kageygirl

Enterprise slash

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Enterprise kageygirl

Pecking Order

Title: Pecking Order

Author: kageygirl

E-mail: kageygirl@gmail.com

URL: http://www.kageygirl.com

Fandom: Enterprise

Pairing: Tucker/Reed

Rating: PG-13

Category: Slash

Summary: The troublesome trio goes hunting for food.

Comments: Short and silly. Response to the Kitchen Fic challenge. My mom never actually told me that just because someone dares you to do it doesn't mean you have to do it. So, it's her fault. The bad pun in the title is all her, too.

Three of Starfleet's finest trooped merrily along a corridor of the flagship of the fleet, until one of them slowed to a stop and looked around uncertainly.

"Are you sure this is a good idea?"

"Travis, this is a great idea." Trip draped an arm over the ensign's shoulders and shook him enthusiastically.

"It's a bloody marvelous idea." Malcolm nodded decisively.

Malcolm had declared this a tactical operation, and put himself in charge. Trip had gracefully bowed to the lieutenant's superior expertise in the field. Travis had been so embarrassed about causing the problem that he'd agreed to go along with the plan. But his nerve seemed to fail as they neared their destination.

"What if something goes wrong?"

"Wrong?" Trip frowned. "We're Starfleet officers—"

"Highly trained Starfleet officers," added Malcolm.

"—Who thrive on challenges. There's no problem we can't solve with a little ingenuity."

"And sodding great loads of weaponry."

Trip smiled in agreement. Travis still looked hesitant, and Malcolm drew himself up didactically. Which left him significantly shorter than the other two, but he obviously chose to overlook that. "Ensign, we face a valuable learning opportunity here. All your training, all your experience has led to this point. Your entire life has prepared you for this moment."

Trip thought it was the most inspirational speech he'd ever heard. Travis, shockingly, seemed to disagree. "Raiding the kitchen?"

Malcolm shook his head in disgust. "Commander, if you would please review the situation for us."

Trip blinked, then nodded. "Right. We were playing poker. We were drinking beer. We were eating snacks. We still have the cards, and we have more beer, but we ran outta snacks. Because someone didn't bring enough with him." He fixed Travis with a stern glare. Well, one of the Travises. There seemed to be two of them. "Therefore, we need to obtain more snacks."

"Procurement!" Malcolm looked faintly pleased with himself. "Always protect your supply lines."

"If Chef catches us, he'll kill us."

"Grind us up into a sticky paste and serve us on toast points." Malcolm was the very picture of British composure in the face of adversity. "But an army marches on its stomach, after all."

"We're not marching anywhere."

Malcolm cocked his head, and looked down at his feet. "Perhaps we should start. We'd be much more impressive during first contacts."

Trip decided his skills as ranking officer were needed here to get things back on track. "Gentlemen, we have a mission."

"Of course." Malcolm wheeled away and started walking again, though Trip noticed that he was swinging his arms and lifting his feet more than was absolutely necessary. It could charitably be called a march, if one ignored the fact that he skimmed off the wall on every fifth step.

Trip pulled Travis forward with him. "Ensign, I'm concerned about your attitude, here. He who hesitates is lost."

"Fortune favors the brave!" Malcolm chipped in from ahead of them.

Travis smiled suddenly in a cheerful gleam of teeth. "You only die once!"

"That's the spirit!" Trip clapped Travis on the back, then had to steady him when the ensign nearly toppled over.

Malcolm paused in front of the galley door, wobbling only a little on the turn. "Mr. Tucker, if you will?"

Trip punched in the emergency override code, and the door slid open. "Open sesame."

Malcolm and Travis giggled a little and followed him inside.

Once inside, they stopped dead, awed by the presence of the place. The sanctum sanctorum. The holiest of holies. The repository of snacks.

Malcolm walked over to a large table and leaned on it as if it were a battle map. He stared hard at the other two. "Right. This is a surgical strike. Get in, get out. And we're here for…" He trailed off expectantly.

"Sugar!" chirped Trip, and Malcolm stared at him in discontent.

"Salty."

The staredown might have lasted hours, but Travis broke the tension. "I was hoping there'd be some leftover headcheese from dinner, so I could make a sandwich."

As one, Trip and Malcolm turned to stare at the ensign. "What? I liked it."

Trip shook his head regretfully. "Boomers."

"Their palates are ruined at an early age." Malcolm looked at him with pity. "All those ration packs."

"Hey! I appreciate a good meal, is all."

"Travis, do you have any idea what's in headcheese? It's disgusting." Malcolm looked faintly green, although whether that was from the discussion or the vast quantities of alcohol he'd consumed was unclear.

Trip shuddered. "I saw a cooking show on it once. The chef was naked, and I still don't remember anything except how revoltin' the headcheese was. I couldn't eat meat for a week."

Travis put his hands on his hips and stared at Malcolm. "The British have some pretty unappealing food, themselves. Blood pudding? Marmite?"

Trip made a noise of revulsion, and Malcolm turned to him with arms folded. "This from the nation that gave the world wilted lettuce and Rocky Mountain oysters."

Trip waved his hands in a conciliatory manner. "All right, let's just do what we came here to do. Chocolate covered pretzels and honey roasted peanuts—deal?"

Malcolm was about to answer when they heard the beep of the access code being entered. "Shit. Hide."

They scattered across the kitchen. Travis ducked into the walk-in freezer. Trip grabbed Malcolm's arm, pulled him into the pantry, and closed the door behind them.

The two of them leaned against the door, listening to Chef walk around. Malcolm shuddered, and Trip patted him on the shoulder in sympathy. Chef was the only person on board who scared Malcolm.

They heard the freezer door open, and Chef's voice echoed in outrage, though they couldn't quite make out the words. Travis was making an effort to explain why he was in the freezer. Despite the young man's misgivings, Trip was sure that he could avoid Chef's wrath better than anyone else could. He was probably only in for a mild whupping.

After a few minutes, the voices faded away. They shared a sigh of relief. Trip was mighty proud of Travis. "He didn't give us up."

"Admiral sacrifice." Malcolm frowned to himself. "Admirable."

"Yeah, we'll have to put Admiral Mayweather in for a commendation."

"Posthumous."

"Of course."

Malcolm straightened up, and began inspecting their surroundings. "With the regrettable loss of Admiral Mayweather, we'll have to adopt a new strategy." Malcolm gathered two jars from the shelves.

"What're those?"

"Chocolate sauce and peanut butter."

"And what're you planning?"

Malcolm opened both containers, swiped his index finger through the peanut butter, dipped it in the chocolate, and held it up to Trip's mouth. "I thought we'd go back to your quarters, spread them on each other, and take turns licking them off."

Trip gave him a big grin. "That's why you're the tactical officer." He lapped at the treat he'd been given, watching Malcolm's eyes widen hungrily. "Always got a backup plan."

"You've made a mess." Malcolm stared at his lips. "Here, let me get that for you." He hooked two fingers into the neck of Trip's jumpsuit and pulled him down for a kiss. When he leaned away, he grinned happily at Trip. "Can I cook, or can't I?"

Trip returned the smile, then nodded down at the jars. "Ask me again in an hour."