Title: Leap Year

Author: Qzeebrella

E-mail: qzeebrella@yahoo.com

Date: 03/09/2004


Fandom: Star Trek Enterprise

Disclaimer: the show and its characters are Paramount's, no profit is being made from the story below. (rats) Archive: to EntSTSlash, Archer's Enterprise, and Reed's Armory

Category: slash

Pairing: Reed/Hayes

Status: complete

Summary: Hayes figures Malcolm needs a close watch put on him.

Rating: PG

Warnings: none

Beta: none

Spoilers: parts of third season up to Hatchery

He got my attention from the first time he and I had to work together. At first he wasn't thrilled that my team and I were expected to join him in that Trellium mine. I wasn't thrilled either. My team and I have had specialized training in how to infiltrate heavily guarded facilities, we have gone through numerous scenarios together, simulations, and mock battles with other groups. Starfleet has nothing like that, he's a small and slim man, looks so vulnerable, and I doubted that he could be of any use in a fierce battle. The fact he fought so hard against our presence on the ship, fought so much against my people going down to the planet, had me convinced that he could not know what he was doing. I resented the fact that I would have to follow his orders, was expected to work with him, and expected to treat him as a superior officer.

That first mission proved me wrong. His plan to get us in was innovative and impressed both the other MACO's and me. His actions when down there with us, fighting the guards were impressive. I was able to watch some of what he and one of his officers did. They were both impressive: the way they kept their cool, how they lay down covering fire, it was if they had not only gone through our extensive training, but had worked together as an incursion team for years. I even saw him run into the main room, he leapt and it was like watching a panther leap. His expression focused and intense, his muscles flowing as they coiled then let loose, the way he flew threw the air and seemed suspended for a moment before landing precisely where he'd be of most use. It was breathtaking.

I found myself watching him from then on, knowing he was good at his job and yet doing all I could to try to get it so the MACO's had the advantage on ship. Doing what I could to have the captain see how well trained I and the MACO's were, while pointing out that neither Malcolm nor anyone in Starfleet had access to that training. Making it harder for Malcolm to have us work together, doing what I could to keep my team of MACO's separate from Starfleet, discouraging friendship and cooperation. Yet, I continued to watch him as he worked, saw how good he was, and made sure to schedule my breaks to a time when he was on break too. So I could catch the panther at rest, relaxed and sometimes laughing.

Eventually, we accompanied the captain to a planet in the Calindra system, met a man named Gralik Durr. A Xindi Sloth in charge of manufacturing a substance used to build the weapon that had been utilized in the attack on Earth. I watched Malcolm as he kept guard over the captain, as he made suggestions on where to place explosive charges to destroy the facility that was helping to make the new weapon. His suggestions would irraddicate the facility with very little equipment and yet the most damage, it was a brilliant plan. When the captain decided not to destroy the place, Malcolm made sure to make the captain hear out the disadvantages of not doing so, then followed the captain's lead. Just as he should, the way he kept his guard up as we went for the caves, the way he was the first to notice that we were being hunted by those seekers, the way he ran and then leapt on top of that rock…it was glorious. To see him sail through the air and land just where he wanted to, completely balanced and still on guard was impressive. I even saw him pull his shot when the captain stepped into his line of fire, causing him to miss the seeker, and then keep quiet about the captain's mistake, which had me respecting Lieutenant Reed a bit more.

After we got back to the ship, I found myself ensuring that my MACO's did not fraternize with the Starfleet crew. Made sure they kept separate, made sure the captain and they thought I did not respect Malcolm's abilities and leadership. Doing what I could by my actions to encourage others to see him as not being the best man for the job of tactical officer. After all I had had a lot of training in tactics, military planning, and strategical maneuvers. From the time I heard we would be deployed on Enterprise, I had felt that I should be the tactical officer that the lieutenant should answer to me when it came to missions that required a team to infiltrate a facility, or rescue hostages. And though I had begun to respect the lieutenant's abilities more, I could not bring myself to acknowledge it through my actions. I could not yet bring myself to get my team of MACO's to work with him and Starfleet instead of keeping separate.

We next worked together when we met the Skagarans helping the captain after his attempt to get a schoolteacher out of jail. The lieutenant made some amazing shots, had placed his people and mine where they'd be of most use, and was the one who guided us on our search for the captain and T'Pol when they went missing. I saw him at various times, always on guard, always ready to act, always ready to pounce and when the time came he did something no one would have expected. One of my men told me of it afterward, of how T'Pol had been taken hostage by a man. T'Pol having a gun pressed against her, seemingly no way out and how the lieutenant had shot her with his phase pistol. Of how the man who had held her looked appalled at thinking Malcolm would kill her so cavalierly and then just shrug as if it were no big deal and then shoot the gunman. Well it impressed the MACO who saw it and it impressed me. To look right into a crewmates eyes and shoot them, knowing it could go wrong, well that took guts.

But I was bound and determined to prove that I was the superior man when it came to tactics and strategical planning. I even went to the captain with a plan for the MACO's and the bridge crew to train together. Something that the lieutenant had suggested to me at the beginning of the mission, but that I had refused to do at the time. He had given me the courtesy of approaching me directly; I did an end run around his authority. I even arranged the practices to be at the end of his double shifts, so he'd be tired, not at his best. I made sure that the simulations for the target shooting would have him working with unfamiliar rifles, unfamiliar scenarios and made arrangements with the person in charge of the targets to make sure they acted in odd ways for Malcolm, but no one else. Thus having his scenario more difficult than anyone else's does but looking as if it were a normal target shooting scenario to others.

He called me on the fact that I had gone over his head, protested when a MACO continued to go after Mayweather in spite of the fact he had been 'downed', and other things I would have protested if he had done the same with the MACO's. Yet I made it seem as if I thought he was 'whining', he finally challenged me to a little one on one. We fought; he had some damn good moves. Every time I thought I had the upper hand, he would come up with something that had me flat on my back. I even left the room thinking I had finally put him in his place and he came flying out of nowhere and I was hit. He proved to be a dirty fighter, a damn stubborn man, but when we were needed to deal with an intruder in engineering we worked together. And we worked very well together too, he impressed me by coming up with a way to injure the intruder—I would never have thought of using the warp core in that way. And then we faced the captain's reprimand together, I had thought Malcolm would use the opportunity to show what a prick I had been, but he didn't. And when we walked out together, I again had reason to be highly impressed by him.

Days later, after I healed, we came across the insectoid Xindi ship. Eventually the captain ordered me to confine Malcolm to his quarters and I did. He worked out a plan of attack to retake the ship from me though, I had just been informed of how T'Pol was no longer in her quarters when Malcolm and his team stormed the bridge. Again he placed the people with him just where they'd be most effective bringing us to a stalemate. When push came to shove though he prevailed and retook control of the ship. When I asked him why he had not just come to me and explain his suspicions about the captain and ask for my help, he said he did not do so out of concern I'd side with the captain and then there would be nothing he could do. I likely would have sided with the captain too, as I had not seen any behavior that was too far out of line yet.

That was a few weeks ago now and I have started to work with Malcolm, have the MACO's work with the Starfleet crew instead of keeping ourselves separate. The MACO's and I have a new and abiding respect for the lieutenant now. And I have a new appreciation for the way he moves when about to attack, the cunning he exhibits, and my breath caught at the beauty of his latest leap.

We had finished our latest sparring session about 15 minutes before a Xindi sneak attack. I had gone over to one of my MACO's, Mackenzie, to speak and Malcolm had gone to the showers. The Xindi Reptilian's beamed onboard showing up with no warning at all. Small teams throughout the ship, three showing up in the gym itself. Mackenzie and I attempted to fight them and suddenly Malcolm was there, running toward them, and shouting. He was naked, his hair and body wet from a shower as he leapt. Up through the air toward a reptilian, water dripping off of him, the light of the room making his body glisten. He took the Xindi down, got his weapon and shot him. Mackenzie and I dealt with the other two, we heard screaming from the hallway and Malcolm ran into it, naked, carrying a weapon. I remember calling out, "Lieutenant maybe you should get something on."

And him replying, "No time." We dealt with the intruders as we came across them, finally ending up on the bridge. Malcolm found a way to get them off ship and retook the tactical station so as to fire upon the Xindi ship. We took some damage but Malcolm was able to keep his cool. Following the captain's orders he kept firing, sometimes taking the initiative on where or how, finally blowing the Xindi out of the sky. The captain finally turned to him to commend him for his actions and his mouth fell open. "Um…uh, Lieutenant good work, now maybe you should see where you left your uniform."

The bridge crew all looked at Malcolm, I heard Hoshi give a quiet wolf whistle, but Malcolm did not blush or act embarrassed. He just nodded, "yes sir, right away." He stepped away from his station and I saw him, skin glistening from sweat, body toned and sleek, movements graceful, and how he moved as if still on guard, as if still ready to pounce. He left the bridge and from what I hear he gave no notice to those that stopped and stared as he walked to his quarters. He just walked with the same dignity and conservation of movement as he did when fully clothed.

That was yesterday. And I lie here now, amazed and grateful for I saw him in action just last night. After things had been cleaned up from the attack and had quieted down, I saw him leap and pounce. I saw again, his naked body move so gracefully, I saw it move with flexibility and stamina. I saw sweat glisten as he moved so sinuously and I saw as he lowered his guard completely. I gasped to see him allow himself to be vulnerable and my heart sang with joy to see him move under me with trust in his eyes and amazement on his face. I will always cherish the leap he made last night, into my bed and my heart. I will do all I can to make sure he stays there. And I know now that he is the best man for his job and the only man for me.

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