Thanks to everyone who gave me feedback on this story. I love feedback!

The first ending is the real ending to this story. This second ending was written just for fun, because this challenge came from a person on a slash list, and I figured, why not? And I'm always up for a bit of romance. So let's have some fun, shall we?


Trip dumped Malcolm's stuff on his friend's desk chair as Malcolm sat down on the bed.

"I don't know why I'm so tired," Malcolm said, leaning his back against the bulkhead.

"I can think of several reasons," replied Trip with a tinge of sarcasm. When he saw Malcolm yawn, and his eyes flutter closed, Trip's voice softened. "Why don't you get some sleep?"

"I should shower," Malcolm said, his voice heavily slurred, his eyes still closed.

Trip stepped to his bed and sat on its edge. "You can do that in the morning. Lie down."

"I'll get my sheets dirty," Malcolm said, his eyes opening slightly.

Trip laughed. "Don't worry about your sheets. Lie down." He pushed gently on Malcolm's shoulder, and his friend tumbled to the side, limp as a rag doll. Trip shifted slightly to give Malcolm more room, and then pulled a blanket up over him. Malcolm closed his eyes again, and sighed. Trip patted his arm, and Malcolm grabbed his hand and squeezed.


Trip squeezed back. "No worries. That's what friends are for." He watched Malcolm lying there for a moment, then said, "Why did you drink it?"

Malcolm, his eyes still closed, responded with a soft, "Hmm?"

"The drink she'd sent over. You said you weren't going to drink it, but when I got back..."

"Ah, yes," Malcolm replied. "You know, I don't actually remember drinking it." He sighed, and shifted to make himself more comfortable on the bed. "One moment, I was looking into her eyes - deep green eyes, amazing, actually..."



"The drink."

"Oh, right, sorry. I was looking into her eyes, then, were on the floor, and then I was kissing her." Malcolm opened his eyes. "Remember what we were talking about, after all that?" At Trip's look of confusion, Malcolm explained. "Afternoons and coffee spoons. Risks to be taken."

Trip nodded. "Having the courage to act?"

Malcolm yawned, and closed his eyes again, murmuring, "Or will you wait forever, letting time pass you by, never daring?"

"To bite into that peach," Trip said softly.

Malcolm gave a small giggle, then rubbed Trip's hand. "I know it's scary. But if you don't..." He yawned hugely.

When he didn't continue, Trip spoke, "If I don't..."

Malcolm's eyes blinked open lazily, and he held Trip in his gaze. "You'll never know. And that would be a tragedy."

"Ah, yes." Trip sat still for a moment, staring into Malcolm's blue-grey eyes. He felt a soft tug at his hand, and Malcolm drew it to his mouth. Still holding Trip in his gaze, he feathered a soft kiss on Trip's palm, his breath hot against the skin. Trip gasped, and Malcolm smiled up at him gently.

"Stay," Malcolm said quietly.

"I shouldn't, I mean, I..."

Malcolm licked the surface of Trip's open palm, and Trip felt it, feather soft, his skin cooling quickly as Malcolm's tongue moved away. Trip watched as Malcolm's tongue trailed along his index finger, Malcolm staring at him intensely as he sucked on its tip, then bit. Trip groaned slightly, and closed his eyes to compose himself. Malcolm pulled Trip's finger from his mouth and tugged on Trip's hand, pulling him close, their faces inches apart, and Trip's eyes flashed open.

Malcolm whispered, "Stay."

"We shouldn't. You're drunk, and..."

"It's what I want." Malcolm reached up with his free hand and traced a delicate finger along Trip's bruised jaw. "You're what I want." Malcolm placed his hand behind Trip's head, fingers in his hair, and drew him in close. He paused for a moment, simply staring into Trip's eyes, and then he broke out in a broad smile. "You, Trip."

Trip couldn't help himself. He smiled back.