Shelter from the Storm

By Alia - 20014

Disclaimer: These characters do not belong to me. Jon and Malcolm are the property of Paramount. No disrespect or infringement to copyright is intended.

Summary: Malcolm provides respite.

Rated: PG.

Authors Notes: Sequel to ‘The When, the where and the Why’. A little angst. PWP (with the P this time if you squint). Weird point of view. M/M content. Unbeted. Australian spelling.

Comments: Are welcome and can be sent to


When the air in the cabin becomes impossibly thin, making it both hard to breathe and to think, time and responsibility bending and morphing into a space made just for the two them Malcolm Reed takes one more leap of faith.  His ongoing courage punctuated by every caress and the answering sighs of the man straining against him.

Removing the various signs of rank and regulation is easier than he imagined, although none of the fantasies Malcolm had dutifully pushed aside for the last year and half could have possibly prepared him for the reality of undressing Jonathan. The silent slide of fabric followed by the smooth glide of sure hands ensures the task is a far greater pleasure than anything he could have invented and for a very short time he revels in his ability to touch and entice.

Of course none of the thoughts he’d had about his captain, professional or otherwise, had ever included the mass of bruises and fading welts that are exposed when he finally divests Jonathan of his undershirt. The sight of the brutality he had obviously suffered during his imprisonment on Rura Penthe effectively bringing Malcolm’s careful ministrations to an abrupt end, sending his mind into overdrive. 

Malcolm wants to rant, to deplore the injustice, but he is too stricken to say anything.

For his part Jonathan stands defiant in-light all he has endured over the last few weeks; proud as ever as he straightens his back,  aware that even with the reduced lighting and the heady buzz of arousal that up to a moment ago had been circulating around the room Malcolm can see the evidence of his treatment by the Klingons. But there is nothing to be done about it. He was home now. Rescued by the same man who had come here a little under an hour ago, turning up unannounced and affording him the opportunity to shed the heavy weight of his responsibilities, no matter how short lived that may turn out to be.  

Malcolm’s heart clenches painfully in his chest, sorrow and anger rising up to battle against one another; thoughts of recrimination circling in an unending loop. If only they could have stopped the captain from being transported to the God forbidden planet in the first place, if he had gotten there sooner, then maybe he could have stopped him being hurt. It’s all Malcolm has ever wanted. From the moment he stepped foot on Enterprise, his only goal has been to protect her captain. He hadn’t expected to fall love with him, to disregard everything he had been taught and follow his heart as he has tonight. He takes a step back, shaking his head, hands raised in surrender, although it is not clear to either of them, who or what he is surrendering to.

It is impossible not to know what he is thinking, the creases marring Malcolm’s forehead and the brightness of his eyes paint a very clear picture of what is going on and Jonathan reaches out, long fingers tightening around one of Malcolm’s wrists as he very gently lowers his arm. Jonathan doesn’t want to restrain Malcolm, but he does want to draw him back to the here and now. Thankfully he doesn’t pull away. He is trembling though, weather from rage or some other emotion Jonathan is not sure. The only thing he is sure of is that he wants Malcolm, needs him in ways he hasn’t needed anyone for a very long time.

Breaths are held as two sets of eyes search and find one another in the dim light. Hearts beat and blood cools and for precious moments conversation is unspoken but more poignant than anything said aloud.

Jonathan knows what kind of man Malcolm is. Apart from being incredibly loyal he is also fiercely protective and the sight of him battered and bruised can’t be easy for Malcolm to see.  Jonathan understands, but he also wants -- needs to remind him that it was his bravery that has brought them to this point and they can’t just let it slip away now. He doesn’t have the words though, and he is not sure he has the right to ask for more than Malcolm is willing to give. He has already asked so much, more than he has any other man.

Being assigned Starfleet’s first warp-five ship has not come without its challenges; the last few weeks standing out as one his greatest so far. Yes, he’s been hurt, but he was healing and would continue to do so now that he was back on board. Jonathan Archer may still be reasonably new at intergalactic relations, but he had developed somewhat of a reputation over the years for allowing his actions to speak for him. He never regaled others with his accomplishments or intentions, he simply did what was necessary and for the first time since Malcolm’s arrival he takes the lead. It’s not what he wanted exactly or what he had thought they had agreed on, but he has faith Malcolm will understand that sometimes responsibility has to be shared.

There is some resistance, but nothing that says he should stop when Jonathan takes a half step forward and raises the hand he still holds captive to his cheek, briefly inhaling the distinct and very masculine traces on Malcolm’s skin before he presses a kiss to the palm and then lowers it to his chest to rest just over his heart.

As gestures go, it is not the most original. Nevertheless the welcome reminder that in spite of everything Jonathan is very much alive, if not yet completely whole, is enough to soften some of Malcolm’s anger. The culpability he feels is another matter entirely and he knows it won’t be dealt with anytime soon. He swallows hard, forcing away his grief and relaxes his hand, marvelling at the warmth of Jonathan’s body and the strong beat of his heart as his fingers slide through the hair on Jonathan’s chest. Warm and alive is all Malcolm can think -- all that matters, he reminds himself.

Jonathan closes his eyes, his head thrown back a little to expose his throat as he carefully guides Malcolm’s hand from one side of his chest to the other, his breath catching when contact is made with one raised nub and his stance broadening soon after in what is clearly a sensual experience. Malcolm is riveted, entranced not just by Jonathan’s obvious wish to provide him with proof of life, but by the sight of the captain showing him what he likes.

Neither is any hurry now, both are too tired, too worn to rush and for untold minutes Jonathan continues to direct Malcolm’s unresisting hand. Retracing already covered territory to smooth over his opposite shoulder and down his free arm, goose bumps rising on his body until finally sweeping Malcolm’s hand downwards to have him stroke across his abdomen and to toy with the finer hairs the run from his navel to area still concealed beneath his overalls. It is the perhaps the most intimate of Jonathan’s directives, subtle but abundantly clear. Malcolm understands, even before he notes his hand being released, he can hear Jonathan’s breathing change, see his whole body straining to maintain his position, he knows the captain has reached his limit and it is time to pass back control. 

Jonathan’s arms fall to his sides, his eyes opening again as Malcolm leans in to kiss him. They have made some improvement over the last hour and Malcolm wastes no time stoking the heat between them. His lips and tongue insistent as he lays claim to all that is being offered to him -- everything that he has ever wanted as he follows Jonathan’s lead.  Touching him in all the ways he had indicated that he likes and evoking a steady stream of moans and sighs that are almost painful to hear. Malcolm’s knows they can’t last much longer. Not this first time.  

There is still the small problem of Jonathan’s clothing however. Starfleet uniforms are designed for durability, comfort and to allow easy movement. Colour and individual insignia’s denote position. While never actually saying the words aloud Jonathan has made his position clear, he needs Malcolm to provide a respite, a shelter from the storm.

Pulling back isn’t easy, but it is necessary, especially if either of them want this to move forward. Jonathan’s head drops to Malcolm’s shoulder as he breaks the kiss and both of his hands find purchase on Jonathan’s slim hips.  Hot breath and soft lips making it difficult to remember what he needs to do next, but somehow Malcolm manages to walk them backwards, guiding Jonathan down and on to the bed. He goes willingly, arms already reaching to pull Malcolm down with him.

Jonathan’s bed is wider than Malcolm’s, but not by much and manoeuvring in the limited space offers both its challenges and advantages. Where Malcolm had earlier focused on slowly removing Jonathan’s uniform, enjoying the ability to do so and leaving his own clothing mostly untouched, Jonathan tries to help the process. Chins bump and feet tangle as the remaining barriers are stripped away. Unexpected mirth only adding to the urgency until finally both lay completely bare, grinning at one another through the semi-darkness of the captain’s cabin.

It’s perfect and if asked Malcolm would have to say that it was the very last place he envisaged finding himself stark-naked, and yet now that he was here, Jonathan’s warmth pressed against him from shoulder to thigh, he could not imagine anywhere else he would choose to be.

How this night would find its inevitable end is agreed without lengthy debate. Hands and lips broadcast Jonathan’s need and in reply Malcolm’s willingness to oblige.

What passes as hand lotion is produced from its place behind Jonathan’s water-polo ball and gentle preparation make way for more painstaking but far intense penetration. Sounds of exertion, of passion yet to be realised fill the air; two distinct voices whispering, begging.  Knees bending to bracket narrow hips in much the same way arms lift to grip strong shoulders, locking them together in an age old embrace.

Once again Malcolm watches as Jonathan closes his eyes and arches his back to expose the clear line of his throat, only this time he can reach, taste the warm skin that pulses with life beneath his lips as he slowly sinks deeper, losing himself in the tight heat holding them together.

Tears sting Malcolm’s eyes and sweat prickles and slides down his back when he is finally able to move.  His heart thundering behind his ribs as he creates a rhythm to reassure and satisfy. He tries not to think about the bruises covering most of Jonathan’s body or the possibility that he is hurting him. It is what he wanted and Malcolm has no intention of going back on his offer to take care of him, now or at any time in the future.


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