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You're What? - Ch 4
The two men sat in silence for sometime, drinking the smooth scotch as Trip scratched Porthos’ ears.
“I’m not gonna let him take her, Jon, no matter what.” Trip had that determined set to his jaw. Archer had no doubt Trip would stop at nothing to keep T’Pol aboard.
“We won’t, Trip. You’re not the only one who cares about her you know. She’s one of us, she’s family.” Archer held the younger man’s eye, letting him know that no matter what, they wouldn’t have to stand alone.
Trip was warmed by the captain’s statement. “Thanks, that means a lot to me and to T’Pol.” Having the whole of Enterprise behind them made Trip know he wouldn’t have to fight it alone, should it come to that.
Archer changed the subject, amusement on his face. “You know, Malcolm went by your quarters last night, to see how you were doing. He was concerned that you weren’t there, nor were most of your belongings. I wasn’t aware there had been a change in crew quarter assignments.”
Trip expression was sheepish. “Oh, that. Yeah, I kinda moved in with T’Pol.” His hand scrubbed at his face.
“Kinda moved in?” Archer repeated Trip’s words.
“Well…I didn’t really ask. After all if I did she might say no.” he said with a smile and lift of his brows. “So, first I took over some change of clothes and toiletries, then a couple books, then some photos. She never said a word. She only gave me that raised eyebrow when I finally brought over my harmonica and diving helmet.” Trip finished with a chuckle.
Trip turned serious, “There’s somethin’ else you need to know about this Vulcan bond Jon. It’s permanent. It means T’Pol and I will be linked for the rest of our lives. If the bond mates are separated, it can cause problems, mentally and physically. She didn’t give me all the details yet on that. I know there’s the no fraternization rule, but…”
“Don’t worry about it Trip. We’ll just have to explain it to Starfleet.” Archer smiled and grasped Trip’s hand, letting the younger man know it would all work out.
“Thanks. Tomorrow’s going to be tough, I’m gonna hit the sack. Night Cap’n.”
Archer watched Trip leave and sighed heavily and wondered to himself just exactly how he was going to explain this to Starfleet. What do I report, ‘My two top officers are romantically involved, have performed a Vulcan bonding ritual, which means they can’t be separated, no I don’t know the details why, you know how secretive Vulcans are, oh…by the way…there’s a baby on the way. ‘
Some days it just didn’t pay to be the captain.
Trip headed back to T’Pol’s quarters, whistling a melodious tune.
“I was just talkin’ to the captain. How have you been? We haven’t had much time lately to catch up.”
“Obviously not, considering what has been happing in the last few days. The captain said both you and T’Pol will be off-duty for the next day or two. Does this have anything to do with her marriage and that Koss fellow coming here?”
“Actually, no it doesn’t. It just complicates things.” Trip looked at Malcolm, while the Englishman could grate on his nerves, he considered him a good friend. He thought about telling him, but knew it wasn’t the right time. They had reached T’Pol’s quarters. Trip stood in front of her door before turning to Malcolm. “It’s late. I guess you already know where I’ve been hangin’ my hat lately. I promise I’ll catch up with you in a few days. Okay? Goodnight.”
He keyed in the door code and walked quietly into the room. T’Pol was just as he left her, sleeping on her left side with her back to the room. Trip turned off the light he had left on for himself and climbed over T’Pol’s sleeping form to join her in bed. He pulled her into her arms and slept soundly the rest of the night.
Trip and T’Pol arrived at sickbay the next morning just before 0800 hours. Both were feeling anxious and somewhat scared, even though they had meditated for an hour prior to arrival. As they entered, Phlox ushered them over to a curtained off area. “I’ve set up a large mat and curtained it off for privacy.”
“I will setup the candles and mediation pillows.” T’Pol held out her hand for the satchel Trip had been carrying.
“Commander, it might be difficult for you to, shall we say, restrain yourselves. However, I am prepared to intervene.” Phlox warned Trip.
“Look, I’ve shared her bed the last three nights, and managed not to have sex with her.” Trip answered him wryly.
“My apologies, Commander, you show considerable restraint.”
“You don’t even begin to know how much.” Trip muttered under his breath.
Neither T’Pol or Trip had noticed the MACOs upon entering. However, as Trip turned around he saw two MACOs, one female and one male standing against the wall of sickbay. Trip did not recognize the male, but was well acquainted with the female. Corporal Amanda Cole waggled her fingers at Trip in greeting, a large smile plastered on her face.
“What are they doing here? I thought you were kidding!” Trip hissed at the doctor.
“I told you before it might be very difficult to separate you and T’Pol.” The doctor looked confused by Trip’s reaction.
“Look, I’d like to come away with my dignity in tact, but I sure as hell don’t want to make it a military action! Now get them out of here before T’Pol sees.” Trip whispered sharply.
“Very well, commander.” As Phlox moved towards the MACOs, T’Pol stepped around the curtain, much to Trip’s dismay.
“I have setup the candles; we can begin at any time.” T’Pol had come around the curtain before the MACOs could leave. Trip groaned as he watched T’Pol advance upon the female MACO. Amanda stood her ground with an amused expression on her face and watched the progressing Vulcan. “YOU! What are you doing here? Commander Tucker is my mate, you cannot have him, he is mine! I have claimed him! Leave!” T’Pol demanded.
Trip hurried after T’Pol, grabbing her by the upper arms and turned her around. “T’Pol, they were just leaving. Right?” Trip Tucker gently led the angry Vulcan back to the curtained area while motioning for the MACOs to leave. “Calm down, hon, they’re gone now. You’re the only one for me, you know that.” Trip tried to assuage T’Pol’s ire by embracing her gently and caressing her cheek as he spoke. “Take some deep breaths, that’s it.” After taking some deep cleansing breaths, T’Pol seemed to shake off her anger.
“Why don’t we get started? I will warn you Commander Tucker, that I may not be able to prevent the…ah…intimacy from occurring.” Phlox spoke as he switched on his equipment.
“I know, I’m just asking to try, that’s all. If it can’t be helped, it can’t be helped. OK? The most important thing is T’Pol and the baby.” Trip had consoled himself that he would do whatever was needed.
“If it any consolation to you Trip, only I will be committing adultery if we have sexual relations.” T’Pol said to Trip with a solemn expression.
“Gee, that makes it all better. Look, I don’t want to get into a semantic debate about the proper terminology nor have an argument right now. I love you and we’re gonna to be spending the rest of our lives together. Like I said, whatever happens, happens. OK? I’ll be all right. Let’s get started.” Trip smiled at the woman he loved as her led her to the mat.
Both Trip and T’Pol settled on her meditation cushions and T’Pol started lighting the candles. They faced one another, sitting cross-legged. Phlox was excited to witness the bonding process. Vulcans were typically very secretive about their rituals. He was honored to be included. T’Pol had been concerned that Trip’s human physiology wouldn’t be able to withstand Vulcan bonding process without mental damage. However, Trip had surprised her with how swiftly he had adapted to meditation and how quickly he had mastered many of the neuro-pressure postures she had taught him.
“I will be monitoring your bio-signs Commanders. Commander Tucker, as a human, I don’t know what kind of reaction you will experience with a Vulcan bond.” Both looked at the doctor and nodded, before turning to face one another again.
“Place your fingertips to the contact points on my face.” T’Pol ordered. Trip reached out and placed his fingers on the left side of T’Pol’s face. T’Pol adjusted Trip’s fingers slightly. Before she could act further, Trip leaned over and kissed her on the lips. As he pulled away, T’Pol looked amused and held out the index and middle finger of her left hand extended towards Trip. Trip recognized the gesture from her marriage ceremony. Without hesitation, Trip placed his left index and middle finger to T’Pol’s. Her felt a jolt of electricity course through his body. T’Pol hesitated slightly before placing her fingers to the contact points on Trip’s face. Once she made contact, Trip felt even more electrified. He felt exhilarated and engulfed in flame. He could hear her voice in his head directing him.
‘Touching, yet never touching, apart yet never parted. Ashayam.’
‘Touching, yet never touching, apart yet never parted. T’Pol.’
Phlox was mesmerized by the commanders’ positions. With their arms on each other’s faces and their fingertips touching, their arms formed the symbol for infinity. He wondered if this was a normal position, or one that T’Pol had initiated just now.
T’Pol was fascinated by Trip’s mind. She plucked through his mind with ease. She began by focusing on the most recent events. His wonder once she made physical contact, his amusement and pride over her reaction to the female MACO’s presence, his conversation with the captain last night, their conversation with her mother and Koss, the painful memory of their argument in the ready room. Trip had said he’d do what was best for her, but he had been absolutely terrified she would choose the kohlinar. She felt how relieved he had been when she refused. His deep pain when she had married Koss. T’Pol filtered through Trip’s mind with ease. He was so trusting; he did not know how to shield himself yet, so his mind was completely open to her. She could see all the times she had hurt him, had rejected him, and all the times she made him happy. She could feel the depth of love from him, for his family, his friends, and her. T’Pol reveled in the love he had for her. She probed further into his mind, his thoughts were chaotic. She wondered how anyone whose thought process was so disorganized could be so brilliant and analytical. He had many memories of her, of his family, and his friends. She saw how much he enjoyed their arguments. She saw the death of his sister, and old aunt, his pet dog, his grandfather, the birth of nephews, nieces, and cousins. She saw him as an adult dancing with women, dancing as an adolescent with a blond haired girl. He wanted to teach her to dance, but had never asked, afraid of her rejection. She saw how attracted to her he was from their first meeting. His love her overshadowed it all, and she basked in the warmth. T’Pol gently eased away from Trip’s mind, and he felt bereft from her loss.
‘Let me show you my mind, how to access my thoughts, my feelings.’
T’Pol showed Trip how to navigate the pathways of her mind. He couldn’t believe the colors of her mind, her depth of emotions. Her memories were brightly colored and sharply outlined, reminding Trip of an old cartoon. The analogy made him laugh comparing a Vulcan’s orderly mind with a cartoon. She eased him along, showing him how to access her thoughts. She slowly let her shields down, allowing her memories, thoughts, and emotions to flow through. Trip relived her experiences just as she relived his. T’Pol showed him her memories in a chronological order. Their first meeting, how she had inhaled his scent and been aroused by it. Trip was stunned to discover T’Pol had been attracted to him as well. How initially his teasing had hurt her, but how she soon discovered he only teased people he liked. How she thought of him as frivolous, but came to respect his skills, his intelligence, his caring nature, and his honesty. Her opinion of him truly changed when he confessed his indiscretion about reading her letter. He challenged her preconceived notions of humans, just as she had challenged his. T’Pol let him see her growing attraction to him, how she tried to push it aside, how she trusted him beyond all others. She let him truly see why she had initiated their sexual encounter. She had been jealous and she had been afraid his affection would be directed towards Amanda Cole, not her. She intended to claim him as hers. She had been terrified of the depth of emotions he had invoked after their encounter and purposely pushed him away. She didn’t think a human could commit to a lasting union. She let Trip see the regret of her decision to push him away, her dismay at having to marrying Koss, her fear and joy on hearing of her pregnancy, her fear that Koss would take her away, her jealousy at seeing Amanda Cole here. And lastly, she let Trip see her love for him.
‘This is incredible T’Pol. I’ve never experienced anything like this, it’s fantastic. I can hear you in my mind. Will we be able to communicate like this once we stop touching each other?’
‘If you were Vulcan, I would say yes, but I am not sure.’
‘Well, for the first time ever, I wish I was a Vulcan.’
‘I am glad you are not. I believe we have made substantial progress today. Later I will teach you how to shield your mind.’
“I hope we never lose this. You know I will never want another woman. You’re it for me T’Pol. Forever and always, there will never be another. I love you so much, I hope you know that.’
‘Of course I do, we have bonded most successfully. We must break now, we have been sitting here for hours and I am weary.’
‘You’re kidding? It seems like it’s only been a few minutes.’
‘I know, but has been over 4 hours. Our bodies must rest.’
Phlox had been monitoring the couple for 4 hours and 27 minutes. Their respiration and heart rate increased as expected. Soon after the bond ritual began, they had scooted towards one another until their knees touched and within in an hour their foreheads touched. Perspiration dampened their faces and uniforms. Both faces displayed a wealth of emotions. Phlox was amazed to see T’Pol actually smile. Their brain activity was considerable, and several times the doctor thought to disengage the couple. When their brain waves coalesced and synchronized, Phlox knew they had achieved their goal. Slowly their brain waves returned to a heightened state of their normal brain wave. Phlox was sure that the bond had been successful, but was anxious to confirm with T’Pol.
“Welcome back Commanders.” Phlox spoke cheerfully when he saw their eyes flutter open. “4 hours and 27 minutes. I was monitoring your vital signs and brain activity the entire time. I have collected some fascinating information. Was this a successful bond, T’Pol?”
“Indeed doctor. Much more successful than I could have hoped for.” She responded quietly.
“Because I’m human, right?” Trip asked cheerfully.
“Correct.” Was her crisp reply.
Trip didn’t seem offended in the least. Instead he stared intently at T’Pol, Phlox was as well.
“What is wrong?” her eyes darted between the two men.
“Absolutely nothing darlin’. I don’t believe I have ever seen you look so beautiful. You’re glowing. I’ve always heard that pregnant women glow, but it’s more than that, you’re luminous.” Trip couldn’t seem to tear his eyes away from T’Pol.
Phlox whole-heartedly agreed with Commander Tucker. T’Pol looked composed and serene, she glowed with a new found vitality. One that he was sure came from a certain human. He was just about to comment on the same when the couple rose up on their knees and locked themselves into passionate embrace and kiss. Phlox was surprised and looked on with amusement. A deeply passionate woman, even if just a moment had replaced the stoic Vulcan.
When they broke from their kiss, both T’Pol and Trip were overcome with fatigue. “Geez, I’m exhausted, I need to sleep. I can hardly keep my eyes open. Is this a normal reaction?” Pulling T’Pol down with him, he laid himself out on the mat, rearranging the pillows under their heads. Soon they were asleep, their arms locked around each other. Phlox had been expecting the exhaustion and laid a warm blanket over the sleeping couple.
Phlox glanced up from feeding his menagerie when the captain entered sickbay.
“How’s are favorite couple doing?”
“They have been asleep for almost 3 hours.” Phlox walked Archer over to the curtained area and gazed down on Trip and T’Pol with great fondness. Archer was taken aback to see Trip and T’Pol holding each other so tightly. T’Pol was partially on top of Trip and his arms were locked around T’Pol is if he would never let go. A large smile was plastered on his face. Archer was even more stunned to see a smile on T’Pol’s. A Vulcan smiling, was he seeing things? She looked radiant.
“So, I take it things went well then.” Archer directed towards Phlox.
“Very well. I didn’t really get a chance to speak long with Commander T’Pol before they went to sleep. Once she wakens, I will discuss it with her.” Phlox responded cheerfully before returning to his feeding.
Both men turned as they heard sounds of stirring behind the curtain.
“God, I’m hungry! Sweetie, wake up, let’s get some food.”
Before Phlox and Archer reached they curtain, they heard the unmistakable sound of kissing and then Trip chuckling. Coming around the curtained area, they watched as Trip pulled T’Pol to her feet.
“That’s real nice babe, but I’m still hungry. Come on, to the mess hall!” Trip embraced T’Pol as she regained her feet.
“I am not hungry.”
“You didn’t eat any breakfast or any dinner last night. You need to eat, you’re too thin.” Trip bent to gather the candles and pillows.
“Very well, I will have a small salad.” T’Pol answered primly.
“No you won’t.”
“No?” she challenged.
“No, you’re gonna to have soup and cheese and mushroom ravioli. I asked chef to prepare it for us. Cap’n! I didn’t see you there.” Trip was placing the candles and pillows in a small satchel while T’Pol folded the blanket. Archer noticed that Trip couldn’t stop smiling as he watched the very domestic scene.
“What if I don’t want soup and ravioli?” T’Pol had walked up next to Trip with a nod of acknowledgement to the captain.
“To bad, you’re gonna eat it anyway. Please don’t argue me with on this. Care to join us Cap’n, Phlox?” Trip had grabbed T’Pol’s hand and started to head towards the sickbay doors.
“Why not, I could go for an early dinner.” Archer joined to two heading towards the door.
“No thank you, I have eaten already.” Phlox returned to his creatures, anxious to start reviewing the data he had collected.
Trip and T’Pol’s bond grew in strength over the next few days as did Trip’s paranoia that Koss would try and transport T’Pol off the ship.
“You came up with this design in the last few days?” Archer looked up the Chief Engineer, his face incredulous.
“No, I came up with when we were in the expanse. I thought if we could block bio-signs then they couldn’t detect us if were infiltrating their ship or buildings. But the power pack doesn’t last long, not more than a few hours at most. However, on board, we can rotate through them and recharge the ones not in use.” Trip prattled on happily about the engineering details involved while Archer looked over at T’Pol. She shook her head slightly, and even Archer could see the amusement in her eyes. She looked on Trip as one would when indulging a small child.
“So T’Pol just wears these on her neck and they can’t lock onto her!” Trip looked at the captain expectantly, waiting for approval of his plan. T’Pol merely raised her eyebrow and shook her head again before turning back to her work. Archer covered his mouth with his hand to prevent Trip from seeing his smile. When he had regained his composure, he gave Trip the green light to commence with building the small devices.
“We are being hailed captain, it’s the Valesha.” Hoshi reported.
“Captain, we will rendezvous with your ship in 81 minutes.” The Vulcan captain informed them crisply.
“Understood.” Archer looked over to Hoshi, “Inform Trip and T’Pol.”
Trip stood with the captain at the docking port waiting for the green light on the airlock. As the doors hissed open Trip caught sight of T’Les. She stood regally, waiting for the doors to open enough to allow her entrance. Behind her Koss waited patiently as did several other Vulcans.
“Welcome aboard, I am Captain Archer. I believe you both have already met my Chief Engineer, Commander Tucker.”
Koss and T’Les nodded in acknowledgment.
“Live long and prosper.” Trip held his hand in the traditional Vulcan V greeting.
“Peace and long life Commander.” T’Les responded while Koss remained silent.
“I have come for my wife. Where is she? We cannot detect her bio-sign aboard the ship.” Koss demanded of the captain.
Trip was secretly pleased that his device had worked and that T’Pol had indulged him by using it.
Archer ignored Koss’ question. “I would like to give you a tour of the ship, and then dinner in the captain’s mess. We can talk about this situation like adults, can’t we?”
Three Vulcans emerged from behind Koss, two men and a woman, they looked irritated as they had to squeeze their way around Koss. T’Les had moved off to stand near Trip, but Koss had remained partially blocking the doorway. Apparently the other Vulcans on board didn’t care much for Koss either.
“I am Captain Vorak, this is my Chief Engineer, T’May” the Vulcan captain nodded towards the woman, “and my First Officer, Pirok. They would like to work with your staff on ridding the engines of these…plasma bugs.”
“Of course, this is my Chief Engineer, Charles Tucker. He will work with your staff. Trip?”
“I will return to my ship. Communicate any progress to me immediately.”
“If you folks will follow me?” Trip led the Vulcans to the situation room where they would be able to work on the issue. T’Pol was waiting for them there. Trip and Archer had already worked out a plan of action. Foremost to that plan was Trip remaining quiet and not losing his temper with Koss.
“Now why don’t we get started with that tour?” Archer smiled broadly at the remaining two Vulcans.
“I see no point as this is not a social visit. Under Vulcan law, T’Pol is my property. I have come to take her back to Vulcan. She obviously is very ill, more so that she indicated to me prior to our joining.” Koss looked imperiously at Archer.
“T’Pol doesn’t want to go. She wishes to remain here with Commander Tucker. Again, we can discuss this like adults over a nice dinner. Now why don’t we start that tour?” Archer retorted, just as imperiously. Archer held his arm out indicating they should accompany him. T’Les marched forward and joined the captain. They stood looking at Koss for several moments before turning and leaving him standing alone when he made no indication he would move. “T’Les, it is pleasure to finally meet you in person, I’ve heard so much about you. Trip speaks highly of you.”
“He has spoken highly of you as well captain.”
As T’Les and Archer moved along the corridor, Archer began explaining the purpose of their original mission and the various functions of the ship and technology.
Neither turned when they heard hurried footsteps catching up with them.
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A whole mess of folks have made comments
Loved the domesticity of the scene between Trip and T'Pol in sickbay. As for Koss he needs a complete character overhaul. Preferrably performed at the other end of the expanse from Enterprise. Great story, looking forward to more.
Awwsome!! AWwww Poor poor Koss the little cry baby cant have his way! Ant it great! I cant wait for the next chapter!
Couldn't agree more -- the bonding scene was wonderful, and the bit with Phlox having the MACO's on hand was hilarious. What was he thinking! And Koss . . . definitely a villain of the old school and I'm hoping he gets what he deserves -- public humiliation followed by a really nasty, painful death. (His property, my foot!)
God I love this story! Me thinks Trip will have to defend his baby from Koss... perferably by an airlock.
Man, this Koss is a little bastard. Kill him off.
"Neither turned when they heard hurried footsteps catching up with them."
I love this story! The bonding ceremony was wonderful. Koss is a bastard, just like he always was. Have Trip clock him once for me, will ya? hehe. Please update soon!
Excellent chapter! I love this story, and I love the way you write Koss, just the way I see him!
hmmm... interesting. please continue pronto!
Terrific! Keep it coming!
Koss must die.
I love T'Pol reaction to Amanda Cole's presence in sickbay - it's classic!!
How great loved the bonding hated the Koss
This is Spider Talkin'Ya shoulda killed off Koss.