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Reflections: Hope and Relief
Author - Eratta | Genre - Angst | Genre - Romance | Main Story | R | Rating - PG-13
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Reflections: Hope and Relief
Rating: PG-13, Angst, Romance
A/N: Well, I for one really, really liked 'Twilight'. I think it was just great overall: the acting, the story, and the direction. However, I couldn't help but feel that there was more than just a vein of A/T-ness in there, and to make myself feel better I wrote this. Keep in mind this was done while I was home sick, and was simply a means to pass the time. Don't even think about asking for a continuation.
Twenty years ago, if someone was to ask me how I thought my life would have progressed, I would have told them that I would become the typical Vulcan woman: leaving my career for marriage, child-rearing and a life of domestic simplicity. Even now, I can't help but feel that was the life I should have had.
And in a way, I do live that life. However, I do not live with my bondmate and I have no children to occupy my thoughts. I have lived with Captain Archer for the past eleven years, ever since our convoy reached this system. I do the things most wives do: cook, clean, take care of the day-to-day affairs concerned with keeping a household. I should be content, but I am not. I have never been, and never will be. Despite the constant presence of my charge, I am alone. Over the years, my life has become the epitome of redundancy, monotony and autonomy. Each morning, Jonathon awakes and wanders cautiously into the main living area. I always greet him the same way, and his confusion is always the same.
The way he looks at me each morning reminds me of all the things I have given up. I am clad in civilian clothing, and my hair has grown very long. I look neither Human nor Vulcan. In a very real sense, I have lost myself. While I understand how difficult this situation is for Jonathon (indeed, we discuss it anew every day), it is not nearly as difficult as it is for me. He understands, somewhat, but not enough. In any case, everything between us remains the same because his image of me remains fixed. More often than not, I wish I could have kept that image.
I know that when he looks at himself in the mirror each morning, he is startled by how much he has aged. I also experience this when I awake, but in a slightly altered form. I have not aged physically beyond the time he can remember, but I look at myself and I can see a difference. I look tired. I cling to my logic and Vulcan principles, but there is never a moment without conflict. Archer is that conflict. I have an obligation to him, ever since he foolishly refused to leave me in the corridor twelve years ago, resulting in our present arrangement and the condition of the Human species. So I stay with him and take care of him, as my upbringing dictates I do. Only the thought of this keeps me sane, reminds me that I am still Vulcan and forces me to do what I do.
I have come to a point where I seem to have achieved that which my people strive for. I pass my days in non-emotion. My interaction with my one-time captain is clinical. I tell him facts; endure his extreme emotional displays everyday. I have become immune to them. If we were allowed to exist in this cycle without intrusion, it might be possible for me to find true peace. But there are variables which prevent that, and will always prevent it.
The variable that asserts itself most frequently comes in the form of Dr. Phlox. He travels twice a year from Denobula to visit us and give Jonathon his regular check-ups. This could, of course, be performed by one of the doctors living on the colony, but Phlox is perhaps the only other person as devoted to Jonathon as I am. In twelve years, he has never ceased to search for a cure for the parasites that brought about such pain in this universe. He updates me regularly, and every so often comes with a promising treatment. Despite the consistent failure, something within me always stirs as he tests the latest treatment. The humans would call it hope. That is not what it is, and I do not know of a word which can describe it. It is a cross between hope and despair. Most illogical, I know, but all too true. For every time Phlox tests a treatment, I am hopeful, and every time it fails I am somehow ridiculously relieved.
Phlox certainly has not lost his gift for perception. He believes me to have an attachment to Jonathon. I allow him to believe that, for the most part. It is not, after all, entirely a lie. I am attached to Jonathon, but the attachment is not of a romantic nature, as Phlox suspects. Yet, I never fully contradict his beliefs and insinuations, because he is allowed some measure of contentment thinking that I care deeply for my charge. I would not wish him to pity me, so I maintain my silence. However, it not purely for his sake that I do not refute his theories. For the same reason that I am relieved when his treatments fail, I keep certain things locked away deep inside me. It is all tied to the other variable, the man Charles Tucker.
Nearly five years ago, Jonathon and I received Captain Tucker into our home for a short visit. He was recovering from stress-related illness and was forced into a two week hiatus. It was a visit I welcomed, and not solely for the break in the monotony of our lives. I had acknowledged my feelings towards Charles before Archer's accident all those years ago, and at the time I had good reason to believe he reciprocated my feelings. But everything changed when I was made a Starfleet captain. For the first time, the fraternization rules applied, and I was forced to return us to our earlier, less personal relationship. The difficulty and pain associated with it was staggering. I could not comfort him, could do nothing except see to it that the surviving humans were protected from the Xindi.
I knew he was hurt when I resigned my commission and announced my plans to remain with Archer. He believed I favored his one-time best friend over him. Once again, I denied myself and let him believe it to be true. I thought it would make the pain of separation less acute for him, but I was wrong. He contacted me frequently, always reminding me that I had a place on Enterprise if I ever wanted it. Despite my best efforts, my attempts to keep our relationship static failed. Coincidentally, he came to visit us at the same time my first Pon Far occurred, and he fulfilled my needs. It was the single most wonderful two weeks of my life. I remained in my personal rooms for the entirety of it, and he took my place as Jonathon's caregiver. Then, in the evenings and any moment that could be spared, we indulged ourselves. It ended much too soon.
The night before he left, my Charles held me tightly and begged me to come back with him. He had already contacted people who were willing to take care of the legendary Captain Archer, and all I had to do was say yes. And I did, in fact. But as he lay sleeping beside me, I lay awake and thought about it. I was a changed woman, not the T'Pol he once knew. And he was a changed man as well. As much as I wanted to be with him, I feared for us. On Enterprise, especially then and now, duty came before all else. I wasn't prepared to go back with him, only to be necessarily pushed aside. So the next morning, we said our goodbyes. He understood, or at least he claimed to. As I watched the shuttlepod lift off, I heard a door open behind me. I turned, and there was Jonathon, with that same look I had observed every morning, and that I still observe every morning.
And so, as I prepare to review another proposed treatment of Phlox's, I remember why I feel relieved at every failure to cure Jonathon. He is the one thing that keeps me here, keeps me away from Charles. If he were to no longer need me, I would not be able to resist the strong pull towards the other Captain. I would grant him our deepest wish and be at his side always. At night we would belong only to each other, but during the day, I would be replaced. Even with my logic and ability to control my emotions, I know I would not be able to handle that. So I remain here on this planet, living the life of a wife, alternately wishing things would change or remain the same. It would be so much easier if I believed in time travel. Then I could at least fantasize about an alternate ending to our mission, one in which my Charles and I could live as we wished.
A/N Continued: Okay, so what do you think? Is it confusing, or jump around too much? How about unreasonably abrupt? In any case, I won't be continuing this, but I would still like to know. And yes, I'm still working on "A Change in Circumstances"! The next part will be up soon, I promise!
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A handful of people have made comments
Wow. I only wish that the writers had figured out a way to make the episode explain something like that, because then I would have enjoyed it. I certainly find myself disliking 'Twilight' much less after reading this, thanks.
I don't think I've commented yet on this - I'm in nearly the end of the semester crisis, trying to grade everything and write my own papers. I really hate grad school.
Anyway, this was, as always, absolutely heart-string-pulling. I still hate Twilight, but this pacified me, somewhat. It simulaneously broke my heart, while also feeling like a soft hug around my heart. *Snifle.* Excellent job.
Wow! That was great! It puts "Twilight" in perspective for me... Very good, and very touching. Thanks!
that was really beautiful :-) nice job!
I, for one, loved Twilight, and this was a great addition to it.