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Carelessly- Pt 1
“We run carelessly to the precipice, after we have put something before us to prevent us seeing it.” Blaise Pascal
“Commander Tucker.” Doctor Phlox passed an open vial under his patient’s nose. “Commander Tucker,” he passed the vial back again, “Please wake up.”
His groggy travelling companion pushed the vial away, “Jeez, doc, what the hell is that stuff?” Trip struggled to sit. He examined his surroundings in puzzlement. “This isn’t the sick bay.”
“There is nothing wrong with your vision.” He waved a scanner near Trip’s head. “You are concussed. Rest here and remain still while you wait for your memory to return. Do not fall asleep again.”
Trip Tucker did not want to fall asleep if it meant dreaming erotic, tantalizing, troublesome dreams of T’Pol. He looked down. Thank God for EV suits he rejoiced. If I had been wearing anything else I would have had a tent pole between my legs by now. The colour drained from his face. The female who had commandeered his dreams stood before him
“Good evening, Mr. Tucker.”.
“Ah...,” he tried to rise.
T’Pol bent her knees and rested her backside on her heels, lowering her body so that she did not tower over the prone engineer. “Please do not try to stand. Dr. Phlox sent me back to take you to Enterprise. He felt that you could not be trusted to follow his directions to stay awake and remain still.”
“Since I can’t remember anything about our mission, or how I ended up with this bump on the head. Following directions made a great deal of sense to me.” He did not try to hide his indignation.
T’Pol held out her hand. “I will you refresh your memory on our return to the shuttle pod.”
Trip put one of his gloved hands in hers. She rose, tugging him upward.
“I would appreciate that, Sub commander.”
“I fell out of a tree?” He refused to believe the story. “How the hell did I climb a tree in this get up?” He pointed to the EV suit in disgust.
“Doctor Phlox asked the same question, with less emotion, I add, when we found you unconscious on your back on the ground.” T’Pol steadied him as he lifted his leg over the bulkhead to enter the pod.
Just like in my dream, thought Trip, she’s taking charge, taking care of me, making me feel like the girl again. I am an idiot. She’s being kind to an injured colleague. I woulda done the same for her.
“Sorry, T’Pol, could you repeat what you were saying?”
T’Pol closed the hatch before she repeated her question. “Do you remember what motivated you to climb the tree?” She sat in the pilot seat. “Shuttlepod Two to Enterprise. I am leaving the surface with one injured crewman.”
“How did Trip injure himself now?” The amused voice of Captain Archer emerged from the comm. unit.
Trip winced. His reputation for injuring himself on away missions continued to grow. Trip expected T’Pol to pour salt into the wound by replying with a wry dig. Instead she diffused the situation.
“The Commander was injured during the fulfillment of his duties.” Her reply was clipped and formal, cutting off any attempts to continue the teasing.
“Have you remembered why you climbed the tree?”
“Son of a gun…” Trip removed his helmet then pressed a key on the console beside him. “Tucker to Phlox.”
“Have your symptoms grown more severe, Commander?” Phlox’s disembodied voice asked.
“No, but I remembered why I was climbing that tree.” Trip gave T’Pol the thumbs-up sign. “That plant we’re looking for grows at canopy level. I saw one up high and tried to harvest it.”
“Thank you, Commander. You have saved us many hours of searching. I will relay the message to the rest of the away team. Remember, you must not fall asleep for at least 4 hours. After that someone must awaken you every two hours until morning. I suggest you plan to spend the night in sickbay. Phlox out.”
“Over my dead body!” the engineer muttered under his breath.
During the thirty minute return flight Trip’s memory returned. Two away teams had been sent planet side to collect samples of a plant from which Phlox hoped to synthesize a serum that would neutralize the effects of Trellium-D on Vulcans. If they were successful, Trip could begin processing the ore that he and Mayweather had collected. Coating the hull with Trellium was essential if they were to survive in the Expanse. Finding the serum was essential if T’Pol were to survive on a Trellium coated ship.
With his wits about him and fifteen minutes left in the flight Trip considered the implication of his dreams.
“Mr. Tucker,” T’Pol’s voice interrupted his musings.
“I’m awake, T’Pol.”
She turned the pilot’s chair so that she faced aft, oblivious to the tear that rolled down her cheek. “I was not checking up on you. I am in distress. Are you capable of docking?”
Trip felt the enormity of her admission. Ever since her exposure to Trellium she had been living in a private hell, which she had refused to share with anyone. His attempts to draw her out had been rebuffed leaving him feeling inept and useless. She had freely provided him with the relief he needed when his nightmares had kept him awake for months on end. Yet here she was admitting her distress, asking for help. Why here? Why now?
“Sure thing,” Trip slid into the seat that she vacated. “When we get back, why don’t you let me try some neuropressure techniques on your body? I know that I’m not skilled, but it has to be better than nothing.”
“Thank you, Mr. Tucker. I will consider your suggestion.”
Archer met them at the airlock. “Report.”
Trip stood half a step behind T’Pol to her right. From Archer’s vantage they appeared to be joined at the hip. Trip placed his left hand on the small of T’Pol’s back as a gesture of support. Her spine straightened under his hand then he felt a slight pressure as she leaned into him. He hoped that she took some comfort from his support.
T’Pol delivered a synopsis of the situation. Hope shone in Archer’s eyes when she finished.
“The doctor sent to me a copy of his instructions to you,” the Captain looked Trip in the eye. “He recommends that you stay in sick bay.”
Before Trip could open his mouth to protest, T’Pol spoke. “If I keep Commander Tucker company tonight, in my quarters, would that satisfy you and the doctor?”
Archer cocked his head, “Are you sure you are strong enough? According to Phlox you are not fully recovered from the effects of the Trellium.”
“I have sufficient strength to spend one night in the company of our somewhat subdued Chief Engineer.” Her remark, which was as close as T’Pol came to making a joke, brought a smile to the lips of the Captain.
“I don’t want to see either of you until breakfast in the Captain’s mess tomorrow morning.” He turned on his heel and headed down the corridor. “And that’s an order.”
Two hours later the pair had sorted out the details of their vigil. A steward had delivered dinner and a cold plate for a late night snack. Trip had wrestled his bedroll out of a footlocker, which he brought with a change of clothes, a bowl of his private stock of peaches and a bottle of wine to T’Pol’s quarters.
He knelt between her legs as she sat on the bench where she had administered neuropressure treatments to him for more than a month. The candles were lit. The cushions on which they kneeled for some of the postures were in position. A blanket lay folded at the other end of the bench.
“I’ve locked the door using a code that even Malcolm can’t override.”
His hands rested on her pyjama clad thighs. She held her hands in her lap, with her head bent so that they could not make eye contact. He put a finger under her chin and lifted up her head.
“Come on.” He flashed his most winning smile, the one that let him slip out of trouble slip like a fried egg out of a Teflon frying pan.
A steady stream of tears fell from her eyes. Her lips trembled. She dropped her head to hide her shame.
“No, Sub-commander,” He brought her head up again. “You don’t have to hide your tears from me.” He stood. He picked up the blanket and put it around her shoulders. “To keep you warm until the neuropressure starts to work.”
“I’ll start with your feet.” Sitting cross-legged on the floor, he lifted her right foot so that the Achilles tendon rested on his calf. He pressed gently against the ball of the foot with his thumbs so that her toes pointed toward the deck above, which caused her to lean back on her hands that now rested palm down on the bench behind her.
As his thumb and forefinger began to work in concert, she felt weeks of tension begin to melt away. She moaned with pleasure, sending blood to his groin, and another cascade of tears down her face.
“Tell me what the Trellium did to you, T’Pol.” He asked as took the left foot in his hand. The right one rested against his inner left thigh, absently stroking him with a delicate touch that sent a shiver up his spine. This moment was considerably more intimate then any in his dream.
“It shattered my control. I have no protection from the emotions that the crew exudes. Staying calm exhausts me.” Another cascade of tears falls. “Confiding in you, crying before you is bittersweet.”
Her confession took the edge of his arousal. He had an old-fashioned sense of honour which would not allow him to take advantage of her. He placed one foot in each of his hands. The heels resting in his palms, giving him access to the Achilles tendons, which he began to massage. Her toes curled in response to his touch.
“How is it bittersweet, T’Pol?”
“I feel relief and regret.” She threw her head back and released a long moan. “Thank you, Mr. Tucker, but it is you who need my attention.” She pulled her feet from his hands and stood. “Please lie down.”
Trip stood and boldly folded her into his arms. “T’Pol, your job is to keep me awake, not put me to sleep. Not tonight. Attending to your needs is exactly what I the doctor ordered.”
At first she held herself stiffly, but his words melted her so that she became pliable in his arms. He held her more tightly, resting his chin on the top of her head.
“Let’s make a pact, T’Pol,” he said to the top of her head, “Tonight, here, together, we do not to hide behind our uniforms and our cultures. We can pretend we are the only two beings in the universe and that our survival depends on understanding each other as well as we understand ourselves.”
She tipped back her head to watch his face, “What of tomorrow?”
“Tomorrow, we could die.” He sighed, “In some ways we are half dead already. Lizzie’s death and this mission have stolen my zest for livin’. Look what it’s done to you? You’re in hell here, T’Pol.”
Impulsively, he lifted her into his arms and carried her across the cabin to her bunk. He sat down, leaning against the back bulkhead, with her still in his arms. He raised a knee so that one foot rested on the bunk. His arm extended across so that his hand rested on his knee, providing a place to rest her head. Instead she turned inward to place her cheek against his chest. So he curled his arm about her, letting his hand settle on her waist.
“I don’t have to tell you what I’m feeling right now?” He could not keep the embarrassment out of his voice. “You can feel what touching you has done to my body. That’s as intimate a reaction as a man can have to a woman, so I won’t apologize. I just want ya to know that you are safe with me, despite my baser instincts.”
She wrapped her arms around him, snuggling in tighter, increasing the pressure on his groin. He groaned so she pulled away. He let her.
“Mr. Tucker,” she began for his ears only, “I have trusted my emotional and physical safety to you on numerous occasions. You have never let me down. You have exasperated me. You have challenged me. You have infuriated, irritated, and aroused me, but you have never betrayed my trust.”
He fixated on one word of her description, “Aroused you? What kind of aroused?”
She swatted him as she had seen Hoshi do when being teased in a social setting, then answered his question. “You have aroused my anger, my curiosity, my respect, my attention, and my desire. Sometimes all at once, arousing confusion.”
“You feel all that inside, while remaining calm and collected outside?” He was impressed and curious.
“Knowing you has tested the limits of my control.”
“How have you survived since the Trellium affected you?”
She sighed, “I have applied myself to the Captain’s need for information and analysis. You may have noticed that I work more often in my quarters than on the bridge. The doctor has provided sedatives when I could no longer contain my despair.”
Trip pulled her to him once again. Her ear rested over his heart. The sound of it beating was as comforting as his silence.
“T’Pol?” he whispered her name. “T’Pol?”
“I am awake, Commander.” She sat up in fright. “Are you falling asleep?”
“No, but I need to ask you a question.” He held her face between his hands. “Promise me that you will answer it.”
He released her. “Until Phlox makes that serum what do you need from me to help you get through this?”
“I need somewhere to put my feelings.”
“Give them to me, T’Pol.”
End of Part One
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Seven people have made comments
This series just gets better and better with each story. Can't wait to see what you have in store next!
*scrolls back up to read it again*
Oh wow, loved this! And that last line from Trip at the end was wonderful . Can't wait for you to continue, this is superb. Thanks, Ali D :~)
Woohooo! Everything was a dream and here comes reality?!?! I really could need some happy bouncy-smilies here. Please continue soooooooooooooon!
Wow... it just gets better and better.... can'r wait for part2!
I'm smiling like a giddy fool. I can't wait for Part Two. Thank you so much!
Huh. I can't say that I liked this piece as much as many of your others. Trip seems... off. Maybe his understanding of T'Pol is more than I would have expected it to be, but his character just feels a little off in this piece. It's a damn good story nonetheless, though.
I can't come up with anything better, so I'll just agree with others here - WOW! Who else but Trip can help out a messed up T'pol. Can't wait for part 2.