Vulcan for ‘Boo!’

By Elessar

Rating: PG-13

Genres: fluff humour romance

Keywords:

This story has been read by 661 people.
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This story is number 1 in the series Vulcan For...


Chapter 1

B y John O.

Rated: PG-13
Disclaimer: Star Trek characters, franchise and my soul all owned by Paramount. Oh, ‘twer it not so…
Genre: Romance/Season 2/Halloween


AN: A Halloween vignette just for fun. Since the season ‘tis upon us (or was when I started this) and I was in the mood for a short and fun story not connected to my series. The setting is Season 2, soon after Canamar but before The Crossing. There’s only like one mention to what happened in Canamar – Trip got shot helping Archer, that’s all you need to know :).

Note, I “slightly heavily” accented some of Trip’s dialog at times. For certain purposes I wanted emphasis laid upon it, though I don’t always do that, and I tried not to go overboard.


Act I:


Scene I – Sickbay

“Ow! Jeez doc, you got a day job at Helga’s House of Pain?” The doctor beamed a congenial smile at the engineer’s exaggerated cries of distress. Trip lie splayed out onto a biobed in his Starfleet undergarments while the Doctor dug his elbow between his shoulder blades.

“That disruptor left some nasty muscular degeneration Mister Tucker, if you don’t hold still so I can treat you, it could get worse!” Phlox’s knuckles kneaded powerfully, lower this time, near the base of the Commander’s spinal column.

“Ahhh!! You’re-AHhh!” The wailing sounds emanating from sickbay as the Subcommander entered hardly sounded like they belonged to a thirty year old engineer. Phlox frowned as his prey – or patient rather, squirmed beneath his trained fingers in obnoxious cries of agony. So engrossed was he in the treatment of the Commander’s condition, T’Pol was standing beside him with a PADD in her hand before he noticed her entry. Trip’s head hung off the edge of the bed, sunk towards the floor as he winced and groaned with every contact of the Denobulan’s tender touch.

T’Pol lifted a high eyebrow as she cocked her head slightly to one side to observe the Commander’s entertaining facial expressions. “I believe the Captain wanted your analysis of the indigenous life on the Minshara-class planet we detected this morning,” T’Pol interrupted. Phlox started momentarily at her presence and then left his patient to a moment of peace.

“Ah, thank you Subcommander,” he began to turn away but halted.

“It was hardly necessary to bring it down yourself, you could very well have transmitted this data to my console from the bridge,” a curious twinkle in the Denobulan’s eye. T’Pol blinked for a split second while her Vulcan mind formulated a perfectly rational response.

“I had duties on this deck which required my personal attention, it seemed a more efficient route to complete both objectives.” It wasn’t a lie, but “the duty” she spoke of may have simply been to ascertain the good health of the Chief Engineer. After all, how far would a starship on a mission of exploration get without its Chief Engineer? A perfectly rational concern…

She continued, “My initial scans indicated there may be intelligent, non-humanoid life on the surface. The Captain would like you to study the sensor data and report back your analysis.” The doctor “Hmm’d” in interest as he nodded and took the PADD with a bright smile. He quietly paced about sickbay, consumed with the data on the PADD. The Subcommander lightly sighed in disappointment, he clearly intended to perform the analysis now and make her wait in… Mr. Tucker’s company.

Craning his neck in her direction, Trip formed an agony-stricken grimace when T’Pol entered sickbay. She stood rigid as a pole with her hands clasped neatly at her back as was her custom, while the doctor strolled away quietly. The Subcommander’s gaze fell evenly straight ahead of her, oblivious to Trip’s pleading expression.

“Ya’ gotta’ help me T’Pol. He’s gonna’ kill me!” he whispered furtively. T’Pol met his gaze as he peered up at her. She was silent as she watched him, apparently calculating her response carefully.

“It is highly unlikely the Doctor would endanger your life,” T’Pol responded dryly before returning her gaze to the front of her. Trip sighed heavily in frustration and hung his head again.

“Perhaps,” T’Pol’s voice broke the silence but she remained expressionless, her eyes forward. “If you exercised more caution while aboard the Enolian vessel you would not have been injured,” Trip looked up at her in irritation.

“So it’s my fault for gettin’ shot tryin’ to help the Cap’n,” he retorted, slightly more rudely than he intended. T’Pol turned to meet his face more suddenly than before. He scoffed and returned his eyes to floor in frustration. Slightly amused, she returned her gaze to the far wall for several moments before glancing back at Doctor Phlox. A long silence sat between them as Commander Tucker counted the lines in the tile on the floor.

Seventy four, seventy five, seventy six…

Before he knew it, his gaze found the Vulcan’s feet. Then up her legs,
I never noticed how strong they look…
His appreciative eyes crawled slowly up the dark fabric of her uniform as it strained against the powerful Vulcan muscles that lie beneath. Around her hips and up her torso, how the material clung so curvaceously, accentuating the latissimus dorsi, curving around her torso as it crawled towards her che…

Whoa, little Trip! This is the Subcommander, the ice woman!

He quickly looked away before she noticed his appraisal. The Subcommander fidgeted slightly in irritation as the Doctor continued to tarry near the rear of sickbay. Suddenly an idea occurred to Trip Tucker, a devilish idea that brought an irrepressible smile to his face.

“Hey T’Pol,” he called up to her as he craned his neck again to meet her eyes. He hesitated a moment when the liquid brown orbs zeroed in on him and he felt a certain area pool with blood. He gulped slightly but with his neck outstretched, the nervous action was quite obvious. The Subcommander stared at him blankly and was about to ask when – “Do you know about the party t’morrow night?” he teased.

She blinked with disinterest. “I am aware of the Saint Hallow’s Eve celebration Ensign Sato is organizing,” she recalled with irritation her difficulties keeping the duty rosters filled. When the Captain gave Hoshi a few days off to plan the party and with Ensign Gilmore already ill, it had left T’Pol with the burden of ‘creative scheduling’ to say the least. Once the news of the party got around, nearly half the crew volunteered to help out. Their enthusiasm, while irritating to her Vulcan sensibilities, was tolerable. However, many crewmembers became so absorbed in the party preparations, they began showing up late for duty shifts.

“It’s a Halloween Party, T’Pol!” he rolled onto his side, forgetting his mock cries of pain minutes earlier. Trip propped himself on an elbow at the edge of the biobed and shot her an amused smile. It was likely he didn’t even realize he was smiling at her, it was just ‘one of those things’ about the Subcommander, the way she could make a party sound like a will-reading. She fidgeted nervously under the weight of that gesture, his curled lips and sparkling eyes… an illogical discomfort at a simple, common human expression…

“So. You goin’?” Trip asked, bringing the Vulcan back from her thoughts. While he watched her, his smile obliviously clung to his face.

Commander Tucker is an illogical human, it is foolish to desire him.

“I hear they got the cargo bay all done up with spare EPS relays and microfusion taps,” he chuckled as she considered the invitation. Enterprise was in the middle of an unusually long period of downtime. Consequently, T’Pol could hardly claim she had repairs or maintenance to attend to.

Finally, she returned her gaze to the far wall, attempting to regain a sense of neutral detachment from the Commander.

“I do not understand why the Captain would allow Ensign Sato to expend ship’s resources on such an illogical waste of time,” she changed the subject, eying Doctor Phlox as he paced in the rear of sickbay. Tucker’s eyes remained fixed on her, suddenly recapturing her attention.

“Well?” he asked innocently.

She met his gaze when he wagged his eyebrows innocently to regain her attention to his offer. The doctor returned with a bright smile and stuck the PADD out to the Subcommander.

“I have included my comments,” Phlox added cheerfully. She nodded briefly and turned back to Tucker.

T’Pol eyed him on the biobed for a moment before attempting an escape from his invitation. “Unfortunately, it appears the doctor’s orders may prevent you from overexerting yourself at the festivities tomorrow,” she curtly replied with an eyebrow.

“Nonsense!” the Denobulan exhorted as T’Pol turned to depart. “He’ll be in fine shape by tomorrow, just a little comfort therapy,” he beamed back at the disgruntled T’Pol.

“Not gettin’ out that easy T’Pol, I’ll be cuttin’ a rug one way or ‘nother, so you might as well join the fun,” he wagged his eyebrows once again. Her eyebrows revealed her confusion for only an instant before she surrendered to his senseless vernacular. She had given up trying to figure him out before… then again, she thought, his illogical colloquialisms were one of his most intriguing attributes.

“If my duties permit, I may… ‘stop by’,” T’Pol replied with a hint of uneasiness. She turned, giving Commander Tucker the slightest nod and exited sickbay.

“Now,” Phlox turned with gruff disapproval. “Back on your stomach Mister Tucker,” Trip rolled his eyes with a groan and returned to his belly for more treatment.

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Scene II – Engineering


“Hand me that decoupler, will ya’?”

The tall engineer’s backside protruded high into the air as his upper torso disappeared into an access hatch. The port plasma flow stabilizer was acting up again and he was determined to fix it this time.

“I’m tired of this damn thing shortin’ out,” he mumbled under his breath as he came up for a breath of fresh air. The stagnant confines of the compartment drew a thin sweat pocked with patches of dirt and component grease across his face. He sighed and dove in again to battle the beast within the compartment. As he jumbled and jostled within the tight hatch, Tucker got hot and cranky.

For no apparent reason, his mind wandered until settling on a certain Vulcan Subcommander. He was running over in his mind the conversation with her in sickbay, just about to get to the part where he caught himself “checking her out”. Suddenly his inattentiveness to the task at hand cost him a patch of skin on his right palm when he crossed the wrong leads. A few grunts and gyrations of his lower torso later a torrent of yelling burst across Engineering.

“SONOFABITCH!” his voice cried out as a flash of light and crackling sparks peeked around the edges of the hatch. He wasn’t hurt bad, but crossing two live leads had discharged half the port junction into none other than Commander Charles Tucker III. With the initial shock he jumped back, knocking his head on the edge of the hatch.

“I got halfa’ mind ta’ call Starfleet Ops and find out who designed this damn thing!” he yelled, kicking the bulkhead while he cradled his head in agony. An exasperated crewman sat nearby with an assortment of tools at arm’s reach. The Commander’s assistant no doubt, T’Pol thought as she took in the sight of Commander Tucker sprawled out on his back. She silently entered Engineering and observed his explosion of expletives from a distance.

The sweat trickled from his brow and his scent hit her like a brick wall when she arrived at his side with a PADD. Her eyes widened slightly and she inhaled sharply at the shock, inadvertently taking in more of the potent aroma. Even for a human female, he had a powerful bodily scent after working in tight-spaced access shafts like this one, but for T’Pol’s heightened senses it was nearly toxic… or so she let on. She secretly found after two years on the Enterprise that his scent irritated her not because it was offensive – but because it aroused her in the most unseemly, un-Vulcan ways. Something about his smell, his hair, she almost reached out to straighten the tousled strands…

Commander Tucker is an illogical human, it is foolish to desire him.

“T’Pol?” She started, suddenly aware she had allowed not only her attention but her control to waver dramatically. Her pulse and breathing had escalated and her pupils were dilated. All of these things a Vulcan discerned in moments as she watched the engineer’s lips move again.

“The plasma regulators, are they up to spec?” he asked with a hint of amusement at her surprise and absentmindedness. She pursed her lips and steeled against the onslaught of his scent. Her thoughts became almost instantly clear and controlled again, a reward for years of her diligent training as a Vulcan child on the homeworld.

“Yes, Ensign Massaro reports that junction three-beta had a burned out power relay. It has been replaced and the regulator is working fine now,” she stared absently at the floor again. Trip eyed her curiously and furrowed his brow at her.

“Fine?” he asked with a smirk. She met his gaze in confusion. Suddenly, Trip recalled that his maintenance assistant was still nearby. He dropped the PADD down on an adjacent equipment canister and motioned to the crewman.

“Thanks Hansen, go head an’ join Hess and Rostov on the dilithium matrix calibration,” the crewman nodded and left silently. Trip dropped his ‘Commander’ style posture and swaggered back over to T’Pol and squatted on an empty container. He peered up at her as she continued to hold her hands clasped at her back. She fidgeted slightly, turning her position to face him. It was a tiny gesture, but the curious engineer noticed it as he watched her.

“You never say ‘fine’, T’Pol. Isn’t that a human word or somethin’?” he wiped his brow once more from each side, relishing the chance to remove at least some of the grime. She moved closer to him and lowered her voice.

“I have observed that the crew react more favorably to unpleasant news or tasks when it is presented in a more colloquial manner, therefore I have endeavored to… adopt some of your more… human adages,” she replied coolly. He chuckled as he rose to his feet. He nodded his head to the side and then moved towards the exit hatch. She followed without a word.

“Have a bite in the Mess Hall with me?” she nodded as the Chief Engineer grabbed a towel near the door and retreated into his office in the far corner. T’Pol stopped in surprise when he retreated.

“Be right back,” he called over his shoulder. He returned a moment later with a clean face, hands and damp spots in various places around his uniform. The Subcommander surveyed his new appearance with approval and nodded. He shot her a smile from the office door as he tossed the towel haphazardly onto his cluttered desk.

“Ya’ didn’t think I’d make ya’ sit through my smell all through lunch did ya’?” he smirked as they left Engineering and entered the maze of winding corridors leading to the Mess Hall.

“Your smell is not all together…” she started without thinking. Unpleasant, in fact it can be…pleasurable… she finished mentally. Suddenly she realized he was looking at her with interest.

“…Not all together unbearable, humans’,” she quickly added. Trip entered the Mess Hall with an amused grin and aimed for Chef’s pastry delicacies.

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Scene III – Mess Hall

Several hours later, Commander Tucker sauntered into the Mess Hall once again for a much-needed supper. With a quick glance, he quickly noted Hoshi and the Subcommander sharing a table. The Vulcan appeared more-than-usually interested in their conversation. He snorted in amusement and picked up his tray.

“I thought it pertinent to inform you that the hyperbaric nebula we will be studying next week may cause malfunctions in the communications system,” the Vulcan lifted her glass and sipped her tea.

Hoshi picked through her chicken salad with a tiny frown, giving a shake of her head. “What causes the interference?” she asked, mildly interested.

“It is unknown. The Vulcan astronomical survey first charted this region over six centuries ago and have not since returned, we found little of interest. However, advancements in long range sensor technology have revealed a previously undetected form of radiation. It is not harmful to life; however, it could interfere with our subspace frequencies.”

“Oh nah, you’re kiddin’,” a southern drawl crept over the Subcommander’s shoulder. She turned only slightly, not meeting his challenging grin.

“Ya’ mean the Vulcans might’ve actually missed somethin’ interestin’?” he shook his head in disapproval as he stalked away from the Subcommander and Hoshi’s table towards Mayweather and Malcolm. T’Pol turned slightly as he crossed behind her and disappeared into the corner. She was inwardly troubled by the effort required to pull her eyes from his lean body straining behind the uniform as he slunk into a chair across the Mess Hall. Then there was his teasing smile... that remains with me after he is gone.

“Subcommander?” Hoshi interrupted T’Pol’s un-Vulcan like loss of attention. While her hands sat very still on the table, her pulse had found a much swifter pace and it disquieted her insides. She met the Ensign’s inquiring gaze with as much normalcy as she could manage, trying to dispose of Tucker’s lasting image in her mind.

“I said he’s such a pig sometimes,” Hoshi laughed as she impaled another leafy chunk of chicken and lettuce.

“Indeed,” the Subcommander replied dryly. When Hoshi didn’t respond, she judged the human female wished for more response. She raised an eyebrow in thought as her eyes moved to the table.

“He is quite trying,” her voice lowered slightly as she almost trailed off. Hoshi watched the Subcommander with interest, a coy smile peaking out as she tongued the inside of her cheek. Suddenly, like a Cherub evaporating into a puff of smoke and only a devilish Imp remaining – Hoshi’s innocent curiosity turned her grin into a most mischievous smirk.

“I overheard the Commander say you were planning on coming to the party tomorrow,” Hoshi prodded – a white lie, as Hoshi had actually heard it on the Enterprise grapevine. If T’Pol was surprised she didn’t let it show while she calmly slipped another carrot off her utensil and chewed it methodically. After chewing exactly sixteen times and swallowing, she serviced the Ensign’s curiosity.

“The Commander suggested I attend the gathering,” she returned flatly.

“So… what did you say?” Hoshi leaned over the table in a whisper, her animated grin suddenly bearing more resemblance to a teenage matchmaker than the foremost linguist in the sector.

T’Pol’s chin angled slightly as she unconsciously leaned in towards Hoshi in the same fashion. “I do not understand why it is necessary to lower your voice Ensign, I do not believe we are discussing sensitive ship’s information,” she returned with a lifted eyebrow. Hoshi giggled but was not deterred by the attempted change of subject. When she stared down the Subcommander a moment longer, T’Pol continued.

“I insisted it was a useless waste of time and resources, but as usual he refused to accede to my superior argument. So I agreed to attend the gathering,” T’Pol left out that her acceptance had hardly been in certain terms. Hoshi allowed a surreptitious grin escape her lips before hiding it from the Subcommander.

When Hoshi slumped back in her chair and took a ceremonious sip of her lemonade. T’Pol judged that this was the human behavior she had observed to precede one leaving the table. She had avoided the subject she wished to broach all through the meal, but her time was running out.

“Ensign,” she abruptly called.

“Yes, Subcommander?”

“May I ask a question of a personal nature?”

“Of course,” Hoshi pushed her tray away and leaned on her elbows. “What’s on your mind?”

T’Pol was silent for a few moments, her concentration broken by Tucker’s boisterous laughter from the corner. Hoshi didn’t notice but when the Subcommander’s eyes flickered to the corner, the Ensign followed her gaze and suddenly another devilish grin took hold. T’Pol recompiled her attention, carefully composing her inquiry.

“Do you believe Commander Tucker’s invitation satisfies the human definition of ‘a date’,” she asked with detached precision. Hoshi could barely contain her laughter, all that escaped was a hiccupped, “Um…”

“I’m not sure, I guess it depends on the context,” she nodded, fishing for more information. She was dying with anticipation, she had to tell Malcolm. The betting pool between the Engineering Lower Decks owed her five hundred big ones.

T’Pol weighed her response carefully, her brow drawing together in contemplation. She nodded quickly and began to rise from her seat. “Thank you Ensign,” before she could pick up her tray Hoshi interrupted, “Wait…” Hoshi began tightening her bow and searching for the arrows she always carried. Cupid always had arrows, she knew they were around here somewhere…

T’Pol resumed her seat.

“What were you planning on wearing tomorrow, Subcommander?” T’Pol responded with an eyebrow and a glance to her lap.

“I assumed a standard uniform would suffice,” the Vulcan was as puzzled as surprised by the question.

”Oh no, no, it’s a costume party, T’Pol!” Hoshi grinned. Suddenly she was back in her bedroom as a seventh grader with her best friends planning how to get dressed up for the boys.

“That’s what you do for Halloween, you dress up in a costume. I think Malcolm is going as Dracula or something, from one of those horror movies Commander Tucker made us watch,” she rolled her eyes, nibbling on her salad again. T’Pol was intrigued and somewhat irritated by this new information, he would expect her to show up in a costume… why hadn’t he indicated so, he must have known I was not familiar with Earth customs… her mind wandered again.

Hoshi sensed her trepidation and if she had really been fourteen again she’d have leapt from the table and tugged the Subcommander by the arm, hauling her off to the girl’s bedroom to do her makeup. Instead, the linguist rose with a smile and barely controlled fervor. The Subcommander cautiously rose from her seat and followed.

“I’ve got just the thing, Subcommander, come on, I’ll show you!”


Comments:

panyasan

I have read this story a couple of times and every time it puts a smile on my face.

Funny, but also nice description how T'Pol and Trip feel - and what they don't want to admit.

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