Missing Scenes from Season Two - Stigma

By Alelou

Rating: PG

Genres: drama missing scene

Keywords:

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This story is number 14 in the series Missing Scenes from Season Two


SPOILERS: Stigma (and as usual, it won't make much sense without it).

DISCLAIMER: Star Trek belongs to CBS/Paramount, not me.  The original episode was written by Rick Berman and Brannon Braga.

AUTHOR'S NOTE: The trust arc continues.  I seem to be in the mood for continuity this season.  Thanks as always to jT for beta and to my reviewers for your generous feedback!


 

T'Pol eyed the sparse selection of menu items in the case.  It was well past lunch and well before dinner -- which was exactly why she had chosen to come to the mess hall now.  She did not want company.  She did not want to have to explain that she was not on duty because she was packing up the rest of her belongings after a hearing that had merely succeeded in destroying yet another Vulcan's life. 

She was not particularly hungry, either, but she knew that failing to eat would only exacerbate her condition.  So she helped herself to a small salad and a cup of peppermint tea and took them to the most distant, corner table. 

Should she even be concerned about exacerbating her condition?  Perhaps it would be better if it ran its course as quickly as possible.  That way she would perhaps reduce the amount of shame she would bring to her mother and her clan. 

Of course, once home it was unlikely she would have any choice in the matter.  She was unlikely toreceive the same level of treatment Phlox had been providing.  She would probably be encouraged to check herself into a discreet hospice program somewhere, a place designed to keep dangerous deviants compassionately segregated from the rest of society.

Perhaps the company there would be interesting, at least -- presumably it would include melders, hopefully more like Yuris than like Tolaris -- and there might be less of the hypocrisy she had begun to associate with Vulcans in authority.  Perhaps, if she were allowed to research the condition, she might come up with a cure on her own.

Though she doubted any significant resources would be made available to her. 

She looked across the empty mess hall.  She didn't want to leave Enterprise.   Archer had been very angry about not being told about her diagnosis, but once he got beyond that she had gotten nothing but support and concern from him.  He still wanted her here, and in T'Pol's judgment it was much preferable to be wanted than to be unwanted.

As she stared bleakly across the room, the door slid open and Commander Tucker stuck his head in and scanned the room quickly.  When he saw her he smiled - a warm, open smile, the kind she had once taken for granted but now knew to appreciate - and stepped into the room.  "May I join you?" he asked.

She nodded her assent and waited while he grabbed a sandwich and a glass of milk.

"A late lunch?" she asked.

"Yep.  I'm starving."

She let him sit and "inhale" his food, as Ensign Sato had once, figuratively, described it - while she picked at her own meal.   She had not attended any more movie nights, but Commander Tucker appeared to have forgiven her for her perceived trespasses against him anyway.  For whatever reason, this small change in their interactions had made her daily life aboard ship much more comfortable.   

He consumed half of his sandwich in very little time and sighed with relief.  "Oh, that hits the spot.  So why are you eating at this odd time of day?"

"I was down on the planet with Captain Archer." 

"Ah.  Anything exciting going on?"

She looked at him, assessing.  Should she tell him?  She knew he most particularly did not like 'not to be trusted.'  On the other hand, she also knew he would be upset and angry about what had happened - it would offend his sense of justice, just as it had Archer's.  He would be even more upset if he knew about Tolaris.  And Tucker, she suspected, would likely react with even more volatility than the captain.  He might be additionally upset at her that he hadn't known about Tolaris before - he might categorize it as yet another example of her not trusting him sufficiently.

She didn't feel capable of coping with his negative emotions on top of her own right now.  As it was, she was feeling vaguely nauseated by the simple necessity of eating. 

"T'Pol?" he said.  "You all right?"

"I'm ... a bit fatigued.  No, there was nothing particularly notable.  We exchanged some research findings."

"Ah."  He went back to his sandwich. 

She remembered the odd way he had entered the room.  "Why are you eating so late?"

He blushed and answered her around the remains of half a mouth-full of sandwich.  "I'm trying to avoid Feezal.  Phlox's wife."

Her eyebrow rose.

He swallowed.  "Apparently Denobulan women have very healthy, um, appetites.  And, for whatever reason, she ... took a shine to me."  His blush deepened.

T'Pol stared at him, nonplussed.  He'd had sex with Phlox's wife?  That might well make it rather awkward to encounter her again.   Were there any alien women Tucker wouldn't be willing to have sex with?

"I didn't do anything to encourage it, either," Tucker said.  "Nothing at all!"

"I hope you took precautions."  She worked to keep her tone even and nonjudgmental.  "At least with a Denobulan female becoming pregnant yourself is not a concern."

"Precautions?" Tucker said, squinting at her.  Then his mouth dropped open.   "Are you kidding me? You must think I'm some oversexed baboon who'll happily sleep with anything that moves!"

She blinked.  What had she said wrong now?  "I thought you said ..."

"I said she was interested -- not that I was!  She's married!  I'd never do that sort of thing.  I even told Phlox about it, but that didn't help.  He actually encouraged me to give it a go.  Can you imagine?  I guess Denobulans are used to sharing everything."  He shuddered.

She leaned forward as casually as she could and gently sniffed.  No, he didn't smell as if he had recently engaged in sexual relations, though there was a faint whiff of Denobulan female -- that was a rather unmistakable aroma.  Of course, he could have gotten that just from being in the same room with the woman. 

"Are you smelling me?" he said.

She quickly pulled back.  "I apologize," she said.  "I was merely attempting to verify your claim."

His face darkened.  "And did I pass?"

"I don't detect any evidence to contradict your story," she said. 

He folded his arms and stared at her.  "I see.  So you couldn't simply trust me to tell you the truth."

 "Vulcan women have extremely good olfactory senses," she said, and stared right back at him.   Surely he didn't think he could lie straight-faced to her about the Kriosan he'd very obviously had sex with and then expect her to believe him in this matter?

He was nodding his head in a clearly annoyed manner.  "I get it.  You think I lied to you about Kaitaama."

She just raised an eyebrow.

He scowled.  His face turned red.  He looked off to the side and said, "You know, it's just possible that a princess who's about to ascend to First Monarch can't afford to let certain things get out."

"Indeed," T'Pol said.  "I could well imagine that.  Similarly, it's possible the Vulcan Security Directorate cannot allow certain information to become common knowledge, either."

He closed his eyes.  That was a painful area for him, she knew.  "That wasn't the same."

"I'm sorry you feel that way," she said, and began to stand.

"T'Pol."

She stopped, tray in hand.

"I want us to be friends," he said. 

She sat back down.  "I cannot share all my secrets with you, Commander."

He grimaced.  "I know.  I suppose I might want to keep a few of my own, if I think about it."

"But I would consider it a great honor to be your friend," she said.

He gave her a very serious look.  "Likewise.  Always."

She nodded slightly in acknowledgment.

He gave her a tight smile, as if he was perhaps holding back a stronger emotion. 

How she wished she could stay here on Enterprise with him and Archer and a crew that largely seemed to accept her despite her differences from them. 

Should she tell Tucker why she had to go back to her quarters to finish packing now? 

But she simply didn't have it in her.  Perhaps, later, when her things were packed.  And even if she never said anything at all, if she somehow avoided a painful farewell, perhaps he could look back on this conversation and remember that she had said she could not share all her secrets with him.

But she would always be his friend.

 


Comments:

shanjeniah

I'm glad they cleared the air, and I have to think there's some comfort for T'Pol in just having this conversation, which she no longer takes for granted. I'm also glad that she stays. I think she will eventually tell him - all kinds of things. =)

Starwatcher

LOVED this: "Were there any alien women Tucker wouldn't be willing to have sex with?"

I really liked this scene and their slow steps back to where they were, coupled with acknowledgement that each has their own secrets that must remain that way.

bluetiger

This was a nice scene but I never expected Trip and T'Pol to share all their personal secrets at this point in the relationship.

Friendship does not always involve confessing your medical history and who you sleep with. She would never have told Archer about it if not forced to.

In fact I could see T'Pol simply leaving Enterprise when she could no longer work without telling anyone the truth. At this time in season two she comes across as confused and lonely. It is very believable that she craves Trip's friendship, but if she won't tell her age I can't see her fessing up to a disease.

However, I am going to beat this dead horse one last time. Leaving Trip in command with no information wasn't about frienship, it was criminally unprofessional of T'Pol and Archer.

 

marc

Perhaps, one day, T'Pol will feel secure enough to break the golden rule and start sharing those secrets with Trip. It would be a sad life if you couldn't trust another person enough to let him share your burden and help you carry it.

Too bad we didn't have enough seasons in actual show too see this...

Alelou

Thanks, all!  SB, I think that T'Pol did learn something about Trip here, but at this point in her life she'd still be thinking a Human was out of the question as a romantic partner. 

panyasan

The fact that they came to a sort of understanding was wonderful, but I thought it was regretable that T'Pol didn't tell about her illness with Trip. She missed a lot of support from him. I think she also showed that human behaviour is puzzling to her and that she still has some prejudice to overcome herself. I didn't like she was referring to Unexpected (I guess she was refering to it when she mentioned the Vulcan Science Directorate). I thought she was more sensitive then bringing that up. I liked the fact you showed T'Pols strength, dealing with problems on her own and making the best of it, but also her weak side: that she shields away of becoming to close to Trip. And Trip is his charming self in this touching piece. I really liked it.

Dinah

Shame on T'Pol.  She should know better.  She's an alien female and Trip's never put the moves on her.  Or maybe that's the problem.

The sniff test was a nice touch, but T'Pol needs to do a little work on subtlety.  It no wonder that Trip was offended, especially since Feezal was the woman in question.  It should have been fairly obvious that Trip was trying to avoid her.  And I don't blame him a bit.  It was fairly obvious that "no" wasn't a part of her sexual vocabulary.

This scene was really terrific.  It's nice to know that Trip and T'Pol could talk things over and, in spite of everything, agree to part as friends.

Mary

This showed the tremendous insight both T'Pol and Trp have  into life. T'Pol is able to acknowledge that her own people are hypocits and illogically  force compiance rather than indivuality, whereas the humans readily accept people for who they are. She also shows understanding that Trip would be upset on her behalf at finding out how she is being treated and indeed that she is suffering a fatal ailment, so choses not to tell him not from lack of trust by to protect him. She then loses  when she doesn't trust him not to have sex with Feezal. A lost opportunity. This vignet really did give insight into the more personal view each have. Really well done Thanks

Reanok

Excellent look into T'Pol's thoughts during Stigma. I liked the fact she admitted to herself the Vulcan high command were hypocrites also condescending except for Dr.Yuris. And the Enterprise crew accepted her while other Vulcan's didn't.That she didn't want to go home.

Silverbullet

This shows that Trip would not share.  Although the woman  was willing and Phlox even offered her. Trip's principles that he was taught and raised with and the foundations of what he was would not allow him to do it.  He was nice about  his refusal but firm.  True Trip

This should have shown T-Pol that Trip was a man she could trust and that he would not betray that trust or her. Her logic shoulld have told her that she had looked under the facade that Trip presented to the real man that was under that facade and that he was a unique Man.  Don't think that T-Pol ever absorbed that.

As somone said a lost opportunity. T-Pol had her own problems but she had found a person who she could share her problems with and would offfer as much of his strehngth to her as possible. That she was not alone and need not ever be alone agaign.

auroraborealis

Wow.  I really like this one, and I really love how you've made this into the "trust arc."  Not only does it clear up season 2 but it lays a more believable foundation for season 3.  Also, I thought this episode was a wasted opurtunity and you definiatly fixed that. 

Transwarp

This is one of the best yet.

crystalswolf

I loved the part about Phlox's wife where T'Pol assumes he had sex with her.  T'Pol could easily get the idea that he would romp with any non-human female.  And the sniffing was hilarious!

justTrip'n

I love this one. T'Pol shows alot of depth here, and strength, as she contemplates her fate. I like that she considers it a silver lining that in a Vulcan hospice she might meet some people who are not hypocrites. I like that you show her sense of belonging here on Enterprise. I REALLY like your resolution: That both Trip and T'Pol agree that they might need to keep some secrets but they value each other's friendship. I'm glad they got to say what they needed to say and have come to some sort of understanding. Very, very nice.

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