Disclaimer: Fan fiction is for fun, not for profit.
Title: Time Heals All Wounds
Author: Aeryn Alexander
Summary: Third in the "Time" series - sequel to "Time After Time". Quills Contest Entry. An encounter with a ship in distress gives Trip and T'Pol the opportunity to spend time together and help Doctor Phlox with ... a situation.
Rating: PG-13 (Language, Drama, Innuendo)
Genre: Romance/ Drama
Spoliers: Loaded with them.
Author's notes: see end of chapters.
Special note: Since this is the third in the series, read the other two first (please?): "In Good Time" and "Time After Time".


Time Heals All Wounds

Chapter One

A ship in distress

Captain Archer had been fast asleep when his comm panel beeped and the monotone voice of his Vulcan science officer informed him that they were picking up a very faint distress signal. Porthos whined in the dark as Archer crawled out of bed to answer her.

"Should we investigate, captain?" T'Pol questioned with a note of disguised disapproval in her voice.

"How far away?" he asked.

"We could intercept the vessel, which is traveling at impulse speed, in thirty-four minutes." she replied.

"Set course. I'm on my way to the bridge." he said. Jonathan Archer was never one to miss out on meeting new people and helping them, if possible, but he did wish that it was something he could do during regular business hours, so to speak, and not in the dead of night.

As Archer stepped onto the bridge, he glanced at his senior officers who had also obeyed the summons. Lieutenant Reed was working busily at the tactical station. A bleary-eyed Travis Mayweather sat at the helm, gazing straight ahead, but occasionally rubbing his eyes. Hoshi was listening intently with her ear piece in place, no doubt working on boosting the signal of the ship in distress. T'Pol was at her station, working tirelessly, with Commander Tucker standing just behind her, watching her with a smile while monitoring engineering from a nearby panel.

Those two had been through a lot together, Archer was forced to admit. Trip and T'Pol, not mention Doctor Phlox, had been yanked through time some weeks before, immediately after which the ship had been in danger from a hull breach. Archer could see how everything had happened. They had fallen in love. He could almost kick himself for his brief infatuation with the Sub-commander, who still tried to hide the fondness that she felt for the chief engineer, even when it was all too obvious. Commander Tucker had never been good at concealing his feelings. But still, as Captain Archer watched them, it baffled him that such an unlikely romance could blossom. Not that he disapproved. He had always wanted Trip, his best friend, to find that special someone and to find happiness. Archer could tell that for whatever reason, Trip had that chance with T'Pol.

"Captain." said Hoshi from her station, trying to get his attention, which had wandered.

"Hoshi." he acknowledged, sitting up a little straighter in his seat.

"This is really odd, but I'm almost positive that the language the signal is being sent in is Denobulan, sir." she said, squinting as she listened. "Yeah, I'm pretty sure."

"That should not be surprising, ensign. The Denobulans have been a space-faring race for some time." T'Pol informed her.

"What's it say, Hoshi?" inquired the captain.

"Just help, I think. It's an automated signal." she replied.

"Can we tell what's wrong?" asked Archer.

"The ship is traveling a sub-warp speed. That would indicate damage to their main engines or a related system." answered Trip, peering over at the readout at T'Pol's station.

"I concur." said Sub-commander T'Pol.

"Damage? As in an accident or ... trouble?" asked Archer.

"According to long range scanners, it appears that the vessel has been attacked." answered T'Pol.

"Yeah, an' it's a tiny ship too." added Trip.

"Well, if it's a Denobulan ship, we should probably have the doctor up here when we contact them." said the captain. "Hoshi, get Phlox."

The ship's chief medical officer stood unobtrusively near the rear of the bridge as the Enterprise dropped out of warp. If he was surprised to be meeting up with a Denobulan ship in that area of space, none of the bridge crew could tell by looking at him. As the image of a gray, rectangular ship filled the view screen, Phlox may have leaned forward slightly for a better view, but hardly more than that.

"Open hailing frequencies." ordered the captain. Hoshi nodded to indicate that she had done so. "This is Captain Jonathan Archer of the Enterprise. We picked up your distress signal sometime ago and wish to offer our assistance. What seems to be the problem?" he asked, although looking at the scorched and pitted hull of the small vessel, it was obvious that they had been fired upon and perhaps boarded.

"Thank you! I can't believe someone heard us! Thank you! We are most grateful." came a voice, a warbling tenor that was quite different from that of their resident Denobulan's voice, moments before visual contact was established.

Captain Archer had never met a Denobulan before he met Phlox. He had imagined that they, like the Vulcans, all looked rather alike. But this individual, dressed in a plain black tunic that reminded Archer of a uniform, was certainly thinner and much younger than their physician, but more surprisingly, his hair had a dark reddish, coppery hue to it and his facial ridges were more defined. His eyes were a translucent green, and his expression was haggard and worried though relief was present too.

"Az, is that really you?" asked Phlox, stepping forward. His astonishment was all too apparent.

The expression on the Denobulan's face quickly turned to loathing and he pressed a few keys on his communications panel before speaking. Only one person on the bridge fully understood his words as he yelled at Phlox in unconcealed rage.

"The universal translator is being blocked." said Hoshi, struggling to comprehend, but finding several keywords lacking in her vocabulary.

Phlox stood there silently before the verbal onslaught, clasping his hands behind his back. The screen went black when Az had finished speaking.

"I'm sorry, captain, but it seems that he would rather wait for another ship than see me. Perhaps if I left the bridge ..." suggested the doctor, stepping toward the lift.

"Wait a minute. Did you know him? I mean, come on, Phlox. What was that all about?" asked Captain Archer.

"Perhaps you recall that I have five children, captain, two of whom will not consent to speak with me. That was Az, the elder of the pair." said Phlox. "Now, if you will excuse me, captain ..."

"Of course." Archer agreed. As the lift doors closed, he turned toward Hoshi and asked, "What did he say to him?"

"I don't think Phlox has taught me to say things like that, sir. It wasn't very polite from what I could understand." she replied.

"Well, we have offered to help these people. I'm not going to withdraw the offer just because of a family feud. Get Az back on the screen." Archer ordered.

"Right." said Hoshi, pressing a few buttons.

Az appeared on the view screen again and seemed to relax when he saw that his father was no longer present.

"Captain, I apologize for cutting our earlier communication short, but it was impossible to talk with ... him there." said Az with a stubborn look in his eyes.

"I understand." said Archer, which was not entirely true. He couldn't understand what was wrong between the genial doctor and his son. "Now, how may we assist you?' he questioned.

"Our ship was attacked three weeks ago by an alien race unknown to us. The warp core of our vessel has been badly damaged ... meaning that we may never make it to our destination or ... return home. But that is not the worst of it. The other member of my crew, my brother Tish, has been injured ... He may be dying." Az informed him.

Archer's eyes widened in surprise, and he was momentarily grateful that Phlox wasn't on the bridge. He could only imagine the physician's reaction.

"I have engineers onboard that could probably do something for your engines, not to mention your hull, if necessary, but your ... but Phlox is the only fully qualified physician we have here." Archer told him.

"Then Tish will certainly die." said Az, looking down at his station with a defeated expression on his rather thin face.

"Look, that's just plain silly. Why not let Phlox save his life? You wouldn't really have to talk to him. And, besides, is it really worth somebody's, hell, your own brother's life, just to keep up some silly quarrel?" questioned Commander Tucker, unable to restrain himself.

"It would be worth it to Tish." answered Az, the stubborn gleam returning to his eye. "But I would still appreciate the other assistance you have offered. At least with our engines repaired I could return Tish to Denobula."

"Trip ..." said Captain Archer in a warning tone before the commander could speak again. "Fine, but you can always change your mind." he told Az.

"I will ... speak to Tish, and if he is able, he will tell me what he wishes, though he is often of the same mind as I am." answered Az.

Commander Tucker and Sub-commander T'Pol, knowing that they would be sent over to the damaged vessel in a short time, adjourned from the bridge to the mess hall. Trip seemed deep in thought as they sat down together at their usual table. T'Pol was becoming more and more keenly aware of his mood states as they grew closer to one another. She touched his hand lightly as he sighed.

"You are profoundly disturbed, Trip, although I do not completely understand why." she informed him, stirring her morning broth.

He raised his eyes and looked at her, reminding himself that she was Vulcan, not heartless, before answering, "It just kills me that that guy values his own pride over the well-being of his own brother. That's all." Trip paused and managed a little bit of a smile. "It ain't logical." he added.

"No, it is not logical." she agreed, taking the opportunity to correct his grammar.

"What do you think Phlox'll do when he finds out about his other son?"

"The doctor can be very persuasive. He is wise and possesses many skills that we do not often see in use. Perhaps he can change their minds."

"I hope you're right. For Phlox's sake and for that guy's sake too. I would hate to live with the fact that I'd helped kill my own brother by not letting him get proper medical treatment."

T'Pol considered what she knew of the human psyche for a moment and said, "Yes, I imagine so." But what of the Denobulan psyche? That was not a judgment that she wished to make.

"Ready to go then?" asked Trip, pushing away a plate of half eaten eggs.

"Of course. It has been many years since I have seen the interior of a Denobulan vessel. The opportunity should be somewhat instructive." she said.

"And how old were you when you saw your last Denobulan ship?" he asked, following her out of the mess.

"A number of years of younger than I am now." she replied coolly.

"You're never going to tell me your age, are you?"



A/N: This is going to be a plot/ subplot thing. I hope both are enjoyable. Please read and review.