Title: Clear As Mud

Author: Macx

Email: macx@nexgo.de

Website: http://home.arcor.de/macx/index.html

Date: 06/17/02

Category: Slash

Rating: NC-17

Pairing: Tucker/Reed

Series Title: Relived

Sequel to: Infinity

Spoilers: Breaking the Ice, Desert Crossing

Trip Tucker stalked through the corridors of Enterprise, his expression keeping even the bravest of crewmembers at distance. The scowl on his face deepened whenever someone even seemed to think about coming up to him and ask a stupid question. Irate blue eyes glared at the turbo lift doors until they opened and Trip entered. As it happened, he was alone in the small chamber and when he finally arrived on his deck, he put the fear of god into the unassuming crewmembers who had been waiting to get on. All except one.

Malcolm Reed watched the commander brush past them without so much as a nod, and he tried to hide a smile. Tucker was covered in mud from head to toe. Most of it had dried, caking his hair and clinging to his uniform. Somewhere beneath all that dirt was his lover, but at the moment, all he could see were the eyes glaring daggers and the sour-faced expression.

Reed, who was off duty anyway, decided not to take the lift and followed the other man, who had by now entered his quarters. As far as he knew, the mission had been a simple one. The science teams had set down on the planet they were orbiting to take samples and study the climate, the fauna and flora. What no one had expected had been the monsoon that had struck the team. Trip had been down on the planet to keep an eye on the engineering side of the mission, which meant checking the heavy equipment, one of them being a drill. Malcolm was familiar with the machine. It wasn't unlike the one they had used on the comet, but this time there were no explosions involved.

Well, something must have happened for Tucker to be back, looking like a mud pile, and fuming silently to himself.

Malcolm keyed in the personal code into the door locking mechanism. He normally never entered Trip's quarters unless invited, and even then he rang first. But judging from his lover's mood, he wouldn't be able to get an invite. And Reed thought that the engineer needed an open ear right now.

Looking around the quarters, he found trails of mud leading to the bathroom and he smiled. Pushing the door open, he peeked inside. The soiled uniform lay on the floor, next to the boots. Trip stood under the hot shower, arms against the wall, head hanging between his shoulders. The water pounded his back, cascading off his shoulders and splashing onto the floor. He was completely unaware of Malcolm's presence and the armory officer felt himself smile. It was such an enticing sight, the slender body, the play of muscles under wet skin, and the blond strands dripping water. Mouth-watering indeed. Malcolm stripped quickly and opened the shower door.

Trip seemed to have heard him because his head moved to look over his shoulder. The bangs hanging into his face had Malcolm suppress a grin. Tucker looked a lot younger than usual, but the scowl didn't help with the appearance. There was still a lot of suppressed anger there and he was intent on erasing those lines marring the handsome face.

"Hey," Malcolm greeted him.

"I'm not in the mood, Mal." Even the voice seemed to grate.

Reed wasn't deterred. "Just offering some help with getting the mud off." He grabbed the soap bottle and stepped into the wet warmth.

Trip just grunted something and turned back to letting the water drum onto his skin. But there had been a brief, appreciative glint in his eyes when he had seen his naked lover. Malcolm chuckled silently and squeezed a generous amount into his hands, then rubbed it onto the tense back. His touch was strong enough to massage the tendons and knots of muscles, and Trip gave an involuntary groan and leaned back. Reed smiled and dug harder into the muscles, drawing a sigh. He soaped the back, then continued with the long legs. Trip widened his stance and Malcolm smiled more when he discovered the first signs of arousal as he scrubbed off the dirt. Finally he worked his way up once more and to the front, stepping between the two still outstretched arms.

Trip's eyes were closed and his face had changed from a scowl to one of rapt pleasure. As Malcolm started with his chest, he opened his eyes, blue meeting gray. Reed ran his fingers around the hardening nipples, rubbing over them, drawing a soft hiss. He let his hands slide lower, thoroughly massaging over the flat stomach down south. He ignored the straining hardness and instead focused on the nubs in front of him again, the soap washing away with the constant stream of water.

"Looks like a really persistent spot of dirt here," the lieutenant murmured and latched onto one nipple with his lips.

Tucker inhaled sharply. "Malcolm!" he hissed as the Brit ran his tongue over the sensitive area, suckled and lightly bit at it, then changed nipples and repeated the procedure.

Shivers ran through the blond and he groaned. Malcolm had found his lover to be incredibly receptive when it came to his nipples, and Reed loved to drive him crazy with his mouth, tongue and fingers. Trip would be prone to retaliate, using his knowledge of Malcolm's sensitive belly button. Knowing the other man, he knew how far he could go until Trip reached his point of no return. He stepped back just before that and looked appreciatively up and down the heaving chest.

"Hm, another spot," he mumbled and poured soap into his hands again.

Stepping around so he was behind his lover once more, he lightly teased a soapy finger down one hip, then toward the straining hardness. Trip gasped as he enveloped his arousal with the slicked hand, running it up and down. He leaned back into the smaller body while his hips twitched forward.

"Gawd!" he exclaimed as Malcolm rubbed a thumb over the head.

Reed nibbled at the wet back and neck, then almost bit down as Tucker's twitching brought his own arousal into contact with the enticing butt. His fingers tightened automatically and Trip hissed sharply, pushing back harder. Malcolm moved away, drawing a protesting moan, but he was back in a flash after he had slicked up his own arousal with more soap. He had no intention of entering his lover, though. He had other plans. Pushing his length between the tempting cheeks, he rubbed along the small hole, and Trip gave an exclamation of surprise. There were enough nerve-endings to shoot a ton of signals through the other's body, stimulating him just fine. Malcolm groaned as they began to move in rhythm, one hand busy with the straining hardness, the other wrapped around the narrow waist, holding his partner close.

Trip was the first to reach climax. He gave a barely muffled shout, jerked, and Malcolm kept pumping until Tucker went limp. He followed not much later, glad that his lover was keeping himself upright with his hands against the wall, though Trip's arms were shaking, muscles straining. Both men were breathing hard and Malcolm shut down the shower with trembling hands, then gathered his shaky lover in his arms.

"Better?" he murmured.


Reed grabbed the towels and the blond took one, looking dazed. They dried themselves, Tucker with his lover's help, then walked out into the quarters, where Malcolm steered the taller man to the bed.

"What happened?" he asked as they settled down and Malcolm pulled the compliant man against him.

Warm naked skin met warm naked skin, but both men were sated enough. Reed finger-combed the damp hair, smiling at the unruly appearance.

"What din't happen!" Trip growled. "First the damn drill was too heavy and kept sinking into the ground. Then Grant broke off two drill heads because he had no idea how to use that thing. Finally fixed that when it began to rain. It's like rain season down there. The geological survey equipment got drenched and blew. Half the hill came down and buried the camp, drill included. Rollins and LeSage tried to get it out, but the ground gave way again. The drill's toast and I ended up like that."

Malcolm smiled and continued his soft strokes. "Not your day."

"If the cap'n suggests I take part in a science mission ever again, I'm goin' to quit!"

He laughed. "Sure." Malcolm kissed his lover, savoring the slow, sensual contact.

Trip wrapped his arms around him, pulling him closer, sighing softly as they separated.

"Damn, I'm glad I'm back on dry land!"

"I thought you only hated deserts," Malcolm teased.

"Ah think Ah'll include rain forests as well now," Tucker drawled. He pushed himself up on one elbow and looked down at the dark-haired man. "You in for some food? I'm ravenous."

"That would mean moving."

Trip kissed his nose. "Yeah. But your lover's going to wither and die of hunger otherwise."

Malcolm let his fingers skim over the muscular side, poking once. "Well, yes, you are kind of thin."


"Maybe even skinny."

Trip's eyes flared in outrage. "Ah'm not skinny!"

"So food might be the best idea to get some substance back onto your bones," Reed went on as if he hadn't heard the outraged protest. "Might improve your stamina."


Malcolm laughed out loud at the expression in his lover's face, then squealed as the other man started to tickle him. He fought back half-heartedly, enjoying himself too much to use his considerable expertise as the chief of security to dislodge the taller man.

Trip caught his hands and pressed them down left and right of his head. "Give!" he whispered breathlessly.

Reed was gasping for air, eyes glowing. "Okay, you win," he managed.

It earned him a swift kiss, then Trip's so welcome weight was removed. Tucker grabbed a clean pair of pants and pulled them on.

"C'mon, Mal, dinner's on me."

Reed shot him a speculative look, an impish expression on his features. "Literally?"

A bunched up sweater landed in his face. "Idiot!"

The armory officer chuckled and got up as well. He looked for his uniform and found it in a rather sorry, slightly damp state.

Trip wrapped his arms around him and planted a kiss behind one ear. "Wanna borrow some of my stuff?"

"I'll have to," he sighed.

Their difference in size was small enough for Malcolm to wear a pair of sweat pants and a t-shirt. It didn't look too bad.

After another long kiss, both men left the quarters, heading for the mess hall. It was where they ran into Archer. Trip's eyebrows went into a frown as the captain looked over to the two men, smiling amiably.

"Don't even say it!" Tucker growled.

"Say? What?" Archer asked, looking innocent.

"I'm not putting a foot on that mudball ever again!"

"Did I even mention the planet?"

Malcolm bit back his own amusement, his face straight, but his eyes were dancing with amusement.

"You were about to!"

"We'll be leaving the day after tomorrow, Trip," Archer told him, smiling. "Our next flight path leads us to a small, unexplored nebula."

"Thank you god!" Tucker groaned.

Malcolm smirked and Archer's eyes twinkled. Trip marched over to the fridge units and peered inside, looking for something edible. Reed joined him while the captain just continued on his way, smiling to himself.

Things had settled again.

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