TITLE: Lights Behind Closed Eyes


E-mail: kuragari_ko@mailcity.com

DATE: 11/06/01


PAIRINGS: Archer/Reed

TYPE: slashfic


STATUS: Complete

DISCLAIMER: Archer and Reed are owned by Paramount…Thankfully. If they were owned by me, I'd probably use my power to initiate an interstellar orgy of grande proportions…

WARNINGS: PWP with a touch of angst. 'nuff said.

AN: my first—finished—star trek slash fic, not to mention Enterprise fic, so please forgive any crappiness! I really love this pairing though and hope to keep writing more lengthy, and hopefully racy, stuff as the show progresses and the plot thickens. *S* Also watch out for falling Canadianisms. special thanks to Sherri for being the beta reader.

There were a few very isolated times in his life that he really, truly, hated technology. This was probably not the best mentality for a man stationed aboard a starship and normally, he was quite pleased to have the thrumming equipment around him…But this…this was…Just damned frustrating.

Lieutenant Malcolm Reed had wanted nothing more after his excruciatingly long and wearisome shift on the bridge than to spend a few hours drowning himself in the apocalypse capable weapons in the armoury. Of course, as if the ship was mocking him and his vain attempts to escape the claustrophobic surroundings of his reality, the power had just suddenly blinked out of existence and by some act of God, or act of Trip as the case may be, the backup power had yet to engage, therefore leaving the 'surroundings of his reality' nothing more than an impenetrable blackness closing in on every side.

So here he stood, rimmed by his beloved arsenal, blind and hating every agonizing second of it. He thought momentarily about attempting to locate the door, but knowing full well he may trip over his own grenades on the way there (killing himself in tremendous fiery irony), he quickly discarded the idea and blew out a long breath. "Just bloody great."

He supposed he could try calling the bridge, but if this was a shipwide shutdown they probably had much more important things to do than help him, namely keep the entire ship from accidentally veering into a stray planet or quasar. Which meant, unfortunately, he was resigned to a few hours of waiting and cursing Charles Tucker the Third and the entire engineering staff in every language he knew, and a few he didn't, until they freed him from the blackout.

Now all he had to do was to keep his mind off the fact he was stuck in here, unable to see or move or escape…

He was a dandy tactical officer, now wasn't he? Afraid of a little blackout, fated to stand here and wait. He once again fought the urge to just be suicidal and crawl to the door, but it wouldn't do to scramble on his hands and knees through weapons. He would very well lose those hands and knees…and most likely many other vital organs needed to sustain life. Not to mention the wounding his pride would take if someone happened upon him on all fours.

Seconds later though, he began rethinking that strategy when a sudden soft bang of what was obviously another person echoed through the room. He froze, unsure of who could possibly be in here, mute, and actually able to move without setting off every explosive in the three metre radius. "Is someone in here?"

Stupid question.

The noise of footsteps made something in him scramble into an emotion he hated to admit was complete fear and he clenched his fists, wishing he knew where he'd put that phaser down so he could, at the very least, attempt to defend himself. Stretching his hearing as far as he could, he tried to discern where the intruder was in the small room and felt a shameful gasp rise from his throat when the other occupant rushed past him in a light brush of air.

"Who's there?"


"I have a weapon," he lied loudly, hoping whomever was around would believe his bluff. They were, after all, in the amoury so it wasn't completely untrue. He had many weapons. He just couldn't see or reach any of them at the moment. This, of course, brought to light a whole new bunch of questions. Like, for example, who would be idiotic enough to attack the munitions officer in the amoury?

There was no reply at all from the blackness, nor any apparent cease in the maddening movement. It was almost as if it was circling, analyzing, perhaps even toying with him. If this person was able to do that, then it was reasonable to believe that it had one important strength over Malcolm; it was able to see.

"Reed to the bridge." The comm blazed with nothing but incomprehensible static and desperation started to well in his mind, battling with the calm levelness he somehow managed to retain in his voice, "Come in bridge."

Well then, it appeared he was alone on this one. How exactly was he supposed to fight something he couldn't see? Malcolm wasn't exactly what you'd consider the greatest hand to hand combatant, his forte lay completely in weaponry and if his foe was taller and heavier than he was (which it seemed to his chagrin, most men were) then he was in more trouble than his tactical mind really cared to admit. The irony seemed to want to kill him faster than any phaser rifle every could.

As if sensing his more than obvious discomfort, a pair of arms suddenly wrapped around his waist, causing him to cry out in complete surprise. His first instinct was to struggle, but in realization that these arms were not that of a homicidal alien but very much human, he allowed himself to calm…slightly.

"Who do I have to thank for this practical joke?" He inquired sarcastically. The other person did not reply for a moment, but then, with slow and frighteningly meticulous movements, leaned forward until breathing tickled his ear and whispered, "Malcolm…"

The tone of the voice sent a shiver scrambling idly down his spine but the voice itself made him start in shock, "Captain Archer?!"

A deep, mirth filled laugh echoed throughout the metallic room, dancing into his ears and reinitializing the earlier shiver. It seemed to be the only answer he was getting because the arms suddenly retracted and the warmth of the captain's body shifted from the rear to the front.

"Um, sir, I hadn't realized you were in here." His social equilibrium was now completely thrown through the window and he felt the telltale nervousness of this particular loss of control flooding into his mind. The mask, so easily painted on everyday, was beginning to fray at the edges and he found himself praying that however Archer was able to see, he wasn't seeing the expression that was now adorning his face. The man seemed to have the power to chip away at 'the' attitude. It scared him frankly.

"You look like you just saw a ghost, Malcolm."

So much for that.

Malcolm swallowed heavily, mind warring over whether he was uncomfortable or pleased with the fact his captain kept calling him by his first name and not just 'Lieutenant' or 'Reed'. "No sir, you just…surprised me."

Another laugh. It was becoming quite disconcerting. "Yes, I did. I'm sorry for that."

He was so close. Malcolm could feel the breath licking his face, almost sense each minuscule movement in that body, imagine each beat of his heart. Didn't he have any idea how hard it was to think when he did that? "I don't suppose you came to rescue me?"

"If that's what you want," was the simple, cryptic reply. Cryptic? Was Archer cryptic? The personnel file had said absolutely nothing about this captain being at all cryptic. Was he joking? Should he laugh and hope that cleared the atmosphere that was looming in the air now? This atmosphere that was making his breath come short and causing his heart to try and hammer its way free…

"Tell me, Malcolm," Archer said quietly, "Is there anything important on that table in the corner?"

Utterly confused by the question, he replied, "No, why sir?"

Those arms appeared again, looping tightly around his thin waist and pulling him flat against the bulkier body of Archer, causing him to emit a gasp and then surrender to the embrace, fearing either reprimand or the possibility of not seeing where this situation would lead.

It became almost blissfully apparent where Archer wanted it to lead when Malcolm felt the explanatory bulge he was pressed against, making a whole new world of possibilities blossom within his mind. Malcolm had always found Jonathon Archer an attractive man, but knew there were probably protocols—important ones—that prohibited that kind of thing, not to mention he believed himself too unremarkable a sort to ever catch the eye of the strong, courageous Archer. Someone like Trip would be a more likely choice, his playful attitude much more complementary. Obviously his perception was quite far off the mark.

Obviously that overprotectiveness on Terra Nova had been more than just a captain worried about an injured crew member. More obviously Travis was right, smart as Malcolm was, he was also denser than the plating on the Enterprise.

"Sir, I—"

"No, Malcolm, do you want this?"

He opened his mouth to reply and realized he already had the answer. There was no thought to it, no need to question the motives of the decision, nor wonder about its legitimacy. "Yes…"

Breathless relief, "Thank you…"

The face of the other man seemed to appear out of nowhere and suddenly with an utterly joyous realization, lips found themselves placed gently on his own, sending a racing pulse of heat and tension straight through his nerves, mind not quite grasping the thought that he was here, that this was happening. Any doubt of it perhaps being illusion disappeared with disturbing clarity when those lips parted, tongues intertwined, and those arms still locked around him roamed comfortably to…lower regions. His whole body seemed to arc upwards when skilled hands found his ass, swiftly using the leverage to rub the lower bodies together in a unified motion that almost made Malcolm's knees give out beneath him.

"Ohhhhhh…" the moan was ripped from his throat, unbidden, and Archer took it positively, quickening the rhythm and taking possession of the younger man's hips to deeper the methodic grinding.

The lips continued their assault and Malcolm, who'd known no human's touch in what felt like an extended eternity, dropped any pretense of hesitancy, surrendering completely to the knowing movements of Archer, who was slowly moving downward, weaving kisses down his neck and pulling impatiently at the layers of the jumpsuit.

Lost within a haze of uncomprehending thoughts, Malcolm ignored the rather painful contact with his back on the unyielding wall and did not fight against the strong, taut form of Archer who pressed against him. Effectively pinned, Reed allowed his invisible assailant to roam freely over his body, finally understanding everything in the artfully moving hands. As much as he wanted to reach out blindly, to touch, feel, explore Jonathon Archer in every way possible, he knew it wasn't going to happen today. If Archer had wanted wildly passionate sex, they wouldn't be in a dark room filled with the Malcolm's sorted collection of grenades, no, Archer was expressing something and until he was finished, Malcolm was to enjoy the words coming loudly through movement.

Subsequently, his arms were freed from the jumpsuit and the heavy blue garment found a new home on the floor, leaving him feeling exposed despite the darkness and the fact he still had shorts and a shirt on. Archer pressed him further against the wall, fingers slipping up his shirt and against his broad chest, tweaking parts he hadn't realized were erogenous zones and tracing feather light touches along the base of his spine, causing him to buck upwards with a loud, uncontrolled groan. Urged on by this reaction, those damned fingers fluttered lower, invading the waistband of the shorts and teasing the opening it found inside unforgivingly.

His fogged filled mind wondered vaguely if the entire ship could hear his cries, which seemed to rip their way free, begging, pleading and shattering any pretense of pride in a rush of unadulterated need. He needed to release himself, to let go, to surrender his heart and desires to another person and somehow Jonathon Archer had known from the moment he'd met Malcolm Reed. Archer had seen control there, a control that blocked Malcolm off from the world of emotions, a man whose love for control made him desire losing it.

With mild surprise Malcolm discovered they had somehow managed to relocate to the aforementioned table, its surface smooth and hard beneath him, a contrast to the body looming over him like an animal on its prey. One hand reached down and intertwined with his own, long thin fingers gripping tightly to shorter, sturdier ones, while the other palm continued its exploration, unheeding of the whimpers rising from Malcolm whenever they brushed over a particularly sensitive spot.

"I wasn't sure how to tell you what I felt," Archer said, words scattered through his ragged, desperate breathing.

Somehow in the pure light of physical emotion that was ripping through every bone in his body, Reed was able to whisper, "I think you're doing a pretty good job."

To conclude that point, the hand that had slid into his shorts took a hold of his painfully throbbing manhood and for a few brief seconds, Malcolm was almost positive he was about to spontaneously combust. The rhythm started slow, excruciatingly so, taking him to the edge of sanity and then back again.

"Faster…please," was the only thing his painfully clenched teeth would allow.

The god blessed hands seemed to comply, moving more fully, without any pattern, stroking the length fast and hard, sending lightning to every cell in his body, engulfing him like wildfire. He weakly thrust against the firm hand still pumping, so damnably close it could almost be tasted.

Then the lips came to touch the sensitive spot just behind his ears before a breathless whisper said, "Let go, Malcolm…"

He wasn't sure if it was the voice or the pinnacle of his biological response, but he did with a tremendous cry, his whole body shuddering in pleasure as years of repression seemed to rip loose and leave him exhausted, empty and for the first time in what felt like a lifetime, completely himself.

"It's not fair, I should…" Malcolm said softly, referring to the fact he had taken but not given at all throughout the exchange.

To reply to that, silent lips kissed him gently and the brief shift in the air made him realize Archer was shaking his head, "It's alright, not tonight."

Then the ecstasy seemed to wear into blissful contentment and those arms, now so familiar in their warmth, wrapped him in their embrace, his head cushioned in the crook of the other's neck. Malcolm wondered distantly how this table was big enough for the both of them, or how it was managing to support them, but menial things (like simple physics, it seemed) was fading behind the startling events of the last hour.

"Trip, you can return power to the armoury now." The voice said warmly, humour lacing every syllable.

Malcolm blinked away the moisture in his stinging eyes as the light blazed back on and he came face to face with an affectionately smiling Archer, who was calmly pulling off a pair of infrared glasses.

Malcolm found himself smiling sleepily in return, allowing the other man's fingers to comb heavily through his short, now disheveled hair and a kiss to be placed lightly on his forehead. With detached calm, he realized something deep within him had finally been filled, like a lost puzzle piece falling into its destined place. There was no more need to hide, nor hold up a million unbreakable shields against the social world. The moment he'd signed aboard the starship Enterprise, he'd signed away from being the lonely man he was before.

So, there was such thing as light within the darkness after all.

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