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In the Dark
Author - Coconut1 | Genre - Angst | Genre - Romance | I | Main Story | Rating - PG-13
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IN THE DARK
Rating: PG13 (for language)
First came an awareness of being. He awoke into consciousness and tried to focus. Suddenly, intense memories flooded his mind. He remembered hearing a soft female voice. He wasn’t able to make out what she was saying or who she was but the sensation of warmth was overwhelming. He remembered gentle fingers stroking his temple, his cheek, his lips... ‘T’Pol?... Yah right, you wish’ he thought. He dismissed the dreams quickly. He must have been delusional while he was under because, nice as they were, there was no way these memories were real.
In the past, he had always made excuses to the women he was involved with and even to himself about why it wouldn’t work out. T’Pol was no exception. It was a defense mechanism against rejection. But when he heard that Koss had released T’Pol from their marriage, he had actually allowed himself to hope. He had never taken a chance like this before.
After she’d returned from Vulcan though, she had made it clear that she was definitely not interested. He was crushed. ‘I finally find the courage to put myself forward and what happens? I get stepped on.’ he thought. He started avoiding her after that because being near her was just too painful. And unlike the last time, she didn’t confront him about his aloofness. That in itself added to the pain. He tried to shake himself off this current train of thought.
Finally feeling more coherent, he tried to open his eyes but became unnerved when he couldn’t. It seemed he was stuck in this dark place. A memory from childhood floated into his mind. He was four years old and terrified that a monster was under his bed waiting for his parents to turn out the light. Then it could come out and get him. And when they finally did switch the light off, he would lay there in the dark afraid that the monster would jump on him at any second. As a child, he never thought about what the monster would do to him after that initial pounce. His young mind never took it that far. His fears lay simply in the fact that the monster was there under his bed and it was waiting.
That same childhood fear hit Trip now but with a much darker turn. After all the hostile species they’d encountered; after the countless fire fights, gruesome battles, and senseless deaths; after losing Lizzie; he knew exactly what the monsters were capable of. Suddenly he felt completely defenseless and he began to panic. He tried to move his arms and legs but they wouldn’t respond. It was as if his body wasn’t even there. ‘Breath, just breath’ he told himself.
Suddenly for the first time, he became aware of the sounds outside himself. Two voices, both male, stood out from the ambient noise in the room. As he focused harder on them, he realized their tones were familiar. He knew these voices. He tried to clear his mind. The first, which spoke more frequently, was soft spoken with a gently clipped lilt. The second was a deeper, warm baritone. As he slowly made the connection, a wave of relief washed over him. Phlox and Jon.
He had to let them know he was awake. Mustering all of his strength, he drew in a deep breath. The excruciating burn he felt in his lungs was too much. He let out a low groan and let his head roll to the side. In a moment, one set of hands was on his right arm and shoulder while the other was systematically checking his eyes, his wrists, and other vitals. Then finally came the relieving prick and hiss of a hypospray in his neck. The medicine acted quickly dissipating the soreness that wracked his chest.
“Trip? Trip, are you there?” came the Captain’s voice. A strong hand took his and squeezed. All he could do was nod slightly.
“It is unlikely he will be able to speak at the moment Captain. He hasn’t used his vocal chords for some time.” responded Phlox.
Trip swallowed with some difficulty. He frowned at the taste in his mouth. It felt like he’d been sucking on a dust bunny for a week.
“I think I’ll fetch some water ..hm.” Phlox added before Trip felt him move away.
“Captain, now that Commander Tucker has regained consciousness, perhaps it would be wise for me to return to the bridge.” T’Pol’s voice came from no where. He hadn’t realized she was even in the room. Instinctively, he wanted to reach for her, call to her, but the slightest movement was extremely difficult for him. That was probably a saving grace. He doubted very much she would ever want him to touch or hold her again. The thought cut deeply. ‘Stop it’ he scolded himself. ‘You have to stop doing this to yourself.’
Trip heard Archer and T’Pol move a little ways off where they renewed their conversation. He had to get his eyes open and see her. As he struggled to open his eyes, the brightness was blinding but he quickly adjusted to the light and the room came into view.
“Here you go. Don’t drink too fast.” Phlox chided as he hooked a tube precariously at the corner of Trip’s mouth. Trip began to drink slowly and the cool liquid felt amazing. His entire body reacted to its soothing course through his body. He was snapped back to the present by the muffled tones of the Captain.
“Are you sure? I mean I know….I know how disturbed you were when…”
“I am fine Captain” T’Pol interjected. “I am no longer concerned for the Commander’s welfare”
Trip’s throat squeezed and he felt like he was going to be sick. They continued to talk quietly but after that last comment he didn’t really care if he heard any more. He knew she didn’t want to be romantically involved but, for the love of Pete, she could at least care if he lived or died.
As he saw them returning, he reached up with a weak, trembling hand to take the tube out of his mouth. T’Pol caught and held eye contact with him then said with a semblance of calm apathy “Rest well, Commander. I will return when my duty shift is complete to assess your progress” He flinched at her clinical vocabulary.
“Don’t bother yourself. Wouldn’t want to waste your precious time.” He heard himself say. It wasn’t so much the words he spoke but the bitterness in his tone that stilled the room.
A look of disbelief molded Phlox and the Captain’s faces. T’Pol looked down and away from him. She inhaled sharply through her nose as tension rippled through her jaw. When she finally looked up, she focused on the Captain her expression even. With a curt nod to both Archer and Phlox respectively she said “Captain…. Doctor…”. She turned quickly and exited. Trip instantly sensed the anger coming from the Captain and he began to feel a little ashamed for his childish comment.
Archer spoke first. “What the hell was that about?”
Phlox piped up “Well, excuse me. I’m sure there’s something I should be attending to. Commander, please remember to continue with the liquids. I will return shortly to check on you.” And at that, Phlox gave Trip a stern look and backed out quickly.
“Sorry Captain. Guess I’m just feeling a little crabby and sore.” Trip answered trying to seem nonchalant.
“Trip, I don’t care how crabby you feel. I know she can get on your nerves sometimes but that was completely uncalled for!”
“Oh, come on Captain. It wasn’t that bad. No worse than we are normally.”
“It was that bad. Actually, it was worse. You know, I’ve always looked the other way when it’s come to the two of you. But this is getting ridiculous!”
“Captain, I’m sorry. It’s just…okay….I overheard her just now saying …How’d she put it?…She was no longer concerned…You know what she said…. I guess that burned me a bit.”
“What are you talking about?” Slowly, it dawned on Archer. “Trip, that’s not how she meant it. Shit, you don’t know, do you? How would you know?” The last he said more to himself than to Trip.
Archer took a deep, steadying breath. “Trip, she’s been here every night since Phlox cleared you six days ago.”
Trip froze. Jon didn’t just say what he thought he said. “What?”
Archer shifted uncomfortably. “She would finish her shift and then basically come straight here to sit with you.”
Trip’s face creased with utter confusion. What the hell had happened while he was under? Why had she sat with him? His heart began to pound. His mind flashed to those dreams from the dark. Were those memories real?
After a moment, Trip’s face relaxed into a sadness. What had he just done?
Finally releasing the breathe he’d been holding, Trip sighed out “Aww…hell!”
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A whole mess of folks have made comments
I loved this part! Cant wait till the next one!
A beautiful story, give him hell.. and continue soon.!
I love it. I can't wait for more.
Oooops, looks like Trip has jumped to some conclusions though it seemed a tad hard for Archer to come down on him so quick and hard just because of what he said to T'Pol. After all, he had only just woken up. Look forward to the next part and finding out more of what happened. Ali D :~)
Great so far but you can't really blame Trip. It was just a defense mechanism after what he heard her say. The guy has had his heart crushed enough times by T'pol and maybe its about time she gets to know what its like being on the receiving end.
Classic Trip and T'Pol -- nicely done. And I like your portrayal of Archer very much. Can't wait for chapter 3!
Excellent story. I hope you'll write a third piece. This demands a follow up!
Oooh! More please! I loved it!
Poor Trip... you'd better make it up to Polly. You hurt her feelings.
great stuff - wow. a+++++++++
Hehe...open mouth, insert foot...
great story, can't wait for more
Aw, come on, if she pushed him away AGAIN after she and Koss were no more, then he had every right to be so bitter towards her, even if he didn't know she had been staying with him each night. Thing is, she deserved it, and she must know it. Trip will feel real bad about it all, and will probably ask for her forgiveness quickly. But it does seem that all chances of a romance between them are gone unless she makes a full confession to him about EVERYTHING..... and even then, we're back to the "burnt by T'Pol" thing... he'll need something big to be able to trust her, to believe she really wants him after all. Something like pon farr, or a mind meld, at the least. ;) Waiting not-so patiently for the sequel.....
Aw... poor T'Pol! :sniff:
Well soon somebody has a lot of explaining to do...
Great story please update soon.