TITLE: Second Childhood


E-MAIL: scarab@blueyonder.co.uk

URL: http://www.lookout2.com/nautika/sara/

DATE: 02/02/2003

FANDOM: Star Trek Enterprise


SUMMARY: Tucker and Reed friendship. When Trip tries to give Malcolm some childhood memories, things go a little wrong!


ARCHIVE: My page on Nautika's site, thanks Nautika <g> the list archive and anywhere else, just remind me where it's going.

SPOILERS: Breaking the Ice, Dead Stop

FEEDBACK: Yes please, it helps feed the bunnies!

AUTHOR'S NOTES: Tucker and Reed friendship. After all the snow we've had lately, this story popped into my mind. I hope you enjoy it.

DISCLAIMER: Unfortunately I don't own Enterprise or her crew, Paramount does (although if they ever get tired of any of the guys, they can stay at my place!)

The snowball slid down his collar and as it melted against his warm skin, cold water ran down his back.

"Bastard!" he snarled and although it was unbecoming of a Starfleet officer, he gathered up a handful of snow and turning, launched it at his assailant. His aim was true and it hit the other man in the face. He smiled triumphantly as Charles Tucker III spluttered and then to his surprise laughed.

"Well at last ya loosening up Malcolm!"

"I wouldn't say that Trip, it was merely a defensive reaction to your unprovoked attack." Malcolm Reed turned back to the job at hand.

They had arrived on this snowy world a few days before and although it was bleak, it was inhabited. The Palandins were a friendly people and had welcomed Captain Archer and his crew. They had a high level of technology and lived in self-contained domes, which enabled them to grow crops and maintain a stable environment. They had invited Archer to their world for a tour and he had accepted taking T'Pol, Malcolm and Trip with him.

Now on their final day Malcolm had asked if he could take some readings of the 'bubble' that encased the city, as a potential defensive forcefield. Permission had been granted by Janik, the City Elder to do so and Trip and Malcolm had put on protective, warm clothing provided by the locals and began their scans.

That had been two hours ago and Trip feeling bored had decided to initiate a snowball fight. "Oh c'mon Malcolm, you tellin' me that since we got here you ain't thought about having snowball fights, making snow angels? I know you made a snowman on that comet."

"I have never made a snow angel in my life and as for the snowman, that was Travis' idea…", he paused, "…although I was responsible for the Vulcan ears."

"Not even as a kid?"

"No." Malcolm suddenly looked away and Trip realised that aspects of Malcolm's childhood were as bleak as this planet.

"What about climbin' trees, skinny dippin', gettin' int' fights, takin' things apart t' see how they worked and then gettin' int' real trouble 'cause ya couldn't put 'em back t'gether again?"

Malcolm looked thoughtful for a minute; "No I can't say I've done any of those things. I was never allowed to climb trees. My mother didn't like the idea that I would get my clothes dirty and my father would say it was unReedlike and as for getting into fights and skinny dipping as you put it," he looked disgusted, "My father would disapprove of such behaviour"

"You've got t' be kiddin' me." Trip shook his head, "When I was a kid, I was always in some sort of trouble or other, nothin' serious but it's all part of growin' up."

"Well maybe for the Tuckers it is but not for the Reeds. My parents preferred that my leisure time was spent doing more worthwhile things like sailing and studying great naval battles."

"Don't know how ya managed to contain yourself while you were doin' such exciting stuff." Trip said sarcastically.

Malcolm ignored him, his attention on the scanner in his hand. Suddenly all thoughts of the information he was recording was forgotten as a handful of snow was rubbed into his face. The scanner fell from his hand as he wiped the slush from his eyes and mouth.

"You bloody idiot, what do you think you're doing?"

"Tryin' t' get ya to lighten up. You take everything so seriously Malcolm." To emphasis his words Trip threw another snowball at him this one hitting his head and realising that unless he did something the bombardment would continue Malcolm grabbed a handful of snow and charged after Trip.

Soon snowballs were being hurled back and forth and anyone observing the scene would think it was two laughing schoolboys playing in the snow, instead of two senior Starfleet bridge officers. Suddenly Malcolm heard something and turned, instinctively throwing the missile in his hand. As soon as the ball of snow left his hand, he saw his career and his life pass before his eyes.

The projectile hit Janik between the eyes and the look of surprise on his face was mirrored on Archer's.

"OhmyGod, Sir I am so sorry…I never…" Malcolm's words trailed off as he walked up to Janik, trying to brush away the remains of the snow.

"LIEUTENANT REED…COMMANDER TUCKER…!" Captain Jonathan Archer was furious. He turned to Janik, "I must apologise for the conduct of my two officers and they will accept any punishment you see fit."

"That's quite alright Captain, it was merely an accident. I don't suppose I was Lieutenant Reed's intended target." He smiled at the still angry Archer, "Now that we've located your crewmen, shall we return to the Council Chambers."

"That's sounds like a good idea although Commander Tucker and Lieutenant Reed will be returning to the ship."

"As you wish Captain but I assure you no harm was done." Janik bowed his head and slowly walked away with T'Pol as Archer spoke to his two officers. "I want you two to take the shuttlepod back to the ship and then send Travis back down here. Then you are to stay in your quarters until I send for you…do I make myself clear?"

"Yessir." Both men muttered.

"Get out of my sight." Archer was disgusted with them and turned his back as they quickly walked back to the city. He could not believe that Trip and Malcolm would do something so stupid and childish. This wasn't the first time they had been caught playing pranks but it was the first time it had interfered with a first contact situation. As he trudged back himself he began to think of a suitable punishment for his wayward officers.

The journey back to the ship was done in complete silence, both Trip and Malcolm contemplating their fate. Once the docking procedures were complete Trip called Travis and told him to return to the planet to pick up the Captain and T'Pol.

"This is all your bloody fault you know." Malcolm finally said as they walked along the hallways to their quarters.

"Me?" Trip stopped walking and looked at the other man.

"If you hadn't started such childish behaviour we wouldn't be in the mess we are now."

"Malcolm it was you who threw the snowball at Janik, not me."

"But you should have been helping me scan for information not starting a stupid snowball fight."

"I didn't twist ya arm t' join in."

"What's the point," Malcolm started to walk away, "At this rate we'll be kicked out of Starfleet anyway."

"Malcolm don't be so stupid, it'll never come t' that."

Trip watched as Malcolm stopped, his shoulders sagging as he sighed heavily. He turned to face the engineer.

Maybe not this time, but to be honest if I was to have a black mark on my record I would prefer it to be for something a little more mature than having a snowball fight."

He turned and walked to his quarters before Trip could say another word and the engineer realised how much importance Malcolm placed on his unblemished record. Coming to a decision and knowing he was risking an insubordination charge he walked back to the shuttle bay.

Jonathan Archer climbed out of the shuttlepod still looking angry. For the entire trip back he had endured T'Pol's comments on the merits of allowing Trip to accompany them on any future landing parties as he was clearly a liability. Archer was annoyed with the Vulcan for her interference as it was down to him, who he included on Away missions and he was also disappointed with Trip for creating the situation in the first place. He knew that it was probably Trip who had initiated the snowball fight and was torn by his friendship for the younger man and his duty as the commanding officer. He knew that he would have to make an example of the two men, but couldn't decide the best way to do it. He allowed a small smile to grace his lips as he thought that Malcolm with his naval background would be expecting to be flogged. His thoughts were suddenly interrupted by a soft Southern accent.

"Cap'n ya got a minute."

"I thought I told you to stay in your quarters until I called you." Archer couldn't believe that Trip had blatantly disregarded his order. He looked angrily at him as T'Pol and Travis tried to discreetly walk past. "Seems to me you can't even follow a simple order Commander."

The use of his rank startled Trip and he realised he was in serious trouble but he knew what he was doing was right, so standing to attention he ploughed on.

"Cap'n. Permission t' speak t' ya privately sir."

Archer considered the request for a moment and then nodding said, "Come with me."

They made their way to Archer's Ready Room and once there, Archer sat down while Trip still stood at attention. During the walk from the shuttle bay a lot of Archer's anger had disappeared and he took a little pity on his friend.

"Relax Trip," he sighed, "let's have it."

"Cap'n, I want ya t' let Malcolm off." "WHAT!" The tone of Archer's voice stunned Trip and he resumed his at attention stance. "Why should I let Malcolm off as you put it. He technically assaulted an alien dignitary while on a first contact mission."

"Well I know when ya say it like that it sounds bad but it was an accident and…" he paused, "…it was my fault."

"Why am I not surprised," Archer rub his hands over his face as Trip relaxed a little.

"So you want me to let you both off?"

"No sir, just Malcolm."


"You can do what ya like t' me, get me t' clean the hull with a toothbrush, confine me t' quarters, make me eat just bread and water…whatever ya want and I'll take the punishment…but let Malcolm off."

"Trip he threw a snowball at a…"

"When you were a kid did ya have snowball fights?"

"Yeah, sometimes depending on whether I was where there was snow"

"What 'bout climbin' trees and stuff?"

"Yeah I did all that stuff," Archer paused, "Trip was has this got to do with what happened on the planet."

"Malcolm never did, all that stuff was considered unReedlike or he'd get dirty, so instead of playin', he studied naval battles and learnt how t' sail. I just wanted t' show him how t' have fun, t' give him the kinda childhood memories we all got but he didn't and I'm sorry things gotta a little outta hand."

"Trip, I can't just let this go, even though Janik feels no punishment is necessary. T'Pol and Malcolm have spoken to me in the past about the lack of discipline and if I ignore this, then they are being proved right." He paused, "Your intentions are admirable Trip and I know you well enough to know that you feel that you should be held responsible for what happened but I can't let Malcolm go unpunished. I'm sorry."

"So what are ya goin' t'do?"

Archer didn't answer he reached for the comm, "Archer to Reed."

"Reed here sir."

"Report to my Ready Room."


Within a few minutes the door chime sounded and Archer admitted a serious looking Malcolm Reed into the room. He glanced at Trip briefly and then stood to attention next to the taller man as Archer glared at them.

"Well gentleman, here we are again." He shook his head, "I thought that after the little adventure on the repair station, you two had learnt your lesson about the appropriate behaviour for senior bridge officers but I was clearly mistaken, you haven't learnt anything." He walked around the two men; "I can't believe that during a first contact situation, you two decide to have a snowball fight."

"I started it, sir." Trip said, but a glare from Archer silenced him.

"And not only that, you assault a City Elder." He looked at Malcolm, who had gone pale, "This whole situation could have caused a rather embarrassing interplanetary incident." He paused, letting the enormity of their plight hit the two men, ". However, Janik feels that it was just an accident and that as far as he is concerned no disciplinary action will be taken by him or his people." Both Trip and Malcolm sighed in relief, "On the other hand, I don't share that view. Have either of you got anything to say?"

"It was entirely my fault and I take full responsibility, sir." Trip said firmly before Malcolm could say a word.

"Do you agree with that assessment Mister Reed?" Archer looked at Malcolm.

"No sir. I was equally responsible for the events that took place and am quite prepared to take any punishment you seem fit."

"Very well. It is unfortunate that I need my Chief Engineer and Armoury Officer, otherwise you'd be spending some time in the brig. So therefore firstly, you will both apologise to Janik for your behaviour and be grateful that he is more forgiving than I am. Then for the next month, as soon as your duty shifts are over you will get your food from the messhall and be confined to quarters until your next shift. You will not be permitted to go to the movie nights nor will I allow you to communicate with any other member of the crew outside your shift, unless an emergency arises. Finally, when the next suitable planet for shoreleave is found, you will both be confined to the ship. Do I make myself clear?"

"Yessir" The two men were stunned by the severity of their punishment.

Archer reached for the comm, "Hoshi, can you get me Janik and put it through to me here."

Soon Janik was put through and while Trip and Malcolm apologised profusely for any hurt or embarrassment caused to the amused Elder, Archer wondered if his punishment was too harsh. He heard Janik, forgive them and offered his own apologies before ending the transmission and turning to his two officers again. His anger had now turned to disappointment and he felt he had to explain himself.

"You both probably think that your punishment is too harsh for such a minor incident, but if this had been another world and the inhabitants had taken offence at what had happened, then you two could be languishing in an alien prison, or worse and there wouldn't be anything I, or Starfleet could do about it. So while you're both confined to quarters think about that. Dismissed." He looked at them as they slowly walked out of the door, hoping that this time he had got through to them but doubting that he had.

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