by torch, 1996-1999
flambeau@strangeplaces.net

Disclaimer: All hail Paramount, sole possessor of the universe. Sadly enough, these characters are not mine, and neither is the Jefferies tube, the mess hall, or the holodeck. The cheesy dialogue is, though. This very probably takes place in the same universe as Stating the obvious, which branched off from canon way back in early season two or so. Do not archive this story without permission.

Maintenance

"Suggestions, lieutenant?"

"I'm afraid we have to recalibrate the whole system manually, captain."

Tom wasn't deceived by B'Elanna's words, not when he could so clearly hear in her tone of voice that she was looking forward to the opportunity. Apparently the captain could hear it too. "Is that our only solution?"

"No, but it's the best one." Now B'Elanna was serious, as if apologizing for her slight air of smugness before. "If we work out the computer glitch first, and then recalibrate from Engineering, it's going to take us twice as long. Besides, until we're out of this dust belt, the energy pulses might interfere with the sensors again anyway."

Janeway nodded. "All right. How many crew members do you need?"

"Everyone who has a basic knowledge of engineering and isn't urgently needed somewhere else. The more people I get, the faster we can get out of here."

"Very well." The captain smiled at B'Elanna. "You're authorized to take out everyone you consider suitable for the job." Tom tried not to sigh out loud. He knew what this meant. B'Elanna was about to make good on her long-standing threat and shut him into a Jefferies tube.

He glanced sideways at Harry, who was looking eagerly interested. Harry was probably craving the chance to crawl around and do manual repairs. He suffered fits of wholehearted enthusiasm for the most bizarre activities.

Then again, Tom thought to himself with a smile he was careful not to show, there were certain moments when he really appreciated Harry's enthusiasm.

His train of thought was derailed as the meeting was wrapped up and B'Elanna said, "Harry, Tom, you can help me allot the work areas. It seems we have 43 crewmen available, we need to be done in eight hours, max, it—" Any moment now she'd tell him exactly how many meters of Jefferies tube they had. It was like being back in school. If it takes two crewmen three hours to work their way through fourteen— "Tom!"

Tom sighed, got to his feet and followed Harry and B'Elanna out.

* * *

"Tom, we don't have time for this now." Harry tried to evade the hands that had suddenly started to roam all over his body, but in the tight confines of a Jefferies tube, that was just too difficult. At least that was what he told himself. "We're doing repairs here, or had you forgotten?"

"As if I could have missed that." Tom drew a finger across Harry's lips teasingly, slipped it inside his mouth and then out again. "I've been screwing things in all day. Now I want—"

"Don't say it." Leaning back, Harry tried to look sternly at his lover. "Look, I know you don't like working with your hands like this — don't say it! — but this needs to be finished as soon as possible, or we wouldn't be here in the first place. Do you want to explain to B'Elanna why we were the last team to finish?"

"We're ahead of schedule," Tom said calmly. He nodded towards the section to their left. "We only have six installations to go and forty-five minutes to do it in." Then he grinned. "So let's do it."

"What?" Harry wasn't sure if his exclamation was in response to what Tom just said or to the fact that Tom's hands had suddenly cupped around Harry's groin, rubbing him slowly, the heat and friction doing some very interesting things to him even through the Starfleet uniform. The uniform... "Tom, we're on duty!"

"So?" Now Tom was unfastening his own uniform and pushing it down over his shoulders. "I won't tell anyone if you don't." Wriggling out of his shirt and tossing it aside, Tom paused with his eyes fixed on Harry. Harry was caught in that shining blue gaze, unable to look away. "I want you."

And then Tom was moving in close, wrapping himself around Harry and nibbling gently on his neck, and Harry swallowed hard and thought, to hell with the repair job, at least for the time being. He ran his hands down Tom's smooth, well-muscled back, letting his nails graze the spine. They were lying down now, Tom half on top of Harry. Harry felt something digging uncomfortably into his back, but decided to ignore it.

"I want you too," he whispered, then gasped as Tom's tongue teased his ear. Tom went on to suck delicately at Harry's earlobe, and Harry knew he was lost. He stroked Tom's chest, found a nipple and rolled it between his fingertips. Tom was unfastening Harry's uniform, and Harry tried to shrug his way out of it, but it was just too difficult with Tom lying on top of him. "You have to move," he said regretfully.

Tom grinned. "Not too far," he said and helped Harry pull the uniform down, and farther down, and then Tom was tugging Harry's underwear out of the way as well and leaning in to lick the inside of his thigh. That warm, wet tongue moved in lazy circles on Harry's sensitive skin, higher and higher. It felt wonderful. Harry wished he could reach Tom, touch him, stroke him. Then Tom started to lick Harry's balls.

"Ohhh." He'd hardly gotten used to the exquisite sensation when Tom ran his tongue up along the shaft of Harry's cock. Harry thought dizzily that Tom must be trying to break a speed record or something. Oh God, that mouth, wetness and heat. He felt his spine tense, his whole body arching into that wonderful sensation.

Harry thought Tom gave the best blowjobs in the universe, but he admitted he might be biased. Right now he couldn't even have spelled biased. All he was aware of was lips and tongue and throat, the occasional flashes of teeth that made him shiver, Tom's hands on his hips anchoring him, holding him steady. It felt like heaven.

And then there was suddenly nothing but cool air surrounding him. Harry whimpered. "Do you want it?" Tom asked, and a tongue-tip flicked in just the right place. Harry couldn't hold back a moan. That beloved, teasing voice went on, "Just ask me nicely."

Harry considered strangling his lover. He dragged air into his lungs. "Please. Tom." Hot breath against his skin now. "Please..." In one heated liquid rush, Tom went down on him again, and Harry cried out. He twisted against the restraining hands, thrust up into the mouth that worked on him with consummate skill. It was just too hot, too fast, and his fingers clenched together and his toes curled up and then he was coming, biting his lip to keep from screaming.

He was dimly aware as he lay there staring up at the grey metal that seemed to be spinning before his eyes that Tom was licking him clean in slow gentle strokes, and then Harry lifted his head and found that Tom had started to rearrange his clothes, tucking him back neatly inside his underwear again. "You taste so good," Tom told him, with a little purr in his voice that Harry couldn't help but react to even though he was still recovering from a spectacular orgasm.

"Come here and let me find out what you taste like," he suggested, but Tom was fishing around for his shirt and began to tug it on, banging his elbow in the process and swearing loudly.

"We don't have the time," he said as his head popped into view again. "I think we need to hurry up a bit or B'Elanna really will be in here yelling at us."

Harry sat up as fast as he could and wriggled into his uniform. "Now you tell me," he said, trying for a scowl and failing. "You mean you're going to walk around like that?"

"Crawl around." Tom sighed. "I think they make these uniforms so tight on purpose." He looked down at himself. "I'll think about something disgusting. Like in how much of a hurry we really are now."

"Damn it, Tom!"

"I'm sorry, Harry. I know how important it is to you to do your job the right way. I just, well, I really enjoy making you lose control once in a while." Tom smiled unrepentantly.

"You do, do you?" Harry couldn't keep up the disapproving look. He fished up the tool case that had been digging into his back and returned to work, silently meditating on the way this relationship was going. A good way, he thought. They were happy. Just thinking about it brought on that warm comfortable feeling that worried him a little only because it felt as though his brain was being smothered in pink cotton wool.

So much in love, he thought, so much in love it was almost silly. Once they'd acknowledged how they felt, it was amazing how easy it was to be happy. Even when you had the whole crew of a starship teasing you mercilessly for taking so long to realize the truth.

They finished their section just in time and B'Elanna gave them a sharp look as they reported to her. "Took you long enough," she said and tapped in the final sequence of commands. "Paris, don't just stand there, you're wanted on the bridge."

On cue, his comm badge told him the same thing, in the captain's unmistakable voice. Tom smiled. "Hey, you're psychic." He set down his tool case. "I'm off — it's going to be an interesting few hours getting out of this. See you." Harry yelped as a familiar hand patted his ass, but Tom was halfway across engineering before he could think to retaliate. Not that that would have been appropriate.

"He doesn't care much about the rules of proper conduct, does he?" B'Elanna said dryly. Then she winked at Harry. "Makes me wonder what you two got up to in that Jefferies tube."

"Nothing," Harry said promptly.

"Really?" Her smile broadened as she looked at him. "Tell you what, let's go eat and you can tell me all about it."

* * *

Tom practically skipped off the bridge and into the turbolift after taking the ship out of the dust cloud and leaving Sanchez at the conn. He had plans. "Computer, location of ensign Harry Kim."

"Ensign Kim is in his quarters."

"Oh, good." When the turbolift doors opened he bounded out, and ran straight into Megan Delaney. "Oof! Sorry, Megan, I wasn't looking where I was going."

"More interesting things on your mind, right?" She stepped back, flicking his chin with one long finger. "You know, Tom, I'm glad I got a chance to break up with you before you started kissing Harry in public. A girl's got to consider her reputation."

"And quite a reputation it is, too," Tom said affectionately.

Megan kicked him smartly in the shin. "That will do," she told him. "Now go off and do whatever it is you're dying to do to Harry." A quick kiss on his cheek, and she stepped into the turbolift and was gone.

Tom smiled to himself. Oh yes. Harry. There were a lot of things he was dying to do to Harry. "In fact," he mused, walking along the corridor, "in fact..." There was a level one privacy lock on the door; Tom tapped in the code and stepped inside. He smiled at his lover. "Harry, I think we may have to recalibrate the entire system. Manually."

* * *

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