"He's such a
bastard. A smug, holier-than-thou, by the book bastard. Of course,
he isn't always a total bastard. That time in the shuttlepod when we
thought everyone was dead, he wasn't such a bastard then. Even if he
did record a million whiney obituaries. No, then he wasn't Lieutenant
Reed. In the shuttlepod I got to see Malcolm. He was practically
crying at one point, telling me just what the loss of Enterprise meant to
him. Later he was hauling me out of the airlock and calling himself
my friend. I liked the sound of that.
"The rest of the time he's a bastard. A munitions
obsessed, paranoid, condescending bastard. Just last week he re-routed
power to the armoury. From the warp core. Without my permission.
I had to threaten to go to the Cap'n to get him to remove his little modifications.
It wouldn't be so bad if he were just the least bit repentant, but he ain't.
He even had the gall to say that he was going to submit a proposal to the
captain to make his damn modification a permanent feature. I think
he does it just to get to me.
"It wouldn't be so bad if he weren't so good looking.
That dark hair and those eyes are quite the combination. And that accent
can make me completely space out when he gives a report at meetings.
It doesn't help that I know how kind he can be. Like how he's worked
with Hoshi to help her get her space legs. She's got a newfound confidence,
and I know it's largely thanks to him. He can be so nice to everyone
except me." There was a pause and a scuffling sound before he finished
with, "I just can't help it: I've fallen for a bastard. I wonder
what he thinks of me?"
Trip reached out to turn off the log recorder and managed
to bump his coffee mug with his elbow. It wobbled once and tipped over,
spilling its contents over the desk. "Dammit!" Trip leapt up,
jostling buttons as he tried to rescue padds from the hot liquid. When
the mess was sufficiently mopped up he turned back to his computer where
a blinking icon caught his attention: Sent. "What?" Trip called
up the record of his messaging system and froze. *Shit* Rather
than saving the recording in the "March 2152" file of his personal log, he'd
inadvertently pressed enough buttons to switch programs and send it to the
only Ma- in his address book: Malcolm Reed. If only he'd ordered his
address book by last name, it wouldn't be so bad if Travis had received it.
Trip sank back into his chair. This was a disaster.
Trip didn't have long to wait until his door chimed.
Feeling the oppressive cloud of gloom overhead settle a little lower he hauled
himself out of his seat and over to the door. He spared a second to
wipe his sweaty palms on his pants before pressing the button to open the
Malcolm's arms were crossed over his chest. "So
I'm a bastard?"
"Whoa, Malcolm, I didn't mean it quite..." He didn't
manage to complete the sentence before he found himself sitting on the floor,
clutching his smarting jaw. Trip gaped up at the man standing over
him. "You *hit* me!"
"And you deserved it. Did you think I could just
let you get away scot-free?" Malcolm shook his hand to relieve his
stinging knuckles and crouched next to the other man. "Now shut up
and let me kiss it better."