By Alia - 2007

Disclaimer: These characters don't belong to me. Sadly Jon and Malcolm are the property of Paramount. I am just playing with them, and request you keep in mind that no disrespect or infringement to copyright is intended.

Summary: A desperate Malcolm seeks absolution for his sins.

Rated: R for interactions of the m/m variety and dubious consent.

Authors Notes: This piece of fiction is based on the season 4 episodes of Affliction & Deliverance along with a rather odd dream I had a while back. Consider it AU if it makes you happy. Also, for reasons I cannot explain it is written in the second person. It is also unbetaed and contains Australian spelling.

Comments: Can be sent to aliajones1999@yahoo.com


"Let's face it Reed, ever since you joined Enterprise you've become no more than Archer's bitch."

You can't even pretend that you're surprised by the snideness of Harris' remarks. Disgusted perhaps by their accuracy, but you are not prepared to let that show. Not to this man.

Something inside of you shatters as you struggle to maintain control, and somewhere in the back of your mind you realise that it's the last shreds of your dignity flying apart.

Even as you tell Harris it's over, that he is never to contact you again and you close the channel you know what you going to do, what you need to do to move past the last few days.

You don't expect to be welcomed when you arrive at the captain's quarters sometime later and you are certainly not made to feel that you are as you stand awkwardly just inside the closed door. After discovering you'd lied to him you hardly think he will simply tell you that all is forgiven and take you back into his bed. He's not that kind of man, and frankly, you'd be disappointed if he was. Jonathan Archer is a man though, and as open to suggestion as the rest. You are also very aware that like your feelings him, his for you run deep and that you have hurt him badly by not coming to him the first time Harris contacted you.

Jonathan nods when you finish telling him about your most recent dealings with the operative and then walks away; returning once again to whatever he had been working on before you had showed up unannounced, and definitely uninvited. You know you have been dismissed but you came here with a purpose and you have no intention of just giving up.

Steeling yourself for what you know will be a battle of wills and the forgoing of no small amount of pride, you step forward "There is something else," you say. "Something that Harris said that I haven't told you yet."

Jonathan's response is slow in coming, timed and long suffering as it is with partners of any duration, ultimately amounting to no more than a barely suppressed sigh followed by another quick nod when it is finally given. You feel sudden anger at his reaction, frustration that you have to talk about this all, that things can't be how they were before, but you know deep down that you have no right to feel anything but gratitude towards him, that if it were anyone else, you would still be biding your time in the brig.

You take a deep breath and another measured step forward.

"He said that I had sold out sir, that ever since I joined Enterprise I had become no more than your bitch…." Your words lose their momentum as Jonathan's head comes up and your eyes meet.

You know he is as horrified by the accusation as yourself, that mere words cannot describe the offence you both feel that the relationship you both have concealed from the prying eyes and judgement of others has been degraded to the most demeaning level imaginable by a man not worthy of a second thought, let alone the pain you see reflected back in your lover's eyes.

For a moment you are reunited, once again bound by love and the secrets you share -- the last few days erased from your conscious memories as if they had never occurred, but the moment passes and the look in Jonathan's eyes changes. He glances away and you reach out, taking a hold on his arm as you abandon any pretence that you will just leave with so many things left unsaid between you.

"I don't want to loose what we had," you say; your voice made breathless by the rising fear inside of you that it was already too late. The wrist caught in your grasp straining for release making you desperate as you lean in.

Despite your smaller stature you tower over him seated at his desk, trapped now until you step back or he forces you to do so. The possibility that Jonathan will use his greater bulk to subdue you is a very real and for untold moments you remain poised on the edge of uncertainty.

"What is it that you think we had, lieutenant?" The struggle to be set free slows and finally ceases, but Jonathan's tone and steel gaze assures you that he has far from given up.

You shake your head, swallowing over your own pain and regret, wishing he understood what you needed from all of this without you having to say it. "Something special," you whisper, answering his question. "Something that I always thought was worth fighting for."

Jonathan's expression is no less grim than your own, and while you can well imagine he is feeling the same sense of loss as yourself it appears to make little difference.

"Then perhaps you should have thought of that before you decided your alliance to Harris was more important than your duty to me, or to what you thought we had."

You recoil mentally at what he says, but don't relinquish your hold on him. Clearly your best intentions and your explanation have meant nothing. It didn't matter though, because you're not even sure why you acted as you had -- if you had some how pre-empted Harris' accusations and that is why you sought to prove him wrong.

Closing your eyes you contemplate if telling Jonathan that for you, being able to return to duty was not enough, that physical proof of your place here is what you need, or if showing him was the only way to end this once and for all.

Either way something had to happen, because you know you can't just leave things as they are.

Opening your eyes again you take a chance that in this case action will speak louder than any words you could furnish for the occasion and you guide his still captive arm downward, to the area between your legs, altering your hold at the last moment so that both your hands close over your crotch and the less than satisfactory bulge there. You note immediate resistance from Jonathan and a growing tension in his body to remain seated as you roughly massage your cock through the fabric of your sweat pants, making yourself hard with his hand. It is not the first time you've done this, nor is it unexpected that Jonathan puts up a fight.

"No," he spits, his voice rising higher than normal as he simultaneously tries to pull away and stand up.

You have never entertained any delusions about who is stronger or the fact that if this came down to a battle of strength you would mostly certainly come off second best. You manage to forestall the inevitable though by resettling your weight across his legs and using your free hand to pin his left shoulder to the wall behind him. Getting up now would mean throwing you off and you are not about to let that happen, not just yet.

Leaning in again you remind him of why you are here. "Harris may have been wrong about you, captain, but we both know his assessment of myself could not have been more accurate if he'd been monitoring both our cabins for the last two years. And while neither can say we are very happy with his evaluation, we certainly can't claim that it is new information." You punctuate your statement by adding more pressure to his trapped hand. Your now very prominent erection removing any doubt about what needs to occur before you can leave here.

You have always been aware that Jonathan's process regarding sex has always been different to your own. For him it's about taking the edge off, a pleasant but necessary outlet that allows him to perform his duties without interference from the hormonal demands of his body, whereas for you it's always been away of proving your worth. You're not sure he understands that though, or if even if he does, if it makes any difference to him or not - if he cares enough to try and save what you once had together. What you still believed was worth risking your career for.

Oh yes, you know very well that he could still tell you to get out or bring disciplinary action against you if he decided to do so. Neither possibility concerns you however. The look in Jonathan's eyes tells you that if nothing else he does understand how Harris' reappearance in your life has affected you, and that is enough for now.

Stepping back you strip, dropping your t shirt, sweats and sandshoes where you stand before you turn and lay face down on his bed, spreading your legs wide and raising your arms to either side of the headboard, griping the edges firmly as you wait for him to join you.

A part of you expects him to be rougher than usual, to perhaps feel a need like yourself to re-exert his position here, or forget some of those things necessary to make this good for you both, but it is not what happens. If anything Jonathan seems to have gained a new understanding about what you need when he finally succumbs to the sight of you spread eagle on his bed. Put simply, that love in its many forms is always a better alternative to punishment.



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