Name: D.S.
Email: (none)
Title: QUICK CHANGE
Disclaimer: An implied F/F relationship, nothing explicit
Fandom: Star Trek: Enterprise
Pairing: Hoshi/TíPol
Rating: G
Summary: Hoshi makes a decision
Spoilers: None

QUICK CHANGE

Enterprise, Year Five

"Well." Archer slapped both hands down on the table. "I wonít hold you in suspense." He smiled, but it wasnít as enthusiastic as usual. "We are here for an announcement involving our own Subcommander TíPol."

The rest of the crew turned their attention to the Vulcan Ė except Hoshi, Archer noticed. He wondered if he should stand up for an announcement like this; nah, TíPol wasnít big on formalities. "The subcommander has been named captain of the Vulcan explorer Tkzeta."

Trip Tucker whistled. "The Tkzeta? Damn, TíPol, thatís a whole lotta ship."

"Indeed," Malcolm Reed chimed in. "Quite an ambitious vessel, from what Iíve heard."

"Congratulations, Subcommander," added Travis Mayweather. "Or is that ĎCaptainí?"

A dark eyebrow went up. "I believe that Captain Archer would prefer only one captain on board Enterprise at a time."

"Well, that never stopped you before," Archer joked, smiling broadly at his joke.

TíPol nodded to acknowledge the humor. Through the banter, Hoshiís silence had not escaped her attention. On impulse (although TíPol would have disputed that characterization), she had broken with protocol and shared the news with the young ensign before the formal announcement. Their discussion had not gone entirely as expected, and now she wondered what Hoshi was thinking.

"Nothing to say, Ensign?"

With typical human bluster, Archer had drawn attention to Hoshiís silence, seemingly oblivious to the ensignís consternation. There was no need to cause her more discomfort, TíPol decided. Time to employ another reliable human methodology: changing the subject. She spoke up. "Prior to its commission, the Tkzeta was--"

"Captain," Hoshi interrupted. "I will also be leaving in three weeks."

"What?" Archer smiled uncertainly.

"Iíll be leaving in three weeks to begin a new assignment," Hoshi said. She met TíPolís gaze. "I will be the new communications officer on the Tkzeta."

"The Tkzeta?" Tucker erupted. "The Vulcan ship?"

Hoshi nodded.

"Youíre leaving us to go with TíPol?" he asked, not realizing or caring how rude it sounded.

"Yes," she replied firmly. He didnít need to make it sound like she was leaving to go with the Klingons or something.

"A ship full of Vulcans?"

That was enough crap from Trip Tucker, Hoshi decided. "And whatís wrong with that?" she demanded.

"Theyíre Vulcans!" he repeated, as if that answered the question. "You gotta be nuts. Theyíre . . . ." He glanced over at TíPol, and realized that he was about to insult someone who had just become one of the more powerful members of that particular species, someone he considered an exception to the rule. "Well, come on, TíPol," he said. "You know how you felt beiní surrounded by humans."

"That is true," she admitted. "But it should be easier for Terrans to adjust to Vulcan culture than for Vulcans to adjust to Terrans."

"Yeah, right," Tucker said, correctly perceiving the remark as an insult. "No sense of humor. No emotion. No fun." He redirected his tirade to the person he thought needed it. "You think youíre going to like that, Hoshi? You can kiss birthday parties goodbye, and dancing, and games--"

"Maybe." Hoshi cut him off; she knew all that. "But the Tkzeta is setting out for the Zeta quadrant. Just think of all the different cultures weíll run across." There were other reasons far more compelling for her decision, but she wouldnít embarrass TíPol by disclosing them.

Mayweather shook his head. "I can remember when you didnít like exploring," he said.

She smiled. "Things change."

"Are you giving up your commission?"

"I hope not," Hoshi replied. "But if Starfleet wonít reassign me, then I will." She chanced another peek at TíPol.

Suddenly a thought occurred to Archer. "Does Ambassador Soval know about this?" he asked. He couldnít imagine that Vulcan snob agreeing to a human serving on one of his ships, let alone his flagship.

"I was informed that I could select my own crew," TíPol said quietly.

That didnít answer the question, and they both knew it. "Ahh," the captain replied knowingly.

A few minutes later, the meeting broke up, and as Hoshi trailed out, Archer gently grasped her arm. "Hoshi, do you really want to spend the next five years with a bunch of Vulcans?"

"No," she replied honestly. "I want to spend the next five years with TíPol." She went on through the doorway, while Archer digested what she had said.

A moment later, he walked slowly onto the bridge, and looked over at the science station. There, his subcommander and his communications officer stood close together, deep in conversation. Hoshiís hand rested lightly on TíPolís forearm, and she was smiling warmly at the other woman.

Wow, he mused. Where no man has gone before . . .

###

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