Do You Ever Miss Me?

By Eian

Rating: PG

Genres: angst drama romance

Keywords: bond character death

This story has been read by 749 people.
This story has been read 1089 times.


Disclaimer: Paramount owns the sandbox. I’m just taking a shovel to it. Lines have been borrowed from the actual show.
Spoilers: Just about anything is fair game.
Summary: Response to the October Word Prompt Challenge from the TRIS BBS. This is an “ALT” post-TATV tale (with a twist), and has absolutely nothing in common with the Happy Medium Universe.
Rating: PG
Archive: Triaxian Silk; others please ask.

NOTE 1: Italics denote flashback scenes


treat-or-treat [trik-er-treet]
-verb

1. To engage in the practice of asking for treats on Halloween and threatening to play tricks on those who refuse.



October 31, 2167

Trick-or-Treat. She’d never really gotten it. Not really. Though she’d come close . . . in all the years he’d known her. He smiled wistfully and tuned out the ceremony; his mind drifting in remembrance . . .

Do you ever miss me?


 

October 31, 2151

 

“Trick-or-Treat, Sub-Commander.”

T’Pol stood in her doorway and gazed blankly back at Commander Tucker, blinking slowly and saying nothing.

Trip sighed. “Did you not research Halloween at all? That’s so not like you.” Trip was concerned. He and T’Pol had reached a sort of…understanding…in recent weeks. He’d confessed to reading her private mail, and she’d confided in him. He’d apologized, and she’d forgiven. And she’d…

…stayed.

Somehow, that made his efforts to seek her out not seem so…ridiculous. Getting her to cooperate, however…

Well, he was still working on that.

Trip planted his hands on his hips and studied her demeanor, noting her less rigid posture and shadowed eyes. “You feeling alright? I know Phlox released you yesterday, but---”

T’Pol straightened her spine. “I am fine.”

“You were hit by a plasma bullet.”

“Nevertheless…I am fine.”

Trip’s gaze narrowed. “Right.” He stepped back away from the door. “Sorry to bother you, Sub-Commander.” He turned, took two steps away and stopped. His shoulders drooped, and he pivoted back around on his heel. His gaze softened. “I’m a great listener if you ever need to, you know…talk.”

“That will not be necessary.”

Trip smiled gently. “Probably not. But just in case it ever is…” he let his voice trail off.

T’Pol stared at him for a moment before tipping her head in the slightest of nods.


Trip smothered a smirk, not wanting to broadcast the wrong impression from his prominent seat on the dais. She never got that ‘talking’ thing down either. He let his mind continue to drift …

October 31, 2152

 

Trip juggled three PADDs and a cup of coffee as he tried to open his office door. He managed to bump the release with his elbow, hurry to his desk, and drop the PADDs just in time to prevent his java from spilling all over himself and the deck. It was as he was sitting down that his attention was snared by items decidedly out-of-place on his workspace --- a desk typically draped only by the trappings of engineering minutiae.

“What the hell?” He leaned in to get a closer look, a smile spreading quickly across his face. He grabbed up the three- inch-by-thre- inch card that leaned against the colorful items.

 

Research indicates an opaque spectral apparition is an appropriate representation of this Terran holiday. The purpose of the confection, however, remains illusive.

 

Trick-or-Treat.

The card was unsigned. Trip eyed the colorful items in bemusement.

Sitting in the middle of his desk was a six-inch stuffed ghost.

Holding a plastic pumpkin.

Filled with candy corn.

“Trick-or-Treat, T’Pol,” he murmured quietly.


Trip rubbed a hand against his face, surreptitiously wiping away a tear. He distantly heard a somber Admiral take his turn at the podium.


 

October 31, 2153

 

Trip reached out to press the chime. At her summons, he entered T’Pol’s dimly lit quarters. The Vulcan was seated on a cushion in the middle of the room. He paused two steps inside the door, allowing it to close behind him. “Hi.”

“Good evening. Please…remove your shirt and sit facing away from me.”

Trip pulled off his shirt and took the required position. He flinched only slightly at the first touch of her fingers upon his skin. “Trick-or-Treat, T’Pol.”

T’Pol sat back and dropped her hands. “I still do not fully understand this phrase.”

“You’re kidding me.” Trip looked over his shoulder at her. “This is your third Halloween on the ship!”

T’Pol lifted an eyebrow. “Vulcans do not ‘kid.’ Face forward and breathe.” She resumed manipulating the neural nodes on his spine.

Trip shrugged. “Trick-or-Treat, T’Pol. It means you have to give me a treat. If you don’t, I’ll play a trick on you.”

“Does not ensuring you sleep uninterrupted through the night constitute a ‘treat,’ Commander?”

Trip sighed. “Never mind.”


October 31, 2154

Trip raced down the wooded path. He leapt over tree roots and dodged branches, his feet pounding the dirt. When he finally skidded to a halt, he fell to his knees beside a prone and bleeding T’Pol. Trip scooped the petite Vulcan into his arms and headed back from whence he came, a young MACO keeping pace alongside him.

She regained consciousness while he was running back to the Shuttlepod. “Trip,” she whispered weakly.

He glanced down at her quickly before turning his focus back to the uneven terrain. “Let me guess?” his tone heavy with exasperation. “This year you chose ‘trick’?”


Do you ever miss me?

Trip crossed his arms over his chest and rocked back in his chair. He kept his gaze on the ground.


 

October 31, 2161

 

Trip opened his apartment door and blinked in surprise. “Thought you were shipping out today?”

T’Pol calmly stood on his doorstep, hands clasped behind her back. “I am. This evening at 1700hrs.”

He stepped back and waved her in. “Well, not that I’m not glad to see ya, but what are you doing here? Shouldn’t you be getting ready to leave?”

She nodded. “I am nearly prepared.” She watched him closely as he crossed the room. “Are you well?”

Trip waved off her concern. “Today’s a good day. Most of them are now.” He looked over at her and winked. “You don’t have to check up on me anymore.”

T’Pol straightened indignantly. “That was not the purpose of my visit.”

Trip narrowed his gaze and tipped his head in thought. Like a light bulb clicking on over his head, he brightened. “Trick-or-Treat, T’Pol.”

Her brow rose in acknowledgment and she slowly approached him. When she was close enough to touch, she leaned up and pressed her lips to his cheek, lingering for a moment.

Trip’s mouth dropped open. Several seconds passed before a wide smile graced his features. “Not sure I deserved that,” he murmured. “You probably should have given me a ‘trick’.”

T’Pol crossed back to his front door and opened it. At the threshold, she looked over her shoulder and again lifted her brow. “Who’s to say I didn’t?”


 

October 31, 2163

Trip entered his office at Headquarters and absently moved to his desk. A wave of déjà vu swept over him when he saw what lay there.

A bucket of candy corn.

And a note.

 

Still illusive.

Trick-or-Treat

Trip tapped the card against his chin and sighed. “I love you, lady,” he murmured with regret.


October 31, 2166

It was late when Trip finally entered his apartment. He carelessly tossed his satchel full of manuals on the sofa and immediately went looking for something to drink. As he passed his workstation, a flashing light caught his eye. He paused to key up his comm. message to play while he continued on to the kitchen.

When he heard nothing from the message, he looked around the corner. A weary grin surfaced. There it was on the screen. In big, orange letters.

 

Trick-or-Treat


It was the last communication he’d gotten from her. Trip gazed sightlessly over the gathered crowd.

Do you ever miss me?

She’d never really gotten it. Not once in all the years he’d known her. He smiled tearfully and again tuned out the ceremony. The bugle. The shots.

Trick-or-Treat.

Trip wiped the moisture from his eyes.

Trick-or-Treat.

He raised his face toward the sky, renegade tears continuing to escape from tightly closed lids. As the shots rang out, memories rained down upon him in a firefight of epic proportions.

Trick-or-Treat.

T’Pol.

Do you ever miss me?

I’ll try to remember that.

I have more letters in my quarters. Would you like to read those as well?

That would imply that my subconscious mind controls my decisions. It doesn't.

T’Pol.

Are you implying I'm making sexual advances?

The risk of paralysis is minimal. Breathe.

Do you ever miss me?

You're implying that I'm attracted to you.

Which would mean you're attracted to me. It goes with the assumption.

You think that the loss of a colleague or friend doesn't affect us? It does.

Do you ever miss me?

I am not old. I will only be sixty-six years old on my next birthday.

Vulcans appreciate beauty.

I'm grateful that you're here.

Do you ever miss me?

I'm learning, it seems for the first time, what it truly means to be Vulcan.

Are you leaving because of me?

There's a long-held belief that when a Vulcan mates, there's a shared psychic bond.

Do you ever miss me?

It proves that even the most disagreeable species have some positive attributes.

Wait. Trip! I want you to come back.

Do you ever miss me?

I can't explain how it exists, but I know it does. There's a child out there, and it's ours.

Her name is Elizabeth.

Do you ever miss me?

T’Pol.

However long it may be, I believe I'm going to miss you.

Trip gasped; the pain of loss acute.

Trick-or-treat.

Do you ever miss me?

He detected a shadow falling across his person and opened his eyes to the unwelcome sight of a Starfleet Lieutenant holding out a bundle of fabric.

Even blinded by tears he recognized the tightly bound triangle.

Do you ever miss me?

How was he to know she’d made him her next-of-kin? She’d never told him.

Do you ever miss me?

“Captain Tucker, sir. As a representative of Starfleet, it is my high privilege to present you this flag. Let it be a symbol of the grateful appreciation the United Federation of Planets feels for the faithful and distinguished service rendered to the Federation by your loved one.”

Do you ever miss me?

Oh, God.

Do you ever miss me?

Every damned day, darlin’.

Do you ever miss me?

Every damned day.

“Trick-or-Treat, T’Pol.”

END

10/7/08


Comments:

Misplaced

Heartbreakingly beautiful.  Well done!

panyasan

Every damned day, darlin’. Love that last line. It captured the whole story in one sentence. Sad, but very beautiful.

Linda

I liked the format of this story - it was effective, though I wish you had defined the jumps back and forth in time a little better, especially just before the October 31, 2153 part.  I had to reread a little to understand it there.  Last page was very poignant.  I really felt how much he missed her. 

WarpGirl

I've read this one many, many times trying to figure it out. I failed. Not your fault, mine. All I know is it's sad, and you pull at heartstrings.

Sherry

Excellent use of the quotes! I have a great fondness for angst and thus death fics for the angst that usually ensues so this was right up my alley. I've known many people who can't do death fics but I'm not really sure why some of the other readers are going at it in the reviews of your story (and I realize I'm also guilty of it once with this comment)... Sometimes I think I find a death fic more satisfying than one with a happy ending simply because the feelings and emotions convey are so much more poignant and this is the case here. I've been going down the line of your fics at this site and this is the one I've enjoyed the most so far.

JadziaKathryn
Tragic, of course, absolutely, but extremely well written. Good job.
Escriba
It's so well written that there are no words to describe it. So, so sad. But beautiful. And I'm amazed how you used T'Pol's quotes and how I can recognize them all :D
evcake
*snif* Well done, though *snif*
Asso
I wouldn't want to be misinterpreted. When I said:[b]I can't comment this[/b], I didn't say that this story is not pleasant or not well written or not moving. It's all that. But it isn't for me. [i]Aquarius[/i] wrote: [b]We're SUPPOSED to be uncomfortable reading this. If we are, then Eian did his job. Love isn't always pretty. Love isn't always nice. Sometimes it hurts, especially when it's gone. Did ya feel that? If yes, then this is a good story.[/b]True, and surely the limit is mine. But I have this limit. You have to know that before I go to read a book, I throw usually a glance at its end!:p
bluetiger
Well done you, but sad, sad, sad
Aquarius
This is a very effective piece of writing, [b]Eian[/b]. One has to separate his or her disappointment over the death of a beloved character from the actual quality of what is written here when commenting on it. Did I want this kind of future for Trip and T'Pol? No--do I LOOK like I hit my head??? :p Did the piece make me FEEL something and paint a vivid picture that was so real, I was right there with Trip, feeling it all with him? YES--and THAT is what makes this a piece of good writing. Something else makes this good writing--the author took a RISK and did something different. Yes, killing off a character is a bummer, and any author in that situation knows that his or her story risks being unpopular for that reason alone, regardless of the story's artistic merits. [b]Eian[/b], however, had a story that needed telling, and he TOLD it--beautifully. We're SUPPOSED to be uncomfortable reading this. If we are, then [b]Eian[/b] did his job. Love isn't always pretty. Love isn't always nice. Sometimes it hurts, especially when it's gone. Did ya feel that? If yes, then this is a good story. Now hurry up, [b]Eian[/b], and go write something where they're both alive and well...and preferably smooching...a lot! :) :p :D ;) Loved it. I'm not kidding.
Distracted
Tremendously well-written and classically tragic.
tennisgirl
Great! Now I have tears on my cheeks! Are you happy now?... Nah, tears and all, it was a very good story. I have to agree that it isn't quite the future one would hope for the two of them, but the depth of their affection is well portrayed. Nicely done, as usual...
Asso
Excuse me Eian, I can't comment this. But your writing is good, as always.
blacknblue
yeouch.Dang brooding celtic tearjerker... *sniffle*
Dinah
This is soooo sad. I can't exactly say I enjoyed it. It's not the future I would hope for Trip and T'Pol. But it says so much for the close, affectionate, caring relationship they'd built over the years. There is an overpowering feeling of what-might-have-been here. It's obvious that T'Pol's going to haunt Trip for the rest of his life.
Alelou
Beautifully sad. I really like your use of all those lines, too. [i]Wah![/i]
mjimeyg
Bittersweet now has a new definition in your fic. I LOVED the flood of memories at the end.
justTrip'n
:( Bummer! Good lines: "He raised his face toward the sky, renegade tears continuing to escape from tightly closed lids. As the shots rang out, memories rained down upon him in a firefight of epic proportions."

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