Title: Repairs

Author: TheGrrrl

Author's email: thegrrrl2002@yahoo.com

Author's URL: http://www.geocities.com/coffeeslash/thegrrrl

Date: 04/30/02

Pairing: Tucker/Reed

Archive: Archer's Enterprise

Rating: NC-17

Series: Repairs

Next story: Payback

Summary: It's been a long, hectic week on the Enterprise, and Malcolm starts to feel neglected.

Author's Notes: Much thanks to Kim, my dear beta, for all her wonderful suggestions!

"Malcolm, you're really starting to piss me off. All I can say is that I'll shift some of my team to the targeting array when we're finished with the warp drive, all right?" Trip's voice was tense.

Malcolm continued replacing the relay under the console. "Fine," he

snapped. No problem, who needs to be able to target weapons, he thought grimly.

"Malcolm…," warned Trip

Malcolm interrupted his senior officer, his tone cool, crisp. "Commander, I understand perfectly that the engines are our first priority." Inwardly, his emotions were in turmoil. He knew Trip was right. So why was he arguing with the man? It was their first moment alone together in a week, since the ship's ill-fated encounter with the damn Klingons.

"So then what's with the attitude?" demanded Trip.

Attitude? "I could ask you the very same question." Malcolm put his tools down and faced his lover, shoulders aching from twisting about in the cramped workspace. Trip looked terrible, dark shadows under his eyes, face drawn, haggard. They all had been working around the clock to repair the extensive damage. "You didn't come to bed again last night. When was the last time you slept?" Malcolm himself had turned in late and was back on duty only hours later.

"I stayed down in the engine room, but I caught a nap here and there." He waved his hand aimlessly, dismissing Malcolm's concern.

Now he's even sleeping with his engines, thought Malcolm.

"But at least the warp drive is almost repaired, and we should have the engines back on line later today, with any luck," continued Trip, exhaustion evident in his voice. "Then we'll get to work on the other systems."

They both turned at the sound of the armory door opening. Captain Archer leaned in. Malcolm glared at the man with narrowed eyes, then turned back to his work.

"Trip, there you are, come on—"

"Cap'n, sorry, am I late?" Trip hurried off to join him, without a further word to Malcolm.

Malcolm sat back, scowling at the closed door. "No, please, don't fucking stay on my account," he said to the empty room.


Malcolm shifted his weight on the ladder, leaning far into the open panel as he delicately replaced the microcircuit. It wouldn't seat properly. He cursed, and tried again. Still no go. Great. It had come out of that very slot a minute ago—what the bloody hell was wrong? The Jefferies tube was uncomfortably warm, and standing on the ladder for so long made his feet ache. He scrutinized the wayward circuit, puzzled. Then he turned the board around 90 degrees and gave it another go. This time it slid into place smoothly. "Idiot," he muttered in disgust.

He removed the next microcircuit, attached the contacts and started the diagnostics on his padd, only half-watching the readout scroll by. Rubbing his burning eyes with his free hand, he thought once again about Trip. It was more than just frustration over having to wait for the weapons systems to be repaired. He knew that. Why didn't he just talk to the man, instead of sniping at him? It was his own personal nightmare, come to life—he was becoming just like his father. Lord knows he had witnessed enough interactions between his parents to know the routine by heart. And he was, apparently, doomed forever to repeat it. He had traveled over 100 light-years only to discover he couldn't run away from himself.

The padd signaled the completion of the diagnostics, interrupting Malcolm's brooding. He removed the contacts. A sound from below caught his attention. Stealing a look downwards, Malcolm could see Trip climbing up towards him.

Reaching Malcolm's level, he dangled next to him in the small space, holding onto an upper rung with his right hand. He watched Malcolm work for a minute before he spoke.

"How's it coming?" he finally asked, his voice measured, even.

"Fine, Sir. Just this last one and I'll be finished here," answered Malcolm, still playing the model officer. He glanced quickly at Trip. His lover looked more tired and disheveled than ever. The top of his coveralls were down, sleeves tied at his waist. Stray chest hairs curled out from around at the throat of his sweat-stained shirt.

"Sorry I got pulled away before. The Cap'n was expecting me in the engine room," said Trip.

"It's quite all right, Commander. We were through talking." He slid the newly-tested microcircuit into place, properly this time.

"Malcolm, what is your problem?" exclaimed Trip, exasperated. "And would you cut the 'Commander' crap?"

Malcolm still couldn't help himself. "Well, sir, it is your rank, isn't it?" Echoes of his father. Never show your real feelings. He tried to put the padd back into his pocket, only to have it slip from his sweaty palm and fall the 50 yards down to the landing. "Shit." He watched it break apart on impact. He still had one unit to test. He wished Trip would just leave him alone.

"Loo-ten-ant, I wish you'd be a little more careful with the equipment," complained Trip.

With one swift movement Malcolm swung his body around Trip's, capturing it with his. His position was awkward, with one foot on either side of Trip's feet, his hands on either side of Trip's head. But it allowed him to press his body firmly against his startled lover, pushing his back against the ladder.

Mimicking Trip's voice perfectly, Malcolm said, " Com-man-der, I wish you'd be a little more careful with your lover. He doesn't like to be scolded." He captured Trip's mouth with his before the man could reply, kissing him furiously. A week's worth of frustration poured into the kiss, and he was satisfied to hear Trip whimper softly. Then the chirp of a communicator interrupted them.

Damn. Malcolm broke off the kiss. Dazed, Trip did not move until the device chirped again. He then struggled, one-handed, into his pocket to retrieve the communicator. Malcolm stepped down a rung to give him more room.

"Trip here."

"Trip, Archer here. How are the repairs coming?" inquired the Captain.

If it wasn't the damn engines, it was the Captain. Hadn't he already monopolized enough of Trip's time? Malcolm stepped down a couple more rungs, looking at Trip's body speculatively. One more step down and he was nuzzling at Trip's crotch.

"Uh,- makin' progress, Cap'n," replied Trip, sounding apprehensive. He shifted his weight, trying to move up the ladder, but he was in too precarious a position.

Heedless of Trip's attempt at escape, Malcolm worked his mouth around Trip's now fully erect penis, pressing against the thick, coarse cloth of his uniform.

"Glad to hear it. I just wanted to tell you that T'Pol has located two suppliers for the power relays. What do you think about modifying…"

Malcolm eyed the tied sleeves at Trip's waist. A small voice warned him that if the situation were reversed, he'd be furious. The hell with that. Releasing one hand from the ladder, he untied the simple knot with his teeth and his free hand. Not too difficult. He unzipped the coverall as far as it would go.

"Uhhh, Cap'n, I think either type would —" said Trip, gulping breathlessly.

The Captain continued, "What I was thinking…".

As the captain rattled on, Malcolm pulled down Trip's uniform and pants until his cock happily sprang free. Holding the ladder with both hands again, Malcolm ran his tongue along the firm shaft. He had missed it. Missed it a great deal.

"Trip? Are you still there?"

"Cap'n, I —"

Malcolm sucked the full length into his mouth, savoring the salty taste.

"Cap'n, I gotta go. There's something I have to—take care of." Trip's voice was low, as if he were speaking from between clenched teeth.

Malcolm began working his tongue against the sensitive area just under head, causing his lover to jerk his hips. He could now taste a trickle of pre-cum.

"Ok, why don't you meet me for dinner when you are through? Captain's Mess?"

Malcolm sharply sucked the length into his mouth, applying pressure with his tongue.

"Yeah, OK." Trip's voice shook with the strain. Malcolm had to admire the man's self control.

"How long will you be?"

Now Malcolm bit down, carefully pressing his teeth into the shaft.

Trip let out an explosive breath. "Not very."

Malcolm resumed sucking the shaft, sliding it between his lips, picking

up the pace.

"Ok, see you soon. Archer out."

Malcolm heard the click of the communicator closing, then a muffled curse as it tumbled past, breaking apart on the landing beneath him. Trip began thrusting into his mouth. "Goddamn it! Shit, Malcolm, you are—" with a strangled cry Trip came, filling Malcolm's mouth with his seed. Malcolm swallowed it all, then held him in his mouth until the twitching stopped.

Cautiously Malcolm climbed back up to face his lover, unsure of what he would see. Trip was breathing heavily, eyes closed, gripping the ladder desperately. Finally Trip opened his eyes. He didn't speak, just looked at Malcolm, an odd expression on his face.

Malcolm stepped aside, releasing his lover. "You'd better get to your date with the Captain."

"Malcolm, what the hell was that?" Trip sounded weary, rather than angry.

But Malcolm was already climbing down the ladder. "I need to get a new padd." And he quickly left the tube.


Malcolm could not decide what to do. He stood motionless in the corridor, caught in his quandary. Maybe I'll just stand here all night, he thought.

It was truly his most appealing option.

No point in going to his quarters. Despite his utter exhaustion, sleep would be long in coming. If ever. He knew what he had to do. Summoning up his courage, he started walking towards Trip's quarters. It was time to face the fact that he had fucked up another relationship. And to apologize. It was the one thing his father would never do. He knew that all too well.

The walk to Trip's quarters seemed eternal, his heart thumping in his chest every step of the way, his legs like lead. At last he stood in front of the door. Holding his breath, he pressed the chime. Then he braced himself mentally and waited. Thought about what he had to say. Seconds ticked by. He pressed the chime again. Was Trip sleeping? Or refusing to acknowledge him? He forced himself to lift his hand and key in the entrance code. As the door opened he heard the shower running.

Quietly he entered the room and headed to the shower. Silently slid the door open. Steam billowed out around him. He saw Trip standing motionless under the stream of water, eyes closed, arms wrapped around his chest. Water ran down his finely sculpted body.

Malcolm balked. What could he possibly say? He did not know what possessed him to take advantage of Trip on the ladder. He had been so cruel. The man had been talking to the Captain, for heaven's sake. There was nothing he could say that would change what he had done. With a heavy heart, he decided it would undoubtedly be best if he just left when Trip opened his eyes, blinking at Malcolm.

Relief shone on his face. "Malcolm, there you are. I looked all over for you—" He reached out to grab Malcolm, pulling the him firmly into his arms, water running down all around them. "Why the hell did you run off like that?" asked Trip gently.

The water was soaking into his uniform, but Malcolm didn't care. Looking for him? A lump rose up in his throat. Arms hanging limply by his sides, he buried his head in the man's neck. "I'm such an arse. Why are you even still speaking to me?"

"Because I love you. Fiercely."

Malcolm raised his head, looking into his eyes. "I'll never understand that." He was glad for the shower water running down his face, blending in with his tears. He had come fully expecting Trip's anger, or even worse, a cold dismissal, but not this.

"You don't have to."

Now the words tumbled out. "I was jealous. Jealous of the attention you were paying to the warp engines. Jealous of the Captain. Jealous of the fact you two have this whole history together and I am not part of it. I was jealous of everything that took your attention away from me. How ridiculous is that? I am so in love with you, but I treated you like dirt. I was a total, selfish shit. What kind of," he searched for the appropriate words "— of pathetic creature am I?"

Trip listened to his outburst, then shook his head. "Not pathetic or ridiculous at all." He kissed Malcolm softly, sweetly on the lips. Then, holding Malcolm's face in his hands, said, "I'm really sorry I was so distracted. That I made you feel so alone. I missed you, too." "You were simply doing your duty. I'm the sorry one—I couldn't handle not being the center of your universe for five minutes."

Trip touched his forehead to Malcolm's. "Listen. I'll be the first to admit you ain't the easiest man to figure out. So, whenever somethin's bothering you, you're gonna have to talk to me instead of just brooding. OK?"

"I promise." And I promise not to become my father, he swore silently. But there was still one more thing he had to say. Feeling incredibly stupid, he took a deep breath. "Trip, I'm really sorry about—the ladder—that I did it to you while you were talking with the Captain. It was exceedingly inappropriate."

"Well, you certainly got my attention," said Trip, the corner of his lips twitching.

"You're not angry?" But he must be, even if only a little.

"I probably should be, but, well, I liked it. It was kinda kinky." Trip actually looked sheepish. Then he murmured into Malcolm's ear. "But you do know, I'm gonna get you back. Not right now, not tomorrow, but someday, when you least expect it."

Despite his exhaustion, his raw emotional state, Malcolm felt a gentle surge of arousal at his lover's words and sly smile. "I'm looking forward to it," he whispered.

"Don't be so sure." The smile grew even wider. Then Malcolm was once again engulfed by Trip's embrace, and this time he wrapped his arms around the his lover's hot, wet body. Light-headed with relief, he realized he had dodged the bullet this time. Trip still wanted him. How many chances would he get?

"You know, most people shower with their clothes off. It's a little easier that way."

Malcolm was suddenly aware of his sodden uniform, his boots filling with water. He snickered and began undressing, struggling with the heaviness of the waterlogged material, embarrassed by his trembling hands. At last he was naked, clothes thrown aside.

Trip stepped back and filled his hands with soap. Starting with Malcolm's shoulders, he began washing his body, lathering his arms, neck, and chest, firm fingers kneading his knotted muscles. Malcolm felt his shoulders loosen, his body finally relax under Trip's expert touch. His hands slid around Trip's body, pulling him in closer, kissing him. He then leaned, against Trip's body, melting into him, relishing the warm water running down his back, the soapy body pressed up against him, the growing desire flowing up from his groin.

Trip caressed his back slowly, lazily, then reached further down, cupping Malcolm's ass, sliding soapy fingers teasingly down the cleft. Malcolm groaned in response, thrusting his hips into Trip's. Their erect shafts rubbed together, slick from the soap. Trip moaned his name. He slid a leg between Malcolm's, trapping the soapy cocks together.

The sensation overwhelmed Malcolm, making him eager for more. They wrapped their arms around each other's waists, hips rocking desperately. Soon the sensation became unbearable. He clung tighter, needing more pressure, more friction. Trip was thrusting convulsively, then came, crying out Malcolm's name, his warm seed trickling down Malcolm's leg. It was all Malcolm needed, and he exploded, exquisite pleasure engulfing him in waves.

When awareness returned, he found himself on the floor of the shower stall, sitting on his discarded uniform. Trip knelt next to him, arm around his shoulder, his hand rubbing the back of Malcolm's head. "You back now?" he asked, grinning.

Malcolm nodded. Then laughed, leaning back to let the water rinse his chest. He felt good. "You know, that was the last thing I expected to do when I came in here. I was convinced it was over between us. That I screwed up once again."

"It would take a hell of a lot more than that to get rid of me." Trip stood, pulling Malcolm to his feet, and rinsed them both.

Malcolm hoped he would never discover just exactly what it would take.

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