"I'm No Angel"
Author - The Libran Iniquity | Genre - Angst | Genre - First
Time | Genre - Hurt / Comfort | Main Story | Rating - PG-13
Trip * Malcolm Fanfic
Sequel to: Angels
Angst mostly, some nice fuzzy feelings for the reader somewhere and romance.
Enjoy it while it lasts ;)
Comments: I wasn't originally
planning any kind of sequel, but then the CD player randomly plays THIS song,
and the rest... well. Also, this takes place before and during "Angels", as well
as afterwards. Should make sense as you read it though :)
Disclaimer: Owned by Paramount. I just like messing with their
Summary: "I'm no angel, but does that mean that I won't fly?"
//if you gave me just a coin for every time we say goodbye//
Sooner or later he was going to be found out. At some point in the near or
maybe not so near future, something was going to happen and every single little
pathetic detail of the past few months would be revealed in sickeningly
Grunting with what was mostly frustration, Malcolm turned away from the
torpedo simulations he had been running and looked out at the rest of the
armoury. Over at the far end he could see Ensign Rose and somebody else working
on one of the new torpedoes. Getting on with their work. Concentrating hard, no
He couldn't concentrate. Couldn't focus on anything for more than a second or
two before conflicting thoughts and emotions started to wreck their own kind of
havoc in the space between his ears.
He'd done it again. He'd gone and bloody done it again. In the mess hall,
literally just minutes before - he had gone in for an emergency dose of caffeine
in the form of very strong black coffee. Standing at the dispenser, watching the
rich brown liquid pour into the mug.
Talking to Trip, who had shown up for a quick bite before heading back down
below decks. When Malcolm had caught sight of Trip, he had been holding a tray
in his hand and looking at the armoury officer with tired, bleary eyes, and
something else in there as well besides the exhaustion, something for the moment
"Hey, Malcolm." He even sounded tired.
"Trip." Suddenly he felt jittery, maybe even a little panicked, although he
didn't know why. "Late dinner?" with a quick jerk of the head to the food on the
A listless shrug of the shoulders. "Need the energy to keep goin' 'til
mornin'." And looking down at the tray properly, Malcolm could see what he
meant. The plate was piled high with a mixture of different pastas plus some
other things as well. "You?"
Malcolm shook his head, taking the coffee out from under the dispenser.
"Simulations need checking and triple-checking. They'll keep me up most of the
night, I expect. Nothing overly exciting." Quickly he suppressed the sudden urge
to apologise. "In fact, I should be getting back. There's no telling what could
happen if I leave Matthew to his own devices for too long."
Trip nodded in understanding. "Okay," he said. "G'night Malcolm."
The reply came out before he could stop himself. "Goodbye, Commander." And
all but rushing out of the mess with his coffee in tow, Malcolm never saw the
exhaustion in Trip's face finally give way to a defeated, almost crushed
Back in the armoury, it was now all Malcolm could do not to just yell out
loud at something. He was such a bloody fool! Every time he encountered Trip, be
it in Engineering, the armoury, on the bridge or in the mess hall - anywhere! -
he always seemed to end up dismissing the commander with a curt goodbye instead
of something more relaxed, more informal - more friendly.
He'd been friends with Trip for over a year now. So why after all that time
couldn't he drop the damned militaristic attitude with the man any more? He had
at one point, that much he knew. He had reached the point of trusting both
himself and Trip enough to be able to drop the almost stern officer demeanour
that he had inherited from his father, and just.... be Malcolm. A man who
enjoyed the company of both a few close friends and that of colleagues that he
perhaps didn't know so well but with whom he could still hold a
So... if all that was true, then why was he now acting like the cold-fronted
officer with someone who was perhaps one of the closest friends he had ever
And why, in the process, did he always feel as though he was kicking a small
puppy with a big boot?
//if you tell me that i can't, i will, i will, i'll try all
It took most of the night, and longer than he had anticipated, but finally
Malcolm finished up on the simulations, although he never did finish the
And it took nearly a week of internal conversations, heated debates
and even full-blown arguments with the little voices in his head before Malcolm
had worked up enough courage to talk to Trip face to face.
The engineer came by Malcolm's quarters, as arranged, after pulling a cover
shift down in Engineering and before turning in for the night. Malcolm let him
in with a wan smile, but then watched as Trip warily crossed the small room and
sat on the very edge of the bed - his whole posture screamed of bridled nerves
and caution, so it seemed.
Malcolm pulled up the chair and straddled it, facing Trip head on but saying
"What d'you want to talk about?" Trip asked eventually, breaking the uneasy
"You and me," Malcolm replied. "Us, I suppose."
Trip looked surprised, as if he had been caught off guard. "Us?" he echoed
Malcolm nodded in the affirmative. "There past few weeks, I don't know, I
just... I'm sorry," he eventually said.
Malcolm grunted noncommittally and shrugged. "Being an arse. Being an arse to
"S'ok," Trip told him. "I haven't exactly been an angel either."
Malcolm stared at him for a moment. "Why are you doing this?"
"Doin' what?" Trip asked, clearly mystified.
"Making excuses for me. Making me out to be somebody I'm fairly sure I'm
not." He paused, then took on a much stronger, much more distinctive accent.
"S'ok Cap'n, Malcolm had a long night doin' recalibrations, he's jus' tired. Or
there's: Will ya leave Loo-tenant Reed outta this, he's got reasons for bein'
the way he is." Malcolm broke off and when he spoke again it was with his normal
voice again. "See?"
Trip watched him for a moment, his face unreadable. "I'm sorry, Malcolm," he
said. It was hard to tell whether or not he was being sincere. "I just... I'm
jus' lookin' out for ya."
"But I don't need that," Malcolm shot back. "I can look after myself and I
can take care of my own mistakes and shortcomings."
"An' those of everyone else around ya as well?" Trip now sounded faintly
Quite simply... "Yes."
Trip straightened up and stretched his legs out. "Well, I don't agree with
ya, Loo-tenant," he replied quietly, if not a little stiffly.
Malcolm looked up from the floor, just in time to see Trip reach out to him,
offering him his hand.
Slowly, feeling as though he was in some kind of dream Malcolm stood up and
let Trip pull him in closer, and the hug was simple but complicated at the same
time; it seemed to demand nothing and everything at once, and for a while
Malcolm just stayed standing there, letting his colleague, his friend, his...
Trip hold him.
They stayed like that for a few minutes, Trip rubbing slow circles into
Malcolm's back, and Malcolm holding onto Trip as if he was the only thing
preventing him from falling forever. Malcolm closed his eyes and leaned into
Trip's neck, enjoying the comfortable feeling that came with it, and the feeling
of total security that only increased as Trip tightened his grip on him ever so
slightly. He breathed in and out, listening to and feeling the heartbeat in the
neck beneath his face, letting it calm him down.
And all the while he could hear Trip's voice whispering against his ear.
"You're not perfect, Mal, nobody's expecting ya to be. You jus' gotta let
someone else look out for ya once in a while, 'kay?"
Without moving away from the position he was in at the moment, Malcolm
nodded. It was the barest of movements, just enough for Trip to feel. Malcolm
felt, rather than heard Trip's nod against his hair, and a few seconds later he
felt a hand cup the side of his face and lift it up and out until the two of
them were facing each other, Malcolm looking up into Trip's face - the
commander's eyes were smiling.
Slowly, Trip brought Malcolm's face up the last few centimetres and kissed
the younger man gently, and Malcolm closed his eyes again as he felt the warmth
that seemed to just radiate from Trip. But after a few seconds, he could feel
Trip's whole body shaking, and he reluctantly broke off the kiss and took a step
backward so that he could see what was going on.
Trip was crying. Eyes closed, with tears slipping down the sides of his face.
Worried, Malcolm reached out again to try to comfort the commander, but the
instant his hands reached Trip's the man disappeared, leaving Malcolm to stare
stupidly at the empty space where just seconds before there had been somebody
The room shifted out of focus again, and when things came back into focus
Malcolm was lying on his side in bed, clutching a blanket as if it was some sort
of lifeline. There were some small damp patches near the top of the blanket, and
he quickly realised they were tears.
They were his tears, and he had been dreaming. Trip had never come into his
quarters, had never offered him comfort or the kiss.
But this... this Dream Trip had been right, at least partly. Malcolm did need
someone - he needed someone who would tell him that things were going to be okay
in the morning, even if that wouldn't necessarily be the case. He needed someone
who could make him feel better about being who he was instead of who he wasn't.
He needed someone, full stop.
He needed Trip.
Rolling over onto his back and staring up at the ceiling, Malcolm came to a
decision. He may have needed Trip, but at the moment, with everything else that
was happening as well, Trip needed him just as much, if not so much more.
that was something Malcolm could do.
//i know i can be afraid but i'm alive
and i hope that you trust this
heart behind my tired eyes//
In Lieutenant Reed's opinion, being the chief of security onboard Enterprise
meant that you knew between ninety eight and ninety nine percent of what was
happening at any given moment; the remaining one or two percent were either the
most private of private matters, or other things that were beyond his ability to
find out (like, for example, exactly how many water polo matches were hidden in
the ship's systems).
So it was therefore a reasonably simple matter for Malcolm to begin to keep a
closer eye on Trip than perhaps he would have done before. This counted as
checking the shifts that he pulled down below decks (both his own and cover
ones), making sure that he made sufficient trips to the mess hall each day, and
that he spent enough time in his own quarters each evening to constitute at
least a few hours of sleep, which although potentially damaging in the long run,
was also better than him getting no sleep at all.
Malcolm also found himself unconsciously watching Trip as well when they were
in the same room, just checking him to see that Trip looked as though he was
getting at least some rest, that he wasn't wasting away from lack of food and so
And through everything that happened, Malcolm became increasingly satisfied
that Trip was coping with everything happening around him, at least on the
surface that everyone else saw during the normal day to day routine, although
sometimes the lieutenant would make his way to the mess late at night for
something quick to eat, and in there he would see Trip sitting at a table by
himself, an untouched meal or drink in front of him - he would just be staring
blankly down at his table or out into space. It was during moments like this
that Malcolm just wanted to throw whatever he was holding down to the deck and
go offer Trip some comfort, some sign that the man was cared about, that someone
wanted to make sure that he was going to be okay in the morning. But he couldn't
- Malcolm physically could not do that; not only for the obvious reason that he
had no idea what exactly he could do to make Trip feel any better about things,
but for perhaps the more pertinent reason that he had no clue as to whether his
- his feelings - were returned in any way, shape or form. Usually Malcolm could
tell when someone was harbouring some kind of affection or feeling for him, but
here in the Expanse, it was as though Trip had just shut himself off from
everything and everybody that wasn't connected to the mission at hand, and in
doing so he had become a closed book, and one that try as he might, Malcolm
And all the while, he could only hope that his own reasons behind this sudden
interest in Trip's activities would never be found out, at least not for the
moment. In all honesty Malcolm didn't know what he would do if - when? - Trip
ever found out that maybe, just maybe Malcolm was falling in love with him.
Because that was what it was.
And until something happened to change the... the situation, Malcolm could
only hope to hide behind his officer appearance and his tired facade and watch
and listen and make sure that Trip was in a state where he would be able to wake
up the next morning and get through the next day without anything happening to
him to send him flying backwards once more.
But something would happen.
Sooner or later, something would happen.
It always did.
//i'm no angel, but please don't think that i won't try and
Malcolm's first 'relationship' had been when he was nineteen and at
university, studying naval history (his father) and applied mathematics (his own
choice). Oh, there had been fumblings with various girls before then but this -
this was as different as you could get. Harry Oseythe-James was one of the few
people in the maths tutorial that Malcolm felt at all comfortable talking with
and spending time outside classes with. And that was what they did. Long walks
through the leafy campus that Malcolm had chosen for the explicit reasons that
a) it was more than seventy miles to the nearest coastline, and b) it was more
than a hundred miles from his parents' house, which was the way Malcolm liked
it. Evenings in each other's rooms that were awkward to begin with, but soon
became more relaxed as they got to know each other better. Which they did, of
course. They had only been together for fourteen months, a little over one year,
but Malcolm still carried precious memories of that time; more so than of anyone
else he had ever been with because Harry had loved Malcolm for the person he
was, warts and all, rather than the person he could have been in the future, or
the person he wasn't at that time in his life. And in return Malcolm had loved
Harry because of this level of acceptance that he had rarely found before, or
Sometimes, Malcolm liked to imagine that he found another Harry in the form
of Trip here on Enterprise - the friendship that they had shared up to the time
of the Xindi attack on Earth certainly indicated to Malcolm now that a proper
relationship with Trip would follow the same lines - those of trust, acceptance
and a kind of love that couldn't just be found anywhere. But, Malcolm also knew
that there was only the smallest chance that Trip would ever return these kinds
of feelings for him, but at the same time while there was even a remote
possibility for something like that to happen, then there was also room for a
tiny flicker of hope to remain.
And Malcolm tried. He tried to be less formal when he was talking to Trip -
he would consciously replace the previous "goodbye" with a "good night" or "good
evening", and "Commander" slowly but surely made way for either a sly "Mister
Tucker" or a more open and genuine "Trip". And he also knew that he was never
going to be perfect - he always slipped up on the speeches and addresses - but
on a more serious note, he also knew that he was fairly sure that he didn't have
it in him to actually make any kind of a move on Trip. Fear held him back, fear
of misunderstanding, fear of any kind of accusation, even fear of rejection. But
most of all, there was also a fear of acceptance - what would he do if Trip did
want something to happen between them?
Malcolm thought he'd found his answer after the accident in Engineering.
There had been an almighty explosion in the engine room, taking some of the
equipment with it, and trapping four of the duty shift down there, including
Trip. Malcolm had led the rescue team through the smoke-filled department,
around the larger pieces of debris until one by one they found the engineers -
Crewmen Rostov and Ferris and finally Lieutenant Bathurst were taken up to
Sickbay by the others, and there was only Trip left to be found, and only
Malcolm left to find him. And he had found him - half hidden underneath debris
and rubble and pinned in place by metal rods and poles. Malcolm had managed to
pull Trip out from underneath everything and get him up to the safety of
sickbay, all the while uncomfortably aware that Trip was leaning into him as
they made their way up to where the doctor was waiting; Malcolm couldn't help
but notice that it seemed... that it seemed so right to have Trip leaning in
beside him, for the two if them to be so close together.
And when Trip was lying down on one of the biobeds and slowly succumbing to
Phlox's medication, he could have sworn he heard the engineer mumble something
about Malcolm being his own guardian angel.
After that jumble of what could have been a pronouncement, Malcolm had stayed
by Trip's bedside for a few hours, trying to think straight and get his head
around everything that had been happening. Different ideas and conclusions raced
around inside his head until he could no longer remember which were his own and
which were spur of the moment and little more than wishful thinking. And when he
had come to the single conclusion that made both the most sense and seemed the
most likely, Malcolm had made himself scarce. Buried himself in the armoury.
Buried himself in anything that meant he didn't have to face Trip for longer
than a few scared seconds in the mess hall in between shifts, double shifts and
certain MACO commanders who clearly believed that they had a special right to
Malcolm's time, especially when he was up to his eyeballs in other things that
were much more important at that precise moment in time.
Days had passed since the explosion, and Malcolm had not seen hide nor hair
of the chief engineer until on evening when he was in his quarters and trying to
read through some reports that Ensign Rose had sent his way about the impact of
the torpedo upgrades on other interacting systems.
The door chimed, breaking Malcolm away from one of the driest narrations he
had even come across, and gratefully he got up to open the door. And when it
opened with a faint hiss...
"Trip." Malcolm gripped tightly on to the side of the wall.
"Hey Malcolm." He looked a lot better for his latest stint in Sickbay,
although the medication didn't seem to have done anything for Trip's exhaustion
- he still looked as though he could keel over at any given moment. "Can I come
Malcolm nodded. "Of course," he replied, and stepped away from the door so
that Trip could come in; he did, and sat down on the bed, looking, for all
intents and purposes, at complete ease with his surroundings.
Malcolm wished he could have felt the same. He pulled the chair away from his
desk and straddled it, facing Trip, and unconsciously echoing the dream he had
had a few weeks before. On the bed, Trip looked uncertain. He shifted position a
couple of times, once bringing his legs up to his chest, but a few seconds later
extending them back out again. After a while, he finally broke the silence.
"Think I oughta thank you," he said quietly. "But then again I don't really know
what I'm thankin' you for."
"What do you mean?" Malcolm asked, frowning. He brought his chair a little
closer into the bed and leaned forward slightly.
Trip shook his head. "I'm probably bein' paranoid or somethin'," he said,
"but before I go any further I jus' wanna ask you somethin'."
"Ask me what?"
"You've been watchin' me, haven't you?"
There was no denying it. "Yes."
There was no point beating around the bush, either. "I suppose I wanted to
make sure that you were okay," Malcolm replied, feeling a little more foolish by
There was a pause, then, "Why?"
Malcolm paused for a moment. "I care about you," he said finally, bracing
himself for something - anything that could be coming his way.
But there was nothing, and a few seconds later Malcolm looked up to see Trip
watching him with something unreadable in his eyes. The lieutenant swallowed
nervously. And when something did come, it was so quiet that Malcolm nearly
didn't hear it. "I care 'bout you, too," Trip said softly and reached out with a
tentative hand, and rested it on Malcolm's left arm, just below the
Taking the plunge straight into the deep end, Malcolm moved his
chair a few more centimetres until there was almost no distance at all between himself and Trip, and with one hand reached out to touch the side of Trip's
face, leaving it there as Trip closed his eyes at the touch. When he opened them
again, Trip leaned forward slightly, just enough to be able to kiss Malcolm
gently, so gently that Malcolm very nearly couldn't feel it. After a few seconds
Trip pulled away, smiling slightly. "That was nice," he said quietly.
Malcolm smiled back. "More than just nice," he replied, trying to put paid to
the swirling mass of sensations down where his stomach had once been. He closed
his eyes briefly. "I've wanted to do that for a long time," he added softly,
almost inaudibly in the room.
"Same here," Trip replied, "and thank you."
"What for?" Malcolm asked.
"Keepin' an eye out for me. Bein' there when I needed savin'." Trip paused.
"Bein' there when I needed someone to love."
Malcolm didn't even hesitate. "I love you, too."
The smile on Trip's face grew, and he let out an explosive breath that seemed
incredibly loud in the confined space. He chuckled dryly, then said, "It all
seems so strange now."
"What does?" Malcolm asked, getting up off the chair and joining Trip on the
"Everythin'." Trip turned to face him, and let Malcolm draw him into a tight
hug. "More so now I know this is real."
He leaned into Malcolm's embrace, and felt his smile against his head. "This
is very real, love," Malcolm whispered. "As real as you want it to be."
Trip nodded wordlessly and tightened his grip on Malcolm, not wanting to let
the younger man go. He felt Malcolm run a hand up and down his back, seeming to
offer so much and demand so little back in return. And as he felt himself calm
down, letting himself be soothed by Malcolm's gentle movement, Trip could only
wonder at how much of an angel Real Malcolm could be as well, when he wanted to
And for his part, Malcolm was thinking along a similar line, except that with
him it was more of a practical line of thought, one that he hoped would come true like it had done only once or twice before in his life.
//i'm no angel, but does that mean that i won't fly?//
material is posted here with the author's express permission. Please do not
repost this material without permission directly from the author.
Feedback? Comments? Thanks! Drop us a few lines:
One person has made comments