A/N: This has been floating around in my head since I watched the first season eleven years ago. Finally got around to writing it. But yeah first ever Star Trek fanfic.
"Trip, we found the Xyrillian ship." Archer announced over the intercom to Engineering. "What's left of it." The Captain added quietly.
The man being addressed, Commander Tucker, the Chief Engineer, looked up and his blue eyes waned with fear. "Uh, Cap'n, what do you mean what's left?" The young man's Midwestern U.S. accent spiking in worry.
"The ship was destroyed Trip, T'Pol says the energy trails left behind are Klingon." There was a pause and a sharp curse hovered on Trip's tongue. "We're sending a probe into the wreckage to see what we can recover." The Captain's voice was reserved and for good reason. "Can you come up to the bridge?"
Trip swallowed his profanity and sighed. "Be there in a jiff Cap'n." The intercom went dead and Trip turned to his staff. "Hess take over." He said to a woman working on a panel.
"Yes Commander." She nodded her eyes briefly glancing at the off-white collared shirt and slacks Trip was wearing in place of his Starfleet uniform. He ignored her eyes and left Engineering. He walked down the corridor quickly, angrily. If the Klingons had really destroyed the Xyrillians than the predicament Trip was in had just worsened tenfold. His first encounter with a new species and he'd blown it. All she asked is for me to take a break with her and play some mind game. Hey Ah'Len you forgot to mention that game of yours is the way you people have sex.
He drove his finger into the button that opened the turbo lift doors. In the brief moment of privacy he rubbed his face with his hands. "Why me?" He questioned into the air as if some authority on his fate would actually answer.
Absently he rubbed underside of his left arm in annoyance. The growths on his wrist itched and it only reminded him more of the rather embarrassing fix he was in.
On the bridge his eyes shot to the screen. Sure enough familiar chunks of twisted fractured metal floated in the blackness in front of the Enterprise. A partial chunk of the ship turned a gaping jagged mouth at them. The strange plants the Xyrillian's grew were charred and dead. Trip didn't like the look of it one bit. In fact his stomach flip-flopped rather violently.
He clutched the railing as he stared at what was left of his one ticket out. Archer and T'Pol watched him quietly, hoping that their Commander wouldn't give them an earful of acerbic ranting. Instead Trip looked at them crestfallen.
"So that's all that's left? Any trails of escape pods?" He kept a barely audible hope in his steadied voice.
"I scanned the area three times at the request of the Captain; Commander there is no evidence that a single Xyrillian successfully escaped the attack." T'Pol's cool voice left no room for question.
"I'm sorry Trip," Archer said looking at the screen. "Our probe is retrieving what was left of their database."
"Perhaps there will be information to aid in solving your problem." T'Pol added. Trip just nodded quietly. He just couldn't believe they were gone. And killed by Klingons too.
Klingons. Trips' blood boiled. There's always somethin' causin' trouble for me. Trip seethed. The heat of his sudden fury felt good, made him feel masculine, human, not like an effeminate science experiment.
Part of him regretted that the Xyrillians were gone; he'd liked them, even if their engineer had unknowingly knocked him up. He'd liked Ah'Len; to him the game had been harmless flirting. Now the mother of the life growing inside him was gone. So was any hope of removing the fetus harmlessly.
He felt the pain in his side coming back; it always got worse when he was angry. The soft skin of his chest was stretching well beyond its normal limits. Stretching over a thing that didn't belong on his chest. Didn't belong to him.
"I'll be in Engineerin' if you get any other good news." The Commander replied sarcastically. T'Pol watched him leave one eyebrow raised quizzically. Captain Archer sighed. He didn't really know how to help his friend.
Back in Engineering Trip set to work on a job that required some pounding around. He wanted to hit something, smash something into oblivion, and secretly he wanted to punch the thing growing in his side. But Phlox had advised him that any physical harm to the fetus would almost guarantee permanent heart damage for Trip. Besides, he really didn't want to hit an unborn child. Even if it was an alien that didn't belong in him.
Trip found a perfect place to work and set to almost happily.
The engineers around stopped their work and stared at a Jeffrey's tube that had buckled. Inside they heard a furious hammer beat as Trip swung with all his energy. It felt good to imagine he was pounding another of his problems into shape with each resounding strike he made. He even dared to imagine Klingon heads as he swung away. He was at least enjoying getting his anger out, no matter how much the noise hurt his ears.
"Hey Commander, mind putting your drum session on hold for a while?" Some one called into the tube.
Ha ha Trip thought. Just what I need a comedian in my Engine Room.
He stopped and climbed out. He stood up slowly and grunted. The tube had put him in an awkward position and his muscles were tense now. They protested at him stretching.
The rest of his shift was quiet, lonely, and maddening. He refused to read reports; his mind was too mischievous to trust that reading would keep it properly occupied. Instead he did some routine checks that he'd finished just before boarding the Xyrillian ship; he just needed something to do, keep his hands from poking at the lasting mark Ah'Len had bestowed on him.
Ah'Len. It was possible she died not knowing that she was a mother, or that Trip was the one carrying her offspring. It sounded just like a Xyrillian. Let someone else do all the hard work while they took the benefits.
When his shift ended, he went straight for the mess hall. He didn't really feel like eating, but his stomach assured him it was in need of refueling. Dr. Phlox had warned him that he would probably feel different. Hunger was just one of the many charming symptoms a normal human woman handled during pregnancy, as was morning sickness and sore achy muscles. He didn't like Phlox comparing him to a woman like that, but he had no choice. So he kept his mouth shut and listened, mainly because if he didn't Archer would give him grief. God knew Trip didn't need any other problems on his plate right now.
When he went in there were already quite a few people lined up for dinner. He got in line and sniffed at the aroma coming from the food. The smell of fish caught in his nostril with a sharp jolt that made his stomach summersault. No fish for me tonight. He groused.
What he ended up with on his plate made him wonder just where his brain was. He'd gone for the most mismatched meal he'd ever seen. A salad, some fruit, steak, two pieces of apple pie, pickles, and a slice of toast with ketchup on it. He quickly scanned for the most secluded table and found it. Occupied by none other than Subcommander T'Pol. He rolled his eyes and sought a table closer to her. If he stayed close to the Vulcan than most everyone else would not come up to him for a chat or question his rather unique dinner choice.
Seated, and eating as though he had never eaten in his life, Trip prayed to no one in particular that the medical data Phlox was inspecting had a quick fix for the Xyrillian spawn in his chest. They'd at least retrieved a large chunk of the database.
T'Pol stopped to speak with him as she left the mess hall. "Commander," she greeted waiting for acknowledgement.
"Yes?" Trip asked from the corner of his full mouth.
"Dr. Phlox has informed me that he wishes to speak with you and the Captain after dinner. " Her face and voice remained flat and dead. "Archer did not wish to make an announcement."
"Ok." Trip replied before biting the ketchup coated toast. T'Pol's eyebrow rose at the unusual meal and Trip shot her a warning glance. She dropped her eyebrow and turned away without another word.
Trip looked down at his plate and his appetite went out the window. Why did I ever think this was a good meal? He questioned himself as he disposed of the mostly eaten mess.