as the type of man to inspire that kind of devotion; never dreamed
that he would be loved that much. It humbled him. In a way, he supposed that
his experience had taught him to see his lovers in a new light. To finally
hear what theyíd been saying all along, that he was a necessary, desired
part of their life. Maybe heíd just needed to be deprived of those senses to
finally see and hear what had been in front of him all along.
Reed looked down at Jonathan and
Trip. Despite his late-night meanderings, they remained who theyíd always
been; two beautiful, courageous souls who would go to the ends of the Earth
and beyond for what they cared about. The only thing that had changed was
Malcolmís awareness of just how intimately their devotion included him.
After kissing each man gently on
the head, Malcolm carefully reached up and turned out the light. He didnít
need it anymore.
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