The Twelve Days of Christmas

By Eireann

Rating: R

Genres: au family fluff humour missing scene

Keywords:

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Disclaimer: Star Trek (plus all its intellectual property) is owned by Paramount.  No infringement intended. 

Summary:  It’s the morning after an eventful night before...


 

Lieutenant Reed lifted his head from the pillow.

Or at least, he experimented with that particular manoeuvre. 

It hurt, so he stopped.  Some bastard had set off a chain of explosives in his head, coated his mouth with decayed vegetable matter and replaced his stomach with the ship’s waste recycling plant on a particularly busy day.

It was at this point that he noticed that the aforementioned recycling plant was experiencing a serious malfunction.  Disregarding the explosives in his head, he had about three seconds to get to the bathroom.

He only just made it.

God in Heaven, even his vomit smelled like it was 40% proof.  He hung over the toilet like wet washing, wondering why the hell he’d let Trip bloody Tucker talk him into going to that bloody Christmas Party in the first place; and even more, once he had been inveigled into it (and much against his better judgement, at that) why he’d believed a single word Travis Mayweather had said about the punch not being particularly potent.

Not particularly potent, my –

He’d have gone into more details, but at that moment more of his sins were visited on the porcelain.  Several more detonations went off behind his eyebrows at every heave, each increasing in magnitude.

The spasms were so cataclysmic they were actually affecting his eyesight, and that had never happened before – he’d gone blind in one eye!  In a panic he grabbed at the socket of the affected eyeball and discovered the real reason for his sudden affliction was a rather battered paper hat that his exertions had caused to slip down over it.  He ripped off the offending article and stared at it with incredulous loathing.

He didn’t remember anything about paper hats.  He was sure he’d have remembered anyone having the ill-judgement to suggest the ship’s Head of Security wear a paper hat–

A navy-blue crown with gold stars?

He had this terrible feeling that somebody at some point had said something about it being good to see him upholding the finest traditions of the Royal Navy.  And that they’d saluted.

Bet it was Trip.  Bastard.  He just hoped it hadn’t been the captain, though that bit about the traditions had been very precisely pronounced for someone who’d been pissed at the time, which he distinctly remembered Trip had been.

Oh, for Pity’s sake tell me it’s a hallucination.

It was the captain.  He just knew it had been the captain.  And the captain would remember it happening.

He’d have folded on to the floor, but since he was already on it the option wasn’t available to him.

He rested his crownless forehead against the rim of the toilet, which had the advantage of being cool as well as taking some of the weight off his neck.

T’Pol.  Now T’Pol wouldn’t have saluted him.  No.  He could take refuge in that.  Although –

Tell me I didn’t tell her she has a gorgeous bum.  No.  Anything but that. 

The suspicion that he actually might not have retained sufficient control of his mouth to have articulated ‘gorgeous bum’ in any form that wouldn’t have required the assistance of the UT to render intelligible was not as much comfort as it should have been.  After all, Hoshi was pretty good at translating foreign languages and she just might have been sober enough (and playful enough) to have volunteered her services.

For ‘playful’ read ‘vindictive bitch who I’m going to find some way to pay back if I have to live for a hundred years’.

I’m supposed to be on duty in another half an hour.

Damn and blast it to hell.  They might expect me to shoot at something AND hit it.

As long as it’s the size of a planet and keeps absolutely still I might just about wing it.

Shit.  The noise of the bloody explosion’s going to go right through my head.  Perhaps I could just swat whatever it is with something instead.  Very, very quietly.  And hope it doesn’t scream.  I couldn’t stand a scream.  Perhaps if I swat it very politely and hold up a sign saying ‘Sssh!’ it’ll scream under its breath.

Kneeling groaning on the toilet floor with one’s head on the lavatory is not appropriately dignified behaviour for a British officer.  After taking several deep breaths he attempted to remedy that situation.  Unfortunately, his stomach hadn’t quite finished taking its revenge, and the attempt reminded it of that fact.

More explosions went off in his head.  He supposed that for an armoury officer, ‘projectile’ vomiting was only appropriate.  He just wished it was less bloody undignified.

Oh well.  At least there was no-one here to witness his shame.

“Sonofabitch...”

World, what did I do to deserve this?  God, are you having a joke on me or something? 

OK.  Where is he?  Tell me he’s in the wardrobe.  Please let him be in the wardrobe.

Lacking even the strength to get off his knees, Malcolm crawled towards the door.  What he saw beyond it confirmed his worst fears.

Right.  Just get a length of rope from the Quartermaster and hang me now.

What the bloody Norah is Trip bloody Tucker doing in MY BLOODY BED????

Well I know I didn’t do anything.  Not after all that punch.  I couldn’t if I’d wanted to, and I’m sure I didn’t bloody want to.  If I’d been invited to an orgy with every female member of the crew I couldn’t have raised a smile, let alone anything else.  Besides, that Santa hat makes him look even more repulsive than usual.  I wouldn’t even have shagged Hoshi stark naked if she was wearing a Santa hat.

Oh, I don’t know though....

The point is, I COULDN’T HAVE SHAGGED HOSHI, Santa hat or otherwise, by the end of last night.  So anybody else is equally unlikely.  Thank God.

It wasn’t....

No.  I don’t think he could have either.  It’s just the rest of me that aches.

Tell me that Travis didn’t see us going in here together.  Oh God, tell me NOBODY saw us.  Tell me I’m imagining shutter noises being part of what passes for my memory of last night.  If T’Pol finds out I shared a bed with her lover-boy I’m the Vulcan equivalent of ‘toast’.  Have we got a lie-detector on board?  I don’t want to die.  Though it’d almost be worth it to get rid of this bloody headache....

He crawled forward very slowly and carefully towards the bunk.  Trip was evidently trying to regain full consciousness on it, with indifferent success.  The fact that the fluffy white band of his Santa hat had slipped down over his eyes was probably not helping matters.  He’d have gone blind in both eyes instead of just one.

“Who put the goddamn lights out?” he quavered pathetically.  Evidently he couldn’t even muster the strength to put his hands up to find out the problem.

“Ssh! Don’t shout like that!” hissed Malcolm.

“Is that you, T’Pol?”

“No, it bloody well isn’t!”

“Je-sus!”  The scale of the damage had evidently just dawned.  What could be seen of Trip’s face screwed up in anguish.

“No, and I’m not him either!”

“MALCOLM!  WHAT ARE YOU DOIN’ IN MY QUARTERS?”  The American clearly hadn’t registered the request to keep the volume down.  Malcolm slumped against his bedside cabinet and clasped his hands over his head, partly to protect his ears and partly because he was afraid something was going to explode.

“Have I got news for YOU, Commandah!” he said when the echoes had died down.

A fumbling hand found the offending hat, and pushed it up over a corrugated forehead.  Dazed blue eyes blinked at him.  “This is YOUR bed!”

“Yes.  I’d come to that conclusion myself.”

“So what the Jehosophat am I doin’ in your bed?”

“So long as you’re not bathing in post-coital bliss, Commander, frankly, I don’t give a damn!” 

“How did I get here?”  A note of accusation had replaced the bewilderment. 

Oh, yes, of course.  Kidnapping my senior officers is all part of the service.

“I threw you over my white charger and carried you off for a night of illicit bloody passion.  I’d have thought you’d remember that at least.”  Oh God, Tucker was actually not capable of recognizing sarcasm yet – not if those bulging eyeballs were anything to go by.  “I don’t know how you got here.  I don’t know what you’re doing here.  And if you MUST shout, please could you shout very quietly!

At that point Trip made the mistake of sitting up.  Quickly.

Malcolm tried to get out of the way in a hurry.  Unfortunately the blanket that had been tangled around Tucker’s legs wasn’t quite so obliging.  He got one foot on the floor, but the other was trapped.  His lunging weight took him headlong onto his horrified junior officer, flattening him.

Malcolm looked up into a green-hued face still wearing a Santa hat at an oblique angle.  His head had taken an impact with the deck plating that had improved neither its condition nor his temper.

“If you puke on me, sir, I will tear you limb from limb,” he enunciated very clearly.  “And I don’t give a shite what it says in the Regulations.”

Wuk –”

“GETOFFME!”  He gave an almighty, panicking shove.  Trip got both legs free and scrambled forward almost on all fours, heading for the bathroom.  Unfortunately by this time the hat had fallen down over his eyes again and he didn’t realize the door was shut.  Opening it with his head probably wasn’t helping his situation, to go by the muffled howl that resulted, but at that moment Malcolm was past caring.  Having a semi-naked member of the male sex knock him down, sprawl on him and threaten to throw up all over him when he already had a hangover himself AND had to be on duty in, oh, make that fifteen minutes now, had just about exhausted his supply of the milk of human kindness.

No time for a wash, and he wasn’t going back into his bathroom when those kinds of noises were in production, thank you very much; he felt queasy enough as it was.  Even if his shaver was in there.  AND his toiletries.  Luckily he had a spare comb in his sock drawer.  Getting to his feet with an effort, he shakily dragged on a clean uniform.  He’d find a washroom on the way to the Bridge and do what he could by way of swilling his face and mouth. 

Trip would have to take his chances.  At least nobody would be expecting HIM to turn up for duty on the Bridge doing an impersonation of an officer who actually knew what day it was.  Lucky bastard.

Five minutes left to bring up the duty rosters for the Armoury.  Let’s face it, he’d already brought everything else up.

Telling himself dismally he’d just have time to fly through Sickbay and get a shot for his hangover, he keyed in the access code for his computer.

An inbound video file burst into life before his haggard and disbelieving gaze.  Circulated to him, Trip, Travis, Hoshi, T’Pol and ..... oh, bugger and blast.

The Mess Hall.  At a considerably advanced hour, to judge by the degree of dishevelment of the assembled guests.

The camera had been panning around seemingly at random among the revellers, most of whom appeared exceedingly the worse for wear, but it suddenly swung around and zoomed in; doubtless the amateur photographer’s attention had been attracted by a storm of drunken applause.

A dark-haired guest sporting a blue and gold party hat was scrambling on to a table, assisted and accompanied by a fair-haired one wearing a Santa hat.  They were both apparently having difficulty staying upright, to judge by the fact that they seemed to need to lean against one another for support.

“Itsh... an inter... intergag...interglactic Chrishmush Carol!” bellowed the taller of the two, commanding attention.

“Won’t ‘preciate it,” complained the smaller of them, knocking back what looked like half a tumbler of punch.  “Don’ know why I got up here.  Let’sh get down.  Mishtletoe.  Ladiessh. Hosssshhhhhiiiii!”

“No.  Got up here now. Can’t dissshappoint people.”  The other peered blearily around the room.  “Thishhh an  an old tradish’nal Chrishmush carol, that me an’ my pal Mal here ‘ve just wri’n.  Join in if you know the chor... chor... well, if you know the wordsh.”

“Hurrah!” shouted everybody.  Well, everybody except T’Pol, who looked somewhat distant.  Presumably she didn’t know the wordsh.

Then the ladiesssshh.”  Malcolm blinked around owlishly for Hoshi, who was waving a bunch of mistletoe and beaming at him.  “Hokay.  One, foo, tree, tour....

“‘On the firsht day of Chrishmush a crewman shaid to me, ‘There’sh a party in Cargo Bay Three’...”  He poked woozily at his co-writer’s chest as a thought occurred to him.  “Wouldn’ tell me tha’.  More likely to tell you.  They all shink I’m a mishrable git.”

“Thatsh not the wordsh,” said Trip reproachfully.  “Shaid we shou’ve wri’... written ‘em down.”

“No, no.  I rem... remember.  I wash just solil... sol.. sollilolo...talking to myshelf.”

“You’re shupposed to be shinging, not venquilo – venquilotrizing.”

“Pardon me, I’m shure!” He faced the audience, who were by now baying for the rendition to continue.

“‘On the shecond day of Chrishmush a crewman shaid to me, ‘Bring two friendsh, there’sh a party in Cargo Bay Three,’” he bawled. The train of thought careered into another siding at this point and hit the buffers.  “I haven’t got two friendsh,” he said pathetically.

Trip smacked him across the shoulders.  Fortunately he still had just enough brain function and physical co-ordination left to stop himself from flying straight into the midst of a crowd of crew-women from the Science Department who were apparently suffering from severe abdominal cramps.  At least, they were doubled up holding their stomachs.

“’Shnot true, Mal.  Everybody lovesh ya.”  He waved an expansive arm.  It was unfortunate that the hand at the end of it was the one holding his drink, and several people received an unexpected shower.  “Now get on with shingin’ the goddamn shong, willya?”

“‘On the third day of Chrishmush a crewman shaid to me, ‘Bring three cratesh of beer, an’ two friendsh, there’sh a party in Cargo Bay Three!’... I hope they’ve got clearansh for it,” he added muzzily.  “’Gainsht Regulashunsh.  Partiesh in Cargo Baysh.”  He wagged his finger in vague reproof at nobody in particular.  “Thash’ why they wun’ tell me ‘bout it.  Shecurity issshue.” 

Trip blinked at him.  “Shecurity wha’?”

“Shecurity issshue.  Isssshue!”

“All fall down!” bellowed Trip, and laughed uproariously.

It appeared that Malcolm, however, was fixated on the seriousness of the matter, and that his own unpopularity was still weighing on his mind.  “Not sshafe.  An’ they shink I’m a misher’ble gi’.”

“Cap’n’ll overlook it jusht thish onesh.” Tucker nodded sagely.  “’S Chrishmush.  Cap’n likesh Chrishmush.”

“Ohwell.  If you shay sho.

‘On the fourth day of Chrishmush a crewman said to me, ‘Bring four large pizzhash, three cratesh of beer, an’ two friendsh, there’sh a party in Cargo Bay Three!’”  As trains go, this one was clearly a slow passenger train.  It lurched to a halt at yet another station.  “Pizzhash.  Should’ve ordered a takeaway.  Eashier to shay.”

“Don’ be shilly, Mal.  Who’re we goin’ to order a takeaway from out here in outer shpashe?”

“O’courshe.  It’d be cold by the time it got here.”  Malcolm nodded wisely.

“SONG!” roared the audience, out for blood by this time.

“Wai’ a bit, I’ve forgo’n where I wash now.”  He swayed a bit, blinking.  “P’rapsh I’d better shtart again.”

The noises that greeted this proposal made him look rather hurt.  “They don’t like my shinging,” he confided to Trip.

“They love it, Mal, they jus’ shink it’ll be goddamn Eashter before ya get to the end of it.”

“Oh.  Oh, yesh.  I remember now.  Five Easter bunniesh.  No, not Eashter bunniesh.  Thingsh.”  His brow furrowed with the effort of remembering, but then he beamed seraphically as light dawned and he could continue his serenade.

“‘On the fifth day of Chrishmush a crewman said to me ‘Bring five shilly gamesh, four large pizzhash, three cratesh of beer, an’ two friendsh, there’sh a party in Cargo Bay Three!’

“THREE-EEEE!” Trip added a mellow but drunken counterpoint. Ignoring him, Malcolm ploughed on recklessly.

‘On the shixth day of Chrishmush a crewman shaid to me ‘Bring shix Vulcansh thinking, five shilly gamesh, four large pizzhash, three cratesh of beer, and two friendsh, there’sh a party in Cargo Bay Three!’”  This definitely merited comment.  He frowned.  “Vulcansh don’t like partiesh.  Whadda we wan’ invite them for?”

“P’raps that’s what they were shinkin’,” suggested Trip with boozy logic.  “Guess they woul’n’ stay long anyhow.”

The camera panned briefly to T’Pol, whose expression suggested that if she was one of the six Vulcans included in the invitation she certainly wouldn’t stay long.  If she’d been reckless enough to have accepted it in the first place.

“Goo’ point.  You’re not just a shilly fashe, you know, Trip.”  Another swig of the punch propelled him further along the path of cultural suicide. 

“‘On the sheventh day of Chrishmush a crewman shaid to me, ‘Bring sheven Denobulansh shmiling, shix Vulcansh thinking, five shilly gamesh, four large pizzhash, three cratesh of beer, and two friendsh, there’sh a party in Cargo Bay Three!’”

The camera panned to Phlox.  Fortunately the extremely sociable doctor had a sense of humour, as well as no noticeable aversion to bringing six friends along to the proposed event.  He was also taking notes, presumably planning to write up a paper about the deleterious effects of alcohol on the human sense of self-preservation.

“‘On the eighth day of Chrishmush a crewman shaid to me, ‘Bring eight Orionsh ogling, sheven Denobulansh shmiling, shix Vulcansh thinking, five shilly gamesh, four large pizzhash, three cratesh of beer, and two friendsh, there’sh a party in Cargo Bay Three!’”

Loud cheers from the male half of the audience at the prospect of ogling Orions being invited.  Derision from the female half.  Minor scuffles.  Malcolm ignored the disturbance as a thing quite beneath his notice.

“‘On the ninth day of Chrishmush a crewman shaid to me, ‘Bring nine Andoriansh shcowling, eight Orionsh ogling, sheven Denobulansh shmiling, shix Vulcansh thinking, five shilly gamesh, four large pizzhash, three cratesh of beer, and two friendsh, there’sh a party in Cargo Bay Three!’”

“You think Shran’s going to turn up at this kind of party, you sure don’t know him too well!”  Captain Archer.  Worse still, an apparently sober Captain Archer.  With a grin that said this one was going down for posterity.

Malcolm tapped Trip on the shoulder.  Several times, as the first didn’t seem to get his attention, which had wandered, though T’Pol was steadfastly ignoring his waves in her direction.  “Cap’n shaysh Shran won’ come to our party, Trip.”

“Mishrable sonofabish, din’wan’ him anywaysh.  Ashk that Talash inshtead.”  Nudge, nudge.  “Shee fanshiesh you, y’know.  People shink I don’ notish theshe thingsh bu’ I do.  I’m very os – osbervan’.”

“No – no, I wash goo’.  Don’ shay I din’ fanshy her too, bu’ I wash a goo’ boy.”

The camera discovered Hoshi.  At a guess she was deciding whether drunkenly admitting to the whole ship that he’d fancied Lieutenant Talas balanced his good behaviour notwithstanding.  Her decision would govern exactly how many hours he’d spend apologizing on his knees before she’d let him shag her again.

“Jus’ ... jus’ don’ invite thoshe ladiesh who were eatin’ thoshe bu...bu’fliesh, wha’ever y’ do.”  By some miracle there was a little punch left in his glass, and he downed it and made a valiant but futile attempt at a knowing, confidential wink at his co-conspirator.  “Now, they wash hot.  An’ I’ve go’ to be a goo’ boy.”

Right.  Make that several months on his knees.

“I thin’ we’re losin’ our audience, Mal.”  The baying of the spectators had somehow penetrated through to Trip’s alcohol-saturated consciousness.

“They can bloody wai’til’ I’m goo’ ’n ready.”  He stifled a hiccup and glared at the audience belligerently.

“We can’t wait till you’re sober, sir, we’re only on a five-year mission!” somebody shouted.

Malcolm waved a hand gesture that was probably not in the Starfleet manual, but consented to continue.

“‘On the tenth day of Chrishmush a crewman shaid to me, ‘Bring ten Klingonsh fighting, nine Andoriansh shcowling, eight Orionsh ogling, sheven Denobulansh shmiling, shix Vulcansh thinking, five shilly gamesh, four large pizzhash, three cratesh of beer, and two friendsh, there’sh a party in Cargo Bay Three!’”

“Is this gonna be a party or a punch-up, sirs?” yelled Travis, who’d evidently had the intelligence to drink very sparingly indeed of the hell-brew he’d concocted.

“’S what you call poetic lishenshe,” said the lieutenant irritably, trying not to sway.  “’Kin’ly lissshen an’ learn!”

“I don’ shupposhe there wash an acshul hosht of gol’n da... daddofils about, but no-one int’rupted Shakes, Shakeshpeare when he wash shingin’ about them,” complained Trip.

“Oh, you Yanksh never ge’ it righ’,” groused Malcolm.  “Shasheshpeare din’ shing it.  He acted it.”

Trip blinked.  “Actin’ a hosht of daddofils?”

“He wash a goo’ actor.  Thash why they wrote all thoshe plays ‘bout him.”  He raised his by-now-empty glass.  “Is this a daddofil I shee before me?”

“SONG!  SONG!  SONG!” chanted the audience. 

“’t’ll be nesht Chrishmash if you don’ get a move on,” slurred Trip.

“Oh, balls.  ‘M gettin’ there.  ‘S all theshe int’ruptionsh from people who don’ know their Shasheshpeare from their ... anybody elshe.”

To the undisguised ecstasy of the spectators, however, he resumed, standing upright (with something of an effort) and saluting as though standing on the deck of a Royal Navy frigate.  Though the Titanic would have been more apt.  He took a deep breath and started an octave lower, which surprised everybody including Trip, who got a fit of the giggles.  After a minor altercation that the camera fortunately wasn’t close enough to pick up, he took another deep breath and tried again.

“‘On the eleventh day of Chrishmush a crewman shaid to me, ‘Bring eleven Tellaritesh grumbling, ten Klingonsh fighting, nine Andoriansh shcowling, eight Orionsh ogling, sheven Denobulansh shmiling, shix Vulcansh thinking, five shilly gamesh, four large pizzhash, three cratesh of beer, and two friendsh, there’sh a party in Cargo Bay Three!’”

Trip held up a hand to halt proceedings briefly.  “You c’n all join in on the lasht vershe!  I wanna hear everybody shingin’!” he bawled.

“We’d like to hear somebody singing, too!” said a safely anonymous voice in the crowd.  “All we’ve heard so far is Lieutenant Reed!”

“C’me up here and shay that!” Malcolm teetered dangerously, but Trip pulled him upright in time.

“There’sh no room for him on th’ table,” Tucker pointed out.

“Tha’sh true.  No room at the inn.”  He looked lugubrious for a moment or two, then brightened up.  “But if I’d’ve go’ down to him I’d’ve sshowed him wha’ for.”

“If you’d’a got down you’d never’a got back up again.”

“Mmm.  Goo’ point.  You’re talkin’ a lot more shenshe than ushual tonight, Trip, y’know that?”

“GET A MOVE ON!” came another call from the crowd, clearly anxious for the next verse, or possibly for the end.

“ALL TOGETHER NOW!” yelled Trip, forestalling a possible riot.

Obviously conscious of the magnitude of the occasion, Malcolm inflated his chest like a bullfrog and gave it his all.

“‘On the twelfth day of Chrishmush a crewman shaid to me, ‘Bring twelve MA-A-COsh,” another deep, unsteady breath, and then the rest of it came tumbling out,  “TO ARRESHT eleven Tellaritesh grumbling, ten Klingonsh fighting, nine Andoriansh shcowling, eight Orionsh ogling, sheven Denobulansh shmiling, shix Vulcansh thinking, PLAYING five shilly gamesh, EATING four large pizzhash, DRINKING three cratesh of beer, and SHNOGGING two friendsh, THAT’S ASSHUMING THEY HAVE TWO FRIENDSH, AT THE PAR-TY IN CAR-GO BAY THREEEEE!’”

The applause of the audience was rapturous, with one exception.  The polite hand-claps of a high-ranking member of it with pointed ears seemed perfunctory rather than enthusiastic.  Possibly it was simply from relief that the ordeal was apparently over, or perhaps she was a music-lover.

The unknown editor had been merciful.  If there had been a response by the captain it had been cut, but what kind of a response it might have been boggled the imagination.

The screen went blank.  Malcolm stared at it.  Maybe he’d be allowed some kind of dignified suicide if he asked really, really nicely.  They might let him shut himself in a torpedo tube and never come out again.

“Archer to Reed.”  The com made him jump like a scalded cat.  At which moment he found out that at some point during the viewing Trip had come up behind him and stayed there, watching their joint ruin in the same incredulous silence.

“Sir,” he croaked.

“Ah, seeing you’re ten minutes late to the Bridge I guess you may not be up to duty right now, Lieutenant.  I’ve asked T’Pol to switch the rosters to give you and Commander Tucker half a day to rest up.  I heard you and he were being a pantomime horse around the ship last thing, so maybe if you happen to set eyes on him you might let him know about the half-day.  He might not want the time off, but tell him I won’t take ‘neigh’ for an answer.” Unmistakable emphasis told them both he wasn’t spelling the word ‘N-A-Y’. “Archer out.”

“Thank you, sir,” muttered Malcolm, jabbing Trip in the ribs so he didn’t say anything and give the whole Bridge something to talk about.  Something more to talk about, that was.  They already had quite enough to be going on with.  Five years?  He wouldn’t live this down in five DECADES.

“Pantomime horse, hey?” said Trip feebly.  “That’s a relief.”

“I’m glad you think so, Commandah!”

“Well, I guess a few of your people in the Armory already think you’re a horse’s rear end!”  Tucker came back defiantly.

“I’m sure I would have been the horse’s front end!  You’re the one with the big dick and no brains!”

It was Trip’s turn to inflate like a bullfrog, but unfortunately the hangover got in the way and he deflated rapidly.  He cradled his forehead with one hand and waved the other in surrender.  “I’ve got too much of a headache to argue,” he moaned.  “Look, Malcolm, you an’ me are on the same side in this, okay?”

“Yes.  Just like we were last night.”  Reed glared.  “Your point being?”

“Well.  You’re the Head of Security, right?  I always knew you’d come in useful for somethin’.  You have access to the official vids.  Can’t do much about this one, but the official one...”

“Ah.”  A thoughtful silence.  “A lot of accidents can happen to vid-chips.  Electrical malfunctions.  Radiation.”  He looked at the Chief Engineer, who could also have his uses.  “If I was to find one and accidentally leave it lying around ... perhaps in the Mess ... and someone who happened to work in potentially hazardous conditions found it, and put it in their pocket meaning to put it back later...”

“It’d be an accident waitin’ to happen.”  Trip nodded sagaciously.  If carefully.

“And I’m sure if the captain heard about it, he’d understand how these accidents happen.”

They eyed each other, checking the idea for flaws.  There might be other unofficial recordings, and it’d be a long time before they lived down their impromptu performance at the Christmas Party, but the official recordings went to Starfleet HQ. It would only take one member of the archives team at HQ to have a misplaced sense of humour, and this would be all round the Fleet.

Under ordinary circumstances, tampering with the official recordings was not sanctioned.  In these particular circumstances, they both thought the captain would turn a blind eye.  After all, he was unlikely to want every other captain in the Fleet to think he had a pair of clowns in charge of his warp engines and his weapons section respectively.  On reflection, they suspected that if they didn’t do anything about those incriminating recordings he’d damn well want to know why they hadn’t.

For perhaps thirty seconds neither of them moved.

Then they shot out of the room like twin photon torpedoes, heading for the Armoury Office where the recordings were stored.  They’d be absolutely careful.  Nobody would see.  Nobody would know.  Nobody had overheard their plotting.

In space, no-one can hear you scheme.


Comments:

Linda

I was that drunk once.  During my college years.  But never, never, never again, worshiping the porcelain god.   Until now.  You had to bring the feeling of head and stomach distress back to me through Malcolm.  Thanks a lot.  Payback is due from me to you, LOL.

Loved the drunk talk.

Lt. Zoe Jebkanto

Zish wush shuper!  LOL!  Tried shinging along ash I read za shtory and, y'know, you got the rhyvum absholutley right... I shink!

Distracted

This is a riot. Don't Connor and Dominic do a schtick similar to this at conventions? I've heard rumors...

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