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Her Mother's Home

Author - Sakkako | Genre - Angst | H | Main Story | Rating - G
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Her Mother’s Home

By Sakkako

Rating: G
Disclaimer: If I owned Star Trek: Enterprise, I would have never been inspired to write this story, because the horrible spoilers that brought this to mind would never have existed, because I would have been in charge of Enterprise’s staff, and would have surrounded myself with people like Manny Coto, and the Reeves’.

MAJOR SPOILER WARNING: *Looks at people who haven’t been spoiled about the joke of a finale ye.t* Impressive. For those of you who by virtue of amazing will power, or a comfortable amount of ignorance, have not yet read the spoilers, you might not want to read any further. Makes reference to “These Are The Voyages.” Also took some liberties with the end of "Terra Prime."

Author’s Note / Summary: Please don’t kill me! This is based off the spoilers for the finale as I read them weeks ago when they first came out. I began thinking of how the characters would react, especially T’Pol, to Trip’s death. I tried to tell myself I didn’t want to write it, but my muse has taken my common sense hostage and turned me into a bit of a masochist. So, here it is.


The house is quiet. In all my years as a mother, I cannot remember ever walking through such a deafening wall of silence within my own home. Pictures of my children line the walls. Inwardly, I wish they would speak to me, and comfort an old woman in her loneliness. But, they do not, because they are merely pictures, shadows of those who were my blood..

I pause before one such picture. They are together, all three of my beloved children, frozen forever in one heavenly scene. Elizabeth and Trip are laying, mud covered, on a pillow of the greenest grass Florida has ever seen. They are wrestling with each other, impish grins on their faces, hair soaked, and clothes sticking to their bodies, as diamond-like water droplets rain on them from above, creating tiny, angelic, prisms around the two young children. George, the eldest, by three years, is standing a few feet back, laughing, as he aims a hose in the direction of his younger siblings. Behind him is the two-story home my husband and I had raised the children in.

I remember clearly the day I took the picture. Trip was eight-years-old, and Elizabeth six. They had been arguing loudly in the front yard, while George, my most studious child, tried to read in the small treehouse a few feet away. It was the hottest day of the year, but even so, Charlie and I couldn’t keep the children inside. I’d heard the first tell-tale signs of a wrestling match coming on, and had begun to make my way onto the wraparound porch to do a bit of damage control, when the angry shouts and grunts turned into shrieks and giggles. I’d peeked out the window to see what had happened , and had to grab my camera on the way out. The heat never stood a chance. They’d played in the water for over an hour, until hunger and exhaustion got the better of them.

A few tears roll down my cheeks, leaving small streams in their wake. I will never see the three of them together again. George is all I have left. It seems ironic that the eldest child would outlive his brother and sister, and even more so that my husband and I should outlive any of them.

The door chime rings and shatters the silence. I close my eyes and will the tears away. I’ve already cried too much this last week. After a few moments, the chime rings again. I take a deep breath, and smooth invisible wrinkles out of my black slacks.

“I’m coming.” I say, and begin making my way downstairs towards the front door. It could be any number of well wishers, offering me their condolences, telling me how they couldn’t fathom how I must be feeling, loosing two of my children within a decade of each other. I hadn’t realized how many friends Trip had, or how many lives he’d touched, until after his death. Enterprise had barely been able to hold those wishing to pay final respects to my son, and those who could not make it, now stopped by, a few a day, to let me know how much they’d miss him.

Deep down, however, I know it isn’t one of them. I know who it is, and when I open the door, I find that I am right. A petite Vulcan woman stands before me. Two small travel bags rest on the wooden planks of the wraparound porch, beside her feet, and in her arms, leaning against her chest, is a small child, sound asleep from the looks of it. They both wear traditional Vulcan robes. The fabric of hers is a deep blue, while the child’s is red, almost the color of red wine. Red and blue were Trip’s favorite colors.

“Hello T’Pol.” I say, studying the young woman, who in reality is almost five years my senior. Her face shows no expression, but her eyes are troubled, and bruise-like shadows under them tell me that she has not been sleeping properly. Her face is thin and wiry, and her shoulders slumped. She looks weak, and tired.

“Hello.” she replies. Her voice is flat, and I realize that the woman standing before me is merely a shell of the one I’d met seven years ago. Sympathy takes precedence over the grief that has been my constant companion throughout the week. On Enterprise, I’d hardly had a chance to see T’Pol before having to return to Earth. I wish now that I had taken the time to speak with her.

“Let me take her.” I say, reaching out for the child. My hands clasp T’Mir-Elizabeth’s sides, just beneath the armpits. T’Pol lets her go, and I lift the child away. She lets out a small moan and her tiny blue eyes flutter open. They meet mine for a moment. I shush her and pull her close. She closes her eyes again and rests her head on my shoulder. Her little arms wrap around my neck. I kiss her head, and deeply breath in the scent of her hair. It’s a mixture of baby-soap and candle-wax. I hold her tighter. This child is all I have left of my Trip. “Come inside. The air must be positively frigid for you.”

T’Pol stoops down and picks up her baggage before following me inside. I carry the small child upstairs and lay her gently on the bed that once belonged to her father. T’Pol unfolds the quilt that is resting at the foot of the bed, and gently lays it over her daughter’s tiny body. She then takes two fingers, and caresses the girl’s cheek. There is such care in her movements that I forget for a moment she is Vulcan.

“How is she taking it?” I ask, keeping my voice low, so as not to wake the child. She appears to be no more than four since unique half-Vulcan physiology slows her growth, but I know better than to think of her as a toddler. She is seven, and her mind is every bit as developed as other Human children her age, which means she clearly understands what happened to her father.

“She feels Trip’s absence. Ambassador Soval has only relayed a few minor emotional outbursts in his presence, and I have witnessed only one myself She sleeps more often now, and spends much of her playtime in meditation.” She stops for a moment and takes a breath, “It is a normal reaction for a Vulcan child. I believe she is coping well.” The lack of emotion in her voice used to shock me, but over the years, I’ve become accustomed to hearing the subtle inflections in her tone, and catching the tiniest of changes in her facial expressions. She is hurting, perhaps even more than me.

I motion for T’Pol to follow me. I want to go someplace where we can talk without the risk of waking up T’Mir-Elizabeth, or T’Liz, as Trip was fond of calling her. The mention of Ambassador Soval does not escape me. T’Liz has been in his care at the Vulcan consulate for the past seven years.

Had the circumstances of T’Liz’s birth been normal, I would have been appalled at the thought of someone else raising my son’s child while he and his lover advanced their careers, but T’Liz was a shock to both her parents. Trip used to say she was a mad scientists experiment gone right. It took a great deal of compassion and courage for the new couple to even accept her as their own. Especially since, at the time, their relationship was quite insecure, and neither one was ready to become a full time parent. I agreed with their decision to place her in the care of another until they were both certain they could provide a stable home for her.

I will never forget the week T’Liz came into our lives. It was full of surprises. Nothing, however, surprised me more than when Ambassador Soval showed up on my doorstep, announcing to me and my son’s small family, that as T’Pol’s uncle, he would be willing to care for T’Mir-Elizabeth while Trip and T’Pol finished their commissions on Enterprise. I had thought that Trip’s eyes, as well as my own, were going to pop right out of their sockets, roll around on hardwood floors a bit, and create quite the diplomatic mess. T’Pol had been eerily unfazed, and Trip hadn’t wasted any time confronting her on the matter at hand as soon as the Ambassador left.

I hadn’t been expecting my son to come home during their brief mission to Earth, and I certainly hadn’t been expecting to host a Vulcan in my home, nor a half-Vulcan infant, and I definitely had not expected to hear a Vulcan involved in a very loud and heated argument with my son, her raw emotions hardly concealed by her calculated and logical words.

“Why didn’t you tell me that Soval was your uncle?” Trip had hissed, no more than two minutes after the door closed behind the Ambassador.

“It never came up.” T’Pol’s voice had been cool and level. I couldn’t help but think that those were fighting word. Trip’s stress level must have been pretty high, because his fuse was awfully short. I could see the glint in his eyes telling me that he was itching for a fight. Even more so, he was hoping for one. They had argued for nearly an hour, while I held T’Liz in the other room. If she hadn’t started sobbing, stopping her parents mid-sentence, I believe they would have gone at it all night. The next morning, Trip had come to me, complaining about T’Pol to the high Heavens, the same way he had complained about Elizabeth when they were children.

“You really love her, don’t you, Trip?” I’d asked. He hadn’t hesitated to tell me that he did. Later that day he came to me and explained that on Vulcan, familial responsibility was almost as important to each Vulcan as logic, that’s why Soval had been so quick to lend them a helping hand, and that he and T’Pol had discussed the matter, and decided that placing T’Liz with Soval would be in her best interest. His words had held a guilty tone. I quickly discerned that he thought I would be upset that they had not approached me. Trip was always so mindful of other people’s feeling I explained to him that I knew I was not equipped to care for a part Vulcan child who would have special needs I could not predict.

My only concern with the final arrangements had been that T’Liz would grow up not knowing her parents, and that when she saw them when she saw Trip, she would think of him as a stranger. My fears had been unfounded. With the help of a Vulcan priest, a telepathic parenting bond was created between T’Liz and both her parents.

To this day, I don’t understand the bond, but I do know that Trip could feel his daughter’s presence and disposition in his mind, and apparently, she could feel the same. Trip and T’Pol spent every shore-leave with T’Liz. In a way, Trip was looking forward to Enterprise’s decommissioning, though it saddened him to lose the ship he’d spent eleven years working on. He was ready to settle down, get married, and create a home of his own.

We reach the kitchen. I sit down on the large, cushioned, window seat. T’Pol sits adjacent to me, pulling her legs into a cross-legged position that looks somewhat uncomfortable. Her back is straight, and though her eyes are in my direction, she is not looking at me. I let my gaze travel outside. The trees are bare for the winter, and tendrils of gray mist come off the Mississippi, shrouding the back yard in mystery as darkness begins to descend. The shadows are lengthening, and in a while, my backyard, with it’s great trees, tire-swing, and working shed, will be virtually unrecognizable as the mists and shadows dance together, playing tricks on the eyes.

On nights like these, I find myself believing that anything can exist within the mist. In the months after Lizzie’s death, shortly after my husband and I had moved into this house, I would hear her voice in the wind, and when I looked outside, I could see her form, moving amongst the shadows. I dared not call out to her, though, for I knew that the moment I did, she would disappear. I can imagine them both out there now, the best of friends, finally united again. A rebellious tear rolls down my cheek.

“You are in distress.” T’Pol states simply. I turn to look at her. Her eyes are more focused now.

“I’m just an old woman missing her son.” I reply. She stares at me in silence. T’Pol and I have never really been able to speak to one another. I’ve never found the key to opening her up. I search myself for Trip‘s ability to get almost any creature to trust him by opening his heart to them, thinking that some of it must have been genetic, and hidden within me somewhere. I take a deep breath and try again, “Thank you for coming. Charlie has gone to Ireland to be with George and his family, and this house is big and lonely with no one else in it.” She is still silent. “Would you like some tea?” I ask, remembering that she has a fondness for chamomile. She is about to speak when a small shriek carries down the stairs, followed by the Vulcan term for mother.

T’Pol’s head snaps in the direction of her daughter’s screams. I know the sound well. It is the sound of a child waking from a nightmare and finding herself in unfamiliar territory. T’Pol’s expression changes into one of unshielded fear. She quickly regains control.

“I must go to her,” she says, as a matter-of-factly. I nod.

“Will you come down again?” I ask. I know the answer before she says it.

“I believe I should meditate.” I nod again, and she stands to leave, “Good evening,“ I watch her disappear through the kitchen door, her robes flowing behind her. I will call Charlie in a few minutes to let him know that T’Pol has arrived, but for now, I turn back towards the gathering mists.

“If you’re both out there,” I whisper, “I hope you’re watching over us.”

I am dreaming, but the dream is disappearing quickly, as reality begins to sink in. As the fog of sleep slowly starts to lift, my rational mind begins searching for the reason my dreams were disturbed. I find it in the form of a small child standing at the edge of my bed. A child I know well. Her long brown hair, tinted with natural blonde highlights, is pulled back into a low ponytail, clearly showing the delicate points of her ears. Her robe and nightgown flow around her. In the semi-darkness of my room, I cannot tell what color they are, just that they are closer to the white spectrum than the black. She stares at me silently and intently, blinking every few seconds. There is a calmness to her, a wisdom that is not Human, and for a moment I am struck by how Elfish she seems. I would not be surprised to find that she had stepped right out of a Tolkien inspired dream and into my life.

“Grandmother?” she whispers. Her voice is tiny, and I have to force myself, yet again to remember that I am dealing with a child and not a toddler.

“What is it T’Liz?” I ask. She moves from the foot of my bed to the side, until she is standing across from my face. Her head barely reaches the level of mine. I can now see her eyes clearly. They are full of sadness.

“Where is Ko’mekh?” She uses the Vulcan word for mother. I puzzle over this for a moment before my tired mind makes the translation.

“I don’t know, honey.” I suppress a yawn and push the covers off my body. The air is chilly and goose bumps form on my arms. It suddenly occurs to me that my two Vulcan guests must be uncomfortably cold, their blood more accustomed to Vulcan’s double suns than a Mississippi winter. I like the chill, but I should have thought of that when they arrived. T’Pol isn’t one to point out when there is a problem with her accommodations. She is too polite a guest. Trip always had to tell me when something was wrong. He joked about how ironic it was, since in their early days on Enterprise, T’Pol was the first one to speak up when something was not to her liking. “Are you cold?” She nods her head, ever so slightly.

I force myself out of bed. She watches me as I kneel down in front of my Hope-Chest, located at the foot of my bed. Charlie and I rarely open the chest anymore, and he is usually right there with me to help sort out the memories, but right now, the memories don’t matter. I am on a mission.

I gentle rifle through the various objects packed tightly inside, all of them with deep sentimental value. T’Liz is curious, but she says nothing. I finally find what I am looking for. It’s a small, handmade quilt, with a red and blue pattern on one side, and a starscape on the other. I close the chest and motion for T’Liz to come to me. She does so, and I wrap the quilt around her shoulders. She clutches it with one tiny hand.

“This belonged to your papa,” I explain, “I made it for him before he was born. He carried it around everywhere he went ‘til he finally grew out of it.”

“Thank You.” I don’t know how her mother will react to a gift being given to her daughter purely for it’s sentimental value, but some of the sadness has gone from the small girl’s eyes. I know that in her young mind, the quilt is a way to connect with her father again.

“Let’s go find your mother.” I gently lift T’Liz into my arms and she wraps her legs around my waist, resting her head on my shoulder. As we enter the hallway, I am confronted by pictures of my children. Loneliness and sorrow threaten to overcome me, but I quickly push them away, my concern for T’Pol, and T’Liz’s need for comfort, taking precedence over the need to wallow in my grief. Trip would never forgive me if I neglected his girls. He’d be waiting at the pearly gates with a bone to pick.

As we begin descending towards the first floor, I hear the tell-tale signs of someone working in the kitchen. The only person it can be is T’Pol, since Charlie is not due home for another couple of hours, and his domain is the work-shed, not the kitchen.

A chill passes through my body as my feet leave the plush carpet of the hallway and find themselves on the icy hardwood floors of the dining room. I set T’Liz down. She moves to the table and sits on one of the chairs, crossing her legs and closing her eyes. She must have come to me before doing her morning meditation. It amazes me how still she can sit at the age of seven, but I am not fooled. Trip told me a week before before his accident, that she could only hold the proper mediation position for a few minutes at most. Vulcan children have different, more active, forms of meditation than adults, such as Yoga-style stretches, music, and the very controlled art of Vulcan dance.

I push open the slider that separates the kitchen and the dining room. It looks as if T’Pol is searching the cupboards for something or other. I don’t think she even knows what she’s searching for, and I’m almost certain she isn’t going to find it in my cupboards. I stand in the doorway for a moment, knowing that her Vulcan senses will catch my presence.

She stops what she is doing and turns towards me. The bags under her eyes are more prominent. I wonder if she’d slept at all.

“What are you doing?” I ask softly.

“I am preparing the morning meal, but I cannot find the proper utensils.” I study her for a moment. She is wearing her traditional robes again. I believe they are her form of winter clothing, because I cannot remember ever seeing her in her robes when it wasn’t cold, unlike most Vulcans, who wear them day in and day out. She never was a typical Vulcan, according to Trip, so I don’t know if T’Pol’s reaction to her bondmate’s death us unique to her, or if all Vulcans put themselves through the hell while trying to suppress their grief.

“It’s not necessary.”

“It is a Vulcan tradition. The guests must rise early and prepare the morning meal.” she explains. I lean against the counter beside her. I need to get her talking about Trip, for both our sakes, and this is the perfect opportunity. I take a moment and breathe deeply. It’s been a week, and though Trip has constantly been on my mind, I’ve hardly spoken of him. I will my voice to stay strong.

“You’ve stayed here many times with Trip over the years, and you’ve never felt obligated to make breakfast before.” I comment. My voice does not let me down, but I have to blink back tears. Somehow, hearing his name hanging in the air is more difficult than having it spoken in my mind. She folds her arms over her chest, and does her best not to make eye contact with me.

“Trip would not allow me to.” she says simply. Her voice is small, and full of emotion.

“And he was correct. It’s not appropriate for a guest to work in the Tucker house.” She takes a deep, shuddering, breath, and turns away from me.

“Please,” she says softly, “I must keep my mind occupied.” So the truth comes out. I place a hand on her shoulder, knowing that I am taking a risk. Trip made it quite clear when he brought her home for the first time that she didn’t like to be touched. However, she doesn’t shrink away. Instead, she relaxes into my touch. She must have learned a lot from my son.

“Perhaps what you really need is to talk about it.” My voice is hardly above a whisper, “Come and talk to me, there is no need to make breakfast. Charlie is bringing home some fresh fruit and pastries.”

“Pastries?” T’Liz asks hopefully from the dining room. She’d been sitting so quietly that I’d almost forgotten about her presence. Although T’Pol and I are in the midst of a serious moment, I cannot help but smile, and think about how the mere presence of a child could bring light to almost any situation. T’Pol straightens up some and turns around. My hand falls off her shoulder. It amazes me at how quickly she changes into mother mode, all traces of her emotional instability safely stowed behind a façade of wisdom and control.

“And fruit.” I add, hoping to redeem myself in T’Pol’s eyes. I have had enough children and grandchildren to know better than to mention sweets around a seven-year-old, especially when her mother is undeniably health conscious. T’Pol tilts her head slightly and studies her daughter, who is practically standing on the chair, eagerly leaning across the table, a hopeful expression on her little face. Her lips are curled upward somewhat, as if she’s trying to contain a smile, and failing miserably. The thought of having sweets for breakfast is enough to alleviate some of T’Liz’s emotional suffering, and I hope that T’Pol notices this and does not turn her down.

“Pastries are full of simple carbohydrates, and lack nutritional value. They are hardly a breakfast food.” T’Pol says. T’Liz’s face falls, and my heart along with it. “However,” The small girl looks hopeful again, “if you promise to use proper utensils, I will allow you this indulgence.”

“Really?” she asks. T’Pol nods.

“Your grandmother and I wish to speak to one another privately. Perhaps you could pick out your clothing, and then work on one of your puzzles until I come to get you.”

“Yes Ko’mekh.” she replies, and stands to leave. T’Pol holds up her hand.

“And, T’Mir-Elizabeth, you may not wear the same robe you wore yesterday. Vanity is illogical, hygiene is not.”

“Yes Ko’mekh.” She disappears around the corner, her father’s old quilt trailing behind her like a super-hero’s cape. I cannot help but think after watching their exchange that mother’s and daughters are the same in any culture.

“It was kind of you to let her have a pastry.” I say. T’Pol’s demeanor changes. Her shoulder’s slump, and she sighs gently, pursing her lips thoughtfully.

“She was up most of the night with nightmares. In situations such as these, children’s imaginations run wild, especially when they are given very little information.” She doesn’t have to tell me that she’s talking about Trip’s accident. I keep silent, willing her to go on. “She imagines herself as Captain Shran’s daughter, watching the event from the girl’s point-of-view. She sees her father die as he is saving her. I questioned her about it last night, after she explained the content of her dreams to me. She did not say much, but I sensed anger and resentment towards the other girl.”

No one really knows much about what happened during Trip’s mission to the planet I have chosen never to learn the name of. Just that something went wrong, and Trip had noticed a bomb on the premises. He moved to get Shran’s daughter out of the way, but before he could move himself, the bomb exploded. His injuries were severe. He’d hardly been given a chance to say goodbye to everyone. I long to know what his dying words were, but T’Pol is the only one who knows, and I don’t feel comfortable pressuring her to tell me. The NX-05 is conducting an investigation, but part of me never wants to know who killed my son, because I can’t guarantee I won’t go after them myself.

“She doesn’t understand why Shran’s daughter gets to live, while her father doesn’t,” I state, more to myself than anyone else.

“Essentially.” I walk over to the kitchen table, and sink heavily into one of the wooden chairs. T’Pol follows me. She is clasping a tea-cup in her hands. The aroma of chamomile drifts towards me as she passes.

“If any of us understood such things” I don’t finish my sentence. I don’t have to. “And how do you feel?” I ask. She looks contemplative for a moment, and I fear she won’t answer my question. She makes eye contact for a moment, her brown eyes so full of sorrow I could drown in it, but as quickly as the contact was formed, it‘s gone again.

“Empty.” She answers simply. I allow a few tears to fall. I’m tired of fighting them.

“I can’t imagine what you must be going through. My children meant the world to me, but I was never connected to them mind, body, and soul the way you were to Trip.” She is silent again. She stares into her tea cup, as if the answers to all her problems are inside. I don’t press her. I’ve gotten her to admit out loud that she feels, now perhaps she’ll allow herself to embrace the emotions that have made her so miserable, and begin the healing process. I will be right here, the way she was there for Trip when he needed her.

I fold my hands on the table and close my eyes in my own form of mediation. I contemplate the position T’Pol is in. She has not grieved. I remember Trip writing me, shortly after T’Liz came into their lives. He and T’Pol were practically living together, taking turns sleeping in each other’s quarters aboard Enterprise. One night in particular, T’Pol had marched into her quarters after meeting with Minister T’Pau, who’d been aboard a Vulcan vessel Enterprise had rendezvoused with, clutching a package in her hand.

Trip, naturally, had been curious, and asked her what it was. She said that she was not certain, but Minister T’Pau had told her it was important to her mother that she have it. However, picking up the pieces of Vulcan’s shattered society had taken a while, and she’d been unable to give it to T’Pol before then. When she opened it, it turned out to be her mother’s wedding dress.

My son explained to me that he’d never felt so lost before in his life. T’Pol had lost her emotional shields right there in front of him. He remembered being shocked at how quickly she’d gotten over her mother’s death, but he hadn’t realized that she’d buried the pain back in the depths of her mind, until finally, the levy she’d built to control the flood crumbled, allowing everything to wash over her, the way it should have in the beginning.

“She wasn’t the same for days, Mama.” He’d said in his letter, “She told me afterwards that Vulcans have to deal with their emotions before they lock them away, or they will consume them in the end.”

I knew the minute I learned of Trip’s death, that I would not be able to deal with myself if I didn’t help her come to terms with his death. He loved her more than anything. He loved her enough to open his mind and his emotions to her. I owe it to my son to be there for her, because if she locks everything away and breaks down again, no one will be by her side. I suddenly realize that by helping her, I’ve found peace. I may have lost a son, but I have gained a daughter, for as far as I’m concerned, their bond was as much a marriage to me as a piece of paper would be to the government.

She takes a deep breath, and I open my eyes. She is still staring into her tea cup, but a single tear streaks down her face. Her eyes are closed, and her expression pained. It’s hard to watch, but I feel relieved. I reach out and place a hand over hers.

“It’s okay, T’Pol. It’s okay to feel.” I say. A silent sob wracks her too-thin body. She pulls her knees up to her chest, and wraps her arms around them, closing herself in. More tears fall, and the sobs come one after the other. I move my chair beside hers, and gently rub her back.

“I do not I do not know what to do.” I can barely hear her. “I do not know if I can be alone again.”

I gently reach out and lift her chin until her tear-filled eyes are level with mine. I can feel the tears on my cheeks, but I don’t care.

“You are not alone, T’Pol. You will never be alone.” I let her go, and she rests her head on her arms. She looks so young.

After a while, she ceases sobbing, and sits perfectly still. When she finally lifts her head a few minutes later, she seems to have regained some of her composure. Her eyes are red, and her face streaked with dried tears, but for the first time since after Trip’s death, she seems at peace with herself.

“So what are you going to do now?” I ask. The uncertainty of T‘Pol‘s future has been in the back of my mind since Trip‘s funeral.

“I do not know.” she states, her voice much stronger than before. “Now that Enterprise has been decommissioned, I have nowhere left to go. Starfleet has given me my choice of positions, but I wish to raise T’Mir-Elizabeth in a safe environment, preferably on a planet. However, there is no place for me on Vulcan, nor is there any place on Earth.”

“Where do Vulcan women go when when their bondmates die?” I hope that my question doesn’t sound indelicate. It hurts me that she feels she has nowhere to turn.

“They return to their mother’s home, and remain there until another suitable mate can be found, or their careers take them away.”

I smile softly. “Have you considered teaching? I hear they‘re opening Starfleet core curriculum in San Francisco.” I say. She looks at me quizzically.

“Where would I live? I am not comfortable with raising T’Mir behind the consulate walls, and I know nothing of living my life outside those walls.”

“Charlie has been meaning to build a guest house in the back, complete with the all the latest technological marvels. By air transport, it‘s only a one and a half hour commute to San Francisco. You could remain here until the guest house is built, and then it‘s yours. Charlie and I discussed this the other night.” To say that she seems shocked is an understatement. Trip would have been proud of me for rendering his Vulcan love speechless. “If it is customary for a Vulcan woman to return to her mother’s home, then you will.” I say, “That is, if a Human mother will do.”

“It is most agreeable.“ she says. It almost looks as if she will begin crying again. “Thank you.” The front door opens and shuts, and I hear my husband’
s footsteps. He calls out a greeting to us. I smile at T’Pol, who has taken a moment to compose herself and seems Vulcan again. I know she has a lot of grieving left to do, but at least now she’s not quite so miserable.

“You’d better go and get that daughter of yours. I’m willing to bet there’s a pastry here with her name on it.”

“Indeed.” T’Pol says dryly. I laugh.

“We’ll talk later.“ With a nod of her head she disappears.

I look out the window. The sun beginning to burn through the mists, though they are still strong. I see Trips figure out there. He smiles and nods, as if he knows everything will be all right. I smile sadly back.

“I know you want me to take care of her.” I tell him, “And, you don’t have to worry about it. I will. I’ll take care of them both.”

The End

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A whole mess of folks have made comments

trip aint dead. dont be mean

Wow - Beautifully written. Thanks for not leaving T'Pol all alone - at least she has a part of Trip and is a part of his family. **sob**sniff** Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off in search of tissues...

Wow! Absolutely wow! What an emotion-packed, sensitive piece. I love T'Pol & T'Liz being accepted and welcomed into the Tucker family! Beautiful job!

Wow. Sob!
Tears are flowing! That hasn't happened before. Your story is wonderful. Thank you.

Wow!!! What a great story !!
*sob* I almost cried.

Snif, snif. How sad. I still can't bear to think about Trip dieing but you handled T'pols emotions very well.

Ok T'pols pain is makin me hate B&B much,much,much more. :(
But Ya did right a beautiful story, and extreamly sad. Some reason the Tucker house reminded me of my Grandmothers 170 year old farm house here in N PA. Probably had somethin to do with Mrs. Tuckers selflessness and lovin affection for T'pol and her Grand daughter.

But Blah's right. The F#cknale dont count.

Now theres a proper send off between Trip n T'pol, nicely done.

Beautiful story. Very emotional. But I am still going to ignore "the B&B version of a finale".

Heartbreakingly (is that a word?) wonderful! I was crying towards the end. If the killer Beebs could have written something half as decent maybe I wouldn't be so dang bitter. I renouce the f#cknale but absolutely love this story!

As I sit here with tears in my eyes, I have to say this was an excellent story. I do not like stories with angst in them. I do not like stories with death in them. I know that real life has this, but I don't have to like it. I read your blurb in the beginning and convinced myself to read this. I have some questions. Where did you read Trip will die? If you read the spoilers from the same place I did, it only says a crew member dies. I speculating you decided to go on with Trip dying. (Spoiler ahead.....watch out) He does get seriously injured in Terra Prime, but there's no indication he dies. I'm hoping your story is a future AU fic. That's it on the questions. Sorry this is so long, but your story brought out the emotional part of me. BTW, T'Pol's eyes would be bluish/green from crying, not red. Ours are red because we have iron in our blood. She has copper, therefore green blood.

I hate to think of Trip dying.. but the story is beautifully written.. I could barely contain my tears.

sob...sniff...oh, what a beautiful sentiment...'if Trip is the crew member that dies' the worst part to me was his parents losing not one, but two kids before their time...you've dealt with that in a truly heart-warming way..."I may have lost a son, but I have gained a daughter"...off to see if Anne found the tissues yet...

^^sorry that was me...^^

I really can't stand it! (Not the story... the story was marvelous!) Do you really think they're going to kill off Trip?!! Maybe that's what Jolene Blalock meant in a recent interview I read when she said doing the finale was "appalling".
God, I hope not. This was one incredibly well-written and positively heart-breaking story, but it better not reflect the actual events of the finale or I'm really going to be seriously pissed!

I'm sorry but I can't stand this. I absolutely hate the fact that TPTB have done this to our favourite character and I will not accept this. I still plan to ignore this and that goddamned "valentine to the fans". I will not read any more fanfic that follows this plot line.

this is not my idea of how to treat the fans.

Beautifully realized in bringing the three most important women in Trip's life together.

Are you going to finish The Vulcan Heart?

Wow, thanks for everything guys!

*Spoiler Space*

I got my spoilers from Quills at the Trek BBS. I was alerted to them here, though. He said that Trip dies.

*Spoler Done*

I don't know what possessed me to write this, because I, too, am going to ignore the f#cknale. Unfortunately, my muse chose not to. I am planning on finishing "The Vulcan Heart" but because of school, it may take longer than planned. It wasn't set up to be a short story. Thanks again everyone!

Wow. Very well done.

The visual images of your writing are wonderful. And you do a lot with Elizabeth, Trip's sister, who is one of my favorite characters to write about here and on the annex. Your writing has very touching details, completely believable emotions, and strong but delicate character interaction. Because I like your style of writing, it is THE best story I have read on this site so far. Keep writing more. Thanks.

(Okay, just had to get that little rant out!)

I loved this story. In fact, it reminds me alot of my Grandmother and my Aunt. My Uncle (my Mom's brother) died of kidney disease at the age of 27, leaving behind a young wife and an 18-month old daughter. Since my Aunt never had a very stable home life growing up, she really took to my family. She and my Grandmother had always liked each other, but my Uncle's death really cemented their relationship in a very special way. She always called my Mom and her brothers and sisters HER brothers and sisters, and my Grandparents were Mom and Dad to her for the rest of their lives. Wonderful, wonderful story!

Unfortunately I read your answer before going to work. As I sit at my desk secretly typing this, I am thinking, (With apologies to Bill Cosby), who the *foul, filth and more foul and filth* TPTB think they are? With Manny Coto, Brannon and Braga stating the last episode will be a *valentine for the viewers*, how can this be, if they kill off almost everyone's favorite character before his time. I hope the info that Quills got is in error. I won't watch the last episode either. (I'm a psychotherapist, and I now need therapy myself. *sigh*)

Beautiful story... It made me cry and so incredibly sad. I wish that the finale didn't have Trip's death, though.

Scarletwitch: There's another part of the finale that make B&B think they are giving a valentine to the fans... (Manny Coto considers Terra Prime *his* finale for the fans). I don't want to spoil it here, but let's just say that the Beeb's valentine still is seriously skewed. It's a MU valentine. :(

That was so beautiful. I just lost my grandfather, and this story is enough to bring out the tears. Wonderful, even though I hope it's not going to happen! :*)

That was beautiful! I just lost my grandfather, and this story was enough to bring out the tears. Wonderful, even though I hope it won't come true! :*)

The good thng about the Enterprise is it's fiction. The characters are not real therefore we can let our imagination run wild and ignore the fact that Trip is killed off on the last episode. What the heck, we can even bring him back to life if we want to. Who says we have to follow the BB storyline??? There are a lot of gifted and talented fans out there. Keep writing and keep Trip alive!! Who knows, your story might even catch Paramounts attention! Superman died...he was brought back to life. Electra died...and brought back to life. JR (of Dallas) died...and now I heard he'll be brought back to life....anything is possible right???

The good thng about the Enterprise is it's fiction. The characters are not real therefore we can let our imagination run wild and ignore the fact that Trip is killed off on the last episode. What the heck, we can even bring him back to life if we want to. Who says we have to follow the BB storyline??? There are a lot of gifted and talented fans out there. Keep writing and keep Trip alive!! Who knows, your story might even catch Paramounts attention! Superman died...he was brought back to life. Electra died...and brought back to life. JR (of Dallas) died...and now I heard he'll be brought back to life....anything is possible right???

The good thng about the Enterprise is it's fiction. The characters are not real therefore we can let our imagination run wild and ignore the fact that Trip is killed off on the last episode. What the heck, we can even bring him back to life if we want to. Who says we have to follow the BB storyline??? There are a lot of gifted and talented fans out there. Keep writing and keep Trip alive!! Who knows, your story might even catch Paramounts attention! Superman died...he was brought back to life. Electra died...and brought back to life. JR (of Dallas) died...and now I heard he'll be brought back to life....anything is possible right???

Lovely story, as appropriately sad as the finale will be. Poor, Poor Mrs. Tucker - to lose two of her children isn't something I'd wish on anyone.

WONDERFUL story. Well written, wonderfully in character, heartfelt and moving. I have been quite bitter with the possibility of Trip dying. With this story I have come to terms with TPTB. Trip can live on in the lives of those he touch and in the legacy of his family. Lovely.

I also hope that the rumors are wrong and Trip doesn't die, but at least this story can give me closure.

Now where are Valleygirl and Anne with the tissues?

Sorry, that’s “Trip can live on in the lives of those he touchED.” I am not thinking straight with one of my favorite character dying.

Tissue, somebody?

Sorry, that’s “Trip can live on in the lives of those he touchED.” I am not thinking straight with one of my favorite characters dying.

Tissue, somebody?