Standard disclaimer and rating:
I don’t own Star Trek (though a case could be made for it owning me!) In writing these stories, I intend no copyright infringement, and make no monetary profit. They are a tribute, and a celebration.
This story is rated T (teen). Mild sexual references.
This is a continuation of Parted From Me, and a sequel to Day 2’s “No More Games”. It’s not necessary to read those stories to understand the central conflict in this one, but doing so would add clarity. Today’s story prompt is to write a first person story.
A Tide of Unshed Tears
“Not everything in my life revolves around you.”
Trip’s words echo through my soul as I walk the corridors of the ship, bereft of any purpose. I should meditate; I should inform the Captain of my failure to alter his choice to leave Enterprise.
To leave me.
I go to the Mess Hall; quiet now, in the earliest hours of ship’s morning. In several hours, it will be busy with human festivities. I’d planned to attend; perhaps bringing some small token Trip could carry with him to Columbia, if he wished to retain some token of our connection. At the least, perhaps, by being there, sharing in the celebration, I might demonstrate my regard for him, if not my affection.
“Not everything in my life revolves around you.”
He hadn’t asked because he wants me there, but because he doesn’t. Doesn’t want me at all anymore. I waited too long, and my reasons, however logical, no longer matter.
Tears lodge somewhere in the vicinity of my Vulcan heart; a sob is trapped in the lung tissue where I don’t have a human heart. Never again to hear the music of his, whether deeply asleep, in the moments after our sexual exertions, or when he cried as I now long to, but cannot. How simple the matter is for them. They take it for granted, this natural gift of expressing their emotions with ease.
But I can’t cry. I can do nothing to ease this hurt. I don’t need to attempt meditation to know that I will fail. It’s not logical, but it’s no less true. I’m filling with tears, like the salt-laden oceans of his world. And yet, I’m the product of my own world, my own cultural conditioning. I can’t cry.
I need to cry.
Within, I’m drowning in my tears, as though I contain an incoming tide. I won’t survive, if I can’t cry. Illogical – as so much is illogical when it comes to this human and his impact upon my life.
I must cry.
“Not everything in my life revolves around you.” His words are the sounds of the waves. The thought of sipping tea only brings more memories of many late nights and early mornings, sitting together in this room, learning one another while the bulk of the crew slept. At first, I’d thought it illicit, but there had come to be a peace in it.
We will never sit in this room again, never share pecan pie, insights – or anything else.
1 leave the Mess Hall, empty-handed, the pressure of unshed tears building. If I can’t shed them naturally, I must logically find another way.
“I can fill myself with this. I can kill myself with this.” My own words, only dimly remembered, from another time of fractured pain. If this is what it was to be romantically involved with a human, where is the logic in wishing to remain so entangled? Should I not wish to be free of it, to return to a life where emotion can be handled, because there are no extremes, no deep passions that won’t be ruled?
He thinks he is better off without my presence. He’s removing himself from the equation, and everything is unbalanced, uncertain.
“Not everything in my life revolves around you.” It was a dismissal. Nothing more is required of me.
“Everything in my life revolves around you,” I whisper, as my door slips closed behind me. How did I come to be here? No, it doesn’t matter, because the whispered words are my truth, and, without Trip, there is no volition, no purpose. It doesn’t matter where I am. I am nothing to him, now. Nothing even to myself but a vessel to contain tides of unshed tears.
When did I decide?
I don’t remember picking up the box, or how I arrived here. I only know that I am standing in the dark, staring out the window to the Spacedock that holds Columbia, with the hypospray in my hand, and icefire filling my veins. Can even this be enough to force the tears out, ease some of this terrible pressure?
I hadn’t known, before now, that grief could bring physical pain even when no one had died. Or that it could bring an anger that roils through the pain, so that my hands open and clench against the glass. If I could destroy the other NX craft, in this instant, I’m not certain I would refrain. Columbia will take Trip from me: I may never see him again.
Another injection. I’m certain I didn’t intend it. And that means that I am in trouble, controlled by my dependency on this substance. By my own insistence, I must notify the doctor that I am compromised –
But not yet.
I still haven’t cried. And I must. I will call Phlox, as soon as the tears break free.
They still haven’t, two hours later, and there has been enough trellium that I’m uncertain who I’m calling until I see the doctor’s face regarding me. “Phlox? I -” But what is there to say, and how am I to explain it?
“There’s no need to finish, T’Pol. Are you in your quarters?”
“Yes. Don’t come.” Why was I refusing his company, his assistance?
“It’s not wise that you be alone, now, T’Pol.” There was something in his manner; did he understand the source of my pain, without my having to speak it?
“I prefer solitude,” I say, but it’s not true. I prefer Trip. No, it’s even more than that. I require him for balance, for stability. For my own. “Everything in my life revolves around you.”
“I’m sorry; I don’t speak Vulcan.”
But what matter? It isn’t Phlox I am speaking to. “Parted from me; never touching.”
“T’Pol, I believe it would be more effective to share this communication with Commander Tuck-”
“Let me be!” I cut the connection, and press the hypospray to my neck yet again – and, still, the tears don’t come.
Time is broken. As Shakespeare said, ‘out of joint.’ I wish only for the moment of his departure to be past. Perhaps then, I will cry, and heal. But time has slowed, nearly stopped. The chronometer refuses to change. I stare at it, prowl the length of my room. It still hasn’t changed.
I want Trip. I need him.
If I go to him, so altered, he won’t refuse me. He never refuses me, then. He bears illogical guilt for the traces of trellium ore he brought into my quarters, for its presence on his skin the first time we attempted neuropressure. Not logical; even without that exposure, or the experimentation, I would have been poisoned beyond doubt on the Seleya. I would still have become addicted; his part in it was too small to have been relevant. Certainly so, when measured against the pleasure and solace of his presence, his touch –
His love. Another human concept. I’m not certain I understand it, but I know he felt that for me – and that now he doesn’t. Somehow, I have undone his emotion, or twisted it to become something other.
Time drags itself along, broken. I know I can call him. He would miss his own party to be what I need. And he will hate me, because I had ‘used’ him again, and himself for allowing it. I don’t understand this; if we are mated, and he desires me, or I him, why is it wrong to mate?
But it matters to Trip. I have ‘used’ him before, when affected by trellium. I will not this time. I will stay here, alone, and attempt to shed my tears before the pressure causes structural collapse.
There is a signal at the door. I don’t answer; I know it’s not Trip. I can feel him, when he comes near; so this would be the Captain, or Phlox. I have nothing to say to either of them; Enterprise is in Spacedock, and I am officially on leave. I needn’t answer for the trellium, even if I choose to fill myself and kill myself in every moment until I must cease to return to duty.
If I live that long.
Am I attempting suicide?
I ponder that. But there is no answer. I can see no future in living; perhaps it’s the most logical approach to end my life now, while there is time and opportunity for Captain Archer to seek a replacement.
The signal comes again and again, and I stand at my window, silent. There is only one companion I’d choose now, and that isn’t a choice I have any longer. Phlox can’t help; I can’t face the Captain now. Altered as I am, I might say too much, and give away matters Trip would rather keep private.
I have failed him in crucial ways, but, in these small ones, too late, I won’t. I won’t use him to ease the pain of his leaving, and I will keep his confidence regarding our relationship.
The signal stops as I place the hypospray against my jugular – it hisses, but there is no icefire. “You not keepin’ score anymore, pepperpot?” Question half-remembered from the time of madness that followed my wedding. Had I truly used an entire vial, so quickly? Was I truly going for another, slipping it into the device, pressing that twice more to my jugular -?
Trip is coming. I look at the chronometer; it seems to have leaped forward now; it’s nearly time for his party to begin.
The doorbell signals. I’ve lost the ability to move, to breath. I can feel his mind. It’s illogical; unless –
But I still have no proof, so I can’t speak to my suspicions.
Another signal. And his mind, or his whisper; I’m not sure which. “Damn. I know you’re in there. I know I said some things I shouldn’t. I don’t want to leave this way.”
I’m moving, not knowing what I intend. Instinct rules; I must protect my mate, even though he’s no longer my mate. I must prevent his being caught in my madness, in my “web” as his mind might call it. Soon, he’ll attempt to use the override I authorized for him alone. But he must not enter here; I must keep this door between us.
I must protect him.
I disable the override. My space is inviolable; my privacy is complete.
I am completely alone, but my mate isn’t willing to release his attempts. He signals again and again.
“C’mon, T’Pol. I know I was an ass; I know you’re in there – and I know what you’re doing. I don’t know why it’s bothering you so much, but I know it is. I didn’t mean to hurt you -”
But he had. I feel it; he’s guilty about it, but he wanted to hurt me, as I hurt him. Hurt him because I didn’t speak to what I suspect has happened – but how can I, when I don’t know enough to be certain it’s even possible, or enough to inform him of the cost, if it is?
“T’Pol? My party won’t be one if you’re not there to be utterly confused by all the goings-on. How the hell am I supposed to pretend like this doesn’t hurt like hell, like I’m happy about this, if you’re not there?”
He isn’t speaking aloud. I know this because my ear is pressed to the door, listening to the sound of his human heart, his human breath passing through his human lungs. Do I hear something of a sob in it, or is that my imagination, fueled by the trellium?
Do I only imagine his words, or am I hearing the thoughts of my bonded mate? Is it possible to have a bonded mate? To have a human as my bonded mate? Or am I falling into delusion and madness, placing thoughts in his head that weren’t his?
“T’Pol? C’mon, pepperpot, don’t make me use the override. You know I’ll stay with you. I’ll even mate with you, even though it’ll hurt like hell to be used that way again, and then have you shut me out, and prove to me again that I’m nothing more than the answer to a biological urge. I don’t want a party, anyway; I’d rather be here with you every second I can steal. I’ve gotta go – can’t stay here where you are, knowing -”
I want to open the door, ask him whether the things I hear and feel are his, or my own madness. But I can’t. I won’t “use” him again. If these are his thoughts, I have thus far failed utterly to clarify his importance in my soul, and in my life. In my current condition, I’m not likely to be able to accomplish that which intention, rational thought, and research couldn’t quantify.
“What the hell? When’d she lock me out? Guess that says it out plain enough, doesn’t it, Tucker? She doesn’t want you. Maybe she never did. Just the trellium wanted you, and that stuff’s toxic as hell. What are you doing here, harassing her? If there ever was anything, there sure as hell isn’t anymore. She’s probably meditatin’ on how much calmer and more peaceful her life’s gonna be with me out of it. Grow a pair, and get the hell on with your life, and leave the woman alone.”
Still he stands there, and I feel his fingers touching my door. I place mine in the place where they are, and it’s then that the tears break free of whatever held them, and, when he leaves, I feel it, and sink to the floor, sobbing, curled around the pain of his absence.