"When I Was Fourteen"
Disclaimer: None of itís mine. Iím just a sad little fangirl that spends her days writing fanfic and watching taped episodes of her favorite shows :(
Description: A day Lorian would never forget.
Author's Note: What can I say, I have some kind of fascination with the episode 'E2'. I'm not sure what about it really gave my Muse a kick in the ass, but it has done that all the same and I find myself, again and again, writing E2 fics.
If his mother knew he wasn't in their quarters she would 'have his hide' as his father would say, so Lorian pressed his body into a corner at a corridor junction and kept absolutely still, perfectly quiet. He truly doubted, in the commotion, that anyone would notice him even if he'd been jumping up and down naked in the middle of the hall with a fully-charged phase pistol in hand. There was a frantic, harried atmosphere to the ship. The kind of tension that arose only from tragedy. Lorian had seen it enough on Enterprise to know it well.
He could just barely see the doors to sickbay from where he hid. His eyes were riveted on the doors, and every time they opened he caught his breath and waited anxiously. He'd been standing vigil, watching, for three hours and still no sign of his mother or father.
No one had told him exactly what had happened. All he knew was that Enterprise had been docked at a hobbled-together flotilla of ships that served as a trade station for local space-faring species. Lorian remembered leaning against a window with his dad and looking out at the shoddy station, father and son commenting on how the engineers of the station could improve the shamble of a space dock. Lorian had said that the first thing the space station engineers should do was thank their gods that in space they didn't have to contend with gravity. Trip had laughed and ruffled Lorian's hair.
Lorian, from his hiding place in the corridor, reached up and absently brushed down his hair at the memory. He could almost feel the touch of his father's hand and hear his laughter. It was the last time alone Lorian had had with his father before things got crazy.
Archer wanted to take a team over the station to negotiate for parts and supplies and Trip and T'Pol had been on the team that went with their captain. Lorian wanted to go but he'd been ordered to stay on Enterprise. Lorian couldn't wait until he was older and the captain would start including him on away missions. He wanted to work side by side with his mother and father on missions like a true member of the crew.
But he was only fourteen and so he had to stay behind.
He didn't know what had happened. He was in the mess hall with Captain Archer's son studying warp mechanics when the tactical alert went up and things started to get confusing. Crewmen were rushing around and shouting and through a view port Lorian watched Enterprise break from the station and veer away at maximum impulse.
Something had happened on the station, he knew it, and it was something bad. He had to find his parents.
Lorian checked his parents' quarters, the captain's ready room, then he headed toward sickbay.
Reed intercepted him before he could get inside. There was obviously a lot of activity in the medical facility. Reed was disheveled and a gash on his forehead stained his face with blood but he was beyond the doctor's concern and that meant something very bad.
Reed had stopped Lorian before he could get into sickbay. "You need to stay out of the doctor's way, Lorian," the human officer said wearily.
"What's happened? Who is it? My mother and father?"
Reed only shook his head; he was distracted, or concussed. "Go back to your parents' quarters," Reed said, and the young hybrid child recognized an order when he heard one and he'd been taught his whole life to obey the senior officers on Enterprise.
But he couldn't today. He'd nodded at Malcolm and he thought 'a Vulcan wouldn't lie, but then I'm not completely Vulcan,' but in his state the tactical officer was not observant enough to think Lorian would do anything but what he was told. Reed nodded, gave Lorian a strange pat on the arm, then hurried for the turbo lift... no doubt to head to the bridge and resume his post.
Lorian had backed off, found his corner, and he waited. He hadn't seen either of his parents and he was worried. He was scared. He was just enough human to admit feeling both emotions to himself.
Seconds and minutes stretched and contorted until they enveloped the whole of his life. His entire existence was spent standing there hiding and waiting and hoping and dreading.
The sickbay doors opened again and Lorian froze and strained to see but it was only Niki Mayweather. The young woman looked as haggard as Reed but at least her face was clean... her uniform was torn and she was sporting bandages and a limp. She shuffled slowly out of the medical bay and toward the turbo lift, not once lifting her head to look at where she was going.
Lorian knew the signs of grief and loss and his heart began to race, speeding from the medial tempo between his father's cardiac rate and his mother's that was normal for him to match a Vulcan's fluttering pulse rate.
The air of frenzy had simmered to dark, ominous expectation. Lorian felt like he was going mad waiting with no word, no idea, nothing but the foreboding knowledge he had yet to see his mom and dad.
His world distilled to the sound of his heart pounding in his ears, the rasp of too-difficult intakes of air, and the impossibly still doors to sickbay.
The doors to the medical facility opened with a hiss almost ear-splitting in the heightened silence, and Lorian stiffened and watched.
He saw his mother step out of the room and Lorian knew immediately something was wrong. He'd never seen her stance so uncertain or her steps falter and drag as they did at that surreal moment.
Lorian tried to swallow past his dry mouth but his throat was blocked by the lump in his throat as he watched his mother.
For a second T'Pol stood stone-still a mere pace before the sickbay doors. Her head was down-turned, her eyes on the floor, hands at her sides like the pose of a marble statue.
Lorian stared at her and his vision narrowed until his mother was all he could see.
T'Pol didn't move, it seemed an hour before she so much as blinked, and then she slowly, slowly, turned and began an unsteady walk down the corridor. She was headed straight toward Lorian's tucked position... but the boy couldn't stir to notice she might discover him. His eyes were transfixed in horror and terror on his mother.
There was blood on her clothes. Large patches of red blood staining her pale blue one-piece. And there was blood was on her hands, streaking her fingers with bright red blood... red human blood.
T'Pol was within feet of Lorian's paltry hiding place but the young man didn't notice and T'Pol didn't either. She passed by him, unaware of the eyes on her, and Lorian felt a tremor start to shudder deep inside his bones. He knew it wasn't the ship shaking.
T'Pol moved slowly, vacantly, toward the turbo lift, walked past, then slowed and stopped at the juncture of an intersecting corridor. She stood a long moment and Lorian watched. He just watched.
T'Pol leaned back slowly against the wall until, after a long minute, she was sagging against the bulkhead. Lorian could see her face, pale and drawn, and her eyes, glazed and catatonic.
T'Pol slowly brought her arms up and crossed them over herself, hugged herself in a human gesture Lorian had never seen his mother adopt. She unknowingly painted her arms with fingerprints of blood.
T'Pol's eyes shifted to stare, unfocused, at a point a little to the right, then the left, then she looked upward and Lorian's world stopped.
He could see moisture glisten in his mother's eyes.
Lorian would have startled at the gentle voice so near if his body wasn't numb. As it was he only turned dumb eyes to the person standing right beside him. Captain Archer. Dirty and pale and tattered from a fight.
Captain Archer's face was grim and raw with sorrow and Lorian had seen that before, too... but never so powerful. It made his senses spin. Archer's best friends were Lorian's parents.
Archer didn't say anything, just considered the boy before him, and Lorian couldn't stop staring at Archer and waiting for him to tell him everything was going to be okay. That it was serious but not that.
That reassurance never came. Lorian began to fully comprehend that it never would.
"I'm sorry, son," Archer said lowly, his voice hoarse and thick, and Lorian couldn't move a muscle. His muscles froze and his voice shut down and he could only observe, watch a twisted horror movie (like the ones his father liked) unfurl around him.
Archer frowned and he looked away and Lorian gaped in dumb shock as a tear slid down Archer's face. The captain blindly placed a hand on Lorian's shoulder but the boy didn't feel it. He was disconnected, no longer a part of his own reality, in a different universe. He was in a dream, sleeping soundly and he'd wake up and his parents would both be fine. They would be, they had to be.
Archer turned and quietly made his way in the other direction and Lorian was left alone. His eyes went back to his mother and she was unmoved from last he'd seen her. Still broken and thread-bare and blood-stained, hugging herself and letting the ship hold her up while she fought bitterly human displays of emotion.
Lorian didn't feel himself sinking, didn't know he was falling, until the floor came up to meet him and he was sitting in a graceless sprawl on the deck.
His mother slowly closed her eyes and her hands around herself tightened.
And Lorian surrendered to the shaking and he surrendered to the tears that his mother could never completely understand. He had the part of him he got from his father to credit his unwanted understanding and his ability to weep.
He was overcome and struck down as it hit him.
His father was gone. His dad was dead. Lorian was, from that moment on, without a father.
The nearly mystical promise of some distant, fateful day in the future, an impossible meeting of past, future, and present, was little comfort to a fourteen-year-old Vulcan/human hybrid boy.