Wow, I've been on a serious writing hiatus. Hope I can get my butt in gear for next week's ep... eep! don't hurt me!

Disclaimer: The usual. See now, if *I* owned Paramount... by golly, the T/Ters would rejoice.


"So... how often d'we get the chance to have nice quality time on the bridge?" Trip Tucker asked.

T'Pol raised an eyebrow at him from the captain's chair.

Trip shrugged. "Just curious. Seems like I'm always down in engineering tending our lil' warp core an' yer always up here doin' yer science officer thing."

Travis turned around and gave him a quizzical look. "What?" Trip said defensively. "I'm jus' tryna have a conversation with T'Pol."

"Does a one-sided ramble count as a conversation?" Hoshi asked from her station, not quite quietly enough.

"Hey!" Trip protested, while Travis snickered. "I'll have you know I'm a very entertaining conversationalis'."

"Entertaining in the sense of 'freak circus'," Travis muttered to Hoshi. T'Pol caught the comment and decided not to explain to Trip why Hoshi suddenly found her work extremely amusing.

"Anyways..." Trip turned back to T'Pol with a pointed look at Travis. "You ever get bored up here, Subcommander?"

"No," replied T'Pol in a dignified manner.

"How come? There can't be somethin' for you to do all the time," Trip pressed.

"Actually, Commander, there almost always is. My work on the bridge is not specialized. I am a science officer, and that post covers a wide range of duties," T'Pol said, resigning herself to the conversation.

"So you got more work to do?"

"Not more in the sense of a heavier workload, simply spread out over a greater variety of tasks," she explained.

"Ah." Trip studied the weapons display in front of him. "So you know how to work one a'these?"

T'Pol rose from her seat and went over to Trip, slipping into the seat beside him. Trip looked over her shoulder. "Yes," she said after a second. "I know enough to operate weapons, but I am not entirely familiar with the new protocols Lieutenant Reed has put into effect."

Trip rolled his eyes. "You heard that alarm of his yet?"

T'Pol looked back at him, wide blue eyes twinkling at her. "I have."

"I haven't," Travis piped up.

"Thank yer lucky stars for that, believe me, Travis." Trip winced.

"What do you mean, new protocols?" Hoshi wanted to know.

Trip looked to T'Pol, who turned to Hoshi. "The alert self-implements when we are entering a tactically dangerous situation," she said. "The weapons are automatically powered and the... alarm... is activated."

Hoshi nodded. "Like when the Klingons attack?"

Trip looked suddenly sober. T'Pol noticed his gaze shift to the planet on the viewscreen, where Archer was standing trial.

"Yes," she said.

She stood up and hesitated, watching Trip automatically take the seat and stare blankly ahead, no doubt worrying over the captain again. She knew there was nothing that could be done for the engineer when he was worried about someone, especially the captain.

T'Pol took her seat and wondered if that unquenchable human empathy would ever be directed at her.


Yikes! I wrote this... in about half an hour. Time for bed, now.

Thank you to my dedicated reviewers, especially Aratte, whom I love. :)