Title: Time After Time
Author: Aeryn Alexander
Summary: Sequel to "In Good Time". Tucker and T'Pol have questions. Will they find the answers, or will time run out for one of them.
Rating: PG-13 (Language and Drama)
Author's notes: I'll save this until the end.
Special note: This fic is more enjoyable if you've read "In Good Time" (shameless plug). Additionally, it adheres to the same format -- short to medium sized chapters.
Commander Tucker couldn't sleep again. It had been four days since the incident, since he had vanished from the Enterprise with Doctor Phlox and Sub-commander T'Pol. The memory of what had transpired during their little unexplainable adventure had not returned. The mystery of it was gnawing at the commander, not letting him get any sleep at night, which in turn caused him to be drowsy while on duty. His subordinates were beginning to notice. More importantly, so was Captain Archer, although he had yet to say anything to his chief engineer.
Trip sighed aloud and left his bed as he thought, "Maybe talking to Phlox would help. Or maybe he could at least give me something to make me sleep."
Tucker tossed on a uniform and trudged down the corridor to sickbay. His body felt exhausted, pushed to the limit, but his mind was wide awake and unhappily so. Everything had been going so well before that incident. A good night's sleep was followed by a hard day's work. Life had an understandable rhythm with which the commander was very satisfied. That rhythm was gone, perhaps forever, and that, as much as anything, pushed Tucker to search for answers to the question: what had happened during those several days when he had been lost, missing, with two of his crew mates?
When the glass doors of sickbay slid open with a muted hiss, Tucker was surprised to see Sub-commander T'Pol and Phlox seated at a table talking. Phlox paused mid sentence when he saw the slightly disheveled Tucker standing in the doorway. Then he smiled.
"Commander, what a pleasant surprise. The sub-commander and I were just talking about our little misadventure. Is this an official visit of some kind or will you care to join us?" questioned Phlox, gesturing toward an empty chair.
"I couldn't sleep." admitted Trip.
"It looks as though you have not slept for some time." said T'Pol coolly. Perhaps she, after having several lengthy discussions with Phlox, thought better of her comment, as she added, "Neither have I."
"Because of whatever happened?" questioned Tucker, relieved to hear that he was not alone.
Tucker looked at Phlox questioningly, but the doctor smiled and said, "I do not need to sleep as regularly as humans or Vulcans, but I too have been troubled, especially during my off-duty hours when I have more time to think."
"You were just about to recommend a course of action, doctor, when Commander Tucker walked in." the science officer reminded him.
"Ah, yes," sighed Phlox, "I believe I was." T'Pol arched an eyebrow at him and he continued, "Treatments used to restore memory are very experiment and potentially dangerous. There are no guarantees. But they do exist."
"Are you saying we could get our memories back? That we could remember what happened to us?" questioned Tucker in disbelief.
"It is a possibility, commander, although I am not recommending this as a physician. Any such procedure could have grave and lasting consequences." said Phlox.
"I feel like I'm going to lose my mind if I don't figure out what happened. Sign me up, doc." said Trip.
"And me as well, doctor. I cannot perform my duties efficiently with an unsettled mind. I understand the risks and accept them as such." stated Sub-commander T'Pol.
"Very well." said Phlox, sounding as though he were merely conceding to their desire for the treatment. His tone could not hide his understandable trepidation. The good doctor was not one to do things, especially medical things, without the proper amount of good sense and necessity required. While he could comprehend quite well what the two officers were going through, he still winced, internally, at the idea of performing experimental procedures to treat their mental or emotional disquietude. "I will give you both something to help you sleep tonight and inform the captain that you will both be off active duty for several days at the least. Report here at the beginning of your shift tomorrow. That is when we will begin, if neither of you have objections." said Phlox in a very crisp, almost business-like tone.
"That will be most satisfactory." agreed T'Pol.
"Yeah." echoed Trip, who could hardly believe it. He had come to sickbay looking for a treatment for his insomnia, but it looked as though the doctor had the cure. It was much more than he had hoped for.