Vulcan for ‘Intimate’

By Elessar

Rating: PG-13

Genres: adventure romance

Keywords:

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This story is number 3 in the series Vulcan For...


Chapter 1

By John O.

Rating: PG13 – some language/sexuality
Disclaimer: Paramount owns Star Trek characters/names/fans’ souls/etc. I call shenanigans.

A/N: Sequel to Vulcan for Second Date. Takes place approximately three weeks after "Second Date." Our young Season 2 pair is exploring the less formal side of “dating” without fully admitting to themselves that’s what it is. When there’s a strange sensor reading from an isolated planet, our pair agrees to join the mission to find the source of the anomaly. Their lives are very soon changed forever and it soon becomes clear that resolving their emotional baggage will only be the first step to the rest of their lives…

Inspired by DS9’s Children of Time.

The idea is “what if this happened offscreen in Season 2 and we never saw it, then came back post-Terra Prime to help Trip and T’Pol resolve their feelings.”


Chapter 1

0425 – The Bridge

“I don’t know sir, it was a brilliant flash, all the panels went dead and then just came back,” the flustered communications officer sputtered as she placed the headset carefully back over her long black hair. Archer’s brows furrowed together in puzzlement more than concern. He rubbed his eyes and collapsed into the command chair, barely maintaining some semblance of command.

“I ran a full systems diagnostic, that showed a momentary power failure but other than that,” Hoshi trailed off, shaking her head at the fully functional panel.

It was then that Archer looked down and realized he wasn’t in uniform anyway, and so gave himself some leeway as he yawned. A moment later he propped an elbow on his arm as he stared at the comm. officer who continued to scan over her panels.

“I’m waiting,” he snipped with dry humor and an exasperated but teasing grin.

Hoshi spun around to snap at her CO before she bid the monster down. He knows just how to get under my skin, it’s not fair! Jonathan threw an arm on the console and let out an obnoxious yawn that practically echoed through the bridge, perking up an ensign’s ears as he nodded in and out of consciousness. All the damn bells and whistles on this baby and I had to be awakened from a pleasant sleep by a flustered Ensign yelling something about the world ending.

Ok something more like ‘massive energy distortion’, he admitted to himself.

“Weren’t any other systems affected? Navigation, Weapons, Engineering?” Archer glared back in good humor as Hoshi turned with an evil glare and a set jaw.

“Ensign Kent left the helm on autopilot sir, he asked to turn in early and Lieutenant Riley agreed to let him go,” she snapped in a low voice. Riley, missing his name being mentioned, snored lightly from the rear station. Archer glanced through droopy eyes, first to the empty helm, noticing for the first time that it was unoccupied and finally to the drowsy young man at Tactical.

“Lieutenant…”

The man dozed silently through his Captain’s soft-toned call to attention. He was too exhausted for a court-martial, letting the young man off the hook as he turned away. The bridge was empty but for himself, Sato and Riley. Archer sighed, rubbing his eyes openly while Hoshi stared through her own sore eyelids at the empty viewer.

“We’ve got to do something about this shift,” Archer moaned.

“Sir?”

He looked up in confusion. She watched him expectantly for a moment.

“The anomaly?”

“Right,” he sighed as he rubbed his eyes and stood.

“Do a full system’s check and uh, report it to Trip in the mo-”

Suddenly the bridge shook violently, going black before the running lights and crimson-hued emergency power bulbs switched on in the bulkhead corners. Archer’s mind leapt into action and he slapped the console adjacent to his chair. The bridge shook again and emergency power failed, returned, and then failed again.

“Archer to all hands, damage report! Engineering, report!”

There was no reply for several seconds while the alarms sang and red lights flickered through the bridge. It was a rude awakening for poor Lieutenant Riley, who sprang from his console with the first disturbance and now looked to his Captain in panic.

“Orders, sir?”

Archer turned, glad to see the Lieutenant’s eyes were open. “I want a damage report, all decks, and find out why the hell Engineering isn’t answering!”

“Comms are down sir, I’ll have them back in…” Hoshi trailed off as her fingers flew through different schemes of control interfaces. In frustration she slammed her fist on the terminal with a grunt, drawing a slightly surprised look from her Captain. She dropped from the seat and ripped the side panel open to access the circuits directly. A few moments later the ensign climbed to her feet, giving Archer a brusque nod and opening a channel to Engineering with a loud beep. Finally, the bridge crew burst from the lift doors and scattered like ants to their respective stations. Archer looked about, noticing T’Pol was not among them.

“Archer to Engineering, Trip?” he asked with a questioning tone. A moment later voice responded, but it was a woman’s.

“Hess here sir, it’s a mess down here but we’re picking up the pieces, are we under attack sir?”

Archer looked knowingly to Hoshi who just sighed in frustration. A stray lock of her raven hair fell across her face, her appearance mussed by the adrenaline rush. The shaking had subsided and emergency power was slowly climbing back to full strength.

“Some kind of anomaly.”

Archer rubbed his mouth in irritation, fighting back the urge to snap.

“Where’s Trip, Lieutenant?”

“I don’t know sir, he hasn’t reported in yet,” Archer groaned to himself in frustration. Where the hell could his Chief Engineer be during a crisis like this? He leaned into the com., preparing a ship wide PA to call for the engineer like a lost child when an exhaustive voice rang out distantly from the back of Engineering.

“Here, Cap’n!” the southern accent replied as the clanging hatch being flung open in the background gave away his last minute arrival. Archer squinted in irritation, the sleep beginning to pull on his eyelids once again as the panic and adrenaline subsided.

“Mr. Tucker, have a damage report ready by 0800 hours. Archer, out!” He moved to address the ship when T’Pol entered the bridge finally, looking as composed as usual. He spared her an irritated eye as his science officer rounded the bridge to her station before he gave the order.

“Senior staff to the situation room, 0800 hours.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

0755 – Corridors

“So, you figure out what caused our little four-AM wakeup call?” Trip asked with a light smile as he met the Sub-commander at a tee in the corridor. They turned together, walking beside one another towards the briefing.

“If I recall correctly, we were both quite awake.”

“Tell me about it,” Trip groaned through a yawn as he tried in vein to rub the sleep from his eyes.

“Vulcan endurance is far superior to that of a human. Perhaps you should request a stimulant from Dr. Phlox if you wish to continue our activities,” T’Pol raised a secretly cocky eyebrow at her human companion.

“Ha – Ha, so chess isn’t my game. My game is out there, I’ll find it,” he assured her with a grin.

“I believe the terms of the challenge were, ‘an intellectual game’,” she countered.

“Your race has a number of… competitive activities that do not fit that description,” she continued in low tones.

“Many of which involve far too much… contact,” she returned with mock disgust.

“Oh, really? And you’ve seen some of these ‘contact activities’ that disgust your ‘evolved Vulcan sensibilities’?” he asked. She turned to him with an empty stare and held his eyes for several moments.

“Unfortunately,” she replied simply. Trip exploded with laughter as they passed a smug-faced ensign who nervously eyed his superior officers as he squeezed between them.

“You see that?” Trip asked with furrowed brows after the man was down the corridor. He watched the young man disappear behind them and turned back to T’Pol. She didn’t reply.

“Have you noticed people acting kind of funny around here? People lookin’ at us weird lately whenever we’re workin’ together?” he murmured quietly as another crewman approached.

“I have not,” T’Pol replied absently. This time it was a pretty young woman of about twenty-five. She was doing a lot of lookin’ all right, but not of the ‘weird’ variety. T’Pol watched the woman approach. She eyed the young woman, her pupils instinctively dilating. In one step, T’Pol’s shoulders came into light, but close contact with the Tucker’s, her forearms relaxing until their uniforms brushed into one another’s as they walked and her posture shifted unconsciously.

All of this in a fraction of a second was like a blaring klaxon, screaming a biological warning. Instinctively, T’Pol met the woman with a particularly icy Vulcan stare, locked in a contest. When the other woman’s gaze fell to the floor instead of daring to look at Tucker, T’Pol knew she had won. A moment later, when she realized what had just come over her she flushed a tinge of green and began to review in her mind what had just happened.

“T’Pol?”

She absentmindedly met the Chief Engineer’s thoughtful glance as they stood toe-to-toe in front of the briefing room.

“I didn’t think Vulcans spaced out,” Trip chuckled as he reached to punch the keypad, still watching her. She returned his gaze absently as she simultaneously reached for the pad as well. His jest melted into a warmer smile, instinctively allowing his fingers to remain atop hers as they pressed against the panel for the briefest of moments. It was only too soon that the door opened and Archer appeared from the inside with a questioning look. Both snapped their hands to neutral ground and marched past a confused Archer.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Situation Room


“I believe the disturbance was a burst of radiation from a nearby star system,” T’Pol declared.

“It’s nothing like I’ve ever seen,” Archer returned with a slightly challenging tone.

“There is one possibility. A theoretical phenomenon I studied once, many years ago on Vulcan,” T’Pol replied to the Captain’s query.

“I believe among Earth physicists it is known as gravitophotonic coupling,” T’Pol informed them.

“Gravitophotonic?” Hoshi asked in puzzlement. The Captain eased into his chair with a curious glint as T’Pol straightened.

“It was the subject of much debate on Vulcan when we first developed quantum theory nearly a millennia ago. It was our early attempt to reconcile gravitation with the quantum world, however, it inevitably failed.” Archer winced as T’Pol mindfully reminded her human crew of Vulcan’s superior scientific progress.

“As I understand,” she glanced towards Commander Tucker. “It received similar attention on Earth during the early 20th century. It was originally developed by a physicist called Burkhard Heim as an attempt at a unified theory. It was briefly accepted around 2020. However, experimental verification of the existence of subspace invalidated the theory and it was later revised to more accurately describe observed subspace geometry.” Archer cracked a smile at Trip when he spied the unintentionally boggled look on Trip’s face.

“Have fun in multidimensional manifolds lecture, Trip?” Archer asked. The engineer rolled his eyes with a smirk as he tongued the inside of his mouth. The crew awaited the explanation of the inside joke.

“Yes I did,” he snapped back defensively with a hidden smile. His eyes narrowed and he trailed off. “Even if I didn’t always make it to class, and spent more time with Natalie”, he shrugged as Hoshi giggled. Hoshi “oooh’d” aloud, teasing the Commander who turned a few shades of pink despite his best efforts. The room’s attention had shifted from T’Pol, luckily for her, as she looked on with a rather displeased demeanor. Suddenly, Trip threw a finger at his Captain.

“But, I did pass that course… Which is more’n I can say for some,” he mumbled ruefully through a mischievous smile. T’Pol watched clinically as the Captain and Commander exchanged barbs until Jon’s laughter died away into a serious glint.

“So, T’Pol, where did this phenomenon come from? And how far from this system will it affect us?”

T’Pol turned towards the view screen at the front of the room, moving a previously-unseen hand remote through the air. Suddenly the blackness on the screen came to light and a silver planet with a wavy haze around its atmosphere filled the picture. Hoshi’s eyes widened at the sight of it, she usually didn’t follow the science at this table but she usually found T’Pol’s visual presentations quite beautiful.

“It came from this planet. In the Vulcan database it is designated Beta-Epsilon seven,” she continued clicking through several sensor screens.

“Well that’s kind of a dull name isn’t it?” Trip asked with a playful frown. The Sub-commander met his mocking face and watched him chuckle at her stolid response. On the outside she ignored him, but inside she indulged for an instant to watch him smile – a thing so alien for her to even consider.

“T’Pol?” the Captain echoed a second time. “How exactly did it affect our systems?” Archer asked with a hint of curiosity. When T’Pol turned and continued to answer his question, he shot a glance at the obvious source of the Vulcan’s distraction, a flicker of curiosity tickling at his brain.

“… Approximately four light-years from our current position. I believe the source is artificial. However, there is no evidence of recent life and it is classified as uninhabited in the Vulcan database.”

“Think ya’ll missed something?” Trip asked as he straightened in his chair. She met his gaze this time with sterner stuff and responded in kind.

“Unlikely,” she returned with a stubborn eyebrow. A smile crept across his lips for the third time in the last five minutes just from watching T’Pol. He rested an elbow on the table, fingers across his face to conceal his goofy grin, knowing full well his attention to the Vulcan in public could become noticeable..

“It is most likely a remnant of an abandoned or extinct civilization that has recently become activated for reasons yet unknown. Captain, I would like the opportunity to study the device and perhaps retrieve it from the planet’s surface if possible,” the Captain shot into the upright position in his chair.

“Are you sure? How do you know it won’t throw out another burst of,” he gesticulated as he groped for the word.

“Gravitophotonic radiation.” T’Pol answered. The Captain nodded.

“Like any other low-intensity emissions, we can block the field with enhanced shielding. The Enterprise’s systems are far too distributed for sufficient shielding. A shuttlepod, however, could be sufficiently protected.” The Captain turned a wary eye to Tucker, who watched with hands folded on the table quietly, trying to avoid the Vulcan’s eye lest he should cock another goofy smile. Hoshi had already seen the last.

Dammit, Trip thought. I can see in her eyes what she’s gonna go around telling everybody I’m smitten…

“Trip, is it safe?” Trip’s head snapped up and back into action.

“I think so sir,” he responded, chancing a look T’Pol’s way.

“I’ve had a chance to look at what T’Pol proposes and I think the away team can be kept safe. But this thing comes in bursts. That’s what hit us. So we won’t really know for sure until it’s too late if our shielding isn’t enough.”

Jonathan’s brows furrowed as he frowned, a disconcerting mannerism T’Pol knew she had to counter quickly should her proposal survive the next few seconds.

“However, there is no reason to believe our preparations will be insufficient,” she quickly reminded Tucker. He nodded his head sideways in half-agreement.

Enterprise will have to be out of range of the burst or you’ll be disabled pretty quickly,” Trip continued. The Captain nodded and then shot a glance back at the Commander.

“Are you sure you want to go on this one, Commander? Phlox is in his hibernation cycle and I really don’t want to see Crewman Cutler try to perform open heart surgery on you,” he laughed as the engineer frowned.

“Yeah, ha-ha,” Tucker snapped playfully.

“I need to go on this one Cap’n. If anything goes wrong out there, I’ll need to be there to get her back in one piece.” The room went still for only a moment before Trip got red in the face and nearly slapped himself.

“The Shuttlepod,” he trailed off while pursing his lips and fiddling his thumbs together. Jonathan suppressed a smile while Hoshi made no effort to resist in any regard. Archer nodded and stood to signal the end of the briefing.

“Prepare to embark by 1300 hours. Dismissed.”

As the Captain stood and followed them out of the conference room, T’Pol furrowed her brows curiously at the smirking Ensign Sato as she filed out from behind.


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