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New World Man: Vulcan Biology 101
Author - Kevin | Genre - Drama | Genre - Romance | Main Story | N | Rating - PG | V
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New World Man: Vulcan Biology 101
Author’s Note: My normal formatting conventions apply for all of the stories in this series. Text in “” is English. Text in ** “” ** is Vulcan. Text in () is TnT bondspeak. Text in italics is inner dialog or the name of a ship (depending on context).
The final scene builds upon my earlier story, “T’Pol’s Choice”, and you may wish to read that in order to fully understand the dialog.
The day of reckoning.
Trip took a deep cleansing breath as he tried to calm his nerves. T’Pol was a lot better now and Jon insisted it was time for them to talk. He and T’Pol were walking to the Captain’s quarters now to have a conversation that he hoped to put off for a bit longer. Trip still hadn’t quite wrapped his brain around this bond he shared with T’Pol, but the Captain needed to know everything.
Several minutes later Trip’s eyes glazed over as both Phlox and T’Pol talked about Vulcan mating bonds, his telepathic link with T’Pol and all sorts of medical details he didn’t really understand. He focused his mind long enough to look at Jon. He wondered if Jon was as lost by their explanation as he was. At least Jon appeared to be paying attention; although Trip was skeptical Jon did anything more than listen to the words.
When Phlox and T’Pol stopped talking for a few moments, Jon must have assumed they were finished. “Okay… You’ve pretty much convinced me it’s probably safe. But how did this happen?”
Trip squirmed in his chair. This wasn’t something he really wanted to talk about. He could feel T’Pol’s unease without even looking at her. He could tell she wanted to avoid this discussion as much as he did. He watched as Phlox stared intently at T’Pol, most likely trying to judge her reaction to the question.
Jon appeared to get impatient with the silence. “Well, I’m waiting.”
“He needs to know T’Pol,” Phlox said quietly. “About everything…”
Trip inhaled sharply when Phlox said that. Something spiked with T’Pol. Her reaction was acute and intense. He couldn’t quite make out the emotion, but if he had to guess it was… fear.
T’Pol just nodded meekly. “Yes, of course. Go on Doctor.”
Trip heard Phlox sigh. “Captain, the brain injury Commander Tucker suffered in the Expanse was more extensive than my reports indicate.”
That caught Trip’s attention. He stiffened in his chair.
“How much?” the Captain asked.
Phlox made a face. “Considerably… I did not fully recognize the extent at first but as I gathered more data, it was clear he had considerable damage deeper inside his neural tissue than my scanners could detect. I only discovered the full extent when I began the transplant…” No one interrupted the doctor so he continued. “I not only had to replace nearly all of his left temporal lobe, but also both limbic lobes and his ventral striatum.”
The look on Jon’s face led Trip to believe he had no idea what the doctor was talking about either. Trip wished Phlox had assumed he and Jon would have no idea what he was talking about and brought some pictures. And maybe some crayons to go along with them–he was feeling particularly stupid at this point. Nearly everything Phlox and T’Pol talked about went over his head. He probably should have paid more attention in biology.
Phlox must have recognized the clueless look on their faces. “I had to replace a good portion of the primitive areas in Commander Tucker’s brain.”
Trip saw Jon grimace. “Well, okay, Trip’s injuries were more severe than you told me, but what does that have to do with anything?”
“They were severe enough that Commander Tucker should not have lived long enough to receive the transplant.” Phlox’s simply statement seemed to stun everyone but T’Pol.
Trip was so stunned he started coughing. I should have died? How could he say such a thing? As the others stared at him, he brought his coughing under control and turned to T’Pol. Something told him she knew why.
She must have recognized Trip’s concern because she turned to him and spoke. “Vulcans are able to sustain critically injured colleagues until medical attention can be provided… I am unsure if this procedure works on a Human…”
“T’Pol, we’ve discussed this already,” Phlox cut her off. Trip could sense the rising frustration in his voice. “I have shown you the medical reports. The procedure works perfectly well on Humans.” Phlox seemed especially frustrated with T’Pol’s prevarication. “Without it, Commander Tucker would not have lived long enough to receive the transplant.”
“Wait, what the hell are you saying?” Trip shifted his glare between Phlox and T’Pol demanding some answers.
Phlox’s grimace turned to a scowl to T’Pol when no answer was forthcoming. “I will tell him then… Commander Tucker, T’Pol kept you alive long enough to receive the transplant. If she had not, you would have died a day or two after your accident. Your injuries were too severe.”
Trip couldn’t understand what was going on. He was trying to grasp just how bad off he was yet he was happy to find out that T’Pol had helped him. But he couldn’t understand her reaction. He could tell she was fighting to maintain control over her guilt. But he couldn’t understand why she felt that way. Why would she feel guilty at keeping me alive?
As Trip attempted to pick through the thoughts swirling in his head, Phlox continued. “She continued this treatment even after the transplant. I believe that is why he recovered much quicker than I predicted Captain.”
“So you think this transplant had something to do with… forming this bond?”
“Yes,” T’Pol answered. Trip could tell she finally regained her control. She still paused before continuing. “The procedure involves significant telepathic contact. Doctor Phlox believes the neural tissue from the mimetic symbiot was, and possibly still is, pliant enough to respond to this telepathic contact… The on-going neuropressure sessions involved a much lower level of telepathic contact that most likely contributed too.”
Phlox nodded. “I believe the neural tissue imprinted this telepathic contact during his recovery and the time afterward. I believe the transplanted parts of Commander Tucker’s brain were able to reconfigure themselves in order to reciprocate that contact. The Commanders have reported their bond strengthening as they have worked through the mind melds to help Commander T’Pol. As both the frequency and intensity of the contact increases, the strength of their bond appears to increase. That leads me to believe the transplanted parts are still able to conform to the telepathic contact. Apparently the mimetic symbiot is more adaptable than is documented in the literature.”
“Why didn’t you see this before, Doc?” Trip asked.
Phlox slumped his shoulders. “Your scans have consistently been slightly abnormal since the transplant. But I detected no problems so I assumed the discrepancies were caused by an imperfect replication of the transplanted tissue. I did not know Vulcan mating bonds even existed until recently so I never thought to compare your scans with Commander T’Pol’s. Now that I have, the variances appear very similar to those I have detected in Commander T’Pol.”
Trip turned to T’Pol. He was still trying to figure out her reaction. “Okay, but we didn’t have any physical contact for nearly a year. Wouldn’t this have just gone away?”
T’Pol shook her head slightly. “No, once formed it would never ‘just go away’. It might have lain dormant but for two incidents. In two cases, we had significant contact that you are most likely unaware of.”
Trip narrowed his eyes. “What two incidents?” he said as he forced his lips into a narrow slit on his face.
T’Pol focused all her attention on him and ignored the others in the room. “After the silicate virus. Doctor Phlox could not explain your recovery. I…” Trip heard her voice falter just for a moment. “I needed to ensure you did not suffer a relapse.”
Trip twisted his mouth to the side. He couldn’t remember her doing anything but he was pretty certain one time he briefly woke up and she was in sickbay beside his bed. That time was still a hazy blur to him. “That’s one.”
“The other was after you passed out due to radiation poisoning after returning from the Romulan holoship,” Doctor Phlox added. “T’Pol arrived in sickbay shortly after Lieutenant Reed carried you there.”
“So that’s why I arrived on the bridge to find Hoshi in charge?” Trip noticed Jon seemed more surprised than annoyed.
Trip could definitely tell T’Pol was ashamed of her response at that time. She simply nodded in answer to the Captain’s question.
“I found Commander T’Pol performing the procedure again the second night you were in sickbay. I made her stop because I was worried your body would come to depend on this method in order to heal.”
Trip remembered that time. He wondered if the crushing pain he felt then was his alone. “Do you think that had anything do with…” he trailed off quietly and was certain T’Pol understood his question.
“Possibly,” T’Pol’s reply came as simply a whisper. “I was unable to tell you, but I believed a bond had formed by then. You risked your own life to protect mine. Protecting his mate is a primal drive for a Vulcan male. It happens unconsciously. I believe that is why you attempted to prevent me from testing the telepresence unit and later crossed the cable to Enterprise.”
Trip noticed everyone sat in silence. He assumed everyone was trying to absorb all of the information presented. T’Pol’s behavior was more troubling than her words. She revealed very personal information in front of both the Captain and Phlox. That was very unlike her. In addition, he could still feel a tinge of guilt coming from her. If he didn’t know better, she blamed herself for everything. But that couldn’t be it. He refused to believe she felt guilty for keeping him alive. He figured he still didn’t quite know how to use the bond yet and was somehow picking up his own emotions at how he treated her.
Trip heard the Captain clear his throat. “I guess I’ll have to figure out how to let Starfleet know about this.” Trip saw him shrug. “I guess since T’Pol wasn’t in Starfleet at the time, the rules don’t exactly cover this.” Jon scratched the back of his neck while he seemed to think about something. “Phlox, T’Pol said Vulcan couples couldn’t be separated until their bond has stabilized.”
Phlox nodded. “Yes. I think that will be true in this case too. Although I would prefer to consult more with a Vulcan doctor. They do not share much information in this area.”
Jon sighed. “Starfleet’s not going to like this one bit… Well, I guess we’ll see in a few days.”
Jon made a face and started laughing.
“What’s funny?” Trip asked.
“Gardner turned over the NX program to Admiral Cragen and since then, the Orions nearly take the ship and crew, we have a crisis with Terra Prime and now my two senior officers are ‘married’. What else could happen?”
Trip started chuckling too. Yeah, Cragen got thrown into the deep end on his first promotion to Admiral. “Well at least not much for the next few weeks. Without nacelles we aren’t going anywhere soon. They won’t be able to start installing the new ones until at least next week.”
Trip saw Jon look to Phlox. “Dismissed Doctor. Thanks for the update.”
Phlox stood up, nodded and left the room.
Jon turned his attention to his two officers. “Look, I don’t know how Starfleet’s going to react to this and I don’t want them finding out the wrong way. Cragen’s really busy with something important and I can’t talk to him for a couple days. Until then, be discrete, okay?”
T’Pol nodded. “I believe it would be best for Trip to come to my quarters as it would be easier to explain.”
Trip smiled as he could tell she never even considered them not spending the night together anymore. She had no intention of staying apart waiting for the Captain to inform Starfleet.
“Yeah, you’re probably right… Anyway, you two want to join me for an early supper? I’m kind of hungry and we can catch up before you report for duty tomorrow.”
“Sure thing. Let’s go.”
Trip stared up at the ceiling. He couldn’t sleep. He knew T’Pol lay beside him fast asleep.
He marveled at that realization. Not that she lay beside him, but that he knew she was asleep. Since they performed their first mind meld five days ago, she taught him how to use their connection to sense her. It amazed him that he could reach out to her mentally.
Maybe that’s why I can’t sleep? Maybe everything that’s happened over the past week just finally caught up to me? It did seem everything was happening so fast he didn’t really have time to think. He just reacted.
Trip took a deep breath. He needed to see Doctor Phlox. Phlox had been bugging him about a full physical to make sure he suffered no ill effects from the mind melds. Fortunately T’Pol had shifted in her sleep making it was easy for him to get out of bed without waking her. He donned his T-shirt and sweat pants then left her quarters as quietly as he could. Once he was outside the door, he hesitated and reached out to her with his mind. She was still asleep. He had been successful…
A short while later he arrived in sickbay without running into anyone. He searched around before he heard the doctor come up behind him.
“Ahhh… Commander Tucker… How are you feeling?” Doctor Phlox asked with a happy grin on his face.
“I can’t sleep. So I figured I’d come by for that physical…”
“Ahhh… Good… Step over here… Please disrobe…”
Trip stepped over to the examination bed and stripped to his skivvies. He hopped up onto the table and waited for Phlox to begin.
Phlox looked over his arms. “Good… Good… The bruises are healing nicely. They are almost gone.” He felt around Trip’s shoulder. “How does that feel? Does it hurt?”
Trip shook his head.
Phlox moved around behind Trip. He heard the doctor make a little noise and walk away from him. Phlox quickly returned and said, “This may sting a bit.”
Almost as soon as Phlox said that, Trip jumped as he felt a burning sensation across his back. “What the hell was that Doc?”
Phlox came around in front and his face had a slight frown. “Just something to make sure those scratches do not get infected.” Trip saw Phlox make the same gesture he always did him when lecturing him about something. “I would prefer if you and Commander T’Pol desist in having sexual relations until I have had a chance to examine her.”
“We’re fine…” Trip smiled and started to chuckle.
“I am serious Commander.”
Trip tilted his head and ran his tongue around his mouth. “How come?”
“I relieved Commander T’Pol of duty because her emotional control was compromised… It is possible for you to become seriously injured if she were to lose control at… an inopportune time.”
Trip shook his head. “She’s a lot better… I’ll be fine.”
Trip saw Phlox’s frown deepen. “Your back says otherwise.”
Trip shrugged. “She’s just… ahhh… active… is all. I’ll be fine.” Trip decided not to let the doctor know about her biting. He thought better about sharing with Phlox the level of violence involved in sex with T’Pol. Phlox might ban it outright! Even worse, he might insist on knowing details! A shudder ran down Trip’s spine.
“I still insist on seeing Commander T’Pol the first thing in the morning.”
Trip sighed and nodded. “Sure thing Doc.”
Some time later Trip pulled his shirt over his head and sat down waiting for the Doc to come back. Phlox had given him a thorough… very thorough… physical examination.
When Phlox walked back toward him, Trip smiled to the doctor and said, “you know Doc, where I come from you owe me a phone call and some flowers the next morning.” Trip then started laughing.
Phlox appeared to remember this joke from before and started laughing too. “I assure you Commander Tucker, you will always be my favorite patient. There will never be any other.”
Trip only started laughing harder. Finally he stopped, took a deep breath and wiped the moisture away from his eyes. “So how’s it look Doc? Am I going to live?”
Phlox smiled and nodded with a grin on his face. “Everything looks good so far, Commander. I will know for sure later this morning after I have had time to review both yours and Commander T’Pol’s brain scans in detail… But right now nothing sticks out at me that would cause a concern.”
“I am not finished Commander.”
“What’d you mean?” Trip was confused.
“I have only checked you physically. We have not had a chance to talk about how you feel.”
Trip scrunched his face in disgust and slumped his shoulders.
Phlox returned Trip’s behavior with his own frown. “I want to know how you are dealing with everything that has happened. You have done something no other Human ever has–formed a mating bond with a Vulcan. I want to know how you are handling it. As your doctor, I am as concerned about your emotional well-being as your physical health.”
Trip sighed. In a way he was glad to talk about it with someone. Phlox seemed to be a better choice than anyone else right now. He wasn’t ready to start talking about mushy, personal feelings with Jon yet. Obviously he couldn’t talk to T’Pol about everything without opening old wounds. He moved his eyes to look down at the floor. He couldn’t bare his soul to the doctor and look at him at the same time. “I don’t know doc. Most of the time I feel I’m in over my head. I do what T’Pol tells me because I have no idea what else to do.”
Trip felt his palms start to sweat and he nervously rubbed them on his thighs.
“You know, less than three months ago I was certain she wanted nothing to do with me. She made it pretty clear she didn’t want me in her life. It was killing me. Now in her mind, we’re husband and wife as if none of that even happened… I didn’t really deal well with the news that we’re bonded… I was angry and I just couldn’t see it as anything other than another way to hurt me.”
“I suppose that is understandable,” Doctor Phlox added quietly.
“I guess it’s only in the past couple of days that I’ve learned how to use the bond and realize just how much my own behavior hurt her.” Trip gave a slight sniffle at the memory. “She’d been studying the Kir’Shara for months and slowly coming to accept we’d formed one. She’d pretty much convinced herself one had formed when I almost died from that virus. She said she could feel me slipping away from her. She knew I was gone there for a while without being told.”
Phlox nodded. “I could tell she was having trouble with her emotions as you got sicker. She kept visiting decon whenever she could. I was worried about her health. I had not seen her have such difficulty since her bout with Trellium. I am not convinced she meditated at all while you were sick.”
Trip nodded. “She was still trying to figure out how to tell me about it when I decided to leave for Columbia. She was terrified of how I’d react… Can you imagine that? A Vulcan terrified.” Trip shook his head. “If I hadn’t felt it, I would never’ve believed it. I couldn’t believe how this…” Trip waived his hands vaguely around his head. “How us… you know… scared the hell out of her.”
Trip took a deep breath and finally looked Phlox in the eyes. All he saw was understanding. “You know, before I left, she’d decided to tell me everything. She knew I had to stay aboard to stabilize the bond. She came to my cabin and was going to lay it all out there, or as much as she could admit… She was struggling to control herself when she arrived and I treated her like crap.” Trip shook his head as he relived that moment in his life. “So she left without saying a word… I thought she didn’t care any more, but that wasn’t the case and I found out why she left so quickly.”
“She fell apart. In her mind, I’d rejected her. Her chosen mate had rejected her. She had finally come to grips with it and I kicked her out. That’s why she didn’t come to my going away party. She was meditating trying to regain her control… I actually thought she didn’t care.”
“I am not sure I understand. Why did she not inform you of the bond and its implications?”
Trip shrugged. “She didn’t think I wanted her any more. I guess she convinced herself that if I really didn’t want her, the bond would wither and die since I was Human.”
Phlox stood motionless in front of Trip and appeared to be listening intently.
“But it didn’t. Things only got worse when I left.” Trip tilted his head and shook it as he remembered how awful it was to be on Columbia. “It was horrible… for both of us.”
“I remember that. Commander T’Pol complained of constant physical pain shortly after you were gone. By the time I returned to Enterprise though, she said her symptoms had greatly diminished.”
“I had the same problem. My head and neck were killing me. I had a hard time sleeping… I was yelling at everyone on Columbia. The least little thing would set me off on a tirade. I didn’t act a whole lot better after I got back.” Trip closed his eyes and tried to push down the guilt. “T’Pol’s emotional problems weren’t completely due to Elizabeth’s death. She was already struggling with my reaction. I had no idea what to make of it after she told me. A few times there I was a real ass.”
Trip opened his eyes and smiled at Phlox. “Damn stubborn woman wouldn’t just come right out and tell me how much I was hurting her… The pig-headed Vulcan in her refused to admit any weakness at all until it became a crisis.” Trip shook his head and sighed. “I guess we’ve mostly worked things out… It’s pretty strange being in her head during the mind melds…”
Trip took a deep breath and released it slowly. “But you know, if it wasn’t for them, I don’t think we’d have really worked this out like we have. It’s just an unbelievable feeling.” Trip shook his head and smiled in amazement. “I just don’t have the words to describe it… She can show me memories from her childhood and it’s as real to me as if I was there.”
“Can I assume things are much better between you?” Phlox smiled.
“Pretty much… I’m still dealing with the guilt of her poisoning herself. I can’t believe she did that for me. I just wish I could’ve done something for her. That’s been pretty tough to deal with. It’s even tougher now that I know she was keeping me alive while killing herself.”
Phlox put a hand on Trip’s shoulder. “You have no reason to feel guilty for that Commander. She made those choices herself. It is not your fault. I am sure had you known, you would have done everything you could to stop her.”
“That’s easy for you to say… Plus I treated her like crap when I came back.”
Trip saw Phlox give him a thoughtful look. “You were in pain. You did not understand.”
Trip shook his head. “That’s no excuse. I should’ve figured it out… I still should’ve treated her better than I did.” Trip frowned at Phlox. “I mean, you remember how convinced I was that she had a kid and didn’t tell me about it?” Trip saw Phlox nod his head. “I mean that was just stupid… If I’d spent two seconds doing the math I would’ve known she couldn’t have been pregnant and had a kid. There wasn’t enough time.”
“Feeling guilty will not accomplish anything at this point. I suggest you let it go and move on with your lives together.”
Trip smiled and nodded. “Yeah, I guess you’re right… And that’s another thing. This is it… ‘til death do us part–literally… T’Pol told me that divorces are so rare because breaking a bond is hugely traumatic. She’s not even sure we could break it since I’m Human.”
“That concerns me too,” added Doctor Phlox with a frown. “I am almost certain the neural tissue from the symbiot imprinted Commander T’Pol’s telepathic contact. I am not convinced the imprint can be removed without damaging the tissue. I believe the tissue has come to depend on the contact. I do not know what the withdrawal affects would be. Since some parts of the tissue I replaced are responsible for Human mating habits, it is possible they will no longer function without this contact.”
“You think so?” Trip still was trying to absorb the revelation that Doctor Phlox had replaced considerably more brain tissue than he let either he or Jon know about. It seemed the only other person who really knew the extent of the damage was T’Pol and that was only because she broke into Phlox’s medical logs.
“It is possible. I know little of Vulcan mating habits since they do not share that information with outsiders. In addition, your case is unique… I always expected there would be repercussions from that procedure. I just had not anticipated this one… I feel I am at least partially responsible for the current situation.”
Trip could see some measure of guilt in the doctor’s eyes. “It’s okay Doc. If it weren’t for you and T’Pol, I wouldn’t have made it. I’m not sure how the mission would’ve turned out if I’d have died.”
“I am fairly certain of the result, Commander,” Phlox replied with his voice almost a whisper. “It would have failed and Earth would have been destroyed. Your expertise was critical on several occasions after the transplant. If any of those situations turned out badly, our mission would have failed and Earth would have been destroyed.”
“Jon told me the same thing.”
“The Captain is correct. That is why we undertook the procedure.” Trip saw Phlox turn his gaze toward the floor. “It is also why I looked the other way when Commander T’Pol used her abilities to keep you alive long enough to receive the transplant.”
Trip nodded. “Yeah… So anyway… The way I see it is if you didn’t do anything, at a minimum, I’d be dead and possibly all of Humanity. But since you did, I’m married to the smartest, most beautiful woman I’ve ever known…” Trip shrugged and gave Phlox the biggest grin he could. “When you look at it that way, I can’t complain.”
Trip saw Phlox return his grin and put a hand on Trip’s shoulder. “And I promise to assist in the two of you having children when the time is right. Since T’Pol and I now have the details on Lorian’s conception, I am certain we can be successful. The cloning process would only be used a last resort.”
Trip smiled and nodded. “Thanks. It’s still so hard for me to believe she’s twice my age and hasn’t finished puberty… well I guess the Vulcan equivalent… yet.”
Phlox nodded. “Yes. I have always found that part of Vulcan physiology fascinating myself. I am not aware of any other species that matures mentally so much faster than physically. But you should not have to wait much longer. I suspect she will reach full maturity in another couple years or so. Once that happens, the hormone treatments used prior to implanting a fertilized egg can be started at any time.”
Trip started to feel himself get sleepy. He wondered if the reason he couldn’t sleep before is that he needed to just talk to someone. He realized he felt a lot better now than before he talked to Phlox. He swallowed hard to calm his churning emotions. “Doc, thanks… for everything.”
Phlox just nodded in understanding. “Please remember to inform T’Pol I would like to see her this morning.”
Trip noticed his mood steadily improve, as he got closer to her cabin. T’Pol was still asleep and it was a bit after 0300 hours. He hoped he could still climb into bed and fall asleep without waking her.
Sure enough she was still asleep when he arrived back in her quarters. She was on her side facing the wall. He gently climbed into her bunk trying hard not to wake her. Once he was successful, he snuggled up behind her as close as he dared without accidentally waking her, and put his arms around her sleeping form.
His conscience free and his soul at ease, he fell asleep quickly.
Nearly four hours later the day shift was getting ready to come on duty in main engineering. Trip needed to find something to work on where he could be alone with his thoughts. He scrolled down the list of this week’s routine maintenance activities and found the perfect candidate.
“Chris!” Trip yelled and the ensign moved toward him.
“I’m going to be running diagnostics on the relays in maintenance tube E9. Tell Rostov when he shows up.”
The ensign nodded.
“Oh and make sure no one bugs me unless we’re under attack and the engine’s about to blow up. Got that?”
“Good.” Trip picked up his tools and headed toward the access panel for the maintenance tube.
After a while Trip was glad he chose this course of action. The routine diagnostics were simple enough to perform that he could do them in his sleep. He had a lot to think about.
Trip wasn’t sure which piece of information was harder to absorb. Phlox had replaced a much larger part of his brain with tissue from Sim than he led either Trip or Archer to believe. As if that wasn’t hard enough to deal with, he learned the only reason he lived long enough to receive the transplant was a Vulcan procedure T’Pol performed. Without it, he would have been dead within 48 hours of suffering the brain damage.
He was still trying to wrap his brain around that information when he heard the clang of boots against the ladder rungs. He didn’t need to the bond to know it was T’Pol. No one else would dare bother him after he made it clear he was not to be disturbed. He snorted to himself as he wondered if she even needed to go to engineering to know he was here.
Her head appeared through the access tube. “I did not,” she replied to his unspoken question.
He scowled as he reminded himself she could probably feel him a mile away.
“We need to talk.” He completely agreed with her simple statement.
“Yeah, we probably do.”
“I regret that we did not share with you the full extent of your injury or the steps both Doctor Phlox and I took to ensure your survival.”
Trip looked down at the floor trying to control the emotions that threatened to break free once he learned of those steps. “Why didn’t you? I had a right to know.” His voice was barely above a whisper.
Trip felt T’Pol reach out and touch his shoulder. “Trip,” she said as he lifted his eyes to hers and saw them filled with just as much emotion. “Telling you about it after the fact would have accomplished nothing. In fact, it may have caused more problems than it prevented.”
Trip sniffled and then swallowed hard. “What are you talking about?”
“If anyone else knew the full extent of your injuries, they would have started asking questions as to how you were able to remain in a coma for several days. Eventually someone would have figured out that I kept you alive using a technique Vulcans do not explain to outsiders. I was not ready to talk about how or why. Either Doctor Phlox or Captain Archer may have learned of my experiments with Trellium.”
Trip stiffened at that and inhaled sharply. “But if they did, then we could have helped you… You could have broken the addiction much earlier.”
“No,” T’Pol just shook her head. “I believed I was still in control at that time. I would not have admitted I had a problem and I would have continued anyway…” She firmly shook her head again. “No. I had to get much worse before I would admit both my emotions and Trellium addiction were beyond my control.”
Trip took a deep breath. His heart ached whenever he thought about T’Pol injecting herself with that poison while he stood by helpless to stop her.
Just then a nagging memory from long ago entered his mind. Maybe his dreams weren’t simply delusions after all? “You know, for a couple of weeks after the transplant, I had these strange dreams. I haven’t had anything like them since I was a kid… When I was young, I read this story that always stuck with me. In it, a man named Beren comes across an elfin princess named Tinúviel and is enchanted by her singing and dancing… I hadn’t dreamed of her singing to me for probably ten years, at least. During my recovery though, the dreams came back–almost every night.” He stared at T’Pol with his unspoken question.
Apparently she picked up on it and nodded. “Yes, that was I.”
Trip cocked his head and gave her a quizzical look.
It was T’Pol’s turn to take a deep breath and blink several times rapidly in an apparent attempt to clear the excess moisture from her eyes. “I was…” She seemed to pause to consider her words carefully. “afraid… yes, afraid I would lose you. For the first time since I lost my father, I was experiencing pain at the loss of someone important to me. Unlike that time, I had no support structure to help me… I had no idea how to deal with the pain. My normal methods of control were not working… I had not accepted even the minute amounts of Trellium I ingested degraded my control to the extent it had…”
T’Pol paused and looked away from Trip. He could tell how difficult this conversation was for her. “I sang to you while I performed the healing procedure.”
Trip got a little grin on his face. “How many times?”
T’Pol looked down at the floor. “Every night until you regained consciousness. I would sing to you during the early morning when everyone else was asleep… I also usually read to you for an hour or two.” Her voice was barely a whisper and Trip could almost sense… embarrassment from her. “Normally I was with you before midnight until roughly 0430 hours.”
“So what did you sing to me?” Trip felt her emotions spike as he asked the question.
She hesitated for a long while before answering the question.
“It was a song my mother taught me as a child. It is an ancient song of lament… A Vulcan female is separated from her mate. She calls out and tells him her life will be empty until he returns and their katras rejoin. She hopes that even with the great distance that separates them, he can still hear her song.”
“That doesn’t sound very Vulcan…”
T’Pol swallowed hard. “It is a song that has been handed down since the time before Surak… Vulcan mothers use it in a similar way as Human mother would use a lullaby. I never really understood the meaning of the song when my mother would sing it to me. It has a calming rhythm.”
Trip didn’t know what to say. The words to the song appeared in his mind. They held a sadness and a beauty he didn’t think possible from a Vulcan poet. The words described exactly how he felt over the past year every time T’Pol pushed him away. He wondered if she felt the same when he left for Columbia.
Trip saw her nod. “I knew of no other way to deal with the pain. Even then I did not fully understand the words though. I did not until you nearly died from the silicate-based virus. The meaning of those words cut though me like a knife. The threat of losing you so soon after my mother passed on was almost too great a burden. I understood the words completely by then.”
He stared deeply into her eyes. He saw the memory of her pain–of their combined pain.
“We still should have told you though… We were being… selfish.”
Trip shrugged his shoulders. “That’s okay… I understand… So you think Phlox is correct and the transplant is what allowed us to form the bond?”
“That is the logical assumption. None of the previous Vulcans who took Human mates reported forming a mating bond. Beyond the fact the others involved Human females, I cannot imagine anything else unique to our situation.”
“You don’t think that has anything to do with it? You know, since all the others involved Vulcan males?”
T’Pol tilted her head as she thought about it. “I see no reason why the sex would matter… Although my mother never shared any details about interspecies couples.” Her eyes glittered as she teased him. “I was betrothed to Koss.”
Trip smiled as he could sense her sarcasm on multiple levels. “Yeah. I guess your mom wasn’t planning on you finding me.” He chuckled slightly. Trip reached over to cup T’Pol’s cheek with his hand. She closed her eyes slightly and leaned into his touch as he gently stroked his thumb across her cheekbone. “I’ve got to get back to work here… Did Phlox clear you for duty?”
She shook her head. “Not yet. He wants to go through the scans in more detail. He said probably this afternoon.”
“Okay. Stop by for lunch.” He brought his right hand up and extended his fore and middle fingers like she taught him. He felt a warm sensation pass through his body as she touched her fingers to his.
He grinned as he watched her make her way back down the cramped access tube. Life is pretty good.
Four months later…
Doctor T’Ishta pulled the nasal inhibitor from a pocket in her robe. She gave two quick pumps to inject the medicine into each nasal cavity. She would be meeting with Charles Tucker and T’Pol in roughly one hour and that would provide plenty of time for the medicine to take affect.
Initially she took the medication only when dealing with Doctor Kenmore. He was the first Human male she encountered during her career and the medication proved necessary in order for them to work together. Eventually she was even forced to move their meetings to the lab because his scent would permeate her office and be unpleasant for any of her female colleagues who happened to stop by. The smell was even mentioned by the occasional male; it was that strong.
Eventually though, she was forced to also take the medication prior to Charles Tucker’s weekly reviews. His scent was strong enough that it too distracted her. However, it was distracting in a way that was not at all professional and entirely inappropriate as he was another female’s. She could not imagine what being confined to a small ship in close quarters must have been like for T’Pol. T’Pol was half her age and most likely still in the midst of the hormonal changes that would bring her body into maturity. The primal urges his scent provoked would have been far more difficult for T’Pol to control as the hormones raged through her body.
She was certain the young female must have spent a good portion of her time aboard Enterprise without the ability to smell just to resist them. Given the various scratches and bite marks Doctor Kenmore observed each week, it was unlikely T’Pol bothered to resist them any longer.
She returned to the reports she was studying. The results were fascinating. Charles Tucker demonstrated telepathic abilities beyond the reach of most Vulcans, let alone the marginal abilities demonstrated by the rare Human. The couple easily joined together in melds, constantly shared feelings, could locate each other and, while relaxed and focused on the other, even communicated telepathically. However, all his ability appeared to be linked to T’Pol. Minus T’Pol, Charles Tucker failed every other empathic and telepathic test presented to him. There was no evidence he even possessed any latent abilities to develop. She was certain Doctor Phlox’s initial assessment was correct and Charles Tucker’s brain only had the ability to contact T’Pol.
The remaining question was whether he could return any other contact. Unfortunately it was not possible to test that proposition. Charles was adamant that no one else even attempt to meld with him and he refused to cooperate in any way. Once he even stormed out of her office when she pressed the issue. While T’Pol’s behavior was not as animated as Charles’, her level of possessiveness had reached the point where only Doctor Kenmore was allowed to physically examine him. A gifted neurologist took on the role of general practitioner because T’Pol would not allow any of Doctor T’Ishta’s staff to come into contact with Charles.
She was curious if T’Pol was even conscious of her reaction or if it was completely instinctual.
Trip grimaced at Doctor T’Ishta’s prognosis. She almost seemed excited that neither he nor T’Pol were experiencing any problems. Lately, he felt more like her case study and less like her patient. Trip pulled back into his chair as far as he could when Doctor T’Ishta focused her attention on him. Something about her look made him feel uncomfortable. “Commander Tucker, what I’m about to tell you is known by very few Vulcans and absolutely no outsiders…”
“Well, why tell me then?” Trip interrupted. He could tell she was none too pleased with his interruption.
“Since you are mated to T’Pol, you have a right to know… As I was saying…” Trip recognized her glare as similar to ones he’d received from T’Pol. It meant ‘sit there and shut up while I’m talking’. “The fact that you and T’Pol formed a mating bond is not completely unexpected and I have often wondered if, under the right circumstances, one could be formed with a Human male. Because of the transplant, your case is not an ideal example, but there enough other changes that cannot be explained by the transplant to believe it is possible one could form with a normal Human male.”
Trip wanted to interrupt again but her glare convinced him to sit there and keep his mouth shut until she was finished. Unlike Phlox who shared all information regardless of whether he could understand it or not, T’Ishta shared only information she felt him capable of understanding. She often left detailed explanations to Kenmore. That was probably for the best though as he seemed able to explain things in a way Trip could understand.
“Many centuries ago mating bonds were studied in detail by Vulcan physicians. They discovered how a mating bond forms and developed theories about why this facet of Vulcan physiology evolved… However the information was deemed inconsistent with forces shaping Vulcan society so it was suppressed and eventually lost. The relics found at the T’Karath Sanctuary with the Kir’shara contain much information from before that time and have helped rebuild knowledge long forgotten… Vulcan males are similar to Human males in that they can and will mate with any female during their amok time.”
Trip scrunched his face in confusion. T’Pol told him that was not the case at all. One of the properties of the mating bond was that Vulcans would only seek their mates when the time came. They would reject any other.
Apparently Doctor T’Ishta recognized his confusion and nodded. “I realize that isn’t what you’ve been told. Vulcan males who have formed a mating bond behave differently. In contrast, they will reject any female who is not their mate… The interesting fact is how the mating bond forms. It is the Vulcan female who initiates the bond and her mate undergoes a neuro-chemical change as a result. In essence, he forms an imprint of her both telepathically and physiologically. Why this trait came about is still not understood, but prior to suppression the most accepted theory was that at some point in our distant past, females must have outnumbered males and those females who could ensure monogamy were more likely to produce offspring than those who could not.”
Trip just sat there stunned trying to wrap his mind around this. This was one of those times when he deeply missed the simplicities of his Warp engine and subspace mechanics.
“In essence Charles, T’Pol, like all Vulcan females, is able to forge a mating bond with the unbonded male of her choice. Therefore it is not completely unexpected for the two of you to develop a mating bond. In this regard, Human physiology must be close enough to Vulcan, at least in males, for the same mechanism to work. The part that is unexpected is the strength of the telepathic contact. Even in Vulcans, the abilities you describe are very rare. However, you appear to have no other empathic or telepathic abilities apart from T’Pol.”
Trip smiled and nodded. “Yeah, why is that? I’ve never passed any of your tests.”
“With the limited data available, I believe Doctor Phlox’s initial theory that the mimetic symbiot can adjust itself to telepathic contact is the best one put forth. T’Pol expended considerable effort keeping you alive prior to the transplant and speeding your recovery thereafter. The transplanted neural tissue must have attuned itself to this telepathic contact and allowed you to reciprocate. The frequent mind melds only further stimulate and strengthen those areas of your brain. I would ask that you reconsider…”
Trip knew exactly what she was going to ask. He shook his head violently. “No way. No way! I don’t want anyone else in my head… I’m sorry Doc, I’m not going to let you.”
He recognized a shift in the doctor’s body language that he was starting to recognize as frustration. “As you wish Charles. I believe your reaction is a useful data point itself.”
Now Trip was really confused. “How so?”
“Whenever I suggest you meld with anyone else, both of your reactions are pronounced. The reaction is even stronger when the melder is a Vulcan female. At this point, I believe you would be unable to voluntarily reciprocate contact from anyone other than T’Pol. I believe you would resist any attempt that falls short of injuring both you and T’Pol.”
“Why would she be at risk?”
“As I said, the bond is formed by the Vulcan female and I believe she would be forced to protect it by blocking any intrusion. That block could most likely be bypassed by a melder with stronger abilities, but that probably would cause brain damage to you, certainly, and most likely her too.”
Trip was still confused. “Okay. But why suppress this information? It seems like understanding basic biology is important.”
Doctor T’Ishta shook her head. “This information was viewed as subversive… Changes were sweeping through Vulcan society at the time. The precept of a Vulcan female being the property of her mate originates about the same time this information was first suppressed. The two ideas are not compatible.”
Trip scowled at her mention of this. He still couldn’t understand how a supposedly advanced society could take such a stance. Based on the doctor’s reaction, she must have picked up on his thoughts.
“If it became widely known that Vulcan females formed the bond, it would not be logical to view them as property. Actually the mating bond ties the male to the female. T’Pol’s case is unique not just in her being assigned to a ship full of Human males, but she also engaged in significant physical contact with one. With rare exceptions, Vulcan females capable of forming a bond have not been exposed to non-Vulcan males. Society ensured they returned to Vulcan in order to bond with their prescribed mate and raise children. Those who left our planet were either too young to form a bond or had already formed one. The other three known Vulcan/Human pairings all involved Vulcan males. That explains why one has never formed before. Vulcan males are incapable of initiating a bond–in order for a bond to be formed, a Vulcan female is needed.”
He tried hard to contain his chuckle that basically Doctor T’Ishta just told him he was, in essence, T’Pol’s property. She bound him to her, not vice-versa. He sank back in his chair to think about this. In the past few months he had learned a great deal about Vulcan biology. After his latest class in Vulcan Biology 101, he was starting to think he knew too much–far more than a Human probably should. He thought about those documentary makers who made films about the mating habits of different animal species. He had to bite his lip to keep from laughing at the thought he probably was the only Human who could make a documentary on Vulcan mating habits. The only problem he saw is that no other Human would believe it.
Three hours after leaving Doctor T’Ishta’s office, Trip was really worried about T’Pol’s behavior. She had been completely silent during the doctor’s explanation and hadn’t said more than a few words to him since. She only responded to his questions with the bare minimum. Even more troubling to him was that she had erected her shields. She hadn’t done that to him in weeks and all he felt over their bond was a strange buzzing sensation. He assumed that meant she was upset about something but she refused to talk. Absent feelings through their bond though, he was lost as to what to do.
So he let her meditate without intrusion and hoped she would drop her shields afterward. Unfortunately, she had not.
That left him now staring up at the ceiling in their room unable to sleep. T’Pol lay next to him flat on her back with her arms folded over her chest. Even sleeping, her body language kept him at bay. He started to really worry about her reaction now. Trying to control his emotions and thoughts so as to give her time was taking all of his effort. His head was throbbing in pain at the exertion. He reached out to her and could tell she was sleeping. That meant he could relax without showing her just how much her reaction today hurt him.
The throbbing in his head began to ebb away as he relaxed his guard. The realization that after all they’d shared and dealt with, there would still be times she shut him out completely, caused his chest to tighten as he fought to control his panicked reaction. His heart ached that there were certain things she still did not trust him with. His eyes started to water as he struggled desperately to keep from crying. He knew if he started crying he would probably wake her, make her feel worse and even further drive her away and back into herself.
Just for a moment a surge of emotion flooded over him and the pain only got more intense. His struggle to keep from crying was becoming a losing battle. At first the pain confused him because it was caused by guilt. He couldn’t figure out why he felt guilty.
And then the reason hit him. T’Pol was awake.
T’Pol could not sleep. She struggled to control the long suppressed emotions that Doctor T’Ishta’s explanations brought to the surface. As they threatened to spiral out of control, she erected her shields even knowing it would be painful to block her constant connection to Trip. After months of strengthening their bond, not feeling him in her mind was unpleasant. Her abdomen ached. Even though his mind was chaotic compared to hers, she had come to depend on his underlying love for her. It gave her security.
Doctor T’Ishta shattered that security today by telling them his underlying love was nothing more than a response to a Vulcan mating bond–a bond she initiated and forged. She struggled with the notion that her security was based on nothing more than a forced response. Once again she was reminded that she never actually gave Trip the choice of consent. She could never sure he would have said yes to being permanently tied to her.
But she could not let him glimpse those emotions and so she suffered through the block. She worried that he would find out anyway during her meditation but he practiced the technique she taught him and controlled his touch while she meditated. Immediately before coming out of her meditation posture, she erected the barrier again and joined him in bed. She led him to believe she was asleep, even though sleep would not come tonight.
She had miscalculated though. By making Trip believe she was asleep, he relaxed his guard and no longer attempted to control his emotions. And that was when his deep concern for her and his painful belief she did not trust him washed over her. At first she was able to buffer herself. As his pain grew though, her barrier failed, as if some pre-programmed defense mechanism disabled it so the bond would be bi-directional once again. She tried to erect the shield again but was unable to completely do so.
He saw through her ruse as soon as the barrier fell. She felt him bring his own emotions under control and then he moved on the bed. “I know you’re awake,” he said with an accusing tone.
She did not respond. She could not yet. Trying to maintain even the partial barrier took all her effort.
After a few moments with no response by her, he tried again. “There’s no sense pretending you’re asleep little lady,” she was certain he did that only to annoy her and provoke a response, “I can feel it… And even if you aren’t, I’m not stopping until you are… So you might as well open your eyes unless you want me to start singing off key again.” She felt a glimmer of amusement through their link.
Ultimately T’Pol’s efforts proved futile and she gave up trying to maintain the partial barrier. A warm flush passed over her body as she dropped it and fully restored her connection with Trip. She opened her eyes and sighed.
He bounced on the bed causing her arms to spread apart slightly. He reached over and turned her face to him. “What’s wrong?” he asked her. “And don’t give me ‘I’m fine’ because you’re not.”
She steeled herself to tell the truth. He would learn it anyway so the most logical course of action was to deal with it now. He would only annoy her until she finally revealed her secret.
She turned on her side to face him. She looked into his eyes and saw only concern for her. A part of her expected it would turn to anger once she made her confession. “I have done this to you without your consent.”
She recognized his confusion. “Come again?”
“As Doctor T’Ishta said today. I forced a mating bond between us without your consent. All of your pain, your reckless behavior, jeopardizing your career, all of it is my fault. I did not inform you of that possibility because I refused to believe one could form. I permanently bound you to me without giving you the chance to say ‘no’.”
He gently ran the back of his hand along her cheek just as he knew she liked. She closed her eyes and leaned into his caress. “Don’t think like that. I don’t want anyone else–only you.” He moved his fingers to trace the shell of her ear with his fore and middle fingers.
She clenched her fists as she pushed aside the pleasure at his touch. “That is the nature of the bond. You want only me because of our bond–a bond I forced on you.”
“Look, your biology might have formed the bond, but don’t ever for a second think you forced this on me.” T’Pol sensed Trip’s mood turned deadly serious. “I don’t care what you think, this couldn’t have happened without me wanting it.”
T’Pol could not understand his reaction. He acted as if he did not hear a word Doctor T’Ishta said to him. She sighed. “You heard what the doctor said. The physical contact while you were in a coma and after you received the transplant caused the bond to form. You were in no position to consent to anything at that time.”
T’Pol watched as Trip slumped his shoulders and shook his head. “I know what she said. But that doesn’t change how I felt about you before…”
What!?! T’Pol wondered what he meant by that. “What do you mean ‘before’?” she interrupted him.
T’Pol saw Trip’s face turn red and he appeared embarrassed.
“Well, you know… ahhh… before the Expanse… before Lizzie was killed.” Trip took a deep breath. She saw a sly smile come across his face. “You probably won’t believe this, but I had a little crush on you.”
T’Pol was stunned. In all their time sharing memories in the mind melds, they never went near those just before the Xindi attack or during their time in the Expanse. Neither wished to relive that time in their lives so they steered clear. Besides each had so many memories from their formative years, when they did decide to reach back into the past, it was always to Trip’s teenage years or the two decades before T’Pol entered the Ministry of Security.
Trip gave a quick snort. “Looking back, I’m not exactly sure when it started, but I knew for sure after we watched the movie in your quarters.”
T’Pol couldn’t believe it. That was months before their neuropressure sessions started. She had always assumed his feelings toward her developed during their time in the Expanse. She had no idea he thought of her as anything more than a fellow officer prior to that time.
“My guess is sometime between the time the Suliban attacked you and when I gave you the candle while we were stuck in the nacelles.” Trip gave an uncomfortable little laugh. “I couldn’t believe I had a crush on a Vulcan. I was still struggling with my feelings toward you when Lizzie was killed…” He trailed off and got still while deep in thought.
She reached over to wipe away the tear that ran down his nose. “I am sorry for making you relive that memory.”
Trip sniffed and opened his eyes. They were filled with unshed tears. “It’s okay. I figured we’d have to talk about it sometime… I just don’t want you to think the only reason I care about you is because you forced me to… Before my accident, you were my best friend…”
“Really, not Captain Archer?”
Trip smiled and shook his head. “No. Between Lizzie’s death and the Xindi mission, Jon and I grew apart… I guess spending all of my free time with you didn’t help much either. You were the only person I really felt comfortable with after my sister died. I don’t know what I would have done without you.”
“Still that doesn’t mean…”
“Stop it!” Trip interrupted her. He reached across to caress her cheek. “Look, you told me Sim said he had feelings for you. Those weren’t his feelings… Those were mine. I never told you because I thought you’d never feel the same way about me.”
T’Pol decided it was her turn to relive some unpleasant memories. “For a Vulcan, it does not work that way. Vulcans do not normally form an emotional attachment as you understand it… Or at least we did not prior to the Kir’shara.” She closed her eyes and took a deep breath. “The Trellium exposure changed that for me… When you came to visit me after I returned from the Seleya, I experienced emotions I never thought possible.”
“Is that why Phlox drove me off on my fourth visit?” Trip chuckled slightly. “He wouldn’t let me see you until he cleared you for duty.”
T’Pol nodded. “I believe so. He observed my reaction to your visits. I think he recognized the danger for both of us.”
Trip appeared puzzled. “What danger?”
“You have to remember, I was exposed to massive amounts of Trellium and my emotional control was nearly gone. My body had just started to undergo the hormonal changes necessary for me to reach maturity. Combine those two with the effect your scent has always caused and it was possible that I would lose control and injure both of us during a mating… It would have been more violent than now… I may have seriously injured you without realizing it.”
Trip laughed. “I doubt that.”
T’Pol shook her head but she answered his sarcasm. “No, it is true. When you first visited me, I was heavily medicated and unable to act on my impulses. Your presence provoked an intense reaction and caused… vivid… dreams while I slept. When Doctor Phlox prevented your visit, the neural suppressants had worn off and it is unlikely I could have resisted those impulses. Just the hint of your scent and the knowledge you were mere meters away was almost more than I could control. Had Doctor Phlox allowed your visit, I could not have controlled myself… The result would have been… violent… and embarrassing for the both of us.”
Trip chuckled as he rubbed his thumb gently across her cheek. “So you liked me, hunh?”
“I would say at that time, it was nothing more than…” She paused to carefully consider her word. “lust. The response was almost purely physical.”
Trip twisted his mouth to the side as he considered her words.
She could tell he did not understand her intent. “I was not capable of forming an emotional attachment at that time. It was only later as most of the Trellium passed out of my bloodstream that my reaction changed… Like I told you months ago, it allowed me to access emotions that I had long suppressed. They were powerful and frightening but I had trouble functioning without them. I took the Trellium so I could maintain access to them… Eventually though all of my emotions, even ones I did not want, engulfed me and I lost control over them.”
Trip moved his hand from her cheek and slipped his arms around her. “I know.” She let Trip pull her body into his and he turned just slightly to press his body down on hers. She took comfort in his body applying pressure to hers. She pushed her head into the area between his neck and shoulder so she could inhale the scent coming off his chest. “I just never want you to think the only reason I love you is the bond. I probably would have even without it, I just wouldn’t have known you shared my feelings.” He kissed her on the temple.
“Besides,” his breath wafted passed her ear, “how do you know I didn’t force you to bond with me by overwhelming you with me scent?” For the first time this evening she felt no frustration and only happiness, tinged with playfulness, in his mood.
“Perhaps,” she granted him.
He kissed her forehead and said, “come on, let’s get some sleep. We’ve got a lot of work to do before Skon and T’Lyr move in with us. I’ve got to move all my junk upstairs to the observatory so they have someplace to stay.”
Trip reached over to turn the light off and T’Pol felt the mattress shift slightly as he rolled next to her. He whispered “Good night” in her ear. In a short while she felt his breathing even out as he feel asleep. Most of T’Pol’s sense of security returned to her while she lay there with his bulk pressed next to her, listening to his steady breathing. That always had a calming effect on her and tonight was no exception. She recalled the end of their discussion tonight. He insisted he cared for her even before his transplant. He even teased that it was possible his Human biology forced her Vulcan biology to bond with him, although she did detect a slight hint of seriousness behind the comment.
As she felt her own mind drifting off to sleep, she made a decision. Tomorrow, they were not going to move Trip’s workshop from the main level to the observatory. She would make sure Trip never left their bed tomorrow, or at least never for more than a couple minutes.
This story runs parallel to New World Man: Introduction.
Continue to New World Man: Daedalus
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A whole mess of folks have made comments
Out-fraking-standing, Kevin. This series continues to get better and better. I really, really, REALLY like your take on the Vulcan female being responsible for the initiation of the Bond and had a nice little chuckle at the idea that the Vulcan males and their "property" nonsense. If only they knew...
Really looking forward to the next chapter...
Naughty girl! Playing hooky to stay in bed all day. Sounds like fun. Wonder if I can convince my hubby to call in sick tomorrow? : )
Well Im sorry,,,,, I just realised that I havent been keepin up with reviewin. :(
But needless to say Ive loved how this story has been unfolding.
OK Instead of reviewin all the other updates to this series (which I dont have enough time for),,,,,,,
Ok Ive gota agree with Rigil,,, This story (An the others before) are out freakin standin. :)
I loved that Twist that ya threw in with the Vulcan females beinin the ones to form the bond. No wonder T'pol thought the Orions had one good thing goinin for them.
An I loved how T'pol an Trip resolved her feelins for what she misstook for her forcing the bond on Trip,,,, I loved those confessions they both gave, about havin flet things for one another before the Bond ever formed,,,,,,,, Even if T'pol only felt lust (or atleast only admited to lust an left out other feelins)
An Loved how T'pol wanted to skip out on work,,,,,, God that womens gona be the undoinin of Trips good sences.LOL
Thanks for the comments. I'm glad you're really enjoying the series.
For the time being, I'm going to set New World Man aside so I can concentrate on the scene additions to Similitude, Awakening/Kir'shara, Observer Effect and possibly Affliction that support this story. Those will go into more detail about T'Pol's actions/behavior/responses that is only summarized here.
After that, I'll see where my interests take me. I want to look at scene additions from E2 to Home as well as three "biggie" stories for New World Man. They are TnT's marriage ceremony, Enterprise's role in the Battle of Cheron and Enterprise's role in the founding of the United Federation of Planets. I don't even have outlines for those stories, so it'll be some time yet before I can submit those to Bucky. I'm about to become very busy at work so it might even be spring. :-(
However, March 30 marks my one year anniversary for posting stories so my goal is to give at least one of the three biggies to Bucky for posting on that day. I'm also sure in the meantime I'll find little stories here and there as a diversion.
Oh, and as for T'Pol's "feelings", I do not believe she was misleading Trip. In my season one, two and three scene additions to those point, I've tried to portray T'Pol coming to respect Trip as a fellow officer with an underlying physical attraction and nothing more-at least prior to her bout with Trellium aboard the Selaya. Only after that and her self-examination due to the Kir'shara does T'Pol "grow" into someone capable of loving/emotionally caring for Trip. Prior to that, her interest is purely a physical response that she can basically suppress. Or at least in my story world...
What? No scene addition for A Night in Sickbay? :evil:
Seriously, I'm enjoying these although I don't know if I totally agree with the argument that T'Pol wasn't really "capable" of loving/emotionally caring for Tucker prior to the first exposure to Trell-D. The silliness with Trell-D was (IMO) the weakest point of season 3 since it's pretty common knowledge that Vulcans suppress their emotions, hence they have them.
Sarek was never exposed to Trell-D and he was able to love Amanda.
OK, I haven't even read the whole story yet, but I just had to say .. this is the best line ever!
"Trip wished Phlox had assumed he and Jon would have no idea what he was talking about and brought some pictures. And maybe some crayons to go along with them"
Thanks for putting a smirk on my face!
Ok, now that I have read the whole thing .. a lot of relationships are force by one person or another in the beginning.. My mom hated my dad before their first date. My fiance's picture is next to the word DORK in the dictionary, but thank god he was persistant in pursuing me. Maybe trell-d is a poison ... but so is coffee.... we are all freaks if we don't get it. I just don't think its fair to say that was the only reason they were a couple. When you watch S1 and 2, you can see their mutual attraction. IMO they would have been a couple anyway.
> Sarek was never exposed to Trell-D and he was able to love Amanda.
Give me time. There is a reason why Skon, T'Lyr and Syrk were in Daedalus living in TnT's home. :-)
But in Home, T'Les comes out and asks Trip if he's told T'Pol that he loves her. Strikes me that Vulcans are very capable of love if she recognizes it so quickly...
But yeah, I'll be around...giving you time. ;)
> Strikes me that Vulcans are very capable of love if she recognizes it so quickly...
Again, give me time. :-)
Sorry Kevin it is taking me so long to review. There is too much stuff being posted these days to keep up with. For an honest reivew--it started out slow, it was too long. The ending, when they started talking things out, was wonderful, perfect exactly why I read everything you write. I am "addicted" to your fiction. I'm glad you are exploring the possible complications from T'Pol's trellium use, and explaining why T'Pol seemed to just use Trip at first for sex, though respecting him as a collegue, but later came to love him, and how he loved her a little earlier, and I am buying your whole story about how and when their relationship evolved. Yes they are imperfect characters, which makes their situation more real and interesting.