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Author - Amok2 | Genre - Angst | Genre - Episode Addition | Genre - Romance | Main Story | O | Rating - PG
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SPOILERS: Major spoilers. Turn back now if you don’t want to know what happens in Seasons 3 and 4 through "Affliction."
NOTES: These missing scenes might explain some of the tension we saw between TnT prior to and after T’Pol and Super Archer’s Excellent Adventure in the Desert.
(Sickbay during "The Aenar")
Out of the corner of her eye, T’Pol saw Trip expel a breath and lean against the telepresence chair they were constructing.
Why is he so stubborn? He shouldn’t be working so soon after his ordeal on the drone.
She waited for the other two crewmen who were working in Sickbay to leave before she moved across the room to stand within an inch of Trip. She told him he should rest, using Phlox as a thinly veiled excuse for bringing up his health. She couldn’t let him know she was worried about him and quickly enough, the conversation moved into familiar banter.
“You might be the best at crunching numbers, but when it comes to actually sticking things together, you’re a little out of your league,” Trip told her, as he pulled out a component she’d just installed.
He can be so annoying. But he is a skilled engineer and as aggravating as it is, he knows what he’s doing.
Trip soon steered the conversation toward his recent brush with death. It bugged him, how his thoughts were always of her. And he still had no idea if those feelings were reciprocated. He should, but he didn’t. He barely knew the way a human woman thought, much less a Vulcan. And he’d hardly had enough time with the other alien women who’d interested him to really get to know them. But he’d had time with T’Pol and she was still an enigma.
“I’m not talking close scrapes, when you’re in a bad situation and you know this is it, there’s no way out and you have time to think about it,” he said, but in T’Pol’s head she heard the continuation of his thoughts – in stereo – so loud it caused her head to jerk toward his.
You’re all I think about.
Her eyes flicked briefly to his. His feelings toward her had not abated, even though he knew she was finding her way anew as a Vulcan. She couldn’t tell him that he had been in her thoughts – but not at those times, not when the fate of the ship rested on her shoulders.
“In the expanse, when we were attempting to destroy Sphere 41, I didn’t believe we’d survive,” T’Pol said.
He thought, please let it be me you were thinking about, like I was thinking about you. Her answer deflated him immediately.
“Whether or not to transfer auxiliary power to the deflector array. Why do you ask?”
“Just curious,” Trip said, and stayed quiet for the rest of the time they worked together on the telepresence chair.
It was eating away at Trip, thinking about her. It was distracting him from work. Love had a way of driving you crazy. Especially when it seemed he was the only one who felt something.
They were a thing. Not a happy thing, but a thing, nonetheless.
He thought back to the last time he’d expressed his concern for her well-being.
It was after Koss had appeared and brought the IDIC to Enterprise and prompted T’Pol and the Captain to go to Vulcan, where they eventually recovered the Kir’Shara, doing no less than revolutionizing an entire culture.
Just another day in the life of Enterprise, Trip thought.
“No one knows, but I believe she knows I will search for her. I will talk to the Captain and formulate a plan for finding her,” she said.
“Are you sure that’s such a good idea? How can you trust any information that comes from Koss? The reason for marrying him is out the porthole,” Trip said. “You only did it to help your mom, and now she’s been framed as a fugitive.”
“It would seem that you are correct on all those counts, Commander, but it still doesn’t change the fact that my mother is in danger and that I need to make sure she is brought to safety,” said T’Pol, the strain of her emotions starting to show.
First she had to endure an unpleasant interaction with Koss and now another one with an angry engineer who wouldn’t listen to reason. She wondered what happened to the Trip she had come to rely on. She wanted him back and not this – what was the name in the science-fiction movie they’d seen ages ago – oh yes, Pod Person. That’s what it felt like to be with this man sometimes. Would she ever get used to human mood swings?
The two stood in an awkward stalemate until Trip broke the silence.
“Look, I know you have to do what you have to do to make sure your mom is all right, but I don’t have to like it,” he said. “I just don’t like to see you putting yourself in harm’s way.”
He shuffled his feet and refused to meet her eyes, but responded when he heard her voice.
“I thank you for your concern, but you know as well as I do that life-threatening situations are part of the risk we accept as Starfleet officers,” T’Pol said. “Often, if our tour of duty on Enterprise is any indication.”
“I know you can take care of yourself,” Trip snapped at her. “But that doesn’t mean I don’t worry about you all the same, especially if Koss is the one giving you the information.”
T’Pol moved to place one hand on his arm and lowered her voice to a whisper. “I believe this is one of those times you mentioned.”
Trip gave her his best Huh? face.
“You mentioned that despite the irrational things you may say to me from time to time, to remember you care for me,” she said.
“I believe the word I used was stupid,” he said. “Don’t mind the stupid things I say, because underneath all the bluster, it means you still matter more to me than anything else in my life right now.”
The two looked at each other for a long, long time. Trip’s anger diffused, but his concern for her still scratched at his mind and did not allow him any peace. T’Pol tried to calm her own emotions, nearly brought to a tempest again by the man in front of her. Her mother was right; the struggle with her emotions had begun long before Trellium-D, Trip and the visit to the Expanse.
“Well, I’ll leave you to what you have to do, then,” Trip said, turning to exit T’Pol’s quarters. “Just be careful down there, ok?”
T’Pol nodded as she watched him leave.
Days later, when the Captain and T’Pol transported back to Enterprise after restoring the Kir’Shara and toppling the High Command, Trip left the bridge in Malcolm’s hands and headed toward Sickbay. The Captain had told him that T’Pol had been injured in their fight with the Vulcan commandos and that a visit with Phlox was the first order of business for her back on board the ship.
Trip’s heart raced as he stalked toward Sickbay briskly. Why had he been so crazy with her before she left the ship for Vulcan? He knew she had been trying to catch his eyes for some reassurance, but he in his pride had refused to meet her eyes. He was still angry. Not even necessarily at her as at the situation.
When the doors to Sickbay whooshed open, Trip braced himself for the worst. But as he quickly scanned the room, he didn’t see her. He moved toward Phlox, who turned around and smiled in his greeting.
“Commander! Is anything the matter?”
“Nothing’s wrong with me, Doc. I was just looking for –,” Trip said.
“Yeah,” Trip answered. “How is she?”
“A little worse for the wear, with a laceration on her right thigh and some bruising on her left cheek, but otherwise, she will be fit for duty by tomorrow,” Phlox said. “She just needs some rest.”
“Oh, ok, well that’s great then,” Trip said. He turned to leave.
“That doesn’t mean she might not appreciate a friendly face,” Phlox said, smiling.
“Thanks, Doc,” Trip said.
For perhaps the fifth time in an hour, T’Pol looked up from the padd from which she had been reading the Kir’Shara.
She was in her quarters. She had turned in after the Andorians had left Enterprise, still feeling tired from the telepresence tests. But perhaps that weariness came from the situation with Trip.
Thoughts of him were proving to be distracting to her, even as she had gently reprimanded Trip for doing the same. In retrospect, she should not have told him his work was suffering because of his protective feelings toward her. Maybe then he would not have gone to the Captain, convinced he had made a mistake with the Aenar.
Could Trip not see her concern? How she had in fact, talked to Phlox about him, worried about him returning to duty so soon after his exposure to radiation on the drone? And then again, stopping him in the hall? Did he not realize she needed to hold onto her professionalism despite her feelings for him?
She rose from her seat and started pacing her room, leaving the padd on her desk. And now he had left, discarding her and everything they’d experienced with flippancy even she found astounding.
How could he throw it all away, just like that?
And why hadn’t she told him how she felt about him? Was it pride? Was it because she was still unsure about her feelings about him?
The questions were bringing chaos to her ordered mind. She decided to meditate to try to clear her head.
What the hell was that?
Trip shook his head, trying to clear it from the unsettling daydream he’d just experienced. There he was, going over the specs in Columbia’s engineering room, when all of a sudden he was in a foggy white room with none other than T’Pol, who was light years away on Enterprise.
And what was more disturbing is that she seemed as surprised as he was in finding him there, in her head.
He’d heard of lucid dreams, but this was something else. It was like they were there, having a conversation – or what passed for one nowadays between them – and then they weren’t. What was she telling him, that this was where she went in her head when she meditated? And her reaction, though something Trip could imagine coming from her, was just so her. As if it had really come from her.
He hoped it was a one shot deal, because contrary to what he told her when he left Enterprise, she was the reason he’d ultimately asked for a transfer he’d previously rejected twice before.
It would really defeat his purpose if she kept showing up like this.
This is really damned typical of her, to keep showing up when I’m doing my best to get away from her.
Back on Enterprise, T’Pol was also experiencing what could mildly be called an unsettling feeling as well.
What was the Commander doing in her head?
One minute she was sitting in her accustomed place, clearing her head, regaining her center and sense of peace when who should unexpectedly show up but that irascible man in blue, the man who knew instinctively how to annoy her and arouse her in the same stroke and had succeeded in doing it in this realm as in the physical.
But this was no dream, she realized with a clarity that shocked her.
We are bonded. There is no other explanation. Two people cannot have the same dream at the same time. Well, on Enterprise, anything is possible. But no, not this time. We were both interacting and lucid. How did this happen? I know how this happened. But how will I tell Trip? I must tell Trip.
T’Pol approached her next meditation session with some apprehension, but soon she relaxed and focused on her breathing and the flame in front of her. As she closed her eyes, she felt that familiar sense of ease that accompanied this daily ritual.
She was back in the white space. As she opened her eyes, she found blue eyes looking right back at her.
“Hello,” she said.
“Hey,” said Trip, also sitting cross-legged, his knees almost touching hers. “Why do I get the feeling these aren’t ordinary daydreams? One minute, I’m in my quarters on Columbia about to hit the sack and the next thing I know, I’m here.”
Shields up. “Do you not want to be here?” she asked.
Trip sighed. “It doesn’t seem like I have much of a choice. I can’t get you out of my head and apparently, you can’t get me out of your head, either.”
“I thought your world didn’t revolve around me,” T’Pol said, casting a defiant look toward Trip.
“I’m sorry I said that. I was just so sick of getting the brush off from you, I didn’t want to put myself out there anymore, just to get knocked down again,” he said.
“I didn’t know I’d hurt you,” choked T’Pol, whose defiance was completely deflated by Trip’s honesty. She looked as though she was about to cry.
“Hey, wait, don’t,” said Trip, who couldn’t bear the idea that his stoic might cry, however much he wanted more emotion from her. He leaned into her and put one hand on her shoulder and leaned in close. “I guess you couldn’t have known the effect you’d have on a non-Vulcan guy. We humans don’t read Vulcan women too well. You were just trying to do your job.”
“I would not have been so brusque had I known better,” said T’Pol, who could no longer meet Trip’s eyes. In this place, not only could she talk to Trip in a way that seemed all but impossible in the real world, but she could also feel what he felt when she proceeded with what he perceived as pure professionalism in their interactions. And what she felt was grief – pure, staggering and sincere. All because of her. Her shoulders sagged.
In an instant, the grief Trip had projected to T’Pol came back to him ten-fold as he absorbed her feelings of remorse and just as strongly, how much she had missed him, even when he was still on Enterprise.
“Why didn’t you ever tell me how you felt about me? I thought you’d left behind all those feelings when you rediscovered your heritage,” Trip said.
“I thought you said you understood,” she said. “I thought you realized I needed time. But I had not envisioned an end between us. Not until you declared it.”
“So that’s why you’ve been giving me the cold shoulder,” Trip said.
T’Pol nodded. “On Vulcan, Shon-ha’lock – Love – is known as the most dangerous emotion of all. I understand now that it produces many other emotions – jealousy, rage, shame and grief. I have to learn to control it or it will consume me.”
“T’Pol, you have to learn that you can’t control every aspect of well, anything, especially relationships. Romance has as much to do with differences as it does with things you have in common. It’s as much about the unexpected as what’s familiar.”
She looked at him for a moment. “That does seem to apply to us.”
He had to grip both her shoulders to steady himself against the torrent of emotions she projected toward him. He closed his eyes until he felt soft hands on his face. He opened his eyes and saw T’Pol looking back at him, her eyes filled with understanding and recognition of their mutual misunderstanding.
“I’ve missed you,” T’Pol said, not a little bit breathless.
Trip smiled and pulled her close and they both sighed as their lips touched and deepened into a kiss. T’Pol uncrossed her legs and moved quickly into Trip’s lap, encircling him with her legs. The two of them made up for lost time as much as they could before –
BEEP! “T’Pol, report to the Bridge. We have a fix on the Klingons and Phlox. Archer out.”
And just like that, they were back. T’Pol, in her quarters, blinking rapidly and trying to calm her heart rate before she answered the Captain’s hail and Trip, in his bunk on the Columbia cursing up a blue streak and walking toward the shower in his quarters.
T’Pol could swear she could hear Trip’s cursing even though he’d been stricken from her mind by the abrupt interruption.
The slightest smile twitched at her lips. She was looking forward to her next meditation session.
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Eight hardy souls have made comments
That's Archer... always interrupting! I hope you have a sequel for this because I need to see more! This story was really great, Amok2! But it'll be even better with more!
I hope im dreaming tonight. Nice story.Thanks
Was Trip by any chance heading for a COLD shower? heehee
Perfect blending of their emotions. Your words made them live! Thoroughly enjoyed.
Absolutely brilliant! I bet Trip is now wondering how in hell he can find a way off Columbia and back onto Enterprise. Yes, a sequel, please! Ali D :~)
I wouldn't mind another meditation session either, you know. Please continue, that was great! :)
I agree with Windrider on wanting another meditation session. (Hint! Hint!) That was very enjoyable story to read. Great job! Thank you for writing this story.
Great short story, Amok2. I'd love to read another meditation scene.