All These Thorns: The IDIC Romance for #STaD, September 30, 2015

Okay, here’s the deal…it’s the last day of Story a Day September. I’ve written a story a day all month, but haven’t been able to get them all revised and posted….besides, they’re awaiting a good home on a fan fiction site possibly yet to be determined…so, since I’ve got readers clamoring for more, and I’m going to need more time to give you all the hundreds of thousands of words I’ve written for Trip and T’Pol (no, I’m not even close to kidding about that – kidding is illogical)…

Here’s my September 30 story, lightly edited, thorns and all.

Warning! Definite spoilers for end of Season 4 episodes – “Bound”, “Demons”, and “Terra Prime”. I’ll come back and add links later – in a bit of a hurry now.

As always, I don’t own them, and I’m not taking money.

The Story a Day prompt was a brief paragraph:

Jeff  was walking to the parking garage after work when he comes upon a flower stand full of beautiful roses. Jeff decides to buy a dozen roses for his lover. 

I went more with the premise than the exact prompt, so that it would fit my fan fiction universe.

All These Thorns

Trip was coming out of the hydroponics gardens, his arms full of treasures, when he damned near ran into the Cap’n.

“Damn, damn, damn!”

“Trip?” Jon peered through the mass of petals, leaves, and thorns. Damn, don’t let him make the color association, and guess the reason.

Such silent pleas are illogical, t’hy’la. I believe you need what is commonly referred to as a ‘cover story’, “

Damn again. Having her in his head this way made it all but impossible to surprise her.

“Would you like me to leave?” The forlorness of her voice was punctured by the thorn in his side – or, rather, in front of him.

Trip?” Jon’s voice was sharper this time, tinged with worry, and, damn it all to hell, suspicion, too.

Yeah, it’s me,” he said to the Cap’n, before he could get more agitated, maybe order him to stay put. “Never and always touching and touched,” he whispered into her mind – or, at least, he hoped he had, or that she could pick it up. She was a hell of a lot better at this whole bond thing; even if she hadn’t known what she was doing when she did it, it was natural for her in a way it never would be for him.

“Are you planning on starting a flower shop?”

The not-quite lie popped into his mind as if by Vulcan magic…well, to be fair, she’d had a lot more practice with this type of thing, too….parsing words was second nature to her. “I wanted to give her roses – something beautiful, because a little girl should have that – and there was so little – “ Yeah, almost a lie, but not by a long shot, really. It broke open the pain, so that he could feel all these thorns tearing at him – at her, too. Damn, he needed to get back to her, but crying in the corridor with a double armful of fuschia roses wasn’t going to help him do that. “Sorry, Cap’n….didn’t mean to – “

“Hell, Trip – don’t apologize. I’m sorry – sorry about this whole damned mess. Paxton – he took your genetic material off my ship, used it to create a child, never asked either of you or even told you – used her – “

“I know all that.” Please, don’t let him go into a speech now – but,again, she fed him the seed of an idea, and it was true enough that he ran with it. “Listen, Jon – I’m kinda in a hurry. Promised T’Pol I wouldn’t be gone too long – “

“How is she? I tried to stop by earlier, to check on her, but she didn’t answer -”

“She’s planetside, Cap’n. Needed to be somewhere she couldn’t feel all this attention – you know how she is -”

“Trip – you didn’t leave her all alone down there?”

“No. Of course I didn’t!” Damn, the being parted was hard; he hadn’t meant to get mad. “Hoshi and Phlox are with her, and my parents. At the Vulcan Consulate, where she’s not forced to deal with way too many human emotions, all at once, in a small space.” It wasn’t by coincidence that humans weren’t welcome at the Consulate except by express permission, or that Trip didn’t tell Jon what their plans were for the hours until the memorial tomorrow evening….”Listen, Jon – I really did promise her I’d hurry. This thing – no one else can really understand…not the way I do – we’re her parents -”

Well, that did it. Trip Tucker, Chief Engineer of Enterprise, stood in the corridor outside Hydroponics and bawled like he was the baby.


  1. Oh, Trip. 😦

    On a side note, I’m not sure what I think of the Captain being so indignant about T’Pol being alone. Granted, I barely know him, but… She’s Vulcan. If she’s alone there is probably a logical, or at least cultural reason, and it is logical to assume that she has already taken into account potential threats and prepared for them. Which I realize is not at all the point of the story, but it’s not as painful to focus on.

    I don’t know what to do for T’Pol. I don’t think she wants a hug and I don’t know the acceptable Vulcan expressions of condolences. I assume I’m not allowed to hug Trip, but, as he’s human, he’ll understand if I leave a passably edible tuna casserole and pan of dark chocolate fudge brownies by his door. I’ll leave a box of jasmine tea and some lavender oil for T’Pol, in case she’d find either comforting, or at least useful.

    • If she were alone on Vulcan, he might not worry so much – but she’s on Earth.

      It hasn’t been very long since her mother died, and he saw her initial and powerful response to that. He’s also carried the katra of a Vulcan, and might have some lingering insight into the more telepathic aspects of Vulcan relationships than he used to have.

      He also knows that she’s been compromised, and feels emotions more intensely and with less control than most Vulcans, because she’s addicted to a psychotropic toxin she was exposed to in the line of duty (It nearly killed her, and did cause her permanent damage in the areas of her mind relating to emotional control…).

      So, while he might normally think she’d be OK on her own, he’s got just cause for concern here….

      The Vulcan expression is “I grieve with you.” In one of the novels, it’s established that when a Vulcan loses a bondmate, it can be fatal, if there’s no one around who can meld with them and help them through the shock of the loss.

      I’m theorizing it’s something like this with T’Pol – she needs Trip with her, to grieve WITH her for their daughter.

      She’ll accept Trip’s hug – (uh, I goofed, because I think he’s supposed to have an arm in a sling here, and, if he doesn’t, I really ought to say why….d’oh).

      I wouldn’t suggest hugging Trip. HE prefers catfish to tuna casserole, but he thanks you for that, and says they’ll both enjoy the dark chocolate brownies – although T’Pol might end up more than a little soused. Sugars tend to affect her that way…

      I’m hoping they won’t mind if I nab one. T’Pol might prefer chamomile tea (it’s her favorite), but I love jasmine, so thanks for that!

      I think she’ll enjoy the lavender oil – although it might have other effects than soothing her – but then, this could perhaps be a very special day for her….

      Both Trip and T’Pol thank you deeply for your kindnesses, and want me to tell you that it helps, perhaps more than you can know….

      • Well… I’m glad my gifts are at least helpful on some level. Though, I must question Trip’s preference for catfish. They taste so muddy to me. Salmon? Or halibut? We do a lot of salmon and halibut up here. I like to take the leftovers and turn them into sandwich spread with cream cheese alternative (no cheese for me). Or maybe he’d like moose spaghetti. Also very popular up here. Or moose hot dogs. Or reindeer, I suppose, but moose is more flavorful, if you ask me.

        • I totally agree with you on the catfish – it even SMELLS muddy, to me! My Accomplice likes it, though…and our Trip is a Florida boy, so he’s used to it…

          I adore salmon. I mean ADORE, all in caps. I can have cheese, but your spread sounds delicious!

          I haven’t tried reindeer (not a lot of them here in New York except in petting zoos at Christmas), but moose is yummy. Also bison and elk, which I know from my Yellowstone days.

          Now I want to try moose hot dogs and spaghetti, durn it! Guess we;ll just have to come up and see you sometime! =)

          • Guess so! 😀

            Basic salmon dip/spread is super easy. Use leftover salmon or smoked salmon. Nuke a small package of cream cheese like maybe 15-20 seconds then mix in the fish to taste, depending whether you want to taste more fish or cheese. You can use yogurt, mayonnaise, or sour cream to thin it for dipping. Then add whatever herbs you like with your fish. Dill and garlic are our standbys, but herbes de provence is good. We’ve done halibut with salsa. That’s yummy.

            Bison I’ve had, but not elk, that I know of. Maybe. Our church had a chili cook-off once that included a lot of interesting meats and I can’t remember which ones I tried. 😛

    • Sorry about the heartbreak. What happened to little Elizabeth was certainly not MY idea, and had me in tears for four days the first time (it’s way too close to my reality, and I ache for all of us).

      I plan on doing more revision and expansion on this piece, and the entire Elizabeth arc.

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