On Toepicks and Hip Checks

By Emberchyld

Rating: G

Genres: romance

Keywords:

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Disclaimer: Someone other than me owns Trek, Trip, and T’Pol. If I did own Trek, believe me that Enterprise would still be on the air. But since I don’t, I write fan-fic and I make no money off of it. (Sonya and the ice rink are mine, all mine! But others are free to play with them!)
Summary: Trip takes T’Pol skating
Rating: PG—one use of the h-e-double hockey sticks word
Can be archived.
Note: This fic takes place after my other fic Figure NX-01. You don’t have to read it to know what’s happening here, but it will help to explain the temporary ice rink in Cargo Bay one. Also, I wrote most of this while waiting in the ER to get my whiplash checked out from a fall while working on a jump on ice (of course) and I was hopped up on Advil and some cold medicine. You’ve been warned.


The door chime rang and T’Pol paused in the midst of lighting the pillar candles around her quarters. “Come in.” She looked up at the doorway and quirked an eyebrow as she watched Trip Tucker walk in, carrying an unwieldy-looking bag and dressed… “You are not dressed for neuropressure,” she stated matter-of-factly.

Trip grinned as he looked down at his sweatpants and insulated away mission jacket. “Nope. That’s because I’m canceling neuropressure tonight.” He shuffled through the bag he was carrying and pulled out a pair of shiny white boots with blades attached to the soles. He presented them to her with a flourish. “That’s because you and I are going skating.” As T’Pol stared at him, he gestured at her blue pajamas. “You… might want to change into something a lil’ bit warmer. Not that I’d mind, of course.”

“Commander… Trip, Vulcans don’t skate,” she said firmly as she gingerly held the skates by their laces.

Trip had put himself to work blowing out all of the candles. “Not true. Thought you’d say that, so I did a little research. Did you know that the current Worlds champion in figures* is a Vulcan? T’Lan. Can trace repetitive circles and swirls in the ice with only a millimeter variance.”

T’Pol glanced up from the skates. “Perhaps I should amend my statement. This Vulcan does not skate.”

“Aw, c’mon T’Pol, weren’t you ever curious about…”

She cut him off. “No.”

His face took on a look that warned her that he was about to attempt to be extremely persuasive. “Just once? I pulled a few favors with the Quartermaster to get those made so that you wouldn’t have to use the ones we cobbled together for the Ensign’s birthday.”

T’Pol studied the jagged toepick on the end of the blade. “You should have anticipated my response,” she said evenly.

“Okay, let’s make it a trade—I’ll do one hour of whatever mind-numbing meditation discipline you can come up with for every hour that you skate.”

“Two hours.”

“One and a half.”

“Two.” She tilted her head at him. “Unlike Doctor Phlox, I do not ‘haggle’.”

Trip sighed. “Fine. Two hours it is. But you’re comin’ to movie night, too.”

She gave him a long-suffering look before turning to pull one of her uniform jumpsuits and a jacket out of the closet. “Deal,” she said, “But if I become injured, you will have to explain it to the captain.”


***********************************


T’Pol stared at the sheet of grey ice before her with more than a little bit of trepidation. “Trip, are you certain that you can perform this… skating?”

Trip looked up at her from where he was tightening his laces. “Sure. I went skating a few times when I was a kid and it was a piece of cake.” He stood and joined her at the side of the makeshift rink.

“Yes, but your center of gravity was much lower then. It would be easier. And,” she added, “less dangerous.”

Trip looked over at her almost sheepishly. “Well, t’ be honest, I also took a refresher class yesterday with Corporal Santos. He, Ensign Callahan, and a few others have a little learn to skate thing going on. Watch.” He carefully stepped onto the ice and made a very slow, fairly wobbly lap around the rink. “See? Nothin’ to it.” He then held out his hand for her to join him. “Your turn.”

She took his hand but did not yet move to step onto the ice. “I find this highly illogical. I still do not understand the purpose behind this… hobby.”

“It’s just plain, purposeless fun, at least for us.” He then tugged lightly on her hand to encourage her onto the ice. “Now, c’mon, the ice isn’t getting any warmer. Just be careful, it’s slippery.”

She sniffed. “Obviously.” With what would have been called fear on anyone but a Vulcan, she joined him on the ice, slipping almost immediately.

He steadied her carefully. “Whoa. Don’t worry, I’ve got you.”

“I’m not,” she said shakily, “worried.” But her fingers betrayed her words, digging into his arms in what seemed a Vulcan death grip.

“S’okay… Now, just keep your knees slightly bent.” He nodded as she complied. “Good. And stick out your rear just slightly…” When she threw him a Look, he shrugged, “Hey! It’s just for balance.”

“Of course,” she interjected dryly, but followed his advice.

Trip shifted his grip so that he was holding only one of her arms. “And now, just push off.”

She gently pushed with her skate, lost her balance, and whirled at Trip, grabbing a handful of his uniform. “I don’t think that we should continue,” she told him as he held her around the waist to keep her upright. He hated to admit it, but she actually looked terrified, or as terrified as a Vulcan could look.

Trip looked down at her with a small frown. “Okay, let’s try something different. You just hold on to both of my hands, point your feet forward, and I’ll pull you along until you get comfortable.”

“I sincerely doubt…” But she broke off as he quickly grabbed her arms and started skating backwards. “Tr—ip!”

He grinned at her for a second before checking over his shoulder for the edge of the rink. “Hold on,” he took her around a sharp corner and winced as her nails dug into his arms. “Relax, I don’t know how to go too fast yet.”

She visibly swallowed. “This speed is… sufficient.”

The breeze caused by their motion whipped at her hair and T’Pol closed her eyes for a second. She had to admit to herself that, despite the high probability for injury, the cold air in her face, the adrenaline rushing through her body, and the frictionless gliding was exhilarating. Perhaps there was something to this skating.

“See?” Trip said to her, as he whipped her around another corner and felt her fingers let up on trying to crush his arms. “Not so bad, huh?”

T’Pol opened her eyes and a slight quirk formed at the corner of her lips. “It could be worse,” she answered dryly.

He then picked up some speed. “Good, ‘cause in a minute, I’m going to let you try on your own.”

The change in speed threw her off, driving one of T’Pol’s toepicks into the ice and causing her to trip towards Trip. As he tried to stop, Trip instead ended up slamming his back against the rink barrier.

A nanosecond later, T’Pol crashed into him, knocking the wind out of his body and somehow managing to elbow him in the ribs at the same time. The hooks on her left skate became entangled in his hockey skate’s laces and she had to grab at him and the barrier to avoid falling and dragging him down with her. His arm instinctively went around her waist, and her hip just narrowly missed hitting a very delicate part of his anatomy.

“Ow…” Trip muttered into her hair.


**************************************


Ensign Sonya Callahan swung her skates alongside of her as she walked towards Cargo Bay one. It had been a long day and she was looking forward to a few minutes on the ice—she had another half an hour before the hockey game between Hoshi’s Hellions and Walsh’s Warriors took over the rink-- just enough time to work off some steam.

As she stepped inside of the rink, however, a slamming sound caught her attention. She looked across the rink to see Commander Tucker leaning against the rink barrier, with Commander T’Pol wrapped intimately around him. They didn’t even look up at the sound of the cargo bay doors and seemed totally engrossed in each other.

Sonya’s jaw dropped at the very public display of affection. Apparently, the ship’s rumors were true…

She grinned and started backing out of the bay quietly. As the doors slid shut behind her, she whispered, “You owe me one, Boss.”


***************************************


T’Pol disentangled herself carefully from Trip and balanced against the barrier as she looked over at him. “Are you injured?”

He winced, holding his side as he hunched over the barrier. “That’s gonna bruise.” He turned to look at her, shaking his head. “That was one hell of a check. Maybe I should have had hockey skates made for you instead.”

“I do not understand what you are saying… did you perhaps hit your head?”

Trip shook his head. “Nah, just thinking aloud.” He then looked around the empty rink and poked gently at his aching thigh. “Uhm, I think I’m done for today, though. I’m just glad no one was around to see that.”

She raised one eyebrow. “Indeed. Perhaps we both should look into more of those ‘learn to skate’ lessons.” She toe picked her way towards the rink exit carefully. “I intend on avoiding collisions like that one the next time we skate.” She looked over her shoulder before stepping out of the rink. “Thank you for the ‘lesson’.”

Trip, hunched over as he skated in her direction, looked up with a frown. “Sure,” he grunted, “Anytime.” He then paused and grinned. “Did I just hear you say ‘next time we skate’?”

“Of course. You need a lot of work on your meditation skills.”

His only response was a thud as he belly-flopped onto the ice. Maybe this skating deal had been a bad idea after all…


*Notes for those of you not familiar with figure skating (or skating in general):
Figures (also referred to as compulsory figures) were a part of figure skating competition up until 1991—they emphasized accuracy and precise edge work when tracing intricate patterns in the ice. In addition to being, well, boring for the average fan to watch, it created a lot of confusion and annoyance when a skater who was perfect in figures and stinky in freestyle (the part of the competition where you have all of the music and spins and jumps and pretty costumes) won, so they were removed.

Some people still enjoy figures today and hope to reinstate them. In my Enterprise world, figures were reintroduced in the 2102 winter Olympics as its own discipline—and the perfect ice sport for Vulcans!


Comments:

Emberchyld
Thanks for the comments everyone! It\'s pretty common on our public skate to see the hockey guys dragging the girls they \"like\" around the ice while the girls cling on in terror and the rest of us take bets on who was going to get injured first. So, of course, I was inspired;) :p On ice dancing, Linda... if you\'d believe this, I really really disliked even watching it until I took a seminar class with Peter Tchernyshev... all of us adult ladies just stood there goofily grinning and watching him skate (and then we all started falling on purpose. \"Oh, Peter, I can\'t get up!!!! *batt eyelashes* Help!\":p). Now, I love it. I just can\'t figure out how to get T\'Pol in hockey skates, though. She\'d probably be a mean enforcer!
Linda
This was great. You write what you know and pass on to others a new experience. Having done a lot of skating as a child, the part about the movements of someone learning to skate is oh so familiar. Well written. And it is good you put an explanation at the end to help people understand compitition. I knew a little about it though I never competed, just played on the ice with other kids. Though I don't see them very often, I like to watch the competitions on TV, especially the ice dancing. So gracefully exhilarating.
JadziaKathryn
Lol, nice end. I like how she uses it against him.
T'Sara
This was cute! I think it's funny that a Florida Boy like Trip had been Ice Skating.....I'm from Florida too. I get the oddest looks from people when I tell them I used to skate when I was a kid. Ice skating is the last sport that you think of when you think of Florida I'm afraid! lol :p
Distracted
AAAND... let's play HOCKEY!!! Very nice, BTW. I liked it. :D
blackn'blue
I wanna see the hockey game!
Rigil Kent
Awesome. I have this mental image of the rest of the bridge crew watching this whole thing on the main viewer, laughing their butts off at it! Well done.

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