Title: Health Directives
Series: mmom Day 4 (mmom. livejournal. com)
Author: Lucifer Rosemaunt

Fandom: 2001: Space Odyssey
Pairing(s): slight Dave/Hal
: It had only been a matter of time before Dave had to do this.
Warning(s): some het
Word Count
: 1,280
Rating: M

A/N: I really need to get to reading all the books in this series. Really.
Story note: This… was interestingly difficult.


Dave had snapped at Frank again. Again. It was becoming a common occurrence.

They so rarely spent time with each other, but he just could not avoid being annoyed with the other man. His voice was too loud in the quiet Dave had grown accustomed to. He took up more space than he should for such a large spacecraft. He walked too loudly, smiled too easily, chatted about nothing important and Dave wanted to hit him. He wanted to punch his fellow astronaut, the only other human not in suspended animation on this voyage.

It was not about the silence. It wasn't even the solitude that was getting to him. He never really felt alone. Dave knew exactly why he snapped at Frank, why he wanted a confrontation, almost itched for one. How could he not know when the problem presented itself every morning?

He'd been too busy at first to care, too tired, too excited, too focused on making sure everything simply worked to care; because compared to oxygen, food, water, and making sure their craft didn't run into any space debris, relieving himself hardly mattered.

But now that he was planning on doing it – he had made a mental note that today was the day – it unsurprisingly felt forced and he couldn't bring himself to go through with the production of it all. He sat on the edge of his bed, head bowed and held in his hands. He would almost prefer just hitting Frank and arguing. He considered asking Frank to spar with him; that would be less of a detrimental act.

"Are you well, Dave?"

It was an attestation of how long they'd been on this mission that he wasn't surprised by the voice. He'd actually forgotten about HAL in the midst of his frustration and now that it was brought to his attention Dave couldn't help but consider it a rather significant issue to add to the growing list of reasons asking Frank to spar was the better alternative.

"I am." Dave looked up towards the rectangular sensor on the wall.

"You do not appear well." HAL noted, "Your blood pressure, as well as your testosterone levels, is elevated."

"Really, I'm fine," Dave almost snapped but caught himself. There was no point in getting angry at HAL when he was just stating facts.

There was a pause and Dave was certain the AI was doing some calculations, some cross-referencing on his behaviour, every word and reaction being documented and dissected. He was fairly certain he was not going to like his conclusion.

But in a burst of unexpected insight, HAL slowly posited, "You do not wish to speak to me about this matter."

Dave openly stared at HAL's red eye. "You are correct." For some reason he could not fathom, Dave wanted to praise him for his perception, but that would have been pointless since HAL was a computer. There was little purpose in praising him; so, he held his tongue.

The vibrancy of the red seemed to recede from the sensor, but before it dulled to its normal color, HAL said, "Please consider Health Directive 7.0.34, paragraph four. Commander Poole has not needed a similar reminder."

Then, for all intents and purposes HAL had left his room. Dave knew that HAL never really stopped recording, but it had been a rather pointed tactical retreat because he was certain the AI had censured him, had disapprovingly commented on his behavior and treatment of his own body and mental state in a way that would not be noted in the ship's documentation as a slight on him as an astronaut. He was equal parts grateful and surprised.

Health Directive 7.0.34 paragraph four. Dave might not be as well-versed in the mission report as HAL, but he had an idea of the paragraph the computer had mentioned. Scientific documentation and studies taken on the human body that had concluded a continued build-up of seminal fluids led to an increase in testosterone – meaning frustration, agitation, and the likelihood of discontent among the crew.

Maybe that was the only way he could convince himself to masturbate while under surveillance, a clinical approach. It was necessary. Frank did it. All video feed was strictly confidential and more often than not, unless something of vast significance occurred or if HAL noted it in his reports, no one would ever see it beyond the storage containers.

It was natural.

Dave moved to the center of the bed, fixed the pillows so that his back was supported before slipping his boxers down to his knees. He got a handful of lotion and taking himself in hand, he thought of his last girlfriend, her curves, the way she felt under his hands, the sounds she used to make. His memory was hardly doing him any favors; his attention drifted to various portions of the room. He kept looking toward the red circle of HAL's sensor.

He tried to avoid looking at it, but he just couldn't. Letting go of himself in a fit, he crossed the room to turn off the lights. Returning to the bed, he squeezed his eyes shut and tried to imagine. All the images were fleeting; he hadn't a sweetheart back home. The selection board often found it better for these longer missions and his last girlfriend had been so long ago that she simply blended with the others. The anonymous images of smooth skin and sweet curves were too vague to stir anything within him beyond mild interest. It was enough to get him going and he could not deny that it felt good. He had missed this feeling; this was exactly what he'd needed. It was, but it wasn't enough.

His mind drifted to the stiff sheets, the cold of space that was not completely held at bay, the steady thrum of electricity. A part of his mind was still dedicated to the running of the ship. He had seven hours before he was to go on his jog, eight before he needed to relieve Frank of his duties, more before he could run his hands along the gauges and talk to HAL about the minutiae of the spacecraft.

He opened his eyes then, glancing at the sensor again and he was not sure if it was his imagination but the red light seemed to shine brighter. Dave's hand sped up, tightening. It was the dark though. It had to be the dark that made it seem brighter. He squeezed his eyes shut again, and the thrum of the spacecraft, the steady purr of it that meant systems were working wasn't as distracting anymore. He was fine. The ship was fine. He stroked himself more earnestly, the thrill of adventure, of discovery spurring him onward.

The thought of touches, despite being vague at first, solidified as he used his free hand to touch himself, his chest, his stomach. He reached down and fondled his balls, tugging and squeezing. He thought of eyes watching, always watching his every motion, watching to see what made his hips jerk up, and they did in response. They jerked up into his hand and he moaned.

He stared blankly up at the ceiling, though out of the corner of his eye he could still see the red of HAL's sensor. The red glow was really all he could see in the darkness. And it had been much too long since he had last done this because it only took several more strokes before he came with a strangled moan. His eyesight went blurry and he spent the next moments in a weighted-red afterglow of pleasure that thrummed to the pulse of the ship.


End ficlet

A/N: Don't forget to R/R (Read and Review)!
Fic Review: Haha for what turns Dave on, but ngl, when you're super excited about something, it can often translate to something sexual.