Title: A Surefire Bet

Author: Kipli

Author's email: kipli16@yahoo.com

Author's URL: http://kipli.net/fiction.html

Date: 11/10/02

Rating: R (mildly, simply for location and sexual suggestions)

Pairing: Archer/Tucker/Reed/Mayweather; Sato/m

Summary: Together while on shore leave, Archer, Tucker, Reed, Mayweather, and Sato find themselves at a local strip joint, and a drunken bet is made.

Archive: Yes to EntSTSlash, otherwise ask first pretty please.

Feedback: Yes

Disclaimer: Paramount owns the universe. I just live there.

Status: Complete

Series/Sequel: No

Spoilers: Season One in general I suppose

Warnings: Male stripping and bar pole dancing

Comments: This fanfic includes m/m and m/f sexual and romantic situations. Blame for this fic goes once again to Sphynxie. She's a silly!plotbunny's best friend. And a thank you to smurf for kick- starting this bunny last chat, although I'm sure she had no idea she did. No beta. All mistakes are mine, I tell you, mine! ((This is just such silliness. Mostly I was given the mental picture of Malcolm's outfit and just had to work it into a fic. *smirks*))

"I think we've had too much to drink," Travis stated bluntly, leaning heavily against Malcolm.

"Speak for yourself. You're just a lightweight, Travis," Hoshi said. She adjusted the thin light blue scarf around her shoulders with one hand, while holding a fruity alcoholic beverage in the other.

"Who knew Hoshi could out drink us all," Jon laughed.

"I always knew never to underestimate the powers of Hoshi," Malcolm said, stumbling with Travis' weight on his shoulder as they stepped off the sidewalk onto the street. They were on shoreleave in the international and nightlife district of a fairly open and friendly planet. They were a little tipsy after having spent the last few hours at one of the bars. Malcolm nudged Travis into standing upright, although keeping an arm around him to be sure he wouldn't fall over. "The powers of Hoshi? So she's a super hero now?" Trip asked.

"Why not? I've saved your guys' butts more than once." Hoshi stood tall in her white high heels and blue summer dress. "The Linguist Avenger!" she announced, splashing her drink as she punctuated the comment by raising her cup.

"We've saved your ass a few times as well, Avenger," Jon said. He reached to steady her as she wobbled slightly in her heels on the cobblestone street.

"Okay, well…you guys can be the Four Musketeers, then."

"I thought there were only three Musketeers?" Trip asked.

"Well, technically yes, but—" Malcolm started.

"Oh, please, spare us the book lecture, Malcolm," Hoshi interrupted.

Malcolm shot her a look. "I was going to defend you."

Hoshi stood tall. "I don't need any man to fight my battles for me."

"No, just one to get you laid," Trip mumbled.

Hoshi turned and glared, tugging on Trip's blazingly bright shirt. "At least I can manage to get myself laid, instead of getting tied up in a basement."

"How do you know—" Trip looked over at Malcolm. "You told her?"

"What? No!" Then Malcolm quickly glanced at Travis. "You told her?"

Travis shrugged sheepishly. "She weaseled it out of me."

"You boys couldn't keep a secret from a deaf woman if you were all mute." Hoshi spun around and continued down the street, head held high.

All four men stared after her, trying to comprehend the metaphor.

"Did she just insult us?" Trip asked.

"I'm not sure." Malcolm nudged Travis as he started to lean too heavily on him again. "Can't you ever keep your mouth shut, Travis?"

"She's the Linguist Avenger. There's no escaping her when she wants to know some gossip. She latches onto you until you give up the goods."

"Come on. We've got to find that club we heard about." Jon started them after Hoshi as they walked along bars, clubs, and various places one could party the night away, bright lights flickering and beckoning to the crowds on the streets.

They turned a corner and found Hoshi standing and squinting up at a sign above the nearest door. The men joined her.

Hoshi translated the alien sign. "Brah'ga's Disillusionment. This must be the place." She started toward the door.

"Are you sure this is a club?" Trip asked. The purple double doors to the place were shut, and there was no bouncer or line to get in. There were no other signs either, just the glowing bright pink lettering of the name.

"We'll see," Jon said as Hoshi swung open one of the doors.

Music instantly hit their ears—loud, thumping, rhythmic. As they stepped past an array of dangling beadwork, their eyes widened as they took in the space around them.

And then Hoshi was reduced to a fit of uncontrollable giggles, covering her mouth in a futile attempt to stop them.

Strippers, obviously the male of the alien species, were dancing on the bar, catwalk, and various "cages" hanging from the ceiling. The aliens of this planet, the Ruens, had distinctive colors for their sexes: males had purple blotched skin, while the females were green. So it would have been quite easy, even without the lack of clothing, to know all the dancers and strippers were male. A man with long hair dyed blue was currently doing a strip tease on the catwalk, while male waiters dressed in drag and extremely short red skirts floated about the large place taking orders.

"Holy shit," Trip gasped.

Hoshi was still trying desperately to stop giggling. She managed to get out, "You sure know how to treat a girl right, Captain." Her eyes lit up with humor, and she couldn't stop another round of laughter.

"I…" Jon looked dazed, staring at all the colored male flesh in the room. "I didn't know." He blinked and shook his head. "And I thought I told you all to leave the ranks behind and call me Jon tonight?"

"Sorry…Jon." Hoshi took a deep breath to calm herself and settled into the widest smile ever to grace her face. "So, where should we sit?"

"Sit?" Malcolm asked, startled.

"You boys aren't going to make me leave without seeing at least one show, are you?" Hoshi batted her eyes playfully.

Travis said, "You want to sit and have drinks at a gay male strip club and watch nearly naked men—"

Hoshi gave him a look.

He chuckled. "Okay, stupid question."

"I suppose a little purple male flesh won't hurt us none." Trip put an arm around Jon's shoulders. "Should have you pick our evenin' activities more often." He smirked.

Jon blushed slightly as he stepped away from Trip and gestured for Hoshi to lead on. "Might as well let you enjoy yourself, Hoshi."

"Oh, come on, I'm sure you guys will be able to appreciate these male bodies too." She skipped her way to an empty table between the catwalk and bar.

The four men followed after a little timidly, and they were quick to find seats around Hoshi's table. Only, there wasn't a direction to look in that didn't have a gyrating, nearly naked male body.

Hoshi sat so that she had a clear view of both the man performing on the bar pole and the stripper finishing his act on the catwalk. A waiter in drag walked up to them, and Hoshi ordered them all a round of drinks.

By the time the second stripper was finishing taking off the last of his fuzzy outfit, they were on their third round of drinks. The men were much more relaxed, and they watched the stripping openly with friendly banter, no longer embarrassed.

"I think he's got better abs than you have, Travis," Trip said as the stripper spun around before collecting his clothing, his time finished.

"Maybe," Jon said, his tone not quite believing the claim. "Travis has a very nice six-pack, though."

"And no one can outdo those arms of his." Hoshi reached out and squeezed Travis' biceps through the thin fabric of his silky smooth blue shirt.

Travis was looking enamored by their attention. He was now drinking water, as he was far too drunk already. A wide smile was permanently plastered onto his face, along with very hazy brown eyes. "I'm not that in shape."

Trip snorted. "Don't go gettin' modest. You could put most of these men here to shame."

"I'm sure you could win some hearts yourself, Trip," Travis replied.

"Maybe…" Trip gave him a silly grin. "I do know some pretty good dance moves."

"You're a little too skinny for my tastes, Trip. Finish the ma'shl we ordered." Jon pushed the greasy food over in front of Trip.

"Too skinny?" Trip huffed. "There's plenty of meat on my bones."

"Meat, yes, but a man needs a little fat on him." Jon patted Trip's flat stomach.

Travis and Hoshi chuckled as Trip scowled.

"Are you tryin' to fatten me up?"

"I just don't want a walking skeleton for my best friend is all. Now eat."

Trip grumbled as he picked at the last few pieces of food, muttering, "Who made you my overprotective boyfriend…"

Jon snickered beside him.

"What a package," Hoshi sighed as she watched the man on the bar pole nearby.

Travis glanced over. "He's only a half mast too."

"Have you found your dream man, Hoshi?" Jon asked.

Hoshi flashed him a wicked smile.

Finishing up the ma'shl, Trip looked over at a quiet Malcolm. "Are you meditatin' on something Malcolm? Or are we boring you?"

"He's just enraptured by the entertainment," Hoshi teased.

Malcolm sipped his drink. "I'm fine."

"But not prepared to join in on our teasing?" Trip accused. "Are we too crude of company for you?"

"Crude?" Malcolm's accent rolled over the word. "Do you think I'm some kind of prude?"

"Well, you have been pretty quiet," Travis said.

"And you're usually such a happy drunk." Trip sat back, surveying Malcolm. "You're embarrassed to be seen with us."

"I am not."

"I told you, he's enjoying the view." Hoshi, more than a tad tipsy, gestured at the nearest, well endowed, dancing male body.

"He's embarrassed that we've gotten comfortable. He probably can't even stand the fact that a man would lower himself enough to strip."

"I am not, Trip," Malcolm said again, louder this time.

A goofy grin spread over Jon's face. "I think thou protests too much."

"I bet you'd never strip. Not in a million years. Not even for…for a whole case of bourbon." Trip slapped the table as he laid down his claim.

"Oh really?" Malcolm asked, tilting his head to one side.

"Yeah, really." Malcolm stood, braced against the table as he found his balance. "The bet is on then, Mister Tucker." Malcolm turned to Travis. "Would you care to assist me in one upping Trip?"

Travis' eyes flashed with mischief, and he stood to walk with Malcolm toward the back wall and presumably the back room with the dancing apparel.

Trip stared after them before he pulled himself up onto his feet and raced to catch up. "Now wait a second; what are you doin'?"

"Earning myself a whole case of bourbon." Malcolm stopped as they came to the security guard outside the door to the back room. "Excuse me, sir, is there any way for a visitor to join in on the activities?"

"You want to dance?" the tall security guard asked, sizing Malcolm up.

Almost flamboyantly, Malcolm put a hand on his hip and struck a pose as he stared up at the alien. "Anything will do, sir. I need to teach my friend here a lesson."

The security guard glanced at Travis and Trip, then he smiled. "I'm sorry, but you can't dance on the catwalk. We have that booked. But you can have a go on one of the bar poles."

Malcolm glanced over at Trip.

"I, um, yeah that'll work fine," Trip managed.

The security guard nodded and opened the door, leading them back to a storage room. "These are all extras no ones using. They're usually for amateur night. You're free to use whatever you like. We just request you bring it all back." The guard's smile was replaced by a stern look before he stepped back enough to let them rummage around without feeling too watched.

"Of course, of course. Thank you, love." Malcolm looked about the small room filled with various clothing.

Trip finally caught on that Malcolm wasn't bluffing, and he was in danger of losing this bet, not to mention a lot of liquor. "Hey, wait, I get to pick the outfit."

"You never said anything about that before," Malcolm accused.

"And you're not really strippin' either. So *I* get to pick the outfit to make up for it."

"Fine, but you'd better not back your way out of this bet. I expect my case of bourbon to be delivered within twenty-four hours of our return to Enterprise."

"Now ain't we cocky."

During the light spat between Trip and Malcolm, Travis had looked through a pile to find a small item that he could have sworn was a bow tie. Sudden inspiration hit him. He turned to Trip. "I know what he should wear."

Trip turned away from Malcolm. "What?"

Travis handed him the bow tie. "Turn him into a Playboy Bunny."

A blush from Malcolm, and the idea was readily accepted by Trip.

"Damn fine thinkin' Travis. I'll have to ask Jon to give ya a promotion for this." Trip grinned. "Now we're gonna have some trouble finding ears."

"I think we could probably make some." Travis pulled out a piece of while fluffy cloth. "Oh, I've found the tail."

"All I need is some wirin' for the ears I think…"

A few pins and an occasional swear word later, they managed to find or make all of the pieces for Malcolm's outfit. His engineering skills put to the best possible test, Trip had managed to make a decent pair of rabbit ears. They handed the ensemble to Malcolm and stepped out with the guard to let Malcolm change.

"He'll never put it on," Trip said confidently.

"I don't know…"

The padding of bear feet proceeded Malcolm's appearance. Trip and Travis turned around, then stared.


Malcolm tried his best to look cocky as he stood in little more than a pair of pink briefs and bunny ears. The black bow tie was a little tight around his throat, but the white cuffs around his wrists were almost too loose. The white and pink ears attached to a headband were pinned to his hair to keep them securely in place.

Trip resigned to the fact that he was going to lose the bet and chuckled at Malcolm. "Well give us a twirl so we can see the whole getup."

Malcolm humored him and spun around, showing off the white tail pinned to the back of his briefs.

"Hoshi's going to flip," Travis laughed.

"You two are just jealous of how fabulous I look." Malcolm smirked before gesturing to the guard that he was ready to go. He strolled his way out the door following the guard, with Travis and Trip following after. Receiving a few cat calls and whistles from men and women at the strip joint as he walked through back to their table, Malcolm made sure to shake his hips enough to show off his tail.

"Oh my god," Hoshi gasped as he walked up.

"How the hell did you guys find that outfit?" Jon asked.

"I'm an engineer. I can make anything work." Trip took Malcolm by the shoulders and turned him around. "But Travis did make the tail."

Hoshi laughed as she snapped the hem Malcolm's tight pink briefs. "So what are you going to do for us?"

"Not that you couldn't just stand there and keep us all entertained," Jon said.

Malcolm slapped Hoshi's hand away from him as he spun back around. "I'm going to bar pole dance."

"No way." Hoshi looked over at the man she had been admiring earlier. "Take his place and tell him to come over here." She smiled sweetly. "Please?"

Malcolm chuckled. "Anything for you, Hoshi." Malcolm looked to Trip. "I hope this is quality bourbon I'm winning." Before Trip could reply, Malcolm walked his way over to the waiting guard and explained he'd like to dance at a particular pole. Not really mattering where Malcolm danced, the guard walked over to the current dancer and informed him to take a break. The sweaty alien climbed down off the bar, glancing over Malcolm. Before Malcolm could say anything, Hoshi was already calling the man over. At least Hoshi will be happy, Malcolm thought. He gracefully pulled himself up onto the bar.

"Hey, sit down," Hoshi said to the dancer as he walked up, pulling him down to sitting in Travis' chair beside her.

Travis shook his head, grabbed his drink, and sat in Malcolm's seat.

"Is that your friend dancing?" the dancer asked.

"Yes, but you're really good," Hoshi purred.

The dancer smiled, running a hand through his short black hair. "Thank you. My names Sahl. I've never seen such interesting color tones on alien visitors before." He ran a purple hand along her bare tan arm.

Malcolm watched Hoshi losing herself in flirting with the dancer. He still had Jon, Trip, and Travis' attentions, however.

Malcolm took a moment to clear his mind, working to push aside the dizzy unfocused state the alcohol in his system created, then he grabbed the pole in one hand while wrapping a leg around it. The pole was slick and overly polished. He marveled at the ease at which he was able to spin himself around.

The music was fast and loud. He moved onto a few moves he had seen many of the dancers use. Pulling both his legs up high off the ground and wrapping them around the pole, he released his hands and leaned back slowly, bunny ears first toward the bar. He inwardly grinned as his three friends watching him couldn't seem to look away. He decided to show off and he arched his back enough to grab a hold of the pole behind him with his hands.

He hung upside-down for a moment, then pulled himself up and gripped the pole tightly with both hands. He unwrapped his legs and then pushed off gently, muscles straining to hold himself up by just his arms. Slowly he worked until his legs were out straight behind him.

Malcolm could hear a low whistle from Trip. In one smooth move, he swung his legs back toward the pole and whipped himself dramatically around it as he spun until he rested his feet back on the bar countertop.

"Show off," Travis shouted at him.

Malcolm flashed them a devilish grin. He rode himself seductively around the pole, calling attention to the white tail attached to his briefs, then slowly slid all the way down the pole.

"Damn," Jon sighed as he watched.

"This is definitely worth a case of bourbon," Trip mumbled.

"Ten cases," Travis agreed.

Malcolm found a rhythm, nearly forgetting the voyeuristic watching of his friends, and he slipped into a smooth routine. He didn't forget, however, that his time was limited. After two songs, Malcolm decided the true dancer must be eager to return to work, if only so he'd be assured his paycheck. Checking to be sure he still had the men's attention, which he couldn't imagine he'd ever lose, Malcolm wrapped his entire body around the pole and sensually spun around it. Just as his feet were going to hit the bar, he flung himself off, landing dramatically on the carpeted floor a few feet from the table.

"God, Malcolm." Travis was the only one who managed to say anything as the other two men gawked.

Panting, Malcolm asked, "So I've won the bet?"

Trip pulled himself away from staring at Malcolm to looking at his dilated gray eyes. "Hell, yes, Malcolm."

"Have you danced before?" the alien dancer Sahl asked. While talking with Hoshi, he had managed to watch.

Malcolm pointedly ignored the question, only giving the man a wink, before grabbing his drink and swallowing what was left in one swig.

Sahl grinned and turned back to Hoshi. "I need to return to dancing again. But I get off in a half hour…"

Hoshi's eyes sparkled. "I'll be right here." She gave her friends a silly grin as Sahl returned to the bar pole.

"Someone's gettin' lucky tonight," Trip teased. "And he's not—"

"Nope. Apparently half the men in here are into women." Hoshi glanced around.

"It's an interesting line of work…" Malcolm said with a half-grin as he grabbed Trip's drink and finished it as well.

"Hey, you're getting enough of my alcohol already," Trip sputtered.

"I still feel like dancing. Anyone else up for it?" Malcolm smiled wide.

"I'm not taking my eyes off Sahl," Hoshi stated firmly, turning her chair to get a better look.

"I'll dance," Jon quickly volunteered.

Malcolm blinked, slightly surprised, then slid up beside Jon as the tall man stood. "What about you two?"

"Sure," Trip said.

"Why not," Travis answered.

Full of energy, Malcolm led them over to a cleared space by the DJ.

Hoshi glanced over when she realized they had left her alone. She smirked as she watched Malcolm surrounded by the three other men. He was using each of them nearly as seductively as he had used the pole, wrapping an arm and leg around one before dancing to another. Perhaps she wouldn't be the only one getting lucky…


Burning, throbbing pain. With every beat of his heart, Malcolm's head pounded in agony. Bloody hell, how much did he have to drink last night? He groaned as he opened his eyes, then he suddenly realized he was buried underneath a blanket. And with that realization he noticed he wasn't alone in the bed. His eyes widened as he struggled to get untangled and off the bed. Low male groans from his companion…no make that companions.

Clambering out onto his feet, head pounding, Malcolm stared in shock as his blurry vision cleared and he realized he was in Jon's hotel room. More so, Jon, Trip, and Travis were sprawled together haphazardly on the bed. And they were naked from what he could see. Had they…Dear god, he would have remembered something like that happening, wouldn't he?

Realizing he was naked as well, Malcolm looked around the room for his boxers. Instead all he found was a pair of pink briefs and bunny ears. He stalled as he stared. "Oh hell…" It came back to him in a blur. The male strip club. The bet. The damned outfit. The erotic bar dancing. The even more erotic three on one dancing afterwards. Trip had paid the guard so they could keep Malcolm's outfit. And then…He frowned as he tried to recall. Then he couldn't remember.

Malcolm still had on the cuffs and bow tie. Sighing, he pulled on the pink briefs for the little cover they provided. Then he made his way to the lavatory. He groaned as he flicked the light on, stumbling his way to the sink and washing cold water over his face.

A mumbling female voice said, "Turn that light off."

Malcolm turned to see curled up in the gigantic empty tub was Hoshi and a male purple partner. Blankets and padding were laid underneath them. Malcolm vaguely recalled he'd forced them there because he hadn't wanted her alone with the brute in her own hotel room.

"Ah, sorry, Hoshi." Malcolm raced out of the bathroom as he turned off the light.

Unfortunately, his friends in bed were waking up as well.

"Malcolm?" Trip asked as he stretched and sat up in bed. Then he saw Malcolm in the briefs and the two other men in bed with him, and he laughed. "Damn, the one time I get laid on shoreleave, and I don't remember it."

"You think we…"

"Oh god my head—please shut up!" Travis howled, rolling over and covering his head with a pillow.

Jon startled awake at the shout. He instantly turned a shade of pink. "What…are you all doing in my room?"

"Looks like we all had a good time in here last night," Trip answered with a smirk, although rubbing his head at his hangover.

"Hoshi and that dancer, whatever his name is, are in the bathtub," Malcolm announced.

"Shit," Jon sighed, rolling onto his back and covering his face.

"I guess we had no problems learning to leave our ranks back on Enterprise." Trip looked around the room. "Can you find my boxers, Malcolm?"

Malcolm's head still pounded as he located the arrant clothing. He tossed boxers at Trip and Jon.

"I think I'll never make another bet with you again," Trip said. He pulled on his boxers and slipped out of bed. "Then again, you thoroughly earned your bourbon."

Malcolm flashed him a sly grin. "Never make a bet with an Englishman."

Hoshi glanced into the bedroom from the bathroom doorway, a bathrobe wrapped around her. She looked to see them all relatively naked around the bed. She sighed, catching their attentions. "About time you four stopped flirting with each other all the time and actually did something." And with that, she shut the bathroom door.

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