Title: Kiss

Author: Kylie Lee

E-mail: kylielee1000@hotmail.com

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

Date: 02/21/03

Length: ~9000 words

Fandom: Star Trek: Enterprise

Pairing: Archer/Tucker

Type: Slash M/M

Rating: NC-17, really a lot

Status: Complete

Summary: Archer and Tucker have meaningless buddy sex, but Archer wants more.

Feedback: Yes

Series/sequel: No

Archive: Yes to EntSTSlash, Archer's Enterprise, Tim Ruben, WWoMB, Allslash, Complete Kingdom of Slash, Luminosity, ASCEML, and Situation Room. Anyone else, obtain permission.

Disclaimer: Original material copyright 2003 Kylie Lee. This is not an attempt to infringe on Paramount's copyright. No money was made.

Spoilers: Shockwave 2, Carbon Creek, Minefield, Night in Sickbay, Precious Cargo, Catwalk, Dawn

Warnings: None. Well, other than all the sex.

Beta: Sarah, The Grrrl, Kageygirl. Special thanks to The Grrrl, who wanted more Tucker and more play with their friendship. Done! Comments: We've got shifting first- and third-person POV (but it's all Archer). Don't be alarmed.

He needed to get laid.

Jonathan Archer stared straight ahead, but next to him was T'Pol, as usual wearing something skin-tight yet demure. Straight ahead was Hoshi Sato, using the resistance equipment in a skimpy top. To the left was Lieutenant Hess doing pull-ups, her toned abs bare. To the right were two women from Engineering, spotting each other as they worked with straight bars. Everywhere he looked, he saw sweat-sheened skin, nipples, and femininity unconscious of its power.

Archer was riding one of the exercise bicycles, and T'Pol was working out right next to him. She had asked him politely about his sojourn to the future with Daniels; he hadn't yet submitted his report. He'd been back for just a few days, but everything still felt alien. The ship felt too small. As they talked, Archer realized, not for the first time, that the way T'Pol's tits moved distracted him. Her workout clothes were looser than the form-fitting catsuit she usually wore while on duty and permitted more jiggle.

He found himself imagining an inappropriate scenario with T'Pol: she would become stubbornly convinced that logic dictated that she should fuck the captain because it would make him more effective, and Archer would naturally give in to the clarity and sense of her argument, for the good of the crew and overall efficiency. "A captain must be at his best," she would purr. "It's my duty to assist you." Archer shut off himself down before he could get himself any more worked up than he was. His imagination would likely prove to be his undoing someday. Archer sincerely hoped that T'Pol couldn't smell his arousal. Maybe she would assume it was general sweatiness—and if he was lucky, she was still dulling her sense of smell. He pulled the towel off his shoulders and wiped his face, dropping the towel across his lap to conceal his erection. He couldn't get up and leave, so he was forced to grow more and more uncomfortable as T'Pol became hotter, sweatier, and more interesting.

She finally left, and Archer put his hands deliberately on the handlebars and tripled his pace, desperately trying to make his blood rush elsewhere. Luckily, it was getting late, and the gym was clearing out. He concentrated on other things: he mentally rearranged the duty roster; he went over the components that comprised a fuel cell; he pondered tactical situations. It didn't seem to help.

When he finally looked up, the gym was deserted except for Tucker, who had been using the elliptical trainer that spun the user upside-down. He and Travis Mayweather were the only two who really liked the machine—both of them were good in zero-g. Archer decided to chance it. He swung off the stationary bicycle and paused, back to Tucker, to sip water and discreetly adjust himself.

"Captain, are you all right?" Tucker asked.

Archer finished his adjusting and turned. "I'm fine, Trip. I'm heading back to my quarters. Good night."

"I don't think you're fine."

"I'm fine."

"You're not fine. If that bike were on land, you'd've run out of road. Come on. Tell me what it is."

"It's nothing," Archer said. He turned and started for the door, hoping to forestall any questions. Tucker got there first and faced him down, hands on hips. "Trip, it's late. I want to go to bed."

"I'll bet you do," Tucker said. "Were you here when T'Pol was?"

"I guess so," Archer hedged. He'd been working out at high intensity for more than two hours. He was exhausted. "Trip, come on. Let me out."

"In a second." Before Archer could move, Tucker pulled the towel out of Archer's hands. "Thinking about T'Pol, huh?" he asked, eyeing Archer's erection.

Archer grabbed the towel back and held it strategically in front of him, irritated. "Cut it out, Trip. I'm not in the mood for playing games," he snapped. "It's none of your business." He reached for the door to key it open, but Tucker pushed his hand away and locked the door.

"I know how it is, if that's any help," Tucker said. "We're all so close all the time. I haven't gotten laid in months. Sometimes I think I'll just—just explode." Tucker paused. To Archer, he seemed nervous and ill at ease. "I know how you feel. I feel the same way."

"They're all unavailable," Archer pointed out. "Because I'm the captain. They're not unavailable to you." He knew that his chief engineer was not the kind of guy who was a player. Tucker tended to date one woman for the long term, and he'd had only a few serious girlfriends. But he was attractive to women. Tucker would have no problem finding a girlfriend, if he wanted one.

"They seem pretty unavailable," Tucker said. "So I was thinking."


Tucker wouldn't meet Archer's eyes. "I was thinking about…about sex." Tucker cleared his throat nervously. "Sex with no strings. Sex with…with no women."

Archer shut his mouth. He didn't know what to say.

"I can't go around with a hard-on all day, jacking off every night," Tucker said quickly, as if he were trying to rationalize what he had just said. "Everyone is so near, all the time. And I can't do anything about it. And it seems like you're in the same boat." Tucker held Archer's eyes, then deliberately moved Archer's hands, still holding the towel, aside. He cupped Archer's dick through his shorts and briefs, then rubbed.

The contact made Archer gasp. "Trip—" he began, stepping back until he hit the wall.

"Shhh." Tucker's voice was low and reassuring. "It'll just take a second." Before Archer could react, he thrust his hand down Archer's shorts and briefs, wrapped it around Archer's cock, and rubbed gently, then harder. "Close your eyes. Pretend it's—pretend it's T'Pol."

"Oh, god," Archer said, and he knew he wasn't going to do the smart thing: open the door and leave. He was going to let Tucker make him come. He felt a tug as Tucker pulled his workout shorts down, and then Tucker knelt. "Oh, god," he said again, but this time it was groan as Tucker's mouth closed around his erect cock. "Oh, Jesus."

It felt incredibly good. He sagged back against the wall, right next to the door, and shut his eyes. He didn't think about T'Pol. He didn't think about Tucker. He just enjoyed the sensation of the hot mouth on his dick. He hadn't been with a woman for more than a year. "I can't—it's too much—" he gasped as Tucker increased the suction.

Tucker slowed, then lifted his mouth off. Archer's cock felt cold, bare, and throbbing. "It's okay, Cap'n," Tucker said. His hand brushed Archer's balls, and Archer gasped. Tucker sucked up and down again. "It's okay," he repeated, and he increased the suction, using his hands in tandem.

Archer felt the pleasure arrow through his groin and up into his chest. The pleasure was pointed and exquisite. He found he was gasping for air. Tucker's tongue stroked a particularly sensitive spot just below the cap of his dick, and he thrust his hips forward. "There," he gasped. "There, Trip."

Tucker's mouth focused on the head of his cock, teeth brushing, tongue working. Archer's ass tightened. He opened his eyes and saw Tucker's brown-blond head. He inhaled hard as Tucker brought him to the very edge. Tucker didn't have much technique, but then again, he didn't need any. Archer was primed and ready. Then Tucker reached down with one hand and brought his own cock out of his shorts. Archer watched as Tucker, breathing hard, began masturbating as he sucked Archer. His other hand held Archer's cock steady, the heel of his hand pressing against Archer's balls.

The sight of Tucker stroking his own cock was too much. Hips thrusting, he let go, and his orgasm washed over him. Tucker made a noise when he tasted Archer, and as he sucked Archer's seed down, his own cock jetted white come.

"Oh, god," Archer said after his cock had stopped throbbing. Strangely, he wasn't embarrassed. His terror had dissolved in the pleasure. "That felt so good."

Tucker released Archer's cock and rested his forehead briefly against Archer's stomach, panting. "Shit," he said. He wiped his mouth. "I needed that. I needed to come so bad." He wiped his come-covered hand on his briefs, then pulled up his shorts. "I didn't know I'd get off on you," he admitted. "But the way you smelled, the way you tasted—" He sat back against the wall and put his arms on his knees.

Archer slid down and sat next to Tucker. "It's okay," he said breathlessly. He wasn't sure who he was reassuring. He adjusted his semierect cock and his shorts, then wiped his face with his towel. He offered it wordlessly to Tucker, who used it to clean come off his face, hand, and cock. They sat next to each other, not making eye contact, until their panting slowed.

"Did it help?" Tucker asked after a while, handing him the towel back.

"I'll let you know." Archer folded the towel so the still-sticky come was on the inside. "What about you?"

"Yeah." Tucker laughed humorlessly. "Oh, yeah. It helped a lot. Thanks."

"You're welcome."

The door beeped, and Tucker and Archer scrambled to their feet. Someone was trying to get in. Tucker glanced at Archer to ensure he was presentable, then unlocked the door. It was Elizabeth Cutler, wearing baggy sweats and carrying a portable music player.

"Oh, hi, Commander, Captain," she said brightly.

"Sorry, Ensign, I think the door got locked accidentally when someone left," Tucker said.

"No problem," Cutler said. "Oh, you're on your way out?"

"Yes. It's getting late."

"Well, I guess I get the place to myself. Good night."

"Good night," Archer said. He and Tucker exited in silence, then parted in the hallway with a "see you later."

Archer got ready for bed automatically. He was thinking about what had happened—it had been so matter-of-fact. Primal, even. They just craved release. As he shut his eyes and drifted off to sleep, he felt the remnants of pleasure in his belly, and he remembered Tucker's hot mouth.


"So do you believe any of T'Pol's story?" Trip sets his empty beer glass down. We're in my quarters, half-watching a football game playing quietly in the background and half-talking. Trip is sitting at the small table where I sometimes eat, and I'm sitting on the bed, legs extended, playing with Porthos. Both of us are wearing civvies, relaxing together during an evening off. The other day at dinner, T'Pol spun a wild story about her ancestors.

I shrug. "I don't know what to believe. Aren't Vulcans supposed to never lie? They always tell the truth?"

"So they say." Trip seems dubious.

"Maybe it's just a story, and not the truth."

"Vulcans on Earth in the 1950s? Vulcans as the inventor of Velcro?" Trip gets up and joins me on the bed. "C'mere," he says to Porthos, and he engages Porthos in a tug game. "That whole Velcro thing rocked my world," he says. He's only partly kidding.

I smile.

"Quit that." Trip looks sternly at Porthos, who had growled at him.

Porthos lets go of the thick rope they were tugging and crouches with his butt in the air. "That's play posture," I inform my friend. "Porthos won't bite."

"I know, but I don't like it when he growls at me." Trip hides the rope behind his back and growls back at Porthos, who looks interested and sets his rear end down. "Okay, you're a good dog. Let's try again." He reveals the rope and they begin tugging again. "Don't you think Porthos needs a little friend?" he asks, tugging up instead of sideways. Porthos hangs on gamely.

"I think he has one. You."

"I'm Porthos' little friend?" Trip laughs. "I had in mind another dog."

"One's more than enough, thanks." I scoot back on the bed to allow Trip more room. "Watch it—" I warn. I see the telltale look in Porthos' eye.

Porthos abruptly lets go of the tug rope, and Trip tumbles back, knocking into me. I feel an electric shock run through my body, and the general awareness of his body turns into hyperawareness.

"Sorry, Cap'n—" Trip begins. He tosses the rope onto the floor, and Porthos hops down to go after it.

Trip makes to struggle up, but I put my arms around him. I'm remembering that night in the gym. We haven't discussed it. Everything has been the same since then, except now, at night, it's worse. It's much worse. I'd been celibate for more than a year, and I'd gotten used to it. Our little encounter reminded me that I didn't like being celibate. Trip turns his head and looks at me. The silence stretches, and Trip stops struggling. Trip is in my arms, and he smells incredibly good.

It's just like before: I know what the smart thing to do is, and I don't do it. Instead, I slide my hands down Trip's chest. I feel the warmth of his body through his long-sleeved T-shirt. My hands continue down to the front of Trip's jeans, and they range over Trip's bulge, which grows into an erection as I stroke. When Trip is fully hard, he puts his hands over mine and matches my strokes. Just thinking about the release of coming does it. My cock gets hot and hard. I push it into Trip's back as we rub Trip together. Trip's breathing has gotten irregular. So has mine. After a few minutes, Trip rolls around onto his knees. He faces me and deliberately undoes my jeans. His eyes meet mine, and there's a question there.

I don't think. I go with it. I rise to my knees, giving him a silent "yes," and Trip slides down my briefs and jeans, following with his warm hands. Now I take off my T-shirt and tug at Trip's. "Take it off," I say. "I want to feel your skin."

Trip doesn't say a word. He takes it off. The expression on his face is hard to read—sexual excitement? desire? I've never seen those expressions on his face before, but his pupils are wide and he's breathing shallowly into his chest.

"Now come here," I say.

Trip scoots closer, and we kneel facing each other. I rub my erection, watching Trip's reaction. His breath quickens. Yes, he's excited. I put Trip's hand on my cock and Trip clasps it and begins stroking. I moan at the sensation. It's different when someone else touches you. You don't know what's going to happen next, how it will feel. I bring an arm around Trip and pull him against me, so we're were chest to chest. I need sensation.

"There, like that," I say as Trip increases the pressure. "Slower."

Trip obliges. I stroke my hands down Trip's body. I like the way he feels, lean and muscular but somehow soft next to me. Trip rubs the sensitive tip of my cock against his stomach. I can feel my precome as warm stickiness. Trip slides his hand around so he's rubbing one side of my cock, and the other side is rubbing against his body.

I shudder. The blow job Trip gave me in the gym a few weeks ago had been wonderful, but body touching against body—that had been what I had been craving. I hadn't known it until now. I rub my chest and nipples against Trip's, growing more desperate. "Please," I whisper, and Trip increases the pace. "Oh, god," I say as warmth radiates out. "Don't stop. I'm so close."

I put my hands on Trip's butt and roll him gently into my groin. Our chests push harder. I put my face in the crook of Trip's shoulder as my fingers massage. My cock is a bar of heat. I open my mouth and gently bite, then lick, and the taste does it. I fall into orgasm, face buried in Trip's neck, fingers clenching Trip's ass, body rocking as Trip's hand strokes hard.

I stay in that position, breathing hard, until Trip gently pushes me back and I sit on my heels. I feel sated and spent. But I haven't been touched enough. Not by a long shot. I put one hand on Trip's neck, and we look at each other, eye to eye. After a hesitation, I lean in, but Trip shakes his head and pulls back.

"No kissing," Trip says definitely.

I hesitate, then nod. I understand. What we're doing—well, we're straight. We're two straight men giving each other hand jobs and blow jobs because if we don't, we'll explode. What happened before in the gym had no bearing on our daily relationship—or even, for the most part, on our down time together. This is the second time he's made me come. We both now know that the encounter in the gym was not a one-time thing. We're going to do it again. And again—because it feels too good not to, because we need it too much. Trip slides down so he's lying on the bed. He looks at me steadily. He doesn't have to say a word. I know what he wants. Still panting, I kneel by him. I pull his pants off and survey his erect cock. I bend over and tentatively lick it, and it gets harder and hotter. I suck in the length, glide my mouth up and down, and then release it. It's the first time I've touched another man's penis. I remember how Trip had come while sucking me and jacking off, and now I get it. I could lose myself in the scent and taste, in Trip's reactions.

"Don't stop, Cap'n," Trip whispers, and I put my mouth back on Trip.

I experiment: I bring his legs up. I use my hands and mouth. I lick the sensitive area between balls and asshole, which makes Trip thrash. He cues me with moans and a hand on my head. He likes hard, hard pressure. I suck, lick, rub, and nip, enjoying the sounds of Trip's enjoyment, enjoying the feeling of Trip growing more and more out of control.

I don't pull back when Trip warns me: "I'm coming," he gasps, and I soften my mouth. Trip fills my mouth with thick, slightly acrid-tasting sperm. I put a hand on his stomach as he comes, and Trip clasps it. He groans, saying "Cap'n" as he comes, voice raw with pleasure. I keep the fluid in my mouth until he's done, and then I swallow quickly. I keep my mouth on Trip until he softens. Then I crawl over to his side and press myself against him. I urge him onto his side and pull his back against my chest. I cuddle him close, stroking his chest and stomach.

I close my eyes. It doesn't matter that Trip is my best friend, and a man. Only touch matters, the brush of skin against skin. I soak in Trip's warmth like a balm. I'd been starving and I hadn't realized it—starved for touch, for affection. It's simple human need. Trip is just handy.

Well, it's a long mission. I'll take it where I can get it.


"Mmm," Archer said. "That feels good."

"You need to take a break from these heroics," Tucker told him. He was straddling Archer's hips as he massaged oil into Archer's back. "I swear, you're one big bruise."

"I crashed kind of hard when I landed in the shuttle bay. Ow. Oh, no, don't stop. That was a good ow."

Tucker resumed. "Well, how's Malcolm?"

"Fine, but Doctor Phlox is kind of worried about his leg. Only the suit saved his life when he got impaled by that mine. He's going to need physical therapy, and he's off duty for now." Archer jerked up when Tucker hit a particularly sensitive spot. "Okay, that was a bad ow."

"Sorry." Tucker slid off Archer, and Archer flipped over. Now that he'd showered and been massaged within an inch of his life, Archer realized he was absolutely exhausted. "Do you want me to go?"

Archer curled his hand around Tucker's hard dick. "No, I don't want you to go, but maybe you should. I'm too tired. I just want to go to sleep." He blinked, trying to focus his eyes, and was suddenly struck with uncertainty. What were they getting out of this? Why were they fucking each other? Before he thought, he blurted out the question: "Trip, should we stop doing this?"

"Oh, lord, no," Tucker said.

"Well, why are we doing this?"

"Why do you think we're doing this?"

"Sexual frustration?"

"Yeah, that sounds about right to me."

"Is it—is it—" Archer was too tired to think straight, so he gave it straight, throwing tact out the window. "Are you doing this because I want it, because I'm the captain? Because you're my friend?"

Tucker looked stricken. "No, Cap'n, no," he said, honestly upset. "I mean, yes, but no." He pushed himself back onto his heels. "I'm doing it because I trust you. Because I can let go and it's okay. I know you won't—I don't know, reject me." He stroked his own cock. "I'm doing it because I like it and because I want to. And because you turn me on. And it's all okay because you're my friend first." Tucker took Archer's hand and put it on Tucker's cock. "I think this'll only take a minute, if you want to help me out. Unless you want me to go."

Archer shook his head. "No, don't go," he said. Tucker's speech had reassured him. As long as it wasn't just him, it was all right. He didn't want to take advantage of Tucker's friendship, but it seemed like they were taking advantage of each other. He could live with that. Certainly there was no denying Tucker's response to his body. He'd felt Tucker get hotter and hotter as he rubbed Archer's back. Tucker had slid his cock up and down Archer's crack as he massaged.

"Okay, I'll stay," Tucker said. "Here."

He squirted some of the massage oil he had been using into Archer's palm. He straddled Archer again, this time sitting on his hips, and Archer began stroking, Tucker's hand on top of his, guiding him. Tucker's eyes darkened as he grew more aroused. Archer slicked up both hands by circling them around Tucker's cock. Tucker made encouraging noises, asking Archer to push hard.

"You like it hard," Archer said, practically pulling on Tucker's cock.

"I just like sensation," Tucker said.

"Like this?" Archer teased, sliding one hand around Tucker's ass. His fingers found the pucker of flesh, and he toyed with it, finding the opening. He wanted to provide Tucker with too much sensation—he wanted to overload Tucker's senses.

"Cap'n, don't," Tucker said, contracting so that Archer's finger was sucked just inside. Tucker's breath caught, and his hand involuntarily tightened on his cock. "Not inside me."

"Relax, Trip," Archer said. "It's just my finger. Sensation, remember?" Tucker looked at him for a long second, then relaxed, and Archer slid his middle finger in, slowly and gently. Tucker moaned and picked up the pace. "You like it." It wasn't a question.

"Yes, I do," Tucker gasped. "Please."

Archer pushed his finger in as far as it would go. Tucker squeezed his cock hard and shook it, and a second later, he erupted, come splattering on his chest and Archer's.

"Jesus, Cap'n," Tucker said when he could talk. "Don't surprise me like that."

"Are you okay with what I did?" Archer asked. "You said you weren't comfortable, but you got harder." "I was just surprised is all," Tucker said. "It felt really nice."

"Good." Archer shut his eyes and relaxed onto the pillows. He wasn't sure what had possessed him to do that to Tucker, other than that it seemed one step up from the blow jobs and hand jobs they'd stuck to so far. Usually, when they fucked, Archer concentrated on his own pleasure, but today, knowing he was too tired to come, he had felt like blowing Tucker's mind. And he had. He wondered what else he could do to make Tucker's eyes darken like that, to make him shoot that hard. He could think of a few things, one of them involving massage oil.

A few minutes later, Tucker said hesitantly, "Do you want me to—"

Archer shook his head. He was hard from the sight of what he'd just witnessed, but the effort coming would cost wasn't worth it. "I don't think I can stay awake," he confessed. He felt completely relaxed.

The mattress shifted as Tucker lay next to him. Tucker wiped them both off before pulling the sheet over them. As Archer fell asleep, he was aware of Tucker's hand over his. Tucker was simply lying next to him, clasping his hand.

Tucker was gone when he woke up the next morning.


I massage Trip's back with long, slow strokes. My hands push, and I can feel the texture of Trip's skin through the slickness of the oil. It's lightly scented, a little like sesame—not flowery and strong. It's the same oil Trip used when he gave me a back rub the night after Malcolm was pinned to the ship's hull by the mine. I had thought of some other things to do with that oil, and Trip didn't take much convincing.

"Are you relaxing?" I ask.

"Mmm. Yes." Trip's voice is muffled because his face is pushed into the pillows.

I slide my hands lower, then around. "You're too relaxed," I chide. "You're supposed to get hard."

"Well, then, stop massaging me."

"Nah. It's too much fun." I glide my hands around some more. "You sure you want to do this?"

"I'm sure."

"Okay. Just checking." I remembered his reaction the first time I'd pushed my finger inside him: initial shock before he let himself go. There was something about penetration that freaked him out. Maybe it's because straight guys didn't do penetration.

I resume the stroking, but now I focus on Trip's ass. I stroke up and down his butt crack, circling his asshole, moving in closer and closer until I brush it with my fingers. Trip shivers. "Oh, yeah," he says.

I take it slow and easy. I gently insert a finger and rub it around until Trip relaxes and open up. There's a definite moment when he does that, when he submits to me, and my cock stirs. I switch to lube next. It's thicker and heavier, and it has no scent. "Tell me how it feels," I suggest, working my finger in and out.

"Sweet," Trip says. "There's a spot inside—"

I find it. "Here?" I smile when he moans.

"Keep going," Trip says. He's getting harder. He pushes himself back against my hand, urging me deeper. One finger turns into two, and two turns into three. Watching Trip get hotter and hotter as I stroke him makes me hot too. I love his uninhibited reactions to me during sex.

"Come on up," I say, and I pull Trip up onto all fours. I reach around and finger his cock. Its heat excites me.

"I'm ready," he says. "It's not enough. Please."

I give Trip a last few deep rubs before I pull out my fingers. I slide my dick along his crack, and I can hear and feel Trip stroke himself. Then I center myself and push in. I gasp as I slide into him. I was going to take it slow, but he's so relaxed and lubed that I'm halfway in before I can stop. His asshole clenches tight. I'm hard, so it feels good.

"Relax," I order, and he does. "Tell me if I hurt you."

"It's okay," he gasps. "It doesn't hurt. It's okay."

He unclenches, and I slide the rest of the way in. I pause for a second, buried, my balls brushing against his ass, and I start sliding in and out, my cock hard and sleek. The lube, which we probably used too much of, makes a sucking sound, and it lets me slide in and out with maybe too little friction. But the silky warmth inside him, the feeling of his asshole as it travels up and down my length—it's incredible. The thought of what Trip's face looks like as I pound him makes me even hotter, and I start panting. I pull him onto me as I plunge forward, fucking him hard, and he loves it. I can tell by the noises he makes, by the way he clenches and wiggles his ass. Every now and then, he strokes his own cock, then releases it.

I want him to come first because I want to feel him spasming when I have my cock embedded in him, but it feels so goddamn good that I know I probably can't wait for him. I'm just setting a rhythm when he begins pumping his own cock in earnest—not playing, but serious about coming.

"Yeah," he gasps. "Like that. Don't stop, Cap'n." A moment later, he says, "Oh, fuck," and I feel him ripple around me as he orgasms. I pound a few more times, piling up the sensation, before I cream deep inside him, my cock jerking again and again.

I pull out and we collapse on the bed. Trip's chest and stomach are sticky from the come he shot. I try to pull him close, face to face, but, gasping, he resists. Instead, he turns so that his back is to me. I'm disappointed, but I put my arm around him and pull him against me. It's enough, but I want to see his face after I made him come so hard. I'm overwhelmed with tenderness for him. It's the first time we've done serious penetration. It's the first time we've gone further than using our hands and mouths. Somehow, that means something to me. I want to cover his body with mine, cover his mouth with mine, possess him, feel him cry out.

Connection. I need connection. When Porthos was sick and I spent the night in Sickbay with Doctor Phlox, I had a dream. I dreamed Porthos died and that everybody came to his funeral, looking weirdly unlike themselves out of uniform. In my dream, T'Pol and I stood there in the rain, and T'Pol's hand brushed mine. She almost—almost—clasped my hand with hers. In my dream, the sexual tension between us was electric.

I dreamed my connection to home had died. I dreamed T'Pol wanted a connection with me—the one person on the ship who is guaranteed to find that kind of connection unacceptable. I want connection, but in my dream, it was taken from me, or it's with someone who is literally incapable of feeling it, so it's not real connection but a tease. Dreams are perverse. Freud would like this one. But it doesn't take someone with a PhD in psychology to interpret it: I want to feel connection, but I can't have it—because I'm the captain and unavailable, maybe, or because instead of having a lover, I have a friend who I fuck. We have one rule: no kissing. Everything else is negotiable. It's because the kiss is a connection.

That's when I realize. The sex we share has stopped being just fun. It's still a release, and it's still something I can't do without. But it's not about me any more. It's about him. Every caress as I prepared him to accept my cock, every stroke as I fucked his ass—it was my way of worshipping his body. My own pleasure, my own feelings were subsumed to his, although I certainly got something out of it. Everything was about making Trip so hot that he would come. It was my way of telling him how I felt. And how I felt about him got all mixed up with how he felt against my body, until that combination made me come.

I want to kiss him, to devour him, to pull him into my mouth, to demand that he feel what I feel. I dreamed of connections withheld because the one person I want to connect with is withholding himself. It's not the pleasure of orgasm. It's the pleasure of Trip himself. It started out with our friendship—with our camping trips, pub crawls, training sessions for Starfleet. It started out as liking each other, the way friends do. But now I've experienced a new dimension of Trip, one beyond friendship and shared good times. As a friend, I've seen Trip angry, happy, sad, drunk, joyful, kind, excited, and perverse. And now I've seen Trip horny and tender, so hot he can't hold back. They're just further dimensions of the same man, my best friend. These new things I've seen fit in seamlessly with what I know of him.

I feel Trip in my arms, and even though I'm warm with him pressed against me, I'm cold inside. This isn't the first time he's turned away from me after he comes. I feel profoundly moved, and he withdraws. But he keeps coming back for more, and he stays to cuddle instead of just leaving.

"Give me a little while," Trip says, inching his butt closer to me. "Then it's your turn."


Tucker hadn't gone home after they'd fucked. They'd watched a game that had gone into double overtime, and it had been late when they'd finished having sex. Archer set the alarm for 6:30 in the morning so Tucker would have time to go back to his quarters and get ready for work.

Now, Tucker was taking up most of the bed, and Archer was curled up, back lined up with the end of the mattress, watching Tucker sleep. He usually turned the heat up when they took their clothes off, so he wasn't cold. Tucker had kicked off the red sheet and was lying on his back, mouth open, hair mussed, deeply asleep.

Archer reached out and put a hand on Tucker's stomach. He could feel Tucker's skin, the prickle of Tucker's body hair, the warmth Tucker threw off. Usually, the feel of Tucker under his hands made him hard. That wasn't the case now. Instead, he felt an indescribable tenderness.

Moving carefully so he wouldn't wake Tucker, Archer knelt by Tucker's side and watched him. Tucker's chest raised and lowered rhythmically as he breathed. His posture was completely open and unselfconscious—trusting. Archer's stomach knotted at the sight.

He lowered his face so it was centimeters from Tucker's stomach. He inhaled Tucker's scent. It was more than sweat and come. It was the smell of Tucker himself. He brushed his lips against Tucker's stomach, just below Tucker's belly button. He breathed in deeply and opened his mouth.

"Trip," he said, voice deliberately soft so he wouldn't wake him. "Trip. Trip Tucker."

He kissed Tucker's warm belly, Tucker's skin soft but hairy under his lips, and he dreamed of Tucker's mouth opening up under his, Tucker's tongue nudging against his.


I can't contain it. I can't contain the pleasure. I'm spiraling out of control. He's inside me, pounding me, and he's long and hard and strong, and I can't stop coming. The feel of his cock reaching to my core, the feel of his hands tugging my nipples—I can't stop coming, my cock pulsing hard over and over again in my hand. Only of course I do stop coming, and he's solid and warm and wonderful behind me, holding me in his arms, as I gasp. I have never experienced pleasure as I have with Trip. After the first initial fumblings, we realized what we could do together, and we proceeded to do them. I've never been so uninhibited. With Trip, I've never been embarrassed or afraid to say exactly what I'm thinking or what I need—an outgrowth of habits begun early in our friendship—and maybe that's why I've never come so hard. Because he gives it to me. He gives me whatever I ask for. But he can't give me what I really want. Since I realized what I felt for him, sex has been hotter for me, orgasms more intense.

Trip slides out of me, and we collapse onto our sides. I pull him close so we're facing each other. Usually, when I do that, Trip turns onto his other side, putting his back to me. He doesn't do that this time. We intertwine our legs and sweat and pant for a while. I put a hand on his collarbone and stroke it, and after a minute or two of that, he looks into my eyes.

We stay that way for a long time.


"I'm not mad," Archer said calmly.

He was doing his best to play it cool, but Tucker had sensed that he was deeply upset. And it was a lie, of course. Archer was seething inside. He felt ill.

"You know I like women," Tucker insisted.

"I like women too," Archer said.

"You know what I mean."

"In fact, Trip, I don't know what you mean."

Tucker waved his hand. They were alone in Archer's quarters. They hadn't watched the game they were supposed to watch. They hadn't fucked, either. Tucker had been back from his little adventure with the formerly frozen princess for three days, and he and Archer had barely spoken. "You and me," Tucker said. "Whatever it is we do."

Archer shook his head. "You've made it very clear that there is no you and me," he said. "Remember? No kissing. Because we're not lovers. You can do whatever you want with whoever you want."

"I will."

"You did."

"That's right."

Archer sought to find their old footing. They were friends, right? He'd never had trouble asking Tucker about his conquests before. "So—do you want to tell me about it?"

"Well, sure." Tucker swirled his beer. "She was a real pain in the ass, actually, but we were in close quarters. We argued a lot, and it just kind of turned into—into sex. She kissed me, and I was surprised, and then I kissed her back." He shrugged. "That's about it."

"Do you like her?"

"I guess so. She's kind of high-and-mighty, but she's smart, and she's not too good to get her hands dirty. I liked that about her." Tucker sipped. He wouldn't meet Archer's eyes.

"Are you going to stay in touch with her?"

Tucker shook his head. "I don't think so," he admitted. "I'm not sure we were thinking long-term. I'm not sure we were thinking at all. It wasn't love, if that's what you're implying."

"It's none of my business," Archer said. "I'm not implying that. I'm not implying anything."

There was an awkward silence.

"Shit, Jon," Tucker said, and he got up and left.

Archer stared at the closed door, astonished. What had just happened?


The catwalk is crowded, and although people are trying to be polite, there's some tension in the air because of the close quarters and lack of privacy. I do a lot of walking, trying to reassure everybody, because it's just the beginning of the trip and it's only going to get worse. Travis Mayweather is staying in the new cockpit and steering the ship, so I don't have much to do. It's all up to him. I let him do his job.

It's been just about a week since Trip admitted he slept with Kaitaama, since he walked out of my quarters. He's completely natural when he talks to me, but he hasn't come to me at night. At the moment, he's hanging around Malcolm Reed and Hoshi Sato. He's also curious about the aliens who are in the catwalk with us, but they aren't very friendly.

I let the crew members stop me, ask me questions. I say the same things over and over, but nobody seems to mind. I understand that right now, I'm a symbol of safety and authority. A few crew members have set up a Scrabble board and invite me to play, but I decline. As I stand over to one side, I survey my entire crew, packed into this small space, and I realize how important their safety is to me. It suddenly seems ridiculous: what are we doing out here in space? The Vulcans were right. We don't know what we're doing out here. I can't keep them safe through sheer force of will.

I look around, and my eyes fall on Trip Tucker. I smile to myself, a little bitterly. Forget the rest of the crew. It's Trip I want to protect, even though I know I can't. He has no idea how breathtaking he is, how his body looks in his uniform, how strong and competent he is. He's laughing at something Malcolm is saying, and he seems to sense me looking at him, because his eyes flicker up and meet mine. He smiles, and then he turns and says something to Hoshi. He looks up at me again a minute later, and he deliberately winks and shifts his gaze. I turn and look at what he's looking at: the area with the makeshift lavatories.

We haven't had sex since he said, "Shit, Jon," and left my quarters. I know what he has in mind, and I can't wait. It's Trip's way of extending an olive branch. I turn and make my way over. The lavatories, four of them jury-rigged at the last minute by one of Trip's engineers, are in as private an area as we could manage, given the lack of space. I enter one. It's just the right size for a single person. They're a lot like the portable toilets used on Earth at construction sites and at outdoor music stadiums, and in fact, that's what they're modeled after, complete with a little sink for washing up.

Trip follows me in a few minutes later. It's a long few minutes as I wait. "We gotta make this fast, Cap'n," he whispers.

"I don't think that'll be a problem," I say, and I unzip his uniform. He's already hard. I pull his uniform off his shoulders, down to his knees, and have him sit down on the closed lid of the chemical toilet. His cock rises up between his legs. His balls are tight and smooth.

I kneel between his legs and take him in my mouth. I put my hands on his waist. As I suck him, I think about what I'd like to say, about how I'd like to tell him what I feel, but I can't. It would change things between us, and then I'd have nothing. I wouldn't have this: Trip's cock in my mouth. I wouldn't have Trip's warm body in my bed. I know in the back of my mind that this intimacy is its own kind of illusion, but when he's with me, panting and hard, like he is now, it's real enough.

Trip chokes back a cry. He comes long and hard, and I swallow it down. I stand up when he releases my head. I unzip, then lower my uniform and briefs around my knees. I'm hot and ready. "Kiss me, Trip," I say, and, still sitting on the lid of the toilet, he leans forward and puts his mouth on my cock. He squeezes my balls, and I slide a hand up and pinch one of my own nipples. It doesn't take long, and the orgasm seems to go on a long time, probably because I haven't come in a week. And probably because I thought that after he left my quarters that day, he'd never come back and we'd never do this again.

"God, I needed that," I say when my heart stops thudding. I pull up my briefs, then pull my uniform over my shoulders and zip it up with unsteady hands. That's what I say. But I mean something different. I mean, "God, I need you."

"Are you mad at me?" Tucker asks softly. "Because of what I did?"

I help him up, and together, we pull his pants up. Before he can zip up, I stroke his bare stomach and sides. "No," I say. I don't have any right to be mad. I'm not mad anymore. I'm resigned. I want him, but I don't have him—can't have him. I understand that.

I pull him close, because there's no room, and we look into each other's eyes. His mouth is near, slightly open, and he's not pulling back. It's almost like he's inviting me to break our rule; it's almost like he's challenging me to kiss him. One of my hands wanders down, sliding under his briefs, and cups his bare ass. Trip's breathing quickens, and I test him: I lean in, my lips just centimeters from his, and he doesn't move. But I know if I bridge that distance, he'll pull back, and I can't bear that right now.

I shift my body a little closer, and Trip says, "Cap'n," voice hoarse. The sexual tension is still there, so thick you could cut it with a knife. It's clear that we're not done with each other.

I can't kiss his mouth, so I kiss his neck instead. I lick and nibble—his neck, his jaw, his earlobe. Trip's fingers wind in my hair, and he throws his head back. He makes soft, erotic noises as I taste him. Then it's my turn as he licks and nibbles. He unzips me again when my renewed interest becomes clear, and we rub our cocks together. When I come again, Trip's mouth is on my collarbone, tongue swirling, teeth biting.


Archer swung around when the door to the Bridge whooshed open. "Trip," he said genially.

Tucker looked terrible. He had had the shit beat out of him, and he had nearly died. But he'd done it. He'd signaled *Enterprise*, and he was safe. Doctor Phlox had treated him for radiation poisoning, sunburn, and dehydration. "Hey, Cap'n," he said.

"How's your friend?" Archer asked. Tucker had just been to visit the lizardlike alien in Sickbay. "Come on. Come into my ready room."

Tucker followed Archer in. "He's good," he said. "I like it better when I talk and people understand what I say."

"Well, I wish you'd stop getting stranded with aliens like that. Maybe let—oh, I don't know, Travis, maybe? Let him have some of that action. Stop hogging it all for yourself."

"Yeah, I'll talk to Travis about that," Tucker said. "I'm sure he'd just love getting beaten up. Although come to think of it, he probably would never have crashed the damn shuttle in the first place."

"Well, I'm just glad you're all right," Archer said.

"I haven't written up a report yet, but I'll have one for you by tomorrow."

Archer shrugged. "No hurry," he said. "Do you need to get back to Engineering? I don't want to keep you if you're in a hurry."

"I guess I should," Tucker said, but he made no move to leave.

Archer leaned against the wall and stared out the window. Tucker's safety had been his primary concern for the gut-wrenching time Tucker had been missing. Now his relief was so great that his legs felt like water. His relief was so great that he couldn't look at Tucker, because his face would betray him.

"Is there something else, Commander?" he asked, deliberately using Tucker's title.

"I guess there is," Tucker said. "I guess—I guess I want to know how you feel about me."

Archer nodded, still looking out the window. He'd blown it. He'd blown it big-time. He'd rushed to Sickbay when Tucker and the alien were admitted. The way he'd behaved—well, it would take a fool, or a Denobulan, to not realize how he felt about his chief engineer. It didn't matter anymore, he decided. He couldn't do it anymore. He couldn't pretend what he did with Tucker was only for pleasure, or release.

"How I feel about you isn't important, Trip," he said gently as he surveyed the stars. "It's how you feel. I understand that you—that you don't feel the same way." He turned to face Tucker. "Look, we were friends first. I really value that. Your friendship has always been important to me. But I guess I can't just sleep with somebody and have it mean nothing. I started out wanting to be touched, and I ended up in love with my best friend."

There was a long silence. Tucker wouldn't meet his eyes. "Oh," he said finally.

"It's okay, Trip," Archer said.

Tucker turned his back to him and put his hands on his hips, looking down at the floor. He was gathering himself. "I don't think it is," he said at last. He turned. He'd regained control. "I thought I was going to die on that godforsaken rock, with my brains beaten in by an alien who didn't understand a word I said, and all I could think about was how much I hurt you with Kaitaama and how sorry I was, and how I would probably never get the chance to tell you that. So I'm sorry. And now I'm even more sorry, because—because—"

Archer cut him off. "I am too." He was—deeply sorry. Things couldn't go back to the way they were. He couldn't just fuck Tucker anymore, because to Archer, it meant too much. And he wasn't sure they could stay friends. "Why don't you go check on Engineering—make sure Lieutenant Hess's extensive modifications to the warp drive meet with your approval." He made his voice teasing but captainly and final.

Tucker hesitated, as if he were going to say something else, then smiled at Archer's joke, but Archer could tell that his heart wasn't in it. "Aye, sir," he said, and a second later, he was gone.

The door slid shut with a sound of finality. Archer turned to the window again and stared out blindly. He felt the thrum of the ship under his feet. He counted mentally. He and Tucker had been lovers for about six months. It seemed like longer. From that first sweaty, fumbling blow job to transcendent orgasms; from best friend to lover—it was over now. He had never thought he could fall in love with another man. Now he thought he would never fall out of love.

"Oh, hell," he said softly, and he sat down and put his head in his hands. He felt heartsick. "Oh, god damn it to hell."


The chime rings and I sigh. T'Pol left just a minute or two ago. She probably thought of something else to say. "T'Pol, go to bed," I say as I open the door, and it's not T'Pol.

"Expecting someone?" Trip asks. He looks me up and down. I'm only wearing pajama bottoms.

I feel myself flush. It hadn't occurred to me that opening the door wearing what I'm wearing is inappropriate. I stopped thinking of T'Pol in a sexual sense about the same time I could only think of Trip. "No," I say shortly, and I pull on the T-shirt I'm holding.

"Can I come in?" Trip asks.

"I don't think that's a good idea," I say. "Did you want to talk privately? You could join me for breakfast tomorrow." Ensigns would be lurking around, serving us. Having people around might be a good idea. We wouldn't be able to say what we really wanted to say.

"Yeah, I wanted to talk to you privately, but it doesn't matter. What I have to say won't take too long." He hesitates. "What you said the other day. I'm sorry I left. I should have stayed."

"Trip, it's okay. It's really okay."

"I'm sorry I slept with Kaitaama."

"You already said that."

"Well, I'm still sorry."

"You don't have to apologize."

"God damn it," Trip says, and I remember him saying, "Shit, Jon," and walking out of my quarters. He has the exact same tone of voice. "Don't you get why I slept with her?"

"No, why?"

"Because of this."

And Trip puts his hands on my head and kisses me.

I'm too surprised to react. My eyes close at the gentle pressure. His lips are full and warm. My mouth opens, and I taste him as he deepens the kiss. I pull him into my arms, and we press against each other. I lose myself in his heat, in the touch of his mouth, in the feel of his tongue against mine. We know each other's bodies intimately, but this is something else altogether. It seals the connection between us. It promises more. Kissing him for the first time, I feel the same fluttery emotions I felt when Trip touched me in the gym: fear, anticipation, pleasure. But this time, it's more than a desire for connection, a desire for release. It's the knowledge that that there's something between us that builds on yet transcends the friendship we've shared for years.

Trip pulls back. He strokes my neck before he drops his arm to his side. He steps back outside the doorway. "I slept with Kaitaama because I wasn't ready to be in love with a man," Trip says quietly. "But all it did was prove to me what I felt. I'm in love with my best friend, Jon. I'm in love with you." I clear my throat. I just kissed my chief engineer in the hallway, and I don't care who saw. "Maybe you should come in," I say, stepping to one side in invitation.

"If I come in, I might not ever leave."

"That's okay by me."

I hold out my hand, and Trip takes it. I draw him into my room, and the door slides shut behind us.

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