The Boy Scout and His Princess

Summary: Hikaru and Pavel have been reading. They are not happy.



"Gah! Here's more of it!"

"For God's sake, Pavel. How many times do I have to tell you not to even start with that shit, seriously? It just pisses you off."

"But, Hikaru... it's just so..."

"Horrifying?"

"Good word. Yes – so horrifying that I can't stop."

Sighing resignedly, Hikaru puts aside his well-worn copy of "The Count of Monte Cristo" and leans over to look at Pavel's computer terminal.

"All right - what's so bad about this one?"

"In one paragraph – one fucking paragraph – I get described as being 'demure' and having 'pretty pink lips'. Seriously, 'Karu – are they thinking I'm a goddamn fairy princess or something? Do you know how many times these people use the word 'flutter' to describe something I'm doing? Shit, 'Karu – this gets sooooo old."

Hikaru smiles. "It is kind of a theme, though, isn't it, Pav? So – in this one, do I even exist, or am I off to one side being concerned? That's pretty much my whole range of involvement, isn't it?"

"No! You're in luck this time. In this one, you're ready to knock the living shit out of the Captain because you've come to the conclusion that he secretly wants to throw me over his chair on the bridge and screw my brains out."

"Well, hell – in these things, doesn't pretty much everybody secretly want to screw you? Okay – either that, or pick you up and cuddle you and protect you... and then screw you?"

Pavel laughs. "True. And wouldn't that make for an interesting life for me here on board? If I was getting laid that often -- and by that many crew members -- I don't know when I'd find time to do my actual job!"

"Could be an issue. But you didn't tell me – in this one, do I manage to exact revenge on Jim for his nefarious schemes against your maidenly virtue?"

"Fuck you, Hikaru. But yeah, you do – or actually, you threaten him with your sword so that he leaves me alone."

"Well, as long as you're safe in the end, my demure little pink-lipped flutterer."

Pavel throws a pillow at Hikaru – and misses.

He throws "The Count of Monte Cristo."

Ouch.

Hikaru laughs, rubbing his head where the book made contact. Thank goodness for paperbacks.

"So, let me get this straight. You, according to these people, are the navigator of a Constitution-class starship, but also pretty much the fluffiest and most ineffectual thing in space this side of a tribble – and you've somehow managed to hang out with a shipload of English-speakers for extended periods of time and still be essentially incapable of clearly speaking the language. That about right?"

Pavel is somewhat depressed by this assessment – but nods in agreement. "That's about it. And you are pretty much a complete and total Boy Scout, and if you get any mention at all besides hovering around being worried about me, it's that you like fencing, or you grow random plants and shit. Other than that – forget it, dude. You have no personality whatsoever. Sorry."

"Well, it could be worse."

"Seriously? How do you figure?"

"Well – at least it isn't one of those where I accidentally end up getting you pregnant with one of my alien botany experiments, right?"

Pavel slaps his forehead. "I had just managed to get that image out of my head, you son of a bitch! Now I'm going to have to kill you."

Hikaru quirks a wicked grin. "I have a better idea..."

Despite himself, Pavel is intrigued. "Which is?"

"We go relieve the gang on Gamma Shift half an hour early."

"Why is that a good idea?"

Hikaru shrugs. "I don't know. Maybe you could screw me over the Captain's chair...?"