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"Goin’ to the Chapel"
By Distracted

Rating: PG for mild adult situations (but mostly just lotsa mushy stuff!)
Disclaimer: It all belongs to Paramount, a marvelous corporation run by incredibly talented and insightful executives who would never dream of cancelling a television show with such universal appeal as Enterprise.
Summary: Let's assume that T’Pol, having experienced two distinctly unpleasant Vulcan marriages (see my story Sleep Aid ) chooses to humor Trip and go through with a traditional human ceremony. Wouldn't that be fun? (This is a sequel to A Hard Day's Night.)

Commander Charles “Trip” Tucker and Commander T’Pol entered the dining room together the morning after their return from leave. Although they neither made physical contact nor spoke to each other, their demeanor was so obviously that of a couple that everyone in the room realized something had changed between them. All eyes in the room were focused on them. Conversation ceased. Then a sharp-eyed crew-woman saw a sparkle from the third finger of T’Pol’s left hand.

“She’s got a ring!” she shouted in amazement.

The room erupted in laughter and spontaneous cheers. Slowly, table by table, the entire complement of the ship’s crew at breakfast that morning stood and applauded.

“It’s about time!” a male voice yelled good-naturedly.

“What took you so long, Commander Tucker?” shouted another.

Trip and T’Pol, both taken aback by this spontaneous show of support from the entire crew, eyed each other in surprised embarrassment.

“Are you still certain this was a good idea?” inquired T’Pol dryly under her breath.

“I’m not sure the captain will call this a return to duty with minimal disruption,” replied Trip with a grin, “but I bet it’s gonna be a lot of fun!”

T’Pol sighed in resignation. It was possible that this was going to be more difficult than she had anticipated.


On her way to the bridge that morning, T’Pol was stopped in the hallway five times by female crew members with whom she was barely acquainted, all asking to admire her ring. Each of them asked the same quite personal question…”Have you set a date?” Wearing the ring seemed to be considered a personal invitation to every female on board to pry into her private affairs. She reminded herself to thank Trip for this opportunity to improve her socialization skills… or perhaps she’d simply think of a way to take revenge upon him for doing this to her. But then… taking revenge was illogical, however enjoyable it might be to see the expression on his face when she did so.

Arriving on the bridge, T’Pol took her duty station and immediately activated her console. Enterprise had spent the preceding five days collecting data on a previously uncharted star system with six planets. None apparently supported intelligent life, but all had thriving ecosystems and many potentially useful resources. There was a lot of data to analyze.

“Welcome back, Commander… and congratulations!” whispered Ensign Hoshi Sato from her neighboring duty station. Hoshi craned her neck slightly, trying to see T’Pol’s hands from where she sat.

Giving Hoshi a long-suffering look, T’Pol presented her left hand for inspection, saying, in the tones of someone repeating herself for the umpteenth time, “Thank you Ensign…. We have not yet set a date.” Social duties accomplished, she redirected her attention to the data on her console. Hoshi smiled in amusement, and turned back to her work.


Trip got knowing grins or slaps on the back from every male crew member he encountered on the way to Engineering that morning. When he stepped through the doors, he was greeted with whistles, catcalls and cheers.

“Okay, guys!” he shouted, laughing. “Back to work!”

Lieutenant Malcolm Reed was in Engineering that morning overseeing maintenance on the power couplings for the weapons systems. He approached Trip and held out his hand.

“I hear congratulations are in order!” he told Trip with a broad smile. “I’m proud of you for finally getting up the nerve! You’ve made me a wealthy man! The odds were fifty to one!”

“Ya’ll had a pool goin’?!” demanded Trip in astonishment, gripping Malcolm’s hand in a firm handshake.

“Of course!” replied Malcolm. “We all chose dates, you see, and mine was today! I thought you wouldn’t be able to go off with her alone for five days and not have the nerve to ask her!”

Trip released Malcolm’s hand and rubbed his lower back, a slightly pained expression momentarily replacing his cheerful grin. He looked slightly thinner and somewhat tired to Malcolm, despite his obvious good humor.

“It must have been some five days!” Malcolm said enviously.

“Now, Malcolm! You know a gentleman would never talk about such things!” replied Trip with a salacious grin. “Let’s just say… it was a real eye-opener!”

Malcolm laughed and slapped him on the shoulder. Trip winced slightly, then laughed as well. “Let’s go take a look at those power couplings.” he said.


That evening, Trip lay on his stomach on the bed in T’Pol’s quarters, his face a grimace of pain.

“Not so hard! You’re gonna break my spine!” he complained.

T’Pol released pressure slightly over the neuropressure points she had been leaning into.

“I am attempting to correct the damage you have done to your back in the past week.” she replied disapprovingly. “It will be somewhat uncomfortable until there is time for adequate healing of the injured muscles.”

“The damage I did to my back? “exclaimed Trip. “You may not remember much, but let me tell you… it was a mutual effort!”

T’Pol stopped her neuropressure and allowed her hands to fall to her sides. She lifted them again after a moment, and began to run both hands softly on either side of his spine, soothing his tender, knotted muscles. Then she lay forward to press her cheek to his bare back in apology, the close contact allowing him to feel her genuine regret and self-blame for his injury.

Trip turned over and took her in his arms. “Aw…T’Pol…” he murmured. “I’m sorry… I know you couldn’t help it.” He caressed her head as it lay on his chest. “It was definitely worth it!” he whispered. He tipped her chin up and met her eyes, sending her all the reassurance he could manage through the bond. He smiled at her gently then, and kissed her. Regret evaporated, replaced by desire.
“You are not well enough for that yet!” T’Pol chided him firmly, pulling herself up and out of his arms and sitting beside him on the bed. “In addition, we have much to discuss. Today I received multiple inquiries regarding ‘setting a date’. I assume this refers to planning the marriage ceremony. Have you given any thought to the subject?” she asked.

“That all depends on what you want, T’Pol.” replied Trip. “We could have a Human ceremony or a Vulcan one. It makes no difference to me.”

“Perhaps I could search the database for an appropriate ritual.” suggested T’Pol. “I have no wish to return to Vulcan to marry. Now that my mother is gone, I have no need for a traditional Vulcan ceremony. My past experience with such ceremonies has been less than pleasant!”

Trip smiled sympathetically. “I see your point!” he said. “All you have to do is show me what you want, and I’ll do it. Maybe Hoshi could help you find somethin’ that’ll work.”

“I would also like your input.” replied T’Pol. “This will be your wedding as well.”

“Yeah, I know that…” said Trip with an embarrassed grin. “But wedding planning is sort of a female thing. I don’t think I’d be any good at it.”

“And you would rather leave the planning to me and just show up for the ceremony!” T’Pol added knowingly. Trip nodded sheepishly.

T’Pol sighed. “I doubt I’ll be any better at this than you would be, but if planning our wedding is a ‘female thing’, I suppose I will have to make the attempt.” She was thoughtfully silent for a moment.

“How do you feel about public nudity?” she asked with an evil glint in her eye and a deadpan expression on her face. “I have always admired the Betazed marriage ritual.”

Trip’s mouth dropped open. He closed it with a gulp, and then said, “Okay, maybe we should work on this together!”


Two weeks later, the uproar onboard ship had died down, and everything was returning to normal. Movie nights had resumed in the dining hall, and Trip had convinced T’Pol to go with him, claiming that although he didn’t know what movie was playing, anything was better than staying in and, once again, arguing about wedding plans.

They entered the hall and sat next to Malcolm, waiting for the movie to begin.

“I understand this evening’s selection was your idea.” T’Pol told Malcolm politely. “What have you chosen? No one on board seems to know.”

Malcolm and Trip gave each other a conspiratorial grin.

“I thought it better to keep my choice a surprise.” Malcolm told her. “I do believe you’ll enjoy it.”

T’Pol nodded in acknowledgement, and sat back to await the opening credits.

“Diamonds are a girl’s best friend!” sang the title song, and Marilyn Monroe’s voluptuous figure came on screen. The room erupted in laughter and applause, not a few of the moviegoers craning their necks to see T’Pol’s reaction.

T’Pol sat for a moment looking at the screen, one brow lifted, then turned to Malcolm. “I see that you are making your best effort to improve morale.” she said, her lips twitching involuntarily into what possibly could have been the beginning of a smile.

Trip was beside himself with merriment, eyes watering, unable to stop laughing as he felt her response in the bond.


After the movie, Trip and T’Pol walked in companionable silence down the hallway toward her quarters.

“How did you like the movie?” Trip asked her curiously, after a few moments.

T’Pol thought for a moment. “I found it an interesting study in human mating behavior.” she said finally. “I was actually not paying very much attention to the movie. I found your response to it much more fascinating.”

Trip looked at her with a quizzical expression.

“There were certain scenes in the movie which seemed to cause you to become sexually aroused, and yet there was no sexual activity in the movie at all.” said T’Pol in a slightly puzzled tone.

Trip grinned at her weakly. Sometimes he forgot that the bond went both ways.

“Well… sure, T’Pol! I mean… she’s Marilyn Monroe!” he stammered.

They arrived at the door of T’Pol’s cabin, but she made no move to enter. She stepped closer to Trip, and said softly in his ear, "If I wished to have you in my bed this evening, would you prefer that I behave in a similar manner?”

Trip swallowed thickly, then grinned at her, a picture of a blonde, sexpot T’Pol in a slinky white evening gown coming to mind.

“No, T’Pol… “he said, shaking his head. “That’s not your style.” He touched her cheek lightly with two fingers. The blast of desire he received nearly took his breath away. “You’re much better off just bein’ yourself.” he whispered.

T’Pol stepped back slightly, then said in a normal conversational tone, as a crewman rounded the corner behind her, “Perhaps we should discuss this further. Would you like to come in for tea?”

Trip shook his head wonderingly and smiled, glancing at the crewman over T’Pol’s shoulder. The crewman, who had heard T’Pol’s invitation, was also smiling.

“Don’t mind if I do!” said Trip ironically. “After you…” Motioning for her to enter the cabin before him, he followed her in.

The moment the door closed behind them, her mouth was on his, hot and searching. She raised both hands and began to unbutton his jacket. He returned the kiss with equal passion, his arms reaching between her shoulders to free her of her clothing as well. I guess I’m not getting any tea... He thought distractedly. . … I’ll have to thank Malcolm in the morning.


Two weeks later, their wedding date a mere month away, the future Mr. and Mrs. Tucker were deep into serious negotiations.

“I am willing to consider this traditional North American civil ceremony you prefer, Trip… but there will need to be a few modifications.” said T’Pol reasonably, leaning over Trip’s shoulder as he sat at the console in her quarters.

“What kinda ‘modifications’?” he asked, looking up at her, enjoying the view.

“Look at this… in the vows…” she continued, pointing at the screen. “There are some things which are not appropriate for a Vulcan to say in public.”

They continued in the same vein for the next hour. “Honor” was acceptable, T’Pol claimed. So was “cherish’, for some reason not entirely clear to Trip, but “love” was out of the question. Trip jokingly pulled up an ancient version of the ceremony containing “obey”. T’Pol’s reasoned response to this suggestion was that, since as First Officer she was technically his superior, perhaps he should be the one to add this to his vows. Trip dropped the subject immediately. Things were actually going rather smoothly. Then they hit a snag.

“I cannot kiss you in public.” stated T’Pol emphatically. “It would simply not be appropriate.”

“C’mon, T’Pol!” insisted Trip. “It’s not official without the kiss! It’s not like I’m gonna lay one on you or somethin’! Just a little peck, is all!”

T’Pol eyed him dubiously.

“Wait a minute…!” Trip exclaimed, suddenly remembering something. “You’ve already kissed me in public! In front of Vulcans, no less!”

“That was a different situation entirely.” she claimed. “But you are, in fact, correct.” She considered his pleading expression for a moment. “I suppose it would be illogical of me to refuse to do so again, given the circumstances.” she reluctantly admitted. With a sigh, she said, “Very well, Trip…. The kiss stays in.”

Trip smiled broadly in triumph. “Now that all that’s settled…” he said, getting up from his chair and taking her in his arms. “…let’s talk about the reception!”

“What must I know about this ‘reception’?” asked T’Pol softly, pressing her body against his and returning his embrace, tipping her head back to look into his eyes.

Trip reached out a hand and tapped the console. Soft music began to play.

“There’s dancin’ at a reception… wanna learn how?”

T’Pol looked at him speculatively, one brow raised. “Perhaps we have more negotiations to do.” she said dryly.


The day had arrived, and Trip was a nervous wreck. They’d scheduled the ceremony to coincide with Enterprise’s arrival on Earth for routine maintenance, so not only did he have to deal with wedding jitters, but also with strangers in his engine room, messing with his engines. It was almost too much to handle. He’d been working since early that morning without a break.

T’Pol entered Engineering and walked to the duty station where Trip was standing, his eyes focused on the engine readouts. She unwrapped the sandwich she was carrying and placed it in his hand.

“You will make yourself ill and unable to attend our wedding if you don’t eat something.” she told him sternly, stepping back with arms crossed over her chest and nodding at the sandwich in his hand.

“I’m busy right now, T’Pol.” he said, glancing briefly at her, and then immediately back to his precious engines.

She simply stood there, waiting.

Trip looked down at his hand, noticed the sandwich, and absently took a bite. “There… happy now?” he murmured, as his eyes continued to scan the data in front of him.

T’Pol reached out a hand and gently touched his arm with two fingers. Immediately he felt calmer, his agitation and irritability faded. He chewed and swallowed, turning his head to look at T’Pol apologetically.

“Sorry… I guess I’m nervous.” he told her.

“We are well prepared, therefore ‘being nervous’ is illogical, but I must admit to some trepidation regarding the ceremony this evening as well.” T’Pol replied.

Trip placed the palm of his hand over T’Pol’s fingers as they rested on his arm.

“Are my parents on board yet?” asked Trip, smiling gently at her as he offered
reassurance through the bond.

“I will inform you of their arrival.” she told him, sending comfort to him in return. “Now eat your sandwich!”

“Yes, ma’am!” Trip said with a grin, and took another bite. Satisfied, T’Pol simply nodded and left him to his work.


Trip and T’Pol stood before Jonathan Archer, silhouetted against a backdrop of stars in front of the large viewing port on the observation deck of Enterprise. Trip was in dress blues, looking remarkably handsome and somewhat uncomfortable. He stood with left hand extended, two fingers lightly touching T’Pol’s in the traditional Vulcan gesture.

T’Pol wore a simple gown of cream colored fabric, a hood gracefully draping either side of her face. The gown had been her mother’s, given to her just that morning by Ambassador Soval, who’d had it transported from Vulcan at T’Pol’s request. It was an unusually sentimental thing for a Vulcan to do, this wearing of her mother’s gown, but T’Pol felt the need to somehow include T’Les on this day, however indirectly. She was somewhat surprised that Soval had decided to stay for the ceremony. He was the only Vulcan present, standing soberly among smiling humans like a disapproving parent at a children’s party.

The room was filled to capacity with every crew member not required to be on duty. Trip’s parents were there, their eyes fixed on their son as if they couldn’t quite believe what he was about to do. Malcolm stood at Trip’s right shoulder, and Hoshi stood at T’Pol’s left, ready to witness what would follow. They looked expectantly at Captain Archer as he began to speak.

“Friends, family and crewmates, “ Archer began. “We come together tonight to celebrate the union of two of our own. Although it may seem at first that they make an unlikely pair, I have it on good authority that they make a very good team!” A few chuckles were heard from crewmates in the crowd.

The couple took vows to “respect, honor, and cherish”, as the entire room stood witness. Plain gold bands were exchanged. Throughout the ceremony, Trip had a reassuring smile on his face. T’Pol’s demeanor was more solemn. Unsmiling, her eyes focused only on Trip’s face, she revealed nothing of her inward struggle for control.

“By the authority invested in me by Starfleet as captain of Enterprise, I pronounce you husband and wife!” announced Archer with a flourish. He hesitated momentarily, as if unsure whether to go on, then said to Trip with a questioning look, “You may now kiss your bride.”

Trip turned toward T’Pol, bringing his free hand to the side of her face, and leaned forward to place a feather-light, chaste kiss on her lips…

At least, that was his original intention. As his lips met hers, both of them felt an overwhelming surge of desire in the bond. It was impossible to tell from which of them the surge originated, but it proved too much for T’Pol’s already fragile control. Abandoning her two finger contact with Trip’s hand, T’Pol raised both hands to lace her fingers into the blonde curls at the nape of his neck. Rising to her toes, she returned his kiss with passion and obvious enthusiasm.

A collective gasp rose from the onlookers. The applause began before the kiss was done, and built to a crescendo as the kiss showed no signs of ending. Trip’s mother cried openly, seeing, in that kiss, evidence that the seemingly cold and distant woman her son had chosen to marry truly loved him. Soval, brow raised thoughtfully, nodded approvingly to himself at T’Pol’s masterful public relations ploy.

Finally, Trip had the presence of mind to step back slightly and break contact. Laying his hands gently on T’Pol’s, he gathered her hands to his chest, and sent love, reassurance, and pride to combat the sudden surge of confused embarrassment as T’Pol realized what she had done. He looked into her eyes until she had regained control, then released her hands and offered two fingers again in the Vulcan manner. Reserved and once again in control, T’Pol offered her fingertips in return. They turned together to face the crowd.

Jonathan Archer, raising his voice to carry over the continued applause, finished with, “May I now present Mr. and Mrs. Charles Tucker the Third!”


At the reception in the dining hall following the ceremony, Trip stayed close to T’Pol, concerned about her emotional state. Despite her apparently perfectly controlled Vulcan reserve, he could still feel echoes of shame and embarrassment reverberating in the bond. She patiently tolerated the rituals they had agreed upon, tossing a small bouquet of flowers unerringly at Hoshi; then, retrieving a circle of elasticized lace from beneath her flowing sleeve, handed it to Trip with an ironic raise of one eyebrow. Trip sling-shotted it directly into the center of Travis’ chest. Although the look the two gave each other across the room afterwards brought laughter to everyone in attendance, T’Pol did not seem to be enjoying herself. The only time Trip sensed a lift in her mood was after the cake cutting, when, following his offering of a delicate taste of the delicious, three tiered concoction directly into her mouth with the tips of his fingers, T’Pol proceeded to return the favor by attempting to shove an entire serving into Trip’s mouth in one bite. After several minutes of laughter and near-choking, he brushed icing and crumbs from his chest and face and looked at her in surprise.

“You enjoyed that, didn’t you?!” he asked her in mock indignation.

“Revenge is sweet, my husband!” T’Pol stated dryly in quiet tones.

In her present state of mind, Trip was unsure whether she was serious, or if she was trying to make a joke.

Hoshi, who’d volunteered to be in charge of the music and the dance floor, approached Trip as he stood by T’Pol, greeting a seemingly endless stream of well-wishers.

“Do you two want to take the floor?” she asked. “The crew is asking to begin the dancing.”

Trip, glancing at T’Pol out of the corner of his eye, demurred.

“Y’all go on without us.” he told Hoshi. “My back’s been actin’ up again. I don’t think dancin’s a real good idea today.” he smiled at her apologetically. Hoshi gave him an understanding look, following his gaze toward T’Pol’s rigidly composed face as she greeted guests one after the other.

“I suppose she has had enough public exposure for one day.” Hoshi told him, with typical insight into the situation. “I’ll just announce that the dance floor is open.”

After Hoshi’s departure, T’Pol nodded at the latest guest in line, then grasped Trip by the elbow and spoke softly into his ear over the music.

“Your back is quite recovered, husband.” she told him in mild surprise. “Why did you tell Hoshi that you did not wish to dance? You have been anticipating this with pleasure for weeks!”

Trip turned to her. He’d forgotten about that sharp hearing of hers again! He smiled and spoke softly into her delicate, pointed ear.

“I just figured you’d had enough public displays today.” he murmured.

T’Pol sensed his protectiveness of her in the bond, but could also feel his regret at missing his dance with her.

“It would be illogical of us to spend our time learning this ‘waltz’ of yours, and then not make use of the skill.” she told him reasonably. “If you still wish it, I will dance with you… but only with you!” she warned him firmly.

Trip’s face bloomed in a surprised and anticipatory smile. He left her for a moment, then returned, two fingers extended to lead her to the dance floor. The room began to fall silent as the partygoers noticed their progression to the center of the floor. They took ballroom dance position, the fingers of one hand lightly brushing the waist of the other, fingertips of the opposite hand barely touching, their bodies only inches apart. The strains of a classical waltz began to play, and the two of them began to move.

Their movements were precise, without a single misstep, but in no way mechanical. It was if they were the same person, moving in unison across the floor. As they circled the dance floor, every eye in the room was upon them. There was total silence, except for the music. Trip’s face, as they danced, had his love for T’Pol written on it for everyone to see. T’Pol’s eyes followed his every expression, and it was obvious to the onlookers that, for her, in that moment, nothing else existed in the universe but the man in her arms.

They stopped circling as the music came to an end, then stepped apart, maintaining only their two-fingered touch. The applause was deafening.

“Just like Fred and Ginger!” Trip whispered to T’Pol with a gleeful grin. T’Pol, understanding his reference because he had insisted that she watch several old movies to prove to her that dancing could be a precise and physically challenging sports activity, merely nodded in approval of their performance.

Trip raised his hand, and the applause died down. Taking advantage of their moment in the spotlight, Trip announced to all of the assembled guests, “Thank you all for coming! T’Pol and I had a great time, and we hope that you did too. Please feel free to continue the party without us, at least until the captain shuts it down! Remember, we’ve all got work to do in the morning!”

Good-natured groans from the crew followed that statement. Someone yelled, “What about a honeymoon?”

Trip smiled broadly at that. “Been there… done that!” he quipped, getting a new round of laughter from everyone present. Glancing sideways at T’Pol, Trip noticed a slight greenish tinge to her cheeks. Was that a Vulcan blush?

Jonathan Archer approached the two of them on the edge of the dance floor as they were telling Trip’s parents good night.

“If you’re both ready to leave, the crew and I have a wedding present for the two of you. Please come this way.” he told them.

Trip and T’Pol joined Captain Archer and a small group of crew members in the hall outside of the dining area. Malcolm Reed joined them, along with two crewmen that Trip recognized from structural engineering. Hoshi also accompanied them. Archer led them to an area of the crew quarters normally reserved for regular crew rather than command staff. Stopping before one of the doors, the captain said to Malcolm, “Would you like to do the honors?”

Entering a key code into the door panel, Malcolm stepped aside to allow them a look inside the room. The cabin was slightly smaller than the ones to which they were accustomed, but in the bulkhead leading to the adjacent cabin there was an arched doorway, connecting the two into a single living area.

The room they were about to enter was decorated in an eclectic fashion. Trip could see the stone icon from T’Pol’s cabin on one wall, but his family portraits also adorned the walls. There was a single long-stemmed red rose in a simple crystal vase on the table beside a lit meditation candle. T’Pol’s meditation cushions were on the floor.

“Murphy and Michaels were responsible for the structural modifications.” said Malcolm, nodding at the two engineering crewmen. They smiled and nodded back. “I installed your security system, and Hoshi did the decorating. You’re not entirely moved in yet… there wasn’t time… but it should be ready for tonight at least.” he added with a knowing grin.

“It’s beautiful!” Trip said to all of them. “I had no idea all of this was going on!”

“It was the captain’s idea.” said Hoshi with a smile. “He’s been planning this for weeks!”

Trip shook hands all around, giving Hoshi a friendly hug. Surprisingly, T’Pol also shook everyone’s hand, thanking them quietly. When she reached Jonathan Archer, he extended his hand as well. She clasped it in hers, then leaned forward to lay her cheek against his, murmuring, “Thank you, Jonathan!” Archer stepped back, startled and touched by her open display of gratitude and affection. He smiled at her. “You’re welcome!” he said.

T’Pol turned to Trip.

“There is only one ritual left to perform, husband.” she told him evenly, placing both arms around his neck. Trip lifted her slight body in both arms, and stepped over the threshold of their new quarters, the door closing behind them.


Trip released T’Pol, allowing her feet to slide to the floor. They stood in each other’s arms for a long moment, foreheads touching, in the dim quiet of their new quarters. Trip could feel the emotional turmoil caused by the day’s events still present in T’Pol’s mind.

“Are you okay?” he whispered to T’Pol, concerned over the echoes of shame and embarrassment he felt from her in the bond.

“Today has been very difficult for me.” she admitted. Looking up at him with a reluctantly determined expression, she said, “I have something that I would like to discuss with you.”

Trip took her hand and led her to the meditation cushions, sitting down with her on the floor. He looked at her apologetically. “T’Pol, I’m sorry I insisted on the kiss. I really didn’t realize how hard it would be for you to maintain control in public. I’m so sorry that I embarrassed you like that!” His hands, clasping hers, intensified the bond enough for her to feel his sorrow at causing her pain.

“You were not the cause of my loss of control.” T’Pol told him. “The fault was mine.” She looked down then, her shame intensifying in the bond.

“I have been meaning to discuss this with you for some time, but after today, I feel I must be honest.” she continued, meeting his eyes. “Do you remember the night we formed our bond?” she asked.

Trip smiled and laughed softly. “I don’t think I’ll ever forget it!” he replied.

“That night was not, as I later led you to believe, the result of a reasoned decision to explore human sexuality.” admitted T’Pol. “It was the result of my abuse of a drug.”

Trip looked at her in surprised confusion.

“After my first exposure to Trellium-D on the Seleya, I found that I enjoyed the effect that it had on my emotional response.” T’Pol continued.

“You enjoyed being paranoid and violent?!” asked Trip incredulously.

“Not all of the effects were so dramatic.” said T’Pol. “I found that if I ingested or injected very small amounts, I was able to access emotions that Vulcans normally cannot express… emotions like desire and friendship. The night we bonded, I had just recently begun to learn to deal with my feelings of desire for you. When I discovered that you were also attracted to me… I lost control.”

“I like being an object of lust a lot better than being a laboratory animal!” grinned Trip. “But what does that have to do with what happened today?”

“I used Trellium-D for nearly three months before, with Doctor Phlox’s help, I was able to stop. By the time I had stopped using, I had done permanent damage to the areas of my brain responsible for emotional control. I believe that I am still sane only because of my bond to you, and the access it gives me to human methods of emotional control.”

“So your loss of control today… you think it was because of the damage you did to yourself with Trellium-D?” asked Trip.

“Perhaps…” said T’Pol thoughtfully. Then she looked at him honestly. “Or perhaps it was because of the intensity of my feelings for you.” she admitted. “In either case, I have behaved in a manner inappropriate for a Vulcan.”

Trip shook his head, smiling. “I think the kiss was brilliant!” he told her. “At first, I thought you’d done it on purpose! Did you notice the reaction of everyone in the room? Before the wedding started, everyone in that room was wondering why in the world we would want to marry each other! After the kiss, we became the most romantic pair of star-crossed lovers since Romeo and Juliet! Now, no one’s gonna ask questions about Pon Farr, or mating bonds, or anything else the High Command wants to keep secret about Vulcan biology, because they know why we got married!” finished Trip enthusiastically.

T’Pol gazed at Trip thoughtfully for several moments, considering the logic of what he had to say. She could find no flaw in it. “I concur with your assessment.” agreed T’Pol reluctantly. “It is, however, illogical to justify inappropriate behavior simply because it results in a favorable outcome.” she added.

“Why not?” Trip asked. “Humans do it all the time!”

“Then I shall make the attempt, in this instance, to think more like a human.” T’Pol decided. She looked closely at Trip then, seeing for the first time how fatigued he appeared. She placed a hand on the side of his face. Concern for his well-being replaced shame in the bond. “You require rest, husband.” she said gently. “I have been too occupied with my own concerns. It is time for a shower and a bed.” Caressing his face briefly, she rose to her feet and began to walk in the direction of the bathroom.

Trip reached up and grasped her by the arm, stopping her in her tracks.

“It’s our wedding night, T’Pol! You don’t expect me to just get in bed and go to sleep, do you?” Trip chided her with a smile.

T’Pol looked down at him as he sat on the floor, a look of bland amusement on her face. “I said nothing of sleep!” she told him, extricating her arm from his grip and leaving the room. Soon, Trip heard the shower running. Chuckling, he got up from the floor with effort, and left the room to join his wife.


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