Title: Luck of the Irish

Author: Joules Mer

Author's e-mail: julia_ocean_child@yahoo.co.uk

Author's URL: http://jmenterprise.popullus.net

Date: Posted to EntSTSlash 03/17/2004

Archive: Permission to archive granted to EntSTCommunity and BLTS.  All others ask me.

Fandom: Star Trek Enterprise

Category: Slash

Rating: PG-13

Pairing: T/R

Summary:  St. Patrick's Day festivities get a bit out of hand and Malcolm's wearing his lucky underwear.

Series:  Spirit of the Season

Beta: None

Spoilers: none

Disclaimer: Enterprise is the property of Paramount.  No profit was, or will be, made by this story.

A/N: Written on a whim after having consumed a fair bit of green beer.

    Trip sighed and rolled his knotted shoulders tiredly, it had been a long day in engineering.  At six that morning the port injector had clogged and he'd been called from his bed to fix it.  A process that had caused him to miss a proper lunch and only get off duty now, 14 hours later.  His stomach rumbled again and Trip was relieved to see the mess hall door before him.  He quickened his pace and entered the room, sparing a second glance for the two ensigns who had matching green hairbands.  Fashions were strange these days.  

    Trip perused the food left in the case, selecting a green salad and tortellini with pesto sauce.  It was only when he got to the shamrock shaped cookies with green icing that everything made sense.  It was March 17th.  Saint Patrick's Day.  Trip sat down and proceeded to eat as quickly as he could.  There was probably a party somewhere, and for some reason he wasn't feeling so tired anymore.


    Trip knew he'd found what he was looking for when he heard muffled raucous laughter through the door of the aft observation lounge.  Trip smoothed back his hair, straightened his uniform, and opened the door.

    "Haaayyy!"  There was a collective roar of welcome as he crossed the threshold.  Trip stopped just inside the door in shock.  Plates were scattered throughout the room along with empty cups, come of the contents of which had clearly ended up on the floor.  Two couches were overturned and some sort of green crepe paper hung from the ceiling.  Music was blaring out of a set of portable speakers and a large portion of the room was singing along, something about the belle of Belfast city.  Trip took another step into the room and felt the door slide shut behind him.

    He finally found his voice and called out uncertainly, "Uh, guys?"

    A figure suddenly detached itself from the fray and positively bounded over.  The person stopped right in front of him, gave a brilliant smile and crowed, "Kiss me, I'm Irish!"  Without giving Trip time to step back he proceeded to plant a sloppy kiss on the other man's lips.

    "Mmmmphf!"  Trip's cry of shock was muffled, but as soon as his lips were freed and he could get a good look at the person in front of him he exclaimed in surprise, "Malcolm!  You ain't Irish!"

    Malcolm actually pouted, "I am so!  Well, a bit.  On my mother's side."  

    Malcolm grinned beatifically and Trip frowned, "What's this all about?"  He waved his arm to indicate Malcolm as well as the room in general.

    The other man's eyes widened and he blurted, slurring his words badly, "'S Saint Patrick's Day.  Drove th' snakes out of Ireland.  Metaphorically speaking a course.  Nasty things, snakes.  All wriggly.  Wriggly squiggly."

    As Malcolm chortled and took a wobbly step backwards enlightenment dawned.  Trip's jaw dropped, "You're drunk!"

    Malcolm looked indignant, "No!"

    "Yes you are!"

    "Can't be!"  Malcolm wobbled again, but stuck to his argument, "Only had one."  He waved vaguely behind himself and Trip spotted Ensign Tanner who appeared to be drinking a vivid green liquid straight from a pitcher.

    "One glass?"

    "Yessir."  Malcolm attempted to salute and poked himself in the eye.  The music changed and a supportive roar went up as Ensign Hart leapt onto an overturned couch and began to perform an inebriated jig of some sort.  Malcolm went to take another step backwards, tripped over something invisible and fell onto his backside where he began to laugh uncontrollably.  

    Trip hurried over to the nearest comm panel, "Tucker to Archer."

    "Yeah, Trip?"

    "I'm in the aft lounge and I think you'd better get down here, Cap'n."  He gave the room another glance and added, "You'd better bring Phlox too."


    Jon slowed to a stop as he spotted his chief engineer sitting with his back to the corridor wall, his normally combed hair in spiky disarray.  "Trip?"

    Trip's eyes snapped open and he climbed to his feet, "Sorry Cap'n, tactical retreat.  They were pretty aggressive with the pinching."

    The captain's brow furrowed, "Pinching?"

    Trip flushed and seemed to rub his behind slightly as if it might be sore, "'Cause I'm not wearing green."  He appeared a bit flustered and was saved from further questions by the arrival of the doctor.

    "Good evening, gentlemen, what seems to be the problem?"  Both Jon and Phlox turned expectant gazes on Trip who suddenly realized he didn't quite know how to explain what he'd seen.

    "Well, they're having a party, and it's gotten a bit out of control."

    "What!"  It was clear the captain was outraged and he appeared to be ready to storm into the room.  Trip forestalled that by grabbing his friend's arm.

    "Wait!  I think there's something else.  They're all drunk, really drunk, but Malcolm seemed pretty adamant that he'd only had one glass.  It should take more than that to knock him on his ass."

    "Hmmm, what do you think, Doc?"

    Phlox pursed his lips, "I think I should scan them and get a sample of whatever they're drinking.  I can't guess what has happened right now."

    "Right."  Jon turned and indicated the door, "After you, Trip."


    The noise level was lower than Trip remembered, but that was probably due to the fact that a number of people were passed out on the floor.  "Trip!  Y'came back!" This statement accompanied Malcolm jumping up and weaving over to them.  "Bring any booze?  We're fresh out."

    Jon was caught between being amused and horrified, "I can't say that we did, Lieutenant."

    Malcolm rolled his eyes theatrically, "Pffffff, more's the pity.  I guess I can forgive you though, you did bring him back."  He gave Trip a once over and grinned, "Care to join me on the sofa, Commander?  It's a bit of a tight squeeze, but,"  his gaze turned into a leer, "I'm sure we can manage."


    Jon swallowed his laughter at the panicked tone of Trip's voice and planted a reassuring hand on his friend's shoulder, "Not just yet, Malcolm.  We have to figure out why you're all so... silly."

    "Spoilsport."  Malcolm shot a venomous glare at his superior officer before stomping back to his earlier seat in an inebriated huff.

    "I think now would be a good time to do something, Phlox."

    Phlox looked up from the unconscious crewman he was scanning, "I already am, Captain."


    "It's the fruit?"

    "Not entirely, Captain."

    "Then what?"

    "As I was saying, Commander, the fruit we picked up during shore leave is partly to blame."

    "I thought you said it was safe for humans!"

    Phlox turned patiently back to his captain, "And it is.  What I hadn't anticipates is how it interacts with beer.  From what I can tell the chemicals it releases when in contact with alcohol are what have reduced the crew to this advanced state of inebriation."

    Jon's brow furrowed, "Are they going to be okay?"

    A wide smile alighted on the doctor's face, "Just fine!  Although they will probably feel a bit worse for wear in the morning."

    The captain nodded wearily and surveyed the party just in time to see Crewman Fisher pass out into the remnants of a bowl of the damned fruit.  He scrubbed a hand over his face, "What do you think we should do with them?"

    "I'd suggest we call their roommates to come and collect them, they can sleep off the ill effects in their quarters.  I'd prefer they weren't left alone so I'll take Rossi and Baird back to sickbay for the night.  And Lieutenant Reed as well."

    "Trip can look after Malcolm."


    Jon took his friend by the arm and drew him aside, "Trip, you've been mooning after Malcolm for months and now that he's made it pretty clear he might reciprocate you should be the one to look after him.  He'll be embarrassed enough about this as it is without having to wake up in sickbay.  Just roll out one of the camping mattresses on your floor and have him sleep there, okay?"

    Trip looked at his longtime friend through narrowed eyes, "I have not been mooning."
    Jon merely patted Trip on his shoulder, "Go collect him now before you have to carry him home."  He gave one last grin and sauntered back over to the doctor.

    Trip sighed and walked over to one of the few sofas still upright and undamaged, "C'mon, Malcolm, time to go."


    "Where are we going?"

    "My quarters."


    "Because you're drunk."


    "Because you drank."


    Trip stopped in the corridor and turned to glare at his giggling companion.  "I don't know.  Now will you cut that out."

    Malcolm regarded him with pursed lips for a moment before he blurted out, "Why?" And began to giggle all over again.

    "Malcolm!"  The giggling stopped.  "No more questions."  Malcolm looked to be on the verge of saying something so Trip tacked on, "Please?"  There was a short pause before the other man nodded slowly.  "Good."  Trip took Malcolm by the arm again and walked him the rest of the way to his quarters in silence.

    The door slid open and Malcolm stumbled into the room, falling into a sitting position on the edge of the bunk.  Trip went to his console and got as far as powering up the screen when Malcolm's voice broke the silence, "Whatcha doing?"

    "I'm going to have someone send up an extra mattress."


    Trip scrubbed a hand through his hair, "Because one of us needs to sleep on it."

    "Why don't we just share?"

    Trip turned around slowly and found Malcolm regarding him expectantly, "Because you're drunk and I don't want you to do anything you'd regret."

    Malcolm's lower lip quivered, "That's sweet, Trip, that really is, but I won't regret anything involving you, me, and a bed.  Scout's honour."

    "Not while you're drunk, Mal.  It isn't right."  Trip's voice was soft, but firm.

    "You know what isn't right, Mr. Tucker."  Malcolm turned from an almost weepy drunk into a self righteous drunk right before his eyes, "You.  You walk around so sex-y I can't stand it!"


    Trip's forestalling hand was ignored, "You're so gorgeous and you don't even know it!  It's not fair at all, you running around in your underwear like that.  Positively indecent."

    "Malcolm, just..."

    "And you know what, Trip, I've got the security tape of it!"  He wagged his eyebrows before continuing, "It's in my private collection."

    Trip's eyes widened, but before he could formulate a question Malcolm closed his eyes and passed out across the bunk.  "Dammit."  He knelt down and removed Malcolm's shoes and socks.  Malcolm's pants weren't that loose so after a moment of indecision he took them off too, laughing softly at what he found underneath.  Shamrock covered boxer shorts, lucky underwear indeed.  When Trip stood again the day chose to reassert itself as crushing exhaustion.  Even the task of making it to his desk seemed insurmountable.  He tried, but he just couldn't will himself to stay awake for the time it would take to get the second mattress.  Trip kicked off his shoes and pulled off the outer layers of his uniform before pushing Malcolm over onto one side of the mattress.  "Over you go, it's not like we haven't been forced to share closer quarters before."


    Malcolm sighed happily and wiggled his toes, his bed felt exceptionally cozy this morning.  He shifted slightly as he woke up more, realizing two things as he did so.  The first was that his head was killing him, and the second was that his bed normally didn't smell like Trip's shampoo or aftershave or whatever it was.  Keeping his eyes closed he reached out cautiously with one hand and encountered... hair.  He slid it down and was rewarded with a soft, sleep roughened voice, "Hey!  Whatcha doin'?"  He withdrew his hand as if it had been burned and felt the covers suddenly pull off of his upper body as Trip sat up.  "Malcolm?"

    "Yes?"  His voice rasped horribly and he kept his eyes firmly shut against the light Trip had turned on.

    "How do you feel?"

    "Like shit."  He heard a soft chuckle and felt some movement before there was a pinch at his neck and the hiss of a discharging hypospray.  It was only a few seconds before the pain seemed to melt away.  "Thanks."  He cautiously blinked his eyes open and found Trip looking down at him with a smile on his face.  "What happened?"

    "Alien fruit got you absolutely smashed."

    It was still too early in the morning to fully process information like that.  "Oh."  Malcolm sat up carefully, noting that Trip didn't move even though they were now quite close together, "Did I do anything embarrassing?"  Malcolm felt his heart sink, the smirk on Trip's face couldn't be good.

    "Well, you did call the captain a spoilsport when he said I couldn't join you on the sofa.  I think it was something about the way you were leering at me."

    Malcolm's shoulders slumped, "Oh, Trip, I am so sorry.  That was way out of line.  I'm so sorry if I've offended you or..."

    "Hold on, Malcolm, I didn't really mind."

    Malcolm's mouth hung open for a moment before he managed to get out, "What?"

    "Cap'n didn't mind either.  In fact, he's the reason you're here instead of sickbay."

    "The captain..."

    Malcolm had a slightly panicked look on his face so Trip jumped in, "Don't worry, he thinks it's cute.  Jon's a real softie."

    "Cute?"  Malcolm was aghast.

    "I think it helped that he was tired of having to watch me moon over you, as he so eloquently put it."

    "He thinks it's cute that... Wait, you..."

    Malcolm trailed off, but Trip could hear the question, "Yup, for months now."



    "Oh."  Malcolm plucked at the blanket for a moment before he forced himself to continue, "I take it I made it clear how I feel."

    Trip couldn't suppress a chuckle, "Very clear."

    "Well, I suppose I'd best be going then, unless you'd like me to stay?"  In his mind Malcolm crossed his fingers and all of his toes for good measure.

    "I'd like you to stay Malcolm, I'd like to, maybe, have a relationship with you.  If you want to, of course."

    A slow smile brightened Malcolm's face, "I'd like that, Trip."

    "Great!"  Trip's enthusiasm was infectious and Malcolm's smile widened to match Trip's broader one.  "Now that that's settled,"  He leaned in conspiratorially, "What's this about you having a tape of me in my underwear?"

    Malcolm's cheeks took on a rosy hue and he chuckled nervously before meeting Trip's eyes, "I'll tell you what.  I'll delete the tape, and you make waking up together a regular occurrence."

    Trip scrutinized Malcolm carefully, but saw only sincerity and lingering embarrassment.  He leaned in for a quick kiss before replying, "It's a deal."