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Sympathies and Symmetries

Author - Zane Gray | Genre - Drama | Genre - Romance | Main Story | Rating - PG | S
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2002 ASC Awards/ Enterprise/ Tucker Pairing: Second Place



Email: (agent8e9@yahoo.com)

Rating: PG

Summary: A Differential prequel in one act. As Sub-Commander T単ol struggles to deal with her mental violation at the hands of the Suliban, she finds a measure of comfort from an unexpected source.

About the Story: This story is intended as a post-ep for Shockwave, Parts I & II, as well as a prequel and companion piece for my other Enterprise story, Differential. I think you値l find that the events depicted in Shockwave, as well as this story, help to set up the events of Differential quite nicely. It takes place the night after the Enterprise escaped from the Helix, several hours after the conference with Starfleet and Ambassador Soval and an hour prior to Archer痴 late-night visit with T単ol.

Status: Short, sweet and complete.

The complete series can be found below:

1. One Step Back, Two Steps Forward

2. Sympathies and Symmetires

3. Differential

4. The Early Hours


Commander Tucker lay in his bunk unable to sleep, his temples pounding despite the analgesic Phlox had given him earlier. Trip was bone weary, but his mind felt like it was hotwired to a fusion reactor as it struggled to come to grips with the events of the last couple of days.

Let痴 see first there was the destruction of the Paraagan colony that left thirty-six hundred people dead, the concussion he壇 suffered on the shuttlepod during the incident and then coming to in Sickbay with T単ol watching over him and the Captain, Malcolm and Hoshi freaking out nearby. Then there was Starfleet canceling their mission, the Captain痴 sudden time-travel adventure and his disturbing knowledge of beyond-cutting-edge physics. Before he could catch his breath from all that, Trip had found himself building a pair of quantum beacons whose operation he still didn稚 understand. And then came their little excursion to the Suliban stealth ship, the subsequent attack and the disappearance of the Captain, followed by them all getting pushed around by Silik and his cronies and being locked in their cabins. Then Trip had kissed the manufacturer痴 warranty on his door com goodbye trying to contact the others, Malcolm had gotten voluntarily beaten to a pulp and they壇 finally made their escape from the Helix by faking a core breach.

Trip thought briefly about all the damage he was gonna have to repair fuck. Oh, but it didn稚 end there.

Shortly thereafter, the Captain had returned with amazing tales of life in the thirty-first century. Then there壇 been Soval痴 expected arrogance to deal with which Trip hadn稚 of course. Instead, he壇 personally lost it on the Bridge in front of the entire senior staff lovely.

And then, capping it all off, there was Archer痴 gazelle speech (gazelles?!) and T単ol痴 little pro-Humanity pep-rally that not only caught the Vulcans off guard, but might also have saved their mission.

Frankly, just tallying that mental list freaked him the hell out.

I need a vacation, Trip thought wearily. Then he remembered his recent visit to Risa, and the burning humiliation he壇 felt climbing out of the shuttlepod in his blues and a bathrobe under a pair of ever-observant Vulcan eyes, and decided that maybe what he really needed was to just be knocked unconscious for a month. Sleep, at least, would have been a welcome respite. But after three hours of tossing and turning in his sheets, that prospect continued only to taunt him cruelly, just out of reach.

Trip turned his head so that he could see the comforting blur of stars streaking outside his viewport and then remembered that they were moving on impulse, still docked to the Ti狸ir.

He sighed heavily. The fact was, something else had been nagging at him too. And strangely, it was more disturbing to him than all of the rest combined. T単ol just well, she just didn稚 seem herself.

Funny how it always seemed to come back to her lately.

Not that her reaction would seem unexpected after the day痴 events. Just look at what a basket case I am, Trip thought. But it was more than that. First, Trip had been unable to call her this afternoon for more than an hour, when she should have been locked in her quarters like everyone else. When she壇 finally responded, her voice sounded weak and uncertain. She壇 brushed off his concern of course, blaming the instability of his jury-rigged com. Then, when they壇 kicked off their little uprising, starting with those two Suliban guards, Trip was certain he壇 heard actual fear in T単ol痴 voice as she struggled against them. He and Malcolm had quickly taken the guards out, but he壇 caught her visibly shuddering out of the corner of his eye as they dragged the unconscious Suliban into Malcolm痴 quarters. And then there was her decidedly miffed sounding comment about him taking so long to come to her aid. It had seemed offhand at first, and then they壇 just been too busy for him to give it a second thought. But now pissy little comments like that just weren稚 T単ol痴 style. Even in stressful situations, he壇 never known T単ol to lose control of her emotions, even a little.

If I live to be a hundred, I値l probably never understand Vulcans, Trip mused silently. Especially her. Then he was struck by an unexpected wave of sadness at that thought, realizing for the very first time just how badly he did want to understand T単ol.

Strange. At first he壇 hated her guts so badly he壇 wanted to flush her ass out the Launch Bay at least once a week. Then, after the whole encrypted communications debacle, things had started to change between them. They壇 actually somehow managed to tune into each other痴 wave-lengths at least in part and work well together. And now Trip found that he wanted to call her friend.

Heaving a sigh of frustration, Trip glanced over at the chronometer next to his bunk. 0130 hours and all is definitely not well. Beautiful.

Feeling more than a little angry at the Universe, Trip tossed off his sheets and pulled on a pair of sweat pants. For a moment, he stood rubbing his temples in a futile effort to ease the pounding of his head. Then, without warning, Trip grabbed the nearest object he could find an unlucky PADD on his nightstand an threw it furiously against the bulkhead. It shattered but did little to ease his frustrations.


The door hissed shut unsympathetically behind him as he stormed out of the cabin.

Less than five minutes later, Trip found himself pacing back and forth in front of another door. Her door.

Sacred ground. Forbidden territory.

Trip hovered indecisively for a moment, then impulsively raised his hand as if to ring the bell. But just before he did, he pulled his hand back quickly, chiding himself. She痴 probably sleeping, dumbass. Like you壇 be right now if you had any brains left.

With a huff, Trip suddenly turned and stalked off nearly colliding with Crewman Fuller in the process. He mumbled an quick apology and continued on, looking back over his shoulder just in time to see Fuller watching him with a strange expression as he rounded a junction in the corridor.

Perfect. You池e a thirty-three year old Chief Engineer and a highly trained Starfleet Commander and you致e just been caught stalking the Science Officer in your pajamas. Nice.

Embarrassed, Trip marched angrily in the direction of the Mess Hall, which was honestly where he壇 planned to go in the first place. After all absent sleep, there was always pie.

Thirty seconds later after checking carefully to make sure the corridor was empty this time there he was, once again standing before the entrance to T単ol痴 quarters.

Mr. Wishy-Washy. Door Number Three.

Fuck He walked away.


He was back at her door instantly. Trip knew that voice anywhere. Something was wrong. Something was wrong inside her quarters. He hit the 疎nnounce button.

典単ol? No response. He hit the button again.

典単ol, are you all right?

No don稚! Please, NOOOOOOO!!

His fingers flew over the keypad, entering an override code known only to four people on the ship himself, the Captain, Malcolm and her. In moments the door flew open and Trip痴 eyes struggled to adjust to the darkness as he raced inside. The door hissed shut behind him.


Trip realized that a dark cloth of some kind had been affixed over the viewport that痴 why it was so dark. Then he heard moaning sounds and his eyes found the cabin痴 small bunk. He could just make out her tiny form as it twisted frantically in the sheets.

I don稚 know where the Captain is! Stop! NOOOOO!

Jesus she was having a nightmare. Or reliving a nightmare. Then she screamed in agony and Trip was moving, propelled by fear to her side. He sat on the edge of the bunk and touched her bare arm gently.

典単ol it痴 okay

She flinched at his touch, becoming even more panicked. No NOOOOO!! Her eyes were open but she wasn稚 seeing. Trip grabbed her hand firmly and palmed her cheek.

典単ol you池e okay! It痴 Trip you池e just dreaming! Come back to me here

Whether it was the sound of his voice or his touch, Trip didn稚 know. But gradually, she stopped thrashing beside him, her breath returning to a more normal rhythm. Her moans fell to mere whimpers and then, after several long moments, her eyes finally seemed to focus and see him.

鼎ommander? She was clearly dazed and disoriented.

典単ol are you okay? The worry in his voice hung heavily in the room.

She looked around and swallowed dryly. 展e are in my quarters. Why are you in my quarters?

He stammered nervously for a moment until he could get his brain going again.

的 I was going by outside and I heard you crying out. I was I was worried that something was wrong with you

Embarrassed, Trip tried to pull back his hand and stand. But T単ol痴 grip tightened, refusing to let him go.

NO! Don稚 She seemed to be fighting an internal struggle. 泥on稚 go.

The unabashed need in her voice, the desperation, cut through his indecision. 徹kay.

T単ol became suddenly embarrassed ashamed. Trip saw this.. and suddenly also noticed that she was wearing a pair of silky pajamas. Her top had bunched up under her breasts. They both realized at the exact same moment that her belly was exposed that she was shivering.

Swallowing hard, Trip quickly broke the moment, pulling T単ol痴 sheets up over her to the relief of then both. When he looked up, he saw that she was watching him like a deer caught in headlights.

典単ol what happened? Did did Silik do something to you? Did he hurt you?

T単ol suddenly rolled away from him to face the bulkhead. She pulled her arms and legs in tightly, assuming a fetal position. Trip sighed, trying to figure out what to do. Then, on an impulse, he lay down behind her.

溺y mama used to do this when I was little, he gently assured her. 展hen I壇 wake up in the middle of the night from a nightmare, I crawled into her bed and she snuggled me like this.

He began stroking her shoulder softly. Against her better judgment, T単ol痴 body pushed back into the reassuring warmth of him.

天ulcans Vulcans do not have nightmares.


She壇 expected a different response. She tried again to placate her sensibilities. 天ulcans do not snuggle.


Frowning, T単ol痴 mind continued to spin off balance. And then, as Trip痴 hand moved up to gently massage the tightened muscles of her neck, T単ol felt her body beginning to relax. For twenty maybe thirty minutes they lay together silently, as Trip continued his ministrations. T単ol closed her eyes, focusing on his soothing touch letting her mind empty of concerns. It was not unlike meditation.

After a long while, Trip finally spoke. 的 meant to tell you earlier I mean, I wanted to let you know how much it means to all of us that you stood up to Soval. That you stuck up for us like that. I know it probably wasn稚 easy.

She opened her eyes in the darkness but didn稚 reply. Trip eventually became uncomfortable with her silence. 的 should go.

Then as he swung his legs over the edge of the bunk, Trip leaned over and placed a quick, chaste kiss on the back of her head.

的知 glad you池e here, T単ol. I just wanted you to know that.

As he moved to leave, T単ol sat up, pulling the sheets up over herself shyly. 鼎ommander she began.

Trip turned back to her. 展e don稚 have to talk about this. I mean, I know Vulcans don稚 like to talk about their feelings. And we致e got reputations to protect and all

She nodded, unable to do anything else.

釘ut if you ever want to to you know talk...

She found herself nodding again as his voice trailed off.

展ell I guess that痴 what friends are for. He smiled warmly at her. 哲ite, T単ol.

And then he was gone. T単ol lay back on her bunk and stared at the ceiling in wonder.

Outside her door, Trip just stood for a moment, mesmerized. Then he slowly turned in the direction on the Mess Hall. After all sleep would never find him now. And there was still pie. But as he ambled down the corridor, just one thought occupied his mind

Whaddya know girlfriend痴 got an outie.

In the days that followed, his Engineering staff would come to note that a very long time passed before Trip痴 mysterious grin faded.

An hour later, T単ol lay quietly in the darkness of her cabin, still staring up at the ceiling. She carefully pondered the events of the last two days, the recent course of her life, her decision to remain on the Enterprise, her relationship with Commander Tucker and the others. For so long she had tried to dismiss these Humans to convince herself that they were irrational illogical. Now, she found that she no longer had the energy or the desire to do so. And, strangely, her ordeal either in the day suddenly seemed more tolerable. She knew that, with time, she would get past it.

T'Pol rolled over on her side and touched the skin of her arm, tracing the path Commander Tucker痴 fingers had traveled. For just an instant, the corner of her mouth curled up. Then she closed her eyes and made an effort to simply rest. But rest was the best she could do. After all sleep would never find her now. She wondered absently if there was any pecan pie in the Mess Hall.

Then the door com rang again. T単ol sat up, weary but suddenly wishing to see his face again.

鼎ome in.

When the door opened, Captain Archer entered instead. T単ol was disappointed and yet oddly amused. If I live to be two hundred, I will never understand these Humans

的 can稚 be certain, but Crewman Fuller might have seen me coming in here


Author痴 Notes: Feedback is always welcome!

Zane Gray

Revised: 4/20/03

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A whole mess of folks have made comments

I just wish it had been longer. I really enjoyed Differential and looked forward to every chapter. Now that we've had the prequel, I'm looking forward to the sequel.

Great, just like the last one Zane!

I was so glad to see this one. Nice introduction to the events in "Differential."

i agree, i love 'Differential', and i want more, more I tell you MORE!!!!!!!!!!

I just love this. Wonderful characterisations of Trip and T'Pol. I love the gentle energy you have flowing between them, almost like the ebb and flow of an undercurrent carrying them closer together whether they know it or not. Oh yes, I definitely want *more*. You write so well and I enjoy it so much. Heartfelt thanks, Ali D :~)

I really have enjoyed your stories each time I reread your stories I notice some new character developement in Trip andT'Pol growing relationship.I'm really glad that you take time develope your stories especially with the characters and all the other detailed things you use make the stories come alive and seem like you live the story when you read your series.Thanks for a continuing series I'M really looking forward to Objects in motion.

What a treat! I've found time to read two of your stories in the same afternoon! I loved the gentleness off this one, and look forward, as ever, to reading more from you.

i really liked ur stories....keep them coming!

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