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Fandom: Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
Characters: Zaphod Beeblebrox and Arthur Dent
Prompt: Please Forgive Me
Summary: Zaphod needs to be forgiven.
Warning: This is cementing the fact that I should stick to Ford and Arthur. My Zaphod is an OOC mush-bag.

In retrospect, it hadn’t been a good idea.

In retrospect, a lot of the things Zaphod did hadn’t been such good ideas. But this, in particular, had been a really, really bad idea. Even Ford leveled him with a look that clearly asked “What were you thinking?” Being drunk wasn’t a good enough excuse to get him out of this one, if Trillian’s withering glare during his attempt at an explanation was anything to go by. But at least they were acknowledging him. Arthur had apparently decided that he no longer existed.

Zaphod wasn’t so sure he didn’t deserve the treatment, which was exactly why he didn’t like to go around making promises. Get drunk, act like a complete skeeze, cheat on what would be considered your prospective other…well, if you hadn’t promised to not do those things, then you really weren’t dong anything wrong, right? Right.

Except Zaphod had made the promise. And by getting drunk, acting like a complete skeeze, and cheating on Arthur, he had broken that promise.

Zaphod regarded the empty main deck wearily. All the rooms seemed to empty when he came around. Not that he blamed them. In retrospect, it didn’t make any sense. Arthur had met his promise by making a promise of his own that they could have sex whenever Zaphod wanted. Right there in front of the control panel? Sure. Quick and round in the second supply closet in the B wing? Yep. On the kitchen counter while Trillian was trying to make toast? Been there, done that. And it was great, hot, perfect sex. So why had Zaphod forgone it for something sloppy and second-hand with a skank he picked up in a bar?

The only reasonable explanation, Zaphod decided, is that I am an idiot.

It always came back sex, didn’t it? Sex; the thing that would make or break Zaphod Beeblebrox. Except it wasn’t just about sex, was it? Not anymore. You could get sex; bad sex, good sex, cheap sex, free sax, any kind of sex if you knew where to look in the universe. Anytime, easily, especially if you were Zaphod Beeblebrox. Sex wasn’t the kind of thing you made commitments for. It wasn’t the kind of thing you had to try for, the kind of thing you settled down a bit for or, Zarquon forbid, act decent for. Sex was just…well, sex.

Sex wasn’t shared memories and inside jokes. It wasn’t waking up to a warm familiarity and it wasn’t the comforting presence of someone he’d grown to know. Zaphod Beeblebrox wasn’t mushy-mushy and he was by no mean an overly sentimental man, but Arthur was the best thing in his life.

“I don’t know why.” Zaphod informed the room morosely, sinking into one of the control seats, “I didn’t mean it.”

The console blinked a few lights, the air conditioner kicked it up a few notches, and the ships mechanics as a whole whirled quietly. Maybe the ship thought he was a shame, too.

Zaphod stared distantly at the black screen before him. Smart ship.

Arthur was miserable. More miserable than he’d felt when his planet exploded, more miserable than he’d felt when he was stranded on a pre-historic earth, more miserable than he’d felt when Trillian had decided they‘d “be better off as friends“. He was so utterly, pathetically, horribly miserable that …that not even a cup of tea would make him feel better!

Not that there was a cup of tea to be found , of course. Oh no, that’d be asking for a bit too much. It’d be asking for something good to happen. Good things just didn’t seem to happen around Arthur these days. Or, at least, not good things that lasted.

Arthur picked at the frayed edges of his oldest towel, curled up on center of his bed. His cold, lonely, and, until just recently, almost completely unused bed. His lips curled downward somberly.

Where had he gone wrong? One moment it’d been great, exhilaratingly great, and then the next….

The earthman ripped some thread ferociously. It wasn’t fair. He’d done everything he possibly could, and he’d thought they’d been happy. Hell, he’d even…the things he’d done for that no-good-Betelgeusian were absolutely ridiculous. Degrading and scandalous and abhorrent. And for what? To be tossed aside like nothing.

“Fine!” Arthur spat in his mind “Fine! I don’t care. I’ve got better things to do that sit around moping over that lousy, obnoxious, rotten sleaze ball! “

His eyed prickled with the salty tears and he could hardly muster up the effort to rub them away.

Ford and Zaphod rarely ever fought. Petty squabbles as children, maybe, but not real anger at each other. That kind of stuff just wasn’t cool and it always pissed their mothers off something bad. But the second Zaphod slunk into the kitchen area, Ford leveled him with a dark, heated glare.

Zaphod moved to the opposite side of the kitchen table. “Ford.”

The ginger haired Betelgeusian’s lip curled into a mini-snarl. “I haven’t seen you in a while. Been out?”

And oh, didn’t his voice just drip ice. Zaphod clenched his jaw for a moment. “No! The rest of you seem to be the ones who’re never around.”

This was the game they usually played during the few times they had disagreements. The “see who admits there’s something wrong first” game. The “see who gets too pissed off to hold his temper” game. Ford always lost.

“We’ve been keeping Arthur company. You remember Arthur, don’t you?” Ford’s chair clattered to the ground. He stared challengingly at Zaphod. “You know, the poor, sweet, harmless earthman who doesn’t do anything more than sit in his room and cry!”

“Just shut your mouth, Ford.” Zaphod slammed his hand’s on the table, shacking it so hard that the bread toaster rolled off. “And mind your own damn business.”

“Belgium.” Ford bared some teeth and Zaphod could feel his upper lip rising in response. “It is my business. He’s my best-friend. I brought him here and you…you…crushed him!”

The smaller man lunged forward and gripped the lapels of Zaphod’s purple and red coat. “He won’t even come out of his room!” he gave his semi-cousin a few violent shakes, “You’d better apologize, Zaphod You’d better apologize, or else I…I’ll…I’ll do something to make sure you regret this!”

Zaphod shoved him off, stumbling a step back from the table. The two Betelgeusian’s stared each other down. “I already regret it.”

“If you regret it so much,” Ford spat at him,” then maybe you should start groveling.”


“Oh Arthur.” Trillian sighed. She patted what looked like a shoulder beneath the pile of blankets. “Arthur, you’ve got to eat.”

The mound of blankets shifted a bit. Tufts of brown emerged from under the comforters‘, followed by a sullen, withdrawn face. Arthur blinked at her with red-rimmed, blood-shot eyes. “Thank you,” his voice cracked, and he sniffled,” but I’m not really feeling well.”

Trillian smoothed out a place on the bed and took a seat. “Arthur, I can’t promise you that things will work out between you and Zaphod.” At the Z word Arthur clutched the top of his comforter tightly. “But, locking yourself up won’t help.”

“I’m not locking myself up.” Arthur protested half-heartedly,” I just don’t feel well.” The earth women gave him a look that clearly said she didn’t believe a word that came out of his mouth, and he sighed, fingering the fabric pooled around him.

“I just…I don’t want to see him.” he finally admitted. After his initial bout of anger, Arthur had become a total mess about the whole thing, and the last thing he wanted was go give that alien the satisfaction of seeing him cry over it. That stupid, idiot, moronic alien….

Arthur’s eyes prickled.

Trillian laid her hand on top of his. “Arthur,” she urged,” just come out. Have a nice lunch out on the star deck with me.” She leaned forward to whisper, almost conspiratorially ,” And Ford will come too, of course. He’s very worried about you, although he’d never admit it.”

Arthur offered a watery smile.

Zaphod drummed his fingers along the bright patterned top of the ship’s bar. He tapped out something maybe from Disaster Area, but it dropped into the rhythm of something slow Arthur had been prone to hum when he was in a particularly good mood.

He let his fingers fall away with an internal wince and fixated his gaze on something not alcoholic. Anything. That chair.

In that chair, Zaphod could remember, he’d spent more than a few hours with a lap-full of human. Sometimes naughty, doing the sort of things that made Ford leer, and sometimes not, just watching the sub-etha’s latest broadcast about Zaphod and being together in a way that let Trillian tease them mercilessly. It was a comfortable chair. Zaphod liked that chair. Zaphod liked a lot of things reminded him of Arthur.

Because Zaphod liked Arthur.
But groveling?
Zaphod picked at the label on one of the something-whiskey bottles. “Zaphod Beeblebrox,” he announced to the bottle,” does not grovel.” Groveling was about ten-shades of not cool, so it was completely, totally out of the questions.

The two headed Betelgeusian pushed the bottle away and looked around the room for something.

That table, near that chair, reminded Zaphod of good times. Arthur, drunk as hell, spread out for him looking like a 12 star buffet. Warm and giggling and more than happy to let his “big bad alien loooover” have his wicked way with him. They’d knocked something over, a glass of something thick and syrupy, and Arthur had licked it from Zaphod’s fingers and kissed him with sweet, wet lips.

Or that scratch on the wall that hadn’t been fixed. That time it had been Zaphod drunk, but not so drunk that h couldn’t remember groping Arthur and being unable to stop the multitude of absolutely stupid things coming from his mouth. He could still picture the almost purple-looking tinge that Arthur’s cheeks had turned before he’d howled and launched a vase at Zaphod’s head. Arthur, thankfully, had a truly horrendous aim and the wall had been the only one to suffer. Then there’s been make-up sex….

Zaphod huffed irritably.

There was the staircase, where Arthur had twisted his ankle and Zaphod had come to the rescue, more than happy to accept his reward in the form of a mid-morning make-out session. The bookshelf, too, had been a place for Zaphod to play the hero and save his monkey man in a distress from the peril of falling books. Then there was the couch, where Arthur had often curled half-atop Zaphod and dozed off to the ex-galactic president’s tales of adventure and action and fame. There was a little nook next to the Babel-fish tank, where Zaphod had skimmed his hands, all three, up and down the human’s sides until he laughed himself to tears and smiled at Zaphod with wet, glistening trails on his cheeks.

“Fine.” Zaphod snapped. He glared at the some-whiskey bottle. “Grovel. I know.”


“And so I told the women ‘if you’ve seen one Bulgtarun prostitute with blue space fever, you’ve seen them all.’” Ford concluded loudly, feeling satisfied. Arthur had liked this particular story apparently, because he was smiling around his red cheese and pink lettuce finger-sandwich.

Trillian gave him a discreet thumbs-up from next to the Earthman.

“And what’d she say?” Arthur asked, picking at purple sprig of something in his snack.

“Well…” Ford swallowed a mouthful of alcohol laden fruit punch and leaned forward, grinning. “She told me she could say the same about Guide researchers.”

Arthur chuckled warmly alongside Trillian’s titters, both smiling that Ford’s tales. Ford was smiling too, until he caught sight of his semi-cousin standing in the deck’s doorway.

Zaphod stepped in, the door’s hearty sighs alerting Arthur and Trillian.

“Uh…hi.” He greeted awkwardly, all hands raised in a wave.

The trio who’d previously been enjoying their picnic looked away. Arthur pluacked at a stray thread on his dressing gown.

“Look…uh…” Zaphod’s hurried walk through the corridors had, unfortunately, not included planning. “I’d just like to talk to Arthur…in private.”

“We’re enjoying our lunch.” Trillian told him. She was the only one who’d turned to acknowledge him, and it was with a firm glare. “You should just go back to wherever it is you’ve been.”

“No.” Arthur said, surprising Trillian. “No, that’s okay. We need to talk.”

“Arthur…” Ford started, but the human shook his head. He stood up slowly, brushing off his pajama bottoms.

“Really, guys, I’ll be fine. What’s the worse that could happen?”

If Trillian’s and Ford’s faces were anything to go by, they’d thought up a thing or two. Arthur just smiled a bit lopsidedly and waved.

Ford elbowed Zaphod roughly on his way out.

When the door’s noisy closing had finished, an uncomfortable silence filled the room. Zaphod watched Arthur rub at a nonexistent stain on his shirt and tried to think of something to say that wouldn’t ruin this before it started.

Arthur beat him to it.

“I still can’t really believe you did that to me. I thought-.”Arthur sat his hands on his hips in a way that was eerily similar to his own mother, “I thought you cared about me. Silly monkey, huh?”

“No!” Zaphod protested. He took a few steps forward slowly. “No, c’mon Arthur, you’re not…I do care about you.”

Arthur seemed to wilt a little. He regarded Zaphod with those sad human eyes. “Then why?”

“I don’t know why.” Zaphod sighed,” Look, I got drunk, and you weren’t around, and –“

“And that makes it okay?”

“No. Alright? Okay? I’m sorry.”

Arthur turned, eyebrows raised. His mouth was a small O of surprise.

“I’m sorry.” Zaphod repeated, and it left a foreign taste in his mouth.

Zaphod Beeblebrox sank to his knees.

He knelt and looked up to Arthur with what was possibly the most serious expression to ever grace his face.

“Please. Please forgive me.”

‘Please, baby.’ He thought.


on 2007-09-05 07:15 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile]
Seriously awesome, I don't mind your OOC Zaphod, to me it still reads as Zaphod and this wonderful piece almost made me almost cry...

on 2007-09-21 02:35 am (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile]
Wow, thanks! I totally wasn't expecting a response at all, so it's fantastic to get one. I'm glad you enjoyed it!


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