It's Not Cheating If . . .
Summary: Amirin's PKSP story challenge: a one night stand. Technically, Harry doesn't cheat on Libby after he meets Tom in a Ferengi bar on Deep Space 9. Or does he?
Disclaimer: They're Paramount's, damn it. Story's mine. Copyright, 1998. Public or private feedback is welcome. Email at email@example.com
Warning: R for adult situations. This story portrays a relationship, however brief in its intentions, between two men. Please go elsewhere if this is not for you.
Archive/Post: ASCEM, R'Rain's, BLTS, allslash, PKSP
They really had warned us about Ferengi at the academy. But . . . I realized I was getting in deeper and deeper with this smooth Ferengi behind the bar. And then, there he was. Very tall, slender, bemused blue eyes, dark blond hair, holding what smelled like a cup of coffee. The guy was puzzling at first, Starfleet uniform but no pips. But what the heck? Somehow he got me out of the mess I was in and we left the bar together.
"My name's Tom," he said.
He had a nice laugh but I wasn't sure it reached his eyes. There was something a little wary about those eyes, as if the blue were painted on the surface over something darker. Even though he couldn't have been more than four or five years older than me, he exuded experience, confidence, all those things I didn't have yet.
"So, Harry. A Starfleet Ensign. First assignment?"
"Yeah. It shows, huh?" There was that friendly laugh again and I laughed with him. I wasn't sure if I should ask him about his uniform. He radiated an apartness, separateness, that said 'don't get too close', so I tried to respect those invisible boundaries. "How 'bout you?" was about as brave as I got.
"Short assignment, then I'm moving on," was his noncommittal response.
Okay. I heard the 'stay away' tone in his voice. "Hey. You really helped me back there."
Funny, my confident companion seemed to blush, as if being a helper wasn't part of how he saw himself.
"Glad to be of service." He looked away from me when he said that. Strange guy, I thought, couldn't take a compliment.
We'd been walking along the Promenade of Deep Space 9, dodging foot traffic and someone jostled him. He fell against me and I reached out to steady him. When I touched him I felt as if my fingers had contacted the molten heat of a supernova. Both of us jumped away a little from the other, startled at the unexpected intensity of the contact. He motioned with his eyes to a recessed doorway of a dark and deserted storefront.
In that small space he leaned his face down, the blue eyes now lit from within, glowing with promise. His face had softened to a youthful eagerness. "So? Harry?"
We both knew exactly what his question meant. And I hated to disappoint him. "Um, listen, I'm engaged."
In the space of seconds, the unguarded anticipation turned to a blank wall. "Oh."
"I . . . uh. . . that doesn't mean we can't be friends. . .?" Please? I was new. I didn't know anyone even though I'd been on DS9 two days, and tomorrow I was going off on my first mission. A few hours of friendship would be welcome.
He must have seen something in my expression for the blank wall flickered a few times. "Are you engaged to a male or female?"
"Her name is Libby," I tried to say it without sounding stuffy.
Another flicker. "Well. I mean, it wouldn't exactly be cheating if . . .uh . . . what we did was, say, uh . . .things you and she wouldn't do. Would it?"
I had no idea. The visceral attraction I had to this man was incredible. I wondered if it was what my roommate George had experienced when he confessed his attraction to me. An attraction I had turned away. I didn't think I liked men in that way. But here was this lanky blond breathing his hot breath on my neck, his hand on my shoulder, likely to burn an imprint there that would sear right through my uniform and leave a permanent scar. He wanted me and, I couldn't believe it, but I wanted him. He was offering a way to do something together, but exactly what that would be, I didn't know. Generally, however, I had a pretty good idea. "Tom." Oh, gods, just saying his name set my legs to quivering. "Um, what were you thinking of?"
He grinned, a kind of cocky, speculative grin. "Well," he drawled, then spelled it out. There was a glint in his eye, "I'm assuming, of course . . ."
Confused, I sputtered a reply, "No. Of course not. She doesn't. But . . ."
"Yes. But what I was thinking would leave you hanging. Unless. . .?" From my furious blushing, he easily figured it out. "Okay." His lips nearly brushed mine, "I'm sure we can figure something out," he told me, his voice now husky with what I took to be desire. "And it's not like you'll ever see me again."
In a daze, I found it difficult to get out a complete sentence, "I'm sure we can figure out . . . I . . . uh . . . I have a room nearby."
He didn't say anything, but turned me around so his back was to the Promenade crowds. He kissed me. Not a light, casual kiss, but one that pressed me back against the doorway. The heat of his mouth, his tongue, his lips, oh, dear gods, I was lost. He pulled away and we both gasped for breath. In between pants, he prodded, "Your room?"
I pressed my hands down my uniform front, and stepped out of the doorway just behind him. I led the way to my room, not daring to even so much as take a glimpse at him even as I was completely aware of his energy, his heat, at my side. On the desperate walk to my room, I decided to put away my conscience for a few hours and enjoy what this beautiful man and I would do with each other. And although I'd been lonely for Libby, in truth I wasn't thinking of her. It was just going to be meaningless sex with a stranger. This wasn't cheating. After all, it wasn't as if I was going to give this man my heart. This was definitely an example of thinking with a part of my body situated considerably lower than my brain. Maybe someday I'd figure it all out, the loneliness, estrangement, the new job, the attractive stranger . . .but not now.
With the door barely closed behind us, we began to kiss again. It was as if he hadn't been with anyone in a long time. His mouth latched onto mine and began to devour every part of it, inside and outside, as his hands roamed up and down my body. I felt as if I would ignite with his touch. I began to undo his clothes and he did the same to me as we danced around with our mouths firmly attached to each other. When we pulled apart, we were both breathing heavily, our chests heaving from the exertion brought on by just kissing. His hand caressed my cheek as if it were the softest thing he'd ever felt and he closed his eyes and moaned a little.
I backed him against the wall, kissed his closed eyes, his nose, his mouth, then lay a course down the soft fuzz of his chest hair. In truth, I had never done this before, and I experimented in finding ways to bring him pleasure that wouldn't ruin the mood because of my inexperience. Finally, he collapsed down the wall to sit on the floor, legs splayed around me.
I was uncertain if I'd done a good job and looked up at him when I could. "Was it . . .?"
He smiled, a warm kind of smile that seemed to let me in. "Yeah," he leaned down to kiss me. "Oh, yeah. That was great."
"I. . . uh . . . "
"Hey. It's okay. We all start somewhere. Thank you, Harry. Thank you." There was such fervor in his voice that all my anxieties over my performance vanished. He suggested, "How about the bed? If there is one . . . ?"
If I could bottle that grin to take with me on my two week mission . . . this guy kept sending astonishing collisions of desire right through me. A little nudge from him and I remembered the bed. I scrambled to my feet and gave Tom a hand up. There was still that aura about him of someone who kept himself apart from others even though we'd just engaged in a very intimate act. We managed to make it to the bed and he playfully pushed me down and then fell on top of me. The sharp bone of his hip pressed into my side and that and his length and male scent reminded me that I was with this guy named Tom, not my fiancé named Libby. He began to nuzzle my neck and whispered to me, "What can I do for you? What would you like?"
Much later, I felt a loopy grin arrange itself on my face. In return, I was treated to a dazzling grin. I didn't know what I'd done really to evoke that expression.
"I wish we would see each other again."
"No, you don't," he assured me. "It's just better this way. If it's okay with you, I'd like to take a little nap. Then I have to report to my ship."
I asked him. "What ship?"
I just stared at him.
"What is it?" he asked.
In a dry croak, I told him, "That's my ship."
He was at the door in a second, roughly throwing on his clothes.
"What's wrong? We'll be on the same ship."
He stopped and stared at me. "You're engaged. And I'm . . ., " he said the last word so softly I almost didn't hear it, ". . . trouble. Look, I'll make this easy. This was a one night stand. Nothing more."
I didn't know what to say. So many conflicting thoughts went through my head. Libby, cheating, Tom being on the same ship with me. . . "Yeah. You're right. That's all it was."
"If it's any comfort, I'm only going along on Voyager as an advisor. As soon as my job's done, probably two weeks, I'll be gone. And I'm pretty sure we won't ever run into each other again after that." There was a world of irony and pain in his voice when he told me that. "Do yourself a big favor, and just forget we ever met."
Still stunned, I watched him finish dressing. The long arms and legs were thrust into clothes, the sweat soaked blond hair was finger brushed back. He grabbed his carryall and went out the door.
I came out of my fog and ran to the door, "Wait!"
But when I looked out into the corridor, he was already gone. The one night stand I was so sure I would never see again was going to be on my ship. Inevitably, we'd run into each other. And I wondered if I could forget him. Or even if I wanted to. But, hell, I was engaged to a wonderful woman. As I pulled my own clothes on, the trappings of my life came together with them. Engaged, responsible, newly graduated ensign. Not someone who'd cheat on his fiancé with a guy he met in a Ferengi bar. Not at all.