Title: You, Me, and Your Doppelganger Makes Three

Author: Joules Mer

Author's e-mail: julia_ocean_child@yahoo.co.uk

Author's URL: http://jmenterprise.popullus.net

Date: Posted to EntSTSlash 11/20/2003

Archive: Permission to archive granted to EntSTCommunity and BLTS.  All others ask me.

Fandom: Star Trek Enterprise

Category: Slash

Rating: PG-13

Pairing: R/Sim T/R

Summary:   You flashed me a smile and an "evenin' Mal" like we were friends.  Then I remembered that to you, we are.  I once overheard a crewman describing Sim as a ghost of you, but to me, you're the ghost of Sim.

Beta: None

Spoilers: Similitude (but oh, so AU)

Disclaimer: Enterprise is the property of Paramount.  No profit was made, no copyright infringement is intended.

A/N:  I sat down, wrote this, and then posted it so I hope it's fairly error free.  I have enough things to extensively proof read for RL as it is.

    I was walking down the corridor last night and heard approaching footfalls.  I looked up and saw you walking slowly towards me.  It's only your second day out of sickbay, and you're still looking far too pale.  Your skin almost shone white in the low light, giving you a strange aura.  You flashed me a smile and an "evenin' Mal" like we were friends.  Then I remembered that to you, we are.  I once overheard a crewman describing Sim as a ghost of you, but to me, you're the ghost of Sim.

    I can't believe that it was less than a week ago that I met him.  Really met him, that is.  I was walking to the mess hall after a long shift repairing the ship and was looking forward to a quick dinner before some communion with my shower to ease the stiffness and aches out of my overtaxed muscles, when I was almost bowled over by the newest addition to our crew.  He laid a firm hand on my arm to keep me upright as he apologized profusely for not looking where he was going.  I hadn't seen Sim since the day before yesterday so I was stunned to be faced with the 17 year old equivalent of my friend.  When his babbling finally wound down I had to gently extract my arm from his grasp, an action that strangely enough caused him to blush.  I didn't dwell on it at the time, however, and the two of us carried on to the mess hall together for dinner.  How I wound up forgoing my shower to watch A Night at the Opera I'll never know.

    He's older now, exactly like Trip in fact.  We were holed up in my quarters, chatting away like old friends.  "Can I ask you something?"  I nodded, certain it was just another question about what food Trip likes or whether I think his plan for increasing shuttlepod engine output will work.  We've already given his report to T'Pol, but he's been dwelling on it anyway.  "Was there ever anything between you and Trip?"

    I was stunned so it took me a moment to shake my head and tell him we were just friends, although it broke my heart to have to say so.  I've been harbouring an attraction towards Enterprise's chief engineer for a while.  He looked awkward but carried on as best he could, "The reason I ask is, well, you're all I think about, if you know what I mean.  And I'm not talking about an adolescent crush that was, well, that was two days ago.  This is much more serious, the way I feel about you."  He paused with such an apprehensive and conflicted look on his face that I did the only thing I could think of.  I reached out and gently gathered him into my arms.  He melted into my embrace before reaching up and encircling me with his strong arms.  We stood that way for a while, just holding each other, before things heated up quickly. 

    It was pure, explosive, passion, the like of which my Starfleet issue bunk may never recover from.  In fact, I was quite surprised by a few of the moves that he used on me.  I think he could tell from the look on my face as he laughed and told me with a wink that, "Trip knows far more about this kinda thing than he lets on."  I was struck speechless and he laughed and laughed until I eventually joined in and we howled away together.  I was still fighting a last few hiccuping giggles when I felt his hand gently cup my chin.  I looked up and found myself fixed by his intense gaze.  "I dunno whether these are just my feelings, or his as well, but I love you."  I think my heart actually skipped a beat in joy at what he said.  I was too overcome to respond so I simply leaned in and kissed him soundly, trying to get the most out of our scant time together.

    It was several hours after we managed to escape from the polaric field that I heard my door chime.  I answered it and found myself with an armful of distraught lover.  I backed us up and sat sat us down on my bunk.  "I'm gonna die."  The word was gasped out between sobs and I held him all the more tightly.

    "I know."

    He gently pulled back and I was confronted by his tear streaked face.  "I thought there was something Phlox could do so that I wouldn't have to, but the captain won't let me try."

    "What?"  I was shocked by that statement, I couldn't imagine the Captain condemning Sim to death.

    "The procedure to save Trip will kill me, but we can't try the procedure to save me without letting Trip die."

    "Oh my god."  The words escaped me as an involuntary whisper.

    Sim's face contorted as he fought the urge to cry, "The captain says he needs Trip to carry out the mission, and I'm not Trip.  I may be a lot like him, but I'm not close enough.  You know what I've gotta do, Mal?"

    It was more of a statement that a question, but I couldn't help but ask, "What?"

    "I've gotta do it.  I can't let anyone else on Earth suffer the same fate as Lizzie, but I don't want to leave you, Mal.  I love you so much."  He did begin to cry again then, and I joined right in.


    We lay together on my bunk, Sim's arms wrapped tightly around me.  He was gently stroking the hair at the back of my neck as I buried my face in the crook of his neck.  I inhaled deeply, trying to memorize his scent and the way that he felt in my arms.  The comm beeped softly and he reached up to answer it.  Phlox's voice rang through the silent cabin, "We're ready for you."

    "On my way."  He gave me one last stroke before gently pulling away and sitting up.  I sat up as well and turn to face him as he reached out and cupped my cheek in his palm, drawing me in for a leisurely kiss.  He eventually pulled back and stood up.

    "Are you sure you want to go alone?"

    He gave me a solemn, sad smile.  "I'm sure.  This,"  he leaned in a gave me another kiss on the lips, "is how I want you to remember me."  I gave him a teary smile as he caressed my cheek one last time.  He was already halfway out the door before he turned and added, "Do me a favour when this is over.   Give Trip a kiss.  You never know."  He gave me a weak grin before he turned and was gone.


    A hand descending on my shoulder startles me out of my reverie.  I look up and am confronted by the smiling face of Trip.  My friend.

    "Why so glum, chum?"  Trip smiles at me, "Whatcha doin' all alone in the observation lounge?  I haven't seen much of you since I came back from the dead."  He flops down next to me on the couch and in the low light with that expression on his face he looks so much like the Sim that I knew that my heart aches.  Before I can even think of stopping myself I've leaned in and gently captured his lips with my own.  He gives a little gasp of surprise which I swallow as I gently end the kiss.

    "Oh Malcolm."  He pulls back, shock written on his face and I know.  It was the ghost that loved me.