TITLE: Twins, 1/10?, pre-slash, Tu/R, Tu/OC, T+.
PAIRING/S: Tucker/Reed, Tucker/original character.
RATING: T+; Teen plus readers.
WARNING/S: References to child abuse, prostitution, non-consensual sex, violent molestation.
SUMMARY: What if Malcolm Reed had a twin brother he‑‑and his parents‑‑didn't know about? An alien bazaar like Rigel X ("Broken Bow") is life-changing for Reed and Tucker. Basically, this is my excuse for twice as much Malcolm (and Dominic!) in a fic (or episode).
DISCLAIMER: The names of all characters contained herein are the property of the Estate of Gene Roddenberry, Paramount Pictures Corp., Viacom, CBS, and the actors who portrayed them. No money is being made; no infringements of these copyrights are intended.
Commander Charles "Trip" Tucker liked visiting alien markets. The aliens selling and buying items were amazing or just plain frightening. The items being bought and sold were just as amazing or frightening, sometimes both at once. Saiph was a brown dwarf star near Rigel, where they began their mission over a year ago. The officers were on Saiph III, a barren, cold, and rocky planet with its trade centers underground. The ship's chef had asked Captain Archer to find a new food, preferably a fruit or vegetable, that Doctor Phlox could test and declare safe for Humans, Vulcans, and Denobulans, and would stay fresh in refrigeration or stasis.
The officers arrived at the space port, deposited at the trade center's Assay Office bars of refined metals gathered from space dust and chondrite asteroids, and divided into three teams. Captain Archer, Lieutenant Reed, and Ensign Sato scanned foodstuffs at booths and shops and looked for something that fitted Chef's criteria and Phlox's guidelines. Commander Tucker and Ensign Cutler used bioscanners and translators, although Cutler did most of the talking. Doctor Phlox and Sub-Commander T'Pol were the least-noticed of all the officers.
Tucker and Cutler had turned down an aisle between tables and booths. They walked a few yards, and Tucker saw a brutal fight going on in a cordoned-off area a meter or so ahead. Two Orion and three Nausicaan males were beating and hacking a compact and lean being with shock-whips and alien machetes. They alternated between whipping him, slashing his body, and trying to cut off his loose drawstring trousers, his only garment. A crowd had gathered to watch, but Tucker was tall enough to see over everyone else. The slender humanoid had auburn-brown hair and blood-and bruise-covered pale ivory skin. He was very muscular, very thin, and hampered by a choke-chain collar around his neck and chain leash bolted to the wall. Wide, bloody bands of skin on his wrists and ankles suggested that he'd been in shackles for a while. Two and three bands of tattoos in black, blue, and purple circled his upper arms, but four deep slashes had been cut through them on each arm. The being turned, and Tucker had a clear view of his face. He saw red and waded into the fray.
Tucker didn't think twice; the injured and unarmed man chained to the wall looked exactly like his friend, Malcolm Reed; it must be him. He was fighting five larger and armed aliens, and he looked like he was bleeding to death from the wounds he'd already received. Tucker moved into the brawl, distracting some of the aliens. Angry muttering from the crowd suggested that he wouldn't be able to stun all the aliens in the ring and not be shot or attacked himself. Trip pulled his phase pistol, shot the bolt locking the chain to the wall, returned the pistol to its holster, and snapped it closed, so it could not easily be taken from him. Malcolm quickly removed the choke chain collar from his neck, gathered the loose chain, used it like a whip to knock some of his assailants off their feet, and disarmed them quickly. He seized a shock-whip, hit two Nausicaans, and knocked them out.
The officers were at the market for a half hour when their communicators squawked. "Captain Archer, Doctor Phlox! We need help! Commander Tucker is fighting aliens! We're in the large cavern!" Liz Cutler shouted into her communicator; she didn't see who Tucker saw. Reed traced her communicator's locator chip; he and Archer were homing in on her at the same time T'Pol and Phlox also reached her. They met at the edge of some sort of fight ring separated from the crowds by portable metal fence rails; Reed and Archer saw Tucker's spiky blond hair above the fighting aliens and dived into what was fast becoming a brawl. T'Pol called the trade center's security office for assistance; Phlox called his staff to prepare Sickbay in case it would be needed when they returned to the ship. Sato and Cutler stared at the growing angry mob in horror.
By the time Archer, Reed, Phlox, and T'Pol arrived, additional Orion merchants had joined the brawl, and the situation was quickly becoming dangerous. Archer and Reed distracted other aliens, keeping them away from Tucker; they hadn't seen the person he was assisting-yet. The last conscious Nausicaan grabbed the chain in the middle and hauled the injured man closer; he planned to whip him. Tucker yanked the chain out of the Nausicaan's hands, whacked him on the head, and knocked him out.
The trade center's security office sent one Vulcan constable and six Tellarite policemen who ended the brawl. The Tellarites separated everyone else from the original five combatants, their smaller victim, and Enterprise's officers.
The injured and unarmed man leaned against the wall and held the chain to keep everyone away from him. Tucker approached him, "Malcolm, are you all right?" he asked worriedly, "What the hell happened to you?"
"Trip, I'm right here, I'm fine," Reed said, a meter or so to Tucker's left, but then he turned his head and saw who his friend had spoken to. "Who are you?"
The man who looked like Reed was breathing hard and unevenly. His body shook with barely restrained anger as he glared at the Armoury officer. A moment later, he dropped the chain he held. "Why was I given away?" he shouted angrily, "Why was I thrown away? Why was I the one who was given away, and not you?!" He raised his hands and charged at Reed.
Reed was muscular and a martial arts expert, but his twin, just as muscular, was injured and exhausted. He was reluctant to hurt his lookalike but the lieutenant twisted a blood-slick arm behind the man's back and pushed his chest against the wall. "Who are you, please?" he asked calmly, "Where are you from, and how did you get here?"
"My name is Derek Cane," the twin replied, panting, "From Britain, obviously; Leicestershire. My step-parents were Boomers." Malcolm released him, but stared at him in amazement. "They left me here when I was 18, indentured for fifteen years to an Orion mercenary militia‑‑"
"Who he has dishonored by his treason!" said an Orion merchant.
"I was framed for treason and prevented from proving my innocence!" Cane exclaimed.
"Your freedom is still surrendered to the militia!" the merchant shouted. A Nausicaan fighter staggered over to seize him.
"Not so fast!" Phlox said to the aliens, "If this altercation was the traditional Orion 'rôthdágor,' the truth-ordeal, then it has ended in a draw."
A male Vulcan constable approached the merchants. "The visitor has stated the situation correctly; the accused did not lose the ordeal." He turned to Archer and T'Pol. "I am Sakal, the senior constable of the Saiph Trade Center; the constables will mediate this dispute."
"The ordeal was interrupted by aliens who ignore our customs!" a second merchant shouted.
"That is false!" Phlox replied hotly, "The soldier's family has come to buy his freedom!"
"I don't think you blokes have enough of the right kind of money to get me out of this mess," Cane whispered; he seemed tired and somehow sad to Malcolm.
Tucker edged around the shifty Nausicaan to lean against the wall near Cane. "I guess the pessimism runs in the family," he said and smiled at Reed. "It depends on what you think the 'right kind of money' is, doesn't it?" he asked his friend's battered twin.
Archer joined the aliens' discussion. "Doctor Phlox is our Medical Officer," he said, "His scanners can determine if the two men are genetically related or not."
Phlox approached Cane. "I'll need a small sample of blood for the analyzer‑‑" he briefly placed the analyzer's collection tip in a gash on his arm, and the device beeped instantly.
"Do you need‑‑" Reed said and held the backs of his hands out.
"No, Lieutenant Reed, I have your medical data," he replied, and joined the uneasy conversation between Archer, the Vulcan constable, and the merchants. "Your ex-soldier is the blood brother of our officer. Will you accept my equipment's results, or do you wish to use‑‑"
"That will not be necessary," Sakal said, "The Constabulary approves or rejects test results. We will accept these as accurate, as long as we can have a copy of the results for our files."
"When we arrived at the space port earlier today," Sub-Commander T'Pol said, "we deposited a number of refined metal bars at the Assay Office‑‑"
"We'll see what you have," the first merchant said, "but I doubt you can afford his blood-price‑‑"
"Considering how much blood he's lost already," Phlox muttered angrily, "you should be thankful that we're paying you for him."
"What do you have to barter?" the second merchant asked disdainfully.
"Titanium, molybdenum, tungsten‑‑" T'Pol said, "‑‑nickel, palladium, platinum‑‑" the Orion merchants tried to hide their interest; "‑‑copper, silver, and gold," she concluded; the Nausicaans didn't hide their dismay at losing their punching bag. "Mister Cane, I suggest you leave Saiph III immediately with your long-lost brother."
"I won't leave without my box," he replied.
"The contents of your box are mine!" the first merchant snarled.
"No; if his price is paid, his box's contents will be returned to him," Sakal said.
"Box? What is in it?" Captain Archer asked.
"It holds my identity records from Earth, some family keepsakes, and a copy of the indenture contract," Cane said. He was cold, had lost a lot of blood, and felt the fatigue sink into his body. His anger about his unjust treatment had dissipated, but the weariness remained. He watched the human Starfleet officers in confusion, with much curiosity, and a small trace of fear. The tall blond man who came to his aid was called 'Trip.' He originally thought the man was just another killer the Nausicaans had hired, but he was astonished when he shot his chain free from the arena wall bolt, and was confused because his expression was desperate and angry at the same time. He lounged against the wall about a meter from him and watched the man he called 'Malcolm,' who watched him intently. Malcolm looked like him‑‑or rather, what he could have looked like if he had not been left far from Earth, in alien controlled space, battered, malnourished, abused, and worked beyond exhaustion.
Cane's appalling physical condition struck a chord in his brother. "Trip, would you please get a med-kit from Ensign Cutler?" he asked his friend, who retrieved the metal case. "My name is Malcolm Reed," he said to Cane, "I think we're brothers."
"Malcolm?" Cane said hesitantly, "my name is Derek." They smiled shyly at each other.
Malcolm cleaned his brother's blood off his hands with sanitizer wipes from the med-kit and reached out a hand to Cane. "Please, Derek, give me your hands, let me bandage some of your injuries," he said quietly. Trip held the kit and passed supplies as Malcolm cleaned, treated, and wrapped bandages over the wide bands of abraded skin on Cane's wrists. "I'm sorry that it's not a professional job," he said, "but we're usually on the receiving end of Doctor Phlox's care."
Cane was surprised by and grateful for any attention that wasn't cruel or painful. "Th‑‑thank you," he mumbled. Unable to stare down or physically challenge another soldier in his current condition, he lowered his gaze and leaned against the wall again. His bruised and bloody body was shivering strongly, but he did his best to conceal that.
Malcolm noticed his distress, however; he unzipped his quilted blue Starfleet expedition jacket and shrugged it off. "Here, put this on," he held out the coat, "you look very cold."
Cane raised his head and stared in confusion at his brother and the jacket he held. "Are‑‑are you giving it to me?" he whispered in disbelief.
"No, not permanently, it's part of my uniform, but I'll let you wear it for now," he replied, "You look very cold, and trauma probably is hitting you about now. When we reach Enterprise, I'll give you some of my clothes."
No one had ever given him anything in his life without him begging, haggling, stealing, or selling himself for it‑‑even when he was very young and lived with his mother. He was stunned by his brother's kind gesture and wondered what he'd want in return. "Th‑‑thank you!"
"I don't know why your step-parents said you'd been given away by your real parents," Malcolm said, helping him into the jacket, "I don't think my parents could have given away my sister or me‑‑not willingly, that is." He zipped the jacket closed and turned up the collar around Cane's neck.
"Th‑‑thank you," Cane replied, unsure if he referred to the jacket or the remark. "Y‑‑your coat is warm!" he added in surprise and wrapped his arms across his chest.
Malcolm was shocked but didn't show it. "We've only been here for less than an hour."
Shouts sounded behind Malcolm, and he turned, Cane and Trip looking over his shoulders. Phlox was arguing with the two merchants. "He is seriously injured and must be treated!"
"He must come to the Constables' Office to retrieve his box!"
"They‑‑they're right," Cane said, "I‑‑I have to get it myself." He started to walk towards the arguing people when his legs gave out under him.
Malcolm caught him before his knees hit the solid stone floor. Trip put his hands under Cane's arms to lift him, but he whirled around with his fist raised to strike and nearly lost his balance again. "Whoa! I didn't mean anything by it," Trip said, "I was just helpin' hold you up."
"Don't stand behind me," Cane said distrustfully, "please."
"We will go to the Constables' Office, read the indenture contract, and settle the price for the soldier's release from indenture," said Sakal, the Vulcan constable.
Malcolm grasped Cane's elbows and held him up. "I‑‑I have to be there in person to retrieve my box. If I'm not, the merchants could force your friends to give them the contents," the injured man avoided looking Reed in the eye.
"I don't think they could force Captain Archer to do anything he doesn't want to do, and they definitely couldn't force T'Pol or Phlox," Malcolm said.
"I don't know if I'll be able to get to the Constables' Office on my own."
"I'll help you; put your arm about my waist," Malcolm said. "You can lean on me as much as you need to."
Derek seemed wary. "All right," he said and hesitantly put his right arm around his brother's waist. He tensed when the officer wrapped his left arm around his waist.
"I'm sorry," Malcolm said quickly, "I should have asked if you have any fractured or broken bones. If you're in great pain, we can ask Doctor Phlox for an analgesic."
"I probably have some broken bones," he replied, "they thought I'd lose the ordeal. I was accused of treason, which has only two penalties: immediate execution or slavery. The trainers took great pride training me for my life in slavery at the blockhouse."
"My god," Malcolm murmured, "how long were you there?"
"Two or three weeks, maybe; I was a little confused by the end of it."
"Why?" Trip asked, "I mean, why were you accused of treason?"
"I was accused of the theft of classified information," he replied. "Many mercenaries were jealous of my rapid advance in the militia. All were angry about my disapproval of the petty crimes they commit. Orion mercenaries are bullies."
Derek and Malcolm did not have to walk far to reach the Constables' Office. Three Vulcans assembled everyone in a courtroom-like chamber. Derek sat with his legs on the seat to his left, and Malcolm sat to his right, his arms wrapped about his brother to hold him upright. Phlox cleaned and bandaged his ankle abrasions, then checked Malcolm's work on Derek's wrists.
Cane's safe deposit box was brought into the room; the recorded copy of his indenture contract was located, and his blood-price was calculated. Archer, Phlox, and T'Pol raised objections and haggled over terms; the merchants objected to their terms and tried to introduce the questionable matter of the theft. The Vulcans kept their logically cool heads, defused every possible problem, and rejected the request to investigate the theft while the first case was open. Doctor Phlox's medical data on Reed and tests results for Cane were entered into evidence and copied for the office's records.
The adjudicators verified that Cane did not lose the 'rôthdágor,' the ordeal battle. The battle for his freedom and release from indenture was a draw because his blood family arrived, disrupted the ordeal, and paid the price of his indenture. The adjudicators officially reprimanded the Orion merchants for cutting 'dishonor marks' into Cane's rank tattoos before the ordeal, because they were supposed to have been safely cut by a physician after he lost.
The Orion merchants threatened dire consequences, were fined for their unlawful scarring of Cane and reprimanded for their threats, the fines for which were taken from the indenture's blood-price. An adjudicator called for Cane to approach and receive their verdict and the contents of his deposit box, now bundled into a small, black polymer bag with a zip closure. Derek and Malcolm reached the mediation table, and he accepted his personal belongings. Malcolm asked if his brother was free to leave Saiph III. The Vulcans permitted his departure and announced that the case was closed. However, they detained the Orion merchants at the Constables' Office because of their flagrant violation of numerous laws.
"Here," Derek whispered shakily, holding the bag in his left hand, "put this someplace safe for me, will you?" He started to fall to the floor, and Trip darted forward to catch him again. The former mercenary did not object; he was unconscious.
Malcolm stuffed the bag into a pocket on his uniform, zipped it, and gathered Derek into his arms. "Mal, you're not gonna carry him, are you?" Trip asked in disbelief, "You'll get hurt!"
"Trip, I'll carry him," he replied; the edge in his voice indicated the matter was closed to discussion.
Sakal the Vulcan and a group of Tellarite policemen escorted the Starfleet officers through the market to the space port. They reached the shuttlepod, and Trip unlocked it for them. Malcolm had piloted the pod down, but his hands were full at the moment. "I'll fly," Archer said, getting into the pilot's seat and starting the preflight checklist.
"We're almost there, Derek," Malcolm whispered, setting him down on a bench seat. "Derek?" he asked, but his injured brother remained silent. "Doctor Phlox?"
Phlox ran the scanner over the injured man. "He's lapsed into a coma," he said a moment later. "Captain, we need to get Mister Reed's brother into Sickbay as soon as possible," he said. Malcolm appeared grief-stricken, as if his world had collapsed.
"On our way," Archer replied, "Is everyone buckled in?" Murmurs came from the other officers. He launched the shuttle and pushed it to the uppermost limits of its specs. The craft was within Enterprise and docked in record time, Archer thought. He went through the post-flight checklist, shut down all systems, and stood to leave the shuttle. T'Pol, Sato, and Cutler already had exited to go through Decon.
Malcolm knelt on the shuttle's deck, whispering to Derek; he seemed to be holding back tears. Archer feared the worst. "Phlox?"
"He's still comatose," the doctor replied, "we need to get him through Decon quickly."
Malcolm unbuckled the safety belts restraining his brother, lifted him in his arms, and stood. "Malcolm-" Trip and Archer both spoke at once. Phlox shook his head at them and walked ahead of the officers to prepare Decon and Sickbay.
"I'll do it," Malcolm replied impassively, tightened his hold on his brother, and stood.
"I'll help you," Trip said and moved around his friend. Malcolm nodded, stepped out of the shuttle, and let his friend guide him. They reached the Decon chamber just as T'Pol, Sato, and Cutler left the showers to enter the women's' locker room. In minutes, Sub-Commander T'Pol and Ensign Cutler were in Sickbay, speaking with Phlox through Decon's speakers.
It seemed that, during the fighting, Tucker, Reed, and Archer had been exposed to potentially dangerous bacteria; Phlox had been exposed later, when he treated Cane. Phlox drew a small sample of blood for T'Pol to run through the shipboard analyzer; she compared it to samples of Reed's blood and synthesized antibiotics and antivirals for Cane and Reed.
Phlox and Malcolm disagreed about staying in Decon and tending to Cane. "Mister Reed, I realize he's your brother," the alien doctor said, "and I understand you didn't know you had a twin brother before today, but I insist that you finish processing through Decon and let me examine him without any interruptions. I'll call you as soon as I've stabilized his condition."
"What about blood? Or‑‑or organ transplants? Or‑‑" Malcolm asked anxiously.
"I can keep him on life support long enough to call you and arrange a biopsy," the doctor said. "Please, you will not help him if you're exhausted; clean up, eat a meal, try to get a little rest."
"Trip, take him out of here," Archer said. The engineer nodded, put his arm around his friend's shoulders, and whispered to him. The two men slowly walked to the Decon shower chamber; Malcolm looked back once before the doors closed.