The Other Side

by The Grrrl

Title: The Other Side

Author: The Grrrl

Author's email: thegrrrl2002@yahoo.com

Author's URL: http://www.geocities.com/coffeeslash/thegrrrl/

Archive: Ask first.

Fandom: Star Trek Enterprise

Pairing: Archer/Tucker

Rating: NC-17

Disclaimer: Not mine, just playing naughty games with them.

Warning: Some violence.

Summary: Trip finds himself in a very strange situation.

Notes: This story is unrelated to my Tucker/Reed fics, and stands alone.

"Hold tight, Trip, we're going to have to pull up and try again."

"OK, Cap'n, but could you hurry it up? It's gettin' dark, and I swear I just saw a big ole bug the size of a Labrador Retriever." Trip replied into his communicator. He could see the lights of the shuttle far above.

"We'll do our best Trip. Archer out." And Trip was left alone in the fading light, the wind swirling around him. There was a rustling in the bushes, whether from the wind or from the night creatures stalking him, Trip couldn't be sure. He longed for his pristine, insect-free engine room, where he could identify every sound.

"C'mon Jonathan…" he muttered under his breath, as he sat on the transport locker. One last set of plant samples to take back to the ship. He wondered why he volunteered to stay and finish up. Then grinned to himself. He had done it to please Jon. Of course, it would have been much more fun if Jon stayed behind with him. But Jon wanted to fly the shuttle back to the ship. Captain's prerogative. He heard Jon calling him again.

"Trip here," he replied, pulling out the communicator, when to his horror something large and black landed on his hand. With a jerk of his arm he shook it off, only to have the communicator fly out of this hand.

"Shit." He felt around in the grass, hearing Jon's voice faintly calling out to him. There it was. He had it back in his hand. "Jon, you just better get me the heck out of here because one of those bugs just landed on me and this place is really beginning to give me the creeps." He tried to sound calm.

"Trip, bad news. The wind velocity has increased and it's too dangerous to land. I'll have to wait until it dies down a bit." Jon sounded somewhat amused.

"Cap'n, you're pullin' my leg, right? Because no way am I waitin' down here." Trip was certain he felt something land on the back on his neck, but when he swiped at it nothing was there.

"Sorry Trip. I'm not joking. Hold on a second." He paused. "Trip, let me get back to you."

Trip sat on the locker again, feet up, with his arms wrapped around his knees. He sighed, certain the deep grass contained a multitude of insects. Again, he wished Jon was down here with him. When Trip first found out he was chosen for the Enterprise crew, he wasn't sure if he was more excited by the mission itself or by just being on the same ship with Jon. And since the mission began Trip was certain he had detected more than just friendly feelings from Jon—the teasing, the almost certain flirting. Still, he hesitated to let Jon know the depth of his feelings. If he were wrong, well, it was a small ship, and a long mission. But perhaps if he got Jon away from the ship, alone with him on the planet, they'd be able to talk, and maybe he could get a better idea of how—

"Trip—" the sound of the communicator shook him from his musings.

"Yeah, Cap'n," Trip eagerly replied.

"Plasma storm coming up. It's not safe for you to be planetside. We are going to use the transporter." Archer's voice sounded grim.

"Oh, great," said Trip. Sure, Jon had come through the transports just fine, but Trip had been at the controls. Then he felt something land on his arm. He jumped up and stood next to the locker. "Just let me know when." He felt something tickle the inside of his leg. That had better be the grass, he thought.

"We have a lock on you."

Then suddenly the grass and bushes faded away.

***

His vision cleared. The first thing that struck him was the smell. Vaguely unpleasant, musty. That's strange, he thought. Where the hell was it coming from? Then he realized he was not in the transporter room, but in one of Enterprise's long corridors. He reached for his communicator but realized he must have dropped it again.

"Hello?" He began to walk when he realized he was near his quarters. Convinced that some of the planet's wildlife hitched a ride inside his uniform, he decided to check in from his room as he got changed. He walked in, then paused, thinking he must have been wrong. While his quarters were never exactly neat, this room was downright slovenly. As he turned to leave he caught movement to his left. Then he was pushed roughly against the wall.

"Where have you been?" the man growled, grabbing his throat.

Trip angrily pushed the hand away, only to find it return, armed with a knife. His head hurt from where it had hit the wall.

"Where the fuck have you been? You know I don't like to be kept waiting, " said the man furiously. The stranger wielding the knife had dark hair, and a heavy dark beard. His eyes were disturbing, alight with some strange, inner fire.

Trip realized with a start that the man reminded him of Malcolm. Same accent. Same height. But where Malcolm was neat and well-groomed to a fault, this man's hair was matted, beard scraggly and his clothes rumpled. But most disturbing were his eyes.

"What, forget how to talk? That would be a first for you, Trip," he sneered.

Trip finally found his voice. "How did you get on board this ship?" he asked, wary of the knife at his throat.

The man laughed, but there was no humor in it. The sound was chilling. "By being very, very good at what I do." He smoothly turned the knife and slid it down Trip's front, slicing the uniform and the shirt underneath as it went.

"What the hell are you doin'?" Trip asked, shocked. "An' how do you know who I am?" He felt a stinging sensation as the knife drew a red line down his chest. He flattened himself against the wall, trembling slightly, trying to back as far away from the weapon as possible. The knife continued down, still cutting through his uniform, past his waist. His knees began to feel weak.

"Don't play dumb with me. Assuming, that is, you are indeed playing." Finally the knife reversed its course and began working it's way up. Then stopped, the point pressing into Trip's stomach. "The trouble is, you play far too many games."

"Listen," tried Trip, despite his growing anxiety, "I don't know what's going on here, but maybe if you stop doing that we can uh, talk about it." What the hell had he walked into?

"We've done more than enough talking." The man suddenly reached down and grabbed him by the balls, at the same time covering his mouth with a kiss. Trip froze. Then he heard his door open. The man broke off his kiss immediately and let go.

Trip felt a flood of relief as he saw his Captain enter the room.

The knife disappeared and the man carefully backed away from Trip, never taking his eyes off of the captain. Trip watched, fascinated, as the strange man walked a wide circle around Jon. Then, pausing by the opened door, looked from Trip back to the Captain, he gave a small smirk, and darted out of the room.

"Cap'n, what the hell—who—"

"Trip, you are such a slut," interrupted Jonathan, as he turned towards Trip.

"What?" Trip never saw the blow coming. The hard slap across his face threw him onto the floor.

Jonathan grabbed him by the arm and yanked him up. "You would let everyone on this ship fuck you, wouldn't you." he continued coldly.

"What-." This time he saw it coming, but, still reeling from the first blow, didn't have time to react. He hit the floor again, literally seeing stars. His face throbbed. Slowly he sat up, raised his head and stared up at the man standing above him. Jon crossed his arms, leaned comfortably against the desk, head tilted to one side, waiting for an answer. Trip realized, vaguely, that Jon was wearing clothes he had never seen before.

Hell, thought Trip, my mamma didn't raise no fool. "Sorry Jon. I should have just told him to leave. I don't know why I do these things." He wondered if he was going insane, or if he was the only sane person left on the ship.

The tall man nodded, pulling Trip to his feet one more time. Grabbing him by the shoulders, he leaned in close and said quietly, "If I find you with Malcolm again, I will drop you. And then your ass will be divided up among everyone on this ship. Believe me, it wouldn't be very pretty after that. Now, I don't want to do that, but I will if you push it."

Trip shivered, not as much from what was said as by the look in his Captain's eyes. He had never seen those deep brown eyes look so cold, so calculating. What had happened? This wasn't his Jon. He even looked different—older, harder. His Jon couldn't resist feeding the forbidden cheese treats to Porthos. This man—he looked as though he'd roast Porthos and have him for dinner, without a second thought.

"I promise. No more Malcolm." Trip said. Malcolm? How the hell could that madman have been Malcolm?

Still holding Trip by the shoulders, Jon dragged him in closer. Pulling open Trip's torn uniform, he slid it down Trip's shoulders. Trip's heart thumped in his throat as he pulled his arms free, never taking his eyes off of Jon's face. Jon then reached down the back of his pants, pressing him even closer. Trip drew his breath in sharply as he came into contact with Jon's huge, hard erection. Strong hands began to roughly massage his ass. Confused but unable to resist, he began to grind his hips into the other man's. Maybe, he thought, he had been in some sort of fugue state for a long time. And had missed some major changes aboard the ship.

Jon chuckled. "You may be a slut, Trip, but remember, you're my slut." He grabbed Trip by the hair and began to kiss him, hard. Trip felt a surge of desire as he was bent backwards in an overpowering, all-enveloping kiss. Jon let go of him so abruptly that he had to grab Jon's arms for support.

Shaking his head, Jon threw Trip onto the bed, and pushed him down on his stomach, yanking his clothes off completely. He ran his hands over Trip's body, pausing over his ass. Trip began to feel anxious. He knew what was going to happen next, he wanted it to happen, but not this way, with Jon acting so strange, so cold.

"At least there's one thing you do well, " said Jon, running his thumb over the opening between Trip's cheeks.

Trip turned to see Jon undoing his pants. Suddenly panicky, he said, "Uh, Jon, don't forget to use, …something to make this a little easier, ok—" He stopped short as a Jon administered a hard, stinging slap to his ass.

"It would serve you right if I didn't."

But a moment later Trip felt oil splashed on, and oily fingers probing inside him. Trip suspected the preparation wasn't going to be very thorough, and tried by sheer force of will to get his muscles to relax. In spite of his growing fear he moaned. It felt so incredible to have Jon thrusting his fingers up his ass. He cried out as he felt Jon's penis pushing at his opening. Then felt the pain as it thrust partway into him. He must have made a noise because Jon paused for a moment.

"Christ, Trip, you are so tight," Jon said, panting. "I don't know how you manage to stay that way."

Trip felt his muscles relax and again Jon was filling him. Grasping Trip by the arms, he thrust harder and harder. Trip moaned again, grasping at the bedsheets, feeling the friction against his own throbbing erection. He gave up trying to figure out how it came to be happening and just gloried in having Jon fuck him. Then all too soon the sensation overwhelmed him and he came suddenly, muffling his cries into the bed. He felt Jon's thrusting become erratic, then with a loud grunt he stopped and slumped onto Trip's body.

Trip whimpered his disappointment as Jon withdrew from him and sat on the edge of the bed. He reached out to pull Jon down next to him but the man waved him off. With a slap on Trip's shoulder, Jon got up and fixed his pants.

"I'd better get back on the Bridge. Vulcan ships have been spotted in the area." With that, Jon left the room.

Trip looked at the door, stunned. That was it? He put his face down into the pillow and fought back the urge to cry. He had to find out what was happening. This couldn't be real. Maybe it had to do with the temporal cold war—Suliban—they had to be somehow involved, somehow screwing with the timeline. How else could things have changed so drastically?

He slowly pushed himself up into a sitting position, wincing. He felt empty inside. The left side of his face throbbed painfully. Smears of blood from his chest stood out sharply on the bedsheets from where Malcolm—Malcolm? had cut him. He located his underwear and pulled it on thoughtfully

The door opened again and Trip scrambled frantically to his feet. Dammit, didn't this door lock? The handsome man walking in looked familiar. Too familiar. To his utter disbelief, Trip realized was staring at himself.

The man entering the room spotted Trip, and stopped short. He put his arms on his hips and frowned. "Who the hell are you?" he demanded.

Trip replied, desperately, "I'm the chief Engineer aboard this Ship. And you better get the fuck out of my quarters before I call security." He hoped the ship still had some semblance of a security team.

The man looked confused. Trip could sympathize. He stalked towards the man menacingly, and the other man backed away. Trip considered the previous events and decided he just wanted to get the hell out of this room.

Trip grabbed the nearest chair and swung it at the man, at himself, hard. Taken completely by surprise, the man went down with a thud. Without even pausing to see if he was out completely, Trip dashed out the door, hearing angry yelling behind him.

He wasn't even sure where he was going. He just needed to get away. He looked back and saw two men running after him. Then an alarm sounded. Great, he thought, just what he needed. As he rounded the turn, he saw a smaller figure loom up at him. Trip felt the cold bite of a knife cutting into his shoulder. Malcolm slashed at him again. He tried to grab the knife but only felt the blade slice his hand. They both crashed to the ground, rolling. Finally Trip broke free and started to run again.

Then, once again, the walls of the ship shimmered and his vision went white.

***

He was kneeling on the floor on the transporter deck, panting, blood pooling around him. Through a gray haze he could see Malcolm rushing towards him. He tried to scramble away but slipped on the blood. Then with relief he realized this was the Malcolm he knew. Neat, clean, sane Malcolm.

Carefully laying him flat, Malcolm began to press on the deep wound in his shoulder. Trip realized Malcolm was saying something to him, but couldn't make out the words over the roaring in his ears. The room began to spin and he closed his eyes, beginning to feel nauseous. When he opened them again Malcolm's face was replaced by Jon's—his Jon, he realized with joy, as he looked into the dark brown eyes filled with concern for him. Jon was asking who did this to him.

"Malcolm." Trip managed to pull together the strength to say. He turned his head and saw Malcolm's shocked expression. "Not you—the crazy one."

Then the doctor arrived and shooed everyone away.

***

"So there were no traces of blood anywhere else on the ship?" asked Jon incredulously.

"Correct Captain," answered T'Pol.

"Does that make any sense to you?" Jon was getting frustrated. "Commander Tucker's pattern disappeared from the transporter for nearly two hours. There are no ships in the area, scans of the planet came up negative. Then the transporter is mysteriously activated, he reappears, he's badly injured…just where the hell was he?"

"I assure you Captain. If I had a plausible theory, I would share it with you." said T'Pol, as calmly as ever.

Jon waved his hand at the Vulcan. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to snap at you. I'm still feeling just a little…" The stark memory of the empty transporter deck was still etched clearly in his mind.

"Emotional? Do not be concerned, Captain. I did not take offense," she assured him.

Malcolm entered the Ready Room, looking extremely agitated. "Captain, we've scanned the ship from top to bottom, but there's no sign of any intruder. And there is no ship anywhere near transporter range." He still had blood on his hands. "I have them going over the ship again, in case we missed anything the first time. Maybe we'll at least find the weapon."

"Just let me know if you find anything evenly slightly out of the ordinary," said the Captain. He suspected they would not find any clues on the ship. His hope was pinned on the Doctor's findings.

"Aye sir." Malcolm paused. "Captain, what could Trip have meant? You know that I didn't—couldn't have—"

Jon cut him off with a wave of his hand. "Malcolm, I know you didn't have anything to do with what happened to Commander Tucker, " he assured the worried man. "I'm sure there will be a perfectly" he paused, "logical explanation for what he said." Jon wished he were as confident as he sounded.

"Phlox to Captain Archer."

Jon hit the comm pad. "Doctor?"

"I'm ready to give you my report."

***

Thank god he was back. Jon took in the bandages, the dark, bruise spreading across his Chief Engineer's left cheek. Jon touched Trip gently, his finger's brushing against the golden hair on his forehead.

"Captain, I'm quite certain Commander Tucker will be out for some time."

Jon started and withdrew his hand. He hadn't realized the doctor had come up behind him. "But you say he will be just fine?"

The doctor nodded, then motioned for the captain to follow him. He handed a data padd to Jon. "I found 5 knife wounds, three on his chest, and one each on his right arm and hand, which appear to be defensive wounds. There are also several shallow cuts on his chest and stomach. They also appear to be knife cuts but they only just barely break the skin," the doctor explained briskly.

Jon fought to keep his voice even. "Any evidence that might lead us to who did this to him?"

The doctor hesitated.

"Well, doctor?" Jon couldn't read the alien's expression.

"Captain, there is something else. There is evidence of sexual activity. Commander Tucker engaged in anal intercourse in the recent past."

"What?" Jon was dumbfounded. "How recent?"

"Judging from the condition of the sperm, one, perhaps two hours before he was found."

"Was it—was he—" Jon found he could not even say the word.

"While there is some minor tearing of tissue in the rectum, it doesn't appear that the activity was non-consensual. I can't be certain, of course, but there would be a lot more damage if that were the case."

Jon rubbed his temples, trying to get a handle on the situation. How could Trip get himself into such trouble in such a short amount of time? Then a thought struck him. "Doctor, if you have the sperm, can you use it to identify who it was?"

"Yes, Captain, I already have." The doctor was hesitant again.

"Well"?

"It was you, Captain."

Jon stared back at the man in disbelief. "That's impossible!" he exclaimed. He sat down heavily in the nearest chair.

The doctor shrugged. "I checked it twice, just to be certain. I can take another sample if you like."

Jon shook his head. "Doctor, it wasn't me. I haven't—we haven't—done that." But who the hell had?

"I'm sure once the commander awakens, he'll have an explanation for it all," the doctor assured him. "I am certainly as mystified by all this as you are."

"Let me know as soon as he wakes," demanded Jon. As he left sick bay, he spun around and added, "and for now, please keep this medical report confidential."

***

Trip knew Jon didn't believe him, but the man had the good grace to not let it show.

"I've done a thorough scan but he does not seem to have any sort of head injury. But considering how situation, there are likely to be other causes for his loss of memory," said the doctor.

Jon looked at Trip speculatively. "Is he well enough to leave sick bay?"

"I don't see why not," answered the doctor. "As long as he feels up to it."

Damn, thought Trip. He wasn't ready to talk yet. "Doctor, my shoulder's still a little—" he stopped in mid sentence as he looked at Jon's face. Shit. He did not want to be alone with Jon, not yet. Nonetheless, he let Jon and the doctor help him down off the bed.

Jon was rather quiet as he walked Trip to his quarters, asking only how his shoulder felt, if he was hungry. When they reached Trip's door he hoped the captain was not going to follow him in.

But his hopes were dashed as the man walked in ahead of him. Trip followed him in, and sat on the bed. He wrapped a blanket tightly around himself, watching nervously as Jon pulled a chair next to the bed and sat.

"Trip," said Jon. "Stop looking at me like that. I just really need to know what happened."

Trip didn't realize he was so transparent. He pulled the blanket tighter around his shoulders. "Captain, really, I just don't remember what happened." He didn't even sound convincing to himself. He eyed on the bandage on his wrist, plucking aimlessly at it.

Jon sighed. "We've been friends for a long time. Why can't you tell me what happened?" pleaded Jon. "The doctor told me, Trip. Told me that you and I had- somehow had sex while you were gone…"

Trip's head snapped up. He hadn't even thought about the medical aspects. Of course the Doctor would have discovered who and what happened. He searched Jon's face, looking for any sign of disgust or revulsion, but only saw warmth and concern.

"It was just so damn strange, Cap'n," he began hesitantly. Then, with occasional gentle urging from Jon, the basic story slowly tumbled out of him.

When he finished, Jon just sat there quietly. "So, it was the same ship? With the same crew? Including you? Almost sounds like some sort of alternate universe. But that's—"

"I know, it's crazy. And lord knows it felt crazy." Trip concurred.

The captain had an odd look on his face, trying to wrap his mind around the concept. Then he stood up. "I'd better let you rest. Is there anything you need?" asked Jon.

Trip shook his head. There was plenty that he needed from Jon, but couldn't ask for. "G'night Sir."

Something must have shown on his face because Jon reached out and touched his arm. "I thought I lost you," said Jon, his voice husky with emotion. He started to say more, but stopped. Then he left.

***

Trip was still awake, hours later, when he heard soft knocking on his door. Curious, he called for the person to enter. A tall figure, silhouetted against the hall light, came in. Trip called on the light, blinking at the brightness.

"Jon?" His friend looked exhausted. "You look like hell."

A ghost of a smile played at Jon's lips. "You should talk." He pulled a chair up next to the bed and sat, leaning forward, his hands on his knees. "I asked T'Pol if the Vulcans had ever had a similar experience as yours, but to her knowledge, they never have. She suspects the Suliban, too, but, I don't know."

"Jon, I've been wracking my brain tryin' to make sense of it all, and, well, I just can't," said Trip. "I've been laying here, just running it through my head over and over again."

Jon fidgeted in his chair, shifting his weight, looking uncomfortable. "What I really came here to talk about is—Trip, I have to ask, why did you have sex with this version of me—this evil twin…especially after I slapped you around? Didn't you think you were putting yourself in danger?" Jon asked softly.

It was a very good question, one that he wasn't sure he knew the answer to. Or wanted to know. Did he need Jon's touch that badly? The experience had unnerved him yet he couldn't stop thinking about it. "Well, it seemed like the thing to do at the time." he said, flippantly.

A flicker of annoyance broke through Jon's expression. "So how was it?"

Was Jon jealous? "Well, now, that's none of your business, is it?" he replied, thinking of the incredible sensation of Jon fucking him so thoroughly. "Although," he continued, "this Jon wasn't real into cuddling afterwards, made me feel kinda used."

Jon got up and began pacing. "Trip—" he paused in front of the window, watching the stars go by. "It is my business. And I just don't understand why—"

"What, Jon?" Trip interrupted, suddenly feeling angry. "What is it you don't understand? That I figured this guy was the closest I could get to having you? Why should that matter to you? It's not like you've ever shown any sign of wanting to take our friendship to another level".

Jon turned back to Trip and the guilt on his face was unmistakable. "Trip, it's not that I don't want to. God, Trip, when you didn't come through on that transport I felt like something inside of me died. But I'm the Captain of this ship. I can't. Please, try and understand that." He lifted his arms as he spoke, then dropped them back to his sides.

"Are you telling me that you want to but won't? Oh, that makes me feel much better." Trip said. He suddenly wished he had never signed on the Enterprise.

Jon sat down next to him on the bed. "Believe me Trip, the last thing I want to do is hurt you."

Trip refused to look at him. He didn't want Jon to see his pain, and lose every last shred of dignity.

Jon continued, "If we were in an intimate relationship, I'm afraid it would effect how I treat you. I don't know if I'd be able to send you into a potentially dangerous situation. And I can't let that affect how I command this ship."

"So that's the solution? We turn ourselves into a bunch of pointy-eared Vulcans? Repress all our emotions, play it safe. Jon, I never knew you to turn your back on a challenge."

"Trip, that's not fair," said Jon, angry now.

"Cap'n, this whole damn situation is dangerous. Being out here in this ship. For all of us. Heck, I nearly died on a routine visit to an uninhabited planet." He shifted forward and took the captain's hands in his. "Doesn't that make it all the more important that we live in the moment? Live life to it's fullest?"

Jon didn't answer him, just sat looking into his eyes. He still looked angry, but Trip decided to take advantage of the moment, leaning forward to press his lips on the other man's. Jon kissed him back, a sweet, gentle kiss. So unlike the other Jon.

"We can't put the genie back in the bottle, can we," said Jon, somewhat sadly.

Trip shook his head, not trusting his voice enough to speak. He knew things could never be the same between them. It was all or nothing now.

To his surprise he found himself being pulled into the other man's embrace, long arms wrapping around him. Jon kissed him tenderly. Trip returned the kisses, then moved on to Jon's face, neck, and ear, tasting him, marveling at the feel of his lips on the man's skin. As he nuzzled Jon's ear Jon let out a small sound and tightened his hold on him.

"So does this mean we aren't goin' the Vulcan route?" whispered Trip into Jon's ear. He reached under Jon's shirt and ran his hand across the hard stomach beneath. He felt giddy.

"Yes, Trip. I still don't know if this is a good idea but I figure it's better than my ears getting pointy."

Trip laughed. He suddenly wanted to be naked with Jon, as if to chase away the demons of his encounter with his opposite. He pulled at Jon's shirt, attempting to remove it. Jon stilled his hand.

"Trip, don't you think we should wait until you are healed? Everywhere I put my hand I hit another bandage," said Jon.

"I know a place where there ain't no bandages." He took Jon's hand and placed it over the bulge in his pants. He was pleased by the look on Jon's face. As Jon began stroking him gently, he reached up for a long, slow, wet kiss, their tongues cautiously meeting. Jon slipped his hand underneath his clothes and continued the caress, his warm hand on bare skin.

Trip moaned into Jon's mouth. It felt just wonderful, being together, having Jon touch him like that. When he thought things just couldn't get any better Jon laid him back, slid down the bed and replaced his hand with his mouth.

"Oh, God, Jon, that is just amazin'" he blurted out. It was clear that his captain had some experience in these matters. He propped himself up slightly, ignoring the pain in his shoulder, just to be able to see Jon pleasuring him. Then he laid his head back down and gave himself over to the sensation.

Afterwards, Jon carefully cradled him in his arms, as if he would break if handled too roughly.

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