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Author - plumtuckered | C | Genre - Alternate Universe | Genre - Angst | Main Story | Rating - PG-13
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A/N: This is only my second attempt ever at writing in the first-person so any advice is most welcomed and appreciated, especially since I chose to write T’Pol’s POV. Even though she’s more emotional this season, her voice is still tough for me to capture.
This should probably be considered AU and there are no spoilers for any episodes except Harbinger.
Meditation will not give me peace this night.
I sit in absolute silence, my eyes fixed on my candle’s flame. I watch as it burns brilliantly, like he once did before he was taken from me so suddenly. His face haunts my every waking moment, just as it did when he lived, but now it is different. Now I do not find the experience pleasurable.
Commander Charles Tucker is gone.
I can no longer walk down to engineering to gaze upon him as he works. I can no longer sit in the corner of the messhall and observe him over my cup of tea as he smiles and converses with Lieutenant Reed.
And I can no longer touch him.
Only seven days have passed since the reconnaissance of the Xindi power plant, since he disappeared from my sensors, since he disappeared from my life. Seven days that seem more like seven centuries.
I have often wondered why I let him in, why I let him touch my soul and my heart in a way I have never allowed anyone else to do. And now I find I can no longer deny my response to that wondering. By both human and Vulcan standards, he was unique and that uniqueness wholly captivated me.
Staring into the flame, I can see so clearly the flicker of light that always shone in his eyes. We’d come together because of his need for my assistance, but what I found in Commander Tucker was a companion, a confidant, and only recently, a sexual partner.
The one and only night we shared as one was passion-filled and it held an intimacy I have never experienced before. His touch was gentle and giving, his body warm and strong, and the following morning when I met him in the messhall, I ached for him to touch me in that way again.
I know that I am not supposed to experience regret, but I do regret never telling Commander Tucker how he made me feel that night. How I wanted him to take me again in that most intimate fashion. Instead I told him he was only assisting me in my explorations. Why didn’t I tell him I was frightened of the powerful emotions he made me feel? Of all people, the commander would have understood, for he knew me well.
I remember the last movie I attended with him, though I do not recall the exact title. In it, the lead male said to his mate that she completed him. I found that line oddly fascinating at the time, but even more so now. I have always believed I was an individual who relied on no one to make me whole. But now, as I watch the candle burn, I feel that perhaps I was incorrect. Perhaps there is a difference between being a whole person and being a complete person. For since Commander Tucker’s death, I have felt incomplete.
He understood me like no one else ever has. He knew exactly what I needed and he never failed to give it to me, even if it meant testing my emotional control with his illogical ways. He never expected me to be human, but slowly came to accept me for the Vulcan I am, for the woman I am. We were equals and we challenged each other to grow beyond our self-imposed boundaries.
I lean over and extinguish the flame. Commander Tucker is forever lost to me, yet I still can feel his presence around me. My hand touches the fabric of his shirt that I’ve quite illogically chosen to wear instead of my normal nightclothes. If I shut my eyes and inhale, I can still smell his lingering scent in the dark blue cloth. He is here with me, yet I still feel so alone and so very empty.
The familiar pain throbs in my chest; a pain to which I must become accustomed for it will be my constant companion for the rest of my life.
“Archer to T’Pol.”
I sigh then stand and move to my companel. “T’Pol.”
“I need you in the launch bay, T’Pol. Right away.”
“I will need to change---.”
“No time. That’s an order, Sub-commander.”
I turn then pull a loose fitting pair of cotton pants from my storage locker and slip them on. I leave my quarters. Only when I am in the turbolift do I realize that my feet are bare and that I am still wearing Commander Tucker’s shirt. I have become forgetful in my grief.
The launch bay is a bustle of activity all revolving around Shuttlepod One. As I approach, I see the captain stand and look at me. He is smiling, an expression I haven’t seen in exactly seven days.
“He’s been asking for you,” he tells me.
The crew parts then I see who is at the center of all the attention.
I stop and my heart soars. “Commander,” I whisper.
He is lying on a stretcher, filthy and pale, but in his eyes I see the familiar flicker of light.
He smiles at me then he swallows hard. I can tell he is fighting his emotions just as hard as I am fighting my own. He reaches out and I take his trembling hand regardless of the surrounding crew, regardless of the captain.
I kneel beside Commander Tucker and I hold his eyes for what seems to me like an eternity, the sound of the crew chattering excitedly fading away completely. All my attention is focused on the man before me.
“Nice shirt,” he whispers finally and I hear his voice break.
I tip my head and regard him. I find it curious that in those two words I believe he is saying so much more to me. By the look in his eyes, I know that my assessment is correct. He missed my presence just as much as I missed his.
I take his hand and bend down the last two fingers so that only his index and middle fingers remain. I do the same with my own hand then touch our fingers together. He looks at me in confusion, completely unaware of what I have done. I am amused. I have so much to show my commander and to teach him, but I know that he will listen and he will learn.
I stay at his side as he is taken to sickbay, his hand holding mine as if he fears I will leave him. I look down at his ashen face to see his eyes closed. I feel my heart skip a beat as I take in his pallor. He is not well, but I can feel by the strength of his grip on my hand that he will not die. Commander Tucker will not be leaving me this night or any night hereafter.
His eyes open slowly then settle on me and I feel something pass between us that warms me so completely, I have to struggle to remain composed. He has already taken my heart but in this moment, I realize he has given me his.
And I accept it willingly---and I will cherish it, protect it, for with it, I am complete.
A sequel follows in Complete II.
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A whole mess of folks have made comments
There's only one word to describe this. And that word is 'beautiful'. This is beautiful. I love it. It really messes with your emotions. *MUST NOT CRY!*
I'm still sniffling. This was well written and very emotional. Fabulous job. Who knew the words, "Nice shirt," could say so much.
Most beautiful! And wow, does it mess with our emotions!
I'm trying to be strong but I'm slipping...
I'm going to burst into tears ant moment...
One day, I want a man to say 'nice shirt' shirt to me...oh, I need tissues.
That was gorgeous and I think you captured T'Pol just right...totally believable!
Did he leave the shirt in her quarters or did she nip into his and steal it?
Oh, gush me lots!!!!!!!!!!!
That's right, T'Pol. You can't fool yourself. There is so much more to 'explore'... Don't be afraid of it. You're not alone anymore.
I absolutely adored this to pieces! You managed to cram so much into a short piece, the emotional content from T'Pol's ruminations finding their perfect echo when Trip returns just makes my heart light up with joy and deep content. Sigh. These two were made to be together no matter what Starfleet or the Vulcan High Command in all its' measured pomposity may think. Thanks for putting it in such a lovely context. Ali D :~)
Very nicely done. I like how it shows T'Pol's vulnerabilities. And I must comment that I don't think that your writing reflects a misunderstanding of T'pol's "voice". On the contrary, I think you captured T'Pol's essence very well. It was a joy to read with a wonderful ending.
Love this story! Very sweet - simple and powerful. I do hope it's the first of a series, or this this bit continues, because I definitely want to read more from you.
I love this! Every characterization was spot-on. Fantastic job!
This was such a joy to read -- even the sad parts. And I agree with everyone who commented on the "nice shirt" line -- it was perfect. Thanks for sharing this story.
Lovely, absolutely lovely. And I thought you captured T'Pol's voice very well.
Great job! You did well capturing T'Pol's voice, you didn't make any mistakes. Yes, I think "beautiful" describes this story. He made it! Archer's smile too, and that Trip was calling for her. ::satisified grin::
such poingant words!! I loved the minimalist approach you took, though your story is short, its quite powerful. Her loss and relief captured in so few words. Great Job!!