Title: Alpha Male

Author: Lara Bee and Macx

Email: lara_bee@lycos.com and macx@nexgo.de

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

Date: 06/23/02

Category: Slash

Rating: NC-17

Pairing: Tucker/Reed

Series Title: Relived

Sequel to: Visitors From Home

Spoilers: The whole thing was inspired by seeing Dominic Keating in Jungle 2 Jungle a while ago, laughing my butt off, and wondering what it would take to get Malcolm Reed platinum blond…

Trip Tucker shuddered, arching his hips and meeting the other man's deep thrusts, crying out his relase and digging his fingers into the sweat slickened skin of his lover, barely registering the deep throaty moan or the brief pain at his neck where the other man left a bite mark while overwhelmed by his own passion. Entangled into one another, breathing heavily, they slowly came back to the real world.

His lover wrapped his arms around him, placing a sweet, slow kiss on his lips. Trip snuggled against the other man, still reveling in the soft afterglow of their lovemaking.

"Sorry, Trip. It's time," his lover murmured, but didn't move.

"Do ya hafta go back already?" Trip muttered sleepily and lazily opened his eyes, meeting a still clouded gaze.

He loved early morning encounters of the erotic kind, but unfortunately his lover had to go. This hadn't exactly been a normal encounter either. For just a while, he had forgotten what was going on around him, had been relieved of command, of the pressure of duty. For a moment in time, he had been just Trip. No rank, no responsibilities, no mission, no danger.

"You know that I do. Tonight is the night. We have a very narrow window of opportunity. It's either tonight or…" The accented voice trailed off.

Trip looked into the exotic and very much alien eyes, meeting the slitted gaze seriously. "I know. Be careful, y'hear me?"

His lover bent down and kissed him softly. "I will be."

Tucker watched in pure awe as the man got up, watched the slender but very agile figure move with a catlike grace, took in the way the firm muscles worked under the tanned skin as he stepped into the bathroom to take a short shower.

"Want me ta join ya?" he called.

"If you do, I won't be able to make it in time, and you know that. Next time."

"If you say so." Trip sighed, waiting for him to return.

His lover knew how much he enjoyed the look of water droplets on his skin, the way said skin tasted, when he would slowly lick his way over the well build body down south, and the sound of that hoarse voice when he would…


Trip blinked, realizing that he must have daydreamed, and looked up. He met the pale green gaze, again fascinated by the cat eyes, the way a strand of hair fell into his face, giving him a roguish look. The other man fastened his skin tight, black pants and slipped into his equally black shirt, bending over him to demand a small kiss.

"Good luck. I love you," Trip whispered.

"I know."

Trip reached up and let his hands run through the platinum-blond, thick hair, pulling his lover's head down into one last fiery kiss.

"Come back in one piece, ya hear me? That's an order."

"I will."



The blond picked up his black leather coat and sunglasses and with one last look sneaked out into the corridor.


Trip stood on the bridge of Enterprise, ramrod straight, hands clasped behind his back, eyes pinned to the screen that showed him the planet in all its desert glory. There were green splotches, as well as bodies of water, but most of the planet was rather dry. The settlements were around the water and in the greener parts of the continents, with nomadic movement all over the plains. In one of those settlements, a rescue operation was currently taking place.

His lover had been gone for almost four days now. No contact except for the occasional coded message. Trip had no idea what was really happening on the surface, and all he could do was wait. Not his strong point. Not at all. He wanted to be down there as well, get the captain and Hoshi and T'Pol back to the ship. Preferably in one piece.

But it had been a one-man operation, and the man chosen for that operation had left the ship three days ago. Leaving him. Worried, fretting, unable to help should anything happen to him.


They had nothing except the reconnaissance data from the first day. Not much to go on, and because of that so much more dangerous.

Their last night together came back and Trip allowed himself to indulge in those memories, the recollection of how his fingers had felt, his skin, his hair…Tucker almost laughed out loud as he recalled the indignant expression when he had repeatedly run his fingers through the platinum blond strands, teasing him, gazing into those alien eyes, unable to get enough of the man. But whenever he returned to the real world, the feelings of being alone intensified.

"Sir, I've Shuttlepod Two approaching from the planet's surface," Mayweather interrupted his thoughts and pulled him back to the here and now.

"Any signs of pursuit?"


"I've got them on the com, asking for permission to dock."

Trip felt a wide grin spread over is features. "Permission granted. Prepare to break orbit the moment we have them aboard."

"Aye, sir."

His stomach did a nervous flip-flop as he waited for the announcement that the pod was safely at the docking arm, then he hurried off the bridge. Drumming his fingers against the elevator's wall, he wished it would go faster. Much faster. Tucker almost bowled over a crewman as he left the elevator, and he tried to pull himself together, calm his frazzled nerves.

Shuttlepod Two sat in the docking bay and the doors were just opening. Trip skidded to a halt and relief hit him as Captain Archer was the first to exit. He looked rather disheveled, with a growth of a three-day beard, his uniform torn in two places, and dirt clinging to the formerly pristine blue material. There was a bruise along one temple, but it didn't look too bad. Then again, looks could be deceiving.

T'Pol and Hoshi were next, both in the same sorry state as the captain, though the Vulcan science officer still somehow managed to look her distinguished self, despite the grime clinging to her clothes, skin and hair. That relief had blossomed into joy when he discovered his lover getting out as well. The black clothes were dusty, but in a much better shape than the uniforms of the other three.

"Captain," Trip addressed his superior officer, fighting the urge to walk over to the forth man, hug him, kiss him, or embarrass him and himself in any other way.

"Trip," Archer replied, sounding weary, but also very much relieved. There was a smile on his features. "Good job." He nodded at the blond in the black clothes. "All of you."

He received a curt nod. "Thank you, Sir," the accented voice said, sounding rather clipped.

Trip let his eyes rest on the, for his liking, too drawn features. The green eyes stood out more than before and the skin was almost as pale as the hair. And then that face lost all remaining color and the smaller man collapsed. Trip was just fast enough to catch him before the limp body bounced off the floor plating. He wrapped his arms around the slender form and felt something sticky and warm cling to his fingers where they touched one side.

With horror, he pulled back one hand and raised it into the artificial lighting of the hangar bay.

It glistened wetly. And red.

Trip met Archer's eyes, saw his shock mirrored in them, then he started to yell for the medical team.


Trip hovered next to the biobed, anxious blue eyes fixed on the motionless, pale figure in the black clothes. Phlox had already stripped his patient of the long coat and the dark shirt, and the ugly, deep slash along the ribcage was brightly visible.

Fragile, torn flesh, swollen already, still oozing.

"Commander, if you please?" the Denoblian could be heard, gently pushing him away. "I need to treat my patient."

"Uh, sure," he mumbled, stepping back, but his eyes were still fixed on the lax features. There wasn't a twitch, nothing at all.

Only now, under the harsh light of sickbay, did Tucker see the whole damage done to his lover. There was a bruise stretching over the ribs, the stab wound with blood still leaking, and the hands showed bruising on the knuckles. He had been in a fight. A very vicious fight. Phlox quickly and efficiently scanned his patient, then cleaned the wound and began to close it. Trip's lips were thin lines as he kept on watching.

Not a twitch.

Someone touched him and he flinched, completely oblivious to what had been going on around him. It was Crewman Cutler. Her compassionate eyes sought and held his.

"You should go and clean up a little, Commander," she said gently.

Trip stared at the blood covering his hands, drying, sticky. It had saturated his uniform as well.

His lover's blood. Almost black where it was on the uniform, a dark reddish brown on his hands.

He swallowed, gaze automatically drawn to the biobed where the blond lay, oblivious to the efforts of Phlox.

"He'll be fine," Cutler tried to get through to him.

You didn't have him break down in your arms, bleeding. You didn't make love to him just four days ago, touching the skin that is now broken, the body that's bleeding, he thought desperately, holding on to the image of the vibrant, warm body in his arms.


The deeper voice made him turn his head and he met his captain's gaze. Archer still looked rather disheveled, but there was an intense expression in his dark eyes.

"Let the doc work."

Tucker nodded wordlessly, feeling a tremor race through him. Archer squeezed his shoulder in silent support.

He couldn't die, Trip thought pleadingly. He just couldn't die!


The first sense that returned that of sound. There as a muffled murmuring; nothing clear.

Then there was sight. Through his closed eyelids, Riihd picked up lights. He couldn't crack his eyes open, though. It was just too hard.

Then came touch. He was laying down on something reasonably comfortable.

And it smelled…sterile.

Then came the pain. It was a brief stab in his lower left side. Riihd winced and bit back a moan, his throat too dry to actually voice the pain. He must have made a sound anyway, because suddenly there was someone next to him.

He tensed.

Memories flooded back. Memories of a fight, of danger, adrenaline rushing through him. Trying to survive.

He gasped, muscles contracting as his brain sent out impulses to his body. Fight. He had to fight.

A hand curled around one arm, pushing the twitching limb down. He heard the soothing murmur of the voice he knew, though he couldn't make out the words.


He was back? It was over?

There was a hoarse croak that had to have been him.

Something cool was pushed against his neck and the pain abated the moment the substance of the injection took hold. "Where…?" he tried again.

"You're back aboard Enterprise," the voice answered.

Phlox, his brain supplied. Dr. Phlox.

"The others…?"

"They are fine. Just lay back and relax."

More memories came.

//The Radek warrior loomed up before him, the light from the fires of the camp reflecting off the sharp blade he was swinging. A snarl escaped the twisted lips and green eyes glowed in fury. "Traitor!" he roared.

"Not so much a traitor," Riihd murmured, sizing up his opponent.

He was two heads taller than him, built like a brick wall, but from what he had learned about the society, he wasn't an alpha male. So he was either too stupid for his own good or thought he could take on a smaller alpha. Riihd smiled wryly. Size wasn't everything. His trainers had said so before, and he himself knew it was the truth.

"You challenge me?" he asked, voice firm, clear, reflecting his own status.

"I'll kill you!" the Radek hissed.

"I take that as a yes."

Archer and the others were already making their way to the shuttle. Behind him explosions ripped through the night air, bathing everything in a hot, orange light.

The Radek stared at the fiery blossoms behind him, then charged with a battle cry.

Riihd countered the attack easily, slipping under the taller alien, placing his own blows against the unprotected back. The Radek yelled and whirled around, grabbing for his elusive prey.

A yell of alarm.

Something slammed into his back and he went down.

Rolling around, Riihd swung his legs up and kicked the second attacker off himself, burying a fist into a square face. So much for a fair challenge, he thought grimly. There were breathless moments of pure adrenaline, trying to survive, feeling the weight of his much larger opponent, the fist slamming into his side, driving the breath out of him.

New pain exploded at the edge of his senses. Sharp. Fierce. Angry. The hot flare as the knife slid along his side. Desperation and adrenaline mixed together, and he lashed out, catching the alien at the throat with the handle of his knife. The Radek stumbled back, gagging, grabbing at his throat. He wheezed and fell to his knees.//

How he had managed to get to the shuttle, get it off the ground and fly it to Enterprise, it was a mystery to him. He had safely delivered the former prisoners to the ship, had climbed out of the shuttle pod…and had pitched forward into the arms of his lover.


His name. Yes.

No longer Riihd. His Radek cover was gone. Erased. Just like that. Malcolm Reed was back.

He must have drifted off because the lights had changed, as had the sounds. The smell and the feel were still the same, though.

"Mal, c'mon. Open those pretty eyes for me."

He raised his eyelids. Slowly. It was like lifting weights. A face swam into focus and he tried to smile as he discovered the man above him.

Not Phlox.

"Trip…?" he murmured.

A gentle hand touched his cheek. "Yes, love."

The face was clearer now. Malcolm managed what he thought had to be a smile. "Hey."

A kiss was placed onto his forehead. Reed relaxed with a soft sigh.

"That feels nice."

Strong fingers caressed his face, a thumb rubbing over his cheek.

"You in any pain?"

"Not any more."

"Phlox gave ya an injection," Tucker explained.


"Yeah, well, can't stay, Mal. Doc's been tryin' ta kick my ass outta sickbay for a while now."

Malcolm noticed the strong accent in his lover's voice, indicating his emotional upheaval. "Then you better go," he murmured.

"I'll be back," Trip promised.

I know you will, Malcolm thought, already slipping off into sleep again.



The clearly British voice rang out through sickbay and Trip had to bite back a laugh as he entered through the sliding doors.

"I might have worded that the wrong way," Phlox's calm voice could be heard and the Denoblian doctor walked over to his patient. "I meant that I cannot restore it to its original state right away. It has to grow back."

Eyes went wide and Malcolm Reed stared at the alien in disbelief, shock and horror. "You can't be serious, doctor! When you applied this horrible substance, you said it would be easily removable."

"Yes, yes, I did. I didn't take into account that the sun and the atmosphere of the planet might influence the effects of the substance. It is now rather permanent until your hair grows out."

Malcolm gave a groan and let his head drop back, eyes closing briefly. He was sitting on the examination table, naked from the waist up, still wearing the skin-tight, black pants Trip thought hugged his lover's legs just nicely.

"Don't tell me the lenses have been permanently grafted to my eyes as well," he muttered.

Phlox chuckled. "No, not to worry, Mr. Reed. I will remove them in a minute. Let me check your wound first. Ah, hello, Commander," the doctor greeted him as he discovered his visitor.

Trip's eyes were drawn to the angry, red wound that stretched over Malcolm's lower left side. He felt his anger and worry surface again. His lover had lost a fair amount of blood, most of it saturating the ruined, black shirt and leather coat. The knife had glanced off the ribs or the injury might have been even more serious.

"Stop staring. It's not polite."

Malcolm's voice drew him out of his thoughts and Trip had the decency to look sheepish.

"Hey. How do you feel?"

"I felt fine until a minute ago when the doctor revelealed to me that I'll be running around like this for a while."

Frustration and disbelief mixed into the armory officer's voice. Pale green, cat-like eyes flared with indignation. Even through the grafted contacts, the moods were easily readable. Phlox had outdone himself. The contacts weren't mere lenses. They reacted to light and emotions like the real thing.

Trip smiled. "It doesn't look so bad."

"I look like a bloody torch light with that color! How long is this going to take, doctor?" he demanded as Phlox came over to them again.

"Hm, I'd estimate a month or two until the last traces have disappeared."

"What?!" Horror etched onto the sharp-angled features. "Dear lord!"

"You could always shave it off," Trip suggested, grinning.

It earned him a lethal glare that was only enhanced by the alien eyes.

"Now, Lieutenant, just stay still and let me remove the grafts," Phlox interrupted them and stepped in front of his patient.

It didn't take long and soon Trip looked into the familiar, gray-blues of his lover.

"Welcome back, Mal."

Reed glared. "This isn't me," he muttered sullenly. "I'm not blond. Can't you color it?"

Phlox tilted his head and looked apologetic. "It wouldn't accept any color as it is now. The particles in the planet's air more or less sealed your hair. Think of it as a lacquered surface and the possible colors I have as not water-proved. One shower and you'll be back to your old self."

"This," Malcolm growled and jabbed a finger at his hair, "is not my old self!"

It was the moment the captain entered sickbay and Trip saw the tell-tale twitch of lips that indicated a barely suppressed smile. Archer's eyes danced with merriment as he looked at his lieutenant.

"How are you feeling, Malcolm?"

Reed, to his credit, turned down the voltage of his glare, managing to look almost like his normal, cool and controlled self.

"I'm fine, sir."


Archer knew exactly how to take declarations of health when it came to his armory and tactical officer.

"The wound as such has been sealed and isn't infected," the Denoblian answered readily. "I anticipate no complications and it will leave no scar. It might be a bit tender to the touch, so I'd advise no strenuous activities. He lost blood, but with some rest and lots of fluids, he will be fine. Judging from the bruises all over his body, I suspect Lieutenant Reed was involved in more than just this one fight."

Phlox shot his patient a quizzical look; just like Archer.

Malcolm shrugged. "I was down there as an alpha male. They have their share of challenges."

"Well, yes, all those challenges, as you put it, Lieutenant, have left you weaker than you should have been, even with the blood loss. Additionally, you were under a lot of stress." The Denoblian frowned slightly. "I suspect you also forgot the golden rule about eating to keep your strength up."

Reed wisely chose to say nothing and only duck his head. The food on the planet had been unedible to put it mildly.

"As for the physical alterations, the skin will lose the tan in a few weeks and I removed the cosmetic grafts without problems."

"Not all of them," Malcolm muttered.

Archer's lips twitched again, but he wisely didn't say a thing. "You did a good job down there, Malcolm."

"Thank you, sir."

Trip thought as much. Malcolm had done a damn good job. If not for him, Archer, T'Pol and Hoshi might either be forever MIA or worse, dead. It had all started as a harmless first contact with a people called Radek. They were the dominant, intelligent species on the planet, lived in clans and had agreed to meeting the captain of the Enterprise. Well, one clan had invited them. What no one had known about was the feud going on between this clan and another. So Archer and his team had stumbled into the middle of a nasty fight, had been taken prisoner by the enemy faction, and things had become real ugly real fast.

Negotiations had failed and threats had been made to kill the captain and sell the females as slaves. It had been Malcolm's idea to go down, infiltrate the enemy clan's settlement, and scout the premises. Trip, in charge of the ship at the time, had argued back and forth, and finally had had to agree.

So Reed had been cosmetically altered to represent a Radek alpha male. The pale green, cat-like eyes, the lightly tanned skin and the white-blond hair had been the most prominent changes. Add to that the clothing of a dominant male, the black leather pants, the shirt and long leather coat, and he had been one heck of a sight to behold. They had used a variation of his last name to create an identity for him, and Riihd had been born.

The first day spent on the planet had been to simply determine who was who and where the captain might be kept. He had already faced two other males of the clan, reaffirming his own position as a visiting Radek male of another, friendly clan. One challenge had been physical, but Malcolm had won. The lieutenant had returned after the first day, had picked up some explosive charges and a knife. It had been when they had made love. Trip had shivered when the dangerous looking alien that was his lover had taken over control, being the alpha male he represented within the clan's settlement, and they had made passionate love.

A grin flashed over Trip's features. He clearly remembered the reactions of the crew to the visit of his lover, seeing the alien but still so familiar tactical officer in his new outfit. //Malcolm walked along Trip's side to the mess hall. Tucker knew that what the Radek considered edible food was little more than raw meat of an animal that looked like a cross between an insect and some kind of hairless rat. According to Reed, it tasted horrible, but he had to play his role, so he had eaten it. A meal in the mess hall, this late at night, sounded like paradise to the starved man. So the two of them had set out, passing only a few awake crew members, but all of them had given the leather clad man wide-eyed and very appreciative looks.

The mess hall as such had been almost empty. There had been only one other late night eater; Elizabeth Cutler. Trip had been hard pressed to hide his laughter as he had seen the woman's eyes go wide, then try to control her reaction to the 'new and improved Malcolm Reed', as Trip had teased his lover.

"Uh, Lieutenant," the scientist had stammered. "I…I nearly didn't recognize you."

Malcolm flashed her a tired smile. "Don't worry. I don't recognize myself any more."

"I heard you were on a mission to the planet."

Trip got them sandwiches and some ice tea. "Secret mission," he remarked casually.

Cutler looked sheepish. "Sorry. I didn't mean to pry."

"You aren't."

"Ahm, well, looks…nice," she added slowly, unsuccessful at hiding her appreciation.

Malcolm concentrated on the sandwich. "Thank you," he mumbled.

Cutler cleared her throat, hesitated, then decided to leave before embarrassing herself any further. But not without giving the two men another look.

Malcolm gave a long suffering sigh when they were alone. "What is wrong with this ship?" he asked with a general air.

"Hm?" Trip raised his eyebrows.

"Did you see them staring at me when we walked here? Or the day I left? People are falling over their feet and keep talking behind my back!"

"And such a nice one it is," Trip smirked.


"C'mon, Mal, relax. They just haven't seen their British, oh-so controlled armory officer in black leather before. Give them a break."

"I didn't do this so the crew can…have their fun!" Malcolm huffed.

"Well, they do anyway. Do you even know how you look in this, love?" Tucker asked, smiling.

"Like a sodding freak show," was the sour reply.

"Nope. You look hot and desirable."

Reed gave him an incredulous look. "I'm disguised as a Radek, an alien, wearing green contacts that make me look like a cat, and my hair is bleached!"

"Don't forget the leather," Trip added, an impish expression on his face.

"How could I!" Malcolm tugged at the waistband of his pants.

"Mal, you as a Radek are a sight for sore eyes." Trip leaned forward and gave him a leer. "It sure gets my blood boiling, and judging from Crewman Cutler's expression, she was close to throwing you over her shoulder and making off to the quarters."

Sandwich forgotten, Reed stared at him, mouth hanging open. He had looked so cute, Trip had been hard pressed not to just grab him then and there and kiss him senseless.//

Three days later Malcolm had signaled that they were coming back, all of them. He had freed the three imprisoned away team members, all looking a bit worse for wear, but they had been physically fine.

"You'll have my report within the hour," Malcolm now added and catapulted Trip out of his memories.

"Take your time, Malcolm. I'm in no hurry," Archer calmed him. "We're far enough from the planet already and there are no signs that anyone is following us."

"Good to hear," Trip muttered. The farther away they got, the better he would feel.

This had been too close. Way too close.

"Well, Lieutenant, I can officially release you from sickbay," Phlox announced, looking pleased with his work.

"Thank you lord," Malcolm muttered.

Trip held out the plain, blue shirt he had retrieved from his lover's quarters and Malcolm slipped it on with a grateful look.

"I'd like to see you back here tomorrow to check on the wound," Phlox added.

"I'll make sure he will be," Trip promised, receiving a dark look from the patient in question.

Phlox smiled, nodded, and the three men left sickbay.

"You'll be off duty until Dr. Phlox declares you fit to resume it," Archer told his armory officer.

"Sir, I'm perfectly able to…"


Reed snapped his mouth shut and sighed. "Yes, sir."

Archer walked off to the bridge and Trip hovered next to Malcolm as they made their way to the lieutenant's quarters. They ran into some of the crew and Malcolm's face grew darker and more sour by the minute as people looked at him strangely, barely able to refrain from commenting on his altered hair.

"One word and I'll have to kill someone," the smaller man growled.

"It looks good, Mal. Don't worry. They'll get used to it. Hell, some saw you as a Radek already."

"That was a cover, a costume. This…" He gestured at the platinum hair, "this is bloody unbearable!"

Trip grinned. "C'mon, it'll grow out. No sweat."

Malcolm muttered something under his breath that sounded decidedly uncomplimentary.

They walked on in silence, Reed studiously ignoring the looks he received, glaring at whatever was ahead.

"I'm not going to keel over, Trip," Malcolm sighed after a while.

"One nevah knows," came the Southern drawl. "You already did once."

"That was under different circumstances."

Reed opened his door and they both walked in. Trip's eyes were involuntarily drawn to where the black leather pants clung skin-tight to the shapely behind of his lover. But then he felt the memories of what had happened intrude and all erotic thoughts fled.


Tucker looked at the man before him and noticed that Malcolm had stripped off the blue shirt. Trip took his lover into his arms, carefully avoiding to touch the healing wound.

"You're back," he whispered. "Gawd, you're back."

Tucker had been afraid to let his lover go down on the planet's surface in the first place, had had a bad feeling from the beginning and had wanted nothing more than to accompany him. When he had seen Malcolm return, he had felt as if an entire mountain had been lifted from his heart. But then Malcolm had collapsed into his arms and scared the living daylights out of Trip.

From Archer he knew there had been a fight, that Malcolm had confronted a large Radek, yelling at the away team to get to the shuttle. He had taken the alien down, but must have been injured in the process. Neither Archer nor T'Pol or Hoshi had realized it until their armory officer had broken down in the shuttle bay.

Now, after a day to get his frazzled nerves back into order, Trip wondered why he had so completely broken down. He had behaved like some green cadet faced with his very first battle scenario. Why had he frozen? Why had he thought the worst had happened? Why hadn't he been able to pull himself together, let the trained Starfleet officer take over, shove the lover back? It hadn't been the first time Malcolm had been hurt. It was his goddamned job! Trip knew it, had always known it, and he had readily accepted the risk that came with it.

Hell, even he had been hurt on more than one occasion.

Why now?

Because in the past, he had shoved the real implications of it all aside. Hurt and comfort. Malcolm had been hurt, there had been a brief flare of adrenaline, then they had comforted each other. The same went for when Trip was injured. Things had piled up and now the dam had broken.

The other reason…

Trip shivered inside.

Something that had started as a role in the hay three years ago had become his lifeline. He needed Malcolm. Malcolm meant more to him than just a lover. He was the lover for him. Somewhere along the line Trip Tucker had realized that this man was it for him. There would be no one after Malcolm Reed. He wouldn't want anyone after him; he wanted Malcolm at his side for the rest of his life.

Part of him screamed at him that this meant changes. He and Reed would have to talk about it. Soon.

But now all he wanted, no, needed, was to cradle the man he loved more than his own life into his arms, feel him, touch him, assure himself that he was real, was back with him where he belonged. Trip breathed in the scent that was Malcolm, a scent he had become accustomed to during the last three years and had missed dearly beside him in his bed for four days and nights.

Four days. Hell, he couldn't even go for four days without Malcolm. Trip wrapped his arms around the lithe form of his lover, caressing the bare skin with his fingertips, just wanting to touch, needing the contact.

"Yes, I'm back. And this time I intend to stay for a while," Malcolm murmured into his ear, reaching out and pulling him into a kiss.

"You better."

Soft and tender at first, tongues slowly exploring already well known territory, but discovering something new each time. The kiss became more hungry, deeper and more fierce, until a more trivial need made them pull back to simply breathe again.

They sank onto the bed.

"Mal," Trip only said, eyes raking over the beloved figure of his lover, his hand lifting to his temple.

He just couldn't resist to tousle the platinum strands, cause some disarray. Malcolm's eyes were now stormy, clouded with desire, when he leaned into the touch.

"I won't break, Trip."

"You were stabbed into the side with a knife," Tucker argued.

"It was just a glancing blow, Trip, not a stab."

"Passed out on me anyway."


Malcolm took his hand and placed it back on his stomach, putting one of his own over it to keep it in place. The other arm sneaked around Trip's waist, pulling him close into another wanton kiss that made Trip's head spin and let his cautions fly out of the window in no time. His hands started to wander around on their own, carefully directed down south.

"Point taken," Trip muttered between kisses when he touched a bulge that was telling him more than words how much Malcolm himself seemed to have missed him. His fingertips caressed his lover, and he heard him take in a sharp breath, hips coming off the mattress and seeking deeper contact.

"Thought I made myself quite clear."

"Nice to have you back."

"Nice to be back. I like to be my former self again."

"Almost," Trip smiled and tousled his lover's dyed hair.

"You seem to be obsessed with blond, green-eyed strangers, Commander Tucker. Do you always sleep with alien alpha males you've just met?" Malcolm teased, eyes alight.

"Only if they have such a sexy British accent and seductive backside—hey!"

Malcolm had flipped him on his back and started a serious attack on his neck, nibbling at the sensitive skin right under the earlobe while his hand roamed over Trip's chest, caressing one nipple through the fabric of the shirt before slipping under it and continuing with the tantalizing treatment.

"Oh no you don't," Trip growled.

He had nothing against being on the receiving end of the Reed passion, but not tonight. Tonight was for his lover entirely. Malcolm had gotten rid of Trip's shirt already, replacing his fingers with one talented mouth when Trip grabbed Malcolm's wrists and rolled him on his back, paying attention not to tear at his injury. He swallowed any protest in a passionate kiss, loving the way the hard body melted against his. Tucker carefully pushed a knee between Malcolm's thighs, parting them slightly and increasing pressure, hearing Malcolm moan deep in his throat and twitch against his leg.

"Trip," he heard his lover gasp.

"That's my name."

"What are you doing?"

"Please you, love."

"Then why the bloody hell aren't you doing so?"

"But I am…I am…"

Trip nipped at Malcolm's neck, evoking another soft moan and a shudder. Hands sliding down, he paid special attention to every single sensitive spot he knew on his lover's body, ghosting over the skin with fingertips or nipping at it, leaving a faint mark that would be gone in the morning. When he released Malcolm from his confining pants, he thought he could almost hear the man sob. Eager to hear the beloved sound again he kneeled between Malcolm's thighs, and started to use his lips and tongue in a way that would end in that result. Which immediately did, Malcolm thrusting into his caress, giving a choked sound, weaving his hands into his hair. One hand holding him down, Trip let the other one slide between Malcolm's parted legs and further, enjoying the gasping sound of pleasure his lover gave.

When Trip finally hit the special spot inside Malcolm, stroking it carefully while continuing to please his lover in other ways, the gasp turned into a barely suppressed scream as Malcolm's climax made him come off the bed. Trip kissed his way up Malcolm's body, savoring the salty taste of his lover's skin until he got to the sinful mouth, claiming Malcolm's lips again and again. He felt Malcolm shudder when he slid over the still sensitive member, and he met the slightly hazy gaze of his storm-cloud colored eyes.

"You?" Malcolm asked, voice still husky.

"Later. You're tired, love. Rest."


"Malcolm," he echoed, voice firm.

With a sigh Malcolm gave in, resting his head on Trip's shoulder, one arm sneaking around his waist. Minutes later Trip smiled when deep steady breaths indicated Malcolm had fallen asleep in his arms. He ran his hands through the platinum hair, his smile widening.

((Two months later))

The two crewmen who were taking a walk through the corridors of Enterprise stopped dead in their tracks, jaws almost hitting the floor, dumbfounded and eyes wide in utter shock at the sight of the man who was almost languidly and gracefully passing them. He smiled and gave a short nod in their direction.

"Looks as if he's in for a surprise tonight," Cutler murmured absentmindedly, staring after the man in appreciation.

"Stop drooling, Liz. The man's taken."

"A shame."


Trip stepped out of the bathroom and slipped into a pair of sweats, grateful to finally feel human again after the long shower. It had been one hell of a week for the entire engineering staff. First hey had been hit by an ion storm which had shaken the ship real good and had shut down the warp drive for three days. Then the sensors had gone off line and the ship had run into a small asteroid field. There had been no permanent damage done, but nevertheless it had been strenuous on the crew.

Trip sank down on the bunk with a book and a whiskey. He could think of much more appealing ways to spend an evening, but Malcolm was still on duty, readjusting the sensor array.

The door chime chirped.

"Come," Trip called without thinking.

He frowned when the chime sounded again, he hadn't locked the door. Still frowning, he rose and pushed the button. The moment the door swooshed open and Trip recognized his visitor his heart skipped a beat.

Leaning assertively in the doorframe, arms crossed over an almost bare chest, dressed in skin tight, black leather pants and a well known long, black leather coat, smiling broadly and somewhat mischievously at him, stood Malcolm Reed.

"Mal…?" Trip didn't get any further. Malcolm pushed him back into his quarters and locked the door with one swift move. The next thing Trip knew he was laying on the bed, Malcolm straddling his hips, holding his wrists over his head and literally kissing him senseless, while the cool leather caressed his suddenly very hot and sensitive skin.

"Mal," Trip moaned, overwhelmed by the unusual dominance of his lover, but not really feeling uncomfortable with it, as the rising heat in his groin told him.

"Don't move!" Malcolm whispered as he released his wrists and removed the sweats in a quick fluid motion, before he took his former position again.

"Behave!" Reed commanded hoarsely, as his hands wandered down Trip's naked body, eliciting a shudder from both the contact of skin against skin and rough cool leather against skin.

Trip opened his eyes and watched Malcolm, looked deep into those beloved storm-clouded eyes, and let himself fall completely into the thunderstorm that was Malcolm Reed right now. It felt good. So good and right.

Handing over control to an alpha male had its advantages, was the last coherent thought Trip was capable of, as his lover took care of his needs.

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