Recreational Activities
By DNash

*****

"What's this week's movie?" asked Trip. He was stretched out on his back on Malcolm's bunk, idly flipping though the lieutenant's dog-eared copy of Henry Miller's Tropic of Cancer.

"I have no idea," his lover replied.

"Check, will you? You're the one at the computer."

"Lazy," Malcolm accused lightly.

"La-zy daaaay, just right for lovin' away," sang Trip.

Malcolm chuckled. "I've never heard that one before."

"That's 'cause you listen to that weird punk stuff all the time."

"Hardly all the time," protested Malcolm. "The lyrics can be quite profound when they choose to be."

"You mean when you can make them out. Now come on. Tell me what the movie is tonight." Trip rolled onto one side and gave Malcolm a mournful puppy-dog look.

It was a look the armory officer could never deny. "Just a moment." He ran a quick search and came up with the answer. He made a face.

"What?"

"Can't we just stay in tonight?"

Trip sat up, setting the copy of Tropic of Cancer aside. "Not that I have any objections to that suggestion, but why?" he asked.

"It's some ridiculous science fiction film, I think." He scanned the screen, read the tagline aloud to his partner. "'Ten years ago the machines who rule the future sent an unstoppable Terminator to assassinate the yet unborn John Connor. They failed. In 1991 the machines will try again.' Honestly," he said, "if this Terminator thing was so unstoppable how could it have failed?"

"Actually, I've seen the first one of that series."

"It's a series?!" interjected Malcolm, appalled.

"It's really good!" continued Trip, ignoring the small outburst.

"I think I'll give it a miss all the same."

"Come on, Malcolm, what happened to your willingness to suspend your disbelief?"

"I'll save it for something a bit more sophisticated than yet more 'killer androids,' thank you very much."

"You're a snob!" declared Trip in sudden realization.

"I am not!" the Brit denied vehemently.

"You are!"

"Sticks and stones…" Malcolm let the old rhyme go unfinished; Trip knew how it ended.

"Then come to the movie with me."

Malcolm looked at him, considering carefully. He was silent so long Trip began to fidget under his intense scrutiny. Finally, he couldn't stand it any longer. "What?" the engineer exclaimed.

"I'm trying to decide how much I love you."

"This much?" asked Trip describing a space about a foot long with his hands.

"More than that."

"This much?" The space grew to a meter.

"Perhaps." Malcolm gave him a hint of a smile.

Trip rose and crossed the cabin to the desk where his partner sat. He knelt in front of him and kissed him gently. "This much?" he murmured.

"At least," was Malcolm's soft reply.

"Or this much?" He pressed his open lips to his lovers', but he only allowed the barest tip of his tongue to pass those lips.

"Oh, definitely. Perhaps even more."

"Hmm…" Trip pretended to consider this piece of information before making his move. He inched in closer, spreading Malcolm's legs enough that he could kneel between them, then laced strong fingers through his dark hair. He pulled him down into a long, intoxicating kiss. Tongues flicked between them, playing, teasing, battling.

Trip found the angle of this particular kiss exciting. Usually he was the taller one, but being on his knees like this before his seated partner gave him a whole new perspective. He liked it.

Eventually, lack of sufficient oxygen forced the men to break contact. They remained close, though, as they regained their breath. Trip's head rested on Malcolm's shoulder.

"To hell with the movie," murmured Trip into the dark blue fabric. He lifted his head enough to make eye contact. Malcolm's cheeks were flushed with the heat of their kiss. "Damn, but I love your cheekbones."

"So you've said," replied Malcolm with a teasing smile.

Trip placed a hand on either side of Malcolm's face, thumbs gently tracing the features in question. He kissed him again before releasing him. Trip rose to his feet, pulling his lover up with him. The blond man's hands moved to Malcolm's arms. He ducked his head enough to take the zipper of Malcolm's uniform between his teeth. Slowly, painstakingly, he began drawing it down.

Malcolm closed his eyes, reveling in the sweet promise of his partner's actions. He bent his head forward, one hand caressing Trip's short blond hair, the other resting lighting on one strong shoulder.

The comm chirped, startling them both. The unexpected hail had caught them utterly unprepared. Trip stood suddenly, the back of his head coming sharply into contact with the bridge of Malcolm's nose.

The words "Archer to Trip" were completely overshadowed by the two men's simultaneous cries of pain.

"Ow!" hollered Trip as Malcolm screamed, "Aagh!"

Blood flowed freely as Malcolm cupped his hands over his broken nose. Tears streamed from his eyes and his head swam in reaction to the pain.

"Fuck!" exclaimed Trip at the sight of his lover, blood pouring profusely down the front of his uniform, turning the black turtleneck an even darker black and the navy blue jumpsuit a disturbing shade of deep purple.

A second hail from the captain went unnoticed in the chaos.

"Don't just stand there!" Malcolm choked.

"Sorry!" Trip rushed to the lav and grabbed a voluminous white towel, which he placed under Malcolm's chin in an attempt to sop up the spreading blood. Red patches blossomed on it instantly.

Malcolm took control of the towel, put it directly under his nose, biting back a curse at the pain the movement caused.

"Malcolm, I'm so sorry! Aw, shit!"

Another chirp from the comm, and Archer's voice sounded more concerned this time. "Commander Tucker, respond."

Considering it best to answer, if only so he could immediately hang up again, Trip hit the comm. "Tucker here, sir. Can this wait?"

"What's going on, Trip? Why did you take so long to respond?"

"Uhh…" What could he say? A dozen thoughts ran through his mind; all of them were immediately discarded. "Got…distracted." The simple, astonished widening of Malcolm's eyes at this statement was enough to make Trip squirm. "Can I call you back? We have sort of a medical emergency here."

"A what?!"

"Really, sir, I'm sorry, but I need to call ya back," Trip repeated, closing the comm. He looked at Malcolm, not entirely sure what to do next. "Can you make it to sickbay? D'you want me to call the doc?"

"No and yes!" was Malcolm's reply, muffled by the rapidly saturating towel.

"Shit!" repeated Trip. He opened a new comm line. "Tucker to Phlox. Medical emergency."

"Phlox here. Where are you, Commander?" asked the Denobulan quickly.

"Malcolm's quarters. B-deckó"

Phlox cut him off. "I know where it is. I'll be right there."

The comm chirped again as it was closed from the other end.

"Let me help you," said Trip, moving toward the injured lieutenant. Gently, he took Malcolm's arm and guided him to the chair he'd vacated barely a minute before. Malcolm sat. "Doc's on his way."

"Good."

"I'm really sorry."

"I know."

"But Ió"

"Trip, shut up." Trip abruptly stopped talking. "It was an accident."

"I know, butó"

"Shut up."

Trip stood there, mouth opening and closing, trying to figure out what to do. Fate intervened and gave him something. The door chimed. "Shit! I forgot we locked it," he muttered, leaping to open the door.

Phlox entered and headed immediately for Malcolm. "What happened?" he asked, pulling out a medical tricorder from his kit.

"Accident," was Malcolm's terse reply.

The Denobulan clucked anxiously at the results of his scan. "Let me see." He reached out a hand and carefully moved the towel from Malcolm's face. Already the dark-haired man's eyes were bruising in response to the blow he'd taken. Phlox clucked his tongue again and shook his head.

"Please cut the commentary," said Malcolm in a strained voice, "and do something!"

"Is he gonna be okay, Doc?" Trip asked, worried. He watched nervously as Phlox pulled a hypospray from the med-kit and applied it to the armory officer's neck.

Malcolm visibly relaxed as the drug in the hypo hit his system.

"That was for the pain, as you may have guessed," Phlox informed him. He loaded another. "And this will help stop the bleeding a bit more successfully than that towel, although I recommend continuing to hang onto it for the moment."

"Doc?" repeated Trip, desperate for an answer to his question.

"He'll be fine, Commander, after a little trip to surgery."

"Surgery!?" Trip and Malcolm exclaimed together.

"If you want to look like you did this morning," Phlox addressed the lieutenant, "then, yes."

"Let's get this over with." Malcolm rose shakily to his feet with the help of his lover and the Denobulan physician. Trip put an arm around him to support him as they made their way to sickbay with Phlox in the lead.

After an awkward journey through the ship's corridors, they reached their destination.

"Lie down, please, Lieutenant," said the doctor, directing him to a biobed. He took the blood-soaked towel and discarded it in a bio-hazard can. As promised, the bleeding from Malcolm's damaged nose had nearly stopped.

Trip helped Malcolm to lie down, then stood to one sideónear by, but out of the doctor's way.

"I know," said Phlox amiably as he prepped for the surgery, "that strictly speaking, what you gentlemen choose to do in the privacy of your locked quarters is none of my business. But I suggest you be a bit more careful in your recreational activities in future if you wish to avoid similar…mishaps." He gave them both a pleasant smile. "Hmm?"

"Right," agreed Trip, not knowing what else he could possibly say.

"Good. Now if you'll please go, Commander. I doubt this is something you'll want to witness."

Trip's stomach turned and Malcolm visibly paled.

"Uh…yeah." Trip approached Malcolm and took his hand, giving it a supportive squeeze. "I'll be right outside when you're done," he said. He bent down and pressed a feather-light kiss on his lover's temple.

Before he rose again, he heard Malcolm whisper, "Remind me of this the next time I question your taste in films, all right?"

Trip gave a weak laugh. "I promise," he said.

*****
End Recreational Activities
Completed 18 Oct 02

'Lazy Day' is copyright 1967 by George Fischoff and Tony Powers.

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