Title: The Way Things Were

Author: Kalita Kasar

Author's Contact: kalita@bonbon.net

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


Word Count: Approx 500

Beta: none

Fandom: Star Trek Enterprise

Pairing: A/Tu A/Tu/R

Spoilers: None

Feedback: The bunnies love receiving it

Archive: Archers_Enterprise only.

Rating: R Implied Sexual references, Language Warnings: heavily implied D/s

Category: m/m/m slash

Series/follow on: The "Changes" Series.

Summary: Last night, Jon let Malcolm join us and I saw a whole new side to this guy/guy thing…I liked what I saw.

Disclaimer: No They're not mine, but a girl can dream, can't she? I only do this for fun, no money changes hands, and the payoff I do get can't be taken away from me. It's the feedback and the enjoyment of the readers that makes this all worthwhile. No copyright infringement is intended.

PART 1: The Way Things Were: Tucker

I suppose I'd say I've always been a gentle lover; considerate, kind and concerned about my partner's feelin's and her pleasure before my own. I've never had any complaints anyway.

I've always been a perfect gentleman. I know people laugh about that, but it's somethin' that's always been important to me. I usually wait for a lady to make the first move rather than playin' the sexual predator, you know?

That's why I guess I fell so hard and so fast when Jonny put the move on me.

We'd been in the expanse a few weeks and I was a mess. I'll admit it plain and simple I was on the edge. Aside from bein' angry, I felt…numb. The same as I'd felt since the news of the Xindi attack on earth first came in. Like everyone else, I ran a mental catalogue in my mind when we were told where that beam hit, checkin' off the names of people I knew who might be in those areas. There was only one for me. Lizzie…oh my God…Lizzie.

I went around in a daze after that. I couldn't sleep for worryin' at first and when my worries were confirmed that's when the nightmares started and I still couldn't sleep.

Jonny invited me over a few times, but I always said no. I didn't want to be with anyone, I just wanted to be left alone. I even had to practically drive Malcolm off with a verbal stick to make him leave me be. I didn't want anyone, I didn't need anyone I just wanted to get those bastards back for killin' my baby sister.

Then one night, Jon practically made it an order that I come by his cabin for dinner. I've never been one to defy a direct order. Well, not a direct order from Jonny anyway.

It wasn't so bad. He didn't ask me to talk about how I felt. He didn't make me talk about Lizzie, or think about her bein' dead. He just sat there and talked about the engines, my staff, and…normal stuff; he didn't make me remember and when we shared a couple of beers after dinner, I felt myself startin' to relax. That's the thing with Jonny, he's never made me feel like I hafta be anyone or anythin' other than myself.

I don't quite know how it came about, really, but when I was leavin' Jonny put his hand on my shoulder and I turned to look up at him. The next thing I knew, he had me pinned to the wall and he was kissin' me hard. I didn't know if I liked it or not. I couldn't tell ya even now how I felt about it, but one thing led to another and that was the first night he and I had sex together. All I know is, after we finished, I felt…alive.

I kept going back.

I was still seein' T'Pol for that neural pressure stuff and she thought it was workin' real well. I didn't tell her I was really sleepin' better because of what was goin on with Jonny an' me. I didn't want to make her think she was wastin' her time, because, really, the massages make me feel pretty good too, but I was sleepin' better because I was sleepin in Jonny's bed.

Now don't go gettin' carried away, it's nothin' romantic with me and Jon *or* with me an' T'Pol. They're both just helping me in their own way.

Being with a man is different to bein' with a woman. Before Jon, I'd never been with another guy in that way. I'd fooled around a little back in my college days, but…nothin' like this. I was finding out that I liked it. There's no…bullshit with a man…at least there's no bullshit with Jonny anyway, I can't speak for any other man. It's straightforward and honest. He wanted to fuck me, so he did. There's no holding myself back. I don't have to worry all the time that I might hurt him. It's hard and it's furious and it's exactly what I need.

At least it was exactly what I needed back then, but things are changing. Things *have* changed.

Last night, Jon let Malcolm join us and I saw a whole new side to this guy/guy thing…I liked what I saw.

PART 2: The Way Things Were: Reed

We were friends. At least after the Shuttlepod One incident; we formed a closer bond there than we'd managed to beforehand. Facing death together, I suppose, will do that. We'd grown closer from that day onwards until I was beginning to think of him as my best friend…and possibly more. I began to entertain notions of a more romantic nature.

And then the Xindi attacked Earth and Trip's sister was killed and things changed.

My every effort and overture towards him was met with cold indifference or hot words. In the end, it was easier to back off and give him the space he seemed to crave so desperately.

I didn't expect him to turn to Archer and T'Pol for the support I had longed to give him. I know that Trip and Archer have always been close friends, that they shared a bond that was very deep and strong, but it wasn't sexual. Even Trip laughed at such a notion when I suggested it. When it comes to T'Pol, if either of us ever entertained any kind of…sensual ideas concerning her, it was I!

I can't help but think that Archer took advantage of Trip somehow. There was a time when I would never have allowed myself to think such a thing of my Captain, not any more; not since the expanse. Archer has changed in the few months we've been in this sector of space. I'd like think that it's just the nature of our mission that has changed him, but there is an uneasy sense in my mind that this is less of a change than a revelation of his true nature.

I'm afraid for Trip. Especially now, since Archer instigated a change in the dynamic of their relationship that can only have confused him.

I was given one night to show Trip how things *could* be and I poured my entire focus into it. I know it made an impact on him and the game has only begun; it is a game I am determined to win.

I am almost convinced, after last night, that what is between them is a manipulative situation rather than any kind of a love bond and it has only made me the more determined to pursue Trip, but I need to plan my moves subtly. I don't want to put him in any danger.

We were friends before this; we were lovers for a few short hours last night. I liked what we were last night, and I want more.

PART 3: The Way Things Were: Archer

We were workmates before we were anything else. I didn't even know he existed until the day he confronted the Vulcans and Admiral Forest over the warp one engine. Then we were drinking partners and then somewhere along the way, we became friends, and then buddies, and then, best friends.

I would have been happy with that. I *was* happy with that, but things changed.

Everything changed when the Xindi attacked Earth. Our planet, our mission, and our relationship.

I never planned for things to happen the way they did. It just came about that way and now I don't want to let it go.

Trip avoided me for the most part and turned down even my most persuasive invitations to get together and talk. Apart from one late night drinking session in the mess hall when he spilled out anger and revenge; he wouldn't talk to me…he wouldn't let me in.

So one night I practically ordered him to come for dinner. I didn't like to use my rank to influence him, but I couldn't stand by and watch my best friend crumble and fall apart without trying one last time to reach him.

He agreed and we just…talked shop. I didn't want to push him. I just wanted to be there for him. Hell I don't know what I wanted. I needed my friend back I wanted to find some way of making it right. That's a joke isn't it? Your friend loses a part of his soul, and you want to make it right?

By the time Trip decided to leave we'd both had quite a few more beers than I'd planned. He walked to the door and I went with him to see him out. I don't remember the words we said, but I remember putting a hand on his shoulder and he turned to look at me and there was…something in his eyes. Something lost and vulnerable and…

I acted on instinct. I kissed him. I don't even know why now, and I don't know why Trip didn't push me away and laugh the way he'd always done before. He clung to me and he kissed me back and before I knew it we were on my bed and…I can't say what we did was making love there was more of anger and pain in it than love and at the end, we cried in each other's arms.

He came back again the next night…and the night after that. I couldn't send him away. I needed this as much as he did and when my mind accused me of using him, I stuffed those thoughts away somewhere deep inside of me and ignored them. He needed me…he needs me.

I need him…We were always best friends. We were always there for each other and I won't let that change.

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