Title: Whisky on the Rocks

Author: Kylie Lee and Tim Ruben

E-mail: KylieLee1000@hotmail.com and timruben@writeme.com

Authors' URL: http://www.geocities.com/kylielee1000/ and http://enterpriseslash.tripod.com/

Date: 08/26/02

Fandom: Star Trek: Enterprise

Pairing: A/T

Type: Slash M/M

Rating: NC-17

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

Feedback: Yes, please!!!

Archive: EntSTSlash, Archers_Enterprise

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

Series: Under the Disco Ball

Previous story: Sex

Next story: Flagrante Delicto

Comment: Thanks to Kim, magnificent beta!

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 Ensign Hoshi Sato.

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—in fact, he had jumped at the opportunity. Little did they know that Captain Jonathan Archer had approved the vacation so he could spend quality time with his lover, Commander Trip Tucker. After the Risa fiasco, Malcolm Reed, who was in charge of security, thought that it would be best for the bridge crew to basically stick together, so they all had rooms at the same hotel and took their meals together. Tomorrow, however, they planned to split up for day trips and shopping. Although the night was still young, the incredible crush of people in the club had driven them out at about midnight.

Trip walked alongside Ensign Mayweather. "You and Hoshi seemed to be having fun," he noted.

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

Travis laughed. "Sorry, I think I got carried away. No injuries, I hope?"

Hoshi smiled, "No, I'm fine."

"I'll be more careful next time," Travis promised as Hoshi moved next to him.

"Well, I got the lucky end of the deal," Hoshi said cheerfully, turning back around. "I got to leave with four attractive men."

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

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

Reed blushed slightly, 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 too tired," Trip said. "I'll walk, but take a taxi if you want."

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

They all decided to walk. It was only about five kilometers to their hotel. Archer fell back and caught up with Tucker while Reed, Mayweather, and Sato, who was teasing Reed about the redhead, led the way back to the hotel.

"Tired?" Trip asked Jon.

"Not at all," Archer replied, grinning at the younger man.

"Me neither. Do you want to find another nightclub, do some more dancing?" Trip tugged at a belt loop on Jon's pants, then dropped his hand and let it rest lightly on Archer's ass. "Someplace less crowded."

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

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

"Maybe one drink," Archer 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," Trip whispered. His hand slid down Jon's ass, briefly cupping a cheek.

The easy bantering between the crew 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. Mayweather 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. "The Cap'n and I thought we'd hit the hotel bar for a drink," Trip said. "Anyone want to join us?" He hoped he sounded sincere. He really didn't want anyone to join them.

"Sure, thanks," Travis said.

"Hoshi? Malcolm?"

Hoshi and Malcolm declined, pleading weariness, and headed for the elevator bank. Travis led the way into the dark, intimate bar, and Jon chose a table.

Trip seated himself at Jon's left, and Travis sat down at Jon's right. Trip adjusted his chair slightly so that his leg brushed against Archer's. A server dressed in a clinging black, sparkly dress arrived and took their order, then came back a few minutes later to deliver their drinks to the low table in front of them. Jon, as the highest-ranking officer, took the bill and charged it to his room. His arm brushed Trip's as he turned and handed the bill back to the server. A few minutes later, he accidentally bumped Trip, jostling his drink slightly. The wicked glint in his eyes as he apologized, patted Trip, and dabbed solicitously at the droplets on Trip's trouser leg with a little napkin led Trip to believe it wasn't so accidental. Trip responded to Travis's quips and Archer's sardonic comments, but he was acutely aware of Jon's warmth, of Jon's body, the pressure of Jon's leg against his, of Archer'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 Jon's manner, he 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 Archer had been lovers for a year and a half, since before the Enterprise launched, the only person who knew of their relationship, as far as he was aware, was Hoshi, who had seen the two men 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, even though Trip had been caught leaving Archer's quarters, in the wee hours of the morning, more than once. They were often seen hanging out together every evening when they were off duty, and they ate together all the time—although, granted, T'Pol joined them for dinner at the captain's table. Everyone seemed to think they were just good buddies.

Tucker supposed they were an unlikely couple, and maybe that was why no one seemed to notice. He was a commander and chief engineer, several years younger then Archer, and tended to be outgoing, cocky, and aggressive. Archer, on the other hand, was older, more reserved, and much more mature than Trip. When they were alone together, Archer relaxed his reserve. He did it when he was off-duty, too, Trip 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, Jon 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, Hoshi knew and it wouldn't be long before her best friend, Crewman Elizabeth Cutler, would force the information out of her. The cat was probably out of the bag; it was just a matter of time. He and Jon needed to talk about that.

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

"I thought he'd never leave," Archer said, knocking back the rest of his drink like a shot. He set his glass down and turned to Tucker, then slid his hand inside the V of Tucker's white T-shirt. His fingers were cold and a little wet from his drink's ice and condensation. "Quick, before he comes back."

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

"Mmm, that's nice," Tucker whispered when they pulled back. Archer brought his hand up from Trip's chest and stroked it along Trip's neck. The next kiss was longer, and they were breathing hard when they broke it off. Tucker sat back and leaned his arm against the back of Archer's chair. "What are you thinking?" he asked, moving his thumb up and down the nape of Jon's neck, gently stroking. "You look like you're thinking, and that can't be good."

Archer smiled, considered his drink, and looked up. "I was wondering what we saw in each other. Why we're together."

Trip's eyes crinkled. "Besides the fact that you're the hottest man in the galaxy?"

Jon reddened and cast the notion aside with a swipe of his hand. "Besides that."

"Well, we complement each other."

"That's true." He sighed. "I like—I like not being so serious around you."

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

"You see? We're perfect for each other." Jon smiled at him. "Should we stay for another drink?"

"God, no," Trip said fervently.

"Meet me in my room?"

"No," Trip said, as a sneaky grin formed on his face. "I'm always going to your room. You can 'cum' in mine tonight."

"I'll be there," Jon told him. Trip saw Travis turn the corner, and he put both hands in his lap. Travis joined them a second later, but he didn't sit down. Instead, he leaned heavily against the back of Archer's chair. "I was in the bathroom and it hit," he confessed.

"What hit?" Archer asked, craning his head around to get a view of the ensign.

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

Archer smiled. "I'm finished. I'll walk you back and see you safely to your room."

"I'm sure it's safe, Captain," Travis demurred.

"That's an order, Ensign, " Archer said firmly. Travis had had a little too much to drink. "Trip?"

Tucker held up his half-full glass. "I'll just finish my drink." He held Jon's eyes for a long moment, then smiled slowly. "See you tomorrow."

"Good night," Archer said.

"'Night, Cap'n. Travis."

Trip watched as Jon steered Travis discreetly by an arm. Travis was swaying slightly. Jon held the door for him 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 server whisked by. Jon would meet him in his room in about a half hour—just enough time for him to clean up and stick some useful items in the nightstand.

Trip had just finished showering and slipping into a fresh button-down shirt, this one a blue color that he knew made Jon all hot and bothered, and pair of black trousers when there was a light knock at the door. He let Archer in, avoiding the urge to pounce on him then and there. "What have you got?" he asked, gesturing at what Jon was carrying.

Jon set a bucket down on a table with a flourish. "Ice," he said. "And something that tastes like whisky." The bottle joined the ice bucket.

"Nice," Tucker said approvingly. "I think I've got glasses around here somewhere."

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

Tucker raised his eyebrows, intrigued. "Interesting," he commented, but he didn't ask for clarification. It was clear Archer wanted to surprise him. Instead, he pulled the captain in for a kiss. "Alone at last," he sighed. "I just want to know one thing about tonight," he said, keeping his arms around Archer.

"What's that?"

"Tell me how you cleaned up," Tucker said, whispering in Archer ear. "In the can, after our—dance."

Archer'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." He dropped his voice to a whisper. "Not a word to Admiral Forrest," he ordered. "You know how he feels about waste. What about you?" "Pretty much the same," Tucker admitted, resting his forehead on Archer's. "Damn. I knew it. I just knew you were letting it all hang under those pants. All night, I was dancing with you, wondering." The captain opened his mouth, then closed it. Trip sighed. "Go ahead, say it," he invited.

Archer grinned. "I'm always naked underneath my clothes," he purred.

"Yes, and it drives me nuts." Trip released Jon 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 Archer and they began circling to the music. Trip was leading, Jon's right hand in his left hand, their other arms around each other. Archer, pulled against his body, felt lean and dense, warm along Tucker's body, and his skin smelled good.

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

"'Cause you're in command on Enterprise, but I'm in command in my own bedroom. Why? Do you want to lead?" Trip let go of Jon, held both arms out to the side, then switched them. "That better, Cap'n?"

Jon considered as they swayed. "Pretty much the same, actually."

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

He slid both arms around Archer's shoulders and pulled him close, then leaned up slightly and kissed him. Archer was only a little bit taller than him. Jon's arms clenched him tight for a moment, then relaxed. They circled slowly to the music, hips swaying. They weren't really dancing—Tucker wasn't much of a dancer—as much as holding each other close and circling. The drums reminded Trip of the throb of the music in the club earlier that night.

When he released Jon's mouth after a long few minutes, Jon sighed and leaned his head on Trip's shoulder. One hand came out to play with a button and stroke Tucker's skin. The engineer smiled at his lover. Trip swore he wore button-down shirts just to amuse Jon, who loved unbuttoning him, and today was no exception. Jon's fingers gently undid one button, then another, his hand stopping to smooth against Jon's skin, stopping to rest on a nipple, stroking across his chest and around to his side. Trip'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 whisky, or whatever the hell it is?" Trip whispered.

Jon tugged gently on Trip's pants. Jon was the only thing holding them up. "It's special whisky," he said, sliding his hands down.

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

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

Trip sniffed. It smelled pretty much like whisky, and he said so.

Archer smiled. "But now—taste." Incongruously, he put the bottle to his lips and took a swig, then leaned forward. Trip obligingly put his mouth on Jon's, and Jon opened his mouth. Under the taste of the smoky liquor was a taste he would describe as peppery. It left a warmness in his mouth that didn't dissipate.

"H'm," Tucker said as Jon's hands urged him to lie back. He watched as Jon walked on his knees to kneel between his legs. "What have you got in mind?"

"Cheers," Archer said, not answering his question, and it became clear what he had in mind: Archer carefully tipped the bottle and poured some of the cold liquid on Trip's stomach, his free hand spreading the liquor around Trip's abdomen and chest.

"Oh," Trip said in surprise. "That's cold." But Archer's touch on the cold liquor spread gentle heat. Jon 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. Jon paid special attention to Trip's fingers, first stroking the liquor into Trip's skin, then licking and sucking his fingers. Archer took another pull from the bottle, set it on the nightstand, and gently clasped Tucker's hips.

He knew it was coming, but he wasn't prepared for the sensation. Jon managed to hold the liquid in as he slid his lips around Tucker's cock, and then he released it as his mouth descended. Tucker felt the gush of liquid, and then warmth radiated along his erection. He shut his eyes and focused on the feeling of Jon'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, Archer's hands slid around under his ass, and then his cheeks were warm too. He groaned, low and deep, when Jon slowly inserted one, then two fingers inside him, sucking hard. The fingers were removed, but the heat and sensation remained. Jon released his mouth from Trip's swollen cock.

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

"Oh, yes," Trip said between hard breaths. "Oh, lord, yes."

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

Tucker was hot and gasping when he heard a rattling noise. His eyes flew open, and he watched as Archer popped an ice cube into his own mouth. Jon dipped his head down, but instead of Jon's warm tongue, Trip felt the ice cube. Jon's hand curled around Trip's erection as Trip groaned. Archer began tracing designs on Tucker's body with the ice cube. Sometimes it fell out of his mouth, and Jon's hand would grab it and press it against Tucker's body or slide it down Trip'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. Tucker gasped at the erotic sight, at the sight of Archer'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 Jon's tongue and mouth left what felt like glowing patterns on his skin. Archer slid an ice cube up and down Trip's hard cock, making it harder. It was torture, sweet torture. He was hot and cold. The warmth would bleed back, and then Jon would come back again with the ice.

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

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

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

In response, Archer, still sucking on Jon's fingers, one hand on Trip's bent knee, began working his hips, pushing in and out. Trip felt Archer's cock brush occasionally against a place deep 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, Trip?" Jon asked a few minutes later, releasing Tucker's fingers.

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

Trip abandoned himself to the sensation, panting. The new position stroked inside him in a more focused way; before had been pleasurable, but now, Jon was driving him insane. He said "Oh, there," a few times on the inward movement so Jon 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 on fire. He shut his eyes and hitched his body slightly closer to Jon's to maximize contact as Jon slid in and out in a slow, steady rhythm. Jon had him right on the edge.

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

Tucker 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 Jon's cock inside him. He felt the warmth that only Archer's presence fanned.

"Oh, god." Jon's hips quickened. "Oh, god, Trip." He was close too. His hand clutched Tucker's leg as he thrust deeper, then moved to gently grasp the base of Trip's cock. His palm brushed the younger man's balls.

"Say my name, Jon," Trip managed, hand squeezing.

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

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

Jon twitched his hips back and pulled his softening cock out. He lifted Trip's leg and slid over next to Tucker, setting the ice bucket on the floor next to the bed. "Why do you love it when I say your name?" he asked, pulling Trip against him. He was breathing hard. He kissed the engineer, then released him, gasped, and lay back against the pillows.

Tucker rolled on his side and set his cheek on Jon's shoulder, Jon's arm around him, and draped his arm over Jon's stomach. Archer'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 Trip when we're off duty or alone," Archer suggested at last. "You call me 'Commander Tucker' when we're both on the bridge or when we're around others."

"Well, it's better than calling you little nicknames on the bridge," Jon said tartly. He imitated his captainly tone, clipped and efficient. "'Sweetheart, transfer power to the warp engines!' See, it just doesn't sound right."

"Sweetheart?" Trip laughed sleepily. "You sound like my mother."

Jon gave another example. "'Darling, we're having problems with the power grid. Could you come up here and fix it?' Or 'Snuggle bunny, you're with me on the away team. Put on something tight and meet me in the shuttle bay.'"

"All right, stop, stop!" Trip begged. "You're right. 'Commander Tucker' is just fine." He leaned up and kissed Archer. "Though 'snuggle bunny' is kind of cute." His hand stroked Jon's stomach. "Not on the bridge, though," he admonished.

"No, not on the bridge," Jon said sleepily. "Just right here, in bed. Snuggle bunny."

When Trip woke up the next morning, he and Jon had moved so they were lying next to each other. One of Archer's ankles crossed his, and Tucker's arm was flung across Jon'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 whisky 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 liked being on vacation. He disengaged himself from his lover and hit the bathroom. He was sticky with cum and liquor. And although he felt warm and sated at the moment, Archer often woke up with a hard-on that demanded his undivided attention.

When he came out fifteen minutes later after a long, hot shower, towel around his hips, moisture still beading his body, Archer was puttering about, nude. He had 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. Jon had picked their clothes off the floor and was tossing them over a chair, presumably preparing them for the hotel laundry. After kissing him good morning, Jon 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."

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

"Good." Tucker kissed Jon again. "Last night was wonderful," he told his lover, running his hands up and down Archer's shoulders. Jon 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," Jon said. "Although I'm willing to put up with certain inconveniences, like a lack of clean clothing, to wake up next to you in the morning." They shared another kiss. "You're all minty," Archer complained. "I haven't brushed my teeth."

"You taste just fine."

Jon 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. Trip heard the shower go on after a few minutes.

As Archer showered, Trip tossed the rest of the dirty clothes over the chair, 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 Travis Mayweather.

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

Travis 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 Travis and Trip 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 him out, but he didn't shut the door behind him.

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

"Hoshi lost her pashmina. Do you have it? We've looked all over the hotel."

"Her what?"

"Some red scarf thing. Like a wrap."

"Nope, sorry." He smiled as he edged Travis toward the door. "Well, thanks for stopping by. See you."

"I'm going, I'm going," Travis said, shooting a curious glance over his shoulder. He was clearly dying to know what was going on.

Travis was halfway out the door when the bathroom door opened and Archer popped out, wearing nothing but a towel, hair rumpled and wet, saying, "Trip, where's your comb?"

Trip shut his eyes briefly as Travis reversed direction. There was a surprised silence as Travis, Jon, and Trip contemplated each other.

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

"Thanks." Jon disappeared back into the bathroom.

Trip decided to bluff. "The Cap'n was just spending the night. He got locked out of his room and we couldn't find the desk clerk to cut him a new key, so I said he could crash here."

Travis held up a hand. "Not buying it," he said. "Just—not."

Trip sighed. "Okay." It was nice of Travis to not mention the lube. And the whisky. His attempt had been pathetic, he had to admit.

Travis said, "Do you want to talk about it, say anything about it?"

Tucker considered. "No," he decided. Before he spilled any beans, he should consult with Archer.

"Okay. I'll see you later." Tucker was just shutting the door behind Mayweather when Mayweather turned around and stuck his face back in. "Is it a secret?" he asked.

Trip sighed. "Not any more," he said.

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