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The Forgotten Time II: Ashaya - Ch 6
Author - enterpriseScribe
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The Forgotten Time II
Rating: R (for ocassional language)
A/N: This story takes place between "Kir’Shara" and "Daedalus."
The sunlight in the room was dappled now, shining through the rough leaves at the top of the wall outside. The soft brown blanket was tucked around them except for their entwined feet.
Trip lay on his side, his head on his arm, and studied the half-asleep features of the woman he had thought he’d known so well for so long; and whom he’d really only discovered properly in the last few days. She was near sleep; he could tell from the randomly disjointed images chasing across her thoughts. Her mind was quietly suffused with a contentment that he was sure she did not often feel.
He reflected upon the last time: in the cramped Starfleet berth, lit by the cold stars of space. Confused, overjoyed by her sudden shocking change of heart, but having no comprehension of what the hell or why. And then afterward…. Afterward when she had politely thanked him… and then disavowed the whole thing. You’d never say she wasn’t polite. Good grasp of human customs. Very, very polite girl.
The memory still made his stomach churn with—resentment? Anguish Embarrassment? He could never decide which. All three, he supposed. But the sensation faded as quickly as it appeared. He was sure of her feelings now.
Suddenly Trip realised that T’Pol was watching him from beneath her drowsy lids.
"I am sorry about that," she murmured quietly. And she was. Trip could feel the regret behind her words as she, too, remembered the evening when neuropressure had changed into something else. And the next day, when she turned and ran.
Trip reached a hand to tuck a short lock of hair behind her ear.
"It was the Trellium," she explained softly and frankly, but finally without shame. "I didn’t know how to respond to the feelings, so I repressed them. I realize I should simply have told you about it." After a moment, she pushed herself up and started to gather her things together to dress.
Trip also sat up and stretched, but was in less of a hurry to find his clothes. "Well, y’know what they say about hindsight being twenty-twenty," he agreed amiably as he watched her, past slights long-forgiven.
T’Pol pulled her shirt over her head and blinked at him, the dry and desert static air gently lifting strands of her hair. "No, what do they say?"
"Well," Trip faltered, "you know…that it’s twenty-twenty."
T’Pol looked at him for a long second as she smoothed her hair back behind her ears, and Trip caught a faint but distinctly amused Vulcan opinion on the clumsiness of human expressions, before she leaned down to retrieve a shoe from under the bed.
Oh yeah? Trip flung back mentally, How about ‘cogitation is the footpath athwart the tar pit of illogic’? (This from a recent chapter he had read in the Kir’Shara).
But T’Pol, now dressed, merely paused at the door and raised a prim eyebrow. "Well… it is."
He grinned and tossed a pillow at her. T’Pol dodged it neatly and left. Still smiling, Trip started to look for his socks.
T’Pol stopped in front of the mirror in the main room to check her reflection. Koss and the priest would be arriving shortly. Her clothing and hair were in place, but T’Pol was dismayed to find how plainly her face betrayed her uneasiness. She tried to place her features in a more neutral arrangement. Trip appeared behind her in the mirror.
"Y’look perfect. It’s going to be just fine."
T’Pol met his eyes in the dim and spotted glass of the antique mirror.
Trip’s thoughts were far from calm: they seemed to fill the air around them both with their nervous scratchings and whispers. But he was trying to keep a cheerful tone of voice and what might be called an optimistic outlook. Human emotional shields. The only defence his life among people who didn’t use their brains for anything communicative had equipped him with. His attempt at emotional control was clumsy by Vulcan standards, but she appreciated it, and she let him see this in the white space of her mind.
Trip’s mind demanded a childlike telepathy. Either he gave her her space and kept his mind to himself, or he spoke up and listened to her replies and loud, honest thoughts called freely from all around them.
He didn’t know anything of what it was like to live in society when thoughts were on the table. The rules, the etiquette. It had not mattered while they were alone; in fact, T’Pol had relished the rebellious and cathartic act of matching Trip’s psychic bent to let it ‘all hang out‘, so to speak. Years and years of tense discipline came ravelling away from her completely. She loved it. She was becoming lazy.
And now they were on Vulcan. 15 billion powerfully trained telepathic minds hovered all around them. On Enterprise they had been the only two who could see, alone on a ship of the blind. On Vulcan, both carried a mark. She, a Vulcan using her natural abilities for what many considered to be depraved ends. And he, a human who wouldn’t have even been able to join in the galaxy’s psychic conversation had it not been for the fact that he was keeping inappropriate company with the aforementioned deviant Vulcan and her depraved practices. These revelations occurred quietly and nearly instantaneously in the back of T‘Pol‘s thoughts. Trip, distracted by his one-track mind, still looking at her through the medium of the mirror, still standing behind her, holding her shoulders, didn’t notice any of her musings.
But, during that instant that her mind was open and busy communing gently and candidly with Trip’s boisterous and noisy psyche, T’Pol felt the tickle of another telepathic presence, a strong and purposeful one like her own. Quickly, she pulled herself from Trip’s arms and moved to the window. A man and woman, both of middle age and dressed in official clothing, were approaching the front door of the house.
Trip had followed. Who are they?
T’Pol shot him a glance and put her finger to her lips.
The door chime sounded. T’Pol glanced once more at Trip and pulled the large door inward to reveal the visitors waiting on the threshold.
"May I help you?" T’Pol asked.
Not expecting the use of English, the pair exchanged a brief glance before the man replied.
"We are security officers assigned to this neighbourhood. This house has been vacant for several months. We are simply ensuring that everything here is all right. May we enter?"
After a brief pause, T’Pol indicated they should cross into the foyer, and she closed the massive door noiselessly behind them.
The man spoke again. "Are you the owner of this house?"
"Yes," T’Pol answered tonelessly, as if everything was perfectly natural. "My mother died a few months ago. I am here to oversee the distribution of her will and estate."
The man seemed to be interested in the house He circled the foyer briefly as she spoke, looking up at the austere works of art and generally behaving in a nosy, un-Vulcan sort of way that didn’t jive with Trip.
"Well, everything’s fine, y‘know," Trip piped up finally from the middle of the room, "so… thanks for stoppin‘ by." The female Vulcan glanced at him sharply. She eyed him carefully for a moment. Trip didn’t like the penetrating gaze of the Vulcan woman’s dark eyes. Suddenly he didn’t trust that she couldn’t see all the way into the middle of his head. He swallowed and held his ground, but said nothing. Finally, she spoke. Her voice was higher than he had expected, light, and heavily accented by her Vulcan tongue. She was unused to English.
"I see you have an off-world visitor."
This remark to T’Pol, but the guard never wavered in her inspection of Trip’s human physiognomy from ten paces away. The statement technically required no response, and T’Pol gave it none. Irrelevant observations were uncommon among her people. A peculiar social faux pas, in fact.
"What division of the government are you with?" T’Pol asked. Suddenly, the man ended his tour of the area and sailed over as if to answer for his partner.
"Relief forces put in place due to the recent violence with the Andorians." T’Pol again made no reply, but quietly waited for him to elaborate. He did not.
"As I said, we were making sure that everything here was as it should be. We shall not trouble you any further." He nodded briefly to Trip and then T’Pol. A beat later, the woman did the same, and followed her partner out the door.
She moved across the room and settled, birdlike, on the edge of a sofa. Trip sat opposite her, concerned.
"What the hell was that all about?" He asked, disquieted by the Vulcan visitor’s scrutiny.
"I am not sure." T’Pol answered honestly.
"Well they seemed downright fishy if you ask me. You always have security forces patrolling your street?"
"No," T’Pol replied. "However, it may indeed be a new protocol. I have been off world for awhile." She paused and took a thoughtful breath. "We may have a problem when Koss gets here."
Trip sat up, concerned. "Y’don’t think he’ll tell us anything?"
T‘Pol raised her eyebrows in bleak agreement. "I doubt he will be…‘in the mood’ to assist us in our investigation considering the nature of his visit. However, I was referring to…our relationship." T’Pol finished delicately. She wasn’t used to saying it. Trip leaned forward, elbows on his knees, and sighed.
"Yeah, that could raise a few questions. You’re sure he’ll be able to tell we’re, y’know, ‘bonded‘?" He glanced up, hopefully.
T’Pol simply looked at him.
Trip sat up straight again. "What? I’m gettin’ pretty good at controlling my thoughts!"
"When those guards were here, it was not difficult to see or sense your agitation. The woman in particular seemed to sense that you were hiding something. And you are…appreciating…my outfit at this very moment," T’Pol reproached quietly but sternly and with an arch expression.
"Well, it’s a nice outfit. I can’t help it," Trip muttered, annoyed with himself.
T’Pol smiled slightly, but remained unmoved.
"Fine," Trip said. "And what do you suggest I do about it?"
T‘Pol didn‘t meet his eye or his mind as she said aloud, "I think perhaps it would be best if you remained…out of the room…while they’re here. Hopefully, if you distract yourself sufficiently with something mundane, he won’t notice you broadcasting your thoughts all over the place."
Trip scrunched his face in confusion. "Wait. I come all the way down here to support you and suddenly you want me to go sweep out the back porch while you face this jerk alone? I don’t get it."
"There’s a side porch as well. You may need do that one also if they are here longer than we anticipated."
"Now hold on a minute—" The door chime sounded. Trip broke off in the middle of his sentence. For a flash of an instant, T’Pol’s eyes flicked insistently to the back hall. Trip glared stubbornly back and folded his arms. He was staying. T’Pol’s mouth tightened in exasperation. Then,
Fine. Have it your way….
Trip felt the fingers of his mind catch at this wisp of thought then close on nothingness, as T’Pol smartly shut up her own mind like a box and then crossed the room to open the front door.
In vain, Trip instinctively tried to find her mind again, like groping in the dark, and then hastily realising what he was doing, struggled to put a lid on his thoughts. He could feeling them spilling out like suds in an overfull bathtub, and the effort made him cough and clear his throat and pace in a suspicious sort of way, wringing his hands.
T’Pol paused to stare balefully back at him over her shoulder her hand on the large ornamental door. Trip reddened and frowned down at his shoes, trying to relax himself. T’Pol gave him two more seconds, and then turned, squared her shoulders, and opened the door.
Koss and the priest filled the doorway in their stiff, elaborate tunics.
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A whole mess of folks have made comments
YES! An update! I thought today was going to suck, being a Monday and all, but seeing this totally made my day!
Interesting take on the bond - and an equally interesting look at the "security" forces. Very ominous that...
I am soooo looking forward to the next chapter. Thanks for making my day!
I agree with what Rigil said, this update totally made my day! I had to go back to read it from the beginning, and it was just as great as I remembered. I'm really, really glad you've continued this. Hopefully next time you'll update sooner!
I'm left wondering about those so called security officers though, and what exactly they could be up to.
I'm also especially liking how the bond is progressing, and strengthening between TnT.
Really looking forward to reading more!!!
I agree with the above comments. This update made my day too. It was a great chapter and I look forward to seeing what happens next.
WOOT! More story! Excellent, I quite enjoyed this! :)
soooo glad you updated this i was always disapointed when i read forgotten time that the sequel was unfinshed, please update again soon
Thanks for continuing this. I was bitterly disappointed when I first read the story and the sequel was left hanging. This is great.
Woo hoo! Updated finally. I actually never got around to reading The Forgotten Time completely because I noticed that the sequel hadn't been updated in a very long time. But I read that and all of the chapters before and loved it! Definitely one of my favorites stories, you capture their characters really well and write a very in character but complex T'Pol. And the way your plots turn out...wow!
A great chapter that's leaving a lot of questions! Quite a cliffhanger. Really looking forward to the next chapter. Logical fishy Vulcans...hmm
I didn't really have time... but I went back and read this from the beginning anyway. Your Vulcans are a heck of a lot more telepathic than any portrayal I've ever seen before. I'm not sure if it's canon, but I like it a lot.
Ummm... Ya'll think maybe those "fishy" Vulcans were Romulans?
Thank you for continuing this, Enterprisescribe. I was very pleased to see this update. It really made my day.
Great chapter, nice that you continued this story.
You should have seen the smile on my face when I saw the update! I absolutely love this story. I cannot wait to read where you'll take it next...
Very glad to see this update. I look foward to more.
Thank you for updating. This is great. I went back to the very beginning, and thoroughly enjoying it. Please write again soon.
"...you are...appreciating...my outfit at this very moment," T’Pol reproached quietly but sternly and with an arch expression.
I'm loving this story. Trip and T'Pol actually communicating! It's wonderful!
The two "patrolers" are certainly suspicious. Can't wait to see what comes next....
Definatly needs more updates
and (once they finally get rid of Koss) some more tricks played on Malcolm and Hoshi LOL