Category: Angst. Angst angst angst...........
to be on the safe side, but mostly PG-13
Comments: Based around the Robbie
Williams song - HOWEVER, the angels he is singing about are female and the last
time I checked, the angel in this is definitely male, so... hey
Disclaimer: Owned by Paramount. I just like messing with their
Summary: "When love is dead, I'm loving angels instead."
sit and wait
Does an angel contemplate my fate//
Trip sighed and stared down into his drink. "Jon, you gotta help me. I think
I'm goin' crazy."
"What do you mean?"
He sighed. "I don't really know," he answered looking
back up. "I mean, how are ya s'posed to know if you're goin' crazy?"
Jonathan thought about this for a second. "Well," he said, "has anything
happened recently that's given you... cause to think you're going over the
"Aside from everythin' else happenin' around here?" Trip asked facetiously,
indicating the view of the Expanse from the viewport in the captain's mess. He
exhaled sharply. "I... have you ever had the feelin' that somewhere there's
someone watchin' you - keepin' an eye on ya so ya don't mess things up, or - or
they're just there. An' just knowin' it makes ya feel safer?"
The captain smiled slightly. "I used to," he replied somewhat cryptically.
"So who's making you feel this way?"
Trip met his eyes, an awkward _expression in them. "I dunno," he said. "I'm
prob'ly barkin' up the wrong warp nacelle here, but..." He sighed again.
"Malcolm. It feels like everywhere I go at the moment, there's Malcolm, just
makin' sure I'm okay."
"Are you sure?" Jonathan asked.
Trip ran a hand through his hair. "Sometimes I think I know when he's keepin'
an eye on me through the surveillance cams, but other times I don't know. An' at
the moment it seems like there's always one of his armoury people in Engineerin'
- an' it's always Lennie or Phil. Malcolm seems to trust them more than any o'
Jonathan eyed him a little sceptically. "Have you spoken to him about it? I
mean, if he's harassing you, then -"
"No," Trip interrupted him. He looked scandalised. "S'not like that, Jon. It
isn't. It's... I don't know exactly, but it's kinda comfortin', just knowin'
that... well, that he's there."
"You don't think there's any kind of ulterior motive going on here?"
Trip laughed. "This is Malcolm we're talkin' about. Speakin' ta someone in
the mess means the man's got some kinda sneak plan goin' on that we don't know
about. I just can't figure out what it is this time. He's stretched pretty thin
already, what with the crap the MACOs are givin' him 'bout things." He shook his
head. "I don't know."
"Is there anything else going on with Lieutenant Reed that I perhaps need to
know about?" Suddenly, Jonathan's voice had a steely edge to it.
Trip didn't meet his eyes. "Nope," he replied as flippantly as he could
perhaps manage. "Nothin' that I know anythin' about."
//'cos I've been told
That salvation lets their wings unfold//
Later that night, Trip rolled around in bed, trying to get to sleep but
unable to do so. The evening's neuropressure session with T'Pol hadn't quite
gone to plan - instead of feeling relaxed as he was supposed to, Trip was now
more agitated than he had been in a while.
Part of him was still going over the conversation he had had with Jon, and
the conversation he had had with Malcolm only hours later in the mess hall. Both
times he had come away feeling more than just a little confused, as well as
light-headed - the way he sometimes felt immediately after a hangover.
He had come back into the mess the second time for something to eat inbetween
what was shaping up to be a double shift in Engineering, and as he had turned
away from the food hatches...
"Malcolm!" Trip had said, starting. "Jeez, you scared me. Tryin' to scare the
hell outta me, were ya?"
Malcolm had merely smiled, the same smile he always wore when he knew
something that nobody else knew. "Shouldn't you be a little more aware of your
surroundings, Commander?" he had enquired almost facetiously. "Wouldn't get so
many nasty surprises, then."
"Wouldn't go quite so far as nasty," Trip had replied, rubbing the back of
his neck. "But ya still scared me. Stoppin' for somethin' t'eat?"
"No, I have to be going. Have a good evening, Trip." And with that he had
Since he had finally climbed into bed, Trip had been replaying those few
lines over and over, trying to make sense of it all; more than once already he
had arrived at the conclusion that there was nothing to be got from it.
Just a short conversation between two people who used to be good friends.
On the surface, though, not much had changed; Trip still joined Malcolm for
the odd meal in the mess hall, still teased him from time to time, although even
that was becoming a rare event. And instead of Lizzie's ghost haunting his
fleeting sleeping moments, the armoury officer had started to command centre
It always started with Dream Trip and Dream Malcolm having a conversation in
either Engineering or in the armoury, usually about nothing else but work and
upgrades. Occasionally Dream Malcolm would launch into a diatribe about Hayes
and his team, but not often. Both men would leave the department. The dream then
shifted to Trip's quarters, where Dream Trip would either be trying to sleep or
doing some late night work at the computer when Dream Malcolm came through the
door. Another small exchange of words, and then Dream Malcolm would close the
distance between himself and Dream Trip. He would ask Dream Trip if he was still
coping okay, which was usually answered in the affirmative, although again this
was not something that happened each time.
Dream Malcolm would smile that same slow, lazy smile he reserved for big
explosions or close friends, and tell Dream Trip that he was keeping an eye out
for him, that he wanted to be absolutely sure that Dream Trip was doing okay.
That Dream Malcolm cared about Dream Trip, Dream Malcolm would say as he slid a
hand up the back of Dream Trip's neck, up into his hair, rubbing the skin
slightly. Dream Trip would respond by touching the side of Dream Malcolm's face
lightly, then more confidently as he grew comfortable with the close
Dream Malcolm would then close the final few inches between them, coming
closer and closer in until his lips met Dream Trip's in a gentle embrace. When
he drew back again, after a long few seconds, Dream Malcolm would smile again
and say something that was so quiet that Dream Trip could never quite hear it,
but the sound of the low, soothing voice always did something to the growing pit
inside the space where Dream Trip's stomach used to be. Dream Malcolm then drew
back completely, but a second later he was pushing Dream Trip's shoulders ever
so gently, guiding him backwards towards the bed until Dream Trip sat down on
the edge of the bed, before being coerced into the middle of the bed, where
Dream Malcolm kissed him again, pushing him down on his back until he was lying
down looking up into the face of his own angel, although Dream Trip would never
say that out loud.
He started on the face, covering it with light feathery kisses, feeling Dream
Trip's smile grow underneath him. Dream Malcolm would nuzzle into the crook of
Dream Trip's neck, going straight for the ticklish spot just next to the bobbing
Adam's apple and staying there for a few seconds before moving again. Hands and
mouth explored Dream Trip's chest, weaving through the short fuzzy hair and
playing with some more ticklish spots in the sides and small of his back as
Dream Trip arched into the warm touch, smiling and even laughing despite
The dream shifted again, and all of a sudden Dream Trip would be sitting
almost upright in the bed, curled up into a ball with a blanket and a pair of
strong arms wrapped around him. Dream Trip would finally be able to relax then,
letting Dream Malcolm hold him and cuddle him and whisper to him, telling him
that things would come out okay in the end, that Dream Malcolm would always be
there for him if he needed him. Dream Trip just lay there in the other man's
arms as Dream Malcolm rubbed circles into his back, until finally he was able to
And when Trip woke up in the morning, it was always with the same warm
feeling that followed him through the dream, and a strange sense of... of
completion that he never knew quite what to do with. And then the day would
begin all over again, and Trip had to try and forget the dream until something
happened to make him remember.
It always did.
//When I'm feeling weak
And my pain walks down a one way
There was an explosion in Engineering. Something in the transmitter relays
had blown - and taken half the engine room with it. Thick black smoke was
everywhere, hampering the security team's efforts to find the four crew on duty;
they couldn't even see their scanners through the smog.
Trip was one of the four engineers. He had been nearer to the centre of the
explosion than any of the others, and as far as he could tell he was also one of
the most affected - at the moment he was pinned behind three strips of railing,
one of which had come dangerously close to going straight through his heart, and
nestling a little too close to his neck for comfort. And
wherever the other one was, it hurt like hell.
As the smoke had eventually begun to dissipate, Trip could hear and begin to
see some of the security team carefully picking their way through the fallout,
trying to find the last two engineers - Trip himself and Lieutenant
He could hear Malcolm. Real Malcolm, calling out for Trip, calling his name,
trying to find him, asking him where he was... and then there he was. Looking
down at Trip through what used to be a working computer console, a smile forming
on his lips. "You had me worried for a minute there," Malcolm said gravely,
beginning to move things aside. "I thought we were going to lose you."
last pieces of smaller shrapnel were moved out of the way, Trip grinned weakly,
despite the pain. "I'm not goin' anywhere," he managed, his voice hoarse from
breathing in the smoke.
"Glad to hear it," Malcolm replied, pulling Trip to his feet, and reaching
out to catch the engineer before he fell over where he stood. "Come on," he
added, holding his arm out for support, "let's get you somewhere safer,
Real Malcolm's arm felt warm around Real Trip's waist, and it tightened
around him as they slowly made their way out of the room and up to Sickbay to
where Phlox was waiting inside with an emergency medical kit, a hefty supply of
pain medication and a biobed onto which Trip gratefully sank, noting with
distanced satisfaction that the other three of his shift had made it as
Malcolm stayed with him while the doctor buzzed around the sickbay; he had
told Phlox that he wanted to make sure that the four engineers were going to be
fine, but he hadn't yet left Trip's bedside. Occasionally he would check Trip's
vital signs, but never said anything out loud, nor did Trip say anything to him.
And as Phlox's "happy juice" had begun to have a welcome effect on the
commander, one of the last coherent thoughts that went through his head was that
really, Malcolm was just like a guardian angel, keeping him from dying time
after time like this.
And he was a very welcome angel, at that.
//And when love is dead
I'm loving angels instead//
Days after the explosion in Engineering, and Trip had long since come to
accept that he could never have Malcolm. At least, not in the way he secretly
knew he wanted. Real Malcolm was just too focused on the Xindi mission - they
all were, on the surface, but then again Lieutenant Reed had less choice than
most on this ship, perhaps because Hayes and his team were still trying to
undermine both the armoury officer and his armoury.
And as long as everybody around him thought that the neuropressure sessions
with T'Pol were little more than thinly veiled excuses for half naked massages
and other goings on, then Trip wasn't going to have much of a chance trying to
get anybody interested, least of all his erstwhile angel. After all, while the
Vulcan woman may have done it for some people, she really wasn't Trip's
But he still had the friendship of Real Malcolm, and given what was going on
all around them on a day to day basis, that was still more than Trip could ever
hope for, although in his heart he still wanted a little bit more than he could
Some days he would catch either Malcolm or one of his armoury staff watching
him with speculation, and his heart would leap, but hours later it would be as
if nothing had changed, as if they were still friends trying to fully recover
their friendship to what it had been before everything had fallen apart, and
Trip's hopes would be dashed again, at least in the short term.
But then again, Trip still knew deep down that while Malcolm kept looking out
for him, kept keeping an eye on him, kept bringing him back to life again and
again, time after time, that maybe in the long run - if they ever survived this
- then perhaps there could be the chance for the two of them to sit down and
maybe talk about things, but in the meantime he was coping.
And during the few, fleeting hours of sleep he caught every night, Dream Trip
found Dream Malcolm waiting to help him chase away the nightmares one last time,
waiting to help him cope with the demons that plagued him
daytime... waiting to help him remember how to love again.
//And through it all he offers me protection
A lot of love and
Whether I'm right or wrong//
That was what it was.
For the moment, at least, Trip was in love, and although it was with the
ghost of a memory of a dream that returned his feelings during the here and now,
Trip supposed that he could always hold out hope that someday Dream Malcolm and
Real Malcolm could become one single person, like Dream Trip and Real Trip
seemed to be, especially first thing in the morning or late at night when
tempers were frayed, exhaustion was high, and he could no longer tell the
difference between dreams and reality. It was those times when Trip wanted
nothing more than to throw everything out of the airlock and tell Real Malcolm
all the things he told Dream Malcolm on an almost nightly basis.
//And down the waterfall
Wherever it may take me
I know that life
won't break me
When I come to call he won't forsake me//
For whatever reason the armoury officer was operating under at the moment,
whatever sneak plan he was carrying out this time, it seemed that Trip had his
own guardian angel, his Malcolm, and whatever Malcolm was playing at, Trip
wouldn't change any of it for anything in the universe - except maybe for Dream
Malcolm to become Real Malcolm.
Real Trip and Real Malcolm were still friends, though.
And for the moment, that was enough.
//I'm loving angels instead...//
I'm No Angel is a continuation of this story.
material is posted here with the author's express permission. Please do not
repost this material without permission directly from the author.
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