Title: Up What?

Author: Joules Mer

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

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

Date: Posted to EntSTSlash June 3, 2004

Archive: Everyone else ask first.

Fandom: Star Trek Enterprise

Category: Slash

Rating: PG

Pairing: Tu/R


Series:  None

Beta: None


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

A/N:  A quick ficlet for Sal and Zoe

      "Oh yeah?  Well up yours, Malcolm Reed!"  Malcolm's mouth dropped open as he stared at his friend's retreating back.  A sharp retort was forestalled as his tongue firmly attached itself to the roof of his
mouth at the sudden burst of mental imagery.  Up yours?  Malcolm licked his lips involuntarily before he caught himself.  *Oh no.  No.  No!*  He was not having these thoughts about Trip.  He was not having these thoughts about Commander Tucker, the man was his superior officer for heaven's sake.  He was *not* going to let this happen.  Malcolm nodded resolutely.  Unfortunately, his mind had other ideas.

      Malcolm flopped backwards onto his bunk.  Without a doubt that had been the most torturous shift of his entire career.  Even worse than those eight hours spent jammed into the crawl space with his hand rammed under the cannon housing as he replaced a damaged circuit.  Trip had spent the entire shift in a sulk, pointedly not talking to Malcolm as they fixed relays in the armoury.  Normally Malcolm didn't mind working in silence, but today it just caused his mind to work overtime.  He'd caught himself vacantly staring at Trip's ass no less than eight times.  Malcolm scrubbed a hand over his face and rolled over.  He was probably utterly transparent too, no doubt the entire armoury staff
knew what was happening already.

      An alarm beeped on his desk and Malcolm groaned.  He'd forgotten what else he had to do that day.  He reluctantly rolled out of bed and regarded himself in the mirror, running a comb through his hair and adjusting the height of his zipper.  Performance reviews were always terribly stressful, even when he *knew* he'd been doing a good job.  It didn't help that T'Pol was conducting this one.  Her cool scrutiny
always got to him, and she was utterly unfamiliar with the concept of putting people at ease.  Malcolm grimaced at his appearance, he looked distinctly ill at ease.  The clock beeped again in warning and he
hurried from his quarters.

      The review wasn't going too badly, all things considered.  He thought he'd managed to escape unscathed when T'Pol said there was one last thing that needed to be discussed.  Malcolm felt a knot form in is stomach as he gave a sickly smile and nodded in what he hoped was an encouraging manner.  T'Pol consulted a padd and continued, "I received word of an altercation this morning involving you and Commander Tucker.  I trust I do not need to impress upon you what type of conduct is
unbecoming an officer?"

      Malcolm blushed and inwardly cursed his treacherous skin, "No, Sub Commander."

      T'Pol noticed his discomfort and softened her stern reprimand, "I will not make a note of this incident as I do not believe you were at fault.  Can you tell me if he said anything that could be an issue under regulations 87 to 94?"

      Malcolm gulped, 87 to 94 covered treatment of junior officers and harassment.  Unable to lie, and knowing it would only create a bigger problem if he lied and she knew it, he ventured, "He did say 'up yours', but I don't wish to lodge a complaint."

      "Up yours?"  T'Pol raised an elegant eyebrow, "I don't believe I am familiar with that phrase."

      *Oh no*  Malcolm squirmed in his seat, "Well, it's, um, a derogatory remark, well, more of a way of telling someone you don't care about their opinion."

      T'Pol didn't appear satisfied, "Is it at all derogatory toward homosexuals?"

      *Oh good grief!*  Malcolm shifted in his seat, an awful sinking feeling in his stomach accompanied the understanding that this discussion was not going where he'd like it to go.  Not at all. "N-no.  Not as far as I know."

      "Are you sure, Lieutenant?  I do need to know if Mr. Tucker made a homosexual slur."

      *Oh please stop*  Malcolm was sweating, trying to keep his mind away from all thoughts involving Trip and homosexual endeavours, "I'm sure it wasn't, Sub Commander."

      "Very well.  If he should make one against you in the future please come to me."

      "I..."  Malcolm frowned, "What?"

      T'Pol seemed to look down her nose at him as she explained with undying patience, "Commander Tucker had me accompany him to a movie.  I was seated near you and noticed that, among other things, your respiration increased when a certain male character was onscreen.  After noting that there were several other... symptoms that accompanied this character's appearance, I arrived at the most logical conclusion."

      In an instant Malcolm knew what movie she was talking about.  The one with the blond adonis who seemed to spend and inordinate amount of time without all his clothes on.  The adonis who happened bear more than a passing resemblance to a certain chief engineer.  Malcolm stuttered dumbly, "Oh."

      Sensing his discomfort she returned briefly to business, "As I said, I don't believe it was your fault so I won't take action against you.  The commander does possess a rather volatile nature.  Anything you can do to diffuse such situations will be appreciated by the captain."

      "I'll try my best, Sub Commander."  Malcolm stood, signalling the end of the review.

      His superior, however, was not finished with him.  "And Lieutenant, it might interest you to know that your... symptoms... were also exhibited by the commander."  Malcolm felt his jaw drop.  T'Pol's face was impassive, but he fancied he could see the slightest glimmer of something in her eyes.

      "I, uh, thank you."

      She merely inclined her head and dismissed him.  Malcolm could barely keep from sprinting out of the room.  As he hastened down the corridor he was sure his ears were bright red.


      A growling stomach drove him into the mess hall.  He'd planned on grabbing some dinner and retreating to his quarters with it, but that was thwarted when he was spotted at the drink dispenser.  "Hey Malcolm!"  He closed his eyes.  *Please, not him.  Not now.*  Malcolm hadn't decided what to do with the information T'Pol had given him.  A part of him couldn't believe it was true.  "Malcolm!"

      He turned and forced a smile on his face, "Yes, Commander?"

      "Commander?"  Trip looked somewhat taken aback, "We're off duty, Malcolm."

      "Yes, sir."  Malcolm winced.  "Trip."

      The commander nodded, "That's better.  Come and sit with me."

      *No*  "All right."  Resignedly, Malcolm collected his tray and trailed after his superior.  He set his dinner down on the table and sank into the seat Trip indicated.

      "I figure I owe you an apology for this morning."

      Malcolm discreetly placed his napkin over his lap and tried not to think of earlier conversations, "That's not necessary."

      Trip frowned, "It sure is, Malcolm.  I really shouldn't have said that, not as your superior or as your friend."

      *Friend.  Platonic.  Keep that in mind.  Keep that firmly in mind*  "Apology accepted."

      "Thanks."  Trip grinned, "I'm afraid I can't promise it won't happen again, though.  Sometimes you really get me going."

      *I get him going?*  Malcolm crossed his legs.  He really knew he shouldn't ask, but he couldn't stop himself, "How so?"

      Trip shook his head, "I dunno, Malcolm, sometimes that rod you've got up your ass bugs the heck out of me."

      Malcolm choked and sputtered his drink over his dinner.  He finally managed to gasp out, "What?"

      "You're just kinda stiff sometimes."  Trip regarded his friend carefully as Malcolm turned bright red, "You okay?"

      *Stiff, rod up... Oh that mental imagery wasn't helping things*  "I'm fine."

      "You don't look fine to me.  What's up?"

      *Up indeed*  "Nothing."

      Trip frowned at Malcolm who was now squirming in his seat.  It was almost as if...  Slowly, Trip began to grin.  "Got a little problem there, Malcolm?"

      "I assure you, Commander..."

      "Something come up?"

      Malcolm was too panicked to notice the devilment in Trip's tone, "No, nothing at all."

      "Now I don't want to blow my own horn, Mal, but I think I've gotten to know you well enough to be able to tell when something is giving you a hard time."

      *Blow* *Hard*  Malcolm bit his lip.  "It's nothing."

      Finally sure he was on the right track Trip moved in for the kill.  "Know why you being all formal bugs the heck out of me?"

      Malcolm's eyes widened as Trip lowered his voice and leaned across the table, "N-no."

      "Because I'm pretty *interested* in you, Malcolm, and when you get all formal I don't have a clue how you might feel in return."

      *Interested?*  *Oh*  Malcolm's eyes widened and he forced himself to meet his friend's gaze.  His mouth dried up when he saw that Trip was eyeing him like the last piece of pecan pie.  "I'm, um, interested in you too, Trip."

      Trip smiled broadly and slid his chair around the table so he could talk without there being a chance of someone overhearing, "So that just leaves one question."

      "What?"  Malcolm's voice squeaked.

      "That 'up yours' business."  Trip raised an eyebrow, "Interested?"

      Malcolm thought he was going to faint right there in the mess hall.  It took his brain a second to convince his mouth to respond, "Yes."

      "How about we eat while you... cool down.  We can relocate to my place after dinner."

      Malcolm vigorously nodded his approval and picked up his forgotten fork as Trip slid back to the other side of the table.  As he wolfed down dinner Malcolm couldn't keep a smile from his face.  What a marvellous day.