Act One

Act Two

Act Three

Act Four

Scene 1
Scene 2
Scene 3
Scene 4

Act Five

author's note

Genre: Action/Adventure, Drama

Rated: PG-13, bordering on R … harsh language, action, brutality, and adult situations.

Summary: In the Mirror Universe, the war with the Romulans nears a close and sides must be chosen...

Disclaimer: I own nada.

I'd be remiss if I failed to thank the people over at the Brunette Jolene boards for giving me astounding assistance throughout the creative process.

The revised look of the Endeavour was originally developed by Mark Ward for the NX Class Mod Pack for Bridge Commander, although it was credited as the NCC-05 Atlantis. Mr. Ward has graciously given me permission to use this “skin” for the look of Endeavour – if I had discovered this thing before writing Vigrid, the -06 would have looked like this all along.

This is a Mirror Universe fic that begins at around the same point as Endeavour: Medea. It'll be a little difficult to follow without reading that first. Like my previous fics, I'm writing this as prose and using the basic screenplay format (Teaser + 5 acts)


He was watching her again.

For the longest time, even before Enterprise’s destruction, the feel of Tucker’s eyes on her had been a surprisingly pleasurable sensation. In recent month, though, it was particularly agreeable, especially when they were alone in their cabin and she could sense the heat behind his gaze, the lust and desire he kept hidden behind the mask he presented to everyone else on a daily basis, or even the muted rage at his disfiguration that he struggled against every day. In the early weeks, during her recovery when the need for trellium sang through her body, there were days that T’Pol could barely function, so intense, so overwhelming were Tucker’s intoxicating emotions, yet even then, she’d clung to the alien sensations because they seemed to be the only constant in her life. As she regained her strength, both of mind and body, she had been surprised to discover that her awareness of Tucker had actually intensified rather than eased. His fear of her psionic gifts gradually began to replace his anger, and T’Pol wished that she knew how to assuage his concerns, how to ease his worries that she would once more turn him into a mindless puppet, but despite her intellect, she was utterly unable to find the words. Even the terms that she was familiar with – mate or bond – seemed inappropriate, especially when she researched their meaning according to human comprehension – barnyard animals mated, not sentient beings, and it was a simple step from bond to bondage, a word that had slavery connotations she knew Tucker would recognize at once, what with his family’s checkered history. Weeks turned into months, and their silent, undeclared détente continued.

Until now. Since their narrow escape from the alternate future, Tucker’s entire persona around her had shifted dramatically. Where before, in the weeks before they reached the subspace corridor, he had actually began to treat her as he had prior to Enterprise’s destruction, with both the leers she’d pretended to disdain but secretly basked in and the affection he’d tried to hide under a gruff exterior, he was now once more looking at her the same way he would study a feral creature he expected to attack at any moment. Gone was the easy companionship they had struggled to obtain while she recovered, and in its place was a cold wariness that reminded her far too much of the short relationship she’d been forced to endure with Koss before his … accident.

And she hated the distance that had sprung up between her and Charles. Oh, how she hated it.

Even now, as she stood before Lieutenant Commander Hess and listened to the chief engineer make excuses for why Endeavour was not fully functional, T’Pol could feel Tucker’s eyes on her and could sense his frustration over their current status. It had been his idea to accompany her during her daily rounds, and his scowling presence at her back was clearly disconcerting Hess. The human engineer’s eyes kept drifting in Charles’ direction, no matter that it was T’Pol, the first officer, whom she was ostensibly addressing, and not for the first time, T’Pol was forced to suppress what her instincts demanded regarding this woman who bore so much affection for her mate – act quickly and with considerable violence. Instead, she fractionally shifted her position so that she was once more in Hess’ direct line of sight.

“Unacceptable,” she said flatly. “You have had ninety-seven days to accomplish repairs.”

“Without a spacedock,” Hess retorted coldly. Her eyes were clear, which T’Pol took to mean she was not under the influence of any mind-altering substances for a change. Even her scent was strangely subdued, free of intoxicants and reeking of warp plasma. “You’re asking me to install alien technology,” the engineer growled, “without a clue what it will do to our systems.”

“No,” T’Pol replied in an even frostier tone, “I am not asking that you do this, Lieutenant Commander. I am ordering it.” They were of the same height and Hess glowered but offered no reply. “If you are unable to accomplish your duties,” T’Pol continued darkly, “then perhaps we should look at finding a replacement.”

For a heartbeat, she was certain that Hess was about to attack. The engineer’s eyes narrowed to slits and her jaw clenched so tightly that it looked painful. Around them, the crewmen supposedly hard at work on the warp reactor abandoned their attempts to conceal the fact that they were eavesdropping. Half of them appeared aghast at the confrontation, while the other half looked to be on the verge of revolt themselves. The four MACOs arrayed around T’Pol and the captain – Cole, Gray, Mitchell and Reynolds – shifted their own postures slightly, tightening their holds on their weapons and making it perfectly clear that any assault upon the first officer would be met with lethal force. Instead of reacting, T’Pol met the chief engineer’s glare with an expression as cold as possible.

And waited.

“That won’t be necessary,” Charles declared sharply a long minute later. He took a step closer to them, pinning Hess with a fierce glare that actually caused the engineer to look down. “We’ve been here too damned long,” he growled, the fury behind his words actually causing T’Pol to flinch though she doubted anyone noticed. “I want those nacelles functional by tomorrow.”

“Sir,” Hess began, but to T’Pol’s silent pleasure, Tucker loomed closer to the engineer.

“Tomorrow,” he repeated darkly, “or there’s gonna be hell to pay and you’re first in line.”

Without waiting for Hess to respond, Charles spun around and stormed toward the exit hatch, his two MACO guards falling into step behind him. T’Pol waited several long seconds, allowing the captain to get far enough away that he could not overhear them, before clearing her throat. Hess, who had been glaring at Tucker’s retreating back, shifted her eyes to T’Pol but did not bother to conceal the anger stamped on her face.

“My calculations indicate that your team will require three days to finish installation,” T’Pol said without preamble. The surprise that flickered in Hess’ eyes was gratifying.

“That tracks with my estimates,” the engineer said warily, and T’Pol nodded.

“I will attempt to convince the captain to extend your deadline until that time,” she declared before turning away. Surprised whispers pursued her as Hess’ engineers reacted to her action – these humans always underestimated how sensitive Vulcan hearing was – and she firmly suppressed the urge to smirk at how easily it was to manipulate Hess’ team.

To her well-hidden surprise, Tucker was waiting outside the main engineering hatch, his scowl once more turned inward as he brooded over something that he had, thus far, refused to share with her. T’Pol strongly suspected she knew what troubled her human – during the final Xindi engagement, she had unconsciously used the mating bond to tap his knowledge and that had clearly shaken him – but as ever, she refused to engage first. If … when he desired her to know his fears, he would tell her, but until then, she needed to concentrate instead on the issues of survival that were more important at the moment.

And there were so many that on most days, she barely knew where to start.

Today had been especially difficult, even though it ostensibly marked the beginning of the end of their necessary exile here in this Delphic Expanse. Without access to a spacedock, Lieutenant Commander Hess’ engineering team had been forced to virtually construct replacement warp coils for the nacelles from scratch, relying only on what was available at hand or what they could scavenge from the destroyed Xindi ships. Four times in the ninety-seven days since the subspace corridor, they had been set upon by local forces – twice it was pirates, once by Illyrians, and once by a small Xindi task group – but in each case, they had repelled the attacks with little additional damage. Hess had been unenthusiastic regarding the necessity of using such alien technology for repairs, and had fervently argued that they could make due with what was on hand. Today, however, the turbulence from the unstable warp field had so thoroughly infuriated Tucker that he had grimly informed T’Pol they were done ‘playing around.’

Fortunately, supplies were not an issue. In addition to the protein resequencer and matter replicator they had aboard Endeavour, they had managed to reach a Minshara-class planet populated by nothing more advanced than primitive bipeds still in the Stone Age. The supplies obtained by landing parties more than augmented their foodstuffs, and had actually improved morale more significantly than T’Pol would have anticipated.

But then, humans had ever been driven by their appetites, so she should not have been surprised.

“You promised her three days?” Tucker asked once the main hatch sealed behind her. T’Pol nodded, unsurprised that he had already guessed her intent. Despite her best efforts, her eyes were as ever drawn to the scars that marred his face. She had long since determined the subconscious reason for her fascination with them – though it was uncivilized and barbaric, she felt that true warriors should bear signs of their victories – but her interest in them thoroughly unnerved Charles. “I’ll pay her a visit the day after tomorrow,” the captain murmured as he began striding down the corridor, his long legs covering in one step what took T’Pol two. “Maybe threaten to throw a couple of her people into the agony booth.”

“That is ill-advised,” T’Pol interjected. At his sidelong look, she continued. “Lieutenant Commander Hess is loyal to you,” she said simply. “It is illogical to act in a way that might threaten that loyalty.”

“What the hell do you know about loyalty?” Charles snapped. His rage seemed almost a physical thing, smashing into her and scalding her thoughts with its heat. T’Pol stumbled, barely noticing how Reynolds and Cole automatically shifted their own paces to stay in step with her. “Finish your rounds,” Tucker said darkly, ignorant of – or perhaps simply ignoring – her uncharacteristic loss of balance, “and report to the bridge. I’m going to see Soong for a status report.” He stalked away, never once glancing back, Mitchell and Gray at his back. Silently, T’Pol watched him vanish around a bend in the corridor.

And then, very discreetly, she allowed herself to sigh.

“Ma’am?” Sergeant Cole stepped closer than was entirely appropriate, but T’Pol did not reprimand her for the momentary loss of protocol. Instead, she forced herself to continue walking, her head held high and her face a mask of icy control. Charles’ anger – and his overwhelming psionophobia – was something she would simply have to learn how to handle.

Her bridge rotation passed without event and she silently observed the byplay between Master Chief Petty Officer Mackenzie and the now Junior Lieutenant Hsiao thanks to his recent demotion with feigned disinterest. Major Eisler had already reported a likely cooperation between the senior helmsman and the COB, but Tucker had irrationally vetoed her suggestion to act preemptively. Neither Hsiao nor Mackenzie would be a threat if they were simply vented into vacuum, and T’Pol could not comprehend why Charles continued to act so irresponsibly in the face of a unified threat. Her thoughts turned to Enterprise and the late Commander Archer then, and she grudgingly admitted to herself that Tucker’s unstated but obvious desire to avoid turning into an officer like Archer explained perfectly why he continued to reign in Eisler. It was dangerous and illogical, but altogether human.

Still, as she observed the subtle activity between Hsiao and Mackenzie, she decided that a visit to the major was perhaps in order. If her mate would not act to protect himself, then she would be forced to do so in his stead. There were numerous ways to neutralize a human and make it appear to be an accident, and T’Pol was quite familiar with many of them. Until then, however, she would bide her time. Patience was something she excelled at.

By the time her rotation ended, though, that patience was completely gone and she blamed her loss of composure entirely upon her absent mate. The captain did not make a single appearance on the bridge, which for him was quite unusual, and had T’Pol not been discreetly monitoring his activities, she knew his absence would have troubled her … well, it would have troubled her more than it already did. Instead of attending to his duties, Charles prowled the ship like a caged animal, his wild emotions leaking through their bond and hammering at her psychic defenses until it required every gram of her willpower to keep from reacting. After his visit to Soong in the medical bay, Tucker spent several hours in the armoury with Major Eisler, doing what T’Pol did not know although she hoped it was planning for the eventual demise of Hsiao and Mackenzie. He then stopped by the dining facility, the scanning deck, and then the sickbay again before finally returning to their cabin.

He was still there when she went off-shift and he deactivated the viewer he was studying the instant she entered, prompting T’Pol to suspect he was once again reading the personal logs of his alternate. She said nothing, however, and instead proceeded to strip off her uniform in preparation for a much-needed shower. Any amount of time spent near human males other than her mate always left her feeling unclean and the pleasurable sensation of Charles’ eyes on her tickled her brain.

“Why do you do that?” Tucker demanded suddenly, his voice tense. T’Pol half-turned, her bra in hand, and gave him a questioning look.

“Do what?” she asked. His scowl deepened.

“Strip in front of me,” he snapped. His emotions boiled and T’Pol took another instinctive step back from him. He stalked forward, sudden anger contorting his face even more than normal, and T’Pol automatically retreated from him. She knew it was illogical – out of everyone aboard Endeavour, he was the least likely to hurt her – but the urge to flee before a human male’s wrath had been beaten into her by Sato’s guards. “Do you think I’m stupid?” her mate growled, his good eye narrowed.

“I do not,” T’Pol replied without hesitation. It was no lie – in the months since she’d awoken in Sickbay, Tucker had demonstrated a canny intelligence she’d underestimated when they served aboard Enterprise together so long ago – but her honesty only seemed to inflame him further. He took another step toward her … and she retreated yet again. Her bare feet touched the cool surface of the bathroom.

“You’re in my head,” Tucker hissed angrily, “even though I told you what would happen if you went there.” He pursued her into the small bathroom and T’Pol jerked in surprise when she felt her back hit the wall.

“It was inadvertent,” she said as calmly as she could manage. “When Vulcans marry,” she began but recoiled at the flash of emotion that coursed off Tucker.

“Marry?” he repeated, visibly torn between being furious and incredulous.

“According to Vulcan law,” T’Pol recited, “a mating bond indicates marriage.” She looked down, suddenly unable to meet his eyes. What if he rejected her? Humans were fickle and she had no guarantees that he would not simply set her aside when he tired of her. Were he Vulcan, he would find it difficult to do so, but Humans? She had no idea what effect such a connection would have on him. “I do not know if this bond can be severed for you,” she said softly. For a heartbeat, she considered pointing out how dangerous it would be to even advertise that such a connection between them – if the rebels who now thought her a traitor did not kill them, then Sato would find some way to use their psychic connection to her benefit. T’Pol shivered at that thought: she would die before she was the Empress’ slave again.

“Dammit,” Tucker muttered, though it was without heat. He slumped back against the other wall so they were facing one another and tilted his head up to stare at the ceiling. His fury drained away and he suddenly looked more tired than T’Pol had ever seen him. “I was was hopin’ that I was imaginin’ it,” he said under his breath. “This complicates things.”

“It does,” T’Pol agreed. She inhaled slowly. “It also simplifies other matters.” When he glanced at her, she forced herself to meet his gaze. “My life is tied to yours now,” she explained calmly. “I can never return to Vulcan. You are my home … Charles.” He frowned.

“I can’t trust you,” he said flatly and T’Pol nodded.

“And I shall do whatever I must to earn that trust,” she replied. A sudden flash of dark humor crossed his face.

“Then maybe I should call Cole in here to test how far you’ll go,” he said with a smirk. T’Pol flinched – so, he had noticed the MACO’s subtle overtures toward her – and she felt another frisson of humor skate across her perception.

“Only if you feel you are not up to the task yourself,” T’Pol retorted sharply. Charles’ eye darkened in arousal and she felt her body instinctively respond to his.

“If you screw me over again,” he growled as he advanced toward her, “I’ll throw your ass out an airlock.” T’Pol reached out with her left hand and stroked the ruin of his face with two fingers. Tucker tensed, and she could feel his desire warring against his fear.

“You are my mate,” she whispered. “I will kill or die for you.” Her breath came rapidly as she inhaled the pheromones he was producing and her heart pounded a primal rhythm: mine, mine, mine. “I am yours,” T’Pol murmured as she continued to caress his face, “and no other man shall touch me save you.” Her mate’s arousal flared even brighter, an invisible flame that enveloped them both and burned away all hesitation.

With an inarticulate snarl, Tucker stepped forward to claim her.

And T’Pol willingly, eagerly gave herself to him.

=/\= =/\= =/\= =/\=


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