confusion

Disclaimer: Blah, blah, Paramount. No juveniles. Noprofit. Men fuck.

Summary: Sequel to Discovery. Tom and Harry do it.(Play pool, that is.)

Well, here it is, the sequel to something posted over sixmonths ago <sigh>, but it's probably not necessary to haveread it.

Well, I did promise this would contain hot, messy, slashy fucking, but I forgot to mention 'frustrating'. Yes that's right folks, here at the Davies Slash Corporation,we aim to tease. Satisfaction is absolutely not guaranteed. There are, after all, several more installments in this series. I have to maintain interest somehow. <eg>

Huge thanks to Anagi for continual encouragement, threats, bribes, criticism, blackmail, advice and love -without which this would never have been finished. Sam.K and envoy helped too. The crappy parts of the story arethe parts where I ignored their comments. :)

Feedback PLEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAASE!!!!!!!! Constructive criticism welcome.

********************************

Tom said good-bye to B'Elanna, and watched as she said good-bye to Harry. Even though B'Elanna was one of the few women on the ship who hadn't started flirting with Harry in the past three days, her eyes said she was wellaware of the change in him. Since becoming Lieutenant Kim, and appearing at dinner and Sandrines in *those* pants with *that* attitude, Harry had come out of his shell, so to speak. More confident, more playful, and definitely more sexual.

At the moment he was playing pool against Batehart. Harry had recently demonstrated a new enthusiasm for the game, because if he flirted outrageously enough, his opponent would make stupid mistakes and miss shots. Batehart had arrogantly assumed he was immune to this trick, but now,when Harry had nearly won the game, he was flustered and very sorry.

Tom watched from afar, enjoying the opportunity to drink in the sight of his gorgeous friend. Blue-black hair gleamed in the light of the bar, and skin glowed warmly against the neutral colour of his casual shirt. His facewas suddenly more familiar, more expressive to Tom, more than it had been less than a week ago. They'd spent most of their off-hours together the past few days, talking and joking and enjoying each other's company more than ever.

Tom, especially, was treasuring their new closeness. Itmade him ridiculously happy. Apparently this *thing* he had for his friend wasn't going away, and he couldn't evenbring himself to care. Loving Harry was an absolute delight, Tom had discovered to his surprise, and hesavored these strange new feelings. The constant fluttering in his stomach, the tingling of his skin andheady breathlessness were so exciting, and somehow keepingit a secret made it fun. /Harry makes me want to gigglelike a schoolgirl/ Tom laughed to himself. /I wonder howlong I can keep this up before he catches on?/

/Or before my stupid little bubble of happiness bursts,/whispered the ghost of heartache past.

There was nobody else left in Sandrine's, so Tom strolledslowly over to Harry, watching him try to sink the 8-ballwith Batehart's still scattered all over the table. Eventhough he missed, Harry gave Batehart a heated look."Maybe I'll still let you beat me," he said, then smiledmysteriously. "Or maybe I'll just let you win."

Batehart licked his lips and smiled back. "I neverthought you were the type who'd *want* someone to beathim. Maybe we should raise the stakes on the next game."The tone of his voice would have made his meaning clear,even if he hadn't slapped Harry on the ass. To Tom'shorror, Harry didn't react except to give Batehart asteadfast, appraising stare.

"Maybe we should," he said softly.

/*No*!/ Tom screeched mentally, /get away from him! He's*mine*./ It had honestly not occurred to him that Harrymight not be available when he decided to make his move,and the realization was startled him into action. Beforehe knew what he was doing, he was in full flirt mode; hegrabbed Harry by the waist and pulled him close, pressinghis lips to that soft ear. "I'm not going to let you getaway with cheating like this, Lieutenant. You're playingwith *me* next." Gods, how this man felt in his arms!The hair was silk caressing against his cheek, and Tomfelt like his skin was burning away, wherever it waspressed against Harry's warm body.

Physical proximity did not seem to be affecting Harry. Ifhe was disturbed by the fact that his best friend wascoming onto him for the first time, he gave noindication.

"Oh, as long as you make it worth my while," he saidairily. Then he pulled Tom even closer and lookeddirectly in his eyes. "Name your stakes, Lieutenant."The voice was pitched low, and chilling in its intensity.

Tom could feel Harry's breath on his face, smell his skinand hair, stared helplessly into those fierce dark eyes.He was entranced, mesmerized, couldn't think aboutanything but Harry filling his senses. He named the onlything he wanted right now.

"If you lose, spend the night with me."

He could hear a tiny Tom in his head screaming in horrorat those softly spoken words, but he shushed it. Goingfrom casual friendship to a baldfaced proposition inthirty seconds was perhaps a little extreme, but hey, hewas trying to keep Harry away from Batehart's leering lipsand groping hands. Crushing rejection was a small thingto risk, when the forfeit was losing his chance anyway.So Tom just waited calmly for Harry's reply, like he'dwait forever for anything from him.

Harry was looking at him warily. Then he made adecision. "And if you lose, you spend the night with*me*." Tom's eyes widened as the words penetrated the fogof dreamy desire around his mind. Was Harry just startingthe game of flirting early, or were they really agreeingto spend the night together? Tom couldn't breathe, thesudden fear and hope and anticipation were too much forhim to bear.

Harry smirked, then slipped from Tom's embrace and studiedthe pool table. Batehart had apparently been distractedfrom his game by their not-so-subtle exchange, and messedup another turn. He'd left Harry an easy angle to sinkthe black, but to Tom's surprise, Harry didn't move aroundto the other side of the table to take the shot. Instead,he chalked his cue and bent over the table right in frontof him. /That gorgeous ass!/ Tom whispered to himself,knowing this was the effect Harry wanted. But he couldn'thelp staring at it... round, tight, and luscious, musclesmoving slightly as he drew back the cue and shot. Withmathematical precision, the white ball rebounded off twosides before nudging the black in. Harry straightened upand addressed his defeated opponent with a sideways smirkat Tom. "Sorry, I have another game to play now, but I'llkeep your offer in mind." Batehart sullenly transferredover his lost rations and stalked out.

"I hope you won't be such a sore loser, my friend." Eventhough his heart was trying to leap out of his chest,Tom's competitive side asserted itself as he racked up.

"Not likely. You will be the loser, and you will be sorefor days," Harry said tartly, eyes unreadable.

Harry broke, and the game was underway. The atmospherewas, at first, silent and incredibly tense, with nary aseductive smile in sight. A few minutes into the game,Harry made his first mistake, and Tom began to relax.Flirting around the pool table was a fine art, and onewhich he had mastered long ago. Reflexes kicked in.

"Really, my friend, if you can't stroke balls properly,I'm wasting my time here," he taunted. Harry looked upsharply, and Tom turned the charm on full blast. Hesmiled coyly, playing with the tip of his cue, thentouched his fingers to Harry's face. "Oh, how sweet, youhave chalk on your cheek now."

As he bent over to take the next shot, Tom felt a sharpjab in the backside. Harry looked over innocently, thengasped in fake horror. "You have chalk on your cheek aswell! How *could* that have got there?" He twirled hisown cue around, and then sauntered over. "Let me get thatoff for you." It was done with a typically Harry Kimeager-to-help attitude, but Tom had a lot of troublelining up with Harry's fingers brushing his ass.

All these years, Harry had been watching and learning fromhim, it seemed.

..."Oh, you missed the hole. That's terrible."

Tom choked.

..."Good, hard stroke. I admire that."

Tom spluttered.

..."You know just how to handle those balls, don't you?"

Tom turned bright red and silently admitted that he wasout of his league. None of his lines had anything onHarry's cheesy innocent act. It was hilarious and sexyand utterly demoralizing how quickly his friend had turnedhis own tricks against him.

Giving up on the lines, Tom moved on to silently touchingand caressing in order to throw the game. All the oldsubtle tricks - brushing shoulders, leaning past to grabhis beer, tangling fingers as he was passed the cue -lasted about a minute, and then he was outdone once more.Tom nearly moaned out loud as Harry - face still blandlyangelic - brushed his hand carelessly over Tom's chest ashe strolled past, sending a jolt of electricity fromsuddenly hardened nipples to rapidly hardening cock. Atthis point, not sure if he should laugh or scream - infact, not knowing what to think at all - Tom gave up onsubtlety and threw away the rule book. He leaned in andlicked the back of his friend's neck, laughing softly,knowingly, gleefully, when Harry couldn't hide a shiver.

After taking his shot, Harry looked at Tom thoughtfully."Computer, delete holocharacters and music. Lighting downto forty percent." Tom's eyes got wider, his heartbeatbecame even more erratic, and the atmosphere in theholographic bar was suddenly very intimate. And suddenlyHarry wasn't joking or teasing anymore, just watching andmoving and caressing with a mysterious expression on hisface as the game continued. The mood in Sandrines goteven darker, the silence thicker, and the touches moreerotic. /This is getting out of control,/ Tom thoughtdesperately, as Harry pressed his body againstTom's hard erection and bit on his earlobe. He wantedHarry so bad he could taste it. He was trembling, andbreathing rapidly. They had been playing for at leastthirty minutes, but they were barely half way through thegame.

At the rate things were escalating, this couldn't go onmuch longer, but Tom didn't know what to say to stop it.He still had no idea if Harry was doing these things tohim just to win. And what about the stakes they'd set?He couldn't even begin to think about it. Tom moanedaloud, not caring that it echoed loudly in the oppressivesilence of the bar. His head was spinning unbearably withconfusion and desire, and his cock throbbed insistently,painfully. Being in love had been great for a few days,but now it hurt. /God, make it go away,/ he pleaded. /Idon't want to feel this anymore./ He leaned on the tablefor support, hung his head and thought about giving up.

"This game is taking far too long," Harry said quietlybeside him. Tom looked up and saw sympathy and somethingelse in Harry's eyes. "And I want you to fuck me, Tom."With typical efficiency, Harry took aim at the 8-ball andsank it, ending the game. "You win. Your place it is."

Tom just stared blankly at him. He felt the need to saysomething, but there was nothing in his mind exceptswirling, throbbing, pulsing desire. The object of thatdesire wanted him too. Virtually out of the blue, he wasbeing handed his dream on a platter. /Oh shit,/ hethought dizzily, /what am I supposed to do now?/

He wanted to move, but couldn't. He wanted to take thatsmall step, feel Harry's body heat and smell him, slowlylean in and run his tongue over the lips that he couldalready taste in his mind. He couldn't. His bodywouldn't let him. Now that he was being offered what hewanted, Tom was so scared and aroused that he didn't knowhow to take it.

Then he noticed that Harry was trembling too, anduncertain. His eyes were downcast as he stared at hisfeet. They were standing on the brink of somethingmomentous. Tonight both of them were so turned on, soovercome with need, that there would be no going back oncethis started. They were about to throw their friendshipagainst the wall and fuck it until it was no longerrecognizable. Tom briefly tried to imagine what theirrelationship would be, when it was done, and the futurewas a dark, inscrutable vacuum.

He should move away. He should put a stop to this, incase it was the end of everything he already had withHarry. Suddenly Tom was terrified. If this screwed uptheir friendship, he couldn't handle it. It was too muchto risk, it was foolish, it was insane. But stepping backwasn't possible either.

So Tom forced himself to move. His hand felt like lead asa lifted it towards Harry's face. Shaking fingers brushedawkwardly across a silken cheek. Then a small, shufflingstep closer, and his vision was filled with the sight ofHarry standing, waiting, eyes wide and lips parted. Inthe end, those lips undid him. Tom couldn't live anotherminute without knowing how they felt under his own. Heclosed his eyes and bent his head toward Harry, notknowing what would happen next, and fearing that it wouldbe nothing.

But then there was moist breath on his face, warmth and agentle pressure on his mouth. A bewildering array ofemotions surged through Tom - relief, astonishment,profound gratitude. Then Harry's mouth opened under his,and sudden, mind-shattering lust threatened to unravel hisvery consciousness.

Tom reached out and grabbed Harry behind his neck, pullinghim against his body, pressing their torsos together, andcrushing Harry's lips beneath his own. This was hisfantasy, his dream come true; he would take what he couldget, and damn the consequences. Kissing Harry was sounbearably erotic, in mere seconds he was past the pointof no return; he couldn't care anymore what happened inthe morning.

He could feel the racing heartbeat of his partner throughtheir clothing and tried to press closer. His tongueexplored Harry's mouth hungrily, dipping and darting intoevery recess he could find. He wanted to memorize thetaste and texture of this perfect mouth, these perfectlips. There was a hard, throbbing heat rubbinginsistently against his hip, and Harry started thrustingsuggestively against his body.

They were moving now, dancing to some silent pulsing beat,sliding against one another in a primeval rhythm asfervent hands explored unfamiliar lines. Grasping,clutching, gripping, while tongues tasted, long legsbrushed and tangled, and hips ground together with thesoundless music in the empty bar.

Harry's hands squeezed Tom's ass, kneading and massagingand driving Tom out of his mind with pleasure. He kissedHarry even harder, moaning deep into the delicious mouthas he tried to press his erection against Harry's own.

Tom felt himself backed up against the bar, and he heldstill and complied as Harry worked him over with hands andmouth and body, capturing him. The hands holding his faceimmobile while a hot mouth plundered his, and the hardbody sliding suggestively over him, were making Tom's headspin with lust. He was being possessed by Harry, owned byhim, and Tom surrendered himself gladly.

Harry undid Tom's uniform and pushed it off his shoulders,leaving Tom trying to untangle it from his wrists whileHarry slid warm hands under the turtleneck to touch skin.Tom felt his chest and stomach burn wherever Harry'sfingers passed. Then there were lips at his neck, andvicious suction which was pain and pleasure inextricablyentwined. He groaned out loud, feeling his mind cloudover as he tried uselessly to get rid of the sleeves whichconfined his hands.

"We... Harry. We have to get out of here." Then thoughtwas lost as Harry's fingers found his nipples, and teethsank into his neck. Tom gasped and thrust his hipsforward, unable to control his reaction. He was met by ananswering thrust which slammed him back against the bar,crushing him between the hard wooden surface and Harry'spowerful body.

Tom groaned aloud, and Harry drew back his head andlaughed suggestively, intimately. "I don't see why. Howmany different people have you fucked in this program,Tom? On the pool table, the bar... Is there anywhere youhaven't done it?" Harry was pushing his best friend'suniform further down, and rubbing his hand over theprominent erection through damp fabric. He was breathinghard and fast, chest heaving, eyes glittering and darkpupils wildly dilated. Sweat made his skin gleam in thedim light. Tom felt love and desire surge through hisveins at the sight, and was reminded of how important itwas to do this right. Even though he was panting withlust and need, he didn't want it to happen here. Hewanted their first time to be perfect. He wanted to loveHarry in a comfortable bed and fall asleep with his armsaround him. The thought gave him enough strength to pullaway and compose himself. Pulling his uniform back on,Tom tried to ignore his body screaming at him to takeHarry now.

"Let's get to my quarters while we still can," Tompleaded.

Harry grasped him by the front of his uniform and pulledhim close. "I've got a better idea. Let's fuck righthere. It's been three years since I've been with someoneand I don't want to wait any longer." His hands snakeddown to cup his friends buttocks, gripping them tightly."I *can't* wait any longer." He pushed Tom back onto thenearest table and straddled him, then claimed his mouthwith bruising force.

Delicious friction sent shivers up Tom's spine from wheretheir erections rubbed together. /I've got about fiveseconds to do something about this before I lose controlall together,/ he realized dimly.

Harry's legs were tangling with his, forcing them apart,exposing him to more of Harry's weight.

/Four seconds./

His hips were pressing harder into Tom's groin, writhingevocatively.

/Three seconds./

His hands were on Tom's chest, tearing frantically at thezipper.

/Two seconds./

And his lips were soft and wet as his hot tongue invadedTom's mouth.

/One second./

Tom decided to take control of the situation. Aninstinctive wrestling maneuver had Harry off him andcrashing to the floor before Tom realized the move wouldhurl his friend off the table. The sickening thud andbitten off curses had Tom's heart leaping into histhroat. Scrambling madly to Harry's side, he wassurprised to be greeted with laughter. "Not thesubmissive type, then?" Harry asked with genuine humor,as he stood up and brushed himself off. "What a pity."He stepped closer. "Shall we try that again?"

Horrified fear followed by tangible relief had partlycleared the fog of arousal from Tom's head, and he laughedat the mess they were making of this. "No, really, Ithink we're better off on a mattress. Or at leastcarpet," he grinned, indicating the hard wooden floor.

Harry slid his arms around Tom's waist and grinned back,in an entirely different fashion. "The corridor it is,then."

Tom bent down to nibble at his ear. "Surely we could makeit into the turbolift," he whispered.

Harry gasped and shivered. "If you keep doing that, I'llthrow you on the table again."

"Mmmm, it wasn't *that* bad on the table..." They weredancing silently again, moving slowly and provocatively,sliding bodies up and down, rubbing cheeks together.Finally Tom pulled away and licked his lips. "Race you tothe 'lift"

Harry smiled at him slyly. "In a second." He unzippedTom's uniform and pulled it off his shoulders and down tohis elbows. "Computer, end program."

Tom stared at him, bewildered, and struggled with thejacket sleeves.

"Readysetgo!" Harry waved at him and dashed out of theempty holodeck, leaving Tom cursing as he tried to movewith his arms behind his back. He couldn't decide betweenswearing and laughing. This was ridiculous. Oh, if therest of the senior officers could see them now... But itwas reassuring too. It was him and Harry, foolingaround. Like always. But different. Finally he shovedthe fabric off his wrists and ran out of the door,exhilirated.

In the turbolift, Harry was leaning on the wall lookingcalm and smug, eyes sparkling with amusement as Tom racedin. Before he could gloat, Tom pounced, kissing him againand again until Harry was as flushed and breathless as hewas. Only then did Tom drag his mouth away, step back andgive the computer instructions.

As the small compartment began to move, Tom brushed hisknuckles across Harry's cheek in a repeat of his earliercaress. His *first* caress. How long ago was that?Twenty minutes? It seemed like years...

Things were accelerating at an exponential rate. A weekago, he'd thought of Harry as nothing but a friend. Anhour ago, they'd never kissed. In another hour, theywould be lovers. And in another week?

Suddenly it was too much for Tom to bear, and he wrappedhis arms around Harry and held him tightly, trying tocontrol the shaking that was developing deep inside him.

The 'lift stopped and the doors opened. Tom didn't move,just hugged his friend like he was never going to getanother chance. Because he'd remembered something. Heknew his own history too well. Tom had had too manyprecious things taken from him to believe he could everkeep something he loved as much as he loved the man in hisarms.

"You okay?" Harry asked softly, breath stirring Tom'shair. Tom nodded silently and released his grip, steppinginto the corridor.

"Are you sure you want to do this?" Harry asked, eyesserious. In answer, Tom took his hand and pressed it tohis groin.

"One part of me is," he whispered hoarsely. "The rest ofme is just scared out of my mind."

Harry blew out his breath heavily, and rubbed Tom's handover his own crotch. "Me too. But you have to decide. Iwant to be fucked so bad that I can't think about anythingelse." He turned in the direction of Tom's quarters, andsmiled back at his friend. "Let's just get inside first,okay?"

Tom followed him along the corridor, trying desperately toget a coherent thought happening when there was no bloodin his head. It was filled with nothing but one repeatingphrase. /Harry wants to be fucked... By me./ Tomwondered if he could come just thinking about it. Or cry,maybe.

Then they stopped at his door, and Harry keyed in theentry codes. Seeing that did something powerful to Tom'sinsides. /*Harry* is unlocking *my* door so we can goinside and get naked. So I can touch him./ Tom slowlyfell to his knees behind his friend, and ran his handspossessively up and down his waist and hips.

"So it's the corridor, then?" Looking up, Tom could seeHarry's desire and impatience warring with the fondness inhis smile. So he gave in to a rushing impulse. He leanedforward and sank his teeth into Harry's ass. Harry jumpedand turned around, staring down at him with dark, liquideyes. He was so close that Tom could smell him, couldfeel the heat emanating from his body and see the clearoutline of his cock through the black pants. It wasirresistible. Tom pressed his face into Harry's groin andinhaled deeply, savoring the intimacy of it. And hewanted, more than anything, to taste him.

Two sets of breathing caught in anticipation as Tom'sfingers undid Harry's pants. Pulling down his underwearseemed to happen in slow motion. Then Tom couldn't waitanother second. He opened his mouth and took Harry's cockin it, and their stifled moans echoed down the emptycorridor.

Some small part of Tom's head was aware that going down onhis best friend in public was probably a bad thing.Especially when the door to his quarters was wide open,and two steps would have them inside. But right now, thefeel of that hot erection in his mouth, the velvety weightand the profoundly personal flavor of it, was morecompelling than anything else in the universe.

Harry thrust deeper, until Tom could feel his cockthrobbing in his throat. He swallowed around itexperimentally, and felt the massive shudder that ranthrough his best friend's body, and sensed a tighteningwhich meant he was very close. The tiny, gasping moanswere making his own erection twitch in sympathy. ThenHarry gripped his hair and pulled him up to face him.

"Inside me, now," he panted, head thrown back and eyesnearly closed as he fought his own need. They tumbledthrough the door and onto the carpet, not even hearing thedoors swish closed behind them. Groping blindly andtearing off clothes in the process, they rolled, groped, sucked. Lips met at one stage, devouring one another passionately, until an enticing white ear drew Harry's teeth, and Tom's tongue was distracted by perfect nipples on a flawless chest.

Then one pilot's hand crept between wantonly spread legs, and Harry apparently decided he'd spent more than enough time on foreplay.

As Tom hurledHarry's underwear out of the way, Harry grabbed hisshoulders and latched lips onto his chest, sending both hands to Tom's groin for some serious groping. Yelling in surprise and inadvertently rolling themover, Tom crashed into the side of the bed. Without asecond thought he picked up his best friend and dropped him onit. Falling on top of him, lips met with brutal force,and they thrust their erections together frantically.Moans were indistinguishable, vibrating throughout bothbodies. Then Harry threw Tom off him and turned onto hisstomach.

"Now!" he gasped.

Tom grabbed his asscheeks in both hands and moved to lickat the opening, suck greedily on the nearby flesh. Harrywrithed under him, rubbing his cock on the bedcover.

"*Tom*!" He was nearly screaming now. "Do it!" Tomgrabbed lubricant and hastily coated his fingers, pushingtwo into Harry's ass. Harry reached behind and knockedthem away.

"I said, *now*!" He pushed backwards, offering himself.Pleading. Demanding.

Tom was so hard that he was barely able to breathe, barelyable to see. Touching his greasy hand to his own cocknearly made him come all over Harry's back. Strugglingfor air, he started to penetrate the tight golden ass infront of him. Red swam before his eyes, and he heardHarry groan through gritted teeth. Then Harry thrustbackward, impaling himself abruptly, and Tom howled at thepainful pressure. Before he knew what was happening, heclimaxed in one sudden, burning rush, waves of unbearablepleasure passing him through him at warp speed. Harrycried out, still moving against him, and cameexplosively. Falling forward, they separated and crashedbonelessly onto the mattress. Then there was nothing buttheir ragged breathing. Lassitude flooded throughexhausted bodies as both men struggled to regain someequilibrium.

Harry flopped onto his back and sighed deeply. His bodyshone with sweat, and silvery come coated his stomach."That was nice," he mumbled with a drowsy smile. Tomstruggled to keep his eyes open, but Harry was alreadydead to the world, and his own brain was shutting down toofast for him to do anything about it. He barely had theenergy to throw an arm across Harry's chest before sleepdescended on him like a black curtain falling in his mind.

**************************

The pain in his arm brought Tom back to wakefulness. Hewas lying on it, cutting off the circulation. Turningover to relieve the pressure, Tom became aware of ahundred other aches and pains. He hurt *everywhere*. Andfloating back into consciousness came the reason why hehad so many bruises. Tom sat up in bed and looked at hisfriend.

God, Harry was so... *neat* when he slept. Even lyingnaked on a disheveled bed after he'd been fucked intooblivion, he lay straight on his back with one hand on hischest, face toward the ceiling.

They'd fallen asleep without ordering the lights off. Tomcould see their clothes scattered around the room, mixedtogether almost indecently, and shivered at the memory ofhaving them torn off him by a frantic Harry.

That wasn't what he'd expected of him. Tom had only had afew days to imagine what sex with his best friend would belike, but the reality was, well, a bit disconcerting.He'd wanted to take it slowly, touch and taste everysingle tiny bit of Harry while he had the chance, exploreuntil he knew the man's body as intimately as he knew hisown. Instead, it had been over before he'd had a chanceto properly realise that it had begun. Tom consideredwaking him up for a second round, but Harry looked sopeaceful, eyes closed, breathing deeply, he couldn't bringhimself to do it. The bright lights in the room seemedtoo harsh for that kind of serene beauty, so he orderedthem down to twenty percent and propped himself on anelbow to drink in the sight of his sleeping friend.

/Oh, God, it's such a cliche, but his lips *do* look likethey've been bruised from kissing./ Just barely parted,beautifully curved, Tom couldn't stop staring at them.The lips that had made him throw caution to the wind andlean in, starting something with consequences that, evennow, he couldn't fathom. What was going to happen in themorning? What were they going to say to one another afterhaving sex like *that*? For fuck's sake, they'd beenhalf-naked in the corridor, and in five hours they had tobe on the bridge together.

Tom dragged his eyes away from Harry's face and onto hisneck, which was liberally decorated with bruises andteethmarks. Further down, the smooth chest was marredwith scratches and other unidentifiable marks of damage.He looked like he'd just been rescued from the awaymission from hell. /*I* did all that?/ Tom wondered,appalled at how violent he'd been. But then, Harry hadseemed to want it. He'd said it was *nice*, of all things.Tom would never have guessed that his tidy, organized friendliked it rough in bed. Still, maybe he should haveexpected the unexpected. Lately, Harry had been full ofsurprises. Until now, they had been good surprises. Tomwasn't sure how he felt about this particular revelation.

Looking down on at that peaceful face, it was easy tobelieve that it didn't matter. In the morning, Tomdecided, he would make love to Harry with all the skill hepossessed, until Harry knew that heaven was the two ofthem, together in every way.

As gently as possible, Tom maneuvered Harry onto his sideand moved in behind him. As he slid his arms around theprecious warm body, Harry half-muttered something, andthen pressed closer, making Tom's heart melt withhappiness and love. Even lying in bed with Harry was agodsend, the missing piece of puzzle which had finallyfallen into place in the center of his life. He brushedhis lips over Harry's hair, and buried his face in hislover's neck. Of course it would be all right. Nothingcould be wrong when something this simple felt sounbelievably good. Tom sighed with deep contentment, anddozed off knowing that everything was well with theworld.

****************************

This time Tom woke up because he was cold. He sat upgroggily, scanning the dim room through sleep-slittedeyes. Even on a starship, there is a pre-dawn spell wheneverything is still and dark and silent, when movementechoes loudly and the wan light of the stars only deepensthe shadows. It was still an hour before he had to wakeup. And there was something else wrong... Something wasmissing. Turning and seeing the shallow indentation inthe mattress beside him, Tom realized what it was. Harrywas gone.

Then he heard a faint rustling sound in the bathroom, andheaved a soft sigh of relief. In a few moments, theobject of his thoughts emerged fully dressed, and movedthrough the darkness towards the door. Tom's breathcaught, and then again he relaxed as Harry picked up hisboots from where they had landed, and sat down on thecouch to pull them on.

"Hi," Tom whispered, not sure if he should say anything atall. Harry looked over and smiled awkwardly. Finishingwith his boots, he crossed the room and sat down on theedge of the bed.

Tom was shocked to see that Harry winced a little as hesat down. For a Starfleet officer to actually show thathe was in pain, it had to be pretty bad. And even in thesoft starlight illuminating the cabin, the bruises on hisneck were vivid, and angry marks on his chest were visibleunder the collar of his off-duty clothing.

"I have to go," Harry said quietly, shifting uncomfortablyas his voice reverberated in the heavy silence. "Thereare reports that I meant to finish last night, and I haveto visit sickbay before I start shift." He mistook thehorrified expression on Tom's face, and hurriedlycontinued. "I have no choice, there's something wrongwith my shoulder so I can't move my arm much, but you knowthe doctor will keep the records confidential. Nobodywill find out."

"That wasn't what I was worried about," Tom repliedweakly. "Are you okay?"

Harry shrugged - with only one shoulder, Tom noticed - buthe avoided meeting Tom's eyes. Half his face was hiddenin shadows, the emotions on it unreadable. "Yeah, nothingserious. I don't even know how I did it; I didn't noticeanything when it happened." Tom gave him a shaky smile inreturn, then decided to bite the bullet and say what wasforemost in his mind.

"I was hoping we could, you know, try again, only a bitslower this time."

Harry stood to go. "I've got too much to do thismorning. Maybe some other day. I don't know." The wordsseemed to have ominous, almost fatal significance in thestill, shadowy room. Seeing his best friend and hishappiness slipping away before his eyes, Tom reached outand grabbed Harry's hand. Pulling him slowly down, Tomkissed Harry with all the tender passion he could manage.Harry squirmed and pulled away.

"I have to go," he mumbled.

Tom still clutched his hand, not willing to let go soeasily. He couldn't let Harry leave now, not witheverything messed up.

"I'm in love with you, you know," he blurted out. Harrystarted and stared at him, eyes huge.

"I have to go. I'm really sorry." With that, he walkedfrom the room as if he needed to run, as if wolves weresnapping voraciously at his heels. /As if his best friendjust said something really fucking stupid the morningafter hurting him so badly that he needed medicalattention./ Tom bit his lip as the universe come crashingdown around him.

Turning, bewildered, he punched the pillow behind him.Punched it again, harder. Picked it up and hurled itacross the room with a hoarse cry of frustration andanger, then looked around for something else to hit. Witha choked sob, he slammed his fist into the wall with asatisfying crunch and a burst of blinding pain. Cradlinghis ruined hand and feeling the hurt burn its way into hischest, Tom buried his face in the mattress and wonderedwhy he always fucked up anything that really mattered.

Because that had gone as badly as could be expected.

**************************end

Email

Julad's Hideout