If you are seeing this paragraph, the site is not displaying correctly. You can see the content, but your current browser does not support CSS which is necessary to view our site properly. For the best visual experience, you will need to upgrade your browser to Netscape 6.0 or higher, MSIE 5.5 or higher, or Opera 3.6 or higher. If, however, you don't wish to upgrade your browser, scroll down and read the content - everything is still visible, it just doesn't look as pretty.
Guess We've Got a Lot of Work to Do - Part 4
Guess We Have a Lot of Work to Do
Rated PG 13
September 30th, 2005
The next morning, Trip woke to find he was alone. His mate had vanished sometime during the night. He thought at first that their whole encounter had been a dream, but when he rose, Trip saw the stains of moisture that were on the shiny surface of the deck plates. He saw the trek of footsteps from the bathroom and the larger splash of stain that was exactly where they had tumbled off. Though not wet any longer, the evidence was there to prove his experience was more than a mere dream. Trip also noticed the mess he had on his body, from their intimacies. Nothing new, since his erotic dreams usually ended in eruption, however this time a tinge of greenish hue mixed in the mess. It gave off a strangely familiar and alluring scent that reassured him, they had actually been together. Trip went into the bathroom to shower and change. Afterward he made his way to the mess hall hoping for some early morning coffee to clear his still hazy thoughts.
As Trip walked into the mess hall, he saw a lone Vulcan sitting in the corner. She was sipping tea from a hot mug, staring out at the flashes of speeding stars that passed by the portal. He grabbed himself a steaming cup and went immediately to join her. There was a small contingent of crewmen in the hall and his approached concerned her, knowing of his fondness for intimate talk. This public place was not the Vulcan's preference for such a confrontation. She sipped disinterested in his approach until he was right upon her.
"Hey" Trip said coming up and pulling out the chair that was to her right. This put him facing the stars beside her. His smile was telltale and drawing much unwanted attention from the onlookers. The Vulcan merely nodded her head.
Trip leaned in further and lowered his voice. "Missed your leaving this morning…. You okay?" His movement and suspicious action again drew many more stares. This was not lost on the Vulcan, who merely returned his question. "I'm fine." Her tone was cool and much less dedicated than she had been to taking care of her mate the night before. A sick feeling started through the Human's soul. This moment strangely reminded him of the last time they had sexual relations. Her reaction to their intimacies was strange to say the least that time, but he thought they'd worked those feelings through.
"Hey…you sure you're okay….I mean with us and all?" Trip once more wanted to talk about this and found her less than forthcoming with her feelings.
"I said I was fine….Is there anything else Commander?" Her reaction took him by surprise. Even more the use of that word brought back many of the hard feelings of the last few months. His face shown his change, tensing, tilting and his eyes squinting to try and see through her façade.
He stood to leave, pushing in the chair rather abruptly as he bid her good day. "Well see ya then….Sorry I bothered you." The chair hit up against the edge of the table alerting everyone in the room of his hasty departure. Again the Vulcan showed no more than a nod to his action. As he turned though to leave, Trip became aware of a strange voice in his head. It was her, there plain as day talking in a more friendly tone.
"May your day be pleasant, Thy'all. I look forward to our time together tonight." This made the Human turn to look at her again. By now the few crewmen in the room had grown tired of their daily roes. His halt went unnoticed. T'Pol however turned her head only to address him again. She held her tea at chest level and continued to gaze at him a while longer.
("May I suggest tonight we meet in my cabin. Your coming there is less suspicious than me coming to yours. Anyone seeing you would simply think you were coming for a session of Neuropressure. If you like we could engage in such behavior. There are many postures that couples can do that will assist in the mating process.") Her words in his brain were her usual even tone, but something about her presence in his mind, made a big difference. Trip's annoyed features softened and his southern charm took over. He suddenly realized why his mate had made such an abrupt change. He watched as she then turned back to the portal. She sipped her tea again. ("Say 8PM then… I will be off well before then.")
("6PM and I'm bringing dinner.") Trip concentrated and found his words easily entering her brain.
("Agreed…till then.") Her back was too him, but it felt as though she was still in his arms. A large smirk came across the Human's face as he turned and exited to start his work shift.
Trip left the mess hall with a large smile upon his face. Whistling loudly he made his way toward the armory and to his first stop of the day. Walking through the door, the young engineer went up to his friend who was bent over the targeting scanners trying to get them back into alignment.
"Hey Malcolm" Trip slapped the Brit on the back playfully "How ya do'in."
"I'd be doing just find if I could get these bloody targeting scanners to realign." Malcolm straightened and wiped his hands on a handkerchief. He noticed the oversize grin on the engineer's face and returned an equally annoyed one of his own.
"Let me in there and I'll take a look." Trip nudged his friend aside. He slid between the two large machines and resumed his whistling which annoyed the tactical officer all the more.
"You're bloody cheerful considering all the damage the Klingons did to the ship." Malcolm put his hands on his hips and stared down at the blond haired man's back.
"We're still alive, Malcolm,. No one got injured. I'd say that's a good reason to be happy." He peeped his head out and flashed him a mischievous smile then went back to tweaking the circuitry. His whistling grew louder and its tune became a familiar old 20th century one. Its upbeat tempo and occasional off key notes ground at the Brit's nerves. He tolerated it a moment longer then spoke out.
"Do you have to whistle that ridiculous tune? It's positively nauseating."
Once more Trip's head appeared from the scanners. "Malcolm……what's your beef today? Can't a guy be happy about doing his job….. Lighten up, will ya." He looked his friend directly in his face and stated. "And stop scowling or your face is gonna grow that way." As quickly as he popped out, Trip went back to working on the scanners.
After another few minutes, a beeping sound was heard coming from the control panel. This prompted the tactical officer to check alignment again. To his surprise, both scanners reported aligned and ready. Trip came out from his bent position and looked to his friend.
"How are they now?" he asked knowing fully that the machines were as good as new.
"They report ready…." Malcolm admitted wondering what his young friend did that he hadn't.
"They don't call me the miracle worker for nothing." Trip slapped his back once more and headed for the door. "Try to keep them that way…..okay."
The tactical officer scratched his head and murmured "sure", lost in thought over the problem. Suddenly he turned and followed the engineer out the door and down the passageway.
"You up for a round of sparring tonight, say 7 o'clock. I haven't had a chance to work out all week." Malcolm was eager knowing Trip was the one person on board that was good competition.
"Ahhhhh, I can't tonight Malcolm, I got plans." Trip reflected a half hearted disappointment with his answer.
"Really and what cutie are you gonna be dazzling tonight?" Now it was Reed's face that was animated.
"It's not like that…..I promised T'Pol I'd help her with some stuff. It's personal." He tipped his head to denote the touchiness of the subject.
"Oh, it's like that is it? Another neuropressure session?" The Brit looked past his friend's gentlemanly ways trying to get to the heart of the dirt.
"It's not neuropressure." Trip felt he wasn't lying with this particular answer.
"Well you know what happened the last time you started helping her with ….personal stuff." Malcolm rolled his eyes and stood hands on hips.
"It's not like that, really Malcolm." Trip tried to reassure him further, but was shot with a skeptical expression. "I gotta get to engineering….Let's try for that sparring tomorrow night, all right?"
The engineer hustled down the passageway, with the Lieutenant's bemused look following his exit. Once in the turbo lift, Trip released the breath he'd been holding, hoping his friend wouldn't put 2 and 2 together and come up with the real reason for his excuses. He headed for the Engineering department and strode through the entrance way, his happy demeanor restored.
There were numerous crewmen working at the many stations, replacing burnt out circuitry, and junction boxes. They worked in teams repairing the damage from the Klingon's attack. In the corner of the room at a workstation stood T'Pol, assigned down here to help Trip get the engines restored to mint condition. Beside her stood Ensign Edmunds, an incredibly tall, dark and handsome crewman newly assigned and transferred from the Engineering department of Columbia two weeks ago.
Edmunds had black wavy hair and piercing dark eyes. On his face, he had dimples you could loose a quarter in and a smile that warmed even the coldest of hearts. His mannerisms denoted a confident, charming male with an ego greater than the sum of his knowledge.
His presence so close to the Human's mate made Trip's heart jealous of the seemingly benevolent male. The engineer made his way closer to the pair to try and overhear their conversation. T'Pol was working steadily, touching the surface of the view screen at several junctions while correlating the data with a palm pad she held in the other hand. Edmunds stood there beside her watching the speed with which she was entering and adjusting the data, making pleasant conversation all the while.
"So your first assignment in military service was in engineering….that's fascinating. Did you want to become an engineer?" The Ensign leaned in a bit closer than was normal for a working relationship. This irritated the blond haired male, as Trip's eyes glared harder at the tall man obviously trying to flirt with his mate.
"No…. Vulcan's first military postings are in engineering, since it is only logical that everyone on board should be able to fix and run the ship's systems. It is the most complex area of ship function, but is crucial for operations. From that posting, you are then directed through other systems until you are assigned to your specialty. I am academically trained in deduction and scientific analysis. It is only logical I should be assigned as a science officer. My diplomatic training also allows me to hold a command rank." T'Pol answered him while never looking up from her work. She didn't notice the side long looks and flashes of white grill that he was affording her as she spoke, but Trip did. There was a hot sensation running up the back of the engineer's neck as he approached. This male was trying to interfere with their bond and the chief engineer wasn't going to stand for it.
Trip came upon them quickly, taking the tall, dark haired man by surprise. "Ensign…..shouldn't you be about your duties?" He asked much more forcefully than he meant too.
"Yes Sir, the Commander here was just showing me how to calibrate the settings for the field harmonics." His answer seemed innocent enough for a new trainee, but for an experienced engineer of more than 3 years, it was a poor excuse to say the least.
"Didn't Columbia have field harmonics? They are calibrated the same way here. Now get to your duties." Trip stepped up and stared the taller male down. Edmunds nodded and started to withdraw. "Yes sir…." He turned to T'Pol and smiled at her once again. "Thank you Ma'am for showing me the procedure." With that the male left the area and walked to the back of the large room, behind the warp engine.
Trip turned back to his mate and saw her returning his stare. She wasn't the only one, for half of engineering had caught his little performance and was now observing the couple. He surveyed the room and realized he couldn't talk this out with his mate in such a public place.
"Commander, I have some specks in my office I would like to go over with you." Trip announced this loud enough to try and legitimize their departure. The Vulcan nodded and followed him into the small 12x12 space at the far end of the engine room. The bulkhead door closed, shutting out the would-be, on lookers from their conversation.
"Would you like to tell me what that was all about?" T'Pol asked quietly stepping up behind him.
"What do you mean….you didn't notice that guy was all over you?" Trip started defensively.
"The Ensign didn't even touch me….How was he all over me?" T'Pol stood close to her mate, his back facing her as Trip tried to come up with a reason for his increasingly hostile feelings toward the new crewman.
"You didn't see him smiling at you… and the way he was leaning into you. He may not have touched you, but he was damn close too. If I hadn't come along, I bet he would have."
"Trip…" T'Pol started and turned her mate to meet her eyes. "I believe you were having jealous feelings toward Edmunds because he was talking to me."
"That's preposterous. I am not gonna get jealous every time a man talks to you. That guy had other things on his mind… other than just talking… Take it from me…when a human male leans into you like that and flashes smiles at you for no good reason, he is after something." Trip pointed his finger at her to emphasize his point.
"Like you used to..." The Vulcan said quietly.
"What do you mean…. I never had ulterior motives. I was just being friendly." Trip was flustered by her comment.
"Perhaps, Edmunds was just trying to be friendly, too." She answered with a calm bemusement.
"The hell he is….he's after some thing and I want you to stay away from him." Trip's displeasure with the conversation was showing and T'Pol placed a hand on his shoulder to help to reassure him the bond was running strong between them. He felt the warmth of her presence in his heart and relaxed a bit.
"Avoiding Edmunds may be difficult. I am assigned here to assist all week long." T'Pol started after a few moments of silence.
"Don't worry. I'll take care of our resident Don Juan. I'll have him in every Jeffries tube we have. He won't see the light of day all week while you're down here." Trip's face held a strange look of satisfaction on it.
"Do you think it wise to be so obvious in your actions? Why not simply assign him to work with another crewman?" T'Pol ran her hand back and forth along the line of his upper arm now.
"Because, he would still be in the same room and may take another social break. I want him totally away from you. I don't want him bothering you with his trivial conversation." The Human was becoming very upset about the thought of the other male getting too close to his mate.
"Trip…. Our bond naturally protects against the intrusion of another male or female's attentions. These feelings you are experiencing are normal, however you must learn to control them so they don't get away from you. Your interaction with the male was quite strong and was drawing the attention of your staff. I suggest you be more mindful of this in the future." The Vulcan pulled at his arm to get his full attention. A sarcastic look came over his face as he returned her a quip of his own.
"Oh and zapping Corporal Cole's back wasn't a bit obvious. Hell the woman never spoke to me again. How come you can fend off other women, but I have to be careful about insulting other guys?" Trip looked directly down at her, his head tilted and eyes staring into hers.
"I didn't intentionally try to harm Corporal Cole. My strength escaped me for a moment. I apologized for my slip and haven't threatened her since."
"Yeah….sure…. In the meantime, she avoids me like the plague." Trip turned and moved around the far side of his desk.
"I wasn't aware you wanted her attention any longer." It was T'Pol's turn to avoid the pangs of jealousy now.
"I don't….but I don't want this guy to think he can hang around you either. Just please avoid him if you can…. For me." Trip walked back up to her and took the slender woman in his arms. The feelings of warmth and comfort associated with his closeness cut through the analytical side of the Vulcan and reached down into her very soul. Logic aside, she nodded her compliance and leaned hard against his chest to savor the warmth of his body against hers. This tender moment was making them both forget about the repairs, when a tone sounded indicating another crewman's desire to have a word with the Commander. They parted hastily, feeling the jolt as their bond was yanked apart with their separation.
Trip returned to his desk and T'Pol moved to the far side of the room, to where a chair sat in the corner. She seated herself and pulled out the palm pad she had brought in with her.
"Enter" Trip announced when things were properly staged.
In the room walked crewman Anderson, a red haired younger male, stocky frame and freckles that made him look a third younger than his sum of years. "Here are the updates you ordered, Commander." He handed Trip the palm pad and stood at rest waiting while his boss reviewed the material. Looking around he spied the Vulcan in the corner and addressed her appropriately. "Ma'am," he spoke and nodded his respect.
This caught Trip's attention. ( What!..... does every male on this ship have the hots for my mate?) he thought a bit irritated by the attention the first officer was receiving by the male population of Enterprise. He handed the pad back to the young man rather abruptly. "They're fine crewman….dismissed." And with that, the young man was gone.
"Did the crewman do something to displease you… Thy'all ?" T'Pol looked at him questioningly.
"No…I just wanted to speak with you alone. That's all." Trip seemed increasingly irritated by her questions. T'Pol understood this and decided to give him a break.
"I should return to my duties…. Please think about what we spoke of and I will look forward to a very pleasing evening with you tonight." T'Pol came over and kissed her mate on the lips gently. Her hand caressed his cheek as she did so. It then slid off with her as she moved away. After the Vulcan left the room, Trip sat down in his chair. This jealousy he was feeling was out of control, and he wasn't quite sure how he was gonna get a handle on it. For now, though keeping that shark of a Casanova Edmunds from making another play for his mate had to take precedence.
As Trip left his office, he saw his mate back at the station finishing her calibrations. Across the room, Ensign Edmunds would occasionally turn from his activities to glance over at the Vulcan female. This only irritated the commander all the more. He went directly over to the younger male and began to outline his new duties. The expression on the Ensign's face when he was told he was assigned to Jeffries tube maintenance, gave the chief engineer a bit of satisfaction. Edmunds listened to his superior officer and left to collect the equipment he would need to begin his duties.
It was lunch time and the mess hall was crowded with crewmen from all parts of the ship. There were empty chairs spaced intermittently about the room. There was also a couple at the table where T'Pol sat. She was sitting there taking small bites of her raw salad while reviewing the Vulcan symbols on the palm pad she held. It was data that had been collected during the battle, which indicated an advanced particle weapon signature. T'Pol thought that upgrades could be made to their current weaponry yields based on the data they collected. As she reviewed the numbers, the Vulcan waited for her mate who was supposed to show up shortly.
It was common for Trip to join her for meals, in that they were both senior officers and the crew was used to seeing them sitting together at different times of the day and evening. Before leaving Engineering, T'Pol communicated with her mate to arrange a time for him to join her. This brought the couple to this moment. She sat there reviewing the data, totally unaware of the approaching male carrying his tray.
"Excuse me Commander…..Is there anyone sitting here?" Edmunds flashed T'Pol a warm smile and pointed at a chair to her left.
"Actually Ensign, I am expecting someone, for a briefing of sorts." T'Pol looked up at the attractive male then back to the palm pad data again.
"I understand." He stated and seemed to be lost at the woman's dismissal. He thought a moment then started. "May I ask you something, Ma'am?"
T'Pol looked up from the portable screen. "You may….." The Vulcan set the pad on the table, face down. At that cue, the 6 foot 2 inch male put down his tray upon the table and grabbed the seat before him. He sat down quickly and inched closer to the first officer. T'Pol watched this with great interest, realizing this was the last thing her mate needed to see.
"You wished to ask me something, Ensign?" T'Pol grew uneasy with the young man's presence.
"Yes…" He nodded and his smile grew a bit nervous. "Is Mr. Tucker upset with me…. I mean has he told you anything about me?" He reached out his hand as if trying to touch the Vulcan on hers. T'Pol quickly slid her hand from the table and placed it in her lap nonchalantly before the Human could touch her.
"Commander Tucker." The first officer corrected. This took the young man by surprise.
"Um…Commander Tucker….. Is he displeased with my work for some reason?"
"I don't understand what you are referring too, Ensign. The Commander hasn't indicated any displeasure with your work." T'Pol lifted her chin, her face level, staring him down with an emotionless gaze.
"Forgive me for saying this, but he's got me doing menial labor. I am an experienced engineer but he seems to feel I can't handle the bigger projects. Instead he's got me on janitor duty." Edmunds picked up a few chips from his plate and began to munch while he spoke. T'Pol was amazed that the young man seemed to have made himself at home anyway.
"You are new to this ship… Although similar to the Columbia, it has several modifications that were made due to our many encounters with hostile species. You have not been briefed on these modifications." T'Pol was trying to mask her mate's true intentions, however she was also growing concerned that Trip would be coming in soon. She had promised that she would stay away from this particular young man and wondered just what else it would take to get him to leave.
"I know I'm not up to speed with the modifications, but how am I to learn them cleaning and performing maintenance on the Jeffries tubes. Those tubes are cleaner than my quarters. Some of them were serviced less than a week ago." Again another chip went from the young man's plate to his lips. He leaned in closer to the first officer and added. "I think he is displeased with my work and I can't for the life of me understand why."
"It is common for dust and debris to accumulate in the Jeffries tubes after an attack as severe as the one we just encountered with the Klingons. The intake vents of the tubes would then draw this debris into the engines causing them to loose performance, possibly even shut down. It is protocol to clean and perform maintenance checks on all the Jeffries tubes after the ship has taken on damage as severe as this." T'Pol continued her even toned explanation.
"Yes, but any crewman could perform this maintenance. I am an engineering officer. I've worked on systems similar to Enterprise for the last 3 years. This work is somewhat beneath me, don't you think?" Edmunds picked up half of his sandwich and took a bite.
"Commander Tucker performs these maintenances himself, are you implying you are above doing work he would do?" Now the science officer's tone was reflecting a bit of annoyance at this young man's arrogance. "You admit you still need training on Enterprise systems. If you haven't noticed, the entire crew is hard at work making repairs from the attack. Perhaps Commander Tucker doesn't have the staff or time to train you on these systems. It would be only logical for him to assign you to work that you could do independently." T'Pol was starting to understand what made this male so annoying to her mate. She glanced over his shoulder and saw the blond hair of the chief engineer standing about 40 feet away, staring at the sight of his mate and the younger man. He started forward. T'Pol knew if she didn't act quickly, her mate would confront the male and cause a very noticeable disturbance.
The Vulcan slid out her chair suddenly and began to stand. "I am late for that briefing, if you will excuse me, Ensign."
"But what do you think I should do, Commander." Edmunds reached out and grabbed the Vulcan's wrist to stop her exit. Trip noticed this and advanced even faster. T'Pol simply pulled away from his grasp.
"I suggest you learn the modifications and perhaps the commander will upgrade you to more sophisticated repair work. If you will excuse me!" T'Pol walked past her lunch partner and deposited her tray atop the receiving area as she headed toward her mate. Trip started to go after the brazen male when the Vulcan grabbed his upper arm and turned him around. "Commander, I would speak with you in private."
Trip's expression was hot, his face scrunched and eyes squinted at the Ensign. After a moment of persuasion, Trip turned and left with the Vulcan. Edmunds looked around from his seat, still confused at the commander's hasty departure. The foot fall of another crewman approaching finally got his attention.
Hoshi Sato walked up to the attractive male with tray in hand. "Mind if I sit here Ensign?" She asked showing her most stunning and friendly smile. He nodded and picked up the half of sandwich he was eating on when the science officer left.
"You look like you've had a rough day…Want to talk about it?" The communications officer was trying to make polite conversation.
"I'm just having a problem with Commander Tucker….. I think he hates me." Edmunds took another large mouthful of tuna sandwich. He heard the young woman sitting with him giggle softly.
"What's so funny?" he asked not quite getting the joke.
"The commander doesn't hate you….. He just is very protective of his friends." Hoshi picked up her fork and began munching on her plate of fresh fruit.
"What do you mean protective? Why would he need to be protective of them because of me?" This thought made Edmunds put down his sandwich. He folded his arms on the table in front of him and leaned in to get all of what the communication's officer was offering.
"He and the Commander used to have a thing… or so the rumors were. T'Pol went off and married another Vulcan and the commander never really got over it. Even still they are very good friends, I doubt he enjoys watching your inappropriate behavior toward his ex." Again the Asian woman smiled widely while imparting her info.
"So T'Pol is married?" he asked quickly.
"Not any more, her husband allowed her to back out of the marriage after her mother passed away." Hoshi picked up her knife and began cutting a rather large piece of pineapple. She kept her eyes on her plate and continued to update the new crewman to the rumor mill.
"After that, the commanders were never quite the same. Trip even transferred to Columbia for a few weeks, reportedly due to the awkwardness between them, but that is just a rumor."
"They seem to be working well now." Edmunds decided to go fishing.
"They always work well together, but Trip can't help but be a bit protective, especially since you seem to be trying to get too familiar with her." Hoshi smirked a bit at that one, seeing the male grab onto the Vulcan science officer before her hasty departure.
"What do you mean my getting familiar with her?" This time the Ensign seemed to be a bit nervous.
"Vulcans don't like to be touched and they really don't like anyone intruding on their private space. You leaned in, getting too close and then you actually grabbed her arm. That right there is reason enough for her quick departure. And if she feels uncomfortable, then Commander Tucker will surely do what he can to make her feel better." Hoshi placed another small piece of fruit in her mouth and chewed softly. "If you are indeed having problems with Commander Tucker and want to fix 'em, I suggest you start by avoiding the first officer as much as possible."
"You really think that'll help?" Edmunds finished his meal and wiped his mouth with the napkin on the table.
"It wouldn't hurt…."
"Thank you Ensign…..I appreciate your advice on the matter." Edmunds stood to leave.
"We have movie night every Tuesday in the mess hall. Maybe I'll see you there then?" Hoshi's ploy was a bit too obvious for the savvy male to ignore.
"Perhaps…. Afternoon Ensign." And with that the young man left the mess hall. Just outside in the passageway he stopped and thought about the information he'd just learned. (So he thinks he can win her back by getting in my way…. Well nobody will keep me from being the youngest Commander in Star Fleet, and if it takes everything I have, I will get that Vulcan's attention. From there it's just a few more steps to an engineering department of my own.) Edmunds smiled as he began to think of his next plans to get into the heart of the elusive Vulcan. A well endowed female crewman walked by and the young man was drawn away from his thoughts for a moment to ogle her as she continued on her way. (Damn!!! Nice) He thought, his mouth watering like one of Pavlov's dogs.
Meanwhile, down the corridor, in a conference room, Trip and T'Pol sat trying to discuss what Trip witnessed in the mess hall. He was angry, fuming in fact, and his mate was doing her best to get him to calm down a bit.
"Trip…. I didn't ask him to join me." T'Pol stated defensively
"Well then what was he doing eating with you?" Trip slammed his hand down hard on the table top.
"He wished to ask me about your treatment of him. He felt you were being unfair to him, making him do the Jeffries tube maintenance." T'Pol pushed her chair back a bit and turned to look directly at her mate.
"So he just decided to join you for lunch?" Trip stood to pace the room.
"Yes….. I was surprised when he sat down and began to eat his lunch. I told him I was expecting someone else for a briefing, but he sat down anyway." T'Pol looked straight ahead tired of trying to follow her mate's movements about the room. This discussion was strangely annoying and satisfying all at the same time.
"Well, I don't see why you just didn't tell him to leave." Trip shoved his hands into his jumpsuit pockets as he made another pass by the table.
"He wanted to ask me something.... What logic would it have been to send him away rather than answer his query?" T'Pol folded her arms across her chest tired of her mate's questioning.
"You could have directed him to see me.....I am after all his commanding officer.... I am the one that evaluates him.....If he has any questions....I should be the one answering them....There is your logic....Next time...tell him to come talk to me." Trip fumed at the memory of the man's hand on his mate's wrist. His mind raged with anger at the boldness of this male's actions.
"He was concerned you were not treating him fairly....Protocol dictates that if a crewman has concerns of unfair treatment by a superior, then he has the right to go to that person's superior and report his concerns. Ensign Edmunds was simply following protocol. He took your assigning him to the Jeffries tubes as a demotion and wanted to know if he was assessing the situation correctly." T'Pol reached out a hand and stroked her beloved's arm as he passed. This stopped the engineer's forward movement, but didn't lighten his mood. The feelings of warmth associated with her touch reached deep inside his heart and tugged at the loving soul it found there.
After several minutes, a slightly less enraged Trip answered his mates comment. "Next time, tell him if he as any problems with me, to see the cap'n..... That would be following protocol too and would help to decrease any feelings of jealousy his presence around you is causing. In the meantime, maybe you should return to your duties on the bridge."
"But what about the repairs.....you are short handed and there is still much to fix." T'Pol seemed to take his dismissal as hard as Edmunds had taken hers. She knew his decision was logical, but desired to spend more time with her mate, if only across a crowded engine room.
"Look, if that guy being near you is setting off this bond of ours and making me feel this way, then the only logical action would be to try and separate you two. I just want functions onboard to get back to normal. It's true we could use your help, but not if it is gonna keep creating disruptions." Trip leaned down and looked her gently in the eyes. He smiled warmly knowing her fondness for those incredible baby blues of his.
"Why don't you continue your work on helping Malcolm modify the yields of the weapons? I think that's a great way for you to help out and you wouldn't even have to be anywhere near engineering."
T'Pol nodded, seeing the logic in his statement. She and her mate stayed there several minutes longer, before a call came from the bridge requesting the Vulcan's presence in the Captain's ready room. Trip, no longer hungry for food, kissed his mate and watched as she left the room. He then returned to engineering and back to the source of his current problems.
There beside the equipment lockers stood the dark haired gigolo. Trip decided to make an obvious attempt at correcting this crewman's behavior before his mate had too. "Edmunds" he called walking directly up to him.
"I understand you feel you're being unfairly treated here....In the future, if you have any concerns, I suggest you take them up with me or the Captain. Commander T'Pol has no say over Engineering systems. She was merely helping out and doesn't wish to be brought in the middle of anything that is not her concern. Do I make myself clear, Ensign!" Trip's voice was low, but his body and words told the dark haired male exactly what was on his mind.
"Perfectly sir.....I realize now that my actions were inappropriate and will convey my apologies to the Commander personally once I get off duty." Edmunds knew this would not sit well with his boss.
"There is no need for that..... Just leave her out of it.... I have already instructed her to not allow herself to be drawn into situations that are inappropriate for her." Trip started to turn and leave when Edmunds tightened the screws further.
"I understand, Commander. Ensign Sato told me of Vulcan's disdain about being touched..... I suppose that makes things difficult for you, being her friend and all." There was an underlying smirk to his voice and Trip stopped dead in his tracks.
"I didn't know this when we had lunch together, or else I never would have grabbed her hand." Edmunds knew he was getting to the commander and just waited for the verbal fireworks to start. Needless to say, he was quite shocked when Trip's fist wheeled around and caught him square in the face. It knocked him back and into a nearby console. The Engineer advanced again, grabbing the male by his overalls and pulling him up against the adjacent bulkhead.
"I said leave her alone....Edmunds....that includes inviting yourself to meals, sitting beside her and most of all touching her. Is that understood?" Trip was hissing through gritted teeth.
"She didn't complain to me about anything." The arrogant answer came through the split lip and trickle of blood. Edmunds stared down his aggressor and saw the rage that lie beneath. Trip tossed him back and took another swing, this time missing as the taller male anticipated and ducked. Trip wheeled around in time to catch a swift right to his cheek that knocked him back into a stair railing. Now it was Edmund's turn to advance and Trip righted himself quickly, holding up his fists in a defensive stance. This scuffle went on for several more minutes, with the entire staff of engineering forming a ring about the school yard brawlers. It wasn't until Malcolm and two members of security showed up, were the two separated and carted off to the brig.
Archer went down to talk with the men, and found neither willing to speak about the matter, so he left them in their confined space to cool down over night. It was well past 6 PM when T'Pol showed up at her mate's cabin to see what the hold up was. In the hallway, she came across Lieutenant Reed who was just leaving Trip's quarters. He carried her mate's sweats and a few toiletries.
"Lieutenant?" T'Pol asked questioningly. Reed noticed the science officer observing his parcel and remembered that Trip said he had plans with the young Vulcan tonight.
"Commander Tucker will not be able to help you tonight, Commander....He is in the brig for fighting. Captain has ordered that he and the other crewman be held overnight to cool down." Reed started to go around the slender woman when he heard her question.
"With whom did Commander Tucker fight?"
"Ensign Edmunds....Can't say as I blame him.... That guy's been nothing but trouble since he arrived." Reed turned and looked at the Vulcan as he spoke. He thought about the way he saw Hoshi looking at him in the mess hall and wondered just what chance he, himself had with the communication's officer, around a guy that good looking and charismatic. "Evening, Commander." Malcolm turned back and left down the passageway. He carried the items with him into the turbo lift and disappeared from the young Vulcan's sight.
T'Pol stood there astonished. She desired to go to her mate, but knew that would only cause more speculation about their relationship. Instead, the science officer decided to speak with the Captain about getting her beloved and his nemesis let out of confinement sooner. With that she turned and made her way down the corridor.
Have a comment to make about this story? Do so in the Trip Fan Fiction forum at the HoTBBS!
A whole mess of folks have made comments
Intriguing...Can't wait till you post an update! I did like the protrayal of Malcolm in this one. :) Thanks.
Oh, dear. Please don't make poor Malcolm suffer. I loved the tension and resolution with the fight. Can't wait for the next part. I understand about school. Been there, done that.
I really liked this one, but I have a question. This Edmunds does seem to be smug and all, but he just wants to advance his careers. He really hasn't done anything except get under Trip's head. I know that I may be shot for this, but Trip shouldn't always win, I know that he was put in the brig, but he has no right to hit anyone no matter what. Edmunds just said what was in his mind and that was all. Even thought he was stupid to say it, but as far as he knows Trip and T'Pol are just friends, adn Trip should act like it.
Hmmm...very interesting. Gotta say, though, Edmunds sounds like he wants to do more than advance his career. I've known a lot of guys like him...
It looks to me, Lord Trek, that Trip isn't entirely operating on all cylinders. I'm assuming that his aggression toward Edmunds is probably due to the Bond. He 'senses' a threat to his mate (ill-founded or not) and reacts.
Of course, given that he's a Commander and he just hit an Ensign, some serious trouble could be ahead for OMT.
It'll be interesting to see if T'Pol has to step in and tell Edmunds to back the frak off...
Whoa... what a place to leave off there! I can't wait for the next update! :-)
Sorry about the cliffies, but my rule is 20 pages, can I help it if I manage to put a cliffy on every 20th page of my pieces. ( she giggles with a wicked grin.) Your right Rigil Kent, Trip is a bit out of control, but it's payback for his being too friendly with Corp Cole. I never understood how he didn't know that wouldn't make T'Pol jealous, or maybe he did and wanted it too. Next part out as soon as I can....T
Looking forward to the next part. Loved it.
How on earth are they going to resolve this one?! The intense closeness a Vulcan bond entails is obviously too intensely overwhelming for emotionally responsive humans to handle, I think T'pol needs to help him out here!!!
I do hope school isn't too busy........they say patience is a virtue but!!!..........sorry to mention it but just a couple of spellchecks...it's elusive not illusive and disdain not distain.........
^^ Head Slap!
I usually catch those kinds of errors before I publish a story. Thanks for the alert. They're fixed now.
Finally back to good old romance for our favorite couple on this site! How I have missed it!
More! More! More! The box! Er... never mind. Great stuff, can't wait for more! :)
Great story line, but I'm still seeing a few rather distracting spelling and structural idiosyncrasies (did I spell that right?). Do you have a beta? It's great to have a fresh brain look over stuff when the author's brain gets frazzled... happens to all of us!
Love the uncertainty and jealousy despite the bond. I haven't seen that aspect explored much before. Everyone always seems to think the bond would fix everything... but it wouldn't unless they COMMUNICATE, now would it? And it wouldn't change their emotional responses.
ahh, jealousy ... a little spice in any relationship...
I have a problem with Hoshi the gossip .. even though many have dealt this card with her. I guess I could go for that if she was assigned to sick bay or engineering .. but the bridge? I just see the senior staff with a little more maturity.
I do like the see the romance again.
Id a hit him to. Way to go Trip.
Im wonderin how your gona solve this problem TLR??,,,,, The only way I can see it endin any time soon is if Trip an T'pol come out with the truth bout their relationship.
I loved it, an cant wait for the next update.
cool, nice touch, not always to behave like a good guy seems quite real. Thank you.
cool, even a good guy can loose his temper, nice way to go, Thank you.