Title: The Return of Malicia and Demonica
Author: Dusk (dusk@goldserve.net)
Rating: PG, humour (I hope)
Archive: VSPS
Webpage: https://www.angelfire.com/falcon/dusk/
Disclaimer: These boys and girls are unlawfully borrowed from their true masters, TPTB at Paramount. I make no profit off of this minor infraction.
Summary: Harry agrees to return to the Captain Proton simulation, with a few minor changes.
Comments: Feedback always appreciated. This spark was in my head when I woke up one morning, and I couldn't help but develop it. What can I do but apologise?v
***

"*Please*, Harry. Please. As a personal favour to your one and only best friend in the whole universe?" Tom pleaded, giving Harry his best 'wounded puppy' look, the one that never, ever failed.

Up until now, that is. Harry refused to be moved by his plight.

"No, Tom. I'm sorry. You know what my requirements are. Until you agree to them, we just can't."

"What's *wrong* with it the way it was?"

"I didn't like the role you gave me. My needs weren't being met."

"But *Harr-eeey!* You *can't* be Queen Arachnia. Captain Proton needs a sidekick!"

"I don't want to be your sidekick! I don't want to run around being rescued all the time! I want to command an army of spiderships!"

Tom shook his head sadly. "Harry, Harry, Harry. You've got the attitude down, true. Commanding armies and defeating your enemies also works well for you. But you have to face facts... the dress just doesn't suit you."

Harry looked sad. "It doesn't? Because it felt kinda nice...."

"I'm your friend. I wouldn't lie about something this important. You know that, right?" Harry nodded. "So you have to believe me when I tell you that you just don't have the figure to carry it off."

"I could change the costume a little. Or add some strategic padding... couldn't I?"

"It would be nice if it was that easy. But I really think you should consider taking another role. It doesn't have to be Buster. I could even let you play Proton for a while, if you want."

"No! I don't want to wear those silly outfits. They're *dull*. Arachnia has flair, and style...."

"Don't worry, Harry. We'll solve this problem. We'll just have to think it over for a while. Ok?"

"Yeah. We'll think of something."

Both Delaneys approached their table in the messhall and sat down, one of them flashing a beautiful smile at Harry, who was too busy moping to notice.

"So, how's my favourite superheroes?" Said the one with the dimples.

"Hi, Jenny, Megan," Tom said. "Actually, we're not doing so well. We won't be able to run the Proton simulation anymore. Harry's refusing to play."

The one without dimples pouted. "Oh, that's too bad. I really liked Malicia's outfit, and now I won't have anywhere to wear it...."

Tom looked at Harry, suddenly grinning. Harry looked back blankly, waiting to be enlightened.

"That's it! We can all switch roles! How about it, Harry? You can be Malicia... she's evil, she's got the attitude, and her dress would suit you *so* much better than Arachnia's would!"

"You think?"

"It's perfect for you!"

Dimple-less Delaney shrugged. "I could go for being Buster. Being on the other end of the torture devices for once could be fun."

Harry thought about it for a moment. "I'll try it. If it feels ok, we'll go for it. But you've got to be Demonica, Tom."

"Oooh, no. No. No way are you getting me into a dress! It's my program, so I get to be the hero. If I wanted to swan around in heels, I'd borrow Tuvok's Marilyn Monroe program, the one he thinks nobody knows about."

"Oh, go on, Tom. It's fun, really it is...."

Dimples Delaney smiled. "You know, I kind of like the idea of being the Hero. Proton gets a ship and his own rocketpack, after all. Demonica gets nothing but a silly laser weapon and unlimited evil tendencies."

"It's the only way you'll get me back in that program, Tom. Heels or no deal."

Tom reluctantly agreed. "Ok, Harry. For you. Once, and once only. And this goes no further than us four, ok? Megan, Jenny? I have a reputation to maintain, remember?"

Both Delaneys nodded in tandem. "Of course, Tom. You have our word," said Dimple-less.

"After all, you paid us so much to create it...." said Dimples.

"I'll have you know that almost all of what you tell people about me is true!"

"Mmm. Shame *we're* not the ones who get to find out what's true and what isn't...." Dimple-less giggled and nudged Harry, who flushed and tried to look as though he didn't get the inference.

Tom rescued him by quickly getting back on topic. "So we're all set? Tonight, after alpha shift, holodeck 1?"

"We'll be there," Dimples smiled sweetly.

"I'll help you with that head-dress, Harry. It can be a real bitch," Dimple-less added.

"That's very kind of you, thank you."

Tom put down his drink. "We'd better get back to the bridge. Come on, Harry. See you tonight, Megan, Jenny."

Harry followed, grabbing a bread roll on the way out.

Megan and Jenny exchanged glances.

"Think he'll do it?"

"No way. Unless Harry's powers of persuasion are extremely impressive."

"I'd say they are. Did you ever see those subroutines he added to the Proton simulation that only function when they run it alone?"

"No...!"

"Let's just say he knows how to get what he wants."

"Sounds delightful."

"We'd better play along tonight. Shame we can't run a book on whether Tom'll go through with it...."

"... but if Tom had an audience, he'd never agree to do it."

"At least *we'll* get to see it."

***

That evening. Holodeck 1.

After considerable internal debate, plus much persuasion from Harry behind closed doors, Tom appeared, made up to the nines, followed by an identically dressed Harry, who'd eventually secured the head-dress with what felt like 40,000 hairgrips. Still, he felt, it was a good look for him.

Tom, meanwhile, was less than certain about his new look. Harry had better make this worth his while, he decided, but the man looked so unbelievably sexy in full Malicia regalia that Tom privately doubted he'd make it all the way through the program before giving in to the urge to ravish him.

Fortunately, before he could dwell on the thought, the holodeck doors slid open and in marched Megan (or possibly Jenny) Delaney, currently known as Proton, swinging her rocket pack by one strap. Not far behind came Jenny (or possibly Megan) looking remarkably cheerful in Buster's costume, despite the strategic wrapping necessary to subdue her... natural attributes. Both offered up a round of applause as Harry curtseyed serenely. Tom, hiding behind Demonica's Laser of Death, muttered something uncomplimentary.

"Can we just start the program, please?" he called out irritably, rearranging his artificial cleavage.

Proton and Buster traded glances.

"Is he actually going ahead with it?"

Harry nodded with an unmistakable air of satisfaction. "Reluctantly, but yes."

"Can we see?"

"No!" insisted the hidden Demonica.

"He's feeling a little self-conscious," Harry whispered. "You'll get to see him about half-way through this chapter."

Buster giggled. "Then on to the Proton-mobile!" She charged off, dragging the still-curious Proton behind her.

"Wrong program," Demonica muttered, emerging from his hideout, tottering slightly on the ridiculously high heels that were apparently de rigour for the Evil Villainess of Today. That is, according to Harry, who Tom was beginning to think knew far too much about such things.

"Oh, do shut up." Malicia growled and threw himself into the role.

***

Half an hour later, Demonica was charging around like he'd been born in heels, and Malicia was doing his best to keep his air of smugness under control as they unleashed a weapon of unlimited destructive power on Proton's rocketship.

Proton's slightly-more-feminine-than-usual face appeared on the monitor, surrounded by the scorched but otherwise undamaged ship interior.

"We win again, Demonica!" she cried triumphantly. "Even as we speak, Buster is freeing the prisoners from your fortress dungeons!"

Malicia laughed scornfully. "Your pathetic sidekick was no match for our Robot Guards. We captured him easily, and now... we will torture him!" He panned the viewscreen around to show Buster tied to a rack, heaving bosom and all.

"Don't worry about me, Proton. Save the prisoners!" Buster insisted bravely.

Proton nodded. "Hold on, Buster. I'll be back for you soon. Meanwhile... Robot, call for reinforcements!"

The viewscreen went black. Demonica turned to Buster.

"So, it seems your precious Proton prisoner has abandoned you!"

"I'll die before I tell you anything!" Buster shouted.

Malicia smiled evilly and held up something unidentifiable but definitely unpleasant. "I think... *this* will change your mind."

***

After invading the fortress in time to rescue Buster and freeing the prisoners (with a little help from several hundred Soldiers of Light,) Proton took the time to survey her captives. Malicia and Demonica, tied to their own torture devices, sent matched glares of hatred her way.

"Once more I am victorious over your evil schemes!" Proton proclaimed loudly. "This time, we shall show no mercy. No more will you be free to plot against me, no more...."

She was interrupted by a loud, familiar and very anachronistic chirping nose.

*Your reserved time on Holodeck One is now over* the computer informed them. *Do you wish to continue the programme?*

Buster looked at Malicia apologetically. "We have to be in Astrometrics now, unfortunately."

Malicia nodded sadly. "Yeah, I guess we should quit. Mind untying us?"

"Oh, right. Sure."

Demonica stretched as he was freed. "But we can continue the story another time, right? Harry?"

Harry blinked. "You'd do that?"

Tom tried to look indifferent. "If you really want me to. I mean, it wasn't as bad as I'd thought it would be. The bad guys - or girls - get to have a lot more fun, even if they do always lose."

Megan and Jenny exchanged a giggling high-five, while Harry looked indescribably pleased.

"I'd like that. Thank you." Harry held out a hand and hauled Tom to his feet.

"Uh, guys..." one of the twins called, and both looked around. They were met with the click of a holo-imager.

"Hey!" Tom shouted. "No fair!"

"Just for posterity, boys. You and we will have the only copies, I promise. Besides, you both look so..." Megan looked at Jenny, "...gorgeous," they chorused. Megan held the imager at arms length, and they posed for their own snapshot.

"I'll get you for that," Tom promised half-heartedly and reached out for Harry. "You, meanwhile," he whispered, "look ravishing. I've been waiting all evening for this." He tilted Harry's chin up a fraction and kissed him on the perfectly-made-up mouth. Harry responded with as much energy as he'd put into his role as Malicia, forgetting for a moment that they were not alone. Not that he'd've cared much - when Tom touched him like that, everyone else faded into the scenery.

"Ooh, how unsisterly!" Jenny called with a grin, and they made a pointed exit.

"Good, they've gone," Tom murmured, and pushed Harry's skirt up to his hips.

***

In the Delaney's quarters:

Jenny fastened her uniform top. "I never though he'd do it!"

Megan shrugged. "I knew Harry could do it. I'm glad we caught it on camera, though."

"Shame you promised no extra copies...." Jenny fiddled with the imager and displayed the image they'd caught. Tom and Harry were just looking around at the camera, a perfect candid shot that showed their costumes off wonderfully. Harry did indeed look very... shapely.

"He looks better than I ever did," she grumbled. "He can keep the costume."

"After what they're doing in those costumes right now, I'm not sure we *want* them back."

"Ewww! Now there's an image... that I quite like, actually," Jenny giggled.

"You know..." Megan mused, "... all we did was promise no extra copies. We never agreed not to show anyone our copy, did we?"

"I love the way you think, sister!"

[the end]





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