see the sun

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Title: see the sun
Pairing: Reed/Sato
Category: Songfic/Angst
Rating: PG
Sequel to: In This Life
Summary: "And you probably don't want to hear tomorrow's another day, but I promise you you'll see the sun again."
Author's Note: Listened to the song through, couldn't resist.

o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o


Never before had the empty armoury seemed so welcoming or inviting. In here he could shoo out the crew on shift and give them an early morning reprieve. In here it was just him, some computers and some very destructive weapons. His weapons. His department. In here he was in control, or could at least claim to be. From this room destinies were formed, lives ended or spared at the touch of a button.

This was his world. This was his domain... and this was all he had left to truly call his own now.

The hissing of the armoury door cut through the melancholy silence, and he turned around, silently challenging any intruder that dared interrupt him now.

"Malcolm," Trip's voice was low, and he sounded worried, "thought I'd find you in here."

I'm coming round to open the blinds
you can't hide here any longer

Malcolm spread his hands out and attempted a wry grin. "Just try dragging me away from the place," he replied. He sighed and looked around. "It's fast becoming my last refuge."

"Yeah." Trip took a step closer. "That's what's worryin' me. I saw Phil and Lennie comin' outta here on my way up. You sent them packin' again?"

Malcolm shrugged. "It's quieter that way, and Philip was covering for someone else anyway; he's got to be up early anyway. It made sense for him to get some sleep now rather than later on."

Trip was unfazed. "Uh-huh. An' it also makes sense for ya to be bustin' a gut doin' work that ya can easily give ta someone else, does it? You're workin' yourself down to nothin', Mal. S'not healthy."

my god you need to rinse those puffy eyes
you can't lie still any longer

"It's healthy for me," Malcolm challenged, taking a step away. "I'm used to doing a lot, Trip. That's how I operate."

"An' sooner or later you're goin' get ill from overworkin'," Trip retorted. "At least come get somethin' to eat now. S'far as I'm aware, you haven't been in the mess at all today. You gotta get somethin' inside you."

"I can't leave the armoury unattended!"

Trip considered this undeniable truth. "Okay, then. I'll go get ya somethin. Anythin' in particular you want?"

Malcolm shook his head.

"I'll be two minutes," Trip said, turning back towards the door. "Maybe three."


Once again he was alone, surrounded by empty spaces and the noise of silence. Malcolm turned to one of the computer displays, and called up some information, but was unable to concentrate on the small words for more than a few seconds before he turned away, disgusted with himself.

and yes they'll ask you where you've been
and you'll have to tell them, again and again

Eventually Trip returned, a tray balanced precariously in one hand, the other holding something small and unidentifiable from this distance. As he got closer, Malcolm could see that it was an old-fashioned paperbound book, although he couldn't read the title.

"Made a quick stop," Trip said, seeing where the other man's gaze was directed. "C'mon, sit down."

"On the floor?"

"Where else?"

Malcolm couldn't argue with the logic of that; he gingerly sat down, crossing his legs, watching the tray as it was set down a little off to the side; on it he could see two plates, each bearing a thick sandwich, and two steaming mugs of drink.

"Tea's for you," Trip said, handing him the mug of paler liquid. "Coffee's mine."

Malcolm took a cautious sip, and then some more; it wasn't that bad, really. A little bit sweet for his liking. Hoshi had always know how much sugar he liked, and -

He stopped the train of thought and abruptly put the tea down in front of him. He wasn't that thirsty now.

The look on his face clearly hadn't been missed by Trip; he cocked his head to one side. "Y'okay?"

and you probably don't want to hear tomorrow's another day
but I promise you you'll see the sun again

Slowly, Malcolm shook his head. "Just thinking," he said softly.

"About what?"

He met Trip's eyes. There was nothing underhand about the question; it was just a simple, straightforward enquiry... no harm in answering it, he supposed.

"The tea," he said. "You've put too much sugar in it." Trip looked sceptical. "She knew exactly how much I liked in it," he said finally, in one big rush of breath, looking away again.

Instead of being repulsed or scandalised, as Malcolm had secretly suspected, his friend simply nodded. "So how much do you like in there?" he asked, indicating the drink.

Malcolm picked it back up and took another sip. "Not as much as this," he answered. "Any sweeter and I think my teeth could drop out."

Trip smiled at the weak joke. "Memo to self," he said, "next time, only one shovelful instead of two."

Malcolm chuckled at the even weaker comeback. "Memo to self," he said suddenly, "buy the Yank a joke book."

Trip raised an eyebrow, then grinned widely. "Why would I need one of those when I got you?" he asked. "But seriously," he continued, becoming much more serious, "you okay?"

and you're asking me why pain's the only way to happiness
and I promise you you'll see the sun again

"It still hurts," Malcolm replied vaguely, staring into the mug in his hands. "Why's it hurting so much?"

Trip didn't reply for a little while, but when he did the words were calm and measured. "You went through somethin' nobody should ever hafta to go through," he said. "Things are never gonna be the same again; you gotta learn t'adapt to the changes, and maybe then it'll stop hurtin' so much."

"You sound like you know what you're talking about," Malcolm commented, looking back up.

Trip nodded. "My brother's wife died, a coupla years before Enterprise launched. Olivia, her name was. Wonderful woman. Anyway, Andy sat down with me a few months after the funeral and we talked almost the whole night through - or was it he talked an' I listened? Anyway, I know what he felt a lot of the time 'cos I was the only one he felt he could talk to. The theory was I was away from home so much, and so busy that I could be trusted. So I know what you're goin' through."

"Andy and Olivia, me and Hoshi?" Malcolm asked. "Is that what you mean?"

"Yeah. I mean, I know the circumstances were different, but from what I can tell, what you're feelin' is pretty much the stuff he went through."

"Oh, that universal language of love," Malcolm said dryly, not smiling.

"Yeah," Trip said again. Then, "Are you hungry?"

Malcolm shrugged. "A little. Perhaps. I don't really know."

Trip handed him one of the sandwiches. "You know, you'll hafta go to the mess sooner or later," he said. "I still haven't got the hang of this waitering thing, and armoury equipment's not exactly edible."

come on take my hand
we're going for a walk, I know you can

Malcolm smiled. "I know. It's just... not yet, okay?"

"Okay," Trip echoed.

you can wear anything, as long as it's not black
and please don't mourn forever, she's not coming back

Malcolm started eating the sandwich, and was pleasantly surprised to find some kind of fish meat in there, although he couldn't quite tell which fish exactly it was. "Thank you for this," he managed to get out inbetween small bites. "Not many people would do this sort of thing for me."

and yes they'll ask you where you've been
and you'll have to tell them, again and again

"Then ya can't have known many decent people," Trip said quickly, then mentally started kicking himself.

But to his surprise, Malcolm was smiling. "I know some a pretty decent fellow at the moment," he said. "And he's helping me more than I would have ever thought possible."

and you probably don't want to hear tomorrow's another day
but I promise you you'll see the sun again

"Just doin' my job," Trip replied quietly. "Trip Tucker, all round good guy an' knight in shinin' armour."

Malcolm grinned suddenly. "And just how many Trip Tucker's are there in the galaxy?" he asked innocently, the grin growing wider at the look on his friend's face.

"Oh, very funny, Malcolm."

"I thought so."

"Can I change the subject now?" Trip demanded light-heartedly, secretly pleased his friend was still making jokes.

Malcolm was undeterred. "If you insist," he replied, taking another mouthful of rapidly cooling tea.

Trip proceeded carefully. "How'd you feel about comin' to see the movie with me this week?" he asked. When Malcolm didn't reply, he rushed on. "I know it's not gonna be the same as goin' with Hoshi, but -"

"Hardly," Malcolm said softly, still faintly grinning. "I can't really play footsie with you during the dull parts, can I?"

and you're asking me why pain's the only way to happiness
and I promise you you'll see the sun again

Trip stared at him, blinked a few times, and then blinked again. "Probably not the best idea in the world," he said eventually. "But I like ta think I'm open-minded."

and I promise you you'll see the sun again

"Well," Malcolm continued, "we had this thing with the really sappy films."

Trip looked blank.

Malcolm smiled faintly, remembering. "Burping competitions. You time the burp so that it's exactly as long as the kiss."

"That's disgustin'."

"Well, if you'd rather play footsie with me, then -"

Trip interrupted him with half a sandwich. "No... thanks. Think I'll stick to the burpin'."

Malcolm nodded, and it wasn't until a few minutes later that he said anything. "I miss her so much," he said.

do you remember telling me you'd found the sweetest thing of all
you said one day of this was worth dying for

"Yeah. I know."

I can keep pulling shifts in here... blowing things up until... until the proverbial cows come home, but... it isn't going to change anything."

so be thankful you knew her at all
but it's no more

"I guess not," Trip replied. He didn't really know what else to say to the other man.

"Why's it hurting so much?" Malcolm asked, repeating his question from earlier. "Why does it have to hurt so bad?"

"Because you loved her and she loved you," Trip replied. "The two of you had somethin' most of us can only dream about havin'."

"So I should consider myself lucky?" Malcolm asked bitterly. "Lucky that the first real thing in my life that made me feel loved is gone and never coming back? Lucky that I'm going to regret everything I never said or did for the rest of my life?"

"No," Trip said, "but you should think yourself lucky that you had somethin' special at all. Some people can go their whole lives never findin' what you an' Hoshi had."

and you probably don't want to hear tomorrow's another day
but I promise you you'll see the sun again

"The castle in the sky," Malcolm said in a near-whisper.

"Yeah," Trip replied. "Things don't get better, but they do get easier. It just takes some time gettin' there, that's all."

Malcolm considered the statement. "I'll take your word for that," he eventually allowed.

"Well," Trip said, "not jus' mine."

"Andy... do you think I'd be able to talk with him some time?" Malcolm asked, trying to skirt around the sheer awkwardness of it all.

Trip nodded. "Yeah, shouldn't be a problem... hell, he'd probably be grateful."

"Grateful? Why grateful?"

"Well... he had ta put up with me tellin' him about you an' Hoshi for a while, an' I talked to him anyway about other stuff that's gone on... I think almost every time I've been in trouble, you were there as well. Andy's probably sick t'his back teeth of hearin' about ya. He'll figure that if ya chat with him, then I'll quit talkin' about you."

"That's an intriguing Southern logic you have going on there, Trip," Malcolm told him.

"Comes with the pecans," Trip replied. "Makes the lot of us nutty."

"Again, note to self; buy the Yank a joke book."

Trip snickered. "Jus' promise me you're goin' to be okay, Mal," he said.

and you're asking me why pain's the only way to happiness
and I promise you you'll see the sun again

Malcolm thought about the statement for a few minutes. Here he was, at stupid o'clock in the morning, alone in the armoury with his best friend, a tray of food and drink and a paperbound book, while trying to come to terms with the... with the death of someone he had loved like nothing else before or ever again... and the strangest thing of all...

"I'm fine, Trip," he said amidst a dry smile. "Or at least, I will be... eventually. Thank you."

Trip's grin was unmistakable, even through exhaustion. "You're welcome, Mal."

"Now." It was time for business. "What on earth is that book?"

and I promise you you'll see the sun again

"Ah... you're gonna like this one..."

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