Warnings: Swearing.

Note: Written for a challenge by Lt. Black Fire, as follows: - Malcolm gets hypnotised - Doctor Phlox behaves oddly - Someone gets beaten up - Someone screams - T'Pol drinks tea - Trip does not want to let go of Malcolm

Disclaimer: Yeah, yeah, yeah, etc. All in fun, no profit.


Trip tapped his fingers on the tabletop in time to the pulsing music, enjoying his view of the crowd as it swirled past their table in the low light of the club he and Reed were visiting during this shore leave. A red-haired woman brushed behind Malcolm and joined the dancers on the floor, smiling at the Lieutenant when he turned to watch her pass.

Malcolm turned back to Trip, one eyebrow raised. He leaned forward over the table, speaking clearly to make himself heard over the throb of the music. "Beautiful, yes?" he asked with a slight smile.

Trip nodded. "You should go over, meet her." He looked up to see the woman still watching Malcolm.

Malcolm shook his head. "No, I'm fine."

"Go on."

Malcolm was about to reply when a server stepped next to him, a deep green drink in hand. Trip saw the server nod towards the woman, saying something under the music as he handed the drink to Malcolm.

Malcolm glanced back at the redhead, nodding as he raised the drink and took a sip. Her face lit with a bright grin in response, revealing two sharp fangs where her incisors should have been, and Malcolm turned back to Trip, his eyebrows raised high.

Trip leaned anxiously across the table. "You don't know what's in that," he said, nodding at the drink in Malcolm's hand.

Malcolm smiled slightly, placing the glass on the table in front of him. "I didn't actually drink it. I just faked a sip to be polite."

Trip relaxed a bit, smiling in relief. He glanced back to the woman. "She is beautiful."

Malcolm nodded. "Interesting teeth, though."

Trip laughed. "Kissing her might be a challenge."

"Kissing, amongst other things," Malcolm replied, his eyes flashing as he glanced back over to her.

Trip watched the redhead as she danced. He stood and said, "I'm going to the bar, get one of those drinks Phlox had said would be safe."

Malcolm nodded, his eyes still on the woman.

"Get you one?" When Malcolm didn't respond, Trip tapped him on the shoulder.

"Sorry?" Malcolm asked, looking at Trip again.


"Oh, yes, please."

Trip made his way through the crowd to the bar, returning with their drinks and sliding them onto the table. "So, Malcolm, how..." He broke off when he realised that his friend wasn't listening, and touched him on the shoulder. When Malcolm jumped, startled, Trip smiled. "You okay?"

"Oh, yeah," Malcolm replied, seeming a bit dazed.

Trip slid one of the drinks in front of his friend, and noticed that the glass that the woman had sent over was now empty. He looked at Malcolm in alarm. "I thought you weren't going to drink that."

Malcolm nodded, distracted, and his eyes slid slowly from Trip back to the redheaded woman.

Trip glanced at the woman. She was staring at Malcolm, swaying as she danced, and Malcolm's gaze was locked on her. She smiled at him, again revealing two delicate fangs, and Malcolm stood, stumbling slightly as he rose.

Trip reached out to grasp Malcolm's arm, to steady him, but Malcolm pulled away, still staring at the woman. "Malcolm," Trip said, concerned, and he tugged gently on his friend's arm. Malcolm turned on him, his eyes glazed, and suddenly Trip was on his back on the floor, dazed, his jaw aching, someone nearby screaming as Malcolm calmly turned and walked away. It took Trip a moment to realise that his friend had just punched him.

Trip watched Malcolm move to the woman's side, and he tried to sit up, only to fall back. He saw the woman grasp Malcolm's hand and pull him in close and they started to dance. Trip managed to bring himself to sitting as he saw Malcolm lean in and kiss the redhead at first tenderly, then passionately, their bodies pressed together as they swayed to the music. They separated and she tugged his hand, pulling him through the crowd.

Trip felt someone beside him, helping him up.

"You okay?"

Trip pulled his eyes from Malcolm and saw a man beside him, and nodded as he stood. The man smiled, motioning towards the door, where Trip could see Malcolm and the woman leaving. "He's in for one hell of a night." The man patted Trip heartily on the back, then left through the crowd before Trip could ask what he meant.

Trip pushed his way through the crowd and out the door, but the street outside was empty, Malcolm and his "friend" long-gone. Trip slumped against the wall. "Fuck," he muttered as he opened his communicator. "Hoshi?"

"Yes, Trip?"

"We may have a problem."