Title: Accident and Attraction

Author: Joules Mer

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

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

Date: Posted to EntSTSlash February 12, 2005.

Archive: Everyone else ask first.

Fandom: Star Trek Enterprise

Category: Slash

Rating: G

Pairing: Tu/R



Beta: None


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

A/N: A short cheer up fic for Black Fire.  Based on an old challenge by Sarah involving a Terminator movie and an accidentally broken nose.

    Malcolm rubbed at his tired eyes and forced them to focus on what he'd just written.  He gave a huff of disgust when he realized the sentence didn't make any grammatical sense.  He'd just erased it when the door chime broke his concentration yet again.  He gritted his teeth and hissed, "Yes?"

    The door slid open and Trip stood framed in the doorway.  "Hey, Malcolm.  I didn't see you at the movie so I thought I'd stop by."  He strode into the cabin without an invitation and plopped down on the bunk.  Malcolm's jaw twitched, but he remained silent.  "It was Terminator 2, Malcolm.  You'd have loved it."

    Malcolm took a breath to calm himself before replying in an even tone, "I'm sure I would have, Commander."

    Trip blinked at the form of address.  He'd finally worn Malcolm down enough that the other man usually called him Trip off duty.  He noticed the padd in Malcolm's hands and said, "What are you working on?"

    "The Maridian first contact report."  He lowered his voice and muttered, "All 18 pages of it."

    Trip froze for a second before saying cautiously, "You know the Cap'n was only joking when he said he wanted it done by tomorrow."

    Malcolm went absolutely still and whispered, "What?"

    Trip shifted on the bed.  "Cap'n likes to make jokes like that, especially with how hard you always work."

    "What!"  Malcolm's eyes widened in a way Trip found rather alarming.

    "He was just being sarcastic."  Trip edged along the mattress to put more distance between himself and his friend.  "He's expecting it in the usual week or two.  Doing it overnight would just be crazy."  He winced at the last bit and wondered when he'd learn to think before he spoke.

    Malcolm's eyes flicked down to the pages of hastily composted text and back up to Trip's truth filled gaze.  "Bloody Hell!"  The enraged shout made Trip jump.  Malcolm swung his arm up over his head and back down, intending to smack the padd on his desk.  It was only when he felt it slip out of his fingers that he realized what a bad idea that was.  The padd flew across the room, striking the bookshelf over his bed and knocking out his booked as it did so.  The large antique volume of naval history tottered for a moment before it slid off the shelf.

    "Fuck!"  Trip's pained howl had Malcolm leaping to his feet.

    Malcolm rushed over and knelt in front of his friend, trying to ascertain the damage through the hands Trip had tightly clasped to his face.  A muffled string of curses was coming from under Trip's hands and he had his eyes screwed tightly shut.  Malcolm gently grasped Trip's wrists and tried to pull his hands down.  "Let me look."

    Trip said something that sounded like "don't touch me," but allowed his hands to be lowered.

    Malcolm's eyes widened when he saw the extent of the damage.  Trying to keep his voice calm he said, "I think we'd better get you to Phlox."

    A few drops of blood fell onto Trip's pants and caught his attention.  "I'm bleeding!"  Shocked outrage coloured his tone.  "Dammit, Malcolm!"

    Malcolm grabbed a facecloth from his bathroom and threw it to Trip to hold to his nose.  "Come on."  He helped Trip haul himself to his feet and steered the other man to the door.  He keyed it open and stepped into the corridor, tripping over a moving obstacle as he did so.

    "Wha-"  The word trailed off in a huff of breath as Malcolm plowed into his captain.  Pandemonium broke out as Porthos began barking to protest his mistreatment and Trip resumed his chorus of cursing.

    There were a few moments of shock from the captain as he took in the scene before he scooped up his dog and said, "Quiet! All of you."  The bloody towel Trip had pressed to his face made his jaw drop.  "Trip!  What happened to you?"

    Head titled back, Trip's words were muffled.  "Malcolm broke my nose."

    Jon's eyes widened.  "What!  Lieutenant, you broke my chief engineer's nose?"

    Malcolm squirmed under his commanding officer's gaze.  "Yes sir."

    "How on earth-"

    Trip cleared his throat to cut the captain off.  "As much as I'd like to have this conversation take place in the corridor, I really need to get to sickbay before I pass out."

    Jon's jaw shut with a snap and he glared at Malcolm before he moved to Trip's side and started leading his friend to sickbay.  Malcolm ran a hand through his hair before trailing silently behind.


    "So it was all an accident?"

    Trip tried not to fidget as Phlox ran the osteo-regenerator over him.  "Pretty much."  He winced at the oddly nasal quality his voice had.  "It was actually mostly your fault, Cap'n.  If you hadn't made that joke..."

    Jon had the grace to look duly chastised and turned to his lieutenant.  "I'm very sorry about that, Malcolm.  It won't happen again."

    "Quite all right, sir."  Malcolm had been standing at attention since they'd arrived in sickbay.

    "No real harm done, Commander."  Phlox smiled and stepped back from his patient.  "The bone and cartilage should heal in the next three or four days, but it could remain quite tender for up to a week.  The painkiller I gave you will probably make you quite drowsy so if you wish to return to your quarters tonight you should leave soon.  Perhaps Mr. Reed could accompany you."  There was a sparkle in Phlox's eyes that Trip couldn't quite comprehend.

    Trip carefully slid off the biobed.  "Thanks, Doc."  He flashed a smile at Malcolm to let him know everything was all right.  "Coming, Malcolm?"

    Malcolm's cheeks pinked slightly.  "Of course.  Goodnight Doctor, Captain."  He didn't quite meet Archer's gaze.

    "Night Malcolm.  Trip, you're off duty tomorrow morning."  Still feeling a bit guilty he added, "You too, Malcolm."

    Their thanks were cut off by the closing of the sickbay doors.  They walked to Trip's quarters in silence, Malcolm casting sideways glances at his friend.  When they arrived Trip gingerly removed his bloodstained shirt and sat down heavily in his bunk.

    Malcolm fidgeted for a few seconds before saying, "I'm so sorry, Trip.  That outburst was totally..."

    Trip waved a hand and Malcolm trailed off.  "It was an accident.  It's fine."  He plucked at the blanket for a second before saying, "I owe you an apology for the way I barged into your quarters.  This whole thing is at least partially my fault.  I was too nervous to notice you were on edge."

    Malcolm frowned at the apparent non sequitur.  "Nervous?"

    "I'd been expecting you at the movie."  Trip said it as if it explained everything.

    Malcolm thought back a few days and remembered how he'd agreed to meet Trip for dinner and then join him for the movie.  He could feel his cheeks start to burn.  "I'm *so* sorry, Trip.  When the captain told me to write the report I completely forgot."

    The relief on Trip's face confused Malcolm.  He cleared his throat and said, "I was afraid you'd changed your mind about wanting to come.  I was kinda hoping for more than just a friendly dinner and a show.  You know?"

    Malcolm wasn't so sure he did.  He narrowed his eyes and said, "Just what kind of painkillers does Phlox have you on?"
    Trip actually laughed.   "I swear it's not the painkillers, Malcolm.  Tonight was supposed to be our first date, provided I could convince you it was a good idea."

    Malcolm thought back to the freak accident and its aftermath.  "*That* was our first date."  He couldn't keep a corner of his mouth from twitching upwards.

    "With the two of us, would you expect anything less?"

    Malcolm barked out a chuckle.  "I suppose not."  He shook his head.  "This is a bad idea."  He tried to ignore the way Trip's face fell.  "A bad..."  His eyes strayed to Trip's bare chest.  "Misguided..."  Down to toned abs.  "Absolutely wonderful idea."  He met Trip's hopeful gaze with a half smirk.  "It's going to be a disaster, what with how the universe seems out to get us."

    "But at least we'd go through it all together."

    Malcolm scrutinized Trip carefully before coming to a decision.  "Together indeed."

    Trip bit his lip before saying, "What does that mean?"  He tried to keep a damper on his hope.  Malcolm was notoriously hard to read and tonight wasn't any exception.

    "If I'm not mistaken, it means..."  Malcolm walked over and perched on the bed next to Trip.  "Hoshi wins the pool."  Having said that he ascertained that Trip's lips were just as soft as they looked.