Title: Fooling a Fool
Author: Joules Mer
Author's e-mail: email@example.com
Author's URL: http://jmenterprise.popullus.net
Date: Posted to EntSTSlash 04/04/2004
Archive: Permission to archive granted to EntSTCommunity and BLTS. All others
Fandom: Star Trek Enterprise
Summary: Who's the fool now?
Series: Spirit of the Season
Disclaimer: Enterprise is the property of Paramount. No profit was, or will
be, made by this story.
A/N: Just typed it in on the fly and posted so I apologize for any errors.
I don't have much free time these days.
The door slid open after he punched in an override code and
the intruder tiptoed into the room. He hurried over to the desktop chronometer,
picking it up and prising off the bottom. He carefully used a tool to remove
the chip that wirelessly connected it to the ship's internal chronometer.
The slot didn't remain empty for long as he inserted an almost identical chip
of his own design before replacing the small panel and setting the device back
on the shelf. He then hastened into the small bathroom and removed a few
items from the shelf by the sink. Each was carefully replaced with what
appeared to be an identical counterpart. A few more adjustments and he was
done. With one last look around to make sure everything was in its place
he hurried out of the quarters before he was caught.
Malcolm was having a marvellous dream. He'd invented
a new weapon that he was using to blow asteroids into clouds of interstellar dust.
He spun around in his chair at tactical before locking the targeting scanners
and firing again, a hulking asteroid vanishing in a very satisfying perfectly
symmetrical explosion. What made the dream marvellous was that Trip had
an arm draped over Malcolm's shoulders and was telling him how much he'd always
liked explosions, found accents drop dead sexy, and firmly believed that good
things came in small packages. When Trip took Malcolm's chin and turned
it to face his own, puckering his lips slightly as he leaned in, Malcolm eagerly
abandoned his console. There were some things explosions came second to.
He moistened his lips before leaning to capture Trip's with his own.
"What?" He blinked and Trip vanished.
"Tucker to Reed. You there, Malcolm?" He blinked
his eyes open and sat up, flinging out a hand to punch the buttons on the panel
over his bunk. He shut his eyes against the sudden light and replied, "Reed
Trip's voice boomed into his cabin, "What's up, Malcolm?
"Late?" Malcolm's brow furrowed in confusion. His
brain was still muddled by sleep.
There was what sounded like a note of exasperation in Trip's
tone, "Yes, 'late'. You didn't forget our 0800 meeting did you? We
were going to look over those new canon specs and see if we could modify ours."
Malcolm blinked his eyes open in surprise, causing them to
tear up in the painful light, "No, sir. I ah..." He trailed off, still
confused by being summoned from his bed.
Trip's voice filled the silence, he sounded genuinely surprised,
"Malcolm, you didn't *oversleep*, did you?" There was a note of incredulity
that attested to how unlikely Trip found that idea.
Malcolm wiped his eyes and looked at his chronometer.
08:15 blinked back at him and he uttered a forceful expletive in his head.
"I'll be there in ten minutes, Commander." He closed the comm channel before
Trip could realize he'd evaded the question.
He leapt out of bed and rushed into his lavatory, splashing
some water on his face and wiping the sleep from his eyes. Malcolm looked
into the mirror and grimaced, his cowlick was sticking straight up again.
There wasn't time for a shower so he sloshed some water on it before reaching
for the hair gel he kept for occasions when he had to make himself presentable
in a hurry. He flipped open the lid, but the bottle slipped from his grasp
and fell to the floor with a clatter. Cursing, he bent down to retrieve
it and used his face cloth to wipe up what had spilled onto the floor. He
dropped the towel onto the counter and was about to squirt a dollop of the gel
directly into his hair when he stopped in confusion. Malcolm slowly set
the bottle down and retrieved the towel, sniffing it and wrinkling his nose in
disgust at the odour.
Malcolm's eyes narrowed slightly as he brought the bottle of
hair gel to his nose and sniffed delicately. He promptly set it down on
the counter and took several deep breaths of the clean air in his quarters.
Gardenia and roses. If the gel had made it to his hair he'd have spent the
day stinking like some bloody botanical garden.
"What the hell?" Malcolm scrutinized the counter and
noticed that the bar of soap looked almost brand new, he was certain he'd worn
his down a bit. Wetting a corner of the towel and touching it to the soap
revealed the presence of what appeared to be glitter. His eyes widened and
darted around the counter, coming to rest on his shaving kit which he was certain
he'd never leave quite that close to the sink. He gingerly opened it and
was not surprised when a careful look at the business end of his shaver revealed
what looked like two pink strips. He touched one with the tip of his pinky
and the digit came away with what looked like a coat of blush.
Malcolm smoothed his hair down as best as he could, got dressed
and strode towards the door of his quarters, determined to find out who had done
this once his meeting with Trip was over. As soon as the door shut behind
him he stopped dead, the corridors were deserted. He frowned, normally there
would be people about at this time in the morning. Slowly, he turned back
and re-entered his quarters, going quickly to his computer terminal. He
switched on the screen and immediately looked to the top right corner. 0645
April 1 glowed softly back at him.
Malcolm sank back in his seat and covered his face with his
hands for a moment before sitting up and activating the comm, "Reed to Tucker."
"Tucker here." The tone was tightly controlled.
A muscle in Malcolm's face twitched, "Very funny, Trip."
There was a pause and then a crow of laughter, "April Fools,
Malcolm." The laughter dissolved into a sniggering giggle which Malcolm
patiently waited out.
"I'll see you at 0800, and you'd better be able to fix my chronometer."
"Smell ya later, Malcolm." There as another explosive
snorting giggle before the comm shut off.
Malcolm sat back in his chair and thought for a few minutes
before a grin slowly spread across his features. If he could pull this off,
it would be a perfect way to get back at Trip, and deal with a bit of his own
frustration while he was at it. He reached out and opened a comm channel
to someone he knew would be up this early, "Reed to Phlox."
"Good morning, Commander." Trip's head snapped up from
the padd he was reading and a broad grin alighted on his features.
"Morning, Malcolm." He sniffed the air as Malcolm got
closer and frowned, "You didn't?"
The other man gave a wry smile, "I'm afraid my face cloth was
the only casualty of the hair gel. You don't think I'd be this cheerful
if I smelled like *that*, do you?"
Trip smiled at Malcolm's only party theatrical shudder, "No,
I suppose not, but you have to admit it was a good try."
Malcolm nodded slightly, "And you almost pulled it off."
Suddenly a frown creased his brow and he stepped forward, capturing Trip's chin
with his left hand, "What are those?"
Trip's brows furrowed, "What?"
"Those." Malcolm gently touched the tip of his right
index finger to a spot on Trip's forehead, "That." He scrutinized Trip for
a second before prodding a few places on Trip's neck and face, "And that, and
that... And that."
"Huh?" Trip craned to look at the reflection of his face
in the polished surface of the metal workbench and Malcolm grabbed his arms, rolling
up the sleeves and prodding a few places on his right arm and hand and then his
"You've got them here too."
Trip looked at his hands and was confronted by some vague blotches
he was sure hadn't been there before. Now that he had noticed them they
began to itch slightly. The spots began to puff up as if the skin was irritated
and he felt a slight wave of panic as he remembered what has happened the last
time strange spots had grown on him. "Sonuva!" He reached up to scratch
at his now itchy face, but his wrist was caught before his hand could get there.
He found himself looking into the concerned gaze of Malcolm, who had grabbed his
"You shouldn't scratch them if you don't know what they are."
Trip gulped, but nodded his assent. Malcolm pulled Trip's
wrist and positioned it so they could both get a good look at his arm. The
blotches were turning into what looked like hives. Blue hives. Trip
turned wide eyes on his friend, "Oh Gawd, Malcolm. What do you think they
"I have no idea, I think we'd best get you to sickbay in case
"Catching!" Trip practically wailed the word.
"Come on, to sickbay with you." Malcolm took his friend
by the arm and set off briskly down the corridor. Trip's anxiety was only
heightened by the strange looks the passing crewmembers were giving him.
He pulled his arm from Malcolm's grasp and scratched at a spot
on his face where the itching had become almost intolerable. An absolute
bundle of nerves he couldn't help babbling again, "What do you think it is, Malcolm?
What's wrong with me?"
Malcolm stopped and regarded his nervous friend, "Well, it's
really Phlox's place to say, but..."
Trip felt a surge of hope, "But what? Have you seen this
The lieutenant reluctantly shook his head and Trip felt his
heart sink, "No, I've never seen it before, but..."
Trip grabbed his friend by the shoulders, "But what?"
"Well, we did have the Follisians on the ship last week."
Trip couldn't understand the pointed look Malcolm was giving
him, "Yeah? So?"
"So I seem to recall catching you snogging that Follisian engineer
in the cargo bay. That *blue* Follisian engineer."
Trip looked like he was going to faint, "You think I caught
something from her? But Malcolm, it was just one kiss! She said she'd
read about the human custom of kissing and asked me if I'd demonstrate.
You can't catch something from just kissing, can you?"
Malcolm pulled on Trip's arm to get him moving towards sickbay
again, "I think we'd better let Phlox be the judge of that."
Trip paced back and forth in decon, scratching absently at
the spots on his arms. One look at him and Phlox had sent Trip to the small
room, and it felt like he'd been there for hours. By his estimation, it
must be getting close to lunchtime. He stopped in his tracks as the door
to decon slid open and Malcolm stood framed in the doorway.
"Malcolm!" He took a step towards his friend and then
stopped, he didn't want the other man to catch what he had.
Malcolm regarded him gravely, "Phlox has figured out what it
Trip felt a knot settle in the pit of his stomach at Malcolm's
tone. It couldn't be a good sign that Malcolm was having a hard time meeting
his eyes, "What is it, Malcolm? Tell me."
His friend shifted uneasily before continuing in a solemn tone,
"You've got Severus Foolus Aprilis, it's caused by Prankus Failus."
Trip's anxious expression slowly melted as he worked out what
Malcolm had said. Trip's eyes widened and, "You bastard!" popped out of
his mouth before he could stop it. A gesture that caused his friend to release
a mirthful laugh.
Malcolm grinned unapologetically and shrugged, "It was only
planned this morning. After what you tried to pull you certainly deserved
Trip held his face in his hands, unable to argue with the last
statement. After a moment he lowered his hands and revealed a face flushed
with embarrassment, "I don't suppose you have a way of getting these off?"
"Of course." Malcolm pulled a small vial from his pocket,
"Just rub this on them and they'll go away. Then maybe we can go get some
Trip took the proffered cure, his face full of chagrin, "Okay."
He stood looking at one of his spots for a moment before giving a gusty sigh,
"Malcolm, I have to admit you got me good."
Malcolm smirked, "I try."
Trip carefully deposited his heavily laden tray on the table
and slid into the seat across from Malcolm. He took a gulp of his drink
and regarded his friend who was still smiling slightly. "So Malcolm."
Trip shook his head slightly, "What gave you the idea to do
*that*?" He watched in fascination as a slight blush blossomed on Malcolm's
features which twitched slightly, very interesting considering that he'd gotten
through the morning with a perfect poker face.
"Oh, um, I dunno." Malcolm kept his eyes firmly fixed
on his plate, as if a grilled cheese sandwich and soup was the most fascinating
thing he had ever seen.
Trip frowned and leaned forward, he had the feeling he was
on to something interesting, "Come on, Malcolm. I can tell something's up.
Why did you do it?" When Malcolm merely shrugged Trip wracked his brain
to try and figure out why his friend would be acting like this. After a
few seconds he carefully spoke, "You weren't... jealous of me, were you?"
Malcolm gave a surprised snort, "Hardly. Why on Earth
would I want to snog some woman?"
Trip started, "What?"
He sniffed derisively, "I don't snog aliens. You don't
know where they've been."
"You didn't say that."
"What?" The innocence was just a bit forced.
"You said 'woman', not 'alien'."
Malcolm's mouth opened and closed once before he got out a
Trip's looked slightly confused, "Is there something you want
to tell me, Malcolm?"
There was a muttered, "Not really," before Malcolm gave a weak
smile and spoke so that Trip would be the only one in the mess able to hear, "I'm
Malcolm made a violent hushing gesture and leaned over the
Trip looked poleaxed, "But what was all that stuff about T'Pol's
Malcolm grimaced slightly, "How does 'I like sex and I get
really, really, slutty when I'm drunk' sound?"
The other man gaped, "Gawd, Malcolm! But what about when
we went to Risa to pick up women? We're friends and it isn't anything to
hide, why didn't you tell me?"
"Well..." As Malcolm trailed off and flushed more deeply
Trip realized the two questions he'd blurted out were linked.
"Are you..." He frowned and tried again, "Is it possible
that you weren't jealous of me, but..." He paused and looked at his friend
closely as he finished, "jealous of her?" Malcolm's reply was mumbled.
"What was that?"
Trip sat back in his seat, "Wow."
Malcolm threw down his napkin and made as if to sit up, "I
think I'd better get down to the armoury."
"Wait!" They both froze at Trip's exclamation.
"Stay." Malcolm obediently settled into his seat, his posture tense.
Trip fiddled with his fork before meeting Malcolm's eyes, "I think I've got something
to tell you too." He took a deep breath, "I'm bisexual, in the being a guy
who likes men and women way."
It was Malcolm's turn to be flabbergasted, "Oh."
Trip smiled weakly, "And I kind of like you too, Malcolm."
"*Oh*." He licked his lips in a nervous gesture, "Well,
um." He trailed off and settled for, "Well."
Trip reached across the table and captured Malcolm's hand with
his own, "Would you like to, maybe, go out?"
Malcolm was still feeling a bit shocked at the turn of events,
"On a date." Trip clarified. "Maybe tonight?"
"Tonight." Malcolm's brain finally managed to process
what was going on and verify that it was real. All at once he smiled more
broadly than Trip had ever seen him smile before, "I'd love to."
"Great." The goofy grin on his face matched Malcolm's,
"It's a date then. I'll pick you up at 1800, we can have dinner and then
go to the movie."
Malcolm rolled over and flung out a hand to quiet the insistent
beeping of his alarm.
Malcolm stretched and rolled back to plant a quick kiss on
Trip's lips, "That is the 0700 alarm." He grinned as Trip blearily blinked
his eyes open, "You'd better get up or you'll be late for your shift."
"First thing's a meeting with the Cap'n, but that isn't till
0900, I could've slept in." The sleep roughened tone trailed off and Trip
gave a jaw cracking yawn before snagging another kiss from his new lover.
"Well, I have to be in the armoury in an hour so I'd better
get moving." Malcolm rolled out of bed and stood, "C'mon lazybones, you
could at least join me for breakfast."
Trip slumped into the mattress, "I'm not usually the 'into
the sack after the first date' kinda guy, but Malcolm, you completely wore me
out last night. Can I just stay here all day?"
Malcolm laughed softly, "Well, I wouldn't have a problem with
that, but the captain might." He stood for a moment and smiled fondly at
the man in his bunk, "Fine. I'm going to have a quick shower. You
get up and make yourself presentable so we can go to breakfast."
Malcolm snorted at the reply before heading into the bathroom.
Trip frowned as he sat up, only Malcolm could have him completely whipped after
one night together. It would almost serve him right if... Trip's musings
were cut off by a volley of curses coming from the bathroom. He winced,
yesterday Malcolm must not have discovered the surprise he'd rigged in the shower.