Title: Welcome Back

Author: TheGrrrl

Author's email: thegrrrl2002@yahoo.com

Author's URL: http://www.geocities.com/coffeeslash/thegrrrl

Date: 01/09/03

Pairing: Tucker/Reed

Archive: EntSTslash, Tim Reuben, WWOMB, Archers_Enterprise, all others please ask.

Rating: NC-17

Spoilers: Dawn

Summary: Postep fic. After the events in "Dawn," Malcolm has a few questions for Trip.

Author's Notes: A post ep bit of loving between the boys. Unbeta'd so all the mistakes are mine and mine alone.

I'm exhausted. I finally finish up with the aliens and trudge to my quarters only to see Malcolm approaching from the opposite direction. His shift must be over. I've been in sickbay pretty much the whole time since I got back, getting treated by the doc while I did a quick debrief with the captain. Who wasn't too happy with me for not wanting to be transported back to Enterprise without Zokhan, but he understood why. He was kind of pleased that this alien encounter has gone a bit better than some of our previous ones.

And now Malcolm has me in his sights. I'm tired and sore and more than anything I just want to dive into my nice soft bed with my lover cuddled up right next to me. But by the stern look on Malcolm's face I can tell that's not going to happen anytime soon.

"Malcolm," I acknowledge his approach, warily.

He says nothing. Just glares and follows me through my door. I'm not at all in the mood for this.

Once inside I turn to him and say, "Listen, I would have come by to see ya but I was caught up in sickbay and with Zokhan—"

"Why the hell did you want to wait there on that moon with an alien who beat the crap out of you?" he interrupts sharply, startling me.

"What? Malcolm, c'mon now—"

"Why did you stay up on those rocks in the direct line of the sun? Why didn't you find some shade? Or wait in the shuttle?" He folds his arms across his chest and cocks his head to one side, waiting for an answer.

I'm bristling, because I'm in no mood for a goddamn interrogation. "Do you have to be such a pain in the ass? Whatever happened to 'Hello Trip. Welcome back, Trip, I'm so glad you're all right, Trip.'" Not to mention: oh, you're hurt, let me kiss and make it better, Trip.

But my Malcolm is just getting warmed up. "And what is with you getting beat up? Why didn't you just shoot him when you had the damn gun in your hands?"

I lean against my desk and close my eyes briefly. I'm tired, my muscles ache and my brain hurts from trying to communicate with one obstinate alien. Now it seems I have to communicate with one obstinate Malcolm Reed.

"He could have killed you, you know," Malcolm continues. "You had the bloody weapon in your hands, and yet he got it away from you. What I have been trying to teach you all this time?" He's pacing now.

Sonofabitch. How did he find all this out so fast? Now just who else was in sickbay when I was talking to the captain? Someone ratted me out. "Malcolm…" I scratch my head, not sure how to continue. My shoulder aches from the movement. That lizardy fellow whumped me pretty good. "I guess I figured we needed each other to survive." How could I explain that I couldn't just kill Zokhan?

"Survive?" Malcolm is incredulous. "He nearly killed you!" "Especially after you untied him. Throwing the gun away." He stops in front of me and shakes his head. "Tell me, what were you thinking, *Mr.* Tucker?"

"I was thinking that at some point he'd have to realize that I wasn't the enemy," I explain quietly. "And he didn't 'nearly kill me'", *Mr.* Reed. We were a pretty even match." I a little insulted by the implication here. I landed as many punches on him as he landed on me. I think. It's all kind of a blur. But even if I was a little too trusting, untying him was the right thing to do. Bottom line was we had to work together to get off that damn moon.

"Right. Bloody good idea, fighting it out. Argh." Malcolm waves his hands in despair and renews his pacing.

He's making me dizzy, going back and forth like that. Must be the drugs the doc gave me. And sheer exhaustion. I'm too tired to try and explain my actions. I know he's too riled up to actually hear what I'm saying anyways. I just wish he could hug first and ask questions later. Is a warm welcome too much to ask for? I sigh as I unzip my uniform. Slowly. I'm glad I already took a quick shower in sickbay, because my arms are starting feel like lead.

"Listen here Malcolm," I say over his continuing litany of my wrongdoings, "you can hang around and holler at me all you like, but I'm tired. I'm going to bed. Wake me up if you ever get to feelin' like you want to welcome me back properly."

Malcolm falls silent and stops pacing. He frowns at me as I try to shrug the unzipped coverall off. I can't seem get my body working right. I finally get the damn thing off of my right shoulder, but then I'm stuck. I can barely lift my right arm, probably from all those punches I threw. I struggle some more, but the uniform is winning. "God damn," I mutter in disgust.

Malcolm comes over to assist me but I sidle away from him, stumbling. I don't need any help from Mr. What-the-hell-were-you-thinking-Trip. I can get undressed just fine without him.

"Come here," Malcolm says softly, following me. "Don't be so bloody stubborn, let me help." He corners me on the other side of the room and removes the coveralls from my shoulders. He lifts each arm out of the sleeves, then gently turns me around and steers me to the bed, his hands on my shoulders.

"I can do this myself, Malcolm," I protest. Weakly.

"Of course you can," Malcolm assures me. But he continues undressing me and I grudgingly let him. Pulling my shirt up over my head on my own seems like an insurmountable task. I sit down heavily on the bed, leaning back on my trembling arms to lift my hips so Malcolm can slide the coverall off. He kneels and takes off my shoes and socks, then finishes removing my clothes.

I'm sitting on the bed wearing only my briefs, watching Malcolm. His eyes are dark as they take in the bruises on my body, his mouth set in a tight line that I know all too well. But he doesn't say anything. I suppose he realizes he's said enough, that I'm in no mood to hear it. He sits down next to me and takes my face in his hands. I scowl at him.

He ignores my expression and kisses me. Finally. It's a tender, sweet kiss, Malcolm's own way of saying yes, I'm happy you're back, Trip, yes I was worried, yes I'm so glad you're all right.

As usual, I forgive him as soon as his lips touch mine. My mouth relaxes against his, kissing him right back. I open up and his tongue glides into my mouth, tasting me, and even though it's embarrassing I can't help let out a small moan. His kisses do that to me every time. Or, it's more like his kisses undo me every time. We deepen the kiss, leaning into each other, and he's holding me close, the material of his uniform harsh on my sensitive, sunburned skin. But it barely registers in my brain because he's licking deep into my mouth and I'm into his and it's just glorious. I feel his kiss down to my toes and in all the places in between.

Malcolm's the one who breaks it off, pulling away from me. "You should get some sleep," he says, pulling the covers back and motioning for me to lie down. "We'll talk more about this tomorrow."

"Need another kiss," I tell him, grasping the front of his uniform as I lie down.

Malcolm generously obliges, kneeling next to me, his lips fitting perfectly to mine. I reach for the zipper on his uniform, wanting, needing to touch his skin. But his hand is on my wrist.

"Don't, Trip. Let me take care of you." He smiles in a way that makes my heart beat double-time. "Let me welcome you back properly."

"'Bout time," I grouse.

He carefully kisses the bruise on my forehead, then moves to the scratches on my cheek. I relax into the pillow, enjoying the feel of his lips on my face, the brush of his eyelashes against my temple as he works his way across the line of my jaw. He smells good, a little sweaty and tangy and I lick my lips, knowing just how good his skin would taste right about now. But I'm too weary to even make the attempt.

Instead I groan and stretch as Malcolm kisses his way to my neck, nibbling at my throat, his hands dancing along my chest. Heat is beginning to build deep down in the center of my body. This is what I wanted, what I was waiting for. His touch makes me feel so alive. Alive and wanting and needing more.

"Please, Malcolm—"

"Hmmm?" He's sucking on my collarbone.

"Please, c'mon now—" I'm not usually this impatient, but I'm so damn hard already, my cock hot and twitching against my thigh. "Ahh—" He's got his mouth on my nipple, and his tongue is doing amazing things to it. I have one hand in his short, silky hair and I reach up with the other to clutch the bedframe.

Malcolm's head moves further down on my chest and he sighs, a gust of warm air caressing my skin. "Look at you. That lovely skin," he murmurs, almost to himself.

I know he's talking about those bruises. "Ok, so we'll work on that self-defense stuff," I say quickly, worried that he'll get distracted from the urgent business below. "Tomorrow," I add.

But he's kissing and licking at my bruised skin, thank god. I gasp in response, not because he's hurting me. He's too gentle for that to happen. I gasp even louder, arching my back as he slides his hand under the waistband of my briefs and strokes my eager, straining erection. His hand moves slow and steady, and I melt back down into the bed.

"God damn, Malcolm. Oh yeah. That's so damn good," I groan. "That's—that's it. More."

He gives my cock a squeeze, then pulls my briefs off. He shifts his position and I spread my legs wide so he can settle in between them. "Welcome home, Trip," I hear him say, just before he takes me into his mouth. Then I'm lost in a haze of pleasure as he sucks, licks, swirls and does whatever the hell else he does that makes me so crazy. I just get lost in his touch. He is good, so amazing when it comes to doing this. He makes me squirm, makes me forget all about my stiff, sore muscles. The only thing that matters right now is his touch, his wet, hot mouth on me. He's doing things that make me thrust my hips up off the bed, makes me dig my heels into the mattress. He slides me deep down into his throat over and over again and I'm completely in his power.

I raise my head and look down my body at him, kneeling between my legs, still fully dressed, my cock sliding in and out of his mouth. Something about him still being in uniform just does it for me, sends me over the edge in a big way. I throw my head back onto the pillow, close my eyes and let go, coming good and hard into Malcolm's mouth and it's just so damn wonderful. Coming home to Malcolm is a wonderful thing.

Afterwards I just lay sprawled out on the bed, panting. Feels like my brain has melted out through my ears. "Now that's a proper welcome," I mumble to him, as he strokes my forehead and kisses my nose.

With a whole lot of effort I open my eyes and see that he's looking at me, with warm tender smile on his face. Warm, tender, and just a bit smug, I'm thinking. But that's ok. He can gloat all he wants. I love him, and I love what he does to me.

"Now go to sleep, love," he says, drawing the covers up. He lays down next me, and holds me as I fall asleep.

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