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Deceptions- Ch. 2
DECEPTIONS AND TRUTHS
Rating: PG-13, Darma, Romance
A/N - This story follows "Guilty Until Proven Innocent". I am not a doctor so if certain parts of this story are not medically plausible, please remember it is fiction. ( As always, I don't own the characters of Enterprise and all reviews are welcomed and appreciated.
T'Pol pushed the door buzzer to Commander Tucker's room. She looked both ways down the corridor then pushed the button again. There was no response. She then hit the button to open the door and was startled when it slid open. She was surprised the commander had not secured his room when he had returned the prior evening. T'Pol stepped into the room; her need to see the engineer was safe overriding her Vulcan logic. She saw the engineer stretched across his bed, lying on his stomach. He was still in his Starfleet uniform and still had his boots on. She walked over to stand beside the bed.
"Commander?" she said hesitantly. She reached her hand out and shook his shoulder. He quickly rolled over, sat up, and grabbed her wrist in one swift motion. He stared at her, a look of confusion on his face. Then he released her wrist, and dropped his head into his hands.
"Are you alright?" T'Pol asked.
"What are you doing here?" he asked. T'Pol noted a strange hint of anger in his voice.
"You did not join us last night. I was simply making certain you had returned safely."
"Worried 'bout me, T'Pol?"
The engineer looked up at her. He appeared tense and his jaw muscles clenched.
"You are an important member of the crew, Commander. I was merely."
Tucker stood up and stepped close to her. He glared at her for several minutes then turned away, shaking his head slowly.
"Are you feeling ill, Mr. Tucker?"
"I'm fine, T'Pol. Just a little headache is all," he replied in a strained voice. His hands moved up to massage his temples.
"Perhaps you should ask Dr. Phlox to examine you."
"Trip?" called Captain Archer from the opened door. He stepped into the room and looked surprised at T'Pol's presence. "Everything okay in here?"
"I am uncertain, Captain," responded the science officer.
Archer turned his attention to the engineer. "What happened to you last night, Trip? We expected to see you."
Tucker looked up at the captain. He squeezed his eyes shut and wavered slightly. T'Pol grabbed his arm to steady him. Archer moved quickly to the commander's other side. Tucker's eyes opened and he pulled away from them, a look of annoyance on his face.
"What happened, Trip? You look like hell," said the captain.
Tucker's hands went back to rubbing his temples and he sat heavily on the bed.
"I'm not sure, Cap'n." The commander leaned forward and put his elbows on his knees, his head still held between his hands. "I must've toured the shipyards."
"What do you mean, you MUST have toured the shipyards?" Archer sat down next to his friend. T'Pol continued to watch the commander, noting how his skin had become quite pale.
Tucker shrugged and looked at the captain. "I toured the shipyards."
Archer looked up at T'Pol, a look of concern on his face. The commander stood up and unzipped his uniform and moved toward the bathroom. Without a word, he entered and shut the door. Seconds later, T'Pol heard the shower running.
"What's going on, T'Pol?" asked Archer, rising to his feet.
"I do not know, Captain. Mr. Tucker did not respond when I came to his door. Since he was absent last night, I became.concerned so I entered the room and found him asleep. I awakened him just before you arrived." T'Pol looked at the bathroom door then back at Archer. "I recommend he be examined by Dr. Phlox."
"I agree. Something is definitely not right."
Several minutes later, Commander Tucker emerged from his shower clad only in the Starfleet issued briefs and undershirt. The captain and T'Pol had remained in his room and when he saw them, a look of annoyance crossed his face.
"Why are you still here?" he asked, running his fingers through his damp hair. He pulled a clean uniform and black shirt from his bag and slipped them on.
"We're meeting Prime Minister Yar for breakfast," replied Archer. "We just thought we'd wait for you."
Tucker sat on his bed and pulled on his socks and boots then stood and walked to the door. He turned and looked at T'Pol and Archer then exited the room.
Travis, Malcolm and Hoshi joined them in the lobby of their inn. Trip simply nodded his head at them as he walked by, ignoring their greetings. When he stepped out into the morning sunlight, his head began throbbing in earnest. He knew something was wrong but the concern from his friends was just irritating him for some reason. Trip paused outside the main doors as his vision darkened.
"Commander?" Hoshi said from behind him.
"I'm fine, Hoshi," he muttered.
"No you're not fine, Trip. Lets go see Dr. Phlox. He should be waiting for us in the dining hall," said the captain as he took Trip's arm firmly and walked him across the courtyard. T'Pol fell into stride on his other side while the others followed behind. Trip was still feeling disoriented so he reluctantly allowed himself to be pulled along by his friend. When they entered the big hall, he saw Dr. Kronell seated at one of the tables but no sign of Dr. Phlox. Archer led him over to the Talazorian physician.
"Is everything all right, Captain?" she asked, rising to her feet. Trip looked at her closely. There was something he should remember about that woman, he thought, but his memory was fuzzy.
"Where is Dr. Phlox? Commander Tucker isn't feeling well this morning. I'd like the doctor to take a look at him."
Kronell looked at Trip and again he felt like there was something he should recall about her. He looked down and shook his head in an attempt to clear his confused mind. He tried to remember the previous day. Everything was clear up until the tour of the shipyard. He could see the various cargo haulers, cruisers, and transports but they were more like seeing pictures on a view screen. He looked back up at Dr. Kronell. He heard her voice in his head but her words were muffled. His headache kicked itself up another notch and he couldn't help but flinch.
"Let me take a look at him, Captain. Your doctor is working with one of my assistants this morning. He'll be joining us later." The physician came around the table and motioned the group over to another table that sat against the wall near the main doors. Trip saw that there was a small bag on the table partly covered with what looked like a lab jacket. Kronell reached in her bag and pulled out a scanner.
"Dr. Chimra was afraid there might be some after effects," she said as she ran the device across Trip's chest and abdomen.
"After effects?" asked Archer.
"Commander Tucker was briefly exposed to a chemical compound we use to clean out exhaust ports. The compound has no effect on us but Dr. Chimra was concerned that it might have an effect on your species." The doctor returned her scanner to her bag then pulled out a hypospray. Trip stepped back. He felt suddenly uneasy in the Talazorian's presence. He turned and caught T'Pol's eyes then looked away. Something was terribly wrong but he just couldn't seem to remember. If only the incessant pounding in his head would stop, he thought, maybe he could think straight.
"May I ask what you are giving Commander Tucker, Doctor?" T'Pol asked, turning her eyes from Trip to look at the other woman.
Kronell paused at the question. "It's just something to help with the headache, Sub-Commander."
"How did you know he had a headache?" asked Malcolm who stood beside Captain Archer. Trip silently thanked the armory officer for his suspicious nature.
"The results of my scan, Lieutenant," responded Kronell with a hint of anger in her voice. She looked at the captain. "With your permission?"
"I'm feeling better, Cap'n. I'd rather not be injected with anything, if you don't mind," Trip replied. He backed away further then turned and moved quickly out the door. He heard the captain calling his name but for some reason, the thought of staying in the dining hall in the presence of the Talazorian woman scared him. Trip waited outside the door, leaning against the wall. The cool morning air helped clear his head a bit. Captain Archer and T'Pol appeared seconds later.
"What's going on, Trip?" asked Archer.
"I honestly don't know, sir." Trip could feel the anger building again and he fought to control it.
Archer sighed. "T'Pol, why don't you stay here with Trip. I'm going to find out more about this chemical compound and these.after effects." The captain went back inside.
"You do not appear well, Commander," T'Pol said as she moved to stand directly in front of Trip. "Perhaps you should go inside and sit down."
Trip just shook his head at her.
"Do you recall your exposure to this.chemical compound of which Dr. Kronell spoke?"
"No, I don't," Trip replied angrily. "Why don't YOU go back inside.with the cap'n." He immediately regretted his tone but he still couldn't get a handle on his anger. The pounding in his head wasn't helping any.
T'Pol ignored his comment. "Why were you so apprehensive in the presence of the doctor?"
Trip stepped so close to the sub-commander, he could feel her breath on his face. His gaze dropped to her lips then he looked back up, holding her eyes for a long moment. He quickly turned away from her. The concern he saw in her dark eyes infuriated him. How could she worry for him when she was more than likely sleeping with the captain, he wondered.
"Commander," T'Pol started. Trip turned on her, grabbing her arms. He spun her around then pinned her against the wall. She looked up at him, her face expressionless. She didn't pull away from his grip but just continued to watch him. Trip was breathing hard and he fought to catch his breath. He cared so much for this woman and the knowledge she would never return his feelings made his blood boil. His vision started to blur again.
"I'm sorry, Sub-Commander," he whispered, releasing her and taking a step back. He shut his eyes and rubbed his temples. He realized he was perspiring heavily. "I don't know why I did that. I'm sorry."
"Commander," T'Pol began again.
"I'm gonna take a walk," Trip interrupted quietly, opening his eyes and looking down. "I need to clear my head."
"I will accompany you."
Trip lifted his head and looked at the Vulcan. "I can't honestly guarantee." he began then stopped.
T'Pol tilted her head. "You can not guarantee what, Mr. Tucker?"
"Guarantee," he murmured. He heard Dr. Kronell's voice in his head. She was saying something about guarantees. Then the sight of a Talazorian cargo vessel abruptly replaced the memory. A pinch to his arm snapped him back to reality. His hand went up to his arm instinctively as he turned to face Captain Archer. The Talazorian physician stood next to him holding a hypospray in her hand. Hoshi, Malcolm, and Travis stood just behind her; the looks of concern clear on their faces.
"Easy, Trip," began Archer. "The doctor says this'll help you feel better."
Trip felt his knees weaken and the captain grabbed him so he wouldn't fall. Trip felt T'Pol grab his other arm.
"There's a room off the main meeting hall where he can rest, Captain," said Kronell.
"No, Cap'n," Trip pleaded weakly. "She's not.not." He shook his head in a feeble attempt to clear the cobwebs. "T'Pol, don't let her."
"Hey, take it easy," whispered the captain. "You're gonna be fine. You just need to sleep it off."
Trip felt himself being led back indoors. He tried to struggle but he felt so sleepy, his attempt was unsuccessful. They walked him into a small room and lowered him gently onto a cot.
"Cap'n, T'Pol," he began. "Please, there's something wrong.I don't.know.I can't.remember." His eyes closed and then he was floating into darkness.
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