Title: Vodka on the Rocks

Author: Kylie Lee

Author's e-mail: KylieLee1000@hotmail.com

Author's URL: http://www.geocities.com/kylielee1000/

Date: 08/15/02

Length: ~5,500 words

Fandom: Star Trek: Enterprise

Pairing: R/M

Type: Slash M/M

Rating: NC-17

Summary: On shore leave, Reed and Mayweather manage to ditch their pals for some time alone in Mayweather's hotel room. Dancing and, well, darn hot sex ensue.

Feedback: Yes, please.

Archive: Yes, at EntSTSlash, Tim Ruben, Archers_Enterprise, Allslash, Situation Room, and WWOMB; anyone else, yes, but ask first.

Disclaimer: Original material copyright 2002 Kylie Lee. This is not an attempt to infringe on Paramount's copyright. No money changed hands. Etc.

Series: Disco Ball

Previous story: Music

Next story: Compromising Situation

Spoilers: None. This is a stand-alone fic.

Comment: Homages as follows: the ice is an homage to TheGrrrl's recent fic (the aptly named "Lust in the Loo"). The silly nicknames are an homage to Kipli's "CutiePie" (archived at http://www.kipli.com/enterprisermsilly.HTM). The nickname "love" is an homage to MJ's fic in general.

Travis Mayweather held the door open as his crewmates, flushed and laughing, filed past. "That was some action on the dance floor," he commented, releasing the door and falling in with Captain Jonathan Archer.

They were on shore leave on an industrial planet—but they sure knew how to have a good time here. The planet was a transport hub, with plenty of night life, exotic aliens, and fun. The five members of the crew of the starship Enterprise had just had dinner and danced the night away at an astoundingly popular and crowded nightclub. Enterprise was in a nearby system on a science mission. It hadn't been hard to talk the captain into granting shore leave. The bridge crew had decided to hang out together; they had rented rooms in the same hotel, although tomorrow they planned to split up for day trips and shopping. The night was still young, but the incredible crush of people in the club had driven them out at about midnight.

"I take back my previous comments about Malcolm," Archer told everyone. Earlier that evening, he had said he had trouble envisioning Malcolm Reed dancing.

"As well you should, Captain," Reed called over a shoulder.

"You and Hoshi looked to be having fun," Mayweather noted.

Hoshi Sato, hearing her name, turned around and walked backward. "I don't know if I can survive another night out with you, Captain," she teased. "I know I'm small, but you really don't need to toss me around like that."

Archer laughed. "I admit I got carried away. No injuries, I hope?"

"No, I'm fine."

"I'll be more careful next time," Archer promised.

"Well, I got the lucky end of the deal," Sato said cheerfully, turning back around. "I got to leave with four attractive men. Some girls didn't get any men at all."

"Aw, you're so sweet, Hoshi," Trip Tucker said. He was at the front of the line, talking to Reed.

"I know a good thing when I see it," Sato laughed. "Speaking of which, why are you with us, Trip? What about that redhead you were dancing with?"

Tucker touched his thumb to his lips and smiled, but he pointedly didn't answer the question. "Do you want to take a taxi back or walk?" he said, changing the subject.

"I'm not very tired," Reed said. "I'll walk, but take a taxi if you like."

"No, it's a nice night," Archer said.

They all decided to walk. It was only about five kilometers to their hotel. Archer caught up with his old friend, Tucker, and Reed fell back and joined Mayweather. Sato was teasing Tucker about the redhead, and everyone was laughing.

"Tired?" Reed asked Mayweather.

"Not at all," Mayweather said, grinning at the shorter man.

"Nor am I. Do you want to find another nightclub, do some more dancing?" Reed tugged at a belt loop on Mayweather's jeans, then dropped his hand and let it rest lightly on Mayweather's ass. "Someplace less crowded."

"Slow dancing?" Mayweather asked suggestively. "Because if it was dancing like we already did tonight, you might just do me in."

Reed laughed. "Well, if you don't want to dance, how about drinks?"

"Maybe one drink," Mayweather decided. He'd danced away all the alcohol he had consumed. "The hotel bar is handy."

"We could make it a nightcap in my room," Reed whispered. His hand slid down Mayweather's ass, briefly cupping a cheek, before he dropped his hand altogether as Sato turned to them.

"What about that girl you were dancing with, Travis?" she asked. "Lin? What about her?" Mayweather had been asked to dance by an exotic specimen of womanly beauty who had been quite taken with him. Apparently she liked his eyes. However, judging by the way she had handled him—or tried to handle him—on the dance floor, he suspected it wasn't just his eyes she was interested in. He'd tried to let her down gently.

Sato sighed. "I don't understand men," she said. "First, Commander Tucker leaves the redhead in the lurch—"

"Hey!" Tucker protested. "I told her I was going to the bathroom before I ducked out."

"You see?" Sato said.

"Kidding," Tucker said. "I'm *kidding.*"

Sato continued. "And then you decline to hook up with Lin. Is there no romance any more?"

"Lin isn't really my type," Mayweather said.

"Beautiful, female, and available isn't your type?"

Mayweather avoided Reed's eyes. "Um, no, not really," he said.

Sato threw up her hands. "Whatever," she said. "Obviously, I make a terrible matchmaker. I'll stop."

The easy bantering continued all the way to the hotel. It took them a while to get there because they were walking slowly and were easily distracted by the sights along the strip. Tucker was momentarily fascinated by an exotic dance show seen through a window, and Sato was drawn to a shop displaying hand-thrown pottery. Then they had to drag Reed away from a weapons display.

"We'll have to come back tomorrow, when the shops are open," Reed said, casting a longing look behind him as they turned the corner and headed for their hotel's steps.

They stopped briefly in the foyer. "Malcolm and I thought we'd hit the hotel bar for a drink," Mayweather said. "Anyone want to join us?" He hoped he sounded sincere. He really didn't want anyone to join them.

"Sure, thanks," Sato said.

"Captain? Commander Tucker?"

Archer and Tucker declined, pleading weariness, and headed for the elevator bank. Sato led the way into the dark, intimate bar, and Reed chose a table. "This one has a good view of the entryway and is close to both exits," he said, sliding into a seat.

"Malcolm, are you ever off duty?" Sato asked, settling into a comfortable chair to Reed's right. She took off her light wrap, a red pashmina, and draped it over the chair's back.

"Apparently not," Reed said.

Mayweather seated himself at Reed's left. He adjusted his chair slightly, so that his leg brushed against Reed's. A server dressed in sober black arrived and took their order, then came back a few minutes later to deliver their drinks to the low table in front of them. Reed, as the highest-ranking officer, took the bill and charged it to his room. His arm brushed Mayweather's as he turned and handed the bill back to the server. A few minutes later, he accidentally bumped Mayweather, jostling his drink slightly. The wicked glint in his eyes as he apologized, patted Mayweather, and dabbed solicitously at the droplets on Mayweather's trouser leg with a little napkin led Mayweather to believe it wasn't so accidental. Mayweather responded to Sato's quips and Reed's sardonic comments, but he was acutely aware of Reed's warmth, of Reed's body, the pressure of Reed's leg against his, of Reed's slight movements, many contrived to brush against him, and this awareness only grew as he sipped his drink. He was, he realized, in a veritable haze of sexual desire. And judging by Reed's manner, Reed knew it and was fueling it.

There were, he admitted, problems with being discreet. He wasn't able to show affection in public. Although he and Reed had been lovers for a year and a half, since before their posting to Enterprise, the only person who knew of their relationship, as far as he was aware, was Tucker, who had seen Reed and Mayweather kissing—and maybe doing more than simply kissing—on the dance floor earlier that night. They had decided after a few weeks on Enterprise that they would be discreet but would not deny it if confronted. Nobody had said a word, not even Mayweather's roommate, even though Mayweather spent about one night a week in Reed's quarters. In some ways, Mayweather was amazed that no one had twigged to their relationship. The ship was small; it was hard to keep secrets. He'd been caught leaving Reed's quarters more than once. They often sat together at movies and shared popcorn, and they ate together all the time.

Mayweather supposed they were an unlikely couple, and maybe that was why no one seemed to notice. Reed was a lieutenant, much older than him, and tended to be reserved and a little cynical. Mayweather was a young, eager Boomer, an ensign, fresh out of Starfleet Academy and piloting school, optimistic and, dared he say it, happy. When they were alone together, Reed relaxed his reserve. He did it when he was off-duty, too, Mayweather realized. He had shown that side of himself to his colleagues today, at the nightclub, and he had shown it before, during poker games and parties on board Enterprise. Over the year and a half they had been lovers, Reed had become important to him, and vice versa. He didn't think secrecy would be an option for much longer. They felt too strongly. Plus now, Tucker knew.

He blinked when Sato rose. "I'll be right back," she said, and turned away. Mayweather mentally ran through her last few statements. Ah, yes. She was going to the bathroom. He watched her as she passed the bar and turned into a corridor.

"God, I thought she'd never leave," Reed said, knocking back the rest of his drink like a shot. He set his glass down and turned to Mayweather, then slid his hand inside the V of Mayweather's silky white button-down shirt. His fingers were cold and a little wet from his drink's ice and condensation. "Quick, before she comes back."

Mayweather leaned in and they exchanged a long kiss, Reed's fingers gently stroking. Reed's mouth and tongue were warm and tasted of the liquor he had just drunk.

"Mmm, that's nice," Reed whispered when they pulled back. "Very, very nice." He brought his hand up from Mayweather's chest and stroked it along Mayweather's neck. The next kiss was longer, and they were breathing hard when they broke it off. Reed sat back. "What are you thinking?" he asked after a moment. "You look thoughtful."

"I was wondering what we saw in each other. Why we're together."

Reed's eyes crinkled. "Besides the obvious physical attraction?"

"Besides that."

"I think we complement each other," Reed said. "And I like—I like not being so serious around you. Sometimes I think I'm too serious."

"Sometimes," Mayweather teased. "Well, I can use a little dose of serious myself."

"See? We're good for each other." Reed smiled at him. "Should we stay for another drink?"

"Oh, god, no," Mayweather said.

"Meet me in my room?"

"No," Mayweather said. "I'm always going to your room. You can come to mine tonight."

"I'll be there," Reed told him, and a minute or two later, Sato rejoined them. She didn't sit down but leaned heavily against the back of Mayweather's chair. "I was in the bathroom and it hit," she confessed.

"What hit?" Mayweather asked.

"Exhaustion. I hope you don't mind. I'm going right back up to my room. I can barely keep my eyes open."

Reed stood up. "I'm finished. I'll walk you back and see you safely to your room."

"I'm sure it's safe," Sato demurred.

"Humor me," Reed said firmly. Sato had had a little too much to drink. "Travis?"

Mayweather held up his half-full glass. "I'll just finish my drink. See you tomorrow."

"Good night," Reed said.


Mayweather watched as Reed steered Sato discreetly by an arm. She was swaying slightly. Reed held the door for her as they exited. He was quite the gentleman. He smiled after them as he nursed his drink, shaking it occasionally to dislodge the ice. He declined another when the waiter whisked by. When he stood up to leave, about twenty minutes later, he noticed that Sato's red wrap was still on her chair. It had fallen from the chair's back into the seat, so she likely hadn't seen it. He picked it up and headed for his room. Reed would be along in another half hour or forty-five minutes. Just enough time for him to clean up and stick some useful items in the nightstand.

Mayweather had just finished showering and slipping into a fresh button-down shirt, this one a golden color that he knew Reed liked, and pair of black trousers when there was a light knock at the door. He let Reed in. "What have you got?" he asked, gesturing at what Reed was carrying.

Reed set a bucket down on a table with a flourish. "Ice," he said. "And something rather like vodka." The bottle joined the ice bucket.

"Oooh, nice," Mayweather said approvingly. "I'll get the glasses."

"Oh, I didn't have glasses in mind," Reed responded.

"My my." Mayweather pulled Reed in for a kiss. "Alone at last," he sighed. "I just want to know one thing about tonight," he said, keeping his arms around Reed.

"What's that?"

"Tell me how you cleaned up," Mayweather said. "In the lavatory. After our—dance."

Reed's eyes were amused. "I hid in a stall with a wad of wet toweling and cleaned myself off," he said. "And I threw out my Starfleet regulation briefs. Don't tell the Captain. What about you?"

"Pretty much the same," Mayweather admitted. "Damn. I knew it. I just knew you were naked under those trousers. All night, I was dancing with you, wondering." Reed opened his mouth, then closed it. Mayweather sighed. "Go ahead, say it," he invited.

Reed did. "I'm always naked underneath my clothes," he purred.

"Yes, and it drives me insane." Mayweather released Reed and turned to the room's audio system. "Want to dance? Something slow this time?" He put on the music he had prepared, apparently the seduction channel on the hotel's audio system, something slow with a lot of drums. "Come here." He put his arms around Reed and they began circling to the music. Mayweather was leading, Reed's right hand in his left hand, their other arms around each other. Reed, pulled against his body, felt compact and dense, and his hair smelled good.

"How come you get to lead?" Reed teased.

"I'm taller. Why? Do you want to lead?" Mayweather let go of Reed, held both arms out to the side, then switched them. "Better?"

Reed considered as they swayed. "Much the same, actually."

"Leading is overrated." He tugged Reed closer. "Let's get rid of the whole problem."

He slid both arms around Reed's shoulders and pulled him close, then leaned down and kissed him. Reed's arms clenched him tight for a moment, then relaxed. They circled slowly to the music, hips swaying. The drums reminded Mayweather of the throb of the music in the club earlier that night. When Mayweather released Reed's mouth after a long few minutes, Reed sighed and leaned his head on Mayweather's shoulder. One hand came out to play with a button and stroke Mayweather's skin. Mayweather smiled down at his lover. Mayweather wore button-down shirts just to amuse Reed. Reed loved unbuttoning him, and today was no exception. Reed's fingers gently undid one button, then another, his hand stopping to smooth against Mayweather's skin, stopping to rest on a nipple, stroking across his chest and around to his side. Mayweather's hands were equally busy. The dance went on, a slow striptease, except they were undressing each other. Then they stopped the pretense of dancing, shirts and trousers unbuttoned, bare chests pressed against each other, erections throbbing, as the kisses turned from sweet and lingering to deep and desperate.

"What did you have in mind with that vodka?" Mayweather whispered.

Reed tugged gently on Mayweather's trousers. Reed was the only thing holding them up. "It's special vodka," he said, sliding his hands down.

Mayweather stepped out of his trousers and briefs and shrugged off his shirt, then removed Reed's shirt by tugging the collar at the back. He grabbed Reed with one arm and kissed him hard while the other hand slid down Reed's black leather trousers. Reed had only changed his shirt; he wasn't wearing underwear. He and Reed walked to the bed, mouths hungry, leaving Reed's trousers behind. Mayweather pushed Reed back on the bed and removed Reed's socks. He himself hadn't bothered putting socks on after his shower. Then he pinioned the smaller man under him, hands on Reed's wrists, one leg between Reed's legs, and continued kissing until Reed moaned when Mayweather paused long enough to take a breath. Reed managed to turn them so he was on top, and he kissed Mayweather soundly, mouth commanding and hard.

"Wait," he ordered, and he rolled off the bed to fetch the ice bucket and the vodka bottle. He sat cross-legged on the bed as he opened the vodka bottle. "Smell," he said, holding it out to Mayweather.

Mayweather sniffed. It smelled neutral, and he said so.

"Ah, yes," Reed smiled. "But now—taste." Incongruously, he put the bottle to his lips and took a swig, then leaned forward. Mayweather obligingly put his mouth on Reed's, and Reed opened his mouth. He tasted something he would describe as peppery. It left a warmness in his mouth that didn't dissipate.

"Interesting," Mayweather said as Reed's hands urged him to lie back. He watched as Reed walked on his knees to kneel between Mayweather's legs.

"Salud," Reed said, and he carefully tipped the bottle and poured some of the cold liquid on Mayweather's stomach, his free hand spreading the liquor around his abdomen and chest.

"Oh," Mayweather said in surprise. Reed's touch on the cold liquor spread gentle heat. Reed poured a little more on and began massaging the liquor into his skin. The heat spread to his arms, his legs, his feet, and his fingers. Reed paid special attention to Mayweather's fingers, licking and sucking them. Then Reed took another pull from the bottle, set it on the nightstand, and gently clasped Mayweather's hips.

He knew it was coming, but he wasn't prepared for the sensation. Reed managed to hold the liquid in as he slid his lips around Mayweather's cock, and then he released it as his mouth descended. Mayweather felt the gush of liquid, and then warmth radiated along his erection. He shut his eyes and focused on the feeling of Reed's tongue and mouth sliding up and down his cock. His whole body was pulsing in time to his heartbeat, suffused with warmth. Mouth still on his cock, Reed's hands slid around under his ass, and then his cheeks were warm too. He groaned, low and deep, when Reed inserted one, then two fingers inside him, sucking hard. The fingers were removed, but the heat and sensation remained.

"Are you on fire?" Reed asked, eyes dark with desire.

"Oh, yes," Mayweather breathed.

He felt like his nerve endings were exposed, alive to Reed's lightest touch. He shivered when Reed blew on him: the puff of air was magnified, sending a shock through his body. He closed his eyes as Reed continued stroking, his mouth dipping down every now and then to lick, suck, or blow. He paused once or twice to take a sip of liquor and kiss Mayweather, spreading warmth on the inside, until Mayweather felt dizzy from the liquor, dizzy from the contact, dizzy from Reed and Reed's pleasuring.

Mayweather was hot and gasping when he heard a rattling noise. His eyes flew open, and he watched as Reed popped an ice cube into his own mouth. Reed dipped his head down, but instead of Reed's warm tongue, he felt the ice cube. Reed's hand curled around Mayweather's erection as Mayweather groaned. Reed began tracing designs on Mayweather's body with the ice cube. Sometimes it fell out of his mouth, and Reed's hand would grab it and press it against Mayweather's body or slide it down Mayweather's side as his other hand grabbed a new ice cube. Once he rubbed the ice cube up and down his own body, leaving a wet trail. Mayweather gasped at the erotic sight, at the sight of Reed's muscles moving under soft skin as he stroked himself, at the sight of the liquid beading on his skin. The coldness of the ice and Reed's tongue and mouth left what felt like glowing patterns on his skin. Reed slid an ice cube up and down Mayweather's hard cock, making it harder. It was torture, sweet torture. He was hot and cold. The warmth would bleed back, and then Reed would come back again with the ice.

Mayweather was hardly aware of it when Reed grabbed the lube out of the nightstand. However, he was certainly aware of it when Reed knelt between his legs and lifted up Mayweather's left leg. Cold, slick fingers prepared his entrance and Reed's own cock.

"Long and slow, don't you think?" Reed asked, voice low and breathless. Reed lay on his side, under Mayweather's lifted leg, and he turned toward Mayweather, his hard cock brushing his lover.

"Long and slow," Mayweather agreed. Reed grasped his own cock, found Mayweather's entrance, and slid himself in. Mayweather was more than ready. "Oh, yes," he said as Reed found a comfortable position. His fingers encountered an ice cube fragment on his stomach, and he put it in Reed's mouth. Reed's lips closed around the ice and Mayweather's fingers and sucked. "Oh, god, Malcolm," Mayweather groaned. He could feel the ice inside Reed's mouth, a tiny ball of cold inside incredible warmth.

In response, Reed, still sucking on Mayweather's fingers, one hand on Mayweather's bent knee, began working his hips, pushing in and out. Mayweather felt Reed's cock brush occasionally against a place inside him, and waves of warmth of another kind spread through his groin, then set fire to his flushed skin. The strokes were pleasurable without being demanding. They had demanded each other earlier in the day. Now they were simply enjoying each other, for as long as they could stretch it out, a too-rare pleasure.

"Harder, Travis?" Reed whispered a few minutes later, releasing Mayweather's fingers.

Mayweather's cock leapt when Reed said his name. He reached out a hand and clasped his own erection. "Harder," he agreed, and Reed adjusted his hip slightly against the mattress and pushed in deeper, then found a new rhythm.

Mayweather abandoned himself to the sensation, panting. The new position stroked inside him in a more focused way; before had been pleasurable, but now, Reed was driving him insane. He said "Oh, there," a few times on the inward movement so Reed would know what felt good. He groaned as the heat mounted; he felt flushed. He found the ice bucket and grabbed a large chunk of ice, several cubes fused together. He rubbed it against his chest, against a nipple, around his stomach. It didn't help. He was still hot. He shut his eyes and hitched his body slightly closer to Reed's to maximize contact as Reed slid in and out in a slow, steady rhythm. Reed had him right on the edge.

"Let yourself go, Travis," Reed said softly. "I'm right here. Come for me."

Mayweather moaned. He began moving one hand up and down his shaft, spreading heat, and the other, the hand with the ice cube, spread coldness over his chest. The sensations curled against the sensation of Reed's cock inside him. He felt the warmth that only Reed's presence fanned.

"Oh, god." Reed's hips quickened. "Oh, god, Travis. Come for me." Reed was close too. His hand clutched Mayweather's leg as he thrust deeper, then moved to gently grasp the base of Mayweather's cock. His palm brushed Mayweather's balls.

"Say my name, Malcolm," Mayweather managed, hand squeezing.

"Travis," Reed said. "Oh, god. Travis." A groan, low and deep. "Travis." Another moan, and Reed's rhythm found Mayweather's rhythm, Reed's hand tightening at the base of Mayweather's cock as Mayweather stroked up and down. "Come with me, Travis," Reed said, and Mayweather went over the edge, coming as Reed came, falling into the heat of their bodies, Reed's voice saying "Travis" as Mayweather's body exploded into deep, throbbing orgasm, and under it all was Reed and his presence, there for him, there to hold him up when he came.

"Oh, god," Mayweather said an eternity later, sliding a hand through the come and the water on his stomach. He finally felt sated. "I love it when you say my name."

Reed twitched his hips back and pulled his softening cock out. He lifted Mayweather's leg and slid over next to Mayweather, setting the ice bucket on the floor next to the bed. "Why do you love it when I say your name?" he asked, pulling Mayweather against him. He was breathing hard. He kissed Mayweather, then released him, gasped, and lay back against the pillows. Mayweather rolled on his side and set his cheek on Reed's shoulder, Reed's arm around him, and draped his arm over Reed's stomach. Reed's body felt warm next to his. He briefly lifted his head to kiss a nipple, then set his head down again. There was a brief silence as they cuddled. "Because you only call me Travis when we're off duty or alone," Mayweather suggested at last. "You call me 'Ensign Mayweather' when we're both on the bridge or when we're around others."

"Well, it's better than calling you pet names on the bridge, I suppose," Reed said tartly. He imitated his tone on the bridge, clipped and efficient. "'Cupcake, hard to port!' See, it hardly has the same ring."

"Cupcake?" Mayweather laughed sleepily.

Reed gave another example. "'Kindly place the ship in standard orbit, love,'" he said. "Or how about, 'Darling, ten degrees to starboard to give me a clear shot at those hostile aliens. Thanks, my little cabbage.' Or 'Snuggle bunny, you're with me on the away team.'"

"Stop, stop!" Mayweather begged. "You're right. 'Ensign Mayweather' is just fine." He leaned up and kissed Reed. "Although I like 'love.' Very British. And very descriptive." His hand stroked Reed's stomach.

"Very descriptive indeed," Reed said. He shifted slightly. "And although I love you, love, you're making my arm go to sleep."

Mayweather didn't move. "Grin and bear it," he said, closing his eyes and inhaling Reed's scent. "Cupcake."

When Mayweather woke up the next morning, he and Reed had moved so they were lying next to each other. One of Reed's ankles crossed his, and Mayweather's arm was flung across Reed's stomach. Rarely did they have such a big bed to sleep in. Usually, they woke up entwined. The lights were still on, the soft, sexy music was still playing, and the ice bucket was full of water instead of ice. The bottle of vodka on the nightstand was uncapped, next to the lube, and their clothes were flung around the room. Mayweather smiled. It was the very picture of hedonistic delight. He liked being on vacation. He disengaged himself from his lover and hit the bathroom. He was sticky with come and liquor. And although he felt warm and sated at the moment, Reed often woke up with a hard-on that demanded his attention.

When he came out fifteen minutes later after a long, hot shower, towel around his hips, moisture still beading his body, Reed was puttering about, nude. He had shut off the lights and opened the windows, flooding the room with golden sunlight and treating Mayweather to a wonderful view of the park behind the hotel. He had picked their clothes off the floor and was folding them. After kissing him good morning, Reed said, "Next time, wake me up, will you? I hate missing a shower with you."

"Sorry. Next time for sure. You just looked so cute, all asleep. Anyway, you could have just joined me."

Mayweather stood still as Reed opened up his towel. "Oh, very nice," he commented appreciatively. "I ordered up breakfast instead. It will be here shortly." He pulled the towel against Mayweather's ass, forcing Mayweather to step forward and press his nude body against Reed's nude body, then wrapped the towel behind himself, so they were tied together.

"Good." Mayweather kissed Reed again. "Last night was wonderful," he told his lover, running his hands up and down Reed's shoulders. Reed made a noise of agreement. "Why don't you just move all your stuff in here? Because I have some plans for the two of us tonight."

"Maybe I'll do that," Reed said. "Although I'm willing to put up with certain inconveniences, such as a lack of clean clothing, to wake up next to you in the morning." They shared another kiss. "You're all minty," Reed complained. "I haven't brushed my teeth."

"You taste just fine."

Reed released the towel, dropping it to the floor, and disengaged himself. "I'll be in the shower," he said, and he shut the bathroom door firmly behind him. Mayweather heard the shower go on after a few minutes.

As Reed showered, Mayweather tossed the clothes Reed had been folding over a chair—they needed to be laundered, not folded—and then dug through his luggage and pulled out a clean pair of jeans and some briefs. He had just slid them on and was contemplating his shirts when there was a knock at the door.

Expecting room service, he opened the door with a quick "Come in" before he realized it was Sato.

"Oh, sorry," Sato said, stepping inside, taking in his shirtless state, then eyeing the rumpled bed, the prominently placed vodka bottle, the lube—oh, god, the lube—and the clothes hanging over the chair. She probably noticed the sounds of the shower as well.

She was about to say something else when the real room service came by. There was a general bustle as the attendant set out breakfast for two, clearly assuming that Sato and Mayweather were the two who would be breakfasting together. Mayweather pulled some currency out of the jeans hanging over the chair and tipped the attendant as he ushered him out, but he didn't shut the door behind him.

"Something I can do for you, Hoshi?" he asked.

"Oh, so you're not interested in beautiful, female, and available?" Sato said. "Very discreet, Travis."

"I don't know what you're talking about, Hoshi," Mayweather said virtuously. She clearly thought Lin, the woman he'd danced with the night before, was here. Well, let her. Personally, he placed his bets on Tucker and that redhead. He'd bet anything she was in Tucker's room right now.

Sato sighed. "It's hard to be a romantic soul with all you men," she griped. "I came by for my pashmina. Do you have it? It's not in the bar."

"Your what?"

"My red scarf thing."

"Oh, that." Mayweather found it and handed it to her. "Here you go. Thanks for stopping by. Bye."

"I'm going, I'm going," Sato said.

She was halfway out the door when the bathroom door opened and Reed popped out, wearing nothing but a towel, hair rumpled and wet, saying, "Travis, do you have a comb?"

Mayweather shut his eyes briefly as Sato reversed direction. There was a surprised silence as Sato, Reed, and Mayweather contemplated each other.

"Yes," Mayweather said at last. "It's in the kit hung up on the door. Just dig through it."

"Thanks, love." Reed disappeared back into the bathroom. Reed never called him pet names. He had done that on purpose.

"I'm not really very interested in beautiful, female, and available," Mayweather confessed after a moment.

"You go more for stunning, male, and available?"

"You could say that," Mayweather said. "Although neither of us is really—available, per se. Not anymore."

"I see," Sato said. She sighed. "All this time, a romance was going on under my nose and I didn't even notice." She shook her head. "I'm definitely retiring from matchmaking. I'm terrible at it." She tucked the pashmina under one arm. "I'm going to visit that pottery place after breakfast. Do you want to join me? You and Malcolm."

"Sure, if we can stop at that weapons place too."

"I'll see you in the lobby at eleven, then." Mayweather was just shutting the door when she stuck her face back in. "Is it a secret?" she asked.

"Not any more," Mayweather said, smiling.

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.