Title: Kentucky Cocktail

Author: Kylie Lee and BelovedGoddess

E-mail: and BelovedGoddess@hotmail.com

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

Date: 08/25/02

Length: ~6,500 words

Fandom: Star Trek: Enterprise

Pairing: T/R

Type: Slash M/M

Rating: NC-17

Summary: While on shore leave, Tucker and Reed ditch their pals for some alone time in Tucker's hotel room.

Feedback: Yes, please.

Archive: EntSTSlash, Archers_Enterprise

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

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

Series: Under the Disco Ball series

Previous story: Dance

Next story: Trousers Down

Trip Tucker 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 his friend, 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. Their ship was in a nearby system on a science mission. It hadn't been hard to talk the captain into granting shore leave, and 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," Jonathan told everyone. Earlier that evening, he'd said he had trouble envisioning Malcolm Reed dancing.

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

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

Hoshi Sato, hearing her name, turned around and started walking 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."

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

"No, I'm fine."

"I'll try to be more careful next time," he promised.

"Well, I got the lucky end of the deal," Hoshi 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," Travis said. He was at the front of the line, talking to Malcolm.

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

The ensign 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," Malcolm said. "I'll walk, but the rest of you can take a taxi if you like."

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

They all decided to walk. It was only about five kilometers to their hotel. The captain caught up with Travis, and Malcolm fell back and to join Trip. Hoshi started teasing Travis about the redhead, and everyone began laughing.

"Tired?" Malcolm said quietly to Trip.

"Not at all," the commander replied, grinning at the shorter man.

"Nor I. Do you want to find another nightclub, do some more dancing?" Malcolm smiled while tugging at a belt loop on Trip's jeans, then dropped his hand and let it rest lightly on the commander's, in his opinion, awfully nice bum, deciding it was much nicer than T'Pol's. "Someplace less crowded."

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

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

"Maybe one drink," Trip 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," Malcolm whispered while his hand slid down Tucker's ass, briefly cupping a cheek, before he dropped his hand altogether as Hoshi turned back to them.

"What about that girl you were dancing with, Commander?" she asked. "Lin? What about her?" Trip had been asked to dance by an exotic specimen of womanly beauty who had been quite taken with him. Apparently she'd liked his eyes, but judging by the way she'd 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.

Hoshi sighed. "I don't understand men," she said. "First Travis leaves the redhead in the lurch—"

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

"You see?" Hoshi said.

"Kidding," Travis laughed. "I'm *kidding.*"

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

"Lin isn't really my type," Trip commented.

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

Trip tried to avoid Malcolm's eyes. "Um, no, not really," he said.

Hoshi threw up her hands. "Whatever," she said. "Obviously, I make a terrible matchmaker, so 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. Travis was momentarily fascinated by an exotic dance show seen through a window, and Hoshi was drawn to a shop displaying hand-thrown pottery. Then they had to drag Malcolm bodily from a store with a weapons display.

"We'll have to come back tomorrow, when the shops are open," Malcolm said as he cast a longing look behind him. By then, they had turned the corner and were heading for their hotel's steps.

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

"Sure, thanks," Hoshi agreed enthusiastically.

"Jon? Travis?"

Both the captain and Ensign Mayweather declined, pleading weariness, and headed for the elevator bank. Hoshi led the way into the dark, intimate bar, and Lieutenant 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?" Hoshi asked, settling into a comfortable chair to the dark-haired officer's right. She took off her light wrap, a red pashmina, and draped it over the chair's back.

"Apparently not," he replied testily.

Trip seated himself on Malcolm's left. He adjusted his chair slightly, so that his leg brushed against the lieutenant'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. Commander Tucker, as the highest-ranking officer, took the bill and charged it to his room. His arm brushed Malcolm's as he turned and handed the bill back to the server. A few minutes later, he accidentally bumped the younger man again, jostling his drink slightly. The wicked glint in Trip's eyes as he apologized, patted him on the shoulder, and dabbed solicitously at the droplets on Malcolm's trouser leg with a little napkin led the tactical officer to believe it wasn't so accidental. And Malcolm considered it might be time for a little payback.

As Trip responded to Hoshi's quips and Malcolm's sardonic comments, he was acutely aware of the other man's warmth, his body, the pressure of his leg against Trip's, of Malcolm's slight movements brushing against him, many of them deliberately intended, the commander began to suspect, and his awareness only grew as he sipped his drink. He was, he realized, in a veritable haze of sexual desire. And judging by his manner, Malcolm knew it and was fueling it.

There were, he admitted, problems with trying to hide how he felt. He hadn't been free to show his feelings for the dark-haired Englishman at all up until now. And although he and Malcolm had only just this evening admitted their mutual attraction and finally decided, amid the anonymity of the dance floor and the frenzied music, to do something about it, that didn't necessarily mean he wanted the entire crew to find out about it right away, before they knew where they stood. The only person who knew of their fledgling relationship, so far as he and Malcolm were aware, was Ensign Mayweather, who had seen them kissing—and maybe doing more than simply kissing—on the dance floor earlier that night. They had decided after a brief conversation in the men's room that they would try to be discreet but would not deny it if confronted. As yet, nobody had noticed the change in their behavior to each other—although it was really far too soon for people to notice. But the best thing about that quick conversation in the men's room had been the unstated presumption that they were together—that they were now lovers, that they were in a relationship. It had all happened so fast that Trip was still dizzy. He'd wanted Malcolm for months, and he'd got him in one day.

In some ways, Trip was amazed that no one had twigged to how he felt about Malcolm sooner. Well, maybe they had—but nobody had commented on it or teased him about it. The ship was small, and it was notoriously hard to keep secrets. He had been certain that he'd been caught looking longingly at Malcolm more than once—not to mention his metaphorical heavy sighing every time the tactical officer left the room. He was sure that the way he tended to hover behind Malcolm while on the bridge had been noted. And he often sat near the lieutenant on movie night, just so he could watch the younger officer without being too obvious about it. Judging by Malcolm's response on the dance floor, Malcolm had noticed the longing looks, the attempts at physical proximity—and reciprocated.

Trip supposed they would make an unlikely couple. Malcolm was a lieutenant, younger than him, and tended to be reserved, a little cynical and a lot pessimistic. The commander was older, more outgoing, optimistic, and, dare he say it, happy. When they had been together on the dance floor, Malcolm had relaxed his reserve. Trip had begun to wonder if the lieutenant ever relaxed when he was off duty, too. He'd finally shown that side of himself to his colleagues today, at the nightclub, but he'd only shown glimpses of it at other times, during poker games and parties on board Enterprise. These moments were few and far between. Over the months they had worked together, Malcolm had become very important to him, and Trip hoped he held the same importance to the other man. He also hoped secrecy wouldn't need to be an option, now that they had shown their feelings for each other in the open. Plus, now Travis knew.

He blinked when Hoshi rose. "I'll be right back," she said, and turned away. Trip 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," Malcolm declared, knocking back the rest of his drink like a shot. He set his glass down and turning to Trip he slid his hand inside the V of the commander's lime-green shirt. His fingers were cold and a little wet from his drink's ice and condensation. "Quick, before she comes back."

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

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

"I was wondering why we waited so long, when we could have been together. What finally drew us to each other?"

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

"Besides that."

"I don't know. I think as friends and colleagues we complemented each other," he said. "And I liked—I like not being so serious around you. Sometimes I think I'm too serious."

"Sometimes," Trip teased, smiling at the man. "But sometimes I could use a little dose of serious myself."

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

"Oh, god, no," Trip laughed.

"Meet me in my room?"

"No," Trip said, nervously hesitating before he continued. "I'd rather you came to my room, if that's okay."

"Of course. I'll be by just as soon as I've had the chance to clean myself up a bit." Malcolm too was feeling a little nervous about how the night might continue. A minute or two later, Hoshi rejoined them. She didn't sit down but leaned heavily against the back of Trip's chair. "I was in the bathroom and it hit," she confessed.

"What hit?" the commander asked.

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

Malcolm stood up. "I've finished my drink, so I'll walk you back and see you safely to your room."

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

"Humor me," he said firmly, deciding that Hoshi had had a little too much to drink. "Trip?"

The blond man held up his half-full glass, and as he looked the dark-haired man in the eye, he said, "I'm just going to finish my drink, so I guess I'll see you both tomorrow."

"Good night then," Malcolm said, smiling at the commander.


Trip watched as Malcolm steered Hoshi discreetly by the arm. She was swaying slightly, so the lieutenant held the door for her as they exited. He really was quite the gentleman. Trip 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 Hoshi's red wrap was still on her chair. It had fallen from the chair's back onto the seat, so she likely hadn't seen it. He picked it up and headed for his room, hoping that Malcolm would be at least another half hour or so, because he really needed some time to clean up himself—and he wanted to put some special items in the nightstand and get the room ready for his guest. He had just finished showering and slipping into a fresh button-down shirt, this one a garish Hawaiian print that he just knew Malcolm would be hard-pressed not to comment on, and pair of tight black trousers, when there was a light knock at the door. He crossed the room and opened it, letting the younger man in.

"My my," Trip said as he pulled Malcolm in for a kiss. "Don't you look nice." Malcolm was still wearing his leather pants, but he had changed into a blue shirt that exactly matched his eyes. "Alone at last," Trip sighed. "I just want to know one thing about tonight," he said, keeping his arms around his prize.

"What's that?"

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

Malcolm'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, so don't you dare tell the captain. How about you?"

"Pretty much the same," Trip admitted. "Damn. I knew it. I just knew you were naked underneath those leather pants. All night, the whole time I was dancing with you, I couldn't help wondering." Malcolm opened his mouth, then closed it, and Trip sighed. "Go ahead, say it," Trip invited.

Malcolm couldn't resist. "I'm always naked underneath my clothes," he purred.

"Yeah, and it drives me insane," Trip said as he released the other man and turned to the room's audio system. "Want to dance some more? Something slow this time?" He put on the music he'd 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 Malcolm, who smiled up at him, and they began circling to the music. Trip was leading, with Malcolm's right hand in his left hand, their other arms around each other. Malcolm, pulled up hard against his body, felt compact and dense, and his hair smelled incredibly good.

"How come you get to lead?" the younger man teased.

"I outrank you. Why? Do you want to lead?" Trip let go of Malcolm and held both arms out to the side, then switched them. "Better?"

Malcolm considered the new position as they swayed. "Much the same, actually."

"Leading is way overrated," Trip said as he tugged his partner even closer. "Let's get rid of the whole problem."

He slid both arms around Malcolm's shoulders and pulled him close, then leaned down and kissed him. Malcolm's arms clenched tightly around Trip for a moment, then relaxed. They circled slowly to the music, hips swaying. The drum beat reminded Trip of the throbbing music in the club earlier that night.

When he released Trip's mouth after a long few minutes, Malcolm sighed and leaned his head on the taller man's shoulder. One hand came out to play with a button and stroke Trip's skin. "This shirt is hideous," Malcolm commented. Trip hid a smile. He had known it would get a reaction. "I thought nothing could top that monstrosity you wore on Risa, but I see I was wrong."

"Glad you think so," Trip responded. "If it bothers you so much, why don't you help me take it off?"

"What a good idea."

As he smiled down at his new lover, Trip decided to wear button-down shirts just to amuse him. Malcolm was seductively unbuttoning them—and clearly enjoying the experience. From now on, Trip decided, he would give him plenty of opportunities. Malcolm's fingers gently undid one button, then another, his hand stopping to smooth against his taller partner's lightly tanned skin, stopping to rest on a nipple, then continuing to stroke across the chest and around to the side. Trip's hands were equally busy. The dance went on, a slow striptease, except they were undressing each other. Then they gave up all pretense of dancing, their shirts and trousers unbuttoned, bare chests pressed against each other, hard erections throbbing, kisses turning from sweet and lingering to deep and desperate.

Malcolm tugged gently on his trousers, and Trip realized Malcolm's fingers were the only thing holding them up. Then the dark-haired man slid both his hands, and the clothing, down to the floor.

Trip stepped out of his trousers and briefs, then shrugged off his shirt. He then removed Malcolm's shirt by tugging the collar at the back and pulling it off. He grabbed Malcolm with one arm and kissed him hard while the other hand slid down the skin-tight black leather trousers. Malcolm had only changed his shirt, which meant he still wasn't wearing any underwear. Trip turned them and walked Malcolm backward to the bed while their mouths hungrily devoured each other, leaving the leather trousers behind on the floor. He then gently pushed Malcolm back onto the bed and, in a burst of enthusiasm, removed Malcolm's socks. Trip himself hadn't bothered putting socks on after his shower. Then he pinioned the smaller man under him, hands on his wrists, with one leg between Malcolm's, and continued kissing until Malcolm moaned, at which point he paused long enough to take a breath. Trip sat up, then leaned down and kissed the other man soundly, mouth commanding and hard.

"Wait; don't move," he ordered, and he rolled off the bed to fetch two of the special items he'd ordered while waiting for Malcolm to come to his room.

"What are you doing?" Malcolm asked, watching the naked man pad across the room to the table.

Trip picked up a bucket and a bottle and turned back to the bed. "Ice," he said, shaking the bucket. "And something a lot like bourbon." He held the bottle aloft.

"Oh, very nice," Malcolm said approvingly. "Where are the glasses?"

"We won't need glasses. I have something much more fun in mind," Trip responded, dark-eyed, as he walked back. He leaned over and whispered in Malcolm's ear, "It's special bourbon," before sitting cross-legged on the bed and opening the bottle. "Smell," he said, holding it out to the naked man lying next to him.

Malcolm sniffed. It smelled like bourbon, and he said so.

"Ah, yes," Trip smiled in anticipation, "But now—taste." Incongruously, he put the bottle to his own lips and took a swig, then he leaned forward. Malcolm obligingly put his mouth to the other man's, and as Trip opened his mouth, Malcolm tasted what would pass for bourbon, but bourbon laced with something he could only describe as peppery. It left a warmth in his mouth that didn't dissipate.

"Interesting," Malcolm said as his partner's hands urged him to lie back. He watched as Trip walked forward on his knees until he was kneeling between Malcolm's legs.

"Cheers," Trip said as he carefully tipped the bottle and poured some of the cold liquid onto Malcolm's stomach, his free hand spreading the liquor around the younger man's abdomen and chest.

"Oh my," Malcolm called out in surprise as Trip's touch on the cold liquor spread gentle heat. Trip then poured a little more on and began massaging the liquor into Malcolm's skin. The heat slowly spreading to his arms, his legs, his feet, his fingers. Trip paid special attention to Malcolm's fingers, licking and sucking them. He took another pull from the bottle and set it on the nightstand. Then he gently clasped Malcolm's hips. The dark-haired man knew what was coming, but he was completely unprepared for the sensation. Trip managed to hold the liquid in his mouth as he slid his lips around Malcolm's cock. He then released it as his mouth descended. Malcolm felt the gush of liquid; then warmth began radiating along his erection. He shut his eyes and focused on the feeling of Trip's tongue and mouth sliding up and down his cock. His whole body, pulsing in time to his heartbeat, was suffused with warmth. Trip kept his mouth on Malcolm's cock while his hands slid around under Malcolm's ass, and then Malcolm's cheeks were warm too. Malcolm groaned, low and deep, when his new lover inserted one, then two fingers inside him, all the while sucking hard at Malcolm's erection. When the fingers were removed, the heat and sensation remained inside him.

"Are you on fire?" Trip asked.

"Lord, yes," Malcolm breathed. He felt like his nerve endings were exposed, alive to his lover's slightest touch.

Malcolm shivered when Trip blew on him: the puff of air was magnified, sending a shock through his body. He closed his eyes as the other man continued stroking, Trip's mouth dipping down every now and then to lick, suck, or blow. Trip paused once or twice to take a sip from the bottle before leaning in to kiss Malcolm, spreading warmth on the inside as well as the outside, until Malcolm felt dizzy—from the liquor, from the contact, from both Trip and the pleasure Trip was giving him.

Malcolm was hot and gasping when he heard a rattling noise. His eyes flew open, and he watched as Trip popped an ice cube into his own mouth. Trip then dipped his head down, but instead of feeling Trip's warm tongue, Malcolm felt the ice cube. Trip's hand curled around his erection, and Malcolm could do nothing but groan incoherently. Trip began tracing designs on Malcolm's body with the ice cube. Sometimes it fell out of his mouth, and he would grab it and press it against Malcolm's body or slide it down his side as the other hand grabbed a new ice cube. Once, Trip rubbed the ice cube up and down his own body, leaving a wet trail, and Malcolm gasped at the erotic sight, watching Trip's muscles moving under soft skin as he stroked himself, liquid beading on his skin. The coldness of the ice and the heat of Trip's tongue and mouth left what felt like glowing patterns on his skin. Trip slid one ice cube up and down Malcolm's hard cock, making it even harder. It was torture, sweet torture. He was hot and cold. The warmth would bleed back, and then Trip would return again with the ice.

Malcolm was hardly aware of it when Trip grabbed the lube out of the nightstand. He was certainly aware of it, however, when the other man knelt between his legs and lifted Malcolm's left leg. Cold, slick fingers carefully and lovingly prepared his entrance, and then Trip prepared his own cock.

"Are you okay?" Trip asked, voice low and breathless as he lay on his side, under Malcolm's lifted leg.

"Oh, yes," he replied as Trip found a comfortable position.

Trip then turned toward Malcolm, his hard cock brushing his lover, and said, "How about long and slow?"

"Long and slow would be wonderful," Malcolm agreed.

Trip grasped his own cock, found Malcolm's entrance, and gently and slowly slid himself in. He found his lover more than ready. Malcolm's fingers encountered an ice cube fragment on his stomach, and he put it in Trip's mouth. Trip closed his lips around the ice as well as Malcolm's fingers and began sucking. "Oh, god, Trip," Malcolm groaned. He could feel the ice inside Trip's mouth, a tiny ball of cold inside incredible warmth.

In response, Trip, still sucking on Malcolm's fingers, put one hand on the younger man's bent knee and began working his hips, pushing his hard cock in and out of his lover's warm, pliant body. Malcolm felt Trip's hard length brush occasionally against that special place inside him, and waves of warmth of a different kind spread through his groin, setting 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 the pleasure out.

"Harder, Mal?" Trip whispered a few minutes later, releasing the fingers he'd been sucking on.

Malcolm's cock leapt at the nickname. No one called him that—no one except, it appeared, Trip. He reached out a hand and clasped his own erection. "Harder," he agreed, and his partner adjusted his hip slightly against the mattress and pushed in deeper, then found a new rhythm.

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

"Let yourself go, Mal," Trip whispered softly. "I'm right here. Come for me."

Malcolm moaned. He began moving one hand up and down his own hot, hard shaft, spreading more heat, and with his other hand, the one with the ice cube, he began spreading coldness over his chest. The sensations curled against the sensation of Trip's cock inside him, and he felt the warmth that only Trip's presence fanned. "Oh, god." Trip's hips quickened. "Oh, god, Mal, come for me." The blond man was close. His hand clutched Malcolm's leg as he thrust deeper, then moved to gently grasp the base of Malcolm's cock, his palm brushing the dark-haired man's balls.

"Say my name, Trip," Malcolm panted, hand squeezing.

"Mal," Trip moaned. "Oh, god. Mal." A groan, low and deep. "Malcolm." Another moan, and Trip's rhythm equalled Malcolm's rhythm, his hand tightening at the base of his lover's cock as Malcolm stroked up and down. "Come with me, Mal," Trip groaned as Malcolm went over the edge, coming as Trip came, falling into the heat of their bodies, Trip's voice crying out his name as Malcolm's body exploded into deep, throbbing orgasm, and under it all was Trip and his presence, there for him, there to hold him up when he came back to himself.

"Good lord, Trip," Malcolm mumbled an eternity later, sliding a hand through the come and the water on his stomach. He finally felt sated.

Trip twitched his hips back and pulled his softening cock out of his lover's body. He lifted Malcolm's leg and slid up next to him, setting the ice bucket on the floor next to the bed. "I love it when you say my name like that," he said, pulling Malcolm close against him. He was breathing hard as he kissed the younger man. Trip released him, gasped, and lay back against the pillows.

"I was just thinking the same thing. But why do you love it when I say your name like that?" Malcolm asked. He rolled onto his side and set his cheek on Trip's shoulder, with Trip's arm around him, then draped his arm over Trip's stomach. His lover's body felt warm next to his own, and he briefly lifted his head to kiss a nipple before setting his head down again.

There was a brief silence as they cuddled. "Because you hardly ever call me Trip, like the Cap'n and the others do," Trip replied when he had caught his breath. "You call me 'Commander' or 'Mr. Tucker' when we're both on the bridge or when we're around others."

"Would you prefer I started calling you pet names on the bridge?" Reed said tartly. He imitated his tone on the bridge, clipped and efficient. "'Cupcake, do be a dear and reroute some more energy to the weapons systems!' See, it hardly has the same ring."

"Cupcake?" Trip laughed sleepily.

Malcolm proceeded to give another example. "'Kindly give me a hand fixing the targeting sensors, love,'" he said. "Or how about, 'Darling, would you mind awfully helping me stop those hostile aliens from taking over the ship? Thanks, my little cabbage.' Or 'Snuggle bunny, you're with me on the away team.'"

"Stop, stop!" Trip begged. "You're right. 'Commander Tucker' will be just fine." He leaned up and kissed Malcolm on the nose. "'Though I kinda like 'love.' Very British. And very descriptive." His hand stroked Malcolm's stomach.

"Very descriptive indeed," Malcolm said, shifting slightly. "And although I do love you, love, you're making my arm go to sleep."

Trip didn't move a centimeter, but his heart accelerated at Malcolm's statement. "Grin and bear it," he said, closing his eyes and inhaling his lover's scent. "Cupcake."

When he woke up the next morning, he realized that he and Malcolm had moved while they were asleep; now they were spooned. Malcolm's body was warm behind him, and one arm was flung possessively over Trip's waist. Malcolm's ankles crossed his. It was delightfully intimate. They had such a big bed to sleep in—but they were entwined. The lights were still on, the soft, sexy music was still playing in the background, and beside the bed, the ice bucket was full of water instead of ice. The bottle of bourbon on the nightstand was uncapped, next to the lube, and their clothes were flung around the room. Trip smiled. It was the very picture of hedonistic delight. He decided he liked being on vacation. He carefully disengaged himself from his lover and wandered in the general direction of the bathroom. His body was sticky with come and liquor. And although he had felt warm and sated at the time they had fallen asleep, if Malcolm were anything like Trip, he'd be waking up with a hard-on that would demand immediate attention.

When he came out fifteen minutes later, after a long, hot shower, towel around his hips, moisture still beading his body, he found Malcolm puttering about the room, completely nude. He'd shut off the lights and opened the windows, flooding the room with golden sunlight and treating Trip to a wonderful view of the park behind the hotel. He'd also picked their clothes up off the floor and was vainly attempting to fold them. After smiling and kissing him good morning, Malcolm said, "Next time, wake me up, will you? I hated missing my first shower with you."

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

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

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

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

"You taste just fine."

Malcolm released the towel, dropping it to the floor and disengaging himself from Trip's naked body. "I'll be in the shower," he said, and he shut the door firmly behind him. Trip heard the shower go on a few minutes later.

As Malcolm showered, Trip tossed the clothes Malcolm 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—that vivid blue Hawaiian number, or the red paisley?—when there was a knock at the door.

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

"Oh, sorry," Hoshi said, stepping inside, taking in his shirtless state, then eyeing the rumpled bed, the prominently placed bourbon 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 Trip and Hoshi were the two who would be breakfasting together. Trip pulled some currency out of the jeans hanging over the chair and tipped the attendant as he ushered the man 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?" she said. "Very discreet, Commander."

"I don't know what you're talking about," Trip said virtuously. Clearly she thought Lin, the woman he'd danced with the night before, was here. Oh well, let her. Personally, he placed his bets on Travis and that redhead. He'd bet anything she was in the ensign's room right now.

Hoshi sighed dramatically. "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." Trip found it and handed it to her. "Here you go. Thanks for stopping by. So long." "I'm going, I'm going," Hoshi said, turning to leave.

She was halfway out of the room when the bathroom door opened and Malcolm popped out, wearing nothing but a towel, hair rumpled and wet, saying, "Trip, I don't suppose you have a comb?"

Trip closed his eyes briefly as Hoshi immediately reversed direction. There was a surprised silence as the three of them contemplated each other.

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

"Thanks, love." Malcolm said as he disappeared back into the bathroom. Love? He had to have done that on purpose.

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

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

"Yeah, I guess you could say that," he smiled. "Although neither of us is really—available, per se. Not anymore."

"I see," Hoshi sighed. "All this time, a romance was going on under my nose. I can't believe I didn't 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, but only if we can stop by that weapons place too."

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

"Not any more," he said, smiling at her.

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