Date Night on Mount Seleya

By Honeybee

Rating: PG

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Disclaimer: I don't own any of these characters or this world. No infringement intended.

Spoilers: Big, giant spoilers for the new book, The Romulan War: Beneath The Raptor's Wing.

 


A/N: This was written for the November 2009 Challenge at TriS. The word was DATE. It is a scene addition to the book The Romulan War. Again, there are spoilers ahead if you haven't read it. This takes place toward the end of the book. A very-much-alive Trip is now masquerading as the Vulcan, Sodek and staying with T'Pol at her mother's house.

 

 

Date Night on Mount Seleya

Trip looked out over the Vulcan horizon - the one with more moons and suns than there ought to be. It was dawn, and the expanse of desert was awash in pinks, yellows and oranges. The air was dry and clean, and it smelled something like sagebrush.

Trip sighed. He hated the desert. Nothing good ever happened to him in the desert. He ticked off the desert disasters in his head - training at Alice Springs, the whole mess with the Torothans and of course, the last time he had visited Vulcan and T'Pol had gone off and married another man.

That visit seemed like a lifetime ago, even though it was less three years ago. He thought of T'Les, in whose house he now resided, and wondered what she would have thought at the unlikely turn of events that had led to him back to Vulcan and back into the arms of her daughter. Absently, he reached up and touched his artificially pointed ear. After all, T'Les had wanted T'Pol to marry a Vulcan.

Trip smiled to himself. Apparently, the whole neighborhood was abuzz with gossip that T'Pol had returned to Vulcan and that she had brought her new mate with her. Ych'a had informed him over the previous night's dinner there was considerable relief and approval that T'Pol, after her swift annulment from Koss and the death of her human lover, had found a Vulcan with whom to bond. Ych'a, who was clearly entertained by this assumption, had made it a point to tell several inquisitive neighbors that the trader Sodek had been raised off world and was thus a good match for T'Les's daughter in that he too possessed some of the eccentricities that came from spending too much time away from Vulcan. The story supported his cover identity, and it clearly fit into whatever plans Ych'a had for him. Trip had a feeling his Vulcan spy master was going to be sorely disappointed when he went back to Earth and Starfleet.

Trip suddenly sensed he was being watched, and he didn't need to turn around to determine by whom.

Good Morning, Thy'la

T'Pol was standing in the doorway in her Vulcan civilian robes.

"Good Morning," he said aloud, looking back over his shoulder.

"You and I are the only ones awake," she said.

Trip sighed. He wished that he and T'Pol had the house to themselves, instead of sharing it with Ych'a, Denak and a brain-washed Romulan.

"I still feel like I should be fixing breakfast," said Trip.

"As my mate, this house is as much yours as it is mine," said T'Pol, "it would be inappropriate to behave as a guest."

"And yet," replied Trip, "I don't see Ych'a and Denak making breakfast, either. Seems Denak has been using your Mom's place as a crash pad-slash-safe house since T'Les died. I guess that means they aren't guests either."

T'Pol, who wasn't in the mood to again defend her old friends, did not respond. Instead, she moved across the balcony and next to Trip.

He put his arm around her and pulled her into a un-Vulcan embrace. Anyone who witnessed their interaction, would know something was amiss. Sensing her thoughts, Trip responded.

"I was much better at passing as a Romulan. I've decided that Sodek spent some time with the V'osh Ka'tur and is trying to go straight. I figure that will explain why my emotions are so close to the surface - even for a Vulcan who spent his life offworld."

T'Pol laid her head on his chest, and she listened to it beat. Despite the medication that turned Trip's blood green, anyone who got this close to him would realize his heart was in the wrong part of his chest. Luckily, only a mate would likely ever get this close.

"The V'osh Ka'Tur aren't at all respectable," said T'Pol, "but your thinking has merit. You don't seem very Vulcan. You should perhaps join me each day for meditation - that might help."

Trip nodded, and he hugged her closer. It was one thing to maintain his carefully devised Romulan cover identity, but it was quite another to keep to the Vulcan cover identity that had been created by Ych'a on the fly.

"I can't wait to get back to Earth. . .back to Enterprise if Archer will have me. . as much as I enjoy your company . . .and being your mate and all. . .I'm going stir crazy in this house."

T'Pol thought about this for a moment. Although she had far more mental discipline, she, too was becoming tired of the denizens of her mother's house that weren't Trip. She wanted to be alone with him outside their bedroom. Over the past few days, since their passionate reunion, the only time alone they had together was behind their bedroom door - where they would inevitably find themselves naked and engaging in vigorous, human-style sexual relations. As much as she enjoyed those interludes, T'Pol craved less intense time alone with Trip, so they could talk and simply enjoy each other's companionship.

"Perhaps we could take a drive to Mount Seleya," she said, "It's a two hour journey by hover car, and there's a lovely restaurant at the base of the mountain."

"That's interesting," said Trip, "I get the feeling Vulcans don't eat out much - at least not for pleasure."

"We don't, but many people choose to fast while meditating on Mount Seleya, and the restaurant provides nourishment for those ready to break the fast. The chef there has an excellent reputation."

"Sounds like a good spot for a date," said Trip, with a slight hint of sarcasm.

"It will be. Shall we leave within the hour?"

Trip kissed the top of her forehead.

"Wild sehlats couldn't keep me away, darlin."

****

Later that evening, Trip still couldn't believe his eyes. Mount Seleya was possibly the most beautiful place he had ever seen - the reddish hues of the desert landscape gradually turned a dusty green and then met white snow caps. Rivers flowed from those snow caps and turned into waterfalls that cascaded down from jagged cliffs. The air up here was much cooler than it was at T'Les's house, and Trip was grateful T'Pol had suggested he bring a jacket.

He and T'Pol had spent the day walking on several trails at the base of the mountain, and they had finally reached the small restaurant that perched on a bluff at the base of the mountain. According to T'Pol, patrons could only reach the place by foot.

"Did you make a reservation?" he asked.

"That is unnecessary," she replied, "It is rarely crowded."

The interior was elegant, if a bit spartan. The big dining room, illuminated by candles on the tables and in wall sconces, contained wooden tables and chairs that appeared old and probably uncomfortable. The room was warmed by a big, old fireplace. Most of the tables appeared to be for large groups, but there were several small tables for two against the window that looked down into the canyon. A group of Vulcans sat at one of the big tables, and a single, older monk sat at one of the smaller tables.

Another monk, who was working at the door, led Trip and T'Pol to one of the smaller tables. T'Pol whispered for Trip not to expect a menu or ask for one. They would eat whatever the chef prepared that night.

"I assume there's no catfish," said Trip.

T'Pol raised her eyebrow.

Trip used all the control he had not to grin at her. He had so missed annoying her that way. Since he couldn't smile at her, he did the next best thing by slipping off his shoe and rubbing her calf with his foot.

"Sodek," she said softly, "that is most un-Vulcan behavior."

Despite her words, she didn't remove her leg. Instead, she leaned over so as to press her leg harder into his foot.

"Well," he said in his best Vulcan monotone, "I wasn't raised on Vulcan, remember."

A young looking monk brought them a teapot and two cups, filling each cup for them.

T'Pol locked eyes with Trip.

Don't say thank you.

I won't darlin. I've got that one down. No gratitude.

Trip slid his foot higher up her leg, letting it rest against her knee.

Suddenly, he sensed her playful mood change, and she pulled away from him under the table. Her eyes were trained on the large table in the center of the room. Trip looked over. The group was standing up and getting ready to depart, and suddenly Trip recognized one of the men. He would have known him anywhere.

Isn't that your ex-husband?

He was never my husband. The marriage was annulled.

Trip was gratified to feel her wince at even the notion of her first marriage.

You think he's seen us?

Yes, he is approaching.

Do you think he'll recognize me?

Doubtful. I had a difficult time recognizing you at first.

"Hello, T'Pol," said Koss.

"Hello, Koss," she replied cooly, "You look well."

"As do you," he said, "I don't know your companion."

"This is Sodek," she said "He is a merchant. Sodek, this is Koss. He is an architect."

The two men nodded at each other, and Trip suddenly felt sorry for Koss. He looked at T'Pol very sadly - at least it was a Vulcan approximation of sad. Then, he looked at Trip with some approximation of jealousy.

"It is agreeable that you are well, T'Pol."

"It is agreeable that you appear well, Koss."

Koss nodded and then rejoined his companions.

Is it wrong of me to feel sorry for him?

Yes. He has married a young woman from a much more prominent family than mine. Her childhood betrothed was on the Seleya when it was destroyed in The Expanse.

He doesn't seem too happy. He got the short end of the stick, of that I am sure.

T'Pol raised an eyebrow, but she said nothing.

In any case, I'll always be grateful that he let you go, darlin. I'm not sure I could have done the same.

He had no choice. He knew I was bonded to you.

Their server brought their meals and placed them on the table. Despite himself, Trip was impressed by the smell of the rich, vegetable stew.

"I don't wish to discuss Koss anymore," said T'Pol.

"I don't wish to discuss him anymore, either," said Trip, digging into his meal.

What T'Pol didn't know was that Trip could see Koss standing in the doorway behind her. He looked at Trip, and instinctively, Trip knew he recognized him. Trip also knew that Koss wasn't about to blow his cover, either. He wasn't sure why, but he knew Koss was honorable that way. Koss nodded at Trip - as if to say, take good care of her. Before Koss slipped out the doorTrip gave him a look back that said - I promise, I will. Quickly, Trip pushed the moment deep into his mind so that T'Pol couldn't access it. The exchange was between Koss and him.

Are you all right, Thy'la?

Never better, darlin.

Trip took a deep breath. He wanted nothing more than to keep the unspoken promise.

 


Comments:

crystalswolf

I loved the footsies under the table and I LOVED the description "vigorous, human-style sexual relations".  So very T'Pol.

The quiet conversation between Trip and Koss was touching.

Honeybee

Thanks, Aquarius. The TnT parts of the book are scant and all occur at the end as Martin is moving toward the big, cliffhanger setup for the next book. But the bond is very much going to play a part in uncovering the spy intrigue - so it is worth reading. I sure hope Martin is allowed to write the next one. I'm already waiting and it hasn't even been announced yet. I guess I'll just have to write more of their missing scenes until then. As near as I can figure - they spent at least six weeks to two or three months together on Vulcan.

Aquarius

Okay, I cheated and read your story before reading the book.  Now I've Really Gotta Go Read That Book!!  :p  Great work, both in your own right, and in enticing me to read the book.

Dinah

Trip certainly is in a difficult situation, trying to pass as a Vulcan.  I don't blame Trip and T'Pol for wanting to lose the houseguests.  They deserve some time alone.

You did a very nice job with the lunch at Mt. Seleya, especially the meeting with Koss.  I felt sad for Koss, but at least he now has someone else in his life.  This was a terrific way to bring T'Pol's relationship with Koss to an end. It provided some sense of closure for everyone.

I have the book.  This story certainly provides a lot of incentive for me to start reading it.   

Honeybee

Regarding Vulcan having no moon, yes some people consider that canon. There is a line where Spock says that - but the matte paintings from the TOS films always show Vulcan as having two "celestial bodies" - and so in my head Vulcan has things that could be called moons. Because I can't get my brain around the idea of habitable planet without some kind of moon like things to control the tides.

Linda

Vulcan does not have any moons, according to canon, I think, but in novels it has a sister planet.  It does have more than one sun.  That first sentence with its moons kind of threw me off, but the rest of the story was great!  I liked your description of the colors on Vulcan, the restaurant, and that you treated Koss with respect.    

Mary

This is an excellent piece. It captures both Trip's and T'Pol's characters perfectly. I can believe Trip's statement that it is easier to portray a Romulan than a Vulcan, it must be torture for him to suppress his natural tendencies and speach. I am half way through Kobayashi Maru  and feel good knowing that somehow Trip made it out. Thanks for writing.

Distracted

I haven't read the book, but this makes me want to.  Very well done.

Honeybee

Thanks all. :) I hope other people write missing scenes from the book - it seems to me that TnT spent at least a few months together on Vulcan, at first with their guests and then alone. There's some filling in to do. As for Koss, I'm not sure T'Pol has forgiven him - but I figure the most awkward thing that can happen on a date is to run into a ex. And I figure Trip would be gracious in victory. 

Asso

You know what I think of this excellent scene, I already said it to you. But the rereading this little story, it made me enjoy it even more. You are so slight and so careful about any detail in your writing. I'm admired how you are able to show emotions without talking a lot of them.

Very, very, very good!:D

 

WarpGirl

You are such a great writer technically, it just is wonderful to read such clean sentences. Since I haven't read the books, it's a little hard for me to connect to the circumstances in the plot. BUT it was still very compelling. There was a warmth that is very nice to experience. I loved how you handled Koss. I'm firm in the "Koss is a decent guy" camp. So it was nice to see him treated so well. Good job. 

bluetiger

This was a great scene addition but the thing I keep thinking about is Koss. If he spent his entire adult life believing he would marry T'Pol then she would have been very important to him. I mean there were no girlfriends or dates, only T'Pol as his focus. I can't help but feel sorry for him even though we all know T'Pol belongs with Trip. I really like that the men came to a silent understanding. I realize that most people dislike him for strongarming her but it seemed to me to be more his family's doing. Anyway, very well done. 

Reanok

Nice addition to see you using a missing scenes story from the New Enterprise book.Poor T'Pol and Trip needed time away from a crowded house.;)

Silverbullet

Nicely written. Lovely tale.  Usual highstandard of writing.

 

 

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