World of Ice

By panyasan

Rating: R

Genres: challenge

Keywords:

This story has been read by 2903 people.
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Barefoot

Disclaimer : Enterprise and its characters are property of CBS/Paramount.

Rating: R

Time-line: 2161. Six years after "Terra Prime".

Author's note: This story can be read as a sequel to my story Water World and The Captives, but also perfectly as a stand alone story. The title is inspired by the 'Barefoot' challenge.

In this chapter two events are described. They were inspired by the prologue of the story Differential by Zane Gray and by Missing Scenes from Season One - Sleeping Dogs by Alelou. Both excellent stories and used with permission of the author. I also like to thank my beta, Honeybee.

 


 

 

Part one

Blue. Everywhere she looked she saw blue. The blue curtain in front of the windows; moved softly in the wind, a salty breeze coming from the sea nearby. The walls were painted in cobalt blue and there was an azure ceiling on top of her head. Outside she heard the waves of the sea crashing gently on the shore, creating a soothing sound. The bright sunlight that shone through the curtains in the bedroom, indicated that when she would open them, she would see a bright blue sky above the sea.

She moved her legs over the edge of the bed and sat. Reaching for her silk robe on the chair nearby, she wrapped the robe around her body. She was about to move softly away so as not to awake the man who had been sleeping next to her when two strong arms glided around her waist and under her robe, preventing her from leaving.

"Whatcha doing, Mrs. Tucker?" a very amused voice asked her.

T'Pol looked around to see the laughing face of her husband. His hair was disheveled, his blond streaks pointing in several directions.

"We had a Vulcan wedding ceremony, so officially I am not Mrs. Tucker," she rebuked her husband with soft amusement.

"So what am I? Mr. T'Pol?" he gave back.

"You now part of my clan," she explained, trying to focus on his question and not be distracted by the hands that made soft circles on her belly. It was a most agreeable feeling.

"And I am honored," he brushed his lips softly in her neck, before kissing her. His stubble rubbed against her fair skin."So why are you dressed? Any plans?"

"We need nutrition, so I wanted to make breakfast," she explained. Her adun seemed more interested in planting kisses along her neck. For a moment she only felt his kisses, the pleasurable sensations of the touch of his fingertips on her stomach. She desired more and she did lose focus.

"I'm not hungry," he answered.

He pushed her downward and she found herself on the bed. His smiling face was inches away from hers. She looked in happy blue eyes, with a light of amusement. "But then again," he added and took possession of her mouth. She felt the same hunger as he. He stirred up passion in her, a passion matching his - or maybe even bigger and brighter.

The robe ended up on the ground next to the bed, like her flame red wedding dress had the night before, and they played the game of lovers young or old - I am my beloved and he is mine. The game of breathing his scent; moving her fingers to feel his cool; smooth skin underneath; enjoying his strength; feeling the softness of his lips and the aggressive passion in his kisses. The bond sparked into life. She craved to become one: mind, katra, body.

Then she felt a memory from Trip entering her mind, a mental representation of a mind meld they shared. The remembrance became a longing, a desire that matched hers. As before when she melded with Trip, it felt so natural as she touched his forehead with her index and middle finger.

Their minds met. In that moment, they were one, floating together in a bright space. Memories surfaced and came rushing by. They each saw the real Trip or T'Pol, the naked soul, without pretense or cover up. Lying down skin to skin, she felt his pleasure, enhancing hers, she ravished his touch, was lost in the sensation of pleasure.

A strange thought came into her mind. Love is stronger then death. Then the waves of an intense feeling of pleasure washed over her. Their rhythm stopped.

"Wow," Trip said, his face above her. He slowly opened his eyes.

"That would be an accurate description," she commented.

He grinned and started to kiss her face with soft, wet kisses and smelling her scent. She wanted to kiss him back, but instead she closed her eyes to feel the sensation of his kisses. She was in his arms. She was warm and alive.

Then she felt a coldness creeping up her spine. The room became dark. She tensed. The coldness expanded to her entire body. "Trip," she said.

His lips had left her body. He stared at her. "T'Pol?"

He moved his head away from her. Confusion and panic written over his face.

"Trip, what is wrong?"

"S'tivh khumae-ute. Hallh'na," he answered. What did he say? He didn't speak Vulcan, but another language she didn't understand.

"S'tivh khumae-ute. Hallh'na," he repeated, louder. The room became darker and darker. Clouds blocked her vision. The sight of Trip became foggy.

"S'tivh khumae-ute. Hallh'na," Trip shouted. To her distress she saw the image of Trip fading away until he was nothing but air and for the first time in years, she screamed.

 


 

 

Part two

T'Pol woke up, her heart ponding, Trip's name still on her lips. She was in her beach house bedroom, now painted in soft green -five years after her wedding day. The dream had seem so real. So vivid. Right in every detail. No sleeping Trip now. She was alone and Trip was gone.

She calmed herself, breathing in and out. She didn't feel well. Reflexively, she put her hand on her mouth in anticipation of the coming nausea. This is normal, she thought. The normal symptoms of bond mates being separated.

She must examine her situation. Everybody had told her that Trip was dead. She had been to his memorial service, sitting in a row, next to Ambassador Soval. Trip's family and Captain Archer were leading the service.

To most of the world, she was nothing more than Trip's fellow crew member, an ex-girlfriend or maybe a good friend of his. But she had been his wife and the whisper of their bond was still stubbornly in her mind. Somewhere in this universe, Trip was alive. She would find him.

She got up, but dizziness stopped her tracks. Combined with yet other feeling of nausea she decide to lay down again. On the bed, she put her hand on her perfectly flat stomach. If she didn't know better... Normal symptoms of bond mates being separated, she repeated to herself.

She looked at her hand on her empty stomach and her mind went back three years ago.

She was herself, lying on her bed. It was nighttime, she couldn't fall asleep the bed in her Enterprise quarters. Trip was sleeping next to her, his arms around her, but never had she felt so alone, so empty and filled with despair. Before that day, any discomfort had been easy. She had been content as she felt the surprising and gentle presence in her mind and knew a child was growing in her womb. Before the green blood started flowing and she slowly had felt the light of the life inside her diminish.

She pushed the memory and the pain it still caused in the most far place of her mind. Her symptoms faded, she felt better and stood up. Dressed in her blue pajamas and her silverly colored robe, she walked to the kitchen.

From the window, she could see it was going to be a clear day. In her early life she hadn't liked large surfaces of water, but now she could appreciate the beauty of the blue sea.

A ray of light shone through the window of her kitchen, warming her face. She put the water kettle on the stove and when the water boiled, she put G'ran tea powder in the pot. Standing in the tradition of generation before her, T'Pol rotated the powder with a spoon, before it melted in the hot water. Tal, dah, nala (1,2,3) she counted. She poured the tea in one of Trip's Gator-cups. They were the right size for her morning tea. She inhaled the damp of the tea. It smelled unusual. Katau-tor theris ha'kiv (tea brings life) she thought and meditated for a moment. Her next task was to make plomeek soup. She had done this a thousand times.

She placed the bowl of plomeek soup on the table, next to PADD's that she had placed there yesterday. On top, there was the PADD with the file of yesterday's news. Lately she had become very reluctant to watch the news file. Trip's death, "one of the hero's of the Romulan war", "the engineer-playboy" as the journalists called him, had been headline news for a couple of days.

She even got a request from the Science Department to fill in a form of questions about Trip's scientific engineering work. Apparently a journalist was busy writing a story for the Science Monitor about his work. The Science Department wanted her to assist this journalist with information. Because of their request and her good experience with the journalist in question, she had agreed to cooperate. She also wanted the media to focusing on the brilliant and imaginative scientist Trip had been, rather than his exaggerated romantic adventures.

The plomeek had cooled to the correct temperature. She chose to read the PADD with science news and while doing so, she took the first bite. It's tasted horrible. Normally, plomeek from her province was bland - needed lots of pepper and salt as Trip would say - but now it tasted bitter. She had bought the carrots the previous evening and they appeared fresh, but maybe they were too old.

She searched her kitchen cabins for other foods. It reminded her of the joke Trip made when she had told him that she had bought a beach house from a friend of Dr. Phlox, a fellow Denobulan. Trip asked if she had checked the kitchen cabins for any bats or small animals.

"I have," she confirmed.

"I bet you have," he had grinned.

She missed his silly jokes, the ones that half the time she didn't understand, but always secretly enjoyed. She missed their stimulating conversations and heated fights, the way they could be together in silent understanding - his emotions, his smell, his support, the weight of his body next to her in her bed, his breathing when she tried to sleep late at night.

She suppressed her emotions, focused and found some bread, peanut butter and jelly. Peanuts were nutritious and jam was made of fruits. A good breakfast indeed.

She cleaned up and took shower. She looked briefly in the mirror. To a stranger she would have looked the same as she had five years ago, but she knew the war had left its mark on her face and body. It has been more noticeable with Trip. She had seen his face change in that of a man who seen to many death and destruction.

T'Pol dressed herself in jeans and shirt. Vulcan never wore shoes in the house, but rather slippers. She, however, preferred to walk in her own house on bare feet. She stepped bare footed in her sunny kitchen when she heard her communication device peeping. She pushed the button and the bearded face of a young man with dark blond hair filled the screen. "Hello, Commander T'Pol. I'm Henry Dubois, journalist of the Science Monitor."

 


 

 

Part three

T'Pol straightened her body. Normally the Communication Department, in Mr. Dubois' case also the Science Department, would deal with the media. Starfleet had made it a rule that all contact with the press be through them. Journalists hardly ever spoke with Starfleet officers, except maybe one of the captains or admirals. An interview with the only Vulcan member of Starfleet had been considered out of the question. Consequently, she wasn't pleased that somehow this journalist had managed to access to her communication device.

"Mr. Dubois, I already responded the file you sent me. I have answered your questions. Have you not received them?"

"Yes, I have and I really appreciate you've taken the time," he said enthusiastically. "Your answers were very thorough. Only some of them left me with some follow-up questions. My deadline is in a hour and I really want the article to do the late Commander Tucker justice. I was hoping you were willing to help me." He sounded sincere.

T'Pol calculated that the logical course of action was to answer Dubois's questions. "Please continue."

Dubois smiled. "You mentioned a couple of scientific improvements Tucker made, most of them I already knew from the science reports I collected during the war. I didn't know the idea of cycling the coils of the nacelles was also his. It was brilliant design that saved us a lot of precious energy during the war."

She agreed. "Before all the coils in the nacelles fired at the same time to maintain warp field. Commander Tucker came with the idea of firing a single pair of coils in each nacelle, starting forward and moving apt to create the warp field. It's much more efficient. Also the lifespan of the coils is expanded and the drag coefficient of the warp field against the fabric of subspace is reduced. It also leads to a substantial increase in velocity."

"All great benefits. I understood from my research you and Commander Tucker worked together on many new designs. My guess is, this is one of them?"

"Yes, he came to me with the idea and we discussed it in detail. I calculated the the most efficient coil firing frequencies and energy input formulas."

She remembered her and Trip's discussion on this subject well, the hours they spent sharing ideas and knowledge. Before she knew it, the Captain had came by Trip's office, , telling them they they had been working all night. He may have tossed an all-nighter in her lap, as Trip would say, but the truth was she hadn't minded at all. That night she discovered how stimulating it was to talk to Trip. His ideas were a combination of skilled knowledge, bright intelligence and colorful imagination.

Dubois brought her back to the present. "I find it surprising that a man who has done such a great deal for the development of space ships is hardly recognized as such. I mean, I am just a journalist, but it looks to me like the man was a genius," he remarked.

"Commander Tucker was one of the most talented people I ever met," she concurred, "In his work he combined intelligence and imagination with surprising results. He has been reckless at times, emotional as well, but curiously those traits helped him more often than hindered him in his work."

"That's high praise from a Vulcan", Dubois replied.

"It is my opinion," she simply answered.

"I spoke with Lieutenant Rao who worked on Enterprise many years and he praised the Commander not only for his scientific insights, but also because he was seen as a real people-person. He seemed to have a great talent to get along with all kinds of people and species, I wonder if you agree."

T'Pol realized that the conversation had gone from science to her opinion on Trip. She was also surprised Dubois had spoken with Lieutenant Rao, who had served under her leadership in the Science Department.

She needed to end this quickly. "Commander Tucker ran a tight ship in his Department but always tried to connect with the people he worked with. He had an keen eye for the potential of his co-workers because he had an interest in people around him," she answered.

She remembered that Trip had been worried during the war that he had lost this ability. "I am so stuck in this war and protecting myself from hurt, that I am blind for what is going on in the lives of people that served with me," he had once confided in her.

"Did he see your potential?" Dubois asked. He couldn't hide the smugness in his voice.

She ignored his question. The mentioning of Lieutenant Roa had given her an idea. "In my first year on Enterprise it came to my attention that my interaction with my Science crew was not always successful. I was following Starfleet guidelines, but my job ratings were seen as criticism and not as an statement of a job well done. I also seemed to miss certain developments in the crew lives. Commander Tucker encourage me to maintain my own management style, but also to utilize the talents of two members of the Science team to monitor the personal development of my team. It helped me to shape a close knit group that worked very efficiently during the years."

She thought Dubois would appreciate this story and his smile indicated he did. "Seeing the potential, I see."

He changed abruptly to another subject. "I get a better picture of Commander Tucker by talking to you and other people he knew than from that whole speech Captain Archer gave at the funeral. I never heard such an impersonal commemoration in my life."

She was confused. Was he stating this to get a response out of her?

The truth was she had hardly heard a word of the Captain's speech during the funeral. She had listened to every word her husband's father, so like him but older, spoke. But when the Captain had taken the stage, her katra had become overwhelmed with anger. A fury that the Captain was alive and that Trip had given his life in such a foolish way, to save Archer.

Trip had survived five years of war with the Romulans, in which every day could be his last. They had planned to start a family after the war and were working to achieve this. And Trip had thrown it all away to chase away two lightly armed villains? By blowing himself up? Couldn't he thought of another way, like he had done so many times during the war? Why hadn't he waited for security?

In the midst of her thoughts, she was able to reply to Dubois. "I have heard that giving a speech during a such emotional time for humans is difficult."

Dubois nodded. "I saw your face during the service. You miss him, don't you?"

She blinked for a second. Had her control been so shattered that a perfect stranger could have read her inner turmoil? Or was this another way of getting her to say something that would give Mister Dubois's readers an interesting story?

"Commander Tucker is missed by most of the people who knew him," she replied as neutral as possible.

"You would think so," he replied. He looked down, apparently to a clock, because he continued "I have a deadline, so I have to end this conversation. Thank you, Commander T'Pol, for your time. I think you have answered all of my questions."

"You are welcome," she said automatically, using a phrase she had heard Trip say many times, ending this the disquieting interview.

The screen went blank. She nevertheless stared its blackness. It had been a most peculiar conversation. She now fully understood why Starfleet didn't want officers to talk to the press. They were more devious then Vulcan diplomats. She continued her work, but couldn't help that one thing Dubois had said, kept repeating in her mind. "You would think so." She knew he was talking about the Captain's behavior. It was off that day. He wasn't grieving. Doctor Phlox was acting strange as well.

She took her PADD and made a thorough analysis of the days before Trip's death. Every event. Every word documented, looking for that one thing that didn't make sense. One thing that was different from other days. She realized she missed something. She should talk in private with several key players, starting with Doctor Phlox. She knew if she put some pressure on doctor Phlox, he might eventually give her information. Then it hit her she also needed to see another person. This person would tell, because she would give him back what he had lost: his pride.

She turned on her communication device and contacted Ambassador Soval. Her request for him was simple. "I need to get in contact with an Andorian. He is a Commander of the Andorian imperial guard. His name is Shran."


Part four

Blue. Every where he looked he saw blue. The main color of the bedroom and the ceiling above his head. He had woken up, feeling cold and alone. Trip realized the warm, soft body that had been lying next to him was gone. He craned his head to see T'Pol sitting on the side of the bed, dressing her self in a robe. He moved to her, sliding her arms around her waist, under her robe.

"Whatcha doing, Mrs. Tucker?"

"We had a Vulcan wedding ceremony, so officially I am not Mrs. Tucker," she refuted with a smile in her voice.

"So what am I? Mr. T'Pol?" he teased her, making circles on her belly. Even without the bond, he would have known by the way her nostrils widened and her body relaxed, that she enjoyed his movements. He still had it, after all this time.

"You are now part of my clan," she answered.

"And I am honored." She had a lovely neck and he was dying to kiss it. So he did while he asked her "So why are you dressed? Any plans?"

"We need nutrition, so I wanted to make breakfast," she murmured. He kept kissing her, while caressing her with soft strokes. He could tell when she lost focus.

"I'm not hungry," he teased her, pushing her downward on the bed. "But then again," he said, looking in her lovely face. He kissed her, first softly, then hungrily. He felt the passion rising between them, her hands caressing his body slowly, her kisses on his lips. Her brown eyes gleamed like stars in the night sky. Her look of affection created in him wild desire to love her in every way possible.

Her robe was getting in the way, so he loosened the tie and tossed the robe to the ground. He inhaled her scent; his fingers roamed over her body and she responded. The bond enhanced the pleasure they were sharing, and he wanted more and more of her - and she wanted more of him.

He remembered their shared mind meld and wanted to experience it again. He longed to fuse the the streams of love, joy, care and passion with physical pleasure, the touch of her warm, soft body beneath his fingers.

He felt T'Pol move her hand to his forehead and touch his temples with two fingers. Their eyes locked.

"Yes", he said through the bond.

She then opened her mind and katra for him and he for her and he was immersed again. He could feel her mind, her memories flooding his mind. He was basking the sunlight of her secret emotions. He could taste the sweetness of their love like peaches on his tongue, her passion like a fire warming him. T'Pols protection and care for him embraced him, making him feel treasured against all dangers, protected in love. There was only him and her.

She opened herself for him. A burst of emotions ran through him. He was alive; he was strong. He was male. He was proud. He was swimming in a ocean called T'Pol, one in body and mind. The waves of pleasure and emotions rolled over him, stronger every time. He felt the blood run from his head and euphoria filled his veins with the best feeling ever.

"Wow," he said, grasping for breath.

"That would be an accurate description," she responded.

Amused he looked at T'Pols face beneath him, laying down on a pillow. Her brown hair was disheveled, her eyes glistering and her face seemed to glow. He lowered his head. He gently kissed her forehead and face, breathing deeply in her familiar copper-spicy sent. T'Pol closed her eyes. He felt a cold shiver going along his spine. It suddenly became darker in the room.

"Trip." T'Pols voice sounded like a echo from the past. Her image was fading.

"T'Pol?" "What happens?" he thought confused.

"Trip, what is wrong?" Her voice withered away. Then a loud, metallic voice spoke "S'tivh khumae-ute. Hallh'na." The voice repeated his message, demanding an answer. "S'tivh khumae-ute. Hallh'na." And again: "S'tivh khumae-ute. Hallh'na.". He stared into whiteness . T'Pol was gone.

A hand on his shoulder. "Rokel, wake up. Give answer."

Trip woke up. He stared in a gentle face of an elderly Vulcan. His deformed right ear made him realize where he was. "Give answer," the Vulcan told him once more.

Trip stood up from his bed and went straight to a glass-like plate, with in the middle the contour of a hand. He placed his right hand firmly on the outline. The device confirmed his identity. "Time: 4.29.4.54. Worker Rokel has reported for duty."

Just in time. A new day at the Romulan mining facility on the Farel moon of the Dosa system had begun.

 

 

 

 


Comments:

panyasan

Thank you, Putaro, Cogito, WarpGirl and Guitarman-222. Thanks Guitarman_222 for your support. WarpGirl, thank you for the warm review. Cogito, your reviews always make me think. You will find out very soon what is going on. Putaro, thank you for your review, I am glad you all liked it. 

putaro

I like all of the interaction and the big reveal at the end.

Linda
guitarman_222

Eagerly await the continuation and conclusion.

Cogito

Loved the cosy intimacy of waking up together, making T'Pol's loneliness now even more poignant. I have no idea what it's like for a mother to miscarry but I know it must be soul-destroying, you convey that sense of a gut-wrenching loss very well. I'm not sure what the back story to this is - whether we can assume that Trip and T'Pol were still together before his "death". I choose to think they were, but perhaps that's just wishful thinking. And if they were, I can't imagine how Trip would ever do something so desperate as faking his own death without T'Pol knowing about it. Could it be that he didn't know about the faked death until afterwards? I guess I'll have to wait and see.

Anyway, best of all: Trip is NOT DEAD!

WarpGirl

WOW! What a roller coaster ride... The first two paragraphs I was confused, because we ended The Captives at the brink of a terrible war and it seemed like TnT were still in honeymoon mode. But then BAM! All a dream, it was very, very dramatic. Beautifully done. To tell the truth I wasn't expecting you to do a finale fix, but this is possibly the best I've ever read that isn't AUish (even if it technically is). My heart broke about T'Pol's miscarrige, but I am very sensitive to the subject. My family has gone through so many, and I can't have kids, so reading about them is like a punch in the stomach. That said, this story is so beautiful and the punch in stomach added to that beauty.

I like your journalist even if he might be shady, but I'm thinking he's a good person. I got that vibe. I love how you've set this up, and eagerly awaiting more. Your stories are like chocolate I always need more. 

panyasan

Thanks everyone! So nice to see people liked it. Concerning the books: before I heard about them I had this idea and storyline in my head and I haven't read the books (yet), but we seemed to have the same idea: Trip isn't dead, but on a mission. He isn't a spy in this story, but was sent because of his own unique qualities. Of course all journalist aren't shady, but this one is a unique character.

willow

loved it ready to read more.

bluetiger

This certainly captures your attention. Poor T'Pol lost a child and her husband.

At least now she is beginning to realize that his so called death makes no sense.

So Trip is a Romulan mine worker? Very interesting, I am eager to read more.

Aikiweezie

This is a beautiful piece of work!  You capture so much sensuality and feeling. 

Alelou

Beautiful writing -- I especially loved Trip's POV in that dream at the end.  So will you get Trip out of his predicament?  (Hope so!)

Asso

All I can say is: PERFECT. A perfect balance between mystery, grief, desire, action, poetry, and - obviously - love.
I have not half-terms, about your mastery as a writer. You are definitely one of the writers that - I know - never can disappoint.

Honeybee

Can I just say that this is my favorite of anything of yours I've read? The way you bookend the first and last scene - with both POVs is just a great technique. And it is a really great take on the "finale fix" genre with a nod to the books. Everyone seems in character, and it's very timely with the shady journalist character - though not all journalists are shady.

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