Disclaimer: I own none of the characters from Star Trek, they all belong to CBS Studios. This story is set in the original series time frame and is part of the novel canon, specifically Star Trek: Vanguard. As such this story has spoilers for that series, up to book five, Precipice.
Star Trek: Vanguard
February 9, 2268
Personal Medical Log: Lt. Commander Emily Jackson
As a counselor on board a starbase I've had to deal with a large variety of issues, but that comes with the job. Unlike Starships whom have too small a crew to require our services, on a base like Vanguard members of my staff and I help crew deal with anxiety, stress disorders, conflict resolution and other issues. While I specialize in humanoid psychology I've worked with most of the major species in the Federation, but this case may be too much for me to handle.
Shortly after T'Prynn of Vulcan returned to the station, had her court martial and was put on probation, she was 'requested' to attend counseling sessions with me. I objected to her being ordered to attend such sessions, of course, but apparently it comes from the top. Before our first meeting I was sent a partial file on her, and what's there makes sobering reading.
Backing up a bit, I must confess that like many Federation citizens, I only had a basic knowledge of Vulcans. I 'knew' they were a emotionless race that prides themselves on their pure logic, they were excellent diplomats and scientists and that they did not mingle much with the other races of the Federation. After taking on T'Prynn I read up on the Vulcan people, but I was shocked to read the details in her personnel file.
Over fifty years ago, T'Prynn was on Vulcan where she declined marriage to Sten. He refused to accept that and in a trial by combat was killed at T'Prynn's hands. However, before he died he was able to project his... soul? Mind? Consciousness, anyway, into T'Prynn's mind where Sten spent the past FIFTY YEARS trying to make her give in to her. I can't even imagine that. Fifty years of maintaining mental shields and fighting against a invading mind who's only options are victory or death.
To make matters worse T'Prynn suffered a mental collapse after the murder of her lover Anna by Klingon agents. She spent several months in a coma, only recovering after receiving experimental treatment on Vulcan, which also removed Sten's mind from her own. While her doctor on Vulcan has declared her fully recovered Starfleet has doubts, part of which is why I'm seeing her.
End Medical Log
Lieutenant. Jg T'Prynn was a lythe, striking figure in her uniform as she gracefully walked into Emily's office. She walked over to the chair opposite Emily and sat down gracefully, disdaining the use of the couch that Emily kept off to one side.
"Welcome, T'Prynn," Emily nodded politely, the brown haired woman in the blue shirt of medical services, wearing the skirt that was the latest change to female uniforms.
"Commander," T'Prynn answered calmly, nodding to her with her usual reserve.
Emily felt a moment of frustration, one that she firmly jammed down. After a few sessions she normally established a rapport with patients, but this one maintained her usual still reserve. Not that she was expecting a Vulcan to cry on her shoulder, but some reaction would be nice.
"Last time we were talking about what happened with Anna," Emily said calmly. "Would you like to continue?" she asked.
"Anna was a diplomatic officer on Vanguard," T'Prynn said calmly, "part of my duties as Intelligence officer was to investigate if there were any security breaches in that area. I approached her in off hours, where I determined she was sexually attracted to me."
Curiously Emily asked, "So you slept with her for information?"
"At first," T'Prynn agreed frankly. "I was able to obtain a blood sample, from which I determined she was a surgically altered Klingon agent."
For a moment Emily wondered how T'Prynn had gotten the blood sample. 'Did she bite her?' she mused, 'Or maybe claw at her back?' The mental image of the cool, composed writhing in the arms of another woman made her blush, slightly and Emily forced herself back on track.
"Yet you continued the relationship after that?" Emily asked.
T'Prynn met her eyes calmly, "Yes, I did. There was no harm in my seeing the agent as long as I took reasonable precautions."
Emily knew she shouldn't ask the next question, but she wanted to know. "Did you fall in love with her?" she asked.
"Yes," T'Prynn startled her by answering promptly. She noted Emily's surprise and seemed faintly amused, "Did you think Vulcans emotionless, Counselor?"
"You have that reputation," Emily answered cautiously.
"It is at best a ideal, rather than the reality," T'Prynn told her, "Vulcans have emotions, in fact we possess feelings that may be far more intense than other humanoids. What Vul cans have done is develop a series of mental disciplines to control our emotions, rather than let them us control us."
Emily nodded slowly, "I see." Hesitantly she asked, "Do you think that is why you collapsed when Anna died?"
"I had... been troubled, before then," T'Prynn looked thoughtful. "The difficulties of keeping secret Starfleet's actions in the Taurus Reach were putting strain on me, and Anna had told me shortly before then that she loved me." She actually sighed slightly, "I did not give her a satisfactory answer."
"Do you regret that?" Anna prodded gently.
T'Prynn gave her a calm look, "Regret is not logical."
"Logical or not, people do feel regret," Emily told her gently, "and you told me Vulcans do feel emotions, too."
For a moment T'Prynn looked away, her expression faintly sad. "I wish I had possessed the courage to tell her I loved her," she admitted.
Emily looked in her eyes and saw a depth of pain and regret that surprised her, even now knowing that the Vulcans hid emotion behind their stoic facade. Noting the time she decided it was enough for today and said, "I think we should wrap this up for today. Are you going to be all right?"
T'Prynn gave her a sad smile, "I will be."
Emily wrote up her notes, adding them to the days's entry, then hurried to grab some lunch. Ezekiel Fisher, the chief medical officer, was also grabbing lunch and they sat down to talk about their days so far. Zeke sketched in some details of a few interesting cases, and since he knew about her treating T'Prynn she mentioned their emotional breakthrough, not going into detail of course.
Zeke drank some coffee then gave her a wry look as he rumbled out, "Lt. Commander, I think you just got played."
"Huh?" Emily blinked.
"You have to remember," Zeke noted, the older man giving her a fatherly look, "she's not just a Vulcan, she's a member of Starfleet Intelligence. If anyone could read what you wanted and present it believably, it's her."
Emily felt very, very stupid as she looked at her food, "Oh."
"Not that she lied to you," Zeke conceded, "Vulcans rarely do that, they consider it illogical." He drank some coffee, "A former doc here served on Vulcan, M'Benga. He interned at a hospital there, and he told me he after five years he never saw a emotional reaction from one of 'em."
Emily poked at her food, then sighed. "I feel very, very stupid right now," she sighed, stabbing at her food with a fork.
Zeke let her eat a bit, then offered, "Want some advice?"
Ruefully Emily answered, "I'm listening."
Zeke finished off his lunch as he told her, "Don't go in there expecting emotional catharsis or anything like that. She may have emotions, but she probably won't show them to you. Instead try to get a read on how stable she is and if she's recovered." He shrugged, "Which is your job here, anyway."
"True," Emily conceded with a sigh. As Zeke left she finished her own meal, turning over the session earlier in her mind. She reluctantly conceded that he could be right, it could have been a act to get her off T'Prynn's back. But still, there was something about her that fascinated Emily.
Later that evening T'Prynn felt a slight twinge at her treatment of the councelor, but it did not bother her greatly. She was under orders to attend the sessions, but she was not ordered to go along with it blindly. She knew the sessions were to determine her fitness to duty, not to determine her emotional state. Or look into her love life.
Changing out of her uniform T'Prynn picked out a simple garment, the loose skirt swishing around her legs, the tunic cut tightly across her breasts. It suited someone of her slim build, while the intelligence officer within her was happy it let her move freely. Closing up her quarters she headed off down the hall, her destination in mind.
Manon's cabaret was the closest that Vanguard had to a officer's club, though it served the entire station at one time or another. It was a popular but high-class joint, with fine drinks and décor, along with a pleasant staff. In the past T'Prynn had come there to play the piano, but that was no longer possible for her.
If there was one thing that T'Prynn regretted about having Sten's katra removed from her mind, it was that it had cost her the ability to play piano. Somehow the conflict between them had generated a force within her that translated into beautiful music, but with him gone she lost it too. She could play mechanically, she remembered how, but it lacked a essential life that left the music flat.
Settling in at a corner table T'Prynn ordered her usual tea, sitting calmly in the shadows. The pale skinned alien woman made her way over to where T'Prynn sat, settling down across from her at a small table. Manon's emerald green eyes were kind as she asked, "Still can't play?"
"I tried again," T'Prynn admitted, "no, it seems my gift is gone."
"What a waste," Manon sighed, her multicolored hair flowing up and over her head in a stylized wave. She gave her companion a perceptive look, "On the other hand, you don't look like a wire stretched to the breaking point anymore. Fair trade?"
"Yes," T'Prynn admitted. She looked at Manon fondly, or at least as fondly as she would let through her stoic exterior. "I'm sorry I won't be preforming again," she added.
"You'll still come around, I hope?" Manon asked, the normally bold woman giving T'Prynn a almost shy look as she reached out to cover her hand.
T'Prynn kept any surprise from her face, though it took a effort. She tilted her head to the side as she quietly asked, "Why did you never...?"
Manon shrugged slightly as the exotic alien woman smiled slightly. "You were seeing someone," she pointed out, "and you always seemed to want people to keep their distance."
"True," T'Prynn conceded, "but why tell me now, then?"
Manon looked just a bit exasperated with the Vulcan, "You disappeared for over a year, damn it. If I don't tell you know, when?"
T'Prynn was surprised by how... warm she felt, from what the woman had said. She squeezed Manon's hand gently as she said, "I'm still... getting over Anna. Can you give me time?"
Manon took T'Prynn's hands in hers, "Yes, a little time at least."
"Thank you," T'Prynn gave that twitch of her lips that on Vulcan would be considered a smile. Manon clearly recognized, for she smiled back warmly.
Notes: In canon Star Trek there were no counselors on Star Ships in the first series. The closest to that job was McCoy being a sounding board to Kirk, and apparently similar relationships existed between other captains and their doctors. Which makes sense, considering the doctor is one of the few people aboard who can remove the captain if he's mentally ill or whatever.
I'm assuming that Starbases, which have far larger numbers of people aboard and have issues more like a large town or small city, might have counselors, but that's my opinion. It is NOT CANON.
Interestingly, T'Prynn is the first canon major character lesbian in Star Trek, as far as I know. She's a major character in all five Vanguard novels, as well as appearing in author David Mack's short stories. Strongly recommended.