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Author - Hopeful Romantic | Genre - Angst | Genre - Romance | Main Story | R | Rating - PG-13
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By HopefulRomantic

Rating: PG-13, for a bit oí language
Disclaimer: Paramount owns every hair on Tripís sweet Southern head. Iím just admiriní the view.
Genre: T/T romance, angst, episode addition
Archive: Trip/TíPolers is fine.
Website: http://www.geocities.com/hopeful_romantic@prodigy.net/
E-mail: Hopeful_Romantic@prodigy.net
Spoilers: Thru Season 3, and whoppers for ďHome.Ē Warning! This story was born from the spoilers that have been flying to and fro about the upcoming Season 4 episode ďHome.Ē If you donít want to be spoiled, back away from the computer slowly, call for assistance, and don appropriate blinders until somebody hits the ďBackĒ button.
Summary: Tripís thoughts as he watches TíPolís wedding ceremony.

A/N: My first fic. Hopefully, with the dearth of new stories, youíll be so desperate that you wonít notice. Thanks (or blame) go to pookha, whose musings got me thinking; DAK, who asked me to write something anyway; and agentj for the beta.

Note: some details in this story were based on an early script for ďHome,Ē which contained elements ultimately dropped from the final shooting draft, such as the presence of a Vulcan warrior/executioner (ŗ la ďAmok TimeĒ) at the wedding, and Trip watching the ceremony from inside the house.

First in a series.

Date: 9-10-04


It was every bit as beautiful as the picture Lorian had painted for Trip.

The sight of TíPol in her wedding robes took Tripís breath away; she looked more lovely than he had ever seen her. He was decked out in ceremonial robes that originally belonged to her father.

A breath of arid Vulcan breeze caught the rack of bells in the acolyteís hands, and the soft tinkling of the chimes wafted across the sand garden. The priest began reciting the vows of the traditional Vulcan wedding ceremony, his rich voice caressing the alien words like music.

Only problem was, Trip was watching from back here at the house, and that joker Koss was out there in the garden getting married to TíPol.

What if Iíd told her?

Trip remembered that moment back on C-Deck...he was clinging to TíPolís hand like a lifeline, half-blinded by his tears for Lizzie, when he saw tears glistening in TíPolís eyes, too. Tears for him. He felt her shared sorrow cleansing his grieving soul...and he realized then that his heart was filled with her. Only her. God help him, he was in love with her, utterly and forever.

And he knew she felt something for him, too. She hadnít put a name to it yet, and he wasnít pushing her; he was willing to go at her speed. When she had invited him here, heíd been hard-pressed to hide how thrilled he was. The shuttle ride to Vulcan had felt so...comfortable. Like theyíd always been together, and always would be. He had hoped...

Until Koss showed up.

There was still timeóthe ceremony had just gotten underway. Trip imagined himself charging into the garden, ringing that damn gong that Koss had been banging on earlier, and declaring his undying love for TíPol in front of the whole wedding party. She would glide gratefully into his arms, while Koss and his parents sputtered helplessly and TíLes nodded her approval, knowing her daughterís happiness was more important than anyó

Yeah, right. In a pigís eye. Heíd probably have just enough time to make an utter ass of himself, and confirm every prejudice the Vulcans had about primitive human emotionalism, before that big guy with the battle-axe lopped his head off.

Trip wondered if the Vulcans had an equivalent for ďIf there is anyone here who believes these two should not be wed, speak now...Ē Not that he could tell, anyhow. They were doing the whole thing in Vulcan.

Itís gonna take me weeks to learn to pronounce the vows...

It looked as though he would never get the chance to hold a pixie-cute, pointed-eared baby Lorian after all. Trip didnít realize how much he had been hoping for that, until now.

Well, he could always charge out there, grab the axe, and cut Kossís head off. The low-down blackmailing skunk.

Trip narrowed his eyes as he continued to watch. TíPolís face was the very picture of serene Vulcan composure, but Koss wore an expression of self-satisfaction that bordered on smugness. What the hell did he get out of this shotgun wedding, anyway? As far as Trip could tell, the guy had pretty much given up everything. No wife at home for the next 150 years. No non-Starfleet wife. Not even a wife who stuck around for the traditional first yearóTíPolís immediate return to Enterprise had been the final deal-maker. All Koss had left was the right to call her his wife.

All Trip could figure was, Kossís precious Vulcan honor had been pretty trashed the last couple of years, being dumped by his betrothed for a shipload of smelly humans.

Well, just wait till olí Koss starts getting visits from the neighbors wanting to meet the shiny new Mrs. Koss. Howís he gonna tell Ďem that she left skid marks in her hurry to get outta Kossvilleóto get back to that very same human ship? Not to mention join up with a human outfit, Starfleet?

Imagine watching Koss squirm his way to the realization that heíd traded the dishonor of Jilted Ex-Fiancť for the abject humiliation of Abandoned Sap Husband. Trip allowed himself a wicked inward smile.

Amazing. A few hours ago, he was convinced heíd never have a reason to smile again about anything. When TíPol had told him she was going through with the wedding, the pain had stabbed so deeply through his heart that he couldnít breathe. Later, when heíd realized why...well, Koss didnít know crap about real honor, thatís all there was to it. TíPol was doing this for her mom. Trip could understand that.

Thatís why he didnít tell TíPol how he felt about her when heíd had the chance. Heíd be forcing her to choose between him and TíLes, and thatíd be stooping as low asówell, as low as skunky Koss. And Trip knew TíPol would have chosen her mom anyway. All he would have accomplished would be to make this damn wedding even harder to deal with...

Then it hit him like a phase-pistol blast. Son of a bitch. I already made it harder, a long time ago.

Almost three years ago, TíPol had asked Trip for his ďadviceĒ regarding her impending marriage to Koss. Naturally, heíd told her to do the ďhumanĒ thing: do what she wanted, and to hell with Vulcan custom and tradition. Sheíd shot down every argument heíd made in favor of personal choiceóand made him feel like a fool for even tryingóbut she had already put off the wedding to join Enterprise. He had even jokingly accused her of picking up bad human habits, because he had assumed she did have a choice. And then, when she had stayed...

They were both here, at this moment, suffering through this horrific sham of a marriage, because of things they said and did years ago.

What if I hadnít told her?

If Trip hadnít egged TíPol on...if she had married Koss back then, as her people expected her to...what would be different? She would have left Enterprise to remain with her new husband on Vulcan that first yearóand probably would have been reconditioned to look down her nose at humans. She likely would have stayed, a good little officer in the VHC, a proper Vulcan wife.

No TíPol on Enterprise. That would mean no visit to the sacred monastery of PíJem, and no discovery of the clandestine spying station there. No Andorians kablooeying spying station and monastery, no blame laid on TíPol for the loss of PíJem. No TíLes being forced into retirement as retaliation for TíPolís allowing humans to snoop around PíJem in the first place.

Also no first contact between humans and Andorians. No love-hate relationship between Captain Archer and Commander Shran. And no Shran helping out Enterprise in the Expanse. Degraís weapon would have destroyed Earth...

...And the Sphere-Builders would have won. Holy shit.

Okay, Trip, take your pick: TíPol exits your life before you ever get to know her, and the universe as we know it is destroyed...or she stays, and you fall hopelessly in love with her, only to watch her marry a guy she hardly even knows.

Trip felt the ache in his heart ease just the tiniest bit. It was pretty beat up, but it wasnít completely broken, he realized with some surprise. TíPol didnít reject him in favor of Koss, after all; she chose her motherís happiness over her own. She did the right thing.

And so did he, by letting her go.

It wouldnít help him get any sleep at night...but it was something.

The acolyte was shaking his bell rack with a flourish. Apparently the ceremony was over. Trip stayed where he was in the doorway, feeling a new pang in his heart as TíLes and Kossís parents approached the happy couple.

My God, sheís married. To him. Whereís the guy with the axe?...

He watched with distaste as Koss elbowed his way in between his folks and TíPol, to touch his two fingers to hers. Showing off his new prize.

TíPolís reaction was...well, to the other Vulcans, her face was classically stoic. But Trip had long ago learned to read the glimmers of emotional nuance in her expression, her body language. He could see now, from her regal posture, the set of her lovely jaw, and the flash of fire in her liquid brown eyes, that she was...royally pissed off about this whole mess sheíd been forced into.

Thatís my girl.

Trip shook his head, stopping the grin that was forming on his lips. She wasnít his girl. She was a married woman now. Things had changed, big-time. But she was also a wronged woman, blackmailed into marriage to salvage her motherís honor and career. The last thing sheíd need when she got back to Enterprise was a moony-eyed ex-lover hovering around her, giving her angsty looks of tortured longing. Sheíd need someone to blow off steam to, to confide in, to work comfortably with...even to have fun arguing with. She would need a friend.

Trip mulled that one over. Sure, he would love TíPol until his last breath, he knew that. But could he be content with being her friend?

Theyíd had a special connection building, he could feel it. All romantic fits and starts aside, they had formed a deep, trusting friendship. Trip treasured it, and he didnít want to lose it.

His gaze lingered on TíPol...achingly beautiful, surrounded by people, but looking so alone.

For the first time since she had left him at the house before the ceremony, TíPol glanced hesitantly in Tripís direction. Her expression was apologetic, even apprehensive.

Their eyes met. Without even needing to think, Trip touched his fingers to his cheek, where she had kissed him, and gave her a reassuring smile. Donít worry, darliní. Weíll get through this.

As their eyes held, he could feel the two of them reconnecting. TíPol relaxed, and he saw a little of that fire return to those sable depths. And a moment later, more than a little annoyance, as Koss drew her attention away again.

Trip resolved then and there not to lose what he had with TíPol. The dynamic would change, but theyíd be okay. They would keep moving forward together, still connected.


There is a sequel to this story, Renewing

Return to The Reconnecting Series MENU page.

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Have a comment to make about this story? Do so in the Trip Fan Fiction forum at the HoTBBS!

A whole mess of folks have made comments

Hopeful Romantic,

This is....so.....wonderful! If only TPTB would take "Home" and evolve it into your story! I love how you have Trip realize that being a friend is what T'Pol really needs at this point in her life! Forced into a marriage to help her mother, dealing with emotions triggered by the T-D. Great job. Even it TPTB F^#K it up, I will always go back to your fan fiction to cheer me up!
Please write more! I like your writing style!

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm..... now this happening in home wouldn't be too bad...

Soo... for your next fic... Koss dies right...??? :P

So, you realize, that this is *infinitely* better than anything TPTB could ever think up, right?

Cause, seriously, this kicked ass, and was really great. :)

*sniff* that was beautiful! I hope it really does work out this way! Oh and that Koss dies in a future episode! ;)

Wow!! Thanks HopefulRomantic, that was very well written. I feel better already! I hope the episode ends like this, with Trip having some understanding of her situation, and being there for her as the friend she will most definitely need. I feel optimism!!! :) :)

Let me guess... you don't really like Koss.


I can't believe this was your first fic... I doubt I'll ever believe it because you have the makings of a great writer! ;) Looking forward to reading more from you!

This was very nice, I'm still hopeful for T'Pol and Trip to get together. Thanks, I'm looking foward to more of your stories.

HopefulRomantic, this was such a lovely story -- I can deal with this kind of angst. I liked the spin you put on that awful spoiler and I love your writing style. Even your disclaimer and warning were a pleasure to read! Thanks for sharing this. - Sash

P.S. When does the skunk die??

hr i will take the blame and you can take the credit.
thanks for taking my daft musings and putting them forth in such an eloquent form.
there are some really scarey implications if things had just turned out a little differently over the last three years.

and you did so well capturing trip's thought process and mood.

Very well done! I loved your "Trip voice". :) You should write more. ;) :) One thing that I really loved was the mention of Trip never getting to hold baby Lorian in his arms. That just about broke my heart.

We probably won't get anything remotely like this in the show, but that's what fanfic is for! I think you nailed a lot of the things that I would like to see happen for T/T post "Home". Namely the friendship remaining and yet the hint that there are still strong feelings between them that have not gone away.

Again, good job! :)

wow! that was really great! you should definitely write more. i'd like to see how they "keep moving forward" and eventually, hopefully, wind up together. :-)

thanx, tren

by the way, very funny too. esp the jilted ex/abandoned sap husband line! it's just the type of thing i would imagine trip thinking in a situation like this! awesome!


Superb! I'm using my thesaurus, can ya tell?LOL. :) I really enjoyed this. Thanks.

Very nicely written but I'm still finding it difficult to get past the fact that T'pol marries someone she obviously can't stand just to save her mothers career and that her mother would allow her to make such a sacrifice. Is Trip content to sit in the background and adore T'pol from afar knowing he can only ever be her friend.
By doing this he is sacrificing his own happiness also. It will be interesting to see how T'pol reacts to Trip after she is married to Koss in Enterise. Even though Trip doesn't take the opportunity to tell T'pol he loves her I think she is aware he has strong feelings for her.

Excellent!! And very, very bittersweet for my little T/T-heart. Could you write another chapter? Please? Only a bit talking? Okay lots of talking of Trip and T`Pol? Ah, what a great fic!!

This is a wonderful view-point on what I hope doesn't turn into the angstiest storyline in the history of Trek.

Nice strong "I will survive" fics are just what we all need right now...thank you!

Very moving how both Trip and T'Pol are going through with the unthinkable in the name of honour. T'Pol to save her mother, Trip to honour and support that sacrifice. The only silver lining is that T'Pol will return to Enterprise with Trip afterwards but somehow I don't think a slimeball like Koss will leave it there. He may have agreed in order to get her to marry him but that doesn't mean he doesn't have some sneaky plan up his sleeve. Excellent story, can't wait for more! Ali D :~)

Great story, got me all depressed though.

Kos will have an accident, I'm sure of it.
The only way it can happen, he has to go!

Nicely done, nicely told.

Thanks for writing and sharing,
The Cubed One


This is your first fanfic? Wow! Good stuff HR. Looking forward to more :-)

What a wonderful story, both sweet and heartbreaking at the same time. If ONLY TPTB would do a story like this, with Trip realizing that she needs his friendship more than ever now and making up his mind that he would always be there for her, even if it isn't the way he wanted it.


Oh, my. I'm overwhelmed, y'all. And so happy that the story worked for so many of you.

Yes, I have ideas for several more chapters. And your encouragement will keep me at it! Hopefully I'll come up with a few more "moments" that'll keep 'shipper souls fed, until Our Duo does get together.

Thanks for all the kind words. They mean more than I can say.

Really? Your first fanfic? No, come on! I so loved this I read it three times yesterday! I'll have to go along with the crowd and say that TPTB will never do as fine a job with the inner turmoil of Trip, but we can always hope!

Great job of capturing Trip's thoughts/feelings. I could really see the images in my head, not an easy feat to accomplish!

Can't wait to read more of your fine work!

Excellent job. It was a nice twist to see the old Trip back, the one who I think would have taken lemons and made lemonade, not the one who gave up unless he was fueled by anger and revenge. So he didn't get the girl. Doesn't mean they can't be special to eachother. Nor does it mean they have to lose what they have.

TPTB will probably screw the episode up royally, as usual, but at least I have the happy memory of this fic to get me through when I'm screaming at the television and writing hate mail.

That was awesome! Best fic I've read in a while! You and me think alike when it comes to Koss...urgh...but yeah it was awesome! You,re a very good writer!

Here we go again. Reading the whole thing one more time. Love it.

HR you're the best! I love the way you write T\T and so happy I found these stories to read in sequence. WOW this was great character writing!

Pretty nifty first story! I saw the rec on the HoT board and wanted to give it a read. I'm so very happy I did. You have a wonderful sense of the way Trip's mind works. I love the comedic touches in the midst of what is, after all, a fairly angsty scene. It made him very real to me. Thanks so much. Can't wait to read the rest of the series.

Checked out your story. Very nice. Also liked the humor the "that's my girl" part.

I am trying to read stories now, all through their installments at one time. Yours is very moving. I like your telling Trip's thoughts in 3rd person better than your later story in the first person.

The interpretation of Koss as self satisfied, and all caught up in Vulcan honor in getting T'Pol to marry him is different than my interpretation, but it is well done. I'm gonna be burned at the stake for the self-avowed witch that I am, by T&T fans, but I LIKE Koss. (I got my running shoes on.) But I saw that the actor played him with some emotion - he did care about T'Pol.

The wedding scene was very evocative with the bells and all. And Trip's feelings - very true to character.

I really enjoyed this. TPTB often get skittish about evolving relationships, so it's nice to enjoy the characters here genuinely connecting.