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One Soul- Ch. 2
By HopefulNebula (HopefulNebula@hotmail.com)
Rating: PG for now (for one itty bitty swear), but I might raise it when (yes, when) I continue this, general, romance.
Spoilers (for this part): Mostly the same as before, plus Shuttlepod One and Fusion. There are also some Trip/T’Pol quotes in here, but they don’t spoil anything.
The shuttlepod was as small as it had ever been. As much as Trip Tucker loved away missions, he hated going to and from them. Pods hadn’t bothered him until recently, after the incident with Malcolm on Shuttlepod One. Who could blame him? He had almost been shot, and almost frozen to death. Extreme temperatures had never agreed with Trip; he was always the first man down, the most sick, and the last to recover from situations involving them. It was a weakness of his, but he accepted it, as he accepted long rides in shuttlepods.
Unfortunately, Trip had worries other than the size of the pod at the moment. T’Pol was still mostly unconscious from whatever had injured her on the planet. He still wasn’t sure exactly what had happened. They had been taking a geological survey of an uninhabited planet. He had only looked away from her for a second. One second had been all it had taken for the ground beneath them to shake violently and several rocks to roll toward them. When Trip had turned to her to check on her, he found T’Pol unconscious, with a large green stain on her torn uniform. Without doing too much thinking, he had run all four kilometers back to the pod, all the while carrying T’Pol in his arms. Though she wasn’t very heavy, it had been hard to run with her in the planet’s thin air. Once she had awakened and groggily struggled with him for a minute before falling limp once more. He had nearly dropped her.
Now they were safe in the pod, but Enterprise was taking care of a diplomatic situation a full day out of comm range, and he doubted T’Pol could last that long. Though he had patched up her lacerations before they could become infected, Trip was certain that that alone would not be enough. He had to save her. He’d increase the comm range of the shuttle. He’d explode the damned engine again if he had to; anything if it saved T’Pol.
Now today’s been straight out of Murphy’s Law, Trip mused as several large sparks flew from the underside of the console where he had been working. Now the comm was totally dead. Or maybe not totally, Trip realized. The component that had just been fried was the same one that had shorted out before. This time, they were prepared. Trip didn’t like not having solutions to problems, and he had found a way to bypass the component without compromising the entire communications system. Of course, it would preclude their being able to reach Enterprise from their current location, but it was possible that Enterprise could reach them. Trip made the necessary repairs and sent out a repeating distress call.
Then he turned to T’Pol, whose condition had been worsening steadily over the three hours they had been in the shuttlepod. Now, however, her face looked greener than ever, though her eyes were open. Her breathing was as labored as it had been earlier. Trip checked her pulse. Her heartbeat fluttered weakly. Trip gathered that she had very little time left, and there was nothing he could do. He stroked her cheek with the back of his knuckles, knowing that this was probably the last time he would feel their souls meet.
“Trip…” croaked a barely conscious T’Pol. Her eyes were unfocused, but she knew he was there. Trip could tell that each word she spoke pained her and cost her energy, but he knew she had to speak.
“I’m here, T’Pol,” he replied, not knowing what else to say.
“Help… please… lean closer to me and I will explain more…” T’Pol struggled to say. She gasped in pain and exertion between most of her words. Trip complied, and she spread her fingers along the side of his face.
Suddenly, he felt more connected to her than he ever had, even during the month they had known they were katran’nyat. When they meditated together, they often bridged temporary links between each other’s minds. But this… this was different from anything Trip had ever experienced. Though he remained aware of the shuttlepod, this awareness faded in his mind. He now knew through the connection that this link would help her maintain essential bodily functions—stable heartbeat, breathing and metabolic function, for instance—long enough for help to arrive. Suddenly, inexplicably, their link deepened, and Trip found himself on a Vulcan desert overlooking a massive mountain range.
Trip felt a presence behind him, and without needing to look, he recognized this presence as hers. It sparkled against his skin, permeating his own mind and soul. He turned to face her, and was stunned by her appearance.
She was backlit by one of the Vulcan suns. This effect made her windswept hair look nearly red. She was wearing one of her meditation robes, but it seemed to glimmer in the light. Trip looked into her eyes and found an incredibly clear reflection of himself in her pupils. Something he saw there surprised him and he looked down. Rather than his uniform, which had been stained green from T’Pol’s wound, he was now wearing the clothes he had worn the night T’Pol had first taught him what it was to meditate. A swarm of memories from both their perspectives filled the sky and air, and they watched and listened to them for some time. ‘I’m called Trip.’ ‘I’ll try to remember that.’… ‘You didn’t shoot me last night, did you?’ ‘I’m afraid I did.’… ‘Well, what do you want to do?’… ‘You certainly took your time. He had this pointed at my head.’… It was amazing, being able to see yourself from the perspective of another. T’Pol especially was surprised by the fact that Trip thought she was beautiful. How had he—this expressive, irreverent, transparent human—been able to hide this from her? T’Pol thought she had finally come to understand this man, but her journey into his consciousness proved otherwise.
Like I said, T’Pol, we’re not that different, Trip told her in his thoughts. I hide my emotions too… just not all of them. And I don’t think either of us is quite transparent.
At that moment, however, they were both incapable of hiding anything from the other. How could they? There was no “other.” They were one.
Though this sensation was entirely new to Trip, T’Pol had experienced something like this once before. Though her brief connection with Tolaris had mentally bared her before, there was something different about this mind-meld. It was because they were already so close, T’Pol thought. They could be this intimate with each other because they knew each other intimately. They had been one soul, now they were also one mind. Both of them had finally reached peace, and they rested in this peace until neither could truly remember whether they were conscious or dreaming.
Trip dazedly opened his eyes. Sickbay, he slowly realized. The mind-meld. Damn, my head hurts… “T’Pol?” he asked.
“She’s going to be fine,” replied Phlox, who stood beside the biobed with the captain behind him.
“She woke and broke off the meld shortly after we found you. T’Pol’s recovering quite nicely. She lost quite a lot of blood, but the doctor was able to synthesize enough to keep her going,” reported Captain Archer. “Phlox wants to keep you both here for a while, until we can determine if the meld had any… adverse effects on either of you.”
“Well, now that you mention it, my head does kinda hurt…” Trip ventured.
“Aah. I’ll want to run a few scans, of course,” Phlox replied. “Lie back down, please…”
As T’Pol slowly regained consciousness, she knew that she was in the scanner. She could feel its walls around her, feel its sounds penetrating her body. But as she opened her eyes, she saw the ceiling of Sickbay and heard the doctor exiting his office to check on Trip, who was, T’Pol decided, in the scanner.
T’Pol attributed the illusion of the scanner to loss of blood before falling back to sleep.
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Four of you have made comments
Really,really good story.
Please keep going I love it!!!!
This is a great story. Understated romance is my fav.
Lovely sdtory.. I look forward to reading more