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You're What? - Ch 5
The tour of Enterprise took more than an hour. Archer was taking his time, leisurely strolling through the corridors. Carefully explaining the functions of each department on Enterprise. Trip, T’Pol, and the other Vulcans were in the Situation Room going over all the data collected on the plasma bugs and the affects they had on the warp core. That room was not on the tour.
Archer found himself thoroughly enjoying T’Les’ company. She was an interesting woman. She asked thoughtful, insightful questions. Archer almost forgot Koss was trailing along behind them.
As they reached engineering, Koss finally spoke up. “This is Commander Tucker’s department, is it not?”
“It is. Trip keeps this ship going, don’t know what we’d do without him.” Archer motioned for the two to precede him into Engineering.
A dark-haired woman approached the trio as they entered. “This is Lieutenant Rostov, Commander Tucker’s second. Lieutenant, this is T’Les, Commander T’Pol’s mother, and Koss, a traveling companion.” Archer shot a warning look to Koss. T’Pol’s marriage was not common knowledge, and he wanted to keep it that way. Lt. Rostov took over the tour from there and explained the various functions and stations of engineering.
Many of the crew had been curious about their Vulcan visitors throughout the tour, but the Engineering team seemed the most curious so far. T’Les’ keen ears could hear whispered conversation, mostly regarding her presence, her daughter, and Commander Tucker.
‘I bet he finally popped the question!’ T’Les wondered what that meant.
T’Les knew too, that Koss must be overhearing the conversations as well. Wisely, he remained silent. Apparently, the engineering team knew of T’Pol’s and Commander Tucker’s relationship. She suspected most of the crew knew about their feelings for one another, as neither her daughter nor the chief engineer hid it too well. She had observed this in her own home.
When the tour finally wrapped up on the bridge, Koss asked again where T’Pol was.
“She is attending to her duties. You are welcome to stay aboard Enterprise while we determine how to remove the plasma bugs from the warp core. T’Les, Commander Tucker has kindly given up his quarters for you, should you decide to stay. Koss, we have quarters set aside for you as well.”
“I will stay aboard the Valesha. I will return for this…dinner.” Koss informed them.
“I will have Lt. Reed escort you to the airlock.” Archer motioned to Malcolm.
“I’m Lt. Reed, if you will follow me.” Malcolm idly wondered if the captain would chastise him if he just blew Koss out of the airlock instead. He certainly knew Trip wouldn’t, nor did he suspect would T’Pol. Koss nodded his head in acceptance and followed behind Malcolm from the bridge.
“I hope Commander Tucker was not inconvenienced by relinquishing his quarters.” T’Les asked.
“He has found suitable alternative quarters.” Archer said with a small smile.
“Indeed.” She responded with a quirk of her eyebrow.
Archer smiled broadly and laughed softly. Yes, he liked T’Pol’s mother very much.
“Trip? Yes he is. He’s an amiable fellow. He’s always trying to help everyone, do the right thing, and be there when someone needs a hand. I’ve heard the ladies refer to his ‘southern charm’ as being hard to resist. Makes it difficult for the rest of us gents on board.” Malcolm replied.
“So, he has many relationships with the females aboard this vessel?” Koss returned.
“No! That’s not what I meant. If here were available I meant, he’d be the first on many of the ladies list. There’s only one woman for Trip!” Malcolm had forgotten he was talking to T’Pol’s husband. Ignoring his gaffe, he continued on, “Most of the crew cares for Commander Tucker. He is a gentleman, kind, and caring person. Ah, here we are.” Fortunately they had reached the airlock and Malcolm was saved any further conversation and embarrassment.
“So I’ve heard.” Koss replied before leaving the ship.
T’May, the chief engineer of the Valesha, stood next to T’Pol, dwarfing the Enterprise’s petite first officer. T’May was nearly as tall as Trip, had virtually black hair brushing her shoulders and hazel eyes. Pirok, their First Officer, had light brown hair and brown eyes, and was considerably shorter than T’May. He stood behind the women observing the data on screen. He was quiet, even by Vulcan standards. When he spoke, T’May paid close attention. He was well respected by her; apparently his lack of height did not diminish the respect he commanded. Trip filed this knowledge away.
“Perhaps we should run this through our own mathematical database. We may have some algorithms you do not possess. We can have them downloaded to your database. Perhaps with the combined data, we may succeed.” Pirok offered, looking at Trip.
Vulcans offering information? Trip was amazed, and took a few seconds to respond. “Yes, yes of course, that’d be great.”
T’May contacted her ship and spoke in rapid Vulcan. Within 20 minutes Enterprise’s database had been updated to contain the new Vulcan mathematical database. Trip did his best to conceal his excitement. Even if they didn’t solve their immediate issue with this new data, it would most assuredly come in handy in the future.
After several more hours work, and not much more information gained, Trip noticed the time. “Shit! We need to go get cleaned up T’Pol. Remember, dinner with the captain and your momma. I’m not gonna be late to dinner with your momma!”
“You never seemed to mind coming late to appointments with me.” T’Pol sniffed.
“Your wrong, darlin’. I never wanted to be late, things would just happen.”
“So, it is more important that you are on time with my mother, than with me?” T’Pol gave the outward appearance of being offended, but Trip knew her so well, he knew she was teasing him. Just as he teased her so often on so many occasions, maybe he was rubbing off on her.
“Your momma’s on my side, and I’m gonna keep it that way.” Turning to the other Vulcans, Trip continued, “I’m sorry we gotta rush outta here. You’re welcome to stay, or we can call it a night and start fresh tomorrow?”
The other Vulcans had watched the exchange. T’May appeared amused while Pirok’s expression remained unchanged. Trip idly wondered if only female Vulcans had a sense of humor. The males seemed completely bereft of one.
“We will return in the morning.”
T’May spoke in Vulcan to T’Pol before leaving. “We can find our own way to the airlock, Commanders. Enjoy your meal.” While Trip had stared to learn Vulcan, he knew only a few words. Once word he did recognize was ‘human’.
“What’d she say to you?” Curiosity getting the better of him, Trip looked to T’Pol.
“She said ‘your human is amusing’.”
“Do only the female Vulcans have a sense of humor?”
“Vulcans do not have a sense humor.” T’Pol replied with all seriousness.
“Of course not.” Trip replied a generous smile gracing his lips.
Trip and T’Pol headed back to their quarters at a brisk walk. Trip suggested they shower together to ‘save time’. They soaped each other generously, reveling in touching each other’s bodies. Trip particularly enjoyed the way T’Pol’s slick body slid over his. They shared deep passionate kisses and fierce embraces. Trip knew he was crossing the line, but didn’t really care too much at the moment. He loved the soapy woman in his arms, and knew his love was returned.
“Oh, god, I want you darlin’.” Trip nuzzled his head into T’Pol’s neck. His lips brushing her neck.
“Yes, that is evident.” They both looked down at Trip’s aroused member.
“Hard to hide that when you’re naked.” Trip had picked up her errant thought of that erotic dream through their growing bond and was teasing her mercilessly, his eyebrows waggling up and down comically. “You had a dream about us makin’ love in the shower? So, how’d this compare so far?”
“It is somewhat comparable. But in my dream I tried to kill you, by strangulation.” She informed him matter-of-factly.
“O-kay.” He said slowly. “Well why don’t we skip that part, huh? I’d really like to live.” He kissed her passionately again.
“I want you too, Trip, but we must leave the shower and get dressed, otherwise we will be late.”
“You’re right. Otherwise in a few minutes, we’ll be doin’ something else.” He sighed in longing, knowing she was right.
“I have laid out garments for you to wear this evening.” T’Pol told Trip as she toweled herself off.
“Don’t trust me to dress myself?” Trip chided her with a friendly smile.
“Your off-duty attire can be somewhat…questionable.”
Not offended, Trip laughed heartily. Trip was sure it would be his blue shirt. T’Pol seemed to favor it above all others. Trip quickly shaved while T’Pol dressed. She had put on a tunic and slacks in a deep red color. Sure enough, the blue shirt along with dark pants was laid out for Trip. He dutifully donned the clothing T’Pol had selected. He smiled to himself, it’s like we’re already married.
T’Pol looked at him with her head titled to one side, “Is something wrong beloved?”
“Nope, everything is just right.”
Archer had been entertaining T’Les in the captain’s mess for a few minutes before Koss arrived. T’Les had changed her robe to one of a deep purple color. Archer thought she looked quite stunning.
“T’Les, you look lovely.” Archer remarked to the woman before he realized that such compliments were useless on her. Her only acknowledgement was a slightly raised eyebrow and gentle tilt of her head. Koss had overheard the remark and sniffed his displeasure.
“I assume my wife will be joining us?” Koss asked bluntly upon entering.
“T’Pol and Trip will join us, yes. Ah, here they are now.” Archer was astonished to see Trip and T’Pol walk in holding hands. Koss’ eyes widened in surprise while T’Les appeared nonplussed by her daughter’s behavior.
“I apologize if we’re late.” Trip spoke quickly.
“No, Trip, for once, you’re right on time.” Archer laughed. “Drink?”
“Yep. You want some tea, hon?” Trip had turned his attention to T’Pol.
Koss had approached the couple and extended two fingers on his left hand to T’Pol.
“Greetings wife. Commander.” T’Pol regarded Koss’ hand as one might a slithering, slimy object. Her arm remained firmly at her side.
“Greetings.” She answered flatly. She had refused to wear Trip’s device to dinner, insisting that she would not be transported off the ship in front of them. Trip had relented, knowing she was correct.
“Koss, anything for you? No, I’ll get your tea.” Trip stepped away from T’Pol to get her tea.
T’Pol regarded Koss with a hostile look. “Perhaps we should join the others.” T’Pol walked away from Koss to join Trip and the captain.
“Mother, it is agreeable to see you.” T’Pol said as she approached her mother.
“Indeed daughter. You look well.” T’Les thought she did in fact, look quite well. She glowed with vitality and health.
They made idle chitchat while waiting for dinner to be served. Archer carefully sidestepped any conversation regarding their situation. ‘After dinner, keep it until after dinner’ he kept thinking to himself. If Koss were human, he’d have let T’Pol go by now, just to save any further embarrassment. But he wasn’t and wasn’t subject to such an appeal, they had to appeal to him on some other level.
Within a few minutes, a vegetarian meal was served. Archer sat to the head of the table with T’Les to his right and T’Pol to his left. Trip sat next to T’Pol leaving Koss to sit beside T’Les.
T’Les inquired about Trip’s home and upbringing. Archer had the distinct impression that he was being evaluated by T’Les for suitability to her daughter.
Trip regaled them with tales of Starfleet, his childhood, his friends and family. He carefully avoided conversation about his sister’s death. T’Pol knew well enough to see the pain still there. However, he focused on pleasant memories. With Trip’s colorful euphemisms, T’Pol would interject when the other Vulcans did not understand Trip’s remarks.
“…she ran outta there like a long-tailed cat in room full of rockin’ chairs.”
“…boy, we laughed a long might on that one. Course she got us back though. My auntie, she wasn’t one to trifle with. She laid into us like dog with a new bone.”
“…my mom knew it was my younger brother, ‘cause he looked like the cat the who swallowed the canary...”
“…so she whacked him good for pullin’ such a trick.”
And on it went. Archer tried valiantly to hide his amusement, but failed on occasion. They were so in sync; he doubted either truly realized their interplay. T’Les would look over at him each time a chuckle escaped his lips. He realized T’Les found the exchange just as amusing.
Koss watched the animated human with interest. It was no wonder T’Pol had spent 3 years aboard this vessel. It had taken that long to understand this human.
“Why don’t we have some music while we wait for dessert?” Archer piped up when he could see Koss was ready to launch into the topic he had been avoiding.
“Do you have any Vulcan selections?” Koss asked.
“We do.” T’Pol answered.
“Perhaps something from the monks of Mount Seleya?” Koss suggested.
T’Pol looked dispirited, but rose and walked over to the computer panel. She selected the music. At first they heard gongs and a slow drumbeat. Soon though the chants of the Vulcan monks filled the room. Both Trip and Archer looked displeased.
“You do not care for the selection, Captain?” Koss asked.
“No offense Koss, but it sounds like people being tortured.” Archer answered.
“Yeah, the ones listening.” Trip muttered under his breath. T’Pol looked at him sharply, she had heard him, so had Koss and T’Les.
“Then perhaps Commander Tucker could offer a selection.” Koss looked at Trip with a challenge.
“No problem.” Trip got up and headed over to the computer console, relieved at ending the annoying music. T’Pol felt some amount of trepidation, she knew Trip’s taste in music was vast; she hoped he would select something tasteful.
Soon muted sounds of horns and violins graced the room. Trip could see immediately his selection had a very positive effect. T’Les appeared entranced as did T’Pol. She looked up at him in amazement. He never failed to astonish her.
“That is beautiful. What is this?” T’Les asked softly.
“That’s Ravel’s Bolero, one of my favorites. It’s a ballet.” Trip answered.
“Ballet?” Koss asked, unfamiliar with the word.
“Yeah, a form of dance. The women dance on what’s called toe shoes that made of satin and have box at the end so she can dance on the point of her toes. The fellas wear soft leather shoes.” Trip explained.
“Vulcans don’t dance.” Koss intoned.
“Yeah, I know. Why is that? You have other forms of art, sculpture, paintings, pottery, poetry, and music. Why not dance? It’s just another art form. And even if ya don’t look at it that way, it’s great exercise.” Trip replied earnestly.
“Vulcans don’t dance.” Koss intoned again.
“Ya got two feet don’t ya? I know you can dance. You folks even have some spiritual rituals. Many of the ancient religions on earth incorporated dance into there ceremonies. I guess I just don’t understand why ya don’t dance.” His open friendly face, and wide smile turned towards T’Pol.
“You danced with your sister. Ballet, if I am not mistaken.” Trip could have socked T’Pol for revealing that information.
“Among others, yes.” Trip closed his eyes, and exhaled deeply.
“Ballet, Trip? I bet you looked real cute in a tutu.” Archer couldn’t contain his amusement and laughed openly at his red-faced friend.
“Ha, ha, ha. Only the ladies wear a tutu. Look, I had an old auntie that ran a dance studio. My mom had all of us kids take lessons. I was Lizzie’s partner most of the time. We did other dances too. Ballroom, jazz, tap, swing, modern. Teaches you balance, grace, gives you flexibility.” Trip shrugged his shoulders, “Still don’t know why you Vulcans don’t dance.”
“You wish to teach me to dance, do you not?” T’Pol had turned to Trip and regarded him earnestly. She had wanted to ask since they first bonded.
“I’d love to, but as Koss is fond of saying ‘Vulcans don’t dance’.” Trip gazed at her, the obvious love for her written across his face. No one else in the room seemed to matter.
“I’d be honored if you would teach me to dance, Trip.” T’Pol whispered to him, her eyes locked on Trip’s. Archer was surprised to see T’Pol gaze back at Trip with just as much love. Archer watched as T’Pol moved her chair as close as possible to Trip’s.
Trip became lost in the brown depths of her luminous eyes. “It would be my absolute pleasure to teach you to dance.” Trip held out two fingers on his left hand and T’Pol immediately touched her fingers to his. As they gazed into each other’s eyes, it was apparent to the remaining people in the room that they had been forgotten. Trip brought his hand up to stoke T’Pol’s cheek. She leaned into it and purred like a kitten. Their eyes never wavered from each other. Then they both leaned forward and began a soft kiss, which quickly turned deeper as they both moved their hands to the backs of each other’s heads. Archer could see from his position that they were involved in a pretty deep tongue dance.
T’Les’ expression was neutral while Koss looked slightly ill. The doors hissed opened as the server carried in the dessert. The serving person’s eyes opened wide at the sight before him. Commander Tucker was kissing Commander T’Pol! Even in the kitchen depths, he had heard rumors of the romance. Now he had first hand knowledge. He couldn’t wait to share this tidbit with Chef.
Archer loudly cleared his throat, hoping to bring those two back in the world of reality. Trip broke the kiss and looked sheepish as his face blushed deeply. “Sorry, ‘bout that.”
“Will you teach T’Pol ballet?” T’Les asked.
“Um..probably not, unless she wants to. It’s more of a type of dance that you watch, for entertainment. See, the music that’s playing now, Bolero,..”
“I thought you said it was Ravels Bolero.” Koss interrupted.
“Bolero is the name of the piece, Ravel’s the composer. Anyway, the dance is choreographed to the music. Usually there are more than just the two people. A man and a woman will perform the main parts, but there’s supporting dancers, kinda like a chorus.” Trip explained patiently.
“This music repeats on the same theme.” T’Les observed. From there the discussion dissected Ravel’s work and the properties of music. All in all, it was a lively discussion. “I find it…soothing yet haunting. I would appreciate it if you would share a copy of this Commander.”
“Be my pleasure, ma’am.” Trip replied sincerely.
“I would like to speak to my daughter alone.” T’Les rose from her chair.
“We may speak privately in our quarters.” T’Pol informed her, and rose as well.
As T’Pol and T’Les left, Archer glanced over to Trip. “Can I offer you a drink, Koss? We have some good bourbon on board.” Archer didn’t wait for Koss to answer and instead got up and retrieved three shot glasses and poured them each a round.
Archer handed the amber liquid to Koss, who regarded it as if it were poison.
“You just toss it down.” Trip said with a smile and salute of the glass. Both the Captain and the Commander gulped down the liquid. Koss tried to imitate their actions. Both men chuckled at him when coughed as the fiery liquid ran down his throat. How could they drink this beverage? Humans must be stronger than he imagined if they consumed this on a regular basis. Soon a warm feeling enveloped Koss’ stomach. He began to relax somewhat. Archer was pouring another round for them and Koss suspected Archer and the Commander were delaying the inevitable discussion.
“We must discuss this situation. You seem intent on preventing me from speaking directly with T’Pol.” Koss spoke directly.
“You’re correct, we are. T’Pol wants you to dissolve this marriage. She is uncomfortable around you. She feels…hostile towards you, and she didn’t believe she would be able to keep a level head in a discussion with you.” Archer spoke quietly to Koss.
Koss spoke quietly. “I am not a fool. I can see that Commander Tucker and T’Pol are in love. Vulcans do have feelings, as you are well aware. However, she agreed to marry me to aid her mother. I kept my part of the bargain, she should honor hers.”
“She didn’t know she was pregnant with my baby! Would you have married her if you knew about that and her…illness and…ah…ah…the other issue?” Trip shot back.
Koss looked thoughtful; maybe Trip was getting to him. Rather than answer, Koss pushed his glass towards Archer who dutifully refilled the glass. “We were betrothed as children, I had met her only once before. It is our way. I thought her unusual at the time. Apparently I was not incorrect.”
Koss had quit speaking and instead sipped at the bourbon. Trip motioned to the captain to leave; he needed to speak one-on-one to Koss. Archer left the room quietly bidding Koss a good night.
“Look Koss, be the bigger man here, let her go. I know it’s a big slap in the ego. Hell! She’s stepped on my nuts more than once, and like an idiot, I kept going back for more.”
Koss wondered what T’Pol stepping on a food item had to do with a bruised ego. “I do not have an ego to be slapped Commander.”
“Bullshit! I know you have emotions, just like me, you just suppress it. Remember, I’m living with your wife. My momma says that ‘every pot has a lid’.” Trip chuckled at the Vulcan’s puzzled expression. “What it means is, there someone for everyone. T’Pol’s my lid, not yours. Bottom line is, I’m not gonna let you take her off this ship. She’s pregnant with my baby, she’s gonna have her, and were gonna raise her together. Make up whatever reason you want to dissolve the marriage; T’Pol doesn’t care, just as long as you do it.” Trip could see he was making headway. “Isn’t there a Vulcan out here you’d rather be with? A wife you can come home too, who’ll bond with ya? Have your kids? One you can have a life with? You used to be violent, had wars, and almost destroyed yourselves, right? But you changed. And it didn’t happen over night. Surak didn’t convince everyone to follow logic immediately, it took time. I know arranged marriages are your way, but maybe you folks should choose your own mates. Someone you’re compatible with. Look, T’Pol’s a royal pain in the ass, but she’s my pain in the ass.”
“Then why do want her so?” Koss already knew had had lost the battle for T’Pol when he saw them together. The human was correct it had been merely pride and the avoidance of humiliation.
“I always felt I was missin’ somethin’, that I wasn’t complete and then she entered my life. Oh, we fought tooth and nail. But it was fun and exciting. I love her. Maybe it’s punishment for hatin’ Vulcans all those years, I don’t know. We complete each other. I need her, just as she needs me. Yin and yang, two sides of the same coin, you know?” Trip spoke with conviction.
“Just like music, point and counter point?” Koss piped up.
“What did you say?” a revelation had stuck Trip. Trip’s face dissolved into seriousness.
“Our musical discussion over dinner, music has mathematical properties; there is a point and counter...”
“That’s it! I’ll be damned that’s it!!” Trip jumped up, leaving a bewildered Koss at the table as Trip reached for the comm. Koss wanted to know what “it” was. After contacting T’Pol, the human raced from the room leaving a forgotten and confused Koss.
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A whole mess of folks have made comments
Koss must die. And shame on T'pol for not wearing that device to prevent Koss from transporting her off ENT! She has a little Tri'pol to protect!
Great story! I'm loving this!
This was terrific, I loved all the humour barely kept under wraps while T'Les, Archer and Enterprise's crew watch on and Koss's growing realisation that though he is married to T'Pol she will never be his. I don't agree with the sentiment that Koss should die, just that he should do the honourable thing and release T'Pol from a commitment which can only bring them both immeasurable pain and sorrow. Let each heart be free to love where it will. Ali D :~)
This is getting good! Loved the T/T moments in this chapter. Please update soon!
yay i love this story--so engrossing!
Wow Koss actualy has a brain!!!
Yeah, take that Koss! Way to rub his nose in it. LOL
Thank goodness we're seeing a Koss With Character (TM) in this fic, and not a cardboard cutout vulcan.
That said, you have me as puzzled as Kossie as to just what "it" is about points and counterpoints that has Trip all excited -- you've left us dangling, so come up with chapter 6 *quickly*!
Lol. Well done! T'Les was wonderful. What did Koss say that gave Trip the solution to their Engineering dilemmas?
Really enjoying your story, well done. Just a minor glitch - isn't Lt Rostov male?!
Wonderful, I'm really loving this story.
Excellent chapter! I couldn't stop laughing about the Vulcan music. It reminded me of the Gregorian chants I had to listen to in Music school when we were studying the different periods of music. They sound like someone being tortured.
I bet the point and counterpoint have to do with the plasma bugs. I can't wait for the next chapter!
I am really loving this story! I can't wait for chapter 6!
Though I'm not ready to believe TT would loose themselves in a passionate kiss in front of Archer, T'Les & Koss it made for a beautiful scene.
Great again, but I didn't understand the points/counterpoints thing
Please please post more very soon
Whoa sweetness I did not no Trip did Ballet
I'm gonna print it off, it looks like an interesting enough story! I hope it's as good as it looks! Can't wait for more!
Glad Koss is starting to come around... but what's 'it'? I just gotta know! :) Great so far!