Disclaimer: Characters belong to Aaron Sorkin and company. Scooby- Doo and the Jetsons belong to Hanna-Barbera. Star Trek is a creation of the late Gene Roddenberry. No copyright infringement is intended. Any similarity to events or persons, living or dead is purely coincidental.
Author's Notes: Thanks so much to "my darling sister," the Admiral Kasey, who puts up with my craziness. You're a wonderful sounding board-thanks for reading it. *g* She told me as soon as she read Insomnia that I needed a sequel. Well, due to popular demand… Here it is. Oh, and Red-it's on you now. No pressure, though.
Spoilers-Pilot, Lies Damn Lies and Statistics… I think that's it.
Archive-Go for it. Just tell me where you put it and I'm a happy camper.
Feedback-Please. I live off it.
Signs of Intelligent Life
He paced behind his desk, listening to the rings. "Pick up," he said. "Just pick up."
She glanced at the caller ID box and answered it, hoping it wasn't him. "Hello?"
"Mallory." He was rewarded with a click. Sighing, he hung up and bounded over to Toby's office. "Can I borrow your cell phone?"
"Can I *please* borrow your cell phone?"
"You have one."
"Toby, I don't ask for much…"
"Why do you want *my* phone?"
"Oh, no. You make crank calls on your own cell phone."
"Toby, I'm begging here." Toby sighed and pulled out his cellular phone and looked at it.
"Who are you calling?"
"Mallory." Toby actually laughed as he handed Sam the phone.
"Thanks," Sam said as he dialed Mallory's home number. She answered after two rings.
"Hello?" She doubted it was Toby but she figured she would see just in case.
"Don't hang up." She did anyway. Sam swallowed a curse as he returned Toby's phone to him.
"She hung up on you, huh?"
"I don't understand," muttered Sam.
"Sam, she's a woman. You'll never understand. Trust me, I know." Sam glanced at Toby before stalking back to his office. He wasn't going to give up on Mal that easily. Glancing at the time, it was only seven thirty. He had work he needed to be doing but he certainly didn't feel like it. He tried to force himself to sit down at his computer and type but that plan backfired. The harder he tried to write the more he wanted to go home. He stood resolutely and packed his briefcase.
"Toby." Both his door and Toby's office door were still open, allowing easy conversation.
"I'm cutting out," Sam said.
"What do you mean?"
"I mean it's seven thirty and I'm going home. I've been here for twelve hours already. I'm tired and I have a bad feeling somebody's going to break the windows in my apartment."
"You live on the fifth floor, Sam."
"Some people have great aim with rocks and slingshots."
"Just because it's Halloween."
"Don't come crying to me when you find that some punk kid keyed or egged your car because they felt like raising a little hell."
"See you tomorrow, Toby," Sam said as he slammed his briefcase closed and latched it.
He drove home angry. It was one little mistake. Was she going to crucify him forever over one tiny mistake? Of course there was that unfortunate party episode where he hit on Jenny, Mal's mother and his boss's then wife. He had never met her before and he had been drinking a little more than he should have been. It was an accident. He had apologized profusely. No one was ever going to let him live it down. And then there was that whole Laurie thing. He sighed as he came to a stop at a red light. Why couldn't he seem to do anything right?
When he made it home, he changed out of his stuffy suit to jeans and a tee shirt before flopping on his couch and turning on the television set. He surfed through several channels of monster movies before stopping on the Scooby-Doo marathon. He only sat through five minutes of the show before getting up and grabbing his denim jacket. They were going to talk. It had been five days since Mal had spoken to him. He was tired of the silent treatment. Maybe he deserved it but he wanted her to hear his side of the story. He wanted to clear up the latest incident.
He didn't bother to wait on the elevator at Mal's building. He took the stairs, two and three at a time, up to the third floor. Ghosts and goblins rushed past him, giggling all the way, having been trick- or-treating throughout the apartment complex. Walking up to Mal's door, he knocked and waited.
Mal was lying on her couch with cucumber slices on her eyes, listening to an old Bela Lugosi movie on TV when she heard yet another knock. She sat up, tossed the cucumbers onto an end table and grabbed the bowl of miniature Hershey candy bars and her headband, complete with silver antennas. She put her feet into her curled-toe purple slippers and rushed to the door. Opening the door, she looked down, expecting to see delightful costumes on excited children. Instead, she saw Sam. "You!"
"M-Mallory?" he asked, finding what he saw hard to believe as well. Her face was green. Not green as in sick, but green as in bright green. Her dress looked like something from the Jetsons.
"Unless you're guiding around some trick-or-treaters, I suggest you take a hike," she said as she started to close the door in his face.
"Wait, Mal, please," he said, grabbing onto the door to keep it from closing.
"I don't want to talk to you," she said.
"Then just listen," he pleaded. She rolled her eyes and let him in. "Thank you." She placed the bowl of candy on the nearest table and crossed her arms. Sam started to take off his jacket.
"Don't even think about it, buster. You're not going to be staying that long."
"What do you want to say?" she asked.
"Mallory, I really am sorry about what happened at dinner Friday. I had no idea."
"Hey, that's okay," she said sarcastically. "I only ended up in the hospital for *two* days."
"I didn't know you were allergic to peanuts. If I had known I never would have offered you part of my dessert, I-"
"I missed two and a half days of school. My roommate at the hospital- the old lady snored like a freight train, keeping me awake. I could barely eat because my throat was almost entirely closed off."
"Mallory, I really…"
"And you're not even looking at me!" He glanced at her face, then back down to the floor.
"Honestly, Mallory… I… You look like you belong in one of those movies," he said, nodding to her television set.
"The mask is bothering you?" she asked.
"That's a mask? I thought it was, you know, face paint." She sighed heavily, storming into her kitchen and grabbing a towel.
"It's a beauty mask!" She started to wash the green goo from her face. "It's the one day you can have a facial and not worry about answering the door because nine times out of ten there are scarier things on the other side than you. Look at who came to my door last. I rest my case!"
"Mal, I really am very sorry."
"I don't care. Go away," she said.
"I don't want this to… Mallory, it was an accident. Just a dumb accident. I don't want to think that I lost you over goober peas."
"Well, get used to the idea," she said. Sam was about to say something when there was a knock at the door. Mal dried her face quickly and threw the towel at Sam. She grabbed the bowl of candy and answered the door.
"Trick or treat!" chorused three children Mal recognized from the fourth floor.
"Wow," she said, her voice softening. "Who all do we have here? A witch," Mal said, putting three little candy bars in one bag. "And a clown," she said, glancing pointedly at Sam while filling a second bag. "And who might you be?" The last of the trio was a young boy in a suit. He looked up at her proudly.
"I'm the President of the United States." Sam smiled for the first time since arriving at Mal's apartment.
"Well, Mr. President. I didn't recognize you. I'm sorry," Mal said as she gave him an extra chocolate.
"Mr. President, sir, I'll get the next draft of your remarks for the HUD conference by the morning," said Sam, walking towards the door. The boy shook his head as the three thanked Mal and ran to the next door. Both Mal and Sam were laughing as she closed the door. Her laughing stopped when she looked at Sam.
"I'm still mad at you."
"Okay, but… Just curious… Are you supposed to be somebody?" he asked, looking at her getup.
"I was an alien before I lost my green face. Now I'm a teacher in a purple dress and pointy-toed shoes."
"With antennas," he said, flicking one. The little silver ball on a spring bounced back and forth over her head.
"Leave my antennas alone, you," she said. "Your time is up. You should go. Now."
"Don't make me go," he said softly, moving closer to her. She felt uneasy with him that close to her; he was invading her personal space. He knew he was getting to her and could only hope she wouldn't turn him away. "Please, Mal," he whispered, reaching out to touch her cheek gently. She glanced away from him briefly, trying to ignore the feelings surging through her. Maybe she had been too mean to him but still…
"And, uh, just who are you supposed to be?" she asked. She knew she had to change the subject and quickly. He shrugged as he kept edging closer to her.
"Maybe I'm… Captain… James… T. Kirk… on an… away mission…" She smiled at his impersonation. She couldn't stay mad at him forever.
"Where's your uniform?"
"I had to… blend into… the culture of the… planet I was… exploring."
"Well, if that's the case… Beam me up, Sammy," she said. Grinning, he leaned down and kissed her.