Broken

By Elessar

Rating: PG-13

Genres: angst au dark family romance

Keywords: bond character death

This story has been read by 850 people.
This story has been read 1204 times.


 

Description:  This is so very dark and sad.  What happens to someone that's inextricably linked to someone that leaves?  I mean inextricably.


A low rumble built until it cracked and shook the windows.  His feet carried him in a uncoordinated shuffle to the threshold of the door.  Trip became absently aware of his fingers on the cold, brass door knob.  As if the realization triggered a muscle spasm, his fingers twisted it open and he stepped out into the rain.  The Earth rumbled in response, the ground vibrating with the force of a shuddering warp engine as the sky let out an electrical ripple and a white crack.

He sighed loudly, whiskey vapors escaping into the electric night air.  His gaze floated across the black road emptily, images of years past playing in front of them and obscuring the shimmery slick blacktop.  The thunder rumbled again low, loud and slowly as it rolled out of the sky.  It felt like providence; like a kind of slow, irreversible movement inside him followed the thunder's course and touched off electrical sparks in every cell of his body.

He looked up, took an unsure step out from under the awning, and suddenly the patter of the rain against the mud startled him.  He wondered how long it had been raining.

"T'Pol," his lips moved mechanically.  The word echoed in the back of his mind emptily as it had so many times.  His eyes twitched, narrowing slightly with the expectation of anguish... but too much inside had been killed, numbed.  When the pain never came, he stood confused for a moment, and then it hit.  His face slowly twisted into pain, a movement so familiar, he didn't even notice.

Not sure how long he had been standing there, he blinked rapidly when the tone of the rain pattering on the concrete changed and disturbed the peace of his empty thoughts.  His neck craned instinctively and he found splotches of light peering through the cloud cover.  It looked like morning.  How long had he been standing there?

As if on cue, his head turned from one side to the other, and looked down to find an empty glass tipped downward in his left hand.  Dark spots stained his jeans where whiskey and coke had splashed into the fabric from the concrete next to his bare feet.  It had long washed away, and the thunder had subsided, but the echo was unbearable.

It was toneless, wordless, distracting; an empty droning to blur out the silence.  He couldn't stand the silence... it was like living for an eternity among endless community, only to be left the lone survivor of a merciless plague that silenced all the voices but his own.  The silence put tempting ideas into his head... made him think about risking it to join her.  It made him want it until he could think of nothing else... until he wanted nothing else.

In some ways, it would be easier if they were gone... easier to let go. "If who were gone?" he wondered aloud to himself as his thoughts flapped wildly in the warm air, their threads becoming disparate and confusing.

"Trip?"

His mother's footsteps crackled against the concrete lightly, interrupting the sudden birdsong he realized had filled the air.  The sky had lightened into shades of cyan and ambrosia.  The air moved.

"Honey, let's go to bed," the voice strained to remain even.  Trip's eyes fell to the pavement as he shuffled to turn around, his eyes never leaving the pavement before his feet.  They moved upwards slowly, landing on his mother.  Her face was like a vaguely familiar name from childhood.  He stared at it from across an entire lifetime, across the universe.

"Hey... mom?" he blinked.  She pursed her lips, blinking rapidly through the anguish that fought to show itself.  Tightening her robe, she reached out with her frail, papery hand.

"It's time to go to bed, honey."

"Hmmm..." Trip muttered.

His chin shot up then and looked at her anxiously.  "Will T'Pol be joining us for dinner, Cap'n?" Trip asked.

"No, Trip," his mother replied quickly and unfazed by his question.  "She won't."

"Oh," Trip groaned, not hiding his disappointment as his face fell.  "Must be busy on the bridge."

"Mmhm," she muttered, guiding him over the threshold to the front door.

Trip stopped suddenly and looked up, starling his mother.

"It's a beautiful day," he said his lips curving into a smile.

"Of course it is," she agreed.

"Maybe dad'll take me fishin'!" he said with sudden glee.  The smile that erupted from his lips threatened to touch each ear as his mother guided him to the couch.

"We'll go see him this afternoon, and ask, sweetheart," she said, sounding as if she were thinking aloud.

"Mom?" Trip asked, settling himself into the couch and pulling a quilt over himself.

"Yes, sweety?" she asked instinctively, tucking in her grown son.

"Dad's dead." The words came out of his mouth with almost a hint of confusion.

Catherine nodded solemnly, shutting her eyes as if the hold the tears back.  "He is."

Trip looked incredulous... and then turned swiftly and buried his head into the couch cushion.

"So is your T'Pol, sweety..." Catherine muttered quietly to herself, her hand flying to her lips as her eyes glassed over with unshed tears.  She withheld them for the sake of his anguish, for the sake of his endless tears, and for the sake of the shreds of himself he had left behind to dry them and retain some semblance of communion between his broken spirit and her departed memory.

 


Comments:

Leocentaur

Brilliant.  Heartbreaking.  Horrifying.  Possibly one of the strongest pieces of short prose I've ever read.

Mary

You achieved your goal, a true tear jerker. Any longer and control would have been lost. Your ability to capture his total desolation and loss of touch with reality is heartbreaking but his lucid moments are more so - his thought to join her in death  stopped only by knowing that he would leave his elderly mother alone. Unsaid is the realization that when she dies, Trip will probably "leave" as well. This was deeply moving and less detail said more than filling in the gaps. Thanks....I think

Lady Rainbow

Ow. :(

This hurts. :s

Very powerful and poignant in a short piece. Great job.

Elessar

:p:D I don't blame you, it's an odd color but it just came to me and I didn't feel like anything else fit what I saw in my head:

http://www.colourlovers.com/color/C04818/Ambrosia

Sort of a burned orange I would call it.

I'm glad you felt it was kind of disjointed because that's what I was going for... interruptions and confusion in the narration is sort of what I was going for as an indication of the chaos in Trip's head.

I kinda switched to his mother's POV at the end to give one, sharp, short-lived but clear picture of what a mess he was as viewed through the eyes of a normal person.

Alelou

Lovely, but I do wish I had a few more bones to hang this situation on.  You get across the idea of a broken Trip in a very striking way. I think the part in his mother's POV is much easier to follow.   (Um...I know what cyan is because of my printing experience, but what the heck is ambrosia??)

auroraborealis

OMG that was so depressing it made me tired.  But in a good way. lol.  It was really sad to see Trip with out T'Pol and somehow it was also exactly the way I could imagine him reacting.  The story was beautifully written.

pdsldl

Wow you got this do right it's scary.  Great writing.

WarpGirl

This to me was like reading Emily Bronte. And that is A GOOD THING! Her stories are creepy, dark as midnight, and very intensely emotional. I actually think you would like her work Boss. Honestly I think this is exactly what would happen to either Trip or T'Pol if one died before the other, which is why in my head they have to die together, unless they have little ones. I am astounded by the way you creatively use language and description to put a reader right there in the story. Don't kill me but it's like being in the holodeck. I loved this because unless it's Stargate death is unavoidable, and should not be avoided in fiction. Beautiful and exquisite job.

Linda

Beautifully written!  The image of that rain storm was so vivid I could not only see it, but feel it.  And more than one death to deal with...two deaths.  I'm glad you didn't mention the two Elizabeth deaths also.  How hard can a family get hit?  But T'Pol and Trip's dad, these must have been recent ones in this story, right? 

Elessar

By the way, Aquarius mentioned a "Wrecked" sequel.  I've been having a hard time getting inspired lately, but that is planned.  

Elessar

Thanks guys!  Your praise is invaluable, and the reaction to this one was much stronger than I expected or deserved.  Transwarp you captured it precisely.  It's a tragedy is what this story is.  I was listening to "Thunder Rolls" on some very high quality headphones when the story started to come to me.... it was kind of inspiring :)

Dinah

This was a very powerful story and BEAUTIFULLY written, but I wish you had extended it a little bit.  I was left with so many unanswered questions.  And surprising one of them was not what happened to T'Pol.  Somehow it was enough to know that she was dead and the bond was broken.  Since this story is about Trip, you left me wanting to know more about him and his condition.  How long has T'Pol been dead?  If his mother is elderly, than it could have been quite a while ago.  What was or is being done to try to help him?  Has Starfleet washed their hands of him?  Have the Vulcans tried to help?  Why hasn't he been institutionalized if his condition will never improve?  Is an elderly widow really the best caregiver for an adult son who seems to be borderline suicidal?  The loss of two brilliant minds and a bright future is certainly a tragic ending to a great romance.  Very well done!

justTripn

Wow! Very, very poetic. Very vivid. I also like the way you have the audience wondering what is going on and the way you reveal it. One would have to say "perfect." (BTW, it's perfect from an editing standpoint as well. Not one word I would change.) Is this one Twilight-inspired? If so, you pulled it off! Wow . . . . 

Aquarius

Oh.

My.

God!!

When I first started readin this I thought it was a continuation of your "Wrecked" arc, and then it just became all the more sad and tragic as I realized it wasn't.  You vividly paint us a picture of a broken man here, between losing the one thing he loved more than anything, and the damage from the sudden, traumatic severance of a telepathic bond with that person.

Absolutely lovely.

Transwarp

Intense.

You have given us a sketch of a someone completely shattered.  There is nothing left but the empty husk of what was once a man.  The moments of lucidity, few and far between, only make it worse by reminding us of who and what he once was.

Even worse, this does not appear to be the initial onslaught of grief, with the hope that time will restore him to a semblance of life.  No, the impression this leaves is that much time has past.  He has reached the bottom of the abyss, and there is no getting out.  No coming back.  Ever.

The pain is too great.

Intense.

 

Opal

That was heartbreakingly sad and full of pain but beautifully described.  

Honeybee

Very sad but beautiful. 

panyasan

You painted a dream world, vague, untill we realize it's real. Once again you have proven your rare talent of writing heartwrenching and strong prosa in a wonderful poetic way. (tries to remove lomb from throat).

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