"An Engineer In The Armory"

Author - Kathy Rose | Genre - Humor | Main Story | Rating - PG-13
Trip * Malcolm Fanfic Home

Author: Kathy Rose
E-mail: kproffitt@wpfranklin.com
Category: Friendship/Humor/Pre-slash
Rating: PG-13
Summary: Trip pays a visit to the armory to help Malcolm with some repair work
Disclaimer: I don't own any of these characters; somebody with a lot more clout does. And there's no way I'm making any money.
Sequel to: Who's to Blame?

A/N: OK to archive, just ask first, OK?


The scene that greeted Trip as he stepped into the armory was exactly what he had just left in engineering -- crewmen hustling to and fro, the smell of burnt circuitry, the clang of a dropped tool. Peering around, Trip spotted Malcolm and
one of the armory staff seated on the floor working on a torpedo launcher.

Malcolm had come to him several hours earlier, asking for help in fixing the launching mechanism. Trip had reacted in his usual way, giving Malcolm a hard time. At the time, Trip had been up to his ears in repair work in engineering. An attack earlier in the day had badly damaged the ship. The warp drive had been knocked out, and Enterprise was limping along at impulse. Now late into the night, everyone on his staff was pulling at least a double shift working to fix things.

Malcolm had a valid point, though. If they didn't have weapons, there was no way they'd come out on top if they were attacked again, especially since they weren't going anywhere very fast. As soon as he had been able, Trip left
engineering to come give Malcolm a hand.

"Hey!" he called out as he walked across the armory to where Malcolm was working. "Got it fixed yet?"

Malcolm turned his head toward Trip, but kept his hands inside the launcher where he held some wiring in place as the crewman soldered a connection. "I wish," he answered, adding with a small smile, "Glad you could make it."

"Got here as soon as I could." Trip squatted down next to Malcolm to look at what they were doing. "You really need to take all that out and replace it with new stuff."

Trip knew he'd said the wrong thing as soon as he saw the disgruntled expression on his friend's face.

"Don't you think I know that?" Malcolm responded, frustration as well as irritation in his voice. "But that would take another six hours at least. My priority right now is to get this fixed as quickly as possible. I'll worry about doing it the right way when there's no threat of another attack hanging over us."

As Malcolm turned his attention back to the torpedo launcher, Trip stood up. There was a fundamental difference between them, he realized. As chief engineer, he wanted everything perfect and operating at top efficiency, but
Malcolm took a more practical view, opting to get the work done as quickly as possible so they could be ready for anything that might happen. Grudgingly, Trip admitted to himself that Malcolm was right in this case. It wouldn't
matter how well everything worked if they were all dead. Clearing his throat, Trip asked, "So, what exactly did you want me to do?"

"That should do it, Foster," Malcolm said to the crewman, who got up and moved off. Giving Trip his attention, Malcolm said. "A section of circuitry that routes power from engineering to the launchers was knocked out. I'm not quite
sure what to do with it, it's such a mess."

"Let's take a look." He held out his hand, then hauled Malcolm to his feet. He noticed Malcolm, a faint blush creeping up his neck, looking at their clasped hands as he pulled him up.

Malcolm abruptly let go and turned away. "It's over here."

Trip followed, a slight grin on his face. He'd gotten much the same reaction from Malcolm earlier in engineering. Malcolm had made an offhand remark about needing to "get an engineer in the armory," and Trip had deliberately made sure his answer could be taken in more than one way. Despite the
strain they'd all been under, he was enjoying rattling Malcolm's cage, and wondered how hard he would have to try before the blush went all the way to Malcolm's face.

The access panel to the circuitry was open, and Malcolm leaned in slightly, using a probe to point out the problem area. Trip had to rub shoulders with him to be able to see into the compartment.

"Yeah, it's a mess all right," Trip said, forgetting about teasing Malcolm as he traced a line of circuitry with his finger. Lost in thought, he didn't see Malcolm glancing at him out of the corner of his eye as their shoulders continued to nudge against each other.

"This should go all the way over here," Trip said, indicating a charred metallic lump.

"I know that," Malcolm said, "but I can't decide how to go about fixing it. There are several other systems going through here it could affect."

Trip pulled back out of the compartment and shook his head in exasperation. "Replacing it would be best, but we don't have any spares for this. We'd have to make it from scratch."

"How long would that take?"

"'Bout as long to bypass it with something else."

Malcolm let out a snort as he took a step back from the compartment. "I know how you want to fix it, and we'll have to do it that way. I guess we'll won't be able to do it fast this time."

Trip bit the inside of his lip to keep from grinning. Do it fast? His mind was so in the gutter today. Didn't Malcolm realize he made a perfect straight man, feeding him loaded lines so that it was all Trip could do not to say the punch lines? Oh, what the hell.

"Won't be fast, but it'll be hard," Trip said with a suggestive wiggle of one of his eyebrows.

Once again, a reddish tinge began to crawl up Malcolm's neck, and this time Trip was rewarded by seeing it stain his cheeks as well.

"Uh, right," Malcolm stuttered.

Trip watched as Malcolm turned away to find a rag to wipe his hands which didn't need wiping. He'd flustered the armory officer, which was something that never happened. Trip thought it was rather an attractive look on the compact, handsome man.

"Seein' as how you got the most capable engineer in your armory right now, you're lucky," Trip said. "I'll get started on makin' replacements for what you need. I know you want it fast, although I prefer to take it slower."

Malcolm blanched, the blush swiftly leaving his face. He wouldn't look Trip in the eye, and Trip could barely keep from laughing.

"Let me see," Trip continued. "You got the tool I need down there...I mean, down here?"

Now Malcolm was bright red again. Trip was willing to bet that the only thing that kept Malcolm from bolting was the fact that it was his superior officer saying these things. Still, they had work to do, and he didn't want to push him too far.



"Let's get to work. That thing's not gonna fix itself."

As the two men began pulling the ruined circuitry out of the compartment, Trip couldn't concentrate on what they were doing. He kept thinking about the possibility of exploring a new aspect of his friendship with Malcolm, who had been embarrassed by his innuendos but hadn't told him to stop. Maybe when they were done with this, he could find out exactly what Malcolm thought about him, other than as a friend.

Done At Last is a continuation of this story.


This material is posted here with the author's express permission. Please do not repost this material without permission directly from the author.

Feedback? Comments? Thanks! Drop us a few lines: tm_comments@gmx.net

Half a dozen of you have made comments

Liked the first part...
Loved the second as well...
Is there going to be a next?

wow, that was funny, but really chatting up the only guy on the ship who's properly trained to kik ure ass, clever n funny loved it

Yes, there is going to be a next part... and a part after that... and probably a part after that... Glad you all enjoyed it.

Tee hee. Nice job! I enjoyed it! Innuendo was great!

V. funny. Here's to hopin for more..innuendos..

"Won't be fast, but it'll be hard" ...... Mwahahahaha!!!! Just downright wonderful!!!!


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