Warnings: Violence, horror, non-consensual kissing. Slash-ish.

Disclaimer: Yeah, yeah, yeah, etc. All in fun, no profit.

A/N: This was inspired by Zoe2, who asked for, "Malcolm stalking Trip along the darkened corridors of Enterprise, then pushes him up against a wall and kisses him, until his knees go weak. Malcolm then walks off, leaving a bemused and confused Trip." This is not quite what she intended. The dark and violent bunnies pounced.

-

Malcolm is dreaming.

Someone; he's stalking someone - he's not sure who. He just knows that he's nervous, on edge, and ready, prowling through the darkened corridors of Enterprise. The ship is empty but for him, and this…person, this other, who is there with him, who he is following.

-

Malcolm awoke suddenly, his body jumping, his heart racing in his chest, sweat soaking his pillow and duvet. Groaning, he rolled over, then pushed himself off the bed. He stumbled towards the lav, keeping the lights low as he rinsed his mouth, trying consciously not to look at himself in the mirror above the sink. He felt dizzy, his ears ringing with the tiredness, and he propped one hand against the wall to steady himself as he urinated.

Moving to the bed, he slid back in under the sheets, then reached and flipped his pillow over so that the cold, wet side was facing away from him. Settling down, he fell back asleep.

-

Malcolm prowled the corridors of Enterprise, stalking someone, following close behind the other person, trying to remain unseen. He heard a rustling ahead of him and then a door closed. Suddenly, he was in front of the door.

He opened it.

-

Malcolm squinted against the light, shaking his head to clear it. He was standing at the door to his cabin, the room dark behind him, the brightness of the corridor beyond blinding him. He blinked, confused. "How…," he murmured, then he shook his head. God, I'm not usually one to sleepwalk.

He shut his door, and then stepped back to his bed, sitting down on its edge. Nor am I one to have such vivid dreams. He hung his head, and his eyes blinked shut. So tired. He glanced up to his chronometer. Hours to go before my shift. Chilled, he sank back into his bed, pulling the covers up over his head, and dreamed.

-

Trip is dreaming.

Someone is stalking him through the darkened corridors of Enterprise. He's tense, on edge. Everyone else is gone. It's just him, and the other.

Ahead of him, around the corner, he hears a rustle, fabric on fabric, and he freezes, ready. As the other turns the corner and comes into view...

-

Trip's eyes shot open as he woke up suddenly, panicked for a minute, unsure of where he was, what was going on until he realised that he was still in bed. "Jesus," he murmured under his breath. What a dream, he thought. Unbelievable.

He took a moment, working to calm his breathing, trying to relax, to let the dream go. Exhausted, he rolled over and fell back asleep.

-

Someone was stalking him through Enterprise's dark corridors, and they were close. He could hear them somewhere behind him.

Trip ran from hall to hall, trying to find a place to hide, encountering no one as he passed. He darted into the gym, the door closing behind him, and he leaned back against the wall next to the door, ready, poised for action, his heart pounding, his breath ragged.

The door opened.

-

Trip felt his body jerk and opened his eyes to find himself standing along the wall next to the door to his cabin, his back to the wall, his palms flat against its surface, his heart racing. His room was dark and quiet but for the sound of his own breathing and the steady pulse of the engines.

He stood there for a moment, surprised. He hadn't sleepwalked since he was little. He shook his head and smiled a bit as he pushed himself away from the wall, trying to shake off the dream, and felt a wave of dizziness. Stumbling a bit, tired, he went to the lav, then checked the time. He had hours yet. Exhausted, he returned to bed and slept.

-

Malcolm was dreaming, chasing someone down the corridors of Enterprise. He could hear breathing, so he stopped moving, holding himself still. The person he was pursuing was close. He shifted forward and turned the corner, and saw someone there, a stranger.

Malcolm stopped in his tracks, and the scene shifted. It wasn't a stranger. It was Trip, looking panicked and out of breath. Malcolm stepped forward, saying, "Trip?"

-

Trip flattened himself against the corridor wall, holding himself still. He thought that he'd heard something. He looked to the left and saw someone round the corner, poised aggressively.

His pursuer froze, and Trip watched as his expression changed from one of anger to confusion. He stepped forward, and said, "Trip?"

Trip blinked, and the scene shifted. He looked at the stranger, puzzled, and muttered, "What the…" under his breath as he moved away from the wall. Then, louder, he asked, "Malcolm?"

Malcolm took another step forward, dazed. "What are you doing in my dream?"

Bewildered, Trip replied, "What do you mean?"

Malcolm looked around, then back to Trip. He smiled, suddenly predatory again. With hostility, he asked, "Who are you?" and took another step forward, closing the distance between them in two quick strides. He pushed Trip against the wall forcefully, spitting out, "What are you doing in my dream?" as he brought his face quite close to Trip's. "It's not nice to mess about with other's dreams," he whispered with a sneer.

"Malcolm, I…" Trip tried to interrupt.

"Not nice at all," Malcolm breathed maliciously, pinning Trip to wall with his body. "You should be cautious. You may not be able to direct what happens here." Malcolm leaned forward and up, and took Trip's top lip between his own, softly, then played his tongue along it, his eyes open, stormy and cold.

Trip froze, panicked, unsure of what to do. Malcolm pulled his lips away slightly, and smiled, icily. "Things happen in dreams that one can't control," he said, and Trip could feel his breath on his face, Malcolm's body still pressed against his, holding him there. Malcolm leaned forward again and kissed him powerfully, forcing his lips to part and allow Malcolm's tongue to enter. He heard Malcolm growl low in his throat and he felt Malcolm's hand in his hair, at first gentle, then a sharp, stinging tug. He gasped and tried to pull away from the pain, but the other man kept him pinned. He felt Malcolm's tongue, soft on his lower lip as he captured Trip's lip between his own, and then bit.

Trip pulled away (or did Malcolm release him? He wasn't sure). He felt blood dribbling down his chin from his cut lip, and saw blood on Malcolm's face as the other man stepped back calmly.

-

Malcolm shot awake, gasping, blinking against the bright light. He was in the corridor. How had he gotten here? He was decks away from his cabin.

He glanced desperately around him. There was no one there. He paused a moment to calm his breathing, and felt a wetness on his face. He reached up and wiped at it, glancing down at his fingers to see them covered with blood.

He froze. He wasn't injured; the blood wasn't his. It was someone else's…no, that was just a dream.

Suddenly unsure, Malcolm walked to the nearby comm. In an unsteady voice, he rang Trip in his cabin. There was no answer.

Malcolm stood by the comm., unsure of what to do next, and felt a wave of dizziness. So tired, he thought. His eyes closed.

-

Malcolm stood in front of Trip and smiled calmly, Trip's blood streaked on his face. "You don't belong here," he said viciously. "Stay out of my dreams." Then he turned and walked down the corridor.

Trip watched him leave. Once Malcolm turned the corner, Trip allowed himself to succumb to the fear. His knees felt weak, and he sank down, sitting on the floor of the corridor, his back to the wall. Shaking, unsure of what had just happened, he reached up and touched a gentle finger to the cut on his lip, staring as it came away bloody. He closed his eyes.

-

Trip's head snapped up suddenly as he awoke in the corridor. He hissed in pain, and reached up and touched his swollen lip, watching as his fingers came away bloody. He groaned. He wasn't dreaming now.

He tried to stand, and wobbled, woozy. Something wasn't right, he knew it, but it was like he couldn't think clearly enough to analyse the situation. Pulling himself upright, using the wall as a crutch, he finally stood.

Knowing that there was a comm. around the corner, Trip took a step forward, then stopped suddenly. What if Malcolm…No, that was a dream. He took a deep breath, and stepped around the corner.

Malcolm lay slumped on the floor near the comm., blood on his face. Trip froze. Jesus, he thought. What's going on? He stepped cautiously forward and reached over the unconscious man, paging Phlox as he kept one wary eye on Malcolm.

"Sickbay?" he mumbled, his lip interfering with his speech.

He heard Phlox's voice reply, "Yes?"

Trip winced. "Could you come here, please?" Then he gasped and stumbled, dizzy, his hand hitting the wall as he tried to hold himself up. He whispered, "There's something wrong…" and shook his head, trying to clear it. He closed his eyes, his head hanging down.

He felt a tug on his ankle, hard, and blackness surrounded him as he hit the floor.

-

Trip lay on his back on the floor, Malcolm pinning him down, a malicious grin twisting his face. Trip tried to struggle, but stopped when he felt Malcolm grind one of his wrists against the floor, the pain freezing him in place.

"I told you not to come back here," Malcolm said softly, his voice deceptively calm despite the tension in his body, the storm in his eyes. "It's dangerous…" Leaning down so that his face was within inches of Trip's, he cocked his head to one side and whispered, "Who are you?"

Trip tried to speak calmly. "Malcolm, there's something wrong. I've commed Phlox…"

"This is a dream," Malcolm bit off harshly, releasing one of Trip's arms long enough to backhand him across the mouth, hard. "And not a particularly pleasant one."

Trip tried to fight against him, uselessly. After a moment of struggle, Trip suddenly went limp, catching Malcolm off-guard, and he pushed Malcolm off of him, rolling sideways and standing.

Malcolm smiled at him from the floor, and stood slowly. He blinked, swaying, obviously dizzy.

He held out his hand, and there was a knife there. He strode forward, slashing it towards Trip, stumbling a bit as he moved. Trip sidestepped the attack easily, and twisted, taking hold of his friend and slamming him against the wall, grabbing the knife as Malcolm's head hit the surface. He cut his hand on the blade, but he barely felt it as it happened, glancing down to see the blood drip from his grip, then up to watch his friend, warily.

Malcolm came towards him in a rush. Trip reached out with the knife, and watched as it slid into his friend's chest, seeming to take an eternity.

Trip jerked his hand back, and the knife came clear. Trip saw the blood pulse out of the other man's chest, wetting the front of his uniform.

Malcolm stumbled, and Trip glanced at the knife in his hand, now slick with blood. He slowly backed away, stopping only when he hit the corridor wall. He looked up to see his friend fall to his knees, his hands over the wound in his chest.

Malcolm blinked. Staring up at the engineer, he whispered, "Trip."

Trip felt a wave of dizziness come over him, and then nothing.

-

Trip opened his eyes, waking to find himself on the floor. He tried to sit up, and fell back slightly, too dizzy to rise. He rolled over instead and saw Malcolm there on the floor, curled in on himself, unmoving.

Trip watched as a pool of blood formed around his friend's body. He glanced down to his hand, seeing blood dripping from a cut there. He reached out and touched Malcolm's forehead, brushing his hair back, his shaking hand leaving a streak of blood where it touched.

Then Phlox was there.

Then nothing.

-

Trip groaned and opened his eyes. Squinting, he saw Jon hovering over him.

"Am I awake?"

Jon nodded, his eyes showing his concern. "You're in sickbay."

"Malcolm?"

"He's in surgery."

Trip closed his eyes. "It's cold."

Jon tugged the blanket up over Trip's shoulders. "You're feverish."

Trip nodded, his eyes still shut. "I stabbed him." His eyes flashed open and he struggled to sit up, frantic. "I stabbed him."

Jon gently pushed him back, rubbing his arm to keep him calm. "Rest. You have a fever. You're sick."

Trip shook his head, his eyes glazed. He murmured, "You should take the knife," his voice starting to slur.

Jon looked at him, confused. Trip made as if to hand him something, but there was nothing in his hand.

"Take it," Trip said quietly.

Jon took his hand. Trip sank back, exhausted, and slept.

-

Trip faced Malcolm as they both sat on the floor of the empty bridge. The room was completely silent at first, then Trip heard a wave of sound; the throb of the engines, the sound of the empty stations, and their own breathing.

Trip stared at his friend. Like him, Malcolm was seated cross-legged. The difference was in the blood. While Trip's lip was bloody and swollen, and he could feel a sharp ache from the cut on his hand, Malcolm's entire shirt front was bloody, and there was a pool of blood underneath him where he sat, as well as a streak of blood on his forehead, a bit on his chin, and some around his lips; Trip's blood, those last three.

"You're still here?" Malcolm asked wryly, without any sign of the earlier menace. He smiled slightly.

After a moment's pause, Trip nodded, cautious, not sure of Malcolm. "I don't mean to be, I just…"

Malcolm waved him away. "It's fine. It's nice to have you here."

Trip looked confused. "That's not what you said earlier."

Malcolm shrugged. "I know." Trip watched as a blush crept up his friend's pale cheeks. "I didn't realise that it was you. I'm sorry about…" Malcolm reached out, towards Trip's lip.

Trip flinched back.

Malcolm let his hand drop. Sadly, he repeated, "I'm sorry."

Trip nodded. Hesitantly, he asked, "Why were you so…" He let his voice trail away.

"Violent?"

Trip nodded. "Predatory."

Malcolm shrugged again. "I don't know, actually. I feel fine now." He glanced down at himself. "Other than the obvious, of course." He smiled and looked back to Trip. "You can't control what happens in dreams."

Trip nodded. "Odd, that you were so violent earlier, and now you're, well, your normal self. It's still the same dream, right?"

Malcolm cocked his head to the side. "I'm not sure." He blinked, and then smiled. "It feels different." He paused to think. "Earlier, I think…that was my nightmare." He smiled again. "I think this one is yours, Trip."

Trip looked ashamed. "I'm sorry that I…"

"It's all right." Malcolm looked down, trailing the fingers of one hand through the blood on the floor. "Odd, so much blood. But I feel fine." He looked up again. "Doesn't hurt." He smiled.

Trip laughed. "Still…"

Malcolm snickered, wiping his fingers on his pants. "I don't suppose I could get you to wake up or some such, hmm?"

Trip grimaced. "I'm not sure I know how."

Malcolm smiled. "Right. You can construct an engine out of twine and spit, but you can't figure out how to wake…" He paused, his brow furrowed.

"What's wrong?" Trip asked, leaning forward.

Malcolm shook his head and then gasped. He glanced down at his chest, then up to Trip, struggling to breathe.

Trip reached out to him.

-

Trip woke in sickbay. Something – a loud noise? Something had awoken him.

He heard an alarm, and turned his head in that direction, unable to make out what was going on. Someone walked towards him, and he tried to focus, to see who it was.

He heard Jon's voice, but was unable to make out what he was saying.

"Malcolm?" Trip slurred, his voice raspy.

He struggled to understand what Jon replied, able to make out only "surgery," and "coded."

Trip shook his head. "But I was just talking to him."

Jon suddenly came into focus. "You've been sleeping."

Trip nodded. "Yeah, he's there in my dreams." He smiled slightly, his eyes drooping shut. "I think he likes it there better than in his own. Less violent." His eyes drifted closed, and he slept.

-

Phlox pulled back the curtain around Malcolm's bed, his eyes showing his exhaustion.

"How is he?" Jon asked as he walked away from Trip's bed.

"Critical but stable, for now," Phlox said. "But with the injury and blood loss, plus the effects of the virus that he and the commander both have, it's tenuous," he said, shaking his head. Glancing at Trip's sleeping form, he asked Jon. "Did the commander mention what happened?"

Jon shook his head. "And we haven't been able to find the weapon." Glancing at Malcolm, he continued, "Any progress on a treatment for the virus?"

Phlox frowned. "No, nothing yet. Its structure is quite unusual." Seeing that dwelling on the details would try Jon's frayed patience, Phlox instead asked, "Have you been able to get in touch with the planet's government?"

Jon smiled grimly. "Hoshi is actually working on that now." He sighed. "Each landmass is subdivided into regions, each of which has its own government. We've been trying to get back in touch with the specific government of the region where Trip and Malcolm had their mission, see what they can tell us about this virus."

Phlox nodded.

-

"We know of a similar sickness," the doctor replied, the feathers on his head ruffling as he glanced up from the data in front of him. "We call it…"

Jon turned to Hoshi, a questioning look on his face as the translator cut out.

Hoshi whispered, "The word translates loosely as 'dreaming truth in waking'."

Jon nodded, turning back to the screen from his stance in the centre of the bridge. "Do you have a treatment?"

The doctor nodded, his entire body rocking forward with the effort, his feathers falling forward across his eyes, then springing back. "But our sickness does not appear to be the same. I am afraid that it is reacting differently in your species."

Phlox stepped forward from behind Jon. "In what way is it different?"

The doctor replied, "It is essentially the same, in that there is the fever, and the dreaming. The events that occur in the dream affect those dreaming, even once they no longer dream. But for us, it is never so vicious. In our species, we do not dream such violence. It is interesting that the difference…"

Jon interrupted. "So, if a person is injured in a dream…"

"They would be hurt in life," replied the doctor.

Jon simply stood there, surprise preventing him from replying.

The doctor continued. "I am thinking that the treatment may not be as effective."

Jon nodded, finally finding his voice. "Still, we appreciate you being willing to give it to us."

The doctor nodded, and the screen went blank.

-

Trip sat on the couch next to Malcolm, both wearing hospital gowns as they stared out at the stars. Trip glanced down at his hand and, seeing it bandaged, glanced over at his friend. Malcolm's gown gaped open, revealing a swath of bandages across his chest.

Trip turned to his friend, taking in his pallor and the dark circles under his eyes. "Are you all right?"

Malcolm shook his head, still looking out the portal. "I'm not sure."

They sat in silence.

"Why did you kiss me?" Trip asked, quietly.

Malcolm turned to him, his eyes sad and tired. In a similar tone of voice, he replied, "I wouldn't quite call what I did to you a kiss." He winced. "It was more of an assault."

Trip nodded. "Why did you assault me in that particular way?"

Malcolm's brow wrinkled as he thought. "I'm not sure. Power, perhaps?" He shook his head. "Of course, I didn't think it was you. But still, it was unlike me."

"You can't control your dreams."

Malcolm smiled wanly. "I suppose not."

Trip raised one eyebrow, his eyes glinting merrily. "Do you suppose that you secretly wanted to kiss me?"

Malcolm shook his head, smiling slightly. "I think I'd know if I wanted to kiss you, dream or no."

Trip slid closer. "Should we do a test?" At Malcolm's surprised look, he smiled. "It is a dream, after all. We can do whatever we want, and it doesn't necessarily mean anything."

Trip puckered up theatrically, moving his face closer to his friend. When Malcolm didn't respond, Trip smiled again. "Relax, Malcolm. Just pretend I'm T'Pol."

Malcolm laughed, and Trip leaned in and kissed him.

-

Trip moaned, sweat breaking out on his forehead.

He heard Jon's voice, far away. "How long before the treatment starts to work?"

He heard Phlox's voice, but wasn't able to make out what he said.

-

Trip pulled away from Malcolm, smiling broadly. "Was it good for you?" he asked cheerfully.

Malcolm laughed, then gasped in pain, raising one hand to press the bandage on his chest.

"Hey, you okay?" Trip asked, his worry increasing as he saw blood seeping out from underneath Malcolm's dressing.

Malcolm shook his head as he hunched forward.

Trip put a gentle hand on his shoulder. When Malcolm looked up, his eyes clouded in pain, Trip winced. "I don't want you to die."

Malcolm nodded, breathing evenly. After a moment, he straightened slightly. "I'm trying not to." He took a slow breath, and closed his eyes.

"Anything I can do?" Trip whispered.

Malcolm's squeezed his eyes shut. "I don't know," he gasped between breaths. "It's your dream."

Trip leaned back, surprised. "It is my dream, isn't it?" Trip nodded. "It's my dream." He huffed slightly. "I wonder…"

Trip slid closer to Malcolm, raising one hand tentatively. "Let me try something." Malcolm nodded, and Trip closed his eyes and placed his hand on Malcolm's chest, over his wound.

Trip opened his eyes a crack to find Malcolm staring at him. Trip smiled grimly. "Think positive thoughts, lieutenant."

Malcolm rolled his eyes.

Trip shut his eyes again. He started moving his hands in tiny, slow circles across Malcolm's chest. As he moved, Malcolm closed his eyes.

-

Malcolm's eyes shot open as he woke violently. He shot up with enough force to almost sit, only the equipment and tubes holding him down. As it was, his sudden movement pulled the IV from his hand, and a trickle of blood started dripping from his hand onto the floor. He groaned, and fell back.

Trip, on a nearby bed, turned to his friend. "Malcolm?"

Malcolm slowly turned his head to face Trip.

Trip stared at Malcolm. His friend looked great. Well, actually, his eyes were glassy, and he looked like shit. But he was awake, and alive.

Malcolm graced Trip with a tiny smile. Then he croaked, so softly that Trip almost missed it, "Positive thoughts."

Trip grinned.