Title: Who Needs Enemies 4: And Then You'll Hold Their Hands Again

Author: TPau Silver

E-mail: TPauSilver@aol.com

URL: http://www.geocities.com/TPau_Silver

Date: 07/18/02

Fandom: Star Trek Enterprise

Category: Slash

Rating: PG-13

Pairing: Reed/Mayweather, of course

Series: Who Needs Enemies

Previous story: Who Needs Enemies 3: First We'll Take You Down Back to the Meathouse

Next story: Who Needs Enemies 5: I Know Tricks That You Can Only Dream Of

Archive: Sure, why not? If you want it, take it. But ask first.

Summary: Can Archer interfere enough to get Travis and Malcolm back together, or will someone else get there first?

T'Pau's Note: I didn't get the title from the cliché, well, I did but indirectly. It's from the song, 'Who needs enemies' by the cooper temple clause. The lyrics are in chapter one.

Jonathan Archer sighed and leaned back in his chair. He gazed at the image in the viewscreen. He could see the stars racing past them. It was a view that never ceased to thrill him. For centuries man had been trying to get to the stars, beginning with such rudimentary experiments at tying wings to their arms and jumping off piers. Sure enough, man had prevailed and first conquered his own sky, then built even faster and more powerful ships capable of going into space. With the invention of the warp drive a whole new frontier had opened up to them and now he was truly going where no human had gone before.

Since he was a child he had been thrilled to learn about such things. He must have been the only child in high school who had looked forward to physics class. For as long as he could remember he had been fascinated by space. He would spend hours staring at the night sky if given a chance or, failing that, would sit in his dad's workshop looking over the models of ships on the shelves and imagining flying them through the stars, imagining looking through the viewscreen and seeing the stars wizz by.

None of his fantasies had really prepared him for the real thing though. Captaining his father's ship was all young Johnny had ever wanted; he had never really realized how much it involved though. It wasn't just high adventure and daring fights, there was the simple day to day running of the ship. The relationships that were formed and broken every day, the trusts built and broken. The people who were really the engine of the ship and the reason they were out here at all.

It was the relationship between his armoury officer and his helmsman that held the Captain's attention at the moment. He had been worrying since he had visited the young helmsman's quarters that morning and found him in tears. Whatever had happened it must have been very important to the Ensign. He wondered if Malcolm realized how important it was.

Archer had been tempted more then once to speak to Malcolm, send him to talk to Travis. Since the armoury officer had stepped on the Bridge, he hadn't said a word other then to give reports when requested. He had been so much more open lately; Archer wondered if it had something to do with a certain young helmsman. Archer had promised Travis that he wouldn't say anything though, so he kept quiet.

But Travis had seemed so damn miserable that morning. He wanted to do something. It was his job as Captain to make sure the ship was running smoothly and the people on it running smoothly too. He didn't like to think that Malcolm or Travis would let any break up interfere with their work to any great extent, but it had seemed to hit Travis hard.

To hell with not talking to Malcolm. Travis obviously needed to talk to the older man and Archer was worried. Travis was the youngest member of the crew, only having been allowed on the mission because of his extensive experience on cargo ships. As such Archer felt responsible for him much more then any other crew member and he wanted things to work out for the young man. Being on a cargo ship was much different to being on Enterprise just because of the size of the crew. Travis had probably never really had a relationship, a sexual one anyway, before he got to Earth and Archer knew from speaking to Travis' associates at the academy the young man was quite withdrawn and hadn't had many relationships there either. Archer was going to do everything he could to make this one work for the Ensign.

"Mr. Reed, can I speak to you in my ready room?"

"Yes, Captain," Malcolm said, handing over the console and following the Captain down the steps into the relative privacy. He knew he shouldn't be doing stepping in. He should just stay out of his officer's personal lives, but he couldn't bring himself to do that. He sat down in his chair and gestured for the Lieutenant to take a seat. Malcolm watched him carefully.

"What's going on between you and Travis?"

Of all the things Malcolm had considered Archer saying, this was obviously not one of them. He looked quite shocked.

"I hardly think it's any of your business sir!" the Lieutenant exclaimed.

"Normally I'd be inclined to agree with you but in this case it's interfering with your performance and I need to know what's going on."

"I assure you sir, it's nothing."

"I spoke to Travis this morning. He told me everything."



He left Malcolm to absorb this for a moment. The Lieutenant chewed on his lip, then looked up to meets Archer's eyes.

"He told me what happened in the mess hall. He's blaming himself Malcolm."

"He shouldn't," Malcolm said automatically. "I don't know why it's such a big deal for him anyway. I don't understand why he needs for everyone to know."

"It doesn't matter if you understand it," Archer told him softly. "It's important to him and if you really care about him then you should think about what he wants."

Malcolm didn't respond. Archer gave him a moment to consider what had been said.

"I think you should go talk to him. Your shift just ended, so you can go now. You need to talk to him; maybe if he explains you can understand why this means so much to him."

Malcolm nodded and excused himself. Archer watched him go, then sat for a few moments, wondering if he'd done the right thing.


Travis lay on his back staring at the ceiling. He had spent most of the morning lying like this. It wasn't that the ceiling was suddenly interesting, or that it provided much of a distraction from his train of thoughts. It was just that staring at the ceiling was one of the few things he could do since he'd moved most of his stuff to Malcolm's quarters and hadn't dared to go get it.

Travis had spent most of the morning alternating between hating Malcolm and hating himself. One of them had to be responsible for what had happened. He didn't know why he'd overreacted so much but Malcolm had lied to him and he couldn't deal.

He briefly considered going to the mess hall for lunch but couldn't bring himself to take the suggestion seriously. He didn't want to run into Malcolm. He didn't know if he'd even be able to be in the same room as the other man without loosing control over himself. He wanted to know what was going through Malcolm's mind. Why he would take back the promise when he knew it meant so much. Maybe he didn't know how much it meant. Maybe that was the entire problem.

Maybe he was expecting too much. It was a grand total of 7 nights since there relationship started. Maybe he was expecting too much when he thought Malcolm was going to publicly acknowledge their relationship like that. It was a very short period of time, but he had wanted Malcolm for so long and he never been able to say anything.

They couldn't break up after just a week! After all the time they had spent wanting each other but not saying anything, their relationship had to last over a week. It just had to.

He sighed and rolled onto his side, favouring a view of the wall to a view of the ceiling. He was surprised the Captain hadn't sent Malcolm down to talk to him by now. Not that he wanted to talk to Malcolm. He wanted to avoid that embarrassing conversation for as long as possible.

The door chime sounded. Knowing his luck that would be Malcolm, here to explain his actions. Not that Travis hadn't tried to explain them to himself enough that morning. He stayed silent, hoping that Malcolm would just go away.

The door opened. Travis tensed, eyes fixed on the wall.

"I'm sorry," Malcolm said. Travis felt himself become even tenser. Even though he knew it was most likely to be Malcolm, a small part of him had hung onto the idea that it might not be…that he might get a little more time before having this conversation.

"Why did you do it?"

"I don't know."

HE DIDN'T KNOW. He had broken his promise and he didn't know why. Travis sat up and glared at Malcolm.

"You promised," he accused in a low voice. "You said if anyone asked directly you would say yes. Why didn't you?"

"I did it for you!"

"That's crap!" Travis exclaimed. "Did you ever think that maybe I know what's best for me. Maybe I know what I want! I want you. I want people to know. I don't care what they say. I don't care what anyone says!"

"Well, maybe I do," Malcolm yelled. "Maybe I don't want you to leave me over this!"

"Maybe I won't leave you over this. Did you even think of that? Maybe I want to be with you and I'm not going to let what people say bother me."

"It's all right to say that now," Malcolm tried to explain, forcing his voice to lower, "But you haven't lived it. The stares and the looks on everybody's faces. The way no-one wants to touch you. Can you even imagine that? When you go to pat someone on the back and they move away, like you've got some disease they might catch. It's horrible Travis. I wanted to protect you from that but obviously I shouldn't have even tried."

"Maybe you shouldn't have. Did you ever think I knew that stuff would happen? Did you ever think that I was willing to risk that for you?!"

They stood there for a moment glaring at each other.

"Will you say yes?"


"Then we have nothing more to discuss. Get out."



Malcolm turned and walked out the door. He didn't look back. Travis felt all his energy drain away. Why did he have to do that? He wanted nothing more then to fall into Malcolm's arms and be held but he had to go and make a scene. Had to go and tell Malcolm to get out. Now Malcolm would never speak to him again and it was all his fault.

He lay down again, facing the wall. He just wanted this day to end. He wanted it all to be over so he could go to sleep and rest for a while. He wanted to go get his stuff and settle back in. Maybe he could just pretend the last week had never happened…

He was distracted from his thoughts by the door chime. It was probably someone for Glen. He didn't want to deal with Glen's friends right now. He just wanted to be alone.

And with that thought the door opened. Why didn't he lock it? He didn't move, just waited.

"I'm sorry," came a small voice from over his shoulder. He looked up in alarm to find Lauren staring down at him. He just stared at her for a second, trying to figure out what she was doing there and she fidgeted nervously.

"If I'd thought you would get so upset about my question I wouldn't have asked."

She thought it was her fault. He wasn't exactly close with her but she was one of Glen's best friends and he knew she was a nice girl. Maybe he should just tell her. He had to say something.

"It wasn't you," he said softly. "You did nothing wrong. In fact I was just waiting for someone to ask that."

"Then why did you run of?" she asked, a look of genuine confusion passing over her face.

"It was Malcolm, he should have said yes," Travis whispered, looking glumly at the floor. He knew he shouldn't tell her but he couldn't exactly send her away thinking it was her fault, could he? She looked shocked. He wondered if Malcolm had been right about everyone hating them for it.

"Have you spoken to him about it?" "It doesn't matter. As far as I'm concerned he said everything he needed to say in the mess hall."

A silence settled over the room. He had shifted into a sitting position and lent his head on his knee. He could feel tears threatening but he wouldn't let them fall. He'd managed to stop crying earlier, he wasn't about to start again now.

"Maybe you're better of without him…" Lauren started.

"I don't think so," Travis interrupted. "I wanted him for so long but now…now I don't know what to do."

To his surprise Lauren came over, sat on the side of the bed, and pulled him into her arms. He wanted to pull away, to tell her to get lost. He wanted to say he didn't need her sympathy. The only problem was he did need her sympathy. He needed it a lot. He allowed himself to relax into her soft embrace.

"You're better then him anyway. What type of boyfriend is he if he doesn't want anyone to know about you?"

Travis nodded. He'd thought of all this. It didn't matter what bad things he might think about Malcolm though, he still wanted the other man. And he still kept trying to convince himself it was his fault.

"I mean, if he really cared about you, wouldn't he want to shout it to the world? Seems he should. But instead he wants to hide you from everyone. I mean, I work in Engineering and hang out with the security guys, so I know that the guys on this ship can be pretty homophobic, but you can handle it."

People were really homophobic. He hadn't thought they would really have problems. He'd thought Malcolm was just letting past experiences influence him. Maybe he had misjudged Malcolm.

"Who's he to say what you can and can't do."

"He was just trying to help," Travis protested weakly.

"You don't need that kind of help. He was just patronizing you."

"He never patronized me," Travis defended. "He just didn't want to see me get hurt. He just wanted to take care of me."

The realization hit Travis the second the words were out of his mouth. Malcolm just wanted to take care of him. And maybe he hadn't fully explained to the older man why being honest about their relationship was so important. Maybe it was him who was in the wrong all the time.

"Thanks Lauren," he exclaimed, hugging her. "I've got to go find Malcolm; I've got to go make things right."

Travis rushed out of the room, already planning how he could apologize. Lauren stayed sitting on the bed, gazing out the door.

"How did that go so horribly wrong?"

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