Warning: Slash

Summary: Trip remembers when he first realised that he was home. Ficlet/scene.

Disclaimer: I don't own it, I make no money from it. Not written for profit, simply for pleasure.

x-x

Trip ran his hand through his lover's hair. They'd been together for, what, two years now? And still he was continually surprised by how soft his hair was - it always seemed so stiff when viewed from afar, but it was silky soft when touched.

The other man sighed, shifting slightly on the bed, his head on Trip's lap, his focus still held by the film playing on Trip's monitor. Like the softness threading through his fingers, Trip had been surprised by the difference between the initial impression he'd had of the man, versus the actuality once he'd gotten to know him; once he'd realised the depth of feeling hidden beneath that proper exterior.

Trip let his eyes blur, the video playing unseen before him in the dim cabin as he thought back. He could remember the first time he'd really realised, although of course he'd had hints before: their constant bickering, their developing friendship, then the excuses each found to spend more time with the other. But it wasn't until that one moment that he'd truly known, like, deep down in his gut known.

They'd been standing in engineering, working together on - something, a repair probably, when, for some reason, mid-snarky-comment, Trip had looked down into Malcolm's eyes. He'd stopped, frozen, in mid-sentence.

Grey; no, blue, he'd found himself thinking. More of a greyed blue, like the Gulf on an overcast day. Not at all like his own eyes, which were a brighter shade, Cerulean, while Malcolm's were more muted...a Bondi blue, like the water at that beach near Sydney where he'd surfed when he'd last been planet-side.

He had looked more closely. That still wasn't right: Malcolm's eyes had more grey to them. As if the water from the Gulf had been mixed with the composites used to form the walls of Enterprise, the materials that had been blended to form his home.

Home. Trip had blinked with the realisation, and felt his stomach turn. Home was there, in Malcolm's eyes.

It wasn't until Malcolm smiled, his eyes crinkling in the corners, that Trip realised that he was staring. Into Malcolm's eyes. And that Malcolm knew. The bastard, he already knew.

Trip had tentatively returned that smile, and then...and then, his life had changed.

Trip huffed a soft laugh, and felt Malcolm stir on his lap. Trip looked down at him, the light from the monitor throwing his features into sharp relief, and Trip realised that his eyes were closed: he had fallen asleep.

At this point, the man was sleeping over enough that Trip's cabin had become a second home.

Ah, Trip thought, staring down at his lover. His fingers, now stilled, rested gently in Malcolm's hair. Perhaps that was it. Perhaps Malcolm was home.

Trip certainly was.

x-x