Title: Awake and Dreaming
Author: Joules Mer
Author's e-mail: email@example.com
Author's URL: http://jmenterprise.popullus.net
Date: Posted to EntSTSlash 6/14/2004
Archive: Yes to EntSTSlash.
Fandom: Star Trek Enterprise
Disclaimer: Enterprise is the property of Paramount. No profit was, or will
be, made by this story.
A/N: This is one of those weird bunnies that usually bite after 11pm. This
fic is the result of a subsequent 4 or so hours of effort. Perhaps one shouldn't
listen to recordings of Ginsberg, Kesey, and Kerouac late at night... especially
not after discussing Trainspotting and contemplating things you've seen people
do. If you don't like deathfics, you might not like this.
"But I *need* it." The whining voice held a piercing
intensity. "Please, Trip. Can't you see?"
Trip warily circled the other man, afraid of being caught off
guard. He had a hypospray in one hand, the phase pistol at his hip was the
back up plan. "I think you should come with me."
The pleading continued as if he hadn't spoken. "Please?
Please? Please, Trip."
The hollowness of Malcolm's eyes chilled him to his very core.
"Come back to Enterprise with me, Malcolm. Phlox needs to have a look at
Malcolm's eyes narrowed and one corner of his mouth curled
in a sneer. "I don't need Phlox."
"You're not acting yourself, Malcolm. The captain has
ordered you to return to Enterprise." Exasperation and worry crept into
the tone. "You have to come with me now."
Anger flashed through storm grey eyes and Malcolm lunged.
Trip's head hit the pavement hard enough to stun him and the hypospray was knocked
out of his hand, it skittered across the ground before coming to rest against
a small pile of refuse. Malcolm's hands gripped the front of his jumpsuit
and hauled Trip's torso upwards. "You don't understand, Trip. I *need*
more. I need it so badly." Sweat was beaded on Malcolm's brow and
his entire body was shaking. Since the way Malcolm was straddling him prevented
Trip reaching the phase pistol, he stretched out his arm towards the hypospray.
The very tips of his fingers brushed cold metal and Trip got ready to lunge.
Malcolm didn't even notice, he was singlemindedly focused on his lover's face.
"Please, please, please..." The words were a high pitched keen.
Trip surged sideways, quickly grasping the hypospray and bringing
it up to Malcolm's neck before the other man could react. Malcolm gave a
strangled cry and toppled forward. Trip lay there for a moment before slowly
rolling his lover off him and climbing to his feet. Once standing, he flipped
open his communicator and spoke softly into the device, "Tucker to Archer."
The captain's voice answered immediately. "Go ahead, Trip."
Trip regarded the man crumpled at his feet. "I've got
"What?" The enraged cry rang through sickbay.
His friend's hand on his shoulder didn't do anything to help
Trip relax. "What do you mean you don't know if you can do anything?"
Phlox took an involuntary step back from the commander before
explaining as calmly as he could, "I have him under sedation at the moment, but
I have been able to complete a very thorough examination. From what I can
tell Mr. Reed was dosed with a very strong and highly addictive drug while on
the planet. From what I can tell it's rather like an opiate. It has
a definite soporific effect along with inducing euphoria and suppressing pain.
I have not been able to concoct a substitute that will satisfy his addiction without
the effects that would prevent him from functioning as a member of the crew.
After some experimentation with the small sample that the Somni provided I can
tell you that the physical withdrawal from this drug would most likely kill the
Trip's face had gone ashen. "But... But what about that treatment
they used to use on drug addicts? Didn't they used to..." Trip fumbled
for the words from his history textbook, "sort of reduce the doses..."
"Wean them off it." The captain's complexion matched
"If Mr. Reed wishes to do so that is a course of action we
can pursue, but from what I can tell his body will not tolerate any reduction
of dosage below the amount he was initially exposed to."
"Damn." Trip's eyes glimmered wetly and he swiped at
them with his hand before acquiring a resolute set to his jaw. "Can I see
Phlox nodded. "I'm going to confine him to quarters,
he can take his next dose there. From what I can tell the raw narcotic is
meant to be smoked. I have procured a pipe and a camping lighter, and calculated
an appropriate dosage. I can give you an injection to prevent addiction
from any second hand smoke you might inhale. Once it takes effect you will
be free to visit him, but be aware this will only work against second hand smoke
or small doses. If you were to smoke it yourself the injection would have
little or no effect."
Trip gave a weak smile that didn't reach his eyes. "Thanks
"Captain, I'm going to need you to obtain more of this drug
in order to keep Mr. Reed with a steady supply."
Jon nodded, looking ill as he did so. "I'll get right
Trip stood nervously outside the door to Malcolm's quarters.
From the amount of time that had passed since the conversation in sickbay he knew
Malcolm was inside and doped up, but he couldn't quite bring himself to enter
the room. Somehow, seeing his lover in that condition would make the whole
situation horribly real. Finally, he steeled himself and punched in his
code, forcing himself to step inside the room as soon as the door slid open.
Malcolm was slumped on his bunk, he didn't give any acknowledgement of the intrusion
into his quarters.
Bared teeth glinting in a cruel parody of a smile. Malcolm's
head lolled before he managed to keep it semi-upright long enough to address his
lover. "Hullo, Trip."
"How are you, Mal?" Trip took a few steps towards the
bunk, hating how his voice wavered.
"I'm lovely, Trip."
"Are you sure? You don't look so good."
Malcolm carried on as if he hadn't heard him, "It's like eternal
afterglow. Scratch that, it's like an orgasm. When the smoke hits
your lungs it's better than an orgasm. Your insides just blossom and your
head rushes and bursts and you're so full of warmth and joy it's a wonder you
don't just burn up you're shining so brightly." Malcolm's grinned lopsidedly.
"Then the dreams start."
"I'll come back when you're more like yourself. We need
to talk about trying to wean you off this stuff."
Malcolm's words were slow and hypnotic. "Come dream with
me, Trip. Dream it all away."
Trip turned on his heel and fled.
"We've gotta try something, Cap'n!"
"You heard what Phlox said, Trip. He could die."
Trip scrubbed a hand over his face in frustration. "We're
going to be careful, Cap'n. All we're going to try and do is give him a
slightly smaller dose than normal. Malcolm really wants to try this too,
when he's lucid he's horrified at the situation."
Jon raised an eyebrow. "Is Malcolm ever lucid?"
"I haven't seen him that way since the away mission.
Are you sure this isn't wishful thinking?"
"Cap'n!" Trip sounded scandalized. "I've been with
him way more than you have lately. I think I'm better qualified to know
if he's been lucid or not!"
"Okay, okay." Jon held his hands up in a placating gesture.
"Go ahead and try it, but be sure to stop if it looks like he could get hurt."
"Don't worry, Cap'n. We'll be careful."
The captain leaned across the table in his private mess to
top up his friend's coffee. Jon took a sip of his own drink before starting
softly, "I heard from Starfleet an hour ago."
"Yeah?" Trip's eyes narrowed and he regarded his friend
Jon lowered his eyes and stared into the contents of his mug
as he continued, "If we can't help him soon he's going to be sent back to Earth.
I'm to negotiate for enough of a supply to keep him alive for at least two years.
They'll work out a way to get regular shipments after that runs out."
Utter disbelief filled Trip's tone as he spoke, "They want
to send him back?"
"We can't keep him here, Trip. We don't have the resources
to look after him. They're going to set him up in a private room at Starfleet
Medical. He'll be well looked after."
Trip choked on his words, "But Cap'n..."
"There's nothing I can do."
Jon's eyes were full of sorrow. "It's out of my hands,
Trip. I'm sorry."
Trip sat and watched as his lover started sweating and shivering.
An hour later Malcolm was pacing round his room like a shark in too small a tank,
clawing compulsively at his crawling skin. When the other man started whimpering
Trip pulled a box out from under the bunk. He set it on the small bedside
table and spoke softly, "Malcolm?"
Malcolm whirled around and fixed wild eyes on his lover.
"How are you feeling?"
Malcolm gulped convulsively and admitted, "Not very well.
I... I don't think I can hold out much longer. It hurts, Trip." He
squeezed his eyes shut for a moment before opening them again. "It hurts
"Do you think Phlox was right about the physical withdrawal?"
Malcolm didn't answer for a long moment, but he was finally
forced to nod. Resignedly, Trip flipped the lid off the box and pulled out
the contents for his lover's use. He measured out the amount of yellow residue
that Phlox had deemed an appropriate dose and set it out next to the pipe.
Malcolm filled up the bowl and lit the contents, inhaling deeply and holding the
smoke in his lungs for as long as he could. As Trip watched Malcolm's shaking
ceased and his furrowed brow smoothed. Malcolm blew out a cloud of whitish
smoke and took several breaths of air before dragging on the pipe again.
Smoke overflowed out of his nostrils and a lopsided smile alighted on his
features as his head lolled backwards. Trip carefully plucked the pipe out
of his lover's hand as Malcolm sagged limply onto the mattress.
Malcolm lay on his back with his eyes stuck half open, every
so often one of his limbs would twitch slightly. Trip leaned over and gently
closed his lover's eyes. "Sweet dreams, Malcolm."
"You wanted to see me, Cap'n?"
Jon gave a forced smile at the man standing inside the door
of his quarters. "Take a seat, Trip."
"Sir?" Trip carefully lowered his frame into the indicated
chair, running his hand over Porthos when the small dog sniffed his boot.
The captain sat down heavily on his bed. "I just finished
talking with a Vulcan commander, his ship will rendezvous with us in three days
to pick up Malcolm."
Trip's brow furrowed. "I thought we were taking him back
"Starfleet doesn't want to postpone our mission any longer.
The T'Saya will also be dropping off Malcolm's replacement. They've also..."
He cleared his throat and continued, "They've also denied your request for leave."
"What?" Trip was dumbfounded. "But he's my boyfriend.
We *love* each other, they have to let me be with him for a bit. I can't
say goodbye to him in *three days*." Tip's voice rose to a near hysterical
"I've been told that compassionate leave isn't going to be
granted in this case. Malcolm isn't going to recover in the foreseeable
future, and you're considered too crucial to Enterprise to be on Earth for an
extended period of time."
"But..." Trip fumbled for words. "They can't do
that, Cap'n." He turned pleading eyes on his friend. "You can't let
Jon couldn't meet the other man's eyes. "I'm sorry, Trip."
"This is all your damn fault!" That wasn't true.
It was the Somni trader's fault, but he wasn't there and Jon was so Trip let fly
at his friend. "What the hell were you thinking? Why didn't you leave
as soon as Malcolm suggested it?"
"Trip, please..." Jon reached out and gently grasped
the other man's shoulder.
"Damn it, Cap'n!" Trip roughly shook off his friend and
stormed out of the room.
Trip stood framed in the doorway. Malcolm lay on his
back on the bunk, wide unseeing eyes blinking with unnatural slowness. "Mal?"
The word rang in the still room.
Lazily, Malcolm turned his head towards the door, teeth baring
in a sickly smile when he recognized his visitor. "Trip."
"What do you dream of?"
Malcolm's features softened and he beckoned with his hand for
Trip to come closer. Trip slowly crossed the room and knelt beside the bunk,
his face less than a meter from Malcolm's. "You want to know what I dream
of?" Malcolm's eyes glimmered in the dim light and Trip nodded. "You
and me." Malcolm slowly smiled, a real smile this time. "I dream of
us. Together." Trip reached out and brushed the sweaty hair back from
Malcolm nodded. "Always." His expression was rapturous
as he remembered. "It's lovely, Trip. It's just you and I and our
love. I love you."
Trip smiled sadly. "I know. I love you too."
"Mmmmm." Malcolm smiled approvingly. "Always."
He yawned softly and Trip gently rubbed his shoulder.
"Go back to sleep." Malcolm nodded wearily and quickly
dozed off. Trip stood and regarded the pipe and paraphernalia cluttering
Malcolm's desk for a long moment before leaving.
Porthos whined as his master whimpered in his sleep.
Jon rolled in sweat soaked sheets, twisting the blankets round his legs but doing
nothing to dispel the dreams. He was back at the Somni trading outpost.
The planet had looked fascinating from orbit, 80% of it's surface was terraformed
and growing a single crop. The surface was carpeted in a plant with vivid
green stalks and delicate yellow flowers that peeked out from between broad blue
leaves. Machines roamed over the surface, collecting the flowers and sending
them by the tonne to some sort of processing plant. A complex system of
tubes and conveyors shunted containers of the finished product to a sprawling
structure near the north pole. Dozens of shuttles were docked there as a
wide variety of aliens conducted some sort of business. An automated response
to their initial hails had told them that they could send three representatives
to the 'trade facility' and that they had clearance to land on the red platform.
Jon had eagerly selected an away team.
A'Nushka's bulbous eyes followed them as they entered her shop.
It had been the first one they had come across which wasn't full of customers,
so they entered hoping for answers. She hastened over to steer them towards
the counter, claws clicking on the metal floor. "Good day, good day.
And what species are you?"
He'd shared an amused glance with Trip. "We're human,
from the planet Earth."
"Aaaaaaaaah, I'm afraid I haven't heard of you, but don't worry,
my scans indicate you're compatible."
"Scans?" Malcolm had been immediately on guard.
The alien had waved vaguely at the doorway they had walked
through. "Just a precaution."
Jon had tried to get down to business. "Can you tell
me what's happening on this planet?"
She'd frozen. "You don't know?"
"We're kinda..." Trip grinned as he continued, "New to
"Aaaaaaaaah, then I must get a sample. A test, a test!"
She'd bustled into the back room and Malcolm had used the moment
to whisper to his superior, "Captain, I think we should go. Something about
all this doesn't feel right."
"Now, Malcolm." Jon's tone was almost playfully chiding,
"We just got here! We don't want to offend our host."
Her return had been heralded with a skittering of claws and
she'd eagerly pulled the lid off of the box in her arms. "Look, see.
Pure, highly refined. No taste, no unpleasant smell." Something in
her demeanour changed and she seemed faintly menacing. "You try."
Jon had exchanged a glance with his officers before replying,
"I'm sorry, I don't think I can do that."
She'd taken a step forward, drawing herself up to her full
height. "You try!"
"No, I don't think so."
Malcolm had surreptitiously stepped in front of his superiors
as she advanced, and he kept himself there as she drew a vial out of the box.
"This one is all ready. Just inhale, it will be fine."
"Look, we've got to get back to our ship now. We'll try
and come back later."
Mandibles twitched in what could have been a smile. "You
can't leave. Atmospheric storm over pole, very severe. No ships can
take off tonight." Peering out the shop's window the Enterprise crewmembers
could see what looked like a violent storm outside the biosphere. They were
trapped on the surface until it broke.
"Now you try!" A cloud of white vapour was suddenly released
from the vial, fully engulfing Malcolm. In his shock he'd inhaled.
By the time he stumbled out of the cloud he must have taken several breaths of
the stuff. They grabbed him under his armpits and hauled him towards the
door, holding him up as he tripped.
A hissing that could only be a laugh emanating from her mouth.
"You'll be back! You'll see. Best prices in my shop. Raw, refined,
untreated..." Her words had trailed off as they'd retreated down the corridor,
past other shops full of subdued buyers. They'd carried Malcolm back to
the shuttlepod, but he'd woken and grown desperate. Eventually breaking
free and fleeing back into the hellish outpost.
The words echoed through Jon's mind, "Now, Malcolm. We
just got here! We don't want to offend our host."
Trip sat in his chair playing the harmonica, the approaching
T'Saya just visible through his window. He finished the song and dropped
the harp onto his desk where it clattered on the hard surface. After a moment
of contemplation he stood up and straightened his uniform before heading for Malcolm's
quarters. Trip let himself into the room and found Malcolm sprawled on his
bunk, sound asleep. He pulled a padd out of his pocked and stood in the
still room, speaking softly as he recorded a short message onto the device,
"Jon. Please pull some strings and get us a room together at Starfleet Medical.
I'm sorry it had to end this way. It was an honour serving with you, and
I'm proud and grateful to have had you as a friend." He paused for a moment
before adding, "And Jon, this wasn't your fault."
He settled onto the bunk and drew Malcolm into his arms, resting
the lax man's head on his shoulder. Trip methodically filled the pipe and
took a deep breath before raising the lighter. It took him three tries to
get the substance to light. When smoke finally started curling from the
bowl Trip set the lighter down and regarding the object in his hands for a few
seconds before raising it to his lips. He faltered for a moment, the residue
almost going out as he paused to press a kiss to Malcolm's forehead before wrapping
his lips around the pipestem. Trip inhaled as deeply as he could, holding
the smoke in his lungs as he had seen Malcolm do. He managed to repeat the
gesture once more before slowly falling backwards with Malcolm carefully cradled
in his arms. They dreamt together.