"The Morning After"
Sequel to: Surrounded
Author: Kathy Rose
Summary: Trip and Malcolm get in trouble
don't own any of these characters; somebody with a lot more clout does. And
there's no way I'm making any money.
A/N: OK to archive, just ask first, OK?
Trip and Malcolm were eating breakfast together in the mess hall, hoping no
one would notice their silly grins, when they were summoned to see the
As they left the mess hall and headed for the bridge, they tried to figure
out why the captain would want to see both of them but none of the other senior
officers. Enterprise was ship-shape again, no pressing repairs to be made or
weapons systems to be fixed. The viewscreen, they saw when they walked onto the
bridge, showed they were moving along at a respectable pace, the stars zipping
They exchanged a glance when they arrived outside the captain's ready room.
Both took a deep breath at the same time and they almost burst out laughing.
They were still too giddy from their activities late the night before to let an
unexpected order to the captain's ready room dampen their mood.
But in a flash of insight, Trip had a revelation of what the meeting might be
about. "He knows we were in the observation bubble last night," he said.
Malcolm glanced up at him curiously. "How could the captain possibly
"I don't know, but we picked everything up, so we should be OK... Well,
except for the broken couch."
"I thought you fixed that."
"I did...sort of."
"I'm glad you do a better job with the warp engine than you do with
The door suddenly slid open to reveal the captain, surprising both of them.
"Gentlemen. Perfect timing," Jon said.
He stepped aside, allowing the other person in the ready room to approach the
door. Trip swallowed when he saw it was the quartermaster, the one person on
board who kept track of the more mundane items aboard -- like couches.
Giving Trip and Malcolm a smug nod of acknowledgement, the quartermaster
stepped past them without speaking and walked down the hall.
"Come in, men," Jon said, regaining their attention. "I have a few things I'd
like to go over with you."
Jon went around behind his desk and sat down. Malcolm stood at parade rest in
front of the desk and Trip, seeing his new lover in that stance, imitated him.
Jon gave Trip a quizzical glance before speaking.
"If I didn't know better," he began, "I'd say you two are acting guilty."
Trip gave a nervous start. Malcolm didn't even blink. Jon smirked.
"I just had a visit from the quartermaster." Jon paused to watch the faces of
his two officers. Malcolm's gaze was glued to a spot ahead of him on the wall.
Trip was looking anywhere but at his captain.
"After Chef, the quartermaster is probably the worst person on board to piss
off," Jon remarked. "He can get back at you in any number of ways. Next time you
need boots, he'll give you a size smaller than you need. Or he'll give you
industrial-grade toilet tissue. He can even make sure your uniform shrinks when
Trip cleared his throat nervously. "Ah, was the quartermaster upset about
Jon bit the inside of his lower lip as he tried not to laugh. Oh, these two
were guilty, all right. Trip wouldn't be in what passed for his officer mode,
standing almost at attention and using "sir," if he wasn't. He knew his friend
well enough to tell that he was trying to hide something.
Malcolm, on the other hand... Well, Malcolm never looked like he was guilty
of anything other than the overzealous performance of his duties.
Jon stood up and walked around the desk to stand in front of the two men.
"Would the quartermaster be upset if he checked the observation bubble and found
one of the legs on the couch was broken? Of course, some of his foul mood could
be that he didn't know the leg was broken until he sat on the couch and it gave
out under him."
Jon turned and paced over to the window, where he looked out at the stars for
a moment. Turning back, he said, "But there's more."
"More?" Trip squeaked.
"Yes, more. There's a stain on the carpeting that reeks of alcohol. The
quartermaster doesn't know if it will come out. ... And there's another thing.
There's wax on the coffee table. Apparently--"
A beep from the comm interrupted Jon. Reaching over he pushed a button on his
desk panel. "Yes?"
"I saw Lieutenant Reed enter your ready room," came T'Pol's voice over the
intercom. "Would you ask him to return the candles he borrowed. I will need them
later for meditation."
"Will do," Jon said, thumbing the button off, a satisfied smile on his face.
"As I was saying, apparently someone used some type of fire-burning items --
probably candles -- which left wax on the coffee table. Not to mention the use
of an open flame is against regulations."
Trip shifted uneasily. Malcolm remained motionless, certain the captain
didn't really want an answer. He had clung to the hope that the captain was
fishing for information and didn't know for sure who had been in the observation
bubble, but that hope was dashed when T'Pol had called on the comm. But someone
must have seen them leaving the observation bubble and tattled to the
quartermaster. Otherwise, the captain wouldn't have asked them to report to his
ready room in the first place.
"So, are you going to tell me the circumstances under which this damage
occurred?" Jon asked.
Trip opened his mouth to speak, but Malcolm jumped in first. "It was
"Personal?" Jon repeated.
"Ah, yeah," Trip added. "It was definitely private."
"Private," Jon echoed, trying to look as if he was just coming to the
conclusion that he'd figured out several days ago. Two of his officers were
having an affair. Knowing Trip as he did, he wasn't too surprised. The man had
practically been beside himself the last few days, exhibiting the same symptoms
of all the other times Jon had seen him become involved with someone. That
Malcolm was the other officer involved still boggled his mind, however.
As long as it didn't affect their duties or cause other problems, he didn't
give a rat's ass what they did in their off time, regulations or not. And just
so long as they didn't tick off the quartermaster again. One session of
listening to the man's whining had been enough.
"You two were both in there when this happened?"
"Yes, sir," Malcolm volunteered, and Trip nodded in agreement.
"No one else?"
"No, sir," Malcolm said.
"Totally alone...by yourselves...with candles and alcohol," Jon said, gazing
knowingly at the two men.
Neither man said anything more, but Jon wasn't expecting them to. He'd made
it perfectly clear he knew what they'd been up to. He went back to his desk and
sat down, picking up the PADD with the list of damages the quartermaster had
"Here's everything wrong with the observation bubble. I expect you two to fix
or clean whatever is needed."
He handed the PADD to Trip, who scanned the list. "Hey, we didn't chip the
finish on the end table!" he said indignantly.
Jon raised his eyebrows inquiringly, but before he could say anything,
Malcolm spoke up.
"Yes, we did."
"We did?" Trip asked incredulously. "How?"
Malcolm paused, unable to believe Trip wanted details in front of their
"Yes, how did that happen?" Jon prodded maliciously.
Malcolm had no choice but to answer. Picking his words with care, he said,
"Trip's belt buckle hit it rather forcefully."
Jon tried to envisioned how that could have happened, and wondered if Trip
had fallen against the table. Maybe he had been wrong about them. Had they
gotten into a fight instead of what he thought they were doing? Lord knows they
argued all the time.
"Did you get hurt falling on the table?" Jon asked in concern.
"Ah," Trip said. "I...ah...wasn't actually wearing the belt at the time."
Jon watched in interest as both men began to blush. He saw his first guess
about them was right.
He'd humiliated both of them enough. Stiffling a chuckle, he waved a hand at
them and said, "I don't want to know any more. Just clean it up.
"We wouldn't have got whiskey on the floor or broken the couch if ya hadn't
jumped on me," Trip said accusingly as he scrubbed the stained area of
"I didn't hear you complaining at the time," Malcolm retorted as he chipped
away at the wax on the table. "Besides, the way you were flailing around, I'm
surprised the whole room didn't catch fire. We're lucky just one candle got
"I wasn't flailing! I was enthusiastically respondin' to what ya were
"Such as when, in your haste to disrobe, you whipped off your belt so fast
that the buckle hit the end table?" A new thought struck him. Bloody hell!"
"What?" Trip asked.
"We're going to have to get some wood stain from the quartermaster to fix the
scratch. I'm not looking forward to that meeting."
Trip's low chuckle caught his attention.
"I'm glad you find something funny in this situation," Malcolm said
Trip only laughed louder. "Oh, Malcolm," he said when he could catch his
breath. "I wouldn't trade last night for anything. I'm so glad we've finally
managed to get together. But, just listen to us."
"We've been together for less than a day, and we sound like an old married
couple," he said, starting to laugh again.
Malcolm regarded his lover for a moment, then a smile slowly transformed his
face and he, too, began to laugh.
They returned to their tasks with renewed enthusiasm. Trip looked over to see
Malcolm still smiling as he polished the table.
"What?" Trip asked.
"If we're like an old married couple now, what are we going to be like in a
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Feedback? Comments? Thanks! Drop us a few lines:
Half a dozen of you have made
Lol. Nice job. Archer had a little too much fun with them, not that it
wasn't amusing though. I'm really enjoying this series, and I love that the
sequels just keep popping up. Great!
Keep writing plz its amazing stuff!!!! Can't belive they broke the
couch!!!! must av been a gd night. and Archer has way too much fun teasing his
brilliant, i love the sequels and i can make a guess but i really would
like to know just how the couch managed to be that heavily damaged um, um, um
i wish i was malcolm.
The belt thing was cute ^_____6
I love this series!
please write more!!
I love this series!
please write more!!