Tripling Point

By HopefulNebula

Rating: PG

Genres: general

Keywords: bond

This story has been read by 842 people.
This story has been read 1325 times.

This story is number 3 in the series Singularity


He's - what there exists of him is - floating. The universe around him is dark and cold, but somehow comfortable. He doesn't want to move. There's nothing of him that can move. No need to move here, anyway. No need to remember. So he stays, and waits, but he doesn't know for what.

 

Another presence. Warm. Strong.

-Captain Archer?-

No. Yes. Who is that?

Right. He begins to remember. He stirs.

-Captain. Jonathan Archer. Respond to me... please.-

Words start to come back to him. T'Pol?

-Yes. Do you remember what happened?-

No. He doesn't think so. Thinking comes so slowly. Memory - not his own - takes but an instant. He sees a shuttlepod coasting over a thick forest, sees himself in the pilot seat, hears the explosion from behind. Feels the crash. Sees himself, unconscious and bleeding, being bandaged. The medkit is in the crumpled, inaccessible rear of the shuttle. He calls the ship in T'Pol's voice - they can't beam the two of them up, but keep him as stable as possible until the doctor arrives in the second shuttle. He watches his own vital signs drop precipitously and knows there's only one way to keep the man in front of him alive. A mind-meld?

-Yes. While we are joined, I can effectively maintain your heartbeat and rate of respiration.-

Thank you. And now his own memories come flowing back, more slowly. It's not a push of information as much as it is the knowledge that the information is there if he needs it.

/T'Pol, are you okay? I felt the crash. Phlox is on his way, and I'll be going too. Something caused that explosion and you'll need an engineer./

That's not T'Pol's voice. It's not her mind. Not his own. It's cooler, an ocean breeze wrapping itself around a fire as if it's always been there. Maybe it has. It's less intimate than T'Pol's voice - the difference between hearing someone in person and through a communicator - but perhaps more familiar. And as the thought forms:

/Jon? What are you doing here? Are you okay?/

And now he knows. Trip? Except it can't be Trip because Trip's not here and he's not telepathic.

-He is badly injured.-

/Shit. So you melded with him?/

A rush of affirmation flows from the two to Trip, though he can't say with any certainty whether it comes from himself or T'Pol or both of them.

/I thought you'd only read about healing melds? Of course you have. At least we know it works./

His sense of the others fades briefly and he sees T'Pol's scanner. He barely has time to note how ineffably different Vulcan and Human vision are before the link strengthens again. This time, the affirmation is all T'Pol's.

/Hi, Jon. Hell of a way for you to find out about us./

The idea settles in him, comes from a memory that didn't originally belong to any of them. Bonded. You're... and you didn't trust me enough to say something?

/We were going to do it over dinner sometime soon, but it was never a good time. And we worried about what you'd have to say to Starfleet, especially after the thing with the Romulans./

The regret he feels is not Trip's or T'Pol's, but a unique blend of them both. In this state, he can see that this was not a decision they made lightly, and it had torn them up inside.

And he can see - no, perceive - them more clearly now. They have nothing to hold back anymore. He feels her bolstering him, thoughts deliberate and methodical but so many and so fast he doesn't know how she catalogues them. He feels him, warm and cool at once around her, thoughts like a storm: lightning-fast and unpredictable, but brilliant.

And he knows with all the clarity he can muster that Trip and T'Pol complement each other. They are right for each other in a way few people of any species experience. And he is glad for them.

In the shuttlepod, Trip smiles, and they all feel it.

/That's nothin'. You should see our arguments./

If they're anything like the ones they have in Engineering or the Mess Hall, he's sorely tempted to take him up on the offer. But he knows he's treading dangerously close to things that aren't meant to be shared with him, so he takes a mental step back, and just rests in the feeling of two minds wrapped against his own. T'Pol tries to hide her relief, but there is no hiding here.

And suddenly he sees their crash site from above, a smoldering pile of wreckage on the ground.

/The good news is, it doesn't look like anything external caused the explosion. Means we can land safely./

T'Pol's thoughts follow Trip's quickly - almost too fast for words. It is a transfer of ideas before language. -Which means it was internal. A malfunction?-

/Probably,/ Trip thinks, and the thought is suffused with such hope that the other possibilities need not be brought to light. /You're the top priority right now. We can replace a shuttle, but we can't replace you./

He feels a strange sense of double vision; he sees the shuttlepod from outside as well as inside, and he wonders for the first time how Vulcans can bond with one another without losing all sense of reality. He looks around through T'Pol's eyes, hears Trip's voice telling Phlox what to expect at the crash site as they prepare to land, and he is very briefly three instead of one.

The visible, solid world around him begins to fade as his sense of Trip grows stronger. He knows that the link will be gone when he awakens, but he doesn't care. He is certain he will awaken, and his life will be infinitely richer for the time he has spent unconscious.

 


Comments:

Jamieson


This was excellent - I had absolutely no problem following who was who, you did a good job in just the "voices" of the characters to differentiate between the two, at least from my perspective. I wasn't even paying attention to the different format styles, although I picked up on it about halfway through. I thought this was just a really interesting way to show their relationship, not just to Archer but in general. Neat concept!

WarpGirl

OK I'm an idiot, because I didn't bother to read the first line of dialouge properly, so I thought Trip was hurt, until I read all the comments and re-read the first line again. However, that was MY fault for going in assuming that it would be Trip hurt. He always gets hurt. Otherwise I really thought this was great. You managed to do the bond beautifully, convey just how "alien" Vulcans are, and "outted" TnT wonderfully. Bravo!

Thot

This is probably the smartest/interesting version of "telling Archer about the bond between TnT" ever!

Nice interaction, good descriptions... what else can you wish for. ;)

Hummingbird2

Absolutely lovely.

Mary

I must admit, that I missed the differing italics for different people in the meld/bond. I found that ambiguity at first piquedmy interest even more. T'Pol's attitude did not seem  like she was talking with Trip, so i PICKED UP aRCHER BEFORE Trip entered the conversation. I liked the feelings exposed in the three way interaction. Archers hurt at not being told of their relationship, TnT's remorse at not having said anything. I liked this, hope to see more

Transwarp

Ha!  I was able to figure out who was who and what was what on my very first read!  Without any help from anybody! <insert smug look here>  That is actually a rarity for me--I can be incredibly dense at times.  <pats self on back.  Vigorously>

By the way, the story was good too.

pdsldl

Well if the objective was to make the reader feel confused and disoriented the same as Archer did as he began to perceive what was happening you acheived it.  Well done.  Thanks

panyasan

I read it again (now knowing how is how). Wonderful done.

panyasan

It was a bit difficult to figure it out: but that's the whole charm of this fic. I really enjoyed this story. Can we except more stories?;)

Reanok

I really enjoyed this story Hopeful Nebula nice to see you writing Trip&T'Pol stories. An interesting twist to see T'Pol using a healing meld to save Archer's life and fidind out that T'Pol amd Trip are bonded.

Cogito

I started off with the preconception that I was going to see another TnT moment, so it took a couple of re-reads of the opening paragraphs to figure out who I was and what was going on. It was extremely sneaky of you to put me through the same experience that you were putting Archer through, and you pulled it off with a rapier-sharp finesse. Nicely done! :)

 

Aquarius

I thought the characterizations were so well-done that which punctuation went with which character was pretty self-explanatory.  In fact, that was one of the main things I liked about this in the first place.

bluetiger

That was a very interesting look at their bond from a third party. Not a perspective we have seen before. Well done.

Distracted

I liked it a lot.  Very well-done.

Silverbullet

Hopeful, nice story, well writen.  glad everyone came out of it okay and that Archer now  knows the truth about TnT.

HopefulNebula

The angry smiley isn't helping your case.

 

And just for the record, everything in this fic - from not naming the narrator, to not putting the punctuation info in the header - is deliberate on my part, but I could be convinced to make changes if somebody asked politely.

Dinah

This is an interesting way to introduce Archer to Trip and T'Pol's bond.  I have to admit that, like Linda, I too had some problems.  The first time I read the story, I thought Trip was hurt and T'Pol had melded with him.  I wasnt' sure where Archer was, but logically, he would have had to have been on the shuttle.  The second time I read the story -- after reading the comments -- I figured out that Archer was the one that was hurt and Trip was coming with the rescue party. 

Anyway, I'm glad that Archer is OK with Trip and T'Pol being together.  You did a really nice job of showing Archer's perspective -- the whole in body/out of body business.  I hope to read more of your stories in the very near future. ;)

Linda

It have helped me if the punctuation was explained in a note at the start of the story. :@

Asso

A short scene with noteworthy imagery. It suggests without saying.

Alelou

I have to confess I didn't even notice your punctuation as a way to differentiate them, but I think I followed it for the most part since you do a good job of giving them different voices.  Interesting idea, nicely executed.  (And isn't that a good way to break it to the boss -- when no misunderstanding is possible AND his life is depending on it!  :p)

HopefulNebula

Linda: That's what the punctuation is for. Just plain italics are Archer, italics between -hyphens- are T'Pol, and italics between /slashes/ are Trip.

Linda

Okay, I must be VERY stupid today, but I cannot figure out who is who, and who is where in this story.  You need to give more clues as to who is injured and who is not.  This is making me irritable.

Aquarius

I just adore this.  Cool Vulcan Mojo, and a very creative way for Arccher to discover Trip and T'Pol's secret.  This one's a winner!

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