Till We Meet Again.

By Alia & Mareel.


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

Rating: R

Thanks: Thank you to Mareel for agreeing to share this adventure with me. And (from Mareel) my thanks to Alia for inviting me to write with her and for all of discussions we've enjoyed about the guys.

Author's Notes: This is in response to the live journal community 7_virtues challenge; the prompt being 'Abstinence.'

Comments: For Alia & for Mareel


Till you come back again

It's late. I don't need to know exactly what time it is, I can tell pretty well by the quiet in the corridors that Porthos and I are wandering. Again. I don't know if he knows why we're taking so many walks or not, but I'm guessing that he does. We used to do this a lot, before Malcolm and I got together... all those nights when I couldn't sleep but was too tired to work or even to read a book.

Porthos was the only one I could confide in then; he's always been good at keeping secrets and is a great listener. Now he's hearing about Malcolm again and he perks up when he hears the name, anticipating a cuddle or a game of tug-o-war with him over a t-shirt or a towel. I remember how much I loved seeing that playful side of my serious armoury officer when he first started spending time with me in my quarters. And Porthos adores him.

So do I.

And damn it, I miss him. This is the longest we've ever been apart and I hated sending him off on this mission, knowing both the danger and the duration. But as Mal pointed out repeatedly, it's his job and he's by far our best chance of success on it. I know all of that... that is, Captain Archer knows all of that. Jonathan knows too, I guess, but doesn't have to like it. Both the captain and the man have come to rely on Malcolm for so much. Just a shared glance or a touch can mean reassurance or support, and each one is a reminder of love shared.

Now it's been over a week, and I've not been able to contact him. It was safer for him to keep comm silence, but I'm glad I insisted that Trip rig up the signal device that's been transmitting seemingly random pings that keep us apprised of his position. Those signals are the only tangible evidence I have to reassure me that he's alive. But there is also the intangible -- the strong connection between us that makes me sure in my heart that I'd know it if something happened to him.


Finally, I admit to myself that Porthos and I have probably worn a path into the deck plating in the corridors and punch in the key code to our quarters.

Even before the door closes behind us, I see the flashing green signal on my comm screen. I've been waiting for that for the past few days. Hoshi had promised to let me know the moment the first signal came in that showed Malcolm had begun his return trip.

Now I can finally send him the messages I've been writing every night. It will still be over a week before he's back in my arms, but at least we can communicate again. As I look over what I've written, I have to smile at the common theme running though each message. In fact, I must have chuckled out loud because Porthos lifts his head from his paws and gives me a quizzical look. I reach down to scratch behind his ears and he settles again, staying close to me rather than going over to his bed in the corner. He's been doing that while Mal's been gone, and even sleeping on the foot of the bed every night. I open a new comm file and begin to write, knowing Mal will be reading these words soon.


My Malcolm, I just learned that you are safely on your way home to me. I know Hoshi sent my acknowledgement message, but this is from your Jon, not from the captain. It's from the man who misses you more than I have words to tell.

But, you know me -- I keep trying to tell you. And I do have a lot of words. In the interest of comm bandwidth, I'll spare you most of the messages I've been writing every night since you left. I just reread them, and they'll be here for you when you get home, if you'd like to read them in spite of their sameness.

I miss you so much, love. Every day and every night, you're never far from my thoughts.

I get through the days well enough; the ship and mission keep me busy. Hell, the paperwork alone would provide busy-work enough. But so many things remind me of your absence. Your place is empty on the bridge, though sometimes one of your officers uses your station. She's good at her job, but she isn't you. When I glance in that direction -- and it must be something I do instinctively -- I don't see your eyes lifting to meet mine. I try not to do it often; it probably just makes her nervous, thinking the captain is watching.

People have been inviting me to have lunch with them, or a late snack when they see me walking Porthos. I think Travis and Hoshi have made it their mission to keep me busy, with basketball and a chess tournament that they organized and insisted that I join in on. Heh, just so you'll know, I beat Hoshi at chess, but Travis kicked my ass on the basketball court.

It's the evenings and the nights that are the hardest.

This cabin has been so empty, love. And so quiet. I've missed your voice and your silences, your touch and the warmth of your skin as you sleep in my arms. Just relaxing with a vid or a book isn't the same without having you there to share it with me, if only by your nearness. Porthos will listen to my literary criticism and snide remarks about old movie plots, but he seldom offers an opinion one way or the other on the subject.

I was thinking tonight about how little we've been apart since our first night together. I'm so spoiled, Malcolm. I'd almost forgotten how it feels to wake up from a dream of you and not find you lying next to me. There were so many nights before I knew you loved me when I would wake up so sure you were really there, sure that it was really your hands on my chest, your lips on mine, your mouth and tongue making me cry out your name as you took me in. But I would wake alone, still hard and still longing for you.

It's been like that again since you've been gone, except probably even more intensely so, now that I know so well all the ways you touch me, all the ways you make love to me. I can almost hear the echoes of your voice, the sound of your breathing as it quickens when you're close to release. But when I wake, the hand on my cock is my own, and it's not nearly the same. I know the ways to touch you to bring you to the edge and catch you as you tumble over, but you are the only one who has ever made me feel the way I do when your hands or lips are on me, or you are deep inside me.

Hurry home to me, love. Even though we can communicate this way now, all these words say so much less than we can convey in one moment when our eyes meet and hold.

With all my love, always your Jonathan.


Till I return to you

Hoshi's universal translator allows me to converse as if I were a native, but as I have for the last week; I keep my conversations short and to the point, trusting nothing to chance.

Today's contact regards me suspiciously, eyeing the facial ridges that Phlox has manufactured for me and fused to my brow in a manner that makes me want to simultaneously reach for the phase-pistol I have concealed beneath my clothing and take a step back. Despite my wish to recoil under his close scrutiny, to defend myself, I hold my ground and wait. It is all that is required of me it seems because the alien's eyes brighten after a moment and he launches into a lengthy monologue containing the information I have been waiting for, and which will finally allow me to leave this place.

I thank him when he is finished, assuring him with the assistance of the translator that our business here is complete, a small smile tugging at the corner of my mouth that I cannot nor do I try to suppress as we prepare once again to go our separate ways. If all goes to plan I will be back on board Enterprise within the week, back where I belong, with Jonathan, and after what feels like an eternity away from him it cannot be soon enough for me.

I wait long enough for the my alien contact to disappear from view before I pull the hood of my cloak down and step from the shadows surrounding our rendezvous point and into the middle of the busy market place. My lodgings are located at the far end and I am admitted by the innkeeper upon my arrival there a few minutes later. Like most other pre-warp species I have encountered over the years he is suspicious of strangers, yet genuinely appears disappointed when I inform him that I will be leaving in the morning. I want to leave now, but I know a departure this late in the day would be viewed as irregular by local standards and likely draw unwelcome attention my way.

I have kept a mostly low profile during my stay here but it has been a very long couple of weeks and I have missed the familiarity and camaraderie I have on Enterprise. As has been my custom I take my evening meal with the other guests at the inn -- for a while indulging in the simple pleasure of having others around me. Watching and listening as I also sample some of the local ale.

There had been a time when an away mission, no matter the duration or risk, meant an opportunity for me to utilise my tactical training in ways that were not possible or even feasible onboard ship. It had been one of the reasons why I joined Starfleet and would be something I would never tire of, I had thought. Not that I am any less dedicated now. It is just that my life isn't the same sole existence it had been when I first joined Starfleet.

Perhaps it is the warmth generated by the locals' conversation and the rustic atmosphere of the inn's main meeting room or maybe it's the effects of the ale. I don't know. The only thing I can think to explain my ever increasing melancholy is that I miss Jonathan and the life we have together now.

The decision to maintain comm. silence had been necessary in ensuring both my safety and the mission's success but it has also meant I have not had the opportunity to even hear his voice for the last week. It is not just his voice I have missed, of course, but abstinence is a part of any away mission. Then again, periods of abstinence seem to be an unavoidable part of a relationship when your lover is a Starfleet captain, I have discovered.

I smile wistfully at my last thought, it is very late now and I must be more sleep deprived than I had realised. I excuse myself to the innkeeper and bid the other guests a goodnight.

Alone in my room I stretch out on top of the bed. Tucking an arm under my head I contemplate the ceiling as I have for the past week. Sleep does not come easily when I not onboard ship and I spend a long time just adding to the ongoing log message I have been saving for Jonathan. I am not sure if he will want to read this particular entry when I get back or not. Going back over what I have so far makes me wonder if my thoughts of him during this time apart will be a comfort to him or just one more burden for him to carry on his shoulders should I not return to him one day.

Telling Jonathan how I felt about him was never meant to add to his feelings of responsibility or to weigh him down. He says not, that he understands. I wonder though if he realises that it is more than duty that compels me to position myself between him and any form of danger that crosses Enterprise's path, and that is why I volunteered for this mission -- why I would always choose abstinence to ensure his safety.

God I miss him.

Putting my log aside I consider relieving a little of the tension that has been slowly building in my body since the last time we were together. I have thought about it a few times but have always ended up deciding that I would rather wait for the real thing than simply imagining Jonathan's hands and mouth on me, and this time is no different.

I spent so many nights before we finally got together lulling myself to sleep with visions of him and what it would like to finally have him love me, touch me and take me to edge that it requires very little effort to find an actual memory to send me off to sleep.


Leaving the village just after sunrise I hike the short distance to where I have the shuttle pod hidden in a remote clearing off of one the lesser used arterial roads. Everything appears undisturbed when I arrive and I breathe a sigh of relief and board the small craft, eager now to be on my way. As soon as I am underway and out of range of the planet's satellite tracking systems I send the comm. message that will alert Enterprise to my success and subsequence return. I immediately want to add more, something for Jonathan's eyes only, something that will convey my longing to be back with him. I open a new comm. file and allow my yearning to speak for me.

My dearest Jonathan,

I know I am not home yet, but just the thought that I will be back onboard Enterprise with you again soon makes this final leg of the mission so much easier to bear.

I cannot put into words what it has been like to be away from you this couple of last weeks. As I am sure you are already aware, my days have been filled with securing the information we needed, but my nights have been exceeding long and have felt at times unbearable more so by your absence from my side.

Just so you know, I have spent them mostly thinking of you and our life together. Despite my apparent readiness to be away from you there is nothing I desire more than to be with you until the end of both our days.

I have kept a log while I've been gone, though I am not sure you want to read it or not. I sound so needy and not at all the competent Starfleet officer you farewelled two weeks ago. I am sorry if that is difficult for you to hear. Please know that although I chose this mission and I was fully aware of the separation it would cause us, your safety and that of the ship will always be paramount in my mind. I love you Jonathan Archer, my captain, my lover, my friend.

I have been moved by your presence
And altered by your love
Should I ever be forced to leave this mortal plane.
I pray to God we will meet again.


Till I return to you, my love.


The End.


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