Author - The Libran Iniquity | Genre - Angst | Main Story | Rating - PG-13
Trip * Malcolm Fanfic Home

Category: Angst
Rating: PG-13
Spoilers: Shuttlepod One, minor for Broken Bow
Pairing: Tucker/Reed, Reed/?
Disclaimer: Owned by Paramount. I just like messing with their minds...

Sequel to Ex Astris

Summary: Not everyone loves a good wedding, do they?

Scientia (Lat.): Knowledge


Gone out. Be back later. No need to wait up.

Malcolm Reed looked at the little scrap of paper stuck on the kitchen's noticeboard, and sighed. This sort of thing had been happening more and more often lately over the past six months. Brief notes like this one appearing on the noticeboard, often accompanied with little or no explanation when she did come home. He knew that he himself had been working later and later at Starfleet recently, but he knew for a fact that the hours he had been putting in were substantially more compared to how long she worked.

He had his social life outside work, and he knew that Hoshi had hers as well, but still... he was beginning to understand the real meaning of the "life in a small town" analogy that Lieutenant Petersson in Weapons Division liked quoting on an almost weekly basis. Malcolm and his wife had clearly been seeing too much of each other, and that was how the story went, so it seemed. Now, it seemed, things were apparently cooling off, so to speak.

Walking out of the kitchen, Malcolm grimaced slightly. He had several reports to read and approve by tomorrow's staff meeting, and each of them would take some time to peruse thoroughly.

Due to his semi-recent promotion to head of Starfleet Weapons & Research Division, Commander Malcolm Reed had found that often, the only solace he found nowadays was buried deep in a mountain of administrative work.

Going into the living room of the apartment that he and his wife shared, Malcolm's eyes fell on one of the photographs hung on the wall. It had been taken on the day he had married Hoshi, in a small cathedral in Arundel, in the south of England. Standing in the sunshine with the Gothic walls as a backdrop, four friends stood smiling for the camera man - Malcolm and Hoshi, the bride and groom; a friend of Hoshi's from college who had been the maid of honour, whose name Malcolm could barely remember, let alone pronounce; the best man, Trip Tucker. One of Malcolm's best friends in as long as he could remember. Trip Tucker, who had insisted on telling everyone assembled at the wedding reception how and about what exactly Malcolm had talked in his sleep while stranded on Shuttlepod One a mere seven months into Enterprise's mission. For some reason, that had always stuck in Malcolm's mind. More so because of what had happened the second time the pair of them had been left drifting a few long light-years from home.

It wasn't something he cared to recall or remember very often, because of the memories he had associated with the days immediately following the event, rather than the event itself. Just eleven months left to go until Starfleet's flagship had been due to return home in a blaze of glory and smug looks in the general direction of the Vulcan High Command, and for the second time, the ship's chief engineer and armoury officer had been stuck together in a shuttlepod... this time without any alcohol to make the time pass more quickly.

But this time, Malcolm thought, bourbon wasn't exactly high on the list of requirements. This time around he and Trip had had the benefit of nearly four years' friendship going for them, and for several hours they had simply talked until the armoury officer had succumbed to his usual maudlin tendencies and as a joke had started envisioning gruesome, creepy and generally bizarre deaths for the two of them.

And then, without really thinking about it, he had come out with a truly snide remark about how he would like to go. And then, without really thinking about it, he had acted upon that instinct.

It had been good, that much he remembered. He recalled being surprised that Trip had been as good as he was, and... Malcolm also recalled what an arsehole he had been when they had finally reunited with Enterprise.

Terror, he thought, still looking at the photograph. That would have been an appropriate description for what he had been feeling. Terror of what he had done, after having sworn off men after the last relationship he had been in before boarding Enterprise. Terror, mostly, of what he was afraid could happen this time around.

Malcolm Reed was no fool. He had known whom on the ship had had... feelings for him, having been trained to notice and respond appropriately to deviant behaviour in individuals around him. He had therefore known that a certain someone had been staring his way on more than one occasion, but he had also refused point-blank to let anything take root in his mind, and merely resigned himself to letting things carry on as normal.

Then, after the shuttlepod, everything had changed. Trip's feelings for him had become so much more real to him, and as a person, the engineer had become so much more real to him that Malcolm had started finding it hard to breathe, both figuratively and literally. So then he had done the only thing that he knew how to do - he called things to a head and ran away from it all.

He had broken Trip's heart, Malcolm realised, eyes still on the photograph on the wall, this time only focusing on the two men... and for the first time he noticed the expression in Trip's eyes.

They had looked desperately sad and lonely, despite the smile on his face as he had, seemingly effortlessly, slid a friendly arm around the groom as they had posed for the person behind the camera, and for the life of him, Malcolm couldn't realise how he hadn't seen that before, however many times he had looked at that image with a happy smile.

Or maybe I just wasn't looking hard enough, his mind supplied, and Malcolm breathed out, only just realising how long he had been holding it in. And maybe I've only just cottoned on...

Two weeks after the wedding, Trip had taken up the post offered to him on the Enterprise's second mission, another five-year deal. Malcolm and Hoshi had declined the chance to re-board the ship, the former to focus on work behind the scenes at Starfleet, and the latter to refocus on the teaching career that had been cut short the first time around.

Something needed to be done. Now. Before he talked himself into changing his mind.

Malcolm made up his mind. Settling down in front of the computer console he began the process that would start to record a vocal message that could be sent through subspace... that could be sent via the Echo probes to a starship thirty light-years and fifty-four months from home.

The computer chirped its readiness to begin, and almost nervously Malcolm cleared his throat and began to speak. Because he had to talk to Trip, to try and repair what damage he had done... however wittingly or unwittingly.

But the burning question still remained... did he have any feelings left for Trip? God only knew he loved Hoshi, but it wasn't the same kind of love that had left him crying himself to sleep for nights on end after simply dismissing Trip on Enterprise. And right now, that was all he knew.

Finally the first words tumbled out, and after that it became a little easier to speak.

"For the attention of Captain Charles Tucker..."

Go to Fortis



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Half a dozen people have made comments

WoW, great story! So sad, poor Trip... but still, I hope thereŽll be a sequel! Great work!

Oh, really, we - do - need - a sequel!!!! Can't let them hanging there like that, can ya? Poor Trip! Wonderful story! And the titles are brilliantly chosen!

malcolm dumped trip 4 hoshi? horrible gotta have a sequal to c how he talks this 1 over.

c'mon we get more don't we??? Please? Pretty please?

Great couple of stories.

I hope there is going to be a sequel.....PLEASE!!!!

More.... Please..... Soon....


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