Or: Commander Tucker is Presented with a Naked Science Officer

Summary: I never really did a Harbinger fic, so this is it. It doesn't particularly relate to the Commander Tucker series, but I liked the subtitle. It was going to be the main title, but it's too long for the form...

Disclaimer: All things Star Trek belong to CBS/Paramount.

Rating: T for language and adult themes, but the explicit stuff is out of this version. See the version that will eventually go up in the decon chamber of Triaxian Silk if you want all the gory details.

Spoilers: Harbinger. Recent discussions on the Triaxian Silk boards inspired me.

Author's Note: Many thanks to JustTrip'n for beta. As usual, we disagreed about T'Pol, but it made for a better story.

She was naked. Completely, utterly naked.

Shocked, Trip's eyes traveled down her compact form. He'd caught glimpses of her breasts during neuropressure, but this was the first time he was seeing everything. He was a little surprised that nothing looked all that different than on any other Human woman.

He looked back up at her face. What the hell was she doing?

Whatever it was, she didn't hesitate. She lowered her face to claim another kiss.

Even as he opened his mouth to her questing tongue and set his own to dueling with her, he was thinking furiously. Where'd she learn to do this so well? With Sim? What the hell was going on? Was this jealousy, or general insanity, or did she just really, really like him?

"Wait, wait," he said, breathlessly, and held her away to forestall her from diving in for another kiss. She was panting and flushed. So he was he, and worse. It was damnably hard to think, but he couldn't just let this thing run amuck like some out-of-control matter/anti-matter reaction. "T'Pol? What are we doing here?"

She reached out a hand and to explore him in places she never had before. "I would have thought that was fairly obvious," she said.

He groaned at her touch without backing away—there was a limit to his self-discipline, after all—and tried valiantly not to lose his train of thought. "You said Vulcans only do this every seven years."

"You are not Vulcan," she said. "It certainly appears that you would be capable of sexual congress right now."

He stared at her. Throwing her right down on the floor here and now was his first impulse, but this was T'Pol. He needed more information. He needed to know she hadn't gone crazy. He needed to slow this down, even if he'd hate himself forever for it. "But if we, you know, did something … things could get weird between us," he said. "I'm not sure we can afford that right now." He wasn't sure he could afford that right now. He had come to depend on their nightly sessions, and not just for the neuropressure.

"You don't want this." She backed away, looking so puzzled and crushed that he rushed to explain.

"What, are you kidding? Of course I do. I've fantasized about it for years. I just never thought there was any chance it would actually happen." He swallowed hard. "T'Pol … you have to admit … this just doesn't seem very ... Vulcan."

"Vulcan is hundreds of light years away." She stared intently at him. Even in his wildest fantasies, he'd never imagined T'Pol looking at him like this, like he was dinner and she was famished. "I know what I'm doing," she added.

Did she? Did anyone ever know when it came to something like this? "Sex can complicate things," he said. "This mission is important. If we were to have trouble working together…"

"I have faith in your ability to do your job, no matter what happens. Do you doubt mine?"

Was this naiveté on her part—or logic? He licked his lips. Could they really do this? He'd wondered obsessively about it for days after she'd told him it wasn't Reed's business if they had a romantic relationship, but he'd finally rejected it as impossible. Not with her, not on this ship, not now. Still, it had never stopped intriguing him that she'd been the one to use the word romantic. And she was an adult. She was making her desires known. He also was not sure he could ever forgive himself if he passed it up. Or that she would forgive him, for that matter. He smiled nervously and cracked a half-joke. "I can't end up pregnant, can I?"

"Humans and Vulcans are not compatible for reproduction."

"Could be we're not compatible in other ways, too."

"I have done the necessary research. I believe I would be capable of…" Finally, a sign of hesitation from her. "…Showing you a good time."

A good time? Just where the hell had she done that research? He licked suddenly dry lips. "And would I be able to do the same for you?"

"The process of sexual arousal in Vulcan women is similar to that in Human females." She took a deep breath and said. "I am already in a significantly receptive state."

"Oh yeah?" he squeaked, and swallowed hard.

"Your clothing is clearly constricting you, Commander," she said, gesturing. "I suggest you disrobe."

Oh, no. She wasn't going to get away with that, not right now. "Well, there's a problem there. I don't have sex with people who call me by my rank instead of by my name."

"Mr. Tucker?" T'Pol offered.

"Nuh uh. Trip. You have to call me Trip."

Her eyes narrowed. "Very well. Trip. Please strip."

He smiled. Had that been a terrible little Vulcan joke? Okay, so even if they crashed and burned because this was stupidest-ass thing he'd ever done in his entire life, at least she'd finally called him "Trip."

x x x

He'd always known there was fire under all that ice.

As they lay together on her bunk afterwards there was something flickering in her eyes that he had never seen before, something feral and exulting. It might have scared him if it didn't turn him on so much.

The sex had been fierce, passionate … amazing. Far beyond anything he had ever experienced before. It was almost metaphysical, as if the universe itself had taken him in.

She stared up back at him with enormous eyes and he so wanted to just say it, to say, "I love you." Because he did. He loved her. He adored her! He wanted to spend the rest of his life just like this! But he'd said those things to women before in this situation, after all—he was always in love at this point, always, so maybe it was just hormones and gratitude even though right now it felt so profound that it almost brought tears to his eyes, even scared him a little.

Or perhaps he was scared because he knew that probably wasn't something she'd want to hear. So instead, he just whispered, "That was amazing."

She nodded dumbly at him, staring wide-eyed, and he felt as if he was sinking into her eyes, could get lost in those eyes, was perhaps already lost. It felt like vertigo, and he felt a definite stab of fear. Why hadn't she said anything? "Are you okay?" he asked.

"Yes," she whispered. "Thank you. It was … remarkable."

He grinned proudly. "You are so beautiful," he said. He leaned down to kiss her quickly, then continued staring warmly down at her, until her expression drew in suddenly and he could feel her pulling away from him even though she hadn't moved. He stole one last caress and pulled back.

He sat on the edge of the bed, suddenly very conscious that he was a naked man in T'Pol's quarters.

He would have liked to have cuddled with her, but he wasn't sure she'd want that. "Guess I won't need any more neuropressure in order to sleep tonight," he said with a smile, if only to break the silence, and laid a companionable hand on her leg, rubbing it affectionately.

She sat up next to him. He wasn't sure whether it was so she could pull her leg out from under his hand, or to keep him company, though he hoped it was a companionable instinct on her part.

Now there were two naked people sitting on the side of her bed.

Would she let him kiss her now? He had turned to her, ready to try, when the captain's voice came over the com, "All hands to duty stations."

They looked at each other quickly, suddenly fellow officers again, then rose and quickly began to dress. She found his t-shirt for him. He zipped up her cat suit for her, then planted a kiss on her forehead and ran out the door. It wasn't a tactical alert, so he figured he had time to run to his quarters and change into his uniform. The more normal he looked, the less likely it was that somebody would notice his entire life had just been turned upside down.

Once in engineering, he let the familiar cadence of the engines and related systems calm him. All was well. They'd be all right. They'd figure it out. He and T'Pol had been slowly working out whatever this was between them for a long time now. The sex they'd just had could only change that for the better.



Reviews are much appreciated as always, but I may not get back to you personally right away since I'll be traveling.