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Unexpected Redux-Chapters 22 & 23
By Hoshi’s Sis
Chapter Twenty Two
T’Pol stood off a bit to one side in the Guardian’s Medical Bay, watching them remove the baby from Trip. Malandria had given the Commander several injections before the procedure, which were supposed to help with the pain afterwards and prevent any infection. T’Pol would have been more comfortable if Phlox had assisted in the operation, but the aliens hadn’t allowed anyone else to accompany her. She had no choice but to trust in their sincerity about not harming Trip. Nonetheless, she kept a close eye on what they were doing, ready to jump in at any time if it became necessary to come to his defense.
Trip was lying on a bio bed stripped down to the waist and surrounded by assistants who were in the process of removing the infant. He was still unconscious from before, and according to Malandria it would be a while before he would have recovered enough to wake up. T’Pol had to remind herself that Vulcans were a very patient species, because the procedure seemed to take forever! After a while she heard the shrill cries of a newly born, and saw Malandria wrapping a small child into a blanket, before taking her away to be cleaned up and given a full medical check over. The little girl had been carried by an alien species, after all, and she had been delivered earlier than expected to.
Meanwhile the assistants sewed Trip back up, cleansed him, and at last gave him some more medication. When they were done T’Pol went up to the bio bed and sat down by Trip’s side, taking his hand in hers. She remembered Phlox saying that even if patients were unconscious, they still were aware of sounds, smells, and touch. T’Pol hoped that her gesture would comfort Trip, even if it was only on a subconscious level. She hoped he would know somehow that she was there for him. The thought that Malandria might keep her threat to leave straight after the birth worried her. The situation was bound to be difficult for him, Trip would definitely going to need her help to get through this.
For an hour she sat by his side before Malandria returned, carrying a small bundle in her arms. She walked up to T’Pol and asked her: “Would you like to hold her?”
“Yes, I would like that,” T’Pol replied softly. She took the child into her arms carefully, and was momentarily mesmerized by the little girl’s beauty. She had shimmering golden hair, sparkling green eyes, and a silky, pale complexion that reminded her of a delicate porcelain doll she had once seen in Ensign Sato’s quarters. Then T’Pol glanced at Trip. She wished he would be awake so that he could share her pleasure. Instinctively, she drew the child even closer to her chest, and then she gasped with surprise from the iridescent aura that seemed to surround the child. A strange sensation pervaded all her senses with feelings and emotions when she came into contact with the little girl.
Gazing tenderly into her serene face, T’Pol suddenly felt overwhelmed with sadness because of the memories of the last moments with her own child. Her lack of control embarrassed her but she couldn’t stop her eyes from misting over. A single tear leaked out of the corner of her eye and T’Pol bent down to place the child gently in the cot the Guardians had set up next to the bio bed. Just as she was about to let go, the little girl reached up with a tiny delicate hand, and placed it tenderly on the side of T’Pol’s face. A strange energy seemed to jump over to T’Pol, and she jerked in surprise. Her mind was suddenly filled with the sound of a voice. “Why are you sad?”
“I had to live through a time of great sorrow. I lost a child, and I almost couldn’t deal with the pain her loss brought forth. So I withdrew, and nearly lost another one I love because of it.”
“You still harbor fears concerning her.”
“I do not understand.”
“You are afraid of bringing another child into this world.”
“Yes,” T’Pol answered in her thoughts, feeling like her very soul was bare. “I cannot bury another child,” she thought, and involuntarily shivered with fear. “I can not.”
Suddenly an image appeared in her mind. At first it was blurred, as if she would see it through a fog, but after a moment, the fog dissolved, and she saw herself holding delicate, new-born baby. Trip kneeled beside her, wearing a big, goofy smile all the while tears were streaming down his face. Then she saw herself walking through her mother’s courtyard on Vulcan. She was headed towards the willow tree where Trip sat cross-legged alongside a young blond haired Vulcan boy. A book entitled ‘The Teachings of Surek’ lay in the grass unheeded, while they played with something that looked like a toy starship. Again the image faded and was replaced by one of Trip, herself, and a young male adult. Trip had pulled them in for a huge family hug, and was patting the young man’s back happily as if to congratulate him. She herself, T’Pol noticed, was trying to hide her emotions but failed miserably to suppress the urge to burst with pride for her son. The young man held a padd in his right hand that displayed the insignia of the Vulcan Diplomacy Corps’.
T’Pol was in part shocked and in part confused by what she saw. The images touched her deep inside and stirred something in her that she couldn’t name or comprehend. Then she heard the tiny voice in her mind again: “Cast out fear and go forward. There is no room for anything else until you cast out fear.”
Everything seemed to fog over again, and then the whole room began to spin. T’Pol closed her eyes, took some deep breaths, and focused on regaining her composure. When she opened her eyes a few minutes later, she found herself standing over the child who was fast asleep in the cot. The moment was surreal. T’Pol wasn’t certain whether anything had really happened or whether she had heard hallucinated, but deep down she knew that something had happened. She had been given a vision of clarity, and for the first time since Elizabeth’s death, T’Pol was truly at peace with herself. She turned her head and looked at Trip, drifted in thought for a long time over a future she could hold with him.
Chapter Twenty Three
3 days later
Enterprise was back on their original mission of exploration after the Guardian’s ship had dropped them off light years away from the previous anomaly field. As promised, Trip and T’Pol had been dropped off unharmed; Trip back in Sickbay still unconscious after his operation and T’Pol, who for some unknown reason to Captain Archer seemed very preoccupied and lost in thought, returned back to her quarters for meditation. She didn’t let on to Phlox, Archer and Reed what had happened to put her like this, only that Trip had been unconscious the whole time and he hadn’t seen or held the little girl.
Captain Archer was initially furious, but he calmed down a little when T’Pol later informed him that Malandria had, in a way, kept her word. She had given T’Pol an orb, which she asked her to pass on to Trip when he’d recovered enough. The orb, encoded with his DNA, contained a personal message that would activate only for him. Malandria was sorry that they couldn’t hang around to wait for his recovery but she wanted to get Selandria away from any possible danger where she could grow up learning about her heritage and her destiny. She would make sure that Selandria never forgot the kindness shown to her by Trip (who would be known to her as her father) and the other humans on Enterprise. Malandria hoped they would be able to meet again some time in the foreseeable future when Selandria had fulfilled her destiny and resolved the conflict on Daled V, bringing peace to the two societies. She hoped that Trip wouldn’t suffer any distress caused from her actions, but if the unfortunate did happen, T’Pol would be in a position to rectify the situation.
Archer wanted to know what she meant by this, but T’Pol was unwilling to elaborate further, saying it was personal and between her and Trip only. At first he left it at that, although he wasn’t happy with the situation, and Enterprise continued on with her journey, but Trip’s condition soon warranted that he act further.
“Captain, you wanted to see me?” asked T’Pol, walking into the ready room.
“Yes,” replied a rather dejected Archer. “It’s about Trip, I’m worried about him. He seems to be getting more and more depressed since he came around and found out the child has been taken. I’ve tried talking to him to explain what happened but he just lies there, not talking or doing anything – just staring off into the distance. Phlox has even said that he’s refusing food.”
“I have noticed,” answered T’Pol, “his behavior is … troubling. Considering how he managed to deal with Elizabeth’s death, I’m surprised this time how much his behavior has declined.”
“It’s not quite the same, T’Pol,” explained Archer. “Last time he had his friends to help him through it. This time I get the impression that he blames us, and I’m sorry to say, but I think he’s right. We are to blame … we should have done more to stop them from just taking her away like that,” he said, turning round to stare out of the window at the passing stars. “Some friends we turned out to be.”
“Captain, it was unfortunate, but you had no choice,” said T’Pol.
“I keep telling myself that, T’Pol, but how can I convince Trip when I can’t even convince myself. In a way, I think we’re just as bad as Paxton.”
“You are not a murderer, Captain. Trip may have lost Selandria but at least she’s alive … at least she has a future. That is more than Elizabeth was able to have,” she said sadly, dealing with the rush of emotions that those memories brought forth.
“I’m sorry, T’Pol,” said Archer, “this is probably just as hard for you as well.
“It is, but I was shown something that has made me see things a lot clearer and able to cope with all those negative emotions that memories of her bring forth. That’s why I think now is a good time to show him the message that Malandria left.”
“That’s right… an orb … wasn’t it? It contained a personal message encoded for Trip only?”
“Yes, I was going to wait a bit longer until he was fully recovered, but I think his current behavior warrants him viewing this now.”
“Did Malandria give you a clue as to what the message was?” asked Captain Archer, worried that it might make the situation worse.
“No,” replied T’Pol, clued on to what Archer was thinking, “but if it’s anything like the message I saw, it will help ease the pain he’s feeling at the moment and show him that there is hope for a future.”
“I hope you’re right, T’Pol. For Trip’s sake, I hope you’re right.”
After a quick diversion to her room to retrieve the orb, T’Pol then walked into sickbay where Trip was still recuperating. Phlox looked up from the side workbench where he was working when she entered.
“T’Pol, what can I do for you?”
“I have come to see Trip,” she answered, walking to the far corner bio bed that was surrounded by curtains.
“He doesn’t want to see any visitors at the moment,” said Phlox, walking in front of him. “Even though I don’t agree with this, as his doctor, I have to obey his wishes.”
“That doesn’t apply to me due to the nature of our relationship,” replied T’Pol with a determined look in her face, as she tried to walk past. “Or are you preventing a spouse from seeing her mate also?”
“As far as I’m aware, you and Commander Tucker are not married,” said Phlox, blocking her path again.
“Maybe not in the official sense, Doctor, but in my culture, the same thing applies with a shared bond. If you would excuse me …” answered T’Pol, as they both stared each other down with a battle of wills. After a few minutes, Phlox nodded his head and walked away. “Shared bond or not, if my patient becomes upset, I will not hesitate to order you out of my sickbay …
With a nod of her head, she pulled the curtains aside and sat down beside his bed. Trip had his back towards her and he made no indication of turning around, even though she was certain he was aware of her presence.
“Trip,” she said softly, placing her hand on his shoulder. “Trip, please. I want to help. I know what you’re going through right now”
“With all due respect, T’Pol, how--”
“Alone … lost … adrift in a sea of negative emotions, where you feel you are going to be swallowed up at any moment,” answered T’Pol, as watched Trip slowly turned round to face her, surprised that she was willing to lay bare her soul to him. “That’s how I felt after Elizabeth’s and my mother’s death. I didn’t realize it at the time, maybe I didn’t want to, but right there beside me was a rock, reaching out for me to hold on to it.”
“A rock?” queried Trip.
“Yes, a very stubborn rock who refused to keep quiet and go away. Even when I explained that it’s presence at the time was too painful for me to handle, it still refused to leave my side.”
“Is it still there?”
“Yes, I find its company comforting to the point that I now don’t ever want it to leave or go away.”
“That’s good ta hear.”
“I’m afraid though,” continued T’Pol. “I fear it’s losing its solidity and starting to crumble away. So even though reaching out for the rock might cause it to lose more of its mass, I have decided to take a chance and grab hold of this object.”
“You … a Vulcan … taking a chance?” questioned Trip.
“Yes, I’m going to take a firm grasp and pull it towards the safety of my bosom where it can feel safe again and needed. Where it won’t feel so alone and where it will see and feel that we are one entity together.”
“What if it doesn’t want to be … enclosed within the safety of your … bosom?” asked Trip.
“It has never objected before,” replied T’Pol with a twinkle in her eyes that finally brought a much needed smile to Trip’s face.
“Thanks, T’Pol,” smiled Trip clasping hold of her hand, “I needed that.”
“I have something else that may put a smile on your face as well,” said T’Pol, turning round to pick up the orb from where she had placed it. “This is a message given to me by Malandria.”
“Yes, when she informed us that she intended to leave straight away after they had returned you to Enterprise to recover from your operation, the captain objected and threatened to preventing her ship from departing, despite the fact that she had threatened to destroy the ship if we tried to stop her. We convinced her to give you ‘closure’, so you could be spared the grief that losing Salandria would bring.”
“I didn’t realize that!” answered Trip, appearing to be touched at the lengths his friends had gone to for him.
“I wanted you to be fully recovered before I gave it to you.”
“Do ya know what it says?” asked Trip, his curiosity coming to the forefront.
“No, it’s encoded to activate to your DNA only,” replied T’Pol as she handed the orb over.
Carefully, Trip picked up the orb and placed it into the palms of his hands. Peering into the object, he closed his eyes and concentrated. Mesmerized, T’Pol watched as his face mirrored different emotions as time passed. After a few minutes, he opened his very blurry and moist eyes, as he tried to gather in his emotions again.
“I apologise if I have added to your sorrow,” said T’Pol, saddened by the fact that the message looked like it had made him worse.
“Ya didn’t,” replied Trip, putting up on a brave smile, “it was just a little overwhelming, seeing all of that.” She didn’t say it, but she knew that Trip could tell that she was curious about what he’d seen. “It wasn’t like any message that I’ve seen before,” he explained. “It was like page--”
“Pages turning in a book?”
“How’d ya know?”
“I have had a similar vision,” answered T’Pol, as she silently encouraged him to go on.
“I saw myself holding her,” explained Trip, “she was so beautiful … an then I sort of heard a voice in ma head and I don’t know how, but it was her. She said she was sorry that she had to go away, that she really wanted to see and get to know me as she thought I would be a great daddy,” he said, as tears started rolling down his face. “Someday she hoped that we could meet and be a real family and that she would always think of me as her daddy.”
T’Pol reached out and grabbed his hand as he wiped the tears away with the other. “You know, there’s a small part of me that’s glad that she’s gonna be all right, but there’s also a huge part of me that feels angry that she’s wrenched away. First Lorian, then Elizabeth and now Salandria; It feels like I’m destined to grow old by myself, and die alone a wrinkled and cranky ole man. I think that’s what is making me feel so bad at the moment, that and feeling so selfish for feeling that way …”
“That isn’t possible and will not happen, Trip.”
“What makes you so sure?” asked Trip.
“Because a little girl told me so,” answered T’Pol, with a hint of a smile. “Let me share something with you. My logical Vulcan mind informs me that nothing is certain or fact, but living with humans has taught me to ‘follow my heart’.”
Tenderly she placed her left hand on his face to initiate a mind meld, all the while focusing on her vision …
Suddenly an image appeared in her mind. At first it was blurred, as if she would see it through a fog, but after a moment, the fog dissolved, and she saw herself holding delicate, new-born baby. Trip kneeled beside her, wearing a big, goofy smile all the while tears were streaming down his face. Then she saw herself walking through her mother’s courtyard on Vulcan. She was headed towards the willow tree where Trip sat cross-legged alongside a young blond haired Vulcan boy--
They sat together holding each others hand as the image and the meld faded, “let us guide each other as we try and put together our own book.”
“I’d like that, T’Pol,” smiled Trip as he pulled her in for a hug, “now git that bosom of your down here so I can feel warm, safe, loved and whole.”
“Vulcans don’t normally like physical contact,” said T’Pol, as she enclosed him within her arms, “but in your case and your company, I am willing to forgo that rule. It is only logical, I am your rock after all.”
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Nine of you have made comments
Beautiful conclusion to your wonderful story, Hoshi's Sis. Love the 'Rock and The Bosom' analogy - ...now, git that bosom of yours down here... - ha! And you left T'Pol and Trip with such a lovely vision for their future (together!!)
Thanks for the Happy!
Very nice! I too loved the Bosom analogy. Excellent job!
Wonderful !!! T'pol and Trip Deserve a future !!!
Wonderful !!! T'pol and Trip Deserve a future !!!
Awwwwwwwww! That was sweet, thank you! :)
Isn't it wonderful what one can do with scripture? The "Rock" and the "Bosom"... right out of the new and old Testaments respectively, but I've never seen the images used in quite this way before, LOL! Very clever.
Poor Trip, not even getting to hold the kid once before the Guardians left. At least he got to see and hold her in the message, and knows that the little one wants to maybe someday be a family when her work is done. And it was nice that Selandria wanted to help T'Pol too get over her fear of losing another child and be with Trip.
I enjoyed this story from start to finish...thanks for sharing!
Wonderful job. I started this on fanfiction.net and got frustrated because the entire story wasn't up. What a lovely thing it was to find the entire, complete story posted here.
I liked the twist this time- that Trip just accepted the pregnancy and proceeded to be protective. We got a different set of emotions, which was a nice change. Thanks for sharing!