Author’s note :  Don’t be fooled by the title – it’s totally PG.  Some moderate language but nothing extreme.  Hope you enjoy.




Fidelma C



“Hot tub?” 

The blond limped back to his chair and lowered himself slowly, wincing as the muscles in his back protested. 

“It was just an idea.  While you were in the bathroom I was thinking about what would make this perfect and I thought of a hot tub.”   The brunet shrugged then grimaced as the ache in his shoulder and ribs intensified at the incautious movement. 

“I’ll leave you to broach that one with the admiral, Lee.  Preferably when I’m not there.”  Chip snorted as he raised the bottle to his lips and took a healthy swig.  D’you want that last slice of pizza?”

Lee shook his head.  “It’s all yours – if you can stomach it on top of what you’ve already put away.”

“No problem there.”  Morton groaned as he reached for the remaining slice with his sore right arm.  “I can eat any amount of Fredo’s pizza, especially when it’s accompanied by a long neck.”

“Yeah, but too much and you’ll regret it tomorrow, big guy.  Neither one of us is exactly going to be training for the next several days.”

“It might be interesting to see his face though.” Chip mused as he munched, referring back to their previous conversation.

Lee sometimes found it disconcertingly scary that he could follow the other man’s thoughts so easily.  “It’d be even more interesting to see the faces of the Appropriations Committee when he tried to slide that one passed them.”

A slow grin was his only response as Chip tipped his bottle in acknowledgement and both men sat in peaceful silence for a minute.  The waves lapped almost soundlessly against the shore and the warmth of the summer evening pervaded the darkness of the starlit night.  The only light spilled from the living room of Lee’s condo; they’d opted to leave off the deck’s outside lights. 

“I foresee one problem though.” 

“Only one?”  Lee asked sarcastically.

“One major – with a capital M.  Or should that be a capital J.” 

“Jamie.”  Lee’s sigh was stoic.

“Got it in one.  He’s gets a whiff that you’re looking for a hot tub and he’ll have you in Med Bay so fast you won’t have time to dial the contractor’s number.”

“You’re probably right.”  This time his sigh was resigned, knowing the individual involved – Seaview’s CMO.

“I AM right, Lee.  So get ideas of hot tubs out of your head, my friend.  Cos he certainly does not need any encouragement.”  The blond stated feelingly.

“Still, it was a nice fantasy.”

“I can think of better.”

“Oh, yeah?  Tell me one that’s better right now than a hot tub here on the deck?  The way we’re both feeling?”  Lee challenged.

“A buxom wench to fetch and carry and soothe my manly breast.”  Chip retorted, groaning as he strove for a more comfortable position.  “Or at least massage my aching muscles.”

Lee almost spewed the mouthful of beer he’d just taken.  “In your dreams, my friend.  That went out with the Knights of the Round Table.  Today it’s all kick-ass leather-clad heroines fighting alongside the guys – and not a massage in sight.  Unless the guys are giving it.”

“Works for me.”  Chip sighed blissfully, taking a contented swig.

“Yeah, right.  I can see Angie in leather.  All one hundred pounds of her…”

“One hundred and twelve.  As I was most indignantly corrected last time I made that same assumption.”  The blond’s words were slurring just a teeny bit; a combination of little sleep, prescribed pain meds (that he hadn’t taken today) and the third beer.

Lee’s guffaw of laughter indicated he was also ever so slightly inebriated.  “Bet that wasn’t on Jamie’s scale.”

“Fat chance.”  His colleague and friend agreed.  Another sigh emerged.  “You were in Washington last Halloween.  So you didn’t get to see her in costume at the NIMR ball.  She came as Batgirl.  She looked… amazing.”

Lee was already privy to the fact that his friend was goofy about the Institute’s Deputy Director but here was a chance - too good to pass up – to stir the pot. 

“All one hundred and twelve pounds of her.  And remind me again, who went as Batman and Robin?”

Chip scowled.  It was a sore point that he’d arrived back late from a cruise and hadn’t known what costume Angie had planned to wear. Two guys from the Science labs had been dressed as the Dynamic Duo and tried to put the moves on his girl.  As Lee knew darn well. 

It had pissed him off royally that Angie had felt obliged to dance with both men several times in keeping with the theme of the night.  He hadn’t had time to get a costume and – being obligated to represent the Institute in Nelson and Crane’s absence – had worn his dress uniform. 

Suffice to say that he hadn’t lacked for dance partners. 

It still didn’t sit well but he knew just how to wipe the smirk off Lee’s face. 

“As I recall, the last NIMR fancy dress party you came as a cat burglar.  So who would be your fantasy lady?  Catwoman?”  He snickered as he downed the last of his beer. 

“Depends on who’s wearing the costume.” 

Lee’s retort was quickly followed by a pained moan as he reached for the cooler and tossed another bottle to his friend and grabbed one for himself.  Twisting the cap off deftly he settled back on the thick chair cushion.  It had been a gruelling cruise but injury free until the last forty-eight hours when they’d been caught without warning in an undersea earthquake that had half the control room crew winding up in Sick Bay with varying degrees of bruising and broken limbs. 

They’d both been lucky.  Lee had been standing on the periscope island and had been tossed about a little.  Chip had been desperately trying to repair a short in the inertial navigation system and had been on his back underneath the control panel.  He’d borne the brunt of the rock and roll before a couple of crewmen had pulled him out.  He’d pulled a muscle in his back and exacerbated a previous shoulder injury along with sustaining a gash to his right arm that had needed several – now itching – stitches. 

“And who’s the ultimate babe wearing that costume, Captain?”   Chip egged.  “From the Institute’s staff, that is.  Who’s your fantasy?”

“If I say Angie I know I’m gonna get decked.”  Lee grinned as he chugged down another mouthful of beer.  He had a nice buzz going after three beers – better than any pills Jamie could prescribe for his aches. 

Chip knew his friend regarded Angie in the vein of a younger sister and was able to work through the quick lick of jealousy.  “So?”

Lee shot him a teasing glance as he tipped the bottle  and luxuriated in the cold brew sliding to the back of his throat.  He’d deliberately not taken the pain pills Jamie had issued because he’d needed this time to decompress with his friend and exec. “Take a guess.”

“OK.  Goes without saying it would be someone with a great body.”  At Lee’s nod he continued thoughtfully.  “She’d have to be tall so that rules out Debbie.”  His own secretary was short and delightfully curvy – and also happily married.  “She should ideally be a brunette but we can’t afford to be picky.  She’d have to be a babe.  She’d also work at keeping that great body toned so she’d be a regular at the gym.

Lee could see where this was going and opened his mouth but at Chip’s raised hand he closed it again.

“A veritable goddess.  While there are several ladies that could come close I can only think of one that fits that description.  Dr. Chloe Snow.  She would make the perfect Catwoman.”

“In looks perhaps.  Possibly in temperament too.  From what I’ve heard around the Institute she’s not too popular with the female staff.”

“I can imagine with looks like hers she’d encounter a lot of jealousy from other women.”

“Probably.  Again, from what I’ve heard, she’s a man’s woman and has no time for others of her sex.  Tends to be very aware of her looks and uses them to get ahead.”


Lee shrugged.  “Only telling you what I’ve heard.  But she’d certainly suit the Catwoman costume that’s for sure.”

Chip joined him in a toast to the absent lady.  “And fantasies are sometimes best left right there.”  

Tossing the empty bottle into the recycling receptacle he got to his feet with a groan.  “I’d better head back to my place while I can still walk.”

“Don’t let Jamie hear you talk like that or you’ll find yourself the target of one very pissed off CMO.”

“Perish the thought!”  He gave a mock shudder even as he threw a grin at his friend while cautiously navigating the stairs down onto the beach to access his condo next door.  Usually he’d  just step across the wooden divider between their places but he didn’t think his back was up to the effort.  “Night, pal.  Thanks for the pizza ‘n’ beer.”

G’night, Chip.  Still think the hot tub is the best fantasy.”

A derisory raspberry was his only response.