The harsh lights of sickbay were what first assaulted his eyes as he cautiously blinked them open. With a groan, he tried to move his head to the side, but was instead met with the sensation of blinding pain. A small yelp escaped Trip Tucker's lips as he tried to somehow assuage his eyes from the bright lights of the infirmary.

Finally, something blocked out the light. He sighed to himself in relief, then focused his eyes onto the object in question. Smiling Denobulan eyes greeted his sight.

"Hey Doc." he mumbled, realized that his throat was slightly raw. "Wh-what am I doing here?"

For just a second, he thought he saw Phlox's smile falter, but he shook his head and thought that he had imagined it.

"What's the last thing you remember, Commander?" asked the doctor gently.

Pausing a moment, the young commander racked his brain trying to think of it. "Uh, well, the Terisians were attacking, and the Cap'n was asking me for more power. The port nacelle started to fluctuate and..." His face went blank. "That's the last thing I remember."

"That was two days ago, Commander." stated the doctor softly. "You've been asleep for the past 22 hours."

Charles Tucker shot him an incredulous look. "What ha-happened to me?"

Phlox sighed. "The plasma conduits near you exploded while you were performing repairs; you have second degree burns to forty percent of your body and a mild concussion. The concussion should be better within the week, but your skin and underlying tissue is severely injured. You'll have to be off duty for at least four weeks."

The other man's eyes widened in shock. "But, it's just burns, right? So why's it gonna take so long to heal?"

"Plasma burns are a strange occurrence. They are different from other burns in many ways, and they usually are much more severe. Your outer limbs will be fine in time, but they need time to heal properly."

Trip's mouth opened a few times, as if he was trying to say something, but nothing came out. Finally, after a few moments, he looked right into Phlox's ice blue eyes. "What am I gonna look like after this?"

Phlox sighed. "There will be some scarring, but I can minimize that with some plastic surgery afterwards. What I am most concerned about is your mental healing."

"I'm not crazy, doctor."

"No, you're not. But with the added stress of being cooped up for a month and the residual stress from the Xindi attack on Earth, I am concerned. T'Pol has be helping you with neuro-pressure, has she not?"

A strange emotion flickered across Trip's eyes before he answered. "Yes, she has."

"I will ask her to keep helping you through this, too. Hopefully she won't mind."

The doctor turned to Trip's monitor, and noticing a sharp peak in his heart rate, ordered the commander to get some sleep. "We'll talk about this more in the morning." he reassured the younger man.

Trip felt his eyes get heavy with the burden of sleep, and he closed them to strange dreams of a beautiful woman with pointed ears.