ENT WIP: Finding Home 9a/? R/S [R]

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Philippe de la Matraque

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Title: Finding Home
Author: Philippe de la Matraque
Part: 9a/?
Series: ENT
Rating: R (for discussion of violence and torture)
Pairing: R/S light
Archive: Yes to Trekiverse.org, otherwise, please ask.
Contact: pdelam...@gmail.com
Web: http://gabrielle.sytes.net/Trek/stories/findinghome1.html
Summary: Sequel to Alien Us. Malcolm Reed barely survived to see to be
reunited with Hoshi Sato. But things have taken a downturn and now he
needs a new heart and a way to heal.
Author's note: I deliberately use italics like this *in text** just
because it makes conversion to HTML so much easier.


Star Trek: Enterprise

Finding Home
by Philippe de la Matraque
Sequel to *Alien Us**

Chapter Nine


It was after eleven by the time Trip set the flitter down. Malcolm
hadn't said a word the whole hour it took to get home. Trip powered
down then turned to look at his friend. And he wondered if Malcolm
could come out of this. His eyes seemed unfocussed and his cheeks were
tear-stained. He looked like an empty shell of a man, and Trip
sincerely hoped he or Trevon could reach him before Trip had to go back
to *Enterprise.** That was scheduled for Thursday, in just two more days.

"Can ya walk?" he asked Malcolm, "or do you want the chair?"

Malcolm didn't respond or even act like he'd heard. Still, he had to
get Malcolm up either way. Trip took the blanket off and laid it across
the back of his own chair. Then he put his hands under Malcolm's arms
and lifted him up. And he stayed up. Trip put the blanket over
Malcolm's shoulders. Then, holding on to Malcolm's shoulders, he guided
him to the hatch.

The hatch opened and Trip saw his dad and Miguel. "I don't know if he
can step out," Trip told them.

Miguel nodded then reached in and put one arm on the back of Malcolm's
knees. Trip got a better grip on Malcolm's upper half, and the two of
them got Malcolm past the lip of the hatch. And again, he stood.
That's when Trip saw his mom.

She approached and kissed Trip on the cheek. She looked at Malcolm and
put a hand against the side of Malcolm's face. "Welcome home, Malcolm."
Then she moved to his other side. She and Trip got Malcolm walking
toward the open door of the house.

Behind him, Trip heard Dad and Miguel in the flitter, and he know they
were getting Malcolm's bag and the wheelchair. Trip had to sort of lift
Malcolm over the step. Mom had stepped back but she joined them again
inside the house. "Your room, Trip," she said. So they went down the
hall to the first door on the right. Trip noted they'd cleaned it up.
He always had some projects to work on scattered about. Miguel entered
behind them as Trip sat Malcolm down on the bed. "We need to get him
out of those wet clothes."

"I'll do it," Trip replied. "I helped him dress recently. Besides he
might mistake you for a rather large pterodactyl. I'll try and
introduce you tomorrow." Miguel nodded and fished out a T-shirt and
some sleep pants from Malcolm's bag. Then he stepped out of the room.

"Your pants are all muddy," Trip told Malcolm. "Heck, mine are, too.
Let's get 'em changed then you can get in bed."

He stood Malcolm up again and tugged his pants down to his ankles. He
noted the bandages were also muddy and wet. He realized he'd have to
introduce Miguel tonight. He sat Malcolm again and lifted one foot and
the other until the wet pants were off. He worked in reverse to get the
clean pair on. It was like dressing an over-sized doll. He remembered
Lizzie playing with dolls when she was little. Still, he wasn't sure
how exactly to get Malcolm's shirt changed.

Mom stepped in then and pulled the blanket off Malcolm's shoulders.
She lifted his shirt up to his armpits and, one by one, got it off his
arms and over his head. She pulled the clean one over his head and
gently inserted each arm. "I remember dressing you like this, Trip,"
she said, smiling. "You were quite a bit smaller then."

Trip put the blanket back on Malcolm's shoulders. "His bandages need
changed."

"I'll get Miguel." She left and Miguel returned a minute later with a
med bag over his shoulder.

"Malcolm," Trip tried. "This is Miguel, my brother's husband. He's
gonna be around to help you."

"Hello, Malcolm," Miguel offered. He knelt down in front of Malcolm.
"I'm gonna look at your ankles, okay?"

Malcolm's head was down, so maybe he saw Miguel, but Trip wasn't sure.
It only took Miguel a few minutes to strip off the dirty bandages and
put nice, clean ones back on. "You're healing well," he told Malcolm.
Then he turned to Trip. "Can you get a wet cloth, please?"

"Uh, yeah." Miguel started on Malcolm's left wrist and Trip went to
the adjoining bathroom and wet a washcloth with hot water. He took it
back to Miguel.

Miguel had the splint and bandages off the one wrist. He held it still
with one hand and cleaned Malcolm's fingers with the other. Trip used
the cloth to wipe the edges of the splint, then Miguel put it back on
after he'd replaced the bandages. They did the same for Malcolm's right
wrist. "If you can get him up, I'll pull back the covers," Miguel offered.

Trip stood Malcolm up and held him there. "We're gonna help you
through this, Malcolm. You're a survivor, remember?"

Miguel got the bed ready then helped Malcolm to lie down. Then Malcolm
turned himself over to face the wall. Miguel tucked the blankets around
him. "We need to talk," he whispered to Trip. Then he left the room.

"Try and get some sleep, Malcolm," Trip said. "I'll just be in the
kitchen with my folks. I want you to feel at home here. You're my
brother now, Malcolm." He turned, grabbed Miguel's PADD, and left,
wiping a tear from his own cheek.

Mom hugged him when he got to the kitchen. "What happened? He's not
how you described him."

Trip rubbed a hand through his hair and sat down. He suddenly felt
very tired. He handed Miguel the PADD and Dad put a mug of coffee in
front of him. "He was. He was doing fine. We went to the park this
morning. He loved it out there. We talked at dinner." He sighed.
"After I left, his folks showed up. His dad started yelling that they
had murdered their daughter and cut her up to save her brother who
wasn't worth it. He heard that."

"His sister was his donor?" Miguel asked. "Did he know? That's gotta
cause mixed feelings."

"He didn't," Trip said. "I didn't."

Mom looked like she might start crying. "That poor man. He's only
feeling hurt right now. His sister is dead and his father didn't care
that he almost died. You were right to be worried about his family."

"His sister apparently volunteered," Trip told him. "She had brain
cancer. Terminal. She chose to be his donor. I met her. She hid it.
Said she was sick, but not that sick, ya know?"

"Was he like that when you got there?" Dad asked.

Trip took a sip then set the mug back down. "He was kneelin' by the
pond in that park. He was thinking of drowning himself. He's
aquaphobic and he was gonna drown himself."

"He's going to need a mental health professional," Miguel pointed out.

"One's comin'" Trip replied. "The one he'd been talkin' to there."
Trip put his elbows on the table and his head in his hands. "I've never
seen him like that. How can I leave if he's still like that?"

Dad put a hand on his back. "He's family, and we'll help him get
through it."


Trip dreamt of finding Malcolm face down in that pond and snapped
awake. Miguel was right there. There was a soft light behind the
curtains that hung behind the couch he was laying on. "My turn for the
couch," Miguel said, sitting down by Trip's legs. He looked tired. "I
checked on him through the night. No change. He never even closed his
eyes. Physically, I can tell he's in pain. That's to be expected so
soon after major surgery. I left a message for Dr. Perez to see if I
can give him something. It might help him sleep."

Trip sat up and rubbed his eyes. "His heart?"

"Still pumpin'" Miguel assured him. "A lot of that pain is likely
emotional. Even with what happened in the last year, the stuff with his
family probably goes a lot deeper."

"Something happened when he was twelve," Trip told him. "I wish I knew
what."

"I hope your guy gets here soon, but I need some sleep. Mom's got
breakfast ready. Go get it before it gets cold."

Trip stood and stretched his legs. He went down the hall to the main
bathroom and took care of his needs. Then he stopped in his--Malcolm's
room. The lights were off and the curtains drawn, so it was still
fairly dark. Malcolm hadn't moved. And yes, Trip could see his eyes
still open once his own eyes adjusted to the dark again. "It's morning,
Malcolm," he whispered. "The sun's shining out that window. I can hear
the birds chirpin' outside. It's gonna be a pretty day. If you're up
to it, I can take you for a walk in the neighborhood. We still have the
wheelchair, so you don't have to worry about gettin' tired."

Nothing. Trip tried again. "Madeline loved you, Malcolm. She really
did. Your dad was wrong. She gave you her heart. She was sick, more
than she let on. She wanted to save you and she did."

Then he remembered the metal case, the one Ms. Farmer had left. Trip
picked it up and set it on the desk. He opened it. Inside were two
PADDs. One had a list. A very short list. The first item was an
address. Trip guessed it was Madeline's London apartment. The second
item was all contents of said apartment to be kept or disposed of in any
manner the recipient chose. So, in a sense, she left him everything.

Third was a small container, for memorial purposes, if desired. Trip
found it and gave it a shake. It sounded like sand, only softer and he
guessed it was ashes. It was too small to be all her body, and Ms.
Farmer had mentioned a funeral. So this was just a small amount in case
Malcolm wanted some sort of memorial. He put the container back.

The final item on the list was the other PADD: a video-journal of the
deceased, to be viewed by her beloved brother. He pulled out the PADD
and turned it on. He could see the first entry was more than six months
back. He queued up the last entry, from the week before she died. He
didn't play it. That was for Malcolm. He switched off the PADD and put
it back on in the case. Then he closed the case and put it back on the
floor.

In a very small way, Trip felt jealous of Malcolm. He had a whole
apartment of things from his sister, some of her ashes, and her own
words. Trip lost everything of Lizzie. Her house was gone, her body
vaporized. There were no good-byes or last I-love-you's.

Trip had parents that loved him but nothing of his sister. Malcolm had
everything from his sister and awful parents. Trip wasn't jealous of
them, for sure. And he wasn't jealous of all the hurt Malcolm was stuck
in, or how he felt without Hoshi, or everything he suffered in Zheiren.
Malcolm needed help, more than Trip knew how to give, and he hoped
Trevon would come soon.

He made sure Malcolm was still tucked in well, then went to the kitchen.


Dr. Koy Trevon left the house where he would be staying. It was within
walking distance of the address Commander Tucker had given Dr.
MacCormack. The elderly couple he would be staying with had offered a
furnished guest room. They were happy to share meals and offered free
use of the kitchen. They only asked for one hour of therapy, together,
each week. They had been quite terrified after the Xindi attack. And
while they had not lost anyone they were particularly close with, they
were traumatized by the thought of the Xindi's return to destroy the
planet. This was somewhat alleviated by the destruction of the
planet-killing weapon by the *Enterprise** crew.

But, still, they had nightmares and such. And they had issues as a
couple. They were committed to their marriage, but the wife was more
laid back and had less severe trauma whereas her husband's was worse.
He felt she was losing patience with his recovery, and she felt he
wasn't trying hard enough to recover.

It would be a complicated but more typical trauma case than that
presented by Malcolm Reed. Trevon was unsure yet of how to reach the
man. Obviously family issues could stem from as far back as early
childhood, even from the womb. Whereas he'd been assigned to help
Malcolm with his trauma over the last year, he would now have to widen
the scope to Malcolm's early and deepest hurts. And that could only
happen if Malcolm could communicate in some manner. Last night, that
had not been possible except to rename himself Faramir from Sam.

Sam represented the early days of his stay in Zheiren, when he buoyed
Hoshi's Frodo up. Frodo had been increasingly burdened by the Ring he
carried. Faithful Sam had helped Frodo find hope over and over in the
depths of Mordor.

Faramir, on the other hand, was a faithful son of his ungrateful
father. Denethor showered affection on his elder son, Boromir, and had
none left for his younger son, who could never measure up in his
father's eyes. Typically, that family dynamic would cause a rift
between the siblings. The favored child would often mock the unfavored
status of the other. And the unfavored child would typically act out,
fulfilling the father's view of him as inadequate. But in the fictional
case of Denethor's sons, he found a loving relationship between the
brothers and a valiant, upright unfavored son--even one who could resist
the call of the Ring where Boromir could not--without bitterness.

But Faramir, potentially, like Malcolm, had yearned for his father's
affection and approval. The realization that he would never receive it
had come after Boromir's death. Denethor, likely fueled by his grief
and the corruption of the Palantir, had finally spoken outright of his
disdain for his surviving son, admitting that he wished Faramir had died
instead. He even ordered Faramir to lead an impossible mission. One
last time, Faramir outwardly asked for his approval: "But if I should
return, think better of me!" Denethor made it clear his approval was
conditional: "That depends on the manner of your return."#

Faramir, for his part, was devastated to the point of accepting his
suicide mission. Gandalf tried to buoy him up: "Your father loves you,
Faramir, and will remember it ere the end." He was right. Denethor did
remember but only when his last surviving son appeared to be dead or
dying. He fell into madness and Gandalf had to save Faramir from his
father. He then awaited the coming of the king after the grand battle.
Aragorn healed him of the illness known as the Black Breath, which came
from close contact with a Nazgul. He met the similarly healed E'owyn in
the Houses of Healing and went on to a happy ending as Steward of Gondor
under his new king.

Faramir was definitely a better fit for Malcolm. But it didn't appear
that his father would remember his love for his son. Malcolm had been
dying and the elder Reed still had disdain for his son. Given, he was
perhaps fueled by grief as Denethor was. But this had to go deeper and
further back. Had Malcolm, like Faramir, never received his father's
affection or had something caused the rift between them. Was it that
secret hurt Trevon had sensed?

There, he was at the address. He hesitated to ring the chime on the
door. It had been a late night in this household and someone may still
be sleeping. So he tried a subtler approach. *Commander Tucker. It is
Dr. Trevon. I am outside your door.**

"Oh, wow. Never had this happen before, well, except.... But anyway,
it's probably a good thing. Miguel's asleep on the couch. I'll be
right there."

A moment later, the door opened to reveal a somewhat disheveled
Commander Tucker. "Come on in," he whispered. "And call me Trip."

"Ah yes, I forgot," Trevon whispered back. A young man with a slightly
darker complexion was sleeping on the sofa in the main room. The
aforementioned Miguel. Dr. MacCormack had told him a relation of Trip's
was a home health nurse. So he had probably stayed up the night with
Malcolm.

Trip led him first into the kitchen and quietly introduced his parents
as Charles and Elaine Tucker.

"Would you like some coffee, Dr. Trevon?" Elaine offered.

"Thank you, but, please, I'm sure we'll be seeing a lot of each other.
Leave the 'doctor' off and just call me Trevon."

"Please, have a seat," Trip said, pulling out a chair. So Trevon sat
and Elaine set a steaming mug in front of him. "I'm glad you could come
so soon."

"What have I missed?" Trevon asked. "How has he been?"

"Catatonic?" Trip guessed. "He never said a word, just stared and
looked pitiful. But he was kind of pliant. He stood when I stood him
up, walked where I led him. He let us change his wet clothes. Then he
curled up in bed. He hasn't moved or even closed his eyes all night."

"He did speak to me once," Trevon admitted. "Last night while you were
collecting his things. He told me he wasn't Sam. Instead he was
Faramir. Are you familiar with this character?"

"Kinda," Trip replied. "We watched the movies on the ship before the
crash. He was Boromir's brother."

"Oh, I remember," Elaine spoke up. "He broke my heart. The way his
father treated him."

"It seems a fitting analogy," Trevon surmised, "but I'd be interested
to know what you've seen or heard about Malcolm's feelings in regards to
his father."

Trip pondered the question for a moment. He seemed puzzled. "Malcolm's
not the most forthcoming person when it comes to his private life. I
know he said he wasn't particularly close with anyone in his family. He
must not have meant Madeline. She left him everything in her will.
Everything."

Trevon considered this. "It could be that she wasn't allowed to show
her affection for her brother. There's a lot we don't know yet.
Anything else?"

"I think I remember him slipping a remark here and there," Trip said,
"about how he hoped his father would be proud of him. But I never heard
if he was. I know that no one knew Malcolm's favorite food. Not his
parents, Madeline, an uncle, a couple of aunts or a friend from the
Academy."

That was odd. So Malcolm's reticence to speak about himself reached
into his family life.

"That's not normal, right?" Trip asked.

"Not in healthy families,' Trevon confirmed. "Anything else?"

"That's about it," Trip answered. "Malcolm Reed is known on the ship
as an enigma wrapped in a mystery. I'm his best friend but there's a
lot I don't know about him."

Trevon smiled. "And that didn't hamper your friendship?"

Trip shook his head but then changed his mind. "Well, at first. We
got stuck together in a shuttlepod. Comm went out in an asteroid field.
We saw debris from *Enterprise** and thought it was destroyed and then
microsingularities--yeah, they're a thing--put holes in one of our
oxygen tanks. We thought we were going to die out there. The first few
days, he drove me nuts. I won't go into it because I don't think he'd
appreciate it. But it was like he was droppin' pieces to his puzzle,
too. Once I stopped bein' so selfish, I could see 'em. Long story
short, we found a bottle of bourbon, got the comms fixed enough to hear
*Enterprise**. So we were happy for about thirty seconds. Then we
realized we'd be dead long before *Enterprise** could reach us at their
present speed. I lowered the temperature to use less oxygen. Malcolm
had the idea to blow up the engine. Maybe the ship would see it and
speed up. Eventually, we passed out. Woke up in Sickbay." He
chuckled. "Nearly died of hypothermia. Still had a few hours of oxygen
left. So really, *I** nearly killed us. Anyway, after that, we were
friends. He was still and enigma but it didn't matter anymore. I
accepted him as he was."

Trevon smiled in earnest. "You are a good friend, Trip. And I
appreciate your respect for his privacy. From here on out, I will have
to respect it as well. I may come to you for clarification at times
before you leave, but what I learn from him will be between us, unless
he divulges it himself."

Trip nodded, as did his parents. "May I see him now?" Trevon asked.

Trip stood. "I'll show you to him." Trevon stood and Trip led him
back to the front room, then down a hall and to the first room on the
right. It was quite dark in the room so Trip raised the lights
somewhat. "You ever just read someone's mind?" Trip whispered.

"Only in severe cases," Trevon responded in kind.

"I think this might be one of those cases."

"That will need to be determined," Trevon told him. "If I need that
'clarification', may I contact you telepathically?"

Trip nodded. "Sure." He looked toward the bed then sighed. "I'll
leave you to it. Good luck." He left the room and Trevon closed the door.

There was a chair at the desk so Trevon pulled it over to the side of
the bed and sat down. Malcolm was turned to face the wall. He gave no
sign that he was aware anyone was in the room with him.

"Malcolm," Trevon tried. "It's Trevon. I was hoping we could talk
today. I know last night was very difficult for you. It's
understandable. I'm very sorry for the loss of your sister, though I'm
grateful to her for loving you enough to give her life for yours."

Nothing. The only movement was the in and out of the blankets as he
breathed. The movement was regular, so he wasn't crying. Trevon opened
his mind to see if Malcolm was still projecting that deep sadness. But
he felt no difference. It was almost like Malcolm wasn't there.

Trip was right. This was one of those cases. He pulled a PADD from
his pocket so that he could record notes or whatever clues he should
find in Malcolm Reed's mind. Then he took a smaller device from a
different pocket and attached it just behind his left ear. Once
synchronized to the PADD, it would record any telepathic communications
between therapist and client. He could telepathically dictate notes to
annotate those communications. He synchronized the device then prepared
himself.

It was easier if he could look his patient in the face, but he focused
on the back of Malcolm's head. Then slowly, he opened his barrier just
a little but said nothing. And Malcolm was there. The PADD stayed
blank. Not enough information yet. He went wider bit by bit until he
could hear--and see--Malcolm's thoughts.

While it outwardly appeared that Malcom had no thoughts, in truth, he
was drowning in them. The PADD lit up with line after line of text in
Betazedian. Trevon tried to annotate, to translate when he saw only
images and or heard only voices.

But the thoughts swirled so fast, tumbling over each other, so that he
could only consciously catch a few at a time. There were images of a
blonde girl at various ages. Madeline. Angry, demeaning messages from
Stuart Reed, echoed by Mary Reed, though more softly. Meals at a table
when Malcolm felt ill eating the food in front of him but choked down
every bite. Water. Lots of water. Malcolm in water. And not
swimming. More of the orcs and T-Rexes. Violent scenes. What must
have been Baezhu's corpse disemboweled. Malcolm's execution. A
blinding, burning, oppressive sun. Back to the white blonde hair of his
sister and around and around it went.

When Trevon had recorded for more than an hour, he slipped back out.
The lines of data ceased on the PADD. Trevon scrolled up and scanned
the whole thing, trying to sort as best he could. Family memories,
Zheiren memories. Drowning memories. He tried to infer ages, if humans
and Betazoids developed similarly. Madeline at three or four, teenaged,
a grown woman.

*Do you know the age difference between Malcolm and Madeline, by
chance?** he asked Trip.

"Four years," Trip replied. "Though he's a year older than he is,
technically."

*Thank you,** Trevon cut the connection. So now if he could estimate
Madeline's age, he could extrapolate Malcolm's in the thoughts of her.
Harder to do with the parents.

He opened the connection to Trip again. *Can you get background checks
on his parents--and not read them?**

"I could try. Dr. MacCormack could probably order them after the
outburst last night. Should I give her a call?"

*Please do. It may help me to sort through my findings.**

"Is he talking?" Trip sounded hopeful.

*No, Trip. It's one of those cases.**

"I'll give her a call."

*Thank you,** He closed the connection again. "I'm sorry I had to do
that, Malcolm. But I understand now what's happening. You are
spiraling through your hurts. You can't focus or speak of one because
it leads to another and another and another. You've left me quite a
puzzle. It will take me a little while to get through it. But once I
do, I hope we can talk. I'll guide you. I'll ask you questions, lead
you to one hurt at time. Please try and sleep. You need the rest. I'm
staying just a short walk away. If ever you need me, you may call for
me. Either by comm or by your telepathy. I will respond. I will come."

He stood and replaced the chair. He was reasonably certain that
Malcolm hadn't heard a word or even noticed the intrusion into his mind.
Trevon left the room and returned to the kitchen. "I've done all I
can today," he quietly told Trip and his parents. "I can tell you that
he's in there. It's not that he's not thinking. His body is on
automatic because his mind is too preoccupied with memories and
thoughts. He is not aware of his surroundings."

"I told 'em about Betazoids bein' telepaths," Trip admitted. "And that
you don't go around readin' minds, except in severe cases."

"Thank you," Trevon said. "It's so common on Betazed that I sometimes
forget it's not here. I do not enjoy intruding in such a way. But I
was able to glean a lot of information. I need to parse through it.
Background checks on the parents may help me put some of it into
context. And Trip, could you summarize what happened to Ensign Sato
when she was separated from him?"

Trip nodded. "MacCormack's on the background checks. I leave
tomorrow. Any chance he'll be able to talk by then?"

"I think he'll talk," Trevon said, "but it will be on his timetable.
Right now, he can't. You might be able to feed him, as you said he was
pliant. Your relation, Miguel, can perhaps help with that and other
necessities. I'd like to speak to him when he wakes. You can contact
me at any time. I'm staying within walking distance."

Trip went to the comm. "What's the address?"

Trevon told him and Trip added it to the contacts. "Call me if
anything changes. I hope to return tomorrow morning, if that is amenable?"

"Anytime," Charles said. "Just let one of us know you're at the door."

"Thank you. It's very kind of you to take him in."

"He's family," Elaine remarked. "He just doesn't know it yet."

Trip smiled again. "That may be just what he needs in the end. I'll
let myself out."

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