TITLE: Consequences


E-MAIL: scarab@blueyonder.co.uk

URL: http://www.lookout2.com/nautika/sara/

DATE: 07/28/03

FANDOM: Star Trek Enterprise

SUMMARY: Archer worries about the consequences of his actions.

PAIRINGS: Archer/Tucker established relationship

STATUS: Complete, 3 parts

RATING: R…just to be on the safe side.

ARCHIVE: Yes, if you think it's good enough.

DISCLAIMER: Unfortunately I don't own Enterprise or her crew, Paramount does…I wonder if they would consider loaning certain people out though! :o)

WARNINGS: Minor spoilers for Silent Enemy and Desert Crossing.

FEEDBACK: Never expected but always appreciated

AUTHOR'S NOTES: This is just something that has been sitting on my harddrive for awhile and I thought it was about time I posted another Archer/Tucker story. Enjoy!


Jonathan Archer was a worried man, the events of the last couple of days had pushed his crew to their limits and to say that he was proud of them would be an understatement. They all deserved a break and he had suggested to his Vulcan First officer, T'Pol that they should find a planet for some well-deserved shore leave. That decision was probably what had caused the incident that he now agonised over. He had been stupid and allowed his guard to drop and all their discretion and care had been wiped out in a few minutes of unadulterated lust. They had been caught.

Earlier that evening

He had only intended to have a quick cup of coffee before going back to his quarters. The repairs on the hull plating had been completed and he had finally allowed the crew to stand down, after Malcolm had stressed how vulnerable the ship was and how everyone should be on their guard. Archer had smiled at his Armoury officer's concerns, but had nonetheless heeded his words. It was late and he sat at one of the tables, stretching out and closing his eyes, grateful that the messhall was empty.

"Looks t' me like someone should be in bed."

Archer smiled without opening his eyes, knowing from the accent that it was his Chief Engineer.

"Same could be said of you," he answered as he slowly opened his eyes.

"Well ya know me," Trip Tucker grinned, "Can't sleep 'til I know the engines are runnin' right."

"And are they?"

"Yep, just thought I'd grab some milk and then go t' bed." He slowly walked up to Archer. "Care t' join me?" He stood so that his leg was touching the other man's and then started to stroke Archer's thigh. Looking into his eyes, Archer saw the lust in them and knew he wasn't talking about the milk.

"I'm too tired tonight."

"Some things ain't too tired." Trip ran his hand across Archer's crotch, smiling as he felt the erection, he leaned over the older man so that their faces was inches away from each other, bracing himself with his other hand on Archer's shoulder. "Help ya sleep."

He closed the distance and kissed him. Archer lost himself in the kiss, opening his mouth to allow his lover entrance, wrapping his arms around him and pulling him into his lap and that's when it happened.

"Bloody Hell!"

Trip jumped off Archer's lap and the two men saw Malcolm Reed and T'Pol standing in the doorway.

"Oops!" Trip said as he looked down at Archer, who fully aware of his raging erection was reluctant to stand.

"I think it would be more appropriate to speak to you in the morning Captain." T'Pol said, raising her eyebrows as she turned and walked away, while Malcolm stood stunned.

"Was there anything else, Malcolm." Archer tried to put some authority in his voice but knew his breathlessness was not allowing him to pull it off, that and the fact his face was flame red.

"No nothing, sir." Malcolm quickly left the room as Trip turned to face Archer.

"Well I guess the cat's outta the bag!"

Now it was several hours later and Archer agonised over what his two officers would do. The Vulcans would love this bit of information and Starfleet Command would order the ship back or at the very least arrange a rendezvous with a Vulcan ship and an exchange of Captain and Chief Engineer. He wasn't so angry with himself getting into trouble, although he knew the critics of his father's work would relish the opportunity to use this incident to tarnish the Archer name. He was worried about Trip. Trip was a brilliant Engineer and if his career was ruined because of this indiscretion, he would never forgive himself. All he could do was wait, knowing their careers were in the hands of his First Officer and Armoury Officer.

The chime to his quarters disturbed his thoughts and he steeled himself for who he knew it would be.

"Come" He called and was not surprised when T'Pol walked into his cabin. "I suppose you've been in contact with the High Command already. Can I expect a message from Admiral Forrest ordering the ship to be turned around or is a Vulcan ship meeting us so that Trip and I can be taken home in disgrace."

She looked at him as he continued his pacing, her hands clasped behind her back raising an eyebrow. Receiving no reply he stopped and faced her.

"I have not been in contact with either the High Command or Starfleet, although I do wish to discuss with you the events which occurred in the messhall." she told him in that monotone that at times drove him mad.

"Why?" Archer was surprised that she hadn't already advised her superiors. They would jump at the chance to discredit him and his mission. Then again as he thought over the last two years T'Pol had begun to accept that Humans do have a place in space.

"I do not believe that a change in the command structure aboard this vessel will be beneficial to the crew's morale" She paused as Archer stared at her, "They all have a great deal of respect for you as a captain, as they do for Commander Tucker. If one or both of you were to be removed I believe it would be harmful for this mission."

Archer slowly sat on his bed, not quite sure whether he had heard correctly, as she stood almost at attention.

"What about you?" he asked cautiously.

"I believe Commander Tucker is an excellent engineer whose abilities would be missed if he should be recalled to Earth. Likewise as the Captain your leadership has inspired many aboard this ship as well as impress several alien species we have had contact with. If this incident should be reported, I believe Starfleet would be forced to discharge two vital elements of the crew."

He looked warily at T'Pol, not fully convinced, especially since she has praised Trip so highly. Their verbal duels although less frequent now were a constant reminder of how different Humans and Vulcans could be.

"So what are you going to do T'Pol?"

She again arched an eyebrow and looked at him as if the answer was obvious, "I intend to return to my quarters although…" she paused and he knew the other shoe would drop, "I am curious as to how long you have kept this relationship with Commander Tucker a secret."

Archer smiled and indicated for T'Pol to sit down. "We've been together off and on for a number of years. First met when Trip was assigned to assist with the new warp engine. We became good friends."

"And lovers?" T'Pol asked as she sat down.

"No, that came later." He paused not quite sure how much to tell her about his personal life and the relationship that he had with Trip. "We worked quite closely together for a couple of years and then one night we got drunk and ended up in bed." He smiled at the memory. "That was basically the start, although we've broken up twice since then."

"Broken up?" T'Pol looked puzzled.

"Yeah. First time it was me, Trip wanted to get serious, announce to the world that we loved each other but I knew it would harm our careers, he took it badly and I thought it would be best to end it." Archer stood and began to pace the small room again, "We got back together, Trip realised that we had to keep quiet if we wanted to work on the project and everything was great."

"So what happened?"

"Natalie happened." Archer sat back on his bed, "That bitch got her claws in Trip when he went home to visit with his family. He told me that he'd slept with her and I got angry, called him a cheating bastard and told him to chose, me or her." He sighed, "He chose her but I couldn't let him go, I loved him too much to ever let him go. I knew he was making a mistake and believed that he was just trying to hurt me." He paused, waiting for T'Pol to make some comment about Trip's reputation but she stayed silent. "I thought that if I stayed his friend, then one day he would realise that he didn't love Natalie and come back to me. Then as the Enterprise was getting ready to launch, he told me that Natalie didn't want him to go that she wanted him to marry her and raise a family. I knew then that it was the end of them. Trip never made a secret of wanting to be out here, it's one of the things we both wanted. When she finally finished it, I think he was relieved, he didn't have to pretend anymore."

"So you resumed your relationship?"

"No we stayed friends, then I almost lost him and I realised that I could never just be his friend. I wanted him like I've never wanted anyone else in my life." He smiled, "Once Trip had recovered from the heat-stroke and his injured ribs I told him and I'll never forget the look on his face. We've been together ever since."

Silence fell between them for a moment and then Archer remembering the grave situation looked at T'Pol. "So you still think that you don't need to report this."

T'Pol slowly stood, "I can see no beneficial reason why anyone needs to know. From what I have observed, your relationship has not affected any command decision you have made." She walked to the door, "Goodnight captain."

As the door closed behind her, Archer thought about what she had said. They'd had a lucky escape with T'Pol and he wondered what Malcolm would do. The Armoury officer had looked shocked at what he had seen and knowing how he took rules and regulations so seriously, Archer wasn't sure what course of action he would take. His relief that T'Pol would stay silent was suddenly replaced by the knowledge that their fate lay in the hands of Malcolm Reed.


Trip Tucker walked into the Armoury with mixed feelings, he was tired and slightly on edge. Jonathan Archer had called him in the night to tell him that T'Pol was not reporting their indiscretion in the messhall, but the same could not be said for Malcolm Reed. So it had surprised Trip when the Armoury officer had called him that morning asking to talk. As he entered the room he saw him standing over one of the targeting scanners and called out.

"You wanted t' talk to me, Malcolm?"

"Oh yes, Commander," Malcolm looked a little embarrassed and looked around, "It is rather personal though."

"Let's go t' your quarters then."

"I'd rather not if you don't mind," he said looking nervous.

"Okay, we'll go t' mine."

"Ah…no…um…" Malcolm started to blush.

"Malcolm." Trip was beginning to lose patience, "I'm not gonna jump you if that's what ya worried 'bout." He paused, "You want t' talk and I think I know what it's 'bout and I'd rather not discuss it where anyone can overhear."

"I'm sorry." Malcolm took a breath, "My quarters will be fine."

"Good. Seems like we're finally gettin' somewhere."

They walked in silence to Malcolm's quarters and once inside Trip got straight to the point. "Ya wanna ask me about my relationship with the Cap'n, don't ya?"

"Well yes." Malcolm indicated the only chair in the room for Trip to sit and then sat himself on the bed. "Trip…I would never have thought that you were…"

"…gay!" Trip finished the sentence. "Wel…yes…"

"Actually I'm bisexual." He slowly sat on the chair and sighed. "Malcolm, Jon and I have been t'gether off and on for five years."

"Five years…but I thought you were involved with…um…what was her name…?"

"Natalie." Trip looked at Malcolm who was nodding. "I was. First met Jon durin' the construction and testin' of the warp five engine. We'd became good friends and I started seein' Ruby. I think she must've seen somethin' between Jon and me, 'cause she kept sayin' that I'd spend more time with him than with her. At the time I thought it was 'cause we were so close t' gettin' the engine workin' the way Henry Archer had wanted. So Ruby and me drifted apart. After a coupla years, Jon and me got drunk and ended up in bed t'gether. Next mornin' we tried t' say it was 'cause we were drunk and lonely but by the end of that week we were lovers." He stood and began to pace the small room. "Things started t' get really serious, for me anyway and I wanted us t' get a place t'gether and let people know we were a couple but Jon got cold feet, started t' say that we had our careers t' worry about. We had a real bad argument and Jon left me."

"I'm sorry."

"Well we stayed friends and soon the warp five project took up more of our time, didn't really have time t' mope. Anyway we workin' late one night t'gether and Jon admitted he missed me." He smiled, "Made love there and then."

"Wasn't you worried about getting caught?"

"That was part of the excitement, it was great. I realised that Jon had been right and we had t' keep our relationship secret if we wanted t' work on the project, so we did. We were discreet and 'cause people knew we were great friends, they didn't question when we spent our time off t'gether." He sat again and sighed, "Then it all went wrong. I went home t' visit my family for a week on my own and met Natalie. She was gorgeous and we spent almost all our time t'gether. I knew I was cheatin' on Jon when I slept with her but I couldn't help myself, the sex was incredible."

"How did the captain take it?"

"Not very well, called me an unfaithful bastard and that after what I'd said the first time we'd got t'gether, he thought I was serious 'bout our relationship. Told me t' choose who I wanted. I was feelin' damn angry and guilty and wanted t' hurt him so I chose Natalie." He paused, "Turned out t' be the biggest mistake I ever made and I think Jon knew I'd regret it, 'cause we stayed friends."

"So you didn't love Natalie."

"Oh yeah, I loved Natalie t' begin with and things were jus' fine for a long while. Then jus' as the Enterprise was bein' built, she said that maybe it was time we settled down in Pensacola, got married, raise a family. She didn't want me t' go int' space, couldn't understand why I wanted t' do somethin' like that when I could stay with her. That's when I realised that I'd made a mistake, that she didn't understand what was important t' me. When the mission was brought forward because of Klaang, I told her that we'd have time t' think about our future t'gether and that when I got back, we'd talk."

"But we didn't go back home."

"Nope and t' be honest I didn't care. Natalie couldn't understand that I was doin' somethin' I'd always dreamed of doin', the reason I became an engineer. When I got the letter sayin' it was over, it was no surprise."

"So did you and the captain get back together then?"

"No. Jon was there for me and we had a few beers t'gether but it wasn't 'til I nearly died on that desert Hell, that we got t'gether again." He smiled, "I think I kinda scared him, nearly dyin' like that."

"So you've been together since then?"

"Yep." Trip looked at Malcolm, "So are ya gonna let Starfleet know what's been goin' on?"

Malcolm looked thoughtful. He considered Trip one of the best friends he'd ever had and was surprised by this revelation, when he thought he knew him so well. If he was to report, as duty dictated, to Starfleet of the gross misconduct of the captain and second officer, it would only lead to the careers of two of the finest men he knew being in tatters. The ship would be ordered home, or to rendezvous with a Vulcan transport, where a new captain and engineer would be assigned. He wondered if he could get used to a new command structure and what the effect would be on crew morale. If he said nothing, what would change? Nothing as far as he could see. The captain never excluded Trip from anything that may be too dangerous; he also didn't include him in anything just so he could be close. With the exception of this late night incident, they had been discreet and nobody would have guessed that they were more than friends. He realised that he had made his decision before Trip had started to tell him how they had become lovers.

"I can't see why Starfleet need to know anything about what goes on in the crew's personal lives, unless it affects their duties. I don't believe that will happen do you?"

"Nope." Both men stood and walked towards the door, "Thanks Malcolm."

"Well at least I know now why you don't appreciate T'Pol's bum!"


Jonathan Archer lay in his bed, the relief he felt knowing that T'Pol and Malcolm would not report his indiscretion mixed with the stark realisation of what he had to do to remedy the situation. He felt tired but knew that he wouldn't be able to sleep until he did what he had to do. Reluctantly he got up and pulled on some sweats and a T-shirt. Porthos stirred in his own bed looking at his master with sorrowful eyes, as if he knew what he was feeling.

Hesitating in front of the door, he realised that if someone should come along his presence would look suspicious and so pushed the door chime. Trip answered the door, wearing just his blue boxers, his hair ruffled from sleep.

"This had better be…" his voice trailed off when he saw who his visitor was. "Cap'n?"

"Trip we need to talk." Archer walked past the younger man, and stood by the window.

"Sure. What's the problem?" "I've been thinking about what happened last night." He turned to face his lover and before he could change his mind said the words that he knew had to be said, "I don't think we should see each other again."

"What?…Why?" Trip looked stunned.

"I don't think it would be wise to carry on with our relationship. We can of course still be friends…"

"Friends!…Jus' 'cause we got caught you want t' end it."

"It's too great a risk…"

"I don't believe this…" Trip ran a hand through his hair and walked over to the window, staring out at the stars, his back to Archer. "So lets see if I got this straight. Ya want us t' stop bein' lovers 'cause of T'Pol and Malcolm."

"Trip, anyone could have caught us. It's not worth risking our careers over." He regretted the words the minute they were out of his mouth and saw Trip's back stiffen. The engineer slowly turned round and Archer saw the mixture of hurt, disbelief and anger on his face.

"What ya really sayin' is I ain't worth the risk. "

"I never said that."

"Then what are ya sayin Jon? 'cause I don't understand why ya want t' end this." He paused, some of the anger draining away, "I thought ya loved me."

"I do but this has got nothing to do with love."

"So since we got back t'gether, it's just been what…sex?"

"No…not just sex…God I wish it was." He paused trying to keep his own temper in check while he tried to explain, "Trip I do love you and that's why everything is so complicated. I think we were stupid to start things again while serving aboard the Enterprise."

"In other words ya didn't want a lover, ya wanted a whore." Trip yelled, tears stinging his eyes, "If I'd know that was how ya saw me then I would have started t' charge for my services."

The words shocked Archer and he tried to think of something to say that would calm Trip and make him see that he was only doing this because he loved him so much, that he didn't want to cost him his career. He wanted to make Trip see how much the young man meant to him but instead he had only succeeded in making him believe he was a complication, something to be tossed aside when things got tough. An embarrassment, a dark sordid secret that should never have been revealed.

"God Trip!…Is that what you think?"

"Well what else am I supposed t' think?" He paused and rubbed his face with his hands, "Ya come here and tell me ya what t' end us and say it like ya've changed ya mind about seeing a movie or having a cooked breakfast. Then ya expect me t' say okay, fine, see ya tomorrow'" He looked into Archer's eyes, "I can't do that. I can't throw what we have away."

"Even if it cost you your career?"

"I won't lie t' ya and tell ya it would be easy t' walk away. I worked damn hard t' be chief engineer of this ship but if I had t' decide whether t' keep my job or the one person I've given my heart to…" he smiled, "well I hear that workin' on cargo vessels ain't that bad."

Archer was stunned by the conviction in the younger man's eyes and suddenly felt a little ashamed that he had doubted his love for this man and was prepared to end what they both had. He made a decision and reached out to Trip, engulfing him in his arms and nuzzled his neck.

"I'm sorry, I should have known better." He pulled back and held Trip's face in his hands, his thumbs caressing the light stubble. "Don't ever think that I don't love you Trip. I just want to keep you safe."

"I know and I really appreciate what ya tryin' t' do but we're in this t'gether and if we get caught I ain't havin' ya give up ya career t' protect me. From the first time we slept t'gether I knew we were takin' a risk but I think ya worth it…I think we're worth it." He moved in and placed a gentle kiss on Archer's lips before pulling away and walking over to the bed. "Now it's up t' you?" He looked into Archer's eyes, "Ya can go now and I'll accept it, we'll be the friends ya want us t' be or ya can stay and we take whatever happens. I ain't sayin' it's gonna be easy and I know we're gonna have t' be extra careful now both T'Pol and Malcolm know but I love ya Jon and I want us t' be t'gether."

Without a word Archer walked over to his lover and kissed him and, as he lowered him onto the bed, the decision was made.

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