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Road to Recovery

Author - Angel | Genre - Angst | Main Story | R | Rating - G | T
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Road to Recovery

By: Angela Koerkel

Rated: G

Genre: Angsty with a touch of hope on the side.
Disclaimers: I don’t own Star Trek or Enterprise in any way, shape, or form (other than DVD’s and videos, not to mention books, comics, and various collector’s items, hey wait a minute, maybe I do own ST!). Just teasing Mr. Paramount!
Archive: If Manny Coto is reading this, he has my permission to use it (although I’d like to get a phone call or something just so I can brag!). Everybody else, please ask first!
Synopsis: Trip and T’Pol, and that’s all I’m gonna say.
Spoilers: “Home”

Notes: This is the long-awaited, much-anticipated sequel to Aftermath; you’ll want to have read that one first. I was absolutely blown away by the positive feedback I received on that one. Thanks so much for taking the time to read and respond, it means a lot.


The effervescent Dr. Phlox emerged from his inner office upon hearing the Sickbay doors open. His smile was quickly replaced by a slight downturn of the lips when he spotted his visitor, for she did not frequently come to him for help without serious reason.

T’Pol had delayed seeking the doctor’s assistance for as long as possible, but Enterprise would be leaving space dock soon and she would not be fit for duty if she did not find respite from this eternal headache. She approached the Denobulan physician with reservation as she took in the sights and smells of his lab. The medicinally clean odor with a background scent of animal life was familiar and the consistency of it reassured her.

“What service can I be today, Commander?” the doctor inquired.

Her head tilted slightly in his general direction as she unclasped her hands from behind her back. “I have been experiencing a considerable amount of cranial discomfort.” She stood still near a bio-bed as the doctor encircled her head with a small scanning device.

“Uh huh,” he muttered as he continued the scan. “Tell me how long you’ve had this headache,” he asked as he put away the medical scanner and leaned his hip against the bed.

“Is duration a factor in the treatment?” she asked trying hard not to let her impatience show.

“Perhaps,” he responded.

She bowed her head as she crossed her arms in front of her chest. “In that case, it has bothered me since I was on Vulcan.”

Phlox’s posture straightened up immediately as he became more serious. “That’s been over two weeks, T’Pol! You should never let a medical problem go on that long without getting treatment, especially considering your past.”

His almost paternal concern for her health was touching and she was tempted to smile at him. “I do not believe this has any relation to either my Pa’nar Syndrome or my Trellium addiction. It is simply what it is, a headache.”

The doctor shook his head almost violently, wisps of curly brown hair flying in all directions as his frown deepened. “First of all, that is my determination to make, thank you very much. Secondly, no headache is simple, particularly one that lasts two weeks!”

He moved stiffly toward a cabinet and removed a vial of reddish fluid, which he then drew up into a hypospray. As he returned to T’Pol’s side, he continued the questions. “Now, tell me, have you been sleeping? Meditating? Are there any other problems I should know about before I medicate you?”

Her eyes darted quickly to the floor as she answered. “I have been having trouble sleeping and meditating, but I am certain that it is a temporary condition no doubt brought on by the conclusion of the Xindi mission and the time travel.”

Again he shook his head. “Commander, that is quite probably the most illogical conclusion I’ve ever heard.”

She raised her gaze swiftly, as if to counter this latest point, but before she uttered a sound, the hypospray hissed against her neck. At the same moment, the doors to Sickbay opened to admit Commander Tucker. Their eyes met and held for untold seconds before he turned away.

“Sorry, doc, didn’t know ya’ were busy. I’ll come back later.”

As he turned to go however, the doctor called him back. “It’s quite all right, Commander Tucker. We’ve just finished here; isn’t that right, Commander?” he addressed T’Pol. At her nod, he continued, “Now, remember, meditation and sleep. Let me know if the problem persists past another twelve hours. Is that clear?”

Again she nodded as she made her way toward the exit, but as she passed Trip he reached out and stopped her with the barest of touches to her arm. “Are ya’ okay?” he asked tenderly, worry clearly written on his features.

It was the first time he’d touched her since before her wedding ceremony and the sudden jolt it sent through her nerves nearly caused her to gasp. She maintained the outward semblance of control, however. “I’m fine, Commander. Just a headache,” she whispered. “Thank you for your concern,” she added.

“Always,” he answered back as he lowered his hand and allowed her to continue on her way while he turned to watch her go.

None of this exchange was lost on the doctor, but he’d stayed quietly aside during it, pondering the meaning behind those brief glances and soft words. Once T’Pol had left, Phlox spoke up. “Well, now, Commander Tucker, what can I do for you?”

“Oh,” Trip turned to face the doctor once more as he held up his arm. “I got a little plasma burn, thought maybe you could fix it up like last time.”


“Let’s do a ship wide systems check,” Archer stated to the bridge crew the following morning as he emerged from his ready room. “I want to make sure everything is at top efficiency before we leave dock tomorrow.”

He turned to address T’Pol specifically and realized that she had not even heard his order; her eyes glazed slightly as she sat staring at a blank sensor screen. The Captain walked to her station before questioning her. “Commander?” he inquired, his tone somewhere between ticked-off-captain and concerned-friend.

Visibly shaken by the seemingly sudden presence of her commanding officer at her side, the Vulcan woman attempted to downplay the indiscretion. “My apologies, sir. I entered into a pre-meditative state during the brief lull in activity.” At his doubtful look, she continued the prevarication. “It is a form of Vulcan relaxation that is useful when full meditation can not be achieved for whatever reason, in this case I am on duty and therefore unable to leave my post.”

Archer nodded as if in understanding before scolding quietly, “That includes mentally as well, Commander.”

Her back straightened and she stared ahead at some unknown point. “Aye, sir.”

As the Captain turned his attention back to the crew in general, he made his way to his chair. At the Engineering console near the rear of the bridge, Tucker had witnessed the muted conversation between his two friends. Now, his eyes met hers in a fleeting glance as she resumed her duties.

Several hours later, following the change in shift, Trip, Malcolm, Hoshi, and T’Pol entered the turbolift simultaneously to exit the bridge. The silence was comfortable during the first part of the journey. Within seconds though, Malcolm and Hoshi got off the lift, leaving a tension filled void.

Trip cleared his throat as he tried to phrase what he wanted to know. “So, that bit on the bridge about bein’ in a pre-meditative state? Where’d ya’ pull that out of?”

“I do not understand,” she answered, her hands clasped so tightly together that it was cutting off the circulation to her fingers. She faced forward, refusing to turn toward him.

Exasperated now, the Engineer reached out and pushed the hold button on the lift. He moved to stand directly in her line of sight. She could see the worry framing his eyes. “Come on, T’Pol. I know ya’ better ‘an that. Ya’ would never use such a technique while ya’ were on duty. It’s not in yer nature to be unfocused.”

She dropped her gaze to stare at his boots. A soft green tinge came over her features quickly, only to wash away just as fast. He caught his breath at what a beautiful sight a blushing T’Pol was before he managed to push the thought away and lock it in a mental box of precious memories.

She chided herself for allowing him to see her weaknesses and for the fact that he knew her so well. Even as she admonished the inappropriate intimacy between them, she added to it. “I have not been meditating well lately. My momentary…lapse of attention on the bridge is testament to that fact. If you wish to file a report with the Captain, I will understand.”

“Oh God, no, T’Pol. I didn’t intend to let the Cap’n know about it, I was just worried ‘bout ya’ ‘s all.” He reached out and nearly stroked her cheek. She tilted her head into his hand as her eyes closed.

At the point where she expected they would make contact, she found only air. He had withdrawn physically from her space. “I’m sorry,” he groaned quietly around the lump forming deep within his throat.

“You have no need to be sorry, Commander.” She opened her eyes and stepped back a pace within the small confines of the turbolift. “I’m certain my ability to meditate will return soon.”

They both knew that he hadn’t been talking about her meditation at that moment, but he nodded as he saw the pleading look in her deep brown eyes. She was begging him to leave it alone, and he could do nothing else but comply. Moving off to the side, he released the lift so that it resumed its journey.


The elder Vulcan’s visage appeared serene on the monitor screen and T’Pol envied that control, something she would probably never have again. “As I’ve said, Mother, I have not been able to meditate sufficiently as of late. My concentration has been precarious at best. Do you have any suggestions?”

Taking a long look at her daughter’s tender face, T’Les relished in the gentle tug that pulled at her heart for a moment. “It has been my experience that a common cause for such disturbances is stress. It is a paradox, daughter. One of the reasons for meditation is to alleviate stress. However, if you are unable to achieve the appropriate trance, the stress is not relieved, therefore making it harder to meditate the next time you attempt it.”

“It becomes a circle,” T’Pol stated almost absently.

“Exactly,” her Mother nodded.

“So the question becomes, how do I break the circle?”

T’Les nearly frowned as she contemplated an answer. Finally, she came to a decision within herself. “Have you considered the use of a meditation partner?” It was asked softly.

The look of disbelief that crossed T’Pol’s face was genuine and unmasked. “As you well know, I am the only Vulcan on board Enterprise. Since we will be leaving space dock tomorrow, I do not have time to return home to seek assistance.”

“Perhaps a human colleague would be willing to help?”

“Mother, if you are suggesting whom I believe you are, the answer would be no. That would an inappropriate request to make of him.” She hung her head slightly and controlled her breathing with great effort.

Allowing a small sigh to escape, T’Les stated, “Then I am without suggestion, daughter.”

The two formidable women stared at each other across the light-years and understanding flowed between them. “Thank you for your time, Mother. I appreciate the effort.”

“It was no effort, you are my daughter.” Again, a look of knowing passed along the subspace signal to be acknowledged by both of them. “Live long and prosper, T’Pol.”

“Peace and long life, Mother.”


Commander Tucker entered the Mess Hall near 0330 hours. “I thought I’d find ya’ here,” he said as he walked slowly to the only occupied table.

“Commander,” T’Pol answered without looking up. She was staring into the bottom of her teacup, held tightly in her trembling hands.

Trip pulled out a chair and sat down. Attempting to lighten the atmosphere a bit, he asked, “So, I didn’t know ya’ could read leaves.” He forced a grin.

T’Pol raised her eyes. “How would one ‘read’ leaves?”

He shook his head and released a small laugh. “It’s an old Earth thing, fortune tellin’ by readin’ tea leaves. A lotta nonsense, really, but it can be fun.”

“Indeed,” she replied as one perfectly sculpted eyebrow rose. “I shall have to search the Earth database for information on this practice; it sounds illogically fascinating.” A heavy pause settled over the table finally to be broken by her quivering voice. “I wonder. If one were able to rely on such methods, what would be seen in my cup?” She placed the mug down in the center of the table and turned toward the starscape.

Trip ran a tired hand through his hair as he pondered the sad sight before him. At last, he spoke up. “Are ya’ still havin’ trouble meditatin’?” He knew from her lack of response that the answer was ‘yes’. He shook his head as he accepted what needed to be done.

“What if I helped ya’? Ya’ know, tried to meditate with ya’? Like a partner?” He heard the fear in his own voice and knew that she must have heard it as well, but he saw no alternative. It wasn’t that he was afraid of her; no, he was afraid of himself, of what might happen under such a circumstance. In fact, he was terrified.

Her head drew up sharply at his suggestion. She met his gaze with one of her own, both intently gauging one another. “Why do you offer this?” Her heart beat deep within her at an almost unbearable pace. She had missed him so much, longed for his companionship and quiet acceptance till she ached, but she could not accept the offer quickly, perhaps not at all.

Now his eyes shifted downward. When he brought them up again, her steely gaze was still focused on him. “I just thought it might help.” He took a deep breath and prepared to open himself up again, after all what’s a little more blood from an oozing wound? “Listen, T’Pol, I know what I said about needin’ time, and I meant it, but yer still my friend, the best one I got, and it’s killin’ me to see ya’ sufferin’ like this. If there’s somethin’ I can do to help, please let me.”

The sincerity of his plea nearly made her heart burst. “Are you sure?” she asked with more than a little trepidation.

He nodded. “Yeah, I am.” He looked shy, his eyes were downcast and a slight flush filled his cheeks.

“Very well then,” she paused and seemed to consider one last thing. “You did not speak with my Mother, did you?”

His famous, impish grin returned as he rolled his tongue in his mouth. When he spoke, it was a teasing tone that greeted her pointed ears. “Now, what would make ya’ think that? Why would yer Mother call me up in the middle of the night to tell me that ya’ couldn’t sleep or meditate and that the best help for ya’ would be a partner?”

One eyebrow seemed to disappear behind deep brown bangs. “Indeed, why would she?”



Yes there is a sequel in Bumps in the Road

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A whole mess of folks have made comments

YAY! This was great. T'Mom secretly contacting Trip.. Oh, I knew she liked him! :D Can't wait for the next part. Thanks for updating so quickly. People around here get kind of antsy. LOL.

That was fantastic. TT know that their relationship cannot be what it used to be but you've given them a new one that still benefits them. When Koss dies, they can grow from there.

I liked that T'Pol's mom suggested that Trip be her meditating partner. She's telling T'Pol that she approves of him.

That was fantastic. TT know that their relationship cannot be what it used to be but you've given them a new one that still benefits them. When Koss dies, they can grow from there.

I liked that T'Pol's mom suggested that Trip be her meditating partner. She's telling T'Pol that she approves of him.

Well done, so amusing, T'Les is great, approves to Trip.. just happy to read this, go on..!

Oh the angst. Koss must die. Soon. Looking forward to the sequel!

This was great! I loved that T'Les contacted Trip. Can't wait for the next part!

Hee hee... gotta love T'Les! That sneaky woman!

That was great! I especially like the part about T'Les contacting Trip. Please, Keep it coming! Can't wait for the next part!

Dear Trip, trust him to come to T'Pol's aid despite everything that has happened. Those two were just born to be joined at the hip! Ali D :~)

I do beleive koss is supposed to die otherwise lorien will never be born...

This was wonderful!!

Love T'pol, love T'Mom and LOVE T'Trip!!! :)

Way to go T'Les!!!
She certainly made up her mind about the best choice possible for son-in-law...
Can't wait how TT resolve this because T'Pol's still married to that walking corpse...

You broke my heart with 'Aftermath,' and your mending it back together with 'Road to recovery'. Wonderfully done! I just love T'Mom, bringing our two back together. Now, if we could just get rid of that Koss...

Wonderful story -- both parts! I love the idea of T'Les contacting Trip. Now . . . how are you going to get rid of Koss?

oh very good *chuckle* the ending divine!
the angst so delicious!

continue oh yes!

Very touching. I loved the angsty tension between them. . .I just hope feelings like this don't get lost in the action of this season on the show itself. We need more T/T!

That was hilarious especially the bit about T'Pol's mother

That was just great, you portray their speech, actions and thoughts so wonderfully with great insight. But it'll be 15 hours now till I get back from work and can continue!!!!..........