TITLE: The Clearest Indication
AUTHOR: stub, with a beta from Alcott
CODE: A, Tu
DISCLAIMER: I own the poem. It's MINE! However, Paramount owns all the Star
Trek stuff. I have no control over these characters. They just run amok on
my keyboard and this is what they do.
SUMMARY: Archer does some soul-searching while reflecting on the past year.
NOTES: My partner in crime, Joe, was on vacation when this was written. So
I'll have to take the blame for it alone. I was supposed to be working on a
sequel to "Harbinger" but this is what popped out instead. (Oh, and my
apologies to the poem formatting...stupid ff.n..it's not supposed to be
double spaced, but it's the only way I can get to come out as a passable
Flotsam and jetsam drifting
Together in the open sea
Bonded by an unseen force
Creeping with the tidal pulls
Drawing us near the shore,
You cling secure to your rock.
I remember when we first started this mission, both of us were so excited
we were like two little kids. You were always at my side during final
inspections, ready to be my second in command. And there was no one else I
wanted for that job. I've known you for years and easily consider you my
best friend. It seemed only natural to have you as my Number One on
The Vulcans had to go and stick their noses in, though. You never got the
chance to be what I wanted you to be. She had to take your place. To your
credit, you never made a fuss. Though I certainly did. Many times. I acted
like a spoiled brat, distrustful and mean to her. As much as you fought
with her, you also got along with her. You were able to get over the
arguments with her quickly enough and see past her little Vulcan
idiosyncrasies. You seemed to take it in stride, one day at a time. I
envied you for that, my friend, more than you'll ever know.
You almost killed her in that cave. At the time I was tempted to let you do
your own thing. The devil on my shoulder wished you had burned a hole
through her, ridding us of her presence. I didn't harbor that thought for
long, mind you, but I did think it. Then the good doctor advised me neither
of you was operating at a full mental capacity and I had to talk you out of
it. You came through that ordeal unscathed...physically, anyway. I think
maybe both your egos were a bit bruised. It seemed to bridge a gap, though.
You both seemed a bit more patient with each other, each more willing to
listen to the other. That was my first taste of this jealousy.
When you got "pregnant" I tried not to rib you too much, no pun intended.
But then she came right out with the teasing. At least I thought it was
teasing. Maybe she was a bit jealous herself. It's hard to say.
The yearning sea pulls me back
Out to the expanse of loneliness
Floating helpless I ache to find
More discarded members
Hoping the moon will draw me in
To my waiting rock.
I was able to tune out the bickering at the dinner table every night. But
it was the smoldering, icy glares that I couldn't ignore. The way you'd
insult her and she'd give it right back. The many times you'd look her up
and down. She returned those looks, whether you realized it or not. She
did. I saw them all...well, the ones given in my presence. Obviously I
can't say what goes on between you, if anything, when I'm not around.
I saw the look in your eyes when you realized that transmission she
received wasn't spy material, but highly personal. I know you well, and I
know you felt sick about whatever that letter said. But I also know that
whatever transpired between you two because of that letter was the
Beginning. I saw the look in her eyes that day on the bridge, when she
silently thanked you. More importantly, I saw the look in *your* eyes when
she did. I don't know what was said or even what that entire situation was
about, but whatever it was made a huge impact on the both of you.
Ever since that day I've noticed a change in your behavior; a bounce in
your step, a twinkle in your eye. Your face would light up the room when
she walked in. The glares at the dinner table turned into gazes, though I'm
sure neither of you would admit it, to this day. I noticed the lingering
glances you exchanged when you spent time on the bridge with us, how close
the two of you would stand together. I noticed these things.
I hated letting you work together, but I knew you worked together very
well. I found myself getting more distracted by this green-eyed monster
invading my soul. I thought I was losing my best friend to a Vulcan. It
even impaired my judgment for a while.
When we hooked up with those renegade Vulcans, I ordered her to work with
them. I was testing you that day I came down to Engineering and asked about
her. You didn't even seem fazed that she was spending time with him. You
even accused me of being jealous. And I was, but not for the reason you
thought. I was jealous for *you.* You should have been the one questioning
her time spent with him. But you didn't. You trusted her even then,
although you didn't have a clue about how you felt.
I tried looking at the world through your eyes. I've tried to view her as a
challenge to overcome, maybe crack that shield she has around her. To my
knowledge, you're the only human on board to have succeeded. Perhaps I've
put a chink in her armor, but that's about it. Maybe it's my own authority
that prevents me from accomplishing this where you have succeeded.
Whatever the case, I've been better able to concentrate now, accepting the
fact that you've found some happiness. I never would have expected it to be
with a Vulcan, but what the hell? Who am I to judge? At least you have
someone. Granted, I have Porthos, but that's just not the same.
I wish I could talk to you in person about this. We rarely get the chance
to be the buddies we were back on Earth. I'd love to bring this subject up
over a beer but Hell, you don't even know how you feel about her. I'm half
tempted to tell you, but that would suck all the air out of your little
balloon. One day you'll read this and ask how I could possibly have known,
even when you didn't...and she didn't either. I remember one evening at
dinner with a trader named D'Marr. He offered some silk in exchange for a
Quite out of the blue you turned to her and said, "I bet you'd look good in
Traixian silk." I remember quite vividly the thinly-veiled way you were
leering, her eyebrow raised in curiosity. I have no doubt that if I hadn't
spoken up then you two would have stared each other down all night.
I long for the days when the sea
Allows me to drift past you,
Hoping you don't lose the grip
And get sucked back to the
Empty, murky waters,
Drifting alone with me again
Among the flotsam and jetsam.
I tried to get some of that old Trip Tucker back when I asked you to go to
the desert with me. If I had known what kind of disaster that would be I
never would have asked you. I obviously couldn't have known what lay ahead
of us. All I know is that I had to beg you to spend time with your best
friend. I felt like a child, but I was desperate. God, I'm sorry about
that. I'm sorry I ever talked you into that. Lesson learned, my friend. I
should have listened to your protests, but I was too selfish. I should be
able to find other ways to spend time with you without nearly causing your
death. Maybe I just didn't want to hear it, that maybe you wanted to spend
more time with her.
Maybe it's just been so long since I've felt that way about anyone. I
forget how consuming it can be. You'll always be my friend, assuming I can
let you live your life and not interfere. I'm not saying I disapprove of
your attraction. Hell, I'm not even sure that's what's on your mind. But I
know you. You want her and from what I can see, she wants you too. Now that
I can accept this is what's going on, it's kind of fun to watch. It took me
a while, and almost at a very high price, but I've accepted it.
My point here is this: I hope that one day I can find someone that will
make me lose my head the way she makes you lose yours. Maybe that will
happen after this mission is complete, or maybe after I screw it up so
badly they'll make me return to Earth. For now though, I'll settle for my
love affair with Enterprise and live vicariously through my very distracted