Welcome, friends! Come in, and let me tell you a Story A Day, all May long…
This month, I explore. Every day, I’ll follow the prompts in A Month of Writing Prompts 2016. I’ve been exploring my Kifo Island workd each day, but today’s prompt is different…you’ll see in a paragraph or two.
I wanted to get this post up yesterday, but the story felt like it wasn’t quite right. I set it aside and slept on it, and today, I was able to figure out where to go in revisions.
So, for May 20, a prompt I’ve been all month for waiting for: “Write a Fanfic Story”!
Week Three is our Rescue Week – some easier prompts that offset the challenges behind and still ahead.
If you’ve been here before, or poke around just a little, you know I love my Star Trek: Enterprise fanfic.
If you enjoy this story, you can find the full story-in-progress, “Love and Loss“. You can also find all of my published Enterprise fan fiction at my fanfiction.net page.
Here’s the standard disclaimer drill: I don’t own them; they own me. These stories belong to Trip and T’Pol. Sharing them is an act of passion, not a quest for profit.
Out of the Loop
“Captain, I’m certain you aren’t asking me to scan an off-duty officer against his will.” Phlox’s tone was mild, and he was smiling, but Jon heard the message loud and clear. He’d crossed a line by asking him to covertly scan Trip.
“No. I guess not.” Jon looked at Florida passing by as they descended, that gouge not quite as vivid as it had been a year ago. He’d thought Trip was healing, too – “But you heard his message. He’s in trouble, and I think he needs us to help him get out of it.” He didn’t add that he had more than a hunch what Trip might be going through. He didn’t like remembering the state Erika had yanked him out of, or where he’d probably have ended up if she hadn’t.
It was too easy to picture his twisted body at the bottom of some cliff. Would it even matter if it was a Xindi nightmare, a death wish, or a careless slip that did it? He would have been just as dead.
“I will make myself available to him, Captain. If he wishes, I will happily attend to him – but that will, of course, be a matter of confidentiality.”
Jon never enjoyed being out of the loop. Especially not where his crew – and his best friend – were concerned.
When he’d quietly suggested to T’Pol that he’d appreciate her inviting Trip to go to Vulcan with her, then just as quietly suggested to Trip that he should try to wangle an invite because he was worried about T’Pol going home all alone so soon after Phlox discovered her trellium dependency, he’d accepted that he’d have to let them go. He’d expected to be out of the loop, then, but he thought that he had orchestrated a perfect way to help them both. It was worth it.
And then they’d apparently fallen off the face of her world, and he hadn’t heard a peep out of either of them, until two days ago, when he’d gotten a PADD from Trip, then, yesterday, the invite.
And still he felt out of the loop. There was something that didn’t feel right, like Trip was trying way too hard to make him not pay attention to the radio silence. Or the fact that he’d left Vulcan, and wasn’t saying anything at all about how T’Pol was doing – just that she had family stuff to do.
And there was still nothing from T’Pol – not even a guarantee that she’d be coming back to Enterprise.
Malcolm skirted the Gulf of Mexico and headed inland as he descended expertly.
And then Jon saw proof that Trip was here, because there was a giant “Welcome” spray-painted on a flat patch of ground, with a rectangle around it.
Leave it to Trip to figure out a way to roll out the welcome mat for them. He was standing off the side, in his “lucky” Hawaiian shirt.
“Trip!” Jon made sure he was the first one out, and heading straight for his best friend –
And stopped. Trip’s typical aw-shucks smile was gone. He had a new beard, and he looked almost somber; worse than Jon had seen him since right after the Xindii attack that killed his baby sister.
“Cap’n.” Trip lifted a flask to his unsmiling lips, tipped his head back, and drank deeply. Jon looked more carefully. Red-rimmed eyes said that most of what he’d been doing lately involved a bottle.
Is that why he left T’Pol home alone? Even though Jon had trusted him to take care of her, keep an eye on her, give her a reason not to turn to trellium-D any more than she absolutely had to?
He’d trusted his best friend to take care of her, and Trip had run home, put himself and Jon out of the loop, so he could dive into a sea of booze.
Trip lowered the flask, his blue eyes challenging Jon to say anything. “’Scuse me, Captain. Doc, I gotta speak to you privately. Malcolm, will you take Jon up to the house? Mom and Dad are on the patio; they’ll keep you company till we get there.” He and Malcolm exchanged a nod.
Dismissed and out of the loop, Jon watched Trip and Phlox head off together down a wooded path.