Disclaimer: I don't own Enterprise, Commander 'Trip', Archer, Malcolm, T'Pol, Vulcan's, the human race or anything else I have used in this part.

The title and parts of poem in this story are taken from Mlaa's "The Call Of Steel." A big thank you to my beta, "HopefulNebula" as always, and to "Mlaa" for being kind enough to let me borrow her poem.

It's been a long time coming, but this is is. This is the last part to a story that took me roughly a year to write. Thank you so much to everyone who stuck by it, even when I was hit by long periods of writers block.

The Call Of Steel.

Part 11:- Siren Song.

~ you think you know

but do you really?

are your friends ok?

or do they pretend?

"The Call of Steel" by Mlaa ~

Archer paused in the middle of the report he was reading and looked up. Someone had pressed the bell on his door, indicating that they wished to talk to him. They rang again, longer this time and slightly more insistent. However Archer hesitated, the events of the last month still foremost in his mind.

//Stop being so silly Jon.\\ he rebuked to himself. Even so he took a deep breath before calling out.

"Come in." The doors to his quarters opened and T'Pol walked in. Archer gave an inward smile, with T'Pol standing there his fears seemed silly and minuet.

"Yes Sub-Commander? How can I help you?" he asked. T'Pol gave an almost un-noticed pause before answering, her voice as emotionless as always and yet - Archer could have sworn that there was something different in her voice.

"The Vulcan ship carrying the Commander is approaching."

"Thank you T'Pol. Dismissed." he said. T'Pol turned to go. At the door she paused and slowly turned back.

"Captain." she said. Archer looked at her, a puzzled expression on his face.

"Yes T'Pol?" he asked, encouraging. "What is it?"

"I was wondering... what is going to happen to the Commander?" she asked, her voice slightly strained. Archer sighed at the question. After last mouth, Trip had returned to Earth with his dad's body to go to the funeral and to see his mum.

Starfleet had insisted that Trip see a psychologist and have a psychology evaluation to determine if he was fit enough to remain in Starfleet. The report about him had been sent to Archer and it was this report that Archer had been reading.

"I don't know Sub-Commander. Could you ask the Commander to come and see me when the ship docks?"

"Yes Captain."


Trip paused outside of the Captains Quarters and rubbed his eyes with his hand. Slowly he reached out and pressed the down on the small button by the door. Inside he could hear the buzzing, followed by;

"Come in." The doors slid open and Trip stood there, in the doorway, lingering between entering and exiting, unsure of what to do. Archer looked towards the door as it opened, to revel a uncertain Trip Tucker.

"Trip, good come in." he said, giving Trip a smile. Trip smiled faintly back and walked properly into the room, the door closing behind him, cutting off his escape route. He sat down on the edge of the nearest seat, looking ready to bolt at the first hint of trouble. Archer couldn't help but see that Trip looked slightly different than the last time he had seen him. It wasn't a single change that could be pointed out. Rather it was a collection of tiny changes that by themselves would be unimportant. He looked more at peace than he did before as if some of his demons had gone.

"How are you Trip?" he asked, acutely aware of a feeling of de'ja vu. Trip gave a slightly crooked smile and made a jerky gesture with his hand.

"I'm good." his hand jerked again, in an uncontrolled spasm.

"Well, not 'good', as in the hills are alive with the sound of music good, but I'm better. I'm... dealing." he added. Archer nodded.

"Good. That's good." he said, a shade too brightly. An uneasy silence settled on the two men like a heavy blanket. It was Archer, in the end, who broke it.

"How's your mum?" Trip looked startled for a moment before giving Archer the first true smile he had seen from him since he had showed up.

"She's very well. She said to tell you 'thanks'."

"Good." Archer said again. The uneasy silence descended on the two again, eager to claim it's victims. This time it was Trip who broke it.

"What's going to happen to me now?" he said. Archer's mouth opened and closed a few times, no sound coming out.

"Are you going to answer me or pretend to be a goldfish all day?" Trip joked, trying to mask the fear he felt. He fidgeted slightly as Archer shut his mouth.

"Starfleet... Starfleet only want the best there is." he began slowly. Trip's eyes hardened, before his head dropped down.

"I'll go and get my things then." he muttered, cutting of Archer.

"What are you doing?" Archer exclaimed, Trip shrugged his shoulders philosophically.

"Starfleet only want the best. After everything that's happened and after everything that has been found out, how can I be the best?" he said evenly.

"Trip... what happened between you and your dad was bad but it was in no way your fault. As for your... cutting, yes it was an idiotic thing to do and yes Starfleet are worried, but not about the ship, they'll worried about you."

"Me?" Trip said in surprise.

"Yes. Now I've had talks with Starfleet, talked to the psychologist you saw and as long as you agree to certain conditions they see no reason as why you can't remain on board the Enterprise." he finished, waiting for some kind of reaction from Trip.

Trip didn't know what to say or do. Every since he had left Enterprise he had been convinced that his time on Enterprise was over. Therefor on his way back to the Enterprise he had passed the time by mentally planning out his goodbyes and trying to adjust to the fact he would most likely never see them again. When he had planned his goodbyes to Malcolm, Phlox, Hoshi and Travis he had felt sad, upset and even a little angry at the thought of saying goodbye.

When he came to plan his goodbye to T'Pol he had felt a sharp, strange stab of pain in his chest. It surprised him that he should miss her with such intensity and not want to leave her. The strength of this un-named feeling shocked him, especially as his pervious feelings towards the female Vulcan had started off as mistrust then moved to a kind of respect. Trip didn't know how he felt about T'Pol know but he knew it was most diffidently not just respect.

"I... why?" Trip asked, though wither his question was about his feelings for T'Pol or why he was staying on Enterprise was impossible to tell. His puzzled eyes met Archer's jubilant ones.

"You'll the best Trip." was Archer's simple answer. Trip gave a smile, a warm fuzzy feeling filling his chest. Archer thought he was the best. Even after all that happened, even when his problem had been uncover and brought kicking and screaming into the light of day, Jon Archer still wanted to be friends with him.

"You'll the best." Archer repeated.

"The light was so bright. I thought I was already out." he murmured with a far away look, his eyes fixed on a spot to the right of Archer's head yet it was clear he was not seeing the wall. He seemed to be looking inward at something only he could see.


"Just something someone once said to me. About being in a dark tunnel and feeling so lost then seeing some light... you know what Cap'n? I can see it at last. The light I mean..." he trailed off, at a loss to explain in words what he meant. This time however the silence that descended on the two wasn't uncomfortable at all. It was an easy quiet, the friendship between the two men healing already.

"What conditions?" Trip asked, his mind going over everything Archer had said.

"Ah. You have to visit Phlox every day for a check up... to make sure..." Archer stopped, looking at Trip as if he was glass and would brake at what he said next.

"I haven't fallen back into old habits?" Trip finished for him. He gave a yawn, rolling his head on his shoulders.

"Fair enough. Anything else?"

"Yes." Archer hesitated again, he didn't want to include this condition but Starfleet had overruled him. They had said it was something Trip needed to do.

"No one on the ship knows the full story of what happened to you excluding myself, Dr. Phlox and of course Malcolm. T'Pol knows a little, but not much, as does Hoshi. Starfleet want... they want you to talk to someone in your own words about what happened. Someone who doesn't know the whole story."

"They want me to tell a friend, to get me to admit it." Trip said, his mind already working out what Archer was getting at. Instead of the rage followed by the fear - the response he expected to feel Trip only felt warmth, a feeling that increased at the thought of spending time with T'Pol.


Malcolm would be okay. Already the memories had begun to fade. The human mind was not designed to cope with the experiences of more than one person and the images, thoughts and memories of Charles Sr were slowly but surly being pushed out.

Soon the dreams would stop completely, the one's that made Malcolm scream. Soon everything that had happened would be as if he had read it in a book.

Malcolm was going to be okay.


It was funny mused Trip, some time later after he had left Archer, that T'Pol was the first one who had come to mind. It wasn't even that, he had just automatically chosen T'Pol as the one to tell. There had never been any choice in his mind and he wondered if he would have deiced to tell her even if he had a choice.

Somehow he thought he would.

He smiled, imaging the dinner he was going to prepare for T'Pol before telling her. It would vegetarian, with Pecan Pie for dessert. That was assuming of course, that T'Pol said yes to the dinner date for that's what is was really. For some reason Trip knew she would accept his invitation.

He crossed the floor to his bathroom and pulled out a razor. He stared at it, an odd smile on his face before letting it fall to the bin on the floor. He didn't think he was going to need that anymore. Trip moved over to the sink and began to wash his face, thinking of the evening ahead with T'Pol. Life wasn't perfect for the blonde engineer but it was okay.

In the bin, the razor glittered, it's call of steel forever silenced.

~The End~

There you have it. The end. Was it any good? Overall thoughts?

Thank you so much for reading.