Title: Something More
Fandom: Star Trek: Enterprise
Genre: Episode Tag
Relationship(s): Charlies ‘Trip’ Tucker III/Malcolm Reed (Pre-relationship)
Content Rating: PG
Word Count: 700 words
Summary: Trip and Reed talk after the impromptu birthday celebration.
Malcolm Reed walked down the corridor alongside Tucker. They were silent, as was becoming usual. Of late, Trip had seemed to realize that he could talk until he was blue in the face and it wasn’t going to make Malcolm open up. Reed was kind of sorry the engineer had stopped trying.
“Did you like the cake?” Trip ventured as they made their way towards where crew quarters were.
“Yes. Thank you.” Reed answered as he slowed down. “How did you know?”
“About your birthday?”
“About pineapple being my favorite?”
Trip stopped walking and looked at Reed. “We asked around.” At Reed’s confused expression he elaborated. “We spoke to your parents, your sister, a friend.” He trailed off as he saw the look pass over Malcolm’s face. “What?”
“You spoke to my parents?” He said quietly. “Madeline?” He turned to look at Trip. “You spoke to Mark, too?”
Trip didn’t ask how he knew *which* friend. He was almost afraid that the answer would be he’d only had one.
“Yeah.” He nodded. “They didn’t tell us much. Your friend said you hated fish, but that you liked going to this restaurant because you had a crush on a waitress there.”
Malcolm laughed. “Noreen.”
“You remember her?” Trip asked, anxious to be talking about something personal.
“Yeah, but it was Mark who had the crush on her.”
“Oh?” Trip asked as they resumed walking.
“Yeah, I liked the chef. A guy by the name of Phillip. We’d go there every week, even though I detest fish, just so I could see him.” He shook his head. “God, I was pathetic.” He grinned slightly.
“Phillip huh?” Trip asked with a grin.
Malcolm stopped again, almost as if he had suddenly realized he’d let something personal slip. He turned to look at the engineer. They locked eyes and Malcolm breathed a sigh of relief when he didn’t see anything in the other man’s eyes that indicated that he was surprised or disturbed by his revelation.
They continued to walk towards their quarters, the moment passing. When Malcolm reached his quarters, he stepped inside quietly and tried to forget the few moments where he had felt comfortable.
A few hours later, Trip screwed up his courage and made his way down the hall to Reed’s quarters. He knocked on the door and smiled slightly when Malcolm opened it. He was wearing a pair of comfortable pants and no shirt. It looked like he was just getting ready for bed. Still, he didn’t want to go without at least saying or doing *something*.
“Trip.” Malcolm backed up and went over to his small dresser and pulled out a shirt. “I wasn’t expecting company.” He pulled the shirt over his head and looked at the engineer. “Is something wrong? The new weapons?”
Trip entered the room and shut the door. “No. I just wanted to see you.”
Malcolm’s eyes widened slightly. “Excuse me?” He waited for Trip to clarify what he’d said, sure that he had misunderstood. Again. But Trip didn’t say anything. Finally, he opened his mouth. “I’m not sure I understand.”
When Trip didn’t look away, he stepped back and looked away himself. “I don’t think that would be a good idea.” He realized with a sense of irony that his words now were very similar to the ones he’d used on Hoshi. The difference was that in that case he really had had no desire to spend any
personal time in Hoshi’s quarters. However, now he found himself wanting to do just that with Trip.
Trip stepped closer to him and placed a hand on his shoulder. He leaned forward, not waiting for permission and kissed Malcolm. The kiss was quick and chaste, just a mere show of what he wanted and then he stepped back and moved towards the door. “Just. think about it.”
“Wait,” Malcolm said. “Why don’t you stay. We could…talk or something.” He offered.
Trip turned around and grinned. He realized that the offer was just what it sounded like, for conversation, and not something more, but it was more than Malcolm had ever offered before so he took it. “Okay. We do have the morning off.”
Malcolm smiled. “Yeah, we do.”