Title: Accident and Attraction
Author: Joules Mer
Author's e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Author's URL: http://jmenterprise.popullus.net
Date: Posted to EntSTSlash February 12, 2005.
Archive: Everyone else ask first.
Fandom: Star Trek Enterprise
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
"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
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.
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
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.
"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
"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.
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