A Day in the Life
Author’s Note: This is my first Star Trek fanfic, please keep that in mind. I hope I captured Trip okay. Constructive criticism is always welcome.
He slipped quietly out of bed, too keyed up to sleep. Maybe if I tell what happened, then maybe I can get some sleep, he thought. He glanced back at the bed, to the woman sleeping there and smiled at the difference a day could make. Turning on the monitor, he spoke softly so as not to disturb her slumber.
Boy, how can I describe the day I’ve had? It started out innocently enough, I was busy working’ on the engines, tryin’ to fix the damage I’d caused from my emergency procedure that saved everyone on this ship a few weeks ago. And then she walked in…but maybe I ought to start a little earlier so you can understand what all has been goin’ on.
I’ve been a gentleman. I mean, I watched her get married to someone else, and I let her go, even though I briefly had the urge as I watched to shove her husband-to-be off a cliff and have her marry me instead. And I didn’t make a move on her the whole time she was married. Not exactly the easiest thing to do, since I hadn’t even realized how I felt about her until she married Koss. Just to have my hopes dashed when she was once again free ‘cause she was busy concentrating on following the true path of Surak and didn’t have time for me.
I tried, Lord knows I did, to be patient and give her the time she needed, but when my concern for her led me into making an error that could’ve harmed her and that Aenar gal, I had to get away. So I transferred off this ship, hopin’ against hope that I could maybe move on with my life, and forget about her, but no, even my own subconscious wouldn’t let me be. I kept right on seein’ her in my dreams, and my subconscious kept injectin’ her into my thoughts with comments like ‘Maybe T’Pol has a suggestion to help fix that.’ Sigh. Not exactly the best way to forget someone. So I came back, and like I said, saved her--I mean, the ship--with that cold start of the engine, and I did it even though she said it was impossible in that amount of time. Score one for human ingenuity over Vulcan logic.
Later on she asked me ‘Have you been having any problems?’ like we were still best friends. I lied and said I was fine--yeah, just like I lied to her about why I had left a few weeks before. But I just couldn’t take the pain and rejection anymore. Yeah, it was petty, but I kinda liked makin’ her feel how I’ve felt all the times she’s rebuffed me the past few months, even if it appeared that she was genuinely concerned about me for once.
Anyway, about a week or so after we’d rescued Phlox from the Klingons, the cap’n was given these Orion women as a gift; and they’ve been doin’ something’ to the crew, or at least to the men, ‘cause everyone’s been actin’ like a bunch of teenagers lustin’ after them. Gettin’ in fights and whatnot. ‘Cept me, and well, Phlox. I suppose they don’t effect him because he’s Denobulan, or maybe he just hides it well. Still I couldn’t figure out why I wasn’t all hot and bothered by them like everyone else, though. And they tried to make me that way too, boy did they try….”
A shiver ran up his spine at the memory of how they tried. At the time, he’d wondered why having every teenage boy’s wet dream fantasy come true wasn’t affecting him at all, but his attention had been drawn away from the very alluring female wearing next-to-nonexistent clothes who was trying to do some very inappropriate things with her hands and his nether regions by the sight of Kelby deliberately smashing some of the controls to his beloved engine. In that instant, the Orion woman, whom he’d honestly been trying to get away from anyway, was forgotten completely.
“Well, I was distracted by Kelby’s actions, which had undone a good bit of the work I’d just spent the past two weeks fixin’ and didn’t pay any attention to the Orion woman in front of me, in spite of her best efforts, except to move her out of the way. Boy was that a mistake. Kelby, who happened to turn just then, went ballistic when he saw me touch her and tried to slug me with a coil spanner. I lucked out and deflected the worst of the blow with my arm and managed to disarm him, but he just wouldn’t let up. Seemed to think I was after ‘his woman’ or somethin’, and he kept tryin’ to pound the livin’ daylights out of me. I tried to explain calmly at first that I didn‘t want her, but he just wouldn’t listen. So I had no choice but to deck him. A left cross to his chin, while my right slammed into his gut. He still tried to come after me, and I was forced to hit him again, this time knockin’ him out. I carted him off to my--I mean, his--office, and left him there after I checked to make sure he wasn’t too badly hurt.
Well, then, I had to start over on fixin’ the stuff he’d broke that had started off our little fight. The Orion woman tried again to capture my attention, but I was too busy with my engines to even really notice her there. Eventually she gave up and left, I think. Engineering returned to something approaching normal, at least for a bit, and we got some work done fixin’ what Kelby had damaged again. Then she walked in. The one I’ve tried my damnedest to avoid over the two weeks I’ve been back on the ship. T’Pol. The very one who haunts my every wakin’ and sleepin’ moment. She said she was there to help with the repairs, and I since I could use the help, what with all the craziness, I didn’t turn her away. We talked some about the Orions comin’ after us while we worked, but it was purely professional, not like we used to talk--both of us kept our distance from the other.
Then two of my--Kelby’s--crew started to fight again, and I had to break up yet another fight. I get them apart, though not without them glaring daggers at each other, and I ordered them back to work. I felt very much like my mom, when she had to separate my brother and me whenever we got into an argument by sending us to opposite ends of the house to cool off. I started working on the console again, after makin’ sure they did as I told them. It wasn’t long, though, before I sighed and found myself tellin’ her that I didn’t understand why every other man in the crew was goin’ stark raving looney around the Orion women, but I didn’t feel any different.
T’Pol froze for a few seconds before she replied. “I think it may have something to do with me.”
“You?” I asked, staring skeptically at her. After all, what on Earth, or Vulcan for that matter, could she have to do with why the Orions didn’t affect me?
“I believe that we are bonded.”
Well, that was helpful. Not. “Bonded?”
“It is believed that Vulcans who are mates can form a psychic bond between them.”
I frowned at that thought. “We aren’t mates. And in case you forgot, I’m human.”
She raised her eyebrow at me. “We were romantically involved, Commander.” Well, she did have me there…my heart, my mind, my body won’t let me forget that fact.
“What do you mean by a ‘psychic bond?’” I asked as I moved to stand in front of her.
She breathed deeply before she continued. “It is difficult to describe in words. It is believed that the two who are bonded can share their thoughts, even images and emotions through the bond. It allows one to know when the other is in distress, and acts as a way for them to know if their mate has entered pon farr.”
“Pon farr? What’s that?” I interrupted, it sounded vaguely familiar but I couldn’t place from where. I was still trying to wrap my head around this whole bonded concept. A cascade of emotions had engulfed me, disbelief and confusion at first, mixed with shock as I realized ’if we’re bonded, and this bond allows images to pass between us, then… maybe I wasn’t dreamin’ all those times T’Pol has been in my thoughts since I left.’ A couple of the bizarre conversations from those dreams crossed my mind, and suddenly they started to make a bit more sense if it was really her and not my subconscious. Mortification at some of the other dreams I thought she probably had witnessed (participated in?) quickly followed, then finally anger that she hadn’t told me what was going on between us sooner.
“It is not a subject to be discussed, Commander, in the midst of Engineering.” She replied, lookin’ to me to be positively uncomfortable with even mentioning it aloud within earshot of the other crewmen.
I shouldn’t have gotten snippy with her at that point, but my temper had taken over for the moment. After all, I hadn’t asked for this bond. Especially a bond with someone who has made it clear, to me at least, over the past few months that she didn‘t want me to be in her life as anything more than a colleague. “So how do we get rid of this bond? A mind meld or somethin’? I mean, I can’t very well concentrate on my work with your thoughts or emotions or whatever constantly in my head, and I sure wouldn’t want to inflict any of my human emotions on you while you’re trying to be the best Vulcan you can be.”
I saw a brief flash of hurt and betrayal in her eyes before she again regained her impassive mask, though I could still see the little signs that she was upset. Momentary guilt over hurting her enveloped me, but then I hardened my heart. After all, she hadn’t cared how she hurt me all those other times. “If that is what you wish, then we will need a Vulcan priest to break the bond. It is too dangerous for me to attempt it on my own.” She was giving me the cold shoulder, no mistake now.
“Fine. First chance we get, once everything’s back up to snuff here, we go and get this,” I waved my hand around a few times, “this bond broken, then.” I walked off, still mad that she apparently had no problem stringing me along in my dreams just so she could tell me there was nothing between us when I was awake. “I have to let the Cap’n know that it’s going to take longer than expected to fix the engines, since Kelby’s gone and damaged them again.” I added over my shoulder as I walked out of Engineering, never mind that I had already reported the damage he’d done after the fight and she knew it. I grabbed my PADD with the list of repairs still to be completed elsewhere on the ship as I passed the console I had been at earlier without waiting for her response, and headed for the nearest lift, not wanting to be in the same room as her right then.
And she let me go. I could feel her stare boring into my back the whole way out of the room, and worse, I could sort of feel this hurt and anger and sadness that wasn’t mine in my head, even after the door shut. But she didn’t come after me. Not then, anyway. I wandered about a bit, lost in thought, before finally settling on fixing some relays in a nice quiet Jeffries tube alone.
Yeah alone, I snorted to myself. Just me, my subconscious, and those feelings of hers that insisted on making their presence known loud and clear now that I knew about the bond. I’d known she had emotions before this, even if she did hide them, but actually sensing them…. I shook my head fiercely and attempted the repairs again, trying to derail that line of thought, but I didn’t succeed for long. Her emotions in my mind had ebbed somewhat without her nearby, but I still could feel the hurt I’d caused her earlier, which only added to my guilt and anger. I wasn’t sure why she was hurtin’ so much--maybe she couldn’t take it as well as she could dish it out. After all, she was the one who chose the Kir’Shara over me. A bout of self pity overtook me with that thought.
Why me? Out of everyone on this blessed ship, why did she have to do this bond thing to me? I know I love her, I admitted as much to her mama way back when we were on Vulcan, but she has made it clear time and again since then that she doesn’t want a relationship with me. And now I’ve got the one person in the galaxy I’d gladly spend the rest of my life with stuck in my head, only I know she doesn’t want me. The thought tickled my brain that I didn’t have to break the bond with her, we could still be together even if it was only in my dreams, but I firmly shook my head no. Not a chance. I’m not going to torture myself with thoughts of what might have been. I’m going to finish the repairs, we’ll go to Vulcan and break this bond, and then I’m going to get on with my life. On Columbia. Without her. And I could feel my heart breaking even as I decided that.
I finished up the repairs and checked my PADD, then I started down the corridor to the next one on the list. T’Pol came up to me with the list of completed repairs from Engineering, and we discussed what else still needed to be fixed. I imagined that I still saw the hurt reflected in her eyes the few times I dared look at her face, because I wasn’t sure if I could keep my resolve to leave her again if I stared too long into her eyes. It was bad enough hearing the slight waver in her voice as she discussed the repairs, knowing that I had caused it.
T’Pol wanted to say something more to me, I could feel it, but I didn’t plan to give her the chance to try and change my mind. Or at least that was my intention. I started to walk away, when I suddenly heard her say, “Trip.” I paused for a fraction of a second, but strengthening my resolve, continued on. “Trip!” she called again. Again I didn’t respond. I heard her footsteps approaching.
“TRIP!” She reached out with one hand and pulled me towards her as I started to turn, while her other hand snaked around my neck and pulled my face down as she reached up to give me a passionate--hell yeah, it was passionate--kiss on the lips. A whole freakin’ Fourth of July firework extravaganza exploded in my mind from that kiss. She spoke softly, never letting go of me as her emotion-filled eyes met my own astounded gaze, “I do not wish the bond to be broken. I care deeply for you. And I wish to spend my life with you. Please stay on Enterprise.”
My mouth must have dropped open at some point, though I don’t remember when. My resolve to leave had melted away during the kiss, and the words she’d said were like a soothing balm on my poor soul. I realized that I was standin’ there in the corridor with the most beautiful woman in the galaxy, who amazingly enough loved me, even if she didn’t say that word aloud. I could sense in my mind the truth of her words, but a niggling thread of doubt still held sway, and swallowing, I finally managed to ask her what worried me most. “How do I know that this is real? And not another dream?” After all, most of those dreams had been fairly explicit, and they had all seemed real at the time too. “How do I know that I’m not going to wake up and this will all just be some cruel joke my subconscious is playin’ on me?”
She didn’t answer me at first. Her forehead wrinkled in that oh-so-cute way it does whenever she’s deep in thought. “Do you trust me?”
Trust her? How could I not? I love her with all my heart. “Yes.” I replied softly, unsure where she was going with this.
“Then believe me when I tell you this is real, not a dream.” She stroked my cheek lightly with her hand, and rush of electricity raced through my body at the caress.
“Believe me, t’hai’la,” she repeated, setting her finger briefly on my lips to quiet my protest before soundly kissing me senseless again.
Dazed, I came up for air, hoping and praying that this wasn’t a dream. I stared into her eyes, and I could see all those feelings she kept hidden from the galaxy clear as a bell, and shining brightly at the forefront was the one I had hoped and longed for so long to see: love. I finally managed to string together a coherent reply once my mind started working again. “I haven’t had a break all day from the repairs. Maybe we ought to continue this discussion somewhere else for an hour or so.”
A brief smile touched her lips, astounding me again, as she nodded in agreement. She took hold of my hand and led me away towards her quarters, where she did her utmost to convince me that I wasn‘t dreaming. And succeeded, I might add.”
Trip’s eyes had a faraway look in them as he recalled the very through way she’d convinced him during that brief hour that if this was a dream, it was one he never wanted to wake up from, but he was too much of a gentleman to record how she did that, even in his personal logs.
They’d managed about five hours later to finally get rid of the blasted Orion women on a settled planet, and the rest of the men in the crew all had been skulking about the ship afraid to look anyone else in the eyes (especially if they were female) after the way they’d been acting. Captain Archer had asked Trip earlier how he’d resisted them, but Trip had just told him that he’d been so busy with the repairs, he hadn’t even noticed them really. Trip was positive the Cap’n hadn’t believed him, but he was letting it go for now. Trip didn’t think the Cap’n had any reason to know about this bond between himself and T’Pol, at least not yet, not when they were still trying to get a handle on it themselves.
Trip glanced over to the bed where T’Pol lay sleeping and a smile spread across his face. “Computer, end log.” He stood, turning off the monitor as he did so, and walked back over to the bed, and slid under the covers next to her. T’Pol, sensing him near, snuggled up against his chest and let out a contented sigh. How I ever could have thought she didn’t want me, I don’t know. But I am never leaving her again. There was goin’ to have to be explanations later to the Cap’n, both of them actually, on why he wanted to come back to Enterprise, and if they had to explain about the bond, well, then they‘d cross that bridge when they got to it. But right now, there was only him and T’Pol, and that was enough. He hugged her close to himself, and drifted off to sleep with a smile across his face.
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