Title: Love Me

Author: Bronte

E-mail: bronte62fan@yahoo.com

Website: http://www.geocities.com/bronte62fan/index.html

Date: 07/08/03

Fandom: Star Trek: Enterprise

Type: Slash, male/male

Pairing: Tucker/Reed

Rating: R

Archive: OK to where posted, especially WWOMB, EntSTSlash, ShortSweetSlash & Tim Ruben's archive. Others? please ask first.

Disclaimer: The boys belong to Paramount. No $$ is made, so no $$ owed. 'Nuff said.

Summary: Trip wants Malcolm to love him.

Notes: This story is the result of a first line challenge by peja.

Warning: None

Beta: Noelle. Though all mistakes are mine and mine alone.

"Come hell or high water, I'm gonna make you love me," Trip Tucker muttered as he watched Malcolm Reed disappear down the corridor. "If only he would turn to look back, acknowledge an interest, somethin'…please," Trip prayed silently, but the armory officer appeared resolute in his decision.

"No. Absolutely not," Malcolm had answered with no hesitation in his voice. Reed spoke no other words after their short exchange, but actions spoke louder than words. He had turned and walked briskly down the corridor toward his quarters, never looking back, never acknowledging Trip's longing.

"Shot down again," Trip murmured dejectedly. He had tried many tactics to get the armory officer to go out on a date with him. First, he bought him an antique backgammon set. He had it delivered to Malcolm's office in the armory, wrapped in all the trimmings with a note declaring 'Malcolm, be mine.' Malcolm promptly returned it, unopened. Then, he spent hours writing love letters that Malcolm was supposed to find in different places throughout the ship. He opened the first one on the bridge, then politely answered it with a 'thanks, but no thanks' and he didn't even hunt for the others. After the first two rejections, Trip became desperate. He even had Travis and Hoshi gang up on Malcolm at movie night to convince him of Trip's sincerity, which Malcolm deftly deflected. Malcolm then moved to the back row to be by himself.

Tonight, Trip asked Malcolm for a date while they were eating dinner in the messhall. Malcolm calmly stood up, dumped his tray in the recycler, and walked out of the room without a word. All eyes were upon Trip, as everyone within 20 feet witnessed the rejection. Trip rushed out of the messhall to follow Malcolm, catching up with him in the corridor.

"Malcolm," Trip pleaded. "Don't you wanna go out with me?"

The answer was always the same. "No. Absolutely not."


Trip would not admit defeat. He knew Malcolm was interested. He knew Malcolm was gay. Why does he keep saying no?

"I need a plan," Trip decided while walking to his quarters. He considered his options. He could throw Malcolm a surprise birthday party—no, he would probably would turn around and walk out, again. He could have Jon send them on an away mission together—no, it would probably be all work, no play. Maybe Jon could order him to go out on a date with me? Nah, that's even too ridiculous to think about.

"Fuck it," Trip cursed as he entered his quarters and quickly undressed, heading for the shower. His mind raced, trying to figure out what to do to get Malcolm to love him. He stepped into the shower, shivering as he adjusted the cool water to his preferred temperature. As he relaxed under the spray, he began gently stroking himself, wishing that it was Malcolm's hand instead of his own causing him pleasure.

"Malcolm," he moaned. "Why won't you go out with me?"

Trip's hand increased speed and pressure, as he leaned forward, burying his head in the spray from the showerhead. "Oh, Malcolm," Trip cried as he envisioned the other man's mouth slowly engulfing his cock. Trip imagined Malcolm's tongue making circular motions around the tip, then plunging, taking his swollen member whole.

Whether it was loneliness, frustration or just plain horniness, Trip didn't last long. He screamed out his release, grabbing the sides of the shower stall for support.

"This is pathetic," Trip admitted to himself as he stepped out of the shower and dried himself off. "I'm going to find out once and for all why Malcolm won't go out with me."

Trip dressed quickly and headed down the corridor to Malcolm's quarters. He pressed the door chime and requested admittance.

"Come in," Malcolm answered.

Trip entered his friend's quarters and briefly took in the surroundings. "You know," Trip acknowledged, "I don't think I've ever been to your quarters before."

"No, I don't think you have."

"That's a pity." Trip paused, wondering why he'd never bothered to visit Malcolm in the two years they've known each other.

"Trip," Malcolm prodded. "Why did you come here? I thought I made myself perfectly clear."

"You did," Trip conceded, "but I wanted to ask you why you don't wanna go out with me."

"Why do you think?"

"I don't know," Trip exclaimed in frustration. "I've been wracking my brain tryin' to figure it out, tryin' to find ways that'll make you wanna go out with me."

"Then you don't know me very well," Malcolm replied.

"What do you mean? I've been tryin' all sorts of things to make you feel special. Nothin's working."

"That's because it's what you'd like, not what I'd like," Malcolm responded forcefully. "Think about it. What am I like? What do I like to do?"

"Well," Trip began, "you like to read. You always have your head buried in a data pad or book."

"Yes, go on."

"You love your job, especially blowing up things. You would work 24 hours a day if you could."

"You're right about that," Malcolm admitted, with a slight nod of his head. "What else?"

"You like sparring and working out." "Uh huh. Anything else?"

"You seem to enjoy movie nights, once I drag you there."

"I suppose you're right, in spite of myself," Malcolm grimaced after remembering the last movie night with Hoshi and Travis. "But, can you think of anything else?"

Trip paused, trying desperately to think of other things he's seen the armory officer enjoy. "I don't know of anything else," Trip replied honestly. "The only other thing I can think of is that you like to hang out in your quarters by yourself. You really do keep to yourself, don't you."


Trip paused a minute, trying to understand what Malcolm was telling him with very few words. Finally, Trip saw the light. "Oh my god, Malcolm. All those times, everythin' I did…it was all so public," Trip said apologetically. "I can't believe what I've been doing! I know you're a private person. I know it! I just didn't think about what you'd want, what you'd like, or even how you'd react. No wondered you rejected my advances. I'm so sorry, Malcolm."

"Trip, I knew you meant well, but everything you did—that's just not me and I'd hoped you would have understood that."

"I'm so selfish," Trip murmured, berating himself for being insensitive. "I never once thought about what you were feelin' or what I was puttin' you through."

"My feelings were trampled a bit," Malcolm admitted, "but deep down I know you didn't intend it to happen."

"That's no excuse."

"No, but I didn't exactly tell you what was bothering me either. I could have handled it differently myself. I should've told you why I was upset, instead of stomping off like a child. In case you haven't figured it out, I'm not the greatest communicator," Malcolm smirked.

"Yeah, I noticed," Trip grinned. "But seriously, I am really sorry that I made you feel uncomfortable. Please tell me that we can still be friends."

"Yes. Absolutely."

"That's great to hear," Trip sighed with relief. "I don't know what I would've done if you stopped bein' my friend."

"I'll never stop being your friend, Trip," Malcolm stated sincerely.

"Thanks," Trip replied, blushing slightly. An awkward silence filled the room. Not knowing what to say next, Trip said, "I guess I'd better leave."

"You don't have to leave just yet," Malcolm suggested, hoping his friend would stay to talk.

"I think I've worn out my welcome," Trip responded tentatively.

"You'll never wear out your welcome here, Trip."



"That's nice to hear," Trip admitted. "I wouldn't mind stayin' a bit, if that's okay."

"Come. Have a seat."


The two men talked into the late evening hours. Trip tried to stifle a yawn, but was unsuccessful.

"Tired?" Malcolm asked.

"Yeah, I guess I am," Trip replied reluctantly. "I'd better get going. We both have early shifts."

"That's probably for the best," Malcolm allowed.

Trip began walking toward the door. "I had a great time, Malcolm."

"So did I, Trip."

"Well, I'll see you around," Trip said as he reached the door.

"Wait, Trip. Don't you have something to ask me?" Malcolm asked suggestively.


"Ask me? As in, ask me out?"

"Malcolm," Trip asked excitedly, "do you wanna go out with me?"

"Yes. Absolutely."

"I can't believe it," Trip gasped, as he quickly closed the gap between the two men. He placed his hands on Malcolm's biceps and drew him into a gentle kiss.

Malcolm smiled.

"What changed your mind?" Trip questioned.

"I never changed my mind about you, Trip."

"Whaddya mean?"

"I've always wanted to be with you, but I first needed you to see who I am and consider my feelings. I can't fit into your mold. I'm a very private person. I think you know that now."

"I do, but I've never been one to keep my life hidden away."

"And I don't want that, Trip!" Malcolm said hurriedly. "I just want you to respect my feelings when it comes to doing things for me. I'll throw you the biggest birthday bash in this century, if it'll make you happy. I just want you to understand that I don't want that for myself."

"I think I understand, finally," Trip replied, "but I can't promise that I won't mess up once in a while."

"That's all right. I'm sure I'll do the same, but we'll blunder our way through this together," Malcolm said happily. "Why don't you come over to my place tomorrow at 1900 hours. I'll have dinner ready for us."

"It's a date," Trip smiled. "I'll bring the wine."

"Sounds great."

"Now, it's really time for me to go," Trip said, leaning in for another kiss. "I need my beauty sleep if I'm going to look my best for our date!"

Malcolm laughed and gave the other man a swat on his backside. "Good-bye, Trip. Sweet dreams."

"Bye, Malcolm. See you tomorrow."

Trip found himself standing in the corridor, stunned at the turn of events. He has a date with Malcolm. A date. Holy shit!

It seems he didn't have to make Malcolm love him. Malcolm already does. Well, it may not be love, but it's a start.

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