Title: Wishing

Author: Weebob

E-mail: weebob@fsmail.net


Fandom: Enterprise

Pairing: Reed/Mayweather

Rating: PG

Category: Slash

Feedback: Aids the learning process!

Next story: Loving

Archive: EntSTCommunity, Reed's Armory, BLTS, MEGA, WWOMB, Archer's Enterprise—if you want it—any others, please ask first.

SPOILERS: Vague reference to "The Expanse"—I think that's all.

Summary: Travis takes charge and deals with Malcolm's "hero complex" in the process.

DISCLAIMER: I don't own or have any rights to the Star Trek universe, "Enterprise", or any of its characters—they belong to UPN/Paramount. I am making no money from this story.

I wish he'd known a mother's love—instead of being abandoned while she wrote her theses and was lauded by academia on her worldwide lecture tours.

I wish he'd known a father's protection—instead of being bullied and left at the mercy of bullies; ridiculed for his fear of drowning and condemned as a traitor to the family name.

I wish he'd known a captain's support—instead of having his advice or recommendations ignored, laughed at or thrown back in his face, often in front of other crewmembers.

I wish he'd known a lover's tenderness—instead of falling, in desperation, into the arms of those who didn't care for or understand him: using and being used.

I wish he'd realise that he's worth so much more than he could ever imagine—instead of seeing himself, through his father's eyes, as defective and only deserving of rejection, humiliation and condemnation.

I wish he would understand that there's more than one way to be a hero.

Today, I found him in the corridor, being yelled at by his so-called friend, Commander Tucker, when they returned from seeing the wreckage of the Xindi attack on Florida.

When I heard their raised voices from further down the hallway, I realised how much Malcolm had been opening himself up to try and empathise with the commander's bereavement—but when all Trip's anger and grief was turned on him, he was left completely defenceless and wide open to the attack.

He was standing there, dazed, as the commander stormed off in a rage, so I led him back to my quarters and sat him down on my bunk with a nice, hot cup of tea. Apart from thanking me, he didn't say a word (I've never understood that: he never whinges or complains about things that REALLY matter, just the trivialities of life!) I sat beside him and told him how brave and kind he'd been to let himself be so vulnerable for the commander. I told him that, for someone like Malcolm, who's about as open as the average clam, it was a positively heroic thing to do.

Blinking those big, anxious grey eyes at me, he shook his head. "Oh, I'm not a hero, Travis. I never will be. I'm just not cut out for it."

There was nothing I could do then but tell him the truth. "You're MY hero, Malcolm. You always have been. You befriended me even before I got aboard Enterprise and you've encouraged and mentored me ever since. Its not all bloodshed and phase pistols at dawn, you know. You perform heroics every day when you crack open that shell of yours and risk letting us see the REAL Malcolm Reed—not the Starfleet lieutenant!

"Believe me, us boomers know how to read people—jeez, when you're stuck in a confined space with them on a cargo ship, you HAVE to learn how to do that—and you, Lieutenant Reed, are my favourite book!"

I took a deep breath and crossed my fingers behind my back: "I'm falling in love you, Malcolm."

He got all dithery and flustered then, so I took advantage of his confusion and kissed him! When I pulled back, he just sat there with his eyes closed and his face tilted up to me, lips a little apart, looking like he was going to faint or something! So I kissed him again—and, this time, he kissed me back.

By the time we came up for air, he was looking pretty worried: "Travis, please tell me I'm not dreaming this? I've always cared deeply about you but I never dared hope that you'd care about me too. Please don't be doing this because you pity me: I couldn't bear that."

Kneeling in front of him, so that I was looking up into his face, I took his hands in mine. "You're not dreaming, Malcolm. I've wanted to 'fess up to you more times than I can remember—but the time never seemed to be right, until today. Seeing you so hurt made me realise how much your happiness matters to me. How much YOU matter to me. Give me a chance to make you happy, Malcolm."

Still looking a little uncertain, he studied my face—probably waiting for me to burst out laughing and tell him I'd been kidding—then, slowly, he smiled and nodded. I'll never forget it: there was such gratitude in his eyes that I thought my heart was going to break. NOBODY should be so surprised that someone loves him.

I pulled him close then, and just held him and petted him until he started to relax—and now he's asleep in my arms and around two thirds of my body's gone numb! We're pretty squashed together on my bunk but he's exhausted and I'm not going to wake him: its too damn wonderful, holding him and seeing him so peaceful all because of me!

I don't know where we'll go from here, but I know what I'm wishing for and, going by that cute little smile he's wearing in his sleep, I think he's wishing it too!

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