A/N: Hey guys. Sorry I haven't updated in forever, I had absolutely no reason not to, I just got distracted from Leviathan for awhile. The main reason I'm updating today is because I start school tomorrow, and I'm not sure how much writing time I'll have, so I wanted to post something before then.

Here's the next oneshot. It's kind of a long one, and the idea came from a MASH game my friends and I had that shipped Dr. Barlow with Newkirk (but don't worry, they're not shipped in the fic).

This takes place sometime in between Leviathan and Behemoth, by the way.

Let me know what you think and review!

Disclaimer: I own nothing.

Eugene William Newkirk glanced fearfully behind him before slipping down the corridor.

After once again making sure no one was following him, Newkirk hesitantly knocked on the stateroom door.

The person who opened the door looked just a squick more than surprised.

"Mr. Newkirk," Dr. Barlow said. "May I help you?"

Newkirk cleared his throat, fiddling with his hands nervously.

"I was wondering if I could speak to you, Doctor. About a, uh… career matter."

Dr. Barlow raise an eyebrow, but stepped back and allowed Newkirk to enter the room.

"What is it, Mr. Newkirk?" she asked, sitting down at a desk.

Newkirk shut the door behind him and said, "Well, ma'am, I… I need your help. Because…" Newkirk sighed, deciding to blazes with it all. "Dr. Barlow, I want to be a scientist."

Dr. Barlow blinked in surprise. "A scientist, Mr. Newkirk?"

Newkirk nodded. "Over the course of my time here on the Leviathan, ma'am, I've learned to appreciate the beasties around here. And I've started to admire the brilliant scientist who fabricated them. So, I was thinking that I wanted to do that one day. And I was wondering if you could teach me, ma'am. I'd be, like, your apprentice."

Dr. Barlow hesitated, considering the option.

"All right, Mr. Newkirk," she finally replied. "I'll see what I can do. You'll have to do a bit of extra work for me, though."

Newkirk nodded excitedly. "Yes, ma'am, of course."

Dr. Barlow sighed. "You'll start tomorrow, Mr. Newkirk."

Newkirk nodded again, backing up awkwardly. "Yes, ma'am, of course, ma'am, thank you ma'am. But, uh, one thing, Doctor. Please don't tell Dylan about this. He'll laugh at me."

"Don't worry, Mr. Newkirk," Dr. Barlow promised. "Our secrets are safe with me."

"Thank you, ma'am. Good day!"

Newkirk awkwardly left the room, grinning like mad.

Deryn Sharp watched suspiciously as Newkirk walked happily back to his cabin.

Deryn had been conveniently passing by when Newkirk had entered Dr. Barlow's stateroom. She hadn't been able to hear most of the conversation, but she had heard two lines that she would never forget.

"Please don't tell Dylan about this. He'll laugh at me."

"Don't worry, Mr. Newkirk. Our secrets are safe with me."

Deryn hid in an empty office when Newkirk left the lady boffin's room. Then she peeked around the corner to make sure the other middy was gone. Then she started towards her cabin, thinking all the way there.

Obviously, Newkirk and the clever-boots were hiding something. Something that Deryn would make fun of Newkirk for. Which obviously meant it was something she wouldn't think Newkirk would do.

Deryn gasped as she realized what the secret must be.

Newkirk was having an affair with Dr. Barlow!

Deryn started walking faster, eventually breaking into a run.

She needed to talk to Alek.

Alek didn't have much to do on the Leviathan when he wasn't working on the engines, so he often sat in his stateroom doing nothing.

At that moment, Alek was lying on his bed, waiting for Dylan to come tell him to take over watching the eggs.

While he was waiting, Alek took a rubber ball he'd found and threw it at the opposite wall. It bounced off, hit the floor, and was supposed to come back into Alek's hand, but instead landed a few feet from his bed, missing him completely.

Just as he was bending over to retrieve it, there was a knock on the door.

"Come in," Alek called, tossing the ball onto his bed.

The door opened, and Alek wasn't surprised to see Dylan standing there, but hadn't expected his friend to have his hands on his knees, panting heavily.

"Dylan? What's wrong?"

Dylan fully stepped inside the cabin and closed the door, still trying to catch his breath.

"Barlow," he finally gasped. "Newkirk. They- together- cabin-"

"Hold on," Alek interrupted. "Slow down. What about Dr. Barlow and Mr. Newkirk?"

Dylan took a deep breath; then sat down at Alek's desk and started over.

"I was coming back from the machine room and I passed by Dr. Barlow's stateroom," he explained. "And Newkirk was there as well. He slipped into the cabin just as I came up to the door, and of course I knew something was a wee bit off. So I listened in. They were quiet, though, so I only caught the last few lines of their conversation. But what I heard was definitely mind-blowing."

Dylan told Alek what Newkirk and Dr. Barlow had said, then his suspicions about what they meant.

Alek rolled his eyes. "Oh, yes, Barlow and Newkirk: the perfect couple," he teased.

"It could happen," Dylan protested.

"You do realize that there's roughly thirty years between the two, right?" Alek pointed out.

"Well, aye, but-"

"And that Dr. Barlow's married?"

"Oh." Dylan looked very disappointed that Alek had made two perfectly good points. "But, what if-"

"Dylan, why don't we just go ask Mr. Newkirk about it?" Alek suggested.

Dylan hmmphed. "Well, that's no fun," he mumbled, but agreed.

By the time Alek and Dylan had reached Newkirk's cabin, Alek had finally convinced his best friend to let him do the talking.

But, of course, it didn't work out that way.

The moment Mr. Newkirk opened the door, Dylan immediately accused, "We know your secret, Mr. Newkirk."

While Newkirk looked extremely confused and slightly scared, Alek explained (much less dramatically), "Dylan overheard some of a conversation you had with Dr. Barlow, and he drew some… interesting conclusions about the meaning of what he heard."

Newkirk sheepishly looked down at his feet. "Oh. You heard that?"

"Some of it, aye," Dylan replied.

"How much?"

Dylan repeated what she'd told Alek.

Newkirk's eyes widened. "Oh, Dylan, I'm sorry I hid it from you, but I knew you wouldn't be happy! Especially with my family being Monkey Luddites and all, and since I'm always complaining about the beasties and-"

"Wait a minute," Dylan interrupted. "What does this have to do with your affair with Dr. Barlow?"

Newkirk stared at him for a minute, then laughed out loud. "Affair?! Blisters, Mr. Sharp, is that what you thought this was about?'

Dylan looked embarrassed, and Alek attempted to stifle his laughter.

"What was it about?" Dylan asked Newkirk.

Newkirk shook his head. "I was asking Dr. Barlow to tutor me so I could become a scientist."

"Oh." Dylan looked even more embarrassed. "Well, I didn't expect that."

Newkirk began to fully explain what had gone on between him and the lady boffin, and by the time he was done, Dylan seemed to understand what he'd heard.

After a while, Newkirk said goodbye and closed his cabin door.

Alek burst into laughter the moment Newkirk was out of earshot.

Dylan glared at him. "Get stuffed."

A/N: I hope you liked it. Please review!