Art's Forms

By Asso

Rating: PG-13

Genres: angst drama humour romance

Keywords:

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By Asso - January "Scream" challenge (I know I’m late, but, please, forgive me!)

Rating: PG-13.

Genre: Romance, be sure. But there’s also drama and angst (MY PERSONAL ANGST, OBVIOUSLY!) and a little morsel of humour, I hope.

Summary: Their daughter has gone! And

Spoilers: It’s obvious, is it not?

Disclaimer: Star Trek: Enterprise is owned by Paramount, not me (Heigh-ho!). No infringement intended, no profit made.

AND…

A great, great, great thank to Linda, who so attentively helped me again.

NOTES

Somehow this story is a prequel: it takes place three days before “Destiny”. Trip and T’Pol would like to do something, but Destiny won’t allow them to… Well! I think it’s better I let you read.

Please: tell me you enjoy this fic! ‘PLEADING FACE’

Ah! The words in Italic between (*…*) mean the thoughts. (Did I say already this, by chance?)



“Don’t you like it?”

I know too well my Vulcan Lady, and her expression is too intent. Maybe others couldn’t see that, but… well!... she seems almost… afraid. Yes, I’m not wrong. I know how the emotions she harbours inside can be powerful, and… no… it’s not a good thing the look she’s staring at the painting with. No. It’s not.

(*Perhaps it wasn’t even a good thing the idea to bring her here. *)

She doesn’t appear to have heard me, her eyes still locked on the painting, still with that engrossed… upset … expression.

I feel a sort of apprehension within. I don’t like when my cold girl (*Mh… maybe my… so said… cold girl! *) is like this. I love her Vulcaness (*And her… un-Vulcanesses… must be only for me and for our private life! *).

But, above all, this un-Vulcanesses shouldn’t be like this! I’m able to acknowledge her smallest nuances, and I recognize perfectly what she feels.

This one is not a good thing. Not at all!

Sadness. Yes, gloomy sadness. And suffering. And woe. That’s what I read in her look and in her posture. I’m not mistaking, I never make mistakes with her. Misunderstandings, yes, a big deal. But no mistake in reading her mind. Never. It’s sadness, and suffering, and woe. And that’s wrong! She’s my composed Vulcan girl, for Pete’s sake! She’s not a tremulous earth girl!

But the fault is mine.

(*Mine! The nitwit that I am! *)

To hell her damned desire to know more about Human culture! And to hell with me, twice, for having thought I could take advantage of her propensity and her curiosity; for having spoken to her about art’s healing virtues; for having thought that this could be useful to her; and for having taken her here, without thinking about what there’s here! Now! During these moments! While she’s attempting to regain some balance! A very good way, indeed, to smooth over her wound!

(*Damn, damn nitwit that I am! *)

Gently and quietly, trying to not display my own pain and to gain her attention, I call her lowly.

“Hon…”

We’re in public, but only her ears can hear my voice. And… I’m sure she can’t ignore the name which she loves, that I call her in private.

Slowly, she turns around and looks at me. Her eyes are misty. They’re… (*Oh damn! But what on earth is happening? *) …they’re moist!

She talks in a whisper. “It’s… anguishing… Trip!”

May they roast forever in hell, those who think Vulcans only are cocoons of dead flesh, without feelings or emotions! Without soul!

I have to force myself not to take her in my arms and not to hold her tightly on my chest. I’m perfectly aware of what my nickname means… now… here… in public… on her mouth.

“Hon…” My voice, too, is a whisper. “Hon, it’s a painting, nothing else. It…”

“It’s a scream of anguish, Trip. Without hope!”

(*And now? What must I do? Maybe… playing the fool! Yes! Maybe I can make the atmosphere milder, if I play this role. *)

“Well, Hon! That’s exactly its name.” (*It was always useful with my T’Pol. *) “This painting is called The scream, Hon.” (*She… she’s incapable of resisting me, when I do it, even if she always attempts not to show how much she flies into a rage because she’s unable to not fall for my joke! *)

Not this time. This time she only watches me with sad eyes, trying to choke back tears, with a surge of Vulcan dignity.

It’s a grieved whisper, her voice. It hurts me. I... I don't want to see her like this. It doesn’t sound right. I can't bear that!

“Trip… how… how can Humans do this? How is it possible you can… live… giving vent so plainly… to your emotions? To your fears. To… to your torments. Vulcans appreciate beauty, you know it; they appreciate art's forms. But art must be... smoothing, relaxing. How...” She turns, moving her hand to point at the painting. “…How can you do that?”

(*Doctoral mood. Yes. Vulcan demeanour. This is the way. Appease her, using logic and knowledge, man, in a discussion like those that she appreciates. Without displaying your intention. And your own heartsickness. This should work. *)

“You taught me what IDIC means, darlin'. You told me there are infinite paths, infinite diversities. Vulcans have to control their emotions, Humans have to give them a free road. Human art is the image of ourselves.” I indicate the painting. “This is one among the highest of Expressionism’s masterpieces, the tendency of the artist is to distort reality for an emotional effect. It’s a subjective art form. The Scream is one of the pieces in a series titled The Frieze of Life, in which Munch explored the themes of life, love, fear, death, and melancholy. Probably there’s in it some of his affliction due to…” Too late I realize where I’m going. TOO LATE, DAMN IT! “…to… to his sister’s… loss.” DAMN DAMN DAMN!!! I’m an idiotic ass!

His sister… MY sister!

And her father… her mother…

And… OUR DAUGTHER!

And I brought her here, now, and talked to her so, without thinking, without considering what I was doing.

I’m… I’m… NO! An idiotic ass is brainier than me!

But I have no time to recover, because the expression on my Lady's face smashes my soul.

I can swear I see her lips tremble.

“Did he…” She’s watching me with those marvelous eyes of her, even more marvelous now that they shine with tears. “…did he lose his sister, as you… and as I…” Her lips tremble, really! “…and as we… we…” Oh Christ almighty! But what the hell is happening to her? “… as we lost…” Never have I seen her like this! Not even at the… the funeral, before she… Oh my God! “… as we lost… our daughter?” OH MY GOD! BEFORE SHE TOLD ME SHE WANTED, FINALLY, TO SHARE… REALLY… COMPLETELY… HER LIFE… AND HER SOUL… WITH MINE!

I look at her, pensively. And worried.

Yes, I’m worried.

Very, very worried.

I think of her demeanor during this latest month, so sad and so splendid. This month that the Captain wanted to give us, to allow us some possibility to heal, to recover. This marvelous —yes… MARVELLOUS! — month during which we aided and comforted each other. During which we loved… each other at last. Really and totally.

And I realize how much she looked… emotional, during this month.

The thought comes to me of my own feeling about that painting, when I realized it was here, and of my own emotional mood in regards to it. I felt… sadness. And suffering. And woe. I thought of that painting as… a scream of anguish. Without hope.

Yes. I feel worried.

Very, very… very worried.

“Hon…”

I call her with the sweetest voice.

“Hon, come here.”

She approaches me almost reluctantly. I point at one bench, beckoning her to follow me.

“Darlin’, we… must talk, I think.” I scrutinize attentively her expression. “Don’t mind about the place. On Earth, the best places for talking in private are just the most crowded.”

She mirrors my look. For a moment, she almost sounds like making a fuss, then she nods, resigned, and follows me to the bench.

We sit down, side by side. And she doesn’t look at me, her head erect, her shoulders straightened and rigid, her face blank. I know this behaviour, this air. I know very well when she's struggling within to not reveal something that she wants to hide. Something which troubles and flutters her, which abashes her.

I don’t touch her. It’s better, I know.

“Hon…” She doesn’t move.

I repeat. Patiently and softly.

“Hon…” She lowers her face.

“Hon…”

My voice is a whisper almost inaudible, now. But I know she’s able to hear me.

“It’s me, Hon…” She sighs, perfectly perceptibly. “Isn’t it?”

Yes. I know very well what it means when she closes her eyes in this way.

“Don’t… don’t talk, Darlin’”. I… have to act cautiously. I don’t want things to get wrong. “Let me talk, only let me know if I’m mistaken.”

I don’t want to hurt her, and I’m damnedly aware of her stubbornness in denying the truth when she feels unable to cope with it. I… suffered a lot because of it. Only I… only I know what a lot of suffering she gave me. And only I know the happiness she gave me when finally she admitted this truth, first at the time I came back on Enterprise , but, above all, now, because the sorrow of our loss, itself, gives to our love a depth, a… a solidity which there wasn’t before.

But, in despite of all that, absolutely —ABSOLUTELY! — I don’t want her to suffer because of me! I can’t permit this happiness to turn into something wrong, into my blind selfishness, which makes her suffer, in her turn.

I go on, lowly and softly, very careful to not fall into my damn usual impetuous deportment.

“It’s so, Darlin’, isn’t it? I’m wearing on you!

I know my colloquialisms annoy her, but not this time. This time she only sighs. Again.

A pain I never felt before, clenches my soul. How… how is it possible that every time… every time that we seem to reach any kind of… of joy… something has to impair that?

Bitter and harsh, the word comes to my mouth. “This Bond!” But I can’t keep on. She turns at me abruptly, looking at me with reproachful eyes.

She talks for the first time since we sat. And her voice… her voice is sweet!

“This Bond is strong, T’hai’la.

T’hai’la! She calls me so, with a tone loaded with meaning!

But I can’t help but carry on, with insuppressible bitterness. With anger!

“Oh yeah! So strong that my feelings and my Human emotions reverberate on you! So strong that you get… get overwhelmed by them! That…”

And again she interrupts me, her eyes full of… of something that I never have seen before in them. A light, a mildness… A quiet awareness.

I feel my soul calm down, suddenly, in seeing that look; and her words… her words… Oh my God! It’s like I’m walking through a sky suffused with bright warmth!

That light in her eyes, that sweetness in her voice, I drink the words she tells me.

“T’hai’la…” —AGAIN!— “T’hai’la, our Bond is strong because the feelings are strong which bind us to each other. I know how many times I denied my feelings for you, almost until now, until our daughter…”

Her eyes get shut, while I feel her sorrow echo in unison with mine. Then she fixes them again on mine.

“T’hai’la, that’s the truth and I don’t want to deny this truth, I don’t want to make another mistake with you!”

I wait, amazed and attentive, for her to continue.

“Our Captain said once that Humans learn from their mistakes, and I said in my turn that Vulcans, too, do the same.” She’s staring at me with a tense expression. “I made… countless mistakes… with you, and logic requires…” I’m sure. There’s a perceptible hint of a sad smile, now, on her lips. “…logic requires I learn something from my mistakes.”

Then, a serious and forthright expression now on her face… “I chose, T’hai’la, a time long since, maybe unconsciously, but not this time. Now I’m perfectly aware.”

I think I could melt, under the splendour of her look! “I have learned from my mistakes, T’hai’la, and I won’t ever make another mistake with you. Never again!”

Now I melt! Really!

“I chose my path, my T’hai’la, definitely and unquestionably. And my path…” —DONE! — “… is yours!” —I MELTED!

I remain still for a long moment, without words. Then I wake. The fact subsists; I can’t compel my T’Pol to live with such a peril. Emotions are dangerous for her, and… —I feel my heart inflate with grief— … I can’t allow her to be flooded by them, because she’s sharing her mind with mine. I can’t… I can’t… (*Truly... truly is it possible that things finish in this way? Just now? Now, that we’re at the end of such a difficult road? *) …allow her to live with me!

I lay my eyes purposely on hers. My face is serious and earnest.

“You’re my love, T’Pol, and God knows how much I desired to hear these words from you, but…” (*Is it so that one can die? *) “…I cannot permit you to be destroyed under the flow of my Human emotions. My love for you, itself, stops me from allowing this. I understand now your behaviour during this month, and your reaction at the sight of that painting. Loving me, T’Pol, is… (*Yes! This is the way one can die! *) “…is mortal… for you! We must… we must… (*And now I’ll die! By my own hand! *) —I finish precipitously.— “…we must split up!”

She remains motionless for a long instant, a look of stunned incredulity in her yes. Incredulity, yes! Then, her look softens. Her eyes… smile! I swear! They… laugh! They… I swear! I swear! …They beam with pure love! I saw in them this feeling for me many times in the past, but now it’s different. There’s no doubt in them, now, no fear! Those eyes are telling me all her love, now! Not even when she gave herself totally to me, after… after our loss… not even at that time her eyes were shining like this!

And her voice… OH HER VOICE!

“T’hai’la, I don’t want to! I DON’T WANT to! And… and then…” (*And now? What’s this hesitation? What’s this look of… guilt? Why does she avert her eyes from mine? Why does she talk again without looking directly at me? *) “…T’hai’la… I think… I think there’s no choice… now.”

I look at her without speaking. I learned I must be patient with her. I wait.

Her eyes still looking ahead, she talks finally, under her breath.

“Our Bond is strong, T’hai’la, very strong. And, during this month, I felt it become more and more powerful. So powerful that…” A quick glance, shifty and guilty, before she resumes her talk, her eyes again turned toward a far point. “…so powerful that probably it cannot be severed. It’s possible… it’s possible that the penalty could be… madness. Or… even death.”

I remain agape.

Finally, I begin to stammer. “Y…y…you… you’re… you’re jo…jo… king, ar… aren’t… you?”

Then I realize the stupidity of my question. “No. Vulcans don’t joke!” I follow with my look the mild curve of her cheek. “And… not even the special Vulcan that are you, would kid about something like that.”

She slowly turns her head toward me. Her eyes look fazed and at fault. There’s a sort of… prayer, in them. Her voice trembles, really, when she speaks.

“T’hai’la, I beg you, don’t… don’t get angry with me! I… I was incredulous that a Bond would form between a Human and a Vulcan, you know it. Even if I felt something strong and unknown since our first night, even if I…” She closes her eyes slowly, opening them before she resumes talking. “… even if… I knew it was a Bond, afterwards… against my initial desires… I… I wanted to ignore it.” * * *

The look in her eyes seems to shout out.

It's a scream!

“I was afraid, T’hai’la, and I did not dare to give free course to my deepest thoughts, to my deepest wishes themselves. But you must understand, K’diwa. I’m Vulcan, I was afraid of what I could expect me. And…” Sadness and guilt are evident in her eyes now “… I was afraid to have to reveal my addiction to you and of your… reaction. Therefore, I denied my feelings for you… and our Bond. And it seemed not to exist any more. But it existed!”

Her eyes open wide.

“It was there! It was dormant, but it was there! And it was powerful, so powerful that, in the end, evidence forced me to accept the reality!”

She closes her eyes again, patently trying to regain her control.

She looks at me again.

She speaks again, in a very low voice, while I don’t even dare to sigh.

“Hoshi’s revelations, the daydreams… your immunity to Orion Slaves influence, and, above all…” Her eyes get wide once again. “… above all… the need -the necessity! - of you that I felt imperiously when you came back on Enterprise , even if I tried to deny reality once more, showing my… so said logical conduct … all that… and my katra… forced me to open my eyes, finally!”

Her breath is harsh, now.

“I made an enormous mistake, T’hai’la, I know, and I ask for your forgiveness, but in no way, even if I’m immensely –IMMENSELY!- happy… yes! HAPPY!... for this Bond… I could have ever imagined that it could grow up so deeply and so strongly, to such an extent that it…”

I find the force to interrupt her, in a daze.— “A… are you sure, Hon? I mean, I’m your first. Maybe… maybe….”

“K’diwa…” (*How could I not melt under her look, at the mesmerizing sound of her enchanting voice? *) “… I’m Vulcan, I don’t deceive myself. The bond is not a matter of discussion on my world, you know how Vulcans are. But the so called long-held belief about the possible establishment of a Bond when Vulcans mate…” I can’t help but cast a rebuking glace at her, and she corrects herself quickly. “… when Vulcans find their… kindred spirit…” I almost jump, in hearing her use this expression! “… is real! I know that, now! And I want our Bond! And I feel its potency. It’s so powerful because… (*How could I not melt under her look, at the mesmerizing sound of her marvellous words? *) “…because they are powerful, my feelings for you! As…” Yes! There’s a prayer in her eyes. “…as they are yours for me. Aren’t…” She... she seizes my hand! “…aren’t they, K’diwa? AREN’T THEY?” She squeezes my hand with force! “Tell me, K’diwa! Tell me they’re strong! Tell me you aren’t angry with me! That you… notwithstanding all my mistakes… notwithstanding what it could imply… you… you…” She clenches spasmodically my hand! “…YOU TOO… WANT THIS BOND!”

In a daze? Beyond it! So am I! Her behaviour, her words, her look! I’m stunned, and amazed, and astonished, and…

Then I gather myself. And I don’t have the smallest doubt.

I stare intensely at those gorgeous eyes. I torture the inside of my cheek and finally I smile, broadly, trying to reply with one of those smiles of mine with which I always attempt to hide my awkwardness.

“Well Hon! Definitely, Vulcans are unique in their ways, for better or for worse. But…” I look forward to devour the expression that I expect from her at my words. “… if I have to share my life with the most wondrous woman of this race, I guess I must comply with their… customs and traditions.”

(*Oh yeah! *) I look amused and happy at her face, now enlightened by what appears as pure joy. (*She did not disappoint me! And her expression’s worth a whole universe! *)

But, inexorably, my mind goes again to the problem. I turn serious. I’m worried even more, now, because it seems to me we’re in a blind alley. We can’t think to sever our Bond, if what she feels is true, (*which means practically that it’s reality *) and we can’t stay together, bound to each other, running the risk that my being Human overpowers her.

Like if my T’Pol were reading my thoughts, she speaks to me, quietly and softly, still looking into my eyes, without letting go my hand.

“T’hai’la, when our daughter… did go, I felt like something was breaking off inside me. This almost brought me at the edge. I felt my tidy mind was scattering in a thousand pieces, among a mess of disruptive thoughts. And I knew that our Bond would increase all that, and even more in the light of the awareness that it would become… different.”

Her look gets solemn. She goes on, my hand still in hers, my breath held, my attention about to the spasm.

“Yes. I knew the game's time was ended. Thenceforth, our romantic and jocose relationship should become a real life commitment. That, or breaking it. And I knew you wanted… me.”

Her hand squeezes mine.

“And I… felt afraid, my T’hai’la. Once more. I thought I wouldn’t bear all that. I thought…” A glint of… shame, in her eyes. “…I would be destroyed by your emotional, Human mood. And… and I thought I should cut off our relationship. Once more, and forever.”

Her hand continues on with its grasp.

“Logic required that! Yes! Logic! This… this was my justification! My usual…foolish justification!”

I try to talk, but she brings her other hand to my mouth, sweetly stopping my attempt.

“Don’t talk, T’hai’la. Let me say all to you.”

I nod, and she continues, taking her hand to hold also the other of mine.

“When you came in my room, that day, I had made my decision. Then… you entered my quarters. I perceived your scent, your presence. Insuppressible, the appalling thought came to me of what I would lose, without you. I felt your emotions, and… and I realized I wouldn't feel them any more. And I would miss them, because… because they are part of you. And then, you started to speak, and I felt a sort of smoothing solace go down slowly inside me, even in the middle of your and my pain. And at last you told me what Phlox had said to you... and I… I had to grasp your hand! In wonder and hope! And you returned my grip! And… amidst our shared sorrow… I felt at peace.

I don’t even dare to breathe.

She lowers her look for a brief instant, then she raises it again, staring purposely at me.

“It’s simple and easy to handle my and your emotions, my T’hai’la. Our emotions. You only have to stay with me, near me. You only have to…”

I’m waiting in silence.

“… to hold tightly my hands… Ashayam!

And I do.

And she returns my grip.

And peace comes down upon us.



I let go her hands, quickly, suddenly aware of where we are and disquieted that I put her in a situation which is inapt and discomforting for a Vulcan like her. But she seems totally at ease. She’s watching me serenely. Placidly. She appears... happy! And so damn beautiful!

She looks splendid with that sash which covers her hair, which covers... —All of a sudden, I feel unease. And worried, yet again. And sad. — … which… hides her ears.

My conversation with Malcolm, just before T’Pol and I were leaving Enterprise , resounds in my mind.



Well, Trip. I’m displeased I have to say this to you, but it’s better if you and T’Pol don’t go to your parents’ house. I talked to the Captain, who talked in his turn to the Admiral, and both of them agreed with me. It could be dangerous, for you both and for your parents, in the light of what that damn Paxton revealed. You could go to many other places, and… and it’s better if T’Pol hides… her aspect… and if both of you act discreetly. Maybe… well… surely it’ll be better if you two will be…discreetly kept under surveillance.

What the hell are you talking about, Malcolm?

Trip, we… found some things in Masaro’s database.

Which damned things, for Pete’s sake?

Trip, I am very displeased I annoyed you. I had to tell you there’s necessity to act cautiously, this is my job. But about the reasons… The Captain warned me about revealing all things. He wants you two to recover quietly. Don’t you think… don’t you think we might discuss these… reasons… when you and T’Pol come back?

Holy crap, Malcolm! I… I… Well! Maybe… it’s better.

Yes Trip.

Malcolm… Yes, Trip?

Not a word with T’Pol, okay? It will be my own duty to tell her the why and the how we must behave.

Absolutely, Trip.



How… how damn beautiful she appears, with that sash… which… hides… her… ears!

How damn beautiful is she!

“Ashal-veh…” (*Ashal-veh! *) “… what’s bothering you?”

I attempt to get back to the reality, under her demand. I stare at her with bamboozled eyes. “Hon, you know. It won't be easy.”

She looks at me intensely. She talks. Purposely. “We'll make it.”

I gaze at her shining eyes. “Hon, not all people will appreciate our relationship. Latest… events are clear proof of that, and not for nothing we’re acting cautiously. Perhaps… perhaps we will have to be concealed.”

Her eyes sparkle. Even more. “We'll make it, Ashayam.”

I stare soundly at these magical eyes. Someway I feel that the moment arrived.

And… soundly … I talk.

“Our life will change, Hon. Maybe…” She looks at me, well conscious of what I mean. “… maybe completely.”

She does not reply, still looking at me.

I go on.

“Within three days we have to reach the Captain at Starfleet Headquarters, for something he didn’t want to say to us, not personally.” *

She speaks with a soft voice. “Ashayam, the... the Captain is aware that there’s something between you and me.”

“Yes, T’Pol. He is”.

“He himself told us to go away from Enterprise and… ”

“… and to take some time at full liberty. Yes, Hon. He did.”

Her voice becomes even lower, if possible. “The Captain is not a fool, Ashayam. He... knows that, here, on Earth, you and I share the same room and…” It’s a tiny whisper her voice, now. “…the same bed.”

My look does not let her. “But he doesn’t know what really happened between us two after our daughter’s death. And what happened during this latest month, Hon. He doesn’t suspect our… life commitment.”

“And you want to tell him that.”

“Hon, do you desire to hide our love?”

“NO!” (*Can a whisper sound as a scream? *) “No, T’hai’la. I don’t want to!”

“So, I have to tell him it.”

“You… you think he won’t approve…”

I interrupt her curtly. “Frankly, Hon, I don't give a damn, about that.”

She opens wide her eyes. “T’hai’la…”

I go on vehemently. “This is our own business, T’Pol! Only ours. But…” I lower my voice, ready to make free what I… and she, too… know. “…we disregarded the rules, my love. And now we want to tear them completely. And the Captain is the guarantor of these rules. So, it’s possible…” (*Come on! Let’s go, man! *) “…it’s possible we must tender our resignations, that we must… leave Enterprise.

She suspires. (*Yes! A whisper can sound as a scream! *) Sad. “Our home… and… your life, Ashayam.”

The words come spontaneously out from my mouth. From my soul!

My life is you, T’Pol!

She doesn’t reply. She only looks at me, immovable, almost without breathing, as a marvellous bronze statue.

I try to get quieter, at least a tiny bit. Then, while she’s still staring at me in bated silence, I point at the painting.

“That was my life when you left me, T’Pol.” I gaze at her, steadily. “A scream of anguish. Without hope.” I take her hand. “I don’t want to scream any more… T’Pol.”

I watch her eyes fill up with tears, again. Suddenly and plentifully. But this time… this time… I don’t know… it doesn’t seem a bad thing.

She returns my grip strongly. “Nevermore, my Ashayam!” It’s a whisper of love, her voice, now! Yes! It’s this! “NEVERMORE!”

“And you, T’Pol?”

I have to be totally sure. I... need to be reassured, completely and utterly! “Are you ready, if needed, to leave all we like? And…” I have to be reassured! So much that I can’t help but speak harsh! “…and don’t tell me I’m Vulcan!

Her grip gets stronger. She cleans her tears with her other hand. She… tenderly… smiles! “I’m your Vulcan, Ashayam. Your Vulcan woman, my man.”

I clench my eyes. And her hand.



(*Enough now! *)

I open my eyes, letting go her hand. Emotions and feelings are overwhelming me, now, and I cannot permit that. Not now that I know I became responsible of her good health. Not now that she put her whole self so trustfully and completely in my hands, as no other woman could do. If my joking mood was helpful earlier, now it’s absolutely necessary. Yes.

I smile, roguishly and impishly.

“Well, Hon. Anyway there’re not only this art form, in Human painting. There’re a big deal of smoothing art , too, like you Vulcans cherish.”

She raises deliciously her perfect eyebrow, gladly complying with my mood change.

“Oh is it so? Well, Commander, it sounds you have conspicuous knowledge of the Human art forms.”

“Oh damn! Engineering isn’t everything, after all.”

“No?”

“No.”

“Indeed. Actually you sing.”

“Yes.”

“And play guitar.” * *

“Yes.”

“And harmonica.”

“Yes.” (*Is it pride, by chance, what's sparkling in her eyes? *) “And I also dance.”

“You dance?”

(*Yes! It’s pride, blended with surprise. *)

“I dance, and pretty well, I believe.”

“Ah!”

(*Oh boys! Do you know how a man feels when he perceives his woman’s admiration for him? *)

I wink. “Hey Hon! Maybe I could teach you dancing. You have an innate grace. You should be a damn gracious ballerina!”

(*Man! How damned beautiful she’s, when she takes this unconsciously flirtatious expression! *)

“Commander, I don’t think dance is befitting Vulcan deportment. I think…”

I can’t resist this play. I interrupt her, a mocking sneer on my face.

“Oh but Hon! Not all the dances! Only some of them. Who knows… maybe…” (*I want to see her face! It should be… priceless! *) “…tango?”

“T…tango!?!”

(*Priceless! Absolutely priceless! *) “Yes, tango. You know… that dance so passionate. You and me voluptuously entwined in tango's figures, in the middle of a dance floor, under the admiring eyes of everyone…”

“COMMANDER! Trip!” (*Oh yes! Priceless! Incommensurably priceless! *) “I think I never will…”

“Oh come on, T’Pol! Do you remember that old movie we saw on Enterprise ? You know, that Never Say Never ? You should think of it before…”

“The exact title was Never Say Never Again , Commander. Anyway, I beg you to not interrupt, please.”

“Uh?” (*And now? What the hell…? And… what is that raised eyebrow? And that evil shining in her eyes? *) I feel a strange tingle in my gut.

“What I was saying before you interrupted me with the courtesy which always distinguishes you, was that I never will do this dance with you without adequate preparation. You know, Vulcans seek for perfection.”

“That means?” I don’t know. The tingle in my gut grows up.

“I noticed in Human database the passionateness and the sensuality of this dance, as you said, and I believe that if we want to make a good impression under… the admiring eyes of everyone … I must take dancing lessons from a professional.”

“Eh?”

“Yes. Obviously he will have to teach me not only tango’s dance steps, but also those voluptuous tango's figures you mentioned before.”

“Uh Hon…”

“Yes. It will be necessary I get tightly entwined with him, in order to take the best from lessons.”

“Hey Hon!” “Yes. His hands will have to be free to guide and to touch my body whatever way he wants to do, so that I can learn perfectly.”

“T’Pol!!”

“Yes. Ah… and I mustn’t forget to be dressed with those scanty and all-revealing clothes that the tango requires. The search for perfection imposes it.”

“T’POL!!!”

“Do you think I shouldn’t wear anything under my dress? Maybe that would help to better acquire tango’s fleshliness.”

I remain agape, for the second time in this day.

She looks at me with a baby face. “Something wrong, Ashayam? ” Her last word is a sadistic hiss.

Then, I can’t help it!

My lips tremble. I try to keep my mouth shut, but I can’t. I attempt desperately to repress it, to keep it down, inside my chest. But I can’t help it.

Insuppressible, uncontainable, mighty… it booms deep down, then it reaches my throat, and finally it bursts out from my mouth.

A crazy laugh . The most powerful laugh I ever had in my whole life.

I know the spectacle I’m displaying. I’m aware of the astonished, almost scared looks, which people cast on me, while plainly trying to pass rapidly and unnoticed away from us.

But there’s nothing to do. I go on with my laugh, before her amused, satisfied eyes.

My God! Who could have ever said that one fine day I would laugh so, by the salacious joke of a marvellous Vulcan woman who’s staring at me with an untruthfully blank expression, with two indescribably beautiful eyes, beaming with pride and with complacence and with… love!

Little by little, I calm down. Between coughing and sputtering, finally I manage to speak.

“Well Hon! I have to admit! This Bond between us…”

She watches me with a look, which will glitter in my soul for my whole life, and beyond.

“Yes, T’hai’la?”

“…is really a big deal.”

I drink avidly the shining in her eyes, as she’s realizing I used, adjusting it, the same sentence I spoke that wondrous day, when finally she admitted her feelings for me. When so unashamedly, open-air, she kissed me.

“It’s better we forget the dance, I think.” I snigger softly. “Maybe we should resume our visit.”

“Agreed.”

“Indeed it’s too bad we can’t see here a great exposure of my preferred paintings. I would have liked to show them to you.” I giggle quietly. “And to explain to you why I love them.”

She looks at me with attention. (*I love when I manage to capture her curiosity. *)

“What sort of paintings do you allude to?”

I chuckle again. “Well, darlin’, surely you should know what I’m talking about.” I smile tenderly and amused. “Those – I drawl intentionally my words - old oil paintings, you know.”

And the delight and the pleasure I see on her face as she understands what I mean fills my heart with warm delight and sweet pleasure, in my turn.

(*Boys! I’ll explode, if she keeps watching me so tenderly and lovingly. So…gratefully!*)

Then she recovers. My skilled eyes catch a naughty twinkling in her look, while she talks with the most Vulcan-like of tones.

“I’m displeased, T’hai’la, you can’t find enough material here in order to explain to me your knowledge of these paintings.” The twinkling increases and I’m sure that the corners of her lips are slightly bending up. “But I think there might be an… agreeable solution.”

I follow her play, a sort of delightful tickle in my abdomen.

“What solution, Hon?”

“As you know, I proceeded to acquire a conspicuous number of art catalogues, when you displayed your intention to visit some picture galleries. I’m sure we can find in them a large quantity of old oil painting reproductions.”

The tickle in my abdomen grows. “So?”

“We could return to our room and…”

“And, Hon?”

“And reserve a… logical and appropriate number of hours to… study attentively these reproductions. I’m sure you are capable of making me… appreciate them very well, in all their… details.”

It’s more than a tickle, now, and the look in her eyes is undescribable.

“Well, darlin’, your… solution… sounds very agreeable to me.”

“Very well.” She stands up quickly and looks at me poignantly. “Let’s go. I’m eager to learn everything about these old oil paintings.” And, that said, she pivots on her heels and begins to move swiftly to reach the exit.

I remain agape, yet again, the third time.

She notices I’m not following her and she halts, turning around and casting me a long and baffled glance.

Her voice resounds perplexed. “Aren’t you anxious to teach me?”

I smile blissfully and stand up very quickly, heading for her.

She raises her eyebrow and then she pivots again and resumes her rapid walk, with me in tow.

I see her 'awfully nice bum' oscillate while she walks. An impish thought pops up in my mind. (*Well Malcolm! You can’t even imagine how her bum is… REALLY.. nice!*)

I scurry behind her, basking in the sight of her buxom hips, which sway attractively at each of her steps.

Oh yeah. Engineering is not everything, that’s for sure. A man has to know the beauty and… substance… of art’s forms.

The End

* Here’s the start of my story “Destiny”

* * You have to read my story “Christmas Eve” to see that.

* * * You have to read my story “Depths” (NC 17) to see that.

Hey! Do you know why really the man in the painting is screaming ? Eh, not all days it is possible a man can enjoy such visions, don’t you think?

 

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Comments:

Diane
This was quite an introduction to Human culture for T'Pol. This was a rather important talk for both of them. It got a lot out in the open so there would no longer an misunderstandings about how they feel about each other. Malcolm's warning was very ominous. It's too bad Trip and T'Pol have to keep their relationship hidden. Very good story, [b]Asso[/b]. Love really does triumph over everything.
Asso
Ok thanks to you all! I'm very happy for your kind comments, but I must say to all people that I am not deserving too much: art’s forms are indeed capable of inspiring a man!:p
Blacknblue
Asso, I have oten considered why it is that your language has such a profound impact. I think I may have an explanation. It's because you are Italian. Please hear me out. Italian is based on Latin, yes? Latin is one of the root languages of English, but only one of them. There are a variety of others as well. Because English is such a polyglot tongue, it tends to allow for the ability to use indirect speech in many ways, if the person chooses to do so. Modern American society usually chooses to do so when it comes to raw emotion. But you, being Italian, translate your thoughts in terms that correspond closely to the patterns similar to Latin, which brings them down to a hard hitting and basic level to an English reader. Their is nothing indirect about your writing. It punches the reader straight in the gut. Very powerful
Transwarp
I needed a cold shower after reading T'Pol's description of her proposed tango lessons from a professional instructor!
bluetiger
That was a very interesting trip to the museum.I'm glad our favorite couple realize that their problems are not more important than being together. Well done.
Reanok
Very definitely a clever use of a paintung in your story Asso. Nice to see Trip and T'Pol finally having an in depth conversation about art and delaing with the loss of their daughter.
Linda
Very creative using a painting this way, yes! Our Asso comes up with many original ideas. ;)
Alelou
:p I like the way you play off a piece of art, and I particularly enjoyed the teasing moments between them here.

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