Broken As I Once Was: The IDIC Romance for WIPpet Wednesday

Welcome to WIPpet Wednesday, a weekly blog hop which encourages writers to move WIPs (works-in-progress) to publication by posting excerpts related to the date. It’s hosted by the lovely K.L. Schwengel, maven of bad boys, stock dogs, and flying monkeys! She may be less physically present for a bit, but she’s still our fearless shepherd…or something like that, anyway.

I‘ve got another snippet from The IDIC Romance  stories; as part of my Story a Day May challenge. This excerpt comes from “My Flame, My Nectar” the companion story to Sticking Point, told from T’Pol’s POV.

These stories are Star Trek: Enterprise  fan fiction, dealing with the inter-species relationship between T’Pol, a Vulcan scientist, and Trip Tucker, the extremely human Chief Engineer…

You can explore any or all of this year’s The IDIC Romance stories, in rough draft form.


  • Trip, T’Pol, and Star Trek: Enterprise belong to Paramount, even if Paramount has forgotten all about them…I only want to allow them the chance to live the lives they keep insisting on living…
  • This is an extrapolated “missing scene” story, detailing some of what might have happened during the months’ long and scarcely shown return to Earth in S2E26 “The Expanse”. Spoilers for that episode; and for S2E7: “The Seventh”.

We last saw Trip drunk in his room,  unable to deal with what the attack on Earth might mean, and how far away from his home and family he is. Now, we move to the Mess Hall, where T’Pol was sipping chamomile tea and watching the stars streak by as she dealt with her own unrest. She was interrupted by an extremely intoxicated Chief Engineer who fell through the door and promptly vomited on her boots. Now, she attempts to address the problem, but she’s not sure the stubborn human will allow her to help him.

WIPpet Math:

  • Today is May 27, 2015.
  • 27 sentences, plain and simple. 

“If the Captain becomes aware of your – self-medication – he won’t consider my recommendation that you be returned to duty.” It is only now that I know that I will attempt to convince the Captain, even if it’s necessary to personally supervise Commander Tucker to be certain that he doesn’t revert to his former compulsion to increase the engine’s maximum velocity at any cost. 

“Returned to – what? Why would you – ?” 

Because you will destroy yourself, if we take away your purpose. Because I can’t bear to see you in this condition, without hope, broken as I once was –

I’m Vulcan. I don’t say those words. Instead, I focus on practical matters. Logically, he can’t remain here. “Commander, do you feel you can stand, if I assist?”

“You asked that already.” He’s frowning, and confused. Lost, perhaps, in his intoxication, and his pain. “Too close. Danm, T’Pol, it was too close.”

I hear the jagged wound of his grief, his fear, his anguish – yes, there are human words for what he feels, and what I felt, when I killed Jossen. Killed a man who might not have been armed – no, T’Pol. It is illogical, and unhelpful, to dwell on your own pain, when the man to whom you are Awakened is in need of tending. I gather my intentions, create purpose.

 “I have asked. You haven’t answered.”

 His head sinks down on his forearm, and he moans and mutters,“Forgot the question. Brain’s numb – stuck at one-tenth impulse. Slow goin’ – take us months to get home -” 

So much pain. Is there anything I can offer him, against such hurt, such uncertainty?

Will Trip let T’Pol help? Does T’Pol have anything to offer that will ease his suffering? Who is Jossen, and why would T’Pol have killed him if he wasn’t armed? Will helping Trip help her to deal with that event?

What will happen next? What form will T’Pol’s “comfort” take?

Well, of course I’m not just going to come out and tell you! You can come back on Sunday, though, and learn a little more…or wait till next week, when we explore the next segment in this story arc – or you can read the original stories in their entirety:

Looking for more WIPpet Snippets? Something less angsty, perhaps? Well, hop along with the little blue froggy; assorted genres, styles, and lengths of WIPpetty lily-pads to choose from, and writers eager to hear from you! =D


  1. Gah, you write them so well! I’m truly amazed with your connection to these characters! I like hearing things from T’Pol’s point of view, and another interesting use of tense, with the present – it fits with hearing her thought process. Nicely done.

    • They’ve both taken up residence in my head. Probably doesn’t surprise you that neither one has any trouble at all speaking up when they have something to tell me or show me…

      If I only had the time, I could write hundreds more stories, because they have ideas. So very many ideas…most of which involve getting all tangled up in each other in a variety of ways…

      T’Pol can sometimes be a little harder to hear over Trip’s constant mental chatter (which she finds irritating and agreeable at the same time, and has given up seeking a logical explanation for the contradictory emotional states). But she’s always thinking, and feeling…

      And when she does come out, it’s pretty powerful stuff, and I always learn things.

      So happy you enjoy them – I love sharing them, because they are an amazing couple, and their connection to one another feels so very real…a lot like my own marriage, in many ways.

      I really like present-tense T’Pol, too. There’s this nifty immediacy about getting her emotions this way, even when she’s suppressing them externally.

      Still waters run deep.

    • I’ve shared a lot more of Trip, as WIPpets, mostly because I spent so much time with the Suliban cell story…

      T’Pol’s fun to write, and a little challenging, too. She’s not exactly great at opening up unless she really really needs me to share something…

      This story came out loud and clear, though =)

  2. Once again, great interaction between these two, Shan. I was briefly confused at the par starting with “Because” but I think if you just italicize it, that would make it clear it’s something she’s saying to him in her head but not out loud.

    • Yes, that part needs a bit of work. I had trouble with it every time I read it, too. =/

      I’m not a fan of italicizing, but maybe, if she first thinks that she can’t say to him what she most wants to say – in other words, flipping the paragraph and inverting it, with her actual thoughts at the end.

      She of course can’t say these things aloud, not in actual words…not that Trip’s likely to get her drift right now, anyway…

  3. She’s so attuned to what he’s feeling, and yet she’s able to stay so calm. I like the contrast there. And this line: “Brain’s numb – stuck at one-tenth impulse.” Love it.

    • Well, she’s had LOTS of practice at staying calm…but this being so attuned to him is new and full of potential for disaster, for them both.

      Not to mention that she’s been through rather a lot herself, just lately, and she’s definitely not feeling either as centered or as grounded as she’d like. Add in her awareness of what Trip’s feeling…

      Trip has an interesting way of putting things, and he gets even more interesting when he’s falling-down drunk, apparently. But he’s always an engineer, and, given his rather kinetic personality, maybe it shouldn’t surprise me that he’s still thinking in terms of forward momentum, even now…

  4. Sometimes when a person is in pain, the best thing to do is not to hover too much or overstep any bounds. We never know if our idea of offering help and comfort comes across as unhelpful or insensitive, or if the other person is ready to hear any words of comfort or sympathy.

    • You’re right – and it’s even trickier when people are of different species, so there aren’t any instinctive shared body language cues.

      If Trip were a Vulcan, she wouldn’t be so unsure. Vulcans have extremely well -defined approaches to helping.

      But he’s not Vulcan. He’s human, and he’s hurting, and she’s Awakened to him, and remembering her own deep pain. She’s also more physically aware of him as a result of a recent virus that prematurely triggered her involuntary mating cycle.

      Vulcans experience touch differently than humans. They are a hand-centric culture. If she touches him, with all that she’s feeling, and all he is – she’s not at all certain of what might happen.

      On the other hand, she’s his superior officer, and responsible for his well-being. He’s lying in the doorway of the Mess Hall; she’s not sure he’ll stay conscious long enough to move him, but she’s certain he’s not capable of locomotion without assistance. She can’t leave him there, or he’ll be discovered by someone else, and his condition most likely reported, which won’t help her to get him returned to his post.

      As for words of comfort and sympathy – T’Pol isn’t especially good at those, at this point in time. I’m thinking her approach is definitely going to lean more toward the practical, which she’s especially good at.

  5. T’Pol has her hands full here, trying to be everything to everyone. And… she has my respect solely in being so calm and functional in the face of another person’s nausea.

    • Well, she’s really only concerned with herself and Trip right now – but, given the circumstances (she’s still feeling some affects from the premature pon farr, and the repressed memories of killing Jossen), that’s plenty enough to deal with.

      That Vulcan discipline comes in handy, when someone pukes…which is probably for the best, under the circumstances.

      Whether she’ll actually be able to help him remains to be seen….

  6. Poor Trip. I love the self-medication line (been there, done that, not as helpful in the long term as one would hope), and this “Brain’s numb – stuck at one-tenth impulse. ” I know some people whose brains are stuck there permanently. 😉 Great snippet as always. T’Pol, always fighting with her Vulcaninity… um… okay, not a word.

    • Vulcaninity – It’s a word, NOW!!!!

      Definition – the condition of being a Vulcan female, attempting to deal logically with a wholly illogical range of emotions centered on a human male…

      OK, so it’s not a COMMON word, but it has its uses…

      Maybe I should be embarrassed that I smile every time I’m watching a documentary, and the word “volcanologist” is used… but I’m not. Tickles me every time.

      I know people like that, too. Fortunately, in Trip’s case, it’s a combination of grief and a great deal of ‘self-medication’ – which, predictably, didn’t work as well as he thinks while he’s numb…

      I’m rooting for him to let her help him… because I think it’s going to be good for both of them, as they try to heal and deal…=)

    • He may or may not get one. He may or may not have any idea at all what to make of it, if he does…

      The state he’s in is deeply painful for T’Pol. But of course she can’t just up and say so…

      Because logicky stuff. =)

  7. Oh, poor Trip and T’Pol. I know what it’s like to want to comfort someone you love and not know how to do it or if they’ll accept.

    • She’s somewhat at a loss, for sure. She’s never seen a drunk human before.

      But she knows that he’s hurting, and she’s determined to help him if she can…

      I hope he’ll let her – because the floor of the Mess Hall, in a puddle of your own puke, is not a very good place to pass out…and the drinking isn’t helping…

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