Music Appreciation

By Distracted

Rating: PG

Genres: humour

Keywords:

This story has been read by 680 people.
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Disclaimer:  These characters aren't mine.  Not even the reindeer.

Summary:  A little something for the season originally inspired by a discussion on the HoT boards, revised slightly and re-posted from 2006 for your enjoyment. It's set somewhere between Bound and the following Christmas.  Don't ask me about timelines.  My brain's frazzled this time of year.  Merry Christmas!

 


 

Commander T'Pol sat at her usual corner table in the mess hall.  There was an artificial conifer in the opposite corner of the room hung with what appeared to be a conglomeration of small objects made from bits and pieces of leftover engineering supplies, courtesy of Commander Tucker.  He'd been at work for several days in his quarters assembling shiny fragments of metal into useless pieces of what he termed "abstract art".  They were aesthetically pleasing, after a fashion, but in T'Pol's opinion he'd wasted an inordinate amount of time on them.  As she watched, Ensign Sato approached the tree and began hanging small figures made from folded paper on it.

T'Pol sipped her tea and read status reports on a padd over the next quarter hour.  Chef arrived with cookies strung on ribbons, and Dr. Phlox contributed a few mysteriously organic additions, a couple of which appeared to be moving.  Even Lieutenant Reed stepped up, at Ensign Sato's urging, and hung precisely thirty glowing green cylinders at regular intervals on the branches.  It was difficult to be certain from where she was sitting, but it certainly seemed to T'Pol that the objects greatly resembled the power cells from phase pistols.  She wondered briefly about the radiation hazard before returning to her status reports.  Mr. Reed was the Chief of Security, after all.  If the cells posed any danger to the crew it was highly doubtful that he'd hang them on the tree that way.

Ensign Mayweather caused quite a stir when he walked in next with a data disc that Ensign Sato inserted into her padd with a smile.  She then linked the padd to the mess hall comm system, and strains of music began over the loudspeakers in the room.  Off-duty personnel had begun to congregate.  T'Pol glanced at the wall chronometer.  2000 hours.  He'd be arriving any moment now.

When Commander Tucker had requested that she accompany him to the crew's annual "Christmas Party", she'd initially declined.  There were certainly more useful things she could be doing with her time.  Then Captain Archer had discovered that her plans for the evening include only the review of status reports followed by meditation and sleep, and had insisted that she make an appearance for the purpose of bolstering crew morale.  She had agreed.  She was here, but she saw no reason why she shouldn't make use of the time to review status reports as she'd originally planned.  It was an efficient use of her time.  The others began to sing along with a song about jingling bells as she paged down to the status reports for the astrophysics department.

Captain Archer arrived, and received a smattering of applause and laughter when he stepped up on a stool to place a star fashioned of silver food service foil on the top of the tree.  He stepped down with a grin on his face and accepted a glass from a smiling Ensign Sato which contained a thick, creamy off-white beverage.  From the way he gulped it so enthusiastically, T'Pol was fairly certain that it contained either alcohol or an inordinate amount of sugar, or perhaps both.  Ensign Sato pulled the step stool to the entry door, then, and fastened a branch of plant material with small rounded leaves to the top of the entry way.  She then proceeded to stand at the door and kiss every male crewmember who passed through it directly on the lips.  T'Pol found the display somewhat distasteful, but of minimal concern until it occurred to her that Commander Tucker had not yet arrived. 

Having decided that allowing Ensign Sato to commit what amounted to sexual assault on a superior officer might be construed as dereliction of duty, T'Pol rose from her solitary table to avert the coming disaster.  She strode purposefully toward the door as the members of the crew sitting at tables all around her joined in a chorus which consisted of the syllables "fa" and "la" sung repetitively for no apparent reason.  She arrived at the entry way just in time.  Commander Tucker looked taken aback at being met at the door by two women.  Ensign Sato grinned cheekily at both of them and then stepped aside without a word, looking pointedly upward as she did so.  T'Pol, who'd expected at least token resistance from the communications officer at being deprived of her new favorite pastime, was left standing face to face with the ship's chief engineer in the doorway.  Commander Tucker, obviously taking his cue from Ensign Sato, looked directly overhead and then back down at T'Pol, smiling broadly.

"You volunteerin' for mistletoe duty?" he teased.

T'Pol maintained her composure, despite the fact that the commander had evidently showered recently.  His scent was tantalizing and quite irresistible.  The idea of kissing him in public in front of the entire off-duty crew complement of Enterprise didn't dismay her nearly as much as it should have.

"No... I am certainly not," she replied in an even tone.  "I was merely attempting to prevent Ensign Sato from violating regulations." 

Ensign Sato's muffled giggle failed to distract T'Pol from her stated purpose, but when Commander Tucker began to chuckle as well, she began to feel a bit annoyed. Her annoyance faded abruptly when he lowered his head to brush her cheek with his lips.  The mess hall broke into spontaneous applause at his action.  She felt her cheeks grow warm as he whispered, "If you say so, T'Pol, but you can't expect to stand under the mistletoe and not get kissed." 

"Trip!  Come listen to this!  You always loved this one!" shouted Captain Archer with a broad smile.  His face was slightly flushed and he was laughing as the song began to play.  Commander Tucker nodded at her with a smugly satisfied smile.  Then he pushed past her and through the door to join the captain.  The crewman who been waiting to enter behind the engineer stopped short in front of T'Pol with a panicked look on his face.  She raised a brow at him, and then yielded her post to Ensign Sato, to the crewman's quite evident relief. 

She turned and walked toward the captain's table.  He and Commander Tucker were singing loudly along with yet another "Christmas carol".  She paused to listen to the lyrics, and was horrified by what she heard.  As the song came to a raucous end accompanied by applause and laughter, she approached the pair with a very puzzled expression on her face.

"Commander Tucker, might I have a word with you?"

The captain and his chief engineer exchanged sly smiles.  Archer raised his glass and took a sip.  Then he jerked his chin at T'Pol and casually remarked, "The lady wants you, Trip.  It's not polite to keep her waiting."  The commander actually rolled his eyes before leaving the table.  T'Pol's eyes turned to follow Captain Archer's face as Commander Tucker stepped up to join her.  Archer's smile was wistful but genuine.  He raised his glass in a toast to them.  Out of the corner of her eye, T'Pol saw Commander Tucker's glass come up as well. She looked up at him to find his eyes locked with the captain's and a matching smile on his face.  Her gaze returned to the captain.

He knows!  She thought in utter surprise.

"So, what can I do for ya, T'Pol?" asked Commander Tucker.  T'Pol watched as the captain returned to his conversation with the other occupants of his table, and then turned to the man at her side.  He must have said something to the captain, she thought as her eyes met his.  His smile warmed her, despite her resolution to remain objective after his pronouncement that their bond was "no big deal".  It occurred to her that his pride might have been a factor in his response that day in the corridor.  It must mean something to him if he's discussed it with the captain.

"T'Pol?" repeated the commander. 

Trip, she decided definitively.  He's Trip. 

She cleared her throat.

"That song.  It hardly seems appropriate for the day of kindness and gift-giving that you've described," she told him.

"What?  The reindeer song?"  He laughed, a deep belly laugh.  "It's a joke, T'Pol!  It's supposed to be funny!"  She raised a brow.

"I fail to see the humor to be derived from a song about someone's foremother being trampled by a hoofed quadruped," she replied.  Trip bit his lip.  His eyes were watering with suppressed mirth.  Her eyes were focused on the tender pink skin held captive between his teeth.  He appeared to be inflicting an injury on himself.  She suppressed the urge to reach out a finger and stroke his lip to soothe it.

"It's funny, T'Pol... believe me!  Especially to kids!" protested Trip.  "There was even an animated children's television special made of it in the early 2000's," he told her earnestly.  He eyed her challengingly.  "I've got it in my old films archive on the console in my quarters.  Wanna go watch it and see for yourself?"

T"Pol eyed him in disbelief.  "An entire television production based on that song?" she asked, aghast.  He grinned in self satisfaction. 

"Yep!" he responded cheerfully.  "It was pretty popular with the kids back then, too!" he told her, as proudly as if he'd written the appalling thing himself.

T'Pol nodded.  "This, I shall have to see to believe," she told him with mock reluctance, all the while attempting to slow her rate of breathing at the idea of accompanying him to his quarters.  What was the matter with her tonight? 

As they exited the mess hall arm in arm, she decided that it must be his scent.  It provided him with a most unfair advantage.


Comments:

Cogito

It gets better with every re-read!

Weeble

I truly enjoyed all T'Pol's (DIs's) snrky little comments. Great Story

Alelou

That was fun!

Dbear

Really cute story, liked how you showed the closeness of the crew, especially with the decoration of the tree.  The T&T element was really funny, especially liked T’Pol’s reaction to “Granma got ran over by a reindeer”, I could see how that would confuse a non-human (although I always found the song funny also).

 

Brandyjane

This is really cute! I like how you describe the different ways the crew contributes to the holiday party.

Linda

Contrary to the worries of my grandchildern, it wasn't me the song was about!  LOL, we Humans sure confuse the hell out of Vulcans with our humor, don't we?  This was very funny, Distracted!    

Distracted

And I, on the other hand, envisioned them still too cautious with each other to just jump into bed.  If I had continued this story it would have ruined it for you, because they would have gotten into a serious discussion about committment vs "experimentation".  So aren't you glad I left in the way it is so you can end it the way you want to end it?  ;)

Misplaced

My imagination went the NC-17 route too.  :p

Cogito

I like the image of a perplexed T'Pol ernestly trying to make sense of our bizarre rutuals and customs. While they're both charmingly hesitant as they reach out to each other, I see it's clear to everyone else what's going on. I would have liked to see how the evening continued but in a way I'm glad you left it to my imagination, because my imagination has decided that the story has an NC-17 ending.

Hummingbird2

I really enjoyed this story,especially the Archer&Trip friendship and the 'Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer' reference. Thank you!:D

Silverbullet

Distracted. Since T'Pol had been on Enterprise for three years this would be her third or fourth Christmas. She would be familiar with the decoration of the tree, carols, etc. She would also know  that the event (party) is important to the Human crew so sitting with a PAAd going over statistics would not be the thing to do.

I have always thought that They got together soon after she kissed him in the Hall that the "what is between us is no big deal" was  Baloney from him. think he waned her to come to him and confess her feelings in words which she probably did since she had kissed him in a pu blic place. NOT Vulcan.  IMHO

Still it is a nice Christmas story.

BTw, my imagination would just get them in  the door where they would tear the clothes off one another and get with it.

SB

Asso

And ending it there leaves the rest to the imagination, which for me is always better then dragging things out.
I can understand you. Unfortunately, I love see things and scenes like if they were shown on the screen. I have not much imagination, alas.:p

Distracted

At the time when I wrote this story, Silverbullet, I was attempting to portray the discomfort of "ex's" meeting socially as friends after a breakup.  In Bound TnT had their little encounter in the corridor in which she practically threw herself at Trip and in her eyes he rebuffed her, in essence saying that their relationship wasn't very important to him.  At the same time, from his point of view she's behaving extremely oddly.  First she's so cold to him that he runs away to Columbia to get his head straight and get away from her, and now all of a sudden she's planting one on him in the middle of the hall.  So they're not back together yet.  They're still "feeling each other out", so to speak.  Trip and the captain have obviously had a behind the scenes discussion about the whole thing, and in my imagination Archer gave his friend some advice... to step back and let T'Pol make the next move.  So Trip arrives, gives his "platonic friend" T'Pol a kiss on the cheek and then goes off to drink with his buddy the captain, leaving T'Pol to make the next move, which she does.  And ending it there leaves the rest to the imagination, which for me is always better then dragging things out.  The story is a snapshot of their gradual reconciliation with a Christmas backdrop.

Silverbullet

Nice. A good christmas story. Arm in Arm. T'Pol seems to have lost her fear of touching public. Good. why did Trip just kiss her on the cheek. He should have planted a good one on her Lips. He missed a great chance. Then why did he leave her standing at the door to join Archer? That was a bit rude of him. Anyway, I wish that story had continued on into his quarters. That would have been interesting.

SB

Misplaced

ROFL!  I love that song too!  Great little holiday fic.  Thank you!

Enerdhil

I agree !!

Asso

No doubt that I love everything of this delicious little piece.

But this one:

As they exited the mess hall arm in arm, she decided that it must be his scent.  It provided him with a most unfair advantage.

Oh yes!

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