Title: Marybeth

Author: Surya

Rating: PG

Disclaimer: Not Mine.

Summary: Many years after Enterprise . . .

Archive: Let me know!




“Malcolm!” Trip Tucker roared as he stood at the bottom of the rather grand wood-panelled staircase in the home they had inherited from Malcolm’s grandmother.

“I’ll be down in a minute!” Malcolm Reed’s disembodied voice floated down from their bedroom.

“No! No more minutes. Get your ass down here; we’re gonna be late!”

“I’m coming, I’m coming.” Still fiddling with his collar and with his tie slung loosely around his neck, Malcolm jogged onto the landing and, bypassing the stairs, slid rapidly down the banister into Trip’s arms.

“Umpf! Geez, Malcolm, you’re gonna hurt yourself doin’ that one of these days.”

Malcolm glanced back at the ancient wooden banister and then smiled up at Trip. “Nah, I polished that banister with my bum more times than I can remember when I was a boy. I’m not going to stop now. Here, help me with this,” he said, handing Trip his tie. “I can’t seem to get this button done up …” He grimaced as he made another attempt.

“Well, I guess you must’ve put on a little weight since you got that shirt. C’mere.” Trip took hold of Malcolm’s collar as Malcolm glared at him. “Don’t worry, it looks good on you. You needed it.” Trip gave him a little peck on his forehead, and Malcolm looked slightly mollified. A bout of serious illness the previous winter had taken its toll, and he was only now returning to his usual slim but athletic physique.

“I don’t know why we have to dress up for these people anyway.”

“’Cause it’s important to Marybeth that we make a good impression.” Trip finished tying Malcolm’s tie and smoothed his shirt over his shoulders. “There. You look gorgeous.”

“It’s only her boyfriend’s parents.”

“Fiancé’s parents.” Trip corrected him.

Malcolm grimaced again at the thought as Trip handed him his jacket. “Hopefully after the wedding we’ll hardly need to see them again.”

“Yeah - until the grandkids come along. Then there‘ll be birthdays …”

Malcolm groaned loudly and let his head fall forward onto Trip’s shoulder. “Don’t make me think about that.”

“About being a grandfather?” Trip was amused.

“About our little girl, who I still think of wearing pigtails and wanting ice-skates for her birthday, being old enough to have children of her own.”

Trip laughed. “It’s been a possibility for quite a while now, Malcolm. Our little girl’s all grown up. Just be happy she’s mature and sensible and not sleeping with some cretin who’ll …”

“Stop right there! Marybeth is not sleeping with *anyone*.”

“I’m pretty sure she and Brian have …”

“Our beautiful baby girl does not have sex.” Trip shook his head, still laughing, as Malcolm continued. “I sorted this out with her when she was seventeen. She doesn’t have sex, and neither do we.”

Trip rolled his eyes. “Malcolm …”

“Any noises she might have heard coming from our bedroom at night result from me rubbing liniment on your war wound.”

“You two really are cut from the same cloth.” Trip gave Malcolm another peck on the cheek and a quick pat on the bottom. “Now move, or we *will* be late.”


“Well, now that everyone’s been introduced, Brian and I will leave you in peace to get to know each other.” Marybeth Tucker-Reed gave her two fathers a reassuring smile as she laced her fingers with her fiancé’s and led him reluctantly away from the table.

Trip and Malcolm glanced at each other as their dinner companions smiled a little nervously.

“Marybeth’s a lovely young woman,” Gillian Kirk ventured. “David and I were delighted when Brian told us she’d agreed to marry him.”

“Thank you. Yes, we’re fond of Brian too,” Malcolm replied as he filled their wine glasses. “Although we do think they’re still a little young. I certainly wouldn‘t have been ready to get married at twenty-four. Would you, Trip?”

Trip shook his head. “No way. But then, I hadn’t met you.” He grinned as Malcolm blushed.

“David and I were,” Gillian beamed, grasping her husband’s hand. “I suppose when you meet the right person it doesn’t make any sense to wait.”

“I guess it doesn’t.” Trip glanced warmly at Malcolm again, remembering their furtive wedding on Risa so many years ago, when they were still serving on Enterprise. In retrospect it had been a reckless thing to do. They would have faced a court martial if Starfleet had discovered their deception, but at the time it had seemed utterly right.

“Marybeth told us she has a brother?”

“Yes,” Trip answered, growing more animated. “Charlie’s seventeen, and he’s just been accepted into flight school.”

“Oh, he’s not following his sister into medicine then?”

Malcolm laughed. “No, he’s much more interested in exploring space than the human body.”

“And didn’t Brian mention a sister once?” Gillian looked to her husband for confirmation as Trip and Malcolm frowned in confusion. “Elizabeth …?”

Malcolm watched in horror as Trip froze and turned white. He placed a hand on his arm, silently offering support.

“I’m sorry, I think I need some air,” Trip said, rising from the table.

Malcolm let him go and then turned to the Kirks, taking in their confused expressions. “Elizabeth was Trip’s daughter from another relationship, but she died in infancy,” he explained.

“Oh, I’m sorry! I had no idea. I didn’t mean to upset him.” Gillian was dismayed.

“I’m sure you didn’t, but if you’ll excuse me I’d better make sure he’s alright.”

He found Trip on the restaurant’s small, apparently deserted terrace, and stepped up beside him and slid an arm around his waist.

“I’m sorry. It took me by surprise, is all,” Trip said, leaning his head against Malcolm’s. “I never thought of Marybeth telling anyone else about Elizabeth.” They stood in silence for a few moments, until Trip turned suddenly and wrapped both arms around Malcolm, crushing him against his chest. “I don’t know what I’d do without you.”

Malcolm smiled up at him as he eased his grip slightly. “Let’s hope you never have to find out.” He brushed a hand through Trip’s hair as he rose onto his toes to kiss him briefly on the lips. “Are you ready to go back in?”

Trip gazed down into Malcolm’s eyes, and nodded.

As they left the terrace, another pair of identical blue-grey eyes watched silently from the shadows.

“Well, was it worth staying to spy on them?” Brian Kirk spoke softly in his fiancé’s ear.

Marybeth flicked back her long curtain of chocolate-brown hair as she turned to face him. “I wasn’t spying. I was just making sure it didn’t all go horribly wrong.”

“And I hate to think what might have happened if they’d caught us. I have to tell you, Malcolm scares the hell out of me.”

“Oh, Daddy’s a pussycat. You just have to learn to rub him the right way.”

Brian expression was dubious. “I wouldn’t want to try it.”

“Do you think we’ll still be that much in love when we’re in our sixties?” he said wistfully after a few moments.

“Of course I do.” Marybeth’s voice told of her absolute certainty. “I wouldn’t have agreed to marry you if I didn’t.”


Marybeth cocked her head to one side and gave him a smile that was pure Tucker. “I made up my mind when I was a little girl that if I couldn’t have what they have, it just wouldn’t be worth it.”

“And you think we have it?” he said, sliding an arm around her slim frame.

“Most definitely.”


Trip smiled to himself as he felt Malcolm’s weight settle into the bed beside him, and he wriggled across and spooned against his warm body, nuzzling the soft, salt-and-pepper hair at the back of his neck. Malcolm sighed contentedly as he snuggled down into Trip’s arms.

“So, what did you think of our new in-laws?” Trip murmured. “Bearable?”

“I suppose I could put up with them a couple of times a year … do you think we made a good enough impression?”

Trip chuckled softly. “At least good enough for them to put up with us a coupla times a year.”

“Mmm,” Malcolm said, turning his face for a kiss. “Goodnight.”

Trip frowned in the darkness. “You’re going to sleep already?”

“Did you have something else in mind?” Malcolm’s eyes glinted with amusement.

Trip grinned and nibbled his earlobe. “I dunno, but I think my war wound might be actin’ up …”


Author’s Note: I’m off sick from work this week, supposed to be resting. I was watching some old movies and my fever-addled brain came up with this. With apologies to ‘Father of the Bride’ - both versions.


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