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A Time For Healing
A | Author - TLR | Genre - Angst | Genre - Finale Fix Challenge | Genre - Romance | Rating - G | T
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FIX the FINALE Challenge
A Time for Healing
Rated G: for everyone who needs to stop grieving
SPOILERS: “Demons,” “Terra Prime”
May 15th 2005
It was late, about 03:00AM and Trip made his way out of the bathroom. He had been sleeping, but all the recent events made getting a restful night's sleep difficult. He scratched his head and tried to wipe away some of the draggy feelings, having only rested for a couple of hours. He thought about returning to his bunk, but realized that in his frame of mind, he would get no decent rest. As he strolled through the dimly lit room, his foot brushed across something furry and it bounced up against his desk chair. He bent down and picked it up.
It was Moloff, the fuzzy little stuff toy Hoshi had given to T'Pol shortly after they returned from Terra Prime with the baby. It had been a childhood toy of hers, now more of a keepsake, but she was all too eager to give it to the child. Although T'Pol didn't understand the significance of the gift, Trip found it strangely comforting during the long nights in sickbay where Lizzie lay so sick from the fevers she was experiencing.
(Yes those were some long nights) He thought and rubbed the well worn blackened nose of the animal. Studying it further, he could see the faded areas of a life time of being a teething ring. He wondered secretly how it even survived to this point. Trip moved back towards his bunk, deciding to return the item to its proper place.
Softly he looked down at the sleeping form there. As usual, when ever Trip was awake, she would do this. He had to laugh at himself knowing that for most humans this was unacceptable and should be stopped, but for him, knowing how long it took to get her into his life, he didn't really mind. With a practiced hand, Trip lifted the small arm of the little girl and placed the bunny back beneath it. He bent down and placed a soft kiss upon her forehead, then one on the woman that held the child so tightly against her. T'Pol lay sleeping, her arms wrapped about Elizabeth, her lips barely brushing the top of the little girl's head. He moved back and took in the beautiful view before him. Lizzie had jumped from her bed and crawled into bed with T'Pol while Trip was in the bathroom, something she would do on occasion when she was upset with things happening around her. He thought a moment and decided he really couldn't chastise her, given all they had recently been through. He pulled the coverlet over both their shoulders and tucked it softly into the crook of the child's neck. Trip, "the dad" was rewarded by a soft smile that came over her lips as she lay there safe and dreaming.
Trip eased back into his desk chair. He looked about his old quarters and realized how oddly small they appeared now. He would have chosen to stay somewhere larger, but unfortunately after their last battle, his quarters were one of the few still inhabitable. Trip watched his family a moment more then decided that he had one last thing to do for enterprise.
Turning, he hit the button for his log recording. He whispered, so as not to wake the ladies in his life. For some reason he needed to log just one more entry before the decommissioning ceremony this morning. Having returned to salvage any usable parts from the female he'd known as his second first love, was difficult and he needed to give her the proper send off she deserved, not the official bureaucratic BS she'd get in the morning. Leaning close, he began his final entry as Chief Engineer of the Star Ship Enterprise.
"Personal Log, star date 25th of May 2161."
He hesitated for a moment thinking of all the wonderful memories this oddly compatible duo shared.
"This morning we will be decommissioning the NX01. She has been a fine ship and has taken care of her crew time and time again. I know I will miss her, the way the engines hummed....the way she glided through the darkness of space. But most of all I will miss her unfailing loyalty to those she carried within her. She never let us down, even when the stakes were far too high to win. She took a pounding and protected us anyway. It seems a shame that her decommissioning comes after such a grave battle. She was valiant in her attempts to fend off the massive attack, but was gravely out gunned. It is a miracle she survived it at all. I only wished the 73 crewmen who lost their lives, could have been spared. But the beating she took proved far too grave for her to go unscathed. She performed admirably and should be remembered for her greatness, her strength and mostly for being the best damn star ship in the fleet."
Trip thought a moment. His entry to this point had been so professional. Clearly this ship did much more than just protect them. For she was the one that introduced him to his soul mate.... She constantly demanded they work together, constantly held them close which allowed their bond to form. He knew he had to give mention of that as well. Returning to his recording:
"Yes this ship has been a big part of our lives. Over the last 10 years she protected us, but more over turned the entire crew into one large family. Some of my deepest friendships have come from knowing her. Malcolm, who's fondness for her weaponry was far greater than anyone else I've known. He truly turned out to be a great friend. I am grateful he will recover, having been so badly injured when the plasma conduits blew out his station during the battle. There were moments that no one thought he'd survive, but because of this lady's strength, he was able to do much damage to the attacking ships before the explosion. I remember his frustration with getting the targeting scanner to align during our first mission. Boy was he frustrated...but he got them together and became the best damned security officer in the fleet. I am so grateful he is not lost to us."
Trip felt a bit of relief as he utter those final words. He was truly worried about his friend who suffered 2nd and 3rd degree burns to 20% of his body, not to mention some internal injuries as a result of the explosion. It had been touch and go for about a week, but then he stabilized and actually started getting better. After convalescing at home in England with his family for a while, Trip felt glad he would be able to see his old friend again today at the ceremony.
"And Hoshi...." he started remembering the frightened young thing that came aboard for their first mission to Cronos. She was lured here with the promise of learning Klingon, but stayed because she finally realized how important she was to the crew, this ship and to the captain who held the bridge for the last 10 yrs.
"She too will be glad to see Malcolm. She spent so much time in sickbay with him after his injuries. In fact it was because of Hoshi that Malcolm even survived at all. There was a time during the first few days after the accident that Malcolm didn't seem to want to live. It was Hoshi who stayed with him. Hoshi that encouraged him to keep fighting, and finally it was Hoshi, who made his reality of a true love come to pass." Trip remembered the long kiss they shared when he finally started to recover. He wondered how long it would be before he would be playing best man at their wedding. "Hoshi is an incredible communications officer and person to boot. She kept us all informed, and several times got us out of trouble simply using her words." Trip remembered the early days when different species would want to attack due to misunderstandings that Hoshi would straighten out. He also found out it was she who saved his life during the first mission. When he was in the Suliban vessel and couldn't find Enterprise because it had moved. T'Pol told him and the Captain later it was her extraordinary gift of hearing that located the pod and alerted the ship to our position.
"She's been a great friend to me and I hold only the greatest admiration, loyalty and love for her." He thought a moment then realized just how much this ship meant to the young officer. "She has really grown as result of her time aboard Enterprise, and personally seemed to enjoy the decon chamber the most." Trip added with a hint of humor. Malcolm had finally confessed to the many times he'd end up there with her. How they'd make excuses to stay in longer. He hinted they thought of it as their own personal spa.
Then Trip's mind turned to Travis....the Boomer of Enterprise. "This ship has made many a true friend, but mostly there was Travis.... Of all of us, he truly came to be married to the old girl. In the early days, I marveled as he put her through her paces without a moment's thought. During our time in the Expanse, the things he could make this gal do were incredible. No wonder they called him a Boomer." Trip remembered the time when the Captain had him pull an L4 maneuver to out fox Duross and protect the ship. (Incredible)
"He pulled us outta many a tight spot and deserves his new posting aboard the NX03 Defiant due out of space dock in 2 months. He also deserves his promotion to Lieutenant Commander after his unshakable piloting during this fierce battle. I am proud to have served with him these 10 years and more over to call him my friend."
Trip looked around to see if he was waking his brood. They were still resting wrapped snuggly to one another, not seeming to know what was going on outside their safe little world. He turned back to his log.
"And to Phlox, without whom my little miracle baby would have perished. I know I owe him my life many times over. I know he was responsible for bringing me and T'Pol together in the first place. But most of all I know that without him, none of us would have survived Enterprise's historic missions. He took care of us....He mended our wounds and mostly he kept us safe, much the way Enterprise herself did." Trip remembered the ion storm that threatened to kill all the crew and how with Phlox's help they were able to survive it in the catwalks of the nacelles. He remembered the time in the expanse trying to destroy the spheres. It was Phlox who came up with a way to keep the crew safe from the altered space long enough to get the job done. Trip chuckled remembering the off beat way the good doctor had of treating the crew's injuries. His menagerie of sorts that greeted the crew every time you entered sickbay. The many times his bat would escape and the crew would have to help him catch it. (There were many good laughs in that place, given its truly somber inclinations.) Also lots of good advice, Phlox was like the resident dad for most everyone, even T'Pol. He had a wonderful way of doling out advice while making it seem to be your own idea. Even when he had bad news, he always had a way of putting it to make the news less gruesome.
Trip's mind then wandered to the Captain, or should he say Admiral.....Tucker couldn't be prouder of the man he had known as his closest friend for many years, but couldn't help to feel a bit of sorrow, knowing that the job he loved so dearly, was now a step below him. He was leaving space for an office and a title. Trip couldn't help but wonder if that was what Jon really wanted.
"As to the Cap'n... Jonathan Archer....now Admiral Jonathan Archer...Boy did he love this old girl. A thing of beauty he said admiring her from a shuttlepod while still in space dock, and sure enough he was right. He loved the feel of her Cap'n's chair, the sway of the deck plates beneath his feet and mostly he loved the steady thrum of the engines...his father's engines that couldn't help but bring back alive the memories of his dad's work. Many were the time we'd sit and toast his dad for the wonderful achievements he made. Even as we entered the Expanse, it was because of his father's work that we were able to stop the Xindi attack." Trip thought a moment and remembered the tired look Jon had been wearing since their time fighting the Xindi weapon. The loss of 18 crewmen back then was devastating, and now 73...Maybe his friend needed to get away from the responsibility. Maybe he just needed to be home once more.
"I couldn't have served under a better Cap'n, or on a finer ship. I know Archer's name will go down in history as the man who brought this Federation together. It's only fitting that he give the speech today. I'm glad they recognize that....."
Some gentle rustling of covers startled his thoughts and Trip turned to see who was moving. T'Pol shifted slightly and moved the covers up around her close, still clinging to the wayward child. Trip smiled at them knowing that the true source of all his happiness lay on this ship and in that bunk.
He turned back to the console. "As for Commander T'Pol, well what can I say...She was the reason I made it through the expanse. She was the reason I fought so hard to keep this ship running. In short she was my reason for living, it's just I didn't know that at the time. When we first met, I wanted nothing more than to show her the exit, but after working with her a while, watching the respect she showed this ship,...... my ship and her crew....how could I not fall madly and hopelessly in love with her....."
Trip thought back to the cold introduction he received. How she turned on her heels and ignored him outright. He thought back to their first argument in the decon chamber where his hands got totally lost in the sensation of her skin. He remembered all the barbs and teasing the two had exchanged, each pretending to not care for the other. But in fact, the thing that intrigued him most was just being near her. The fact he would take great pains to get as close as possible to her, even leaning into her more and she wouldn't back away. (I think she liked me all along) Trip thought then realized it only fitting since he'd been infatuated with the woman from the moment she came aboard.
"I can only say that I have never served with a more intelligent, talented, skillful and gracious person in my life. Nor do I suspect I ever will. My one true happiness in life is that with this decommissioning, at least I don't have to loose her too. She loved this ship.....worked on it thousands upon thousands of hours, learning her systems, upgrading equipment to serve our purposes. I can honestly say I've learned a lot from the woman, and not just in engineering." Trip remembered the life lessons she had taught him, about objectifying other species to know when to get involved and when not to. Also, about learning to channel his emotions into positive outlets, instead of useless tirades. It wasn't too hard to understand how they pulled off the rescue at Terra Prime. His first impulse was to tear Paxton limb from limb, but instead used his head and got control of the facility and the baby safely back.
(Lizzie) That thought stuck in his mind and shown brighter than all the others. (What an amazing creature she is.) At the time of her rescue, she seemed to be the healing balm that everyone on Enterprise and the Earth for that matter needed.
"Although Terra Primer's still are hiding on Earth, Lizzie truly became the symbol for this federation. Her promise of cooperation between species was the pivoting point that drove home its importance. She did as well in our lives too. T'Pol was unsure about us.....our bond was there, but was weak and there were still a lot of misgivings between us, even more so because of the bond. But Lizzie came into our lives and changed all that. Her smile, those soothing blue eyes and elegant pointed ears just make everyone she'd come across at ease. It's a shame she can't grow up on Earth....She'd be such a good influence on the human race. But for her safety, she's stayed aboard Enterprise these last 6 years and I think she was all the better for it. This ship has been her home and her security. Even when we came across some hostile species, it was where she retreated to, to be safe and I thank the old gal for giving my daughter that security. This last attack was hard for her to take though and with baby Lorian on the way, I am not regretting our decision one bit."
Trip thought back to the many times Lizzie hid in the confines of sickbay with Phlox while her parents did their jobs keeping the ship and crew safe. Since the first talks, the violent species were much fewer than in their first 4 yrs, but there were still some nasty customers. But this last attack sent Lizzie into a major panic. He could hear her calling out through their bond to her parents, wanting them to come and hold her. What amazed Trip more was the fact she was not scared for herself, but for her parents safety, in that she knew she was safe where she was and wanted her parents to be the same. (What an amazing little girl) Trip thought again in his mind.
"Now in less than 12 hours this wonderful ship will be decommissioned and take her place in history as the marvelous vessel that brought peace to the galaxy. At least they are turning her into a museum and she's not gonna be used for target practice. When they finish refurbishing her, I'll bring Lizzie, T'Pol and baby Lorian back to visit and to say a proper goodbye. After the service, we head to a meeting with my parents on Jupiter station to spend some time, before we leave for Vulcan. T'Pol and I both agree that we'll be safer there, than on Earth at least for now. I begin my appointment to the Federation's first joint Earth Vulcan Warp station just outside Shikara. That will be interesting, but secretly the chance to get a peak at a warp 7 engine is gonna be great. Well I never thought I'd see the day when they are gonna finally share their technology with us.....pinch me cause I must be dream'n."
Trip chuckled at that too. He remembered all the time he tried to get a look at their schematics and they refused. Since his work with Soval during the Vulcan /Andorian conflict they'd been much more respectful and in turn he'd grown an even deeper respect for them himself.
"Well just wanted to say thank ya, Enterprise for taking such good care of us through the years. And to the 84 original crew members and 26 MACO's that served aboard her both living and gone from us....It's been a pleasure serv'n with ya, I'm proud to call you shipmates.....And I am all the better for having been here with ya" Trip hit the button of the recorder and wiped back a tear that threatened to fall down his cheek. (giggle) He heard a squeaky voice in his mind.
Trip turned around to see Lizzie had shifted in her mother's arms to face him. She squinted her eyes to pretend she was sleeping, but from the sounds she was making through their bond, Trip could tell the child was wide awake. T'Pol however still was sound asleep, although not for long if the little nymph kept this up. He closed off the small desk light and walked towards the bunk. Trip stood there a moment, hands on hips faking his best perturbed look, but it was no good. The little girl saw right through him.
(giggle.....giggle) Her eyes peeped open and snapped shut again when she saw her father looking directly at her.
In a soft voice Trip started. "Faker....scoot over munchkin, I'm coming in." Trip eased T'Pol's arm from the little child and picked her up. He laid down carefully holding her, then propped her between the two for added safety. She stared at him directly showing the broadest of toothy grins that made Trip's heart sing. "God....you're just like your mother......I don't stand a chance."
(giggle......My daddy is funny.....) her thoughts returned to him.
He kissed the waves of brown hair atop her head. (Love ya munchkin.)
(Love you too daddy....) Together they both got some rest and maybe a bit of well needed healing time they so deserved.
Hope this helped those of you out there as saddened by the writer's heartlessness in writing the last episode. I know this is how I would have like to see it end...........T
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
Perfection! I had all but decided never to watch the episode which will not be named, and this just sealed it. If I don't watch it, it never happened. For me, this is how it ends... except they should've had another little one ;-)
Thank you, TLR for doing what the writers didn't. I watched the ep and suggest that you hold to your decision not to. I'm going to replace the memory of that ep with this fic instead.
A MUCH MORE appropriate ending than B&B's version.
I watched the finale, and all I have to say is, can I have that hour of my life back? What a waste of resource the final episode was.
For me that episode would ruin the whole 4 yr experience. At least had they done it my way, they would have left the door open, saved money using reruns of previous memories and got everyone highlighted in their best parts throughout the show. No but what do they do...They screw it up. I will never get suckered in again. Thanks again to the HOT bulletin board for warning me. Glad you liked it.....T
first of all, mae, lorian was on his way so thatll be good : ) , for the rest, it really was a good story. now why couldnt theyve just made something like this?
I love it!
Thank you! I for one refuse to watch the last episode. I did watch Terra Prime, at least in part, and think they should have left it there. This way, it would have been opened for a future stroy with Trip in it. Of course Beavis and Butthead couldn't think of that!
Yep, that's a final! Nice work!
I too haven't watched TATV even though I taped it. I can't bring myself to watch such crap, and I know I'd want that hour back. LOL. I will NEVER understand the logic of killing off Trip!!
This is how I would prefer to think of these two characters, getting on with a life together and finally having one!! Thanks, TLR and all those who chose to write fanfic. This will save our sanity.
Thank you for this story. At least we can all read something nice to take the horrendous sting of the finale out.
I'm another one who believes firmly that if I don't watch that crap finale then Trip doesn't die. And if they had to have another episode following Terra Prime, then I certainly wish it had been like your story, TLR. Everyone gets treated with a proper respect in your story, and there's no sign of a holodeck in sight (thank god).
Thanks so much for this story. And for letting Elizabeth live too. TnT deserve happiness and many kids.
::Cries:: I loved it. I wish I had, had the same warning that all you seemed to have about the last eps. Trying to block it from my memory just isn't working. I have now gone into six months of mourning for my trip. ::Sighs:: I wear a black band everywhere, and trust me I get some weird looks.
Thank you. This will help erase the bad memory of mistakenly watching that travesty of an ending. For those that did not watch it yet, do yourself a favor and don't watch it. I wish I hadn't. Your ending here is so much better.
Oh thank you so much. I needed that. I was one of the poor fools that watched the finale and I am still in a state of shock. It was that bad. My own hope is if they pull a Dallas on us.....it was only a dream.......
Thanks for writing this... I'm glad that at least in fanfic little Lizzie can live and the bond between TnT is still alive... :)
Yay! Ten million billion kajillion times better than TATV! I like sequels. :)
Very nice tribute to our characters! Well done!
Yes, this is what the finale should have been! Thanks for sharing this.
Wow! That was sooo sweet. I *did* watch the ep, despite warnings (I sobbed like a baby), and this would have been a *much* more fitting ending. *This* is closure. Unlike the 30-second audio/video montage of the different Captains saying "blah, blah, blah, these are the voyages of the starship Enterprise." Thanks for a nice tribute to our beloved characters.
P.S.- Thanks, also, for not forgetting anyone, i.e., Travis, Phlox, etc.
Very sweet, and I just loved Lizzie to bits! Trip makes a wonderful dad. Ali D :~)
This was a very interesting storie to me, and I really think that it was a good ending to it