"Come Rain or Shine"
Author's e-mail: give_me_the_phase_pistol@y...
Summary: Certain parties find out certain things about certain people.
Warnings: Some swearing, but not a whole lot.
Disclaimer: Star Trek and all related characters / terms / technology etc.
are copyrighted to Paramount Entertainment. I do not claim that any of the
original workings are mine in any way, and I am not making profit from this
Author's notes: This actually started as a therapy piece because I was
feeling really lousy about some stuff. The weather was bad, and I looked out the
window, and BOOM. Malcolm was sitting on my desk telling me this story. All I
did was write it down.
_Part One - Weather the Storm_
Rain fell in heavy silver drops. The slick pavement was patched with gold
from the streetlamps that stood at attention beside the hedges and garden walls.
Occasionally, lights flicked on inside the red brick houses. Silhouettes
appeared behind the pristine curtains. Couples kissing, children fighting: a
tiny glimpse into a few tiny lives.
Malcolm pulled the hood of his waterproof tighter over his head as he
splashed away from the rows of identical dwellings. His boots were soaked; water
had saturated the worn material, but he didn't really care. He stuffed his hands
deep in his pockets and trudged on, tucked in on himself. Golden ripples formed
at his feet with each step on the wet pavement. His eyes stung as moisture
pooled in them, but he did not dare to let any tears slip.
He would not let them get to him. Not again, not after so long.
Malcolm turned up the dank alley that led out of the street and onto the main
road. There were no streetlamps there; just the hazy glimmer of cars rushing
past in front of him and the yellow hue of the street behind. He had been
attacked in this alley once. Of course, his attacker had come off worse than he;
Malcolm allowed himself a bitter smile; almost a snarl, but not quite.
Broken glass shone emerald and amethyst when scarce glimmers of thin light
caught them. The graffiti on the walls swore at him as he slunk past, his head
down, trying to forget.
They hadn't changed. He snorted. Why had he ever thought they would?
The two bollards at the end of the alley loomed in front of him. Cars kicked
up spray from the soaked tarmac. Malcolm whirled around as squelching footsteps
hurried towards him. He waited, ready to pounce. He didn't have to however, when
his 'attacker' pulled down her hood. Her blonde hair had a golden sheen from the
passing cars' headlamps. The glittering eyes pleaded with him.
"Malcolm, where are you going?"
"I don't know."
It was true. He really didn't know. He supposed he could catch an earlier
transport back to San Francisco. It wouldn't be very hard. Probably.
Madeline Reed's forehead scrunched and she pressed her lips together tightly.
Drops of rain slid down her face and into the neck of her parka.
"You don't have anywhere to go, do you?" She asked.
He knew she was aware of his travel plans for later. It was hours until his
transport was due to leave. Malcolm shrugged; he frowned at the violent jerk.
Only his parents could put his teeth on edge so badly. Madeline reached a gloved
hand out to rest on his arm; he knew she would feel his tremble through the
"Come back with me, then. You can stay the night if you want."
"But..." Malcolm shook his head. He was due back in San Francisco later. Trip
would be waiting for him.
"Please, Malcolm." Madeline's tone sounded on the edge of pleading. "We can
talk. Just like old times.
She smiled at him, her caring, sisterly smile. Malcolm found himself
cracking, and he reached out to brush a few soggy blonde hairs out of her eyes.
*Just like old times*.
"Alright, but just for a little while." He said. "I have to get back."
Madeline nodded and grasped her brother's hand, squeezing tightly and leading
Malcolm towards her ground car. She offered him another supportive smile, and
the rain poured on unabated. The darkness crept further in.
The crackling fire was welcome on the dreadful evening. Malcolm plucked at
the cuff of the overlarge sweatshirt Madeline had given him in place of his
soaked jumper. That and the baggy sweatpants had belonged to an ex-boyfriend,
she had told him, who had left her one day and never came back. Malcolm knew
exactly how that felt: from both ends.
The rain crashed against the windows of Madeline's flat in sheets.
Occasionally the blinds were lit up as spikes of lightning split the sky
outside. Malcolm was very glad to be indoors. He curled further into the spongy
sofa and palmed his face. He was exhausted.
Madeline came in from the kitchen in her glossy stain pyjamas, two mugs of
tea in her hands. She smiled knowingly as she handed him his before settling
herself beside him on the sofa. Malcolm sipped the tawny liquid and stilled:
black with one sugar. Perfect. He was touched she remembered after so long.
The sharp crackling of the flames burning red in the fireplace and the gentle
sipping of tea from chipped mugs were the only sounds in the room for some time.
Madeline sat cross-legged on the sofa, turned slightly towards Malcolm. The
flames cast flickering shadows over his chiselled features. Her father was
wrong. He was *twice* the man he had been when he left Earth. Being an observant
woman, and having spent so many precious summers with Malcolm during their
childhood, Madeline had beamed at the changes in her brother. He was a changed
man. That had been incredibly apparent when she met him at
the terminus that
morning. He was more open, and most certainly happier.
But, Madeline mused as she set her empty mug on the floor; there were some
things that would never change. She cocked her head to one side; stray locks of
now-dry hair floated over her eyes. No, some things that *could* never change.
Like the way Malcolm and their father argued. Madeline stopped herself from
wincing at the memory. It had been as bad as ever.
Malcolm sloshed the dregs of his tea around the bottom of the mug. He could
see Madeline watching him. He could sense the memories playing in her
sympathetic eyes. She had always understood him, yet he had never understood
her. He never knew why she was so fond of him, or why she always shared her
sweets with him when they were little, or why she tended to defend him to their
parents. Malcolm rolled the mug around in his hands. That was just Madeline, he
supposed. Beautiful Madeline. No, he had never understood her; he
didn't, really. But he loved her for all she did; now more than ever.
Malcolm raised his eyes to his sister's contemplative stare and offered her a
"I'm glad you told them." Madeline said.
"I didn't mean to." Malcolm said. "I had never intended for them to
Madeline nodded slowly.
"I guessed that. You looked as shocked as Father did." She shifted her
position to sit closer to him. She took one of his hands. "They would have found
out eventually, you know."
Malcolm exhaled slowly and tilted his head back, resting it on the sofa's
"I think Mum already knew. Maybe not who I was with, but she certainly
"Mothers know everything."
They shared a quiet chuckle. Mary Reed had often been a tyrannical presence
in their youth, displaying god-like clairvoyance about 'where they were going
and with whom'. But at the same time, Malcolm supposed as he tucked his feet
underneath him, she had often seemed silently...supportive of them, even if she
seldom said anything out loud.
"I thought Father was going to have a heart attack." Malcolm said as he
plucked at the cuff of the sweatshirt again. "Old bastard. It goes to show how
much attention he paid us, eh?"
Madeline tutted, gently scolding him as she rubbed his hand.
"Now, that isn't very fair, Malcolm." She said. "We were always away at
school, and he was posted overseas. But you are right to some extent. He was
never very fatherly when he got the chance."
Malcolm watched her for a few moments, trying to look beyond his festering
hatred for the truth. He sighed and nodded reluctantly. "I suppose you're
right." Malcolm said.
She *was* right; at least partly, anyway. He closed his eyes. Yes, she had
always defended his decisions in the face of their parents' adversity, but... It
hadn't been the same for her. She couldn't truly understand what it was like for
him. She wasn't a 'Reed man'. It hadn't been expected of her to join the navy
and 'carry on the family tradition'. She hadn't 'let the family down'. It wasn't
same at all.
He looked back over at the crackling flames. He exhaled sharply, suddenly,
and shifted his gaze to the ceiling.
"As if it wasn't bad enough for him," he said, "me *fraternizing* with
*superior* officers; but me *sleeping* with one? A *male* one? I thought he was
going to croak it right there."
Madeline squeezed his hand.
"I think you've gone beyond just 'sleeping with', Malcolm." Madeline said.
"Don't let Trip go. He's good for you."
She leant over and placed a gentle kiss on his cheek.
"I've to get up early for work in the morning." She said. "You should check
the shuttle times for tomorrow and call Trip to tell him you're staying over for
the night. Unless you'd rather go now...?"
Malcolm shook his head; he was much too tired to be going anywhere.
"No, I'll stay on. Thanks, Madeline."
"See you in the morning, then."
Madeline collected up the mugs and left. The faint *clink* of the dishes as
they were place in the sink and the squeaks of her bare feet on he hard floor
disappeared, and Malcolm was left in relative silence, save for the soft crackle
of the fire. He stared into the flames once more and wrapped his arms around his
drawn-up knees. He cared for Trip. Deeply. Fuck his father; he had gone beyond
caring what he thought long ago. Or at least, he thought he had. But
what did it matter what *anyone* thought except for he and Trip?
Malcolm gazed into the flames for a while longer before eventually padding
over to Madeline's computer terminal. He flicked it on and tapped in the number
to his and Trip's temporary quarters. In the almost-silent room, he noticed that
the rain had died down, now only a soothing patter on the window.
_Part Two - True Light_
Sunshine shone in scorching rays, and Malcolm squinted against he glare. He
kept one hand on his bag and shaded his eyes with the other. He left the
Starfleet terminus and walked out into the sunny plaza. The healthy green grass
rustled in the cool breeze and languished under the gentle spray from the
sprinklers. Malcolm unbuttoned his collar and stood on his tiptoes, trying to
find Trip in the crowds.
As expected, there were hundreds of people at the large station near
Starfleet headquarters. An abundance of craft were setting off and coming in
overhead; the noise was awful. The drone of voices could just about be heard
over the oppressive whir of engines. Malcolm fought his way through the crowds,
jostling and being jostled as he craned his neck to try to find his partner. It
was early morning in San Francisco; it had been afternoon when he left Madeline.
wasn't quite time travel. No, he had seen that first hand.
He spun around. That was *definitely* Trip's voice.
Sure enough, Trip was waving from the edge of the crowd, the sun glinting off
his sunglasses. Malcolm waved back and pushed his way back against the flow of
disembarked commuters. He finally broke free from the crush of people and jogged
to his lover's outstretched arms. He wrapped his own around Trip and pressed a
quick kiss to the man's lips. Fuck everyone else, he thought. He missed
"Hey, Malcolm." Trip said, kissing him back. "What's all this? Not that I
mind, of course."
Malcolm shrugged, gripping his arms tighter around Trip's waist.
"Missed you." He said.
Trip grinned and released him, clasping his hand around Malcolm's and
starting their walk out of the transport station.
"I missed you too Malcolm." He said. He glanced over, some of the mirth
suspiciously gone from his expression. "So why didn't you come back last
Malcolm tightened his grip on Trip's hand and shook his head.
"I'll explain everything later." He felt most of the elation at being back
with Trip leave him as the memories came back.
"Alright," Trip said, the smile back on his face. "Let's go get something to
eat. I'm starved!"
Hand in hand, they walked out of the plaza, both happy to be with each other
The waiter set the two plates down on the street-side table.
"Will that be all?" He asked.
"Yeah, this is fine. Thanks." Trip answered.
The young man walked over to the next table, and Trip unfurled a napkin for
himself. He began to eat, and stayed silent for a while as he watched Malcolm.
He could sense an underlying tension in the man, and it worried him. He had an
inkling of what the problem could be. Malcolm *had* just visited his parents
after all, and had been quite adamant that Trip did not go with him. There would
be too many questions to be answered. Trip bit into his sandwich and
across the street for a few moments. Something had *definitely* gone
The stripy awning above them provided shade against the strong sunshine, and
Malcolm was grateful. He almost preferred yesterday's awful rain to this
sunshine; he could empathise with Trip's hatred of deserts. Malcolm took a sip
of the deliciously cool water and sighed after he swallowed. Wonderful. He
glanced at Trip over the rim of the glass, shaking his head at Trip's patient
gaze. Trip grinned back; *I haven't forgotten*.
"So, what happened?" Trip asked, licking some mayonnaise from the side of his
Malcolm shrugged and began to pick at his salad.
"We talked." He said.
Trip made a little gesture with his hand.
"And... Things got messy." Malcolm glanced back up. The sun was picking up
gold highlights in Trip's sandy hair, despite the shade from the awning.
"How messy?" Trip asked, taking another bite of his sandwich.
The man seemed determined to keep things as casual as possible, and Malcolm
was glad. It really wasn't that big a deal...was it?
"Sharp words were exchanged." He said.
*Nothing unusual, then*. Malcolm could see the statement glittering in Trip's
eyes. No, not unusual at all. For as long as he could remember, on the rare
occasions the man made an appearance Malcolm hadn't gotten along with his
father. He had always been a tall, dark stranger to him, a man who appeared for
a few weeks during the summer and attended parents' evenings with his mother.
Stuart Reed had always been a mystery to him, and as the years rolled by Malcolm
gradually lost the want to solve that mystery. Eventually, he didn't
Malcolm shook his head and plucked a baby tomato from the plate. It was sharp
and sweet and very, very tasty. A lot like Trip, really. Malcolm looked up and
couldn't help but giggle a little.
"What?" Trip asked around a mouthful of bread.
Malcolm reached forward and swiped the creamy splotch from Trip's nose. How
the man had gotten mayonnaise there, Malcolm couldn't say. He wiped his finger
on his napkin, and Trip chuckled.
Malcolm laced his fingers together and rested his chin on them. Watching Trip
was something of a favourite hobby of his. The man was so vibrant, so energetic.
He had a kind of zeal about him that only a Tucker seemed able to achieve.
Malcolm had talked to Charles Tucker the second; it was certainly not just
"So what were these sharp words about?" Trip asked, bringing them both
crashing back to reality.
Malcolm shrugged with one shoulder, trying to seem as if it wasn't a big
deal. But as much as he tried to tell himself that, it really did matter. Why
couldn't his father just *accept* him?
"Well," Malcolm began, "things didn't start well.
"Come on Malcolm! We're late!"
Madeline's jacket flapped open as she ran along the footpath and towards the
"The traffic was awful!" Malcolm said. It didn't take much to catch up with
his diminutive sister. "It was hardly our fault!"
Trip almost rolled his eyes.
"I take it your daddy didn't appreciate being kept waiting."
"He certainly did not." Malcolm said.
"So then what?"
"Well, we had dinner. Mostly just Madeline and Mum chatted. Then we all sat
down and 'talked'."
"How are things on Enterprise?" Mary Reed asked.
"Fine, really. There's plenty of work to do."
"Have you made many friends?"
Stuart murmured something and shuffled his newspaper, but didn't say anything
out loud. Malcolm shot him a glare, but it was ignored. He turned towards his
"Yes. Commander Tucker and I in particular get on well."
Trip winced. He seemed to know what was coming next.
"Big mistake, huh?"
"*Commander* Tucker? This person is your superior?" Stuart asked. His tone
was laced with a strong, dark meaning.
"Yes." Malcolm said firmly. "He is. But things are different on *Enterprise*,
Slack, more like." Stuart said, hi paper forgotten. "Not surprising, as it's
an organisation run by *Americans*."
"Ouch." Trip said, looking sympathetic and trying to mask his offence.
"It gets worse."
Malcolm picked at his salad some more, trying to unearth cheerful pieces of
colour amongst the crisp green lettuce leaves. Oh boy, did it get worse.
"Our 'talk' became more heated by the second. Mum tried to calm us, but I'm
afraid neither of us listened."
"So what happened?" Trip asked.
Malcolm swallowed and lifted his eyes to Trip again. What happened? The
tiniest thread of affection his father *may* have had for him...snapped.
"I thought I brought you up better than this, Malcolm." Stuart said, his
fingers clenching around the arms of the chair. They looked like claws, Malcolm
thought, how very fitting for him. "I taught you not to fraternize with your
superiors. Do you know what that man could do to you because of what he
Malcolm almost snarled.
"Trip Tucker would *never* blackmail me!"
"How do you know?"
"Because he *loves* me!"
Trip gawped, eyes wide and sandwich forgotten.
"Oh God..." he blinked hard. From what Malcolm had told him, Stuart Reed
would *not* have been impressed by that revelation. "Then what happened?"
Malcolm swallowed, terror rising like bile in his throat. Oh *fuck*. He had
*not* intended for his parents to find out this way. He hadn't intended them to
find out at all.
"What did you say, boy?" Stuart was gradually turning beetroot red.
Malcolm took a deep breath, turning blazing eyes to his father's.
"I said that Trip loves me." He was suddenly filled with an intense courage.
"And I love him. And I don't care what you think."
He launched himself from his chair and stalked out into the hall to grab his
"Malcolm!" His mother's call fell upon the slammed closed front door as
Malcolm set out into the darkening, wet night.
"Oh..." Trip frowned.
Malcolm shook his head and closed his eyes. The cool breeze had suddenly
become icy cold, and he rubbed at his upper arms.
"I know." He reached out for Trip's hand, taking it gently. "But...I don't
care. Honestly." He added at Trip's disbelieving expression.
Did he care? A tiny part of him did. Of course it did. But really...why
should he? His father had never factored in his life before. Why should he now?
It was his mother he was more worried about. But she hadn't seemed as shocked.
As Madeline had said, mothers know everything...
Malcolm squeezed Trip's hand. Trip turned Malcolm's hand around in his so he
could lace their fingers together.
"All I need in life, really, is you, Trip." Malcolm said quietly. "What my
father thinks doesn't really matter. Just what you do."
He turned his eyes upwards, hoping Trip could see the honesty. A lump had
formed in his throat as the raw emotion of the last few days threatened to spill
"God, Malcolm..." Trip squeezed their hands. "You're so brave, you know
that?" He nodded when Malcolm shook his head vehemently. "Really. God, Malcolm,
I love you so damn much."
Malcolm felt hot tears begin to sting at his eyes as Trip brought him in for
a kiss. Who cared about secrecy? Their 'secret' was well and truly out, now. He
rested his forehead against Trip's.
Relief washed over him, suddenly.
Stars zipped past the viewport in Trip's quarters. Malcolm sat at the
computer terminal, burning time until the man himself got back. It was late, and
*Enterprise* was once again venturing forth into space. Malcolm drummed his
fingers on the desk's metal top, idly tapping the commands to enter his inbox.
He was leaning against the wall and was dressed in his sleep clothes. He was
tired, but he couldn't seem to sleep when Trip was gone. Odd, he thought, when
had that started?
So he was doing nothing, just waiting for Trip to come home. He accessed the
mailbox and sighed. There was really no point; he probably wouldn't have any new
messages. He was wrong. His fingers stilled when he read the sender of the
unexpected new message.
Malcolm frowned at the tremble in his fingers as he accessed the message. His
eyes widened as they travelled over the text.
I'm sure you're surprised at this message. I know I am. We're not in contact
very much, and for that I am sorry. I wish it weren't so. Anyway, I shall keep
this short. I just want to tell you that I am very happy that you've found
someone you love. I always had and inkling that girls weren't your cup if tea,
and now I know I was right. I'm glad you've realized that for yourself. Your
father, well, he hasn't said much about things, mostly just mutterings about
'fraternization' and 'superior officers'. To be frank, Malcolm, he had an
inkling as well. Please don't think that your father thinks any less of you
because you're in love with a man. I know that isn't so. But you know what he's
like about rank. I'll talk to him, but I'm sure you know not to get your hopes
Do write back, Malcolm. Madeline and I are expecting letters from Mister
Tucker as well! I'm looking forward to chatting with his mother. I wonder where
those baby pictures are, hah hah! I love you Malcolm. Never doubt
Malcolm shook his head, staring dumbly at the computer terminal. His
mother...and Trip's.... He laughed softly at the image of the two women swapping
photographs and stories.
He sat back in the chair and laced his fingers behind his head. Perhaps...
Perhaps things hadn't turned out so badly after all. Maybe... Maybe that thread
of affection hadn't snapped. Perhaps it had just frayed a little more, but
hadn't broken. Malcolm shook his head sharply; it didn't really matter anyway.
He had Trip, and his mother and sister.
It was all he needed, really.
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Four of you have made comments
Lovely. I especially like your characterisation of Malcolm; he clearly has
family issues, but he's not totally terrified by his parents, as he's too
often written. Great story; I hope to see more!
Oh, so sweet. So lovely. So perfect.
Very touching, and the characterisations of Trip and Malcolm were
absolutely spot-on. Good job.
thats soo sweet, i know i use the word in a lot of my comments but i dont
know naything stronger. well written, i mich prefer a gay trip to 1 going out
with t'pol and malcolm so well portrayed, that cool exterior he's given and
the troubles within remind me of me it kinda does work like councelling leting
u c no matter how bad theres always a gd side.