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The Morning After- Pt 4
The Morning After
A/N: I got creative with the particulars of Vulcan pregnancy. I couldn’t find anything in canon about it, but I didn’t look really hard, either. I apologize in advance if I made any errors in continuity.
Trip thought the plasma injectors were out to get him. It was just that simple. After several tries, they weren’t lining up just like they should, and efficiency was down fifteen percent. There was no way they’d be able to achieve maximum warp at this rate.
Growling under his breath, Trip squished himself further into the access panel. He tinkered a little bit further, jamming his finger in between the housing and the injector and scraping his knuckle enough to make it bleed.
“Goddammit!” A quick suck on the wound made him grimace as the pungent flavor of grease mixed with blood assaulted his taste buds.
A crewman, working at another console nearby, raised an eyebrow and smiled. Wisely, he held his mouth shut.
Oblivious to the audience behind him, Trip focused once again on his task. Finally, when the plasma injectors and his tools started to work together instead of against each other, he began to get results.
Finally, some good news. Sighing, Trip finished the recalibration and closed the access panel. As soon as the grey metal obscured his view of the injectors, a face swam before his eyes, but he blinked it away. It came back anyway. T’Pol’s expression in sickbay yesterday was haunting him.
Unfortunately, good news always had a flip side. When things were going well at work, Trip’s mind tended to wander to other, more personal concerns. The last thing he needed right now was to be thinking about the soap operatic events of his personal life. It wasn’t a good idea to mix warp plasma with thoughts about getting one’s Vulcan best friend pregnant. It was a good way to get himself killed.
But try as he might, Trip couldn’t get T’Pol’s face out of his thoughts. She hovered there in the back of his mind, ready to jump out and stare at him with those stoic brown eyes that revealed nothing. He kept going back to the moment right after Phlox had told them about the baby. The memory was fragmented, the surreal nature of it all making him question whether such a ludicrous thing had every happened.
Phlox’s news had created opposite reactions in the two of them. Trip’s jaw had dropped so far he thought he might’ve dislocated it. After he managed to close it, he shot questions at the doctor like a rapid-fire machine gun. Through it all, T’Pol had remained her calm, emotionless self.
Well, somebody had to be.
In those first few moments of utter disbelief, T’Pol’s eyes had locked with his for the briefest of seconds, and Trip had never been more uncertain what she felt. The way she’d been ignoring him lately, he wasn’t sure if he’d be able to get her to talk about it.
Phlox hadn’t stopped with only one bomb, though. He said that it was extremely early in the pregnancy, and it wasn’t unusual for women of many species to conceive, only for the embryo to fail to attach to the uterus and become a viable pregnancy. In a few days, Phlox wanted to examine T’Pol again to determine whether or not she was still expecting.
He’d gone on to tell them that if the pregnancy did become certain, continuing it was entirely up to them. Trip had thought that a given, but Phlox had informed them that human and Vulcan DNA are not naturally compatible; they need help to create a viable fetus. They had a window of no more than a week for Phlox to help embryo to survive; if he didn’t, it was unlikely that it would develop naturally. Not impossible, but so far, there were no cases of a human/Vulcan fetus surviving to birth.
After that, T’Pol had merely blinked once, thanking the doctor for his time. She hadn’t spared Trip another glance as she walked out the door, looking for all the world like nothing whatsoever had changed.
Still in shock, Trip’s mind had conjured up the image of a beautiful baby girl with dark hair and blue eyes. He saw his features and T’Pol’s blended perfectly together into a cherubic face that tugged at his heart. Despite the circumstances, and contrary to all logic, he wanted this child.
But what if T’Pol didn’t want the baby?
Suddenly, his loyalties had been split between an injured friendship and impending fatherhood, and he didn’t know which way to turn.
The mere thought made his stomach clench, and Trip shoved a tool in his toolbox with a vehemence that made his injured knuckles bleed again. Cursing, he stood and grabbed a towel nearby, pressing it to the wound and wishing he could turn off his brain for a few moments, just to get some peace and quiet for once.
But it wasn’t going to happen any time soon. His mind kept processing, kept worrying.
Trip had tried not to let it bother him, but her expressionless eyes kept haunting him. He knew she was trying to shut him out, that there was a wealth of emotion behind the façade she presented, but she was choosing not to let him in. He also knew that it was the least healthy thing she could do right now. She needed him, and he needed her. They’d created a life together, and they’d be connected through that child for the rest of their lives. It was driving him crazy with worry that everything was ruined once and for all, worry that this baby would ruin any chance he ever had at a deep and lasting relationship with her.
Baby or not, Trip knew he had to do something. He desperately wanted back the closeness they’d found in the past few months, the closeness that had evaporated since last night. Maybe it was true that miracles didn’t happen overnight, but Trip didn’t know if he could survive losing her now. He’d only just realized how much she meant to him. How close he was to falling head over heels in love with her.
Shaking himself out of his thoughts, Trip threw his tools back into his toolbox in a haphazard fashion that was completely uncharacteristic of his usual efficiency. He was angry at himself. Angry for succumbing to a force that he’d had no control over, a force that had given him the very thing he’d been craving ever since the first time he’d been with her: her complete and utter acceptance of him, both physically and emotionally, if only for a few hours. Despite her cold behavior the morning after, Trip knew he hadn’t imagined what he’d seen in her eyes: stark naked longing, burning brightly there for him to see. A longing that was only assuaged when they were skin to skin, merged into one being, both body and soul.
It had been just as impossible for her to ignore the force that had stripped them of all their inhibitions two nights ago as it had been for him, but Trip still felt responsible. Even though his mind had been fuzzy with the pure strength of his need for her, something deep inside him had still been shouting that touching her would be disastrous to his chances for a longer-lasting, deeper bond. Something he hadn’t even realized he wanted until it was already too late.
Trip snapped the lid to his toolbox closed with a clank that sounded like the door to his dreams being closed and locked forever. It was completely his fault that he couldn’t keep his pants on and his hands to himself. Because he’d been unable to listen to his conscience, she’d closed her heart and mind to him again so tightly that he doubted he’d be able to pry it open.
But Trip knew he had to try. He and T’Pol shared something undeniably precious whether she realized it or not, and it was up to him to convince her, come hell or high water. His closest friendship and the life of his child hung in the balance.
* * * * * * *
Captain Archer stared at his blank computer screen, wishing for the hundredth time that Admiral Forrest had been available when he’d contacted him the first time. Unfortunately, the admiral had been involved in an ongoing cultural exchange with the Xindi and couldn’t be reached immediately. In the end, Admiral Forrest had set up a subspace conference for 1300 today, two days after the now infamous incident that had turned Enterprise from an efficiently run Starfleet vessel into a space-faring interpersonal disaster.
Turning away from the computer screen, Archer placed his elbows on his desk and buried his face in his hands, his fingers rubbing his aching forehead tiredly. Any minute, Hoshi’s voice would come over the comm. and tell him about the hail from Starfleet. Why couldn’t this have happened when she was off duty? If he could just avoid talking to her for the rest of his natural life, maybe he could crawl out from under the rock he’d been cowering beneath.
Despite his wishes, Hoshi wasn’t just going to disappear. It wasn’t supposed to go on like this. He and Hoshi were supposed to be able to act like nothing had happened, thereby preserving their friendship, the command structure, and most importantly, their dignity.
But it wasn’t meant to be, and Archer couldn’t avoid her forever. He had to talk to her, and soon. After all, there was now a child to consider. Their child. Hoshi had made it clear that she wasn’t going to terminate the pregnancy in the one extremely brief discussion they’d had about it, and Archer wasn’t the type of man to neglect his responsibility in the matter. He refused to be an absent father, despite the circumstances of the baby’s conception.
Archer’s eyes narrowed. Whoever the hell was responsible for this was going to pay if it took his last breath to see it done. It was one thing to turn the entire crew into lust-crazed automatons, but it was quite another for them to have to suffer the consequences of actions completely beyond their control.
Maybe after this afternoon’s briefing, he’d have more answers. Archer just wished he had those answers before he talked to the Admiral.
Fate’s cruelty struck again when his comm. link beep.
“Captain, Starfleet is hailing us. It’s Admiral Forrest for you.” Hoshi’s voice was brusquely efficient. Somehow, her professionalism calmed him, too.
“Patch it through to my ready room.”
His screen flickered, Admiral Forrest’s face appearing before him. The older man’s face was wreathed in his characteristic smile, despite the dire-sounding message Archer had sent him.
“Jonathan! I hadn’t expected to hear from you so soon. Your message mentioned trouble?” Concern was evident in his voice, but his smile remained intact.
Suddenly, Archer’s mouth went dry. How exactly was he going to explain this to his commanding officer without sounding like he’d turned the Enterprise into the Love Boat? He took a deep breath. Honesty was probably the best policy. Not that he had any other options.
“Admiral, we’ve been attacked.” Archer immediately wanted to hit himself. There had to be a better way to say it than that!
Forrest’s smile instantly disappeared. “Attacked? By whom? The Andorians? The Suliban?”
Archer shifted in his chair. “No, not exactly. It wasn’t a traditional attack, sir. We were—we were infected by something, I think.”
Archer gaped like a fish for a few moments as he stopped and started a few times. Finally, he said, “Admiral, I don’t know how to put this exactly without making it sound like a bad joke. But I’m going to be straight with you, and you’ll just have to take my word for it.”
Forrest frowned at that. “Jon, I know you wouldn’t lie to me. Just explain.”
Sighing, Archer explained what little he knew.
It was Forrest’s turn to gape. “And you have no idea what caused this?”
“No, sir. I have my command team working on it. Phlox will be finished examining the entire crew this afternoon and I hope to have some answers by then. But no matter what caused this, there are long-term consequences that are unavoidable.”
“What long-term consequences?” Then the thought clicked in Forrest’s mind and his face paled. “Not pregnancy?”
“Shit, Jon, this is a mess.” The profanity, so out of character for Forrest, told Archer the degree of shock Forrest was experiencing.
“I know, sir. Believe me, I know.”
The admiral looked at him sharply. “I take it you weren’t among the unconscious?”
Archer flinched. “No, admiral, I wasn’t.”
“I hope to God it wasn’t T’Pol that you mated with. The Vulcan High Command will have my head on a platter.”
“No, but it might as well have been. It was Hoshi Sato, sir.”
“Oh, God. An ensign?”
Archer wisely remained silent.
“T’Pol wasn’t affected?”
The hopeful look in Forrest’s eyes made Archer cringe. “Yes, sir, she was. With Commander Tucker.”
“Damn it!” Forrest knew that no matter what human T’Pol had mated with, the High Command would be horrified. At least if she had picked someone who hadn’t been known for his animosity towards Vulcans. . . but there wasn’t much he could do about Tucker’s reputation now. This was turning into a diplomatic nightmare.
Forrest finally looked back at Jon, shaking his head in further disbelief. “I’m going to have to start damage control on this immediately. Someone from your ship is going to send a message home, if they haven’t already, and it’s going to leak out to the press. We’re going to have a scandal the size of Africa if we don’t do some explaining. I want answers, Jon, and soon.”
“Aye, sir. I want them, too.”
Forrest paused and his face softened minutely. “As bad as it is, it’s water under the bridge. Don’t let something like this turn you inside out, Jon. It wasn’t your fault.”
“We don’t know that yet,” Archer answered, his voice harsh. For all he knew, a seemingly innocent command decision had led to this farce. He wasn’t ready yet to absolve himself. He might never be, no matter what evidence was uncovered.
Forrest sighed and shook his head. “Keep me informed, Jon. I want to know everything you know. As soon as you know it.”
The transmission ended, and for a few minutes, Archer stared at the blank screen again, his imagination conjuring the worst case scenario: his resignation. He wondered if he could come up with the words to befit the situation. Somehow, he’d never imagined his career ending quite like this.
The disaster had finally become official; it had a name. The crew, in an attempt to lighten the mood, had named it Lucky Tuesday.
Captain Archer didn’t think it was funny.
Covertly, Archer studied his command team as they assembled in the situation room. Phlox looked serious for once, a sure sign of the severity of the circumstances. T’Pol stood rigidly, but next to Tucker, which surprised Archer. He’d thought she was giving him the cold shoulder, but now he thought maybe not. Hoshi fidgeted just inside his peripheral vision, and he knew that she was trying not to look at him with the same intensity that he was trying not to look at her. Malcolm looked tired and confused.
Mayweather, having been generally unaffected by the anomaly, currently had the bridge and was absent from this meeting. Archer didn’t want to start this conversation, but the sooner they got answers, the sooner they could put this behind them.
But who was he kidding? They’d never be able to put this behind them. It would affect them for the rest of their lives.
“Let’s get started,” Archer said brusquely, nodding to Phlox. “Doctor, your report?”
Phlox sighed. “I have finished examining every crewmember on board. Each reports a similar set of symptoms at about 2100 two days ago. Those who were able to find a mate did so; those who couldn’t were rendered unconscious.”
“I think we all know that already,” Archer said impatiently. “Anything new?”
Phlox nodded. “If you’ll let me finish, Captain, I’ll explain. It appeared that mating choices were not made based solely on proximity; some crewmembers report searching for someone in particular. In a few cases, they were too late, as their intended partner had already chosen another person. At any rate, most couples were based on at least a very superficial form of attraction. A sort of natural selection, if you will.”
No one in the room would admit it, but they could confirm the doctor’s conclusion with their own behavior. It didn’t make Archer, Malcolm, or Hoshi any more comfortable. But it did confirm Trip’s own feelings, giving him some measure of satisfaction.
“For most crewmembers, the anomaly ran a 12 to 15 hour course and then completed, leaving no damage or change behind, save a minor but temporary elevation of brain chemicals. However, seven female crewmembers are now in the very early stages of pregnancy.”
“My God,” Archer said, his eyes wide as he’d suddenly lost his breath. He hadn’t considered anyone beyond Hoshi.
Phlox picked up on Archer’s dismay. “Because of the nature of this phenomenon, I have received permission to break doctor/patient privilege and release the names of the females affected.”
“Who are they?” Malcolm asked, his voice shaking. If it was Amanda, God, he’d didn’t know what he might do.
Phlox consulted a PADD in his hand, even though he’d probably remember these names forever. “Sub-Commander T’Pol, Ensign Sato, Ensign Sanders, Crewman Nichols, Corporal Tucker, Crewman Perry, Lieutenant Hess, and Lieutenant Masterson.”
Malcolm finally exhaled in a sigh of relief.
Phlox wasn’t done. “We should be grateful, Captain, that it was only seven. T’Pol was the only female whose ovulation was triggered by this phenomenon. The Human women just happened to be at the right time in their menstrual cycle. If the anomaly had affected the human women in the same way it affected T’Pol, all the female crewmembers might be pregnant.”
“Damn,” Trip said under his breath. The thought of that was just—well, there weren’t any words to describe it.
Archer was aghast at the thought. “But contraceptives—”
“They didn’t work,” Hoshi said, interrupting him.
“The standard contraceptive injection was nullified by the phenomenon, Captain.”
Archer sighed, bringing a hand up to stroke the now tense muscles in the back of his neck. “Great,” he muttered sarcastically. “Okay, so we know the results of this phenomenon, but do we know what caused it?”
Phlox frowned deeply. “I’m afraid I have very little information on that, Captain. Although I do have a few ideas.”
“By all means, explain. You’re our best shot at solving this, Doctor.”
“I do not believe we were attacked by any chemical substance, Captain. This was not a biological weapon of any kind, and I would be hard-pressed to determine why someone would want to cause this type of reaction among a starship crew. We may be inconvenienced, but our lives are hardly threatened. And neither would this be a threat to most other humanoid species of which I am aware. They would likely have been affected in a similar fashion.”
“So what are our other options?”
“It seems that the most likely cause is the infection of the crew by a virus, bacterium, or some other type of microorganism. I was unable to pick up any anomalies in my scans of the crew, but my instruments can not see everything, despite their advanced technology. If I had something specific to look for, I might be more successful.”
Phlox consulted the PADD again, then continued. “Since we know that Earth’s population is not being affected by the same phenomenon, we probably became infected during the last two months of our deployment. I would advise looking at all away missions during that time period.”
“Should there be any parameters for the search, or should we examine every away mission?” T’Pol asked.
Phlox looked thoughtful for a moment. “I would concentrate the search on any missions that involved visiting a new planet’s surface or another ship. The planets are the more likely source, but I would discount any well-known worlds.”
Archer was grateful to finally have a direction to lead his investigation. “Thank you, Phlox. This at least gives us something to work with. T’Pol, I want you and Malcolm to begin reviewing our away missions as the doctor has suggested. Trip, review the environmental control logs over the last two months and see if you can find any change in the ship’s atmosphere during that time. I know it’s a long shot, but it may give us some more information. Phlox, keep analyzing those scans and see if you can find anything else. Hoshi, Starfleet wants regular updates on our progress, so let me know as soon as you hear from them.”
Archer paused, looking directly at the faces of everyone in the room. The promise of some answers, no matter how faint, had taken the embarrassment out of the faces of his command team and replaced it with determination. It seemed that everyone was thankful for small favors.
“I have one more thing, Captain.”
Archer’s stomach lurched at the dire expression on Phlox’s face. “Go ahead.”
“We have no way of knowing if this was a one-time occurrence. It is quite probable that the crew may be affected again in the future, and I have no way of knowing if or when that will happen. I would advise all haste in this investigation. I have provided a different contraceptive to every crewmember, both male and female, but I cannot guarantee that it will not be nullified by the phenomenon should it occur again.”
Archer blanched at the thought. “Thanks for the effort. You all have your assignments. We’ll meet again at the same time tomorrow. Dismissed.”
* * * * * * * *
T’Pol’s meditation was not going well tonight. Her candles flickered with their usual serenity, but she was not soothed by them. Her mind was cluttered with unwanted emotion and it was getting more and more difficult to ignore those feelings, despite her harsh mental discipline.
T’Pol had lost count of the number of times she’d berated herself for being foolish enough to experiment with Trellium. The substance was long-absent from her body, but she would bear the effects of her addiction for the rest of her existence. In the past several months, she had regained some of her ability to suppress her emotions, but it seemed that fate was a cruel master. Just when she was beginning to feel a balance in her life between emotion and logic, it was upset catastrophically.
Almost absently, T’Pol’s hand strayed from her knee to her abdomen, breaking her meditation pose. She splayed her fingers across her stomach, her mind turning to the small life that struggled to live within her. Already, she could feel a link with her child, something she’d only heard rumors of during her life on Vulcan. It was rarely discussed, but Vulcan mothers possessed an ability to share the consciousness of their unborn children, the mother’s mind providing nourishment to the developing brain of her child much as the umbilical cord provided physical nourishment to its body.
She had not expected this link to form with a half-human child, and the knowledge of its existence made tears of thankfulness form in her eyes. Quickly blinking them away, T’Pol struggled to suppress the emotion, knowing that it threatened her barely-held control. Focusing determinedly on her candles once again, she attempted to clear her mind and implement her meditation techniques.
The chime of her doorbell broke her concentration once more.
Frustration bubbled up inside her mind and she stifled a growl. All at once, she felt an irrational urge to leap to her feet and assault whoever would dare to disturb her at such a delicate time. Just as quickly, she latched onto the volatile emotion and pushed it away, breathing deeply. Once under control, she rose gracefully to her feet and walked to the door just as her doorbell rang again.
Opening the door, she was chagrined to find Trip standing there, a look of concern on his face. He was the last person she wanted to see right now. She couldn’t handle being with him until she’d had more time to logically evaluate her situation. Trip Tucker’s presence usually lent her a sense of balance, but ever since hearing of their coming child, his presence wreaked emotional havoc.
“Yes?” She said coolly, still standing in the doorway and preventing his entrance.
“I need to talk to you,” Trip said, his eyes searching her face.
T’Pol crossed her arms over her chest, her jaw locked in tense control. “Now is not a good time.”
Glancing over her shoulder, Trip saw her meditation candles and smiled softly. “I can wait until you’re done. I’ll just sit and meditate with you.”
Her chin rose a fraction of a degree. “You are not disciplined enough to meditate with me.”
Trip’s eyes widened in disbelief. “I’ve done it before!”
“I was indulging you.” She made it sound like he’d been an irritating child.
“Gee, I didn’t realize I’d been such a burden to ya, darlin’,” he retorted sarcastically.
Another of her mental defenses crumbled in the face of his irritating behavior, making her want to scream. If he would only go away!
“Please leave.” She said the words through gritted teeth.
“No,” he replied. “I can be just as muleheaded as you, T’Pol. I’m not leavin’ until you let me in.” He didn’t have to say it; she knew he was referring to gaining entrance to more than just her quarters. He wanted her to open her mind to him, too. The only problem was she didn’t think she was ready for that yet.
She could see the determination in his eyes, the stubborn set of his jaw, and knew he wasn’t lying about forcing the issue. Her heart sank, and she acquiesced, knowing she’d have to face him sooner or later, so it might as well be now. But she wasn’t about to make it easy for him.
“Very well,” she replied, backing away so he could enter. “But I expect you to remain silent as long as I continue meditating.”
He smiled at her, a soft curve of his lips that made his eyes twinkle as the stubbornness and anger gave way to his softer feelings. “I wouldn’t dream of anything else, T’Pol.”
Nodding tersely, she moved back in front of her candles and sank to the floor, her eyes closing as soon as her backside touched the floor. She could feel his presence near her, his scent wafting under her nostrils and comforting her in spite of her attitude. They sat cross-legged, knees just centimeters from each other.
They sat like that for several minutes, and as T’Pol practiced her breathing and cleared her mind, she came to a startling conclusion. Trip’s calm presence beside her was soothing, not irritating. She’d avoided his presence ever since they’d visited sickbay, certain that if she spent any time alone with him, he’d push her until her control would snap. The last thing she’d expected was for him to just be here, to just sit beside her and share the tranquility of meditation with her.
Closing her eyes, T’Pol felt her entire psyche begin to calm, the ragged pieces of her mind rearranging into an orderly, smooth whole. Her breathing became deep and even, her muscles relaxing, her emotions settling until she felt at peace, her control returning.
Beside her, Trip sat motionless, his own mind clear and calm just being in her presence. He knew he’d pushed her to get in here, but once in the door, he’d relaxed. As the time passed, he didn’t get bored or restless; rather, his mind practiced the techniques she’d taught him, bringing him to a place of serenity in the midst of this storm in which they’d been lost.
After what seemed like bare seconds and eternity at the same time, T’Pol opened her eyes, refreshed for the first time in over two days. She turned her head and looked at the calm profile of her friend, her lover, and the father of her child. As if he could feel her watching him, Trip opened his eyes and turned to look at hers, and she was taken aback at the depth of emotion she found there.
“I am ready to talk now,” she said quietly. “What is it you wish to ask me?”
Trip decided bluntness was the kindest method. “I want this baby to be born.”
She blinked at that. “You believe it will not be?”
“I wasn’t sure if you wanted to keep it.” He tried not to let the worry show on his face, but it was there in his eyes.
Her own eyes softened, and she turned her body toward him, her knees bumping his. “I believe I need to explain, Trip.”
He looked confused, but nodded his desire for her to continue.
“Vulcan women are linked telepathically to their children. It is dangerous to sever that connection when the child is healthy. If the pregnancy fails naturally, the mother can recover, but it is very difficult. For this very reason, abortion is rarely performed on Vulcan.”
“So you can feel the baby now?”
She nodded. “It is difficult to explain, but I am connected to its presence.”
“I don’t really understand, but I’m glad you’re keeping the baby.” She could hear the relief in his voice.
“I am surprised. I believed you would not want to have a child. I know that human views are very different on this subject.”
“They are, and I thought I was just as progressive as the next guy. But when Phlox told us about the baby, I just couldn’t help but picture her in my mind, and then she wasn’t just a pregnancy, she was a baby. Our baby.”
T’Pol raised an eyebrow. “You believe the child is female?”
Trip grinned. “Maybe not, but that’s what I thought of first.”
“I thought human males were preoccupied with the birth of sons to carry on the family surname.”
He shrugged. “Most are, but I’m partial to little girls. Guess it comes from having little sisters.”
She gazed at him for a few moments and again, Trip couldn’t fathom what was going on in that mind of hers. Finally, she spoke.
“Then we are agreed that Phlox should take whatever steps necessary to help the fetus develop successfully.”
“Then I will go see him tomorrow morning.”
They fell silent, both contemplating what it would be like to be parents.
After a moment, Trip spoke again. “We still haven’t talked about us.”
“What about us? We are having a child. What more is there to discuss?”
Trip looked at her incredulously. “Are you kidding? There’s a hell of a lot to discuss.”
“Such as. . .such as. . .well, everything, damn it!”
She raised both her eyebrows at that one. “Please, continue.”
“You know there’s somethin’ between us, T’Pol. We didn’t choose each other the other night for nothin’. There’s more to this than friendship, isn’t there?”
A silence fell as T’Pol refused to answer.
“C’mon, T’Pol! There’s something special between us. A bond I’ve never felt with any other woman.”
“You are just intrigued with me because I am not human.” She knew it was an excuse, but she didn’t want to talk about this.
He snorted. “That is bullshit, T’Pol. I’ve been with alien women before. You should know; you used to remind me often enough. But you’re different. I care about you. A lot.”
“I know you believe you do.”
He didn’t rise to the bait. “I don’t just believe it, I know it. And you feel something for me, too.”
She refused to answer again. What she felt was irrelevant. She couldn’t have a long-term relationship with a human. It wasn’t logical. But, then again, it would be illogical to avoid a commitment with the man who fathered her child.
“C’mon, T’Pol, admit it! You care about me.”
She opened her mouth to agree reluctantly, but when it came right down to it, she couldn’t do it. Admitting she needed him was more than her pride could handle. She shouldn’t need anyone. It meant admitting that she wouldn’t ever be the same. That she’d never completely get back the control she sought on her own. Being mated to Trip would change her life forever, and she just wasn’t ready to let go.
Finally realizing that she wasn’t going to acknowledge him, Trip sighed, running his fingers through his hair and looking away from her.
“Fine. Deny it if you want to, T’Pol. But you know just as well as I do that this isn’t going to go away. We’re attracted to each other, and its more than just physical, although that’s damn powerful enough.”
She looked down at the floor, refusing to meet his eyes. Rising, Trip stood silently for a moment, then walked toward the door.
He stopped just before leaving. “We need each other, T’Pol, and that isn’t something we can ignore. It would be a shame to throw it all away because you’re scared.”
She bristled at his comment, but Trip had opened the door and was gone.
Fear was not the issue; caution was. Her desire for him was an unarguable point, but that did little to convince her that she should bond herself to him for life. Neither should her emotions be her guide, but they threatened to control her, making logical thought nearly impossible.
Now was not the time to make a life-altering decision, not when her emotions were still so wild. Maybe when her control returned more regularly, she could consider the wisdom of committing herself to a human.
Turning back to her meditation candles once again, she closed her eyes and tried to gain the peace she’d found just minutes earlier. Struggling for several moments, she finally blew out the candles and climbed into bed, frustrated. Just before sleep claimed her, a startling thought flooded her mind.
Trip had been the one to bring her peace, not meditation.
Have a comment to make about this story? Do so in the Trip Fan Fiction forum at the HoTBBS!
A whole mess of folks have made comments
I'll probably be late for work now, but I couldn't stop reading! great work! :)
Would somebody please whack T'Pol round the head with a stick! Make that a titanium rod, silly head-headed Vulcan!
This is a great chapter, although I have to point out that Admiral Forrester's name is in fact Forrest. Unless this is an Admiral of your own making, of course.
[batting eyelashes] Can we please have the next Chapter soon please? [/batting eylashes]
Oh yay! I'm so happy to see an update. This is a great chapter. I thought you did a good job with the inner turmoil. I can't wait for the next part!
oh i like how you've handle this. could have been a bad thing but you are doing a very good job.
i can just see Mal begging pleading praying that he was not to be a father.
love that trip had it affirmed that he and t'pol were drawn together.
seven is less than i thought but it will be very very interesting to say the least!
Forrest/Forrester: Darn it! I couldn't find an episode on tape to confirm his name, and I forgot to check online. Sorry for the error; it was supposed to be the same admiral we keep seeing on the series.
I love it! I hope you see them all the way through to the delivery!
Well I'm just loving this more and more every second. T'Pol and Trip are having a child but T'Pol still refuses his help. Figures, T'Pol just doesn't get it does she?
But I'm VERY curious to see what Hoshi and Archer will do too. What can I say? I just gotta know how this will turn out! And I think it's Forrest... I'll check one of my tapes. I know I have the first episode on tape so I'll look at that.
Terrific chapter. Trip's portions were absolutely the best. The struggle he's going through from wanting to preserve his friendship with T'Pol and protect his unborn child. It was heartwarming.
T'Pol is so stubborn, but you gave her a shock when you made her realize that her peace, her calm was due to Trip and not meditation.
I loved Malcolm's near miss, but I hope he doesn't forget his lessons from E2. Go forth and multiply my son.
Archer and Hoshi have a lot to deal with as well, but I have hope that Starfleet regs aside, Archer listened to Phlox. There was something between them already.
Ah, soooo wonderful and sooo perfect!
Please continue sooooooooooooooooon!
"Admiral, we've been attacked!"? How Archer-esque! In contrast to this (and Malcolm's absolute terror at the possibility of fatherhood), you have the tenderness between Trip and T'Pol and their desire to keep their child. I love this story. It's a perfect blend of comedy and drama, humour and angst. Please update soon! (And don't let anything bad happen to the baby . . . .)
Keep going! Great story. By the way, for the characters names, you can always go to www.startrek.com for assistance. It is Forrest. Just look under Vaughn Armstrong in the search engine.
Excellent! I love it, and especially loved the last line where T'Pol realises that it was Trip's presence that brought her peace not the meditation. Ali D :~)
It just keeps getting better and better! I love this story and can't wait for more. You have captured the essence of these characters so well. I would love to see this go on for a long time!
Ooooooh - can't you just see Soval's sour face when he hears about this!!!! :) (evil giggle)
I have to admit, I was skeptical about the whole pregnancy thing at first, but you managed to explain the human-vulcan pregnancy difficulties beautifully. This is a great story!