Setting: Sometime between The Augments and The Forge.
Disclaimer: I own nothing, not even the words, only the order in which they were placed. That said, the idea is mine - please do not repost this anywhere without my permission.
Author's Note: Huh...so it's been quite awhile since I posted one of these! Hope I'm not too rusty. My muse apparently decided on a long, extended vacation, providing me with only half-formed ideas and false starts long-distance for the past couple years. I never once, in a thousand years, expected Enterprise, of all things (hadn't watched the show in years, but a few weeks ago I got randomly nostalgic for all things TnT), to succeed in calling said muse back and actually allowing me to finish something - this is only a short little one-off interlude piece, but hey, if it helps get me back into the swing of things, I'm gonna take it and run with it! Feedback is always welcome and appreciated.
They entered the Decon chamber with biogel in hand, clad only in their underwear. The UV lights activated, bathing the dark room in a soft, blue glow. She opened her container and placed it down on one of the available surfaces, then looked over at her companion. She watched as he scooped up a handful of gel and began applying it to his arms.
It was quite reminiscent of one of their first encounters, with two significant exceptions. He was as far away from her as the tiny chamber would allow, his back turned, and he was completely silent.
She breathed deeply, looked away, and began applying her own gel. When she finished with all areas of her body that she could reach on her own, she looked back over and saw him awkwardly attempting – and failing spectacularly – to apply the concoction to his own back.
"Commander," she called softly. He had been rather obvious in his attempt to remain distant and professional in their interactions of late, and she responded in kind, wishing to spare him any more discomfort that increased familiarity would bring.
When he didn't react, she took a step in his direction. "Allow me to—"
"I got it," he interrupted, finally acknowledging her. She could hear the tension in his voice. His struggle with the gel continued.
She frowned in annoyance and closed the distance between them. "You're being illogical," she told him in typical Vulcan fashion.
He paused in his actions, then dropped his arms and sighed in defeat. "Can't have that," he responded sardonically, waiting.
She reached around him to grab a handful of gel and lifted her arms to begin applying it to the back of his broad shoulders. Upon contact, he flinched away involuntarily. The significance was not lost on her – it was the first time they had intentionally touched one another since Vulcan.
"Sorry," he mumbled quietly. He took a fortifying breath. "Go ahead."
She reached out again. This time he did not pull away, but the severe tension she felt in his muscles was beyond anything she had ever experienced from him, even during their initial, most uncomfortable neuropressure sessions.
She was thorough and methodical in her ministrations, if perhaps a little slower than was absolutely necessary. She became aware of his deep, rhythmical breathing, noting ironically that the technique he was implementing to keep his composure in her presence was the very same one he learned during the sessions that initially brought them together.
Just as she had when they first met, she crouched down to run her gel-covered hands over the backs of his legs, despite the fact that they were areas he could conceivably reach on his own. Straightening up, she gave one last, reluctant pass up and over his shoulders before dropping her arms and stepping back.
"Please assist me," she said, rather unnerved to find her voice just as tense as his had been.
She turned around just as he did, allowing both to avoid eye contact. She sensed the heat radiating off of his body as he stepped in close behind her and felt his warm breath on the back of her neck. When his slick hands made contact with her lower back, she understood why he had flinched at her earlier touch. While she managed to contain a similar reaction, she could not stem the tide of memories that followed. Memories that were now, by her own actions, forbidden.
As his hands continued over the expanse of her exposed back and up under her thin undershirt, she found her breathing matching his as they both fought to keep control of the situation.
After a minute it became clear he had finished applying the gel where it was required, and yet his hands continued to move slowly and gently over her exposed skin. He was already standing quite close, and any objections she had to his continued ministrations died in her throat as he moved just that little bit closer. And when his warm hands moved from her lower back to around her hips and finally over her exposed abdomen, she was disinclined to point out that she had previously attended to those areas.
She continued to breathe deeply and methodically, but there was a noticeable hitch as she did so.
He had abandoned the practice altogether.
When his hands slowly began to slide up toward her ribcage, she arched her body so that her shoulders pulled back, coming into contact with his chest. His chin came down to rest at the crook of her neck.
Her arm reached up of its own accord and wrapped around the back of his head, fingers burying themselves in his short hair. Her other hand came up to cover his, but instead of pulling it away from her body, she entwined her fingers with his, guiding him further up under her shirt while his other arm slung around her stomach and tightened, pulling her closer.
When their joined hands finally made contact with the underside of her breast, something snapped in both of them. He spun her around just as she twisted to face him. Immediately their lips crashed together in a passionate ferocity so at odds with the slow, sensual touches from just moments before.
His arms wrapped around her tightly, gripping her across her back and around her hips, crushing her whole body as close to his as was possible. Her arms, in turn, reached up and ensnared him around the shoulders and neck, hands holding his head firmly against her own as their kisses became even more intense and insistent, desperate. She couldn't help but compare it to their first frantic embrace.
She felt it then, a completeness in her mind and body that both contented and ignited her entire being. It was as if a final, vital piece of information required to solve a complex and consuming equation had at long last been found.
Why had they fought against this so hard and for so long? It was clearly what they both wanted. It was simply illogical to deny themselves any longer.
With a groan, he spun them around and walked them back until she was pressed against the wall of the chamber. The slick consistency of the biogel covering their skin allowed their bodies to move and slide together in exciting and stimulating new ways, but it also prevented them from gaining purchase in each other's arms. With the dark, UV-tinted walls now providing some resistance, he was able to move in even closer than before. They would close every fraction of free space they could find.
If she had been at all uncertain as to the extent of his arousal, any questions could now firmly be answered.
In all their grappling and manoeuvring, his lips never once left hers. They attacked one another incessantly, those lips and tongues conveying the months of frustration and lust and longing despair much more effectively – and willingly – than anything they could ever say with their mouths.
Finally it was too much – or perhaps not enough – and she ripped her lips away to catch her breath while simultaneously nudging his head with her hands. Just as they were so uncannily in synch with their work, even during these months of forced separation, he instinctively knew what she wanted and complied without hesitation.
She shuddered a sigh of satisfaction as she felt him refocus his assault on her neck. Her fingers contracted in pleasure, nails raking over his scalp and skin. The sensation seemed to spur him on to an even greater intensity. His lips blazed a trail from her neck down and across to her shoulder. When he completed the circuit back, she gave him one more brief but searing kiss before returning in kind, locking her lips on the juncture between his own neck and shoulder just above the collar bone, a location she knew from previous experience gave him unbridled pleasure.
The air exploded out of his lungs violently when she hit that sweet spot, and his forehead dropped heavily to her shoulder. Low groans emanated between quick and erratic gasps as she worked her mouth and gently raked her teeth over his clavicle.
"T'Pol," he breathed into her skin, voice tight with barely controlled passion.
Suddenly he tensed and pulled back from her violently, her name spoken aloud slashing through the haze and ripping him back to reality. Her eyes snapped open and met his for the first time since they stepped into the chamber. He was staring at her in alarm even though his pupils remained dilated with lust. She watched as realization of their predicament – bodies pressed tightly together, limbs entwined, lips swollen – flooded his features.
They both stood staring at one another for several moments, breathing heavily. His stunned expression slowly morphed into a mix of frustration and fury. Just as suddenly as he had pulled away, his hands now grabbed for her face and his lips crashed down on hers once more with an intensity and desperation she had never before experienced.
He was claiming her in a way that, even in her most uncontrolled state, she could never hope to duplicate.
After a few seconds of eternity, he pulled his mouth away and rested his forehead against hers. They breathed as one, chests heaving as if their lungs would never again reach equilibrium. She opened her eyes to find his own shut tightly, as if in pain.
Without warning, both palms left her face to slam against the wall behind her. "Dammit!" he shouted roughly in accompaniment. He forcibly pushed himself off the wall and spun away from her, all but marching to the other side of the darkened room.
"Trip!" she called insistently, once her mind had caught up with his actions. Her use of his name had never once failed in securing her his attention.
He ignored her completely.
Punching the wall-mounted control, he stepped through the doorway and was out of sight before her quick mind could even register what had just happened.
She slumped against the wall, still breathing heavily, trying to process the enormity of what had occurred in only a few short minutes. Her thoughts were morphing and cascading faster than she could chase them, but one single realization came to the fore and planted itself firmly in her psyche: he had been holding on by a mere thread these past few months, and in her selfishness she just shredded it completely.
She wanted to go to him, but she knew him well enough to know that any attempted overture on her part would only make the situation worse for both of them. They had both been punished enough for one evening.
In the back of her whirling mind she knew that her long-standing invite to share dinner at the Captain's table that evening would be cancelled. She was a swirling mass of barely-controlled confusion, anxiety, and desperate longing. Before she could even attempt to repair the damage just done, she first needed to clamp down on her volatile emotions and regain her fractured composure.
She needed to meditate.