Title: Pippen Hill

Author: MJ

Author's email: mjr91@aol.com

Author's URL: http://www.geocities.com/coffeeslash/mj/


Archer's Enterprise

Pairing: Archer/Reed

Rating: call it PG

Archive: Where posted.

Summary: Post-series; Malcolm makes some decisions about his future. Nearly mindless post-Xindi, post-Romulan fluff.

Spoilers: Nothing much of any

Beta thanks: Kyrdwyn, Helyn, Kalita, Red.

Author's note: The incredibly irrelevant title is based on the nursery rhyme (one of the alleged sources of The Grateful Dead's "Scarlet Begonias" btw, too). Meet Malcolm Reed, hopelessly wrapped around the little fingers of small girls, and don't tell me you don't believe it.

"Jupiter Station to Xerxes." The dispatcher's voice cracked over the communications relay. "The Ambassador is ready to depart."

"Xerxes to Jupiter Station—acknowledged." The captain cleared his throat quickly. "We'll be ready to transport him up within ten minutes."

"Understood." The relay silenced. Transporter technology had improved dramatically over the past ten years; where once, the first crew of Enterprise, a now-famous ship, had refused to use the transporter, even in emergencies, starship crews such as those on Xerxes used it regularly. The captain, however, an old Starfleet hand, was still suspicious of the equipment. He turned towards the seated back of his helmsman and first officer. "Mr. Mayweather, let's get down to the transporter room and greet the Ambassador."

Mayweather turned towards him, smiling. "About time, sir."

"You may be First Officer, Mr. Mayweather, but insolence will get you nowhere." Malcolm Reed, commander of Xerxes, grinned back at his partner in crime before heading from the bridge to the turbolift. His walk didn't show the evidence of his injuries during the Romulan War; though he could still feel intermittent pain in his leg when he was fatigued, he managed never to show physical signs of either his leg wound or any of several other injuries he'd suffered during the conflict. An ensign stood by the transporter controls, his superior officer, Commander Laura Hess, chief engineer, hovering over him. "We're ready to go," Hess reported.

Reed nodded an acknowledgement. "Signal Jupiter Station and prepare to transport."

The lights in the transporter room flickered for a fraction of a second as the ensign began operating the controls. The lighting corrected itself as shapes dimly began forming at the transporter pad. To one side were the rapidly-filling impressions of two civilian suitcases; in the center, the figure of a tall man in a dark suit began taking solid form. Within a moment, the luggage and their owner were fully present in the room, completely intact. The Ambassador looked around cheerfully as another ensign who had stood unobtrusively in a corner stepped forward to take his luggage. "Captain Reed, Commander Mayweather," he nodded as the ensign departed with the bags.

Reed and Mayweather came closer as the Ambassador climbed down from the pad. "Mr. Ambassador," Reed greeted formally, then leaning forward to press a quick kiss on his guest's cheek.

"I should have known," Ambassador Jonathan Archer grumbled cheerfully as he shook hands with Mayweather. "All those years of complaining about *my* lack of protocol, and what happens when you get your own battle cruiser?"

Reed shrugged. "The last I checked, there were no regulations prohibiting a ship's captain from kissing his own spouse. Even if his spouse *is* a Federation diplomat." He smiled at Archer. "Where's Marianne? I thought you'd

bring her on board for a bit." His expression suggested that Marianne's presence was not an option.

"Marianne will be up in a few minutes. The last I saw of her, Madeleine was still fussing with her hair."

A grin. "That's my sister. Aunt of the year."

"Of the century," Archer corrected. "Who else would agree to be nanny for her niece for the better part of six years while her parents go tooling off around the galaxy?"

"Good point." Reed paused, drawing in a deep breath. "My God, I can't believe she's ready to start school."

"Time flies when you're fighting a war."

There was a moment of silence as all three men thought of the Romulan situation that had surrounded them and their friends for far too long. "I'll be

heading back to the bridge," Mayweather told the others. "Someone's gotta be in

charge around here. You two may as well play family reunion; I'll keep an eye on things."

"Thanks, Travis." Reed nodded to his First Officer as the younger man left "See you at dinner."


The ensign at the transporter controls began working again at a signal from the dispatcher. "Three to transport," he announced as he began navigating the control panel. His work resulted in the sudden development of three female figures, one small one and two larger, taller ones.

The smallest of the three broke loose from the control of one of the larger women. "Daddy!" Brown hair streamed behind her as she took a flying leap at Reed, who caught her at the waist and hoisted her up to eye level.

"Marianne Archer-Reed, is that any way to behave on a ship?" The transporter ensign and Comander Hess tried not to laugh as their commanding officer changed over from officer to aggrieved father. "Your aunt certainly teaches you

better manners than that." Reed looked over at his sister. "I hope."

"She hardly ever sees you," Madeleine Reed scolded at her brother, coming over to kiss him. "Normally, she's *perfectly* behaved." A slender hand calmed the little girl who was now at Madeleine's level in her father's arms. "Aren't you, sweetie?"

"I *am*," Marianne announced proudly. "Aunt Maddie tells me so!"

"That's *very* good," Reed replied, kissing his daughter firmly. "Now, is it time for ice cream in the mess hall?"

"Not quite yet," Archer cut in. "We have someone else you need to meet." The other woman, very slim, with black hair in two braids, stepped forward shyly. "Malcolm, this is Juliette Malreaux. Madeleine met her in Zaire last summer."

Madeleine smiled nearly as shyly as Juliette. "Juliette was part of the French delegation to the volunteer children's medical project. Remember, I took

Marianne to Zaire with me?"

"Right," Reed replied, "and you sent me those pictures of her playing with the children who were being vaccinated in that village."

"Exactly." Madeleine took Juliette's hand. "Say hello, sweetie. He may be my brother, but he doesn't bite."

"He has never met *me* before!" Juliette laughed, extending her hand to Reed. "He may decide it is time to begin!"

Reed put Marianne down and took Juliette's hand. "If you've survived Jon's examination, I'm sure you may even pass mine." He leaned in and kissed her cheek. "Welcome on board. And…welcome to the Reed clan."

"Merci." She let go of Reed's hand gently. "Madeleine speaks of you so much. I am very pleased to meet you finally."

"It's an even greater pleasure to meet *you.* I don't know if she's told you, but you're the first one she's brought me for inspection."

"I finally decided to take a page from your book and get serious," Madeleine replied. "Besides, with Marianne old enough for school, I think it's time for me to start having a life." She grinned at her brother. "And don't even try feeling guilty, I haven't spent six years of my life being utterly deprived while you've been gallivanting, either."

Reed looked around at the women surrounding him, and at his husband. "Now, as I was saying, the galley crew insists upon our presence in the mess hall immediately. Our cooks' ice cream waits for no one. Nor does their chocolate cake, Miss Marianne."

"You're going to spoil her," Madeleine warned her brother.

"As infrequently as I manage to see my own child," he retorted, seizing his daughter's hand, "I think she's perfectly entitled. As am I."

"Tell that to *our* father."

"I refuse to resemble our father in the slightest, if I can help it. Any time I get to see my daughter, I insist it's Christmas. Come on, Marianne, mustn't keep the cooks waiting."


Marianne was full of ice cream and cake, and looked decidedly sleepy. Little girls didn't need to sleep in the mess hall, and Madeleine had hinted gently during the snack that the adults needed to talk about something important. Reed was fairly sure he knew what the request would be and was more than happy to comply if asked. A ship's captain didn't get to do weddings every day; if his sister wanted him to arrange it for her for some months down the road, it would be a pleasure. Juliette seemed more than suitable, Archer had met her and clearly approved, and Madeleine plainly adored her. That his daughter was taken with the French nurse was perhaps the most impressive credential, however. The cooks would enjoy the chance of showing off their talents at the reception, and he'd write the kind of ceremony that would actually get even with his husband for what he'd done for theirs. As for this moment, however, he had to deal with the pressing question of naptime.

He rose and hit the comm panel. "Commander Hess?"

"Hess here."

"Could you come to the Captain's Mess for a moment? There's a visitor here who needs to be escorted to my cabin for a nap with Tigger, if you don't mind."

"Of course." The laugh in Hess's voce was evident. Marianne's visits were infrequent but popular. "I'll be there in a minute. And I'm sure Tigger will be thrilled."

"Tigger" was, allegedly, the ship's cat. That was, "Tigger" was the official ship's mascot, and unofficially Reed's pet, who lived in Reed's cabin. Another cat, who lived in the galley against all regulations but with a surprisingly blind eye from the captain—even Archer didn't know that Reed was fully aware of the galley cat on his ship—was the unofficial mascot and allegedly was owned by the second cook. The galley cat's being loose in the galley was ignored by Reed on the unwritten condition to the second cook that any other cat

on the ship had to be fed the same food the galley cat got. Tigger was delivered astounding quantities of minced salmon, which suggested that the other cat was living in luxury under the pots and pans.

"Can I play with Tigger?" Marianne yawned.

"Tigger would love it," Reed assured her. "He hasn't had a nice nap with you in months." The door chimed Hess's arrival; Reed kissed his daughter and packed her off with the commander for time on daddy's bed with the kitty. As the door slid shut behind them, leaving only the two couples in the room, he turned back to the other adults. "I think there was something you wanted to discuss?"

"Malcolm," Madeleine sighed. "Remember when you and Jon wanted to have Marianne?"

It wasn't what he'd anticipated being asked, but yes, he did remember. Not as vividly as Archer might, but he did. "Of course."

"When you and Jon asked me if I'd donate an egg and carry her, if Jon was the father, you know I didn't think twice about it."

"I know." He slid back in his seat and folded his hands. There was obviously a point coming here, somewhere. "And we've been extraordinarily grateful. It's not everyone who'd not only raise her niece, but…"

"It was nothing, Malcolm. Well, it was a lot, really, but it was the least I could do for the two of you."

"It *was* a great deal, Maddie, and you know it."

"If you insist." Madeleine leaned over and patted her brother's folded hands. "Juliette and I need something ourselves, though."

"Of course," he assured her.

"We'd like to have one of our own—all right, I know we're jumping the gun here, but I wanted to ask you in person. Juliette wants to do it." Reed looked; the Frenchwoman was nodding in agreement. "But we'd like the baby to be *ours.*" Madeleine stressed the word considerably. "Malcolm, I know this isn't the kind of thing one usually asks one's brother…"

"But one doesn't usually have one's sister carrying their child for them, either," Reed finished. He looked over at Archer. "Jon, did they by any chance run this past you first?"

Archer nodded sheepishly. "They did. I said I thought you'd…be amenable, at least to listening to it."

"Of course." Reed looked back at his husband placidly. "It's a much better idea than trying to clone. You really lose the donor egg identity when you do that, and if you," he said looking back at his sister and her fiancEe, "really want the baby to be both of yours, you really *do* need a related donor. I know I'm the only candidate, but I'd be happy to do it. Actually, I'd be thrilled."

"Now you see why I was so happy about that nine annoying months," his sister retorted. "It felt astonishing just to be asked. Actually being able to help…it was incredible, Malcolm. It's the best thing I've ever done for anyone, relative or not."

"You're asking me for considerably less than *that*," Reed told her.

"But it means just as much to *us*," Juliette replied quietly. "Mer—er, thank you. Thank you so very much, Captain Reed."

"If you're planning to have my nephew—niece—whichever, Juliette, you'd better start calling me 'Malcolm'. Which reminds me, Maddie—you haven't addressed making an honest woman of her first. Do I actually have to ask a Reed

about what her intentions are regarding something like this?" He smiled at her, knowing she would realize that he was being anything but threatening, and hoping that her fiancEe would realize the same thing.

"Oh, I knew you'd be all right with that, silly old thing. It was the other I wasn't totally sure about. And since you'd have to get the, er, materials to Earth and all that for us, you know, I figured you'd want lots of time to get it arranged."

"As if planning my sister's wedding *won't* take up all of my free time? And my galley crew's?" He looked at the women, then at Archer. "Jon, do you *realize* the size of this guest list? And how many bloody Vulcans and Andorians we'll have to have attending without having a fight on our hands?"

Archer shuddered, recalling the diplomatic incident that had occurred at their own wedding. Shran and his guest had been somewhat misunderstood by a new

Vulcan diplomat whose presence had been mandatory in order to avoid aggrieving the Vulcan diplomatic community on Earth. Frankly, both Archer and Reed had thought Shran had been right, but it didn't really do to tell Vulcans exactly what you thought of them.

"Do we *have* to have Vulcans?" Juliette asked Madeleine.

"I'm afraid so," Reed's sister told her. "Malcolm and Jon are a little too important to escape some obligatory invitations we won't enjoy very much. Just please disarm the Tellarites first if we have to have any."

"Bad enough disarming Ambassador Shran," Archer recalled. "Although I think Malcolm would have enjoyed the reception more if we *had* gotten to have a shootout as part of the entertainment."

"What?" Reed laughed. "And wreck protocol?"

The comm panel sounded. "Captain?"

"Mr. Mayweather? Go ahead."

"We'll be leaving in an hour and a half, sir. Any guests who aren't staying with us will need to depart within the hour."

"Thank you, Mr. Mayweather. We'll have them ready to be transported down within the hour. Reed out." He turned back to the group at the table. "Which means I shortly have to decide whether to remain with the adults or watch Marianne taking a nap." He turned to Madeleine. "I don't suppose our father ever had to make that decision."

"No; he always stayed with the adults."

Reed nodded. "Then you'll all excuse me; I have a daughter and a cat to go visit before I have to send her off with you, Maddie."


Reed let himself into his cabin, glancing around with a sigh. The cabin was larger than Archer's had been on Enterprise, which had been a sardine can compared to the new generation battle cruisers. It had its own small dining area and living room, as well as a small office space in it. And unlike his original berth on Enterprise, it actually possessed visible personal amenities and some reminders of home—a framed picture of himself and Archer from the wedding; a picture of them with Madeleine and Marianne at the beach with Trip Tucker—he and Archer had once thought that Madeleine and Trip would prove to be an item, which couldn't have been more wrong; pictures of himself with Archer and Tucker from a few vacations before Marianne had been born.

There were several items friends from Enterprise, including the pictures from Trip's wedding. A lacquered Japanese box Hoshi Sato and her husband, Michael Rostov, had given him, a rainbow-colored rock that Travis Mayweather had found on a climbing expedition one shore leave, a gilt-bound book of Vulcan poetry from now-Ambassador T'Pol. A—well, it was a *thing* of some sort, and at least it appeared to be inanimate—Phlox had given him as a wedding present, with discreet hints of something to do with Denobulan beliefs regarding virility. With only one spouse, he supposed, the—er, thing—probably didn't get the same kind of testing it got from a Denobulan, although one Jonathan Archer was quite enough spouse for him; two more would have been much more than he wanted or needed, he was sure.

The most personal decorations in the room were currently on his bed. On top of the bedspread, a gift from Shran of all people, the year before, were one Marianne Archer-Reed and a Tigger, curled together like so much fluff. He wasn't altogether sure which one was making the ridiculously contented purring noises, but neither would have surprised him.

He eased himself onto the bed. "Time to wake up, princess." A hand on her hair, sliding down to her shoulder to rouse her. "You and Tigger have to get up."

Sleepy eyes peered up at him through curly lashes. "Do I have to go now?"

"I'm afraid so. You have to stay on Earth so you can go to school. And I have to get your father to his post."

"I don't wanna." She stretched, even as the complaint tugged at Reed. But there was no way to accommodate a child on a starship; even if the ship were equipped for it, the dangers Reed had encountered were nothing he wanted his daughter to see, at least not yet. If she wanted to join Starfleet in fifteen years, that would be one thing, but a child her age had no business being dragged through the possibilities of armed conflict he had encountered in his career. Every mission wasn't a milk run like this one was, and every mision didn't include his husband's presence any more, hadn't since Archer had made admiral, and Reed had been tapped for command.

"I know, love." He pressed a kiss into her hair. "I don't want you to go, either. But you *have* to go to school. And you have to help your Aunt Maddie and Juliette. Besides," he volunteered, "I'll be home for Christmas."

Marianne perked up. "You *and* daddy?"

"*And* daddy. Both of us. Can you help Aunt Maddie until we're back?"

She nodded, her hair bouncing with her. The cat stirred, changed position, and settled back in as she slowed down. "Okay."

"Good, because they're going to need you." Reed propped her on his lap. "Do you know why?"

Wide eyes peered up at him. "Cause they're gonna get married?"

"Right, and they'll need you to help." He grinned. "And they want to have their own baby. Who's going to help them with that?"


Reed was thankful that his reflexes were still good. Otherwise the enthusiasm might have caused serious damage. He wasn't sure most of the time whether Marianne took more after himself or Archer , but her ability to fling herself about bodily might well have been inherited from Porthos, who had retired to live out his elderly canine years with Madeleine and Marianne once his owner had been forced back into space. "Calm down, sweetie. It's going to be a little while. Okay? So just behave and be good until they do. Or else you might scare them out of wanting a baby of their own. You don't want to do that, do you?"

"No." She looked up at her father abjectly. For a moment, his position on children on starships flew out the window. Then common sense took back over. His own father had sent him away to school with reason; he and Archer were only lucky that Madeleine's cooperation had made it possible for them not only to have their daughter but to raise her during the war and its aftermath.

Maybe Trip Tucker was right. When Tucker had finally married, he and his wife had both applied for Earthside positions so that they could start a family.

She was back on a starship now, and Reed was grateful for that—Hess was as good an engineer as her husband, every bit of it—but Tucker had stayed Earthside in research and development so he could stay with the twins.

If Archer couldn't be persuaded to take an Earthside position with the new Federation, then he was going to submit his own request for promotion within the

next eighteen months. Reed knew he was fast-tracked for an admiral's slot, and that meant the possibility of captaining his own desk at Starfleet Headquarters or at Jupiter Station. His father might have missed his children's

growing up; Reed didn't want to miss any more of Marianne's.

Besides, if she wound up looking anything like Archer, she was going to need Reed to fight off those unsuitable potential suitors who might want to date her sometime before she was old enough.

Ninety-seven—that was old enough. Maybe. Until then, there were boys—maybe a few girls, who knew—who were going to have to be kept away from her. His responsibility was clear. As a weapons specialist, no one was better equipped than he to keep those horny teenagers away from her for a few decades.

A nice, cozy job directing weapons development it was, then. Two and a half years at the outside, and no more of having to pack his daughter off after napping with Tigger.

"Up with you, young lady. Time to say bye to Commander Mayweather and Commander Hess. And then you can say bye to me and to daddy." He hugged her, then reached over to stroke a still-napping Tigger.


Reed roused from his sleep, disturbed slightly by Archer's rolling over in his sleep. Once they had shared a bed regularly enough to ignore each other's movement; now Reed was more accustomed than not to sleeping alone again.

He was grateful that Laura Hess had decided to go back into space after leaving ships' engineering for a research position. How she'd done it with a husband and children in San Francisco now was beyond him; how his own father had

managed for years to pack up and go off for over a year at a time on assignment,

leaving his mother alone, and himself and his sister in school, he wasn't sure. He and Madeleine had spent their holidays with Mary Reed, seeing Stuart only if his father had obtained a pass and if transport was convenient, and then

only for a few days at a time. It was no wonder that he'd never become close to his father; for years he'd seen the man for fewer than ten days a year. Hess was obviously cut of the same stuff as his father; he wasn't.

His own movement woke Archer slightly. "You all right?" was murmured sleepily from the pillow beside him.

"Fine, love." Reed burrowed back in against his husband. "Just thinking."

"Oh?" Archer adjusted his own position, throwing an arm possessively around Reed's chest. What about?"

"The joys of paper pushing." A warm weight on top of the sheets was undoubtedly Tigger curling up with his people.

"Second thoughts about the Admiralty?"

"On the contrary. I'm thinking about putting in for that first star early. That desk job in weapons R and D is looking better all the time."

"Tired of fighting Romulans? Or tired of getting moved to ambassadorial milk runs?" Archer murmured sleepily. "No, tired of not seeing my husband or my daughter. *Or* Porthos. It's getting to be time that someone who hasn't beaten off Klingon, Suliban, Xindi, and Romulans got a chance at running a ship. And it might be nice to actually see my own child more than a few weeks a year." Reed pulled the bedcovers up to his chin, sliding Tigger along in the process. "I didn't have a father when I was growing up. Between the two of us, Marianne hasn't had one either. You've been pretty well forced into a few more years of travel bytaking the Federation position. I have more options."

Archer hugged Reed. "Wherever you learned it, you're a great father. I'll miss sleeping with the chauffeur, though, you know…"

"Hmm, wonder if they'll let me borrow a ship occasionally so I can pick you up." Reed absently stroked Tigger, who was now curling up against his shoulder and pawing at the sheets hoping to worm under them.

"When you're an admiral, it's called 'commandeering'," Archer supplied helpfully. "I might enjoy that."

"I wonder if Tigger will like Earth," Reed mused.

"He'll have you and Marianne," Archer reminded him. "Wherever he is, that'll be more than enough." Archer settled back to sleep, Reed along with him, neither one clear as to whether Archer had really meant to describe the cat, and neither one concerned.

As I was going up Pippen Hill
Pippen Hill was dirty;
There I met a pretty Miss,
And she dropped me a curtsy.

Little Miss, pretty Miss,
Blessings light upon you;
If I had half-a-crown a day,
I'd spend it all upon you.

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