Title: I Didn't Mean…

Author: Buttercup

E-mail: Buttercupgaud@aol.com

Date: 08/16/02

Feedback: Go on you know you want to.

Disclaimer: The guys don't belong to me they belong to Paramount and I certainly didn't make any money out of this.

Distribution: Yes, at EntSTSlash, Tim Ruben, Archers_Enterprise, Allslash, Situation Room, and WWoMB; anyone else, ask and you shall receive.

Pairings: Tucker/Reed

Rating: PG-13? There's nothing here to offend, except maybe my really bad writing style.

Notes/warnings: My first stab for this fandom, so be gentle, huh?

Summary: Tucker and Reed talk…

Trip shifted, trying to get comfortable in the small chair. After about three minuets of wriggling he concluded that this was, in fact, impossible. So, instead he moved forward and balanced on the very edge of the shuttlepod's seat. His bright blue eyes focussed on the pacing form in front of him. He wondered vaguely if the lieutenant might wear a hole through the deck plating.

The two men where now officially off duty, and had been for about three hours. They'd been fixing up Shuttlepod one after it had taken yet another beating from what had, at first, appeared to be a perfectly friendly race. Malcolm and Trip had been working on it all shift and instead of leaving it after their shifts had come to an end they had both decided to stay until the job was done. Which it now was. Trip had been about the head out of the shuttle and back to his quarters for a long, hot shower when the younger man had stopped him. Apparently he wanted to tell Trip something. Although Trip had been waiting to hear it for what seemed like an age and all the other man had done was pace the floor in front of Tucker like a caged animal.

Malcolm's fidgeting had become almost chronic. He nibbled at his lower lip hard enough to draw blood. He pulled at the already frayed cuffs of his uniform and a deep frown marred his features. Trip smiled to himself, Reed looked divine.

The pacing stopped abruptly and blue-grey eyes that really reminded the commander of the sea during a storm met Trip's green ones. The older man had the familiar feeling that he had been struck by lightning, and when Malcolm dropped his gaze it felt as though a plug had been pulled.

'I thought you should know,' the other man said suddenly 'I've fallen in love.'

Trip nearly fell off his chair.

His stomach lurched horribly and he wasn't sure if it was from his near fall or from the armoury officer's last statement. While the blond man tried to compose himself the younger man made three more circuits of the confines of the shuttlepod. He stopped mid-way through the fourth circuit and said, without looking at the older man:

'I just thought you should know. I mean, it'll affect our working relationship. I understand that you won't want to see me, I'll leave you alone now.' With this Malcolm turned and began to walk away. Trip really did fall off his chair this time, but he managed to turn it into an undignified sort-of lunge. He grabbed the smaller man's arm, a little more roughly than he had first intended and spun him round, all but yelling:


'No?' Reed questioned.

'No,' Tucker agreed. 'Ah…ya…we…ah shit.' Trip took a deep breath to steady himself. He hated this part, it always sounded so stupid and melodramatic. But, he had discovered that it was a necessary evil, which helped to avoid confusion later on. Taking another deep breath, he tried again. 'I love ya too; have since ah firs' meet ya. Ah don' know wha' I can offer ya and I can' promise much, but I'm willing to give this a go.' Trip chanced a look up and the man before him. Blue eyes flicked up and took in a rather embarrassed and nervous looking face. A ripple of fear went through the commander's body. Malcolm looked at the blond man, nibbling at his lower lip again.

'Oh Trip,' the dark haired man said frowning 'When I said…I didn't mean…I was talking about Jon.'

'Tha Cap'n?' Tucker replied dully.

'I thought you liked him too…I thought…' Reed trailed off, not seeming to be able to finish his sentence

Trip dimly wondered where his insides had gone. He suddenly realised he was still holding the younger man's arm and dropped it like it had become red hot. His mind raced, he had just made a complete fool of himself. How could he face Reed again? How would he get through the rest of the mission? How could he ever forgive the captain for having what he wanted? How could…? A muffled sound from the younger man made Trip's head snap up. Could that have been…? This time there was a definite snigger.

'Ya little shit!' The blond man cried. The snigger had now transformed it's self into a full-blown laugh. Trip dived forward making a grab for the armoury officer. But, the younger man was too quick and managed to move out of the way. Trip continued his attack and the small shuttle rocked from side to side slightly as he chased the other man. It didn't take long to catch him because, with the space being so small, there wasn't really anywhere Malcolm could go. They crashed to the floor Trip on top, pinning Malcolm under him.

'Righ' then,' The older man grinned 'Ah thin' some paybacks due, that was a nasty little trick ya played back there. Scared the crap outta me. I havtta say, I didn' take you for the lying type, lieutenant.'

'Trip, I'm sorry,' Malcolm said, although it was made less convincing by the huge grin still plastered over his face.

'I don' believe you…let's see…' Trip pretended to think for a moment then, he grinned wickedly 'are ya ticklish right…here?'

'Trip…please,' the smaller man gasped between laughs 'I don't love Jon…I love you…ahhhh!' Trip was well aware that had he really wanted to Malcolm could have thrown him off no problems, but the smaller man seemed to be enjoying himself.

Malcolm's laughter at Trip's hands floated out of the shuttle and drifted over the docking area. Two figures stood near by listening.

'It's not fair,' Hoshi grumbled as she pulled out the small bottle from her pocket. 'You told one of them about our bet, you must have.' She scowled as she handed over bottle to Travis.

'I did not!' Mayweather protested, looking affronted 'I knew I wasn't underestimating Malcolm's sex appeal, or his impatience,' he added with a wink.

'Two months though…I thought he'd be working up the courage for at least four,' Hoshi sighed as she watched Travis put the bottle of scotch she had been saving in his own pocket.

The sounds emanating from the shuttle were now of a different nature altogether.

'Lets get out of here,' Travis said, putting an arm around his smaller friend's shoulder 'Before I have to spend this little lot on therapy.' Together the two crewmen began to walk away.

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