Welcome,welcome, welcome! Happy December, everyone! May the last month of your year be filled with, love, laughter, sharing – and all the joy your soul can hold, and then some, so that it flows out from you and embraces others.
To help that wish along, I’ve created a special Advent calendar. It’s as non-denominational as it can be, because it doesn’t stop on December 25 – and because it espouses the concept of IDIC – Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations.
Every day, all month, I’m posting a short story. These are freewritings I created while preparations for an upcoming project. They’re rough and imperfect; I’m only going to correct for spelling and grammar.
A note: Stay tuned after today’s main feature for two more paragraphs of Engineering Relationships! Thanks go out to Erin Zarro and Fallon Brown – I know you both love these two, so I’m eager to see what you think of what’s next…
OK, time for a quick briefing:
Spoiler zone ahead! If you were to want to start watching a show that was canceled a decade ago, and you don’t want to know what happens – well, this could be a good post to skip. I’m looking to delight, not to spoil.
The base art for the calendar elements of this post was created by Annalise S. Burton, and is used with permission and compensation.
I don’t own Trip, T’Pol, or the franchise that conceived them. These stories are offered as a gift, without expectation for any compensation. Of course, comments, rhapsodizing ramblings, and honest feedback of all kinds are always welcome!
And now, to the calendar…..we lift the tab…and find…a relatively crowded, and somewhat boisterous Sickbay…
“How may I help you, T’Pol?” Dr. Phlox looked up at the Vulcan woman as she came in.
“I have a slight headache, but if you are busy -”
Trip tried not to be obvious about watching her. But when he glanced at his friend, Zolkan was making that little half-nod of his, and chuckling softly. “T’Pol?” he said, and tipped his head toward her.
She studied their recovering guest. “Did you require something of me?”
“T’Pol,” Zolkan said, but this time it wasn’t a question, and Trip smothered a groan. He seemed to remember something, in those last minutes before the shuttle finally got there to rescue them. He’d said everything light-hearted that he could think of, and he thought that he was going to die. So he’d started baring his soul about Zolkan wasn’t even remotely the most infuriating alien he’d ever met – and he’d been clear on just who that was. And that she was also intoxicating enough that he kept making himself a target…
T’Pol took a step or two closer, one brow lifted a bit, and her head tipped in that questioning way of hers. Zolkan looked her up and down with a level of appreciation that made Trip clench a fist like they were still enemies. “T’Pol. Infuriating. Intoxicating.”
“Commander Tucker, is this the behavior of a gentleman?” She looked at Zolkan, then to Trip – and, damn it, he felt his face getting hot, and knew he was blushing.
Phlox was chuckling in the background, and Trip stammered, trying to think of anything he could say that might make this better.
It was Zolkan who got him out of it. He laughed his hearty, head-thrown-back laugh, and Trip knew by that that he was feeling better. “Trip. Infuriating.”
“Indeed.” T’Pol nodded. “If I were given to such emotions, he would certainly be.”
“Alien conspiracy,” Trip complained.
“This Sickbay contains a human, a Denobulan, a (Zolkan’s species), and a Vulcan, as well as an assortment of flora and fauna from various worlds. It is therefore debatable which of us, if any, is the alien here.”
Damn her, she had a point. But before Trip had to admit it, Zolkan spoke again. “Trip. Infuriating. Intoxicating.”
Trip held his breath, wondering how to tell his new friend how inappropriate it was to say something like that to a Vulcan. But, again, he didn’t get a chance to say anything.
“Indeed.” T’Pol said, and didn’t qualify it with any claims of not feeling emotion. “I believe my headache is gone, Doctor.”
What will Trip say to Zolkan?
Will Zolkan’s comment change Trip’s relationship with T’Pol?
Will Trip ever learn how to keep his mouth shut?
And what species is Zolkan, anyway?
Drop me a comment in the box below, and I’ll add a paragraph to the story. If you suggest a prompt, I’ll find a way to use it. If you want to know more, I’ll explain a bit of the premise behind the story. You can also watch the Season Two episode “Dawn”.
Read more at The IDIC Romance Advent Calendar!
And now, before we go, as promised…two more paragraphs from Engineering Relationships…
“Didn’t You Notice the Ears?”
Context: Trip had T’Pol’s attention, until she was summoned to the Bridge…
“Damn Malcolm and his Tactical Alerts,” Trip grumbled through his teeth as T’Pol’s ‘awfully nice bum’ vanished through the doorway. “Had her just about eating out of my hand, waiting on every word, and forgot about that drill he told me about last night -” He realized what he was saying, and snapped his teeth together hard enough to make him swear again, under his breath this time. Damn it, Lynn was staring at him, and grinning wide enough that Trip’s face ached in sympathy.
“I think she’d take all your engineering skills and then some.” Lynn chuckled. “And you’d still be wasting your time. She’s a Vulcan, Trip – or didn’t you notice the ears? What you’re wanting, she doesn’t have to give. Me, on the other hand – I’m a red-blooded human female -”.
Intoxicated at Dinner?!