Come To Me Now

By Linda

Rating: G

Genres: challenge missing scene romance

Keywords: Koss T'Pol's Parents

This story has been read by 748 people.
This story has been read 1034 times.


 

Date: August 14, 2009

 

Disclaimer: No filthy lucre changed hands.

 

Genre: Trip/T'Pol romance, fits the 'missing scenes from season one' challenge, I think

 

Setting: Sometime in the first year of Star Trek: Enterprise.

 

Inspiration: On the Triaxian Silk board we were discussing the prevalence of introverts among us. I was thinking that introverts might have more imaginary playmates than extroverted people. That set me to thinking about T'Pol's childhood and this story just wrote itself.

 

Note: Unspoken thoughts are in italic.

 

 

Come to Me Now

By Linda

 

"Shilo, when I was young, I used to call your name

When no one else would come, Shilo, you always came...

Come to me now"

By Neil Diamond

 

The Enterprise moved through space like a fast sailing ship on an ancient sea. On this, her maiden voyage, she had already expanded the universe of her human creators. One of the nonhumans on board was secretly thrilled by this experience - an emerging species daring the unknown. Fascinating. But she would never, well not yet, allow them to know how she felt...deep inside her, or let them see who she really was.

 

T'Pol reached out a delicate hand and pinched her meditation candle flame out. She felt alone, like she had as a child. Alone, though surrounded by people. Vulcan was a heavily populated planet. And there were people within feet of her on this ship, beyond the walls of her quarters. Yet she did not seek them out. Not yet. The cultural differences were so frustrating. It was the little things, the small misconceptions and the irritation of constantly having to revise her expectations. It was like when she was a small child trying to learn her own culture. She wished for Tapik, her childhood playmate. The imaginary one. The one who came to her a month after her father died.

 

Come, Tapik, let us walk in the desert.

 

The corner of T'Pol's mouth quirked. As an adult, she had shut Tapik away as she had shut the sharp memories of her father away. But as she lay down on her bunk on this alien ship, flat on her back, hands behind her head, the memories returned...

 

T'Pol folded her mourning robe, carefully straightening the creases.

 

Daddy, it is time to finish with mourning. It has been one full Vulcan year and a day. It is time to shut you away in my closet with my robe. That is what is proper. That is what is logical. To mourn further is considered unseemly, disrespectful.

 

She carried the robe to the closet and knelt by the box. Without checking the box, she had folded it to the exact shape. The thin silk sank into the box, filling it almost with a sigh. T'Pol placed her palm on the soft sand-colored silk, the color that all things became after death as they returned their elements to the planet. This was the color of the robes a family wore which allowed others to give them space, solitude in which emotion was allowed, briefly, to reign. The spot on the robe under her hand warmed to her touch.

 

Farewell, My Father.

 

She meant to place her remaining emotions in there with the robe and cap them with the top of the box. Somehow, they did not all fit into the box.

 

"T'Pol! It is time for your lyre lesson. Your teacher is already here."

 

Her mother's voice was invasive and T'Pol had to repress her irritation, something she found necessary to do quite often. Not always with her mother. No, sometimes with her teachers, her age mates, but most definitely with that stupid boy, Koss, that her mother and father had chosen for her. But arranging her bonding was one of the last things her father had done before he...

 

T'Pol rose and closed the closet door blanking her mind as her parents and teachers had taught her. She liked music. The lyre could be soothing and Somtik's voice was like the tone of his lyre. Perhaps he had been teaching it to children so long that the spirit of the instrument had crept into him. Would it creep into her when she became more proficient?

 

She had played for Koss and his parents. Koss hated the lyre and his parents had given up on lessons for him. When T'Pol was asked to play, he would raise his eyeballs to his upper eyelids and drum his fingers under the table. This happened on the rare occasions, once every couple of years, when the parents of the bonded pair had dinner together. Boring. Oh, so boring.

 

T'Pol rolled her eyes up in parody of Koss, but it was not to the ceiling of her parents' sitting room on Vulcan, it was the gray metal of her quarters on Enterprise. Well, she had not brought her lyre with her. That was locked away in the back of the closet in the room that used to be hers in her mother's house, thank Surak. Or some human, most likely that rudely curious but intriguing human engineer might spot it when he came to consult her in her quarters. Then she would undoubtedly be pressed into playing it during intermission on movie night or during dinner. She would then have to watch the humans to see if they too would elevate their eyeballs and drum their fingers.

 

Yes, it was a good thing she had left that lyre at home. It reminded her of her father, and Tapik, who her childhood self had hoped was a real boy somewhere and her true intended bond mate. They would discover a will of her father's hidden away that superseded the deal with Koss's parents. But it never happened.

 

Tapik, come to me now, I could use some company, some advice. But you. like me, are Vulcan and would not understand humans. Do humans have imaginary playmates? Even such an emotional species as humans might think such a thing was...illogical.

 

T'Pol rolled onto her side, trying to shut down these foolish thoughts. Sleep would purge them, because Vulcans do not dream.

 

....

 

Waking on her own before the alarm, T'Pol sat up, stretched, and yawned. Her duty shift began in twenty minutes. The human crew was developing a passable procedure for first contact situations under her guidance, supplemented by the astute observations of Phlox. Her straying thoughts last night after her meditation must be disciplined, repressed. The thoughts must have been emotional fallout from her decision, last month, not to return home for her marriage - which brought up memories of her doubts about Koss. She would soon be receiving a scathing letter from her mother on this, no doubt. Despite the obtuseness of Captain Archer, the lack of heat in the ship, and occasional smells overpowering her nasal numbing agent, Enterprise was a haven from her own personal dilemmas.

 

Arriving on the bridge later, T'Pol noted that Commander Tucker had the con.

 

"Mornin' Subcommander."

 

"Commander," she greeted the engineer, slipping behind the science station control panel.

 

"Accordin' to the Vulcan star charts, we are headin' for a system with two M class planets. One is unusual, but two is very rare, wouldn't you agree, Subcommander?"

 

"Quite."

 

"Talkative today, aren't you?"

 

"I am puzzled, Commander. I thought my responses adequate."

 

Trip sighed. "Your responses do contain the basic information requested. But we humans expect a bit more out of our conversations. Jus' tryin' to draw you into our style. Don't you find it, well, a bit more interesting, a bit more fun?"

 

T'Pol looked up from the Vulcan database description of the two M class planets. She was not quite sure she understood what Commander Tucker was referring to. "If it is emotional content you are asking me to convey, I am feeling calm this morning, well rested, properly emotionally neutral."

 

"Well, that is a LITTLE better. Maybe you just need to hang out with us more. How 'bout joinin' us after dinner in the mess hall for music night?"

 

"Of what does music night consist?"

 

"Everyone who has a musical instrument on board, brings it along to dinner. Then we see who knows the same songs and we tune the tunable instruments to the same key. And we play together. Sometimes one of us solos. It is a way to socialize and to have fun."

 

"I do not have an instrument."

 

"Many people just come and listen."

 

"You are inviting me?"

 

"No one needs a formal invitation, just show up if you want to."

 

"I will consider it."

 

....

 

T'Pol finished her vegetarian taco and sipped her chamomile tea. Hoshi smiled at her and asked in Vulcan. "Staying for the music?"

 

T'Pol's immediate reaction was to once again remind the ensign that they were on a human ship and it was therefore more appropriate to speak English. She repressed that response and said in Vulcan "Yes. But is it not impolite for us to speak in a language that most people present do not understand?"

 

"Oh, is that why you don't speak Vulcan with me? Actually it would only be impolite if other people were already part of our conversation. But we are alone at this table and I very much would like to practice speaking your language."

 

"That would be agreeable to me."

 

Hoshi nodded and they discussed how the instruments crew members were bringing in resembled or differed from Vulcan instruments. It was surprising how many instruments were showing up: two violins, a viola, two silver flutes, a wooden flute, two recorders, a tin whistle, one electric and one acoustic guitar, an accordion, a keyboard on wheels, one harmonica, one bodhran.

 

The people with stringed instruments gathered at one table, attempting to tune together.

 

"Everybody know Red River Valley?" asked Crewman Danials.

 

"Well, I guess I could do that, though I mostly play classical music." Ensign Cutler responded from behind her viola.

 

"What key? Asked chef, his non-tunable bodhran hugged to his chest.

 

Laughter rippled through the mess hall.

 

"Hey, Chef, bodhran players aren't allowed to hang out with real musicians."

 

"Real musicians? Where?" said Chef looking around in an exaggerated fashion.

 

More laughter.

 

Hoshi caught the quirk of one edge of T'Pol's mouth. She leaned close and said "they are teasing each other, not insulting each other."

 

T'Pol raised an eyebrow. "I often find it difficult to perceive the difference."

 

"Don't worry; you will begin to see the difference as you socialize more with the crew."

 

The chaos settled into a series of solos, each musician playing a favorite piece or two and people singing along when there were lyrics that they knew. A Vulcan music night would have been more organized, thought T'Pol. She noticed that the musicians were clustering in groups and making appointments to practice together. The two violins went out into the companionway where she could her them tuning together. They came back in and played a classical piece. The bodhran and tin whistle and acoustic guitar went off in a corner and conferred, quietly agreeing on a piece called "Jenny's Chickens" which they later played for everyone to the general time keeping of clapping hands. T'Pol found herself enjoying the variety and wishing she had brought her lyre.

 

T'Pol gave Hoshi her best attempt at a smile which was a slight elevation of both sides of her mouth. The Vulcan facial muscles were not used to this, just as the human hand was not used to producing the ta'al greeting.

 

T'Pol leaned close to Hoshi in order to be heard "That slow classical piece played earlier is not dissimilar to a Vulcan song honoring elders - dignified, respectful, measured slow beat like an elder's slow walk.

 

Hoshi said "Maybe there is a human equivalent." She stood up and waved her hand at the three who were now playing. They were between numbers and saw her. "A request please. Do you have a song which honors elders?"

 

Chef answered "I know one!"

 

Chef, sitting with legs splayed and bodhran held between them, leaned over and whispered to the tin whistle and guitar players who nodded. The Celtic trio broke into a wild jig in a manically paced 6/8 time. The piece was called "Don't Throw Your Granny from the Bus".

 

Hoshi laughed and glanced at T'Pol, saying in Vulcan "Respect as reflected in different cultures, right?"

 

Crewman Colmenero replaced the trio and played "O Sole Mio", then a peppy "Funiculi, Funicula" on his accordion. He was followed by the two silver flutes playing a duet, a soothing sonata. An hour into the music session, Trip Tucker asked if anyone knew "Shilo" a Neil Diamond song popular off and on since the 20th century. He played a few bars and four people raised their hands. He started over again and off key, the four sang along:

 

"Young child with dreams...

 

"Papa says he'd love to be with you, if he had the time...

 

"So you turn to the only friend you can find, there in your mind

Shilo, when I was young, I used to call your name

When no one else would come, Shilo you always came...

 

"Young girl with fire, something said she understood

I wanted to fly, she made me feel like I could...

 

"She made me smile..."

 

T'Pol sat up straighter. She absorbed the words, surprised, moved. She whispered to Hoshi when they had finished "was that about...a pretend companion?"

 

"An imaginary friend. Yes, you got it!"

 

T'Pol stood up and walked to the drinks dispenser, not trusting herself to say anything else yet. She replenished her tea and went back to sit with Hoshi. One of the silver flutes was now playing a solo - Claire de Lune. T'Pol was hardly taking it in. Humans had imaginary playmates! She had suspected for some time now that their two species had many things in common.

 

She watched Trip Tucker shake out his harmonica which must have gotten too much moisture in it. Trip caught her glance and grinned at her. His grin played a cord within her. He was the one who remembered the song about imaginary friends! He might be the one who would understand, when she finally decided to tell humans some things about herself. Tapik...oops, uh, - Trip, would understand. She raised one eyebrow slightly as she sipped her tea. Perhaps their two species could find a lot of common ground because, maybe, where it really mattered, they were not so different after all.

 

The next day, T'Pol wrote to her mother asking her to pack up her lyre and send it to her Starfleet APO address.

 


Comments:

Brandyjane

We need more stories like this one showing Hoshi and T'Pol interacting and becoming friends.  While I was actually glad that they didn't become BFFs immediately in the series, after "Sleeping Dogs" they should have shown some progress toward friendship on screen.  I also like scenes that give us a little more insight into how the crew relaxes during their off-duty time.  Music night sounds like something bored humans would do.

Linda

Well, I do think that Vulcans dream, but at this point in time I was thinking that T'Pol believed they did not.  It just seemed to me that most of us who feel passionate about T'Pol are introverts and would have that in common with her.  And I think introverts would have more of a predilection for imaginary friends than extroverts would, LOL.

justTrip'n

I love it! Trip fits the profile of her imaginary friend, the bondmate she imagines instead of Koss. Wonderful!

Interesting and it makes me smile. I love the cross-cultural experiences you write about. I was going to object that Vulcans DO dream, but I guess they only dream if they go without meditation, so "good" Vulcans do not dream. It's wonderful.

I like T'Pol's realization that Vulcans and Humans share the phenomenon of "having imaginary friends."

bluetiger

That really set a mood. The loneliness of T'Pol and her need for an understanding friend. Now, no longer does that friend need to be imaginary. Trip can be the one to swoop in and save her from being alone. Music would be the thing to draw emotions from a Vulcan. Very nice moment in time. 

FireStar

Wonderful as always Linda.

 

Lisa

Dinah

This story was just a little sad, but it was a whole lot of fun, too.  T'Pol does seem like the kind of lonely little girl who would have an imaginary friend.  And the end where she linked Tapik with Trip was just about perfect.  Given the various instrumentation and the musical tastes of the various musicians, that must have been a evening's entertainment few would forget for quite sometime.  Very nice story!

Linda

Thanks guys!  I was laughing while I wrote this one as I am a bodhran and tin whistle player.  After I submitted the story on Friday, we just had Irish Fest, a large festival in Milwaukee this past weekend.  My daughter and I taught straw weaving at it and listened to all the great Celtic music.  Today I took a day off from work to baby sit my two-year-old and four-year-old granddaughters while my daughter had jury duty.  What a surprise to get online and see my story up, as I thought it would be awhile.  My granddaughters are peering over my shoulder looking at the comments which they cannot read, because they are refusing to take their naps. 

I have more bodhran jokes:

The bodhran is an intrument best played with a pen knife.

What do bodhran players use for birth control?  Their personalities!

And now my granddaughters left the room and came back gargling something.  I hope it is water.  Sigh, I have been trying to read all the stories that have been appearing on Triax lately and will get to them perhaps when the grandkids go home.  Oh, now they have gotten into my tin whistles...uh, I better go deal with this. 

 

 

 

 

   

WarpGirl

I'm a first class moron! I've only watched Riverdance 10,000,000,000 times and seen that drum many more. Thanks.

Distracted

The bodhran is a big flat Celtic drum played with a sort of strumming motion with a two-sided drumstick in one hand.  Makes a very satisfying BOOM.  :D

WarpGirl

I found this so moving, maybe because I'm a true music lover. Any and all types except metal and gansta rap. Anyway I've always loved how Vulcans have been portrayed since Spock to be art and music lovers, so to add this to T'Pol was wonderful. I also loved the idea of imaginary friends something my sister and I had in abundance as children. I liked how you took such a common element of humanity, turned it Vulcan, and yet retained it's essence beautifully. While the TnT was absolutely beautiful like always, I really, really adored the interaction with Hoshi. It has always bugged me that there were only two women on the show and they hardly ever interacted. And after seeing Exile the other day I was even more annoyed because these two women have so much in common, and could have been a beautiful realtionship to see. All in all this was a lovely story, maybe we can hope for a follow up.

I have to admit I'm not familiar with the bodhran however, would someone please enlighten me? Thank you very much.

 

Reanok

I liked this story alot Linda, It's nice to see T'Pol's thoughtsher past and  about the crew and Music night.And the fact she enjoyed listening to the music with Hoshi and their conversation was about that Neil diamond song. Nicely done.:D

Asso

I was waiting for something as beautiful as this one in a month of Sundays!
Amazing, as always.
And this one:
T'Pol rolled her eyes up in parody of Koss...PRICELESS!:p

Distracted

Love the bodhran joke.  We skin thumpers have to stick together. :p  Wonderful story.

Aquarius

I read this as I was preparing it for uploading and it brought a smile to my face!  In a setting like a starship, little concerts and jam sessions make a lot of sense and I think this illustrates how a small community like a starship crew develops its own culture, so we get a nice glimpse into that as well as something from T'Pol's past.

An unintended side-effect:  I got a mental picture of a Vulcan lyre/harmonica duet.  :D:p;)

Good stuff.  Thank you!

Aikiweezie

OOOH, I'm first!  Lovely - I'm smiling.  I love "slice of life - off duty" stories.  You provide us with  nice peek into T'Pol's world.

Alelou

Love that excellent use of "Don't Throw Granny from the Bus!"  I wish we'd seen a gathering like this during the series.  It would have been fun!  (Actually, my favorite scene in Terra Nova is the one where the Novans play their instruments.)  Very nice.

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