Title: The Needs Of The Many

Author: nostalgia

Rated: R

Categories/Warnings: Het. (A/T'P.) Excessively angsty. One line of implied slashiness. One very bad word. Some 'Touching'.

Summary: He loves her, she can't love him.

Disclaim: This is entirely the fault of ENT's rightful owners for messing up their own angst. Grr.

A date, as I fear I my be Jossed: November 2002

Author's Random Shit: "There's nothing nice in my head," is there? Beta'd by Primal Power and kbk. As a gift to Lilla, the Captain of the Robeson is played by Kate Mulgrew.


She thinks it makes him calmer. She's convinced that it "eases his tension." There is enough tension, she says, attached to his position. He doesn't need any more.

Her first concern, he knows, is the safety of the crew. The safety of the crew and the mental well-being of the captain are inextricably linked. A truth, self-evident. He knows the statistics.

T'Pol is not human, but she knows how humans think. She would never take a posting she hadn't researched.

T'Pol wants him to be happy. Or at least, not actively distracted.

So occasionally, when there's time and she feels benevolent, his First Officer fucks him.

He always shakes his head, half-hearted, and makes some excuse about duty. But then he is on her and in her and doesn't have to think.

It might make him calmer. He doesn't know.

He loves her, of course, which complicates things. He has loved her since...when? It makes no difference whatsoever, it will always be unrequited.

In his fantasies, he can make her love him. He can make her *feel.* He controls the narrative, can make her act out of character.

In the real world, he relies on her benevolence.

She is scientific detachment, female and defined. She is passive and impassive, minimalist and restrained. He wishes he could tell if she liked it. Then, in his own mind at least, it would be beautiful and honest.

*Say you like it, so I can continue. Say you don't, so I can stop.*

Sometimes he tries not to think of her. Sometimes her skin is Hoshi's, her mouth is Trip's. He wonders who she thinks of. (*Captain, my Captain.*)

He remembers laughing, long ago, when the pain held someone else. (*So he didn't always love her. Why doesn't that help?*) And he used the words "She's *Vulcan*," and that was reason enough. Something happened, later, to make him want her. She must have said something, or done something.

It can't be lust. He is more than that.

He doesn't want to feel this way if it's only lust.

What he does want, above anything else, is very simple. He wants to know if she cares. About him, about herself, about anything.

"All the best captains are celibate." Which was said (hypocritically) by his CO when he was First Officer on the *Robeson*. She'd lectured him for fifteen minutes about the ethics of sex on a starship. She said it was too complicated. She said it messed with morale. (Which meant, simply, that she didn't want him anymore.)

He'd been taught, harshly, the difference between *bridge* and *bed*.

T'Pol has different ideas about protocol. She expects him to grovel to diplomats if his dog pisses on a tree, but physical intimacy is perfectly alright.

Probably because she doesn't care.

She throws him a stick to keep him amused, lets him touch her because it doesn't, in her mind, matter. She feels nothing for him.

And it can't make her think any less of him. She sees him weak and human every minute of every day. She has grown used to his arrogance and his pride. She thinks, he reacts.

How could she possibly think any less of him?

He hates himself. He lies beside her, skin and sweat. He is *human*, said with a sneer.

"I'm pathetic," he says.

"You're human."

And he knows. He knows.