Missing Scenes from Season Four: The Aenar

By Alelou

Rating: PG

Genres: angst missing scene romance

Keywords: Andorians Columbia

This story has been read by 401 people.
This story has been read 689 times.

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


DISCLAIMER: All things Star Trek belong to CBS/Paramount. "The Aenar" was written by Manny Coto.

AUTHOR'S NOTE: As always, many thanks, kind reviewers!


Trip sat back on the deck and stared, appalled, at the result on his scanner. How could he not have noticed a full ten degree variance from spec on one of the emitters?

That could have killed T'Pol! Hell, it probably explained how poor Jhamel had ended up unconscious in a biobed – which had very nearly cost all of them their lives.

It was just like T'Pol had said. He'd let his damned feelings get in the way - his stupid, pointless, ridiculous feelings, which had suddenly flared out of control at the way she was able to just blithely ride over all his concerns and put herself in harm's way without any thought to what it might mean to the mission or the crew.

Or to him.

He sighed unhappily. Recent events had taught him that he was still completely hung up on their science officer. She was what he thought about as he lay dying, what he fantasized about when he wanted some comfort, and apparently also what he obsessed over when he should be focused on his work.

This situation was intolerable. Irresponsible. Unforgiveable.

It was hard enough just getting back up to speed after the radiation poisoning. He was still tired and still off his game. He had to check everything twice, three times, four times. He had to re-read and re-scan and re-think instead of just moving ahead with his usual confidence. That was bad enough. Add in brooding about T'Pol and he was going to get somebody killed.

They had been this close to destruction!

He rested his head on his arm for a moment. Was he over-reacting? Phlox had warned him not to return to duty too soon. He'd said something about his emotions being a little out of whack. Did that mean that this terrifying feeling of incompetence was just temporary? Did that mean that soon he would be able to wall off his feelings for T'Pol without any difficulty and just get the job done?

But Trip didn't buy that. The real problem wasn't the radiation. The real problem was that he'd had to work so closely with her. That was what had made it so hard. And the thing was, that was going to happen again and again and again. They'd had to work together closely many times over the course of their years together on this ship. There was no reason to think that was ever going to stop. When it came to day-to-day routine, they could minimize their contact. When there was a big crisis brewing? No way.

Hell, even if she suddenly decided she loved him, how were they ever supposed to be able to work together properly? He would always be worried for her.

He'd been a fool to think he could handle something like this.

Even so, he couldn't quite bring himself to regret it. It had really been something for awhile there. And it was still something – hell, it was still everything - for him.

But that was the problem. It was way past time to let it go.

He sighed, and looked up and around at his beloved engineering, where he had brought the tele-presence unit for further study before it got packed it away in the cargo hold, and realized that he would never get over this thing with T'Pol if he stayed here, on the same ship with her, seeing her, working with her, fearing for her, longing for her.

Being completely discounted by her.

They'd wanted him for Columbia for awhile now. It was a brand-new ship. It was a brand-new warp engine – and one that apparently needed a surer hand than it had gotten so far. The challenge had tempted him before. Not just because of T'Pol, either. He and Jon had been at odds a little too often lately.

Really, Columbia was the perfect way to start fresh.

x x x

Jon frowned as he read Trip's report. Right up top was his key finding, a variance error that Trip seemed to feel had been catastrophic and inexcusable.

As he read on, he became increasingly concerned. For a guy who hated administrative work, Trip actually had a flair for writing reports that were cogent and instructive and sometimes even a little entertaining. Little of that was in evidence here. The writing was nowhere near his usual standard, with a number of sloppy errors and a noticeable lack of organization. If the text hadn't harped so mercilessly on Trip's own fault, Jon would be wondering if he'd farmed the report out to a subordinate.

He went to sickbay. "Phlox, did you ever get around to clearing Trip for full duty?"

Phlox scowled. "Does it matter? He insists on working whether I recommend it or not."

"You have the authority to keep him off duty."

"Yes, I know. However, Commander Tucker finds enforced rest extremely frustrating, to the point at which it can become rather counter-productive for him. And I believe his services were rather important during our last crisis."

"Granted. But this report – one, it's a mess. Two, he's claiming it was an error of his that caused the telepresence unit to injure Jhamel."

Phlox took the padd and scanned the report, frowning. "I don't see how a variance that small could have made that much of a difference. However, I suppose it's impossible to know for certain without testing it again."

"Jhamel's gone, but I wouldn't want to put anyone at risk just to check something like this." Jon took the report back and stared down at it, still concerned.

Phlox said, "Even if the error did contribute in some way to Jhamel's convulsions, I have to assume it's a mistake anyone could make on brand new equipment being assembled under a very tight deadline. Furthermore, Commander Tucker is still recovering from his radiation exposure. It will take at least another week or two, possibly even longer, for his performance to return to its usual level."

"He claims he poses a danger to the mission. He writes of allowing personal distraction to interfere with his focus."

Phlox grimaced. "Emotional control can also be weakened by radiation exposure, Captain."

Jon sighed. "Is this a reference to what I think it is? A certain ongoing tension with our science officer?"

"I would imagine so."

"In your judgment, could that personal distraction have interfered with his job performance in this situation?"

Phlox, clearly uncomfortable, said, "It's possible, captain … but as I said, his radiation exposure may very likely have exacerbated the issue."

Jon frowned. Radiation or not, this had now risen to a level that had to be addressed by him. "Do you have any advice for me?"

Phlox shook his head. "Given time, I believe Commander Tucker will find a workable solution. It's a good sign that he recognizes there is a problem."

"All right, Doctor. Thanks."

Jon left. It was obviously time to try to talk to Trip about what was really going on here. Maybe if he called him to his quarters instead of his ready room, they could thrash it out over a bottle of bourbon, off the record, before whatever this was could get out of hand.

Maybe all Trip really needed right now was a friend.


 

The END


Comments:

Alelou

Thanks.


Maybe Mozilla works better for this?  I was experiencing captcha hell just a moment ago on another story.

panyasan

Trip is really messed up after his accident. This explains a lot. 

Distracted

Sure makes more sense for this to be brewing now. Sad, though. I can't wait for him to leave and get back. : )

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