Title: Doctor's Orders

Author: MJ

Author's e-mail: mjr91@aol.com

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

Date: 07/30/02

Fandom: Enterprise

Pairing: A/R, it's Louise's pressie

Rating: PG-13

Summary: Malcolm's miserable at being sent to the decon chamber.

Archive: EntSTslash, Archer's Enterprise, WWOMB, others please ask

Author's Notes: Humor alert.

Written in honor of Louise's title of "1000th Poster" on EntSTslash. She'd already sent me this plot bunny:

<<5. The best bit, seeing Malcolm without his shirt on at the end of the episode *another sigh* lovely chest. Yeah, but who wouldn't rather see him decontaminating with Archer? <!—>Oooh, naughty smutty thoughts just popped into my head. Thanks.

Sent to Louise, who insists it should be shared. No beta for once—written as a lark.

"Do we *have* to?" Malcolm Reed stared at Doctor Phlox as if the man—er, Denobulan—were quite insane.

"I'm sorry, Lieutenant," Phlox said to his friend. "You know it's standard procedure. You were exposed to potential toxins on that planet for nearly 48 hours. You'll have to decontaminate." He eyed the Armory Officer carefully. "And I was under the impression that you are usually concerned enough about the decontamination process to demand extra time in the chamber."

Blast. Trust Phlox to remember that incident after the Klingon ship. The extra cycle had seemed like an excellent idea at the time; even T'Pol had been willing to lie to Phlox for extra time. The UV chamber was every bit as relaxing as the best sauna Reed had ever taken; it definitely topped that Mexican spa.

However, the decontamination chamber was only as relaxing as the company.

This did *not* promise to be a relaxing decon. Not in the least. No, this decon promised to involve taking a jar of decontamination gel, opening it, and rubbing it slowly and thoroughly over the entire back, back-of-the-neck, backs-of-the-kegs, and whatever else of the rest of his captain, Jonathan Archer. Without getting carried away. Without starting to rub Archer a little too suggestively. Without losing control at Archer's hands all over *his* body.

Without a visible erection.

Bloody likely *that* was, eh?

Reed knew the decontamination procedure thoroughly. He'd been in decon many times, with other men and with women. Usually, decon wasn't a problem. But he didn't usually wind up alone in a decontamination unit with Archer. He'd tried to avoid just that thing.

Archer was the man who'd saved him down on Terra Nova, who'd come back for him when he'd been stuck there after his injuries. He was the man who'd, according to Hoshi, thrown the helm backup off of the navigational controls and tried to take the ship in himself to go after Reed and Mayweather. He was the one who'd gone for Reed, and for Hoshi and T'Pol, when they'd been stuck on that Klingon vessel about to collapse. This time, he'd come after Malcolm when Malcolm's shuttlepod had refused to take off from their most recent encounter with several cheerful, friendly Nausicaans, on a planet whose native pollen was not only a new allergen for Reed—one of at least thirty he'd discovered since Enterprise had launched—but was, according to Phlox, likely to cause massive skin irritation and blistering to humans. Archer had nearly been shot by one of the Nausicaans himself when he'd come out of the other shuttlepod charging after Reed.

Now, Reed told himself, you just had to love a man who kept saving your life. Especially one who looked like *that*.

But that didn't translate to wanting to embarrass yourself permanently, either. Which was undoubtedly what was about to happen if he set foot in that bloody decon chamber.

Archer was already in the decon chamber, waiting for Reed so that the decontamination process could begin.

The decontamination process began with that damnable blue gel that Archer was about to have him smear over every square centimeter of Archer's broad, firm, muscular—oh, hell, he was having a problem already, and he wasn't even *in* the bloody thing yet, was he?

Reed entered the decontamination chamber glumly, willing his partial erection, which he thought looked more visible than anything had a right to, to go away. He recited phase cannon trajectory calculations to himself prayerfully.

"Hi, Malcolm." Archer waved a small jar of blue gel. "Thought I'd wait for you before glopping this on."

Reed tried nodding without quite looking in Archer's direction. "Sir."

Archer opened the jar. "*Nobody's* 'sir' in decon; you ought to know that by now," he said, snorting. Taking a handful of the cold, slippery stuff, he placed the jar on the bench and began slathering it over his chest.

The easiest way not to watch the sight was to start covering himself with the gel, Malcolm realized. He was trying his best, as he smeared it over his chest and arms, not to watch Archer. Archer was facing in his direction, but it certainly wasn't possible that Archer was watching him, even though it felt that way; it was obvious that he was simply nervous and anticipating the unlikely.

"Malcolm—want me to start on your back?"

Oh, fuck. "Certainly." That wasn't how "oh, fuck" was supposed to come out, but that was the only possible response. And if a target is moving at x kps on a vector 45 degrees west and 30 degrees south of the vessel, and the proton drift is calculated at…Whoa, that decon gel *was* cold; that was helping, too.

"Relax, Malcolm, it's just decon gel; it won't burn you."

"Sorry." No, it wouldn't burn. But Archer's hands might.. right through him. Reed took a deep breath and concentrated on trying to seem relaxed. Difficult, with Archer's hands running over his back, along his sides, up his neck. Archer wasn't even reaching; his arms were bent, and he was nearly against Reed; the body heat behind Reed made that evident. Archer was close enough for Reed to reach back and—

"Excuse me?" The not-quite-a-question was Reed's, not Archer's. Archer's arms were around Reed's sides, his hands working over Reed's chest from behind.

"Should I tell you I'm just checking your gel application, or wouldn't you believe that one?" Archer's breath was in his hair, one hand wandering down to Reed's underwear, the other up to reach for a gel-slicked nipple. "Or maybe it doesn't matter…" Archer was talking into Reed's hair now, his lips close enough for Reed to feel the light pressure. "Or should I stop?"

Reed assured himself that none of this was really happening. That alien pollen quite clearly caused hallucinations—only instead of imagining living rocks, he was imagining Jonathan Archer fondling him. But surely it couldn't hurt, if one were merely having a hallucination, to agree with it? "No…don't."

"I didn't think you wanted me to…" Archer's lips—in Reed's imagination, of course—were all over his neck, and that lower hand was, well, er, it was…


Wait a minute, hallucinations didn't pinch your nipple like that and chuckle, damn it. "Calm down there, you don't want to come too soon, do you?" "You didn't have to pinch *quite* that hard."

Archer relaxed his grip on Reed and turned him about, looking contrite. "Sorry, Malcolm." There was a sudden glint of mischief in Archer's eyes. "Unless you want me to kiss it and make it better?" "I'm not sure about ingesting that much decon gel," Reed said dubiously.

Archer grinned. "Then maybe I'd better just let you do my back now." He stripped off his briefs. "We had a lot of exposure. I wouldn't want you to miss anything…" There was one hell of a lot of Jonathan Archer to expose, and Malcolm Reed shuddered at the thought of missing any of it. "And as inventive as you are, I'm sure you can find some additional uses for that decon gel."

Peeling off his own briefs, Reed abandoned any hope of calculating the best plasma cannon angle for obliterating a shuttlepod-sized craft approaching at y kps from 27 degrees west. The math could wait; an open invitation meant not having to worry about the joys of artillery trigonometry, which was even better than Walsingham's last two seasons' football statistics for killing an erection.

With a sudden flash of memory, Reed darted to the decon chamber's comm panel and pressed the buttons.

"What are you doing?" Archer, on the bench, looked puzzled.


The comm panel crackled. "Yes?" The voice belonged to Phlox.

"Um, Phlox," Reed moaned nasally, "this pollen's really hitting me. Can we just arrange for a double cycle right now? I'd hate to have this bloody allergy keep on like this…"

"Very well, Lieutenant, I'll set the chamber for a double cycle."

Reed returned to the bench and took the decon gel from Archer. "Pays to be prepared."

"Then quit talking and start working on me. And don't make me make that an order, hmm?"

The tactical officer was only too happy to comply.


Phlox rubbed his hands together. "A request for a second decon cycle before starting? And he's already had his allergy shot for that pollen." A grin huge even for Phlox spread over the doctor's face. "Humans. Fascinating." He moved over to a corner monitor and adjusted the controls. "I thought as much. My goodness, I'm finally going to…is that the decontamination gel they're using? Oh, this *will* be interesting." He sat down and began checking the screen closely. "And about time those two did, too. Humans are so stubborn, I can't believe I had to tell them they'd wind up with painful blisters and force them into decon to get them together."

The doctor's mind wandered slightly even as his eyes followed the monitor. "Well, one happy couple down, I hope. Now, what can I possibly diagnose for T'Pol and Hoshi?"

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