Author: trisha han
Snippets of life on the Enterprise between the Chief Engineer and Chief Security
officer as Trip gradually realises his feelings for Malcolm and finally decides
to make them known to him. Malcolm isn’t quite sure how to react.
is my first fanfic and it does not exactly follow the series timeline or any
episode in particular. I didn’t mean to do it entirely in dialogue but it just
somehow flowed out that way. I’m currently lost as how to end it but thought I
would post it and see if anyone out there thinks its worth finishing. As I
said, its my first, so be kind!
Disclaimer: The series is owned by Paramount, as are the characters.
“Malcolm! Wait up!”
Malcolm turned around and saw Commander Tucker hurrying towards him along the
Trip grinned at him. “Shall we have lunch? We can discuss what food we’re going
to bring for Hoshi’s dinner party tonight.”
Malcolm raised an eyebrow. “I thought the purpose of a dinner party was for the
host to cook dinner for the guests?”
“Well, this being your first by Hoshi, I can’t blame you for being ignorant.
Let’s just say that she likes to experiment.”
The two of them proceeded to the mess hall where Trip regaled Malcolm with
stories of Hoshi’s previous dinner parties he had attended.
“Admit it. You enjoy blowing things up.”
“Just because I’m a security officer, doesn’t automatically mean I enjoy blowing
things up, Commander. It was necessary to go closer to that asteroid field for
target practice and to test the new calibration of the phase cannons.” Malcolm’s
voice was terse as he and Trip worked feverishly in engineering to repair the
damage to the environmental controls.
“Target practice is one thing. Having the pieces from your shoot-out slam into
Enterprise is another!”
“I didn’t plan for that to happen!” Malcolm uncharacteristically raised his
The rest of the team down in engineering exchanged amused glances. While the
initial minutes after impact had been potentially life-threatening when debris
from Lieutenant Reed’s target practice had ricocheted off other asteroids and
hit Enterprise, the situation had been brought under control pretty quickly. It
was now just a matter of repairing the gravity controls to shuttle decks 1 and
After a few more minutes, Lieutenant Hess reported that the controls had been
repaired and gravity restored to shuttle decks 1 and 2.
“Tucker to Archer”
“Everything’s back in order, sir. You should receive the damage control report
“Thank you Commander. Archer out.”
Trip glanced over to Malcolm. “Don’t worry Mal. Cap’n knows it wasn’t really
“Oh really? Your assessment of the situation has changed?” Malcolm’s voice
dripped with sarcasm as he wiped the sweat off his brow.
“I never said it was your fault, Lieutenant,” said Trip cheerfully, “Just that
you like blowing things up. Now c’mon, we have a damage control report to do.”
“You break it, you fix it. That’s what my Mama always said.’ Trip started
walking towards the exit of engineering. Malcolm followed after him scowling.
Hoshi squealed with delight. “We won again” she crowed as she gathered the chips
Trip groaned. “Somebody change partners with me, please.”
“Uh uh, “ said Travis, “Hoshi’s too good for me to give up.”
“I thought you said you were good at bridge,” Trip glared accusingly at Malcolm.
“I said I used to play bridge back in my university days. I never said anything
about Jewish bridge.” Malcolm calmly gathered up the cards and started dealing
“C’mon Mal, they’re killing us here.”
“Then you should pay more attention, Commander. If I recall, it was you who gave
up a King and allowed Hoshi to finish her set and win the game.”
“Damn rules are too complicated,” muttered Trip.
‘Ah, but you’re an engineer.”
Hoshi giggled and Travis simply laughed out loud, slapping Trip on the back.
Trip looked up from his PADD. “Hey Malcolm. Wha’cha doing here so late at night?”
“Couldn’t sleep, I thought a hot cup of tea would help.”
“Don’cha have a boiler in your room?”
Malcom shrugged, “Truth be told Commander, I was feeling a little claustrophobic
in there and wanted to look out a window.”
“Yeah, Starfleet didn’t manage potholes in every room,” said Trip
“What about yourself? Still looking at schematics at this time of the night?”
Trip threw his PADD down on the table. “Truth be told Malc, I just couldn’t
“Mind if I join you then?’
Everybody was feeling a little inebriated.
“That was a damn good movie,” said Trip cheerfully, raising his glass in a toast
and sloshing some of it over the side.
“I cannot believe Starfleet managed to send us something decent for once,” said
Malcolm. He was slumped in his seat, leaning slightly against Trip who was next
“Man, I love “The Blues Brothers”, “declared Travis clinking glasses with Trip.
“Perhaps you all should refrain from further drinking. Your shifts start in
another 7 hours.”
‘C’mon T’Pol. We never had a decent Movie Night before, and we just finished a
really tough assignment. Let your hair down a little. Don’t tell me you didn’t
enjoy the movie,” said Trip turning towards her.
“Well I certainly enjoyed it,” beamed Dr Phlox, “The music was extremely
“It was an illogical movie,” said T’Pol primly.
“Oh c’mon,” said Hoshi, “I saw your eyebrows shoot up so many times, you must
have been enjoying it.”
“You were observing me?”
Hoshi choked on her drink. She glared at Trip and Malcolm who were now slumped
against each other laughing.
“I was not!” declared Hoshi indignantly. She turned to T’Pol, “I just wondered
how a Vulcan would react to a movie like this.”
Trip and Malcolm continued laughing.
“Damn it!” Trip turned off the communicator. ‘Enterprise can’t send a shuttle
pod down because of the ion storm. We just have to wait here until the storm
passes. T’Pol thinks it will be at least 2 days, maybe 3.”
“Well, at least there’s enough oxygen this time,” said Malcolm. “Shall we set up
“How can you be so calm?” demanded Trip, “Do you realize we’re stuck here alone
for the next 2, 3 days?”
“We have plenty of water, food and air, sir. I don’t see any discernible danger.
And we can spend the time looking for those bio-fuel materials.”
Trip muttered under his breath as he went to the damaged shuttle pod to drag out
They set up camp silently.
“Damn it!” Trip cursed as the zip on his sleeping bag caught and he struggled
“Commander, are you alright?”
“I’m fine, Lieutenant!” snapped Trip.
Malcolm stared at him for a while, then crossed over, taking the bag from him
and unzipping it. “You’ll find it all in order, sir.”
Trip glared at him. “How can you be so calm being stuck away from Enterprise
again? We nearly died the last time.”
“The situation is different, Commander. As I said, we are not in any danger,
unless you do something silly again,” Malcolm paused.
“You still mad about that?” Trip asked incredulously.
“You were going to leave me alone to die!”
“I was giving you a chance to live!”
“You had no right! I’m the security officer, Commander!”
The two men glared at each other.
“You’re my friend, Malcolm,” said Trip evenly. “I assumed I’m your friend too.”
Malcolm relaxed his stance slightly, “Well yes, you are.”
“Then why do you keep calling me “Commander”?
“Huh?” Malcolm was caught off-guard. “You hold the rank of Commander.”
“No, Malcolm,” said Trip exasperated. “I mean even when we’re off-duty and just
hanging out, you still call me “Commander.”
“Force of habit, I guess.” Malcolm turned away and started going through their
rations, taking out some for their dinner.
Trip stared at him, then spoke softly, “Mal, I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have tried
to kill myself.”
Malcolm turned towards him, holding out a ration can. “Its over, Trip. Now let’s
have some dinner.”
“Merry Christmas Malcolm!”
“Merry Christmas, Trip.” Malcolm looked at the small container in Trip’s hand
which was festooned on top with a gaudy red and green bow, “What’s that for?”
“Why, its your present, Mal,” Trip beamed.
“My present?” Malcolm was taken aback. “I didn’t know we were giving out
“Its Christmas, Lieutenant. Festive cheer and goodwill towards men, and presents.”
“Well, uh, thank you, Trip, I uh, didn’t, well, didn’t prepare any…”
“Just take your present already!”
“Thank you, Trip’. Malcolm inspected the container. “When ever did you find a
place and time to shop?”
“Presents aren’t always about buying things, Mal. They can be made too, and I’m
pretty good with my hands if I do say so myself.”
“Well, I was taught that the value of a present laid in its price.” Malcolm
shook his head, “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to cast aspersions on your present…I
was just explaining my family…”
“S’okay Mal”, Trip leaned towards him conspiratorially, “I didn’t make yours
though, had to trade for it.”
“Well, uh, that sounds dubious, Trip.”
Trip laughed. “Just open it.”
“Pineapple flavoured ice-cream!”
“Merry Christmas Mal.”
“So Trip, how was shore leave?”
“Great Cap’n,” beamed Trip. “We went rock-climbing, then chilled out on a
houseboat. Great scenery. And this time, we didn’t end up tied up in some
Jon chuckled. He and Trip were sharing a nightcap after coming back from shore
leave on Risa.
“How was yours, Cap’n?”
“Peaceful. Tried one of those famed massages by a twelve-fingered Risean
masseuse. Spent time with Porthos on the beach.’
“Didn’t meet any fascinating ladies this time round, eh?”
“Not this time. How about you and Malcolm?” He smirked.
“Well, there were those three pretty gals on the houseboat next to ours…” Trip’s
voice trailed off into a dreamy smile. “You should have joined us, Jon.”
“And be a third wheel?”
“C’,mon Trip. Two single strapping young men on shore leave in the lovely
pleasure planet, Risa, and instead of the city, you two choose to go
rock-climbing and stay on a houseboat together,” Jon chuckled.
“Well, we wanted some peace and quiet,” declared Trip indignantly. “And there
were those three pretty gals next to us.”
“They came over for a night cap. But…they left after a while.”
“Looks like they were quick on the uptake.”
“Stop smirking! There is nothing going on between Malcolm and me.”
“You’re telling me you don’t have the hots for a certain chief security officer.
I’ve seen the way you look at him.”
“Ok, let’s try this. I’m going to ask you a series of questions really quickly
and you give the first answer that comes to mind.”
“Shoot. I’ve got nothing to hide.”
“Who is the first person you tell when you hear of something funny?”
“Who have you been going with for Movie Nights?”
“Who do you usually have lunch with?”
“Who do you usually have breakfast with?”
“Who did you go with to the Christmas party?”
“And New Year’s?”
“Who did you spend your last three shore leaves with?”
“Did any of you pick up any girls on these shore leaves?”
“Who is the last person you tend to speak to every night?”
“Who is the first person you think of when you wake up?”
“Damn.” Trip ran a hand over his face. “Doesn’t mean anything, Jon. He’s become
a real good friend.”
“I’m your best friend, Trip,” said Jon quietly. “I don’t recall you asking me to
join you on any shore leave.”
“Hey Hoshi, you busy?”
“Hi Commander,” Hoshi looked up. “I’m just going through some transcripts and
refreshing my memory of the Klingon language. Nothing important that can’t wait.”
“I was wondering if you could spare me a few minutes to talk about something.
Its uh, personal.”
“Sure, have a seat.” Hoshi looked at Trip with concern. “Are you alright,
Trip sighed and ran a hand through his hair. “I don’t know, Hoshi. That’s why I
need to talk to someone.”
Hoshi just nodded sympathetically and waited.
“I was just shooting the breeze with the Cap’n a couple of evenings ago, when we
came back from Risa. And he said something...” Trip hesitated. “You won’t tell
“Not if you don’t want me to.”
“Okay,” Trip took a deep breath. “He said I had the hots for Malcolm,” his words
tumbled out in a rush.
Hoshi smiled, “Funny, I would have said you’re in love with Malcolm.”
“Oh c’mon Trip. You two spend all your time off-duty together, at Movie Nights,
in the mess hall, on shore leave. On the bridge, when I see him, I see you too.”
“Doesn’t mean anything.”
“Maybe not. But I’ve seen the way you’ve look at him. I’ve seen the way he looks
at you too, actually.”
“You mean Malcolm likes me?” Trip’s voice came out as a squeak.
“Possibly. But how do you feel about him, Trip?”
“I dunno, Hoshi. I’m kinda mixed up.”
Hoshi placed her hand gently over Trip’s. “Trip, have you ever liked a guy
Trip licked his lips. “Maybe, once, back in university. But nothing happened.”
He shook his head. “I’m not gay, Hoshi. I’ve had relationships with plenty of
“Yes. Maybe you’re bisexual, the person, not his or her sex matters. There’s
nothing wrong with that.”
Trip sighed. “I like being with him, Hoshi. Just seeing him makes me feel happy.
And when he smiles….”
“Your insides melt.”
“Maybe you should tell him.”
“I’m not looking for a painful death.”
Hoshi laughed. “It may not result in that, Trip.”
“He’s not gay, Hoshi. Didn’t you hear about the women back in San Francisco?”
“So, maybe he’s bi too. I told you, I’ve seen the way he looks at you. And are
you always the one asking him out?”
“Not always…he did ask me to the New Year’s Eve party and we both kinda assumed
we would be spending our last shore leave together.”
“So, tell him.”
“Maybe you could tell him to tell me?”
The door chimed.
Trip squared his shoulders and went to open it.
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