A Woman in His Life

A T/T moment

By Penmom

Author's Notes - This is my first try at this couple - usually I'm a Buffy girl. I love feedback, if you want more let me know!

He stands looking at the closed door with hesitation and more than a little trepidation.

It seems like a lifetime since he stood here last.

Stood here last---- the memory of finding her like that. When he lifted her into his arms, she weighed no more than a child. Despite her height, her frame is petite. She usually holds herself so rigidly, so stoically that she seems bigger - an easy match for his six foot two inches. But unconscious, she seemed so much smaller, so very vulnerable.

Seeing her like that - as a woman, simply a defenseless woman - struck a cord within him that resonated still. Just like Lizzie. Once his brain made the connection, there was no going back. Just like Lizzie - a woman in his life.

When had she become that - a woman in his life? And like Lizzie, she too could be vulnerable - gone in an instant, struck down by this new, horrible foe.

His connection with her had eased the bleakness of his grief. And now - and now, this.

He tried to put it together for himself like one would think about a reaction in physics. He was alone and in such terrible pain. He had never known anything like it before. Hell, he felt worse than dead - would have rather been dead except for the fact that he needed to be alive to seek revenge. And he would get revenge.

Then Phlox had passed him off to T'Pol. That first visit was now a blur. He remembered that he felt better afterwards - kind of embarrassed by the whole thing but better. She was so nonchalant about the whole thing that he had pretty much gotten over being embarrassed.

He hated to admit it but he had begun to actually look forward to their little sessions. Despite her aloofness, she had this way of focusing on you like a laser beam. She made you feel like she was listening to you even when you didn't realize you were talking. Somehow, the words he used to describe her had changed. Now she was delicate, vulnerable, and rare.

OK, Trip, he thinks to himself - man grieves, man wants revenge, man needs to sleep as not to self-destruct so he can get said revenge hence he comes to the woman. Woman helps man with the sleep thing and in turn with the grief thing. Man can finally string a sentence together, man is --- is what? Grateful to the woman, indebted? What? This is where the equation gets sticky.

When Malcolm had said something to him about spotting him coming out of T'Pol's quarters - he had pretty much decided that he was going to back off. That this kind of talk would be unseemly to her but that decision had been a lifetime ago. Before her comment that what they did was not anyone's concern, before she had made plans with him even after working on that damned alloy for hours on end and before he found her on the floor of her quarters hardly breathing.

Taking a deep breath, he pushes the comm button.