Title: Temptation

Author: Kylie Lee

Author's E-mail: kylielee1000@hotmail.com

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


Archer's Enterprise

Length: ~6000 words

Fandom: Star Trek Enterprise

Pairing: Tucker/Mayweather (hey! Give it a try! It's a fun pairing!)

Rating: NC-17

Type: M/M slash

Rating: NC-17

Status: Complete

Summary: Trip can't sleep. Travis helps.

Feedback: What, I'm gonna say no? Send it on!

Series/sequel: No

Archive: Where posted (EntSTSlash/Warp 5, Archer's Enterprise, Allslash, Complete Kingdom of Slash), Tim Ruben, Luminosity, BLTS, ASC*, and the author's personal archive. Anyone else, ask first.

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

Spoilers: General for season 3

Warnings: None

Beta: Leah, TheGrrrl, and Sarah, rockin' in their beta-y goodness

Comments: Hey, sometimes I write fic! Don't die of shock. Here's a fic to celebrate the creation of TemptingTravis (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TemptingTravis/), a Yahoo! list devoted to that wonderful helmsman, my one and only OC. Kipli's challenge: "Pick whatever Travis pairing you want, any style and place and time you want, just as long as it includes the following: a banana; lotion; steam (from shower, kettle, humid climate, whatever); handcuffs; and nail clippers." This fic was posted there on October 8, 2003.

He dreamed about her. He dreamed about her every night.

He was always dressed in civilian clothes, because in his dreams, he was in Florida, not in San Francisco, not off world. He'd see her, looking beautiful and adult, but inside her, looking out of her eyes, he could see the ten-year-old kid who, growing up, had given him absolute hell. She'd be sitting outside at a bistro, waiting for him. They were meeting for lunch.

"Lizzie," he'd call, a feeling of foreboding like a ball of lead in his stomach.

She'd look up and smile a greeting. She never seemed to notice his agitation. Behind her, there'd be steam pluming out, like from a vent or something, but the steam would gather, would roil, would turn into a tornado, and the tornado would rush toward her, right toward her—

It was better not to sleep.


Trip Tucker swung out of bed and caught his balance. He was groggy. How long had he been asleep? He grimaced when he saw the time, then sighed. Two hours. Two whole hours. Things were looking up. That was the most sleep he'd gotten in, well, weeks. T'Pol's massage techniques apparently worked. He hit the lights and squinted in the sudden brightness. He'd been keeping busy—very busy. The more he did, the more likely it was, he figured, he'd wear himself out, so that simple physical exhaustion would do its work and he'd sleep. But it didn't seem to work that way. The more he worked, the more stressed out he got, the less he slept, the more his sleep was disturbed. And he was so busy, thanks to all his extra projects, that he could rarely make the time for his appointments with T'Pol and frequently canceled. The intimacy of it made him uncomfortable, and her tendency to wear skimpy outfits didn't help.

But they'd had a session tonight, and it had worked. Trip flexed his back and wiggled his shoulders. Some of the tension had left—the tension from the hours upon hours he spent hunched over his console. He'd been incredibly productive lately—not sleeping had a way of doing that—but he didn't take any pleasure in it. He started a new project whenever he finished one up, because sleeping always brought the dreams. He didn't want to watch his sister die again. He'd seen it too often; he imagined it all too easily. The pain he felt when he thought of her death had the same sharpness as when he'd first learned of it. It hadn't dulled, despite the three months or more that had passed.

He took a quick shower and put on a clean uniform. He'd awoken all wound up. "A cup of tea, Trip, that's what you need," he said out loud. Maybe Malcolm Reed would be awake and they could run some specs. Malcolm had been working as hard as him, but for different reasons: he was in charge of all those commandoes on board, and he was integrating them into the crew while teaching them who was boss. Malcolm's latest "lesson" had involved phase pistols and handcuffs and was the talk of the ship.

It was about five in the morning. Trip left his bed unmade, his pajamas and yesterday's uniform on the floor. He hardly spent any time at home anymore, so it didn't matter. Since they had left on their latest mission, to stop the Xindi, he hadn't invited anyone over, even Jonathan Archer, for a beer, or a game of cards, or just to hang out. He shut the lights off and left. He knew he wouldn't return for fifteen hours or more.

The mess had a few early birds and a few night owls. Some people from Delta shift were having dinner before turning in, the smell of their lasagna clashing with the eggs Benedict that was apparently being served for breakfast. Trip ran his eye over the faces as he automatically ordered his herbal tea. On the advice of Doctor Phlox, he was cutting down on stimulants, which meant he couldn't have caffeine. He didn't see Malcolm, but he saw Travis Mayweather eating eggs Benedict with a few other people, including Hayes, one of the commandoes. Trip was just turning away from the dispenser with his tea when Travis's table companions got up and left. After a moment of hesitation—sit alone, or sit with one of the most popular and cheerful crew members on board *Enterprise*?—he approached Travis. He knew he was guaranteed a seat and conversation, and he was not disappointed.

"Hey, Commander," Travis said. "Sit down. No breakfast for you?" He took a healthy bite.

"Thanks, Travis." Trip sat with his back to the wall, so he could survey the room. "No, I'll eat later."

"Couldn't sleep, huh?" Travis said sympathetically. "How're those sessions with Subcommander T'Pol going?"

Trip set his elbows on the table and leaned his face in his hands. "Fine," he said morosely. "Fine, as in, it quadruples my sleep from fifteen minutes to an hour whenever we have a session."

"Well, it's a start. What does she do, anyway?"

"Oh, you know, Vulcan stuff." Trip had deliberately been vague when asked to describe what he and T'Pol did. He didn't want to mention the fact that he had to take his shirt off—or that she had taken hers off on occasion. Only Doctor Phlox seemed to have an understanding of what it entailed, and Trip wanted to keep it that way. "She's not like a human girl, you know?" he said. "I just wish that I'd walk in there and she'd be, I don't know, doing something girly."

Travis seemed amused. "Girly? Like what?"

"You know, get out the ol' lotion and nail clippers and polish and pumice stone and do her toes or something. No. T'Pol *meditates*." Trip said the word with profound distaste. "And even this thing we're doing, it's all—mystical."

"Does it work?"

"Kind of."

Travis shrugged. "That sounds better than not working at all."

"You've got a point." Trip took a sip of tea. "I saw Hayes here a minute ago. Did he give you the skinny on the handcuffs?"

"That thing with Lieutenant Reed?" Travis laughed. "Yes. Lieutenant Reed really did everything people are saying—with the phase pistol, and with the handcuffs. It took Hayes two hours to Houdini himself out of the cuffs. Ask him about it. Man, he was pissed off to start with, but now he's decided it's funny." Travis rotated his plate and started in on a mixed fruit cup, carefully taking the banana slices out and setting them to the side. "Lieutenant Reed has what it takes to be a great practical joker," he said with professional interest. Travis was the man on board *Enterprise* who presently held that title.

"Except without the zany sense of humor." Trip shook his head. "Did I just say that? Scratch that. Zany sense of humor? That's Malcolm for you." He pointed. "Why are you taking your banana slices out? You have a banana on your tray."

"They get all mushy in the fruit cup. I don't like the texture. They're kind of slimy. But if it makes you feel better—" Travis unpeeled his banana and wiggled his eyebrows at Trip. He slid the top of the banana into his mouth slowly and bit. His eyes didn't leave Trip's. The gesture was overtly erotic.

Trip opened his mouth, then shut it. He wasn't sure how to respond. He wasn't sure he'd read Travis right. He'd always liked Travis. Travis was really good-looking, and he was gregarious and amusing. He could spin great stories. He knew a lot of practical stuff about engines, which impressed Trip. And ever since he'd first seen Travis, he'd admired Travis's ass, albeit from afar. He thought he'd played his attraction pretty close to the vest, because he wasn't sure how Travis would take it and he was pretty sure Travis wasn't looking—at least, not at him. But now—he couldn't be—could he? Was Travis—was he—

In case Trip hadn't been paying attention, Travis did it again: he sucked the banana slowly into his mouth and gently bit. He chewed, swallowed, and leaned forward. "In fact, Commander, I'm a big banana fan." Travis's voice was low and confidential, man to man.

"I didn't realize that," Trip said weakly.

"Yep. A big fan. What about you? I'll bet you're more into, oh, maybe cantaloupe."

Trip said in desperation, and truthfully, "I like the mixed fruit. A little bit of everything."

"Variety is good," Travis said. He indicated the fruit cup on his tray. "But not if it results in mushy bananas. Oh! The time." He collected his items together. "I'm going to be late. Sorry, I have to go." He stood up. "Nice talking to you, Commander," he said, and he strode off, whistling.

Stunned, Trip sat with his tea. He'd barely slept. He was off his game. Certainly Travis couldn't have just had a coded conversation with him about sexual preferences. Certainly not. But that thing with the banana—what was up with that? He put his head in his hands and imagined Travis's lips, only they weren't closed around the banana this time. He was shocked at how appealing the picture was. He cut off the image, somehow feeling guilty, and looked up just in time to see Travis exiting the mess, his fine ass wiggling.

He got it now. T'Pol, remote and logical but willing to open herself to him, for his sake. Travis with his banana and that wonderful ass. They were tempting him, T'Pol with the promise of freedom from pain and blessed sleep, Travis with the promise of pleasure. They wanted to make him forget, when all he wanted to do was remember.

Trip closed his eyes, and he saw the steam from his dream coalescing into a tornado, which in turn coalesced into a weapon of mass destruction. "Elizabeth," he whispered. "Lizzie."


He'd tried to cancel, but Subcommander T'Pol wouldn't let him. They'd finally settled for lunchtime. There was never anything sexual about their sessions. Her touch was always cool and professional, and he tried to return the favor. He didn't find her sexually appealing—not really, because of the emotional distance, but she was very attractive.

"I have studied human physiology," T'Pol was saying as she knelt behind him. Trip balled up his shirts and clutched at the fabric as her fingers touched his bare back. "Your nodes are in slightly different places than Vulcans'."

"Please tell me you know what you're doing," Trip pleaded. He didn't ask what a node was. He didn't want to know.

"I know what I'm doing," T'Pol said obediently. Her touch intensified, and a lance of pain ran through him. He stiffened involuntarily. "Did that hurt?" she asked, the tone of voice betraying no concern other than interest.

"Yes," Trip gasped.

"H'm," T'Pol said, which did not encourage Trip at all. "Allow me to try again. Please relax."

Trip huffed out a breath and focused on relaxing. This time, there was no pain, only heavy pressure. When she removed her hands, it was as if something broke off and floated away.

"Oh, that's done it," Trip said in relief. T'Pol sat back, and he pulled his shirts on and shrugged on the top of his uniform. "Okay. You."

It was noon, so T'Pol was wearing one of her colorful catsuits. Without a word, she stepped so her back was to him and stripped to the waist. She sat down, and Trip tried to do what she instructed him to do. He knew that she was trying to teach him part of the discipline, what he liked to call "being all mystical," but his mind wasn't wired that way. He also knew that her keeping his back to him was her way of trying to make him feel more comfortable with her nudity. He tried to focus on the "energy" she told him was under her skin, but all he could feel was skin, and under that, muscle.

"Shut your eyes," she instructed him, and he did. "Now, find the vertebra just below the scapula. Good. Can you feel the energy radiating out?"

Trip slid his fingers gently over T'Pol's spine, feeling the spike of bone underneath. Ever since that day in the mess, when Travis had done whatever he'd done to that banana, he'd been thinking about Travis—Travis in his bed, Travis's ass in his hands. When he slept, he still dreamed of Elizabeth, but Travis and his banana had made it even harder to get to sleep. Now, he imagined that it wasn't T'Pol but Travis Mayweather under his fingers, the skin brown and velvety, with Travis's essence coiling underneath. Travis was someone he wanted to touch. There—he could feel it: something at the center, something bright. It must be the energy.

"There," he said softly. He traced its outlines.

"Pull it larger," T'Pol instructed, and he was faintly surprised she was there, because he was with Travis. He did as she asked, though, imagining the brightness covering Travis's back, its dense center pinned on Travis's spine. "Now push the center. Hard. Harder. Harder." The brightness trembled and faded under the pressure of his hand, and when he opened his eyes, he saw only T'Pol's pale, smooth skin. "Very good," she said, voice a little breathless. She pulled her catsuit up over her shoulders and fastened it before facing him. "Usually you seem distracted. Your focus today was impressive."

Trip gestured. "It all makes me—uncomfortable." He prudently didn't mention that his impressive breakthrough came about because he distracted himself by thinking about someone else.

"The intimacy?"

"The nude touching part."

"That is insignificant compared to the psychic closeness we will forge."

"See, I don't like that either."

T'Pol cocked her head. "I will not harm you."

Trip grimaced. "No, that's not it. I don't think you will."

"You wish to sleep. You wish to be free of pain."

"Yes. I wish both those things." He got to his feet and paced. "About psychic closeness. Humans aren't into that level of psychic closeness, except maybe with sex."

T'Pol was unmoved. "I can teach you much, but you must move beyond this human belief."

"Fundamental human belief," Trip corrected. "Fundamental. See, you're tempting me. Sleep! But what's in that apple?"

"Apple?" T'Pol said blankly.

"Never mind." Trip headed for the door. "I'm saying the price may be too high."

"What is the price?" T'Pol asked. She sounded interested.

"Elizabeth," he said. "Thanks for the session." He hit the door control and left.

He stopped halfway down the corridor and leaned against the wall. His heart was thudding. He hadn't said "myself." He wasn't worried about losing himself in T'Pol. He was worried about losing Elizabeth. But she was dead. He'd kept himself busy, walled away from people because somehow, he would forget her if the pain started to heal. Somehow, he was betraying her if his life didn't end too. For about the thousandth time, he remembered Travis flirting with him, playing with that banana. His stomach fluttered when he thought he could just give in—just say yes to Travis, because he liked Travis, he liked him very much, and Travis could give him a hell of a lot. Travis could give him a lot, he amended, if Trip let him. Trip wasn't doing such a hot job of it with T'Pol.

"Commander Tucker."

Trip jumped and looked around. It was the way his day was going. First he couldn't get out of his session with T'Pol; then the object of his latest fantasies showed up in the corridor.

"Travis," he managed. He hadn't talked to the helmsman since their interesting breakfast a couple days ago.

"Are you okay?"

Trip shrugged. "Oh, yeah, fine," he said. "I just had a meeting with T'Pol. She thinks I'm making good progress." He remembered feathering the edges of the ring of light on T'Pol's—Travis's—back. He couldn't help but feel that what they were doing had a sexual component, so it should be no surprise that he would imagine touching someone he was sexually attracted to, rather than T'Pol. "I haven't seen you around. Are you on duty?"

"I have to head to the bridge in a few, yeah," Travis answered. "I've been really busy. Lieutenant Reed borrowed me for a targeting project he's working on. He thought that my piloting background would help."

"Did it?"

Travis smiled. "Yes. Or, Lieutenant Reed seems to think so."

"You're keeping an eye on him, right? Malcolm hasn't done anything with handcuffs again, has he?"

Travis shook his head. "Not to my knowledge."

There was a pause. Travis said "Commander" just as Trip said "Travis."

"About breakfast the other day," Travis said when Trip indicated he should speak. "I don't usually—I mean—see, I really like you." His voice sounded just as though he'd said something like, "The dilithium chamber probably needs to be cleaned out." He sounded matter-of-fact. "I didn't mean to freak you out. I kind of thought you were with the captain. If you liked men, that is. And not, you know, cantaloupe."

"No," Trip said. "The captain's straight that way."

"So you're really just good friends?"


"And—you like men?" Travis was trying to keep his cool, but Trip was interested to see Travis's intensity.

"Yep. Well, cantaloupe too. But men are—nice."

Travis gently stroked Trip's neck, his fingers gently tugging at the hair at the nape of Trip's neck. He dropped his hand immediately; they were in a corridor, after all. The warmth of the touch spread down into Trip's chest.

"Do you like me?" Travis asked next.

"I do," Trip affirmed.

"How do you like me?"

Trip's eyes didn't leave Travis's. "Inside me," he whispered. He said his desires out loud. "Inside me. On top of me. Hard."

Travis parted his lips as his breathing quickened, and Trip imagined that mouth on his mouth, that body, stripped nude, on top of his body, pounding into him, imagined the blazing pleasure that Travis could give him—something T'Pol could never provide. That psychic connection—he wanted it. He needed it. With Travis. T'Pol was right. It was the only way he could heal. He was human. He had a fundamental desire for that psychic connection, but humans linked it to companionship and sex. T'Pol could never give him those things, and he didn't want her to. He wanted Travis to give him those things.

"Trip," Travis murmured. It was the first time he'd called him that.

"Commander!" someone called, and Trip shut his eyes briefly in frustration and took a step back.

"Hey, Hoshi," he called back as Hoshi Sato, the linguist, hurried toward them. He turned to Travis. "Tonight, nine o'clock?" he asked, voice low. Hoshi had very good hearing. He kept the tone brisk.

"Yes, sir," Travis said, just as Hoshi stopped.

"I've been looking for you, sir," she told Trip, and she launched into a technical explanation as to why.

Trip barely heard it. He fell into step with Hoshi, Travis right behind, as they all headed for the bridge. He could feel the heat of Travis's body behind him. He knew exactly what he would see if he looked behind him: the way Travis filled out his uniform, the way he swung his arms when he walked.

Tonight. Nine o'clock.

Forget bananas. It was all apples. He'd given into temptation.


Trip surveyed his quarters critically. He'd cleaned up, and it had taken more than an hour to do it. He hadn't realized that he'd swiped so many dishes from the mess—a mug here, a plate there, so he could work on the console in his quarters. He'd had to find a box to carry all the dishes back. He'd cleaned the floors and dusted, he'd changed the bed linen, he'd bundled up his dirty clothes and dropped them off in the laundry, and he'd increased the ventilation to get rid of the slightly stale odor.

He felt like he hadn't lifted his head and looked around for months—since they left for the Expanse. He knew he'd gotten a lot done, but right now, he couldn't name a single one of the projects he'd been working on last week. For three months, since he learned of Elizabeth's death, nothing had touched him, except his nightmares. Nothing had mattered.

It was a little before nine. He took a look at himself in the mirror. He messed with his hair before deciding that he looked okay. Today, something mattered. He wanted to look good. He wanted to impress someone. He wanted someone to like him. He was jumpy with nerves and anticipation.

On impulse, he pressed the com. "Commander Tucker to Captain Archer," he said.

There was a brief pause. "Archer here. What's up, Trip?"

"Just wondering if you wanted to stop by tomorrow, say around seven, and watch the Raiders lose."

Archer laughed. Trip hadn't heard that sound for a while. "I'll be there. Sounds fun. I'll bring Porthos and beer."

"Perfect. See you tomorrow. Tucker out."

Tucker wandered around the room, whistling, straightening a snapshot here, a data disk there. He found his harmonica on a shelf and looked at it critically. It was dusty. He wiped it off and breathed through the low end. Elizabeth had always liked to hear him play, although he'd been pretty bad when he first started. He was just deciding what to play when the doorbell rang. "Later," he told the instrument as he replaced it on a shelf.

His heart was thudding with anticipation when he opened the door. "Travis," he said. He thought his voice sounded normal. "Come on in."

"Thanks." Travis looked good—really good. He was wearing tight jeans that definitely did great things to his already great ass, and a silky red V-neck shirt set off his dark skin. "I brought you something." Travis held out a small wooden bowl.

"Wow, thanks," Trip said, taking it from him. He removed the lid and laughed. In addition to a small cantaloupe and several bananas, there were apples and red grapes. "Fruit. It's—perfect."

"You said you liked both cantaloupe and bananas."

"I think I like bananas a little bit more."

"I kind of figured. That's why there are two in there."

Trip set the bowl down on his desk. "I'm glad you came," he said. "And what I said in the hall—you don't have to—I mean—we can get to know each other first."

Travis took his hand. "You said you wanted me inside you," he said.

It seemed Travis went in for the direct approach. Well, Trip had said it because it was true. He tightened his hand around Travis's, a little embarrassed at the directness, but he was the one who'd started it. "Yes," he said. "I want that. But we can wait. We can take it slow if you need to. What do you want?"

Travis interlaced his fingers with Trip's. "Well, since you mentioned—what you mentioned, I haven't been able to think of much else," he admitted. "We've known each other for more than two years. Is that long enough?" He stepped closer and touched Trip's cheek, and Trip put his free arm around Travis's waist. "I got tired of playing it cool, and you seemed so—I don't know, remote, I guess, after your sister died. I felt bad for you." Travis's fingers wove into the hair at the back of Trip's neck. "I guess I'm wondering if we could make love. Or is it too fast for you?"

Yes, it was too fast. They were moving along at warp 5. He'd said something without tempering it, and now he was being offered a fantasy in return. But they were being honest. His gut-level "yes, it's too fast" was really his sense of propriety kicking in. Trip hadn't had many lovers. He went in for relationships. They didn't usually start with sex; they started with getting to know each other. He looked at Travis, and he wanted him badly, and it was too fast, but it was, at the same time, just right.

"No," Trip said honestly. "It's not too fast. I still want you inside me." He wanted it a lot. His cock twitched as it began lengthening. "You're—I like you, and I'm very attracted to you."

"Good," Travis said, his face very close. The first kiss was tentative, cautious. "Me too. Those things."

The second kiss was lingering, and Trip felt Travis push against him. He could feel Travis's hard cock against his leg. He slid his hands down to cup Travis's ass as Travis's arms went around his neck, and that ass was every bit as hard, compact, and tight as he had imagined. He couldn't believe he was finally touching that ass. He felt it flex as Travis shifted his weight, and the feeling of Travis against him was incredible. Their mouths didn't stop as Travis's hands trailed down his chest. Travis briefly cupped Trip's cock. His hands fumbled as he undid the button and zip on Trip's jeans. Trip moaned when Travis's large hands slid underneath his briefs and caressed his ass. Travis pulled him so close that he barely had room to undo Travis's pants, but he managed it, taking Travis's velvety hardness in his hands.

"Could we—" Travis gasped against his mouth.

Trip rubbed Travis's shaft, large and iron hard in his hand. "Take it off," Trip said, sliding his free hand under the silky fabric of Travis's shirt. "Jesus. Take it off."

They stumbled to the bed, pulling at each other's shirts. The kisses had grown frantic. Trip's hand swept up Travis's magnificent chest as he helped him pull his shirt over his head. He got his own shirt off as Travis pushed him onto the bed and tugged at his pants.

"That's what I like to see," Travis gasped. "You on the bed, hot for me."

He threw Trip's pants and briefs to the floor and shimmied out of his own. Trip took the opportunity to grab the lube. When Travis crawled onto the bed and over him, he was ready. He grabbed Travis's cock, gliding his slick hands along the shaft. He could actually feel the blood pumping underneath the sensitive skin. He closed his hand in a vice around Travis's cock, and Travis pumped, eyes half-shut as he pleasured himself. Trip felt Travis slide strongly through his hand. He made Travis gasp when he tightened his fist. The head of Travis's cock was sticky.

Travis pulled back abruptly and kissed Trip hard. "Give me the lube," Travis commanded. "Give me the lube before I come."

"Here." Trip's fingers wouldn't work. He uncapped the little bottle awkwardly and poured some over Travis's hands. He smoothed his fingers through the slick substance, and Travis caught his hand. For a second, they looked at each other, and Trip knew that Travis felt the same way he did: hot, sexy, a little slutty because things were happening fast and they had been direct about it and about what they wanted. But mostly there was pleasure—not to mention appreciation for that fine, fine body that did amazing things to his. Trip wasn't worried about giving too much of himself up. He felt completely safe.

Travis sounded breathless. "Legs up."

Trip lay back, knees in the air, as Travis encircled Trip's cock with one hand and stroked his balls with the other. He tilted his ass up higher as Travis's fingers slid along the delicate skin between cock and ass, and a second later, he sighed as Travis's finger rubbed against his opening. He relaxed as the rubbing grew more focused and insistent. When Travis pushed past the rubbery opening of his asshole, he tightened and gasped. His cock pulsed in Travis's hand.

"Relax," Travis said as Trip moaned. Trip loved it, the intimate touch that was just the beginning of what they were going to do. "Oh, yeah. You like that." He began a sliding motion. "Open up for me, baby." He added another finger as Trip relaxed. "Tell me when I hit it." Travis's fingers pushed a little deeper, and Trip gasped when the pleasure arced through his ass, straight to his cock. Travis's fingers withdrew, leaving behind emptiness, but he came right back and brushed again, and again. "That's right. Here. You take this." Travis took Trip's hand and wrapped it around Trip's cock as he bent to paying serious attention to Trip.

Trip could feel his heartbeat in his penis, heavy and fast, but what he really wanted was Travis inside him. Travis continued stroking, loosening him up and preparing him. "Stop," Trip gasped after a few minutes, when another stroke would send him over, and Travis stopped. Trip watched him, panting, as the pleasure washed over him and receded. He hadn't come, but he was at the brink. Travis was holding him there. He released his cock and rubbed his stomach, feeling the roughness of his body hair against his palm. "Please," he gasped, and Travis slid his fingers out slowly. "Now. Fuck me now."

"In a second," Travis said. "God. You should see yourself."

"I'm ready," Trip said. He stroked his own lube-slick cock again. He liked the way Travis's eyes followed him as much as he liked the way his cock felt in his hand. It made him feel powerful. It wasn't all one-sided. He really wanted Travis, but Travis really, really wanted him.

"Yeah, I guess you are." Travis smiled down at him, hot and sweaty, because of him. Trip reached up and touched his hairless chest, feeling Travis's heart racing. He'd done that to him. He left behind a smear of lube. Travis pushed his knees back, and Trip felt the cap of Travis's cock slide along his ass. Trip felt heavy pressure when Travis entered him. "There you go, baby," Travis crooned, inching himself in. "Just a little more." He rocked forward. Trip felt himself stretch, felt his body take in that wonderful cock, felt the fire when Travis touched him deep inside. When Travis was buried to the balls, he stretched out over Trip and kissed him. "I've been thinking about this all day," he whispered. "Ever since I saw you in the hall. When you said you wanted me inside. You're so hot. You're hot deep inside."

"Travis," Trip gasped. He couldn't believe how much he wanted it—how much he wanted Travis. The man was incredible, hot, sexy. He was about to beg, about to command Travis to fuck him, when Travis moved. He thrust gently, then harder when Trip moaned, incoherent with desire. He was only aware of Travis over him, Travis inside him, strong and hard, ready to give him something he needed. Trip tasted Travis's mouth on his. His hand moved on his cock in time to the sweeps of Travis's body against his. He was being filled and fucked. He was wanted as much as he himself wanted.

The tension wound like steam through his body, coalesced into a tornado, a vortex that pulled at his stomach, tugged at his balls, at his penis. The vortex tightened, and he gave himself to it. It swept over him, obliterating his senses as he came, as he was taken up into an intense orgasm that roared through his body, consuming it utterly. He felt himself destroyed, and then he felt himself brought back as the man inside him called his name over and over again. His hand left his own cock and he grabbed Travis's wonderful ass, feeling it flex under his fingers as Travis spasmed over him, strong and masculine as he poured himself into Trip, the powerful thrusts a pressure Trip's body gladly bore.

When Travis's sweaty body collapsed on his, he put his heels on the small of Travis's back and wound his arms around him. They lay together, panting, not speaking, until Travis grew soft. Travis shifted and pulled out, then knelt between Trip's legs. He touched the slick come on Trip's chest. There was a lot of it.

"You're amazing," Travis said. "Are you okay, baby?"

Baby. He loved how Travis called him that—it presupposed a bond, a connection, one beyond the one they'd just forged with their bodies. "Yeah," Trip managed. "That was—yeah."

"Yeah," Travis echoed. He pulled the sheet up and lay carefully on top of Trip, his hairless chest sliding a little in the semen. He put his weight on his arms so his bulk wouldn't crush Trip. "I can't wait until we do that again."

"Mmm. I can't either." Trip admired the contrast of the white sheet and Travis's dark skin. The man was incredibly beautiful. He was glad they'd kept the light on, so he could see Travis while they made love, so he could see Travis when Travis came, shuddering and saying his name and calling him "baby."

"So—can we do that again?" Travis stroked Trip's nipple.

"Maybe you need to be on the bottom next time."

Travis laughed, a low, sleepy sound. "Sounds good, but I don't know—you're pretty amazing on the bottom."

"I'm amazing on top, too."

"Oooh. When do I get to find out?"

Trip's breath caught at the very thought of Travis on the bottom. He imagined sliding in—slick warmness all around him, Travis's body totally and trustingly open to him. He imagined himself hard, pushing into Travis. Travis would take it and love it. He wanted that. "Soon. Real soon." He kissed Travis, really tasting him this time, and he liked it. He turned away long enough to turn the light off. "You have a lot to find out."

"I kind of figured. But you'll let me? Find out, I mean?"

"Yes," Trip whispered.

"Okay. Because I'm not into one-night stands, but I was kind of ready for this to be one. If you needed it to be."

"Everyone needs to stop feeling sorry for me," Trip said, but he couldn't get worked up about it. He felt too good. "Doctor Phlox and T'Pol and you and everybody." He used a corner of the sheet to wipe them off. "Although if this is how you show sympathy, you can feel sorry for me whenever you want."

"I'll remember that."

Trip smiled. "Can you stay awhile?" he asked. "I wish you would."

"All night, Trip."

Trip felt heavy, lying there in Travis's arms. "I feel like I could sleep," he said drowsily. He felt sated, his groin radiating warmth. The vortex had ripped through him and taken with it that part of him that wanted to stay with Elizabeth forever, frozen in time, watching her die over and over again, because somehow, irrationally, it was his fault. She was dead. It wasn't okay—it would never be okay—but it wasn't his fault, and he could heal. He could move on. Travis would help him. Maybe T'Pol would too, but he suspected he'd enjoy his time with Travis a lot more. They were just beginning together, after all. It was just the start. Maybe they both had a lot to learn. When he'd said yes to Travis, he was really saying goodbye to the Elizabeth in his dreams. He didn't think it could happen fast. He'd just taken the first step. He'd given himself permission to let go.

Travis nuzzled him. "Good."

Trip felt like he should explain. "I have these nightmares." He stroked Travis's cheek tenderly.

"I know." Travis's breath puffed against his cheek. "I'm sorry."

"Thanks. I mean—thanks." The word wasn't sufficient. For wanting him, for fucking him, for staying the night with him, for understanding him, and despite that, still prepared to build something with him.

"Shhh. Go to sleep, baby."

The kiss was long and lingering. It promised more. Travis's body was warm next to his.

Trip shut his eyes. And slept.

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