Title: Stepping Over

Author: Kipli

Author's email: Kipli16@yahoo.com

Author's URL: http://www.kipli.net

Archive: Yes to Archers_Enterprise and Reed's Armory.

Fandom: Star Trek: Enterprise

Category: Slash

Rating: R

Status: Complete

Pairing: Archer/Reed, Reed/male

Summary: Malcolm thinks back on his life before Jon.

Warnings: None

Sequel: Er, sits in canon with LiveJournal's Ent_Musing.

Betas: Mareel read it first.

Spoilers: None

Disclaimer: Paramount owns the universe. I just live there.

Author's Notes: This is my ent_musing (http://www.livejournal.com/community/ent_musing/) Malcolm. I'm not even sure anyone else will care to hear all this, other than perhaps those who read and follow the A/R threads, but Mareel seemed to think some others may, so here it is. If it's not clear, Mark Latrelle (http://www.kipli.net/images/misc/mark1.jpg) is the "friend" Hoshi called, trying to find out Malcolm's favorite food, in 'Silent Enemy' after speaking to his sister.

Mark Latrelle. Why I should think of him now, I don't know. I have so many more lovely things to think about as of late. Love, at the top of that list. My love. The one person that knows me—that has seen my heart, my mind—and loves me all the same… perhaps even more, now, than before he'd learned of it all. And I *know* he loves me, will always love me… I've never felt that ever before in my life… It's so very easy to smile just thinking of Jon.

So why I should think of Mark… I didn't even think of him when I recounted Ian to Jonathan. Ian… I do think his scars run deeper. As they say, the first cut tends to be the deepest, and Ian surely cut deep… But Mark, well, with him it was a different kind of wound. He didn't pin me to the bed and take my virginity—my innocence. No, that was long gone by the time I met Mark. Instead… I think he took my stability, my hope. I think, even after Ian and a string of… awkward flings with women a few years later, I still thought someone was out there for me. I hadn't yet given up on love.

I was idealistic then. Or, well, proud and rebellious in my own way. I had just joined Starfleet. It had been quite the fight to get there… Not that Starfleet hadn't wanted me, but rather I wasn't certain if I wanted Starfleet. It was quite close to a profession I *knew* I didn't want… As it was, my father still didn't approve and my comm to tell him of my acceptance in to Starfleet was the last conversation I've really had with the man. Since then, I've only heard family news through my mother and sister.

Naturally, after telling my father off, I was feeling liberated yet alone. I was my normal quiet self. I went to my entry courses, finished my work in record time, spent far too much time at the gym. Only a few of my crewmates ever made overtures at friendship, and not many stuck around after the work was done. I told myself it didn't matter… Life was about Starfleet now. I needed to become the best. I needed to focus on my work. I didn't need friends, didn't need companionship…

After completing my training, I was assigned to work under a commander in the experimental armaments department. It was interesting enough work, and I could use it to get myself a promotion, but my stipend for living off base was hardly enough for living in San Francisco proper and my savings were running thin. I needed to find a roommate for the flat I was renting. I had known it was coming. I just wasn't sure which was worse: living in government housing or living with a stranger.

Mark was the first person to answer my request for a roommate with Headquarters. He'd been unassuming. He had this way of putting people at ease… He was a master of the art of conversation and body language. He could read someone as if they were an open book in front of them. And he did so while still remaining charming about it. That was the problem with Mark… He could talk his way out of any situation, or in to any situation.

So of course I rented the room to him. We did well enough. I expected us to keep our separate ways. He was on a completely other team in the department. But, as Mark was soon to point out, we had a lot in common. We were both ensigns, both just joined not too long ago, both working in the armory sector. He made the first overtures at friendship. I thought it nice to have someone actually interested in my rambles on my current projects. And he was a smart man. He handed me a number of insights on the projects. It was a warm feeling… I'd had friends when I was young, but no best friends, no one I needed to talk to daily, other than my sister Madeline. Soon I had that, with Mark. We'd talk every evening. We'd go out some nights, if we both got off at a decent hour, or both got off in the dead of the night starving.

We took to going to this one seafood place. Mark kept insisting we went so I could stare at one of the waitresses. She was pretty, but I think Mark liked sniggering about it to get a rise out of me. I know I flustered quite well whenever he mentioned it. It must be why he mentioned it after it was all said and done with, when Hoshi comm'ed him to find out my favorite food… hoping for one more rise out of me…

He liked the sea bass. It actually wasn't half bad there… well, for seafood, anyway. I wasn't about to complain that I hated seafood. He liked it. For me that was enough.

And then he made a pass at me.

Right there, in public, at the restaurant one evening. A hand on my thigh, his damned disarming smile, some cheesy line about fish in the sea. I must have been beet red; my heartbeat was hammering so loudly in my ears. He loved it.

I didn't stop him from rushing us home and having his way with me on the living room couch.

He was only the second man I'd been with, and with Ian being my first, well… experienced I was not, nor was I confident in any of it. And Mark… Mark was quite good at all he did. Those fingers and that tongue…

But the man had his own quirks, and most of all, though he'd never admit to it, was that he liked to top. In the few months we were together, only a couple times was I able to talk him in to being bottom. He liked… well, if he never had to bottom, he'd have been fine with that, and that never went over well with me. I was barely conscious of it, but I didn't want to be anyone's bitch… I didn't want to prove Ian righ… and I didn't like that Mark could usually always talk his way in to being top. Not that he wasn't damn good at it… just… it ate away at me.

We still talked, about work and life in general, but talk about our sex life? Never. We were barely more than fuck buddies. We never uttered the words "love" and I only secretly pondered it. Perhaps he loved me. Perhaps then I could deal with being his bitch… if he loved me. I never asked him about it, or us, or anything relating. We teased with words. We held a few interesting comm conversations on lazy days while on duty between projects. He even once jumped me in the single stall unisex lav. He liked it fast, rough, quick, and in any locale imaginable.

Mark had a problem with the word no. If I wasn't in the mood, it just meant he had to try harder. If I disliked whatever he had in mind, it just meant he had to push harder. And, sadly, it usually always worked. He had that… that ability to control a conversation. No matter what I said, he always had a quick answer to it. And by the end of our… relationship, he was getting cocky. He thought he'd always ultimately get whatever he wanted, and my patience with him was wearing thin…


"I want to get a good look at that pretty ass of yours."

"No… no, no not like that, Mark." I shook my head against the pillow.

"Why not?" He was getting irritated with me and glared, eyes lighting with a fire I never liked to see. "I can fuck you ten times over any other way: on the floor, against the wall, in the shower, over the comm…"

He smirked, seeming to proudly recall our recent comm sessions from opposite ends of San Francisco. He'd been smugly proud of being able to get uptight me to ease in to the comm sex. Not that it hadn't been fun and I hadn't learned a thing or two… but I had my limits and this one was long standing. And still, he thought he could push and break me open again.

"So why can't I fuck you like this?" He slides a possessive hand along my backside, resting to cup my ass. "What the hell is your problem, Malcolm? I promise it'll be good." He flashes his smile at me, accompanied by a coy wink. His fingers slid between my cheeks to circle around my puckered entrance.

I squirm on the bed, moving to roll off my stomach onto my side, but Mark's other hand presses firmly against the small of my back.

"Baby, please. Just stay put. This isn't a big deal."

"*Yes* it is. Fuck me any other way, just not this, you know that."

"But I don't see what the big deal is." He met my eyes with that soft look of his. "I let *you* take me like this."

"I…" My tension drains some at the guilt trip. I had taken him like that, yes… but he had asked me to, had wanted it. He uses my moment of hesitation to straddle my hips and rest his ass against mine, his hard cock burning against my skin.

A flood of adrenaline and panic runs through me that I know he wasn't prepared for, otherwise he would have kept a better hold of me.

I quickly grab hold of the headboard and pull myself forward, out from underneath him, bringing my legs up and kicking him hard in the stomach, knocking him off the bed.

"I said *no*!"

Mark gasped for breath from the floor, wind and pride knocked out of him. He stared up at me as I clung to the headboard. "Jesus Christ, what the fucking hell is wrong with you?"

I couldn't speak again. I was too busy shaking, trying to calm my nerves, my panic. He'd… he'd tried to just take me… to pin me down and do whatever he wanted…

Mark grunted at me as he gingerly touched his offended stomach, growling under his breath as he climbed back to his feet, "Goddamn bitch."

The trembling and panic slowed to a stopped as I stared up at him. He. .. I… What the hell was I doing with this man? Just because he was here, interested in making me his playmate, I was supposed to go along with that? I didn't have to put up with this. I was a damned Reed!

I let go the headboard and meet his glare with one of my own. "You'd heard me. I said no. You should've stopped."

"Since when has that stopped me before, Mal?"

"Malcolm," I corrected firmly.

He rolled his eyes, by his stance nearly mouthing 'whatever'. "Listen, fine, we'll work on that one. I think my stomach will survive. Why don't you lie back down—"

"No. Get out."

"W… What? Why? Malcolm, baby."

"Out! I've had enough of your shit. And fucking stop with the babies."

Mark gaped at me a moment, in shock at my outburst. Finally he pulled himself back to his usual swagger. "You can't be serious. For starters, this is *my* room."

"Not any more. Pack your things and get the hell out. I'll mail you your deposit."

I marched for the door. He slid after me, stopping me at the door.

"What?! You can't just *throw* me out!" He reached to smooth a hand along my chest. "You'll get over it in a few hours baby—"

I dodge past him and head in to the main room. "No. I've had enough. Get the fuck out! I've had enough of being your bitch to last me a lifetime."

"Fuckin' temperamental bitch is right!"


That's when I punched him. In the face. For all to see the next day. It didn't exactly help with my promotion plans, but at least after that he did move out, did leave me alone, mostly.

We avoided each other after that, or at least I avoided him. The few times I saw him afterwards, he tried to smooth talk his way in to my favor again, and when that didn't work, tried to push a button or two. I managed not to hit him again… just barely.

I know I was even more quiet, more reserved on duty after Mark. I wasn't interested in making friends any longer. I was here to work. I was here to impress my superiors and get transferred the hell off Earth. I was through with dealing with people on anything but a professional level. All men were fucking bastards, and all women just wanted something better than me. I closed down.

There were a few other flings… One cringe worthy one night stand where I proved to myself I *could* top with the best of them… but I know I was detached. It was just sex. Nothing more. And I would never see this person ever again in my life.

Love… That was just some great lie everyone bought in to. It wasn't actually something real. It was… a nice dream no one ever managed to find.

And then I was promoted, stationed elsewhere, ultimately ended up on Enterprise… ended up meeting Jonathan…

We took our damned time. He had… issues of his own to deal with, and I certainly wasn't ready at the time for any of this. But when it finally happened… it just, happened. And it was like nothing else before it. No one else could manage to compare.

I'm not sure even now if Jon understands how much his care, his need not to push, just amazes me every time. He's… He's everything Mark, and Ian, were not… nor any of my shorter flings… He loves me. With every touch, with every word, he loves me.

I don't know how I managed to find him. After so much… I just wish I could manage to step over everything in my past… make it all disappear… if only…


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