Archaic Lit

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

  Send comments to


       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 commented.
       "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 pollen."
       "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 him unconscious."
       "I hope you filed charges against the little bastard," said Trip.
       "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 Trip.
       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 their bridges.