"There you are!"
Jonathan Archer let out a
deep breath - one that he hadnít even realized heíd been holding in - at
the sound of his loverís voice. Most of his days aboard the Enterprise were
exciting, the nature of their voyage making even the mundane somehow
exhilarating. This day, however, had been just a little too interesting. The
short bulbous-headed aliens had used guile to overcome the Enterprise and her
crew instead of firepower, but the end the result had been the same... his
people, including his lover, rendered unconscious... his ship in unfriendly
hands... he himself drafted as a stevedore... his dog stuffed in a cargo
Although he, Tucker, and TíPol
had managed to turn the tables on the invaders, it hadnít been easy.
Jonathan was bruised, in mind and body. Heíd felt bad for duping the hapless
Krem, especially since his erstwhile captor had been greedy rather than cruel.
The encounter hadnít exactly been what heíd expected when they set out
from Earth all those months ago, but then again, had any of them?
"Thereís my little
poochums! Did those ugly aliens put Porthos in a nasty box? Mean olí aliens!
But you were a brave doggie, werenít you, luv...."
Jonathan leaned against
the door after it closed behind him and grinned broadly. It never ceased to
amaze him to hear Malcolm baby-talk his dog. The sing-song voice and cloying
endearments were at odds with the Englishmanís rather dour public persona.
That the ever-guarded Malcolm Reed felt comfortable enough to lower his
barriers in Archerís presence touched the captain deeply. As much as the
rest of the crew would be entertained to learn of this mushy aspect of the
armory officerís personality, Jonathan had no intention of betraying his
loverís trust - it had been too hard to win.
And, if he were ever
tempted to let the secret slip... well, Archer had no doubt, even on a ship as
pristine as the Enterprise, that Malcolm would have absolutely no trouble at
all hiding his body. It tended to keep him honest.
"A gallant canine
hero like you deserves a treat, doesnít he, Porthos? Yes, he does...."
Archer watched as his
lover fussed over the little beagle, making sure any trace of a grin had been
wiped off his face. It was one thing to be amazed by the younger manís
actions, it was quite another to be caught being amused by it. Jonathan was
firmly of the Ďlove me, love my dogí mentality, which had caused problems
in a couple of past relationships. Not so with Malcolm. The older man had a
feeling his lover hadnít experienced unconditional love often in his life
and Reed had bonded quickly with Jonathanís pet.
Jonathan frowned as
Malcolm continued to lavish attention on the dog. Perhaps Reed had bonded too
well with Porthos. It occurred to the captain that he had been abused by the
invaders even more than the beagle, but Porthos was getting all of Malcolmís
care. Archer felt, for the first time when it came to his pet, twinges of
enthusiastically leapt into Malcolmís arms and was kissing the lieutenantís
face. Reed chuckled and reluctantly put the little animal down. "Well, at
least they didnít hurt you any."
Archer cleared his throat.
"They were mostly interested in material things, I donít know if theyíve
heard of the concept of a pet before or, if they have, if they would see any
value in it." The captain held out his arms, the action causing the
sleeves of his shirt to ride up a bit and expose the marks on his wrists.
"They roughed me up a little, though," he said hopefully.
Gray eyes assessed him
coolly. "Did they, now?"
Jonathan shrugged, knowing
he was being more than a little bit pathetic. "Just a tad."
Malcolm smiled slightly
and, with one last ruffle of Porthosí ears, left the dog to his dinner and
approached his lover. Gently grasping the injured wrists, he tsked softly.
"From the restraints, I suppose." Archer nodded and Reed looked at
him carefully. "And I donít suppose you stopped by Sickbay to have Dr.
Phlox look at these, did you?"
The captain shrugged
again, careful that the movement didnít jostle his hands from Malcolmís
delightfully warm grip. "No, theyíre fin...." Realizing what he
was about to say, Jonathan made a quick adjustment in words. "Theyíre
Archer was obviously
expecting a reprimand from his mate but instead, Malcolm grinned broadly.
"You know, donít you, that Iím going to remember this."
Jonathan groaned, knowing
heíd just given Reed fuel for the next time the armory officer was reluctant
to get his own injuries seen to. "This is different, Malcolm. The doctor
is busy with crew members that reacted badly to the gas."
course," the Englishman murmured, clearly not convinced.
The captain was just
opening his mouth to start another denial when, suddenly, he was pinned
against the closed door with an armful of Malcolm Reed. The smaller man
virtually climbed Archerís body in his anxiousness to reach his loverís
mouth. When he did, Malcolmís lips clamped down on Jonathanís, not so much
in a kiss as in an oral invasion.... with no intention of taking prisoners.
Archerís hands automatically dropped to cup the other manís ass, helping
keep Malcolm in place, as eager for the contact as his lover was.
When the two broke apart,
Archer pressed his forehead against Reedís, not sure where the abrupt
intensity had come from. "Malcolm?"
"I watched the
surveillance recordings... they caught every moment those creatures were
onboard. I saw them bind you like an animal - make you work like a pack
mule." Reedís voice had become progressively more ragged. "All the
time, I was on the bridge, sleeping like a baby. Useless."
Archer ran his thumb
across his loverís lips, their usual soft texture momentarily thinned by
bitterness. "Not your fault."
Malcolm went on as though
he hadnít heard. "Commander Tucker pranced around the ship in his
skivvies, but at least he was of assistance to you... unlike your chief
security officer. Unless drooling counts."
drool," Jonathan corrected him. "Snored a little, maybe...."
The captainís attempt at a jest fell flat.
Malcolm scowled at him.
Then, before Archer could say anything, the Englishman moved back and out of
his arms. "You stink," the lieutenant said succinctly.
"All right, it wasnít
that great of a joke," the older man admitted, "And you didnít
"No, not that,"
Reed said, wrinkling his nose fastidiously to show that he wasnít referring
to his loverís attempt at levity. "I mean, you stink. "
Jonathan took a quick
whiff of himself, wincing when he realized Reed was right. "Sorry about
that. They worked me pretty hard."
Malcolm brought Johnís
abused wrists to his lips and bestowed a gentle kiss on each. "Come
on," he said, tugging on his mateís hand to get Jonathan to follow him.
"Let me wash their stench off you."
Archer was a little off
balance from the other manís rapidly changing moods but decided to go along
with him. As the captain allowed himself to be led into the bathroom. Jonathan
was only half listening to Reedís muttered dialogue, about certain engineers
who were foolish enough to bring aboard an intergalactic version of the Trojan
horse. He was used to Malcolm griping about Trip. No doubt, part of the reason
for his loverís pique was the fact that it was Tucker whoíd been such a
key player in liberating the Enterprise.
The two younger officers
had a unique relationship, more like siblings than anything else. Their vastly
different personalities, as well as their specific duties, often had them at
odds. It was no more unusual for John to hear Malcolm complain of a feckless
Trip Tucker than it was to endure Tripís complaint of a paranoid Malcolm
Reed. If anyone else voiced similar sentiments, however, Trip or Malcolm would
be the first to rise to the otherís defense. A more formal captain might
have found their verbal sparring frustrating but Jonathan just let them be. It
worked, for whatever reason, and the two disparate men had firmly meshed into
a formidable team. To Archer, that was all that mattered.
Truth told, Jonathanís
only concern was that someday Malcolm would notice that Trip was both younger
and more attractive than his current lover....
Malcolmís soft exclamation cut off Archerís trail of thought.
While Jonathanís mind
had been wandering, Reed had gotten him into the bathroom and seated him on
the toilet. Since the older man still had the upper part of his jumpsuit down,
Malcolm had gone straight for the black shirt that was usually concealed
underneath. Unzipping it had revealed yet another layer of clothing, but the
captainís bruises were visible nonetheless.
"Itís not as bad as
it looks," Archer reassured his lover as he slipped both of the shirts
off. Looking down at his battered body, Jonathan couldnít help but think of
Trip Tuckerís chiseled perfection. Sighing, he realized that he was a poor
second and that someday Malcolm was bound to figure that out. When Reed looked
at him quizzically, he shrugged before explaining, "Whatís that old
maxim, Ďitís not the years, itís the mileage.í I bet youíre
wondering what youíre doing hooked up with a worn-out specimen like
"That just shows how much you know." The lieutenant skimmed
appreciative hands along his loverís bare skin, keeping the touch gentle in
deference to the bruises that marred its golden surface. "Actually, I was
thinking that there are acres and acres of you... and that youíre all
mine." The younger man straddled the bigger manís powerful thighs, then
leaned up and nipped at his loverís ear before whispering in it seductively.
"And I donít plan on sharing you with anyone, alien or otherwise."
The armory officer wiggled as he settled into Archerís lap, finally getting
comfortable with his head resting on the captainís shoulder.
Jonathan sighed deeply and
pulled the smaller man closer. The zippers on Malcolmís uniform felt cool on
his overheated skin. It was a nice contrast to the moist warmth of the
Englishmanís breath on his neck.
Wrapped as he was around
his mate, Reed felt as well as heard his loverís sigh. Jonathanís silence
disturbed him and, for once, he didnít find contentment in the arms of his
lover. Pulling back slightly, he tilted his head so that he could look into
Archerís face. Frowning at what he saw there, Malcolm gently reached up and
brushed Jonathanís hair back from his forehead, ending by cupping the older
"Youíre just tired,
John," Reed said softly. "Why donít you let me take care of you -
youíll feel better."
Malcolm didnít wait for
the other man to agree. Slipping off his perch, the lieutenant tugged his
companion to his feet and quickly stripped Archerís uniform from him. With
characteristic efficiency, Reed got his lover into a shower running with hot
water and quickly undressed himself. Before the captain could even get
entirely wetted down, Malcolmís slender body was squeezed close as the
tactical officer reached for the shampoo.
"Let me," Reed
said, then pulled Jonathanís head closer.
Archer let his eyes close
as Malcolmís deft fingers massaged his scalp. The other manís litany about
North Americans and their tendency to breed giants was a soothing background
noise that blended nicely with the patter of the water. Although it was a
little uncomfortable for Malcolm, Jonathan rather enjoyed feeling the shorter
man press against him as he strained up on his toes to rinse the last of the
shampoo from Jonathanís scalp. When Reed was finished, he finally opened his
eyes, looking down tenderly at his lover. Malcolmís dark hair was slicked
back against his head, making the trim officer look something like an otter.
Jonathan reached for the
shampoo, meaning to reciprocate, but Reed was having nothing of it.
"No, thank you,"
Malcolm said, gently pushing the captainís hand away from the shampoo.
"Iím taking care of you tonight. Your only responsibility is to let
Archer smiled and nodded,
for once glad not to be the one in charge. Malcolm reached around him for the
temperature controls and Jonathanís eyes widened as the other man adjusted
the water to be cooler instead of the expected warmer.
"I said I wanted to
take care of you tonight, not put you to sleep." Reed chuckled at his
reaction. "Trust me?"
Jonathan responded, bending down for a slippery kiss.
said when their lips parted, voice full of satisfaction.
The Englishman lathered up
a wash cloth and started rubbing it across his loverís skin. The first time
he encountered a bruise, he hissed under his breath and by the time heíd
found the second and third, he was growling. Each mark was accorded its own
kiss and Archer soon realized why his mate had turned the water to a brisk
temperature. The combination of water-cooled skin underneath the heat of Reedís
mouth was an intoxicating sensation and he moaned in appreciation.
"Like that, do
you?" Malcolm said smugly. Having finished with the broad plain of the
older manís back, he turned Archer around in the water so that he was facing
Jonathanís chest. "Well, hullo, boys," he greeted his mateís
nipples before bending to taste each one. Instinctively, Jonathan grasped the
back of Reedís neck, holding his talented lover in place to encourage the
Reed cooperated but
eventually planted a kiss in the center of Jonathanís chest and pulled away.
"Rank has its privileges but even you have a water ration." Archer
conceded the point and reluctantly let go.
With renewed freedom to
move, Malcolm and his washcloth tended to Archerís legs. "I canít
believe the temerity of those creatures, drafting you into service," Reed
complained. "I rather hope we run into them again, Iíd like to even the
score. What did they call themselves, anyway?"
"I donít... donít
know," Jonathan stuttered. He was distracted by the way Reed had knelt
and started licking the back of his knees. "I never asked."
"Ah, well, it doesnít
matter," Malcolm said. He kissed Archerís hip and when the captain
leaned into the gesture, wickedly slipped the washcloth between the firm
cheeks of his loverís ass. Pulling the textured material ever so slowly, he
was pleased to see Jonathan bite his lip in response. The sensations heíd
been tormenting his lover with offset the physical affects of the cool water -
Archer was fully erect and beginning to show the signs of frustrated desire.
Archer moaned, reaching blindly for his lover.
Reed easily eluded the
groping fingers and moved around to the front of his mate. The Englishmen
nuzzled his face into the fur at Jonathanís groin, the running water not
quite washing away the musk of Archerís scent. Jonathan moaned again and
pressed his hips forward, causing Malcolm to nip the inside of his overeager
loverís thigh. Before Archer could respond, Reed put his mouth right where
Jonathan wanted, swallowing the other manís swollen cock whole.
Jonathan groaned. The captain braced himself against the wall with one hand
while the other tangled in the wet mass of the lieutenantís dark hair.
Reed smiled as well as he
could, given how full his mouth was. Curling his arms around Jonathanís
hips, he steadied himself as he pleasured his lover, humming a little at the
back of his throat. The tactic worked as it usually did. Jonathanís eyes
rolled back in his head and the captain started swearing softly in multiple
languages. Somehow, Malcolm had the feeling that Jonathan hadnít heard those
particular phrases from Hoshi. When Archer had run through his litany of human
terms and moved on to Vulcan, Malcolm knew his time was short. Sliding his
loverís cock out of his mouth, he lovingly gave the engorged head a kiss,
then efficiently moved his hand to the base of Jonathanís penis, squeezing
looked at his lover in disbelief. The action hadnít really hurt but had been
unexpected... and stopped him from reaching the release his body craved.
Malcolm stood up and
kissed him thoroughly. "Sorry about that," Reed apologized.
"But Iím not quite through taking care of you yet."
Jonathan nodded and closed
his eyes for a moment to gain control. When he opened them, he immediately
noticed that Malcolm was still standing in front of him but had changed
position. His lover had his arms braced against the wall and his back turned
to the captain, all but thrusting his ass in Archerís direction. Evidently
hearing the older manís lustful gasp, Reed coyly looked over his shoulder
and smiled a invitation... or a challenge.
The captainís erection
returned full force and he immediately moved to cover his mate. Using his
larger body to pin Malcolm to the wall, Jonathan fumbled for the liquid soap,
using it to liberally coat his fingers. Lowering his hand to the point where
their two bodies were pressed closest together, Archer reached for his loverís
opening, groaning when he found it. Had he thought Malcolmís mouth was hot,
especially when compared to the coolness of the water? It was nothing compared
the furnace of his loverís inner body.
"Just do it,
John," Reed ground out, need making his voice thick.
Archer shook his head, not
caring that the younger man couldnít see the gesture. "No way. Iím
not rushing this and hurting you." He bent down and nipped the back of
Malcolmís neck, payback for the way the lieutenant had teased him earlier.
The small part of his brain that could still think rationally objected that
Malcolm hadnít been teasing with his elaborate washing ritual - heíd been
reclaiming his mate from the aliensí taint. The larger part of Jonathan, the
one intent on sinking his cock as deep as it could go inside his lover, didnít
have an argument with that logic. In fact, that part of his body was eager to
some claiming of its own.
Jonathan positioned himself at Malcolmís opening and thrust smoothly, crying
out when his cock successfully breached the tight muscle and plunged inside.
Despite the speed at which heíd opened Reedís passage, heíd been
thorough enough and his penetration was unimpeded. Within moments, Jonathan
was fully sheathed inside, his large body laid across that of his lover, hands
wrapped around the Englishmanís hips. Speechless, Archer bowed his spine so
that he could lean his forehead in the sweet spot in-between Malcolmís
Jonathan could have stayed
that way forever... but Malcolm had other ideas. Impatiently, the armory
officer pushed back against his mate, groaning in frustration when he couldnít
force the other man to thrust.
Reed begged, no longer the one in control. "Move."
The entreaty in his loverís
voice was more than Jonathan could resist. "Yes, sir."
The captain pulled out
slowly, relishing the way his loverís body seemed reluctant to let him go.
Then, just before his cock completely withdrew from that velvet grip, he
thrust back in - hard. Archerís taut abdomen slapped down on Reedís
buttocks, the smacking sound of their skin meeting intensified by the water.
Malcolm moaned at the sensation, inspiring Jonathan to do it again... and
again... and again.
Jonathan reveled in the
wiry strength of the body writhing beneath his. Malcolm was stronger than he
looked, easily able to take the pounding the bigger man was giving him. Even
up on his toes, Reed met his lover thrust for thrust. Archer had never felt so
connected to his mate, never buried himself so deep within the lieutenantís
But it wasnít enough.
Abandoning his hold on
Reedís hips, Jonathan slid his hands down the inside of Malcolmís thighs.
Gripping his loverís upper legs tightly, he lifted Malcolmís feet from the
floor so that only Reedís hands on the wall kept him from falling. It gave
Jonathan just a little more leverage to make his thrusts, helping his cock to
bang fully onto Malcolmís prostate. The effect was nearly instantaneous.
Reed gave a choked cry and orgasmed explosively... without his penis ever
having been touched. A few drops of the armory officerís semen splashed onto
Archerís hand, the liquid feeling super-heated against the coolness of the
water. Jonathan joined his lover in release, body stilling as he pulsed inside
of his mate, their cries of completion swallowed by the sounds of the shower.
Spent, Malcolm slid to the
floor, Jonathan only having the presence of mind to shut the water off before
following him. He gathered his loverís limp body to him, gladly sheltering
Reed from the cold tile that made up the bottom of the shower.
When he could catch his
breath, Jonathan asked, "Are you all right?"
Malcolm murmured indistinctly.
Archer laughed and kissed
the nearest shoulder. "I guess thatís a yes - youíre purring."
He stroked a lean hip, laughing again when his mateís body arched up into
the movement. "Look at you, I think youíre just a big cat."
Without opening his eyes,
Reed shook his head. "No Iím not, cats donít like the water."
That comment garnered him
one half-cracked eyelid. "John." There was a world of warning in
that one word.
Archer tucked away the
reaction for future use. Not that heíd ever call Malcolm "Tiger"
or "Pussycat" in front of anyone, but the information might be
useful if ever he needed blackmail material.
"Come on, letís get
cleaned up," he said, standing and offering his lover a hand up. Malcolm
took it, leaning into the bigger man right after he got to his feet. "Youíre
sure youíre all right? I got kind of carried away there at the last."
"Yes, you did,"
Malcolm said, purr back in his voice. "I wish I could get you to do that
Jonathan accepted the
towel from the lieutenant, smiling sheepishly. "Well, thatís what you
get when you take an older man as a lover... not as much power in the
All traces of languidness
abruptly vanished from Reed. "You are not old and, trust me, you have
absolutely no problems with Ďpower in the bedroom.í I was merely stating
that I wish you were comfortable enough to lose control more often, thatís
all." The armory officer looked at his lover with slitted eyes.
"Whatís gotten into you tonight? Thatís not the first remark youíve
made about being old."
Archer roughly toweled his
hair, only answering when his head emerged from the terry cloth folds, blond
hair all rumpled and mussed. "Well, there are younger guys on board...
like Trip. Heís friendly, intelligent, and loyal as you can get."
Malcolm rolled his eyes.
"You sound like youíre describing Porthos... and, Iíll tell you
something, I have just about as much interest in bedding Trip Tucker as I do
Jonathan looked at him
skeptically. "Excuse me?"
Reed poked at his mate,
backing Archer up until the captain was forced to sit abruptly on the commode.
"Trip is a nice man and my friend. Heís attractive in his own way and Iím
sure heíll make a fine companion for someone some day. But heís got one
flaw and all the friendliness and loyalty in the universe wonít help him
overcome it; not as far as Iím concerned."
Archer asked when his loverís diatribe stopped.
you," Malcolm said firmly. He kissed his beleaguered mate on the nose and
tossed both of their towels aside. "All those things you said about Trip
- theyíre true of you as well, except even more so. I assure you, Iím with
the man I want." Reed sighed explosively. ".Like I said before,
love, youíre just tired. Discombobulated by everything that happened today.
Thatís all thatís got into you tonight. Tomorrow, youíll be back to your
usual, intelligent self."
Archer let himself be led
back to the bed, idly ruffling Porthosí ears when the dog greeted them as
they exited the bathroom. Still naked and slightly damp, he let Malcolm shoo
him under the covers. As the younger man joined him, Jonathan couldnít help
but think that those wealth-mongering aliens had been after the wrong sort of
treasure. It hadnít been gold, or technology, or even the women. As far as
he was concerned, the Enterpriseís treasure had been up on the bridge all
along, peacefully sleeping thanks to the invadersí drug. As Reed settled
next to him, Jonathan turned and pulled his mate tightly into his arm. Malcolm
was all the treasure that this human needed... even if he did snore.
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