Title: Hey Darlin'...
Author: Joules Mer
Rating: PG-13
Pairing: T/R
Feedback: julia_ocean_child@yahoo.co.uk
Website: jmenterprise.popullus.net
Disclaimer: Enterprise is the property of Paramount.  No profit was made, no copyright infringement is intended.
Archive: Yes to EntSTCommunity and BLTS.  All others please ask.
Warnings: At the discretion of the archivist.

Hey Darlin'...

    "Hey darlin' it's me."  There was a pause and then the voice continued, "I guess this is me taking the coward's way out.  I meant to say this in person when I came by last night, but," there was a short, sad, laugh, "you know how that turned out.  While last night was nice, the love isn't there anymore.  At least not for me."  A faint sigh was heard before the voice continued, "Anyway, what I'm trying to say is that I think it's time we declared it over 'cause it just isn't going to work out.  I moved all my stuff out while you were sleeping this morning so I won't be coming by again.  Thanks for some great times.  It isn't because of anything you did or didn't do, it's just me.  Bye."

    The recording clicked off and was promptly erased from the computer memory.  He climbed out of his desk chair and headed into the lav, there was just enough time for a quick shower before he was due on the bridge.

    After an uneventful shift he found himself eating lunch alone as he was sometimes wont to do.  Chef's soup and a grilled cheese sandwich went down easily enough, but were fairly bland fare.  When he was finished he put his tray and dishes in the receptacle and made his way back to the bridge, exchanging pleasantries with junior officers on the way.

    They entered orbit of the Minshara-class planet shortly after 1400 hours.  After a series of scans showed that it was uninhabited with a hospitable atmosphere the captain ordered an away team comprised of himself, Lieutenant Reed, Sub Commander T'Pol and Crewman Cutler to prepare for immediate departure.

    The shuttle cleanly cleared the launch bay and entered the planet's atmosphere.  It descended at a steady rate until it was zipping along towards the landing site at an altitude of approximately fifty meters.  Malcolm looked up from the controls and was confronted by the side of his captain's face.  Jon was squished into the front of the pod, eagerly scanning the new planet before them.  Malcolm regarded his captain for a moment before one corner of his mouth twitched up into its characteristic half smile.  He reached out and with a slow, deliberate motion programmed an alteration in the flight path.  The shuttlepod abruptly turned into a perfect arc, slamming into the ground a split second later.


    He surged upright.  Sweat was pouring off of him in rivulets and the sheet stuck to his chest and arms.  He gasped for breath for a moment before awareness of where he was slowly overtook him.  Malcolm sank back weakly to the bed.  He was safe.  He turned slightly and took in the shadowed lump next to him.  He was in bed in Trip's quarters.  It had all been a dream.

    He lay still and waited for his hammering heart to slow down.  That nightmare had been a bit too much.  He shivered at the memory and pulled the blanket more tightly to himself, but could not calm down enough to go back to sleep.

    "Bollocks."  The softly uttered expletive was followed by Malcolm carefully climbing out of bed and dressing in the low light that filtered in through Trip's viewport.  The Minshara-class planet they were orbiting filled the window, resplendent in it's own silent beauty.  Malcolm quietly left the room, the door closing with a soft swish behind him.


    Something was tugging at the edge of Trip's awareness.  He tried to ignore it and go back to sleep, but was strangely unable to.  He figured it mustn't be anything too important, or Malcolm would have woken him.  Malcolm.  Trip reached out and encountered only empty space.  Malcolm was gone.

    "What'th'hell?"  His voice was sleep slurred as he palmed the switch to turn on the lights.  He blinked owlishly and peered towards the lav.  No sign of his lover.  Trip sat up and looked around the room.  Malcolm's clothes were missing.  He'd well and truly gone.  Trip sighed, climbed out of bed, and began dressing.  He had an errant lover to track down.


    Malcolm knew who it was as soon as the observation lounge door opened.  Only one other person would come here at this time of night.  "Hi."

    "What're you doing out of bed at this time of night?"  Trip slowly crossed the room and sat down next to Malcolm.  He was completely surprised when his lover shied away from him, sliding further along the chesterfield.

    Malcolm was silent for a while before he finally spoke, "I realized something."

    Trip didn't like the sound of that, but soldiered on nonetheless, "What did ya realize?"

    Malcolm seemed unable to meet his eyes as he responded, "I think... I think maybe we should... I mean, I think this isn't something that should continue."

    Trip was flummoxed, "This?"

    Malcolm's eyes were still downcast, "Us."

    Trip felt his heart leap out of his chest, "What!"  He gulped and tried to make sense of what he head heard, "Why?"  Malcolm didn't respond so Trip slid along the couch so that he was closer to the other man, "Why Mal?"

    "Because..."  Malcolm began and trailed off.

    "Malcolm, we've been together for a while.  I think the least you can give me is an explanation."

    Malcolm winced at the hurt that was in Trip's tone and felt compelled to answer, "It's because of how I am with you."

    Trip thought back to his smiling, caring, lover, "And why is that bad?"

    Malcolm huffed in frustration.  He had to get Trip to understand, "I had a dream.."

    "Yeah I have those too, but I don't break up with the person I love because of them."  Trip couldn't quite keep himself from being snarky.

    "It was a nightmare.  You broke up with me and I..."

    Trip forced himself to be more calm, "You what?"

    "I killed myself.  And the Captain.  T'Pol and Culter as well."

    Trip exhaled sharply, "Oh."  He was rather stunned by that revelation and didn't know what to say.

    "And I think I wanted to do it."  Malcolm shifted on the chesterfield before he continued, "It's what you do to me."

    "I make you want to kill people?"  Trip was trying to understand Malcolm.  He really was.

    "No!  You make me lose control.  When I'm with you, Trip, my emotions get the better of me."

    Trip shook his head in confusion, "Why is that bad darlin'?"

    "I try so hard to stay in control, Trip.  I have to in order to be an armoury officer.  It's my job to protect people.  If I lose focus I could make a mistake.  I've spent my whole life trying to stay in control."

    Trip breathed a silent sigh of relief, so that was the heart of the matter.  Problems like that he could deal with.  "Malcolm, you're an excellent armoury officer and you know how to separate duty and the private life.  Has our relationship ever negatively affected you while on duty."

    Malcolm considered for a moment, "No."

    Trip slid closer to Malcolm, "You see.  You can be the stoic armoury officer by day and the passionate lover by night."

    "You don't understand.  I've kept myself under control my whole life.  It was what I was taught to do.  But, now..."  Malcolm trailed off and gnawed on his bottom lip, "Now you make me lose control, and I don't know how to deal with that.  I always buried my emotions and now you want me to let them run wild.  I'm afraid of what will happen if I do that."

    "I dunno about letting them run wild, but I think you should maybe explore them a bit."  Trip thought for a moment, "And demonstrate them a bit too.  I want to know when you're happy or sad, Mal, and demonstrations like the one last night are quite nice too."

    "But Trip!  Who knows what I'm capable of.  I've been trained to kill, Trip.  Kill.  Look what I did.  You left me and I got angry and killed your best friend!"

    "In a dream, Malcolm."  Trip stressed the word, "Dreams aren't real life."  He peered into Malcolm's eyes and saw that they were still veiled.  "Look Malcolm, I know you're upset.  Nightmares can be real unsettling, but you have to remember that that's all they are.  Nightmares."

    "You mean that you don't think I could..." Malcolm seemed to slump as rational thought finally took over.  "It was just a nightmare."  He turned to face Trip and smiled weakly in relief.  "Oh god Trip, it was just a nightmare."  He began to shake as he realized what had just happened, "And I almost..."

    "But you didn't.  I wouldn't let you."  Trip reached out and gently touched Malcolm's cheek, wiping away a tear.  "Hey darlin', I'll never leave you.  I love you with all of my heart and soul."

    Malcolm gently raised his hand and cupped it over Trip's on his own cheek.  "I don't know what I did to deserve you, but I love you too."

    They sat like that for a while before Trip shifted uncomfortably, "Do you think we can go back to bed now?"

    Malcolm looked deeply into Trip's eyes as he smiled, "Of course, love."