000 Disclaimer, I own nothing, not even half the dialogue :P 000 Well, here's another slice of randomness, spawned from a dream I had...yeah, crazy woman talking...Anyway, enjoy! 000
Archer shifted in his seat. The Away Team were due to check in any second, and for some reason he couldn't shake a terrible sense of foreboding.
Of course it could be because Trip and Malcolm were on the same mission, their track record was enough to cause worry in anyone. Besides, T'Pol was with them, what could go wrong?
"The Away Team are hailing us," said Hoshi.
Archer smiled. Right on time. "Put them through."
"Hey, Cap'n!" Trip voice crackled slightly over the comm. system.
"How's it going down there, Trip?" Archer asked.
There was a pause on the other end. In the background Archer could just make out the sound of Malcolm mumbling something, the tone sounded deeply sarcastic. "Trip?"
"They're real friendly, Cap'n…"
Archer closed his eyes, he could hear the unspoken 'but' coming a mile off. "What is it?"
"They like singing…and dancing…it's kinda like being in a musical, Cap'n, it's real strange, they just burst into these incredible songs as the mood takes 'em. We asked them how they do it and their Prime Minister told us that the music starts and they just feel compelled to sing. We didn't actually hear any music though…till they gave us this drink of Friendship…"
Archer pinched the bridge of his nose, he could already feel a migraine forming, why did he put himself through this? It'd be so much easier to just never put them on the same mission and be done with it. "So, now they've given you this drink you can hear the music they're singing to? Any other side effects?"
There was another pause and the sounds of a whispered argument followed by a larger crash. "Trip! What was that?"
The reply, when it came, was not from Trip, but from Malcolm. "Oh watching the people get lairy, it's not very pretty I tell thee, walking through town is quite scary, and not very sensible either…"
Archer blinked in surprise. "Malcolm? Was that you?" Archer turned to Hoshi. "Was he…singing?"
Hoshi nodded and repressed a smile. "He wasn't bad either."
"Captain, we can't stop singing!" Travis' voice burst out. "Or dancing! Right now the others are dancing and singing to 'I Predict a Riot'…sir! It's terrible!"
"Even T'Pol?" Archer asked before he could stop himself.
"Yes sir! Oh God, the choreography! It's appalling!"
Archer closed his eyes. This couldn't be happening. He hadn't had enough coffee this morning yet to enable him to cope with his Away Team suddenly deciding on a career in Broadway. "Make your apologies and get back to the ship, we'll have Phlox take a look at you."
The answer over the comm. was a long, held on note that ended abruptly by a scream of anguish. It sounded like Malcolm. "What's happening!"
"Nothing, Captain. We're returning to the ship now."
"I'll have Phlox waiting for you."
They signed off of and Archer turned to Hoshi. "Let Phlox know what's going on and have him meet the Away Team in the shuttlebay."
Phlox greeted Archer cheerfully as they waited outside the shuttlebay.
"Do you think we need EV suits?" Archer asked, running a hand through his hair.
Phlox shook his head. "From what Hoshi told me, it sounds like they contracted this…affliction from the drink they were given. It shouldn't cause us any harm as they only started singing and hearing music after having the drink."
Archer nodded and crossed his arms. The comm. beeped. "They're boarded."
Archer opened the door and he and Phlox moved forward to greet them. The Shuttlepod hatch was flung open and there was a mad scramble to get out. Trip, Malcolm and Travis stared at their feet guiltily. They looked a mess, their hair was scruffy, their uniforms were mucky, they had large colourful bruises on their faces and for some unknown reason Travis had no boots on.
T'Pol stepped out gracefully. There wasn't a mark on her.
"What happened!" Archer exclaimed in horror. "You look like you've been in a fight!"
Malcolm cleared his throat. "We weren't in a fight, sir…"
"We were dancing," said Travis helpfully.
Archer blinked. Dancing? They ended up looking like that after dancing? What had they been doing? Break dancing!
"They began to sing and dance in the shuttlepod, Captain," T'Pol informed him calmly. "As you are aware, the interior of the shuttlepod is small and therefore was not a large enough space for them to dance in."
"Can you demonstrate this…affliction?" Phlox asked cheerfully.
"It just sorta happens," Trip shrugged. "The music starts and then your feet start movin' and then you start singing."
"Sub-Commander, have you been affected by this?" Phlox asked turning to face T'Pol.
"She started singing something in Vulcan before we left," said Trip quickly. "The natives didn't like it and started to dance a bit violently…which is when Malcolm started to sing 'I Predict a Riot'-"
"You were singing too!" Malcolm exclaimed blushing furiously.
Trip waved his hand dismissively. "I was like the backing singer…"
Archer was suddenly struck with a desire to slam his head into a nearby wall; he managed to restrain the impulse and looked to Phlox. Phlox beamed and directed the Away Team to sickbay.
Travis seated himself on one of the biobeds, Malcolm, Trip and T'Pol immediately cringed as jingly music started to play in their heads.
"I like it, I like it, I like the funny feeling being here…" Travis sang soulfully. Malcolm was behind him in seconds, clamping his hand over Travis' mouth and wincing as the singing continued for a few moments longer.
All of them visibly relaxed as Travis stopped singing. Malcolm carefully removed his hand and sighed. "I hate that song."
Another thought struck him and Malcolm backed off quickly. "You mean you like being in here!"
Travis shrugged and smiled. Malcolm shook his head and exchanged a look of sheer disbelief with Trip.
Phlox put them through so rigorous scans and then made them wait while he processed the results.
The Away Team kicked around the infirmary for a while, at one point Malcolm started whistling 'The Great Escape' at which point Archer dived for the door and locked it.
The whistle then died away pathetically and Archer sighed in relief. He couldn't stop himself from staring longingly at the comm. system and wondering if it was an abuse of his Captaincy to get someone to bring him four mugs of coffee, oh and something for the others if they wanted it.
His need for fortifying caffeine won out and he ordered on of the Galley Staff to bring him some coffee. He wanted to ask the others if they wanted anything but suddenly found himself unwilling to ask in case they burst into a drinking song.
Moments later he saw a crewman appear at the door, shooting Malcolm a less than trustful look he opened the door. He patted the crewman gratefully on the shoulder and locked the door again.
At this point Phlox returned. Archer downed one mug of coffee, he had a feeling he was going to need it.
"It appears that you have all been infected with nanites," said Phlox gravely. "Without more information I won't be able to tell you anything, but I now believe that you weren't infected from the drink but from contact with the natives. I'm going to have to keep everyone in sickbay till I can find a cure…and I will try to fix you…"
Everyone immediately clamped their hands over their ears. Phlox's singing voice was something akin to nails on a blackboard, thankfully however, he only sang one line before falling silent.
"To prevent infection," Phlox continued, as if nothing had happened. "We will have to keep all personnel away from sickbay for the time being."
Archer closed his eyes. "Doctor…we might have a little problem with that…" He opened his eyes and stared guiltily at his coffee mugs.
Phlox didn't look impressed to say the least. He looked even less impressed when he found out that the crewman who'd brought the coffee had then gone to the Mess hall, said hello to various friends who had returned to their various departments and said hello t their various friends etc.
Archer pinched the bridge of his nose. It just wasn't fair. His headache intensified in sympathy and the happy cheerful music that suddenly started up didn't help matters.
Phlox moved over and patted Archer's shoulder noticing the Captain's discomfort. "Laugh at the tears you're crying," Phlox sang. "Smile while your head explodes, y' don't have to take this lying down, so blow your nose baby." Archer had the sudden uncontrollable urge to break down in tears as the Doctor's screeching voice continued. "And just get your fingers clicking, to the rhythm and the rhyme"
Trip turned to Malcolm his eyes blazing. "This is your fault! You and that stupid Divine Comedy album you made people listen to!"
T'Pol stepped in quickly before Malcolm could reply. "I believe it is no one's fault as to our current condition. Lieutenant Reed was merely sharing his musical tastes when he played the albums to the crew; he was unaware that we would become infected with nanites."
Trip and Malcolm suddenly rose to their feet as the irresistible pull of music claimed them once more. They walked to Archer and took up positions behind him as he opened his mouth to sing "When everything is going wrong, and things are just a little strange…" He started to sway, while playing an invisible air guitar; Trip leant forward and continued the song with Malcolm and Archer joining in with their invisible guitars.
"It's been so long now, you've forgotten how to smile"
Malcolm took over the song turning to face Archer with Trip copying his movements. "And overhead the skies are clear, but it still seems to rain on you."
Trip joined in as he and Malcolm let go of their invisible guitars and slung their arms round Archer's shoulders gesturing to T'Pol and Phlox with their free arms. "And your only friends all have better things to do."
Malcolm and Trip dropped to the floor melodramatically with desperate expressions of their faces. Archer span round with a kindly smile on his face. "When your down and lost, and you need a helping hand!" He held out his hands to them. Travis swayed to the beat, clearly enjoying the song. Malcolm and Trip stared at Archer's hands hope dawning on their faces. Archer continued to sing with an expression of joy on his face. "When your down and lost, along the way." He pulled Trip and Malcolm back to their feet and the three of them banded together for a final duet. "Oh, just tell yourself, I, I'll be OK!"
The music ended abruptly and Malcolm backed away from them quickly. His eyes widening in horror, Travis clapped loudly and called "Encore! Encore!"
If looks could kill Travis would have died three times over. As it was the comm. beeped for Archer.
"Go ahead," said Archer reaching for another mug of coffee.
"Captain, we've had reports that everyone in the Mess Hall has started singing 'Food Glorious Food'"
Archer frowned. "Isn't that song about having no food...never mind… thanks for letting me know. Archer out."
He turned to the others. "The rest of the crew has been infected, I think we need to split up and do some damage control, there's going to be some very disturbed people out there."
"I'll need someone to stay behind…"Phlox began.
There was a mad scramble and everyone quickly exited sickbay leaving Travis sat alone and bewildered on the biobed. Phlox beamed. "Thank you for volunteering, Ensign."
Archer and T'Pol marched down to the mess hall, Trip and Malcolm had departed for their respective departments the second they'd left sickbay.
They saw Rostov stood at the door to the mess hall, his mouth hanging open, they could clearly hear the raucous singing from within and the tell tale hum of music.
Another, louder beat of music overrode the song in the mess hall as Rostov turned to them. He suddenly raced towards them and threw himself on his knees in front of T'Pol. "I want to be your dominated love slave," he belted out, throwing up his arms joyfully. "I want to be the one to take the pain! You can spank me when I do not behave." He winked suggestively at T'Pol. "Smack me in the forehead with a chain!"
Archer blinked; there was not enough bleach in the galaxy to erase the mental image that had just cropped up in his mind.
Rostov leapt to his feet and turned to Archer. "Cause I love feelin' dirty, and I love feelin' cheap."
There was a strangled cry from behind them as one of the crewwomen from engineering overheard the song. She dived forward and dragged Rostov away viciously. Rostov turned his attention to the woman and gazed up at her adoringly. They could just hear his voice fade away. "I love when you hurt me…"
Archer shuddered and took a subtle look at T'Pol. She appeared unfazed…except for the fact her eyebrow was about 3 inches higher than her other eyebrow.
After a moments pause, they continued on into the mess hall, where the group sing-a-long had now ended. Unfortunately, that meant that Chef (who had apparently wandered in during the rendition of 'Food, Glorious Food') had started singing his own song.
"Don't be frightened," Chef sang leaning over Ensign Cutlers shoulder. "Don't be scared, chop off their heads and little legs…"
Archer pelted forward, suddenly terrified that Chef was dancing out some hidden desire to slice up members of the crew.
"Then peel away the shell," Chef continued happily. Archer leaned over and was relived to see Chef was only showing Cutler how to eat shellfish. "And open up your senses to the smell, the sound and colour, touch and taste…"
Above the sound of Chef's voice, a group of crewwomen sat round a table in the corner, discussing Star Wars suddenly burst into song. "Give it to me Obie, aha aha! Give it to me Obie, aha aha! Obi Wan Kenobi, aha aha!"
Archer merely stared as the women started dancing energetically. "And all the wookies say he's pretty fly, for a Jedi," they sang loudly.
Archer backed out of the mess hall quickly. There was a love for his crew, and a deep rooted love of his sanity. At this moment in time he reasoned that he couldn't love and protect his crew if he ended up in the fetal position on the floor of the mess hall sobbing at the insanity of it all.
Besides, he was fairly certain T'Pol could handle the mess hall.
Meanwhile, down in the Armoury, Malcolm was seriously considering shooting his entire team. So far, he'd been subjected to a rousing rendition of 'Hi-Ho', a soppy version of 'Something Stupid' and had arrived at the tail end 'Make the World Safe for You.'
He also considered shooting himself but ended up singing his train of thought to a group of very surprised Armoury Officers. "Too young to die but too old to survive," he sang miserably. "I've spent too long trying to write this song. The tune is OK but the words are all wrong." He sighed. "Maybe it's time for a change…"
Noticing everyone was staring at him he spat out defensively. "At least I sang something decent! Get back to work!"
He turned to the nearest console. A young ensign approached him. "Um, sir?"
"What!" Malcolm barked.
"The targeting scanners are out of alignment again…"
Malcolm took a deep breath. "Excuse me a moment…" He stepped outside the Armoury and swore for a full five minutes at top volume before returning to the Armoury.
"Sometimes the system goes on the blink," the Ensign sang sympathetically. "And the whole thing turns out wrong."
Malcolm walked away in the opposite direction and headed for his beloved torpedoes. Beautiful, sleek inanimate objects that wouldn't sing, dance or make stupid comments. Too late he realised the music had started up and that he was already reaching out a hand to the sleek casing. "I don't have to fantasise," he sang, lovingly running his hands across the casing. "You're a dream that's realised. I'm dancing on the moon inside…"
It was about this time when Archer came into the Armoury looking for Malcolm. Archer stopped dead in his tracks when he saw Malcolm singing, span round on his heel and walked straight back out.
Archer felt certain that now was an excellent time to be on the Bridge. Another thought struck him as he entered the turbo-lift, it was time to talk with the Natives…
The turbo-lift doors opened and Archer peered onto the bridge cautiously. There wasn't a hint of singing, not even a faint whistle reached his ears. Heaving a huge sigh of relief he gave Hoshi a beaming grin as he entered.
"Hoshi, hail the planet, I want to speak with the Prime Minister."
She nodded and Archer took the time to glance round at the other members of the Bridge Crew. They all seemed fairly normal, but then again he'd also thought Rostov was fairly normal only to hear him sing lustily to T'Pol outside the mess hall.
"Putting the Prime Minister through now, sir," said Hoshi smiling.
The Prime Ministers beaming face appeared onscreen. "Captain Archer! How nice to see you again!"
Archer pasted his best smile on his face. "It's nice to see you again too, Prime Minister."
"I assume this is about our gift," said the Prime Minister beaming. "Do you like it?"
Archer paled and his smile froze in its place. "Gift? You mean the…err….singing and dancing?"
The Prime Minister nodded enthusiastically. "We weren't that keen on what your Science Officer sang but we liked what your other officers sang. Besides, we thought it would be wonderful to spread the gift of music to the rest of your crew!"
"So, you infected my Away Team with nanites to make them sing?"
The Prime Minister frowned. "Infected? No my dear Captain, you misunderstand, we have given you a gift!"
Archer didn't quite know how his managed to keep his smile in place; he had the sudden irresistible urge to beat his head against a wall. "Oh yes, we understand and we thank you for it…" He chose his next words carefully. "But is there anyway to get…rid of it?"
There was a long silence. The Prime Minster was staring at Archer as if he were insane. "You mean you want to get rid of the gift!"
Archer nodded. "Yes…it's…err…not constructive for a working Starship environment."
The Prime Minister sighed. "Well yes, there is a way to erase the gift, but we haven't made it in many years, it would take a few days to synthesise it."
"A few days!" Archer asked horrified.
The Prime Minister nodded. "Don't worry, Captain. We'll get right to it."
The communication was cut and Archer sank back weakly into his chair. "A few more days…"
"It's not so bad," said Hoshi consolingly.
Archer glared at her. "You haven't been down to the mess hall recently, have you?"
Meanwhile, down in Engineering, Trip was having a whale of a time. So far he'd been sung to at least three times about how attractive he was. It was enough to make him burst into song.
So he did.
"Hello. Did you miss me?" Trip sang winking to Hess. "I know I'm hard to resist…"
Luckily, he was saved from Hess making a comment by Rostov and the Crewwoman (who had taken Rostov from T'Pol's clutches earlier) climbing on top of the Warp Core, gazing at each other in sheer adoration and starting to sing. "Suddenly the world seems such a perfect place," Rostov took the woman's hands, who Trip realised was shy little Crewwoman Eileen Brown. "Suddenly it moves with such a perfect grace, suddenly my life doesn't seem such a waste, it all revolves around you."
Trip felt his eyes begin to water slightly. He was such a sucker for romance. Beside him he could see Hess shaking her head in disbelief.
"And there's no mountain too high," Rostov and Eileen continued blissfully. "No river too wide, sing out this song, I'll be there by your side."
"And there's no mountain too high," Rostov and Eileen continued blissfully. "No river too wide, sing out this song, I'll be there by your side."
"Rossie, get off the Core!" Hess yelled.
Trip found himself swaying to the music, swept up in the beautiful romance. Hess shot him a look of disgust.
Rostov ignored her and continued singing, "Storm clouds may gather, and stars may collide…But I Love you, I Love you, until the end of time."
Rostov ignored her and continued singing, "Storm clouds may gather, and stars may collide…But I Love you, I Love you, until the end of time."
Trip sniffed as they kissed. It was beautiful, just beautiful. Still, Hess did have a point…"GET OFF THE CORE! NOW!"
Rostov and Eileen blushed guiltily and climbed off the top of the Warp Core. Hess shot them a dark look before twirling back over to Trip who blinked in surprise. Another musical number had come to play and it seemed Hess was to be the latest player.
There was a look of sheer horror in her eyes as she danced her way round engineering singing cheerfully. "Ask me why, I say it's most unusual, how can I even try to explain why today I feel like dancing, singing like lovers sing, when I wouldn't normally do this kind of thing…I wouldn't normally do this kind of thing."
Hess came to a standstill. There was a marginally murderous glint in her eye. Trip looked in the opposite direction and suddenly became extremely interested in the nearest console.
The comm. near him beeped. "Archer to Tucker."
"Go ahead, Cap'n."
"I've scheduled an Emergency Staff Meeting in ten minutes."
"I'll be there, Cap'n, unless I get caught up in some big band number."
There was a quiet groan from the other end and Trip grinned. "Archer out."
Ten minutes later everyone was assembled in the Briefing Room. Malcolm cracked his fingers loudly, he didn't look happy. Hoshi and T'Pol didn't seem to be that bothered, but Travis looked decidedly disturbed. He'd chosen the seat furthest away from Phlox and kept shooting the Doctor some fearful looks.
Archer took deep breath. "I've spoken to the Natives. They say there is a cure, but it'll take a few days for them to make it."
"A FEW DAYS!" Malcolm exploded almost firing himself out his seat in his shock. He blushed, realising everyone was staring and sat back down.
"I doubt we'll get much done with everyone bursting into song every five minutes," said Trip.
"I agree," said T'Pol calmly. "The crew seem to be easily distracted by the continuous songs."
"But we can't just stop working," Archer argued. "We have to keep the ship running whether half the crew are singing or not."
"Why don't we just hand out earplugs?" Travis suggested. "That way people won't be disturbed by others bursting into song."
"That only works if what they're doing doesn't require them to listen to anyone else," said Malcolm sighing.
"Perhaps it would be a good idea for me to go down to the planet and help the Natives with the cure," Phlox suggested.
"That might help," Archer acknowledged. "But what to do about the crew till then?"
There was a single beat of music. Trip leapt to his feet and belted out, "Everybody's running round and round in circles, what is it they're trying to prove?" He moved to stand in front of Archer and grinned. "Exercise your freedom, exorcise those demons. You have got to love what you do!"
"I'll never listen to the Divine Comedy the same way again!" Malcolm mumbled to himself miserably as Trip hurriedly sat down.
"We'll just have to try and go about as normal," Archer decided. "Hoshi, you get back in contact with the Natives and ask them about letting Phlox help. Everyone else, business as usual. Dismissed."
Archer ran a tired hand through his hair. Why did things like this always happen to him and his crew? He didn't see the Captain of the Columbia staging her own little musical. It just wasn't fair.
Trip glanced at his watch and looked over at Malcolm. Malcolm looked down at his own watch and nodded. Together they made their way down to the mess hall.
Malcolm headed straight for the Drinks dispenser and ordered a mug of strong tea. Trip on the other hand, headed straight for the piece of Pecan Pie he spotted.
Malcolm heard the introduction to 'I will Survive' and immediately turned round looking for the source. He cringed as he realised Trip was opening his mouth to sing.
"Trip, no!" He yelled.
But it was too late. "First I was afraid, I was petrified, kept thinking I could never live without my pecan pie," Trip twirled the pie is question as he danced over to the nearest table. Malcolm began beating his head to the wall in time with Trip's singing. "And I spent so many nights, but I always cooked it wrong, then I grew strong – and found the recipe was wrong! And now I'm up, in outer space, shovelling pie into my mouth, into that hole upon my face." Trip took a blissful bite of pie ignoring Malcolm who'd moved to slumped against the table top. He continued with his mouth full, spraying crumbs everywhere. "And oh yes, my life is bliss, yes, it's total ecstasy, now I have pie, how I love pie!"
Trip beamed and turned to Malcolm. He blinked and prodded Malcolm experimentally. "Malcolm?"
"Bugger off," came the muffled response.
That was all the explanation Trip needed, he got up (taking his pie with him) and brought Malcolm back a piece of pineapple cake. Malcolm wordlessly accepted the cake and started to eat it.
Archer wandered into the mess hall and got himself another mug of coffee. He saw Malcolm and Trip eating in silence. Yawning he wandered over and sat down.
He frowned. "Malcolm, what happened to your head?"
"He was head-banging," Trip supplied helpfully.
Malcolm groaned and blushed.
Archer merely took a fortifying sip of coffee, he didn't need an explanation. He wasn't entirely sure he wanted one.
"It's not so bad," said Archer sipping his coffee thoughtfully.
"What?" Trip asked confused. "The constant singing and dancing?"
"No the coffee," Archer replied. "It was a little off this morning."
There was a long drawn out silence, broken only by the faraway hum of music and singing. Malcolm stared at his watch intently. "I've got to be getting back to the Armoury."
"See you later," said Trip. He finished off his pie and stared at Archer. "Did the Natives agree to have Phlox?"
Archer nodded. "Phlox thinks he can get the cure ready in about a day and a half, two at the most."
Trip nodded. "Two days, we can handle two days…right?"
Archer suddenly became absolutely fascinated in his coffee and didn't reply.
Late that night, Hoshi found herself pacing round her quarters. She couldn't work out why she wasn't asleep, she hadn't eaten any squirty cheese, she hadn't had any coffee, there was nothing she needed to do…
She moved to the window and watched the stars fly by. She didn't actually feel tired, but she knew she would be bleary eyed tomorrow if she didn't get any rest at all.
Finally she decided to get a hot drink from the mess hall and left her quarters.
Across the deck someone else was still awake.
Malcolm stared up at the ceiling, his eyes slowly rolled over to look at his alarm clock. Four am. Why in the name of all things seriously unfair was he awake? Of course the enthusiastic musical number going on in the room next door didn't help matters much.
He barely even registered the music as it started. His mouth opened and he started to sing. "It's four o'clock and alls not well, in my private circle of hell." He pushed aside the covers. I contemplate my navel hair and slowly slide into despair. This rut has fast become a trench, this smell has turned into a stench of rotten dreams and stale ideals, the past is snapping at my heels." He was suddenly reminded of being in school plays as a child and winced. "Oh Danny Boy the pipes are blocked with bedtime blues and future shock." He rose slowly to his feet. "I know the best is yet to come, but does it always take this long?"
He shook his head; he needed a drink, something warm to help him sleep.
He left his quarters and noticed with some relief that the corridors were empty, although music could clearly be heard drifting out of almost every room.
God it was horrible.
Hoshi walked into the mess hall and got herself a drink, there was no one else around. Crossing to the window she sighed and started to sing. "I feel these four walls closing in, face up against the glass, I'm looking out." She stared out into space. It was almost eerie being in the mess hall by herself. "Is this my life I'm wondering, it all happened so fast. How do I turn this thing around? Is this the bed I chose to make?" She set her mug down. "It's greener pastures I'm thinking about, wide open spaces far away." She suddenly burst into a flowing dance around the mess hall chairs, she wasn't sure if the moves fitted with the music but it just felt right. "All I want is the wind in my hair, to face my fear and not feel scared…" She span round crashing straight into a very surprised Malcolm. The music stopped abruptly.
"Sorry," Hoshi mumbled blushing.
"It's fine," said Malcolm moving hurriedly towards the drinks dispenser.
"I didn't think anyone else would be up this late," said Hoshi returning to her own drink.
"I couldn't sleep with the two people on either side of me singing," Malcolm explained hesitating slightly as he took his drink.
"Might as well join me," said Hoshi sitting down.
Malcolm sat down. "Here's hoping this'll help us sleep."
Hoshi smiled. "And stop us singing."
"Or at least stop the butchering of many a Divine Comedy song," Malcolm added. "I'll never be able to listen to their albums the same way again."
Hoshi took a sip of her drink. "I hear the Engineering lot have been singing Trip's praises."
Malcolm snorted. "Probably, half the members of this crew have suddenly declared their undying love for each other through song."
"Like Rostov," Hoshi grinned. "Sang to T'Pol, then fell madly in love with Eileen Brown."
"He sang to T'Pol?" Malcolm asked looking thoughtful. "Brave man…"
Hoshi grinned and Malcolm rolled his eyes. "Yes, it's 'tru wuv' down in engineering alright."
"Someone I once knew," Hoshi sang softly. Told someone like you, "love is just a word", now I'm not so sure that's true."
Malcolm stared at her as he took over the song. "Someone made me see, how someone like me, needn't be so closed, just 'cos they once chose to be."
They sang together for the final line. "I need to be someone's somebody."
Malcolm blushed and fixed his gaze on his mug. He was about to say something when the soft background music shifted into a different song. Caught up in the moment he rose to his feet, Hoshi followed soon after and he began to sing to her quietly. "From the very first moment I saw you, that's when I knew all the dreams I held in my heart, had just come true. Knock me over stone cold sober, not a thing I could say or do…"
At this moment Trip stumbled into the mess hall, he saw his friends caught up in a song and swiftly exited again, but found himself unable to return to his quarters. Instead he stayed hidden in the doorway listening to them sing.
Malcolm's brain screamed at him to stop, he didn't even know why he was singing anymore, he wanted to hide in his quarters and come out in the morning to have everything normal again.
Hoshi smiled slightly as the music faded out. "Looks like we really are in a musical," she said quietly.
Malcolm blushing furiously shot her a quizzical look.
"Every musical has a great romance," she said simply. "I think it's the nanites."
Malcolm sighed. "That'll be it." He drained his drink. "Goodnight."
"Night," said Hoshi watching him leave.
Malcolm saw Trip at the door, he heard the thumping baseline and turned and hurried away towards the turbo-lift.
Glancing at the retreating form of his friend Trip started to sing. "She's all that he wants, she's all that he needs, she's everything he just won't believe, take away his doubt, turn him inside out then she can see what he's been trying to say." Trip looked into the mess hall and saw Hoshi watching the stars. "Ah, but things don't always turn out that way…"
With that, he turned and walked slowly back to his quarters. "Damn nanites," he muttered.
The next morning Archer and T'Pol enjoyed a terrible breakfast, thanks to the galley energetically dancing into the Captain's mess, sending eggs and juice flying everywhere.
"Sorry, sir!" The crewwoman called dancing out the room again.
Archer watched some scrambled egg slowly fall of T'Pol's face and burst into hysterically laughter. T'Pol raised an eyebrow, but this only made Archer laugh harder.
"I don't see what you find amusing," she said sternly.
"Me neither!" Archer exclaimed laughing. "This…this whole situation is just insane!"
"I assume once Doctor Phlox discovers the cure things will return to normal." T'Pol brushed some stray egg from her shoulder.
Archer gave one last helpless giggle. "This'll make a great report for Starfleet. We were delayed for two days due to the entire crew being turned into the cast of a Broadway Musical…"
"I'm sure Starfleet will understand," said T'Pol calmly.
There was a single beat of music and Archer leaned back in his chair. "And I always seem to land upon my feet, and though there's been some difficult times the good times were never far behind, I've snatched all my victories from the jaws of defeat…"
He sighed and flicked more egg off his uniform. "Sorry." He grinned at T'Pol who suddenly leaned over and extracted egg from his hair. She retracted her hand quickly. "It appears that breakfast is over," she said rising to her feet. "We both need to clean up…I'm gettin' kinda close to you."
Archer blinked, T'Pol's eyebrows shot up. Archer opened his mouth, shut it again and thought for a moment. "Well at least it was only one line." He offered her a smile and she gave him the briefest of nods before leaving.
Archer surveyed the devastation that was the Captain's Mess. Scrambled egg and juice everywhere, never mind the beautiful mess breakfast had made of his uniform. He laughed at the insanity of it all and then walked out, deciding to pretend that breakfast never happened.
After a quick change he made his way to the bridge. Phlox's beaming face loomed large on the viewscreen.
"Captain, I was just about to comm. you," said Hoshi gesturing to the screen. "Doctor Phlox wants a word."
"Hey, Phlox," Archer smiled. Internally he started praying that it would be good news. Oh God, please let it be good news…
"Good morning, Captain!" said Phlox brightly.
"Any news on the cure?" Archer asked after a pause.
"It's finished," Phlox announced.
"YES!" Malcolm yelled leaping to his feet. "THANK YOU GOD!"
Archer cleared his throat and Malcolm retook his seat blushing furiously. "Sorry, sir…"
"It's definitely finished?" Archer asked turning back to the viewscreen. "I thought you said it would take days?"
"We worked through the night to finish it, Captain, the Natives felt very guilty but were extremely accommodating," Phlox smiled. "Now I know what to do it shouldn't take too long to completely cure the crew."
Archer sighed in relief. "We'll send a shuttlepod to come pick you up."
"Thank you, Captain." Phlox paused and they could hear the quiet mumble of someone speaking offscreen. "The Prime Minister wishes to speak with you, Captain."
Archer nodded. "Put him through."
Phlox moved away and the Prime Minister came into view. "Greetings Captain."
"Good morning, Prime Minister!" said Archer cheerfully. "What can we do for you?"
"On behalf of all the Natives I wish to apologise, we had only the best intentions I assure you." The Prime Minster sighed miserably. "We only wanted to share the music within."
Archer nodded in what he hoped was an understanding way. "I completely understand, Prime Minister."
The Prime Minister beamed. "Well, good luck to you all, I hope to speak to you again before you leave."
Archer smiled. "Will do, Prime Minister."
Behind him, Archer heard the turbo-lift doors open. Trip walked out and moved to his station. He offered Archer a tired grin and Archer noticed his gaze flicker between Malcolm and Hoshi. Shaking his head slightly Archer looked back at the Prime Minister.
The Prime Minister began to sing to them all, it was oddly…soothing? "Hold tight, you got the music in you, don't let go, you've got the music in you, one dance left this world is gonna pull through, don't give up, you got a reason to live, can't forget we only get what we give…"
The Prime Minister cut the connection, the Bridge descended into silence.
"He was like that the entire time we were down there," said Travis finally. "He's got a good voice."
Archer raised his eyes to heaven. "Travis, go prep a shuttlepod and fetch Phlox."
Travis's eyes widened. "Me?...I mean…" He sighed. "Yes, sir."
He left his station and slowly walked past Archer. Trip shook his head watching as Travis left. "He's not been the same since he spent that day with Phlox."
An odd sounding musical beat started up and T'Pol started to sing softly in Vulcan while staring at Archer. His jaw dropped open. Hoshi frowned as she listened to the Vulcan sing.
T'Pol stopped singing and froze. There was a long silence. T'Pol walked off the Bridge.
Archer blinked and turned to Hoshi. "So what did she sing?"
Hoshi frowned. "It's not a dialect I'm entirely familiar with, I only caught a few words."
Trip smirked. "Well, what did she sing?"
"Erm…I think I heard the words…shaukaush and sochya, which means passion and peace…then…um…dahshal s'nash-veh heh worla dahshal. Worla eh kwon-sum estuhn heh vesht estuhl." Hoshi paused.
"I thought you only remembered a few words," said Trip surprised.
"That was only a few words."
Archer frowned a moment. "So what does that translate into exactly?"
"Parted from me and never parted. Never and always touching and touched…" said Hoshi slowly. "I think…"
Trip blinked. "A Vulcan love song!"
"Everyone's been singing love songs," Hoshi reasoned. "It's probably just an effect of the nanites." She glanced across at Malcolm. "The nanites make us sing the songs…"
Archer seemed lost in thought a moment. "Yeah, that's probably it."
"Shuttlepod One to the Bridge."
Archer tapped the comm. "Go ahead."
"Just about to set off for Phlox, Captain, I should be back in no time."
"Fine, you're free to launch, Travis."
Archer sighed and pinched the Bridge of his nose. Just a few more hours, he just had to get through a few more hours of insanity before normality – whatever the hell that was – resumed.
Hoshi stared at Malcolm a moment. "Definitely the nanites," she muttered.
"Maybe I'll take to her later," Archer thought aloud.
Malcolm sighed and cast a sneaky look over at Hoshi. "Definitely the nanites," he mumbled to himself.
Less than an hour later Phlox was safely back aboard Enterprise. He dropped the details of the cure off at sickbay before going up to the Bridge to say goodbye to the Prime Minister.
"Well, it's been…interesting," said Archer offering the Prime Minister a smile. "I'm sure we'll come back soon."
"We welcome you to return at any time," The Prime Minister smiled. "I hope that when you return we shall have more time to talk."
Phlox stepped forward. "Prime Minister, I would just like to thank you once more for the help you gave us regarding the cure."
"You are very welcome, Doctor."
"Well, goodbye, Prime Minister," said Archer grinning.
The Prime Minister waved cheerfully and cut the connection. Archer sighed in relief and turned to Phlox, studiously avoiding staring at T'Pol who had finally returned to her station. "Tell me the cure is ready, the dancing and singing is getting out of hand. The crew are literally bouncing off the walls."
"I'll begin distributing the cure as soon as possible, Captain," Phlox promised.
Archer was about to respond when Hoshi interrupted him. "Captain, Admiral Forrest is contacting us."
Suddenly music filled the air and Archer's eyes widened in fear as Hoshi's hand began to tap the controls.
"I can't help it, sir!" Hoshi gasped.
Admiral Forrest appeared on the viewscreen just as every senior officer leapt up.
"Jon," Forrest began.
"It's been a long road," Archer sang. "Getting from there to here."
The officers started to sway and they all partnered off. Trip with Travis, Hoshi with Malcolm, Archer with T'Pol and Phlox with himself swaying happily in the background.
"It's been a long time," T'Pol continued as she was twirled by Archer. "But my time is finally near."
Malcolm and Hoshi danced forward singing in unison. "And I will see my dreams come alive at night, I will touch the sky."
Travis leapt forward and belted out, "No they're not gonna hold me down no more, no they're not gonna change my mind."
The Senior Officers joined hands and started to sway. "Cause I've got faith of the heart, I'm going where my heart will take me, I've got faith to believe I can do anything."
Malcolm and Archer stepped forward. "I've strength of the soul, and no one's gonna bend or break me."
"I can reach any star," Hoshi sang.
Trip held out his arms. "I've got faith…"
The others started to softly repeat 'I've got, I've got, I've got'
Trip winked at Forrest. "FAITH OF THE HEART!"
The music faded out and everyone returned to their seats. Forrest had seemingly frozen.
"Admiral?" Archer tried, squirming a little.
Forrest blinked. "I'm sorry I've just had a full blown hallucination, I'll call back."
He cut the connection and everyone stared at each other.
"Well someone was out of time," Trip drawled. "And it wasn't me."
Malcolm let his head fall forward onto his console and groaned.
Archer whipped round to face Phlox. Phlox let out a long suffering sigh. "Yes, I'll go distribute the cure now."
A Day later
Malcolm peered into the mess hall, checking for anything that could be construed as music, dance or song. The only thing he could hear was the uneven hum of conversation. He sighed in relief.
He hadn't heard a song in hours. It was bliss, total, utter, bliss.
He sat himself down with a tray of food at an empty table and enjoyed the quiet.
"Can I sit here?"
Malcolm looked up. It was Hoshi, hovering beside the table uncertainly. He nodded and gestured to the empty seats.
"I never thought I'd be glad not to hear a Divine Comedy song," said Malcolm smiling slightly. "Those poor songs were ruthlessly butchered by the crew."
Hoshi smiled. An awkward silence fell between them. Malcolm cleared his throat. "Listen, about what happened yesterday…"
"It was just the nanites," said Hoshi softly. "We couldn't help it."
Malcolm looked at her. "Yeah," he said quietly. "Just the nanites."
000 Ok, please review, and if you want to know the names of the songs used see below, they're written in order of appearance :)
I Predict a Riot: Kaiser Chiefs, Yoghurt Advert Jingle (Possibly an actual song but I don't know the name), Fix You: Coldplay, Pop Singers Fear of the Pollen Count: The Divine Comedy, I'll be Ok: McFly, Dominated Love Slave: Green Day, A Seafood Song: The Divine Comedy, Pretty Fly for a Jedi: Unknown, To Young to Die: The Divine Comedy, Bad Day: Daniel Powter, I love it when we do: Ronan Keating, Handsome Man: Robbie Williams, Come What May: Moulin Rouge: Ewan McGregor + Nicole Kidman, I wouldn't normally do this kind of thing: Robbie Williams, Love What You Do: The Divine Comedy, The Pecan Pie Song: Supplied by The Libran Iniquity, Through a Long and Sleepless Night: The Divine Comedy, Wild Horses: Natasha Beddingfield, Someone: The Divine Comedy, Be Mine: David Gray, Things don't always turn out that way: The Calling, My Charmed Life: The Divine Comedy, What's up Lonely: Kelly Clarkson, You only get what you give: New Radicals, Where my heart will take me: Russell Watson 000