Welcome to Day Eight of Just Jot it January,where, for a month – well, we jot. Whatever. However. Wherever. Whyever. It’s graciously hosted by Linda G.Hill.
An Honorable Man
“And the most important thing…” Dad had started, the day Trip told him and Mom that he’d been assigned to Enterprise as her Chief Engineer. His blue eyes twinkled, but there was seriousness behind them, too.
“…is to be an honorable man.” Dad had nodded as they said the rest together, the same way they had when Trip left for his Starfleet training, when he decided to skip college, when he graduated high school, left on his first date and his first day of school.
“Be an honorable man, son, and you’ll be able to look other folks in the eye – and you’ll be able to look at that face in the mirror, when no one else is around.”
Trip sighed, and stared at the screen.
He’d let Dad down, today. Let himself down –
But he’d done something worse than that, and that’s what had him chewing his lip while the realization did the same thing to his gut.
He’d let T’Pol down. And she didn’t even know it – would never know it, unless he told her. He could get away with it, just tell the Cap’n that they were wrong, and she wasn’t spying, and maybe, if she was going to be part of this crew, maybe, just maybe, they should stop being suspicious of every tiny little unexpected move she made, and realize that she was a person, and she was as entitled to her Vulcanness as Phlox was his Denobulanness –
Trip read it again – no harm in that, now that the Vulcan cat was out of the bag – and sighed again. She wasn’t going to be part of this crew. He ran the calculations, ballpark style, in his head. Nope. If she was gonna make it home in time for her wedding, she’d have to leave with the Vulcan ship – by the end of tomorrow, at the latest.
Damn. Less than 30 hours, and she’d be gone forever, off to her own world, to live a life without him in it. Less than 30 hours, and he’d never managed to get past the barriers they’d thrown up to prevent getting hurt, back in those first days. Well, at least that’s what he’d done. He couldn’t say for sure about T’Pol – maybe she just didn’t see any logic in getting involved with a human – especially since she was apparently already spoken for.
He scanned the letter again, but it didn’t name her intended husband. Probably no logical reason to – she knew who she was going to marry, after all. It was probably a perfectly logical match; maybe she’d put him through a series of calculations and experiments to be sure of it…
But had she ever pinned him to the floor, straddling him and looking like there was nothing else but being together? Had she ever kissed him, or sent that plasma arc coursing through him when their fingertips touched? Trip still didn’t have a clue what the hell that was, only that it made him feel the way he’d felt when he watched her close her eyes as she swayed softly to Silas’ jazz – and when she’d opened them again, they were deep still blazing pools that damned near pulled him in…
“Cut it out,” he told himself. “Whatever it was, it clearly doesn’t fit into her life plan. It’s not like that should surprise you or anything.” But he thought about sitting with her in the Mess Hall two nights ago. Something had been bothering her, but she’d seemed more open than usual, less walled off behind that immobile Vulcan face.
Was this what she was reading?
Trip leaned back in his chair, letting himself imagine that it was, that she wasn’t thrilled to be going home to marry this guy, that she’d rather stay here on Enterprise, where he was. That maybe, with time, he could show her that there were other choices than getting married –
But that just wasn’t going to happen, at least not outside of his own fantasies, and he sure as hell wasn’t going to tell her about them.
The door opened, and Trip sat up, fast, and cleared the screen even faster. Maybe she was reading his mind, because there she was, her eyes calmly scanning the room until they found him. Damn – if he’d been a little more wrapped up in his imagination, she would have seen the letter and known he was spying on her. It wouldn’t matter that he’d thought, and the Cap’n had thought, that she was spying on them. Trip didn’t need her to tell him that Vulcans were private people and never ever read each other’s mail-
“Commander Tucker – ” She was looking right at him as she started across the deck, but Trip ducked his head, Dad’s voice echoing in his head. “Be an honorable man, son, and you’ll be able to look other folks in the eye – and you’ll be able to look at that face in the mirror, when no one else is around.”
He was damned glad there was no mirror here, but, knowing what he knew, and the way he’d found out about it, made it impossible to meet her eyes. He listened to her report on the latest round of sensor modifications, staring at the datapadd she held rather than looking directly at her.
Helluva way to find out that Dad was right.
And that’s it for me today...find more jottings here!
It just wasn’t Trip’s day, was it? First this, then T’Pol’s letter…