Midori

By Silverbullet

Rating: PG

Genres: general missing scene romance

Keywords:

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"Aim where it is going to be, not where it is at," said Malcolm.


"I know," said Hoshi. "It is just that I cannot get used to this new phaser. I carried the old one a lot before. Practiced with it often."

"You will get the hang of it soon enough."

"I hope so."

Hoshi practiced firing at moving targets and stationary ones too.

 

She finally said, "Let's stop for a while my eyes are getting crossed."

"Okay, you are doing better."

Hoshi sat and drank from a bottle of water. "Have some?" she said, offering the bottle to Malcolm.

Malcolm blanched a little. "No, I don't need any."

Hoshi was making small talk to pass the time and keep Malcolm from restarting the practice session, which Hoshi really didn't care for at the time.

"Lieutenant, what did your parents call you when you were young? Malcolm? Mal?"

"Malcolm, always Malcolm. Never Mal. My father, the admiral, would have had a fit if anyone called me Mal. He caught my sister doing it one time and so frightened her that she never did it again, even when we were alone."

"That is too bad. Mal is a nice name."

"What about you? Did your parents always call you Hoshi?"

"Yes and no."

"I beg your pardon?"

"Well, my grandfather, who I adored, called me Midori. That means green in Japanese. It was his favorite color. He always said he loved to walk in the forest in the spring and early summer because it was so green. Anyway, my mother also called me Midori.

"What about the rest of your family?"

"No, only the ones who really cared for me very much. My father was a bit remote. My brothers too."

"Just those who really care for you?"

"Yes, those are the only ones I will allow to call me that."

"Then whoever does must be someone special."

"Yes."

"Lieutenant, do you like Japanese food?"

"When I lived in Malaysia, I ate many Asian foods. Yes, I like Japanese food."

"I have a hot plate in my quarters. I sometimes have Chef send me cut up vegetables, pork or beef and rice. I will prepare my own meal then. It's a bit of home for me."

"Interesting."

"Lieutenant, would you care to come to my quarters for dinner?"

"Dinner?"

"Yes, let's say this Saturday evening."

"I would like that. What time?"

"Come at 1900."

"1900 Saturday evening. It is a date?"

"Of course."

That Saturday evening Malcolm showered, shaved, put on a fresh uniform, and went to the arboretum.

"I am going to dinner with Ensign Sato," he said to the officer on duty. "I would like to take her something nice, perhaps some flowers or a plant."

"Ensign Sato? She is Japanese, isn't she?"

"Yes."

"I have something that she might like. It would give her a hobby too."

"What is that?"

"A bonsai tree. I have four. There is one that is young; I just started it a few years ago. I will sell it to you."

"How much?"

"Some phaser pistol lessons and practice."

"Done."

The lieutenant in the arboretum handed Malcolm a dwarf bonsai in a square pot. "Careful of it; it is delicate."

Malcolm took the pot and gently carried it to Hoshi door. He rang the door chime

"Come in."

Malcolm opened the door and walked into Hoshi's quarters. There were three candles lit on a squat table close to the floor. There was a short-legged bench next to the table. In the center of the table, two tiny cups and a small porcelain jug sat beside a hotplate. A teapot was on a tripod over the hotplate which held a round cooker filled with boiling water. Around the edge of the revolving cooker were small dishes of vegetables and some kind of meat. What looked like a rice steamer sat on the floor beside the table; it was electric and was plugged into an outlet.

Hoshi came toward Malcolm. She was dressed in a crimson Japanese kimono with some kind of pattern in it. Her hair was down and there was a slight wave on one side. It framed her face.

"Welcome, Lieutenant. Take off your boots. It is a Japanese custom not to wear shoes or boots inside of a home, and this is my home on Enterprise."

"Okay," said Malcolm, taking off his boots.  "Call me Mal. No rank tonight."


"Mal, then. Welcome."

Malcolm had his hands behind him.

"What are you holding behind your back, Mal?"

Malcolm pulled his hand in front of him. He showed her the bonsai tree. "For you. I got it from the lieutenant who runs the arboretum. She has a few, and she let me have this one when I said I wanted it for you. It is fairly new. She said you would know how to tend to it."

"Oh, it's lovely. You know they can grow quite old and very delicate."

Hoshi placed the bonsai tree on the top of her cabinet. "Every time I look at it, I will remember who gave it to me. I must send a comm to my mother. It will be expensive, but I have so much back pay coming. She can send me all of the information I need to tend to this bonsai."

"That is a beautiful kimono you have on."

"I don't know why I brought it with me. I never had a chance to wear it until tonight." Hoshi gave a laugh. "I am not wearing traditional Japanese undergarments. Or Starfleet issue either."

Malcolm waited. Bloody hell, he thought, she isn't going to tell me. I will have to find out for myself?

"Take your place. I put a cushion there for you."

"I am used to kneeling. I did it a lot when I went to dinner in Malaysia. But thank you for the cushion."

"You are welcome."

"These dishes - the teapot and everything - it looks like a set."

"It is. I have a case I can put all of it in so the set will be safe."

Hoshi took a tiny cup, handed it to Malcolm then picked up the porcelain jug. She removed the stopper and poured a liquid into the cup.

"Warm sake. You should sip it."

Malcolm sipped the sake and finally downed the last of it.

Hoshi put down the jug and took the cup from Malcolm. Then she picked up the jug and handed it to Malcolm. Finally she picked up the other tiny cup held it in her hands and extended her hands toward Malcolm. "Now me."

Malcolm filled the cup and put down the jug.

Hoshi sipped the sake while looking at Malcolm over the rim of the cup.

She put down her cup, picked up the jug, put in the stopper and set the cups and jug on the bench.

"Dinner smells delicious."

Hoshi had laid out bowls and chopsticks for them to use. She said, "May I serve you?"

"Of course. Please."

Hoshi put vegetables in one bowl, some meat in another and rice in a third, and gave them to Malcolm. She then served herself.

"Would you care for some tea?" she asked.

"Yes, please.

Malcolm picked up a small cup without a handle and held it out. Hoshi poured in some tea.

"I know you are British. Would you like a slice of lemon with your tea?"

"I am used to drinking tea without lemon. I learned it in the Far East."

Hoshi poured some tea for herself and then picked up her chopsticks. Malcolm followed suit.

The meal was eaten with some small talk and glances.

When the meal was finished, Hoshi said, "I will clean up later."

Malcolm sat gazing at Hoshi. The candlelight played on her. He had never seen her look so lovely.

"That was delicious."

"I am so happy it met with your approval."

Malcolm smiled. "Now you sound like our Science Officer, T'Pol."

"I guess I have been around her too much."

"Not that much."

"Around her or sound like her?"

"Both"

They sat in awkward silence for a few moments.

"Mal, you can tell me it is none of my business or to shut up, but there seems to be a part of you that is hidden, a part you won't let me see. What was it like growing up? What were your parents like?

"My parents? The Admiral. He thought he was being affectionate and good to me when he decided that I would learn how to be a career officer in the Royal Navy, starting as a recruit. I had a cot, wall locker, foot locker, and a desk to do my homework on; it was the only non-Navy item in my room. I stood inspection every Saturday, and once a month I had to stand a white glove inspection. If I got gigged, I walked parade on our patio. That went on until I was sent to a naval boys school. I was ready for the life more than the other boys since the Admiral had already made me a seaman recruit. I never called him father. Just sir or admiral."

"That is so sad. What about your mother?"

"She was distant, cool and feared the Admiral, so she never protected me from him.

"What about birthdays, Christmas? Certainly he relaxed then?"

"No, I never had a birthday party or gifts, and at Christmas I received things like the Naval Manual of Arms or a set of Royal Navy regulations."

"I am sorry I asked. It must be painful for you to remember."

"I ran away from home when I was 18, worked my way through university and then joined Starfleet. Now I am an armory officer, tactical officer and security officer on Enterprise. What about you? What was your life like growing up?"

"I had a traditional youth until it was discovered that I had this talent for languages. I was taken out of school, given tutors and not allowed to attend school any more. When I was in school before I was taken out, I wore a uniform like the rest of the girls. I attended an all-girls school. My mother was good to me but my father and brothers treated me like Japanese males used to treat females. If I had not been unusual, I probably would have had to bathe my brothers and wait on them. It is my grandfather who treated me best and who I loved. He helped me while I was growing up."

"That sounds a bit better than my life."

"I ran away too for a while. I learned that I was very good at gambling. I won enough to live well. I took Akido lessons and become very good with the old style phasers. Finally, I entered the Starfleet academy. I was kicked out for breaking the arm of an instructor who objected to the fact that I wouldn't let him into my weekend games. I got a job teaching languages and was working at it when Archer asked me to join Enterprise. Here I am."

"That is quite a story."

"Mal, do you think I was forward asking you to dinner? Telling you that I wasn't wearing traditional Japanese undergarments or Starfleet ones?"

"No, I am flattered. I have never seen you like this before. I didn't realize how pretty you are and that you are more than just a brilliant linguist. I never knew you were a gambler. It sounds so interesting, makes you so interesting."

Hoshi blushed. "I have wanted to ask you to dinner for so long and never had the courage."

"We should do it again."

"Mal......"

Then she looked at him. He looked darkly handsome, confident, dangerous, but not for her. Yet there was a part of him she couldn't see, hidden. Someone she very much wanted to see and meet.

"Malcolm?"

He smiled gently at her.

"It is all right.....Midori"

Finis

Author's note:  If you were a fly on the wall you might have heard and seen more that evening. But that is another story, isn't it?


Comments:

Distracted

There's something about your male/female interactions that is different from other writers.  Maybe it's because you grew up at a time when it was generally assumed that a woman would actively seek to influence a man rather than just be herself in the course of a relationship.  I suppose that was the case, though.  Women were expected to act in certain ways in order to influence the men around them because they had very little influence of their own.  In contrast, men were constantly in the state of being manipulated by the women around them.  I find it more than a little sad that my grandparents, and to some extent my parents, had to live in that world.

Hoshi strikes me as trying way too hard in this.  A little flirting is one thing when done lightly and almost tongue-in-cheek, but the comment about her underwear was jarring to me.  Seems to me that saying something like that would scare off a man like Malcolm.  Either that or convince him that in a former life she was a prostitute.  ;)

I see Hoshi as a straightforward young lady, raised to be a "good girl" Japanese style, but a bit of a rebel to Japanese tradition.  She's still a little conservative by western standards, and not the type to make sly comments about undergarments during a nice dinner with a nice man.  I see Malcolm as a straight-laced stickler for the rules, intrigued by Hoshi's talent and exotic beauty and secretly lonely for honest female companionship, tired of the "professionals" and the one-night stands of his past.  I suppose that's why I find this scene someone out of character for both of them.  The nickname was a nice touch, though.  Midori is a pretty name. 

justTripn

I liked that you had them share the stories of their childhoods. Malcolm's childhood fits with what we know from canon and with his personality.  (It also fits with what my evil twin JayTee wrote on the subject.) The revelation that Hoshi's father was also distant was a surprise, but it fits, as does the revelation that Hoshi also once ran away from home. I suddenly see how the pair have alot in common. Good job with this story. I can't wait till you post "Cogenitor." ;)

Silvebullet

Blue Tiger, this is  Malcom. He needs nudges, strong nudges. She didn't say  she was not wearng any she just said  no traditional or Starfleet, that leaves Other kinds. She left it open for Malcomto find out.

bluetiger

This is a nice Malcolm and Hoshi interlude however I'm not sure why she felt the need to tell him she wasn't ewaring underwear :p

Things like that are better left a surprise.

Asso

Delicious!:p

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