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“The Letter" – Part I

Rating: PG-13 (for adult language)
Genre: Angst, Trip/T'Pol
Disclaimer: CBS and Paramount own pretty much everything except the actual plot of this fic. I’m not making any money off of this; I’m just having some fun in my spare time.

Author's Note: Pretty much everyone else is making a real hopeless romantic type deal out of this letter that was mentioned but was never actually in "The Good That Men Do", and I can't help but think that a real guy who's been dumped this many times by the same woman might not be so… wistful. I also haven't read the book yet, but my beta Rigil Kent has, so any inaccuracies are all his fault. He also gave me the idea to write this letter too, so … yeah, all his fault.

Trip plopped down in the chair that was next to the small desk in his modest quarters, his body and mind exhausted from the work that he had once again thrown himself into. He knew that it was a bad habit, that eventually his body would pay the price for this pattern of behavior, but right now he really didn't care. He had to do something, anything, to get his mind off of the pain he was feeling, and the person that was causing it. T'Pol.

So far, he hadn't been successful. No matter how hard he worked, no matter what task he tried to occupy his mind with, his thoughts kept drifting back to the beautiful Vulcan woman he'd given his heart to, only to have her break it, not once, not twice, but three times. Yet, try as he might, he couldn't forget about how she'd made him feel when they were together. How he'd felt when he finally realized that he was in love with her. The last time they'd gotten back together, he'd finally gotten her to admit her feelings for him, and though things had been a bit rocky at first, he'd hoped that they could finally make it work. But then there had been Elizabeth, and she had changed everything.

Trip fought back tears as he pulled his boots off, the image of his daughter haunting his vision. He'd hardly gotten a chance to see her before she'd died. She might not have been of his making, but he still accepted her as her own. And that had been the beginning of the end.

He kicked his boots under the desk. He was angry, and frustrated, and he had to get what he was thinking out of his head and onto something tangible, so he had at least a matchstick's chance in hell of getting to sleep tonight. He looked through the shelf over his desk, searching for something physical to write on. Typing something into the computer, or a padd, just wouldn't do. He pulled a binder from the shelf, one of the many technical manuals written for Enterprise. He flipped it open, and tore out the blank page that was just inside the cover. He didn't even bother to shelve the binder again, simply tossing it absently aside on his desk while he searched for a pen.

For several minutes, Trip simply stared at the blank page. He felt the tears falling silently down his cheeks, absently noting them as they fell on the desk, centimeters away from the sheet of paper. Finally, he brought his hand up, and put pen to paper.

I don't know if I'll ever give this to you. In fact, it would probably be best if I didn't since we still have to work together, somehow. To be honest, this is mostly for me, and getting my thoughts down on something so they aren't just bouncing around in my head. I've been trying my damnedest to ignore them, but it just isn't working. You’re all I think about, T'Pol.

To be blunt, I'm hurt, and I'm angry. I'm angry at you, T'Pol, and I'm angry at the situation I find myself in now. I know you probably wouldn't understand, but it kills me a little inside each time I look at you now, knowing that I can never be with you the way I want to be. Truthfully, I don't know if I'd want to anymore even if I had the chance.

I really don’t know what to make of us. From our first time together, you've been doing this to me. You'll act like you want to be with me, let me get close to you, only to push me away, again and again. I put up with it. I let you brush me off as some kind of damn science experiment. I watched you marry another man. I let you have all the time you needed when you wanted to find yourself again. And now, I'll let you find yourself again, on your own, but I'm not going to be waiting for you anymore.

I'd give anything right now to transfer to another ship, to put some distance between us so I don't have to see you every day. Starfleet would never put up with it though, not after I transferred to Columbia, just to transfer right back to Enterprise. You asked me then if I was leaving because of you. It might be a bit late to answer that question now, but yes, T'Pol, I was leaving because of you. I'd already sworn to myself then that you’d broken my heart for the last time, but fate seemed to have a different plan in store for me.

Lord knows I don't know what that plan is. The universe seems to have it in for me. Not only do I fall in love with a woman who can't seem to decide if she loves me back, but I've lost two children with her. I know you've felt the same pain that I have, I've felt it since Elizabeth died and we laid her to rest with your mother. It's just… There are times I wished you'd take that damn Vulcan logic of yours and shove it right up Surak's ass!

I feel for you T'Pol, you've suffered a lot since coming aboard Enterprise, but try as I might, I can't get you to realize that you don't need to be alone.

I just don't understand. I thought that we could mourn together, that we could grow stronger again together through our mutual loss.

I still love you T'Pol. Lord help me, but I do. Never have I loved anyone so deeply as I've loved you. It felt so right, me and you. Yes, I'm angry too, but I'm angry because I love you. I know you might not understand that, and I can't really explain it because I don't understand it either. I love you with all my heart, and my heart breaks every time I look upon your beautiful face now. I just wish you’d love me back.

I know you must still feel something, otherwise you wouldn't have wanted to make sure I'd stay. Part of me does want to stay too, against the chance that someday we might be together. I'm not sure if that day will ever come though, and if it did I don't know how I'd feel, or what I'd do. If you came to me right now and wanted to be with me, I honestly don't know what I'd do. Part of me would want to send you away, to protect myself, but part of me would want to just hold you, to feel you in my arms again.

I don't know if I'll actually stay or not. This pain is still fresh. I might heal over time, but I don't know. If I do leave, I'll probably have to leave Starfleet. I don't want to go, but I don't want to stay either. It hurts more now than before. Before I could blame Koss, or the reformation on Vulcan. But this time it was you, and I still can't figure out why. So I'm trapped here, stuck at arm's length from you. Still close to you, but light-years apart.

I don't know what I'll do yet. Maybe I'll leave, maybe I'll stay. Maybe I'll give you this letter someday too, or maybe I'll just burn it, and watch it turn to ash. I just don't know.

I love you, T'Pol, but God help me, I wish I didn't.


He sat back, and carefully folded the letter in on itself. As an afterthought, he wrote T'Pol's name on it, just in case he ever did decide to give it to her. Finished, he gave it an angry push with his fingertips, watching with an odd sense of satisfaction as the flimsy material slid to the back of his desk.

He felt fatigue wash over him. Stripping the remainder of his uniform off, he clumsily made his way to bed and flopped down. He couldn't quite close his eyes, though, and simply stared at the ceiling. As tired as he was, he knew he wasn't going to get any sleep. His thoughts drifted to the one friend he had left on board that he knew he could always count on.

Wonder if Malcolm's still up. I could sure go for a drink.

Continue to Part 2

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