A/N: This is me, expressing some dissatisfaction with the episode "Bound" (and no, it's not because I'm an Archer/T'Pol fan shudders or anything). I just…well, okay, when Trip said "That thing between you and me isn't that big a deal" I flipped, mainly because the line struck me as ambiguous (because I'm paranoid, especially upon finding out that the number one fan fav episode was an ARCHER/T'POL one). Not that he hadn't goaded her into kissing him first. Heh. Anyway, I'm starting with the one part I had a real complaint with: when T'Pol tells Trip about the bond. And I'm changing it from there.
This is my first attempt at an Enterprise fanfic. I have a real pet peeve about keeping T'Pol in character, so if you sense anything absurd, please tell me. And if you're a Trip/T'Pol fan, for goodness sake, write something! We need more stuff on here!
Spoilers: Um…Bound and everything before it. and the teaser for this week's episode.
C2 or whatever: Sure. There needs to be more T/T'P stuff archived.
I also CANNOT believe they're actually going with the child plot device on the TV show. I was so sure they wouldn't…so now I have a week to finish this! Ag…oh, well.
Disclaimer: So, a few of the opening lines come from the episode, but the rest is my imagination. Any misplaced/inaccurate details concerning the episode or Star Trek tech in general are the fault of my memory. I am not affiliated with Paramount, and I'm certainly not making any money off this. Though I should, because they should pay the fans for taking Enterprise off the air. I know I'm going to have to talk about a psychiatrist about withdrawal. :-)
"That's the third altercation this hour," Trip said, throwing his arms into the air. "And I can't figure out why I'm not affected."
T'Pol said nothing, though she was weighing her next words carefully. This could be the only opportunity she had to discuss the…daydreams…with the Commander before he went back to Columbia. But he had said he had not had any daydreams about her. Then again, his facial expression had been, from experience, one designed to annoy her—a petty trick, at best. It often meant he was concealing the truth, or acting obstinate simply to frustrate her.
She had not seen it in some time. T'Pol supposed it meant he was feeling comfortable around her again. The rest of his actions showed he had toned down his emotions to a purely professional level.
Which, if they were bonded, was not necessarily a good thing.
"Phlox wanted to run some tests on me," he continued, "but I haven't had time to poke my head in Sickbay, much less sit down for diagnostics. Damn Kelby…"
The last bit seemed to be him talking aloud to himself, so T'Pol again kept her words to herself. She completed her scan and handed him the datapad before moving to monitor the warpfield again. He glanced at the results before tossing it to the side and wandering over to look at the fuel injectors. This brought him closer to her: the air outside her body was now warmer. More like the air on Vulcan.
She immediately banished the thought. These associations of familiarity between places of…sentiment to her and Commander Tucker had to end. She had to stop allowing his mere presence to wreak havoc with her control.
It was entirely because he had left. She had been unprepared for his return. She had allowed herself to drop her guard, because no other human affected her like Commander Tucker.
Of course, no other human had established a presence in her mind. Even if it was only a hallucination, a manifestation of the emotion of "wishful thinking" dredged up by her subconscious.
Enough, T'Pol told herself. Now is not the time nor place to sort this out.
Another scuffle broke out; Tucker hurried off to sort it out. The air cooled. If T'Pol had been human, she would have sighed. Instead, she only allowed herself to be relieved that she could at last concentrate on her work.
Trip confined two more crewmen to their quarters and called in two female replacements. The girls were good, but they weren't the most experienced members of his team. For the fiftieth time he cursed the captain for bringing the slave girls aboard and the slave girls for producing pheromones. Then he cursed himself for not being able to sense the pheromones, even though that was turning out to be better and better as time went on.
Of course, he had his own problems. T'Pol was down in Engineering.
He wondered if he had somehow miraculously picked up on some of her emotion suppression. He could now feel his knees going weak upon seeing her cat-suited form without actually losing motor controls. Another useful trait he seemed to have picked up.
Damn, he was done having thoughts about T'Pol. This was only the tenth time he'd thought that today. A new record. Of course, "today" was only a few hours old. Damn damn damn.
"Perhaps," she said as he walked by, "you should talk to them."
He stopped, turned, and went back to her. Classic pose: elbow against the bulkhead, leaning over her ever so slightly. Even though he wasn't having any ideas, and he didn't want her to get the impression that he was. It was just so fun to stand over her. At least he had some advantage.
"Talk to who?" he asked.
"The Orions," she said, punching something into the screen. Her face didn't change, but he had the distinct impression that the outcome of whatever she'd done had been positive.
She glanced at him. "You have been expressing concern over your inhibition to the Orion pheromone. Perhaps if you spoke to them, you could determine the cause of this inhibition."
Sure, I can do that, he thought. It's standing in front of me. Whoa, Trip. Stop that now.
"Maybe," he said. "The girls are locked up, though. No pheromones can come out of decon. Couldn't hurt, though."
"I doubt it has anything to do with your sexual drive."
He blinked. Whoa. He had not just heard that. "What?"
She glanced at him again, big brown eyes not emotionless, but…innocent. It was a similar expression to the logical one, but this one was tinged with humor. One eyebrow went up. "You have never had any problems there before, so I believe you should not worry about it in this instance. There is undoubtedly a logical explanation for it."
While Trip gaped at her—another one of those things he needed to stop doing—she pointed out something on the screen. "The matrix has stabilized. I need to report this to the captain. Excuse me."
She was almost out the hatch before he finally managed, without looking around, "I wasn't thinking that."
She paused. "Then perhaps I underestimated you."
Trip was left to figure out if she had been flirting or not. He couldn't remember what it was like to flirt with her, mainly because everything he had once assumed was flirting had gotten a little jumbled after the "experiment"…and that whole marriage thing…but this definitely sounded like flirting. Well, damn. If she could make up her mind about how she wanted him to act…women. They were all the same.
Sixth time today, said the tally of thoughts at the back of his mind. Now get back to work.
T'Pol headed straight for her quarters. Another lapse. A human would assume that she was merely looking at outside evidence—Tucker's penchant for sleeping with alien women—but T'Pol knew exactly where her comments came from—a place they had both agreed not to discuss, or even think about. It had been "below the belt" (she hoped she was using the expression correctly) for her to mention something that came so close to something she herself had wanted ignored.
She was meditating in record time, desperate to sink into a cleansing time of non-emotion. She could not construct mind blocks around something that was not there, and Tucker's influence, whether real or imagined, had grown steadily greater since his return. If he would only go, and stay away…she did not want that. She wanted him to stay.
Why? Why did she want someone who challenged everything she was (or had been at some point), who was so paradoxal and indefinable, so…(she winced at the cliché) illogical to stay, only to destroy her?
Firstly, because he would not destroy her. There had been a sense…he may want to make her smile, or find out her age (she quashed the warmth welling up at that memory…though she still was not sure if being referred to as an "old oil painting" was a compliment or not), but at the same time, if she did give in and start acting human, she would no longer be the woman he…
Whatever he felt.
Secondly, if there was a bond…then like it or not, for better or for worst, he was her bondmate. The bond was still weak enough to be broken without calling in a priest, at the moment, but separation had only strengthened it. It had potential…though what that meant was ambiguous at best…
"Is it always so white in here?"
She opened her eyes and turned her head. "You lied to me," she stated.
Commander Tucker considered this. "The daydreams," she clarified, though with their minds so close to touching she could tell he understood her.
"Well," he said, crossing his arms and leaning against a wall that was not really a wall (this space was awkward when there were two people in it), "daydreams are, generally speaking, not real. And…I'm assuming now…this is real."
"This is the reality that exists in my mind when I am meditating. And you should not be here."
He studied her. "You say that every time. Generally right before we're interrupted. Can you blame me, if I don't believe it's real? After all," he smiled, "that's what you always do."
"What?" she asked, curious in spite of herself.
"Push me away."
"Can you blame me," she asked, "if I do not believe you are really in my mind when you speak like that?"
Dejà vû. "You are never straightforward in person."
He was gone again; through the lingering remnants of the connection she realized he had taken her advice and gone to talk to the Orion girls himself. Perhaps they would be able to distract him completely. The adverse effect he had on her was (or should have been) intolerable—her heart was pounding, her breathing was shallow. Mentally, at least: her body in meditation felt no change. The experience was not pleasant.
Then why did she miss it?
Missing was illogical. And even if it was not over something illogical, feeling it when Commander Tucker was only a few decks away was even worse.
In a few days, he would be gone again, and she could return to…whatever it was she had done before she started worrying about this. Less time, if she worked hard.
With that in mind, T'Pol opened her eyes, blew out her meditation candle, and left for Engineering.
Trip really hated daydreaming. It was a habit he couldn't stop, but ending up in…whatever it was…every time was starting to get on his nerves. He couldn't close his eyes for more than two minutes without overhearing something. It was worse when she was meditating. Because apparently all this was real, or something, because the first thing she had said had involved a conversation that hadn't been bouncing around in his head long enough for him to imagine a discussion about it.
He had a feeling he should have been straightforward with her about the daydream thing, because apparently it was a bigger problem than before. But nooo, the great Charles Tucker III had to let his petty anger at her arrogance that wasn't really arrogance, because she hadn't been trying to be arrogant, do the talking. If he'd been straight with her before leaving for Columbia, maybe they wouldn't be in this situation at all. Whatever it was.
"You're cleared, sir," the guard at the door said. Trip nodded and slipped into outer decontamination chamber. Through the tightly sealed doors ahead of him, three green-skinned Orion girls lounged, playing with their hair and adopting seductive poses. They all sort of ran together, like a three-headed green monster. Something was seriously wrong with him: he wasn't even bothering to differentiate between them. Sure, they were all beautiful in an Elphaba sort of way (Wicked had, ironically, been the movie shown on Movie Night the week before the girls arrived), and yeah, they were clad in a way that would make any man's blood run hot, but Trip just…wasn't feeling it.
It was all T'Pol's fault. Not that he wanted to be reduced to a slobbering idiot or anything, but it would nice for him to feel something. Anything besides this boredom.
"Commander," one of them purred, "this is a pleasure."
"Hello," he said in reply.
"How's the Lieutenant?" another asked.
"Kelby? He'll be fine, once your chemicals wash out of his system," he answered. This was stupid. Why did T'Pol want him visiting other women if she was just going to flirt with him in her mind? Stupid Vulcan.
Hey, he was thinking in small words. Maybe the pheromone was affecting him.
"Why are you so mean to us?" Greenie number one asked.
"We haven't done anything to you," Number three spoke up.
"He's just jealous," the second one retorted. "That I picked Kelby over him."
"Not really," Trip broke in. "I'd rather be here then lying in Sickbay with the knowledge that I attacked a senior officer."
"Oh, a senior officer." They all giggled.
He looked back and forth and said the first thing that came to mind. "You do realize you're all acting like stupid, mindless bimbos, right?"
"Oh, please, don't flatter us," Three giggled.
"Really, Commander. Do you think anyone would take us seriously if we didn't?" One asked, a dangerous smile on her face as she flicked her eyes up and down his form. "You intrigue me."
"I saw him first," Three huffed.
"Ladies," he interrupted, "you find me intriguing because I'm immune to your little perfume. That immunity also kills any attraction I would ever feel for you."
"Shame," Two said. "Why is that?"
"Yes, why?" One asked, stepping closer to the door. "Please tell. It will come in useful once we break free."
He shrugged. "No idea. And you're not going to break free."
Ag, I hate clichés, he thought as he felt the stun beam from the nearby guard hit him in the back. Stupid, really: they hadn't even had to really work to charm the guard. The ensign was just acting out of jealousy. Damn it all…and it was T'Pol's fault he was down there in the first place.
Then everything went black.
A/N II: There's more to come, I promise…please R/R!