"Who's To Blame?"

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

Author: Kathy Rose
Category: Friendship/Humor
Rating: PG-13
Summary: Malcolm and Trip get in an argument, but decide it's not their fault
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.

Author's Note: This is my first Trip-Malcolm story, although I've done other Enterprise fan fic. Thought I'd take it easy on them for my first effort. I guess the 13 in the PG-13 comes from the way you can take the last few sentences in the story. Sort of innuendo-ish.

Malcolm could hear Trip cussing all the way across engineering.

"I don't care how long it takes, we've got to get the ratio right before the damned thing will work. Concentrate on the injectors first."

Malcolm sighed. He had come to engineering to bring the latest revisions for fixing the torpedo launchers to Trip. He wasn't going to be able to get it done without the chief engineer's help. Considering the situation, he doubted he was going to get a warm reception.

"Hey, Malcolm!" Trip cried when he spotted the armory officer. "Surprised you could spare time to come down here. You must be just as busy as we are. What's up?"

As Trip wiped his hands on a rag, Malcolm held out a padd. "I'd like you take a look at this and see if it's feasible."

Trip took the padd and looked at the screen. "Torpedo launchers? Yeah, looks OK, but you're gonna need some help, since that system routes through engineering."

"I know."

Trip stared at him. "I can't spare anybody right now. After that attack, half the propulsion subsystems are down and the other half aren't far behind."

"I know."

"Is that all ya can say? 'I know?'"

"Trip, I understand your situation, but if those bandits come back, we've got to be able to defend ourselves."

Exhaling loudly, Trip turned and stalked angrily across engineering, Malcolm trailing closely behind. When Trip climbed the ladder to the warp controls, Malcolm stopped at the bottom for a moment looking after him, then scrambled up as well.

Trip began to check some of the settings on the control panel. Without looking at Malcolm, he said in a huff, "If we'd defended ourselves in the first place, we wouldn't be in this fix!"

Malcolm felt his temper start to rise. "So you're saying this is my fault?"

"Well, if ya'd done a better job the first time, we wouldn't be worryin' about a second, would we?"

"If you'd have given me the power I requested when I needed it, it wouldn't have happened at all!"

The two men were now standing toe to toe on the platform, the sparks from their growing squabble almost as hot as some of the explosions that had ripped through engineering earlier that day. Crewmen in the area kept their distance from the two officers as the argument escalated.

"I couldn't give you any power because there wasn't any to give! The captain ordered me to hold some in reserve."

"And the captain wouldn't let me fire when I first wanted to, so it wasn't my fault they hit us with their entire battery at one time! If he had let me attack when I wanted to, I could have taken out half their armament!"

They continued to glare at each other, but both had run out of accusations. Trip was the first to back down. He leaned against the railing and said, "Ya know, seems to me we both hit on a point that we've been overlookin'."

"What's that?"

"It's not my fault that we're in this mess, and it's not your fault, either."

"Well, then, whose fault is it?" Malcolm asked, curious as to what Trip was thinking.

"The captain's."

"The captain's?" Malcolm repeated dubiously. "How could it be the captain's fault?"

Trip shifted and crossed his arms. Looking at Malcolm slyly, he said, "Well, if he'd just follow our suggestions, instead of feelin' like he has to give orders all the time..."

Malcolm felt a laugh welling up. Must be relief after all the tension of the battle and then the frustration of trying to repair everything, he realized. All it took was seeing the sloppy grin that was now on Trip's face, and the laugh burst out.

As each of them thought of all the times the captain had disregarded their suggestions and the resulting disasters that had occurred, they soon were laughing hard enough that Trip was clutching his sides and Malcolm had to wipe his eyes.

"God, I needed that," Trip said when he could finally catch his breath.

"I think I did, too," Malcolm agreed. "But that still doesn't get me an engineer in the armory."

"I don't know 'bout that, Malcolm. Maybe we can work somethin' out," Trip said, and Malcolm saw a speculative gleam in his eyes.

Go to An Engineer in the Armory, the sequel to Who's to Blame?.


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

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Two of you have made comments

How True!!! In fact, Archer needs remedial desert survival and serious counciling on his idea of the medical basics of an IV.

Lovely!!!! I could really see them glaring and yelling at each other! :D Great!


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