Like Red On a Rose

By Elessar

Rating: PG-13

Genres: fluff romance


This story has been read by 397 people.
This story has been read 548 times.

Rating: PG13
Genre: Romance/Fluff
Disclaimer: Paramount owns Star Trek characters/names/fans’ souls/etc. I call shenanigans.

A/N: Every eccentric writer has to have that story they wrote while hammered...

Summary: AU, early season 4. Another take on their time off, on Earth. I might even do more stories based on song titles. This hasn’t been beta’d… just a warning =)

Immediately Following Enterprise’s Return from the Xindi Mission

“So, what are ya doing with your time off?” Trip asked T’Pol as he folded his arms and let his body slump against the wall of her quarters.

“The Captain has asked us to attend the commencement ceremony,” she told him calmly, considering the hidden inquiry worming its way into his words that only she would hear. He chuckled lightly, shaking his head and looking to the ceiling as T’Pol folded yet another identical uniform in identical fashion.

“You know what I mean, after that.”

“Ambassador Soval has asked me to return to the Vulcan Consolate and consider resuming my commission with the Vulcan High Command,” she responded nonchalantly. Trip’s brow peaked as arms slackened and he stood more attentive.

“They offered your commission back?” he asked, surprised. She turned to face him, clasping her hands at her back appropriately.


“And… you’re considering it?” he asked, fishing.

“I am also considering Starfleet’s offer,” she reassured him, sensing his reticence of her reclamation of the Vulcan title, rank, and all the associated limitations.

“They might reassign you,” he told her, prodding for a reaction. Her eyes landed powerfully on his, searching the inanimate slivers of color that circled his pupils. She withdrew her eyes from his with effort, and released a tired breath.

“I will not accept if they will not allow me to remain on Enterprise,” she told him flatly. He smiled weakly, relaxing suddenly as he moved towards her. He plucked a ruffled uniform from the floor and held it out to her as he approached. She took it from him, removing her dark green eyes from his for only an instant as she clasped the thick, velvet material from his fingers, brushing his. She took it, turning towards her bag as she folded the deep red uniform and placed it on the top of the stack crowning the overstuffed bag with a Starfleet emblem on the side.

Trip absently rubbed his palms together as he worked up the question tickling at his brain.

“I was wonderin’, ahm… Me and my folks were going to have a ceremony for Elizabeth, my sister,” he gestured. T’Pol turned her head only, meeting his expectant, but uneasy gaze as he chewed his lip.

“If you’ve got time, I thought…” he hesitated.

“Well, I wanted my folks to meet yaw’,” he told her. She swallowed nervously, silencing the myriad responses that sprung from the chaotic mass of thought and emotion in the corner of her otherwise ordered Vulcan mind labeled, “Trip”.

“That would be agreeable. When my briefing with the Vulcan Consolate is concluded, I will contact you,” she nodded professionally. He nodded back, slapping his chest.

“I’ll keep a communicator on me,” he smiled broadly. In that moment, he turned and left her quarters, and thankfully so, for T’Pol’s sake. T’Pol unknowingly released a long-held breath with an audible sigh, raising an eyebrow at her own anxious behavior.


3 Days Later

Trip raised a glass of orange juice to his mouth and quickly shoveled the last strip of bacon between his lips.

“Jesus, boy! Take it easy!” a baritone voice called out. A tall man of lean build, close cropped gray hair in the same style and growth pattern as Trip’s emerged from the larger living room attached to the kitchen. Charles Tucker, Junior straightened his shirt as he stepped onto the tile floor and patted his son lightly on the back, chuckling as Trip leaned over the table, wolfing down the last morsel of his breakfast. Charles Junior took a seat next to Trip and folded his arms, looking with a hint of expectation at Nancy.

“I don’t want to be late picking up T’Pol,” he told him, after finally swallowing the last bit of eggs and bacon.

“I thought you said she was beaming down?” the older Tucker asked.

“She is but… she’s a little, uh, well, I just want to be there right when she gets here. She’s never been outside the Vulcan compound, well rarely,” he amended, chomping into a biscuit.

“Chew your food!” his mother commanded warmly, from the corner of the kitchen. She wiped her hands on a towel and folded it neatly over the oven handle as somehow women are only capable of doing.

“Mom, this was incredible. You have no idea how nice it is to eat a good meal after all that stuff made in space,” Trip told the smiling patriarch as she leaned against the stove with her arms crossed. She laughed lightly and straightened the plaid-covered sleeves that rolled along her tan, freckled arms. Moving towards her son, Nancy Tucker pulled a chair from the table across from her son, adjacent to her husband. Charles reached out, and squeezed her arm lovingly, the touch of his wife’s skin extinguishing the lines of age in his smile, taking her back a few decades. Suddenly, Mrs. Tucker turned to her son and took him in for a long moment.

“Trip,” she said pensively, rubbing her neck as she rested her elbow on the kitchen table. “This woman, T’Pol,” she insisted. Trip raised the last gulp of juice to his lips and raised his eyes nervously.

“Yeah?” he asked innocently.

“She’s Vulcan?” Trip’s father asked, following his mother.

“Uh huh,” he answered innocently. Nancy laughed, covering her forehead with the palm of her hand.

“Why do I suddenly feel whisked back to the 8th grade when you danced around explaining your date to the junior prom?” Nancy asked. Trip nearly spit the juice all over the table as he choked through a coughing fit. Charles smiled, running a hand over his mouth to hide a sly grin.

“What are you talkin’ about?” Trip asked innocently, hiding his eyes in the bottom of the glass, swirling about in barely a drop of remaining liquid.

“The stripper!” Nancy insisted, eliciting a guiltily reminiscing fit of laughter from both Charles and his son.

“She was a dancer, mom!” Trip barely said, laughing. He glanced at the door, and held up a hand. “Look, mom, really she’s gonna’ be here soon!”

“Wait just a minute, now!” she said, pointing at the chair Trip had just evacuated hastily.

“Nancy, he’s a grown man!” Charles insisted, holding his hand out in the air.

“I don’t care, I want to know what’s going on first,” she told him considerately.

“Trip!” his mother commanded. The youthful Tucker’s smile evaporated as he observed his mother’s sternly inquisitive stare.

“This woman’s coming to stay with us for a week, now I’m fine with that. But I’d like to know a little bit about the young woman coming to stay at my home!” she insisted.

“Not exactly young,” Charles broke in from his wife’s flank. The icy glare shot his way would have frozen a shuttlepod on reentry. Charles cleared his throat noisily and looked away. Reclaiming the table, Nancy turned to her boy.

“If something’s going on…”

“I don’t know yet,” he told her, flattening his smile and shrugging his shoulders, as he stood over the table.

“But somethin’,” he told her, nodding assuredly. He rushed for the door to meet T’Pol outside at the designated beam-down coordinates. Nancy sighed gruffly as Charles Junior watched her beleaguered face shake from side to side and then look up at him. Just then, Trip emerged from the living room.

“By the way, don’t mention the stripper thing,” he asked, nodding succinctly as he leaned against the wall and then bolted for the front door.

“Oh no,” Nancy moaned as she held her forehead.

“What?” Charles asked with concern.

“He must be serious about this woman,” she shook her head at the table. “He’s never admitted she was a stripper.”


6 Days Later

A symphony of crickets played lowly against a humming and chirping backdrop of grass blowing in the Mississsippi wind as a rhythmic creak broke the music’s dominance of the air. On the front of the Tucker porch as it looked out onto a flat grassland, a pair of heads silhouetted against the setting sun and its purplish penumbra. Against the old, grainy wood porch swing, T’Pol shivered as a brusque wind broke across the porch and tickled goosebumps onto her skin. The human next to her moved instinctively, putting her arm around her, pulling her closer. She froze for a decisive instant while the warring factions within her competed for control of her reaction.

Inside the house, Tucker senior stepped closer to the threshold between the kitchen and the dining room door. He leaned against the wall, squinting into the oppressive rays of the setting sun as they painted a dark halo around his son and the Vulcan woman, sitting together on the porch swing. His son’s arm went up around her shoulder and Charles nearly gasped, his lips parting in concern as he waited for the ensuing disastrous encounter. He knew Vulcans hated to be touched… even though… he thought, he had seen a lot these past few days, that he would never have expected to see.

After a long, agonizing moment of suspense, Charles observed the small head flanked by two conspicuous points, lean, and perch on his son’s shoulder. From his viewpoint, the setting sun cast the two forms into black contrast against its fiery departure over the horizon. Charles smiled, chuckling to himself as he heard a faint tune creep in from the kitchen. Behind him the kitchen lights dimmed, and he turned to find Nancy crossing the tile floor as the liquid orange rays of dying sunlight crept across the floor. She stood over the light and a long-known smile crept over her lips as she turned her head at Charles and dropped a lighter on the table. Behind her, a flickering candle sent a warm shiver of light across the kitchen. Nancy reached out her hand and Charles took a single step, taking it and pulling her to his strong body and pulling her across the kitchen floor as the music poured from her unknown source.

Like red, on a rose… when your lips, first smiled at me… I was captured, instantly.

Charles swung Nancy out to arm’s length and she twirled, giggling as she flew back into the reclaiming grasp of his arm, and into his powerful breast. He laughed aloud, into his wife’s advancing lips as the music mounted into a powerful crescendo. When he pulled away, his eyes froze on the rectangle of light through which the front porch was visible. Charles’ smile broadened as he led his wife to the side, allowing her a view of the scene. As if a bond existed between them, she needed not query, but turned to follow his gaze.

A melded pair of bodies swayed across the porch window pane, sharing a single silhouetted shape.

Back on the porch, Tucker held one of T’Pol’s hands at arm’s length and held the other near his chest. Swaying his hips with the rhythmic beat of the old music emanating from with the house, he led T’Pol in a patient circle about the hardwood porch. T’Pol looked up curiously, and Trip wordlessly led her into the next movement. After mastering the basic posture and movement, Trip managed to wean T’Pol from the clinical precision with which she attempted the maneuvers into relaxing enough to appreciate the beauty of the ancient Earth country western music. An indeterminate amount of time went by as she relaxed into his embrace and allowed the music to suffuse her. She only scarcely heard the lyrics against the calm beat of Trip’s heart in his chest…

“I love you like all little children love pennies. And I love you ‘cause I know, I can’t do anything wrong,” T’Pol looked up to find Trip’s lips tickling her ear. Trip was mouthing the words as her cheek rested against his chest, her forehead tucked into his neck.

“You’re where I belong,” he whispered. “Like red… on a rose.”




The idea for this story is very good, an isolated population can be vulnerable to a viris.  And descriptions of the dilirium seemed realistic.  A tense, exciting story.  But I was disconcerted by the harsh treatment of Trip by those close to him, especially Lizzie, Malcolm, and Jon.  I would think they would be kinder, encouraging rather than belittling.  They could be insistant that he fight for his life, challenging him to live, but in a nicer way.    


Take it from someone who knows delirium has no logic, and can go beyond ANY reality you might be aware of. My family still tortures me because of some ravings that I had no control over. You did that really well. my question is where the heck was Phlox? After all that's his specialty and Trip is his favorite and most active patient.


I think your description of his fever and halucinations was very well done, I was worried for Trip reading this! Thankfully he had his personal angel to guard him:) Very good story!


The situation you've set up here is perfectly plausible; viruses can seem to come out of nowhere and strike hard.  After Trip met his sister, I have to admit that I wondered what happened to Archer.  When did he die?  And then Malcolm showed up.  At that point, I figured Trip was just using his friends for motivation. 

I liked the fact that Trip had to fight his way back from the brink.  You also did a very nice job of showing the close union between Trip and T'Pol.  I can believe that Trip would see T'Pol as his angel. 

Bluetiger, as always, your story is terrific!


What a splendid surprise! Another of your stories! And once again the light and all the same powerful flowing of your writing made me quiet and glad. Thanks!:D


Alelou, about the people taunting him, my thought was that for Trip hell would be the people he loved and counted on turning their backs on him.


You could feel the tension in this fic. Loved how love guided Trip home.

BTW, the other comment below, is from a different story I commented once.


Very nice story.  Great ending.


I wonder if Trip is going to feel unaccountably hostile towards Archer and Malcolm now?  Funny how his own subconscious turns them into taunters.  Hey, whatever works!  Glad he's okay. :)

This is such a sweet and funny story, where you really get a feeling of home.I can almost smell the bacon.*wink* because they are only working in Firefox.;)
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