Title: Reflections

Author: Macx

Email: macx@nexgo.de

Website: http://home.arcor.de/macx/index.html

Date: 09/21/02

Series: Not part of the Relived Series!

Pairing: Tucker/Reed (of course <g> Have you known me to write anything else?)

Type: Slash M/M

Rating: NC-17, just to be sure

Status: done

Archive: sure!

Feedback: empty inbox seeks emails!

Disclaimer: Don't own a single one of 'em. All Paramount's.

Author's Voice of Warning (aka Author's Note): English is not my first language; it's German. This is the best I can do. Any mistakes you find in here, collect them and you might win a prize <g>The spell-checker said everything's okay, but you know how trustworthy those thingies are…

The quarters were almost dark, the lights dimmed, and the vid screen sent its eerie glow into the room. News flashes from home were currently on, but the sound was low, as if not to disturb the two occupants sitting silently on the bed. Malcolm Reed let his eyes drift from the colorful images of the screen to the man lying beside him. Trip's head was on his lap, eyes closed, face relaxed. He had long since given up any pretense of being awake, had simply fallen against his lover's side and finally allowed his weary body to bonelessly slide even further down.


Malcolm toyed with a few strands of dark blond hair. Charles 'Trip' Tucker, his lover.

No, it was too crude a word for it.

Trip was so much more to him, not simply a man he shared a bed with when the urges became to great, when the need to have sex outweighed everything else. Malcolm was a pretty controlled individual and aboard a starship, being a senior officer, he didn't have the freedom to simply pick someone up and dump him or her again. Seeking sexual release usually reacquainted you with your hands and the multiple use and joy of lubricants and rubber toys.

No, not lover.

Trip was a partner in so many things; knew so much about him. More than any previous love interest. And before it had only been that. An interest. Nothing everlasting. Never.

Trip felt like forever.

Malcolm smiled again. Mushy. Yeah. well…it was what he felt. He felt mushy when he was around Trip. Like right now. Just the two of them. No pressure, no appointments, no need. Just two people sharing the same space, being content with each other.

Well, one of the two was sleeping.

Reed chuckled. Trip had earned his rest.

Shifts had been hectic lately. More so in engineering than anywhere else. Power relays had given out all of a sudden and then the warp engine's power output had fluctuated so badly, going to warp had been an exercise in futility. The moment they were hitting warp, the engine died and they fell back to impulse. If at all. So Trip had spent all his time with his engine, the engineering crew, and not with Malcolm. Reed had been busy himself, but while he had normal shifts, a double here or there, he at least caught more than three hours of sleep at a time. Trip hadn't been so lucky.

Three hours ago, the engine had been pronounced back to normal again. Thank you god! Captain Archer had shooed his exhausted chief engineer off to get a shower, something decent to eat, and a lot of rest. Forty-eight hours. More if he didn't look like he was back in shape afterwards.

Malcolm had made sure that Trip made it into and out of the shower without falling all over the bathroom. The man was drop dead tired. Feeding him had been a tough job. Trip hadn't felt hungry and getting him to at least eat one sandwich had cost nerves.

Sleep was easy.

Well, fairly.

Malcolm smiled softly and touched his lover's temple, running the back of his fingers over the smooth skin down to the strong jaw. He continued to stroke the short hair, then rested his hand at the nape of the slender neck, feeling the bristles of shorter hair against it. Trip's head was turned away from the screen, facing Reed's stomach, and he had curled up. Malcolm had managed to draw a blanket over the tired man, then wrapped himself up in one as well without disturbing Trip too much.

Continuing to rub a gentle thumb over the other man's temple, he followed a news report with half an eye. Trip murmured something and moved into the loving caress, trying to bury himself in Malcolm's lap. The armory officer's smile widened.

Yes, he could do this forever. Trip, for all his outgoing, boisterous nature, was a gentle and caring lover. Their first time had opened Malcolm's eyes to the man, had shown him that the outside was so very much different from the gentler inside. Trip loved to run his mouth off, he wore his heart on his sleeve, and tact was sometimes a foreign word to the outspoken engineer, but there was a lot more to this man. Someone who loved to spend evenings just reading, everything but technical manuals, listening to music. Watching sappy movies, even crying at the end and not being ashamed about it. Someone who wrote his parents on a regular basis, who was on friendly terms with all his ex-girl-friends. Malcolm had been amazed to discover layer after layer.

And he himself had opened up with each layer as well. They were different. Not black and white. Not so extremely opposite, but still opposites nevertheless. One was open, fun loving, outgoing and full of almost youthful energy, not afraid to put his money where his mouth was. The other was guarded, controlled, constantly watchful and afraid to make mistakes.

But they had found each other. Trip had once said that he felt like they complemented each other; completed the other. Two sides of the same coin.

Malcolm looked fondly at his sleeping lover.

It was so different now. Not because Trip was a male lover. He had had them before. No, because Trip cared. Not about a good time in bed or a nice looking body at his side. He cared about the person. He cared about Malcolm, not the Lieutenant, the Armory Officer, the Son, the Navy Officer. Nothing of it mattered.

Just him.

It humbled him. It honored him. It scared him.

A wince caught Malcolm's attention and he laid his palm onto Trip's forehead, immediately stilling all motion. Aside from being exhausted, Trip also suffered from a severely knotted back and a pulled muscle in one shoulder. Crawling around tight passageways wasn't good for your health. Tucker moaned softly, tried to shift once more, and Malcolm accommodated the movement, pushing a pillow under his lover's shoulder. Trip settled down with a sigh and Malcolm resumed his caress. He felt one of the blond's hands grab the hem of his sweater and smiled as the piece of cloth was firmly taken into possession. Trip began to snore softly.

Returning to his thoughts, Malcolm never lost touch of his lover, just like Trip was holding on to him. The feelings he had scared him so deeply, he sometimes was afraid to wake up and find out that Trip had found someone else. That it had all been a dream, a way for the handsome engineer to pass the time. Trip had had his share of female love interests and flings; he was a ladies type. Women swooned over the honey drawl, the accent, the good looks, the infectious smile. Damn, he had nearly done the same!

Reed sighed. He had fallen for this wonderful man and because it had hit him harder than ever, because it felt so right, he feared the future. Trip had told him there would never be someone else. Just Malcolm. He was monogamous. Wonderful words. But would they be true?

Another sigh.

There had been a heart to heart about it, and Malcolm loved the blond engineer all the more because of it, but the residual doubt remained.

Oh well.

Debating whether or not to get them settled properly, Malcolm finally switched off the news. Tucker was firmly asleep and he himself was reasonably comfortable. He sank further down on the bed, sliding into a position that would insure he wouldn't wake up with a stiff neck, he wrapped an arm around the sleeping man. Trip murmured, moved, and suddenly his head rested on Malcolm's stomach, his hand still holding on to the sweater.

Killing the lights completely, Reed rubbed the strong back, reveling in the simple motion. He closed his eyes and let sleep come, his hand stilling, its warmth resting on one shoulder.


Trip woke to a gritty feeling in his eyes and a slight twinge in his back. Blinking, he tried to unglue his eye lids and finally focused on the dark blue pillow he had been lying on.

Uh, since when did pillows move?


Lifting his head as much as he could, he let his eyes travel along the blue cloth and blinked.

Okay. Malcolm. No pillow. Malcolm.

Hmmm, Malcolm pillow. His lover.

Much better than a pillow. A lot better!

He had been sleeping in his own bed, but wrapped around his lover, head resting on Reed's stomach. Malcolm himself was still sleeping.

//Gawd, he looks so cute!//

And he'd never tell him. Sure kill method. Never tell an armory officer he was cute. Never.

Moving so he had a better look, Trip winced. Damn back, damn shoulder. He'd go and see Phlox about it. Later. Much later. Right now…indulgence. Malcolm watching.

Tucker folded his hands over his lover's chest, resting his chin on their backs, eyes half-lidded. This was nice. Really, really nice. Waking up next to Malcolm always was; it just happened too infrequently.

Reed moved and his eyes opened slowly. Gray met blue and a question was clearly in the stormy depth.

"Mornin'," Trip murmured, giving the other man a smile.

"Good morning," was the soft reply. "Slept well?"

"Had mah personal cuddly Malcolm pillow. Yeah, Ah think y'can say Ah slept well," came the muffled reply.

Malcolm grimaced. "I'm not a cuddly pillow."

"Well, I was cuddly, you were my pillow," Trip amended, wrapping his arms around the smaller man. "Hmmm," he made. "Malcolm pillow. So nice."

Reed snorted, but his eyes twinkled with amusement. "Malcolm pillow, hm?"

"Yeah. Nice pillow," Trip murmured dreamily, giving him a squeeze. "Mine."

Malcolm grinned. "Yes, all yours."

He wrapped his arms loosely around the blond engineer, holding him in place, keeping him close. Strong fingers began to knead the still hard muscles. Trip closed his eyes and groaned.

"Oh yeah…"

"You in any pain?"

"Nah. Nothing a quick visit to Phlox won't cure anyway."

"Wanna shower? It'll loosen you up. We can continue the massage then," Malcolm whispered.

Trip grunted, closing his eyes in bliss. "Yeah," he mumbled, not moving, arms still very much around his lover.




"No. Comfy here. Nice pillow."

Reed grinned, feeling his lover's weight settle more firmly on him.


Another grunt. "Persistent lil' bugger," came the comment.

Malcolm laughed. "Yes, I can be. Now c'mon, Commander, move."

With a weary sigh, Trip rolled off him, blinking sleepily. He was far from awake.

Malcolm got him into the bathroom, helped him undress without arousing him too much, then maneuvered him under the shower. A sudden yank at his arm had him stumble and end up against a very wet chief engineer, his clothes soaking.

"Trip!" he sputtered.

"Save water, shower with a friend," Tucker chuckled.

Malcolm scowled, then peeled off his sopping wet clothes. Trip leaned forward as he came into the shower once more, kissing him. Malcolm answered the slow, loving kiss, rubbing his hands over the muscular chest. Trip pulled him closer, the kiss growing more insistent, the tongue pushing forward seeking, questing, conquering the other mouth. Both men parted, breathing harder than before, and Trip's eyes shone with lust.

"Not here," Malcolm whispered.

He wanted a nice soft bed, not cold, slippery tiles. They might end up hurting each other.

They rinsed off the shower gel and Trip palmed the water controls to shut off the warm spray, reaching blindly for the towels. Malcolm followed, smiling at the sudden awake eagerness of his lover. The smoldering fire in the blue eyes was more than enough to tell him what he wanted. Out in the bedroom, Malcolm snagged a bottle of massage oil from the dresser and made a twirling motion with one finger.

"I promised you a massage, love. Turn around."

Trip replied eagerly, disposing of the towel around his waist and sprawling on the rumpled bed. Malcolm settled over the naked man and poured the oil into his hands, warming it. As he began to draw the oily hands over his lover's warm skin, Trip relaxed, sighing with pleasure. Kneading the hard knots of muscle, Malcolm used his weight to dig in, drawing the occasional wince. After a while, though, the winces became less and he changed the massage pattern, stroking instead of digging. Leaving the now reddened shoulders and back, he drew long lines down to the muscular behind. Trip murmured is appreciation and started to spread his legs a little.

Malcolm smiled, getting more oil, then proceeding to gently caress his lover's long legs. Now and then he let a seeking finger slip into the cleft between the two cheeks and teased the sensitive opening. Trip squirmed, burying his face in the mattress. Continuing the slow, erotic massage of Trip's more intimate areas, Reed reveled in the little gasps and murmurs, the encouraging bucking of hips and how the blond tried to spread his legs even further.

"Mal…!" he protested finally. "Please!"

"Yes, love?" the lieutenant whispered, leaning forward.



"Malcolm!" Trip cried. "Do something!"

"Like what?" He smoothed his fingers over the firm butt, one thumb again slipping into the cleft.

Trip moaned.

"Oh? Like that?"

He did it again. Again, it drew a moan. When a well-oiled finger suddenly pushed deeper, Trip yelped.

"Gawd, yes, like that!"

Malcolm removed the finger.


"Shhh…" he soothed his agitated lover.

Trip groaned pitifully, but he responded when Malcolm coaxed him to roll around. Reed dove in for a kiss, parting the willing lips, meeting the eager tongue. Tucker latched onto him, kissing back with lust and fervor and need, filled with a fire that made Malcolm moan silently in appreciation. Strong arms came around him, holding him, and Trip's hips ground against his, their arousals coming into sudden contact. When kissing was no longer enough, Trip tore away from the hot mouth over his, panting, blue eyes burning.

"Mal…" he whispered.

"I love you," Reed murmured.

"I love you. I want you," Tucker answered huskily.

"You have me."

"Oh yeah. Right now." Trip grinned, twisting his hips again. Malcolm bit his lower lip. Oh, he was getting the message and he wouldn't think of ignoring it.



Malcolm wouldn't have thought that Trip was a cuddler, but even after their very first time together, Tucker had snuggled up to him, holding him close. It had been a new feeling, having the hard, male body in his arms, stroking and petting flushed, hot skin, feeling muscles quiver under his finger tips. So nice. So wonderful. So addictive.

"Love you," Trip murmured, burying his face in Malcolm's neck, kissing the warm skin.

The dark-haired lieutenant smiled and drew the blanket over them. He had had enough energy left to clean them, remove the most obvious traces of their passion, and the wonderful bliss of 'afterwards' made him feel warm. Cared about. Loved.

Trip loved him.

For how long? the insidious little voice nagged.

He squelched it.

"Love you," he murmured and felt Trip's smile.

The engineer suddenly pushed himself away and over his prone lover, warm, blue eyes smiling down at him, an equally warm smile on his lips. "Don't ever forget that," he said softly. "Don't ever doubt that."

Since when had Tucker developed telepathy?

"I know you, Malcolm Reed," he added.

Damn, he was a bloody telepath!

A chuckle. "I just know you too well, lover. All too well." A little kiss was bestowed on Malcolm's nose and he twitched it.

"Bloody hell," Malcolm murmured. "Can't even ponder in private any more." There was no anger in his voice, no fervor.

"Nope. Not when it takes you into those shadowy twilight zones of doubt and self-consciousness. Those little areas where your self-esteem has taken a swan dive into a bottomless tar pit."

"Bloody hell," Reed repeated.

Trip chuckled and kissed him again, this time on the lips. "Ah'll always be here, love. Always," he drawled. "Get used to the horror."

"Hm, I think I have to."

"And to nurture this horror, you gotta feed it. How about a lunch treat?

I think it's a lil' late for breakfast."

"Resequenced meatloaf?" Malcolm teased.

"Nah, I was thinking about a nice steak…" Trip looked dreamily at him.

"So let's see what Chef has for you appetite," Malcolm chuckled. "Then we go and pay Phlox a visit."

Trip got off him and Malcolm briefly missed the close contact, but the sight of a naked chief engineer walking into the bathroom made up for that. Deciding to skip a double shower—because they wouldn't make lunch otherwise—he waited in bed for his lover to come out again.

Nurturing the horror, hm? he thought.

He could live with that horror. Feeding it, caring for it, loving it.

Yep, he could do that.

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