DIVING IN

By Shayenne

Disclaimer: Paramount owns everything but I doubt they want this.
Rated PG-13 (maybe a single R moment)
Pairing: P/K
Written for Morgan (RedWingsEagle) in VAMB's Secret Ficlet exchange.

"Harry, relax," Paris said to the young ensign, as he stood behind him with his hands on his shoulders. "I don't know why you're so jumpy this evening."

Harry swallowed hard, trying to ignore the feeling of Paris' hands on his body. It was only Tom, his friend, who was touching him, just as he'd touched him a hundred times before. The fact that they were nearly naked shouldn't make a difference.

Tom's fingers burned the skin of his shoulder, and his breath warmed Harry's neck in quick, short puffs.

"When you're diving from a height, you need to relax," Tom instructed cheerfully. "Otherwise, when you hit the water, it's like thumping down on the deck plating, even though the holodeck safeties are on." He poked Harry between the shoulder blades. "Why are you so tense?"

"I'm not tense," Harry lied. Tom, he thought. It's only Tom.

Tom's fingers trailed a brief tattoo on his spine then withdrew. Harry felt as if someone had lifted a branding iron: the sweet hot stamp of possession was gone, but so was the unbearable touch. When had he started feeling like this? When had he wanted this friendship-the closest male friendship he'd ever had-to become something more?

Harry closed his eyes, remembering with a kind of fatalistic longing, the first time he'd met Tom. Quark's Bar on DS9 before Voyager left for the Badlands, and then he hadn't known who the blond man in uniform with the laughing eyes had been. That evening, Tom had been a stranger trying to entice him for a night of passion before their ships sailed away in opposite directions. Or so Harry had thought.

His put-down had been direct. "Sorry, I'm straight," he'd replied to the stranger, who'd shrugged.

"Can't blame a man for trying," Paris had said, and sat down anyway, bludging a glass of ale from Harry with the ease of an instant friend.

They'd laughed and chatted long into the evening. Tom had stopped Harry blowing a month's credits on a worthless Ferengi trinket; Harry had bought dinner instead. And at 0200, when Harry was unsuccessfully smothering a yawn, Tom had pulled him to his feet in the nearly empty bar. His hands had rested lightly on Harry's shoulders, and the blue eyes were serious.

"You sure?" he'd said. "Straight or not, I like you, Harry."

Images of Libby, his fiancé in San Francisco, had danced in the dim light of the bar. "Yeah," he'd said, "I'm sure. But… thanks."

"Anytime. And if you ever change your mind…" And Tom had spun away, out onto the Promenade, leaving a confused Harry Kim with a huge bar tab.

And the next morning, they'd both appeared on Voyager, and Harry had learned who Tom was.

Somehow, they'd built a solid friendship, moving past the night in Quark's. Neither had mentioned Tom's attempted pickup again. And Harry, at least, had never wanted to.

Until now.

He'd hesitated too long.

"Nervous?" said Tom, quietly, in his ear.

Harry looked down at the blue holographic water, so far below. The springy diving board shifted unsteadily beneath his feet. Tom's hands on his shoulders were the only anchoring force.

"A little," he admitted. "How do I move my arms again?" he asked, as much to buy time as because he needed to know.

Tom ran his fingers down Harry's arms, picking up his hands. "Like this." He lifted Harry's hands, stretching them out away from his sides. "Pretend your arms are wings. Imagine you can fly." Dropping Harry's hands, he moved gentle fingers down the younger man's back, around his buttocks, encased in the dark blue swimsuit. "Clench your butt so that your legs stay taut, and then they won't waver."

Surely Harry was imagining that those lean fingers were lingering on his ass? Tom had never again indicated his interest in Harry as anything other than a friend. But now… Harry swallowed. Somehow, over the years, he was the one who'd been watching Tom covertly, studying the pilot's lean body when he thought he was unobserved. Watching him lounge back at the con. Wondering if the skin on the back of his neck was as soft as it looked. Playing Buster Kincaid to Tom's Captain Proton, happy as the sidekick, as it kept him close to Tom. Not knowing how to make the first move.

Just turn into his arms and kiss him! his heart screamed.

Just tell him you've changed your mind! yelled his head.

Just turn around right now, and he'll see exactly how you feel! murmured his body. That last was undeniable. The soft touches on his naked skin had Harry hard and aching. If he turned around now, Tom couldn't fail to see exactly how completely aroused he was.

Harry contemplated the blue water, so far below. He hoped it was shockingly cold. Maybe that would restore him to a softer state. Men who were only friends didn't get erections like this simply from the other's presence.

"Harry?" Tom's voice dragged him back to the immediate predicament. "You okay? You look as if you've swallowed a whole barrel of leola root."

"I don't know if I can do this." Was that his voice, so high, so strained?

"Of course you can!" said Tom, bracingly, and his hands steadied Harry around the waist. "It's no worse than the ski jump program we ran last week. Just count to three and plunge in. You can dive perfectly well. You've just never done it from this height before…"

Tom's voice soothed his ears, but he stopped hearing the words. There was only Tom, his voice, his fingers. There was only himself, Harry, his nerves, his erection.

Harry took a deep breath and turned, into Tom's arms. The diving board wobbled alarmingly underneath his shuffling feet, but he didn't notice. His gaze was fixed on his friend, wondering what he'd say, what he'd do.

Tom's words stopped as abruptly as if he'd been spaced. His eyes moved deliberately down Harry's body, slowly, leisurely, studying every line of muscle, every honed taut plane, every inch of golden skin.

"Now, I see." Tom's word punctuated the sudden silence between them.

And then Tom's lips were covering Harry's, those mobile, lean lips were on his and Tom's breath was in his mouth, and his tongue was thrusting against his own, much as Tom's hips had aligned with his, and, oh god, he could feel Tom, straining and erect, so close to his own arousal.

The world fell away from underneath his feet, and there was only Tom, so hot and male and hard, in his arms, and he was so instantly on fire he thought he'd blow in his shorts before Tom had so much as even touched his cock.

When they broke apart, Tom took his face between his palms. "You see, Harry, it's really quite easy. You just dive in."

And Harry dived.

(((FIN)))

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