Title: Magic Fingers

Author: Kalita Kasar

Author's Contact: kalita@bonbon.net

Author's URL: http://kalkasar.ussimperator.com/


Rating: R (sexual references)

Category: Slash

Archive: Permission to archive granted to Reed's Armory, Archers_Enterprise, Tim Ruben. Others by request only

Status: complete

Series: The Reassurance Series follow on to Trepidation. Earlier Parts available at Author's website. (Reassurance, Dissonance, Disparity, Discursion, Trepidation, Magic Fingers)

Sequel to: Trepidation

Pairing: Tucker/Reed

Warnings: Angst

Spoilers: mild for Rajiin (more backstory than spoilers)

Disclaimer: Well of course they don't *belong* to me…"Where I come from we don't believe one person can be owned by another." I just like to mess around with their heads. No infringement or toe treading is intended in any way shape or form. I don't make money from this.

Beta: I'm flying solo on this one, though Haggis and Redhead helped with ideas and encouragement

Summary: I never figured that Malcolm would believe the gossip, but he asked me last week why I couldn't massage it with my 'magic fingers.' He said it like it was a joke, but both of us know what he really meant.


I don't think I should see T'Pol anymore. Wait, what-the-hell kinda thought is that? It sounds, even to me, like *see* means more than what it really is. What I *mean* is I don't think I should have anymore of these Neuropressure sessions with her.

I don't deny they help me sleep…I go out like a light for hours after but…when I close my eyes, Malcolm's lookin' at me from the back of my eyelids and I feel like a horse's ass!

I'm gonna tell her tonight that I don't think we oughta do this anymore. I don't care if I never sleep again.



Trip has been attending T'Pol's quarters for some kind of Vulcan therapy—massage or something, and it's all over the ship about how much time he's spending in the sub-commander's company. I'm not foolish enough to pay any attention to the rumour mill. I believed him when he swore to me he'd never hurt me by sleeping around again, but it hurts to find out through mess hall gossip that he's turning to someone else for comfort. He won't talk to me—the person who's been there for him from the start, he pushes me away, and goes to T'Pol?

I tried raising the topic with him when we were working together in engineering last week.

"I hear you're spending an inordinate amount of time with T'Pol of an evening."

He fixed me with an odd look and then shook his head.

"Look, Malcolm, whatever you've heard about T'Pol and me…it's just gossip. There's nothin' in it. I go to her quarters for massages"

"Oh? What—you can't soothe the ache away with those magic fingers of yours?"

I regretted the words the minute they were spoken, but the thing about words is they're impossible to snatch back once they're out there.

He glared at me for a moment and then he looked away and didn't say another word; not even a goodbye when I left for the bridge.

Since then, he's kept a good, wary distance from me, and I haven't bothered to seek him out.



Magic fingers…I remember the first time he ever used that phrase.

It was a happier time; no Xindi, no trench scarrin' the landscape of our home planet, Lizzie was still alive and I felt like I owned the world and everythin' in it, because Malcolm Reed was in my life, and in my bed, and he told me I had magic fingers after I teased him to orgasm in my cabin late one night.

I never figured that Malcolm would believe the gossip, but he asked me last week why I couldn't massage it with my 'magic fingers.' He said it like it was a joke, but both of us know what he really meant. I can't believe he honestly thinks there is anythin' goin' on with T'Pol and me. It just goes t'show how much he doesn't trust me…even now…even after I swore blind I'd never cheat on him again.



I don't know what I expected to happen. Even after that last night when we slept together, and everything seemed so perfect, when Trip slept peacefully in my arms without any nightmares.

I honestly don't think I expected things to get worse after that night. I thought we'd resolved our problems I thought that we would talk more perhaps; that he would continue the process of opening up and allowing me to comfort him.

I most certainly didn't expect him to shut me out again. But he has. He has…

Work has taken up so much time lately. Everyone is beginning to feel the strain. Morale is low; people have begun to skip meals and avoid one another's company. It's as though the entire crew lives and breathes for one purpose. Find the Xindi; neutralize the threat. This can't go on.

I don't want to do this, but as a senior staff member it's my duty to speak up. I'm going to see Trip this afternoon. Ask him to speak to the captain about arranging some R&R for the crew. I'd rather not, but it's not often that we get our druthers, is it?



I was in engineering, cursing my fool head off about some trivial problem or another when he showed up. I dunno how long he must've stood there watchin'—listenin' to me but when he spoke I swung up and around so fast I smacked my head against a bulkhead.

When I quit seein' stars he was standing real close to me; so close I could feel the heat of his body next to mine. I closed my eyes, rubbin' the back of my head and trying to regain my equilibrium.

"What c'n I do for ya?" I asked when I was composed enough to speak. I took a step away from him, pretending to read a console, but I just needed some space.

"I've come to talk to you about the crew, sir."

Oh so this was a formal visit. I shrugged off the momentary disappointment.

"Yeah? What about em?"

"Don't tell me you haven't noticed," He sounded amazed, and then he shrugged. "No, I don't suppose you would have—"

That one stung and I hadda bite my tongue against saying somethin' mean back.

"Everyone's tired, people are falling ill, Commander. I've had a lot of staff on sick leave recently. They're stressed and…"

I nodded and let out a breath. "I noticed." I looked away from his searching eyes. "I guess a lot of us are getting a little punchy."

Malcolm shifted his weight from one foot to the other, looked down and inspected his boots for a moment, and then met my eyes.

"Would you talk to the captain? Ask him about some recreational activities for the crew?"

He was askin' *me* for favours. I studied him a minute. He shifted restlessly again and bit his lip, I watched his gaze slide away from mine again.

I nodded. "Sure, I'll ask him."

"Thank you, Sir." He nodded, turned on his heel and walked out and it was all I could do to stay where I was. I didn't run after him.

But I *did* talk to the cap'n about reinstatin' movie night. Now if I only had the courage to ask Malcolm to go with me.

But I'm still a coward.

If you enjoyed this story, please send feedback to the author.

Star Trek and Enterprise are copyrighted by Paramount. We don't own 'em—we just play with them. No money was made.
Please do not repost material without requesting permission directly from the author.
Archer's Enterprise is maintained by the Webmistress.