auswitcheroo151: AU Sato and Mayweather (Default)
[personal profile] auswitcheroo151
Disclaimer: Don't own 'em, don't make money off 'em.

Notes: T'Pol and Kov both contemplate what it means to be "really" Vulcan. A minor incident may be the catalyst to the beginning of a mutual understanding.

This happens after "The Logic of Emotion" and references "May the Wind be at Our Backs" and "Empathic Tendencies".

Rating: K+

Pairings: TnT implied.

Please R&R



April 1, 2154

2 ½ weeks after "The Logic of Emotion

Kal Rekk, Vulcan Day of Atonement

T'Pol concentrated on the row of candles in front of her, their warm glow illuminating the interior of her cabin. She felt a sense of satisfaction from her day's work, helping Chief Engineer Phlox with his proposed upgrades to Enterprise's warp engines. Officially, she was not a part of Engineering, but twelve years in the Vulcan Space and Ship Operations Ministry gave her valuable insight into a ship's design. T'Pol was pleased to have been some help to Phlox; she and the Denobulan were becoming fast friends and allies.

Unlike myself and Kov. The young Vulcan Healer still avoided her whenever possible. He took his meals in his quarters and only socialized with a handful of acquaintances. When she had spoken to Lieutenant Commander Trip Tucker about her concerns, the Armory officer only nodded in agreement.

"I'll talk to him, T'Pol. Most of the crew's concerned that he's closing himself off. He's pretty popular with the younger officers and the enlisted folks. Maybe Travis has some ideas to get him out of his funk."

She inclined her head as she considered Trip's advice. He was more perceptive than he appeared, and this was one time that she was glad of it. Kov's behavior was as puzzling as it was maddening. "Commander Mayweather is what you call 'a people person'. I have confidence he'll break through Kov's self-imposed isolation."

"Me too. In the meantime, keep reaching out to him. You're the only other Vulcan on board the ship. As long as he knows you're here, he'll know that someone from home's watching out for him."

She sighed and turned her gaze away from him. "But he even refuses to stay in the same room with me."

"Give him time, T'Pol. Just give him time."

She brought herself back to the here and now, back to the candle flame in her meditation circle. That was a problem for later. Right now, she needed to focus on maintaining a calm and clear mind. To separate logic from emotion. To discern truth from illusion. I am a Vulcan, born and bred to peace. I follow the teachings of Surak. I am T'Pol, daughter of Sendak and T'Les. I stand on the bridge between two worlds, the one of mind and one of matter...

Time had no meaning for her as she accessed her emotions, turned them round in her mind like a master jeweler examining a stone, acknowledged it, cataloged it, then put it away. Truth: Enterprise sped through space at Warp Two. Emotion: She looked forward to a break in the routine...

Words floated into her mind: thakau. 'es. Focus. Calm. Truth.

Torek. Nisaya . Process. Analysis. Esh. Plak. Breath. Blood.Green Vulcan blood, red Human blood. She had agreed to join this crew, of her own will, though now the ties of duty and obligation made that agreement so much more complicated. Her husband-to-be Koss. Her future father-in-law Soultek. Her fellow officers, her friends: Captain Hoshi Sato, Commander Travis Mayweather, Commander Phlox...

Lieutenant Commander Charles "Trip" Tucker the Third...

Her thoughts paused on him, despite her efforts to move on, and a strange inner prompting forced her to devote more time to this man. Truth: Human, male, born in Florida, spoke Standard English with an accent, also known as a "Southern twang". Older sister, younger brother and younger sister, mother and father all alive.

Emotion: How is this one significant to you?

T'Pol asked herself, Why is this relevant? But the unseen voice wouldn't be satisfied until she supplied an answer. Tucker was a fellow officer and a friend. He was the Senior Officer and Head of Tactical and Security, and therefore was responsible for the safety and welfare of everyone on board... A sensitive man, yet one who would not hesitate to lay down his life to protect the innocent. A warrior in every sense of the word. Puksu. Fosh-torsu. Fighter, Defender. A contradiction. A Human, yet open-minded enough to accept things Vulcan.

Fascinating. That was rare. Yet on this ship, there were many Humans who were curious about other cultures. Tucker. Archer. Sato. Reed. Mayweather. It could not be a coincidence. Logic had a way of maintaining some sort of equilibrium, like the balanced sides of a chemical equation.

Then there was Kov, who was the exact opposite: A Vulcan interested in all things Human. A former member of the V'tosh Ka'tur, the Outcasts, the Exiled. T'Pol sternly controlled a stab of shame at her initial treatment of him. He also struggled to know what it was to be Vulcan. IDIC. Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations. Kov's situation was similar to hers.

Tilek svi'khaf-spol t'vathu - tilek svi'sha'veh. The spear in the other's heart is the spear in yours. You are he.

She slowly opened her eyes and saw the candle flame. It danced and jumped in time with the air currents. T'Pol made her decision: Kov should be on duty in Sickbay. I should talk with him as soon as possible. It is time to 'clear the air' between us, as Trip would say.

*****

Kov sighed and wished that Sickbay had a window, so that he could look out at the stars. He understood why it was so protected on E Deck—a hull breach could destroy the entire Sickbay in the blink of an eye—but logic didn't comfort him tonight.

Kal Rekk, the Vulcan Day of Atonement, one of the most important holidays on their calendar. Traditional Vulcans spent it in quiet meditation, well away from the chaos of daily life. The priestesses of Mount Seleya barred visitors from the temple and the streets of Shi'Kahr were quiet. If Kov closed his eyes, he saw the lit torches in the courtyard of his family's estate and the solemn purification ritual in the main foyer. His sister always supervised the thorough cleansing of the house and grounds. He sighed and shook his head again.

I broke with tradition a long time ago. I have much to atone for on this day. In accordance with Vulcan custom, he scrubbed down the Sickbay counters, sterilized all the surgical instruments, and took a full inventory of the entire medical stores. Doctor Reed made no comment; Reed had spent time on Vulcan and was familiar with their calendar. He only smiled faintly and left Kov to his tasks.

There were no patients, no medical emergencies, no calls to Engineering or the Science labs. Kov wished there had been an emergency; anything was better than idle time to think about the past memories and future complications.

The lights dimmed considerably before brightening again. Kov frowned and was about to call Engineering, when Commander Travis Mayweather's voice called over the speakers, "All personnel to yellow alert stations. We've just entered the outer edge of an unexpected ion storm. Secure all posts and hang on...we should be out of the storm momentarily. Mayweather, out."

Kov nodded and made another quick check around Sickbay. He expected the usual array of minor bumps and bruises, but nothing life-threatening. The walls shuddered around him, but the lights and gravity remained steady. He remembered that Lieutenant T'Pol was off duty, which meant someone else was at the helm.

She keeps to our people's ways...even if I were off-duty, I would not disturb her on this important holiday. T'Pol would see my presence as an annoyance at best, or an abomination at worst. He winced mentally, but shoved the uncomfortable feeling away. Even if he could re-live the last several years, he couldn't honestly claim he would change a thing. He had joined the V'tosh ka'tur of his own free will and found friendship among those who shared his beliefs. Those had been some of the happiest years of his life...

No, not exactly. He felt torn between his family and his deepest beliefs. And now that his former comrades wandered far from Vulcan, he felt cut off from his home, even more because the only other Vulcan on board the ship couldn't tolerate his presence. Not that he could blame her. She followed Vulcan's code of behavior and ethics, while he...well, he interpreted them more broadly-

The floor jerked under his feet and he grabbed the edge of his desk to keep upright. The ship trembled violently several times before finally settling. Just as Kov thought they were clear, he heard Commander Mayweather hail Sickbay again. "Mayweather to Sickbay."

"Sickbay, Kov here."

"We've cleared the storm, but we have some reports of injuries, Kov. Expect some patients showing up in Sickbay."

"Acknowledged, Commander." He tapped the intercom. "All available medical personnel, beta-sweep of all decks for injured. Doctor Reed, report to Sickbay." He went to the cabinets and took out antiseptic and bandages, and thought, It's fortunate that our medical stores are prepared for such a situation. I suppose my observance of the Day of Atonement is worth something after all.

*****

T'Pol had just entered her destination into the turbolift when Commander Mayweather's warning echoed on the intercom. She frowned, then pressed the button to stop the lift and open the doors. The last place she wanted to be was in a lift during an unexpected ion storm. She changed her mind about going to Sickbay; her place was on the Bridge.

The doors began to open...then stopped partway. Apparently, the lift had just begun to move when she'd stopped it, and had somehow become frozen in its track. She shook her head and grasped the edge of one door and with Vulcan strength, managed to open a gap wide enough for her to slip through. She tried to wriggle her way out to the deck, but the edge of it was just beyond her reach.

The emergency escape hatch in the ceiling, she thought. T'Pol stretched upward until her fingers brushed against the control. It buzzed against her hand, indicating it wasn't working. How convenient. She touched the intercom button.

"Bridge, Mayweather."

T'Pol sternly controlled a flush of embarrassment. After all, it wasn't her fault she'd was stuck in the turbolift. Lousy timing, Trip said in her mind, and she nearly smiled. Aloud, she replied, "I am in the turbolift on B Deck, Commander. It is frozen on its track. I require assistance."

"Are you hurt, T'Pol?" Travis sounded concerned.

"No, I am uninjured."

"Sit tight, Lieutenant. Commander Phlox will be there in a few moments."

"Acknowledged, Commander."

She sat on the floor, cross-legged and waited for rescue. Despite herself, her eyelids grew heavy and she allowed her eyes to close. During meditation, she focused her attention on a Vulcan koan or a quote from Surak, but this time, her thoughts wandered without her conscious control. It was strange, this sense of roaming, and seeing without seeing. She felt the calm concern radiating from the ship's crew: medical personnel doing their deck-by-deck sweep of the ship, making sure that everyone was safe and accounted for. Engineering and Systems personnel running diagnostics in the wake of the ion storm. And the Bridge...

T'Pol saw multiple beacons of light, warm and glowing on her skin, each one unique. Captain Sato in the command chair was azure and white, a center of stability in the chaos, on which the others revolved around. Commander Mayweather, light green and silver, odd for a man born and bred in the depths of space. Lieutenant Commander Jonathan Archer, gold with the slightest hint of forest green, the color of his eyes. Lieutenant Commander Trip Tucker-

-wasn't there, and the absence threw off her equilibrium. Where was he? She stifled a surge of panic and resisted the urge to search the ship for him.

Why do you care about him? The mocking voice of T'Les echoed within her brain. You are a Vulcan. He is a Human. It is illogical. You are bonded to Koss. He deserves your loyalty and devotion...

A flare of anger obliterated her calm. 'Deserves'? I hardly know him. He is my betrothed, but that is all.

Her 'mother' laughed scornfully and replied, He has agreed to let you remain on the Earth ship until its current mission is completed. I would say that is more than generous of him. His family will be powerful on Vulcan, T'Pol. You will be the wife of a powerful man...

T'Pol's eyes shot open, staring blankly at the opposite wall of the turbolift. A cold blast of fear made her shiver, the fear of madness. Four months earlier, she had dealt with T'Marui's treachery, and a scant few weeks ago, Menos's twisted mind games on Betazed. Had their manipulations damaged her mind in some way?

In some aspects, Koss is more of a Vulcan than you. He serves in an honorable profession, he was willing to marry a Vulcan woman, he understands the rigors of duty to his clan. Your own heart betrays your weakness. Tears pricked her eyes, but she refused to let them fall. Atone for your failings, my daughter. Restore the pride of your clan.

"Lieutenant? Lieutenant T'Pol? Are you all right?" Metal clanged against metal and jolted her out of her dark thoughts. She blinked and rose to her feet; her internal clock told her only five minutes had passed since her call to the Bridge.

"I am unharmed, Commander Phlox," she replied.

Another welcome voice chimed in, "Hang tight; Phlox is about to activate the override. Grab my hand and I'll pull you back onto the deck. Ready?"

"I am ready, Lieutenant Commander Tucker."

Phlox's voice returned. "Very well, on the count of three...one, two...three!"

The doors of the lift creaked open and Trip reached down to her. She grabbed his arm and he pulled her to safety. Kov had placed a steadying hand on his shoulder; Phlox stood nearby at the open wall panel.

"My gratitude," she said to all three of them.

"Not a problem. I guess you'd just gotten into the lift when the storm hit? Lousy timing," Trip said with a smile. She controlled a start of surprise at the words. "Lucky Kov was checkin' out this deck when Travis called him. He got me from the Armory and we met Phlox here."

She turned to Kov, who surveyed her with a raised eyebrow. "Shaya tonat, Kov." Thank you.

He inclined his head and replied formally in Vulcan. "Vesht dungi ki'sarlah nashveh, O-krei. Hakausu nashveh. "I would have come, Cousin. I am a Healer.

"Ri ma goh gu-vam t'du fayeh," she answered quietly. (you would have come) Not only just because of your duty.

Kov blinked in surprise, but only nodded in response. "Ha, O-krei."

She switched to English. "I would like to consult with you about a...Vulcan matter in the near future, if that is agreeable?"

He struggled to regain his composure, but answered, "Of course. Please call me when you wish to discuss it."

Trip frowned and asked her, "Are you all right?"

"I am...fine," she said with a raised eyebrow, "but rather fatigued. I should return to my quarters and meditate."

"Okay, but call if you need anythin'."

She nodded, turned and made her way towards her quarters, not betraying the conflicting emotions on her face. I must resolve these conflicts as soon as possible. I cannot afford to let them distract me.

But she knew that as long as these conflicts existed, they would continue to haunt her.

*****

"I'm worried about her."

Kov couldn't help but agree. "As am I, Lieutenant Commander. Today is a solemn day for our people, when we contemplate our past, present and future. Perhaps she..."

"..needs to talk? She did ask to 'consult you on a Vulcan matter'. She reached out to you."

"Indeed," he murmured. "I am the only other Vulcan on the ship. It is logical."

Trip shook his head. "I get the impression she doesn't open up to many people, Kov. Give her a chance, let her open up. I think you'll be surprised."

Kov considered his words. She is more Vulcan than I am. What kind of 'matter' can I assist her with? His professional side reminded him that as Healer, he was obligated to help her. His emotions reminded him that T'Pol was more than a colleague. He would have assisted her, not just because he was obligated as a Healer.

She had extended the hand of friendship, in a very Vulcan way. Perhaps he had underestimated her.

He nodded and answered Trip. "I will give her a chance."

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