Title: Ambiguity

Author: Pretzelduck

Author's e-mail: pretzelduck@yahoo.com

URL: http://www.geocities.com/pretzelduck


Date: Posted to Archer's Enterprise, EntSTSlash and Reed's Archery Range 11/18/2003

Archive: Permission to archive granted to Archer's Enterprise, EntSTCommunity, Tim Ruben

Fandom: Star Trek: Enterprise

Category: Slash

Rating: PG-13

Status: Complete

Pairing: Archer/Reed

Next story: Reality

Summary: Jon chased after his dream, but he doesn't know if he caught it.

Warnings: None

Previous story: Perception

Spoilers: None

Disclaimer: I don't own the Star Trek franchise. Paramount does. I also don't make any money from writing this. The only thing I make money on is my ability to roll pretzels and work a cash register.

Author's Notes: The action in this story picks up directly where the first one left off. So if you haven't read it and want to read this story, you probably should read 'Perception' first.

This isn't the first time I've watched him walk away. I do it a lot, actually. It's safer to stare at that gorgeous ass and wonder about the texture of the skin hidden by the uniform than it is to look Malcolm in the eyes. If I gaze into his eyes too long, I have a tendency to drown in them. So much is hidden there. Layer beyond layer of the nuances that make up the thoughts and the personality of Malcolm Reed.

I had hoped for a long time…years, actually…that one of those layers held affection for me and that if I looked into his eyes at just the right time, I would see it. Then, I could tell him how much he meant to me.

And I thought that time came last night.

Even with his non-response to my calling out his name, I can't just let him walk away. Not again. My dream of being with Malcolm, like other dreams I've had, refuses to die a quick death. I take off down the corridor after him. I don't care that I'm wearing only the boxers I threw on after I heard Malcolm leave. I don't care that I'm the captain of the ship chasing after one of my officers in my bare feet. I'm not letting him get away that easily.

As I come around the corner, his fingers are only centimeters from the call button for the turbolift.


His outstretched hand lowers until it's against his side but except for that, Malcolm doesn't look toward me or make any other motion. It's almost like he didn't hear me. Reaching out, I slowly place my hand on his upper arm. Not to grip it or to hold him in place but to touch him. I need to touch him. It's weird to feel fabric when hours ago I felt skin.

I get the reaction I wanted, though. Malcolm turns slightly so he's looking at me. There's so much turmoil in his eyes. I want to pull him into my arms but I don't know if he wants me to. When I manage to look at the rest of him, I notice that his hair is still ruffled from where I ran my fingers through it last night and there's a light blush staining his cheeks. I've never seen him look more adorable.

"I need…do you…could we…" Apparently, the sight takes away my ability to speak coherently. So I settle on the only thing I can get out of my mouth. "Malcolm."

Catching a hold of his eyes, I look at him, begging him with my eyes to tell me what he was thinking. Or something. Anything. I keep watching until his head just barely shakes from side-to-side and his eyes close, blocking off my view.

"Not now. Perhaps later." His voice sounds rough like he's barely under control. I can't push him. This can only work if he shares what I feel. But a plea escapes me anyway.


At my harsh whisper, Malcolm turns and looks at me for an instant before he presses the button. This time he doesn't hesitate. I don't bother trying to follow him.

Forcing myself to walk back to my cabin, I refuse to think about anything until I'm inside. I can feel pain race up my arm as my hand slams against my closed door seemingly of its own accord. What happened? I thought we made a connection last night. Did Malcolm not listen to what I told him? I tried to explain to him how much I care about him. I'm not one for casual sex; I never have been. This wasn't a one-night stand. Not for me, anyway. And I was under the impression that it wasn't for him, either. But then again, Malcolm never did voice his feelings out loud. His response to my declaration of a long-held attraction was to pull me in for a kiss. I didn't stop to question him because I couldn't control myself. His lips were soft and responsive. His hands were roaming everywhere along my body. And his eyes were burning with a desire unmatched by those in even my most wanton dreams about him.

With month after month of wondering and wanting, I couldn't pull away to ask him if he'd been dreaming about this too. I didn't dare. I needed him too badly. And he was in my arms.

I made love to him and afterwards, I pulled him into my embrace and told him that I love him. He didn't respond. Again. Malcolm did stay, though. He could have left as soon as I fell asleep if he couldn't face me. But he stayed all night. Doesn't that mean something? If he was just looking for a physical release of some kind, I think I would be the last place he would turn.

Did I force myself on him? Did Malcolm feel that he couldn't turn me down?

No. That doesn't seem right. He has no trouble telling me what he thinks of some of my decisions regarding security. I think that he wouldn't let me do things to him that he didn't want. I have to believe that. Even if it's only for the sake of my own sanity.

I need to shower and I need to get dressed. No matter how much I might not want to, I still have to work today. Nothing can be resolved with Malcolm right now. He doesn't want to talk. Later, he said. Later isn't now, if later even ever comes. Maybe work will help me focus. There are people depending on me, after all. Even the person who seems to be unknowingly walking around with my heart in his hands.

Just as I'm about to strip, the chime sounds announcing that someone is at my door. Could it be? My hands are shaking so I rub them together to try and make it a little less obvious.

"Come in."

I'm hoping for an uncertain and handsome Englishman to be standing shyly on the other side of the door. Instead, I get a way too awake engineer.


"Mornin', Cap'n. I thought I'd get an early start and since you're always up at this hour…"

Damn, damn, damn. Trip's voice trails off as my mind tries to imagine Malcolm standing in his place. He would be nervous, knowing that by returning he was telling me how deep his feelings for me ran. I would usher him inside, thinking that he would be more comfortable within the privacy of four walls.

Trip shaking me forces the illusion to disappear. I don't even try to hold on to it.

"You're out of it this mornin', aren't ya?" He looks around me and I watch his eyes take in the comforter on the floor and the rumpled sheet on the bed. There's a hint of compassion in his eyes when he looks back at me. "Rough night?"

"You could say that."

And only Malcolm knows if it will happen again.

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.