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Summary: Malcolm befriends Sim
I'll Be Waiting
Disclaimer: Paramount owns them,
body but not soul. Since that's the case, I like using these characters in
stories I'd never see on TV.
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I re-read the message again. The message that I’ve been dreading. He’s doing
what Trip always did. Asked me my opinion of how something would work before
presenting it to T’Pol or the Captain.
I look away, at anything that will keep me from thinking about that message.
My God, Malcolm. What is the problem? I ask myself. You’ve faced
Xindi, Tandarans, Klingons…yet the thought of facing him, no, Sim, scares the
living hell out of you. I chuckle at the ridiculousness of it. I mean,
really, how much can he be like Trip? Everyone says he looks, acts and talks
like him, but I know better. I know better than any of them. He isn’t Trip.
He’ll never be Trip. He can’t be Trip.
Trip, my Trip is lying on a biobed in Sickbay, behind a curtain,
hidden away like some distant memory. I remember how pale he looked today, his
face pinched, as if something was quietly taking the life from him.
I put the PADD down on the table, exhausted. I’m tired, so tired. Worn out
from keeping him at bay. Not letting him come close, not lowering the defenses.
This person, Sim, is so much like my Trip. His enthusiasm, his keen mind, the
smart–aleck asides, to say nothing of the fact that he smiles at the things Trip
would smile at, is warm and affectionate like my Trip. Yet, he’s so different.
There’s an innocence about him, an unknowing about what we’ve all been through.
What we’re going through right now. He reminds me very much of Trip when we
first pulled out of space dock only a few short years ago. There’s a sudden
pressure in my chest, and I find it hard to breathe all of a sudden. I gasp,
surprised at the pain.
“Malcolm, are ya all right?” Sim asks me, putting his hand over mine. What
the hell is that hand doing there? What gives him the right? I yank my hand
away, and he looks at me, stunned, the blond eyebrows frowning at me.
“Why did you do that?” he asks.
“Why did you do what you did?” I throw the question back at him.
“It’s what Trip would’ve done. He loves you. I think…I love you.” Those ocean
blue eyes stare into me, daring me to love him back.
I shut my eyes. This…imposter…using Trip’s words… I feel my jaw hardening
against the onslaught of love, pain, desire, anguish …
“What is it, Malcolm? Please, look at me. I know what you mean to Trip. I
have his feelings…” I suddenly feel his breath on my cheek… “I remember what it
was like to make love to you…to feel you inside…”
My eyes pop open, zeroing in on the imposter. “Shut up! Don’t you dare say
anything else! You have no idea…”
“Oh, but I do.” His face hardens as he grabs my arm, then softens at some
secret memory. “Only too well do I know your sound, your feel, your taste. It’s
all here,” he taps his temple, “reminding me every day what I don’t have. What
you could give me. Please, Malcolm, just one night together…”
I listen to him as he utters those words out of Trip’s mouth. I thought I
knew what hell was when I saw the trench in Florida that the Xindi had made.
That was nothing compared to the demon I was looking at now. “No! I told you to
shut up! Forget those memories…”
“I have them! They’re a part of me, too.” His face suddenly crumpled with
grief, and he focused on the window behind me. “You’re right. These memories
aren’t mine, but they feel like mine. I’m so lonely, Malcolm. Jon refuses to
treat me as anything other than some lab rat, I can literally see T’Pol stiffen
up when I’m around, you can’t stand being here, helping me, just like you helped
Trip. Those evenings I…he usually ended up in your arms, as you showed him how
much you love him.”
Tears slowly trickle down his cheeks. I can’t help myself. I wipe the tears
away with my thumb, and pull him towards me, cradling his head on my shoulder.
It occurs to me suddenly that this is what I did with Trip when he would weep
over what happened to his sister. I close my eyes, giving in to the feeling.
“Shhh, it’s all right. I’m here. Let it all out.”
“I feel so alone. No one looks at me like I’m human, I’m just a thing. I have
all these memories, yet it feels like memories from a movie I’ve seen, not what
I’ve experienced.” He suddenly draws away from me, and puts his hands on my
shoulders. “Please, Malcolm don’t hate me. I can’t help what happened to Trip or
that Phlox made me from his DNA. I just want to feel like I’m a part of this
crew, like I’m Jon’s friend and your…I just want to feel like I’m a part of your
life, that’s all.” His face grew determined. “I swear I won’t ask anything else
of you, Malcolm, just that you be my friend. Please…you’ve told Trip what it’s
like to feel unwanted and unloved by those around you. I hope you can understand
how I feel, how painful this is. Please, Malcolm?”
His pleading got to me. I felt his sorrow, and his heartache. Yes, I did know
what it was like to feel unloved and unwanted only too well. I couldn’t do it to
him any more. “I promise to be your friend, Sim. But…as a favor to me and my
relationship with Trip, don’t mention anything about what you know privately
about me or him, or us together. My Trip is downstairs in Sickbay, hidden away
like some leper. He’s not hidden away in my mind; I live every day with the
knowledge that there’s nothing I can do to wake him.
“But you’re here, and alive, and I’ll be your friend in the time you have
I look again at the clock on my console. Damn! When will Phlox be
finished? He’s been at it for 3 hours now! The captain turns to look at me.
His eyes are haunted; he looks worse than I’ve ever seen him. I understand the
hell he’s gone through; at least I had the luxury of being Sim’s friend. The
captain couldn’t do that; couldn’t afford to let himself get close to Sim for
fear of losing Trip. My heart breaks for him yet again.
“Phlox to Captain Archer…”
My heart leaps into my mouth at the sound of the Denobulan’s voice over the
comm. Is Trip…?
The captain rights himself and stabs the comm button on his chair arm. “Yes,
Doctor?” His voice…it sounds strange. Raspy yet hopeful, and tired. So
“You may come down and see Commander Tucker, sir.”
The captain drops back into his seat; his shoulders sag. “I’ll be right
there, Doctor.” He quickly turns to me, the first smile I’ve seen in weeks
lighting up his face. “Lieutenant, care to join me?”
I can’t get up fast enough.
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