“A Little Felicity”: The IDIC Romance for #JusJoJan Day 22

Welcome to Day Twenty-Two of Just Jot it January,  where, for a month – well, we jot. Whatever. However. Wherever. Whyever. It’s graciously hosted by Linda G.Hill. 

Today’s prompt, “Felicity,” comes to us courtesy of Fun at Simply Me.

This is the latest (and maybe last, at least for a while) episode of my December story, “Animals”, all of which has appeared here. Links to all segments, from the beginning, follow the story.

This episode takes place several months after the events in the Star Trek: Enterprise Season Four episodes, “Demons” and “Terra Prime”. Trip and T’Pol, are grieving the death of another baby daughter, and struggling to find healing – possibly through adopting two newborn orphaned kittens.

And, as always, I don’t own them; they’ve just got a direct link to my imagination. I write their stories for passion, not profit.

“A Little Felicity”

“You want to name a Mississippi kitten ‘Mittens’, son? I thought you said you never got space happy out there?”

Trip chuckled. “Don’t worry, Dad. My wife isn’t going to let me name either one of them Mittens.” Dad had always known how to find his funny bone when he was hurting, one way or another. It used to make him mad, when he was a kid and thought Dad was making cracks while he suffered, but he understood, now, and was grateful. A man could drown in this kind of hurt, and T’Pol needed him maybe more than she ever had.

“I haven’t addressed the issue of nomenclature, t’hy’la.” She sounded – and felt – less empty, since the kittens.

Trip hoped it was a good sign; that she was coming back from the edge of that damned Vulcan abyss she’d been perched on since she came out of the coma. “Not aloud, anyway. But just because you can’t feel me right now doesn’t mean that I went anywhere. I’m still right here in your head, where I belong.”

T’Pol turned the conversation over and over, looking at it from every side in that way he’d been able to see in her face long before he could feel it in her mind. The way she hadn’t done with anything, this last week. Damn, he’d needed to feel her doing that – gearing up to rain all over his parade in that way only she could. Almost made him want to jump for joy, except then he’d have to let her go, and this was the most comfortable and peaceful she’d been since that terrible moment when someone’s carelessness had changed their lives – and ended Grace’s. 

And, just like that, he was tearing up again, the grief still jagged and gaping. Four babies – in less than a year.

“I had a cat named Felicity, when I was a little girl -”

T’Pol’s yelp wasn’t remotely Vulcan sounding, and cut Hoshi off with the precision of one of Phlox’s medical lasers. She reached up to disengage tiny but effective claws from her nose. Trip held his breath, knowing better maybe than anyone in this room just how strong her fingers were, and how easily she could hurt or kill the kitten if she wasn’t extremely careful – what would that do to her, after everything else?

“I won’t harm the animal.” She stroked the little domed head, and eased the kitten back into its cozy spot, nestled against the swell of her breasts with its sister or brother. “Nor do I have any intention of ‘raining on your parade’. I don’t expect logic in human naming practices.”

That was the closest she’d come to a joke since she woke up. Trip wriggled around carefully, so he could get a good look at her without disturbing her. She had four thin lines of blood on the side of her nose – and the life had come back into her face. After the last five days – well, he’d been starting to think he’d never see her lit up again. That maybe blindness – to everything that might hurt her – wasn’t enough of a defense against having to see, and accept their altered reality.

“Why, hello there, beautiful,” he said, and raised his fingers to salute her with an ouz’hesta,  stroking the backs down her cheek – just as the first tears brimmed over in her still-unseeing eyes and came to meet his caress. “Do you want to tell them, or should I?”

“Tell them?” Her voice was a throaty whisper; she was about to cry for real, and he got ready to let go with her. It would feel good, in a strange way, to cry together for their baby girl – for all of their babies. But first, he wanted her to realize what she’d just done, so that she knew there was hope. And then, maybe, there would be time to get her to their room, where they could sob their hearts out in private – or do whatever else she needed. Experience had shown him that she wouldn’t care about privacy, once her control snapped  – but after was a different matter, and he didn’t like audiences anytime.

“C’mon, pepperpot. You can figure this one out.” Trip held the answer in his mind, and tried to guide her to it, but she didn’t seem to feel him anymore. She was frowning a little, though, like she wanted to, like maybe she was starting to put the pieces together. Trip decided that was another damned good sign. But now she was exhausted; she wasn’t going to get there on her own, not yet. He was going to have to clue her in the old fashioned way.

He answered the question she hadn’t asked aloud. “Hmm…maybe you were just surprised by a little Felicity, then – but you read my mind, pepperpot. Twice.”

Read previous “Animals” episodes, in chronological order:

That’s it for me…find more jottings right here!

“Maybe We Need This”: The IDIC Romance for #JusJoJan Day 21

Welcome to Day Twenty-One of Just Jot it January, where, for a month – well, we jot. Whatever. However. Wherever. Whyever. It’s graciously hosted by Linda G.Hill.

Today’s prompt,Mittenscomes to us courtesy of Candy at Rhymes With Bug .

Today’s post is the latest episode of my December story, “Animals”, all of which has appeared here. At the end of the story, I’ll post links to the other segments.

This episode takes place several months after the events in the Star Trek: Enterprise Season Four episodes, Demons and “Terra Prime”. 

And, as always, I don’t own them; they’ve just got a direct link to my imagination. I write their stories for passion, not profit.

“Maybe We Need This”

“That is hardly an answer.” Had she intended to direct her frustration at her bondmate?

“Don’t worry about it, pepperpot,” he whispered into her ear, his cool breath shivering and shuddering through her. It was perhaps even more frustrating that, while she remained as blind to his mind as she was to the room surrounding her, his ability to sense her had, if anything, intensified. “Do you want to find out what I mean by Schrodinger’s basket?” Before she could answer, he said, “OK, silly question. Of course you do. Here, let me help.”

 

He took her hands in his own, very gently, brushing the backs of her fingers. She wanted him to touch her fingertips, to feel his unique bioelectric pulses. Without them, without his mind sensed twining with her own, without their child growing in her womb or at her breast –

 

A strong arm around her, squeezing her firmly. “I’m still right here, T’Pol. What’s in the basket – I think maybe we need this -so, when you’re ready -” A tear fell onto her hand; she had shed no tears, not for Grace. Not for them. It was as though she were locked tight around the grief, the shock of waking from coma to find their daughter delivered, and already dead, while she was unconscious.

Was it logical that she still couldn’t accept that Grace wasn’t kicking and rolling, her small fist finding that precise place against her rib that elicited a sharp stab of discomfort – discomfort she illogically held to, as a sign of health and vitality that matched her father’s?

“You’ve gone all silent again, pepperpot. You OK?”

“Not in the least, Trip.” She would be honest with her t’hy’la. There was little else she could offer him.

Another small sound emerged from the basket on her lap, and, this time, an almost imperceptible movement accompanied it. T’Pol drew a deep breath. “Kaiidth. What is, is. I’m ready to learn what Schrodinger’s basket contains.”

He guided her hands down the handle of the basket, then into the bowl, where a nest of soft cloth waited. “Nice and gentle, now….”

Tiny, squirming life struggled into her hands, the cries becoming frantic. “Infant animals?”

“Kittens,” Trip told her. “No more than a week old, and orphaned.”

 

“We found them in the old shed,” Kath Tucker added. “We don’t know where their mother is, but they were going to starve to death.” T’Pol felt the way the ribs were plainly defined, and thought that Trip’s mother was correct.

“They need care, immediately,” she said. “Nourishment, warmth, and comfort. Closeness to serve as proxy for their mother.” She considered what she knew of Terran felinoids. “Cats see to matters of hygiene without assistance, if I’m not mistaken.”

“Not at this age,” Trip said. “They’re too small; their eyes aren’t even open yet – they can’t see any more than you can, right now. Mama would be doing that for them, if she was around.”

 

“May I help tend them? I know little of Earth felines, but, if you’ll assist me, Trip -”

“I was hoping you’d want to,” Trip said, and she didn’t need to see him or feel his mind to know that he was smiling at her through his tears. “But I didn’t want to push you.”

“It seems logical, Trip. We’ve lost a daughter; they’ve lost their mother. I will need assistance, and information in a form I can currently disseminate -”

“Ah, Commander T’Pol. It’s encouraging to see you returning to your customary efficiency. I’ve taken the liberty of adapting a formula designed specifically to meet the kittens’ nutritional needs.”

“And I’ve got a comprehensive file on kitten care, translated to Vulcan and recorded with your auditory preferences in mind,” Hoshi said, from the corner of the room.

“And I’m right here, to help be your eyes and hands, pepperpot.”

T’Pol allowed her fingers to drift along until she determined the dimensions of the kittens’ bodies, and the safest way to pick them up before she addressed her mate’s growing restlessness. “It is less than comfortable to rest against you when you’re attempting not to say something, t’hy’la. I’d find it more agreeable if you shared it.”

“I don’t want you to feel obligated -”

“Trip.” She made no effort to restrain her frustration.

“Well, Cap’n Archer says that we can keep them. If you want to, that is.”

T’Pol lifted the small creatures to her chest and cradled them there. “It is perhaps illogical to discuss this while they are hungry.”

Half an hour later, the kittens were both fed and asleep upon her chest,their tiny bodies vibrating in an involuntary sound known as ‘purring’; she had no desire to return them to the basket, where they could neither derive comfort from her, or she from them. “I would like to keep them,” she said quietly; their ears were as sensitive as hers.

 

Trip’s pleasure was evident in his voice, and the sudden relaxation in his body and scent. ‘What should we name them? The smaller one has four white paws – maybe Mittens?”

 

T’Pol chose not to tell him that the practice of giving a name to a creature that was notably unlikely to respond to it was highly illogical.

Now, as promised, here are the other episodes in this serialized story, in chronological order:

That’s it for me…find more jottings right here!

“Schrodinger’s Basket”: The IDIC Romance for #JusJoJan Day 20

Welcome to Day Twenty of Just Jot it January, where, for a month – well, we jot. Whatever. However. Wherever. Whyever. It’s graciously hosted by Linda G.Hill.

Today’s prompt, “surreptitiously”comes to us courtesy of KG at Books, Music, Photography, and Movies.

I bounced ideas around for hours before this one just popped into my head. It’s the continuation of my December story, “Animals”, which appears in installments on this blog. At the end of the story, I’ll post links to the other segments, so you can read in order, if you’d like (and that will also clue you in to the contents of Schrodinger’s basket…).

This episode takes place several months after the events in the Star Trek: Enterprise Season Four episodes, Demons and “Terra Prime”, and ignores the travesty of the finale whose name shall not be spoken.

And, as always, I don’t own them; they’ve just got a direct link to my imagination. I write their stories for passion, not profit.

“Schrodinger’s Basket”

Kath Tucker watched surreptitiously from the kitchen as her son guided the grav chair into the living room with great tenderness, murmuring too softly for her ears to pick up anything but the rhythm, which reminded her of the ocean. She couldn’t see her daughter-in-law’s face; only a huddled form hidden by layers of Vulcan robes and blankets.

“Will she recover, Doctor?” Charlie kept his voice low; of course, T’Pol could probably still hear them, if she was inclined to listen. Kath remembered the numbed shock that had nearly smothered her when Elizabeth died, and didn’t even want to imagine what it must be to lose not just one grown daughter, but four babies.

The Denobulan doctor smiled faintly. “If your son has anything to do with it, she will eventually make a full recovery. He is a most determined man.”

Kath watched Trip as he lifted his wife into his arms, bending his head to kiss her, his voice still rising and falling. “He always has been – even when he was a little boy – ”

“I remember.” Hoshi Sato said, cryptically, and Kath wondered vaguely what she meant by that. But the young woman went to the living room, where she stood aside. Trip had explained that she here as some kind of moral support Vulcans needed when they were incapacitated.

Their little house had gone from far too roomy and quiet to nearly overflowing in just two days, and Kath could only wish that the circumstances were happier. But, at the same time, if T’Pol needed a secluded and welcoming place to grieve and heal, she was glad this was the place she wanted to be.

A warm, strong arm wrapped around her, and Charlie pulled her close. “Our boy’s home, sweetness, and he’s brought his little injured bird with him to our nest. If anyone can help him help her get better, that’s you.”

“Mom? Dad? We’re ready – or as ready as we can be.” The hurt in Trip’s voice made her want to grab him up and hold him tight, the way she had when he was little and always seemed to dare a bit more than he could manage safely. And, so as anything, Lizzie’d be right beside him…

Kath swallowed. She was going to do her damndest to keep her tears away from T’Pol. She’d had too much pain; she didn’t need the alien human kind to deal with, on top of it.

“I grieve with you, Kath.” Scarcely more than a whisper from the layers of wrappings – insulation against the pain? Or a shield, to give her privacy? “There’s no need – to hide your sorrow. I can’t hide mine.”

“Oh, pepperpot…” Trip choked out, and then his own grief, and maybe his wife’s, broke loose, and he was crying hard. But Kath had mother’s ears, and they’d had a lot of practice, these last two days. They picked up the tiny sounds even over Trip’s sobbing.

She picked up the two baskets – the tiny nestlike one, and the larger one that held the supplies. She was grateful she had Charlie to lean on, and grateful that Trip and T’Pol had each other, and their friends. Doctor Phlox went to the table to check out the offerings she’d set out, but she could feel his readiness to shift instantly to medical mode. Hoshi was sitting in the chair by the window, a small piece of lace in her hands, her fingers moving swiftly as she tatted – Kath hadn’t known that anyone still tatted by hand. Maybe they’d get a chance to talk about that.

But now, there was something else to take care of. They walked together, Charlie keeping her snug against him, to the couch where Trip was holding his wife – Charlie had shown him well how to be a good husband even to a woman of a different species, whose needs were not human.

“That them?” Trip asked, his voice still rough with tears that leaked from eyes just like his father’s. T’Pol’s face was hidden against his chest, and inside the hood of the robe she wore.

Kath nodded, and passed the little basket to him, just as another, more insistent, sound came from within.

“What is that?” T’Pol’s voice held a faint trace of interest.

“This?” Trip cleared his throat, and guided her hands to the basket as he put it in her lap. He chuckled – a thin and wavering version of his typical hearty laugh. “This, pepperpot, is Schrodinger’s Basket.”

Now, as promised, here are the other episodes in this serialized story, in chronological order:

That’s it for me…find more jottings right here!

What Scars? The IDIC Romance for #JusJoJan Day 19

Welcome to Day Nineteen of Just Jot it January,  where, for a month – well, we jot. Whatever. However. Wherever. Whyever. It’s graciously hosted by Linda G.Hill

Today’s prompt, “climate ”comes to us courtesy of Joanne at Top of JC’s Mind.

I approached this one a little differently – and somewhat accidentally.

You see, I’m revising a fan fiction story, “Slow Jazz Awakening”.  Last week, I finished making color-coded notes on the hard copy, and, early this morning, I decided to make the necessary changes on the first of sixteen scenes, as I prepare for writing a (hopefully much better) draft.

It didn’t take me long to see that, in this scene, climate is more than just the setting, or even a catalyst. It’s almost a character in its own right. So, rather than write something new, I’m going to give you a peek inside the creation of a story – remember, this isn’t the final draft, but rather a sort of in-between stage. It’s much closer to done than it was a month ago, but it will (again hopefully) be much better, by the time I submit it to Triaxian Silk.

For more on the basis of this story, you can watch the Star Trek: Enterprise Season One episode, “Fusion”.

And, as always, I don’t own them; they’ve just got a direct link to my imagination. I write their stories for passion, not profit.

What Scars?

Sounds traveled strangely through the muffling fog. Her sensitive ears, evolved for a desert climate rather than this humid and oxygen-rich air, were further hampered by the cowl she wore. Staccato footfalls, their force and swiftness betraying tension in the legs that made them. Bits of conversation, in several languages, only one of which she could understand. Strange expulsions of breath, accompanied by percussive sound that caused sharp pains in her head.

She moved with practiced caution, poised and ready to face danger. It was uncertain, however, that she would know which direction to face. Her peripheral vision was also considerably reduced. She allowed herself only three measured breaths to resist these circumstances; the cowl was necessary, on this world, if she wished to remain anonymous to this people, and to her own. As that was precisely her objective, resisting the means of attaining it was most illogical.

“Humans don’t laugh when frightened,” she told herself. She didn’t know if this was so, and there was a certain illogic in making any such assumption.

There was a certain undeniable illogic in being here at all.

Comfort, safety, and security awaited her at the compound where the Vulcan-normative air carried neither unexpected outbursts of sound, nor the profusion of scent that lay heavy on San Francisco’s humid ocean breeze. Logic dictated that she should return immediately to her small chamber. Her meditation candles waited, offering the calm of deep reflection. There would be no need for her current state of alert.

As an infant, she’d once thrust her fingers into the flame of her mother’s meditation candle, even after the warning that it would bring pain and injury. There had been learning in it that logic couldn’t define or contain. She walked on, now,as though there was no danger, as though her muscles weren’t tense with readiness. She continued although the sounds of humanity didn’t pain her head, as though the odors of this world didn’t overwhelm her olfactory senses.

She swallowed back bile; her digestive tract threatened to expel the plomik broth she had eaten at the evening meal. She had no official business here, and had told no one of her plans. Her presence was therefore a breach of protocol. If she became ill or incapacitated, it would be a minimum of seven Terran standard hours before her absence was discovered when she didn’t report to her post in Ambassador Soval’s offices, and perhaps several more before it was ascertained that she wasn’t within the grounds of the compound. Since there was no logic to her desire to explore this world alone, only when she remained missing would they seek further into the city.

She slowed, for a moment, and touched the burn scars on two of her fingers; her second foremother, T’Mir, had told her that she had screamed and struggled when the physicians attempted to treat her, and they had been more concerned with the infant’s overall well-being, and ceased the efforts to wholly heal the wounds.

What scars would she bear, as the result of this current impulse? Would the learning be worth the consequences?

Her forward progress stopped. Logically, she must return to the Vulcan Consulate. But perhaps this was another time when there was something to be learned that went beyond logic; something her people couldn’t learn if they remained behind the walls of their compound –

Into this moment of indecision, discordant Terran music, floated through the fog, and was cupped by her cowled, muffled ears. It resonated through her body, pulsing into the scars on her fingertips. Something stirred to life within her, as it had when she was an infant, and had reached to capture the forbidden flame.

She tipped her head, tracing the scars with her other fingers, and, when she knew the direction the music came from, she began to move purposely toward it.

That’s it for me…find more jottings right here!

Like Some Lovelorn Teenager: The IDIC Romance for #JusJoJan Day 18

Welcome to Day Sixteen of Just Jot it January,  where, for a month – well, we jot. Whatever. However. Wherever. Whyever. It’s graciously hosted by Linda G.Hill

Today’s prompt, “elegance  comes to us courtesy of Kelli of Forty, c’est Fantastique. When I saw this prompt, there was only one way I could go….Hope you like this little fan ficlet you inspired, Kelli! ;)

For more on the basis of this story, you can watch the Star Trek: Enterprise Season One episode, “Fusion”.

And, as always, I don’t own them; they’ve just got a direct link to my imagination. This story was written for passion, not profit.

Elegance.

That was what she had. Something Natalie had no clue about.

Trip stood there, outside the Consulate where the lovely young cowled woman had vanished, and considered her. That was better than trying to figure out what the hell had happened between them, if it hadn’t just been his own imagination, or a little more Guinness than he thought he’d had, or the damned headache – he’d forgotten about that headache, while he was tracking her through the cool and foggy streets of San Francisco, and it was taking revenge on him now for jilting it.

And just how had he managed to find her, when she had about five minutes’ head start? Yeah, at first it was her delicate and unmistakable oranges and sandalwood scent hovering in the damp air like a rare and exotic desert flower, but that hadn’t gotten him here, not with the way she’d been circling. There was something more –

Something Trip’s sickly pounding head just wasn’t ready to pull apart and examine. He would; he knew that. It’s just what engineers did. But he couldn’t do it now – and he didn’t want to. It scared the hell out of him, even thinking about what had happened, or what he thought had happened –

What the hell was that, anyway?

“No. Not gonna think about it.” He stuck his tongue in his cheek and wondered why he was still standing here like some lovelorn teenager with no idea how to talk to a girl –

But then, she wasn’t just any girl.

She was a Vulcan.

A beautiful, sexy, elegant, incredibly desirable Vulcan.

And Lieutenant Commander Charles Tucker the Third knew he was in deep, deep trouble.

 

That’s it for me…find more jottings right here!

Not Me: #WeWriWa #8Sunday

Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors’ Eight Sentence Sunday!

It’s the weekly hop for everyone who loves to write! We’ve got a variety of genres and talented writers just waiting for you to come sample their wordy wares. Come read one, or all, or pick a few like leftover holiday memories….

And, if you’re inclined to share your own 8-10 sentence snippet, follow the link and sign up. It’s a great community to be a part of! =D

This week, I offer you the next ten sentences of “A Splash of Red”, a surreal fantasy story, the child of my own life and my dreams, with a generous dollop of imagery and a big dash of creative license…

More on the story after the snippet.

Context, such as it is…A woman is attempting to win the trust of a little girl in a red dress, while hawks wheel above…but just who are these two to one another?

When we left our woman and child last week, it was with the realization that they, joined as they are, are the rabbits the hawks are hunting as they circle menacingly above…

Given the surrealism of the story, punctuation is a bit creative, so be warned!

Not Me

They scream, together, with one cry, and our unity shatters. I keep my eyes forward; the child I was watches me, her eyes hawk-sharp but wet with fear-tears. She is a small wild thing in her own wilderness, who has learned not to trust those who are bigger, stronger, more powerful.

Not adults.

Not me.

The hawks scream again, the one sound splintering into two, two rages, two beaks, two sets of talons and strong beating wings. Hummingbird fast, she flees, into the bushes where I’m too big to go…desperate fear twists and clutches at my body, like rending hawks’ beaks, like talons puncturing, gripping, crushing acid-vomit up into the back of my throat –

I’m as a child again, knowing the stooping hawks will attack, that there is no refuge, no safe place – I want to hide, but muscles and mind will not obey. A whimper rises within me, limbs crying out to huddle, to fight, to flee, but they’ve chosen their prey well. Helpless, I only stand, rooted as a tree to this spot.

Previous “A Splash of Red” snippets:

(chronologically from beginning)


Will the woman be able to move?

Can she find the child again?

If she can, will she earn the little girl’s trust?

Will the hawks take her, instead?

Come on back next week to find out more!

Did you like what you read? “A Splash of Red” was originally published in the 2014 inaugural edition of World Unknown Review, which is edited by L.S. Engler. Since I retain all rights beyond first publication, I intend to revise the story and use it as my own initial self-publishing experiment.

That being said, I’d love any and all input and criticism you’re inclined to offer!

Want more #8Sunday?

“What DO You Mean?” The IDIC Romance for #JusJoJan and #SoCS

Welcome to Day Sixteen of Just Jot it January,  where, for a month – well, we jot. Whatever. However. Wherever. Whyever. It’s graciously hosted by Linda G.Hill.

Today’s prompt, “leadership ”comes to us courtesy of Linda herself, via Stream of Consciousness Saturdayread her post here.

For more on the basis of this story, you can watch the Star Trek: Enterprise series pilot, “Broken Bow”.

And, as always, I don’t own them; they’ve just got a direct link to my imagination.

“What Do You Mean?”

“What the hell is that supposed to mean?”

He dragged one hand, coated in valve sealant, through his hair – he was, apparently, incapable of learning to curb the impetuous behavior, despite the fact that, in the twelve days she’d been aboard this ship, she had observed him make the same error six times, which, when extrapolated, and taking into account the amount of time he had been on duty here when she wasn’t present, meant that he had likely had between eighteen and twenty-two opportunities to comprehend the consequences of such an action.

“Well, T’Pol? You gonna answer, or just leave me hanging?”

T’Pol completed the scanning sequence without comment. She was attempting to devise an algorithm that might prove more effective for evaluating the Commander’s most likely responses in specific situations, and she needed considerably more data. It didn’t seem to be enough to apply a simple cause-and-effect hypothesis to human behavior; it had proven useless with the Chief Engineer.

“Well?”

She looked up only when she had completed the last entry. “You do not appear to be hanging, Commander Tucker, but rather standing on the deck plating, as I am. However, if your footing doesn’t seem sufficient, perhaps our time would better be spent in assessing the effectiveness of the gravity generators than in adapting the sensors.”

“What the hell – there’s nothing wrong with the gravity, T’Pol.” He took two steps closer to her; his scent was most interesting when he seemed to be experiencing the human condition known as ‘frustration’. What did it mean that there were deeper notes to that scent that only appeared when his frustration was apparently triggered by her own actions? Perhaps as importantly, why did she find his scent and his energy more appealing, at these times?

“If you say so, Commander Tucker. The gravitational pull on Vulcan is twenty-three percent higher than Earth’s; I consistently feel as though the generators are malfunctioning.” It was an unplanned variant, to study his responses when she deviated from the conversational topic; her research would be skewed by her failure to follow the control measures she’d established two days ago, when she began.

Perhaps it was worth it, because the manner in which the light was diffracted by his eyes altered slightly, and the tension went out of his posture. “I didn’t know that,” he said, as he took another step closer, meeting her regard. “Does it always feel a little like you’re gonna just float away?”

“There was a period of adjustment wherein it was difficult to -” she paused for a quarter-breath, to find a human analog to the Vulcan phrase that encompassed the entirety of the sensations – “to ground myself. However, I have, in general, become accustomed to the sensation.”

“Still, it doesn’t sound especially comfortable -”

“My comfort is irrelevant, Commander Tucker.” She had noticed a tendency toward caring for the well-being of others in many of her human crewmates, but in none so much as him.

“Yes, it is. You’re the First Officer; the Cap’n’s right-hand man.”

“I’m not a man, Commander Tucker, as I’m certain you are aware.” The fact that Captain Archer had explained this particular piece of human vernacular to her yesterday was not something she needed to share with the engineer. Particularly not when he smiled at her, and his scent warmed in such a pleasing manner.

“Believe me, T’Pol, I’m aware.” His voice attained a lower register. “It would be all but impossible to be unaware of your lack of – well, male attributes. What I meant is that you’re second-in-command. You take care of the Cap’n’s needs, and you oversee the crew. But I’m third-in-command, and since there doesn’t seem to be anyone whose duty it is to see to your needs, I kinda figured I’d volunteer – on an informal basis, of course.” The light glinted in his eyes, and his scent added another layer of meaning – one that her body understood clearly, with an intensity that was more difficult to suppress than she preferred. She would spend an extra cycle in meditation when she went off duty; perhaps that would help restore her to equilibrium.

“Precisely what do you mean by that, Commander Tucker?”

The human man’s smile became wider, in the manner she believed was known as a ‘grin’. “Tell you what. I’ll explain mine if you explain yours. Well, how about it?”

Out of all the humans, only he could so disrupt her lines of inquiry, both spoken and personal. “I don’t know what you mean.”

“Yes, you do. But have it your way; I’m betting that curiosity you’d insist you don’t have will change your mind. I can wait.” He spun on his heel and walked off with his hands in his pockets, making the musical sound humans called ‘whistling’.

That’s it for me…find more jottings right here!