"The Boys of Summer"

Author - Gigi Sinclair | Genre - First Time | Main Story | Rating - PG-13
Trip * Malcolm Fanfic Home

Title: The Boys of Summer

Author: Gigi Sinclair

Author's e-mail: gigitrekslash@canada.com

Author's Web site: http://www.angelfire.com/trek/gigislash

Fandom: Enterprise

Pairing: Tucker/Reed

Rating: PG-13

Category: Slash

Summary: An extended baseball metaphor. (Hey, it worked for Meatloaf.)

Disclaimer: This is a nonprofit fanfic. No copyright infringement is intended or should be inferred.

Comments: Notes: For Leah's birthday. She gave me a challenge which I promptly lost, so the only elements this contains are the monkey and the crossbow. And a mention of a 22nd century Nintendo Power Pad. A few days early for Leah's birthday, but she's going to Toronto, and I didn't want her to succumb to SARS before she got her present.

Archived to EntSTSlash on 06/18/2003.
Archived at Trip*Malcolm with the author's express permission.

The first time Malcolm heard the noise, he ignored it.

He had just discovered a serious bug in his plans to install automatic sights on the new crossbows, he was trying-with limited success-to implement a new phase pistol sign-out procedure, and he was fifteen minutes late for lunch with Travis. He had bigger things on his mind than a strange noise coming from Launch Bay Two. When he passed by an hour later, though, and heard the same rhythmic banging from within, he decided to investigate.

And came face to face with a large, frightening-looking stuffed monkey with a miniature baseball bat and a Florida Marlins cap.

Fortunately, the monkey was not alone. It was accompanied by Trip, who was staring at a large screen that had been attached to one of the launch bay walls.

"What are you doing?"

"Malcolm!" Trip turned and gave him one of his big smiles. Malcolm turned away. He'd learned long ago that the more he looked at that smile, the less professional he felt, and he needed to feel professional at all times. It was the only thing that kept him sane. "I'm playing baseball."

As Captain Archer had discovered, Malcolm's knowledge of sports was sketchy, but he did think that baseball required more than a bat, a white screen, and a disturbing stuffed animal.

"What's this?" He pointed at the leering monkey.

"It's the trophy for our tournament. Check this out." Trip hit a panel, and a video of some ballpark appeared on the screen. It had apparently been shot from behind the home plate. The stands were full, and there was a pitcher standing on the mound.

Trip positioned himself behind a duct-tape 'X' on the floor. Malcolm watched as, on the screen, the pitcher wound up and threw a ball at the camera.

As he did so, another ball, attached to a cord, popped out of a chute beneath the screen. Trip hit it with the bat, and the cord pulled it back into the chute. As soon as the actual ball was back in the wall, a video ball appeared on the screen and ended up somewhere over the pitcher's left shoulder.

Apparently, this was what Trip had been attempting to do, because his grin only got better. Bigger, Malcolm corrected himself quickly. He meant bigger.

"Yes." Stepping over to a thick white pad on the floor, Trip ran in place for a moment and, on the screen, a man in a pinstriped uniform jogged onto what Malcolm assumed was first base at the same time. "Get the idea?" Trip turned back to Malcolm.

"You made this?"

Trip shrugged, and Malcolm tried not to notice the jogging had made him a little sweaty. "I bootlegged most of the video from one of Rostov's games. But the mechanics, that's all mine." He sounded proud and, Malcolm thought, he had a right to be.

"It's impressive."

"I don't know." Trip said, but he seemed pleased at the compliment. "There's still a few bugs to work out. The ball's oversensitive. It's givin' away too many home runs." Malcolm said nothing. He didn't trust himself to make any kind of innocuous comment about oversensitive balls. "Want to try?"

"I don't know how," Malcolm admitted. His only experience with baseball was one horrific date, during which a man he'd met in a bar dragged him to a San Francisco Giants game. And had promptly abandoned Malcolm and his civilized conversation in favour of overpriced beer, yelling at the umpire and trading professional opinions with other drunken yelling men. Malcolm had left during the seventh inning stretch. The guy probably still hadn't noticed he was gone.

"It's easy. I'll show you." Malcolm hesitated, which Trip evidently took as acceptance. Placing his hands on Malcolm's shoulders, he positioned Malcolm behind the duct-tape 'X' where he himself had been standing a few moments before. "See?" Standing behind the lieutenant, Trip pointed at the man at first, who was shifting in place and glancing at Malcolm. "That's me. You've got to help me get to second base."

Malcolm was suddenly aware of how close Trip was standing. To deflect attention from the blush he was certain was noticeable in neighbouring galaxies, Malcolm cleared his throat briskly and asked:

"How do I go about that?"

"Easy." Trip inched even closer, and brought his arms around Malcolm. "You just get a good grip," he placed Malcolm's hands on the bat, covering them with his own. Malcolm noticed that Trip's hands were strangely warm. Malcolm had been cold since he set foot on this ship. "Spread your legs a little," a knee nudged Malcolm's legs apart, then withdrew quickly. The hands lingered, though. Malcolm didn't want them to go. "And get ready to swing." To Malcolm's disappointment, Trip moved away. "Ready?" Malcolm barely had time to register the question before a ball was flying at his face.

Malcolm prided himself on his reflexes. They had kept him alive this long, but they didn't extend to sports. They never had. At school, he was always picked last for every team; at the academy, he'd taken up long-distance running because there were no balls involved. One of the best things about being on 'Enterprise', as far as he was concerned, was the lack of any kind of recreational team activities. Well, apart from the recreational activities he'd like to do with Trip, if it turned out that Trip played on the same team as he did. Those involved balls.

But not the type that would put your eye out. Malcolm ducked, and the video umpire called: "Strike one!"

"This is ridiculous." He attempted to hand the bat back to Trip, but Trip was having none of it.

"You're doin' great. Your grip is just wrong. You gotta choke up on it." Malcolm had no idea what that meant, although he was reasonably sure it wasn't what he was thinking. "Here." Trip came back and repositioned his hands. "Try again, Malcolm."

Malcolm tried it again. He improved. This time, he didn't duck, which meant the baseball hit him squarely in the forehead.

"Oh, God, Malcolm!" Trip was at his side in a second, but Malcolm wasn't really in a position to appreciate that. He was too busy staring at the colourful geometric shapes dancing in front of his eyes and listening to the cheerful chirping of the birds that had somehow sneaked onboard. He made a mental note to ask Phlox to come and catch them. "Are you OK? God, I'm so sorry." Malcolm felt a hand on his forehead.

"Trip?" Malcolm tried to focus his eyes on the face in front of him. "Trip," he repeated, thoughtfully.

"Don't you worry, darlin', I'm gettin' the doc."

"Wait." Malcolm frowned. He didn't think his hearing had been affected by the blow, although the sensible thing would to have Phlox check that out, as well. Except he didn't want to see Phlox. He didn't want to leave the launch bay. "What did you say?"

"I..." Trip stopped, already halfway to the comm. At this point, Malcolm realized he was splayed in a rather undignified position, and he sat up straight. "I'm getting Phlox."

"The other thing."

Turning red, Trip stared hard at the floor and looked like he wouldn't be completely opposed to disappearing into it. "I'm sorry, Malcolm," he repeated, weakly.

How strange. "I'm not." He wobbled to his feet. Trip stood, frozen, as Malcolm went up and put a hand on his shoulder. He looked surprised. Malcolm wasn't. He couldn't, in fact, think why he hadn't done this years ago.


"I'm fine." More than fine.

"Your head..." Trip's protest sounded token, at best.

"Could use a little attention," Malcolm admitted. Smiling a little, Trip reached out to touch Malcolm's forehead. It was Malcolm's turn to correct Trip's stance. "Not that head," he corrected, as he moved Trip's hand lower.

As they sank to the floor, Malcolm kicked the baseball out of the way. He was rewarded by a raucous cheer from the crowd and an appreciative: "Well, don't that beat all!" from the electronic announcer.

The next morning, Malcolm woke up very pleased to find himself in Trip's bed, and very annoyed to see that he was going to be late.

The original plan, the one they'd formed after they'd had quick, fumbling and entirely enjoyable sex in the launch bay and after Malcolm had seen Phlox, was that they would come to the bridge separately. At first, Trip had seen this as proof that Malcolm's desire for him had been due to temporary brain damage. Malcolm had quickly corrected him.

"I like you, Trip. A lot." After the display in the launch bay, and the caring way in which Trip had dragged him down to sickbay afterwards, Malcolm was beginning to think that 'like' might not begin to cover it. "But I'm not comfortable with telling everyone just yet." He smiled, and got one of those great, unprofessional grins in return.

Of course, the plans went out the window the minute Malcolm realized they were going to be late. He and Trip arrived on the bridge at the same time, both out of breath and both a little less composed than Malcolm would have liked.

The Captain turned to look at them as they both installed themselves at Malcolm's station, as always.

"What happened to your head, Malcolm?"

Malcolm glanced back at Trip, who was clearly trying not to look at him. He failed, and Trip smiled shyly as Malcolm caught his eye for a moment.

A moment was all it took for everything to catch up with Malcolm. He'd gone into the launch bay on a bad day to investigate a strange noise, and had ended up spending the night with the man of his dreams. He glanced up at the Captain, who was looking back curiously.

"Home run, sir."



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