kageygirl

Enterprise slash

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Enterprise kageygirl

Adrift

Title: Adrift

Author: kageygirl

E-mail: kageygirl@gmail.com

URL: http://www.kageygirl.com

Archive: Ask first.

Fandom: Enterprise

Pairing: Tucker/Reed

Rating: NC-17

Category: Slash

Sequel to: Mainstay

Summary: Aquaphobia, metaphorical ramblings, and absolution.

Spoilers: "Minefield", "Shuttlepod One"

Comments: Humorous warning: VERY chatty sex. They wouldn't shut up.

I shift a little on the bunk, trying to find a comfortable position for my leg. Under the anesthetic—doctor-prescribed and self-administered—it truly doesn't hurt any more, just twinges, the memory of pain more than the reality of it. Trip looks at me with sympathy in his eyes, and I find myself caught by them once again.

Trip has eyes like the ocean.

Not like the North Atlantic I know so well, whose storm-ridden depths hold the remains of countless sunken vessels. Roman and Viking bones mingle with British and German, the ties of nation lost on the shifting sea floor.

No, his are more tropical waters, like the Caribbean, where you can see all the way to the sandy bottom. A clear and guileless sea.

But enough Spaniards and Portuguese intent on conquest met their fates in the whirling madness of hurricanes, the passion and fury of the New World conspiring against them. Those crystal-blue waters have proved themselves treacherous to Europeans.

And yet we persist in exploring them.

I tear my gaze away from those eyes, and stare down into my glass. Much safer, to watch the amber liquid swirl around the bottom. Better to drown my sorrows than to be drowned in them.

I blink suddenly at the maudlin turn my thoughts have taken, and I wonder whether it's the painkillers, the Scotch, or a combination of the two. Phlox once told me, with a great deal of relish, that he had observed two typical human reactions to trauma—intoxication and intercourse. He then confided that the anesthetics he favored would produce no ill effects when mixed with alcohol. I don't know why he felt compelled to tell me this in the Mess Hall, but he seemed greatly amused at my discomfiture. I wouldn't be surprised to find that he's publishing papers on Denobula about his time among the humans.

Trip taps his fingers against the side of my knee, and I look up at him. "You awake in there? Or am I borin' you?"

"Sorry." I'm a bit embarrassed. My thoughts have been drifting down unexpected avenues all evening.

"Do you want me to leave?" His eyes flick down to my leg. He's afraid of tiring me out, I'm sure.

"No." His eyes shift away, and a little smile dances on his lips.

"Can I see your scars?" The grin is in full bloom, now. His earlier agitation has been draining away, little by little, and it cheers me to see his good humor returning.

"No." He was expecting that; it's part of the dance we do.

"Do you want another drink?"

I finish what's in the glass, then hand it to him. "Please." I don't really intend to drink much more, but he seems to like playing valet, and I'm enjoying watching him bounce off the bed. Sometimes I feel positively glacial beside Trip; even when he's not moving, he gives the impression of barely-leashed energy. When we came to my cabin, that energy was chaotic, fragmented, an unbalanced antimatter reaction. But he's much more centered now.

Trip hands me the glass, then takes his place beside me. He bumps my shoulder with his, again, as he's done every time he sits down. I narrow my eyes at him, feigning annoyance, and he nods amiably at me. "Cheers."

I tilt my glass towards him in response, then take a sip. He's been trying to get a rise out of me, as always, but tonight I find that he's keeping me grounded, bringing me back from my flights of fancy. Appropriate, that, given our little adventure earlier. I think of tumbling through space, all alone, until my air runs out a second time. A shiver runs through me, almost imperceptible, but that Trip's been leaning against me, and it's obvious he felt the tremor.

He brushes the backs of his fingers down my cheek, and I close my eyes, savoring the contact. When I open them, he's smiling fondly at me. "C'mere." He slides an arm around my shoulders, and I turn a little to rest my head on his chest. I was sure I was going to die in that EV suit, never to touch or be touched again, and hearing his heartbeat under my ear is the greatest gift in the world.

I don't know why I ever feared this closeness with him. This is all so easy, like falling. Like sinking.

"I should have been out there with you." His voice is soft, but I hear the echo of it through his chest.

"I'm glad you weren't." My hand glides across his chest, following the seams on his shirt.

"Why?"

I don't even have to lie. I could tell him, honestly, that I wouldn't have wanted to put his life at risk, too. I could tell him that the ship needs him, the crew needs him, the captain needs him. I could even refuse to answer, because for all his persistence, he does let me keep my secrets.

But this is a time for truths, the ones that really matter. "When the Romulans reappeared, they knew you were prepared to cut me loose. The captain wouldn't give the order, and the ship was in jeopardy." My hand curls into his shirt, almost of its own volition. He squeezes my arm in gentle encouragement, and I close my eyes. "I vented the oxygen from my EV suit."

He breathes out heavily, ruffling my hair. I pull back and look up at him, prepared for his censure, his anger, even his disgust. I'm not prepared for the compassion in his eyes, the look of terrible understanding. I remember a shuttlepod, and a phase pistol, and a bone-deep chill that had nothing to do with the temperature.

"You woulda scared the hell outta me." There's an apology on his face, but I've long since forgiven him that transgression.

"I know." I feel the weight of shared knowledge heavy between us. Things that good people aren't supposed to know.

"Musta scared the hell outta the cap'n." His eyes go thoughtful.

"He threatened to bust me back to crewman. Was there a lecture that I missed in Command School?"

He gives me a watery chuckle and brushes his lips across my forehead. "I'm real glad you screwed it up."

I breathe a laugh at the nerve of the man, but in truth, I'm ashamed at my lack of faith. I almost denied us this moment, and all the moments to come. "I'm sorry."

"Don't be." His voice is rough, and the arm around my shoulders trembles a little. "You're here. That's all that matters."

It's true—I can see it in his eyes. He's forgiven me my weakness. The warmth in his eyes is like a benediction. I lean forward, and press a kiss to his lips.

He tastes smoky, from the Scotch, and salty, a tinge of the ocean. I pull away in surprise, but he's drawing his thumbs across my cheeks, wiping away tears that I hadn't felt fall.

"Trip…" I don't even know why I'm crying. He seems to, because he gives me a crooked smile.

"It's all right, darlin'." He pulls my mouth in again to meet his. I give myself up to it, letting the tide sweep me along, going under for the third time. He's gentle, but thorough. It's glorious, and I've no idea why we've never done this before.

He leans his forehead against mine, panting, and I can see that his eyes have gone dark. Storm clouds gathering on the horizon. I could lose myself in those eyes. Get dragged down so far into the depths that I'll never see the surface again. I wonder if that would be such a terrible thing.

I slide my hand inside his shirt, stroking his ribs with my thumb. I'm glad that he's in civilian clothes—all that enticing skin is so much more accessible.

Trip's hands are wandering, too, just skimming along my arms, as if he finds me fragile. He glances down at my leg again. There's a damnable hesitance in his expression. "Maybe we should wait until your leg is better."

"I'd really rather not." I decide to find out whether the side of his neck could possibly taste as good as it looks. His fingers tighten and he gives a marvelous groan before sliding his hands to my shoulders and pushing me back.

"I don't want to hurt you." He's wavering, though.

"And I don't want to have to hurt you." I turn my head and nip the inside of his wrist, drawing a surprised hiss from him.

His grin is shaky, but genuine. "Damn, you're sexy when you're threatening."

"Show me." I wrap my hands around his forearms and lean back, tugging him towards me. We end up in an awkward heap, his weight pressing down on my right side, but I like feeling his warmth. He leans into another kiss, and I find myself pinned down again, but this time it feels right.

He slides off onto the mattress and props his head on one hand. His other hand is rubbing small circles over my heart. "I'm supposed to see that you get some rest. I'm not sure this is what the doc had in mind."

In fact, I have my suspicions on that front, but I don't voice them. Instead, I rest my hand on his hip, drawing my thumb across the top of his thigh. "I thought you wanted to see my scars." I'm not playing fair, and I don't care. It's taken us too long to get here. We were almost too late.

There's a gleam in his eyes now. "Is that all I get to see?"

"Well, it's all you asked about."

His smile turns predatory. "Lieutenant, I would very much like to see you naked."

"Likewise, I'm sure." I sit up and reach for the hem of the Sickbay-issue shirt, but he stops me, taking my hands.

"'Scuse me, I'd like to unwrap my own present." I shake my head and chuckle, raising my arms to let him strip the shirt over my head. In return, I get to skim his shirt off, running my hands up his sides along the way. He twitches a little, and I suppress a smirk. The fact that he's ticklish may well come in handy later and I don't want to tip my hand too soon.

He's staring at me, smiling, his eyes positively glowing. Starting at my collarbones, he traces down my chest with both hands, fingers gentle and caressing. I arch into his touch as he flicks my nipples with his thumbs, and his gaze moves to my face briefly. Apparently, I'm not the only one taking notes here. He leans in close, brushing my cheek with his, and murmurs into my ear. "You're gorgeous. I just thought you should know that." There's awe in his voice.

I duck my head, a little overwhelmed. He's worshipping me with his hands, slowly and carefully. I've never felt so cherished. I press my lips to his cheek. "Do I pass muster, then?"

"Well, I don't know. I'll have to see the whole package." He glances down into my lap, at my growing erection. "So to speak."

I roll my eyes at the pun, but his naughty little grin makes the indignity worth it. I settle back onto the bed, lifting my hips so that he can pull off my pants. Then his hands still, and I look up to see him staring down at my leg.

The scars are an angry red, and there's a lot of ugly bruising there. Phlox's eel sealed the wound, but there's only so much accelerated healing that the body can endure at one time, evidently. Trip's eyes are haunted, and I see him slipping away again. Can't have that. I reach out, grab his arm, and pull him into a kiss, hard and demanding.

"Malcolm…" His voice is breathless, a little sad.

"I'm here, Trip." I hold his gaze, willing him to listen. "I'm here. Be here with me." My hand strokes the back of his neck, trying to reassure him.

He studies my eyes. I can see the moment that the fear leaves his own, like a sea change. That lovely smile reappears again, the sun bursting through the clouds. "I'm right here." He kisses me, deeply, gratitude and relief passing between us.

There's a new energy to him now, and he retraces with his mouth the path that his hands took earlier. I gasp when he laves my nipple with his tongue, and he chuckles into my skin. I thread my fingers into his hair, and he takes my other hand in his own, planting a reverent kiss on my knuckle before going back to his exploration. He nibbles on my stomach, and flashes me a wicked look when I jump. Still trying to get a rise out of me. So to speak.

He nuzzles my erection, and I almost forget to breathe, watching that tousled blond head move between my thighs. He takes me into his mouth, and I clench the hand that's holding his. He returns the grip, holding me steady as the wave of sensation builds. He raises his eyes to mine, and the heat and love in them does me in. My orgasm washes over me, and I fancy I can hear the surf crashing against the shore.

I open my eyes with no memory of having closed them, and find Trip next to me, smiling softly. He cups my cheek with his hand, stroking his thumb over my lips. I pull him down to me, needing to connect with him. He rests his hand on my chest for balance, and we trade long slow kisses for a while.

"So, was the inspection satisfactory?" Idly, I trace his features with two fingers, and he leans into the touch.

"I suppose I'll keep you." He licks my fingertips as they pass over his lips, and I feel a lazy smile curl my lips. My eyes drift shut.

"That's a relief. I was quite concerned." He settles in a little more solidly against me, one arm wrapping around my waist. I feel the roughness of fabric as his leg slides against mine, and realize that I never even got his pants off.

"Trip…" I try to fight off the lethargy, to sit up, but he holds me down. When I glance at him, he shakes his head gently.

"Darlin', you're exhausted." He presses a kiss to the corner of my mouth, then tucks his head in on my shoulder. "And we've got all the time in the world."

"We do, at that." I kiss the top of his head, then let my eyes close. Dimly, I feel movement, and he drapes the spare blanket over both of us before reclaiming his position beside me. All the time in the world sounds like something worth fighting for. Worth living for.