Title: Never

Author: Beverly

Author's Contact: bev_crusher1971@yahoo.de

Archive: Permission to archive granted to Archers_Enterprise, MEG-Archive, reedsarmory, reedsarcheryrange, EntSTSlash, and whoever can stand to read it...just let me know where.

Rating: NC-17

Status: complete

Pairing: Archer/Reed

Warnings: none

Spoilers: Mild ones for "Bounty"

Disclaimer: Me nothing...Paramount everything...*sigh*...but hey, I let the boys have much more fun, right?

Beta: Mareel, as always, quick and efficient. She's amazing. She also suggested the title...and be honest...it fits perfectly.

Summary: The night after Jon comes back from the Tellarian bounty ship

Author's Notes: The usual. Itęs loving, sappy, and it has a Happy Ending.

Feedback? Yes, pleeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaase. Take this as a birthday fic for Malcolm and for me.


NEVER

MALCOLM

He's back.

I can hardly believe it.

After we lost the warp signature of the bounty raider, I was close to losing my temper. I couldn't have stood losing him. Not now. Not now that we had just found each other.

But we found him. And he's back where he belongs. In my quarters. In my arms. In my heart.

I snuggle a little closer, press my ear to his heart to hear its soft beating. It's strong. Reassuring. Telling me with every beat that my love is alive.

Suddenly he sighs softly, and I raise my head to look into his face. It's hidden in the shadow; his eyes are closed. I know that they are green. Not like an emerald, or like the sea near a shore. No, it's more like grass right after the rain stopped. Still a bit darker than usual, but in itself pure and almost heartbreakingly beautiful. His features are relaxed and he looks incredibly peaceful. The little lines and wrinkles around his eyes are softened in the dim light of the stars streaming in through the viewport, making the years melt away.

Would he laugh at me if he would ever found out about my thoughts? I'm the 'Stubborn Brit'. The man with no heart. The man with only his weapons in his head. Yes, I know what people say about me.

After all, I'm head of security and it would be a shame if I would NOT know little things like these.

If they only knew.

When my shift ends, I come to Jon. Practically fleeing from all the weapons and responsibilities.

He knows me. He looked into my heart. I'm not able to hide anything from him.

One should think that's amazing. That, considering my reputation as "Lt. No-Heart", someone should be able to know me so well.

It's not too amazing.

It's the one thing that always stopped me from getting too close to someone, no matter if male or female.

The moment I love someone, it's with all my heart. And yes, I have a heart, thank you ma'am.

It's just ... over the years I became very good at hiding my heart. Behind my weapons, behind my regulations, behind my fear. For a long time no one was able to reach me.

When I was stuck with Trip in that shuttlepod, I almost drove him crazy with my letters. But all the women I wrote "good-bye letters" to... none of them really knew me. They had my affection, my body, my sympathy. But never my heart.

And then HE came along.

Full of idealism and optimism. Full of curiosity to find new life-forms, to make new friendships.

For the first time I wondered if it could be possible to love again. Even for someone like me. Especially for someone like me.

"I can almost hear you thinking."

His voice sounds like a caress and his eyes open slowly to gaze at me. I smile, blushing slightly. His hands go on to stroke me where they stopped only a few minutes earlier.

I shiver slightly, and press myself shamelessly closer to his naked body. His skin is like velvet under my fingertips and I press a tender kiss on his shoulder.

"I thought I lost you."

I hate it when my voice sounds so insecure, but right now I can't help it and right now I don't care. I was almost CONVINCED that I'd lost him.

His arms close around me, tightening his grip so I can feel his strength.

"I'm alive, Malcolm," he whispers in my ear.

I tremble more violently now. I don't know how to hide it. I was so scared. So afraid. So hopeless. And now that he's back, all the tension seems to burst. I press my face in the crook of his neck, deeply inhaling his scent, feeling his steady pulse under my lips, and I begin to cry.

JONATHAN

The moment I feel his first tear on my skin I'm almost paralyzed. I feel so helpless. There had been moments on that raider ship when I had been sure that I would never see him again.

Malcolm. My Malcolm. My wonderful, stubborn, unnerving, contradictory, amazing, beautiful Malcolm.

And now I'm here.

And he's crying. Because he'd thought he'd lost me. What can I do?

The trembling grows stronger; he's almost shaking now.

I do what first comes to my mind. I hold him closer, tighter, to show him that I'm alive. That he didn't lose me. Never will lose me.

"Sssh....there...there..."

I rock him gently, and ever so slowly the trembling diminishes and finally stops. But he still cries.

He cries absolutely silently. Not a single sound can be heard. It's frightening. Why doesn't he shout, wail, sob loudly? To feel his quiet grief almost breaks my heart.

"Malcolm? What can I do? Talk to me, please."

He only shakes his head. I can't see it, but I feel the motion against my skin. He snuggles closer, wants to crawl beneath my skin, and all the time I can feel his fingers or his lips somewhere on my pulse, reassuring him that my heart beats.

We just made love, the sweat is still cooling on our skin. He was almost desperate in his movements and now I can see why.

I kiss his head and pull the blanket over us both. We're both tired, exhausted, confused. We will talk about this tomorrow. After a few minutes his tears stop flowing.

I close my eyes, and gently stroke his hair while his tears are slowly drying on my heated skin.

TRIP

Oh my, it's good to have Jonny back. I really would've missed him if we'd lost him out there.

And I'm glad Malcolm has his lover back. Good god, he really was a pain in the ass over the last few days.

And at first I didn't even know why. He was snarling at everybody and was crankier than ever. He was almost biting, and for a while I was thinking about a vaccination against rabies...just to be on the safe side.

But then one night I eavesdropped on him. Ah, I know that's not fair. But hell, he wouldn't talk to me. So you can say I had no other choice. And it wasn't quite planned.

He was adjusting one of his weapon systems, and I only wanted to ask him if I could lend a helping hand.

Then I heard him, talking to his photon torpedoes.

About Jon. About how much he missed him. How afraid he was that he would never see him again. Of his fear of losing him so soon after finding him.

About how he loved him.

I backed away, silently leaving the armory. I was surprised. More than surprised.

But incredibly glad for Jon and Malcolm. Jon deserves a little happiness. And I guess Malcolm will give him just what he needs.

And now we have him back, our captain. Yep, he's tough. A stubborn son-of-a-bitch. I'm sure he gave that Tellarian one hell of a time.

I roll over in my bed, grinning slightly.

Jonny and Malcolm. What a pair.

JONATHAN

I awake slowly. At first I think I'm still away from Enterprise. I don't want to open my eyes for I dreamed of Malcolm. Again. Like all those nights before. And like all those nights before, I'm sad. Desperate. Angry. Frustrated. So awfully helpless.

But then I feel a soft breathing on my back. The warmth of a human body, clinging close to mine.

I turn around and my arms find Malcolm. I'm relieved. His skin is so soft against mine and I just have to touch him. My hands glide over the muscles on his back, deeper to his waist, gently cradling his buttocks. They fit so perfectly in my hands. My fingertips travel carefully along Malcolm's flanks on their way to his nipples, when he suddenly laughs out loud and tries to move away,

Malcolm is ticklish!

I never would have thought that possible and I grin widely. I didn't even notice that he's awake. I kiss him lovingly.

"Sorry, did I wake you?"

MALCOLM

"Sorry, did I wake you?"

His voice doesn't even sound the slightest bit sorry. He tickled me! I can't believe he found my weak spot.

All those last months I had been able to hide it from him.

And now he found it. I try to roll away from him, try to hide my vulnerable side but he follows me... merciless.

And didn't he always follow me?

I surrender. I don't want to run away from him. I move back into his arms, look up into his eyes full of love and kiss him.

We are both off-duty today so I can enjoy his presence in my bed as long as I like. And I intend to enjoy it for a very long time.

I close my eyes, and revel in the feeling of his skin on mine. He is so perfect for me. He fits to my side like no one else I ever knew.

I hunger for him, for his nearness, for his hands on my body, for his lips on mine, for his skin under my fingers.

I open my mouth to devour him. I want him. God, I want him.

Slowly I move my body to cover his, my lips leaving his mouth to slide over his chin, his throat, his collarbone and settle finally over his heart.

"Malcolm, about last night..."

His voice sounds tentative. I don't want to talk about it. Not now, not ever. But he is insistent. He cradles my face in his hands and searches my eyes. I avoid looking at him.

"Malcolm, please...you cried last night. I want to know why."

I turn away and sit up. My mood is gone.

Last night I showed weakness. I can never forgive myself for this. I love him, but I never let anyone see this side of me.

"I...I don't want to talk about it, Jon."

I want to get up but I can feel his arm around my waist, pulling me back into his embrace. Last night I cried and I hate myself for it.

I can feel his warmth as he snuggles closer to me. His chin comes to rest on my shoulder; his arms go around my waist.

Without thinking I grab his arms, searching for some kind of steadiness for my inner turmoil.

"Jon," I whisper. I can feel his nod against my shoulder, assuring me he's there, strong, steady. Closing my eyes, I lean my head back, feeling his lips on my cheek.

"I don't know how long I can stand this."

His arms tighten around me. His voice is tense.

"What do you mean?"

Sighing, I free myself from his embrace and finally get up. Slowly I make my way to the viewport, my back to him.

"I think it would be best if we...end it now."

"What do you mean? Malcolm? Are you...breaking up with me?"

His voice sounds desperate, so full of pain that it almost makes me cry...again. And that's the point. I got weak. I can't dare to be weak when there are over eighty people relying on my strength. How can I protect them when my mind is elsewhere?

But once again...I become weak. I should break up with him. I know that.

But how can I? Hearing his voice...so terrified...so incredibly lost. And I do the first thing that comes to my mind. The one thing that I know is absolutely wrong and idiotic and against everything I'd always believed in.

I turn around and throw myself into his waiting arms, murmuring only one word.

"Never!"

JONATHAN

"Never!"

That word echoes through my head, through my heart, to settle finally in my soul. He won't break up with me. He won't leave me.

For a few excruciatingly long moments I was afraid that his other half, his military side, would win and he would leave me.

I press him close to my heart, bury my nose in his dark hair, and murmur softly,

"What are you afraid of, Malcolm?"

A shiver runs through his slender frame and for a second I have the feeling he's trying to press even closer, though that's hardly possible.

His answer is very quiet, but in its intensity it cuts right through to my heart.

"I'm afraid of losing myself. And I'm afraid of what I might find at the end."

All those months that we have been together, that he has shared my quarters at night, my first cup of coffee in the morning, all those months and I have known nothing of his fears. I feel ashamed of myself.

I don't know what to say.

I hold him close to me, feel his breathing on my skin, his hands on my back, his slim, firm body against mine.

What shall I say? What COULD I say? What would make sense? What could take away his fears?

Suddenly I realise that no matter what I say, it won't change a thing.

He has his own demons to fight. There is only one thing I can do. Be there for him. Hold him. Try to understand him. Love him.

I hold him closer, try to ease his fears away by my mere presence. And slowly, ever so slowly, I can feel his body relax against mine.

"I'm here for you," I whisper, "let yourself fall. I'll be there to catch you. You want to know what you'll find at the end? I'll tell you what you'll find. You'll find an exceptionally man. Brave, strong, loveable. That's what I found. And I consider myself extremely lucky to be loved by a man like that."

"But I was weak."

A slow protest, coming from somewhere beneath my chin.

"When? I spoke with Trip and he told me all about your part of my rescue. He told me he wouldn't have been able to do it without your stubbornness."

No reaction. I stroke over the soft skin of his back while I continue,

"He told me also that you was pretty...upset...angry...ah hell, you was a pain in the ass to almost everybody. The only reason Phlox and T'Pol were spared was that they had to stay in decon. Showing concern for someone is no weakness. It just shows that you care. That you have a heart."

MALCOLM

A heart. Yes, I have a heart. Right at this moment it beats only for the man who is holding me in his arms.

He doesn't despise me? Doesn't laugh about my inability to separate professional and private life?

Hesitantly, I raise my head to look into his eyes and all I see there is love. And affection. A little sparkle of humor. All the things I love so dearly.

And I smile. Then I giggle. Then I laugh heartily.

It's so easy.

He loves me. And I love him. That's it. No 'what-ifs', no 'whys', just that simple.

"You're amazing, love, you know that?"

His smile is almost blinding in its pure joy.

"Jeez...I was wondering when you would notice..." he teases.

In a loving bout I push him back to our bed. When he falls, he yelps in surprise. Before he can react, I throw myself on top of him, forcing the air out of his lungs. But he laughs, happy, freed.

We make love again, slower this time. The kissing seems endless, his hands are all over my body, and I can feel an intensity I haven't felt before.

Something has changed between us. I know that I can rely on him. That he will be by my side, no matter what happens.

I glide deeper, worship his body, kiss him in every available place. I can hear Jon's moaning and I smile. It's me who's able to do this to him. Me alone. I close my hand around his erection, and he gasps. I begin to move my hand up and down along his shaft, and involuntarily he pushes into my touch.

Suddenly my desire to taste him is almost overwhelming. I slide deeper and finally have his erection on eye level. And without hesitation I take him in my mouth.

"GOD, Malcolm!" he almost shouts.

I want him. God, I want him so much. My movements become more focused now, while I gently nudge at his left leg. He reacts immediately and pushes his leg up, giving me access to his gorgeous ass.

I search blindly for the lube, sure that I left it somewhere within reach last night. When I find it, I open it with one hand. Luckily for me it has a flip-cap. I manage to make my finger slippery without spreading half of the tube over the bed.

I'm almost achingly hard by now. My hands are trembling and I don't know how much longer I can hold back, when I slowly push one finger into the body of my lover.

JONATHAN

It's heaven. Pure bliss.

He's so damned sexy. And hot. His mouth is on my cock and all my thinking has gone poof...simply vanished.

I'm sweating all over when I feel his finger entering me. He pushes slowly, carefully, as if afraid to hurt me.

But I've nearly lost him tonight.

Tender and careful is not what I want right now. I want to feel. Him, me, us, everything. I NEED to feel him, so I push myself back on his finger, causing him to gasp out in surprise.

"Whoa, Jon, give me a warning the next time you do that. I almost pushed my whole hand inside you."

My heart is beating wildly. I wanted that. Well, not his whole hand, but more. More fingers inside me. More of his desire filling me.

I look down and realize that I have trouble to see him clearly. He's making me so hot that I'm almost cross-eyed.

"Malcolm, take me now. PLEASE!"

My eyes adjust to his face, and I can see a worried look in his eyes.

"Jon, I have only one finger in you and..."

"TO HELL WITH ONE FINGER! Take me!"

I almost yell at him now. I want him. Hard, fast, deep. I need to know that he's back with me. IN me. That I'm not dreaming again. I want to feel his passion, his love, his lust. And I want to feel him come inside me, want to see his face in the moment of white-hot ecstasy.

He's moving up to lie by my side. His right hand cradles my face as he kisses me deeply. Then he searches for my gaze, holding it with his.

"Are you sure?"

I nod. It's all I can do now. He's sitting up, and gestures for me to turn over.

"No," I whisper harshly. "I want to see you. Want to see your face."

"Okay," he whispers back, before he bends down to give me one more kiss, hard this time, demanding, yet so full of love.

When he moves away from me, to kneel down between my spread legs, I can see he's trembling with anticipation. And I smile. Not bad for an old man like me...I still can make a young man tremble.

He sees my smile.

"What are you thinking of?"

I tell him, and he laughs.

"Old man? You?"

He reaches for my cock, pumping it a few times. Groaning, I let my head fall back onto the pillow. If he doesn't stop now, I'll come. Through the haze of lust I can hear his voice, sounding very amused.

"Now that's impressive for an old man."

I can feel his hands on my ass again, lovingly pulling my cheeks apart. I shiver in the knowledge of what's coming. And finally I can feel the tip of his cock at my anus. It's slippery, almost dripping with lube.

He's careful, inserting only the tip, withdrawing almost immediately, before very, very slowly pushing back in.

This is nice, but not what I want right now. And so when he pushes forward again, so achingly slow, I relax myself and push down on him, taking him inside in one smooth motion.

Not a single word is said as we both stare at each other, for a few seconds too stunned, too overwhelmed to say anything.

He's buried deep inside me, so deep that I can feel his balls on my skin. Now I know for sure that I'm not dreaming. No dream could ever match this. Malcolm leans down to kiss me. Then he smiles.

"May I assist you, or do you want to fuck yourself senseless on me, while I do nothing?"

I stare at him like a fish on dry land. Did he really say 'fuck'?

Playfully, I move my hip forward and am rewarded with a deep moan.

"Oh my...you really have a way with words. You spend too much time with Trip, I guess. But yes, please, I'd love you to assist me. Would you, please, start moving now?"

This time he laughs out loud. What a wonderful sound, and in the same second he starts to pull out and thrust back in with barely controlled power. I start to move with him, and after a few second we find our rhythm.

It's fire running through my veins, it's incredible, unbelievable, and feels so damned good. Malcolm has my cock again in his loving grip, and is stroking me in time to his thrusts.

I won't last long even though the last time we made love was less than four hours ago. He's just too good. As I look into his face, I can see that his eyes are open and that he's looking at me, an unreadable expression on his face.

Suddenly his movements become erratic, almost frantic. Deeper and deeper he's driving his hard cock in me now, and I race toward my own orgasm with breathtaking speed.

I want to hold him, tell him to come together with me, tell him I love him, but all I can do is moan, gasp, and when he pushes me finally over the edge, I can feel he's falling with me. I can hear him yell, sob, scream, and above it all I can hear one word. He's repeating it like his own personal mantra.

"Never! Never!"

He's never going to leave me. That's all I know when the power of my climax blows me away, and I explode.

MALCOLM

I collapse on top of him. Bloody hell, that was the most intense orgasm I ever had. Jon is laying underneath me, softly whimpering in the afterglow of his own fulfilment. I can feel him shuddering, and see a lonely tear escaping his eyes.

I kiss it away, my heart full of love, singing in its happiness.

Carefully I draw myself back, and grab for the towel that is always just within reach. After I clean myself, I clean my lover. The look he is wearing is one of content happiness. I toss the towel vaguely in the direction of the bathroom before I pull up the duvet to cover us both.

Jon's arms close around me as I snuggle lovingly into his side.

"I love you, Malcolm."

I'm too tired to lift my head, so I move it just a little bit and kiss his shoulder.

"I love you, too."

We were so close to losing each other tonight, in more ways than one. I won't let it happen again. I found him. No, we found us. And we're made for each other.

He loves me.

And no matter what the future might bring us, I will never leave him. Never.

I promised.

***

The end


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