Title: Pennies and Pounds
Author: Joules Mer
Author's e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Author's URL: http://jmenterprise.popullus.net
Date: Posted to EntSTSlash June 2, 2004
Archive: Please ask first.
Fandom: Star Trek Enterprise
Disclaimer: Enterprise is the property of Paramount. Characters
just borrowed for fun. No profit was, or will be, made by this story.
A/N: A response, of sorts, to the June challenge.
He'd never thought it would come to this.
For a very, very long time Malcolm had been confident that he'd never, ever,
do this. It wasn't his style at all. In truth, though, he had
come close once before. So very close. Such a long time ago.
He'd just barely managed to get a grip on himself and pull back before it
was too late. Before he did something foolish. This time, however,
his mind was made up. This wasn't the sort of thing you steeled yourself
to do without being prepared to follow through. The consequences were terrifying,
inevitable, and horribly permanent. This wasn't the sort of action
you could take back after the fact.
Malcolm had always been the cautious sort. He carefully
analysed and over analysed other people's interactions with him. He'd
always kept a part of himself back, protected, safe. When it came to
love, or the carefully choreographed set of motions that society perceived
as love, he was the one murmuring the required phrase only in response to
a declaration of affection from the other person. Now, however, he
was poised to do something rash. Very rash indeed.
But no, rash was the wrong word. This had taken
careful planning. This had even taken manipulation. He'd made
sure he was alone now. It was of the upmost importance that no one
realize what he was about to do. Footsteps sounded behind him and he
froze. Not now. Not yet. He didn't want to look.
Looking could make him chicken out.
It was probably too late already, it was probably all
too clear what he was about to do. He took a deep breath. Ready
to go in headfirst, steeled for a fall. He slowly turned to face his
companion, eyes meeting a concerned gaze.
"Malcolm?" He couldn't let the heartfelt concern
in that tone weaken his resolve.
Malcolm looked up, smiled, and jumped, "I love you."
Trip's eyes widened at the sudden, unsolicited declaration
and Malcolm's heart fell. After a stunned moment the full import
of the statement permeated Trip's brain and he began to smile. Malcolm
felt his heart arrest mid-plummet. "I love you too, darlin'." Smothered
in a warm embrace a puff of breath tickled his ear as the sentiment was repeated
once more, "I love you too."