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To Sleep Perchance to Dream
Author - vandiver | Genre - Episode Addition | Genre - Friendship | Genre - General | Main Story | Rating - G | T
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To Sleep Perchance to Dream
This story takes place after "Singularity"
BETA'd by stubadingdong
Sub-Commander T'Pol never realized how narrow the corridors of Enterprise were until this evening. She was simply going to return the radiation discriminator that Commander Tucker had provided her. And while not heavy to her, it was an awkward and bulky contraption, visibly disproportionate to her svelte frame. Its unusual characteristics forced her to traverse the passageways with a compensating lean, bringing her within close proximity to passing members of the crew.
Though reaching her destination seemed to take far more time than she anticipated, T'Pol finally found herself standing in front of the Chief Engineer's door. She placed her precarious burden on the deck and rang the call button. A beckon answer from inside assured her that the journey had not been in vain. She stepped through the doorway with the discriminator and waited quietly for him to acknowledge her presence.
In the stillness that preceded his greeting, T'Pol quickly surveyed her surroundings. The walls were metallic silver, the same color that adorned the bulkheads of the entire ship. A small glass table lay at the foot of his bed, upon which several interesting trinkets rested, which slowly piqued her curiosity. To her left was a relatively barren corner, save the oddly shaped case, resting on its respective stand. Large plasma screens on two of the walls displayed detailed schematics of the ship, a configuration she would not be opposed to seeing in her own quarters. And finally, beneath a spacious canopy of glass, was Commander Tucker. He appeared to be diligently working as several PADDs were strewn across his desk. And though his back was towards her, he still managed a polite greeting.
"Evenin' Sub-Commander, what can I do you for tonight?" Trip responded.
T'Pol arched a curious eyebrow as she was unable to discern how he knew it was her. Such a talent was usually the parlance of her dominion. Seeing her confusion, Trip took his stylus and began rapping on his chamber window. She followed his direction to her ghostly reflection, draped in the streaking stars of the night. "I have come to return the discriminator you loaned to me," she responded, placing the item back on the ground.
"You know that wasn't necessary, I coulda just sent some of my guys to pick it up," Trip replied, his attention still directed towards his desk. "But I'm glad you stopped by, I've gotta surprise for you. Just gimme a second."
"You forget Commander, I am Vulcan, and do not experience surprise." T'Pol quickly dismissed.
Trip sighed heavily and finally turned his chair slightly towards her. "You know T'Pol, you could humor me every once and a while." She reluctantly complied, returning her attention back towards the small table as she waited patiently for the Chief Engineer.
She wandered over slowly, her eyes combing over the three unusual items. One she was readily familiar, a chess set. She hardly thought the Commander to be one who found entertainment in such a logical game. She was completely befuddled by one of the other items, small and rectangular in shape; its purpose completely indiscernible. But the object that had T'Pol completely enthralled was a glass globe, which from initial appearances contained a small facsimile of a palm tree. She clasped her elegant fingers around its base, raising the trinket to her eyes for closer examination. She noticed a very fine particulate coating the bottom of the glass. Instinctually, she turned the globe upside down and watched the debris slowly fall into the solution, its descent not too dissimilar from that of. . .
"Tacky piece of junk isn't it?" Trip asked, as he made his way to her side, PADD in hand.
"What is 'it' supposed to be?" she inquired, righting the globe in her hand.
"It's a snow globe, a snow globe of Florida to be exact. My sister got it for me as sort of a memento of home," Trip acknowledged.
"I was under the impression that snow between the Tropics of Earth was an unlikely occurrence," T'Pol questioned. Indeed, that was one of the many reasons the Vulcans chose to build their headquarters in San Francisco.
"You're right, it never snows in Florida, but that's the joke. It's supposed to remind me of the holiday season more than anything. You know Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years," Trip elaborated. "Does it ever snow on Vulcan?"
"No, Vulcan is a desert world, even in its polar regions. I did not observe snow until I was assigned to Earth." she replied.
"And what did you think?" Trip asked.
"Of your first snowfall?"
"I found it to be an inefficient form of precipitant. Because of the freezing temperatures associated with it, the ground is unable to absorb." T'Pol started.
"Nah, I don't want your expert analysis about it. I wanna know what you remembered about that day. How it made you feel?"
"Anything else?" Trip needled once more.
"No." T'Pol relayed; but her memory of that day was as sharp as the chilling wind that raced though the Vulcan Compound.
There had only been a handful of snowstorms ever recorded in San Francisco history. The area was more likely to be stricken by an earthquake. But this was a storm of unnatural origin. They had been advised to stay indoors, as the temperature plummeted below freezing. She recalled how she was stirred from her slumber by the howling gale, how the trees swayed and yielded in the merciless storm as she gazed down upon the courtyard from her window. In her mind's eye she could see the wind suddenly abated and the eerie calm that ensued. Then slowly, they began to fall. How she intently observed the very first snowflakes descend towards the earth. She remembered going out into the courtyard, the tips of her ears screaming from the chill, as the snow coated the ground in virgin white. How she watched conspicuously as other Vulcans ventured outside, all choosing to remain under the cover of the overhang. She could remember her first steps in the new fall, the sound of snow sublimating into water from compression ringing in her ears, like a walk through the shifting desert sands. But she had no intention of making Commander Tucker privy to such a special memory.
"Oh well," Trip sighed. "Anyway here you go," he said, extending her a PADD.
T'Pol replaced the globe back on the table and took the PADD. A cursory overview of the data clued her in on what exactly the surprise was. "You have established a data link from the ship's sensor palette to my quarters," she answered. And while she might not be prone to surprise, she definitely did not believe that he had heard her request in the midst of his delusion, to say nothing of acting on it.
"Yea, it's just kinda my way of saying I'm sorry. You know, for being such an ass to you while we were trying to examine the black hole," Trip said, his eyes darting from place to place.
"You were not in control of your actions," T'Pol countered, as the scent of his nervousness slowly began to permeate to air. 'How could this situation elicit such a response?' T'Pol questioned silently, "but I appreciate the gesture," she continued.
"So, I saw you give my room the once over, what do you think?" Trip asked as he panned his arm across is humble abode, deftly changing the subject.
Though T'Pol found his uncanny sense of perception somewhat unnerving she did have a definite opinion on the subject. She had always believed that one's room was an outward reflection of their personality, an opinion that the Chief Engineer's room clearly violated. "It is not what I envisioned."
"I simply imagined your room to be somewhat more chaotic than this," she admitted reluctantly. "Nor would I have assumed that you played chess."
Trip simply chuckled in response. "Well you know what happens when you assume," he replied, a joke that only confused his Vulcan guest. "Do you play?"
"Yes, I find chess to be an engaging practice on logic and strategy. It is almost as therapeutic as meditating."
"How many people have you played against?" Trip asked, returning to where he left her.
"To date all of my matches have been against the computer," she answered.
"Would you like to change that?"
"Are you offering?" T'Pol rebutted.
"Yep, that little gift was the last item on my to-do list for the day. I was just wondering if you wanted to do something tonight?" he conveyed.
The question caught T'Pol decidedly off guard. Her analysis of the singularity was long since complete and it was far too early in the day to even consider meditation. In essence, she had nothing to do. Unfortunately, her evaluation was inaccurate as she answered him in a very un-Vulcan way: with a yawn.
Trip was completely stunned. He never imagined Vulcans capable yawning, at least not T'Pol. "Or maybe not," Trip stated, his mind slowly contemplating what else Vulcans might be susceptible to. "Why don't you go ahead and call it a night. We can get together some other time."
"You forget Commander, I do not require as much sleep as humans do. And I am quite capable of ascertaining." She began, but was stopped as she yawned once again.
"No, I didn't forget," Trip countered, "but you have been up for four days taking care of tired and cranky humans. Why not treat yourself to a good night of meditation and sleep?"
T'Pol surmised the Commander's words to be quite logical. She obviously had pushed herself rigorously during the last four days, ensuring the safety of her crew. But with the current crisis over, there was no need to continue to ignore her body's pleading for slumber. "I find that I must concede to your wisdom Commander. Goodnight."
"Well, goodnight Sub-Commander, sweet dreams," Trip responded as he watched her turn and key the door open. He waited patiently for her to comment as she crossed the threshold into the passageway, but no such reply was forthcoming. So he chose to simply watch as the weary Vulcan made her way down the corridor, disappearing around the corner.
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Three people have made comments
I love episode addition stories--they are some of my favorites--so, naturally, I loved yours. I like the way you have T'Pol making excuses to go to Trip's quarters (he's right--she didn't need to bring the whatsy herself), but that you don't spell it out. I appreciate an author who lets me find out things for myself. Once there, I thought both their behaviors was very true to the characters--I liked the way Trip threw her off guard, but that it doesn't turn into a romantic revelation.
Nice scene between the two characters.
I AGREE!! It's nice when a author doesn't scream it aloud and in your face. The bits with the snow globe and the yawn were perfect.
I really liked this. It is nice that they can surprise each other and in a very relaxed and believable way. I would love to see another piece with the chess game sometime. Thanks for a lovely piece. Ali D :~)