Alia & Mareel

Disclaimer: The characters belong to Paramount and to one another.

Rating: PG

Author's Notes: This is in response to the live journal community 7_virtues challenge; 'Chastity' is prompt #4. Thank you to Mareel for agreeing to share this adventure with me.

Comments: Alia & for Mareel



The worst part about being confined to this catwalk for the next few days is the waiting -- waiting for the storm to pass, waiting for any new signs of trouble from our fugitive 'guests'. Waiting for Malcolm.

I never thought waiting to be together would be this hard. I've known for a long time now that my feelings for my armoury officer had moved well beyond my initial interest and attraction to this most reserved of men. I have fallen very much in love with him, and now I that I know that these feeling are reciprocated, I want to see our relationship grow and deepen.

The turning point was a few days ago, on that pre-warp planet where Malcolm and I were captured as we searched for his missing communicator. When it seemed certain that we were both probably going to be executed as spies… as the hours ticked by with little hope of ever seeing Enterprise again… I knew that this could be the only chance I'd ever have to tell him what he meant to me. It was hard enough to have to watch him trying to come to terms with his own impending death; I couldn't let him go to that death without knowing how much he was loved.

So, as we sat close together on the narrow bunk, I found the words to tell him. As I searched his eyes, trying to read his reaction to my confession, he silently moved his own hand to cover mine as it rested on my thigh. I turned my hand and our fingers threaded together, still in silence. That simple touch and the light in his eyes were all the answer I needed, and I bridged the small distance between us to kiss him very softly. I have no way to put into words what that kiss meant to me. I can only say he returned it, and I felt as if we could both die with the knowledge that we hadn't left something unsaid to one another.

As much as I would like to have wrapped him tightly in my arms just to hold him close, I don't think either of us wanted to put on a show for the guards whom we knew wouldn't be far away. But our hands remained joined and we spoke quietly of everything and nothing, as if we had the rest of our lives together.

And now we do. Back on Enterprise after our rescue, I lay on my bed and wondered what the next step would or should be. I desperately hoped that Malcolm wouldn't retreat into himself or dismiss what had happened as something born of the expectation of never seeing another morning. But I still couldn't bring myself to go to his quarters or seek him out. I'd said all I could; we would have to wait for the right time to come together. I did promise myself it wouldn't be too long; I'd make sure that he knew I'd meant all I'd said - that he was in my heart, and I needed him in my arms, in my bed, and in my life.

But life on a starship is unpredictable at best, and before we could manage any time alone together we find ourselves sheltering on a catwalk in close proximity to the entire crew. Not the kind of enforced chastity I'd expected when I'd kissed him in that cell as a promise of much more.

Throughout this whole storm crisis, I've been trying to be sure the captain is visible and available to the crew. We're all in this together and they are handling the situation better than I might have expected. Of course, my deliberate visibility is also a chance to see Malcolm, to make sure he's okay and knows I've not forgotten about us. As if that were possible. In lieu of being with Malcolm in my off-duty time, I've tried to distract myself in any way possible -- with water polo vids, by fussing over Porthos, by bantering with T'Pol about how to fraternize. I don't know how much she knows or suspects - but I'm probably not that hard to read, even for a Vulcan. After all, I do have to practically climb over her to get out for my frequent walkabouts. And not even Porthos really needs a walk that often.

Speaking of which, I think it's time for another stroll. Malcolm didn't look like he was feeling too well earlier today; it wouldn't be a bad idea to make sure he's better. I toss aside the padd I'd been trying to read and slip away from the makeshift command center, making my way down the catwalk toward the aft section where he's bunking. Trust Malcolm to find a spot where he can keep an eye on everyone.

Most of the crew is trying to sleep at this hour, but part of me is hoping maybe he'll still be awake. And he is, sitting alone leaning against a bulkhead, almost as if keeping watch. I don't know if he sees me yet, and I take a moment just to study him. Even in his rumpled uniform, he has still managed to look professional and definitely looks less queasy than he did this afternoon. In fact, he looks wonderful to me, and I have to redirect my thoughts before I embarrass myself.

I sink to the deck to sit beside him, hoping that the dim light might keep this from feeling as public as it is. He greets me softly as "Captain" but the light is in his eyes again and it holds a welcome. My hand finds his and I squeeze it tightly. His hand is warm as I slowly stroke my thumb across his palm. It's all the touch we can risk right now, but somehow it is almost enough.

"Soon, Malcolm. I promise."


I have never been overly comfortable being the centre of attention, although I can't say that the captain's attention is unwelcome - far from it in fact, it's just that while the entire crew is confined to the catwalk there is nothing I can do about it. No way of letting him know that despite the many things already said and the sheer madness of the last few days I wanted more than anything to continue what we had begun during the communicator incident.

It seems like it was a very long time ago now that we were captives on the alien planet, even though I know that it has only been a couple of days since Jonathan told me that he was in love with me. Faced with our imminent execution as spies his disclosure had felt unreal to begin with, as if I had somehow imagined it.

To be honest the dynamics between Captain Archer and myself had been a little unusual from the very beginning of my time on Enterprise. Coupled with everything that happened since we'd come down to the planet it wouldn't have surprised me to discover I had dreamt the whole scenario of him sitting beside me on the small bunk, telling me he was in love with me, as a way of coping with the situation.

Jonathan had assured me I wasn't dreaming though and once I found the courage to accept what he was saying and admit that I returned his feelings, and had for a very long time, I also felt I needed to explain why I hadn't said anything to him earlier. Why, like him, I had waited until we were both faced with death before I revealed myself to him.

Fortunately, most of what I had to say, he understood.

Amongst other things my upbringing and training strictly forbade fraternizing with superiors. Also, I had realised pretty early on that my less than fitting reactions to his sometimes apparent disregard for Star Fleet regulations were not due to any failings on his part, or disrespect on my own, but because I was finding him increasingly attractive. I knew it was wrong; familiarity within the ranks blurred the boundaries too much to maintain proper discipline and could never be allowed. The fact that he seemed to have very different ideas about what actually constituted fraternization with his subordinates also left me confused on more than one occasion and I had spent many nights alone in my cabin trying to decide what, if anything I should do about my feelings for him. By the time we'd encountered the mine field I had decided it was better not to say anything at all for fear of making a fool of myself, or worse still, embarrassing my family.

I recall Jonathan had nodded slowly when I had finished my explanation, gently squeezing my hand and then carefully guiding me down to lay beside him on my bunk. I could feel the desire to do more than just talk radiating from him, but with the guards close by I also understood he would not risk our safety further. At the time it seemed fitting that we find our comfort this way, unblemished by the need for physical proof. I was content just to lay beside him, happy, I think for the first time in my life.

We had then spent what was meant to be our last hours discussing what might have been, each confident in the knowledge that with the dawning of the new day we would die beside the man we loved.

I must admit, everything after that is a bit of a blur.

One minute I was readying myself to meet my fate head on and the next we were being rescued and returned to Enterprise. No sooner had we been checked over by Phlox and permitted to resume our duties we were informed of the storm that has forced the crew to seek refuge here, in the catwalk.

It hasn't been an easy time for any of us. Our current cramped conditions are less than ideal for men and women who are very used to their own space, not to mention the continual rocking of the ship by the storm raging outside make it near on impossible to perform even the simplest of tasks. Steps have been taken to make everyone as comfortable as possible though, and I know that the captain's frequent presence has been especially reassuring to all members of crew, myself included.

I smile at him now; enjoying the touch of his hand as he gently caresses my own, glad that we have found a few minutes alone in amongst the chaos surrounding us. He promises me we will be together soon and I cannot hide the flush that creeps up to colour my cheeks.

I don't know if Jonathan realises it or not but I have never felt this way with anyone else and I am not completely sure how I should behave with him. In spite of my initial reservations, he has proven himself to be a man worthy of his rank and responsibilities. I can only hope now that when the time finally comes for us to be together that I am worthy of him.


The End

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