Title: Waking Up
Author: Joules Mer
Date: Posted to Live Journal (joulesmer) October 27, 2004.
Disclaimer: Enterprise is the property of Paramount. This is merely
my little parodical world. No profit was, or will be, made from this fic.
A/N: Ate lunch in the microbiology research building. The whole place is
haunted by the smell of stale agar plates. Thus, a ficlet was born:
Malcolm awoke slowly, noting with dismay that his body had
the detached, floating feeling that indicated a system pumped full of medication.
He risked a sniff. His nose was confronted with warm, somewhat sterile
air tainted by a hint of something he couldn't quite place. It was the unfortunately
familiar aroma of sickbay. That funny musk was probably due to the bat.
"Malcolm?" Evidently he'd given away that he was awake.
There was a shuffling sound by his side before someone gathered up his right hand
and laced their fingers through his own. "Can you open your eyes?"
Trip. It was Trip holding his hand. "C'mon, Malcolm,
open your eyes." It took a few tries, but he finally got his eyes to obey
and muzzily blinked up at his friend.
The wide smile that had settled on Trip's face when he'd opened
his eyes faded slightly. "You don't remember?" Malcolm tried to shake
his head, but stopped when he realized movement made him nauseous. "Doc!"
At the call Phlox hurried out of his office and over to Malcolm's biobed.
"Something's wrong." Trip ran a hand through his hair and stabbed a finger
in Malcolm's direction. "He doesn't remember what happened!"
Phlox ran a scanner over the supine man before giving his patient
a hypospray. "That should help with the nausea, Lieutenant. Considering
the blow to the head that you received it's not surprising that you're having
trouble recalling the incident."
Malcolm gingerly sat up, relieved that whatever had been in
the hypospray seemed to be working. "Blow to the head?" He turned
his attention to his friend, who, for some reason appeared to be blushing.
"Trip? What happened?"
The flush spread all the way to Trip's ears and Malcolm wondered
what could possibly have happened to get his friend in such a state. Visibly
squirming under the intense scrutiny from Phlox and Malcolm, Trip mumbled something
that could be taken for "kind arsenal" if that phrase made any sort of contextual
Trip gulped and, realizing Malcolm wasn't going to drop the
subject, let his gaze slide over to the doctor as he said, "It's kind of personal."
"Oh." Malcolm swung his legs over the side of the bed.
"I see." In an effort to mask his bemusement he changed the subject.
"Can I go to my quarters, Phlox?"
The doctor frowned slightly. "You're off duty for 48
hours and I would prefer you weren't unsupervised tonight."
Malcolm snuck a glance at the chronometer on a nearby console.
2000 hours, which meant he had at least 12 hours until Phlox would let him leave
in the morning. "But Doctor..."
Phlox had already raised a forestalling hand when Trip blurted,
"I can stay with him."
They both turned to him in surprise. Despite how tempting
he found the offer, Malcolm's habitual politeness forced him to protest.
"Trip, I couldn't..."
"Malcolm." The firm word and stern gaze from his friend
effectively shut him up. "What do you say, Doc?"
"Well, I don't see why not." Phlox gave them a wide smile.
"Be sure to comm me if anything seems amiss, Commander."
"Will do, Doc."
As the doctor bustled away Trip took his friend by the elbow
and firmly guided him out of sickbay and into the corridor. Once they were
alone Malcolm pulled out of Trip's grasp and regarded his friend with a frown.
"What was that all about?"
"Look, I'll explain later, okay."
Malcolm's eyes narrowed. "No, Trip, it's not okay.
I want to know what happened. Now."
Trip held up his hands in a desperate, pleading gesture.
"Trust me on this, Malcolm. Now is not the time."
Malcolm merely crossed his arms. "Trip, I just woke up
in sickbay feeling like I'd been on a bender of epic proportions. Despite
the good doctor's drugs my head hurts and I have no idea *why* it hurts.
I want an explanation, and I want it right now."
"Can we at least walk and talk?"
Careful scrutiny revealed that a blush was once again tinting
Trip's cheeks. Quite puzzled, Malcolm decided a small concession couldn't
They set off down the corridor and Trip kept his eyes pointing
straight ahead as he began to explain. "We grabbed dinner in the mess earlier."
Malcolm recalled sitting in a corner table and inviting Trip
to join him. "I remember that."
"Good. Well, um, then I asked if you'd like to go back
to my place and grab a drink. You said you'd like that, but had to be up
early for a early duty shift." Malcolm remembered that too. He'd been
thrilled when Trip had invited him, and just a little bit nervous. "I managed
to persuade you that one would be okay and we headed off to my place."
Trip was silent for a few paces so Malcolm gently prodded him.
"Then what happened?"
"Well, we got to my quarters and I got out some brews.
We were sitting and chatting..."
"And?" Malcolm knew Trip wouldn't lie to him, but getting
the story out was proving difficult.
"And then I sort of, well, said that I find you interesting.
Really interesting. And you..." He nervously ran a hand through his
hair. "You kinda implied that it was mutual." Trip glanced at his
friend sideways in an effort to gauge his reaction.
"Oh." Malcolm was somewhat taken aback. While it
was true they'd been dancing around a mutual attraction for a while now he hadn't
expected either man to do anything about it. Not so soon, anyway.
"So how did I wind up in sickbay?"
Somewhat relieved that his friend hadn't bolted at his little
revelation Trip continued, "Well. You kinda kissed me, and then things heated
up pretty quickly, you know?" Malcolm grinned at Trip's difficulty talking
about anything related to sex.
Feeling a bit like he was baiting the man Malcolm continued
to press. "I don't see how that leads to me having a head injury."
"Well, things got really, um..." Trip coughed.
"Heated. We were standing in the middle of the room kissing pretty good
and I, well, kinda undid your pants and started to push them down. I think
you were trying to get so you could step out of them 'cause you took a step backwards,
but your boots were still half on so you tripped. With your legs all tangled
up you managed to stumble a bit before going over backwards. I think the
stumbling just made things worse because you were going pretty fast when you hit
the deck plating... head first." Trip shook his head at the memory.
"I've never seen anyone have such a bad fall from just standing before."
"Oh." Malcolm couldn't decide if he wished he remembered
the incident or was glad he didn't.
"Anyway, you were out cold so I called the doc and when he
showed up he gave you a hypospray of something and had a med tech and I pack you
down to sickbay."
Malcolm couldn't keep a horrible suspicion to himself.
"No, no." Trip hastened to reassure the other man.
"I pulled your pants back up and put your boots on before the doc got there."
Malcolm felt a blush crawling up his neck at the thought of
what the scene must have looked like. "Well." He stopped walking as
they arrived in front of his quarters. "I'm sorry to have given you a shock
He punched in his door code and then regarded the man hovering
nervously by his side. Making a decision he waved Trip into the room and
then followed. "What time do you have to be on duty tomorrow?"
Trip perched himself uncertainly on the edge of Malcolm's small
sofa. "I'm off until the afternoon."
"Good." Malcolm walked over and sat on his bunk, pulling
his boots off and tossing them to the side. He flashed a mildly abashed
smile at Trip to let him know that things were all right between them before slowly
running a hand over his own chest with affected casualness. "What do you
think of trying again without any calamities?"
As he launched himself up from his seat Trip couldn't remember
ever having moved so fast in his life.