Title: Shuttlepod One -- Optimistic Tendencies
Contact: kelhapam@metrocast.net and Jamelia116@aol.com
Series: ENT
Rating: PG
Code: R/S
Part: 1/1 NEW
Date: February 15, 2002

Summary: A coda to Shuttlepod One. Hoshi pays Malcolm a visit in
Sickbay.

Disclaimer: Paramount owns all the characters, etc., I am just
using the characters for a little fun and relaxation.

Note of Appreciation. Special thanks to our beta reader: P.J.
Sutherland.

Posting: Please notify us before you do.

Shuttlepod One -- Optimistic Tendencies

by PJ in NH and Jamelia

February, 2002


'Funny what you think about when you're worried about someone,'
Hoshi thought as she hurried towards sickbay. A gentle touch on
her arm, correcting her aim during shooting practice. A shy
smile. The warmth of a body close to hers, relaxing in the decon
chamber . . .

Lost in thought, Hoshi bumped into another warm, solid body as
she turned the corner.

"Oh! I'm so sorry!" she said to the very tall form in front of
her.

Jonathan Archer smiled down at his communications specialist,
while his hand steadied her to keep her from falling. "No
problem, Hoshi. I guess you had something on your mind?"

"I did," she admitted. "How are they doing, Captain? Really."

"They're going to be fine once they warm up."

Hoshi breathed a deep sigh of relief. "I'm so glad you ordered us
to warp 4 when I didn't get a response from the shuttle,
Captain."

"It was an easy call . . . especially considering how upset some
of my bridge crew got when there was no answer."

She smiled shyly.

"Do you think it would be okay if I visited them?" she asked.

"Doctor Phlox wants them to rest . . ."

"Oh, I wouldn't have to talk to them. I'd just like to see them
for a moment."

"Just clear it with the doctor first, Hoshi."

"Thanks, Captain."

Hoshi left the Captain behind and continued on her trek to
Sickbay. Before long she encountered the Vulcan subcommander, who
was walking away from the medical bay.

"Ensign."

"Subcommander . . . "

"You are going to Sickbay," T'Pol said. It was not a question.

"Yes, I am."

"Commander Tucker was sleeping when I left. And Lt. Reed is not
himself. He appears to be suffering from the affects of the
experience."

"Thanks, Subcommander, but I still want to look in on them to see
they're okay."

"There is no need for your presence in Sickbay, Ensign. I told
you their condition."

Hoshi smiled softly. "I guess it's a Human thing. I'm sure it's
highly illogical. In order for me to sleep tonight, I have to see
them myself."

The Vulcan appraised the Human. Nodding once, she proceeded past
the Communications Officer, who moved aside as the Vulcan swept
by regally.

It was only after T'Pol had left that her words registered with
Hoshi. Malcolm was suffering? What did she mean by that? Hoshi
quickened her pace as she neared her destination.

When she reached Sickbay, Hoshi paused. She placed her palm
against the glass doors and peered inside. The lighting was dim,
but she could see Trip and Malcolm. They appeared to be asleep.
Looking around Sickbay through the glass, she didn't see the
doctor. Well if he wasn't around, he couldn't tell her she
couldn't come in, could he? She wasn't sure T'Pol would accept
that rationalization, but it sounded logical to the ensign.

Quietly, Hoshi pushed the doors open and slipped inside.

Hoshi listened for the sound of any movement. Hearing none, she
walked over to where the two men rested. They looked worn and
very tired.

Well, she had seen for herself they were okay. Anything more
would have to wait. Hoshi patted her pocket, stifling her
disappointment, and walked back towards the entrance.

"Hoshi?"

At the sound of Malcolm's voice she swirled around, ignoring the
sudden little thump in her chest, and saw that his sharp eyes
were partially open.

"You're supposed to be asleep," she chastised, keeping her voice
low.

"Can't sleep," he breathed.

"Too much excitement lately?" she teased with a gentle grin.

"Must be," he agreed softly.

* * * * * *

From a side room, Doctor Phlox heard the feminine voice in his
Sickbay. Peering through the door, he recognized the visitor.
Momentarily, he considered asking the ensign to leave, but then
he thought better of it. Lieutenant Reed had been restless since
he'd awakened. As close as he and Commander Tucker had been to
that final, unending sleep, now that he had returned to life on
Enterprise, he could really use a nice, natural rest. Perhaps a
little human interaction would calm him down enough to let that
happen. Interacting with a pretty girl, Phlox had noted when he
was on Earth, had a way of helping a Human male with that
sometimes. Of course, it could also stir up a Human and
substantially raise the body temperature, but since, in this
case, that was precisely what the physician wanted, he was more
than willing to remain a silent observer while Ensign Sato
provided that particular therapy!

Besides, Phlox thought the two of them looked rather good
together. What was it that the Terrans call it when someone tried
to get two people to like each other? Lighting a match? Something
like that. On his home planet, such a service was highly valued
in certain segments of the populace. Wouldn't hurt for him to put
it to practice on Enterprise, he decided. Turning away from the
open door without, he hoped, being noticed, Phlox quietly seated
himself and waited for Hoshi to conclude her visit.

* * * * * *

Funny. Now that she was here, Hoshi felt a little tongue-tied. To
cover the sudden flush of embarrassment that threatened to tinge
her cheeks, she placed her hand on top of the armory officer's
hand, which was resting upon his chest. "You still feel a little
cold," she observed, giving it a slight squeeze.

Malcolm's eyes widened a little and blushed slightly as he
recalled his dream of T'Pol placing her hand upon his own. For a
second, he felt a wild urge to make the same revelation to Hoshi
that he had to T'Pol in that dream, but he suppressed it
quickly. Where the hell he had come up with the name "Stinky,"
he'd never know! "I'm much warmer than we were on the
shuttlepod," he
reassured her.

"Good . . . oh! I almost forgot. I brought you something." She
reached into her pocket with her free hand and withdrew a data
card.

He looked puzzled by the gift.

"It's your log from the shuttle," Hoshi explained.

"Oh." He looked uneasy.

"I didn't listen to it, Malcolm," she assured him. "Just the
beginning, to identify whose it was. When I realized it was
personal, I wanted to make sure you got it back."

"I appreciate that."

"I also wanted to tell you how much I admire you."

"Admire me?"

"I don't know if I could have done it. If I was faced with--with
death, I'm not sure if I would have had the foresight and courage
to make a log." Looking down at the data card, so she didn't have
to meet his eyes, she laughed lightly, but there was no humor in
the sound. "I probably would have crawled into a corner and
cried."

Reaching up, Malcolm ran a finger slowly down Hoshi's cheek. "I'm
sure you would have held it together. And I'm equally sure your
log wouldn't have been as pessimistic as mine."

Hoshi raised her eyes to look at the Armory Officer.
"Pessimistic? What do you mean?"

Malcolm grimaced. "Basically, what is on that data card is the
last will and testament of Lt. Malcolm Reed, complete with
good-byes to family and friends. Commander Tucker told me I was
being pessimistic. And looking back, I guess I was. Perhaps this
armory officer doesn't cope as well with impending doom as you
think he does."

Noting the hint of distress in his voice, Hoshi removed her hand
from his chest and placed it comfortingly against his cheek. She
felt the stubble of his beard beneath her fingers and began to
wonder what it would feel like against her face. "I would say you
were heroic, Lieutenant," she murmured.

Malcolm's breath caught in his throat at her words.

"I really should leave you alone so you can get back to sleep or
the doctor will report me to the captain," she said.

The Lieutenant was too numb to reply and merely nodded.

Succumbing to impulse, Hoshi bent her head over Malcolm's and
gently brushed her lips against his cheek. She liked the scratchy
sensation of his beard against her mouth.

With her lips close to his ear, she whispered a suggestion with
the hint of a saucy grin. "Malcolm, when you get back to your
quarters, you might want to take a shower. You're a
bit...stinky."

He chuckled.

As she straightened up, she passed him the data card and gave his
chest another quick pat. Pivoting on her heel, Hoshi quickly
walked back to the door and winked as she waved good-bye.

* * * * * *

As Malcolm watched her leave, a pleasant flush of warmth suffused
his body. He enjoyed the paths his daydreaming mind began to take
him to. His musings were interrupted by a drawled comment from
his companion. "Ya know, she has a pretty nice bum herself."

The Brit grinned, doing his best to ignore the smirk implicit in
Commander Tucker's voice at this observation.

Finally, he couldn't help acknowledging, "She certainly does."

Because she certainly did. Perhaps there was something to be
optimistic about.



The *End*

Pleast post feedback to the list, or to:
PJ in NH at kelhapam@metrocast.net
and to
Jamelia at Jamelia116@aol.com

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