||Building Bridges of Understanding
Summary: Rated G. T,T'Pol. Trip and T'Pol have a discussion.
Disclaimer: Enterprise is Paramount's.
By Ronda Sexton
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Trip sat in his quarters savoring a cup of coffee as he read.
The unexpected "pregnancy" had been a trying experience.
Fortunately, no one had ribbed him about it.
As he took a sip of the hot beverage, his door chime
announced a visitor.
"Come in," he said, wondering who was paying him a visit.
He could only hope it was not Dr. Phlox.
The door slid open and T'Pol stood a bit uncertainly at the
threshold. Trip slowly stood to his feet.
"Yes, Sub-Commander," he said quietly. He really did not
want to see her just now.
"I would like to speak with you, Commander Tucker. May
I come in?" asked T'Pol.
Trip nodded, wondering what she insults she had to hurl at
him this time. "Come in and sit down," he answered,
gesturing to a chair near his.
He noticed she seemed unsure of herself, which was
unusual for her. "Why don't you try a cup of coffee, I'm
drinking it right now, and it's a darn good human drink."
"I have not had the opportunity to sample that human
beverage. I will try it," she answered.
He poured her a cup and handed it to her along with some
sugar. "You might want to add a little sugar to it."
She did as he suggested and then cautiously sipped the
steamy beverage. "It has an unusual flavor," she
"Some folks add cream to it, but that ruins a good cup of
coffee. A little sugar to sweeten it is all a good cup of
coffee needs," said Trip.
After a few moments of silence, Trip decided to get the ball
rolling. "You said you wanted to talk to me,
Sub-Commander," he reminded her.
"Yes, I do." She looked down at her cup for a bit, then met
his inquiring gaze. "It would appear that I owe you an
apology for the remarks I made regarding your recent
'condition.' I assumed the worst and did not give you the
benefit of the doubt as you humans would say."
Trip was taken aback. T'Pol was apologizing to him. He
would have never expected this turn of events. "Apology
accepted, Sub-Commander. We all make mistakes. Heck,
look at what happened on that planet with the weird
"However, at the time you had outside forces acting upon
you. When I made my comments about your pregnancy, I
had no such excuse," she replied softly.
Trip noticed her cup was nearly empty and refilled it for
her. "Well, when different cultures work together, there's
gonna be misunderstandings," he answered.
"That much is certain. We also base our opinions on prior
experiences." She looked up at him and decided to trust
him with part of her background only a select few people
knew. "While I was still on Vulcan, attending the Science
Academy, a human male from Earth was invited to attend
and study there as well."
Trip had an uneasy feeling he knew what was coming. He
nodded silently, waiting for her to continue.
"The young man was in my Astro-Physics class. He asked
me if I could help him with a concept he was experiencing
difficulty with in class. I went to his dorm room, expecting
to discuss the affect of gravitational pulls on variant warp
fields. It soon became obvious that he had no interest in
studying. I tried to reason with him to no avail. In the end,
I had to resort to using a Vulcan defense method to render
"I hope you filed charges against the little bastard," said
"The Academy wished to avoid any diplomatic incident, so
the incident was handled internally," she answered.
"The old cover up routine," grumbled Trip. "No wonder
you're skittish about human males."
"It is illogical to assume all human males would
demonstrate identical behaviors. I acted in a manner that
dishonors Vulcan," answered T'Pol.
"Well, like I said, apology accepted. I can understand your
reaction a little better now. We humans have another
saying........Building Bridges of Understanding," began
At T'Pol's puzzled glance he chuckled. "It means we work
towards understanding each other's cultures. I'm afraid I
haven't tried to do that very well with you either. We both
came to the Enterprise with our preconceived notions of
what the other's culture was like. If we keep working on it
with conversations such as the one we just had, we'll come
a heck of a lot closer to understanding each other."
T'Pol nodded, "I concur." She stood to her feet. "Thank
you for the coffee. I shall be drinking more of the beverage
in the future. It is late, and I have an early shift on the
bridge. Good night, Commander."
Recalling a human custom, she held out her hand to Trip.
He smiled realizing what she was doing. He grasped her
hand and shook it.
After she left, he realized that they had both made steps to better
acceptance and understanding of each other. They had start building