Jon knew it was unprofessional of him, but he couldn't help being somewhat
distracted all morning. After four hours of sitting in the captain's
chair he still had no idea what he was going to do, and was thoroughly worked
up about what Trip might be planning. In retrospect, he should have
known to be suspicious of any unusual requests, but since it was Malcolm
who contacted him he merely agreed to meet the lieutenant in 15 minutes so
they could discuss the new cannon upgrades.
Exactly 15 minutes later he was standing outside Malcolm's
quarters, quickly wiping his hands on his thighs in case they were sweaty
and taking a breath as he pushed the chime. The door slid open and
Jon stepped into the small quarters. He'd opened his mouth to say something
when he caught sight of Malcolm and froze.
Jeans. Surprisingly tight jeans and a black t-shirt.
Jon could count on one hand the number of times he'd seen Malcolm in casual
clothes. When Malcolm gave him a lopsided smile and positively stalked
over Jon took an involuntary step backwards.
"Punctual, Captain, I like that." With Malcolm's
accent the words were enough to make Jon shiver.
He tried to hide his confusion as he said, "You wanted
to discuss the cannon modifications?"
Malcolm made a dismissive gesture. "That was just
to get you off that bridge of yours." He took two slow steps forward
and continued, "Although, I wouldn't mind taking a look at *your* heavy weaponry."
As Malcolm licked his lips and gave a predatory smile Jon felt his mouth
drop open in surprise.
He felt a blush rise up his neck as he tried to come up
with something to say. "I... Malcolm..." A sudden flash blinded
him and there was a burst of uncontrollable laughter as he tried to clear
his vision. When he could see again he was treated to the sight of
a still guffawing Trip Tucker carefully extracting himself from Malcolm's
closet. Jon didn't know how he'd managed to fold himself inside.
It was the camera in Trip's hands that finally clued him in, that and the
way Trip managed to gasp out, "April fool!"
He looked from his still sniggering friend to his furiously
blushing tactical officer. "You..."
Trip slapped his friend's back. "Aw, Cap'n, you
should have seen your face!" He dissolved into helpless laughter again
before managing to choke out, "Serves you right for what you did to my shower
"You mean you..." He turned helpless eyes to the
other man. "Malcolm?"
Malcolm ducked his head as his blush deepened, but he
forced himself to meet his superior's eyes as he answered. "I'm sorry,
Captain. I'm afraid I lost a bet to the commander, and while this was
distasteful I couldn't welch."
Of course he couldn't. Malcolm was predictably responsible
in matters like that. Since Malcolm still looked quite uncomfortable
Jon hastened to reassure him. "It's okay, Malcolm. You're not
the first person to have been drawn into this."
Trip slapped Jon's back once more and managed to compose
himself. "I've got to get back to work." He patted his camera
meaningfully. "And download that picture." He said bye to Malcolm
over his shoulder and then he was gone.
When the door slid shut after Trip Jon eyed Malcolm carefully.
After a moment Malcolm waved a hand at his small sofa. "Would you like
to have a seat?"
"Thanks." Jon smiled as he sank into the seat.
"I think I need it." He watched in fascination as Malcolm blushed again
at the comment.
"It's my understanding that you and Trip don't keep the
normal morning only time limit on your pranks. May I ask what you've
got planned for him? I wouldn't mind being there when he gets what's
coming to him."
Jon ran a hand over his face. "Actually, I haven't
really been able to come up with something."
"When we were back on Earth it wasn't a problem, but as
captain..." He trailed off as Malcolm nodded his understanding.
They sat in awkward silence for a while before Malcolm
cleared his throat. When Jon looked up he cautiously said, "Well,
there is a way this whole joke could be on him after all."
Intrigued, Jon leaned forward. "How's that?"
"Well..." Malcolm shifted on his feet. "Trip
clearly thinks having me come on to you was a good joke. But with T'Pol
conducting that geological survey it will only be you and Trip at dinner.
If I were to come too... Well, he'd be pretty surprised and uncomfortable
if we were to, you, know..."
Jon's eyes widened. "You think we should *flirt*?"
Malcolm shifted again and his cheeks acquired a rosy hue.
"Well... If you're not uncomfortable with the idea..."
"Malcolm that's great! He won't expect it from you
and he'll be too tongue tied to ask what's going on." He couldn't keep
himself from grinning as he imagined how Trip was going to look. Just
as quickly a concern presented itself and he said, "Just how comfortable
are you with this, Malcolm? I don't want you to do anything that you're
not comfortable with."
"Actually, I should ask you the same thing." Malcolm
looked a little sheepish. "If anyone is going to be uncomfortable I'd
have thought that you..."
When Malcolm trailed off Jon had the feeling he was missing
"Well." Malcolm waved a hand vaguely. "You
His brow furrowed. "Know what?"
Malcolm stared at a spot somewhere beyond Jon's left ear.
Jon felt particularly dense. "What about you?"
Malcolm ran a hand through his hair. "That, while
Trip might drag me out after women, I'm..." He licked his lips in a
nervous gesture. "Partial to men as well."
Malcolm swallowed. "Prefer, actually."
"Oh, Malcolm, I..."
Malcolm straightened until he was practically at attention.
"I'm sorry, sir. Please accept my apologies and forget I ever suggested..."
Jon didn't let him finish. "I don't know that I
can." Malcolm's jaw shut with an audible snap. "You see..."
He levered himself to his feet. "I know the feeling."
"The feeling, sir?"
"I prefer men as well and..." Jon closed the distance
between them as he said, "I don't think you should call me sir." He
took in how the pulse was hammering in Malcolm's neck before throwing caution
to the wind and kissing his armoury officer. When Malcolm reciprocated
he had the absurd thought that he should pinch himself to see if he was dreaming.
When he finally pulled back he decided that a slightly
dazed Malcolm was something he'd like to see on a regular basis. Malcolm
blinked twice and said, "So you'd like to make Trip as uncomfortable
as possible tonight?"
Jon grinned. "Beet red and squirming would be perfect."
Malcolm couldn't quite meet his eyes as he said,
"Does that also mean that you'd be amenable to continuing this tomorrow?"
Jon leaned in for another kiss and said, "And the day
after that, and the day after that, and..."
The smile on Malcolm's face was like a breath of fresh
air after a year in deep space.
"Evenin' Cap'n." Trip strode into the captain's
mess and stopped short at the sight of three place settings on the table.
"Malcolm, actually." Jon poured a glass of iced
tea and passed it over to the far side of the table. "Chef's going
to make pineapple cake for dessert, kind of an apology for what you made
him do this afternoon."
A smug smile settled on Trip's face as he sunk into the
chair corresponding to the drink Jon had poured. The fact that it was
T'Pol's seat didn't register. "I got you good, Cap'n, and you're running
out of time to get me back."
"Just wait, Trip. You should know better than to
underestimate me." He pretended to surreptitiously check the chronometer
and said, "It's unlike Malcolm to be late. Maybe we should start soon."
Trip raised an eyebrow. "Why? You on a deadline?"
Jon affected an air of nonchalance. "No. No
rush. It just looked like a good movie tonight."
Trip leaned back in his chair and smiled. "I know.
It's my favourite." He paused and then said, "Which is why I'm not
"What?" Jon allowed a hint of alarm to creep into
his voice. "Why not?"
Trip chuckled. "The timing was just a bit too good,
Cap'n. I'll be watching the movie all right, but in my quarters."
He laughed outright as Jon's face fell. "I know better than to go to
a crowded movie theatre today, especially if my favourite film is playing.
It was way too obvious, Cap'n."
The door opening cut off any further jeers from Trip.
Malcolm, looking happy to be back in his uniform, immediately began to apologize.
"I'm sorry I'm late. There was a problem with the aft cannon assembly
that I had to look after."
"No problem, Malcolm." Jon waved at the seat between
Trip and himself. "Take a seat."
"Did you get it fixed?"
Malcolm took the glass of iced tea that Jon handed him
with a nod of thanks. "It was just a burnt circuit, but the diagnostic
wasn't working right so we had to wade through half the assembly to find
out which one was causing the problem."
Trip winced in sympathy. "If that happens again
give me a call. I've got a fair bit of practice at working the glitches
out of the diagnostic systems."
"I'll be sure to."
A steward chose that moment to bring in their food.
Dinner was spent largely on work related small talk. It was only when
three large slices of pineapple upside down cake and a bowl of whipped cream
were placed on the table that Jon put his plan into action. He just
hoped the stewards would remember his instructions to leave them alone after
"Would you care for some whipped cream, Malcolm?"
Malcolm licked his lips. "Yes please, Captain.
Two spoonfuls, if you don't mind. I'm quite fond of cream."
Jon dropped two generous dollops on top of Malcolm's cake,
accidentally getting some on Malcolm's thumb where it was gripping the edge
of the plate. "Oh. Sorry Malcolm."
Malcolm practically simpered. "No harm done."
With that he brought his thumb to his mouth and licked it clean more slowly
than was strictly necessary. Trip looked from Jon to Malcolm with a
somewhat confused gaze and shifted in his seat.
Jon turned to his friend. "Whipped cream, Trip?"
"Oh, uh, just a little would be great." He retrieved
his plate from the captain and watched with narrowed eyes as his companions
began to eat. A few mouthfuls later they seemed normal enough so he
turned his attention back to his dessert. He'd barely got started when
Malcolm broke the silence.
"Is there any whipped cream left, Captain?"
Trip looked up to find that the small mountain of cream
that had covered Malcolm's cake was gone. Jon peered into the bowl.
"I think there's a scoop left."
"Lovely." Malcolm passed his plate over and Jon
scraped the serving bowl clean.
"I think that's all I've got." Jon deposited the
last of the whipped cream on the remnants of Malcolm's cake. "I hope
that's enough to satisfy you, Lieutenant."
Malcolm gave a half smirk. "I'm notorious for being
up for seconds."
Trip made a strangled noise in the back of his throat
before focussing his attention on his own plate. After a few bites
he looked up only to pause mid chew. The way Malcolm's lips were sliding
along the tines of his fork would make Phlox blush. What was worse
was how Jon seemed to be unconsciously caressing his glass. Trip hadn't
known fingers could move in that kind of stroking-twisting motion.
He swallowed hard and felt the tips of his ears beginning to burn.
A chuckle from Malcolm drew Trip's attention. "I
suppose something had to happen to make up for my day." Malcolm reached
down and brandished a cherry
Jon leaned over the table to look. "I though we
ran out of those months ago."
Malcolm shrugged. "I guess Chef had a few hidden
away." He took in Jon's wistful look and said, "I would be willing
to share." With that he carefully bit off half the fruit before passing
it to Jon.
Instead of taking the fruit, Jon gripped Malcolm's wrist
and steered his hand upwards. He gently drew the half cherry into his
mouth, carefully sliding his lips over Malcolm's fingertips. A choked
cough from the other end of the table made them both turn. Malcolm
frowned and said, "Oh, sorry Trip. Did you want some too?"
The blush spread from his ears to his cheeks. "Oh,
no, it's okay, Malcolm." He indicated his half finished dessert.
"My cake is just great as it is."
Malcolm took another bite and closed his eyes in bliss.
"Mmmmhmmm." He swallowed and smiled. "I don't think there's anything
taster in the world than pineapple. It's other benefits are just a
Jon said, "What other benefits?"
Malcolm took a sip of his drink and in a matter of fact
manner said, "Pineapple makes ejaculate taste sweeter."
Jon raised an eyebrow. "Really?" When Malcolm
nodded he grinned and said, "Then eat up."
Trip dropped his fork.
"I think I will, *Captain*." There was something
in Malcolm's tone that made Trip pause in his search for his dropped utensil.
"You do that, Lieutenant." Jon matched Malcolm's
tone and Trip's eyes widened.
Malcolm set his fork down and slid his chair back from
the table. "I'm sorry sir, but I have more *pressing* matters to attend
"Are... Are you two feeling okay? There haven't
been any aliens or..." Trip trailed off as they ignored him completely.
"Are you disobeying an order, Lieutenant?"
With a display of admirable flexibility Malcolm quickly
straddled his captain's lap. He grabbed the front of Jon's uniform
in a tight fist and growled. "I love it when you get all commanding."
Trip just about had a heart attack as Malcolm yanked and pulled Jon into
a demanding kiss.
"Oh Malcolm!" The words were muffled, but Trip could
just make out what Jon was saying. Jon brought his hands up and ran
them over Malcolm's back. "Oh, Mal. Oh..." There was a
pause for some serious spit swapping before they both moaned, stilled, and
crowed, "April fool!"
The table rattled as Trip jumped and bashed his knee against
its underside. Wh- What?"
Malcolm extracted himself from Jon's embrace and stood
next to his chair. He smiled at his bemused friend and said, "April
Jon leaned back in his chair. "The joke's on you,
"It was all a joke?"
"Well..." Jon and Malcolm exchanged a lingering
look. "Not entirely."
Trip still couldn't quite comprehend what had happened.
Jon grinned. "So, while it was quite surprising
at the time, the word I'd use to sum up how I feel about what you did earlier
Malcolm walked over to a support beam that protruded from
the ceiling across from Trip and pulled something down that had been concealed
behind it. He held it out and Trip realized it was a small camera.
"This has been taking pictures of you every ten seconds." He smirked
at Trip and took Jon's arm. "Come on, Jon, let's see what we've got
on our camera."
"That's an excellent suggestion, Malcolm."
The couple left the room together and Trip weakly sank
down into his chair. He surveyed the remains of dessert and shook his
head. "I'll be damned."