Title: Given Time

Author: Kez

Author's email: keztrek@hotmail.com

Author's URL: http://keztrek.tripod.com/home.htm

Status: Parts 1-9, complete

Date: 05/27/02

Fandom: Enterprise

Pairing: Archer/Reed

Rating: NC-17

Summary: Archer and Reed are trapped on a planet with strange time distortions, meaning what is eight weeks to the crew of Enterprise, becomes over three years to the two men.

Disclaimer: Paramount, VIACOM, and all the other richer folks own them, I am simply borrwing them, and will return them intact.

Notes/Warning: some parts of this are kinda angsty, others are kinda hot sex, so if you are under age, a prude, or a happy person who doesn't want to get mildly depressed for all of five mins, then you might want to leave now. Thanks to Jack for the Beta, whatever would I do without you, (aside from be more sane—lol)

Comments: Part 3: Sorry this part is so short, but my muse took a vacation, so I thought I'd just get what I could out ASAP, hopefully, assuming my muse doesn't leave town again, (and I have bolted the door incase it tries) there will be more soon ~ Kez

Comments to Part 6: Thanks to Jack for the beta, without which my spelling would be at least ten time worse. Notes2: This Fic is NOT a Happy fic, it ends badly, in the words of one friend it broke her heart, so if you don't want to be depressed, well then maybe you should wait for pt7 and read both together, although I would like feedback on this so, maybe not. WARNING: Het be here, not much of it, but enough that I put this warning, so be warned.

Comments to Part 7: Thanks to kyrdwyn for sending me a few Archer/Reed pics and inspiring my muse into writing this within a few hours of finishing pt6, gotta love a gal who inspires a muse like that. Beta's Rant #01: Too bad? TOO BAD? YOU BITCH! HOW CAN YOU LEAVE IT LIKE THAT?! Authors Rant: Please no one kill me for breaking up the boys, and making them argue and oh that thing with Malcolm's Dad it was the only way to solve certain problems, besides it plays a part in something that I plan to use later in the series so its all in a good cause. I promise Malcolm wasn't hurt in the process of this fic, well except for the getting shot, but he's had worse, so that's ok. ~ Kez *who hopes to be alive for part eight.* Beta's Rant #02, after chocolate: If no one else kill's you, I think I'll kill you when the series is finished for making us suffer like this. Sorry for not sending this back straight away, or in fact for being online at all yesterday. Its currently…0020 and I kind of…passed out around 6pm yesterday and just woke up now. Oops. Anyways. See ya. Well done. Good story. Jack.

Comments to Part 8: Thanks be to Jack for the beta, and em Charlie, what ever would i do without my bouncing board?

Comments to Part 9: Ok here is pt9 (my bunny has as you might have guessed been acting like its on speed the past few days), and possibly the last part depending on what feedback I get, I already know of two people that are willing to bribe people to send me feedback they want more of this so bad (which I might think was kinda sad If I wasn't so flattered), but I have vowed that unless at least five people say they would like more, that I won t continue, so I guess that Jonathan, Malcolm and Kia in in your hands. ~ Well that ladies and gents is the question, I have so many more ideas for this fic I could on for quite a while yet, I do want to explore Malcolm, and Jonathans past some more, and theirs and Kia's future, but what I need to know is do you want me too, cause there not much point in me going on if your not interested in reading it now is there, so let me know what you think, pretty please? ~ Kez


'Beautiful' that was the only word to describe the planet before him on the view screen of the Enterprise bridge, it was almost like Earth from orbit, with its blue oceans, slightly darker than Earths but a wondrous sight none the less. The blue oceans complemented by the lush green continents floating in there depths, and the mountains scattered apon them.

Jonathan Archer stared at the beauty before him, the blue waters reminded him of something else, something that held just as much beauty, something that was as untouchable almost as the water from this distance, but the water he could touch if he really wanted to, the other beauty, he could never touch, because if he did it would destroy everything, his career, his life, his dreams.

"Captain, I am receiving some strange readings from our sensors, I would advice leaving the away mission until we know what they are" his Vulcan science officer T'Pol said from her station. "What kind of readings" he asked, giving up on his previous train of thought and moving up beside the Vulcan. "I am unable to say Captain, the reading are unlike anything I have encountered in the past" T'Pol answered, her voice as monotone as any computer could ever hope to be.

Jonathan Archer looked at the readings, with the exception of the strange readings T'Pol couldn't identify there was no danger on the planet, and the strange readings could just turn out to be a sensor glitch of some kind, and Archer though, I really want to get of this ship for a while.

"Keep monitoring but for now I want to go ahead with the mission, we'll have both shuttle pods with us so if anything does go wrong, i'm sure we'll be all right" Archer said, T'Pol nodded, she had learned very quickly that arguing with Archer was only a stop gap measure at best, once his mind was made up, very little could change it.

**1 Hour later**

The two shuttles launched from Enterprise and moved gracefully towards the planet, there were only six people of the ship three on each shuttle but they planed on retrieving a lot of plants and food sources so they would need the space in both shuttles. Commander Tucker, Ensigns Hoshi Sato, and Travis Mayweather were in one shuttle, the second held Captain Archer, Lt Reed and Doctor Phlox, plus of course the Captain's k9 companion Porthos.

"We'll land at the arranged co-ordinated in approximately 20 minutes Captain" Reed spoke from the helm his dark head bowed over the controls, as he manuvored the shuttle down towards the planet, through the upper atmosphere. Archer sat behind him and Phlox was at the very rear of the shuttle, Porthos had chosen to lie at the feet of his master who lent down occasionally to scratch his ear.

"Great" Archer answered, dam he needed to get of this shuttle, was it just his imagination or was it dam well hot in here, he thought as he tried to look everywhere but forward. Eventually he gave up and looked out the front viewpoint to see the other shuttle just ahead of them.

**On the Planet**

"Wow, this place is beautiful" Travis Mayweather said excitedly as the shuttles landed and opened there hatches to let the people within out. Porthos was out instantly and running for the nearest tree causing Trip Tucker to laugh at a private joke he and Archer had held since the first time they had brought Porthos on an away mission.

"Where no dog has gone before hey Jon" Trip whispered to his commander and friend, "yeah" Jonathan Archer agreed smiling slightly at his friend. No one could ask for a better friend that Trip Tucker, but lately Trips friendship just wasn't enough, he wanted something more, something he could never have, and Trip bless him had tried to help but he really couldn't.

"Come on Jon we better find that mutt of your before he goes wondering to far" Trip smiled patting Jon on the back as the two friends moved of to find Archers wayward pet. "Captain, I believe you are looking for this" Malcolm Reed said coming up behind the two almost half an hour later. "Porthos where were you, thank you Malcolm" Archer said bending down to see that his pet was all right. "Where'd ya find the little blighter?" Trip asked the Armory officer.

"He found me actually, he's been following me since we landed, when I heard you calling him, I though I best make sure he got back, he didn't seem inclined to come on his own" Reed explained , "he is quite a persistent little fellow" he added smiling ruefully at the dog who was licking at Archers hand causing Reed to look away quickly, something that Archer didn't notice, but Trip did, and he filed it away for later study.

"Captain we're getting some really bad weather fronts coming in this way fast, we'd better get out of here now or we'll not get out at all" Hoshi Sato called as she, Mayweather and Phlox moved over too the three men. "Ok lets go" Archer said starting the walk back the shuttles, which were a fair distance, certainly further than they had realized.

The winds began to pick up around them, and rain quickly followed, when they were almost with in range of the shuttles Tucker fell over the exposed root of a tree, sending him sprawling to the ground, twisting his ankle in the process. Hoshi and Travis helped him up and helped him towards the shuttles. "Phlox go with them, make sure Trip's ok" Archer called over the din of the wind and the rain, watching for a moment as his people got into the other shuttle before following Malcolm into their own.

"Were gonna have some trouble in this storm Sir, you had better belt up" Reed said as he began the pre-flight check and strapped himself in. "The others have taken of" Reed called back as Archer felt the shuttle lift of the ground. The shuttle was bashed heavily rocking it wildly in the winds. "What's the satus of the other shuttle Malcolm?" Archer asked concerned for the rest of the away team. "Their fine sir, according to these readings their already out of the storm affected area and well on their way back to Enterprise" Reed answered eyes never leaving the control panel, hands flying over the controls trying to keep the shuttle steady.

Reed was concentrating so closely on the controls that he didn't immediately notice the lighting bolts crashing around them until one hit the shuttle sending it whirling around, on an uneven path, downwards. "Sir we're going to crash" Malcolm shouted back and both men tucked down to protect themselves as much as possible, Archer with Porthos on his lap as they fled towards the ground.

**a few minutes later**

"Sir, are you all right" Malcolm called back, the force of the crash had knocked him out for a few moments but as soon as he awoke his first thought was of the man behind him, the man who wasn't answering him. "Captain" Malcolm called again un-attaching himself from his seat and moving towards the back of the shuttle.

Captain Jonathan Archer lay against the wall of the shuttle, Porthos, who was remarkable still alive and it appeared unharmed, licking at his face making a mewling sound that should be coming from a cat not a dog. "Captain" Reed called distress entering his voice, 'Dear God, let him be all right" he slightly prayed moving towards the body of the prone man on the floor.

"Sir, Captain" he shook gently at the older mans shoulders with no response, remembering the medical equipment on the shuttle he grabbed the boxes and started looking for the hand held medical scanner Phlox used. 'Got it' he thought grabbing the device and scanning his Captain, 'alive, oh thank God for that' he thought setting the scanner aside and deciding it might be a good idea to keep the unconscious man as comfortable as possible, he removed his Jacket and placed it under his head and grabbed a field blanket to place over him.

"Come on Jonathan, you gonna wake up for me soon" he pleaded, knowing he wouldn't dare call the Captain by his first name where he was awake, but taking the opportunity just this once while no-one could hear him.


"Uhhh…from the pain in my head I'll assume were not dead" Archers voice was low and dry but Malcolm heard it none the less, of course had he been sitting much closer he'd have been sitting on Archers lap so that was no surprise. "No Captain we are not dead, we're stuck here for now thought, the storm is finished but the shuttle is a wreck, I'm not sure even Commander Tucker could fix it in the state its in" Reed answered helping Archer to sit up and giving him some water.

"How long was I out?" Archer asked, "a few hours, I wouldn't advise sleep again anytime soon though, I can't be sure but i'd say concussion is a pretty big possibility" Reed told him, letting go as soon as he was sure that Archer could sit up in his own, 'the only thing I can not resist is temptation, and he is one big temptation' Reed thought smirking inwardly to himself as he eyed his Captain.

Archers uniform was dusty as was his face, he had a small cut above his left eye which Reed had already tended while he was unconscious, his golden brown hair was ruffled and his eyes sparkling bright in the emergency lighting of the shuttle, in short he looked more beautiful then ever before, and Reed was tempted, very very tempted.

"Em…Captain we have enough rations to last at least two weeks and we have the food stuffs we'd already collected, plus we can always collect more if we need to" Reed started talking about their survival in order to take his mind from the temptation, leaving temptation open for someone else, someone else being one Jonathan Archer who was taking the time to watch his Armory Officer as he talked, only half listening to what was being said.

Malcolm had attracted Archer the first moment he'd laid eyes on him, the younger man had been suggested to him by a friend and when he had gone to meet him Reed had been working at Utopia Planitia. Archer had stood watching the man for a few moments before going to introduce himself, Reed had been slumped over plans for torpedo launchers and hadn't seen him, his hair had been mussed, uniform dirty, but when he had looked up at Archer with those deep blue eyes Archer would have sworn he'd died and gone to heaven. Infact Archer mused to himself he looks a lot like that now.

"Ok Lt calm down, i'm sure we won't be here for long, now the storm has died down the other shuttle will probably comeback down for us" Archer stopped Malcolm mid-sentance, to hear him you'd think they were gonna be here for years, not hours or at the most a few days. "Sorry Sir" Malcolm said embarrassed, he really had sounded stupid, but being in such close proximity to Archer was driving him crazy, especially considering how utterly delectable Archer looked right now.

"Come on Lt we'd better see if anything on this shuttle is salvageable" Archer ordered standing, a little shaky at first but he managed to do it on his own. "Yes Sir" Reed replied, half tempted to help Archer just for the opportunity to hold him, how ever briefly, but that was to great a temptation, and it wouldn't do for Archer to learn of the Lt's feelings, not unless Reed really wanted to be thrown out an airlock when they got back to Enterprise.

**On Enterprise**

"What do you mean we've only been gone for 35 minutes, we were down there for a couple of hours at least" Trip Tucker half shouted at the Vulcan women before him. "Indeed Commander, from you point of view you were, but if you would simply hold you anger for a moment I believe I can explain" T'Pol said, eyebrow raising slightly at the human Commander. Tucker nodded and T'Pol began to explain what she had learned.

"So basically, what's only a little while up here is a lot longer to them, so while we've been talking days could have passed for them" Tucker asked, "Correct Commander" T'Pol answered. "We gotta get them back, b'fore they think we've abandoned them" Tucker said, "I concur Commander, however as you yourself noted, the shuttle pod is unrepairable, and it will take at least 12 weeks for another shuttle to be delivered from earth" T'Pol answered.

"A Vulcan shuttle would do, just till we can rescue them then we can head back to earth and pick up a couple more shuttles for Enterprise ourselves" Tucker suggested. "That will not be possible, we have lost contact with Vulcan High Command as of two days ago, it is believed they are experiencing technical difficulties" T'Pol responded. "Dam it, we gotta get them back, transporters?" Tucker threw out idea after idea but each became more difficult to implement.

"Hoshi, contact Earth, tell 'em we need two shuttles ASAP, ours are a right off and we got two officers trapped planet side, explain about the time thing as well so they can see how important this is" Tucker ordered, he was technically in Command but he couldn't bring himself to take the Captains chair so instead he paced.

"Commander Sir" Travis Mayweather said turning around to look at the older man, "Lt Reed already made a pretty big dent in the hull plating sir and I think he wanted to finish the hole himself, he might not like you doing it for him" Travis said causing those present to chuckle slightly at the familiar joke that ran between the helm officer and the armory officer. "Very true Travis, very true" Trip said finally sitting still chuckling slightly.

"Star Fleet says that there is already a ship heading out this way equipped with shuttles to get the Captain and Lt Reed of the planet, but it will be at least 8 weeks before if gets here its only going at warp 3" Hoshi reported from her console. "Suppose 8 weeks is better than 12, T'Pol do you think we can get them on the comm?" Tucker asked.

"If the shuttles comm system were functioning, however from the reading I have as I told you before that doesn't seem to be likely as their shuttle appears to be damaged beyond repair, including I would imagine their comm system as they have not tried contacting us" T'Pol answered. "Maybe their unable to transmit, but they may be able to receive, we should at least try and let 'em know that were gonna get 'em back" Trip insisted, "Hoshi open all comm channels" he ordered the communications officer.


**On the planet—3 weeks later**

The weeks they had been here, hope of rescue seeming less likely by the day, they had settled into a routine, they had set up a base camp still sleeping in the shuttle for now but they had begun to collect materials for a more permanent shelter, and had already started to build the main part of it, along with making bits and pieces of furniture, which would come in very handy no doubt. Malcolm heard the noise from the damaged comm system first and had called to Archer as soon as he heard it, but still all they heard was static for a few moments until the sound of Trip Tuckers voice became more obvious.

"T'Pol says this time distortion is pretty big, I know it seems like a few weeks have gone by but to us its been less than a day, we've sent to Star Fleet for help but its gonna take awhile, just hold on ok we'll get you out of there, might take a while but we will, I promise ya that" the voice of the ships engineer and first officer came through. "We'll try and comm you regularly to let you know were still here, but if you don't hear from us don't worry, we won't leave ya behind" Tucker promised as the link was cut off.

"Guess their still up there huh" Archer said, "apparently, I guess the time distortion Trip mentioned explains why its been taking so long for them to get us out of here" Reed said, "but at least we know we'll get out now" he added. "Yeah" Archer agreed nodding and heading back outside to continue what he doing, "we don't know how long its gonna take though, so we'd better keep up with building the shelter, it could be a while yet" he said taking his phaser to the trees they had begun cutting down.

'Don't wanna go back' was the thought running around in his head, these past few weeks had be wonderful, Malcolm was still very proper and British but he had started to open up a little, even if only a little Jon liked to see it, he had such a good heart, and the glimpses that he showed to Archer thought brief were a most precious gift that Archer didn't want to lose.

Malcolm's thoughts were similar, the few weeks they'd been here had only caused his feelings for Jonathan Archer to grow, and he could now say without a doubt that he was in love. Stupid he knew but his heart didn't seem to care about stupidity and was insistent about his feelings towards Archer.

'Love is a fools game' his father had told him once at the time Malcolm had thought it a strange thing to say given his parents apparently loving relationship, until he later learned that they only married because his mother got pregnant and then it became apparent that perhaps his father was right, and that love was indeed a fools game.

Smiling slightly he thought that if that were indeed the case, he must be the biggest fool of them all to have fallen in love with a man as wonderful as Jonathan Archer, a man who would never, could never love him back.

**Later that Night**

The campfire was burning brightly as the two men sat with Porthos sat eating the meal that Malcolm had made, Malcolm it had turned out was not just a Armory officer with a pretty face, he could actually cook very well. "This is great Malcolm" Archer said, he said it every night of course and it seemed to please the 'cook' quite a lot so Archer made special attention to say it.

"Thank you Sir" Reed said a light flush taking over his cheeks 'dam it I do not blush' Reed chastised himself for the zillionth time but where Archer was concerned it became evident that apparently he did indeed blush. "Malcolm really we've been here for three weeks and it could be three years before they can get us out of here, please call me Jon" Archer asked the younger man.

"Sir…I…em that is, i'm not entirely sure I would feel comfortable calling my senior officer…" he mumbled. "Malcolm were stuck here and senior officer or not I'd also like to think were friends, Trip calls me Jon off duty and this is about as off duty as it gets" Archer insisted, 'how much I really want him to call me Jon' he was thinking, it was something he had though about probably more than he should have.

Malcolm's soft spoken British accent saying his name, of course more often than not in Archers mind it was during the throws of passion but even just in normal conversation it would still be wonderful to hear. "Sir…really…I don't think" Malcolm wanted to call him by his name of course but more often than not when he called him by his name in his head it was by Jonathan not Jon, and Malcolm just didn't think he could call him Jon.

Archer sighed, Malcolm did like his formalities maybe they could compromise, "all right Malcolm here's a compromise how about Jonathan, its less formal than Sir or Captain and still not as informal as Jon" Archer suggested. Malcolm's breath hitched in his chest, "I suppose that would be…acceptable Sir…Jonathan" he let the name roll from his tongue spoken softly and yet with a sense of conviction.

Archer had to stop himself from grinning like a school boy, he had never really liked being called Jonathan as a rule but the way Malcolm said it made him re-think that quickly and decide that perhaps it wasn't quite so bad after all. "Great, now what's say we hit the hay, cause you look like your about to fall asleep" Jonathan said noting the half yawns Malcolm was trying valiantly to hide.

Malcolm nodded and the two retreated into their separate bunks with in the shuttle but perhaps some progress had been made here Jonathan thought as sleep found him and his dreams carried him away to where he really wanted to be, wrapped up in Malcolm Reed's arms.


** Planet Side—Five weeks later**

Jonathan Archer woke to feel Porthos licking at his hand, "uhgg, Porthos, go away" he said sleepily, but it appeared unlikely, Porthos wanted out side and that was that, if Jonathan didn't let him out he'd go wake Malcolm up and that was hardly fair to the younger man. "Fine, fine I'm up, give me a minute will you" he said sitting up giving the dog a stair that said, 'you are a pain in the neck, why do i bother', of course anyone who knew Jonathan Archer and his dog knew that he loved Porthos like family, Porthos was his family.

Standing Jonathan got dressed in a pair of light sweats Enterprise had managed to transport down along with some other clothes and provisions, unfortunately the transporter couldn't be use to beam them up because they'd end up as soup if they tried. According to Trip's last transmission it had been less than two days on Enterprise and yet a couple of months had passed here. T'Pol had calculated that unless they where able to contact Vulcan sooner, then it would be nearly three years to him and Malcolm before they were 'rescued'.

The sun was bright as it appeared to be most days here, according to the information Enterprise had gathered the weather patterns were similar to earth, and although now it was summer, it would soon be coming into fall and then the days and nights would get colder. Porthos ran for the nearest tree while Jonathan walked heading of to the east a path he rarely took when walking with Porthos but one he felt like taking today.

Man and dog walked for a good hour before Archer realized he was outside of the boundaries he and Malcolm had set up thanks to T'Pol information, this dam planet had about 40 different time zones on this contenant alone, and each one moved faster or slower than the one beside it, so half an hour to him was goodness knows how long to Malcolm. "Porthos come on we better get back fast" Archer called heading back to the cabin they had built walking as quickly was he could with out breaking into a run.

**Back at the Cabin—three days later (to Malcolm)**

Malcolm Reed sat in the same place he had been for the past two days, he'd spent a full day searching and researching the area with in the boundary they'd placed, he had even searched slightly outside of it but couldn't bring himself to believe Archer would be so careless as to go out side the boundary knowing about the time difference, besides with the exception of one small area to they east, a direction he rarely took when walking with Porthos due to the large caves that the dog would doubtless get lost in, all the areas surrounding them moved at a faster speed than their own and so he would have been back by now.

The search had turned up nothing except for a large canyon they had discovered a few weeks ago, with a small amount of what was definitely Archers blood on a boulder by the edge.

When he had first seen it he refused to believe it and searched the whole area again and again, but he found nothing, no signs of life, not even Porthos was to be found, and as much as it cut Malcolm to the core, he knew he had to accept that Archer had most likely fallen down that canyon to his death, his k9 companion along with him.

Tucker had called once during the past two days but Malcolm hadn't heard a word he'd said, he was numb all over, cold to the core and not even the brightness of the sun could warm him. Jonathan Archer was dead, the man he loved was dead, and he'd never even had the chance to tell him how he felt, or rather he'd had the chance but his own cowardess had stopped him from doing anything about it.

Archer moved towards the Cabin quickly he could feel Porthos moving at his side, and stop when he stopped, the sight that greeted him was not expected. Malcolm was sat on a chair out side the cabin, eyes glazed over, with dark circles under them, a rough unshaven chin and skin as pale as the dead. Archer was almost afraid to move closer, the man looked so empty no life at all sparkling in those beautiful blue depths.

"Malcolm" he called gently stepping closer to the other man, kneeling down beside him, his hand moving to rest on his arm, which brought him to realize that Malcolm was freezing. Malcolm didn't move, didn't even notice he was there. Jonathan pulled him carefully upright and walked him inside, but the other man didn't move beyond what Jonathan half forced him to do, "come on Malcolm you gotta help me here" he begged his voice low, he didn't like this one bit, Malcolm was in shock, he really really wished they were on Enterprise right now, were his thoughts as he pushed Malcolm into his own bed and wrapped all the blankets he could find around him before going to get some thing hot for him to drink.

**Several hours later**

Malcolm had done everything Jon had told him but still he showed little sign of being aware of anything beyond doing what he was told to do, and that, Jon had decided was mainly because he had spent years following orders and it was second nature by now. Malcolm was finally asleep it seem which he supposed was a good thing, from the looks of things he hadn't slept in a few days, deciding he didn't want to leave Malcolm for too long but knowing Porthos needed out again he let the dog out on his own for a while and just watched him from the door.

Porthos it seemed had other ideas and was soon out of Jonathan's line of site, meaning that he need to go after him. "Porthos, come on boy get back here" Jonathan called as he followed the direction the dog had taken coming up to the canyon he and Malcolm had found, Porthos came running up to him and then ran away again barking in what was assumed an attempt to get Archer to follow.

Porthos brought Jonathan very close to the edge, but when Jonathan seen what it was Porthos was trying to show him everything made scene. 'Oh God no wonder Malcolm's catatonic, he must have seen the blood and thought…' Jonathan turned tail and broke into a run getting back to the Cabin in record time, with Porthos not far behind, thankfully he discovered Malcolm was still asleep. Pulling a chair from the small table they had built in the kitchen, he sat beside Malcolm and waited for him to wake up.

**The Next Morning**

Malcolm stirred slightly his muscles protesting any movement as he turned over in the bed causing Jonathan Archers eyes to snap open and his body to lean forward on the chair he'd fallen asleep in. "Malcolm" he whispered lightly, not wanting to scare the other man, he had done more than enough of that for a while. "Malcolm its all right its me, how long was I gone?" he asked looking at the somewhat shocked man in front of him.

Malcolm opened his mouth but found no sound would come out, 'he's not dead' his mind screamed out, part of him wanted to hit Jonathan for making him think he was dead the other part, 'God I just want to hold him' he though, but he couldn't do that, could he, later he could pass it of as relief, just a side affect from the shock of thinking he was going to be here alone for three plus years, he could do it, his mind whirled with the possibility for a moment and then disision made he did something that he never would have done otherwise, he launched himself up and grabbed Jonathan Archer into his arms and held on as though this hug was the only thing keeping him alive.

Jonathan sat in shock for a minute but then his heart got the better of his head and he reached his arms around Malcolm and pulled him closer. 'Feels so good' the mantra ran though Jonathan's head over and over, Malcolm may have been slightly smaller than him but the feeling of being in the younger mans arms was amazing, he really didn't want to move. Similar thoughts were running through Malcolm's mind, but of course one of them had to pull back and as he had instigated this, it had to be him.

"I'm sorry Sir, I suppose its just these past few days catching up with me" he mumbled as he moved away his body screaming at him to move back again. "It's all right Malcolm, I understand, I'm really sorry about going outside the boundary, I didn't realize until I was already pretty far past it, but its no excuse" Jonathan said suddenly feeling very cold without Malcolm's body against his own.

Malcolm explained that he'd tried looking for Jonathan but without sucess and about the blood on the rocks by the canyon leading him to assume that Jonathan had fallen down. Jonathan in turn was able to explain that the blood was from days before, he'd slipped walking Porthos, cutting his arm, he hadn't told Malcolm about it because it wasn't a big cut and he was able to clear it up himself, though now he addmitted he should have told him.

The day continued, Jonathan making Malcolm rest and being extra nice to him, trying in some small way to make up for the pain he had caused the younger man, if only he knew how deep that pain really went, but he didn't and Malcolm couldn't tell him, regardless of the many times he'd thought that if he just had one more chance to tell him he would over the past few days because he knew he couldn't. "Please stop" Malcolm eventually cried out, it was driving him crazy, Jonathan was waiting on him hand and foot and he couldn't take anymore. "I…" Jonathan was cut of before he got a word in, "Just stop, you don't have to do this, infact I insist you don't because your really not helping" Malcolm half yelled, but before he could stop himself he found more words pouring from him. "I though you were dead, I though i'd lost you, except you were never mine, never mine" he sobbed out the last words his knees buckling beneath him tears streaming from his deep blue eyes as Jonathan Archer stood unable to move.

Malcolm kept talking but it was filled with half sobs and the words could hardly be made out, "I saw your blood, I was so scared , I couldn't believe you were dead…tried so hard to find you, but I couldn't you were gone and I never got to tell you…never got to say how much I loved you…I" Malcolm couldn't speak anymore the tears were too much so he rolled himself up into a ball, like he had when he was a child and he been beaten by the other boys in his school.

Jonathan Archer was by nature not a man that was easily shocked by anything, and being in space had honed that but this 'declaration?' shocked the hell out of him, so much so that he just stood and stared for minutes on end as Malcolm let out tears from years of repression that had been brought to the head by his latest ordeal. "Oh God" he finally realized everything Malcolm had said, was finally taking it in and finding out what it meant, what it could mean. "Malcolm" Jonathan got on his knees beside the younger man, "Malcolm please look at me, its ok" he tried to reassure himself as much as Malcolm. Malcolm didn't move, didn't look up he just continued to cry oblivious to the world around him.

Jonathan was sacred, the Captain of Star Fleets almighty flagship was scared stiff by the man in front of him crying harder than Jonathan had ever imagined it was possible to cry. Courage was not something most people would say Jonathan lacked but in this case he wasn't sure he had enough to make any real difference, and even if he did he was too scared now to have a clue what to do, what was it he'd once heard 'courage is not the absence of fear simply the knowledge that something else is more important than fear', Malcolm was so much more important than everything else in his life, he was his life.

"Malcolm" Jonathan whispered again, moving closer to him, reaching out fearing that he would be pushed back, but instead he was allowed to pull the young man into his arms, almost as if Malcolm didn't even know it was happening at all. "Shhhh, its ok Malcolm, i've got you, you don't have to be scared I promise everything is going to be all right" he whispered words of comfort until he felt Malcolm still in his arms and he was sure he was asleep, still he kept the reassuring pressure of his hand on his back rubbing slowly up and down even as he pulled a blanket from the bed over them, letting his own eyes close and sleep overtake him.

Sun shone through the small 'windows' of the cabin causing Malcolm to stir in Jonathan's arms as they both woke up still in the same position as when they fell asleep, but both a little stiff and in need of movement. "I…Captain I…" Malcolm attempted to speak but was silenced by Jonathan leaning down slightly and brushing his lips over Malcolm's in a movement so fleeting it could almost have been imagined. Jonathan smiled, "it's ok Malcolm, I love you too" he said grinning slightly at the look of utter shock that lit up the English mans features.

"I…You do?" he asked his voice breaking in the middle, "yep I do, I love you, I love you, I love you" Jonathan repeated several times in-between light kisses, watching as tears again filled Malcolm's eyes and a bright smile lit his handsom if somewhat tear stained face.

Neither felt inclined to move until Porthos decided to make his presence felt and Jonathan got up helping Malcolm to his feet as well, "I'll take Porthos out for a few minutes, why don't you make some of that coffee stuff we found and start breakfast" Jonathan said, leaning in and kissing Malcolm again lightly on the mouth as though it was the most natural thing in the world, before heading out the door with Porthos right behind him.

Malcolm set to work on 'coffee' and breakfast and was almost finished when Jonathan returned twenty minutes later leaving his K9 companion outside as he slip in behind Malcolm who was frying some meat from a animal they captured what he supposed was about a week before, and wrapped his arms around Malcolm's waist resting his chin on the younger mans shoulder.

"Smells great" he said his breath catching against Malcolm's ear causing a shiver to go up Malcolm's spine reverberating through into Jonathan. "I…thank-you, em…" Malcolm really didn't have a clue what to say, Jonathan was acting like this was normal, like he'd always had his arms around Malcolm while he was cooking, but this was not normal this was anything but.

"Breakfast was great, as always" Jonathan complemented as he cleared away their dishes, after all it wasn't fair that Malcolm should have to clean up as well. "Thank you, I em…I think I'll go for a walk down to the lake if you don't mind, I need to get cleaned up" Malcolm said collecting a towel and a clean set of clothes before heading for the lake a short distance away, thankfully well within the boundary of the time distortion.

Malcolm striped off moving into the cool waters of the deep blue lake, letting himself sink into the water as it cleansed his skin which was grimy from days without washing. Leaning back against the rock ledge at one side of him he closed his eyes as his mind ran through the past week, it all seemed so unreal, had Jonathan really kissed him, held him as he cooked breakfast?

Those were things Malcolm associated with a relationship, and although he could honestly say he'd never had a real one of those in his life he really wanted one with Jonathan Archer, but would he have one, and if so how long would it last, what if it was just being trapped here, what if when they returned to Enterprise it was all a joke, what if he was just a warm body for the cold nights ahead, thoughts ran through his head and he didn't hear Jonathan approach or the water splashing slightly as Jonathan swam over the few metres to where Malcolm was sat.

Jonathan watched Malcolm from the edge of the water before getting in and swimming across, Malcolm didn't see him and so Jonathan ducked under and came up right in front of him cause Malcolm to splutter in the water as he half jumped up in shock. "Sorry, didn't mean to scare you" Jonathan half lied, he really hadn't he just wanted to see him jump. "I…you didn't I just didn't hear you" Malcolm said his face turning a nice shade of red. Jonathan laughed "you nearly jumped right out of the water" he pointed out, "if that wasn't me scaring you I don't know what would be" he teased as he wriggled his very naked self in to Malcolm's arms resting back against Malcolm's strong body, sighing in pleasure at the sensation of being this close to him at last.

Malcolm didn't dare move, knowing that if he did Jonathan would feel the very prominent erection which had just taken up residence on Malcolm's body. "Hmmmmm, this is nice" Jonathan sighed, "could stay like this forever" he continued, "its almost perfect". Malcolm who had closed his eyes and tried to concentrate on his breathing opened them again and looked down to where Jonathan's head was rested on his shoulder, "almost?" he questioned, just slightly afraid that Jonathan would say he'd rather it was someone else he was with, maybe Trip, or someone.

Jonathan smiled knowing almost instinctively what Malcolm was thinking "yep almost, it'd be better if you'd stop being scared i'm gonna change my mind and run away and just let yourself be happy, be better if you'd just take that beautiful body of yours and wrap it around me and never let go" he said watching Malcolm's blue gaze all the time.

Malcolm sat still a nervous look on his face for a few moments before he smiled, a real honest a good-ness, soul lighting smile, his arms coming up and around Jonathan as he pulled him closer to him, until Jonathan was actually sitting between Malcolm's legs, the still erect cock resting against his lower back, as the soft mouth descended on the back of his neck and began kissing from the neck down to the shoulder and sucking slightly on the sensitive skin at the base of Jonathan's neck, causing a slight moan from the older man.

The two men sat like that for a short time before deciding it was time to move, washing quickly and stepping out on to the grassy shore of the lake, Malcolm had gone to wrap a towel around his waist but Jonathan had decided he wasn't gonna let him and grabbed the towel pulling it away and moving very quickly away from Malcolm. Malcolm blushed from head to toe as Jonathan let his eyes trail over his slightly paler body, "Jonathan please give me the towel" he said, earning a slight nod and cheeky grin from the older man, "you want it, come and get it" Jonathan said taking off at a run for the cabin.

Malcolm caught up with Jonathan just before they entered the clearing where the cabin was built, but rather than catching him he let him run the rest of the way to the cabin and get inside before he jumped throwing the other man onto the floor which thankfully had a soft blanket across it from the night before or Jonathan could have been hurt.

Jonathan let out a rush of air as the weight of Malcolm pushed him into the floor, shocked when he felt fingers at his flanks, "Malcolm's" he half yelped as the attack of tickling began. Malcolm kept the assault up until Jonathan half pleaded to be released, his eyes filled with tears from laughing so hard. "Now can I have my towel?" he asked receiving an earnest nod as the towel was returned to him, "sorry couldn't resist, you look so dam good, I didn't want you covered up" Jonathan said as Malcolm rolled to the side of him and half sat to wrap the towel around himself.

Malcolm looked into Jonathan's eyes seeing the truth in them and removed the towel throwing it to the other side of the cabin before leaning over capturing Jonathan's lips with his own. He had never felt so free, he felt like he could fly without a starship at the moment, this man loved him, Jonathan Archer loved him, he was the luckiest dam Lt in Star Fleet.

"Mal" Jonathan whispered as Malcolm's mouth moved across his jaw kissing the stubbled skin, latching onto the ear lobe suckling slightly, "hmmmm…what?" Malcolm asked, not even complaining about the shortening of his name, something which normally he hated, only one other person had been able to get away with it in the past. "I want you to make love to me" Jonathan said moaning slightly as Malcolm bite lightly on the sensitive skin of his earlobe.

Malcolm shot his head up eyes meeting Jonathan's in shock, "you…me…huh?" Malcolm really was cute when he was monosyllabic Jonathan decided, "I love you Malcolm, make love to me" he repeated gazing into Malcolm blue depths trying to convey everything he felt through that one look. Malcolm moved back, standing up and moving away suddenly shaking as he retrieved the towel to cover himself with quickly.

Jonathan stood up him self grabbing a pair of boxers nearby, worry over taking him, 'please don't let me have screwed this up' he begged whatever deity cared to listen. "Malcolm?" he called slightly the question behind that one word loaded with complications that Jonathan hoped weren't to complicated that they couldn't work them out.

"I'm Sorry" Malcolm said his voice choked with emotion, "I'm so sorry I just…" Malcolm cut of he couldn't say it, if Jonathan found out he'd probably laugh, think it was amusing and decided that he was not worthy of him. Jonathan moved closer, "Mal sweetheart tell me please" he pleaded bringing his hand up to rest against Malcolm's arm relieved when he didn't pull away.

Malcolm couldn't say no so he took a deep breath and looked Jonathan in the eyes, "I've never…" he cut of, Jonathan smile, "with a guy…that makes two of us, doesn't mean I don't want you more than I ever wanted anyone in my entire life" Jonathan said. Malcolm shook his head, "no, well yes but, I've never…full stop" he said his eyes falling to the ground which suddenly became very interesting.

Jonathan was surprised to say the least, "oh I see" he said and he really tried to but it had been sometime since he'd been in this situation, "Malcolm I love you ok, and I want to be with you, but if your not ready for that yet, if you don't want it I can wait, as long as I know you love me too" Jonathan said softly his fingers taking hold of Malcolm's chin pulling the blue eyes back up to meet his.

Malcolm could have been knocked over with a feather at that point, "I do love you Jonathan" he said pulling the older man to him sighing as he felt Jonathan rest his head against his neck, "Jonathan I do want to make love to you, but, I don't want to hurt you" he admitted, "you won't" Jonathan promised with a sense of conviction he wished he felt. Malcolm smiled, "lets just wait and see what happens" he said glad when Jonathan nodded against him his hair brushing against the sensitive skin at the base of Malcolm's neck causing him to bite his lip to surpress a groan.


**One Week later**

"Morning, Porthos enjoy his walk?" Malcolm asked as Jonathan came back in to find the previously sleeping Malcolm cooking breakfast, "yes, what you doing up?" he asked, grabbing a cup of 'coffee' and sitting down to watch Malcolm cook, that man had wonderful hands and Jonathan wasn't about to pass up the chance to watch them at work. Malcolm smiled, "you woke me up going out with Porthos, I guess I got use to have you beside me this week cause I woke up as soon as I felt you leave the bed" he admitted a slight flush covering his cheeks.

The past week had been amazing, they had shared Jonathan's bed curling around one another as they slept, Jonathan had the habit of placing him head at the side of Malcolm's neck or over his heart where he could feel his pulse but Malcolm didn't mind, it was nice actually, they ate feeding each other playfully a lot of the time, they swam in the lake together, splashing each other, they talked in front of the fire place which they had finished just the day after there 'confessions', talking about everything, from childhood to the academy and the future, mostly though they avoided talk of Enterprise.

Malcolm was opening up and coming alive right in front of him, he was like a wild animal who had been kept in captivity and was now being set free, he had a wicked scence of humour as Jonathan discovered much to his amusement and delight, and he was wonderfully caring and oh so beautiful when he laughed and smiled, a sight which Jonathan quickly labelled as must see and tried to keep Malcolm smiling all the time.

Jonathan loved to see Malcolm smile something Malcolm had quickly discovered and now used to his own advantage, because he learned that when he smiled Jonathan also tended to smile, and that was something that made Malcolm very happy, it was a causality loop of sorts he supposed but one that neither seemed to mind.

"I was thinking, maybe we should make a bigger bed, not that i mind being squashed against you but it is a little uncomfortable" Malcolm said, he was no where near the shy Lt that had come down to this place just months before, or even the shy Lt from a week ago, being with Jonathan had open up a part of Malcolm that was vibrantly alive and if Jonathan Archer had anything to say about it that part would never again be hidden away. "Good Idea, we can just take apart our two beds and use that wood to make a bigger one, no point in cutting up more trees than we have to" Jonathan said wincing slightly at the 'coffee', three years of this stuff was not going to be fun, on the other hand three years of Malcolm now that had fun written all over it.

Breakfast was slow and they took their time enjoying it feeding each other various pieces of fruit and thoroughly enjoying making sure no traces of fruit were left on the others hands, it was one bloody big tease and they both loved it, so much infact that both would probably have been completely happy to leave it at that permanently.

They spent the day pulling apart the two separate bunks and putting them back together as one larger bed, sowing together the two mattresses they had made from animal skins was not as easy, but with a little bit of ingenuity they managed to finish it all by sundown. "I'm gonna take Porthos for a quick walk, wanna join us?" Jonathan said as they finished washing up after there evening meal, "no thank you, you go on ahead, oh and can you go and check on the traps while you out?" Malcolm asked wanting to keep Jonathan away for a while, "sure" Jonathan answered leaning in to give Malcolm a quick kiss before he an Porthos headed out.

In the thirty plus minutes it took Jonathan to check the traps and discover that nothing had been caught Malcolm transformed the Cabin into a romantic hide away, the few real candles they had were placed beside the bed and the rest of the room was light with star fleet issue field lamps toned done to minimum settings. Malcolm had quickly whipped up some desert even though they never eat desert this was a special occasion so this time they could let it go.

When Jonathan approached the Cabin Porthos ran into the shuttle pod which was sitting with the hatch open not far from the Cabin, "Porthos come on inside" Jonathan ordered his dog but the animal seemed determined not to move for some unknown reason, "fine you can stay in there all night" he said and closed the hatch hoping the dog would be all right alone.

Opening the door Jonathan was assaulted by the smell of the desert Malcolm had made, the fruity smell delighting his scenes, "Mal?" he called for the young man appeared to be no where in site. Jonathan look around confused moving deeper into the cabin and was surprised when his eyes were covered from behind and soft lips were pressed against the side of his neck, "surprise" Malcolm whispered blowing hot breath across Jonathan's skin causing him to shiver in delightful anticipation.

Malcolm moved Jonathan towards the bed, turning him around to face him as he gently pushed him to sit on the soft mattress, leaning down to kiss him, slipping his tongue out to seek entrance, smiling into his soon to be lovers mouth when it was granted. Jonathan was shocked when he tasted fruit in his mouth, and felt the small piece of a fruit they had dubbed as oranges enter his mouth from Malcolm's but he sucked it into his mouth and swallowed it gratefully, sucking Malcolm's tongue in at the same time.

Malcolm allowed his tongue to slowly learn the mouth beneath his, the textures and tastes that were, he had decided earlier in the week were purely Jonathan Archer and nothing else. The need for air finally overriding the need for Jonathan he pulled back slightly allowing the both to breath, eyes holding a loving gaze as they waited for there hearts to slow and there breathing to even out. "Mal you sure about this" Jonathan eventually asked, he wanted Malcolm so much and if this went any further he knew he wouldn't be able to stop and the last this he wanted to do was hurt Malcolm.

Malcolm smiled lazily leaning in for another slow kiss this one shorter put just as filled with passion and love, "I love you Jonathan, I want to make love to you" he said kissing alone Jonathan's jaw, nibbling slightly at the stubble covered flesh. "Mal" Jonathan breathed out the word, "oh that feels good" he whispered as Malcolm moved down latching onto him pulse point and sucking the sensitive skin covering it.

Smiling against Jonathan's neck Malcolm pulled back moving away over to the 'kitchen' to retrieve the desert of fruit and pastry he had made earlier, moving back across to the bed he sat legs crossed and waited for Jonathan to move into a more comfortable position in facing him. Malcolm used a fork to feed Jonathan some of the fruit and pastry and took his own turns to be fed in return, taking and giving kisses in between as well, both had their fill before Malcolm got rid of the plate and moved Jonathan onto his back laying down beside him. Jonathan was nervous with anticipation, how much he wanted his man beside him, and now he was his, and there was no way in hell, or anywhere else that he was letting him go. Malcolm leaned in kissing Jonathan slowly, exploring the deep cavern of the sweet mouth beneath his once more, thrusting his tongue into the hot depths tracing every inch of it until he felt light headed from lack of oxygen. Jonathan was similarly light headed but for a different reason altogether, with that one kiss Malcolm had sent his body into over load, all his blood had left his brain and straight to his groin causing him to harden instantly, his cock pressing angrily against his shorts begging to be released.

Malcolm rolled himself over on top of Jonathan feeling the older mans erection pressing against his own as he brought them level with each other, pressing down he pushed his own hardening cock against Jonathan's causing the man to buck up wards towards the glorious pressure Malcolm provided for his aching hard-on. "Oh Mal…what do you do to me Mal, your so fucking amazing" Jonathan ground out, as Malcolm moved away from him sitting up long enough to pull of his T-shirt and help Jonathan pull of his laying himself down over the older man again bare skin against bare skin.

Hands explored hard chests and flat stomachs, strong shoulders and backs, muscles rippling under skin as they floated over everywhere they could reach, slow and yet desperate both wanting to go faster, both wanting it to last. Malcolm moved down letting his lips travel over the soft skin on Jonathan's neck allowing his tongue and teeth to play as well, hand travelling down to already hard nipples flicking over them with fingers. Jonathan leaned up into the touch arching his back, begging silently for more, "please Mal" his voice desperate as Malcolm travelled further down bringing his mouth into line with Jonathan's sensitive nipples flicking his cool tongue out over the hot skin.

Malcolm was having a wonderful time exploring Jonathan's wonderfully fit body, enjoying the feel of firm muscles beneath his hands and mouth, he could happily remain like this forever, but as much as that would be wonderful he knew neither of them could last that long. Continuing to suckle on Jonathan's nipples he moved his hands down to find the waist band of his shorts pushing down careful not to trap the hard column of flesh hidden by the material.

Following down with his mouth he used his hands to push the material as far down as he could and allowed Jonathan to kick them the rest of the way, his eyes caught on Jonathan's erection stopping and openly staring at the hardness before him. "God Jonathan you are so beautiful" he whispered not wanting to break the mood that had descended but needing to tell the man above him, he reached out with his hand running his fingers lightly over the heated flesh making Jonathan buck half of the bed a loud groan escaping his lips.

Malcolm had to taste him, he couldn't wait any longer, moving his head forward he allowed his tongue to slip out from between his lips flicking at the sensitive head gathering the pre-come that had settled there. "Ahhhhhhhhhh" Jonathan let out from above him, "please Malcolm please" he begged repeating the words over and over until Malcolm gently took the tip of his hardness with in the soft hot cavern of his mouth, all words stopped, it was so good and Jonathan couldn't have formed words if he had tried. Malcolm smiled slightly around the erection in his mouth bringing it deeper within his lips allowing his tongue to play along the under side trying to gauge from Jonathan's moans what felt good to him.

Before long Malcolm had Jonathan entirely within his mouth, the tip of the cock banging lightly against the back of his now open throat, the man beneath him bucking his hips periodically as Malcolm sucked harder on him while holding down the hips as best he could with his hands. Jonathan babbled above him, very few words could be made out the occasional "Mal" or "oh God" was all that he could distinguish, from the string of words flowing from him. Malcolm released one hip and brought his hand under his chin to fondle gently at Jonathan's balls, the older man yelled out as his mind and body overloaded and his cock pulsed releasing his seed into Malcolm, his body spasaming as Malcolm continued to suck him until he had every drop.

Moving up beside Jonathan Malcolm dropped light kisses over his chest and neck before finding his mouth thrusting his tongue in allowing his lover to taste himself on Malcolm's lips. Jonathan could barely think, if this was how good making love to Malcolm was now he'd probably end up dead once the armory did get some experience under his belt, there was no way in hell anyone could feel so good and live.

Jonathan kissed Malcolm back passion bubbling to the surface as he felt himself hardening again slowly against Malcolm's stomach, "Malcolm, Please I want to feel you inside me" Jonathan pleaded pulling back from his lover to let the man see the desire he knew was burning in his eyes. Malcolm burrowed his face briefly in Jonathan's neck, "God Jonathan I want you so much, but I don't want to hurt you" he said love and desire shining through his eyes, "you won't" Jonathan promised him, Malcolm could never hurt him, of that Jonathan was sure.

Malcolm reached around under the pillow pulling out a small tube of what looked like sunscreen, "always prepared huh" Jonathan tease slightly as he rolled onto his back drawing up his knees while Malcolm coated his fingers generously with the substance. Kissing him again to keep him distracted Malcolm let his fingers reach behind Jonathan and trace down the inside of his butt cheeks.

Jonathan shivered and Malcolm almost stopped but when he felt Jonathan push back against his hands he continued. Carefully preparing his lover, stretching him as much as he could Malcolm and Jonathan were both quivering with need by the time Malcolm slicked up his erection at brought it into line with Jonathan's opening.

Inching in slowly Malcolm had to bite his lip to keep from pushing in all at once, the heat in casing him was so tight, "oh Jonathan I…oh God" he couldn't concentrate to say the words, finally he was all the way in, his hardness buried completely within the haven of Jonathan Archer.

"Jonathan" he looked at his lover seeing the redness of his face and the teeth marks on his lip, "are you all right, I can stop I…" Jonathan cut him of, "don't you dare stop, you feel wonderful right where you are, I just need a minute to adjust" he promised and it was true, the feeling of Malcolm inside him like this was more wonderful then words could ever describe, especially knowing that he was Malcolm's first of either gender, and by God he would be the last as well if he had anything to say about it.

Jonathan gave Malcolm a slight nod and he felt him begin to move slowly with in him, pulling out almost to the edge and sinking slowly in again. Malcolm knew when he had hit Jonathan's sweet spot from the look of utter pleasure that passed over the face of the man he loved, aiming for that spot again and again the two men picked up their pace, both moving faster with each thrust so close to the edge and both holding back trying to make it last just that little bit longer.

Malcolm felt Jonathan tighten around him hearing the cry of his lover as he came a second time was too much and it pushed him over the edge, crying out his lovers name in the midst of his own completion he collapsed down his ear coming to rest against the fast beating heart of the body below him.

Thought was almost non-exsistant but Malcolm had enough brain power left to shift off Jonathan to the side before squashing him regardless of the fact Jonathan was bigger in build Malcolm was not a light man. Jonathan snuggled into Malcolm his head coming to rest in the crook of the younger man's neck. "Love you Jonathan" Malcolm whispered to him as they settled into a comfortable position, "I love you too Mal" was the answer he got although it was barely heard because of the neck against which Jonathan had his mouth pressed against as they both drifted into a deep sleep, both content and truly happy for the first time in their lives.


**Six Months later—Planet Side**

"Mal what you doing" Jonathan called coming around the back of the small cabin in search of his wayward lover, "Mal?" he called again, 'He was here a few minutes ago, I know he was.' Jonathan thought to himself, but before he had time to look any further he was jumped from behind, finding himself on his back with a writhing English man laid flat atop of him. The air expelled from his lungs and it took him a few moments to get in enough air to speak. "Pleased to see you too. You wanna tell me why you just tried to flatten me?" Jonathan asked smiling slightly, letting Malcolm know the question was meant in good humour.

Malcolm just grinned at him and jumped up dragging Jonathan behind him, back around to the front of the house, "Stay here." Malcolm ordered him, kissing him lightly before disappearing around the back of the house again. Jonathan did as he was told; standing waiting for whatever it was Malcolm was up to, to be revealed to him, after ten minutes he was pacing back and forth wondering what was taking so long.

"Relax Jonathan." Malcolm&rsquos British accent suddenly sounded in his ear as strong arms came around his waist, "I have a surprise for you," Malcolm said steering Jonathan around the corner to the back of their cabin. "What is it?" Jonathan asked him as his eyes were covered, "You'll see in a moment." Malcolm assured him, pressing up flush against his back.

Jonathan stopped breathing for a second when Malcolm finally uncovered his eyes, "Enterprise!" Jonathan gasped, as his eyes flew over softly coloured wood of Malcolm&rsquos surprise. "Yes, its not perfect, but if we can't get to the ship…I know you miss it." Malcolm told him, and Jonathan felt the tears in his eyes, these past six months had been wonderful no doubt but he did miss Enterprise she was his home, and apparently Jonathans attempts to hide his longing for the ship had failed.

"It beautiful Malcolm, thank-you so much!" Jonathan smiled through watery eyes, as he pulled Malcolm into a tight hug, fighting to keep his tears at bay. "I love you Jonathan." Malcolm whispered as he pulled back enough to catch Jonathan&rsquos lips in his own, kissing him softly and gently. "I love you too." Jonathan finally said as they pulled back, "Come on I know the perfect place for this," Jonathan told him as he pulled back taking a careful hold on the small ship and heading for the door.

"Perfect," Jonathan looked satisfied as he stood back admiring the placing on top of the fire place, as Malcolm&rsquos arms wrapped around his waist, "Hmm yes it is, just like its Captain," Malcolm smiled against his neck kissing the soft skin he found there. "Hmmm, I think you mean its Armoury Officer," Jonathan teased loving the feel of Malcolm&rsquos arms around him and his lips against his neck.

"Hmmm," Malcolm half nodded, changing tactics and nibbling along his neck leaving a tiny trail of fire in his wake, "Malcolm&hellip" Jonathan moaned, "Don't tease me,&rdquo he pleaded with the younger man. "Hmm, Bed?" Malcolm offered him, stepping back to allow Jonathan to move towards the bed, following a step behind him.

Clothes were quickly shed, skin pressed against skin, and Jonathan felt the same wonder fill him as he had every time they'd made love over the past several months, Malcolm was more passionate than any of Jonathans female lovers had ever been, and yet he was infinitely gentle and loving as well. Jonathan was filled with love and wonder at this gentle kind man whom he knew without any doubts was his soul mate, for how could he be anything else.

Malcolm kissed his way along Jonathans hip, one of his now favourite places, it never failed to get Jonathan begging for more, and Malcolm loved nothing better than knowing he could bring the great Jonathan Archer to begging simply for his touch, perhaps it was slightly power hungry but Malcolm felt such joy at the fact that Jonathan begged for his touch, that Jonathan loved and trusted him enough to let go of his own barriers, just as he had forced his way past Malcolm&rsquos.

"Please Malcolm," Jonathans soft passion filled voice pleaded with him, to stop, to keep going, to give more, a contradiction of sentences encompassed in two words. Malcolm happily obliged, kissing, licking and nibbling his way up Jonathans torso, until he reached the already hardened nipples, flicking his tongue gently over each one before taking them between his lips in turn sucking them, and nipping them with his teeth.

Deciding Jonathan had had enough of that torture Malcolm slithered further up his lovers body, stopping at his neck to kiss and nibble the soft skin there leave a trial of small red marks, before leaning up to claim Jonathans lips with his own. Tongues playfully fought each other, slinking back and forth between the two mouths.

"Mal baby I love you, but if you don't move this along soon I'm going to kill you." Jonathan groaned as Malcolm released his lips, nibbling on his jaw before moving up to his ear. "Hmm, be right back," Malcolm said jumping up and retrieving the sun screen they had taken to using as lube from the fire side where it had been left last night.

Grinning Malcolm returned to the bed catching Jonathan in another searing kiss stroking against the roof of his lovers willing mouth. Kissing and stroking each other they moved themselves until Malcolm could easily access the passage to Jonathan's body, preparing him slowly and lovingly as always taking his time so they could both savor the feelings that accompanied them whenever they made love, taking them both to newer and more exhilarating heights.

Jonathan writhing beneath him, face flushed and eyes glassy with passion, a more beautiful sight there never had been Malcolm was sure as he finally stopped torturing them both and slid home, filing Jonathan completing them both. It was a dance they had perfected over the months, both easily catching the rhythm that would keep them holding on the longest, stretching their joining out until neither could stand it any longer.

Cries fell forward from both their throats, mingling together in the completion they both found, resounding in their ears even over their harsh panting breaths as they fought to gain control of their bodies after the great waves of orgasm subsided enough to allow them to do so.

The afternoon was spent lazily making love once again before finally rising to get food for themselves and Porthos and to do the few chores that were needed around the cabin, all in all it was a pretty lazy place to be, there wasn't much work out side of keeping the place tidy and taking care of the small garden they had planted, it was a simple life, and they both loved it, even if they did miss Enterprise, they had each other and that was plenty as far as they were both concerned.



Trip Tucker moved through engineering slilently, there was nothing really to be done, oribting a planet really meant less work, and while that was a good thing for most of them it was driving Tucker mad. They used the tansporter to send supplies down once a day, once ever few weeks to them he guessed, 'God if its this bad for us, how the hell must it be for them, specially Jon.' Trip thought.

Trip was well aware of Jon's feelings for the British man, infact he'd tried several times to covertly find out if Malcolm might be interested in Jon, but short of asking him out right, he had no idea how he could find out that sort of information, Malcolm wasn't the type to talk about personal feelings, and Trip, knew Jon would never make the first move. He felt truly sorry for his friend to be stuck on a planet with the person you were secretely in love with, for over three years. He's gonna be cranky as hell when he gets back, Trip thought with a smile.

"Commader?" Hoshi's soft voice spoke from behind him, "Oh hey Hoshi, what can I do for ya?" he asked his normal accent even further acentuated by his lack of sleep of late. "Um…well Sub-Commander T'Pol, and well all of us have been worried about you the past few days. I know Captain Archer was your friend, I just wanted to see if you were ok, and maybe if you wanted to get something to eat with me in the mess hall?" she said.

Tucker smiled, "Yeah I think I could handle that. I guess I've been a bit off, the past few days huh?" he said, moving towards the door shortening his stride to match Hoshi's much shorter one. "We can all understand, Captain Archer means a lot to all of us, and you have know him way longer than any one else on board." Hoshi said.

"Yeah, the Cap'n and I have been friends a long time, hes pulled my ass out of the fire more times than I care to admit, and as little as I know about Malcolm hes a good man, good friend to, when he chooses to be." Trip said grinning a little, most people on Enterprise, assumed that he and the Armory officer simply tolerated each other, truth was that anyone who could make Jonathan Archer fall in love with them so quickly, and so completely was a special sorta person, and Trip had sen beneath the outer shell enough to know that Malcolm certainly was one of a kind.

"How do you think there doing down there?" Hoshi asked "Don't know. Wish I did, but we tried sending down a com a couple of times and it didn't work, mustta got fried in transport, its strange, we can send certain things down, but anytime we've tried to send down anything electrical, or mechanical it gets fried." Trip observed as he and Hoshi entered the lift, to go to the mess hall.

"Something in the planets atmosphere?" Hoshi asked, Probably, whatever it is, it's darn right inconveniant." he joked, with a slight chuckle, even though it was inconveniant, at least they knew that both men were alive, heathly, and from what they could gather living in realitive harmony.

"Commander Tucker to the Bridge." T'Pol's voice came over the ships com system just as the lift doors opened on the corridor leading to the mess hall, "Guess lunch is out, go on a head, I'll…" "Ensign Hoshi Report to the bridge" T'Pol's voice sounded again, before Trip finished the sentence, "Bridge" he said instead, hitting the panel on the wall as he spoke.


"Whats going on?" Trip asked jumping of the lift, and moving over beside T'Pol, "We are being hailed, by a StarFleet Vessel, they are requesting to speak to you." T'Pol answered, nodding towards Hoshi, who keyed in the necessary sequence on her console to open the channel.

"Thid is Commander Charles Tucker III, on board the StarFleet Ship Enterprise to whom am I speaking?" Trip asked politly, keeping his voice as formal as possible. "Hello", a young women appered on the screen, gilttering hazel eyes, long dark hair, that must have gone at least half way down her back, when lose, and a trim, if slightly short figure. "I am Nicole Reed, I'm on board the Cartel, we've been told you require one of our shuttles, to rescue two of your officers, we were on our way to meet up with you anyway, but we've incressed our speed, we should get there a little faster" the young women said.

"Thanks, Ms Reed, hey you ain't related to…" the women smiled, and before Trip had chance to finished she spoke, "Malcolm Reed is my brother, and apparently his ability to get into a thousand kinds of trouble before lunch is still going strong." she said a grin lighting her features. "Did he know you were coming?" Trip asked, "No, your Captain knew, although he wasn't aware of my relationship to Malcolm, I had wanted to suprise him, perhaps you might be so kind as not to mention who excatly is on the ship bring the shuttles in your next communication." Nicole said.

Trip smiled, "Not a problem Ms Reed, he won't hear it from me." he said, "Thank-you Commander, we'll com you again as we get closer, I just wanted to let you know help was on the way." Nicole said, "Thanks, and please, everyone calls me Trip." the engineer smiled, "Trip, in that case, you must call me Nikki, I really don't like Ms Reed, it makes me sound far to old." she joked, "We'll be there as soon as we can Com…Trip." Nicole added, and with a nodd, she cut the channel.

"Well who knew, I thought Malcolm's sister was called Madaline." Trip said looking at Hoshi, "She is, that must be his other sister, there was something about her in Malcolms records when the Captain had me trying to find out his favourite food, but I couldn't find out more than a name, no address, no other information at all." Hoshi said, she'd been perplexed at the time, but she had supposed there was some reason for it, and left it alone, not wanting to pry into Malcolm's personal life more that necessary to complete the task the Captain had ordered her to.

"Well I guess we'll find out more about her, when she gets here," Trip said, "Hoshi, you still hungry? I just relized I haven't eaten since last night, my stomach is complaining." he added. "Sure Commander", Hoshi answered, and handing her station back to her beta shift replacement, she headed to join Trip at the turbo lift, most times as soon as they where out of earshot rumors would have been shooting like wild fire, but as everyone now knew Hoshi was taken, no one said a word, except for Travis Mayweather "Wonder if I sould be worried?" he asked no one inparticular earning a few chuckles from around the bridge, as he turned back to his console.

**Three Months Later—Planet Side**

"Can you believe we've been here almost a year?" Malcolm said as he and Jonathan sat eating their evening meal, throwing Porthos little scraps as they ate. "It seems like longer" Jonathan said, "But at the same time, it doesn't feel like we've even been here a month." Malcolm smiled, "Hmmm, wonder whats going on on Enterprise right now, T'Pol, and Trip are probably arguing over something mudane, and T'Pol will of course win, Hoshi is probably bored with no new languages to translate, and Travis as well I imgine, having no where to fly, and Phlox, he's probably trying to convince some unsespecting couple to let him watch" Malcolm laughed at that thought, he was never letting Phlox near him and Jonathan while they were making love.

Jonathan joined him laughing at that last one, the same thought running through his own head, "You know its almost a pity Enterprise couldn't land down here, think about it we could all take a six month vacation, and StarFleet wouldn't even have time to know we were missing." Jonathan said, setting both of them off, Malcolm didn't think he'd ever laughed as much as the past year, being here, with Jonathan had changed him a lot.

"I think Nikki will like you if you ever get to meet her" Malcolm said, suddenly thinking about his younger sister, she was the only other person that had ever gotten him to open up this much. "Nikki?" Jonathan questioned, there were still somethings about his childhood Malcolm wouldn't speak about, infact there were an awful lot of things, about his childhood Malcolm refuesd to discuss.

"My younger sister" Malcolm said his face clouding slightly, "I haven't seen her in, almost eight years, my father disowned her, forbid myself and Madaline form speaking of her, or too her, not that I listened, we did meet up several times actaully, I miss her" he told Jonathan, and the older man sencing Malcolm was hurting quickly pulled himself closer enclosing the smaller frame of his lover within his larger bulk.

"You want to talk about it?" Jonathan asked, expecting a negitive, but instead Malcolm snuggled in closer until he was practically sitting on Jonathan's lap. "I was six when she was born, I was so proud to be a big brother, have someone to protect, Maddy was two years older than me, so she didn't need, or rather want her annoying little brother hanging around, we only really got closer as we got older, but Nicole was my little sister, and I was determinded that I would protect her from the big bad world." Malcolm said.

Jonathan smiled at that, he could just picture a little Malcolm standing guard over his sisters cot, "She was always smart as quicksilver, was talking before she was one, only a few words, but I was still so proud, like it was all my influence, by three she had established herself as not only a genius, but a genius who could more than stand up for herself, I remember once, a bigger boy at the local nusery tried to take a toy she was playing with, let me tell you he didn't try it again".

Malcolm had a look of pride on his face, almost like that of a father, rather than an older brother, "I think I like the sound of her, maybe when we get back to Enterprise, you could contact her" Jonathan said. Malcolm's face darkened, "I wish I could, I have no idea where she is. She joined StarFleet like me, but I haven't heard from her in six years." Malcolm said, Jonathan got a slightly confused look, "For the first couple for years we wrote each other almost weekly, one day there were no more letters, anytime I tried to find anything out, I was re-buffed." Malcolm explained.

Jonathan felt very sorry for Malcolm for a moment, but then he banished the thought, knowing that is Malcolm found out, he would kill him, very painfully. "Well you should try again, and hey last time you were alone in your serch, you won't be this time." Jonathan told him, smiling, pulling Malcolm on top of him, and kissing him.

"Indeed, although I'm not so sure its a good idea," Malcolm said, "My sister always had excellent taste in men, she might try to steal you for herself." he joked, and Jonathan laughed with him, "she could try, but why go for the silver, when I already have the gold" he said to Malcolm kissing him again before he could reply again, the rest of the night was spent playfully making love, well into the early hours…


Planet Side—20 Months after landing

"Jonathan?" Malcolm asked as he watched his lover pulling the few weeds that had grown in their small 'garden', "Yes?" Jonathan replied his voice sounded exasperated, "What did the weeds do to you?" Malcolm asked him, smiling as the older man roughly pulled yet another innocent weed out of the ground violently.

Jonathan stood up leaving the few remaining weeds alone, "Nothing, I'm taking Porthos for a walk, be back soon." he said, whistling the dog, and walking off.

Malcolm was tempted to go after him, but he decided that something had Jonathan upset, and he needed time to cool off, he might as well finish the weeding, while he waited for him to return.

When Jonathan still hadn't returned by dinner, Malcolm got worried, and decided it was time to go find him, weather he liked it or not.

"Jonathan?" he called out as he walked through the thickening forest, he knew Jonathan couldn't have come this far, he wouldn't have, he knew Malcolm had a thing about him going near the cliff edge, since, that…incident.

"Jonathan?" Malcolm called again his voice straining.

"Grrr" the soft purr/growl came from behind him, and Malcolmstopped turning slowly, this planets version of a wolf, they had traps set all around the camp so that they were protected there, but Malcolm had forgotten to bring his phase Pistol in his haste to find Jonathan and now there was nothing between him, and the creatures large jaws.

"Nice puppy, you don't want to eat little old me now do you, I'm nothing but skin and bones, and grizzle, whats say you go catch yourself a nice juicy animal, thats not human.". Malcolm said quietly as he shifted closer to a tree, if he could just get to it, they already knew the creatures couldn't climb.

"GRRRRR…" the roar sounded faster than Malcolm had time to register as he bolted for the tree scrambling up its side, even as the 'wolf' caught his foot in its grip.

Malcolm shook his leg to dislodge the animal but it wasn't working, but before he had chance to do anything else, he heard the whine of a phase pistol, and the creature fell to the ground.

"Malcolm, my God" it was Jonathan, his voice concerned, Malcolm tried to answer him, but he felt suddenly dozy, and before he had chance to climb back down the few feet he had climbed he lost his grip, and fell to the ground landing almost on top of the now unconscious wolf.

"Mal? Babe?, come on we have to get you back to the cabin." Jonathan's voice told him, as he fought to stay conscious, failing even as he felt himself being half carried back towards their home.

**Several Hours Later**

Jonathan paced back and forward, his eyes never leaving the fever ridden man laying on the bed, his body covered in a sheen of sweat, his face red, and his eyes crunched closed in pain.

Malcolm was as far as Jonathan could tell unconscious, but he was sick, and Jonathan didn't know how. He had already cleaned the wound on his foot and leg from where the wolf had bitten him, but he had no idea what else to do. &ldquoOh Malcolm, this is my fault, you should never have been out there.&rdquo Jonathan let himself sob for a moment, before pulling himself together, forcing himself to try and help Malcolm.

Retrieving a damp cloth, soaked in icy water, Jonathan wiped Malcolm's face, chest, and arms, over and over he tried to cool the scalding skin of his lover, but with little to no success.


"Phlox to bridge." the ships medic said over the com system, "Whats up Doc?" Trip asked taping the communicator on the arm of the Captains chair. "I believe we may have a problem, Lt Reeds life signs are deteriorating, and although I can't really be sure, without a morein depth examination, there appears to be some kind of toxin in his blood." Phlox answered with little or no regard for the fact that everyone on the bridge could hear everything he was saying.

"Doctor?" Trip questioned, "I don't under stand it either Commander, but somehow, Lt Reedslife signs are getting weaker, and unless his condition improves…" Phlox let his sentence trail, everyone within ear shot, knew exactly what would happen.

"Doctor, is there anything you can do from here? Anything in the scans that might tell you what the toxin is, anything?" Trip asked, God knows, if Jonathan had to watch Malcolm die, and not be able to help him, Trip had a feeling the only thing they'd bring back from that planet would be two dead bodies.

"I doubt it Commander, perhaps, if Captain Archer could do some scans with their Medical Scanner, I may be able to garner some relevant information from that. It will all depend on the state of their scanner. I maybe able to upload the information from it, but I stress the word maybe, its been sometime since I had to try anything like this, and that was using more advanced technology." Phlox said.

"Hoshi, hail them." Trip ordered, "Just give it a try Doctor, I'll see what I can do about getting them scans done." he added to Phlox before cutting his link with sickbay.

"Frequencies open, Sir." Hoshi said as the com crackled to life on the planets surface.

"Captain, Sir, I know your probably a little busy right now, but you have to listen to me…"

**Planet Side**

"…listen to me" Trips voice sounded over the comm, what was left of it at least, "Doc is gonna try and find out what it is thats making Malcolm sick, but we need you to help, take some scans of him with the medical scanner." he heard the words, but his mind was in a jumble, Malcolm was dying, his beloved Malcolm, this couldn't happen, he couldn't lose him.

"Captain, you have to take the scans.&rdquo Trips voice sounded again, and somehow it made its way through the haze fogging Jonathan's mind, "Scans…" he almost whispered back to himself.

"Scanner, Scanner, Oh God where is it, it has to be here…" he fumbled through the cabin searching everywhere he could think of, and finally he found it, 'first aid box, right of course, where else', Jonathan's mind mocked him.

The silence was deafening but for the slight burr of the scanner as it took in all the information about Malcolm's state of health, slowing heart rate, high blood pressure, raised temperature, shallow breathing, Malcolm was dying, and he had no idea how to stop it.


"Phlox to bridge, I believe these scans should prove most useful, I am uploading them to the computer now, but because of the distance, and the unusualatmosphere of the planet, it will take quite sometime." Phlox' voice sounded over the com, "Just do what you can Doctor." Trip said, his own voice worried, Malcolm was a good man, to die like this…, and for Jonathan forced to watch, 'my God, it'll kill him, or he'll kill him' Trip's mind helpfully provided.

**30 minutes later—Sickbay**

"Doc, anything?" Trip asked as he strode purposefully into Sickbay, &ldquoI don't know Commander, these scans are at best ammature, rather jumbled, but I believe I maybe close to finding the toxin, the hard part will be finding the cure.&rdquo Phlox answered.

"Let me know as soon as." Trip said and left, no point in disturbing him, it would only slow him down.


"Does Doctor Phlox believe he will be able to assist Lt Reed from here?" Sub-Commander T'Pol asked as Trip stepped back onto the Bridge, "Hes not sure. I hope so." Trip responded, heading over to the engineering station, needing something to distract himself, "I really hope so, if not that ship is…Hoshi, Hail the Cartel." Trip said suddenly.

"Commander?" T'Pol said her tone questioning. "They maybe able to help, I don't know how, but its worth asking," Trip said as Hoshi punched up the right channel to hail the Cartel.

"This is Commander Tucker, on the Starship Enterprise, please respond." he said as Hoshi nodded to him that the channel was open.

"Commander?" Nicole Reed appeared on the screen, her own voice as questioning, as T'Pol's had been moments before.

"Miss Reed, I'm afraid we have a problem, Malcolm is ill, the Doctor says there is some kind of toxin in his body, and although he's doing what he can from here, unless we can get him back to the ship, well…I don't think there is much chance of the Doc being able to do much.&rdquo Trip said, his features showing his own distress at the situation.

"We are still at least three weeks away," Nikki said, "I don't think we can get there much quicker, we are already running our engine at 96% capacity." she said. "We understand, but we were wondering, if the Doctor sent you what information he has, perhaps you Doctor might be able to help?" Trip asked.

Nikki nodded, "Its possible Commander, if you send us what you have, I'm sure Doctor Carlyle will do everything she can to help." she said, "How long does it look like we have?" Nikki asked, Trips head lowered, "I don't know exactly," he said.

Nikki smiled, "I'm a big girl Commander, now tell me, how long without help is my brother likely to live?" she asked again, he voice steady, her face betraying no emotion, and for the first time, Trip noticed a definite similarity between her and Malcolm, they were both stuborn, and way to pesimistic/realistic.

"I really don't know, but not long, maybe a day our time, if that." Trip said honestly, he would much rather have lied and spared her feelings, but it would appear stuborness was a trait the whole Reed family possessed, and he didn't think she would have bought anything other than the truth.

"Thank-you Commander, if you send over the information you have, we'll do everything we can." Nikki assured him as she cut the channel. Trip sat heavily down on the Captains chair, "Send them the scans Hoshi," he ordered, "I'll be in engineering, if anyone needs me." Trip added, nodding to T'Pol before leaving the bridge to go and find something to keep his mind occupied.

**Planet Side**

"Malcolm, Please sweetheart, open your eyes for me," Jonathan pleaded with his unconscious lover, &ldquoNeed you to wake up for me." he said, he had been talking on and off to Malcolm for the best part of a day, mostly jumbled words of love, and pleas for him to wake up, but so far no responses had been forth coming.

Jonathan felt the small wet tongue on his hand, and looked down to see Porthos, "You want out boy?" he asked, as he stood and let the dog out, returning to the bed immediately, without even thinking about where the dog might be headed.

"Come on Mal, please wake up, don't leave me, I need you." he pleaded once more, as he lay down beside his lover holding him close, a brief thought that whatever Malcolm had caught might be passed on to him, before he decided he didn't care, if he lost Malcolm he was as good as dead anyway.

** Planet Side—48 Hours later**

Malcolm's condition had worsened, Jonathan had barely moved from his side, except to get more cold water, and to let Porthos in and out.

The British mans face was pale and drawn, his cheeks almost hollow from lack of food, only a series of injections were giving him any substance at all.

"Enterprise to Archer." sounded over the Comm, Trip Tucker's voice on the other end "Cap'nI just thought I should check in, let you know Doc is doing everything he can, we have contacted StarFleet medical, and we are gonna try and find a way to help, you just gotta sit tight."

Jonathan heard the words, but he was too busy watching Malcolm to pay them much attention, sitting tight was driving him insane, he had no idea how he'd even begin to survive on this planet if Malcolm wasn't here with him.

**Outside the Cabin**

"This is our fault, that creature should not have been allowed to harm the human, they have been careful on our world, damaged little, only taken what they have needed, even the one named Jonathan only stunned the Cartag rather than killing it, when it had his mate within its grasp" A large eagle like bird sitting on the lowest branch of a near by tree spoke.

"We could heal him" another spoke.

"It would mean revealing ourselves we can't." a third spoke from a higher branch, "Its too dangerous, we don't know enough about these humans". he spoke.

"We will return to the caves, discuss it with the elders." the first bird, said, lifting herself form the branch she was perched on, soaring up into the air, the others following.

**The Caves**

"This is not our responsibility." A humanoid being, almost six foot in height, will long flowing black hair, and ridges along both cheeks, stood at the head of a stone table, his voice booming throughout the caverns where his people made their homes.

"These humans have gone out of their way to protect our home, taking only the materials they needed, hunting only for food, the one called Jonathan did not even kill the Cartag wolf when it had his mate in its grasp," the female who had been outside the Cabin spoke up.

"It is true," the second one spoke, a young male of his species, "He could have killed it, would have been in his right to do so, but he did not,"

The leader sat in thought, "We will only inter fear if their own people can not help them, if however they can not, and he passes to the next world, we will revive him, DO NOT expose your selves unnecessarily." he spoke, his voice commanding.

**Enterprise—16 hours later**

"Doc, hows it going" Trip asked, Phlox sighed exasperated, "The same as I was the last time you were here Commander, an hour ago" the alien doctor answered

"Sorry Doc, I don't mean to bug you. Just worried is all, hows Malcolm holding up?" the southern engineer asked his voice concerned for his friend.

"His condition isn't good Commander, and its getting worse by the minute, I would estimate that unless I can find a way to help him in the next hour or two, he will no longer require my help at all." the Doctor said, his typical, if not intended brashness showing through.

"I guess I should leave you the hell alone to get on with it then?" Trip said, turning and walking out of sickbay when the Doctor didn't answer him.

Phlox continued to work even as the engineer left him to his work, his mind running through the possibilities for a cure, or at least something to steam the tide of the toxins work, giving them more time to come up with a cure.

**Planet Side 48 hours later**

Malcolm's breathing was becoming more labored Jonathan could tell even without the aid of the medical scanner, he hadn't moved from his lovers side for 24 hours straight, leaving the door open for Porthos to come and go as he pleased, he had given up on bring down Malcolm's fever with cold water, it simply hadn't worked.

He had noticed a large, almost Eagle like bird sitting on a low branch of the tree out side the window nearest him, but had paid it little attention, concentrating only on his lover, and occasionally on the words he heard from the communicator, hoping to hear, that some how Phlox had found a cure, or that they were going to be rescued and Malcolm taken back to sickbay, but no such words were said.

The bird squawked occasionally, breaking up the otherwise silence of the Cabin and the surrounding area, it was like all the animals knew what was happening and were silent out of respect.

"Malcolm, sweetheart, I don't know if you can hear me, I…" the pained voice of Jonathan Archer paused, tears streaming down his cheeks, he knew the Malcolm was dying, and now he knew that nothing was going to save him.

The voice broken continued, "I…I love, oh God this isn't fair, I love you Malcolm, I need you so much, please…don't…" the voice stopped all together, and only the quite sound of crying could be heard anywhere near by.

Jonathan gathered Malcolm into his arms silently rocking the prone body back and forth not stopping even when he heard the last labored breath leave the body, and no further ones be drawn in.

The Large Eagle squawked loudly, his cry resounding through the forest surrounding the small Cabin.


Phlox heard the buzzing of the sensors even as his mind still concentrated on the small vial heheld in his hand. Setting the vial aside, he scanned his eyes over the sensor data, sighing deeply as he headed out of sickbay and made his way to the bridge.


"Commander" Phlox's voice, softer in his own sadness spoke as he entered the bridge, "Doc, what you got for us?" Tucker asked, standing as soon as he heard Phlox enter the bridge.

"I am afraid Commander, that Lt Reed's life signs have stopped transmitting, he is dead." Phlox said, knowing in his own head that he probably seemed a little heartless, but that was not the case at all, on the contrary he would miss Malcolm Reed a great deal, the man had been a friend, and for the fact that most took him as the shy, quite and reserved type, he was an excellent conversationalist.

"Thanks Doc, Hoshi, open a Channel to the Cartel." Trip said his own face falling, and headmitted to himself, his eyes tearing up a little.

"Commander." Nikki Reed appeared on the screen before him, he guessed his face was plainly displaying his feelings, because before he even spoke, Nikki spoke for him. "He's dead?" she said, her voice only half questioning.

"I'm Sorry, Doc did everything he could but…" Trip couldn't finish the sentence, "I have no doubt of that Commander, we'll be there as soon as we can to retrieve Captain Archer from the planet" she spoke, her British accent soft, and although her face was the picture of perfect calm her eyes deceived her in showing just how hurt she was with the knowledge of her brothers death.

Cutting the channel Trip sat back heavily in the Captains chair, "Hoshi, keep an eye on the Captain's life signs." Trip ordered brushing a weary hand through his already ruffled hair. "Commander?" T'Pol's emotionless voice spoke from his side, "Surely you don't think the Captain would do anything to harm himself." she said. "I don't know T'Pol, Malcolm was the only company he had down there, I don't want to think it, but…" he let his sentence trail, he was positive no one but himself knew of Jonathan Archer's feelings for Malcolm and Trip intended it to stay that way.

**Planet Side**

Jonathan released the dead body of his lover, stumbling his way blindly outside even as his eyes blurred tears filling them, running rivers down his cheeks.

"We must help." the female spoke, flying in the window landing on the ground her form growing a straightening in to her natural humanoid form, the two others following her.

The three aliens gathered around the bed where Malcolm Reed's prone, lifeless body lay, Porthos barked, jumping at the intruders but they would not be disturbed in their mission, if they could do this without Jonathan Archer's seeing them, all the better.

"The three raised their hands, joined over the top of Malcolm's body, their limbs becoming luminescent even as they did so. Eyes closed the three aliens concentrated on reviving the human under there hands.

Twenty minutes passed only a slight whine from the aliens, and the sobs still coming from outside, broke the silence all around.

The aliens so concentrated on their task didn't hear the return of Archer. "What the hell, get away from him!" the voice rang through the cabin and surrounding area, but before he could reach the aliens to pull them away form him lover, another alien appeared blocking his way.

"Leave him alone." Jonathan shouted again, but the aliens ignored him, his path blocked from stopping them. "We are trying to help." the alien holding him said, his arms clutched tightly, Jonathan paused his struggles then, "Why should I believe you?" he asked his eyes never leaving the aliens surrounding Malcolm.

"You have been here sometime, we have not harmed you, until this day you were not even aware of us, if we wished to harm you, we could have done so long ago." the alien spoke, his green eyes glinting in the sunlight shining through the window.

Jonathan stood still, his eyes still focused on the bed, and the alien let him go, sure he wouldn't try to inturupt the work of his friends.


"Um…Commander" Hoshi Sato said two seconds later, as she turned around to watch her display, her voice was quiet and her expression surprised, "I don't know how this is possible, but Sir, I'm picking up two human life signs on the planet, plus four other humanoid life signs." she told him.

"What?" Trip said his voice shocked "T'Pol?" he asked turning to face the Vulcan at her station, "I am picking up the same readings, it would appear Lt Reed is alive, and that they have visitors." she said, her voice calm, and unaffected by the shock being experienced by everyone else.

"Are you sure?" Tucker asked, "Quite positive Commander, Malcolm Reed is alive and according to these scans perfectly healthy." T'Pol replied. "I, Um…you better hail the Cartel," Trip ordered, "and um…I want some more scans, I want to know whats going on down there." he said, turning to face the view screen.

"Commander, I didn't expect to hear from you again so soon." Nikki Reed said as she appeared on the screen.

"Yeah, well I didn't expect to be contacting ya so soon neither, but well it would appear that the Cap'n and Malcolm weren't alone down there, and whoever their friends are, they must be pretty advanced, cause one minute were reading Malcolm as dead, and the next alive and perfectly healthy, I ain't got no clue how it happened, but I figured, I'd best let ya know right away. I'm mighty sorry, I had to worry ya like I did before." Trip said, his southern accent accentuated.

"Thats quite all right" Nikki said, even as relief spread across her features," but how did these aliens move around on the planet without Enterprise picking them up on sensors?" Nikki asked.

"We don't know, we'll try and find out, but until we can get down there…" Trip let the sentence hang, no one could really have any idea what had happened except those present, so until they could go down and see for them selves and talk to Archer and Reed, then they wouldn't really have a clue, what had happened.

Nikki nodded "We'll be there as soon as possible, Cartel Out" she said as she cut the link, "I guess we'll just have to be confused until we can get down there, you know as great as this ship is there are just some more thing you wish she could do, like say land." Trip said, as he sat back down, confused, just like the rest of the bridge crew.

**Planet Side**

"He is healed." the eldest women spoke, as Jonathan saw Malcolm's chest rise up taking in oxygen for the first time in minutes.

"Malcolm!" Jonathan jumped forward plowing past the aliens who wisely moved aside to let him at his lover, "Mal, Sweetheart?" he called, softly, pulling him into his arms, as he stared at the still pale face.

"Jonathan?" Malcolm's voice was week, but it was the first word out of his mouth in weeks, and Jonathan cried, tears silently streaming down his face. "Love?" Malcolm's voice was concerned as he saw the tears tracking down Jonathan's face, "Nothing sweetheart, I love you." he said, kissing Malcolm gently on the lips.

Malcolm smiled, "Love you too" he said before drifting back to sleep, for a moment Jonathan was worried but he could still see the steady rise and fall of his lovers chest, and feel the pulse beating against the arm he had wrapped his chest.

"Thank you." Jonathan choked out at last, his face turning from the peacefully sleeping form of Malcolm to look at the four aliens still standing at the foot of the bed. "You are most welcome Jonathan, you have respected our world, and the life here, you have proved your selves worthy in our eyes." the female spoke again.

Jonathan smiled, "Thank you anyway, I don't know, if I had to live without him…" he left the sentence unfinished, &"Who are you?" he asked instead.

"We are Dargina, my name is Katiram these are my friends, Locent, Gartarn and the little one is Farlian." the eldest said. "Nice to meet you, we didn't even know anyone else lived here." Jonathan said, "That was our intention, we were unsure if you could be trusted, those who have come before have tried to take us for study." Katiram said.

"I understand, thank you for trusting us now, for helping him." Jonathan said, "You are welcome, we must go for now, we will return." Katiram said, and she and her friends returned to the form of the birds, and flew out into the open heading towards their homes, as Jonathan continued to watch over Malcolm.

**Several Weeks Later**

"Hey Sweetheart, how you feeling?" Jonathan asked as he walked in from taking Porthos from his walk. Over the last several weeks they had begun to make friends with the Dargina, they still had no idea where they lived but Katiram and the others had come by several times, and brought others once or twice, he was hopeful that soon they would get to meet the leader of the Dargina.

"I am fine, as I have been telling you for the past two weeks, except of course that I am bored silly." Malcolm said his voice exasperated, ever time he even attempted to get up and move around without Jonathan dogging him every step of the way he was thwarted by his over protective lovers dog barking wildly and drawing the attention of the afore mentioned over protective lover, it was driving him mad.

"I just want to make sure you are fully recovered before…" Jonathan'ssentence was cut short, when a flying Armory officer landed on top of him, "As you can see I am more than full recovered." Malcolm quirked, his lips curling into a sly grin.

I guess so." Jonathan agreed as he fought to draw the breath that Malcolm has so kindly knocked out of him. "Good, now will you please stop mother henning me." Malcolm said as he stood, helping Jonathan of the floor as well.

"I do not mother hen you," Jonathan said defencivly, as he whipped himself down, "Do too!" Malcolm told him, turning just a little school yard. "I…ok maybe a little, but damn it, you died on me, I meanliterally in my arms, I thought…" he broke off.

Malcolm smiled and pulled Jonathan to him, "I know love, but I'm ok, I'm right here, not going to leave you, love you too much." Malcolm cooed in his ear. The two stood like that arms around each other for what seemed like hours, but was in reality only minutes.

"Jonathan love, come to bed, I want to be with you." Malcolm said his voice light, his breath teasing his ear. "Malcolm," Jonathan's voice was husky, as he pulled back and lead his lover over to the bed.

The two spent time slowly rediscoving each other after the long weeks they had spent without the simple pleasure of touching each other like this.

"Jonathan, I want you inside me," Malcolm whispered as he nibbled at his lovers ear, his fingers toying with his sensitive nipples.

"Malcolm are you…" Malcolm's lips on his stopped the flow of his words "I'm positive, I love you, I trust you, and I want you, NOW!" Malcolm said his voice sure, and steady, as he pressed his groin against his lovers. Jonathan nodded, his cock jumping slightly at the thought of being inside of Malcolm, not that he didn't love the feel of Malcolm inside of him, but he had thought about how it would feel to be inside of his lover, and now it would appear was his chance.

Jonathan released Malcolm long enough to gather the supplies that had been hidden way in a small cupboard while Malcolm had been ill. "You have to tell me if you want me to stop." he said depositing the supplies on the self beside the bed.

I won't, but I promise if I do, I'll tell you." Malcolm said remembering his own nevervousness about hurting Jonathan the first time they had made love.

Honestly he'd thought about this before, quite frequently actually, butevery time he had his mind set to do it, Jonathan was two steps ahead of him, and before he had chance to think, his brain cells were fried from the feeling of being inside of his errant lover.

Taking his time, Jonathan kissed and licked ever inch of Malcolm he could reach, removing clothes as and when they hindered him, paying special attention to his nipples, belly button, and the spot on his right hip, that Jonathan was well aware drove Malcolm crazy with need.

"Jonathan, please." Malcolm pleaded with him to finish him, or at least move on to the next event, but Jonathan wouldn't be swayed, he had set his mind on tasting ever inch of the beautiful fair skin beneath his hands, and if it took forever he was going to have his way.

Arms were lovingly licked and nibbled, the elbow joint suckled leaving a bright red mark, that would certainly turn into a lovely hickey by morning. Fingers receiving the same care, suckled into the mouth, lovingly laved and bitten.

Chest and stomach, licked, kissed and nibbled until Malcolm was certain he was going to burst from the shear pleasure of it all, finally Jonathan moved towards his goal, but rather than stopping he continued on, down the legs, nibbling at the thighs, nipping at the knee caps, and suckling ever toe into his mouth like he had the fingers, by the time he had completed his exploration Malcolm was writhing, small moaning, or at least something vaguely resembling moaning nosies coming out of his mouth in a continues stream.

"Hush Sweetheart, I want to make this good for you." Jonathan whispered as he finally traveled his way back up the lightly furred legs to the weeping erection between his lovers legs. Lightly blowing across the head, caused Malcolm to buck up, and when he did Jonathan was ready, taking him into the hot cavern of his mouth, and down his throat in one smooth movement.

"Ahhhhhhhhhhhh" the cry came from Malcolm's lips as he felt the soft, warm mouth of his lover around him, as he fought to keep himself from cumming too soon.

Jonathan smiled around his mouthful, bobbing his head up and down, flicking his tongue across the swollen head every time he reached it.

"Fuck, oh Jonathan, oh please." Malcolm begged finally finding his voice in among the chaos and mush that was presently his brain, or what was left of it.

Jonathan lifted his head a moment, "Soon babe." he promised before resuming his previous activities, his speed increasing as he pushed to bring Malcolm over the edge.

Finally without warning Jonathan felt the warm seed of his lover spill into his mouth and down into his throat, seconds later he heard his lovers cry as his shook beneath him, ripped apart by the orgasm rushing through his veins.

Jonathan pulled himself up beside his heavily breathing lover, watching the face still contorted in pleasure even though the flow of his seed had long since stopped. Smiling he gently kissed his lovers mouth, cheeks and neck, while he waited for him to be able to speak.

"Jonathan, in me." Malcolm finally said, his eyes finding Jonathan's own and conveying there what words couldn't describe.

Sitting up Jonathan pulled Malcolm's hips up, settling two pillows beneath them, as he settled himself between his lovers open legs.

Leaning down, he flicked his tongue across the small opening at his lovers rear, pushing lightly against the small tight ring, opening it with his moist tongue.

Lapping at the opening, for moments on end before pushing in deeper, and then returning to the outside to lick around the edges some more, finally sitting up and grabbing the sunscreen cum lube from the side board he squirted generous amounts onto his fingers, warming it, before letting his fingers trail between the white globes of Malcolm's ass.

Easing his fingers around the muscle of Malcolm's anus, he waited before slowly pressing one finger into the tight ring of muscle, right into the first knuckle. Watching his lovers face contort, mildly in pain, before relaxing almost immediately.

"Malcolm?" Jonathan said his voice worried, "I'm fine." Malcolm assured him, pushing back against the finger breeching him, "Don't stop." he said, eyes scrunched closed. Jonathan for now assured that his lover was not in pain, pulled out the finger, returning it, with a second, and again with a third, until he was satisfied that Malcolm was wide open and ready for him.

Moving forward, he watched Malcolm's eyes as he slowly slid in just the head of his cock, watching for any signs that Malcolm wanted him to stop, but rather than that, he found Malcolm pushing back against him, and within moments he was buried within in tight heat of his lover.

"God Malcolm," Jonathan ground out as he fought for control the tightness surrounding him, driving him to the edge. "Please Jonathan, I need to feel you, just do it, now, please," Malcolm pleaded, his blue eyes, almost completely black with desire, as he forcefully pushed himself on to Jonathan's hardened shaft, spearing himself on the flesh of his lover, and Captain.

"More," Malcolm continued to ground out as Jonathan increased his thrusts, trying to give Malcolm what he wanted, while desperately trying not to let it be over to soon.

As the speed increased, both started to lose all track of time, only the rhythm of theirbodies beating away the minutes, as they pushed each other closer to the edge, while trying to hold back their own orgasms.

Neither were sure who came first, both screaming out at almost the same second, clutching desperately to each other, tears rolling down their faces.

"Love you, Love you so much." Jonathan cried, his tears falling onto Malcolm's shoulder, even as Malcolm's own fell onto his, both knew how close they had come to losing each other, and both were relieved that this time around they hadn't, but they knew that once they got back to Enterprise, the dangers would be even greater, and for the first time, neither were sure if they wanted to go back at all.

**Planet Side—21/2 years after landing**

"Hey babe." Jonathan called walking across the small glade to his lover, "Hi…" Malcolm whispered back, his voice low his eyes focused far away.

"Whats up?" Jonathan asked laying beside him, snuggling lightly into his side, as he felt an arm come up around him. "Just thinking about my niece," Malcolm said his blue eyes flitting to the man curled by his side momentarily before returning to the point in space they had previously been staring.

"Niece?" Jonathan asked him, he had heard about his younger sister, and even a few other family members but Malcolm wasn't big on talking about his family life. "Nikki has a daughter, the most beautiful child you will ever lay eyes on, long black hair, it was half way down her back last time i saw her, she'd be 14, no 12 now, 6 last time I saw her, if my maths is right, it would be her birthday today." Malcolm told him. Malcolm had been thinking about the child a lot lately, truth be told, he was getting older, even more so being here than were he on Enterprise, and although getting older didn't bother him much, he had always been fond of children, and wanted some of his own.

Now it wasn't going to happen, and it was something he was trying to get use to, without arousing his lovers suspicions. Malcolm admitted to himself that were he not with Jonathan, he most likely could still find someone to settle down with and have a family when they got home, but the very thought of not being with Jonathan scared him to the pit of his soul.

"Really, Nikki can't be that old, to have a 12 year old daughter," Jonathan said, Malcolm smiled, "Nikki is only six years younger than me you know, she was only 17 when Carly was born, another thing my father disapproved of as you might imagine." Malcolm told him.

"Well if we find Nikki, I'm sure well find her daughter as well," Jonathan told him, kissing the side of his neck, nibbling on the soft skin at its base.

"Jonathan do you ever think about ANYTHING else." Malcolm teased, "Yes. Frequently when ever you aren't around, however when I have such a beautiful body so close to my own, how can I even think about thinking of anything else." Jonathan grinned, returning to the hickey he we replacing on Malcolm's neck, from where the last one had faded.

"Oh, all right." Malcolm said, his voice put upon, even as he leaned closer into the contact of his lovers mouth on his skin.

**Later That Evening**

Malcolm and Jonathan had just gotten back in, after having spent most of the day, lazing around the glade by the lake, sunning themselves, and making love.

"You want me to cook?" Jonathan offered as his lover set about gathering the needed untencils for making their evening meal. "No thanks, I'd like to still be alive tomorrow." Malcolm teased, kissing Jonathan as he did so to take the sting away from his mirthful words, he was well aware how sensitive Jonathan was after his little run in with that wolf.

*Knock Knock*

"Come on in Katiram." Malcolm called already knowing who their visitor was, Katiram had visited them regularly since they had met, when she and the others had revived him, they had become great friends, he was sure he would miss her dearly when they returned to Enterprise.

"Greetings Malcolm," Katiram said as she came in through the unlocked door, she rarely bothered to take on her animal for anymore, only occasionally when she felt the need to spy on them, not that Malcolm would ever admit he knew she did, and he was certain she would never admit to it either.

"Hey Katiram," Jonathan said, "How are you today?" he asked her smiling down at her, slight frame. "Greetings Jonathan, I am well, and you my friends, how are you this day?" she asked them.

Malcolm smiled, someone had been spying today, and had noticed his less than cheerful mood, at least the Dargina had agreed not to read their thoughts, or he'd have been in real trouble. "Both well, although its hard to be anything else here," Jonathan said "All alone tonight?" he asked, her motioning to a chair.

"Yes, the others did not wish to join me tonight, however they send their greetings" Katiram answered, sitting down she looked even smaller than she really was. "Tell them we said Hi, care to join us for dinner?" Malcolm butted in, as he pulled several vegetables from the cupboard, and placed them ready for cutting.

"I do not wish to intrude," Katiram said, Malcolm shook his head, "Not intruding at all, we'd love you to stay, wouldn't we Jonathan?" Malcolm asked his lover, who had turned away to feed Porthos.

"Huh? Oh yes of course, your always welcome here Katiram." Jonathan said, patting Porthos as he stood brushing the dust from the ground of his trousers.

"Thank-you, in that case I would be most honored to join you for supper." she said, smiling affectionately at the way Jonathan fussed over his small pet. And Katiram reflected into herself, it would give her a chance to delve more deeply into Malcolm's mind, this afternoons discovery still fresh in her mind, she would not could she help it allow her friends to be torn apart, something that as much as she knew Malcolm love Jonathan would no doubt happen if his fondest wish were not fulfilled.

"Have you heard from your ship?" Katiram asked them as they sat down to eat. Jonathan nodded around a mouthful of the 'rabbit' meat they were enjoying. "Yesterday, but we'll be here a while yet, probably around another year," he said.

Katiram nodded, "You must miss your home very much," she observed. "Yes, well no, I mean I miss the crew, and sometimes the fast pace, but I am just as happy here," Jonathan said, smiling at Malcolm, letting him know exactly who it was that made him just as happy here as he had ever been on Enterprise.

Malcolm returned his smile, "I Love You," he mouthed, his hand reaching over to take Jonathan's hand in his, perfectly contented the second he felt the warmth of his lover touching him. "I Love You Too." Jonathan mouthed back, squeezing Malcolm's hand lightly before releasing them.

The evening was spent, talking, laughing and enjoying the company of good friends, and when it came time for Katiram to leave, Jonathan took the opportunity to walk with her, and take Porthos at the same time.

Jonathan left Katiram at the edge of the cliff where the Dargina lived, "Good eve Jonathan." Katiram offered her farewells, "Night Katiram," Jonathan said as she turned the other direction, walking along the cliffs, towards the back of the Cabin.

Katiram changed her form, flying high over Jonathan's head back to the Cabin, she still had to find out somethings from Malcolm, but she could not been seen to be doing so, even her little foray into his mind early that day shouldn't have happened, her people had promised not to read their thoughts, but seeing Malcolm's saddened mood she had forgone that promise, wishing to know if she could help.

**Back at the Cabin—Later that night**

Malcolm was still awake, Jonathan laying curled beside him fast asleep, his soft snores the only sound in the peaceful night. Malcolm for all his trying was still wide awake, thoughts of his niece, and the children he would never have flowing through his mind.

As a younger man he had met a girl who had taken his fancy quite well, he recalled thinking at the time that if they were to wed and have children the children would be quite beautiful. With his own dark hair, but her green eyes, almost always sparkling with laughter.

Jonathan had green eyes, it was his one weakness and the first thing he had noticed about his Captain, they too where almost always filled with laughter. He tried picturing what his and Jonathan's children might look like, Jonathan's eyes, his own dark hair, Jonathan's strong bone structure, and nicely tanned skin.

Katiram was sitting on a high branch of the tree outside the cabin, high enough for neither of the men to be able to see her. She was sifting through the thoughts of her friend, as his mind raced. He loved Jonathan with all his heart, that much Katiram was certain, but he had a longing for children of his own, and that could be something that would rip the two men apart given time to fester, but she knew Malcolm would never talk about it with Jonathan, it wasn't his nature, even if he had become more adapt at talking things out over his time here.

It would appear she had some planing, and some convincing to do, if she were going to convince the elders to help, before it was too late.

"Elder please, you have yourself stood in their home, called them, friends, and breatheren, help them," Katiram pleaded with the gentle old women in front of her, the elder was the eldest and wisest among her people, Katiram knew that if she could convince her, others would follow with ease, but convincing her seemed to be the problem.

The elder stood slightly shorter than Katiram, long silver hair flowing freely down her back and around her shoulders. "It is not our place to interfere my child, as it was not your place to intrude in his mind without his consent," the elder said, her eyes glittering in the dark as was normal for her people.

"Elder I know this, however I have seen my friends mood of late, he is dealing with the loss of something he never had, but he need not, we could help him, help them, you know that letting this fester will only bring them both pain." Katiram begged with the women.

"I will give you that much, let me have time to contemplate this, we will see." the elder said smiling cordially at Katiram and taking her leave.


**Enterprise—7 weeks 2 days after crash**

"Just a few more days, and they'll be back, safe and sound," Travis Mayweather said, as he took a bite of the the food on his plate, some type of pasta dish, he wasn't sure what, Chef was a great cook, so he rarely worried what he picked up, as long as it looked eatable.

"Yep, it'll be good to have 'em back, although it'll more an' likely take 'em a week or two to get use to bein' back.." Trip Tucker replied, his own plate before him almost empty, he has scoffed it down so fast wanting to get back to the bridge ASAP in case the Cartel arrived earlier than planned.

"Commander are you trying to choke yourself?" Hoshi asked him eventually, smiling as she did so. Trip grinned, "Nope, just wanna get back ta the bridge, 'case they get here early," he told them, standing quickly and grabbing his plate, "See ya later." he called behind him as he dropped his tray in the dispenser and headed for the bridge once more.

"Any sign of them," he asked as soon as he entered the Bridge. T'Pol raised an eyebrow, "As I believe I told you several times before, the Cartel is still three days away at their present speed." she told him, her voice calm, and even, well even as it could be given that tiny little bit of annoyance seeping into it.

"I know, but I just thought maybe…" he said smiling to appease her, as he busied himself at the Engineering Station.

**Planet Side—3 years, 4 months, 16 days after landing**

"Elder, there ship comes soon, you have said you will help them, it must be done soon," Katiram pleaded, after much discussion, and pleading not only from Katiram but the others as well, the elders had finally agreed to follow through with Katiram's plan, but they need to act fast.

"Very well, two nights from now, you will be responsible for this Katiram if it fails it is on your own head." the oldest women spoke. "I understand Elder." Katiram assured her, and so it was set, two nights from now, all Katiram's hard work would, with any luck pay off.

"Jonathan?" Malcolm called his lover as he walked along the back of the lake. "Hey," the soft voice came form behind him. "Hey, what are you doing?" Malcolm asked him. "Looking, they'll be here soon, I just figured I'd have a last look around." Jonathan explained, a part of him, the greater part he admitted was excited, and egear to get back to Enterprise, but another small part of him, wanted to stay here, in this little paradise outside of the 'normal' universe.

Malcolm smiled gently, blue-gray eyes twinkling in the twilight of the evening, "I know love" he whispered, "But we have to go back, and at least we will still be together." Malcolm told him, pulling him into a tight embrace.

Jonathan sighed, "Will we?" he asked, not really to Malcolm but Malcolm answered him anyway, "Yes, I promised you forever Jonathan Archer, and I intend to keep my promise, as long as we are both alive there is no way I am giving you up." he told him, leaning up to kiss his taller lover lightly on the lips.

"Come on, lets go back to the Cabin, this might be our last night here, I want to make love with you there again," Malcolm whispered, Jonathan smiled, "Like the first time?" he asked, his own voice low. "That all depends, how fast can you run!" Malcolm told him suddenly pulling away laughing as he ran for the cabin at his fastest pace.

"Mallll-colmmmmm…" Jonathan's voice rang around him, as he watched his lover get further away, before grinning and taking of after him, by the time he got back to the cabin, Malcolm was already naked and laying flat on the bed, smiling, waiting for him.

Malcolm moved towards him, sitting up sliding down the bed until her reached the end, where Jonathan was stood, kissing him, nibbling along his lower lip, dragging a groan from Jonathan, and then stopping long enough to pull of his lovers T-shirt contenting himself with watching the hard chest rise and fall with breath for a few moments, before helping Jonathan pull his sweats down, and off, no underwear he noted, something they'd both have to get use to when they went back to Enterprise, laying himself down he pulled Jonathan down beside him, rolling over, so he was a top the older man again bare skin against bare skin.

His hands explored the hard chest and flat stomach, strong shoulders and back, of his lover just as though it were the first time he had ever done so, muscles rippling under skin as they floated over everywhere they could reach, slow and steady neither in the rush they had been the first time they had made love, both of them wanted it to last.

Malcolm moved down letting his lips travel over the soft skin on Jonathan's neck allowing his tongue and teeth to play as well, hand traveling down to already hard nipples flicking over them with fingers. Jonathan leaned up into the touch arching his back, begging silently for more, "Please Mal," his voice desperate as Malcolm traveled further down bringing his mouth into line with Jonathan's sensitive nipples flicking his cool tongue out over the hot skin.

Malcolm was as always enjoying exploring Jonathan's wonderfully fit body, enjoying the feel of firm muscles beneath his hands and mouth, he could happily remain like this forever, but experaince and his knowledge of the imminant arrival of their 'resucers' told him it couldn't be so.

Continuing to suckle on Jonathan's nipples he moved his hands down to find the hardened shaft of Jonathan's manhood, warn and plusing in his hands. Following down with his mouth he flicked his tongue across the head of the heated flesh, laping softly at the pre-come that had gathered there making Jonathan buck half of the bed a loud groan escaping his lips.

Malcolm had to taste him, he couldn't wait any longer, moving his head forward he allowed his warm, moist mouth to engulf the hardness. "Ahhhhhhhhhh…" Jonathan let out from above him, "please Malcolm please" he begged repeating the words over and over until Malcolm took pity, working his mouth, faster, appling the correct pressure, in all the right places. Malcolm smiled slightly around the erection in his mouth, listening to the moans from above.

Jonathan for his part babbled above him, very few words could be made out the occasional "Mal" or "oh God" was all that he could distinguish, from the string of words flowing from him. Malcolm released one hip and brought his hand under his chin to fondle gently at Jonathan's balls, the older man yelled out as his mind and body overloaded and his cock pulsed releasing his seed into Malcolm, his body spasaming as Malcolm continued to suck him until he had every drop. Moving up beside Jonathan, Malcolm dropped light kisses over his chest and neck before finding his mouth thrusting his tongue in allowing his lover to taste himself on Malcolm's lips. Jonathan kissed Malcolm back passion bubbling to the surface as he felt himself hardening again slowly against Malcolm's stomach, "Malcolm, Please I need to feel you inside me," Jonathan pleaded pulling back from his lover to let the man see the desire he knew was burning in his eyes.

Malcolm burrowed his face briefly in Jonathan's neck, "God Jonathan I want you so much, love you so much, never letting you go." he said love and desire shining through his eyes.

Malcolm reached around under the pillow pulling out a small tube of what looked like sunscreen, "Always prepared huh?" Jonathan tease slightly as he rolled onto his back drawing up his knees while Malcolm coated his fingers generously with the substance. Kissing him again to keep him distracted Malcolm let his fingers reach behind Jonathan and trace down the inside of his butt cheeks.

Jonathan shivered he loved this feeling, of Malcolm preparing him, making him ready to admit him, although he was always more than ready, by the time Malcolm had finished. This time Malcolm was quicker, more assured in his movements than he had been their first time, but still he prepared him thoughly. Finally, slowly Malcolm slicked up his erection at brought it into line with Jonathan's opening.

Inching in slowly Malcolm had to bite his lip to keep from pushing in all at once, the heat in casing him was so tight, so wonderful, each and every time.

"Jonathan," he looked at his lover seeing the green eyes glistening with love, "I love you." he whispered, kissing him, mimicking the actions of his lower body with his tongue.

Malcolm knew when he had hit Jonathan's sweet spot from the look of utter pleasure that passed over the face

of the man he loved, aiming for that spot again and again the two men picked up their pace, both moving faster with each thrust so close to the edge and both holding back trying to make it last just that little bit longer.

Malcolm felt Jonathan tighten around him hearing the cry of his lover as he came a second time was too much and it pushed him over the edge, crying out his lovers name in the midst of his own completion he collapsed down his ear coming to rest against the fast beating heart of the body below him.

Thought was almost non-exsistant but Malcolm had enough brain power left to shift off Jonathan to the side before squashing him regardless of the fact Jonathan was bigger in build Malcolm was not a light man. Jonathan snuggled into Malcolm his head coming to rest in the crook of the younger man's neck. "Love you Jonathan," Malcolm whispered to him as they settled into a comfortable position, "I love you too Mal." was the answer he got although it was barely heard because of the neck against which Jonathan had his mouth pressed against as they both drifted into a deep sleep, both happy, and more at ease, they knew that in a mere matter of days they would have to leave this haven, but they had each other, that was all they needed.

**Enterprise—8 Weeks, 4 days after crash**

"Commander it would appear you were correct the Cartel is 5000 meters away, they are hailing us," T'Pol said, although in her opinion Trip's over zelous the past few days was still quite illiogical, they had after all only arrive one day sooner than planed.

"On Screen," Trip called, jumping up from the engineering station. "Commander," Nikki Reed appeared on the screen, "I will be taking out a shuttle soon, I assume you would like to come with me." she said. Trip nodded, "Dam right I would," he told her. Nikki smiled, "I will dock with Enterprise before heading down to the surface," she said, "Be ready in half an hour" he added before nodding and cutting the channel.

"Half an hour, yeah right, like you haven't been ready for the past week" Travis joked, and the crew on the bridge laughed, "yeah well" Trip said pausing, "so would you have been were you worried for the Captains life, you know how Malcolm loves to blow things up, and three years is a very long time to go without" he said, making light of his own behaviour.

**Half and Hour Later**

Trip stood waiting for the airlock to open and Nikki Reed to step out, soon they would be able to retrieve Jon, and Malcolm and leave this planet behind.

"Commander," Nikki greeted, "Nice to finally met you in person." she added, shaking his hand cordially. "Yeah you too," Trip said, "So we gonna go?" he asked, Nikki smiled, "We probably should." she replied, turning and heading back into the shuttle a step behind her.

**Planet Side**

Malcolm heard the shuttle pod approching, a few minuted before he saw it, they were indeed far from silent as means of transport went, but then he supposed, space had no sounds, so silence was hardly required.

"Jonathan," he called to his lover who was busy breaking down the last of the furniture etc that couldn't be taken back to Enterprise. "I hear it," was all he said returning to his work for a moment, before disposing of it, and going to stand at Malcolm's side.

The shuttle landed next to wear the remains of the original shuttle pod had crashed, most of the insides had been taken out to use in the cabin, but the outer-shell was still mostly intact, and some of the insides.

The door opened and as expected out stepped one Commander Charles Tucker III, but unexpected was who stepped out behind him.

"Nikki!" Malcolm's cry of shock, jolted Jonathan, and his eyes shot up to watch the young women that Malcolm had gathered into a hug so tight that he had to be giving her trouble breathing.

When Malcolm finally released her, his words going a mile a minute as he questioned her arrival, Jonathan got the chance to look her over. Quite attractive he supposed, she did poecess a certain spark, but still to his thinking at least, she had nothing at all on Malcolm.

"…Malcolm calm down, we can talk later, and yes Carly is on the Cartel, very eager to see you as well," Jonathan heard Nikki saying as Malcolm finally appeared to settle himself.

"Cap'n." Trip said from the side of him, and Jonathan looked at his friend, "I'm fine Trip." he assured him with a smile, he was about to ask about Enterprise when he heard Nikki laughing hysterically, although at what he had no idea Malcolm appeared as bewildered as he himself was.

"You, hehehe, nice work Malcolm really," Nikki said between giggles, "Trip I don't think you have to worry about any more 'sonnets of unrequited love' in a near future." Nikki said quoting something Trip had said on the shuttle, when he mentioned that Jon had feelings for Malcolm.

Trip looked at her strangly, and then seemed to catch on, looking at Jonathan, and then Malcolm, he grinned, "Well I'll be damed, Jonathan Archer you are one sly dog," he said, and even as Jonathan still looked confused Malcolm seemed to catch on as well, and he himself laughed slightly.

"Malcolm?" Jonathan asked him, Trip was tempted to ask him if being here had slowed down his mind, but Malcolm got in first, "I think they mean this love." he said before kissing him lightly on the lips.

"Oh," Jonathan said realizing what the others had been amused by, and then suddenly thinking "Sonnets of Unrequited love?" he asked, smaking Trip lightly on the arm. Trip grinned, "Oh and those eyes, don't they remind you of thunderstorm sometimes, yadda yadda yadda, they are so beautiful, yadda yadda yadda." Trip mimiked and they all laughed, including Jonathan, he didn't really sound like THAT, did he?

"Friends," Katiram's voice sounded behind them, "I came to say my fair wells, the others will be along in a few moments." she said bowing lightly. "Cap'n?" Trip asked, "Its alright Trip, this it Katiram, she and her family saved Malcolm's life about a year back." Jonathan told him, "Well then, mightly pleased ta met ya," Trip said, his southren drawl increasing, as he worked his nautral charm.

The voices of the others sounded as five or six people all crowded in, Jonathan and Malcolm took a few moments saying good bye to each of them, Trip and Nikki stayed well back, letting them do what they had too.

"Everything that needs to be put into the shuttle it over there," Jonathan said at last as Malcolm finished saying good bye to Katiram. The others helped them place the few small bundles safely on the shuttle, and left,leaving only the four humans and Katiram.

"I will miss you friends." Katiram said, he smile week, even as she hugged both men tightly, before stepping back and allowing them to enter the shuttle, Porthos on their heels. She watched as the shuttle lifted of the ground, "Good luck my friends," she whispered into the cool air, turning and taking the form of the bird, flew high into the sky taking a sweep over the shuttle before it went to high for her to do so.

Jonathan saw her, and pointing her out to Malcolm they both waved and smiled sadly, they would never return here they both knew it, and they would miss it, with time they supposed, they'd get use to Enterprise once more, but it was going to be very strange for a while.

**ENTERPRISE—Shuttle bay**

The shuttle landed gracefully, Nikki at the helm, "Home sweet home." Trip chimed, as he opened the hatch releasing the two men, and the dog once more aboard Enterprise.

"I guess you'll wanna get settled in," Trip said, "You still remember how to find your quarters?" he asked jokingly. Jonathan smiled, "Pretty sure I do" he said, Trip nodded, grinning, "We better head to sickbay first, Doc has me under threat of death if I don't." he said. Both men groaned, nodded and followed Trip and Nikki to sickbay.


"Ahh Captain, Lieutenant, its good to have you back again, I won't keep you too long, I simply want to ensure you are in good health, I can carry out a more detailed physical at a later date," Phlox cheerfully spoke as the entered the brightly lit, but sterile, and pale sickbay.

The examinations were as promised mercifully short, and Phlox soon released them but not without a quite word in both ears, he knew, it stood to reason of course, he was a Doctor, he was bound to have found out sooner of later, they just wished it had been a little later, not that they wanted to hide their relationship, they just didn't want to let it become public knowledge just yet.

They both went to their seperate quarters, pottering around, everything the same as it had been, it was empty looking, empty feeling, and no more than half an hour after they had seperated was Malcolm chiming Jonathan's door, happy when he was granted admitance, and Jonathan took him immediately into his arms.

Jonathan lent down and kissed Malcolm for the first time aboard the ship, it was slow, sweet, an exploration of places explored a million times before, but this time it was different somehow, and yet the same.

It didn't take long for the kisses to esculate, and both men found themselves laying naked across the small bunk, Malcolm hungrily devouring Jonathan's chest as though it were his last meal.

"God Malcolm Please," Jonathan begged him, as he feasted contentedly on his lovers nipples, licking, nibbling and suckling, until Jonathan was just a writhing mass of flesh beneath him, so that when he did finally move further down, Jonathan was barely aware of his trajectory, to swept up in the feelings Malcolm was producing to notice much of anything.

Malcolm slipped quietly past his lovers erection, moving down, pushing Jonathan's legs back gaining access to his ass, flicking his tongue out, loving how Jonathan bucked his hips up, seeming to notice of the first time, just what Malcolm was doing.

Malcolm continued this, unheeding of Jonathan's pleas for more, loving the sounds, and the taste of Jonathan's passion, needing it. Minutes that may as well have been hours for Jonathan passed in a daze until finally Malcolm took pity, and in one swift, and unexpected move took Jonathan into his mouth, swallowing him whole, by the time Jonathan was aware of it happening he was too far gone on the orgasm ripping through himself to care.

Pulling himself up Malcolm grabbed for his jeans, he hadn't bothered putting on his uniform yet, he thought it best to wait till he had at least had his hair cut, they had gone someway to keeping themselves groomed on the planet, but it had been months since either of them had cut their hair, so it was getting quite longish.

Finding the lube he had stashed in his pocket, Malcolm wasted no time waiting for Jonathan to recover, instead preparing him quickly and with the skill born of much practice. In the moments it took Jonathan to re-gather himself after his explosive orgasm Malcolm had him fully prepared.

Malcolm took his time entering him, he could have gone faster, had in the past, but now the time for urgancey was past Malcolm wanted to savor every moment the tight heat of his lover surrounded him, and so he took it slowly even amist Jonathan's pleas for more, he took his time, savoring, remembering every detail, every thought, and feeling.

Time passed too quickly, and although Malcolm tried with every shread of his being to hold of the encroching orgasm, he couldn't, feeling Jonathan's warmth spill over his stomach was all it took, and he pushed as deeply into the older man as he could go, spilling himself within his lover.

Neither of them heard the com beeping, as the finally pulled apart and drifted of to sleep in each others arms.

Trip had tried to com them several times to no response, he had signaled the door bell three times already, and there was no answer, finally he gave up, and worry took over, and so breaking just about every rule in the book, he used his engineering codes to open the door, and enter.

Knowing about the two men and seeing them together was completely different, he never would have imagined the scene before him, both men were on their sides, Jonathan had his head tucked under Malcolm's head, their arms wrapped tightly around the others waist.

Trip smiled at the site, and left, if T'Pol asked he'd just tell her they were sleeping obviously tired from the time difference ant to leave them be until morning. Casting one finally glance back the the sleeping figures Trip headed back to the bridge.


"Trip?" Nikki asked him as he entered the bridge, alone. "They were sleeping, didn't seem right to wake 'em. Let 'em sleep, probably tired from the time difference an' all." he explained, Nikki looked at him strangely, but seemed to get his proper meaning, and T'Pol who had been listening to the exchange nodded, there was no need to disturbe either mans sleep for now.

As everyone went on about their work, Trip and Nikki standing whispering quietly in a corner while Trip told her what he had seen, a beam of light flashed across the bridge, and a young women in her early twenties was deposited just behind the Captains chair.

Every eye turned to the young women, she stood about 5.7", long dark hair, it had to go at least half way down her back, green eyes, and lightly tanned skin, and more importantly wearing a uniform that was most definitly starfleet in design.

"Where is Captain Archer…" where the first words of the the her mouth as she turned serching the bridge for the man she had asked for…


"Where is Captain Archer?" where the first words of her mouth as she turned searching the bridge for the man she had asked for.

T'Pol steep forward, the temporary replacement at tactical arming himself without thought. "Identify yourself." T'Pol ordered.

"It doesn't matter who I am, where is Captain Jonathan Archer?" the young women repeated. "If you wish to speak to the Captain you must identify yourself." T'Pol told her.

"You wouldn't believe me if I told you." the women said, Trip stepped in, "Try us, you'd be amazed what we'd believe." he said, his southern accent reeking with openness and honesty.

"My name is Kia Louise Archer-Reed, I am from the year 2179." she said, "Still think you believe me?" she asked directing the question at Trip.

T'Pol spoke for him, "You expect us to believe you are from 25 years in the future?" the Vulcan asked her, her eyebrow raising above her head.

"No I don't, but whether you believe it or not, I do, and I would like to speak to Captain Jonathan Archer, NOW!!!…Please." she added the last word as an after thought, sometimes being part Brit was extremely annoying.

"Archer-Reed, you ain't saying what I think your saying. Are ya?" Trip asked her suddenly, as if he'd finally caught on to something everyone else had gotten five minutes before hand.

"That rather depends on what you think I am saying, however, if you mean are my parents Jonathan Archer and Malcolm Reed then yes, that's what I am saying." Kia answered, as though it were the most normal thing in the world to say. "That is even less believable than you coming from the future, it is biologically impossible for two males to procreate." T'Pol said, her Vulcan logic taking precedence.

"Not when you count that fact that there were aliens involved, and it was pretty complicated, and if you don't believe me you can have Phlox do a DNA test, AFTER I talk to Captain Archer." Kia said.

T'Pol nodded, "Very well, Commander, could you please go and retrieve the Captain, and Lt Reed." T'Pol said, looking at Trip, "Sure," he replied quickly before heading for the lift, so much for letting them sleep in peace.

**Archer's Quarters**

"Cap'n, you gotta wake up." Trip said softly, he wanted Jonathan awake first; waking up Malcolm first didn't seem like such a good idea unless Trip wanted a black eye tomorrow. "Trip? What the hell!" Jonathan shot up, rousing Malcolm as well. "Sorry, but you two gotta get up to that the Bridge, right now." Trip said, apologizing, for the intrusion, "I…um…" Jonathan wasn't sure what to say to his best friend, who was standing in front of him, while he was in bed with his lover, his very male lover, Trip may have known he was interested in Malcolm, even know he was involved with him, but that was a little different than seeing them like this. "Relax Jon, you two look sweet together, I ain't got no problem with it, now hurry up, I'll wait outside." Trip said, almost as though he knew what Jonathan was thinking, sometimes it was handy to have a best friend who knew you as well as Trip knew him.

Five minutes later, two casually dressed men stepped out of Jonathan's quarters. "Didn't think Malcolm would have time to change anyway so…" Jonathan explained when Trip looked at his clothes, he could have put on his uniform, but as silly as it was, Jonathan didn't really want Malcolm looking strange in civvies, when everyone else was in uniform.


The doors to the turbo lift opened, and out stepped the three men, Jonathan and Malcolm a step behind Trip. "Captain, sorry to disturb you however this young women requested to speak with you, she has an interesting story to tell." T'Pol said as Jonathan approached her where she was standing in-front of Kia.

"I'm…" he was about to speak when Kia cut him off, "I know who you are, I can't stay here, I only came to warn you of something. In six days you will be hailed by a colony approximately three light years away. Ignore that hail, its a trick." she said, her voice serious.

Jonathan looked at her skeptically, "And you know this how?" he asked her. "Silik is involved, Daniel's has been keeping track of all his communications with the 27th century, he would have come himself, but he couldn't, he sent me." she answered.

"I know you probably don't believe me Captain, why would Daniel's send someone from the 22nd century, instead of one of his colleges from the 31st century, in short he didn't think you'd believe them either, but since a DNA test will prove to you I am who I say I am, he hoped that would be enough to convince you that what I am saying is true." Kia said.

"DNA test?" Jonathan asked, T'Pol answered, "She claims she is your daughter, and that of Lt Reed, even though it is biologically impossible, she does indeed posses some of your facial features." the Vulcan scientist said.

"Daughter?" Jonathan half asked, "How?" he asked shock evident in his features. "Katiram, and her people, in fact if I am not mistaken, you should already be pregnant." Kia replied, removing a medical scanner from her jacket and scanning it across Jonathan's midriff and stomach.

"Yep there I am," she said a few moments later, "Doc?" she offered the scanner to the newly arrived Doctor Phlox who had been called to the bridge at T'Pol's insistence moments before.

Phlox took the scanner from her, and began running the same scans she had run moments before, "Hmmm…" he said, fiddling with the buttons of the scanner, before running the scan again, "Ahhh…" he said before again fiddling with the scanners controls.

On the fifth "Ahhh…" everyone, especially Jonathan was getting short fused, "Doctor," he ground out, his fingers digging into his palm, as he spoke in an effort to maintain some semblance of control.

"She is correct Captain, you are indeed pregnant, only by a few days however, I would have to run more through scans of course, but from the data I have collected the foetus does indeed appear to have the same DNA patterns of this young women." Phlox said, handing the scanner back to her.

"If you need more proof you can have the good Doctor perform a more in depth DNA test, but that takes time, and we don't have a lot of that." Kia said, Silik wants Daddy…Lt Reed dead, he can't kill you, they need you alive, but they don't need him alive." Kia said, stopping for a beat after saying daddy, realizing it probably wasn't the best thing to say given the circumstances.

"Why? I mean, why would they want Malcolm dead?" Jonathan asked. Kia smiled, "Simple. You are an important part of history, to kill you would be a mistake, but they want to get rid of me, they figure than if he's dead you'll never keep the child you are carrying, in other words me, and they are right." she said.

Malcolm who till now had stood quietly at the side spoke up, "How do we know that you aren't working for the same people the Suliban work for? They could have altered you genetic make up." he said.

"Ever the pessimist, huh? I don't blame you for not believing me, hell I wouldn't believe me, but whether you believe me or not, I am your daughter, believe me when I tell you that if you go near that colony, you will die." Kia replied.

"Ok, we'll bite, but I still want that DNA test, and Doctor, I want to know how the hell I can possibly be pregnant." Jonathan said, motioning towards the lift, "T'Pol, you have the bridge, Doctor, Malcolm, um…Sorry I didn't catch the name." he said, "Kia Louise Archer-Reed," the women told him, "Kia, I suggest we go to the sickbay." he ordered everyone, as soon as the lift doors closed the bridge was buzzing, they were barely in sickbay before the story was making its way around the ship.


"The results of the DNA testing will take approximately three hours, as for the other matter, you are Captain, most definitely pregnant, now as to weather this child is indeed the foetal version of Kia here, I won't know until I get the results of the DNA test, but it looks most likely that she is," Phlox told the three Starfleet officers.

Jonathan who had been sitting on a bio-bed, Malcolm beside him, suddenly felt very ill, and was half way to the bathroom before anyone had a chance to blink.

"Jonathan?" Malcolm called to him from outside the bathroom door, when no reply was forthcoming Malcolm over-rode the security locks and entered himself to find Jonathan sitting on the floor beside the toilet looking decidedly pale.

"Doctor?" Malcolm called Phlox worried for his lover, "Relax Lieutenant, its just a case of morning sickness I would say, it would have started displaying its self soon enough, even had it not been shocked out of him just now." the Denobulan Doctor informed him, as he assisted Malcolm in getting Jonathan back onto the vacated bio-bed.

Once Malcolm took his eyes of Jonathan long enough to look around he saw Kia who had been standing to the side quietly laughing at the display.

"Something amusing." he asked, his voice less than pleasant. "Only you two, and the fact that I very clearly remember Dad telling me the 50 or so zillion names he used for you while he was pregnant, none of which were particularly nice." Kia responded.

Malcolm signed, but Jonathan moving beside him dragged his attention back to his lover, who was once again making a beeline for the bathroom, this time not bothering to lock the door.

Malcolm followed, holding Jonathan as he was sick, rubbing his back gently as he did, until he was sure nothing more was coming, and then he just held him there rocking back and forth on the bathroom floor.

"Gentlemen, why don't you return to your quarters, I will contact you as soon as the results are available, Kia I assume you don't mind staying with me." Phlox suggested. "Not at all, I've seen enough mush from these pair to last two life times." she said, knowing full well her parents would no doubt go back to their quarters and do the, 'well its happened, we didn't want it, but I'm glad about it, I love you yadda yadda yadda' speech, something she didn't really mind missing.

**Jonathan Archer's Quarters"

The were barely through the door, when Jonathan headed straight for the bathroom, Malcolm stayed outside a few moments waiting for Jonathan to come back into the main room, he hated seeing him sick.

When after a few minutes the sound stopped and Jonathan didn't appear he decided to go see what was wrong, and he found Jonathan on the floor of the bathroom, tears streaming down his face.

Malcolm was beside him in minutes, pulling him into his arms, "Jonathan, its ok love, I'm here," he cooed lightly in his lovers ear, "I'm here." he repeated until he felt Jonathan stop shaking.

"Malcolm, our little girl, she was our daughter, I just know it, I can feel it." Jonathan said his voice still shaking tears still flowing but less so now.

Malcolm smiled lightly against his lovers hair, kissing the top of his head softly, he'd known it the moment he saw her, the eyes were so like Jonathan's it was hard to mistake her for anyone but his daughter.

"I know love," Malcolm said, "Are you alright with that?" he asked, he had to admit he was happy about it, he had thought children while being with Jonathan, and now he found he could have not only the man he loved but have a child with that man as well, it was almost like all his dreams were coming true at once.

Jonathan thought about it for a moment, he loved Malcolm, he'd never in all the time they had been together thought about children, he supposed it never occurred to him with both of them being men. Well it was occurring to him now, and was he really ok with it? Well that was the question wasn't it. Was he ready to be a father? Did he even want to be a father?

If it had been anyone else but Malcolm, had it been some women or another, he didn't think he would, but with Malcolm it was some how different, Malcolm was, he was Malcolm, and anything that was a part of Malcolm, Jonathan knew he would love. "Yeah, I think I am." he answered at last, his head lifting from where it was resting, his green eyes seeking out Malcolm's blue ones, this wasn't something they had planned, or expected, but it was something they would have to live with, more than that, something they wanted to live with.

**Several Hours Later—Sickbay**

The entire senior staff plus Nikki was present, Jonathan sat on the bio-bed, Malcolm beside him, Kia sitting on the bed opposite, Trip leaning against the end of that bed, Nikki beside him, T'Pol was standing at the end of the Captain's bed, Travis and Hoshi behind her.

"Well Captain," Phlox said, appearing at last from one of the side labs attached to Sickbay, "Kia is most definitely your daughter, her DNA is almost a perfect mix of your own and Lt Reed's, identical to the child you are presently carrying." the alien man announced.

Jonathan and Malcolm only nodded, while everyone else stood around in varying degrees of shock, "Thank you Doctor," Jonathan was the first to speak, "Captain." T'Pol spoke up, "I will assume this means that you and Lt Reed are indeed involved?" she asked, stupid as the question sounded given the evidence, Jonathan wasn't surprised by it.

"Yes, we are, a lot happened down there, I know some people are going to think that being trapped down there is the only reason anything happened, but I want to set that straight, I don't care what the rest of the crew think, but I need you to believe me when I tell you that Malcolm and I are very serious about each other, I have never felt this way for anyone, and we intend to keep this child, I can only hope we have your support." Jonathan said.

Malcolm smiled at his lovers little speech, and he reached out to take Jonathan's hand in his own, he wasn't one for public displays of affection, but in this case, he could make an exception. "That goes for me as wel,l" he said, his English accent, wrapping around the words entirely serious, and making sure that everyone present knew that.

No one spoke for a few moments, until Trip decided it was time to say something, "Well I don't know about the others, but congratulation,s" he said, his sincerity plain for anyone to see as he moved forward, and shook hands with Malcolm, and then Jonathan giving the older man a brief hug.

When Trip stepped back, Travis and Hoshi, took a moment to congratulate them as well, Hoshi hugging both men, "You know this means that two of the best looking guys on the ship are now taken," she said as she moved away over beside Nikki, "It's just not fair!" she mock groused. Everyone with the exception of T'Pol laughed, even Phlox.

"Hey," Travis said, "Should i be offended?" he asked, Hoshi laughed, "I didn't say the best looking, just two of the best." she said appeasing him. "Nikki?" Malcolm said noticing that although his little sister was laughing with them, there was something a little off.

Nikki smiled, "Quit your worrying BB, just thinking how Dad is gonna take this is all," she said laughing a little, although her thoughts were anything but funny, both of them knew that once Stuart Reed found out about his sons lover, there would most definitely be fireworks.

"BB?" Jonathan asked butting in, "Big Brother," Nikki and Malcolm said at the exact same moment, "Hey," Trip said, "You sure you two ain't twins?" he asked. "Quite sure." they both said, again at the same moment.

The others continued to laugh and joke, but Jonathan just sat for a moment watching them, they had made it past the first really big hurdle, the first two really, if you count Nikki, although from Malcolm talking about her, he really hadn't expected that to be a problem. There were still more problems to face, especially now that they were going to have a child, but at least they were together, and they had friends who cared.

"Well I guess my job here is done, I should probably be going," Kia said, jumping down from the bed.

"Do you have to leave soon?" Jonathan asked, now that he knew, he really wanted to get to know her better, even though he knew he really shouldn't.

"Sorry, but Daniel's wouldn't appreciate me staying any longer." Kia said, removing a small device from her pocket, "I guess we will see you in what, 25 years?" Jonathan asked. "Something around that," Kia replied, but before Jonathan had chance to say anything more, she was gone.

"Well I guess we'll see in 25 years or so." Malcolm said dryly. Jonathan smiled, "Or not, Doctor, is the child's growth rate, um…normal?". Phlox nodded, "Perfectly so Captain, from what I can tell at this early stage, and you must remember, that you are only pregnant by approximately one week." the Doctor responded.

Jonathan nodded, "So we are looking at nine months then?" he asked, "I would imagine so Captain yes, now if you will all excuse me, its time for me to feed my Kartagan Snel Worm" the alien said, turning to head to the other side of sickbay.

"Guess we should leave him too it," Trip said, and they all made their way out of sickbay, half way down the corridor to the lift, Jonathan spoke, "T'Pol you still have command for now, I think Malcolm and I both need a few days to re-adjust to being on board before we start back into duty shifts."

T'Pol raised her eyebrow, but simply nodded, "Yes Captain," she said, before they stepped into the turbo lift, they dropped T'Pol at the bridge first, before heading down to Jonathan's quarters, Trip and Nikki heading to Engineering, under the pretense that Nikki had yet to see the warp five engine.

"Nikki? Malcolm asked before they departed, "When do you think you can arrange for Carly to be brought over?" he asked. "She'll be here tomorrow, I have been told to stay with Enterprise for now, so we'll both be around for a while," Nikki answered, "See you later BB." she said kissing his cheek, and heading of with Trip.

"Well this will be interesting three Reed's on one ship, God help us all." Jonathan teased lightly as they headed for his quarters.

** Jonathan Archer's Quarters **

Jonathan sat down on the bed as soon as he entered his quarters, Malcolm sliding in behind him, his arms wrapping around his lovers midsection, his hand resting lightly on his stomach. "You alright?" Malcolm asked. Jonathan leaned closer into Malcolm's strong arms, "Yeah, just tired, this is all very, unexpected." he said.

Malcolm smiled, kissing Jonathan lightly on the head, "Very, but not unpleasant," he said, holding onto Jonathan just that little bit tighter than he normally did. "No," Jonathan agreed "not unpleasant."

Malcolm pulled back, turning his lover to face him.

"Jonathan, I want to ask you something, I thought about it before, on the planet, but well I didn't see the point in it then. I don't want you to think I am just doing this now because your pregnant, because I would never do that to you, but I love you Jonathan, I love you more than I ever knew it was possible to love another person. When I thought I lost you way back at the beginning I felt like I was going to die, I wanted to die, because even though then I never believed you could ever feel the same, you were the most important thing in the universe to me. I don't want to ever lose you, lose what we have, I guess what I am trying to say it, that I want to be with you for the rest of…"

Malcolm would have finished his little speech had it not been for the slight issue of his larger framed lover pushing him back onto the bed and kissing him within an inch of his life. "Yes Malcolm, yes." Jonathan whispered against his surprised lovers lips.

Neither men felt up to much, they were both tired, but it didn't take long for clothes to be pushed aside, and even though it never got anymore taxing that kissing, they both slept peacefully, wrapped around each other, warm and content, both knowing that everything would be brighter in the future.

**Three Weeks Later—0700hrs—Trip Tucker's Quarters**

"Uggh, what hit me…" Trip Tucker said, half sitting up before flopping back down again, his head protesting the moment.

"I would say it was whatever concoction Phlox plied you with last night," an overly cheerful Jonathan replied, as he handed Trip a glass of water, and a small vial of something Phlox had assured him would have his best man up and in perfect shape in no time at all.

"How you feeling now?" Jonathan asked several minutes later. "Better, thanks, how is it that it's your wedding day, and I am the one with the hangover?" Trip asked. Jonathan smiled, "Easy, your not the one that's pregnant, Malcolm would kill me if I did anything to hurt our daughter." he answered, "Come on, you need a shower, we only have another hour and a half to get ready, and I need some food," he added, giving Trip a hand up of the bed, and ordering some breakfast while Trip was showering. "Well that was damn good food. Jon?" Trip said, his face concerned, Jonathan had started with the morning sickness why sooner than most women would have, Phlox said it was nothing to worry about just a result of the male body being un-use to this particular function.

Jonathan hit the bathroom at a run, he came out several minutes later, wiping his face dry with a towel, "Well, so much for breakfast" he joked. Trip smiled good-naturedly, asked Jonathan if he was ok, and received the affirmative.

"We'd better get dressed," Jonathan said eventually, "I can hardly turn up to my own wedding looking like this." he joked, and he and Trip set about getting on their dress uniforms.

**Meanwhile in Nikki Reed's Quarters**

"This is not working, this day is going to be a disaster," Malcolm said, as he again tried to close the clasp on the collar of his dress uniform.

"Malcolm will you calm down." Nikki scolded him, "Come here, for Gods sake, a grown man and you can't even dress yourself." she said, at the end of her not inconsiderable patience, Malcolm had been awake since 0430 hours, he had in that time, paced, eaten breakfast, paced, had a shower, paced, paced some more, and finally gotten around to putting on his uniform, which for some unknown reason, wouldn't close at the neck, even though it was a newly measured and fitted uniform only out of the Quartermasters stores a week ago.

Malcolm conceded, he knew he was driving Nikki insane, he really didn't mean to, but in all fairness to him he was getting married, in, he looked at the small clock sitting near the bed, oh god 45 minutes.

"Malcolm would you relax, you are marrying the man you love, and who loves you, you are going to have a wonderful daughter, who will have wonderful parents, and live happily ever after, but if you don't quit fidgeting, you aren't going to live long enough to get married let alone have a happily ever after." Nikki said, finally closing the clasp on the front o his uniform.

"I…right, I should just sit down and shut up." Malcolm said, doing just that, "Good boy, I'll be right back." Nikki said, slipping into the bathroom to put on her own uniform, not that Malcolm hadn't seen her dress and undress enough times in the past, both as children and adults, but still, Malcolm was so fidgety, she'd probably never get dressed if she stayed out there with him.

Malcolm was busy fussing with the hem of his tunic when Carly came in, it had been wonderful to see her again the past few weeks, and both Malcolm and Jonathan didn't at all mind the practice, as Malcolm predicted Jonathan fell in love with the child straight away, it took her less than an hour to have him wrapped around her little finger, him and most of the other bridge crew.

"Uncle Malcolm, where's Mom?" she asked, taking his hand away from his tunic, "And leave that hem alone before you rip it." she 'ordered' him, for a 12 year old she was very sure of herself, something she had inherited from her mother, and it was a good thing too, she put her confidence and stubbornness to good use.

"She's getting changed, you look lovely." he commented, Carly was to serve as ring bearer, this was a mostly tradition ceremony, except that they hadn't wanted anything that big, so it was all very simplified, and small, and had written their own vows, Nikki would stand up for him, Trip for Jonathan, and T'Pol would conduct the service.

"I really look ok?" Carly asked with all the typicalness of an almost teenager. "You look beautiful." he assured her, and she did, her hair pulled back into a tight bun, her dress coming down almost to her ankles, in a cream colour with a flower patterned sash across the front.

Nikki choose that moment to enter, "Carly honey, you look wonderful." she said, giving her daughter a brief hug, "Malcolm, its time we were going don't you think?" she said, sweeping her eyes towards the clock.

"Already? But its only…" he stopped as he looked at the clock, 0849, 11 minutes, he wondered if he could have morning sickness without being pregnant. "Already time to go, come on BB, we have to go get you hitched." Nikki said, taking Malcolm's arm, as the three of the headed to the mess hall, the only place big enough for the wedding, and the reception.

**Mess Hall**

"Johnny if you don't sit still, I'm gonna tie you down." Trip warned, his southern accent dripping over the words, exasperation clear. "Sorry, he's late." Jonathan said, stopping his movements, Trip shook his head, "He is not late, he'll be here in a minute, I should have known this was coming, you were WAY to calm this morning." the engineer said, silently pleading for Malcolm to get here quickly before he was forced to kill his best friend.

"Sir, he's here." Hoshi hissed behind Trip, "At last," he whispered back, earning a grin from Hoshi and Travis who was seated beside her.

"Johnny" Trip said, and Jonathan looked up, seeing his lover, his soon to be husband enter with Nikki behind him, Carly attached to his side.

"Hey," he whispered as Malcolm approached smiling at him, yes he was nervous but he was about to marry the person he loved more than life itself, and nerves aside he was truly happy and content for the first time in his 41 years.

Both men moved forward to where T'Pol was stood at the front of the hall, their hands joining as they reached the 'stage', Nikki and Trip filtering to either side, and Carly standing a few feet behind them.

"Ladies and Gentlemen, we are gathered here to witness the joining of these two people. If anyone can give any valid reason why they should not be married, speak now, or forever hold your peace" T'Pol's voice carried around the room, everyone sat quietly, waiting, but no one spoke up.

"Jonathan and Malcolm have chosen to write their own vows, which they will now recite" T'Pol said after several moments, all eyes were focused on the two men at the front, no one noticed the shadow flitting across the back of the room.

Jonathan straightened up, looking around briefly before settling his gaze on Malcolm. "When we first met, I had never even thought of entering into a relationship with another man, let alone a member of my crew. But before I even realized what was happening, I found myself falling in love with you, with your half smile, and your dry engaging sense of humour. You reeled me in without even trying, and I have to thank you for that. You made me fall in love, when I thought that the time for that had long since past, you gave me a home to come back to even here in the middle of space. What's more, you loved me, something I never dreamed could happen, I swear to you Malcolm, that no matter what the future may hold, that I will always love you, and that if we live to be a hundred I promise I will tell you that every day, I never want you to doubt it."

Jonathan finished his speech; a few snuffles could be heard coming from some of the female crew, and even a few of the men on board. Malcolm stood with tears in his eyes and a smile on his face. Then he started to speak.

"I never felt particularly close to anyone in my life, with the exception of my sister, I was never close to my family. I didn't make friends easily, and I had certainly never been in love, and until I met you I was pretty much alone. You were my Captain, out of my league or so I believed, strong, and intelligent, and certainly someone I was not worthy of, still I couldn't help but love you. You amazed me, by taking the time to talk to me, taking the time to care, its not something I have ever been use to, but even if I were to lose all this tomorrow I could only be grateful that I had this chance, to love you, to be loved by you, it is the most wonderful feeling in the universe, something I am truly grateful to have experienced. My promise is this, no matter what dangers we face, or what happens in the future, I will always be there to help you when you need me, and hold you when you are hurt, and I will always love you." More sniffles were heard, Jonathan grasped tighter at Malcolm's hand, a promise that Malcolm would never have to be so alone again, because he would always have him.

"Jonathan and Malcolm will now exchange rings," T'Pol said, seemingly unmoved by the words of affection and emotion that had just passed between the two men, although Jonathan was sure he saw her blink away a tear.

Carly stepped forward, and Jonathan took a ring from the small box she held in her hands, the rings had been made on Enterprise, and designed by the men themselves. The ring Jonathan had made for Malcolm was a simple gold band to the naked eye, but upon closer inspection you could see the small inscription of a phase pistol outlined on the smooth surface, and the inside of the ring had the initials J & M inscribed with a small heart between them.

Somewhat the same Malcolm's ring had the initials M&J, again with the heart, it was the one thing that they had discussed and agreed on, the outer surface of the ring, held a small outline of Enterprise with a few stars surrounding her.

"With this ring, I offer my life, and my heart into your hands." Jonathan said quietly, slipping the gold ring onto the third finger of Malcolm's left hand. Malcolm took the second ring from the box, "With this ring I accept the gifts you have offered me, and place the same offerings into your hands," Malcolm recited, it was from some ceremony or another they had looked up in the data bases, it had struck them right away as being perfect and they had insisted on including it in the ceremony. "I accept these gifts with a glad heart, and a joyful soul." Jonathan insisted as Malcolm slipped the ring onto his wedding finger.

More sniffles were heard, as T'Pol finished up, "You have stood before friends, and family, and declared your love, and your intentions, let no man break apart the bond you have made. In the tradition of your people, I now pronounce you married." T'Pol said. Everyone waited for the next part, but when it appeared T'Pol wasn't going to say anything, Trip leaned forward and said "I think this is the part where you kiss him, Johnny."

Jonathan smiled, and there before all to witness the two men made their bond complete, nothing would ever tear them apart, as long as they were together, they could never be beaten.

**Two Hours Later**

Toasts had been made, cake cut, and fun was being had by all, and Jonathan and Malcolm were just itching to get out of there as fast as possible, but as the guests of honour, they had to remain a while longer, no matter how much they wanted to just sneak out.

Nikki felt rather than saw something behind her, moving around the place silent, unnoticed, the entire room froze as she shoved Malcolm quickly out of the way, a flash of phaser fire erupting from where a Suliban, Silik had just appeared.

Several security officers where on him before anyone had time to think, but with the advanced technology of the future, he quickly escaped them.

"Malcolm?" Jonathan hurried to his side, Trip moving over to where Nikki was laying a few feet over. "I'm fine love." Malcolm assured him, and he was, not a scratch on him. "Nikki?" he asked his eyes searching for his sister, he quickly spotted her.

Trip was beside her, his hand cupping the side of her face, inspecting a slight cut there, his fingers moving gently around the wound, he was whispering to her as he did so. Malcolm wasn't sure, but seeing Nikki smile he was assured she was fine.

"I want a full sweep of the ship, both sensors, and people, Silik is good at hiding…" Jonathan started to order, he was unable to finish, "Cap'n, let me an' T'Pol handle this, you two just got hitched, go on back to your quarters, don't worry, if Silik is still around we'll find him." Trip said, he had stood up helping Nikki as well, and was, Malcolm briefly noted, still holding onto her arm.

Jonathan conceded, "I want a full report first thing tomorrow," he insisted however, and Trip nodded, "Bright an' early, my word on it." he promised. Jonathan let it rest at that and while everyone else went back to work, Jonathan and Malcolm headed for the solitude of their quarters, and Trip went down to sickbay with a rather unwilling patient to ensure Nikki wasn't badly hurt.

"I'm fine you know, it's just a scratch." Nikki insisted, as Trip sat beside her on the bio-bed waiting for the Doc to get there. "Well you probably are, but it don't hurt to have it checked out now does it," Trip said, "Mother Hen." Nikki replied mocking him a little.

"I'll mother hen you in a minute," Trip cried as Nikki sprung of the bed, headed away from the engineer. Trip cornered her quite quickly, and began to advance on her position.

"Trip Tucker if you dare I swear I'll…" she never got to finish the sentence, Trip leaned down and kissed her, "You'll what?" he teased when he pulled back. "I'll set Malcolm on you," she threatened. Trip laughed, "Your assuming you can get him out of bed and away from Jon long enough." he told her, still keeping her in place against the wall.

"I can," she said, before Trip leaned in with another kiss, "Maybe" he said moving back again, "But do you want to?" he asked, before letting her go, "I gotta go help T'Pol, and I will be asking the Doc if you let him treat you," he called over his shoulder as he left sickbay, Nikki smiled, "No. I don't suppose I do want to," she conceded to the empty room.

**Reed-Archer Quarters**

Jonathan lent down and kissed Malcolm as soon as they entered their quarters, it was slow, sweet, and loving exploration of each other.

"When I saw you go down, I thought…" Jonathan choked on his words. "I'm all right love, promised I wasn't going to leave you didn't I?" Malcolm assured him, kissing him again.

It didn't take long for the kisses to escalate, and both men found themselves laying naked across the newly built double bed, Jonathan hungrily devouring Malcolm's lips, before moving down his chest.

"God Jonathan Please," Malcolm begged him, as he feasted contentedly on his lovers nipples, licking, nibbling and suckling, until Malcolm was just a writhing mass of flesh beneath him, so that when he did finally move further down, Malcolm was barely aware of his trajectory, to swept up in the feelings of the moment to notice much of anything.

Jonathan slipped quietly past his lovers erection, moving down, pushing Jonathan's legs back gaining access to his ass, flicking his tongue out, loving how Malcolm bucked his hips up, seeming to notice of the first time, just what Jonathan was doing, it was normally something Malcolm would do, but it was very rarely that Jonathan would, return the favour so to speak.

Jonathan continued this, unheeding of his partners pleas for more, loving the sounds, and the taste of Malcolm, needing to do this, to feel what he could do to the British man.

Minutes that may as well have been hours passed in a daze until finally Jonathan took pity, and in one swift, and unexpected move took Malcolm into his mouth, swallowing him whole, by the time Malcolm was aware of it happening he was too far gone on the orgasm ripping through himself to care.

Pulling himself up Jonathan grabbed for the lube sitting unhidden on top of the bedside unit, He wasted no time waiting for Malcolm to recover, instead preparing him quickly and carefully.

In the moments it took Malcolm to re-gather his wits after his somewhat explosive orgasm Jonathan had him fully prepared.

Jonathan took his time entering him, slowly savouring the feel of Malcolm's tight heat enveloping him, he loved the feel of Malcolm inside of him, but this, was amazing, that Malcolm loved him, trusted him to do this.

Time passed too quickly, and although Malcolm tried with every shred of his being to hold of the encroaching orgasm, he couldn't, feeling Jonathan's warmth spill over his stomach was all it took, and he pushed as deeply into the older man as he could go, spilling himself within his lover.

"God Jonathan…" Malcolm panted out as the two men manoeuvred themselves into more comfortable positions. "Love you," he said as he snuggled himself into Jonathan's side, placing a kiss over the rapidly beating heart of the other man. "Love you too." Jonathan replied, kissing the top of Malcolm's head.

"Malcolm?" Jonathan asked a few moments later, "Hmmm?" the sleepy reply came from his lover, "You feel like moving?" he asked. Malcolm opened his eyes a little, "Not particularly, why?" he asked. "I have a surprise for you." Jonathan told him, pushing himself up, and dragging a sleepy, naked Malcolm towards the bathroom.

"A bath?" Malcolm asked, certainly he had told Jonathan how much he loved a nice long soak, but was it really necessary to show him it when he was post-cortically tired. "A bath big enough for two," corrected Jonathan, and Malcolm seemed to catch on, "Well when you put it like that…" he said, kissing Jonathan, passion rising again, the day was young, no one wanted them for anything, and they had a whole three day honeymoon, and a bath big enough for two, might be interesting.

**Charles 'Trip' Tucker's Quarters**

"Nikki," Trip smiled as he granted her access to the room. "Hey, all the sweeps are done, figured if you weren't to tired you might want to join me for something to ea.t" Nikki said, smiling. "Depends onwhat's for dinner, I'm in the mood for something fiery and British myself." Trip leered.

Nikki laughed, "Trip! That is officially the WORST pick up line ever," she said, "but you get points for the sickbay scene, really lovely work there." she added.

"So my pick up lines don't work huh?" Trip sulked. Nikki smiled, "No, which is why you should be glad I like a man who tells me what he's thinking, instead of some line he thinks I want to hear." she told him.

"Would you believe me then if I told you I think you're an incredibly beautiful women?" Trip asked, leaning in closer to Nikki, as she stood in front of him. "I might," she said, "Depends if you mean it," Trip smiled, "Oh yeah, I mean it," he said before closing the distance and kissing her again.

If anyone noticed that she didn't appear out of his quarters until the next morning, no one mentioned it, and especially not to Malcolm.


"What?!" Nikki exclaimed her voice a notch higher than normal.

"As I said, you are three weeks pregnant." Phlox said, repeating his earlier words.

"No." Nikki told him.

"No?" the Doctor asked confused. "No, I'm not…cannot be pregnant." the security officer insisted.

Phlox sighed; sometimes humans were just too strange.

"You can be, and you are." the Doctor told him, "There is no doubt about it, you are three weeks pregnant."


**Trip Tucker's Quarters**

"Pregnant?" Trip asked her.

They were lying snuggled on the bed, Nikki resting her head lightly against Trip's chest.

"Pregnant." Nikki confirmed

"Oh." the southern engineer said his voice tight.

"I won't blame you if you don't want this child, but either way I won't give it up, I couldn't do it with Carly, and I can't do it now." Nikki said, her voice insistently. If there was one things Reed's were good at it was being stubborn.

"I'll admit I'm shocked, I'm not sure how good a father I'll make, but I'm willing to give it a go. I um…" Trip stopped, last time he had felt this way his heart had been broken, he wasn't sure he was ready for it again, but he wanted to tell Nikki how he felt so, he supposed he'd have to take the risk. "I love you."

"Glad to hear it Mister Tucker," Nikki smiled, "I love you too." she said more softly, snuggling against Trip's broad chest.

"Just one question," Trip said, "What?" Nikki asked him.

"How are we going to explain this to Malcolm?"

Nikki smirked, "Very quickly, and very far away from the weapons lockers." she replied.

"Oh goody," Trip said, "Just so you know, I'd like to recommend Lt Comak as my replacement, when Malcolm kills me." the engineer added, mostly joking, partly serious.


**Archer-Reed Quarters**

"Mal?" Jonathan asked when the Brit entered their shared quarters.

"Hmm?" the dark haired man lent down giving Jonathan a quick kiss barely aware of what he was doing.

"You alright, you seem a little…" Jonathan couldn't think of a suitable word, Malcolm was pale looking, with a distinctly displeased look on his face, and Jonathan had the strangest feeling he knew what this was about.

"Nikki is pregnant." Malcolm said sitting down beside Jonathan on the couch, "Oh," Jonathan said, he had seen his best friend and Malcolm's sister looking quite cosy snuggling in the mess hall late one night when he'd taken Porthos for a walk, but he didn't think it was that serious.

"Apparently their going to give it a go, try to raise the child together, I don't think I ever remember seeing Nikki smile so much since the day Carly was born." Malcolm went on.

"Well as long as she's happy," Jonathan told him, hugging him to him, he knew how protective Malcolm was of Nikki no matter how much she insisted she didn't need protecting.

"I hope she stays that way," Malcolm said, "I'd hate to have to kill my husbands best friend." he joked, and Jonathan laughed, apparently Malcolm was ok with it, although Jonathan could see a 'hurt my sister and you die' speech in Trip's near future.

**Two Days Later**

Malcolm called for the caller to come in when he heard the door panel beeping, Trip entered, slowly, he still wasn't sure what Malcolm was thinking about his relationship with Nikki, and he was more than aware that Malcolm could cause him a lot of damage.

"Relax Trip, I promised Nikki I wouldn't deprive the child of a father." Malcolm assured him, his dry humour leaving Trip wondering just how serious he might be.

"I had planned the old time 'hurt me sister and I'll so on and so forth' but it seems a trifle daft, so how about I just tell you never to hurt her, cause she'll kill you before I get chance if you do, and leave it at that." Malcolm said.

Trip nodded, he was expecting a speech on how much pain Malcolm could and would inflict not this, almost politeness.

"So, how is Nikki feeling anyway, has she started getting morning sickness?" Malcolm asked, motioning Trip to join him on the couch.

Jonathan found them still talking an hour later. "No blood shed?" he asked, looking around the room for signs of a fight, there were none, thankfully not that Jonathan really believed Malcolm would hurt Trip, still you never did know, the Armoury officer did like to keep people guessing.

"Jonathan we both know very well I would never kill anyone in our quarters, blood is so difficult to get out of the carpet," Malcolm joked, his eyes giving away his humour, even as his face stayed perfectly normal.

"I'm sure the Doctor would have something to take blood stains up…" Jonathan cracked, and the three men laughed, it seems crisis had been averted; Trip was safe, as long as Nikki was happy.

**Two Weeks Later**

"I hate morning sickness the most," Nikki commented, she was sitting with Trip, Malcolm and Jonathan in the Captain's mess, her and Jonathan had spent the past half hour going through all the miseries of being pregnant, Trip could sympathise a little, but Malcolm was too busy trying not to laugh to even try sympathising.

"Morning sickness is bad," Jonathan agreed, "But the worst has to be the running to the toilet to pee every five minutes." Nikki seemed to think about it, "Yeah your right," she said, "Speaking of which," she got up "Be right back".

The second she was out of the room Malcolm lost it, he couldn't help himself he had to laugh no right minded person wouldn't laugh, even Trip was in hysterics.

"Lt Calway to Lt Reed," the COM beeped, Malcolm stopped laughing long enough to answer the COM, "Lt Reed here," he said. "Sir sorry to disturb you, but we need you in the Armoury."

"On my way," Malcolm answered.

"Sorry love, have to go." he said after he had cut the com, leaning down to give Jonathan a quick kiss as he stood and headed towards the door, "See you later," he promised and left, when Nikki came back a few minutes later, Trip excused himself, while listening to Jonathan and Nikki talk about pregnancy was occasionally funny, it was not his plan for the morning.

"So predictable. Cowards the both of them," Nikki said when he left.

"Oh come on, you can hardly blame them, we were laying it on pretty thick." Jonathan said.

Nikki grinned, "True, but it was fun," she said.

Jonathan laughed, "So is Trip being as over protective off you as Malcolm is of me?" he asked.

"Don't you know it, every time we have made love these past few weeks he has been so gentle I barely know he is there." Nikki said, laughing a little, it was sweet, even if mildly annoying.

"Your one up on me then, every time I try anything with Mal he always finds some reason to say no," Jonathan said, he wasn't really complaining, but well it was kind of annoying, and worrying, did it mean Malcolm wasn't attracted to him any more, he knew Malcolm loved him, but that didn't mean he 'wanted' him.

"He loves you, and believe me he wants you, I can tell that just by looking at him," Nikki assured him.

"Then why doesn't he want to make love with me? I can see why he'd be worried about the baby, but the Doctor says its fine" Jonathan said. "And even then, I could, um…" he paused unsure how to say it, or if to say it.

"Top him off," Nikki said, grinning a little, "Jon look, Malcolm loves you, and trusts you, but there are issues." she told him.

Jonathan looked at her perplexed, "I don't understand, I've topped before, he has never had a problem with it, I mean granted only once or twice, but still…" he said, trailing off confused.

"Ask him, it's not my place to tell you, just ask him Jon, and give him time " Nikki said. "I have to go, talk to you later." she said, squeezing his shoulder before she left, she couldn't believe Malcolm hadn't told him, and it wasn't going to be pretty when he did.

**Later than night**

Malcolm was 'working' Jonathan had to use the term loosely, because if he were going any slower, he'd have long since stopped. "Malcolm is you coming to bed?" Jonathan asked, dumb question, "I'll come to bed once I'm done, you go on ahead." the dark haired man replied without looking up.

"Malcolm, what have I done wrong?" Jonathan asked.

"What's wrong? What makes you think that?" Malcolm was up and across the room in a heartbeat. "You keep avoiding sleeping with me, you never want to make love any more, I know you don't want to top because you're worried about the baby, but…" Jonathan didn't finish; Malcolm knew the rest of the sentence. "If it means that much to you," Malcolm conceded, standing to strip out of his uniform.

"Malcolm don't, don't make it seem like I am forcing you, I couldn't ever do that to you, I just want to know why you don't want to be with me anymore" Jonathan told him, he could never ask Malcolm to do anything he didn't want to as far as there personal affairs went, he never would.

"I do, I just, don't particularly like um…bottoming" Malcolm said his face lowering so he didn't have to look Jonathan in the eyes.

"I thought we were equal, I know I never really ask you to bottom, but I always assumed that we had a two way relationship" Jonathan said, "I mean you…" Malcolm stopped him.

"I nearly died then, I needed something to hurt so I'd know I was really alive" Malcolm confessed, how could he explain this.

"Hurt?" Jonathan asked unsure he'd heard right, "You wanted me to hurt you, so you let me make love to you?" he said, asked, both, it was a question, and an answer in one.

"I'm sorry" Malcolm had the decency to look ashamed, Jonathan was angry, hurt, more than angry, how could Malcolm turn their love making into something like that, how could he turn it into something about hurt, and pain rather than love as it should have been.

"Get out" Jonathan snapped.

"Jonathan, love, please," Malcolm pleaded.

"GET OUT!" Jonathan shouted, louder this time, "NOW!" he added, his face contoured in anger, not even looking up as Malcolm left his head hung low.

**Trip Tuckers Quarters**

Trip didn't want to move, he was warm, comfortable, and snuggled up with Nikki on the bed, damn that door chime.

Getting up Trip padded over to the door, opening it to reveal Malcolm, eyes cast down, shaking in the doorway, "Malcolm? What's wrong?" he asked, concern clouding his face.

Malcolm didn't look up, "Is Nikki there?" he asked, still shaking, his voice tight, like he was fighting not to cry.

"Malcolm?" Nikki came up behind Trip, pulling her brother into the room, Malcolm, what wrong?" she asked him, she barely had time to register before Malcolm clasped to the floor, sagging against her, as she went down with him sobs racking his body.

"Malcolm, hush, its ok, I'm here." Nikki tried to sooth the broken man, Trip quick, go and find Jonathan." Nikki ordered, Malcolm seemed to hear that, "NO!" he shouted, "He won't come." Malcolm insisted.

"Malcolm, please, what's wrong?" Nikki pleaded with her brother to tell her, she'd never seen him like this, not since they were teenagers at least.

"He told me to get out," Malcolm snuffled out between sobs.

Nikki looked shocked so did Trip.

"Malcolm did you tell him about…" Nikki trailed off, Trip didn't know she was sure, and Malcolm might not want him to. "I was trying, but he told me to get out, I never meant to hurt him, never meant for him to know, oh God Nikki I've lost him, lost him, God I need him so much and now I've…" Malcolm stopped; he couldn't talk anymore, he could only cry, feeling as his heart broke in two, God why did he have to be so screwed up.

Nikki was silently rocking Malcolm back and forth, she nodded at Trip but he was already half way to the door, he would talk to Jon, somehow they had to sort this all out.

**Archer-Reed Quarters**

Trip didn't bother ringing, he walked right in with the codes he and Nikki both had.

"Get out Trip." Jon said without even turning around, he was lying on the bed, facing away from the door so Trip couldn't see his face, but Trip could tell from his voice he'd been crying, and he was also very angry.

"Love too, can't, Nikki would cut me a new one if I came back without checking on you properly." Trip said coming around to look at Jon.

"What happened Jon?" Trip asked, "You were so happy when I left you this morning after breakfast, what happened?"

Jonathan stiffened, "He lied to me, when we were down on the planet, when I lost him, afterwards we made love, or at least I thought we did, It was the first time he let me top, I don't mind bottoming, hell I love it, but this was…wow, it felt so good, but apparently not for him, he told me tonight, that he didn't enjoy it, that he only did it to feel pain so he could know he was alive, how could he do it Trip, how could he turn something as wonderful as the two of us making love into a cheap fuck, cause that's all it was you know, to him, it was just a fuck, it meant nothing."

Trip didn't know what to say, "I don't know Jon, but I know Malcolm, and I know he's sitting in my quarters right now crying to hard I think he's gonna dry himself right out of tears soon, I just know there has to be a reason for his behaviour." Trip tried to get Jon to see reason.

Jonathan laughed, almost sardonically, "Let him dry himself out then, I don t care what reasons he has, as far as I am concerned he can go to hell."

Trip started, "Jon, you don't mea…" Jonathan cut him off, "Don't! Don't tell me what I mean Trip, get out, and tell him that as far as I am concerned, outside our working relationship, I don't want to lay eyes on him ever again."

Trip wanted to protest, but he figured now wasn't the best time, "I'll see you later, call if you need anything," Trip said, and left, what in hells name could have possessed Malcolm to do something like that, more over, what in hells name possessed him to admit to it.


**Three Months Later**

**Malcolm Reeds Quarters**

It had been three months since Jonathan had thrown Malcolm out of their quarters, three months Malcolm spent mechanically moving through each day, not caring if he was alive or dead, if it hadn't been for Nikki, and more especially Trip he'd probably have topped himself already.

Funny really, Trip had been Jonathan's friend for years, and yet it was Malcolm's side he sat by, trying to keep him distracted, talking busy, not dwelling on the fact that his whole life was in tatters because he had foolishly lost the one person he loved more than life its self.

Trip had been there when he had told Nikki everything, and at first he was annoyed, seeing Jonathan's point of view, with no regard for Malcolm's reasons, and honestly Malcolm had been glad, it meant Trip would be there for Jonathan, but once Nikki had forced me into admitting everything to Trip well Trip didn't really know what to do, it certainly put a new angle on things.

Malcolm would have rather Trip stayed taking Jonathan's side he hated the look of pity in Trip's eyes when he had heard the truth, the look he still got sometimes.

Jonathan was cool on the bridge, never giving away that there had ever been anything between them, Malcolm had received a note through the ships com from Dr Phlox that "Captain Archer wished to hand custody of the unborn child he was presently carrying over to Lt Malcolm Reed, as soon as the child was delivered." The message was so cold, clinical, it hurt Malcolm to the core, more so even than Jonathan refusing to speak to him, but that he wanted nothing to do with their child, it was, worse so much worse.

**Jonathan Archers Quarters**

Three months. He had been spending every night for the last three months trying to figure it out, Malcolm had wanted pain the first time, but what about the second time? Their wedding night, had that been about pain too, had Malcolm known it would be pain, and hurt, had he wanted it that way? Jonathan couldn't work it out, it hurt, everyday he felt the child growing inside of him, everyday he was reminded of the betrayal of his lover, that's why he had gotten Dr Phlox to send a message to Malcolm saying he didn't want the child, how could he raise this child, seeing Malcolm in it every day, he just couldn't do it.

Jonathan knew it had likely hurt Malcolm, strangely he didn't care Malcolm had hurt him so much, he deserved to feel the pain back, why should Jonathan be the only one to suffer?

He knew it was childish, but he didn't care, he had watched Malcolm losing weight, the circles under his eyes blacker, the face once vibrant and alive, now sunken and hollow, no spark in the once bright blue eyes, and as much as that look haunted Jonathan each night, he wouldn't allow it to overcome him. He wouldn't allow Malcolm to worm his way back into his heart, he couldn't take another beating like that to the already delicate organ.

**Two Months Later**

"Captain, you really need to take some time off, you are pregnant, and…" Phlox was cut of, this was the third time that he had had this discussion with Captain Archer, and still Archer blocked him.

"Doctor, human women work on till their 8th month, you said my pregnancy was progressing at the same rate as a normal human females pregnancy would, I will, if I see fit hand T'Pol command then, and only then." Archer told him.

"Captain, you know I could over rule you on this." Phlox pointed out. "You could Doctor, but if you do, it will be your last ever act as medical officer on this ship." Archer warned him, turning and leaving before Phlox had a chance to respond.

**Two Months later** (this puts Archer at about 8 Months along)

"Captain I have to protest, you are eight months pregnant" Dr Phlox argued.

"Dr, I am the Captain of a Star ship, and this meeting, this diplomatic meeting could secure us food and supplies for four months, I will be fine" Jonathan Archer insisted, ignoring the Doctors warnings and boarding the shuttle carrying himself both Lt Reed's, Commander Tucker and Ensign Mayweather.

The planet they were going down to was friendly, according to the Vulcan database and what they had learned when the aliens visited Enterprise, it was a straight forward trading agreement, and dinner and then back to Enterprise no problem at all.

The people, called the Ragta were friendly, good natured, and agreeable, and most importantly, nothing like Vulcan's, always a good thing. Dinner went well, the trading agreements were signed and the exchanges already being made as they sat around chatting enjoying what the away team supposed was this planets version of Coffee.

"Captain, if you and your team would follow the guards they will show you back to your vessel." the Ragta Diplomat said, nodding to a guard dressed in a tight fitting grey jump suit, with strips down both arms, denoting Malcolm guessed Rank, and/or station, not that he bothered to tell the Captain that, he barely spoke at all during proceedings.

"Captain," the guard spoke, "This way." he said pointing to a side corridor Malcolm was certain they hadn't gone down on the way here. "I don't think that's the right way, we came in that way." Captain Archer said pointing down the main corridor.

The guard had his weapon pulled, and two other guards appeared from nowhere, before the away team could blink.

"Captain if you and your friends wish to live, you will do as you are told," the guard ordered.

Jonathan nodded, he had no choice, he and Nikki weren't fit for fighting, and there was no guarantee that Malcolm and Trip could take down three of them alone, they were pretty big people.

"I guess we're following you then." Jonathan said, catching the looks from the other three members of the away team, thank God Travis had taken the shuttle back to Enterprise until they were ready to come back, once he arrived at the landing sight and they weren't there, a rescue mission would be formed quickly, of that he was sure.

"In there. You too." the guard roughly pushed Reed into the cell Archer behind him, Archer jumped forward again, "Hold on, you aren't separating my crew." he tried to argue, but he didn't notice the guard raising his weapon, had Malcolm not seen it and pushed Jonathan out of the way, taking the shot to his arm, rather than Jonathan's stomach where it was aimed.

Malcolm cried out in pain as the blasts force knocked him sprawling against the cell wall, his head thudding against the brick, he saw the guards face, as he pushed Jonathan further into the cell before he heard the cell door close, and consciousness leave him.

It was a good few hours later from the shadows casting on to the wall through the small window nearly above Malcolm's head when he woke up. Jonathan was beside him, his hands holding Malcolm's own, concern marring his face. Malcolm knew he should alert him to his waking up, but it felt so nice, and Malcolm was sure he'd pull back as soon as he knew Malcolm was ok. He was right, as soon as Jonathan noticed his eyes were open he pulled away moving off a few feet.

"We need to find a way out of here Lt, are you fit to walk?" he asked the coolness back in his voice as it had been since that dreadful night nearly 7 months ago.

"Jonathan…" Malcolm sighed, this was not the time or the place, so why now, when he should be concentrating on getting them free did he feel the need to really explain everything to Jonathan, perhaps because now, Jonathan had no where to run.

"Don't Malcolm. I don't want to hear it, let's just get out of here," Jonathan said, his voice almost icy.

"Well you are going to hear it!" Malcolm insisted.

Jonathan lost it "Hear what Malcolm? Hear how you took something that should have been a beautiful, wonderful experience and made it into nothing more than a fuck? Hear how you used me, how you used my feelings for you to get what you wanted? What am I going to hear Malcolm?" he yelled, his face angry eyes blazing in the dim lighted cell.

Malcolm cracked; he sat shaking on the floor, barely holding in the sobs threatening to overwhelm him.

"You want the truth, you want to know why?" Malcolm asked, well half asked, he knew the answer, but he continued anyway.

"I was eight years old when it happened first, my father was home for a leave of absence, my mother was away visiting friends, Nikki was with her, Maddy was staying at her friends house for the weekend it was just the two of us." Malcolm paused, he didn't want to tell Jonathan this, to let him see how week he really was, but somehow he had to.

"It was late, maybe 2am, I woke up, and he was there, he had my hands tied before I had chance to wonder what he was doing, gagged me, it hurt so much, I thought he was trying to kill me, I almost wish he had, it would have been so much easier than continuing." Again Malcolm stopped a sob working its way forth that he couldn't contain.

"I was fifteen before it stopped, my mother caught him, threatened to expose him, he was still in the Navy at the time, it would have ruined him, after that he settled for the occasional beating, but even then never when my mother was around and never leaving bruises that could be found." Malcolm continued, it hurt to talk about, to remember it, but he had to make Jonathan see, and for some reason now was the time his heart had decided that he was going to do it.

"Ever since then I always associated sex, and especially bottoming with pain that's why I had never been with anyone up till you. I said I was a virgin, always it was easier than saying my own father had fucked me, raped me, when I died, I needed something, anything, to make me feel alive, I thought pain would do that, it was wrong I know, but I just, I wasn't thinking right." Malcolm ceased talking and waited.

"What about our wedding night?" Jonathan asked, "What was that about?" his voice defeated, almost afraid of the answer.

Malcolm sighed, "I don't know, at the time, I didn't think about it, I just let it happen, afterwards, I didn't care, it was you, I loved you, I trusted you, it was our wedding night, and it was wonderful." Malcolm replied, the honesty in his voice searing Jonathan.

He wanted to believe him, he did believe him, but it still hurt, how could he trust him, how could he know it wouldn't' happen again, that Malcolm wouldn't ask him to make love to him, only for pain, and how could he ever make love to him wondering that?

Malcolm still hadn't spoke, he wasn't looking at Jonathan instead his gazed fixed on the ground, "Look at me," Jonathan ordered him, waiting as the face slowly lifted to look at him, Jonathan felt his heart cracking again, the sight of Malcolm's tear stained face was too much, he couldn't not go to him

Jonathan had Malcolm wrapped in his arms in seconds, "I believe you," his whispered, "Just swear to me you'll never do it again." he begged, Malcolm nodded against his chest, "I swear…I swear I never wanted to hurt you…wanted to explain so many times…but you wouldn't talk to me…I wanted to…wanted to make it right so badly…" Malcolm mumbled.

Jonathan didn't reply, they just sat like that for a few moments, enjoying this contact, the contact that Jonathan had deigned himself and Malcolm for far to long, God he was an idiot.

"Malcolm," Jonathan said a few moments later, "Yes, love?" Malcolm replied slipping into the endearment like they hadn't just spent the past seven months apart. "I think we have a new problem." Jonathan said, Malcolm looked up, "What's wrong?" he asked, the sudden movement jolting his arm causing a stabbing pain he ignored more concerned with Jonathan.

Jonathan grimaced, "I think my um…water just broke." he said, his teeth clenching as he felt a sharp twinge in his abdomen, "Definitely just broke." he added.

Malcolm was doing a very good impression of a goldfish, "As in broke, 'the baby is coming' broke?" he asked, Jonathan shook his head, "No. As in broke 'the baby is a month early and coming' broke." he snapped, looking down sheepishly for a second afterwards, and mumbling a quiet sorry.

Malcolm jumped up, winching loudly in pain from his arm as he did so, "We have to get out of here!" he said, his mind refocused on the task at hand, now only one problem, well several, he was injured, Jonathan was in labour, and they were completely unarmed, well this would be a piece of cake no doubt.

**Meanwhile two cells down**

"Well the yelling has stopped, that might be a good sign," Trip said, "It might also be a bad one." Nikki said, her brother's despondency the past months had frightened her, nothing not even Carly seemed to be able to improve his mood, even blowing things up seemed to have lost its magic.

"How are the cramps?" Trip asked, as soon as Nikki had mentioned them Trip had gotten worried, it was still a little over two months till the baby was due, not to mention this was not the most hospitable place to give birth.

"Fine, it was just something I ate I told you." Nikki insisted, Trip wasn't sure if she was telling the truth, she could beat a Vulcan in the lack of emotional responses sometimes.

Nikki was lying, in fact he cramps were getting worse, and Nikki was sure she was going into labour but now was not the time, concentrate on getting out of here, and then worry about excessive pain.

"So," Trip said eyeing up the lock on their prison, "You didn't happen to bring a blowtorch with you by any chance?"



"Sub-Commander, if they were going to be late they would have contacted us, something is wrong." Travis Mayweather insisted, trying to get the Vulcan to see that the away team were in danger.

"I concur Ensign, however until I have spoken with the Ragta Government there is little to be done." T'Pol said, her face impassive.

"Sub-Commander, if we leave it to long anything could happen, two of the away team are pregnant, we can't just wait and hope maybe the Government has a clue what's going on, assuming they would tell us if they did." Travis argued, he was not normally inclined to do so, but Malcolm and Nikki were both good friends, and Trip and the Captain were two people he had one whole hell of a lot of respect for.

"Ensign, I am aware of the team's status, we will do everything we can to get them back. However, your emotional behaviour will not help matters." T Pol said, "Ensign Sato, please open a channel to the Governors office," she ordered standing before the Captain's chair.

"Governor Traim, please forgive me calling at this late hour, however our away team was not at the landing pad at the designated time, we wished to know if there were any problems." T'Pol said her voice neutral.

"They did not arrive?" The Governor seemed surprised, "I had a guard from my own contingent lead them to the landing point well within time for your set time, I do not understand…"

T'Pol inclined her head "Perhaps Governor you might see fit to ask your guard for the details of their departure?" she asked. Traim nodded, "At once of course. I will get back to you as soon as possible, I assure you I have no idea what is going on here, but I will find out." he promised closing the channel.

"I want full scans of the planets surface, as well as underground to a depth of 1000 metres, start at the team's last known location, and work outwards from there." T'Pol ordered sitting down on the Captain's chair, watching as her orders where carried out.

**Prison Cell One**

"Are you alright?" Malcolm ask Jonathan concerned, it had been a little over half an hour since his water had broken, the pains were getting worse. "I'm fine." Jonathan insisted, hiding a grimace as a stab of pain shot through his abdomen, "How are you doing on the lock?" he asked, he really, really wanted to get out of here. Malcolm shook his head, "It's locked tight I don't know that I can get it open."

**Cell Two**

"Any luck?" Nikki asked, Trip nodded, "I think so…nearly there…got it!" Trip exclaimed as the lock snapped open, and the door to the cell cracked open a little.

"The corridor is clear, they're just a few door's down." Trip said as he and Nikki slipped quietly out of the cell in the direction of the cell holding Jonathan and Malcolm.

"Malcolm," Nikki hissed through the small window on the cell door, "Hold on we'll get you out of here in a few minutes." she told him, "Stand clear of the door."

Malcolm backed away from the door, moving to stand in front of Jonathan, crouching before him, his hand reaching out to gently wipe away a smudge of dirt that had settled on his cheek.

"We'll be out of here soon," he assured his lover, Malcolm smiled slightly, Jonathan was his again, he knew it wouldn't be that simple, Jonathan would want to know more, and he would tell him, he wouldn't hold anything back from him again, it had almost cost him his lover once, he wouldn't make the same mistake twice.

The snap of the lock breaking returned Malcolm's full concentration to the problem at hand, Jonathan would have to wait for the explanations until the were safely aboard Enterprise.

"Come on, let's go." Nikki urged, Malcolm helped Jonathan up, "We have to hurry, he's in labour," Malcolm said as the four made there very quickly and quietly down the corridor, looking for an exit.

"Well, well look here. Trying to escape after we've been so hospitable, that's not nice you know." a guard appeared behind them. Jonathan was at the back of them, the guard grabbed him, pulling him backwards before shoving him against the wall, only Trip's quick movements, kept Jonathan up right.

Malcolm took mere seconds to knock the guard against the wall; his arms bent behind his back, before Trip of Nikki had time to respond Malcolm snapped his neck, the small sound of bones breaking the only noise in the area. "Lets go," Nikki said the first to recover, this time Malcolm brought up the rear, holding a knife he had taken from the guard, Trip was leading them, with the guard's pistol.

"This way." Trip hissed moving around a corner, all four on the careful watch for any threats.


"Sub-Commander," Hoshi called out, "I'm picking up four human life signs, they are about 50 metres under the surface, heading upwards," the Ensign announced.

"Track them. Ensign Mayweather prepare a shuttle for launch." T'Pol ordered. "Hail the Governor, send him the co-ordinates of the life signs, and ask him what is there." T'Pol ordered.

"No response…Wait, I'm getting one now, apparently its an abandoned network of prison cells, dating back about three hundred years, no-one is even suppose to know they are there, they aren't included in the present plans of the area." Hoshi said a few minutes later.

"Ensign Mayweather," T'Pol said hitting the comm. "Launch the shuttle, and head for the original landing sight, but do not land until I give the order. she ordered closing the com.

"Open the channel, I'd like to speak to the Governor," T'Pol ordered Hoshi.

**Back on the planet**

"We're nearly at the surface, this is where we came in," Trip said, as the came do a door, locked, "Damn it! It's locked." Trip hissed. Jonathan's contractions were getting closer together they had to get out of here. "Move back." Malcolm ordered grabbing the pistol from Trip, "Now its not locked." he said, as the moved forward, if not for Nikki's quick response none of them would have noticed the original guard coming from the side, by the time the other three noticed what was going on, he was already unconscious on the floor.

"Nice work!" Malcolm complimented, Nikki grinned, "Learnt from the best." she threw back at him.

"Captain Archer, Lt Reed, Lt Reed, Commander Tucker." it was Governor Traim, "I am so sorry, I did not know he was a member of the underground, please, please are you harmed?" the man fussed around them.

"We'd just like to get back to our ship as quickly as possible," Jonathan said.

"Of course, of course, your shuttle is here, come, come, I will take you there myself to ensure your safety." Traim said bounding forward towards the shuttle landing pads.

"Sir?" Travis jumped forward as the away team, mostly intact approached the shuttle; it was only Captain Archer doubling over in pain that sent him rushing forward.

"We have to get him back to Enterprise, quickly, he's in labour," Malcolm said, helping Jonathan into the shuttle, laying him down at the back.

Travis wasted no time in garnering more information, Trip quickly thanked the Governor, telling him they'd be in contact, and as soon as the shuttle door was closed, Travis took of, heading for Enterprise, it was such a good job you couldn't get tickets for speeding in space.

**Enterprise—Sickbay—Two Hours Later**

Trip and Malcolm were both standing at the sides of their partner's bed. Nikki had barely set foot on Enterprise when her water broke; both she and Jonathan were rushed to sickbay.

Cutler had fixed up Malcolm's arm as best she could since he refused to leave Jonathan's side, and both men were now waiting with baited breaths for the babies to arrive.

"I swear to God Malcolm. You ever pull this on me again, I'll bloody kill you." Jonathan yelled, squeezing down on Malcolm's hand. Malcolm bit his tongue, 'When the hell did Jonathan get super strength?'

"Captain, I think you will find it takes two to, how do humans say it, tango?" Phlox observed, his eyes flickering between his two patients. Nikki was for the most part a lot calmer, so far she hadn't swore at Trip once, but he was waiting for it, he knew it was coming.

"You rat bastard! Why the fuck did I ever let you talk me into this? Arrrrggghhhh!" Nikki screamed, her hand holding onto Trip's with such force that he was expecting broken bones before this was over.

Phlox had lowered a curtain, they could no longer see what was going on next door, and Cutler was in with Malcolm and Jonathan. Phlox was in with them. "Lieutenant, I realize it hurts, but if you don't push it will hurt a lot more." Phlox said.

"You try pushing a fucking melon though a whole the size of a lemon you dumb bastard, I am fucking well pushing." Nikki yelled through her gritted teeth. "Well most colourful language indeed." Phlox commented, his attention refocused on the matter at hand again.

"That's it Lieutenant, I have the head, one more big push now." Phlox said. Trip was wiping her forehead, "Your doing great darlin'." he said, kissing her lightly, "Really great, just one more big push like the doctor says." he whispered, squeezing her hand as she pushed.

Silence reigned; everything seemed to have stopped moving. "Wwwwwwwwwwwwwwwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!" a cry filled the air, and everything started again.

"Congratulations Lieutenant, Commander, you have a son." Phlox announced, wrapping the baby in a small blanket, and quickly recording the time as he handed the child to his mother.

"2317 hrs. May 13th. 2154." Phlox said.

"Doctor," Cutler was at the curtain; "I think you better get in here." she called.

Phlox glancing back at Nikki was sure she was fine, moved past Cutler into the other 'cubical'.

"What are you going to call him?" Cutler asked, Trip was leaning over Nikki watching his son, both of them smiles plastered across their faces. "Don't know, guess we'll have to think about it." he answered.

Cutler left them to it, going back into Malcolm and Jonathan to see if the Doctor needed any help.


"Captain, you wanted to do it this way, now stops complaining and push." Phlox ordered.

Malcolm cringed at the site of his lover's pain, and the pain in his own hand.

"Relax love, your doing great." he assured his lover.

"I can't push any more." Jonathan insisted tiredly.

"Just once more Captain, we have the head, just once more and it will all be over," Phlox assured him.

Malcolm clasped his lover's hand tightly, "You can do it Jonathan," he added on the Doctors behalf.



"Meet your daughter gentlemen." Phlox said handing them a small wrapped bundle a few moments later.

"0007 hrs May 14th 2154." Phlox logged the time in the computers database.

"She's beautiful." Malcolm said watching his daughter wriggling in Jonathan arms, a stray tear in his eyes, to think he had almost missed this.

"Yes she is." Jonathan agreed, smiling up at his husband.

"I love you Jonathan, thank you." Malcolm said, kissing the top of Jonathan s head.

"I love you too…" Jonathan replied, "…and you." he added, smiling at their daughter, running his hands over the few sandy coloured hair's she had covering her otherwise bald head.

**Later that day**

The rest of the senior staff was there, and a few others who had come to give their well wishes.

Nikki and Jonathan were in beds beside each other, Trip and Malcolm sitting beside the beds on chairs and in between two small cribs. The first holding a little boy in baby blue baby clothes, and the name "Charles Tucker IV" inscribed above. Next to, it another holding a small girl in yellow clothes the name "Kia Louise Archer-Reed" inscribed above it.


**The Bridge**

"Sub-Commander, we are being hailed." Hoshi announced, the crew were in a happy mood, though still concerned over the incident on the planet, they were waiting for a response as too why it had happened who this 'underground' were.

"On Screen," T'Pol ordered.

"Sub-Commander, I trust your Captain is well?" it was Governor Traim.

"He is Governor, what can we do for you?" T'Pol asked.

"We wished to apologize again for the dreadful miss understanding, had I know he was a member of the under ground I assure you he would have never been allowed near your people, he would have been killed like the rest of their disgusting kind." the Governors tone was not kind in reference to the 'underground'.

"What exactly is this 'underground'?" T'Pol asked.

Traim's face was hardened "They are an abomination of everything our people believe, they are slaves to their passions, taking leave among them of the same gender, their ways are disgusting, immoral." he answered, you could have heard a pin drop on the bridge, everything went quite.

"What was their use in taking out Away team hostage?" she asked.

"They claimed that your Captain, and your Armory officer was like them, involved in their despicable acts, we of course do not believe their lies it was a ploy, a failed one, we apologize most profusely for this." Traim said.

T'Pol inclined her head, "Thank-you Governor, it was a pleasure trading with you," she added. "And you, please feel free to come by this way again, we would be happy to trade with you again in the future." Traim answered and T'Pol cut the channel.

"Ensign Mayweather set a course away from here on our previous heading," T'Pol ordered.

"Sub-Commander, they were homo-phobic, how could we not have known that, we could have gotten the Captain killed." Travis said as he laid in the course.

"It is something that the Captain and Lt Reed will have to deal with on their travels, how they deal with it will be a testament to their own strengths as a couple, it is not for us to concern ourselves with." T'Pol stated. Everyone slowly returned to their work, the happy atmosphere a little damaged from the realization about what might have happened down there.

**Two Weeks Later**

"How's Charlie?" Malcolm asked Trip as they headed to sickbay, Jonathan and Nikki were already there, and Jonathan should be getting his final check up before they brought Kia home.

"He's doin' great, Doc says if he keeps on like he is we can take him home next week." Trip answered with a grin, fatherhood certainly agreed with him.

"I bet you'll be glad, I know I can't wait to get Kia home, and Jonathan of course, since he insisted on staying in sickbay with her, I would have liked too myself but you know how stubborn he can be." Malcolm said smiling himself.

"Don't I just." Trip agreed as they entered sickbay.

"Hey love," Malcolm greeted kissing Jonathan lightly before going to look at Kia who was just behind him.

"Well Doctor, can we go now?" Jonathan asked. Malcolm smiled at his lover's impatience, not that he could blame him.

"Yes Captain you can, but I'm still keeping you of duty for a couple of weeks, at least." Phlox told him, "Just as long as I can get out of here, I am happy, no offence Doctor," Jonathan said, slipping of the bed, and straight in Malcolm's waiting arms.

"I'll be glad to have you home as well, both of you." Malcolm said holding Jonathan too him for a moment before releasing him, and going to pick up Kia

"I want to see you and Kia in a few days Captain." Phlox said as the two left sick bay with a quick wave to Nikki and Trip.

"Now as for you two, Nikki you are perfectly fine, as is Charlie for the most part, I would like to keep him in a few more days, maybe a week, but then you can take him home," Phlox said turning his attention to the other 'new' parents on Enterprise.

**Archer-Reed Quarters** (Yippee I like that so much better than separate quarters don't you?)

"Sleeping?" Jonathan asked as Malcolm came back into their bedroom, "Yes, almost as soon as I laid her down." Malcolm answered snuggling into Jonathan's side on the bed, it felt nice, being here with him, like this, just being together, it was hard to believe that just a few short weeks ago he had believed it all gone forever.

"What you thinking about?" Jonathan asked.

"How lucky I am, how much I love you, and Kia, how much of a fool I was." Malcolm answered him honestly.

"We are lucky, both of us, I just wish I'd given you the chance to explain sooner, I missed you so much." Jonathan said, pulling Malcolm closer, both of them holding the other tightly.

"Jonathan," Malcolm's voice was low, "Will you make love to me, really make love to me?" he asked.

Jonathan pulled back, "I…"

"Please Jonathan, I promise you this is about nothing but love, I trust you, I love you, let me prove it to you." Malcolm pleaded, and it was true, Malcolm wanted to lay the demons to rest forever, and this was the first step, letting Jonathan really make love to him was the first, and biggest hurdle.

"I want to believe you, but…" Jonathan paused, "Swear to me Malcolm. Swear to me that this is only about us, about you and me, about how much we love each other and nothing else."

"It is. I love you Jonathan. I want to put all this in the past, I want to lay all the ghosts to rest, I just want to be with you, no barriers, nothing but us." Malcolm said. He was being as honest as he could be, telling Jonathan everything.

"I love you Malcolm, you know I'd never hurt you, don't you, not intentionally." Jonathan told him. "I know love," Malcolm said, "I love you too," he added, kissing Jonathan lightly, not wanting to press, it was only when Jonathan pulled him closer, deepened the kiss that he allowed himself to give into his wants.

They spent the time slowly undressing each other; neither of them in any hurry, rediscovering the places on the other that made them respond the best

"God Malcolm I missed this so much. Missed you so much." Jonathan said, raining kisses along Malcolm's collarbone, nibbling at the soft skin there.

Making his way downwards, stopping to explore all the familiar never forgotten places.

The sensitive nipples, laved, bitten, teased over and over until Malcolm was certain he would come without his cock ever being touched, until finally the sweet torture was over, only to be replaced by another as Jonathan located his belly button, lapping at the small indent in his stomach, making him writhe on the sheets.

"God Jonathan…please!" Malcolm begged, he was going crazy, the need sending him spiraling out of control with no end in sight; he needed release so badly he thought he might burst.

Finally, Jonathan descended on him, taking all of him into his mouth at once swirling his tongue around the head, his teeth scraping ever so lightly against the skin.

"YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS." Malcolm's shout was muffled by the pillow he had covered his face with at the last second, when presence of mind stuck him that there was a baby in the next room, who was asleep.

"Malcolm, you ok?" Jonathan asked concerned, Malcolm had all but passed out when he had finally stopped screaming the room down.

"I um…I had forgotten how really good you are at that." he said when he could finally speak.

Jonathan sighed, "You scare me half to death and that's all you have to say for yourself?" he asked.

"Hmmmm? No." Malcolm said, "I have this to say as well." he added kissing Jonathan.

"If I didn't love you so much, I'd hate you." Jonathan mock grouched, pulling back from the kiss only long enough to say that before diving back in.

"Jonathan, please." Malcolm begged, "I need you to love me," he said.

Jonathan gave him a concerned look, "Love me Jonathan, please, I trust you, I need you, please."

Jonathan nodded, conceding and moved to get the lube from the beside unit.

"Are you sure about this?" Jonathan asked again. Malcolm nodded affirmative, pulling Jonathan close, kissing him again. "I've never been more sure of anything." he assured his lover.

Jonathan took his time, he didn't want to rush this, he wanted to it be perfect, to really let Malcolm know that it was about love, nothing else, just love.

He slowly prepared him, carefully, giving him all the time he needed to adjust to his fingers, swiping his finger against the prostate every so often, loving the way it sent Malcolm into spasms of pleasure.

"Jonathan please, oh God please." Malcolm sobbed; already he was half hard again.

"Easy sweetheart." Jonathan said, removing his fingers and lining himself up "I love you." Jonathan said as he slowly slipped inside the tight heat, inch by slow inch until there was nowhere left to go.

"I love you." Jonathan repeated, determined that Malcolm would know this was all about love.

"I love you too." the British man replied, smiling up at his lover, glad he was on his back so he could see him as they made love, and that is most definitely what they were doing, this was making love, it wasn't about hurt, or pain it was about love, and about how much they loved each other, Malcolm couldn't help the tears that sprung to his eyes.

"Malcolm?" Jonathan was concerned; he was going to pull out but Malcolm's arm across his back holding him securely prevented it. "I'm ok, I just, I…thank-you." Malcolm whispered at last unsure what else he could possibly say to this wonderful man, the man who had finally laid the demon to rest. Jonathan smiled down at his lover, moving gently within him, pushing them both towards completion, loving the feeling when finally Malcolm contracted around him, spilling over his hand as he let himself go and filled Malcolm with his own seed.

**A few hours later**

"Go back to sleep." Jonathan insisted as Malcolm was about to get up to go to Kia, "You have a shift in the morning, I don't. Sleep." Jonathan added getting up himself to go and tend to their daughter.

**A few more hours later**

"Jonathan?" Malcolm woke groggy as the alarm went off, "Uggh. Alarm off." he called glad when the insistent beeping stopped.

Dragging himself from under the covers he went in search of his errant husband.

Malcolm stopped at the nursery door, there in the rocking chair by the windows, looking out towards the passing stars sat Jonathan sleeping, half covered in a blanket, with Kia resting peacefully in his arms, her eyes wide and gazing at the light display created by the ship moving at warp.

Smiling Malcolm moved forward, not wanting to disturb the scene he took the camera from the shelf, where they had put it for easy access to take pictures and keep a record of Kia's life, he took a snap shot of the two people he cared about most in the universe.

"Mal?" Jonathan sleepy asked, his eyes half opening. "Its just me love, give her here, I'll feed her, you better go get another few hours sleep" Malcolm said.

Jonathan shook his head, "You have a shift, I need to be awake for her." he insisted. "She will be fine, the baby monitor is on, go and rest, now, or I'll tell Phlox." Malcolm threatened.

Jonathan nodded, and tumbled of in the general direction of the bedroom, Malcolm smiled, setting Kia down while he gathered the bottle, and got it ready.

"Hey there little one, and how are you this morning, keeping your Dad up all night huh, I bet you thought that was fun didn't you?" Malcolm talked to her as he feed her.

"I'll be back later Angel, you be a good girl and let you Dad sleep for a while ok?" Malcolm said kissing her cheek, and settling her into the cot a little while later.

A quick shower and he was out the door, no time for breakfast, because he did want to check on Nikki this morning so breakfast would just have to be missed.


"Hi Malcolm" Trip said as he entered, of course he was here, where else would he be, "Morning Trip, how's my baby sister today?" Malcolm asked giving Nikki a quick peck on the cheek, "Not a baby for one, and I'm fine." Nikki answered.

"Good, I just wanted to pop in before my duty shift starts," Malcolm explained, "I'll call back in later after shift, Trip you heading to engineering?" he asked. "Sure am, be back later darlin'," he said giving Nikki a kiss, and leaning over to give Charlie one as well before they both headed out.

"How'd Kia take to being at home?" Trip asked as they walked.

"Good, slept through till around three am, and after that I didn't hear a peep, of course that was because Jonathan was rocking her on the chair most of the night." Malcolm said.

"Who wouldn't taken Johnny for the mother hen type," Trip said grinning, like there was one person on this ship that didn't know Jonathan Archer was a mother hen.

**Later that evening**

"Hey," Jonathan greeted as Malcolm came in, "Hi, sorry I didn't get back for lunch, we were very busy today, something wrong with the torpedo's alignment again." Malcolm explained leaning down to give Jonathan a kiss, and then to lean a kiss on Kia's forehead where she rested in Jonathan's arms.

Malcolm took her from him, "Did my Angel behave today?" he asked her as he settled down next to Jonathan.

Jonathan's arm came around his waist, his chin resting on his shoulder as he watched Kia where she lay in Malcolm's arms, they were a family, a strange one maybe by some standards, but a family none the less, and neither man could have been happier that they were right then.

Sitting together with their daughter, on a ship surrounded by friends and family, exploring a universe that had as yet been unseen by human kind, life was good.

If you enjoyed this story, please send feedback to the author.

Star Trek and Enterprise are copyrighted by Paramount. We don't own 'em—we just play with them. No money was made.
Please do not repost material without requesting permission directly from the author.
Archer's Enterprise is maintained by the Webmistress.