This has been written for fun and for free, with no claim to characters or situations.


The notion of "late" had come and gone hours ago. It was well into "early". She was tired. He was tired. She knew that the likelihood of making any real progress was remote without another rest period. This seemed like a logical moment. She reasoned that, being tired, perhaps there would be no energy to argue, much less, to fight. It was time.

"Why Ensign Sato?"

The question came out of nowhere. They hadn't spoken a word in over an hour. They'd been cooly and quietly passing PADDs of data, charts, and ideas back and forth, with no need to explain or even verbally communicate. A subtle head shake. A raised eyebrow. It was actually moments like this that he still thought there might be something. But no. Intentions had been made clear. Publicly in their case.

Even with a sleep deprived mind, he and she were still in tune enough that he understood her question. But he didn't understand why. It was a loaded question, with dozens of other questions and comments packed inside. It was a very... un-Vulcan thing to ask, and yet incredibly Vulcan in it's efficiency. Ah well. Perhaps he thought... being tired, there would be little energy for arguing, much less fighting. Time to clear the air. But he wasn't going to go easy on her, it was T'Pol after all.

"Why Commander Tucker?"

"I believe I was the first to..."

"And I believe the second question has a great deal to do with the first. In fact, rather than a question, I could have made it a statement"

"I see... actually... I do not see. What does Trip..."

"Not me. Hoshi."

"I was not aware."

"It's their story to tell, if one of them wishes to tell it... She was hurting. She came to me for support. I... was hurting too. We commiserated together. We found comfort together. Something to mask the pain at first, and then it became something... more."

"For you... I had some idea. But I did not know. Why did you not come to me?"

"Commander Tucker... well that's not an honest answer... By the time my hidden thoughts turned to need... well that was the reason."

"Jonathan... I did not stay on Enterprise for Earth."


"I did not stay for the crew"

"I didn't..."

"I stayed for you."

"... I had hoped..."

"My experiences on the Selaya and after... they affected me more than I wanted to acknowledge, my decisions since then have not been logical..."

"The trellium."

"Yes.. I have something else I need to tell you."

"I think... I already know. I read enough of Phlox's report..."

"That was private information! Jonathan I did not think you capable of..."

"Stop. Wait.. before you say something you'll regret. It was an accident. Phlox's data storage array and mine were mixed when they reconnected the network after a power surge a few weeks back. It was the most recent file and hadn't been encrypted yet. I stopped when I realized... but by then... I had realized. From the little I'd read you were on the mend and coping with the long term after effects."

"I see. So you know."

"Yes. Does Trip?"


"He should."

"I know. But its..."

"It will never be a good time."

"I will tell him soon."

"I'm sorry T'Pol. Sorry you felt the need to take that risk. Sorry I didn't tell you before."

"Even now, I still feel my place is here."

"And I will forever thankful for that... for you... I don't know if what I'm about to say will make sense, but please let me try. I do love her. I care about her. I want her to be happy. We were friends long before she became my Comm officer, or became... whatever it is we are now. But it's important you understand... I am not in love with Hoshi. And she knows that. She has expressed similar feelings to me."

"I do not know what it means to be in love."

"Actually... I think you might."


"When this is over... If we can, I would like to return to this topic again."

"Yes, Jonathan... Good night Captain"

"Goodnight Sub Commander"