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Territorial - Part 2
"Bound" Fic CHALLENGE
T'Pol stared, thinking back. Fondly, she recalled how it had been one of the first things which had fascinated her about Trip. Strange...how it jutted out from his face prominently as though its tip commanded it be the first thing one needed to pay attention to. Of course, once one allowed their eyes to track down along his unique nose, his eyes were the next thing one could not miss. Getting lost in them, as she often did, was effortless. They were closed now.
Trip still slept, and T'Pol evaluated he may have needed to. Last night had been strenuous for him, but he never complained, and she had given him every incentive not to. No man had ever or could ever please her more than this
She was reminded of something he'd once told her...'The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.' T'Pol let herself smile, and no sooner did she think to do so, she leaned into her mate and kissed the tip of the nose she'd grown so fond of. There was nothing weak about Charles 'Trip' Tucker, the Third, even by Vulcan standards, although in her present state of contentment, she could be prone to exaggerate. Blinking, she realized what power there was, feeling the way she did about this male she'd chosen, and not entirely by accident. She had initiated the bond because it had felt the natural thing to do at the time.
Tucker had been compelling from the first moment they'd met and every surprising interaction thereafter merely served to cement her determination to make him hers.
T'Pol found herself staring into the sleepiest looking eyes she'd ever seen, and Trip smiled, and when he smiled! Lopsided and buoyant, he did, right back at her. "Mornin', baby," he murmured, reaching to stroke the side of her face with fingers that trembled a little when making contact. They still throbbed, but not half as badly as they had the day before. He'd jammed three of them in a relay bleed-off bi-coupler with her lying alongside him in the interior D-2 conduit. Not thinking, T'Pol obediently kissed his fingers, their pads, even the one that had managed to escape injury, his pinkie, and relaxed her cheek into his warm palm.
"Good morning, Trip."
"Sleep well?" This was real, she, here with him like this. It felt wonderful. He'd begun to notice prickling in his mind, sometimes between his eyes, other times other places. It went without saying that she had everything to do with these new, soul-stirring sensations. Even if somehow she began having second thoughts about their relationship, even with this bond in place, he'd convince her as he'd never tried convincing someone before that they were meant to live every tomorrow together. He felt he was married to T'Pol. She'd made it clear, leaving not much room for doubt that this bond was what married Vulcans shared. Trip felt a certain jubilance he had never known before well up within him. There was no going back to the void of being separated from her in a physical sense, not ever again.
T'Pol was his. Maybe she wasn't so sure it hadn't started off as an accident. The end result was the same. Telepathically-challenged, or not, he had what he wanted. The thought pulsed through him how much he wanted to meld his mind with hers again. He almost felt guilty to admit that it was a tad better than sex. It was more than a thought. His face lit up, sensing the desire was coming from her too. "What?"
"I said, reasonably well, although I don't require as much as you, as you well know."
Trip smiled, still wanting what she had lustily given him last night, and leisurely claimed her mouth. He'd kissed his share of women, but the mouth on this one drove him wild. The loin-smoldering crush of her imprisoned body was icing on their cake of succulent delights. As she opened her mouth unreservedly to his he replied, "Are ya saying I kept ya up?"
"More accurately, it is I who kept you...up." T'Pol rolled onto her side with a firm hold on the anatomical site to which she referred.
"Aren't you the sassy one," Trip fed into her ear with a full-bodied laugh and lots of stroking along the inner thigh of her right leg. Why were her earlobes so darn irresistible?
"If my memory is reliable, you enjoy sassy. Or were you speaking untruth when you gave my behind a slap and told me I was 'a bad, sassy girl.'" Gently, she kneed him in the groin and Trip writhed as undulating surges of pleasurable, commingling waves washed over him. It reminded him of the marvelous waters of the Gulf. He felt so good everywhere.
"I also like being linked up with ya like this." His lips puckered around the bottom of her earlobe before he began sucking on it. "It's glorious, darlin'. It's incredible how you make me feel what you do and it's a privilege."
"And experiencing your emotions is revelatory for me, every time I'm one with you, and all that you are." T'Pol arched her back so his mouth, which had found its appreciative way to her breasts, had better access. "Thank you Trip, thank you."
"I said it before, but I'll say it again. Don't thank me. Just love me, T'Pol. Love me for as long as forever is, and it'll be me, thanking you. Over and over again." He thanking her for being the only woman he would never be able to be without.
"You're kidding me, right?" Trip's rich chuckle made her eyebrow cant. "Yeah, yeah...you are." No sooner had T'Pol asked him about his staying again, he poked her hot flesh with his tongue that felt as molten as her skin. Her nipple pebbled to a stark peak and her whole body was one profound arch. "And just where exactly do I go...after you, and all you do to me?" he said his way around her breast. "I so want a life with you. You're my universe, and all the suns in it."
"And you, t'hyla, are mine with the same complement of those brilliant stars..."
Neither continued to speak as the powerful emotions that coursed through them transported them ever onward to the euphoria there were no words for.
Their minds became one as their breathing already had.
He'd known this flamboyant woman for a long time and he had to admit there were some very attractive things about her.
The whole non-frat issue was in place, of course, but looking the other way wasn't new with the powers that be who made it possible for them to command starships in the first place. The crux of the matter was what were his feelings for her? Given the chance, and leaves that coincided, whenever that could be, would there ever be more than Starfleet between them? Oh, and rappelling, Jon was obliged to add. She was every bit the mountain scaling enthusiast he was, and she was better at it to boot.
Archer pondered his state of mind while he waited for Erika to finish signing off on a roster she'd been presented with before turning her attention back to him. With her eyes focused untenably upon him, she began, "So, all things having been said, it appears I'm going to lose my chief engineer, and we haven't even had our first decent disagreement over warp mechanics yet."
Jon nodded, and sounding sympathetic replied, "You don't want to go down that road with him. The man knows his field cold, even when his brain's pickled."
"Don't I know it, and then some. Which is why I hate to lose him, Jonathan." Hernandez folded her hands before her on her desk, tapped her thumbs together and looked at Archer. "There's no way I can get him to change his mind?"
"Highly unlikely. He's in love, and I can vouch that it's *not* a passing mood. It's been brewing for the past four years and gone critical mass recently."
"Apparently there's a link between your rumor mill and the one aboard my ship. He's in love with your Science Officer, isn't he? The woman from Vulcan...T'Pol."
"That he is." For once Archer sounded better attuned to the unlikely situation. It was high time he rethought his attitude.
Perhaps, due to his own needing and wish fulfillment, it might, and now that he really thought about it, that might was a mighty big one, have seemed that T'Pol could have been what he'd been missing in his life. With more realistic eyes, clearer in focus, who was he kidding? Himself, and that was what hurt most of all. Some fantasies were better left well alone; they served no one's benefit.
All along, he'd been the one seeing things that had never existed in the first place. T'Pol was his Science Officer and, over time, had become a trusted friend, someone worth protecting as well as trying to understand. At first he didn't want to understand her. Vulcans were intransigent, not open to anything other than their sacred, narrow view of what was logical to them.
He had tried pigeonholing her, but T'Pol defied his stereotyping. She was the most singular, the most remarkable Vulcan he'd ever known. It had been impossible to write her off as just another one of those uncompromising Vulcans. She'd helped him see that though she was Vulcan, she was a person, first, who'd been willing to grow.
Somewhere down the line, he'd confused her being a valued colleague, a stalwart subordinate and someone he'd begun to cherish as loyal, with his being in love with her.
Archer inwardly winced; infatuated with T'Pol fit better. His hindsight readjusted his viewpoint further. How juvenile, as someone who should have been old enough, wise enough and should have known better, could he be? It was time he stopped fooling himself and reclaim his objectivity along with a sense of humor. Taking a mental step back, and a deep breath, Archer had to smile.
The irony couldn't have been better if it had been in a script. Trip couldn't stand Vulcans anymore than he could, and had never pulled any punches about making it known. That is, before T'Pol. Now, his long-time, soft-hearted friend was head over heels in love with one who out-Vulcaned Surek, at times. How was that for being a riot, a fitting one? Captain Archer sighed, reflecting how Trip and T'Pol would be good for each other. That he knew in his heart of hearts, and was glad for the change in his.
What a difference a good night's sleep had indeed made, that, and his having appealed to a power higher than his own myopic intellect.
"In all honesty I'm not completely surprised. His service aboard Columbia was above reproach, but there were some reports of his being distracted at the oddest times." A thoughtful look cast Erika's facial expression. "Any chance you'd be willing to part with your Science Officer in tow?"
"Not on your life. It was bad enough seeing Trip go." Archer rapped his knuckles on his desk. "I trust you won't keep him waiting for his transfer."
Hernandez perched the side of her face against her hands with her fingers interlocked, looking anything but the captain of Starfleet's latest warp capable vessel. She outdid any schoolgirl when she batted her eyes and said in a puckish voice, "Far be it from me to stand in the way of true love by throwing a hydrowrench in the works. I firmly believe that a man or woman performs best when he or she is happiest. I contacted Starfleet as soon as you apprised me of his situation. Commander Tucker has his reassignment, confirmed a little over thirty-six Standard Earth hours ago. Is that speedy enough for you, Captain?"
"Words fail, Captain," Archer graciously bestowed, liking how she didn't let any moss grow under her feet, much as he didn't go in for the same.
"Is there anything else I can do for you...Jonathan?"
Archer passed over the implications her tone of voice stirred in him. Keeping his response professional was the course of wisdom these days. It had been implied by certain sources that Starfleet was taking up the annoying habit of listening in on transmissions. "Ever have Orion slave girls aboard as guests? Uninvited ones, I might add."
That brought a quirk to Hernandez' eyebrow. "No, Jonathan, can't say that I have. Why do you ask?" She blinked. "Orion slave girls, huh?"
He liked seeing her eyes widen slightly. "I've got some. Three to be exact, a collective gift for negotiating with the Orion Syndicate. They're wreaking havoc with my crew."
Erika's expression changed from one of surprise to confirmation. "Ah, the male population is what you mean." She wondered if he had been so affected to any telling degree. What she wouldn't give to be able to read his mind, which she knew his had to be fascinating.
Archer took his time framing his response. "I'm desperate to get rid of them.” It was sobering, coming to terms with the fact that when it came to Orion slave girls, even he, Jonathan Archer, had feet of clay. “Any suggestions?"
"Where are they now?"
"Locked up in our brig."
"They're that big of a problem?"
It was Jon's turn to quirk his eyebrow at her and roll his eyes as he thought what a wealth of discovery she was in for wherever her journeys took her and her crew. It was impossible to remain unseasoned the longer one was out here, combing these vast, unexplored, and for the most part, untamed regions. That, this tried and tested captain knew intimately well. "You want them?"
Hernandez waved Archer's backhanded generosity off. "Uh, no. Thanks, but no thanks." Her expression went extremely thoughtful then. "How far are you from Risa?"
"Risa? Not far. Less than a day."
"You just might find them a suitable home among persons they'd feel most comfortable with. Pleasure seekers."
Now why hadn't he thought of that? Archer gave her a knowing smile. "Perfect..."
"And you know that old saw, 'a little freedom never hurt anybody.'" Then candidly, she spoke, "Is your crew due for a little R and R?"
Nodding, Archer replied, "We could stand some. The last time I was on Risa it was far from a vacation." The beautiful woman who had been anything but flashed into memory, as well as T'Pol having given him that thick book on Surek which she had expected him to complete. "It's been nothing but non- stop, vital missions up till now. After a brief sojourn there, getting back to being explorers again will be a refreshing change."
Her voice sounding pensive, Erika said, "Risa's venue might provide a lovely backdrop for your lovebirds before you and your crew set out again."
"It might indeed. I'm not sure how far along they are in terms of long-range plans, but if the word honeymoon is in their future, then what better place, hmm?" Archer looked more pleased by the moment and he noted Erika's approving look. "Perfect spot for a wedding too, but it's all up to them, of course. I could very well be jumping the gun here." Perhaps he was, and if so, he could live with it. He was still getting used to his fellow officers being a 'hot' item in the first place. Jon slowed his roll, reminding himself that minding other people's business carried its own liability. "On the whole, my crew will be delighted with the destination, guaranteed. With or without this interspecies romance as backdrop."
Looking just as pleased, Hernandez remarked, "Then, we'll rendezvous at Risa. Columbia's a mere day, give or take, away too. Is this Kelby any good?"
"Well," and through a barkish laugh, Archer said, "he's no Trip Tucker, Chief Engineer extraordinaire."
"Let me be the judge of that after I put him through at least some basic paces." A savvy look, over sewn by mischief was on her face. "At the very least, Commander Tucker will have the chance to collect his personal effects."
"At least. Catch you on Risa, then..." The makings of a decent smile of satisfaction claimed Archer's face and kept her guessing. "Erika."
"Of course, Jonathan. Till then," she replied with a jaunty twist of her lips. "Hernandez out."
But not over, Archer readily mused. The thought of Starfleet's having possibly listened in he shrugged off. Captains were human, after all, not robots.
The culinary personnel were tireless workers, and Jon doubted they had much idle time, not with Chef on hand. But, nevertheless, people talked if given the right circumstances and the stewards were privy to many.
T'Pol was nonchalantly munching on a celery stick, trying hard to keep her eyes off Trip, and the object of her affection hadn't finished what remained of his rare T-bone steak swimming in its own juices. Jon made sure his quiet contemplation of the quintessential odd couple wasn't smackingly overt. Well, here goes, he thought and smiled, anxious to know their reactions.
Tidbit number one: "Trip..."
"Yes, Cap'n?" Looking up, he held his knife and fork aside anticipatorily.
"Captain Hernandez contacted me a little while ago. She informed me that your transfer back to Enterprise has been approved. Effective immediately, you are once again a member of this crew."
"All right!" Trip said, beaming from ear to ear, making sure his lock on T'Pol's eyes was as strong as it could be. She held his mirthful gaze with nary a sign that she was either pleased or displeased, yet Trip knew she
Archer wished a hidden camera was recording this. He cleared his throat.
Tidbit two: "I've decided, for the good of the male members of this crew that Risa would make the perfect new home for our seductive, scantily-clothed guests." He took another slow sip of Port, a very good year. "We're on our way there to drop them off. Our destination is under wraps to everyone but Bridge personnel, currently on duty. And now I've informed both of you."
"Ensigns Sato, Mayweather, Harper...Lieutenant Reed..." T'Pol responded in almost muted tones, catching herself before dropping several more names. Looking contrite, she murmured, "Sorry."
(Thinking out loud, eh?)
Unabashedly, Trip grinned at her and nudged her foot with the tip of his boot beneath the table, much as a cat would when marking items it wanted to keep track of in its territory. Trip's mind raced when he thought he heard her
(Since melding twice already, I'm hearing what you're thinking better, darlin'. I can't get over how it's possible.)
(Impressions of thoughts, faint, at best. More melds will improve clarity. But, hear this...*not* here while in the captain's presence. It is only logical we give him the respect he deserves, regardless of our redefined
(If this is *faint*, what'll be like years from now?)
She avoided any further contact with his foot.
Very much out loud, Trip wanted to laugh, T'Pol sounded so strict, like the all-Stoic, all the time person she used to be what seemed a lifetime ago. Nodding so only she would see, he rolled over and acceded to her unspoken
(Wait till later...I'll show ya logic.)
T'Pol's mask of indifference almost cracked, and almost was counting more and more with Trip. She wasn't as non-reactive as she let on. He was getting to know better.
Archer, sitting there, sensing the raw magnetism between them, was no dim bulb. He wasn't privy to their minds, but he had a strong hunch what was going on. Anyone had access to the Vulcan database, even he. Trip had told him about his having this bond with T'Pol. Curious, Jon had done some digging, fascinated over what had developed between them. "Am I intruding?" he cajoled the pair who had suddenly become immersed in each other's thoughts. "If I am," he winked gamesomely at them both, "I'll leave." What a twosome they made, an unlikely one, at first glance, but they did go together, like hand and glove.
"No--no, Cap'n, not at all. Don't!" Trip stammered, a bit flustered. "Risa, huh?"
Archer wagged his wine glass in Trip's direction. "Aside from dropping off the Orions, a little R and R...a welcomed change of scenery. Scenery I missed a good deal of the first time I visited the place, is in order." He felt like saying, 'and whatever you two have in mind, romantically speaking,' but he held his tongue. "Good ideas?"
"Aces, Cap'n." Trip needled T'Pol with hungry eyes and complementary up and down movement of his eyebrows.
"Very resourceful decisions, Captain," T'Pol awarded.
(Remember that souvenir I'd promised to bring ya back?)
The captain bided his time, this was interesting. He wondered what these two were thinking even as they made some mesmerizing eye contact.
(You brought nothing back and you returned without your clothes.) And before Trip could get his thought in, T'Pol gave away...(Hoshi told me.)
(My good friend, and someone whose confidence I highly esteem.)
(And what am I?)
T'Pol chanced it, allowing the shadow of her smile to show in her eyes which were looking quite bedroom at the moment.
(Later, I will continue to enlighten you, ashayam...in the white room first, and then after...)
Trip knew after. He was beginning to live, and would have gladly died for 'the after.' T'Pol loved him so, it made him weak just thinking about it. Something fragile turned over in his mind, and a feeling of sheltering enveloped him. If the unthinkable ever occurred and he stopped loving her, that would be the day a way had been found to vaporize his heart.
(Now you're talking.)
Watching in amazement, mingled with much amusement, Archer speculated about this being his future whenever they interacted in his presence. If the looks on their faces, yes, even T'Pol's, were evidence, bonded they were, but good. "In all honesty, I can't take even partial credit for leaving the Orions on Risa or some needed R and R. Both were Captain Hernandez' ideas. She and her crew will rendezvous with us. You'll be able to retrieve your gear from Columbia, Trip."
"Sounds good. Ya know, Hernandez's a great cap'n, Jon," Trip enthusiastically endorsed. "You're tops, of course, but Starfleet's damn lucky to have her. Her ideas about warp drive are astounding."
"So, I take it she made quite an impression." Archer eased a bit of mashed potatoes onto his fork before lifting it to his mouth, and Trip nodded.
"She's a natural leader, again, like yourself, Cap'n." Changing tack, Trip offered, "She thinks highly of you."
"Oh, she does, does she?" There was an unmistakable twinkle in Archer's eyes that matured into gleams.
"Very highly," Trip reiterated, unable to resist the urge to fan flames he had a good suspicion about.
"Captain," T'Pol said, taking careful note of the easy camaraderie between Archer and her mate, the way they enjoyed one another's company before the stresses and strains of their missions had siphoned a good deal of it away. She had seamlessly picked up on where her beloved wanted to take the conversation. "Will you be taking shore leave?"
"I've thought about it," Archer divulged, savoring the rich, creamy texture of his potatoes. He'd snuck a few peas in on the forkful too. His eyes partially closed as he chewed.
"And Cap'n Hernandez?" Trip fished. He liked what he saw in T'Pol's eyes that burned with intensity into his.
'What were these two up to?' crossed Archer's mind, having a fairly on target idea. Opening his eyes, he decided he'd play along. Old times were never like this, and he cherished what the future might hold for all three of them. "I think I could persuade her, although, I don't think I'll have to try that hard. If there're any mountains to scale, we're there." Or not. Just spending some quiet time with Erika would be nice too.
"She's a rappelling buff too?" The look in Trip's eyes took on a decided calculating glint.
The captain poured himself a spot more Port, offered to refill Trip's glass, but he declined. "Bigger buff than I am, and better at it too."
Trip and T'Pol exchanged a cryptic look that was bathed in ulterior motive.
Archer nearly lost it catching them in the act of trying to fix him up. 'Too late, and not subtle at all. Erika already has the inside track without you two amateurs playing matchmakers.' Jon raised his glass at T'Pol first, then Trip. "I appreciate what you think needs doing. I really do."
"Risa has a number of challenging ranges to accommodate avid mountain enthusiasts." If she lived to a ripe old age, she would never understand Humans' fascination with activities that imperiled them, needlessly. "Although, I advise against putting Captain Hernandez and yourself in gratuitous danger."
"*Gratuitous,*" Archer said, incredulous, sounding cynical. "Don't you think you're being--"
"Perhaps further contemplation of Surek, along with Captain Hernandez, will better suit your time spent in relaxation. I will return the book I borrowed, Captain."
Balking, the captain paced himself. "T'Pol, you can keep the book, and--I can get myself my own date, thank you very much. I'll have you know rappelling performed by meticulously-trained persons such as *Erika* and yours truly is perfectly safe." He lightened up, seeing how quiet both of them had become. This time when he winked their ways he saw just how important his choice of pastime, especially to T'Pol, and who he spent it with, especially to Trip, was to them. "We'll be fine, trust me. We will.
"Going at it?" Risqué ideas raced through Trip's mind as he could feel T'Pol's mental touch temper him. "Jon, is there something you're not telling us?"
"The cliffs not far from Muir Woods are breathtaking. You should have seen us. We moved as though we'd been rappelling together for years." Archer looked like a wiseacre then. "Oh, that's right...you and T'Pol were on your way to Vulcan. Neither of you ever got around to telling me just how it went, exactly. It was like pulling teeth until you confessed you'd been forced to marry, T'Pol. But judging by the way things are going with the two of you now, it couldn't have been all that bad."
Looking chastened, Trip nodded absently, thinking about being on Vulcan with the woman he loved so deeply, having to watch her sell herself into marital bondage, unholy wedlock of the sorriest kind. When he looked at T'Pol she was peering at him, her mellowing eyes peeking above the rim of her mug that was filled with pungent mint tea. He would never forget her looking at him that way the morning after they'd made love and she'd claimed it had been nothing but an exercise in sexual experimentation. "So, uh, you and...Erika go back a ways."
"A ways. We met in the summer of two thousand thirty-seven. A year later we met again in Venice, Italy." Archer's memories transported him to the days of that nearly idyllic July. "Lake George, waterskiing, long walks and cotton candy. She still inhales the stuff when she can get her hands on it. We've kept in touch, a mutual decision."
Trip folded his napkin, and felt something akin to flaming sensuality flood his mind. Suddenly hot and bothered, he blinked up and saw T'Pol's tongue inch across her pouting bottom lip, making him gulp. A small band of sweat beads dotted his wrinkling forehead. "A-and n-now there's Starfleet." Trip shot T'Pol a strange look Archer couldn't help noticing.
(Weren't you the one? 'Not in front of the captain?')
In his mind's eye, the reinstated chief engineer heard his woman laughing.
He turned his attention to his plate with only its bits of sautéed cauliflower remaining, instead, hoping she'd lay off. What did he know? Maybe making love so much had somehow triggered her female version of Pon Farr. Either that, or the infallible Tucker charm had her but good. Right where he'd wanted her for so long, so would he complain? Not on anyone's life.
Dessert was key lime pie for a change. It turned out T'Pol liked it slightly more than pecan pie. Trip whisked his eyes at her and hinted that she satisfy herself with her slice for the time being. Man, the sweet tooth his lady love possessed!
"And now there's Starfleet," Trip mentioned, and trimmed a sliver off his pie.
"Ah, Starfleet. I'd say that's true for most of us, wouldn't you?" Enough about him and his amours. It was high time Jon lobbed the ball into the court he wanted it to be and stay. "You and T'Pol will head down to the surface together, I take it. You know how the Chamber of Commerce's motto for their ad goes, 'Risa is for *lovers*."
(He did not say that!)
The piece of pie sliding down Trip's throat nearly choked him.
(You heard him. He certainly did.)
Subdued, T'Pol's eyes flashed. (Our relationship is no longer anyone's secret, Commander. Least of all to the cap--)
(*You* didn't just say *that!* Commander--I stopped being a title the first time you slid your hand down my--)
(Did you complain?)
(Never! Not then, not ever. Just don't call me Commander to my brain, got that?)
T'Pol floored him with what she thought next.
(I live to be commanded by you...'baby.')
Archer watched his First Officer nod, and his best friend give her an outrageous cat and mouse look. Folding his hands across his chest, he called them to heel. "Hello...I didn't go anywhere. Still here, as far as I can tell." Playfully, he continued, "Bonded or not, please have the courtesy to stay with me while I'm in the room. Now, I guess you've answered my question in your own newly unique way. You'll make this a...well, for want of a more
"Captain?" Trip and T'Pol intoned simultaneously.
"Together...T'Pol and you...am I right?"
"That'd be great, Cap'n, but with you heading down too, we'll understand if you can't have both of us leaving the ship at the same time."
"Who says I'm leaving?" Archer suggested, a wry twist of his lips making his ambiguity seem even more worthwhile. Trip looked even more confused. "But, I thought. Uh, well...ya know. You and Erik--I mean Cap'n Hernandez."
"Just because I mentioned I didn't get to see anything of Risa before, and how much she and I enjoy rappelling doesn't mean we have to make the most of it this time around. This crew's been through more than any one crew deserves to have been."
"And what about you, Cap'n? As though you haven't gritted it out right along with us? More even."
"Spending my free time with Erika, either aboard Enterprise or Columbia won't exactly be deprivation, Trip."
"Captain," T'Pol spoke up, "Are you suggesting shore leave for the entire crew?" Trip's excitement was building within her, stirring her emotions every which way.
"I'm more than suggesting, Commander, I'm making it an order. Shore leaves in shifts, starting with yours and Trip's as soon as we're in orbit around Risa. How's that for the captain's interest in morale?"
Trip raised his wine glass, and giving T'Pol the eye, induced her to lift her mug and aim it in Archer's direction. "Here, here, Cap'n."
“As long as we drop the Orions off on one side of the planet and our crew*men* take their leaves on the other side.”
Trip offered another, “Here, here.”
Jon reciprocated with his glass tilted at his senior officers. "To Enterprise and her crew. Long may we serve together. *All* of us," he emphasized, and hastened to add, "to boldly go where no one has--"
---BRIDGE TO THE CAPTAIN---
"Excuse me," Archer said accommodatingly, swiftly turning his head to the inset comm nearby. "Go ahead, Hoshi..."
---SIR, YOUR PRESENCE IS BEING REQUESTED BY A SPECIES IDENTIFYING THEMSELVES AS THE NOXURIANS. THEY ARE JUST WITHIN HAILING DISTANCE. I COULD PATCH THEM THROUGH TO YOUR MESS IF YOU'D LIKE---
"No, no, Hoshi. First impressions always count for most, as though that's news." He slanted his head in T'Pol's direction. "I'll greet them formally on the Bridge. Travis, slow to mark two point three impulse. I'm on my way."
---AYE, SIR, BRIDGE OUT---
"Cap'n..." Trip stood, not missing a beat, and T'Pol raptly followed her mate's lead.
"We will accompany you, Captain," she dutifully responded.
"No, not this time. No break in continuity, at least not for you. Finish your meal and whatever else you've got going on, minus yours truly, the third wheel. I'll fill both of you in later. Carry on, Commanders. I know you will if your anxious looks at each other throughout dinner are indication enough." Gracing them with a serviceable, slight bow, Archer left.
How right their CO was, and they wondered whether he was somewhat telepathic himself since his experience with Surek’s katra. No sooner had the door shushed shut behind their blunt superior when Trip was at T'Pol's side with his arms extending his outright invitation. T'Pol elated him to the brim, not having him wait long as she filled them, and him. He hugged her harder, pressing her incredible body against his until he heard her moan in approval.
"The Noxurians," Trip barely breathed, nuzzling his nose in her hair that smelled of honeysuckle. He marveled at that. Her dispenser was dispensing something different from what the rest shipboard were? He'd have to check that out. "Never heard of them."
"Neither have I," T'Pol obliged, freely granting him his right to touch her anywhere he pleased. A fraction less breathlessly than Trip she said, "Traders, perhaps? Explorers, such as ourselves?" she mused. His hand lingered at her bosom and Trip swore she purred.
"One thing they'd better not be are troublemakers, gumming things up for us. Nothing's getting in the way of having you on Risa. That's having as in anywhere and everywhere we can get away with it. Can't wait. Non-stop steamy whatever you want, darlin'. My aim's to please only you."
T'Pol locked Trip in her arms that held him faster than any vise could have. "It pleases me to have you all to myself."
He had worked his tongue into her ear, and her shuddering against him made him go weak in the knees. "It's heaven, and I just thought of something."
"Speak it out loud." She tilted her head away from his, dislodging his tongue, his pouting intrigued her. "It also pleases me, seeing your lips move."
"Kinky," Trip murmured behind her ear, evoking more involuntary shuddering from her.
"What means kinky?" T'Pol asked, as naively as she looked.
"You," Trip bantered salaciously. "To the max." He kissed her hard on the mouth until they needed to breathe, but not right away. When Trip caught his breath, he whispered, "Darlin', correct me if I'm wrong, but I do believe this is the first time the cap'n has ever saved us from an interruption."
T'Pol smiled against his cheek, rubbing her puffy lips against it and agreed. She whispered in kind, "You are correct...unerringly so."
Overwhelmed, Trip began kissing her eyes whose lids were closed. T'Pol lightly pressed them into Trip's lips and was forced to recall what she overheard crew woman Mercedes 'Cede' Boylan say about men in love...'they
Beautiful, T'Pol thought, and Trip trembled.
Have a comment to make about this story? Do so in the Trip Fan Fiction forum at the HoTBBS!
Half a dozen of you have made comments
WooHoo!! I love it when I get to be one of the first ones to make a comment!
I really like this second part of the story. I like how you resolved Archer's feelings for T'Pol. This was really well written.
Favorite part: "(I live to be commanded by you...'baby.')"
Loved it! I hope that there will be a part three! :-)
I like this part more than the first; this one seems to be more concise and the story moves on.
JMHO, I find that T'Pol is not really written in character which makes the whole thing not completely believable. I believe she would be more open and relaxed with Trip in private than the way you've written her at the dinner table with Archer and Trip. BTW, there is no such word as 'revelatory' as in "And experiencing your emotions is revelatory for me, every time I'm one with you, and all that you are"......
^^^um no offense star trek chick, but perhaps you need a new dictionary...
adj 1: (usually followed by `of') pointing out or revealing clearly; "actions indicative of fear" [syn: indicative, indicatory, significative, suggestive] 2: prophetic of devastation or ultimate doom [syn: apocalyptic, apocalyptical]
having said that I do believe T'Pol and her interaction w/ Trip at the Captain's table was a little over the top...there's the Captain "knows" but lets it be and then there's blatant hangin' it all out there...I think T/T and A are in the first category...more subtle
this story does have some interesting qualitites to it...I'd like to see how it plays out on Risa...and between Archer and Hernandze
i loved it more please
i love this story, it is very intriguing. i think the Trip/T'Pol interaction is just believable because all three of them do have close friendships...pleade hurry with part three!
Oh yes, BEAUTIFUL! Ali D :~)