By Alia

Disclaimer: Paramount owns them. No money made, no disrespect meant.

Summary: Jon makes Malcolm an offer.

Warning: This is slash, rated R for intimate interactions between two men and more angst then anyone needs.

Authors Notes: This story is told from Malcolmís point of view. It is also set in my Give & Take universe and takes place after Innocence Lost but before With all my Heart. Australian Spelling.

Thanks: To Mareel for betaing this story and for all her help and support along the way.

Comments: Are welcome and can be sent to aliajones1999@yahoo.com

----*----

My heart stills momentarily and I feel myself begin to shake. Something I cannot hide, or even think to as my hand reaches out, automatically accepting what has been offered.

I stare down at the small bottle of lubricant we always use, feeling almost as if I had never seen it before, that I had no idea what it was for. None of which could be further from the truth when you considered that I had been the one to bring it here in the first place.

"Malcolm?"

I look up at the sound of my name, meeting Jonís puzzled gaze.

"You donít want to?" he inquires.

"Itís not that," I manage, glancing down again.

As absurd as it might sound, I felt as if I had just been handed a photon charge and I needed to remember that discretion was always the better part of valour when dealing with explosives.

"What then? You like it donít you?"

I am still trying to work out why I am suddenly associating lube with explosives and I nod without really thinking about the fact that like wasnít exactly how I would describe being taken. Possessed, necessary, even loved were more accurate descriptions but I doubted Jon, of all men, would want to hear thatís how I felt when he took me. Oh, I liked it sure enough, but I also liked fresh pineapple and blowing things up, and there was absolutely no comparing the two.

Over the last few months Jonís appetite for our out of hours activities has steadily grown to match his innate sense of curiosity, and although I could not complain about either, the thought of doing as he had asked left me feeling suspicious, if not a little disturbed.

I note movement beside me and look up again to find him rearranging himself on the bed. He has changed, my mind remarks as I watch him stretching out along side of me, one of his hands disappearing beneath the pillows he has claimed and the other reaching out to caress my leg just below where my erection lays awaiting his touch. My cock twitches in anticipation of the time when he actually does touch me, and for a brief moment what he has requested doesnít seem all that terrifying a proposal.

Unfortunately, it is not a feeling that lasts very long.

There had been a time, not that long ago, when my being here after he had climaxed made Jon noticeably uncomfortable. Lately though, I get the impression that many of his original misgivings about me, and the time we spend with one another have been put aside. The only problem is that I donít know how long that will last. He appears very content now, almost happy with my company, and that is something I definitely do not want to change. He deserves to be happy -- we all do -- but happiness, even the short-lived variety one finds in the arms of another, has been almost non-existent since the Xindi attacked Earth and we entered the Expanse. None of us know how long weíre going to be here or even if weíll make it home again.

I take a deep breath and let it out slowly, unsure if Jonís request has been prompted by something other than his growing curiosity -- if perhaps he knows more about our mission than he was sharing with the crew.

"Donít look so worried," he tells me. "Iím not going to have you thrown in the brig if I donít enjoy it."

I force myself to smile, loving how he smiles back at me.

Being thrown in the brig is the very least of my concerns but I donít think I am going to tempt fate and tell Jon that.

I remember my first time, and not in a way that instilled confidence in me now. Still, my partner at the time wasnít what you might call experienced and I had been very tense. Terrified, I recall, in much the same way I am now. Jon wasnít tense though. He was as relaxed as I have seen him in months, lying spread eagle on his bed waiting for me toÖ

Oh Jesus.

I look down at the bottle in my hand. Turning it repeatedly as I consider the possible ramifications of refusing, or alternatively, fucking a man who up until a year or so ago had never even contemplated sex with another man, let alone one under his command.

I try not to think about the fact that my fingers are still slick from when I had pressed inside of him earlier, carefully easing him over the edge while I had devoured him with my mouth, or that there is a part of me that knows that I shouldnít be surprised by anything he says or does anymore.

He is not the man I fell in love with, though for all his changes I could not say I loved or desired him less, or I realise, as I once again raise my eyes to his, could I refuse him anything.

"You understand there might be some discomfort?" I donít think for a moment that Jon hasnít already considered this but I need to ask, need to be sure he knows this is not going to be like anything else we have tried before.

The hand on my thigh continues to caress, to convey itís promise to fulfil and satisfy while I hold his gaze, until finally it is drawn away also, joining itís mate beneath the pillows supporting his head.

"Yes," he breathes. "I understand."

It is difficult to say if it is the inflection in Jonís voice or the look in his eyes just before he lifts his head and turns to face the view port that convinces me that this is not a spur of the moment request prompted by his current lack of inhibition, or anything else I can put my finger on. I am not sure what it is exactly, whether I think this is his way of acknowledging the uncertainty that we all feel now -- of time that may not come again, and of homes we may not return to, but whatever his motivation it is clear that being taken is what he wants.

It is a heady realisation. Not one I am sure that I can fully grasp right now but it is enough to provide me with the courage I need to do as he has asked. Life was too short and growing increasing more uncertain the deeper we travelled into the Expanse, love needed to be taken where it could be found -- when it was offered. Jonathan Archer may never love me but he wanted me and that in itself is far more than I ever allowed myself to hope for.

Leaving the lube within easy reach, I carefully reposition myself between his thighs, smoothing the sculptured backside and the relaxed muscles of each leg as I part them further. I want to make this as easy and as good for him as possible and although I know this would be so much easier if he were on his knees, no matter how I rehearse the suggestion in my own mind I canít bring myself to ask him to adopt a position that I donít think he would be comfortable with.

There are other ways to achieve what is required, and it is with a growing sense of determination and confidence that I lean forward and slip the pillows out from under his head. He seems surprised at first, but helps me as I position them underneath his hips.

The extra height works in a couple of ways, the most beneficial being that with his bum raised Jonís knees bend with an accord of their own to support his weight and he opens naturally, exposing the small entrance to his body.

My breath catches at the sight and I stroke his back, hips and thighs reassuringly, trying to promote a sense of ease while he makes himself comfortable.

Reaching for the lube once again, I re-coat my fingers and do my best not to think about the ache between my legs, or the fact that despite my willingness to give Jon what he wants my hands still tremble when I reach for him. Some of this is familiar ground and as I spend a few minutes reacquainting us both with what is already intimate knowledge I am given very little reason to believe that he isnít thoroughly enjoying the gentle, yet persistent violation and the occasional stroking of his prostate.

He moans unashamedly and moves continually under my hands as I slowly increase the intrusion, searching, I know from my own experience, for a better angle to take the growing pressure inside of him. It is amazing to see him as he is now, so removed from the battle-hardened man he has become and yet still so brave and incredibly beautiful, trying desperately to open himself and not succumb to his obvious discomfort when we finally cross into new and less known territory.

I feel as if I could come from just Jonís reactions alone, from the sounds and heat generated by our union -- never mind that he is so tight that I can barely think beyond my own need to move. I canít and I donít resist my urge to tell him how I feel, or that I love him more than I ever thought possible -- something I havenít dare admit aloud since the first time I came to him. There is no response but I donít expect one. He is too far gone now, too caught up in the struggle to adjust to the very real invasion of his body.

Tears sting my eyes as I do my best to wait for him. Having him is more than intense, more than I ever dared imagine it would be during the very rare occasions I allowed myself this particular fantasy.

Itís too much.

I lean forward, bracing myself with my hands so that I donít inadvertently hurt him and so that I can see his face. What was beautiful a moment ago it is now a mask of concentration, of new and undiscovered pleasure. I kiss away the moisture forming in the corner of his closed eyes, understanding only too well how overwhelming this can be sometimes. Loving and wanting him so much, I can hardly get out what I need to say.

"I need to move," I rasp. "It will be better when I do." My words are no more than a choked whisper, and once again I am not sure that he can me hear above the demands of our bodies.

My arms shake from the effort to hold my position. It is almost painful to be inside of him and not be able to finish what we have started. In amongst the gasps for breath and the continual throbbing in my groin I note a small nod. I kiss him again. This time managing to press my lips to his, briefly tasting his exertion and his own need for completion before I draw back and then thrust forward again.

Jon moans incoherently as I fulfil his request and at the same time try to control the growing urgency inside of me. His hands clutching blindly at the sheets that I know canít give him the purchase he needs right now to ride out the storm raging within and around him while my heart hammers a furious rhythm in my chest. Each careful thrust of my hips taking me closer and closer to the edge, threatening to finish me before I am ready, before I can find just the right angle to ensure his satisfaction also.

With only Jon as my guide, it is a hot and agonizing search, encompassing all the unmaskable sounds of passion and a series of half spoken pleas, only ending as he cries out and I finally let go.

Giving my last thrust everything I have, I drop forward onto all fours, barely catching myself before I collapse on top of him, shaking uncontrollably from the intensity of my release as I empty myself endlessly into his spasming body.

I feel as if I come forever, that for the time I am curled around him I could live my entire life loving him and never want for anything else. I know itís unrealistic; no matter the changes to us both, or to our relationship, to Jon this is still no more than a diversion, a way of releasing tension. I bow my head, trying to calm my racing heart and to enjoy the feeling of being a part of him while I still can.

All too soon it seems, the effects of my climax fade and I slip from the body beneath me without any assistance other than what gravity provides. Jonís eyes are still closed, his hands starkly white against the tangled bedclothes, and for the first time tonight his lips are non-responsive when I lean down to kiss him.

My heart sinks to the pit of my stomach and I slowly back away. I am not sure if I have just made the worst mistake of my life, or if his silence is an indication that he simply wants to be left alone now. It isnít usual but it wasnít unheard of for Jon to withdraw into himself after weíd had sex either. It just hasnít happened for a very long time, and I remind myself, we are well past the point in our relationship where I would be expected to just get up and leave because we have finished.

I watch him for a couple of minutes, trying to gauge what is going on, what I should do. His breathing is ragged, as if he had just run a marathon and the tension we had both worked so hard to release not so long ago has returned, radiating once again from every pore of his sweat-covered body. I dare not touch him, although I do try talking to him, cajoling him with offers that I will report to the brig if he wishes, but he doesnít move or acknowledge anything I say.

As much as I donít want to accept the fact, as the minutes pass and my grief builds, it becomes painfully obvious that my first instinct had been correct and being alone is clearly what he wants. Despite my disappointment and the cold hard truth that loving him hurts more than I think I can stand sometimes, I almost laugh.

Not even Starfleet captains get what they want all the time. No matter what he thinks he wants, I will not abandon him. Not now, not ever.

Stepping off the end of the bed, I make my way across the darkened cabin to Jonís private bathroom. Not bothering to freshen myself, I remove a flannel and a clean towel from the storage unit, wet the flannel and return to him. He hasnít moved a muscle from what I can tell, but flinches as I sit down beside him and apply the damp cloth to the back of his neck.

Working my way down Jonís body, I carefully bathe and then dry him. It is a slow process, and just as slowly it seems his breathing returns to normal and he relaxes again. He opens his eyes when I reach his still raised backside and lifts up with a little coaxing so that I can remove the soiled pillows from beneath his hips.

"Thank you," he whispers.

I am relieved to have both Jonís cooperation and to once again hear his voice. As plaintive as his words are, they are most welcome right now and I glance up from my very careful ministrations to find him watching me shyly.

I nod and continue, attempting to be as gentle as possible as I delve between his legs. It doesnít seem to make a great of difference however. The area is understandably tender and Jonís failing efforts to remain still only confirm what I have already guessed. I donít apologise or shy from my task though.

"I would say youíre welcome," I tell him. "But I get the impression that the pleasure has been all mine."

Jon doesnít answer me, not that I expect him to; it was a statement after all, not a question, and I finish cleansing him in silence, grateful as always to be able to do what I can for him. It is only when I stand again and cover him the sheet that he reaches out to me once more.

"Not all," he says.

I donít understand immediately, although I have the distinct feeling that I should. "Excuse me?"

"What we didÖit was different than what I thoughtÖbut it wasnítÖI donít... "

I can see Jon struggle with his explanation, and as understanding finally dawns and I realise he is referring to my earlier remark I bend down again to save him the trouble of continuing, very pleased both to feel his hand briefly settle on my hip and that he returns the kiss I use to silence him.

I would give anything to be able to just lay back down beside him right now, to hold him until he falls asleep, pretend for a while that weíve made love tonight and not just satisfied his curiosity, but I know I canít. I have given him what he wanted and now it is time to leave.

"New things rarely are what we expect," I tell him as I force myself to pull back. "But I am glad," I add, smiling down at him. Actually I am very relieved and probably a little more heartened than I should be by Jonís somewhat cryptic admission that being taken wasnít the worst experience of his life after all, but I donít say any more.

Leaving the towel and flannel within easy reach of the bed, I turn away, giving Jon his privacy as I cross the cabin to shower and dress. He is asleep when I return and the sound of his even breathing is the last thing I hear before I seal the cabin shut behind me and leave.

End

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