Paul Gadzikowski


Early in the mission Archer had gotten into the habit of having dinner with Tucker and one other of his officers on a rotating basis. He included T'Pol in the rotation, trying to work against what he'd realized was his genuine prejudice against Vulcans.

T'Pol's second dinner with them, over dessert (not that Vulcans eat dessert) (stop that, Jon), was the first time she initiated a conversation topic. "Captain, Commander," she said, "I'm not entirely conversant with human slang and I wish you would define a word for me."

"Sure," said Archer. "What word?"

"'Bitch'," said T'Pol. "I hear it quite often on the Enterprise."

It's difficult to choke on creme pie, which is all that saved Archer. He looked over at Tucker, who had on his only under direct orders, pal look. No help there. "A bitch," Archer explained, "is a female canine."

"A dog." T'Pol considered. "Dogs are stereotypically considered by humans to be faithful, loyal, lovable and loving." She looked Archer in the eye. "I don't believe this is the meaning intended in the expressions I've heard."

Now Archer did cough. "In figurative speech, 'bitch' refers to a female person who is personally unpleasant."

"Unpleasant in what way?"

"Assertive, aggressive. Inconsiderate of others' ..." Archer would have said 'feelings' but that might be a red flag he didn't intend. "... uh, opinions."

"Pushy," Tucker expanded.

"Those qualities constitute ... 'pushy'?" T'pol asked him.

"Yah." Tucker instantly regretted drawing her attention.

"Interesting. Aren't the qualities listed by the captain, when embodied in an Earth male, considered appropriate and admirable? Even heroic?"

"Well ... uh ..." Tucker swallowed. "I guess so, yeah."

"Thank you. And thank you for dinner. If I may be excused?"

"Dismissed," Archer nodded. But just before she reached the door, he called, "You know, I'm pretty sure you know Earth culture better than this. At least well enough to use the dictionary."

Tucker looked at him, then at her. "You already knew everything we just told you, didn't you?"

"To ask questions when one already knows the answers is illogical," T'Pol said, and left.

"Avoiding a direct question is illogical too," Tucker muttered.


Email Paul

Back to fanfiction index.

Back to main index.