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Supernova- Ch. 3
By Samantha Quinn
RATING: eh..to be on the safe side, PG-13.
“So,” I continue, as nonchalantly as possible as I rummage in the top desk drawer for a couple of glasses, “what brings you to my quarters this late and what type of poison ya got?”
Jonathan walks over to the desk, working on uncorking the orange and purple bottle. Whatever it is, there’s ample supply. Considerin’ how crappy this day’s been, that’s great news.
“Well, the poison is something I picked up on Risa. It’s supposed to be some type of Risan whiskey,” Jon answers as he begins to pour the grayish liquid.
“Doesn’t look too great, Cap’n, but what the hell, I’ll try it,” I say, downing the drink. It doesn’t taste much like whiskey, I notice. It’s got a much sweeter taste-almost like an margarita. It’s too bad-I could use the burning sensation of some good ole fashioned Earth whiskey. But, hey, beggars and choosers, right?
“So, Jon, ya didn’t answer my other question,” I say, pouring myself another glass of the Risan whiskey.
He shifts his feet, looking slightly uncomfortable. Hmm. That’s the look he gets when we’re gettin' ready to argue with Soval.
A Vulcan. T’Pol.
“Well, Jon, out with it already!” I snap, more harshly than I intend. Aw, hell, I’m never gonna be rid of him now.
“I thought you might like to talk,” Jon replies, helpin’ himself to a place on my bed.
“What about?” I ask, pourin’ another glass of the gray stuff. It ain’t too bad after all.
“About T’Pol,” he responds.
I nearly drop the glass. “NO! I-uh-why would I want to talk about T’Pol?”
He tilts his head to one side-been around Porthos too much, I think-and gives me a smirk. “Come on, Trip. I saw your reaction on the bridge this morning.”
“What about it? It was perfectly normal.”
He laughs softly. “Oh, really?”
“What the hell did she mean by the that? That she’ll be ‘back on Vulcan’ by then?” I had yelled, to hell with protocol.
“Just that. We’re meeting with a Vulcan ship in about 18 hours. T’Pol is transferring to the Intrepid at that time,” my best friend had replied, without any clue that each word was jabbing into my heart.
“Why? What excuse did those bastards give to try to take T’Pol back this time?”
“Well, she can’t-you can’t let her! You have to make her stay.”
“I can’t do that, Trip. I can’t make her stay. None of us can.”
In response, I turned and stormed off the bridge.
“Yeah, I was naturally upset to be losin’ a perfectly fine Vulcan. High Command’ll probably sock us with an unbearable one this time,” I mutter. **And I pray to God the next one is male. If I have to look at a female Vulcan everyday and it’s not T’Pol . . .”
Jon shook his head. “That isn’t true at all, and you know it.”
“Oh, it isn’t? Ya don’t think they’ll saddle us with another Vulcan?” I busy myself with pourin’ my third glass of the grayish liquid. “Cuz, really, that’d be great. Who needs the uppity Vulcans with their damn superiority complexes. I sure don’t,” I retort, downing the liquid. Feeling my head swim a bit, I realize I should probably stop. Who ever said I listen to reason? Somewhat shakily, I pour another glass.
“If that’s true, then why are you on your fourth glass of that Risan whiskey within the span of fifteen minutes?” Jon asks.
Oh, so he had been keepin’ track.
“Well, I figured ya brought it to share. Want some?” I offer. I prob’ly shoulda known that’d make him snap.
“Damn it, Trip! I want to know what’s going on. Your private life may be your business, but not when it’s affecting my ship.” After that nice little ouburst, Jon stands up, and begins to try to wear a whole in the rug with incessant pacin’.
“I’m sorry, Cap’n, I’m not quite followin’ ya. How exactly is my private life affecting your precious toy,” I reply angrily.
There are times when even your best friend can try your patience. This is one of those times, I realize through my drunken fog. The only question is, who wants to throw the first punch most? Course, neither one of us actually does it.
“A science officer? That’s what you’re worried about? Losing a science officer?” Jon looks startled and I realize it probably has somethin’ to do with my shoutin’. I prob’ly shouldn’t be shoutin’ at the Cap’n. Way my luck’s runnin’, he’ll prob’ly have me thrown in the brig. Maybe I’ll be thrown off the ship. Stripped of my rank. Sent back to Earth. A complete and utter disgrace to the entire line of Tuckers. Somehow, in light of recent events, that doesn’t seem that bad.
“Yes, Trip. That’s what I’m worried about,” John replies calmly. “Just what are you upset about?”
How can he stand himself when he’s being such a smug son-of-a-bitch?
“Oh, no. I’m not done. Ya wanted to hear it all, didn’t ya? Well, there’s more. See, after T’Pol leaves-goes back to Vulcan-she’s gonna find a nice, suitable, logical mate. And they’re gonna mate, like good little Vulcans. Meanwhile, I’ll be stuck on this,” I pause, lookin’ for the right word. Tomb? Mausoleum? “this moving memorial. Every place I go, I’ll think of her and what might have been and I’ll be stuck wonderin’ how the hell I could have been so stupid as to fall in love with someone who could never return it. And further, why I ever deluded myself into thinkin’ she could!”
At my outburst, Jon’s face remains impassive. He doesn’t speak for a couple of moments. Oh, how I’d like to slug him. I opt to take it out on the wall instead. When the glass makes contact with the wall, a tiny part of me is satisfied with the crunch. That finally gets a response from the man.
“Feel better?” he asks, laying a friendly hand on my shoulder.
Resisting the urge to shrug off his hand, I can only mutter, “I know it feels.”
“How what feels?” he asks, sounding genuinely confused.
“The glass,” I whisper.
“Look, Trip, I apologize. It’s just after what T’Pol said this morning and then the way you reacted on the bridge, I assumed-"
“Whatta mean? What did T’Pol say?” I interrupt.
Jon looks a bit hesitant, then decides to answer me anyway. Good for him. Otherwise, I suspect Malcolm would’ve had a damn good reason to throw me in the brig.
“When she came to tell me she was leaving, she made it perfectly clear she wanted to tell you herself. And made me give my word that I wouldn’t mention it to you. She was very adamant about it,” Jon admits.
“Hmph. Glad she decided to follow through,” I grumble sarcastically.
“Well . . . maybe she was going to and just didn’t get the chance before she saw you on the bridge,” my friend offers.
Somewhere in my stupor, I recall a bit of a conversation I had with T’Pol earlier.
“We will be sharing dinner with the Captain. Perhaps we could have lunch instead.” “Sure…er, I can’t. I kinda promised Hoshi. . .”
Was that when T’Pol was going to tell me? Is that what that whole bizarre conversation this mornin’ had been about?
And I had sent her away. Told her I was too busy to talk to her.
How did I become such a fool?
Hazily, I realize Jon’s still talkin’. I suppose I should pay attention.
“. . . Valentin’s Day on the bridge. She was giving some awfully emotional looks at Hoshi,” Jon muses.
I look at him as though he’s lost his mind. “To Hoshi?”
He nods. “Yes, to Hoshi. If I didn’t know better, I’d say she looked jealous.”
“That’s ridiculous,” I reply, shaking my head. “In order for her to be jealous-which she wouldn’t be anyway-she’d have to know what was going on-" Jon shifts his weight again. The man’s always played a lousy game of poker.
“I had to, Trip. As second in command, she needs to know what’s going on with the lives of the crew,” says my very own personal Judas.
T’Pol knows about Hoshi.
But. . . that doesn’t matter, right? She still doesn’t share the same feelin’s I do.
“And then there was the whole strange comment about human blood. What exactly was that about?” Jon muses.
I shake my head in frustration. “I don’t know, Jon, but if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go find out.”
As I turn to leave, Jon grabs my arm. “Trip?”
“What?” I snap in agitation.
“You’re awfully drunk. Don’t say anything stupid . . . or that you’ll regret later.”
“Jon, if I don’t go talk to her now, and figure out what the hell is goin’ on in that head of hers, I’ll regret that for the rest of my life,” I respond, tryin’ to sound as sober as possible.
Jon gives me the Porthos head tilt again and breaks out in a grin. “Very well, Commander,” he says, gesturing towards the door. “Go, if you must.”
He’s certainly not runnin’ on a short supply of smugness tonight, is he? The thought occurs to me that he probably had this whole thing planned ahead of time. “Hmm. Maybe you don’t play such a bad game of poker after all,” I tell him before ducking out the door and into the corridor.
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