Title: Pancakes

Author: Pretzelduck

Author's e-mail: pretzelduck@yahoo.com

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

Date: 09/30/03

Archive: Permission to archive granted to Archer's Enterprise

Rating: PG

Status: Complete Pairing: Archer/Tucker

Summary: Malcolm's peanut butter pancakes cause Trip to think about a love he tries to forget.

Warnings: None

Series: n/a

Sequel to: n/a

Spoilers: None

Disclaimer: Guess what? I don't own the Star Trek franchise. Paramount does. I also don't make any money from writing this. The only thing I make money on is my ability to roll pretzels and work a cash register.

Author's Notes: This fic has its beginnings in a quote from Charlie Brown: "Nothing takes the taste out of peanut butter like unrequited love."

"I don't know how you can put that stuff on pancakes and actually eat them, Malcolm."

As I expected, my breakfast companion gives me that semi-playful glare of his and goes back to silently slopping gooey peanut butter on his pancakes. I usually enjoy eating with Malcolm. Despite being a little stuffy and more than a little stubborn, the uptight Brit is a good friend. The only reason I say usually is because I hate eating breakfast with him when he has his peanut butter pancakes. It slipped my mind this morning that they were on the menu so now I'm forced to suffer through watching him combine two foods that shouldn't even be on the same table. Pancakes are for breakfast, peanut butter is for lunch.

It isn't Malcolm's fault that I hate watching him eating peanut butter pancakes. And it doesn't even have anything to do with the fact that I don't think the two foods belong together. The problem is that I only know one other person who thinks peanut butter pancakes are ambrosia. And every time I watch Malcolm eat his, I'm reminded of him and a breakfast six years ago when I came to the worst revelation of my life.

Six years ago, I realized I was in love.

I know that doesn't seem like something that should be chalked up in the bad category so maybe I should complete the sentence. Six years ago, I realized I was in love with my best friend.

And that still doesn't seem all that bad. To have your best friend be the person you love. But it is. Trust an expert on the subject. There is nothing worse than being in love with Jonathan Archer and not being able to do a damn thing about it.

I can still remember sitting there, poking at my two-egg omelette, and trying not to make it too obvious that I was entranced by the shape of his mouth as he talked and ate his goddamn peanut butter pancakes. The agonizing eye-opener came in the middle of one of his ramblings about Stanford water polo. He was grinning from ear to ear and his beautiful hazel eyes were sparkling as he animatedly described the action of a recent match. Our eyes locked for an eternal instant, his smile softening as they did…and I knew. I was in love with him.

A lot of time has passed since that moment and Jon and I have been through a lot together since then. I thought eventually my feelings for him would fade. That my heart would slowly accept that it was hopeless and find comfort in the empty interludes with women who didn't have hazel eyes and golden brown hair.

Women. I wonder if he's noticed that I've stopped pursuing men. When we first met, it didn't take him long to figure out what my preferences were. I was careful not to give him any indication that I was interested in him that way. Although I was very much aware of how attractive he was, I didn't want to date him. Not then, anyway.

Now I would give anything for one night. One time to hold him in my arms and feel his lips pressed against mine. One time to worship every bit of that perfect skin and make tender and passionate love to him.

I knew no man could compare or live up to the fantasy of my lover, Jon or the reality of my friend, the cap'n. So I turned to women to help me forget that dream…to erase my love. I thought it would work. But as the years passed, Jonny took piece after piece of my heart. And I know without a doubt that I will never get them back.

And I don't want them back. I only wish I had a part of his heart. The tiniest sliver to ease the pain of knowing I'm nothing more than a friend. A piece given willingly and knowingly to someone who's cherished and loved.

Something to help me sleep on nights I've dreamed that I lost him somehow. He was injured and the doc couldn't save him. Or I somehow worked up the courage to tell him how I feel and stood frozen as the repulsion and shock washed over him. I would rather walk into a room filled with every species of insect that exists than hear Jon's rejection of my claim of love.

I wish I could get past it. Get over him. Move on. Forget his smile and the hope that one day, it would be for me alone. Be unable to remember dreams of hearing my name sighed through his lips. Banish thoughts of him pulling me into his arms and telling me that he wants me in a distinctively nonplatonic way.

I wish I wanted to do all that.


"Commander Tucker?"

The clipped voice and accented words of my unfortunate breakfast company. I must have been lost in thought awhile; Malcolm's last bite of pancake is just inches from his mouth.

But the first voice belonged to someone else.

Fate must really hate me.

Jon is standing next to Malcolm looking down at me. He must have just gotten out of the shower; his hair is still wet. I really don't the images that are coming into my mind right now. Water droplets glistening on his naked body. Joining him in that shower and our wet bodies rubbing up against each other as my eyes linger wherever they want.

"Mornin', Cap'n." That sounded halfway normal. And I don't think I squeaked.

"I was going to ask you to have breakfast with me but I see Lieutenant Reed already stole you this morning."

Something in his voice makes me want to scream at him: 'Malcolm didn't steal me. I'd be yours if you wanted me. I'll always be yours.' But I've been through this before. I've buried these thoughts before. My friendship with him has lasted all these years because I'm capable of forgetting, for brief moments of time, that I love him.

"Got up early this morning and ran into Malcolm on the way here."

He just nods and says something to Malcolm about seeing him on the bridge later before walking to his dining room. Alone. I wonder how much he'll miss my company this morning. If he'll try to imagine me like I try to imagine him when I'm alone. I need to forget about him. I need one of my moments to last the day. To get me through the day.


That's the second time in less than five minutes that Malcolm's had to call me out of my daydreaming. I don't know if I should be embarrassed or not.

"Sorry Malcolm. Just thinkin'."

He doesn't believe me. Malcolm does the skeptical look pretty well. Jonny's on the receiving end of it a lot. And I know full well that Malcolm is perfectly capable of sitting there in that exact same position with that exact same look on his face for days until I give him an answer he believes.

"I hate peanut butter on pancakes is all. It reminds me of somethin' kinda painful."

Malcolm looks thoughtful for a moment before he quickly finishes the last bite of his breakfast. Something else I know full well: he'll never again put peanut butter on his pancakes when we have breakfast together. Malcolm's a good friend to me.

Just like I am to Jon.

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