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It was like a train wreck; T'Pol couldn't bring herself to look away but she also could not stop the rising bile deep with in her throat. She felt helpless as the two obvious lovers showered each other with public displays of affection.

A peck on the cheek here, a caress there, even a subtle grope when they thought no one was looking. She found it most disgraceful

and for some reason..

most puzzling.

Around her the world continued forward as it always had. The huge "Welcome Home" party that had been organized was still in full swing, with confetti and balloons falling from the ceiling of the gymnasium at Starfleet headquarters like some kind of surreal snow fall. The lights had been dimmed to a suitable party level and pulsing music echoed against the walls, urging people to their feet to dance. But T'Pol did not heed its call. Nor did she heed the call of her empty stomach as it begged her to feed on some of the vegetarian buffet set up for the Vulcan's in attendance.

She only sat and watched Commander Tucker and his old girlfriend, Natalie, embracing in the shadows. Reuniting after being apart in many senses of the word.

T'Pol felt sick and she couldn't explain why.

Because every time the happy couple leaned into a kiss, something inside of her that was raw and cruel snapped and snarled at them like an animal on a leash. There was a beast inside of her, a monster that seemed to well up in fury every time it saw the aberration before her.

'Aberration'? T'Pol found herself shocked by her own inner monologue. Where were these conclusions coming from? She had never met this 'Natalie' before tonight and Commander Tucker was a grown man who was free to pursue his own romantic relationships with whoever he decide was most worthy of his attentions. So in what way was his attachment to this young woman an aberration? It wasn't as though she wished to replace her. She had no romantic feelings for anyone, especially Commander Tucker. Such an attachment was both illogical and distracting to her normal functions.

But what was the most disturbing about these new feelings was how familiar they were, how they seemed to inexorably tied to Commander Tucker. She had them long before tonight, long before they returned to Earth. But she had never felt them before arriving at the Enterprise and never anywhere but in his presence.

Before tonight it had been small short moments, flashes of something deep inside her psyche.

Like with Ahlenn.

The emotions scowled and a quiet voice from the depths of her mind seemed to hiss in her ear, You should have snapped that little scaly bitch's neck when you had the chance!

T'Pol's brow furrowed for a moment at that stray thought. If anything was an aberration it was that. Naturally, she had not been pleased by Ahlenn's actions since it had put them all in an awkward and dangerous position, but that did not mean she wished the woman any physical mistreatment. She had not been aware of the effects of her coupling with the Commander. Nor was she completely responsible.

Perhaps if Mr. Tucker had shown more restraint in his actions then there would have been no pregnancy to begin with.

And perhaps if he had kept his hands off that reptilian tramp then mayb-

T'Pol forced the voice back down into her subconscious again.

That was an incorrect assessment of the situation. Commander Tucker was not guilty of such an indiscretion.

Then what about Liana? What about her? She was barely on the ship for a few hours and he started making eyes at her from minute one!

*It is none of our concern.* She chastised the voice silently, paying no attention the fact that she was having now an argument with an imaginary voice.

Of course it's our concern! Everything he does is our concern!

*That is an inaccurate and illogical statement that is without any merit to- *

The voice laughed at her tauntingly, T'Pol, when are you going to admit that you love him? That you want him?

She was shocked.

Was this how she felt? Was this voice a hidden part her trying to get out?

She didn't hesitate to ignore the words. She began focusing her concentration on washing them from even the slightest level of consideration.

Obviously she had not been meditating enough lately and now her mind was hallucinating imaginary feelings towards a random member of the crew. These thoughts were the product of a weary brain that was all.

But that theory did not explain why the voice was still there.

Look at them T'Pol. Look at HER! She's just going to break his heart again, like last time.

*That is none of my concern. The Commander is not my responsibility.*

The voice seemed to become desperate, urging her to admit what she didn't feel. They're holding hands; you remember when he held your hand?

T'Pol swallowed sharply as the memory began playing in her head. She did remember.

Two years ago, on Risa.

You do remember, don't you? the voice whispered delicately and T'Pol began to feel a growing pressure in the back of her head. The Doctor ordered you to go on vacation and Trip took you on a tour of all the local museums so you didn't get too bored. Then he walked you back to your cabin and held your hand in the moonlight for a split second. Didn't that feel wonderful?

She became concerned when she realized that the voice was correct. It was a most pleasing memory.

Admit it. You want him.

That was most certainly an untrue statement. She merely valued Mr. Tucker's friendship.

Not that she found him unattractive.

Commander Tucker was a fine specimen of a human being. Strong, broad shoulders and a smooth, muscular chest. Her hands still remembered the paths it traveled on that skin five years ago in the Decon chamber and how wonderful it felt to touch him. She did not understand how a human male was capable of having skin that soft.

But that didn't mean she was in love with him.

She certainly cared a great deal about his welfare. But there was nothing romantic about their relationship.

Not that he was undesirable.

She had noticed how passionate he was almost in the first moment the met. He had a certain fiery quality about him that could only exist in the best of beings. His emotions didn't just define him, they fueled him. And despite all the Vulcan indoctrination inside of her insisting other wise, T'Pol could not help but admire him for it.

But that did not mean she loved him.

In fact there were many things about Commander Tucker she disliked.

Like his choice of females.

T'Pol stared harder across the room at the happy couple, as though to will them to stop their disgusting display. Her eyes revaluated Natalie and once again found her to be lacking. To begin with, she had an air of complete stupidity about her that T'Pol found most disturbing. Where all human females so very


Ensign Santo was certainly not this foolish, so what was her excuse?

She made a fist to control the urge to scream and lose control completely. What did he see in her?

Why should a man so capable and promising willingly return to a woman that had no appreciation for him? She had broken his heart once, what was going to stop her from doing it again?

Commander Tucker deserved far better then some frail, human girl with no knowledge of the universe at large. He required a relationship with intelligence and exploration; an understanding spouse that could both keep him grounded and feed his intense curiosity. He certainly could never experience these things with some cultureless human peasant.

She felt her fist tighten when the subconscious voice returned to rasp in her ear.

She has nothing for him.

Nothing of any worth, T'Pol completed silently, nothing that has any value. When is he going to see that? How much longer must I wait?

If she had been in complete control of herself then perhaps that admission would have shocked her, but instead it only brought more unexpressed anger. Her fist tightened once again and she felt a sharp sting of pain emanating from within the closed palm.

Looking down with still rage filled eyes, She saw blood slowly oozing from between the cracks of her fingers.

Green blood.

How appropriate, she sneered internally before doing her best to NOT storm from the room.

The End