The Sick Visit

By Alelou

Rating: PG

Genres: drama missing scene

Keywords: sickbay Sim

This story has been read by 935 people.
This story has been read 1488 times.


The Sick Visit

Spoilers: Similitude

Disclaimer: All things Star Trek belongs to CBS/Paramount.

Author's Note: SilverBullet (aka OldGuy) has long mourned that T'Pol didn't visit Trip in sickbay during this episode.  I maintain that she did and we just didn't see it.  So this is a missing scene, but not part of my 'official' series of "Missing Scenes" for each season.  Also, I must credit WarpGirl (or WarpGirl's brother) for T'Pol's theory about the Trellium-D here.  And many thanks to justTrip'n for her beta services.


 

T'Pol had avoided sickbay while Sim was in residence there, though complete avoidance was not possible.  She found it disturbing to see the evolving clone racing through its brief incarnation of an oddly sunny childhood.  She sometimes felt she was the only person on board who had truly thought ahead to how this charming boy would all too soon pass his prime and begin to decline and die.  It had only become more disturbing when they realized that Sim somehow carried Tucker's own memories.  Sim was therefore cursed with Tucker's understanding of what a Human life was meant to be.

Of course, Tucker's existence also seemed quite ephemeral at the moment, hanging as it did on a perfectly-timed donation of cerebral material from a mimetic clone.  T'Pol wondered just how confident Phlox truly was that this procedure would work. 

At least now that young adult Sim had been assigned his own quarters, she felt free to return to sickbay and visit the commander, who had been lying behind a curtain in sickbay like a piece of stowed surplus equipment.  Phlox had made it clear that the injured engineer would not be conscious of anything that might go on around him, so it was perhaps illogical for her to feel that he was being neglected, but as time passed she had felt an increasingly nagging sense that he deserved her attention.

Also, she missed him.  They might not have been able to make time for neuropressure sessions anyway, given the dire situation the ship was in, but whenever she managed to get time alone in her quarters, she felt his absence keenly.  Those regular sessions, with their quiet talk and gentle touches, had added a new layer of understanding to their peculiar friendship. 

She walked into sickbay at a time when she hoped Phlox might be away eating or socializing.  However, he was still there, apparently intent on something involving one of his creatures.  He barely looked up when she came in.  "Can I help you, Sub-Commander?"

She gestured at the curtained-off area that held Commander Tucker.  "I thought I would check on the Commander."

Phlox smiled.  "Of course.  Go ahead."

"Has there been any change in his condition?"

Phlox's smile tightened.  "No.  He's stable, for now."

"And you remain certain that he is not aware of his surroundings?"

"He is sedated for a reason, T'Pol.  Given the extent of the damage in his brain, any stimulus it did receive would likely be impossible for him to process coherently."

"Then perhaps it would be unwise to disturb him," she said, disappointed, but ready to leave.

"No, no, no, I didn't say that.  Go ahead and visit, if you wish.  Just don't expect to get any response.  If it helps, think of him as being in a very deep sleep." 

She went over and pulled opened the curtain.

"You're not his first visitor," Phlox added.  "Lieutenant Reed went on at some length earlier, telling him all about the ship's status.  There's still a stool in there, isn't there?"

"Yes," T'Pol said, and closed the curtain behind her.  She stood there for a moment, at the foot of the bio-bed, unsure how to proceed.  Unlike Lieutenant Reed, she saw no logic in regaling Commander Tucker's unconscious form with reports he could not take in.  She was also aware that a mere curtain did not provide much privacy for anything she might wish to say, pointless as it would be to do so.

She walked to the head of the bed and stared down at the engineer's face -- his forehead with its two sedator disks glowing red, that nose sloping in that distinctive Tucker way, the oxygen tube.   Did that mean he was not breathing efficiently enough on his own?   Her own chest tightened in sympathy.  Someone must have shaved him, for there was no sign of the facial hair he tended to grow rather quickly when circumstances interfered with his daily routines.

She leaned closer.  His smell, too, was overlaid with new tones -- a cleanser and a moisturizer she recognized from one of her own stays in sickbay, and some sort of antiseptic.  Still, the underlying scent was familiar enough.  She inhaled deeply, realizing that this was part of what she had been missing.  Hewould have been so amused.  He was always so sensitive about how badly he must smell to her, and yet here she was, breathing in his scent with the same eagerness with which she prepared each new injection of Trellium-D.

Apparently her new, more keenly-felt experience of life -- fueled by Trellium-D -- included an emotional  attachment to Tucker powerful enough to overturn virtually every fastidious instinct she'd ever had about Humans.  She blinked, wondering if that was perhaps a sign that those careful doses were more dangerous than she had thought. 

Unfortunately, she couldn't conceive of how to do without them now -- especially now, without Tucker's steadying presence.  She needed that liquid reassurance that she could continue to exist out here, all alone on a ship full of Humans who were all roiling with an even more potent mix of fear and rage and boredom and excitement than usual.

She also wanted to be ready for the day when the captain would decide they must leave her behind somewhere in order to process the Trellium ore they had stowed in Cargo Bay Two into something they could use to protect the ship (assuming, of course, that they ever made it out of the field in which they were currently trapped).  Archer would undoubtedly return for her as soon as possible, but if her experiment worked out as she hoped, she would be able to prove that she had gradually built up her tolerance and could stay aboard for the duration.  They would not have to pause in their journey, or double back to get her.

 She had noticed that Commander Tucker and Lieutenant Reed and other members of the command staff sometimes took proactive measures without consulting the officers above them.  It had concerned her as a breach of protocol in her early years aboard, and she also knew -- as they themselves did -- that it carried risks.  However, she had also learned that it certain cases it could be quite effective.  Tucker called it "using your judgment" or "managing upwards."

That was what she was doing: using her judgment.  Managing upwards.

Then why not tell Phlox about it now?  Why not let him confirm that her health was not being dangerously affected? 

The uncomfortable, niggling thought floated up in that uncomfortable way it had, requiring her to dismiss it once again with her usual reasoning: Phlox might think that any change in her neurochemistry was bad, even a benign change made for the greater good.  Surely it was better to present him and the captain with her new situation only when it became truly necessary to do so.

She sat down on the stool.  Without quite thinking about it, she reached her right hand up and rubbed a thumb softly across the Commander's cheek.  He didn't react in the slightest, of course.  Abruptly, she stood and reached her other hand over, dropping both hands to his shoulders, quickly finding the familiar neuropressure points.  

He wouldn't be able to breathe through the posture properly.

Neither would he be able to tense up, which was what could cause damage.

She pressed lightly, experimentally, waiting ... waiting ... for what?  For his muscles to relax?  But they could not be more relaxed.  Commander Tucker was limp.  Commander Tucker was a dead weight.  There was none of that typical tension, that tightly-wound energy it sometimes took as much as an hour of steady effort to dissipate. 

Clearly, administering neuropressure to him right now was as pointless as it would be to expect him to suddenly wake up and administer any in return.

But she didn't lift her useless fingers.  Instead, she spread them out, touching more of him, caressing his shoulders in a way she would never have allowed herself when he was conscious, running her right hand up his neck to his jaw and then his cheek -- still waiting, still listening for some faint thread of his unique consciousness to rise up through her fingertips.  

Was he still in there?  Did he have any idea how much she missed him?

The fingers of her right hand spread, questing impatiently after that absent presence. 

"T'Pol!"

She jumped, turning to find that Phlox was standing at the foot of Tucker's bed, the curtain she'd closed behind her still bunched in his hand.

"Do you really think that's wise?"

She stared at him.  "Doctor?"

"You have a deadly syndrome you acquired through a mind meld."

"I wasn't ..."  His implication was absurd, ridiculous! "I'm not a melder, doctor." 

Phlox just stared at her, his mouth flattening into a grim line.

She raised her right hand and spread it out in front of her experimentally ... and was horrified to realize what she had apparently been attempting -- utterly unconsciously.  "I apologize, Doctor" she said.  "I didn't realize ..."  What had she been thinking?  How could she take advantage of an unconscious man like that? 

"If I knew how to perform a mind meld with the Commander, I would no doubt be quite tempted to do so myself right now," Phlox said gently.  "But in your case I fear that could be courting disaster."

She stared down at the deck, overcome by shame.  She must never again visit Commander Tucker when he was in this helpless state.  She could not believe what she had nearly done -- though surely it would not have worked anyway.  He was Human, and she was no melder.  She had sensed nothing in any case, not even a flicker of consciousness.  Although she should probably be relieved by that, in reality it just added a heavy layer of grief to her shame.  "I understand, doctor."  She swallowed.  "I should go."

"T'Pol."

She stopped, though she did not look up.  She did not want Phlox to see her face.

"Are you sure you have fully recovered from your exposure aboard the Seleya?"

"With my extra duties in Engineering I haven't had enough time for meditation." 

"You're sure that's all it is?  I could run a scan right now."

"That won't be necessary, doctor.  I won't ... endanger Mr. Tucker again."

"I'm quite sure you would never intentionally endanger him," Phlox said.  "That's why I'm so concerned about what I just saw."

"As I said, I have not meditated, and I am also somewhat fatigued."

"I see.  Please get some rest, then.  But if you find yourself behaving in an unconscious or uncharacteristic way again, I want you to report to sickbay immediately.  Do you understand?  I will be watching you.  We need to schedule another scan soon, anyway."

She would have to find a way to get out of that scan.  She nodded, and left as quickly as she could. 

She must think about this.  She must meditate.  She must regain control.   

But first she must make it to her quarters as quickly as possible, for she was terribly afraid that she might cry.

 


Comments:

shanjeniah

I loved everything about this one. Everything. Evocative and chilling and beautiful.

Mary

Wow I can't believe all the comments  and conflicts this fic  created A sign of a deep piece of literature. I always had a hard time buying into T'Pol's explanation for using Trel D that she wanted to feel more emotion. I like your suggestion that she started thinking to build resistance like with allergy shots, but trel D is not an allergen but a poison so faulty logic bue believable with all the mental trauma that she has sustained. And easy to see how addiction could be rationalized on her part. AS to the insictual mind melding again easy to accept as it is natural for Vulcans but is consciously suppressed. With hwer  control impediments the instinctual responce would take over without her even being aware. Nice story

Alelou

Forgiven. 

Silverbullet

Alelou, my apologies for tracking in your house. Bad manners oon my part. Forgive my rudeness.

SB

Alelou

Sigh.  It's not like TheCursor posted that story here for people to comment on it; he/she just mentioned it.  So ... I don't mind if you want to criticize THIS story here, but I'd rather you didn't bash someone else's.  It sort of feels like I've got one guest attacking another guest in my house.

Silverbullet

Alelou;s story is very good. I  liked her Trip  and t-Pol.  since the TD wasn't brought up until much later than Sim I wonder if she was hooked then but it is  not important.

Re cursors story: Demanding that Trip wake up? He is in a coma! If nothing else Phlox would have explained to t-Pol what a coma is and she would know the impossiblity of ordering trip to do anything in shat state.  So ntelling him to wake up would be illogical and she is, if nothing  else, lgical.

WarpGirl

WOW! I think you really took my brother's idea and really ran with it. I have to admit I like how you made it your own by making her dread Archer deciding to leave her behind. Our idea was that she wanted him to leave her. That she cared more for the mission and crew than herself. But if you had done that it wouldn't be "yours" so great job. I love your writing even if I am one of the few people who believe T'Pol knew what she felt, and what she wanted, but felt she was wrong to do so. Like Bluetiger I agree it was out of hands as soon as she stepped on the Seleya, so I can't seem to get past that. But that's because of my own experiences. Sorry. I definitely feel a little honored though so thanks for putting a smile on my face.

justTrip'n

No, just the sick ward. :? We are having a discussion ABOUT Trip in the sick ward. And in TheCursor's story, T'Pol is having a "discussion" in the sick ward.

Alelou

:p As in "mental ward"?  Thank you for weighing in on that one, jT. I was thinking of asking you to just plain remove that comment.

justTrip'n

THECursor, I read your story and I really like it. And Silverbullet, remember that Cursor's story, like many at HoT was written back in the old TnT fanfic pioneer days, before the transcripts and before the DVDs. Heck, maybe he wrote that before the epiosode aired where she revealed her age. Back then, if we had a "fact" we needed to know, we asked each other on the forum and hopefully someone remembered the answer. Anyway, I loved Cursor's story.

Oh! Another apropo captcha: "Ward discussion"

JadziaKathryn

Well, I really can't stand the whole let's-turn-T'Pol-into-a-drug-addict storyline, but, like Distracted, I like that you've given her what she sees as a logical reason. The thing with logic that Vulcans don't want to acknowledge, of course, is that it can be twisted in various ways to support various things. Vulcans talk about 'pure' logic, but I'm not convinced. So I appreciate how in her own mind T'Pol is acting out of 1. concern for the greater good and 2. self-preservation.

willow

Thank you for this story. Why couldnt they have given a plausible explaination as to why she was using Trell-D? This makes sooo much sense. Thank you for writing. Looking forward to reading more.

Silverbullet

Alelou, read Cursors srtory. Frankly, it was not T-Pol. I didn't care at all for her in this story.

But then I am such a romantic that I need her to fall all over Trip  anytime.  Demanding that he wake up?  Oh By the Way, she is 66 not 68 as was stated in the story.  When she at last tells Trip her age she says she will be 66 on her next Birthday and that is much later than the spisode of Sim.  Picky, picky.

 

 

Alelou

Thanks, all.  Thecursor, I honestly can't remember if I'd read yours before -- if I had, it must have been years ago when I was first inhaling everything TnT I could find -- but I enjoyed it and I'm sure others will, too.  (See, SilverBullet, now you can enjoy her visiting Trip all over again in a new way -- no TD!)

Cogito, I actually had that thought also as I wrote this, though I decided she wouldn't quite let it rise to the level of consciousness, at least not as plainly as you did.  I have no doubt that she was also thinking about this later, though, when she said goodbye to Sim.

Reanok

Vey powerful story Alalou poor T'Pol's emotions are in turmoil about what's happened to Trip during Similtude is well portrayed in your story.Excellnt look into her thoughts about their relationship at this point of seaspn 3.

thecursor

http://triptpolers.houseoftucker.com/fiction/author_thecursor_one_moment_in_time.shtml

 

Great minds think alike! I prefer your version actually.

Aikiweezie

Ditto to those who reviewd before.  Powerful story Alelou!  

panyasan

Wow. I am in awe. I almost went to my room to have a good cry myself. I really like how you showed the inner turmoil in her head and her missing Trip. The unconsious attempt to meld was very good as was the sudden outburst of Phlox, breaking her "meditation". Excellent story.

Cogito

There is a huge amount to like about this story, especially the way T'Pol's affections for Trip are starting to be appreciated.

What really strikes me though, is something that I've never seen being recognised before.

In Sim we see a person with an unnaturally abbreviated life span, which from a human perspective seems bitterly unfair. I'm sure T'Pol will have been aware intellectually that she is going to outlive the bright and exuberant crew around her. I wonder whether that has really mattered to her though, until now.

There are horrible moral dilemmas associated with Sim's life and death, and added to that the prospect that Trip himself is not at all certain to survive. It's a horrid situation all round. But, setting all that aside, and hoping for the best possible outcome where Trip survives and lives to a ripe old age, I suspect that this is the point where T'Pol comes face to face with the fact that she is going to have to watch Trip, her Trip, grow old and die. :(

Aquarius

I'm with Dinah here.  Whether the attempt to meld would've been instinctual under normal circumstances, or whether Trellium-D had lowered her inhibitions toward melding the same way it did her emotions, the fact remains that this ability was meant to be used and Vulcans were fighting their true natures by ignoring it.  I found T'Pol's desire to touch him very moving and powerful.

Dinah

I think you've touched on one of the saddest points in this up and down relationship:  T'Pol wants him; she can't keep her hands off him; but she can't admit to herself how very much she cares for him.  She misses him.  He's a "steadying presence."  But she can never seem to bring herself to go beyond that. 

This would seem to prove that in renouncing melding, the Vulcans, in effect, turned away from a natural part of their existence.  T'Pol doesn't think about what she's doing; it just happens.  I think this makes a lot of sense. 

I feel for T'Pol here.  She's caught between trying to do what's best for everyone on board and giving in to her natural curiosity to experience emotions.  She's one very confused lady.  It's too bad Phlox didn't push a little harder to get those scans.  Thanks for a terrific story! 

bluetiger

Given the discussions we have had lately this is well timed. I enjoyed it very much and also think it has a creepy quality to it. T'Pol is obviously emotionally strung out.

I just can't buy that excuse of developing a tolerance to Trellium-D. She is just trying to rationalize to herself what she is doing. I know little of drugs but don't Heroin users get hooked after one massive dose?

Maybe I'm wrong but I still see it as out of her hands after the Seleya exposure.

This was very intense and interesting.

Honeybee

Forgot to add. I found the meld thing very jarring - but in a good way. It really evokes how messed up she is during the period where we don't know she is using.

Silverbullet

Alelou, good story. I think  that you could have left out the Td thoough. Just have her trying to reach Trip through touch and get discovered by Phlox.

I have been working on a Sim story too. T-Pol does visit Trip in sickbay, several times.  She goes in every night to check on his condition and just to be with him.

It has been recorded that people in a Coma do hear and remember things said to them while they were in that  Coma and could repeat what had been said to them when  they woke from the Coma. 

I am happy with your story and that I  helped inspire it.

SB

Honeybee

This is a very thoughtful look inside T'Pol's head. A good read.

justTrip'n

I really like the spooky ending. She is telling herself she is OK and that her Trellium use is logical when suddently !!!!!! It's like, UT OH . . . Did I really do THAT!!!???? It's eerie. Its seems like something that might really happen to an addict. They find themselves in a situation they never would have imagined could happen.

Given the backstory that T'Pol's only experiences with melders have been with Tolaris and with the ostrocized melder at the medical conference, this story is very powerful.

 

Distracted

Hmmm.  I like the idea that T'Pol might have justified her use of Trell-D this way.  At least it gives her a plausibly logical reason to become a drug addict. :s

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