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Author - Valleygirl | Genre - Action/Adventure | Genre - Humor | Genre - Romance | Main Story | Rating - PG-13 | S
Fan Fiction Main Page | Stories sorted by title, author, genre, and rating
Rating: PG-13 (mild language, and suggestive stuff…)
A/N: This started out as a continuation to the Season 3.5 challenge story “To My Daughter” and grew from there…Let’s just say I was done with the story, but it wasn’t done with me…You don’t have to go back and read it, it will show up in an expanded form a few chapters down the line...
Trellium-D. During her time in the Expanse, T’Pol had been experimenting with emotions, by injecting small amounts of Trellium-D into her bloodstream. Until this moment, Dr. Phlox was the only other soul who knew what she had done and why, but that had just changed...
Trip was visibly upset. He leaned back against the wall, arms across his chest and allowed his head to lightly thump backwards. “So what now?” he quietly asked.
“I cannot predict the future, Commander,” she said a bit more sharply than she had intended.
Her voice softened a bit and almost quivered. “It would appear you have a decision to make. Take the shuttle back to Earth to enjoy your shore leave or continue on with me to Vulcan.”
Somehow Trip knew it wasn’t quite that simple. He wasn’t just being asked to choose his preferred vacation spot, but rather whether or not he wanted to continue a personal relationship with T’Pol, whatever exactly that might mean. All he knew was if he turned back now, it was over. He needed to choose his next words very carefully.
T’Pol was growing increasingly uncomfortable with his silence. A rare feeling she noted with dismay. “Perhaps you should leave now,” she whispered and turned away.
That was all it took to propel Trip into action. He caught her from behind and wrapped his arms around her waist holding her in place. “Hey, you don’t get off that easy!” he started.
He took a deep breath. “We’re gonna talk this through even if it takes our entire trip to Vulcan.” He emphasized the last word as if trying to make a point. “I’m in this too deep to just ‘go away’, T’hy’la.”
She looked up at him startled at his chosen form of address. “It would appear you’ve done some research in the Vulcan database.”
“With a little help from Hoshi” he grinned slyly.
December, 2154 - Enterprise
It had been another long day in Engineering. True to T’Pol’s prediction, Commander Kelby did not take kindly to his predecessor’s help on the extensive repair job. Although, after the first few tense days, even Kelby had to capitulate to the older man’s knowledge and experience. He begrudgingly let Trip take the lead, figuring at least it would get Tucker back on his own ship that much sooner.
Trip wearily came back to his old cabin after working a double shift. Once again he had missed dinner with the Captain, although if the truth be told he was still trying to avoid T’Pol. All he wanted was a hot shower and 8 uninterrupted hours of sleep. If only those damned dreams would leave him alone tonight, he would be a happy man.
T’Pol had spent much of the past week avoiding Engineering whenever possible. She knew the power struggle between Tucker and Kelby had simmered down and the repairs were proceeding according to schedule. She felt it best to give Trip a wide berth…for now. While she was not yet ready to discuss her suspicions about the odd turn her meditation sessions had taken, she supposed a conversation with him was inevitable.
Trip squinted his eyes as they slowly adjusted to the bright white room engulfing him. He sighed to himself as he realized where he was. *Damn! Not tonight…I know I got issues to work through, but why tonight…sonofabitch…I really need to get off this ship…*
*If I am not mistaken, the dreams started when you left this ship.* T’Pol sitting cross-legged in the center of the space, entered his line of vision.
*Why the hell are you tormenting me like this…it’s bad enough I gotta deal with you during the day…now at night, too?*
*It is you who are disturbing me, Commander.*
He rolled his eyes. *You’d think my dream T’Pol would be a little less stubborn!* He plopped down across from her as she looked at him sharply.
*You believe this is merely a dream?* she asked him cautiously.
*What else?* He sighed heavily.
T’Pol started to speak again, but Trip held up his hands to stop her. *No, no. I’m over this! All right you got me…I’m head over heels in love with you…not some silly crush or infatuation, but the real deal. I know it’s not logical, but that doesn’t make it any less true. I know you don’t feel the same way and you were right...I was distracted, my work was slipping. I knew I needed a fresh start so I took it. Happy?? Is that what you wanted to hear?* He was obviously worked up and frustrated as he glared at T’Pol.
Wide-eyed, she stared back at him as she spoke quietly. *You said you didn’t leave the ship because of me; you said you ‘understood...*
*Yeah, well, I lied. Sort of… I know I said I understood, and I did; I thought I did. But you gotta understand, this has been eating me up inside…I just needed to step back, and regain my perspective. I thought it was the best thing…for both of us.*
T’Pol continued to stare at him, apparently at a loss for words.
Trip sighed again and waved his arms aimlessly indicating the surrounding space. *Look I’ve admitted it…said it out loud…so whatever psychological demons are roaming in my head should be satisfied and put to rest…Are we finished here…please?*
Trip awoke suddenly from his wild dream breathing heavily.
On another deck of the ship, T’Pol’s quarters were slowly coming back into focus as her session ended abruptly. She had been meditating for over an hour but she was nowhere near at peace.
It was T’Pol’s turn to be distracted while working. She couldn’t get over the conversation she had had with Trip. His heartfelt confession, although granted he didn’t realize he was giving it to her, had touched her deeply. It stirred powerful feelings within her, feelings she thought she had buried deeply under Surakian teachings and Vulcan reserve.
“Archer to Commander Tucker.”
“Go ahead, Sir.”
“I’m beginning to think I’ll have to send out an engraved invitation to get you to show up to dinner.”
“Yeah, sorry ‘bout that...I’ve, uh, been busy tryin’ to fix your ship.”
“Then I’ll try not to take it personally...how’s 1800 hours sound? Just you and me, then maybe some water polo?”
“Aye, Cap’n...lookin’ forward to it. Tucker out.” Trip sighed in relief.
Trip walked in to the Captain’s dining room later that evening right on time. He was greeted by the sight of T’Pol looking curiously at him.
“Why are you here?” she cautiously asked.
*That seems to be a favorite question o’ yours* Trip thought, slightly annoyed.
Before he had a chance to answer her, a crewman entered with two side salads, garlic bread and a pitcher of iced tea. “Good evening, Commanders.” he pleasantly spoke. “The Captain extends his apologies, to you both, but he was unable to make it for dinner at the last minute. He is still expecting you in his quarters at 2000 hours, Sir.” The last part of his statement was directed at Trip, who nodded in reply.
“Thanks.” *Damn! Cap’n set me up!*
*It would seem the Captain believes I have some influence in getting Tr---the Commander to stay aboard.* T’Pol could feel her heart beating faster as the moment had apparently arrived despite her best efforts to avoid the matter all together.
“Well, shall we?” Trip drew a hand out towards her chair as he made a move to sit down in his own. He couldn’t decide if he was more annoyed, relieved or just happy to be alone in T’Pol’s presence, in a relatively private place. *Enjoy it while you can Tucker, at least it’s not another damned dream...I hope...!!*
Not much was said as a spicy chicken parmesan and similar vegetarian pasta dish was served and eaten. The silence was deafening, as each stole glances at the other. On a couple of occasions both in turn looked as if they were going to speak, but then decided against it. As dessert was being served, T’Pol politely refused it and looked as if she was about to excuse herself.
Trip took a deep breath and figured it was now or never, “So how long are we gonna continue on like this?”
“I don’t understand.”
“You avoidin’ me, me avoidin’ you...take your pick.” He sighed.
“It is my understanding that you leave for Columbia at the end of next week.”
“That’s not what I meant and you know it!” Trip was getting agitated at this point and glared at her.
At that moment the doorway slid open again admitting the young crewman. Trip’s glare changed focus for a moment, clearly expressing a message with his face.
“Um, just call the galley if you need anything else, Commanders.” The crewman quickly turned and backed away, as Trip gave a slight nod of acknowledgement.
He turned his attention back to T’Pol. Instead of the glare and perfectly stoic face he had expected, she was looking at him with a withering, resigned look. He would have called it trepidation, if he didn’t know any better; it instantly melted his heart.
“Come on, T’Pol. Talk to me...I’m not the enemy here.” He turned to face her directly and scooted his chair a little closer to hers. Had she been human, he probably would have picked up her hand, but he thought it was best not to push her too fast at once. Trip sat patiently, content to wait until she was ready to continue.
T’Pol looked up at the Commander’s warm face. Humans expressed much with their body language, he more than most. She found compassion and caring in his eyes and it gave her the courage to continue.
“Tell me about the dreams you are having at night,” she requested.
Trip looked at her surprised. That was definitely not what he had expected her to say. “What?” He gave a nervous little laugh, “I...um...dontcha think that’s a little personal?”
“You are in a white room...” She began for him.
His startled and confused expression betrayed the shock he was feeling as his mind suddenly went into overdrive, trying to assess her last statement. “How’d you...you’ve been havin’ the same dreams.” His question turned into a statement as a glimmer of understanding began to assert itself.
“I do not believe they are dreams in they way that you understand the term.” she bravely continued.
“Okay,” he started slowly. “What does that mean exactly?” His mind was still trying to review and recall the exact contents of the dreams.
“The time we shared in the expanse, our...intimate activities...has initiated a Vulcan bond between us.”
“Bond.” Trip said the word, but didn’t comprehend it as he suddenly remembered their last encounter in the white room. “Oh, gawd, so that whole heartfelt confession thing I did to try to turn off the dreams...you really heard that?! All of it?!” His eyes kept glancing at hers then skittering away to focus on the stars outside the window. He made a move as if to stand and begin to pace, but T’Pol leaned forward slightly and laid one hand on his knee and the other over his hand resting on the table.
T’Pol looked at him gently, trying to maintain his eye contact. “If what you said is the truth, you have nothing to be ashamed of. Vulcan bonds are created only if both individuals are receptive to its formation.”
He nodded as if confirming that what he had said was indeed the truth. “So these bonds can be created by one night of...*mind blowing sex?* He finished the thought in his head.
“Vulcans are touch telepaths. The neuro-pressure sessions would have played a significant role in its initiation.”
“Kinda like foreplay.” *I knew it!* He gave her a half grin, saw the raised eyebrow and amended his expression to convey that he realized that his last statement was probably not the most constructive comment.
“I didn’t believe that a bond could form between a Vulcan and a Human. For that I apologize, I should have never agreed to the sessions.” She looked away from him almost guiltily.
It was his turn to grab her hand. “Hey, you saved my life with those sessions, don’t you apologize for that! Whatever the consequences, we made those decisions together, and we’ll deal with it together...just like before.” She knew he was referring to her Trellium-D addiction, which she had confided to him before their trip to Vulcan.
“Still, it was never my intention to cause you this extreme amount of distress.”
“I think that works both ways, Darlin’, I said some things, I’m not proud of, too.”
“They were understandable, under the circumstances.”
“A full bonding progression has not been initiated, I can show you a few simple shielding techniques until we can arrange to see a Vulcan high priest,” she answered, still giving Trip no clue as to her true feelings on the issue. “It is a relatively simple procedure.”
*Simple? There’s nothin’ about this that’s simple!* “Well okay then. If you don’t mind, I’d like to take some time to process all this... Can we talk again tomorrow?” She nodded her consent.
He stood to leave. “Commander!” she called rather sharply, before he had reached the door. He swung around with a slightly aggrieved expression at the use of his rank, after so intimate a conversation.
Her voice became gentler, “Trip, you haven’t asked about what keeping the bond would entail.”
He searched her face hoping for some clue, “Is that what you want?” he softly asked.
“I will respect whatever decision you feel is best for you.”
Trip sighed deeply. “You see that’s just it. Nothin’s really changed...the last six months...you’ve already chosen to structure your life without me in it....I can’t ignore that.”
“I have been coming to the conclusion that I may have been mistaken in my previous assessments... Reading the Kir’Shara has been an enlightening experience for me...but it is still a daily struggle....balancing my emotions for you with the path of Surak. Many of the truths I was brought up to believe in have turned out to be false. However there is nothing more truly Vulcan than the mating bond.”
Trip considered her words for a moment. With his voice barely above a whisper he said, “I’m sorry, Darlin’, I just can’t change gears that fast...I can’t trust that you won’t change your mind about us again and...I don’t think I could take it...” He looked sorrowfully at her for a moment, before turning to leave the room.
T’Pol quietly watched him leave. Where her heart had been pounding at the beginning of the conversation, now there was nothing but a disturbing ache. Clearly this required more meditation...before the Commander fell asleep.
One week later
Trip walked into the Captain’s ready room to give him a final report on the repairs in Engineering. Enterprise’s engine efficiency was at a higher level than before the Klingon’s had encrypted the sub-routines. They were scheduled to rendezvous with Columbia the day after tomorrow.
“Trip. Couldn’t have done it without you.” Archer shook his friend’s hand.
“Anytime, Cap’n.” Trip replied with a slightly despondent tone. With Enterprise back up to speed, he was leaving again. And somehow this time it was going to be twice as hard to say goodbye. “Well, if you’ll excuse me, I still have a few things to go over with Kelby.”
Archer gave his friend a disapproving shake of his head along with a slight smile. “Take a break, Trip. You deserve it. Besides, you look like hell.”
Trip snorted a half-hearted laugh. “Yeah, I guess it can wait ‘til tomorrow. G’night, Sir.”
“Oh, Trip? T’Pol left this for you, not sure what it is, but she wanted you to have it right way.” Archer tried to hide the small smirk as he left a baffled engineer alone in his office holding a data padd and a small white box.
“Still playin’ games I see, Darlin’,” Trip whispered to the empty room. However morbid curiosity got the better of him and soon he was opening the box revealing a small gold compass. Unsure of the meaning of the gift, he sighed, turned to the data padd and began to read.
I thought perhaps a written form of communication would allow me the freedom to express myself more succinctly than in our recent verbal conversations. I ask that you indulge me this final request and allow me to take you on a journey. At the end I promise to answer any question you wish to pose and to accept your decision regarding the bond that has formed between us.
I chose to start here, in the Captain’s ready room, for it is here that we first met. I found you to be insolent and arrogant, qualities I believed to be quite common amongst humans. But there was also an intrigue. In you I found someone who could be frustrating, brilliant, exasperating, and compassionate, illogically often at the same time. You were inescapable; in short you “got under my skin.”
Captain Archer gave me a compass when my Starfleet commission became official. He said he hoped it would “help to keep me pointed in the right direction.” I offer a compass to you now for the same reason. May it point us in the right direction.
Upon further examination of the compass, Trip discovered a small red tag, with the word Sickbay on it. Again morbid curiosity set his feet in motion to the lower decks of the ship. At the very least, he decided, he could talk to Phlox about the oddly disturbing behavior of a certain science officer.
The good Doctor was no where to be seen, when Trip entered the medical bay, but as he looked around the room he found another red tag on a glass jar, and a data padd lying nearby. Trip grimaced slightly when he recognized the contents of the jar. Aldaveran mud leeches, the same ones Phlox had used to convince him to continue the neuro–pressure sessions with T’Pol. *Well she certainly has a talent for irony,* he thought wryly. He picked up the padd and discovered it was encrypted to his thumbprint and a low level security algorithm. He broke it easily.
If you are reading this message, I am pleased to see my trust in your curiosity and ingenuity has not been misplaced.
Trip’s eyes were bugged out in shock and amazement. He was completely flabbergasted, unsure whether or not he had just been royally insulted or if T’Pol just had a really, really bizarre idea of what humans considered romantic. *Nope! I’m not gonna think like that…I’ve gotten my hopes up one to many times with her…But clearly this requires more research…on a strictly professional level of course…*
Assuming that Phlox wouldn’t want him to take the leeches with him, and having no idea what to do with them even if he did, he reached up and removed the small red tag from the glass jar. Pocketing the data padd, he started off towards the armory.
“Hey, Malcolm…” Trip walked over to his friend and greeted him in a low voice.
“Trip…” Malcolm replied coyly.
Seeing that the Brit was not going to let this be easy, he sighed. “You got somethin’ for me? A data padd maybe?” Trip’s voice was getting an annoyingly hopeful quality to it the engineer noted with dismay.
Lieutenant Reed did not do his “innocent face” much justice as he replied, “Now why would you think I’d have something for you? I turned all the repair reports into Commander Kelby.”
Trip scowled, quickly losing his patience. “Come on.” Reed smirked and handed him a phase pistol. Tucker stared at it and then at his friend.
“I don’t know what kind of game you’re playing with our First Officer, but I made sure it was unloaded…just in case…” Reed started to walk away. “Oh, by the way…” Malcolm tossed a data padd over his shoulder to his confused friend.
“What did she say to you?!?” Tucker called after him.
“Just that she was working on a plan to get you back.” Malcolm replied evenly. “I assume she meant to the ship,” he grinned.
“Smart ass,” Trip muttered under his breath, shooting him a glare. Then remembering the real reason he was here, he set about decrypting yet another security code.
On one of our first away missions, you told me a story from your secondary education. “Challenge your preconceptions, or they will challenge you.” I do not believe we have always kept this axiom in mind in our dealings with each other. Even after our experiences on Loracus Prime, there have undoubtedly been times when you have wanted to use this device on me and vice versa. However, as we began to get to know each other, understanding and respect grew out of ignorance and mistrust. Our disagreements, became less about proving ourselves right and more about challenging the other beyond our previous capabilities. I have come to respect your talents a great deal, Commander, and have found them a worthy complement to my own.
*Hmm. This is getting more interesting by the minute.* Trip thought to himself. *I can’t wait to see what she has in store for me next!* He fought back the sly grin that was threatening to escape onto his face. *Careful, Tucker! There may still be a big bucket of cold water at the end of this!*
“Trip!” As the Commander made a move to leave the Armory, Malcolm called out to him from across the room and started walking toward him.
“I believe that phase pistol belongs to me,” the Lieutenant stated smiling.
“What does it matter? You said yourself, it’s not loaded.” He handed the weapon to his friend.
Reed shrugged, “Well, you can never be too careful…”
Trip half laughed and shook his head. Then as if remembering something, reached for the pistol again. “Oops, wait a minute…”
He removed the red tag and handed it back. “Thanks!” he called out as he hurried for the door.
The mess hall was quiet as it usually was this time of night. At a table in the corner was a piece of pecan pie and another data padd. Smiling to himself, *hmm I was just thinkin’ I could use a snack after all this runnin’ around!* he sat down. Seeing the familiar red tag on the fork, he was satisfied he wasn’t stealing someone else’s desert and dug in.
We have had many valuable discussions over food both at the Captain’s table and here in the mess hall. It is you who suggested that it was not only necessary for nutrition’s sake but could also be ‘good for the soul’. While I have no empirical evidence to support this statement, I also have none to disprove it. I attempted to test the theory after our first conversation in my quarters nearly three years ago. You had advised me to consider what I wanted in dealing with Koss’ parents’ request that I return home and fulfill my marriage agreement. Illogically, embracing one of your favorite temptations enabled me to see your point of view more clearly. Perhaps this was the ‘point of no return’.
Trip finished his pie with a satisfied smile. He examined the red tag on his fork and immediately frowned. *Huh…there’s nothin’ here…Where the hell am I supposed ta go next in this little scavenger hunt of hers??* He picked up the padd again and began searching for a clue. *Well, you can’t stop there…* he thought impatiently, growing more frustrated by the second.
After what seemed like hours to the engineer, but was really only a few short moments, Hoshi Sato entered the mess hall and ordered a hot cup of tea for herself. Noticing the Commander sitting in the corner she walked up to him quietly.
“Hey, Hoshi.” Trip said dully.
“Commander. Enjoying one last piece of Chef’s pie?”
“Yeah, you could say that. Have a seat.”
“Oh, I can’t stay, I’ve got an early shift in the morning. Besides, Commander Kelby asked me to tell you, you left one of your data padds in his office.” She slowly turned and walked away.
“Thanks.” Trip nodded and bid her good night. *Funny, I don’t remember leaving a…Oh!!* He jumped up and whizzed right past the smiling Communications Officer.
It wasn’t technically his office anymore, but Trip had been using it just that afternoon to work on the final repair reports for the Captain, T’Pol and Kelby. So it was with little hesitation that he entered the small, familiar room in the back of Engineering. True to his suspicion he found a data cartridge with a red tag and another padd lying on top of it in the center of the desk.
Trip’s eyebrow’s furrowed tightly as he read the title on the movie disc. Romeo and Juliet. *Uh-oh, this can’t be good.* Trip sighed as he remembered a conversation he and T’Pol had had while she was still married.
During my time at the Vulcan Science Academy, study of alien cultures including their literature was required. While Shakespeare is considered overtly sentimental and verbose in most Vulcan literary circles, it is still considered to provide valuable insights on the inner workings of human society and relationships. I have read Romeo and Juliet thoroughly and see few similarities to us to warrant an accurate comparison. I believe your logic to be flawed on several key points. I have listed them all in sequential order for your perusal and consideration at a later date. Since you are partial to this medium, I believe a careful review of the cinematic version, would also prove useful to you.
Trip rolled his eyes. *She’s givin’ me homework now?? I gotta be more careful what I say around her…*
Having said that, I do understand a relationship between a Vulcan and a Human would entail certain challenges. Ones that we can not foresee or be prepared for. It is perhaps my greatest concern. It would not be easy, but I have come to believe you would say anything worth having rarely is.
*Hmm…good point, Darlin’.*
*Beep.*. A communications signal startled Trip out of his reverie. “Go ahead.” He spoke, almost automatically.
“Commander, I thought one last visit to the ‘sweet spot’ was in order, before you depart for Columbia.” Travis Mayweather’s voice answered over the comm. system.
Trip was tempted to say no, but then realized that once again there was nothing written on the red tag indicating where he should go next. “Sure, Travis…I’ll be right there.”
*Damn! She’s got a pretty good timing schedule going on here…Of course she does…probably had every variable calculated out to the last millisecond!* Trip snorted lightly to himself.
“Hey, Travis.” Trip smiled at the young pilot as he floated up near the top of the ceiling in near 0-gravity. “I suppose you’ve got somethin’ for me?”
Travis smiled and nodded. “You catch on quick, Commander.” He took a chain from around his neck and offered it and the pendant hanging from it to the Engineer. It was clearly a Vulcan symbol, but one that Trip was unfamiliar with, a triangle, partially embedded in a circle. As a questioningly look crossed the Engineer’s face, Travis spoke up again.
“Maybe this will help.” He produced a data padd from a side pocket, handed it to Trip and after one more back flip began to descend to the floor.
“You don’t have to leave…” Trip started.
“Ah, but that wouldn’t be part of ‘the plan’.” Travis grinned emphasizing the last two words. Trip returned the smile and nodded in understanding. *Geez, she’s recruited a whole army to get me to stay aboard…Maybe that outta tell you somethin’, Tucker…I dunno…I’m not gonna believe this ‘til I see her for myself…* Trip settled himself upside down and began to read.
You have encouraged me to try many new recreational, dietary, and cultural experiences in the four years I have known you, to look for the hidden joy in the small and ordinary. It occurs to me that perhaps I have not always been as forthcoming in sharing what it is that is important to me. What it truly means to be Vulcan. I know you asked me about it that night in Engineering; however I hope you know that I was not yet ready to explain, what I did not understand myself. I have since come to believe that assessment may have been misguided. For you may understand me far better than you realize or than I give you credit for.
Trip sighed to himself. *My quarters?? I was hopin’ this would end up in your quarters!! Well, I’ve come this far…* With a little extra skip to his step, Trip made his way to his quarters, fortunately the same ones he had been assigned to for nearly four years. No other place would have felt like home...Well, maybe one other place…*Tucker! I’m warnin’ you!!* As he opened the door, sure enough there was one more data padd lying on his bed next to a large white meditation candle and a lighter. He smiled and had a good idea what he was supposed to do with the candle, but picked up the data padd anyway and dutifully read his final message.
Over the past 4 years, I have burned many meditation candles dealing with my emotions for you. Our conversations and interactions at different times have been confusing, engaging, and frustrating but often strangely satisfying. Commander Charles Tucker the Third, started out as an adversary, but became my greatest ally. He went from someone who seemed to take delight in arguing with me to my most trusted friend, from a member of an alien race to an intimate partner. I confess I am as yet uncertain of what the future holds for us, but to quote an older and much wiser T’Pol, I can not imagine what my life would be like without you in it.
When you are ready light the candle and concentrate on the flame, clearing your mind of all thoughts, breathing as I taught you during our neuro-pressure sessions. I will be meditating in my quarters, waiting for you.
With sincerest hopes,
Trip was floored. Never, even in his wildest dreams, had he imagined T’Pol opening up to him as she had done just then. She had taken a huge leap of faith and nothing less than an equal gesture from him would do. For the first time in a long time, Trip felt, or rather allowed himself to feel, the hope rising in his heart. Was it possible? Vulcans may not have the same concepts of love and romance as humans did, but it seemed that T’Pol had just spent the past hour expressing her Vulcan equivalent of them and that was all he had really been looking for. He knew exactly what he had to do.
The next conversation was over sub-space to a less than happy, but moderately understanding, Captain Hernandez who had read between the lines of their previous conversations. After accepting Tucker’s honest and sincere apology for running away from personal problems to her ship, the jilted Captain made him promise to inform Archer that “he owes me big...and I intend to collect.”
The prospect of owing Captain Hernandez did not entirely displease Captain Archer. He raised both eyebrows when Trip stopped by his quarters to admit to his mistake and requested to “return home permanently”. After making Trip promise that this transfer back was final, he was more sure than ever that something big was going on between his first officer and chief engineer. It gave him a headache just thinking about the consequences of that relationship, so he decided to revel in the fact that everything was getting back to normal, the way it should be. Phlox was safe and sound, Malcolm could be trusted after all and Trip was back to stay. He had wanted to celebrate that fact with his friend over a bottle of bourbon, but Tucker had quickly excused himself, saying there was one more person he had to talk to. Archer felt that headache coming on again as he retired with Porthos to bed.
After lighting the candle and following T’Pol’s other instructions, Trip quickly found himself in the middle of the white, misty room. He smiled, a real smile, for the first time in ages as he saw the “woman of his dreams” sitting quietly by his side. Recognizing his presence, she slowly opened her eyes and carefully tried to assess his mood and demeanor. Trip started laughing as he pulled her into his arms and lap holding her tightly against him. They stayed like that for several minutes as if making up for lost time. T’Pol’s rigid posture slowly began to relax as she quietly accepted the warm embrace. As time went by, both periodically let out small sighs of contentment.
“Crazy Vulcan.” Trip murmured as he kissed the top of her head. T’Pol looked at him with her patented eyebrow raise and he chuckled. Getting serious again, he gently took her face in both of his hands. “I love you, too,” he said looking deeply into her eyes. He leaned in slowly allowing his lips to brush across hers briefly. Finding no objection, he made a move to deepen the contact and felt the soft kiss being reciprocated. But then, after a few moments, T’Pol pulled back from him reluctantly.
“Before we get carried away, there are a few things left to discuss,” she gently reminded him.
Trip nodded in understanding. “As nice as this is, how about we do that in person?” With that he felt the white space drift away and his quarters manifested themselves back around him. After taking a moment to regain his focus on reality, he quickly stood and made his way to T’Pol. Being of like mind, they met by the turbolift doors, Trip coming out, T’Pol going in. Although not a word had been spoken, volumes of understanding passed between them as their eyes met. Silently they retraced T’Pol’s steps back to her quarters.
“Commander!” T’Pol blurted out, a little breathless from the kiss she had just broken up.
Trip stared at her in disbelief. *Did she really just have the audacity to call me ‘Commander’ after kissin’ me like that?!*
He cleared his throat, “Yes, Commander?” He mocked her words right back at her.
“Trip, you have yet to inform me of your decision regarding our bond.”
Trip fished a padd out of one of his zippered pockets. “Here,” he said handing it to her. “This outta give you a clue.”
She took the padd and read the official Starfleet order. “You have transferred back to Enterprise?” she asked carefully, but betraying her hopes with her eyes.
He grinned at her, trusting in his innate ability to read her. “Yep. That kiss better have been for real, ‘cause Cap’n made me promise this last transfer was for keeps.”
“Perhaps this will ‘give you a clue’.” She leaned in to kiss him again.
This time, he broke the passionate moment. “So, why didn’t you tell me that even if we broke this bond, you still couldn’t bond with anyone else?”
She looked at him with surprise. *He has been researching the Vulcan database again,* she thought slightly dismayed.
“The bonding process for Vulcans is deeply personal and unique. It has rarely been known to happen more than once in a lifetime. However, I did not wish for you to make a decision out of a sense of obligation or …because you felt guilty.”
“I would think you’d know me better than that by now.” Trip added, slightly hurt.
“There is something else you should know.”
“Okay…” He narrowed his eyes at her, bracing himself for bad news.
“More physical intimacy will strengthen and deepen this bond to the point of it becoming permanent. I am not sure we are ready for all that that means…” She eyed him carefully awaiting his response with a measure of trepidation.
Trip took a moment to try and absorb and understand just what she was saying. He nodded in agreement. “That’s okay…I think this will give us a chance to really get to know and understand each other first…I mean we already know the sex’ll be great, so…” He trailed off quickly, unsure if he had gone too far. He glanced up at her almost shyly.
“I want to make that commitment to you…to us…There will be plenty of time for us to be together, when we are both comfortable with completing this bond and formalizing our relationship. For now, let’s concentrate on building a foundation, one that no one would dare try to tear apart…” He paused for a moment, before wrapping her tightly against him, and sighing as though deeply relaxed. “You can’t imagine how good it feels just to hold you in my arms.”
She looked at him with a slight hint of amusement. “Actually, I can.”
Trip smiled in understanding. “I think I need to learn more about what this bond entails…”
They spent the next several hours talking, sharing brief kisses and just laying silently in each other arms. They could have stayed there forever, but the need to get a couple of hours of real sleep before their duty shifts started compelled them to call it a night.
He placed a lingering but chaste kiss on her forehead. His hands made their way to her shoulders and he gently pushed himself away from her. As he turned to leave, his right arm dropped to capture her right hand and he lightly squeezed it. She recaptured his hand as he pulled away and he watched her fold down three of his fingers leaving his fore and middle ones pointed towards her. He gasped slightly when she did the same with her hand and brushed their fingers together.
At his inquiring face, she answered softly, “This is how bondmates show affection towards each other in public. It is in essence a Vulcan kiss.”
He smiled and reveled for a moment in the new information. “Sweet dreams, Darlin’.” he whispered.
“Good night, T’hy’la.”
She watched him leave her quarters with just a trace of sadness. But in him she also felt the incredible hope of this new future they were embarking on...together, she thought with wonder...
Almost immediately after she heard her door swish shut, the entry chime went off. Baffled, she crossed the short distance to the door and opened it. She moved back a pace or two as Trip strode in and brazenly wrapped her up in his strong arms. She felt like the heroine in one of the old romantic movies he liked so much and she allowed herself to submit to the insatiable lips that were now capturing her own in a passionate kiss. Her body melted into him as his rough, stubbled face lightly scratched against her own smooth skin. Nothing in the universe existed but the two of them. All too soon she heard him sigh deeply and push himself away from her again.
He backed slowly into the hall, looking at her as if offering a silent apology for his weakness. She watched him until the door slid between them again, and then for a moment afterwards just stood there waiting.
Feeling slightly disappointed, when the chime did not ring again, she turned and readied herself for her evening meditation. As she knelt down on the pillow she allowed herself a momentary indulgence when an image of a very naked Commander Tucker alone in the shower flashed through her mind. The only thing she couldn’t figure out was why the water felt so cold.
May, 2155 - San Francisco
Having already answered similar questions a number of times that morning, T’Pol sighed slightly. “Quite. We have kept quiet long enough.”
“Well, no argument there, I just wonder what the Captain’s gonna say.”
“I do not believe Captain Archer will be entirely surprised.”
Trip snorted slightly, nodding in agreement. “Yeah. So when do you think he figured it out?”
His last thought was interrupted by the arrival of said Captain at the small San Francisco bistro. Trip waved to him from the small private table near the back of the room.
“Commanders. It’s good to see you. I suppose you’ve heard?”
Trip grinned. “Five year mission, huh?”
Archer nodded in glee, barely able to contain the huge smile from splitting his face in two. “Yep. Columbia’s gone through her shake-down; Starfleet thinks Enterprise is ready for deep-space explorations. Even the Vulcans haven’t been out that far.” He grinned at his science officer, who was looking a tad bit nervous, for her anyway.
At that moment a waiter approached the trio. “A bottle of your best wine, please.” Archer informed the waiter, who quickly went to retrieve the order. “I feel like celebrating! So how were the vacations?”
The small talk ensued until the wine was nearly gone and three large salads had been ordered and eaten. Trip and T’Pol were content with the momentary reprieve, as Archer prattled on in blissful oblivion about strange new worlds, new life and new civilizations. But finally, the real issue at hand could no longer be ignored.
“I’m sorry.” Archer finally came up for a breath. “You said you wanted to talk to me about something?”
“Uh, yeah.” Trip started cautiously. He took a deep breath and snuck one of his hands under the table to grip a slim Vulcan one. “Ya see, T’Pol and I are...involved.”
“Involved?” The older man eyed his companions curiously.
“Romantically,” T’Pol offered. “It was not our intention to be deceptive, however given our positions on board Enterprise, we felt it best to remain...discreet.”
The Captain raised his eyebrows in amusement, allowing a small smirk to grace his features. “Um, you do realize on a ship the size of Enterprise, it’s not exactly a state secret?”
Trip smiled briefly then exchange nervous glances with T’Pol.
Archer’s grin faded as the silence drew on. “What’s changed?”
“We know Starfleet discourages fraternization between starship crew members, and we agree that there are logical reasons behind those regulations.” T’Pol started.
“This isn’t somethin’ either of us planned on, Cap’n. It just happened. I probably wouldn’t have made it out of the Expanse if it wasn’t for her...”
“Captain, Commander Tucker and I wish to acknowledge our relationship...publicly.”
“Come out of the closet so to speak,” Trip added. “We heard about the mission...and felt now was the proper time to face the music. However, if Starfleet disapproves...”
“We are prepared to seek other postings.” T’Pol stated matter-of-factly.
Trip, seeing the expression on his old friend’s face, cut back in. “Look Cap’n, it’s not the way it sounds. The last thing we wanted was for this to come across like an ultimatum. But the truth is T’Pol and I are together. We want that to be on Enterprise, but if Starfleet thinks other arrangements are in order then…”
Archer held up his hand. “I think I get the picture,” he said quietly. “You know it might help your case if you were already married.”
Trip sighed and glanced at his beloved. “We know that, Cap’n, and that’s the goal. But you gotta understand T’Pol and I had a whole lot of misunderstandings to work through, and a there’s whole bunch of new issues that bein’ together causes. The truth is... we’re just not ready yet.”
The Captain nodded in understanding and looked thoughtful for a second. “Let me talk to Forrest...off the record...see what he thinks. Maybe we can pull some strings.”
Trip smiled, in obvious relief. “Thanks, Cap’n. We couldn’t ask for anything more.”
“We appreciate your support in this matter, Captain,” T’Pol said quietly.
“I don’t really have a choice, do I? The thought of going into deep space without two of my best officers...well let’s just say I don’t want to think about it.”
Archer sighed, gazing upon his friends fondly for a moment before letting out a small laugh. “If someone had told me 5 years ago, I’d be having this conversation...with the two of you no less...I’d have told them they were crazy.”
“Hell, I’d have told ‘em they were crazy.” Trip grinned at the Vulcan eyebrow raised in his direction and squeezed her hand. “But it just seems to make some weird kinda sense.”
“It was the only logical way I could get him to stop arguing with me.” T’Pol stated calmly, not betraying any obvious joviality.
“Hmph!” Archer suppressed a snicker. “If you can’t beat ‘em, join ’em; eh, Commander?” Trip joined in the laughter as a slim eyebrow went up yet again.
“Well, I’ve got to get back to Headquarters,” Archer stated when the laughter died down. “You both coming to the banquet next week?”
“Wouldn’t miss it.” Trip volunteered.
“I’ll try to have an answer for you by then,” Archer promised.
“Thank you, Sir. We really appreciate it.” The two men stood and shook hands.
“Thank you, Captain.” T’Pol nodded gratefully to her commanding officer.
One week later - Officer’s Promotion Banquet.
Every year Starfleet hosted a banquet honoring all of the officers who had been recently promoted. This year’s party doubled as a grand-send off for Enterprise, who was due to ship-out officially, later that same month. At the head table, newly promoted Lieutenants, Hoshi Sato and Travis Mayweather were enjoying the festivities along with Lieutenant Commander Reed. Also at the table were the Captain, Trip and T’Pol, Admiral Forrest and a young exo-botanist by the name of Kara, who sported an antique diamond ring on her left hand.
Before the banquet, Captain Archer pulled aside his First Officer and Chief Engineer for a private chat.
“I’m only going to say this once, so listen up.” Archer looked both officers in the eye, but lingering a little longer on Trip.
“Admiral Forrest has agreed, that given our unique mission and all the good Enterprise has done in the past, that the non-fraternization regulations should be at the Captain’s discretion. I will essentially be ‘writing the book’ for future deep space missions.”
Trip and T’Pol looked at each other, the obvious relief starting to cross their faces, but the Captain held up a hand. “Wait a minute. I’m not finished.” His tone was deadly serious. The two Commanders straightened up a bit as they unconsciously moved to stand at attention, hands clasped behind their backs.
“Go ahead, Sir,” T’Pol prompted.
“I’m saying this to you as your Captain,” Archer began. “I want there to be no mistake. You’ve been out there, you know what to expect. Every situation, doesn’t always have a nice, neat solution; people can get hurt or worse. I need your unequivocal guarantee, that if push comes to shove, the crew and ship come first, and your personal relationship, whatever it might be, takes a backseat.”
Trip stared at him wide-eyed and swallowed hard, not sure of what the Captain expected him to say.
Archer’s tone softened slightly. “I don’t expect an answer tonight. This is something I want you both to think about and be sure of what you are committing to. If you chose to accept this mission, nothing further needs to be said, I will continue to trust in your professionalism and sense of duty as I always have. If not, well I’ll appreciate your honesty up front and accept your decision...but I’m sure as hell gonna miss you. Both of you.” With that he strode out of the room, leaving Trip and T’Pol alone, with their minds racing and mouths hanging slightly open.
A toast had been made to Enterprise’s 3 newly promoted officers, when everyone had returned to their seats. Travis remained standing, hand in hand with his date.
“Everyone, I’d like to introduce you to Kara Simpson.”
“Kara Mayweather,” she corrected him with a smile. Travis grinned guiltily as the entire bridge crew stared at him in shock.
“I got married!” the young pilot announced joyfully.
Archer groaned inwardly as a certain headache started throbbing at his temples again. *There must be something in the water here on Earth.* He glanced at Trip and T’Pol with a defeated grin before joining in the congratulations.
“Um, Captain...” Travis started.
Archer held up a hand to stop the young man. “I think a position for an exo-botanist just opened up on my ship. Know of anyone who’d be interested?” The new couple both raised a hand, simultaneously laughing.
Meanwhile, Admiral Forrest sat back and observed the whole scene, including the subtle but tangible intimacy between Commander Tucker and the Vulcan Science officer. He had been impressed with how vehemently Captain Archer had fought for and defended his senior staff, but he still had some lingering doubts and concerns. He took a deep breath and released it slowly. *Good Luck, Jonathan, old friend. I hope you know what you’re doing!*
One week later – Enterprise
“Commanders Tucker and T’Pol reporting for duty, Captain.” Trip grinned as he stepped onto the newly refurbished bridge right behind T’Pol.
“Welcome aboard. I trust you’re ready to get down to work?”
“Yes, Sir! Can’t wait to see what the upgrade team did to my engines.” Trip grimaced slightly and rolled his eyes.
“Captain, I have reviewed the current crew roster thoroughly and have some suggestions when you have a moment.” T’Pol stated calmly. “I understand Dr. Phlox has agreed to remain aboard.”
“Yes, along with the rest of the senior staff, including Travis. I understand Kara has some interesting ideas for improving the hydroponics bay. You might want to meet with her, T’Pol.”
“Understood. Anything else, Captain?”
“Nope. Everything’s just as it should be.” Archer smiled at his friends and once again felt the excitement of the upcoming mission beginning to build.
December, 2155 - Enterprise
Commander T’Pol entered the Mess Hall one evening for a hot cup of tea before she began her meditation for the evening. Commander Tucker was working late in Engineering, so she didn’t expect to see him until breakfast with the Captain the next morning.
“Lieutenant, may I join you?” T’Pol inquired of Hoshi Sato who was indulging in a late night dessert.
“Of course, Commander. Please.” She indicated the seat beside her. After a quiet moment Hoshi looked curiously at her companion.
“Something wrong, T’Pol?”
“Lieut-Hoshi, may I … ask you a personal question?”
“Sure” the younger woman smiled in knowing response. “Trip?”
The Vulcan woman raised a slightly surprise eyebrow, before nodding. She paused a moment collecting her thoughts and reviewing the logic of discussing her…issue…with a much younger, though arguably more experienced woman.
“I…respect the Commander a great deal and value his presence in my life…but lately I’ve been feeling less than…satisfied with our interactions.”
“Um…in general or uh…more intimately speaking?” Hoshi’s voice was low and gentle despite the fact they were alone in the room.
T’Pol eyes widened in a combined look of confusion and slight embarrassment. She took a sip of tea and a deep breath before answering. “I have no complaints about the level of…passion in our relationship. I am more uncertain about the length of certain phases in human dating.
Hoshi nodded in understanding, silently encouraging the other woman to continue.
“Vulcans arrange most unions from a very young age. We grow up knowing whom we are going to marry and…when.”
“Have you talked to Commander Tucker about all this?” Hoshi asked
“I believed it was inappropriate for a woman to bring up such a subject with a human mate.” T’Pol replied.
“Of course it’s not! And if I know Trip, he’d much rather know your…train of thought…than to see you be concerned about something and not tell him.”
“I am uncertain where to begin.”
“Well…let me ask you something. Do you see Commander Tucker as a life-long partner…a husband?”
T’Pol’s eyebrows both rose slightly as she considered her response, her answer forestalled by another sip of tea. “I can not imagine my life without him,” she stated frankly.
Hoshi could have sworn she caught the barest glimmer of a smile and couldn’t stop the wide grin spreading across her own face. “Well, I think there is your answer, Commander. Trip will know where to go from there. And if he doesn’t ask you to marry him, ask him yourself.”
“As I understand it, that would not be following the proper tradition.”
“Look, you and Trip are hardly a traditional couple. Sometimes human men just need a slight…push in the right direction or maybe he’s just waiting for the perfect time. He’s head over heels in love with you, you know.”
T’Pol looked at her. “How do you know?”
“Well that would be a whole other conversation. T’Pol, but suffice it to say, the whole ship knows. Commander Tucker is a ‘wear his heart on his sleeve’ kind of guy.”
“Indeed. Thank you, Hoshi.” She stood up to leave.
“Anytime. Oh, and Commander? Did I ever tell you that I love to help plan weddings?” That comment made T’Pol stop nervously for a moment, then quickly exit the room. Hoshi Sato smiled in delight as one who held exclusive rights to a state secret.
Next morning – Captain’s Dining Room
Trip sighed. “So, it’s not that the repairs are that complicated, it’s just tedious. Between them and the upgrades we’ve been workin’ on, the warp engines will need to be shut down for the better part of a week.”
“We’re due to pass by an uninhabited M-Class planet in the next few days.” Archer said. “If everything checks out okay, we could just stay in orbit. Give the crew a little shore leave time. Two weeks should be an acceptable timeframe to accomplish both goals.”
“I will begin working on a modified crew rotation schedule immediately, Captain.” T’Pol answered finishing the rest of her tea.
“Make sure you and Trip are on it.”
“Of course, Captain, and you will be on it as well. Commander, perhaps we can discuss your crew requirements for the upgrade over lunch?”
He smiled at her warmly. “Of course, Commander, lookin’ forward to it.”
The Captain rolled his eyes slightly at the fake formality between his two senior officers as T’Pol walked out of the room.
“Trip?” He watched as his Engineer, making no move to leave, made sure his favorite Vulcan was out of earshot.
“Cap’n. I need a favor.” Trip whispered.
“Uh-oh. What’d you do this time?” Archer asked, amused.
Trip frowned slightly, a bit defensive. “Nothin’! I sorta want to set up a surprise…for T’Pol.”
Archer silently waited for his friend to continue, he had a feeling what was going to come next.
“I know that the whole crew deserves as much time off as we do, but I was hopin’ I could arrange for a little extra for me ‘n T’Pol. A...uh...honeymoon of sorts.” Trips face was now a shade crimson as he desperately waited for a response.
Archer’s eyebrows rose. “I was under the impression honeymoons usually come after a wedding…Something you want to tell me, Trip?”
“Well, T’Pol’s not human, so I didn’t want to push our traditions on her. Vulcan bonding ceremonies are pretty simple and straightforward. It normally requires a High Priest to help initiate a bond, but apparently we’re a little beyond that stage. According to Phlox, completing a bonding ritual can get a little…well…intense for few days, if ya know what I mean…” Trip’s head landed heavily in his hands, hoping against hope his best friend wouldn’t give him a hard time.
“Sounds like you’ve been doing some homework.”
“Yeah, I gotta get with Hoshi to try and teach me some of the Vulcan phrases, but the fewer people that know about this surprise beforehand the better.”
“You’re really serious about this, huh?” Archer smiled.
“More than I’ve ever been about anything in my life.” Trip nodded with absolute conviction.
“Well than who am I to stand in the way. Congratulations, Trip. You’d better take good care of her or you’ll have me to answer to.”
“Aye, aye, Sir!” He grinned in relief, shaking the Captain’s proffered hand.
“You know if you were that nervous asking me, I hope you make it through the proposal with her.” Archer slapped Trip on the back, leaving behind a wide-eyed, suddenly terrified, engineer as he walked out of the room chuckling.
Early afternoon - Chief Engineer’s Office
When Lieutenant Sato arrived on the bridge that morning, she had an urgent message from Commander Tucker to please meet him in his office shortly after lunch.
“Oh, good, Hoshi.” Trip greeted closing the door behind her. “I need a personal favor, but you have to promise not to tell anyone.”
*Seems I’m the resident secret keeper these days.* “Of course! What did you need, Commander?”
“Well, it’s about T’Pol.”
“Uh-oh. What did you do this time?”
Trip grimaced. “Nothin’!” he almost growled in exasperation. *Why does everyone keep askin’ me that?!*
Hoshi put her hands up. “Sorry,” she giggled. “Go on.”
“I finagled some extra shore leave at that M-class planet we’re stoppin’ at. I want to ask T’Pol to…to complete the Vulcan bonding ceremony with me. I need your help with some of the phrases and pronunciations.” His voice was uncharacteristically low even though the office door was closed.
*Oooh! I was right…he was just waiting for the perfect time! Oh wait! Both of them swore me to secrecy…Dammit!*
“Oh, um sorry, Commander…of course, I’d be happy to help you. Let me put together a quick lesson plan for you and I’ll download it onto a padd. Same time tomorrow?”
“That’d be great. Thanks, Hoshi…I really appreciate it!” Trip grinned.
Later that afternoon - Captain’s ready room
“Come in.” Archer looked up as T’Pol entered his ready room.
“Captain, I was hoping to make a request, if you’re not too busy.”
*Huh. This should be interesting.* “Not at all, go ahead.”
“I believe I have come up with the optimum schedule to maximize shore leave opportunities for all crewmen. If it is acceptable, Commander Tucker and I would like to stay on board to supervise the start of the engine upgrades, take our leave together, and then return to monitor the completion of the project.”
“Sure. In fact I think you should take a week.” Archer said decisively, turning to face his computer to hide the smile threatening to creep across his face.
T’Pol’s eyebrow rose in surprise, that had been a little too easy. Perhaps he didn’t understand. “Captain I realize it will be inconvenient to have both your senior officers off the ship for an extended period of time---“
“T’Pol, I said it was fine,” he gently interrupted. “You and Trip deserve the time off more than anyone.”
Although still a bit startled, T’Pol pressed on. “Thank you, Captain, if I could make another request?”
“Shoot.” Seeing her slightly confused look he amended, “Go ahead.”
“I am told it is a long standing human tradition that ship Captains can perform marriage ceremonies. I believe Commander Tucker would like nothing better, but to have you officiate ours.”
*Wow. Why can’t these two ever get together on these things?* “I’d love to, T’Pol, but I didn’t realize you and Trip were…um planning a wedding.”
“We aren’t…yet. Lieutenant Sato assured me, it was perfectly acceptable for the bride to ask the groom…was she mistaken?”
“Oh, no! No, I mean…um I was just surprised is all. Just let me know when.”
“Thank you, Sir.”
“Anytime, T’Pol. Trip’s a lucky man.” Archer tried desperately to hold back his laughter until she was completely out of the room. He turned and hit his COM panel.
“Archer to Lieutenant Sato.”
“Go ahead, Sir.”
“Would you come in here, please? I think there are a few things we need to discuss…”
A short time later - Captain’s ready room
“Lieutenant!” Archer said with a hint of frustration. “It’s not breaking confidentiality if I already know the secret being revealed.”
“I was merely making sure we know the same things, Sir.” Hoshi replied, a bit defensively.
Archer gave her a slight glare. “I hope you’re not this evasive on duty.”
“Of course not, but this is personal.”
“As in Trip and T’Pol are each planning a surprise marriage ceremony using the other’s traditions” he finally admitted.
“Oh, thank God! I thought I was the only one who had to carry that around with me!” Hoshi sighed in relief.
Archer looked a bit relieved as well. “So, now that we’ve cleared that up, what do we do with the information?”
Hoshi thought for a moment then a wicked smile of delight crossed her features. “Just leave it all to me, Sir. If we plan this right, we just might be able to pull off the biggest surprise of all!”
One week later – Science lab
“Ensign, where are all my data files?” T’Pol was furiously punching keys on her computer terminal searching for her missing research. A puzzled Ensign stood by her side trying in vain to come up with an answer.
“I don’t know, Commander. I saved the new models yesterday and then ran a full backup. I even stayed to make sure it completed properly. I’m telling you they were all there.”
“Well they’re not there now. Even the backups are missing.”
“Um, I overheard Commander Reed and Lieutenant Sato talking about doing a memory wipe yesterday. Apparently he needed some extra space for his simulation files. It’s a standard procedure; it shouldn’t have affected any of our files unless they chose them specifically by name. I don’t understand.”
“Even then the backups should still be in place.” T’Pol sighed deeply. “Keep running the reconstruction algorithms. I will be back shortly.”
“Lieutenant Sato, did you and Commander Reed perform a memory dump yesterday?” T’Pol asked.
“Yeah, it clears up a lot of extra space in the main computer and deletes the redundant data from the sensor logs. Why?” Hoshi looked a bit confused.
“Did you perform a backup first? I am missing some of my data files.”
“Oh, sorry about that. I should be able to pull them right out of the archive. What extensions did they use?”
T’Pol handed her a data padd with the list of files on it.
“Uh…are you sure these are your files?”
“Yes.” T’Pol answered with a hint of impatience. “Why?”
“Um, well, I remember those. Malcolm said they were just files of old simulation scores and that they could be permanently deleted. I can try to retrieve them, but it’s going to take a while and they may not be complete…I’m sorry, Commander.”
“Where is Commander Reed?” T’Pol was barely containing her obvious frustration.
“Hold on.” Hoshi turned to her computer console again. “Bio-signs say he’s on an island just off the northern continent of the planet; I think he’s due to return sometime tomorrow evening.”
“Route his coordinates to the transporter, please.”
“Shore leave or not, I intend to have a little chat with Commander Reed.” She walked briskly out of the room.
When T’Pol materialized on the planet, she did not expect the sight before her eyes. Early reports had confirmed that this was indeed a beautiful planet, but she had not been able to experience it for herself before now. Despite her continued irritation, even she was beginning to feel more relaxed. Lieutenant Commander Reed certainly knew how to find the best place to vacation, she mused.
She took a moment taking in the scene before her. She was near the shore of a small freshwater lake, meadows of lush flowers spread out to one side and huge conifer covered cliffs loomed on the other side. In the distance was the seashore whose white-sand beach encompassed the entire circumference of the island paradise. A warm sea breeze startled her out of her reverie and she refocused on the task at hand.
T’Pol took out her hand scanner and started off in the direction of the one human male bio-sign she was receiving. As she came up over the crest of the hill that led toward the lake another unexpected scene lay before her. Although she had only read one bio-sign, there was clearly a picnic laid out for two. Iced tea, pasta salad, and fresh fruit, a perfect meal for…her.
An arm came up from behind her, gently waving a single red rose in front of her face. T’Pol didn’t need to turn around to recognize the scent or the comforting wisp of familiarity deep inside her own consciousness. She inhaled deeply of the offered flower.
An eyebrow rose. “Commander, may I assume that my data files will be safely back in place before I return to the ship?”
She turned around to look at the sheepish face of her t’hy’la. “Yes you may, Commander. I backed ‘em up three times, just to be absolutely sure.”
“I will also assume I don’t need to demote our tactical officer to the rank of crewman, second class” she continued, her eyes twinkling as the guilty grin spread across his face.
“Yeah, best if you don’t even mention it ta him…I know our leave doesn’t officially start until the day after tomorrow, but are you free for lunch?” His voice was soft, almost shy.
“I believe that can be arranged.”
“Good…’Cause I’ve got something to ask you.”
He watched two slim eyebrows rise as he picked up both of her hands in his and looked intensely into her dark brown eyes. He took a deep breath and began to speak.
“T'Pol t'Vuhlkansu, ko-fu t'T'Les, fai-tor du khaf-spol t'nash-veh, dungi tel-tor du k'nash-veh?” (T'Pol of Vulcan, daughter of T'Les, you know my heart, will you bond with me?)
She looked at the man who had unabashedly stolen her heart. He was speaking, rather admirably, in her native tongue. There could only be one response.
“U vesht nam-tor svi'shu-pal t'sha'gadlar - u nam-tor nash-gad -u dungi-nam-tor na'ek'fa-gadlar - tor sha'dvel. Dvel-tor nash veh.” (As it was in the dawn of our days, as it is today, as it will be for all tomorrows, I make my choice. I choose thee.)
A short while later - Corisca Prime
“There is a condition to my acceptance of your proposal, Trip.”
Trip’s fork stopped mid-way to his mouth as his jaw dropped, realizing she was quite serious.
“Okay…” He held his breath.
“That we resume your meditation lessons. We will be bondmates in the truest sense now, able to sense each other’s thoughts and feelings, perhaps through great distances. Establishing a bond with a human could be…disconcerting to a mind trained in Vulcan logic.”
Trip frowned slightly. “You sayin’ I’m undisciplined?”
“No, Ashayam, merely that your thought patterns are somewhat…unique.”
He narrowed his eyes at her and sighed deeply. She had after all come a long way in embracing and trying to understand his emotional needs. It was the least he could do for her in return. He nodded in agreement.
“Ma etek natyan — teretuhr lau etek shetau weh-lo'uk do tum t'on.” (We have differences. May we, together, become greater than the sum of both of us.)
T’Pol’s dark brown eyes shone with contentment as she met his sparkling blue ones. In that moment, nothing existed except the two of them. She had chosen well.
Later that afternoon – Enterprise
“Commander.” Hoshi tried to hide the small smirk gracing her features.
T’Pol put on her best authoritative voice. “It has come to my attention that a member of the crew was involved in a deceptive plot to lure a senior officer off the ship by mismanaging important data research. Perhaps I should report this incident to the Captain and include it in my monthly report to Starfleet.”
Hoshi looked horrified for a second. “But…but, Commander Tucker…it was all his idea…” she blurted out.
A stern eyebrow raised itself then relaxed. “Indeed…he was quite…eloquent. Thank you.”
The Communications Officer rolled her eyes when she realized the Vulcan woman was pulling her leg. She half laughed, half sighed in relief. “You know I think you’ve been spending a little too much time with Trip…Ready for phase 2?”
Hoshi leaned in and whispered, “Come with me…I think you’re gonna like this.”
The next day – Enterprise
“Archer to Tucker.”
“Go ahead, Cap’n.”
“I’m sorry to bother you, but we’ve made First Contact with a new species in the region. They control many of the trade routes in the area, so I’d like to make a good impression. There’s a reception in the mess hall at 1700.”
“Cap’n, I’m knee deep inside the warp reactor…”
“It’s not a request, Commander…I expect you to be there…on time.”
“Aye, Sir…I’d better start gettin’ cleaned up now.”
“Oh, and Trip?”
“This species is rather formal…I think dress uniforms are good idea.”
“Aw, Cap’n…you know how I hate those things!” Trip was remembering in particular the tight collar.
“Trust me, Trip…I think you’re gonna want to have it on. Archer out.”
“You put all this together?” T’Pol looked at Lieutenant Sato, eyes wide in amazement. “I don’t know what to say…”
“Um, yeah…If you don’t like anything, you know it’s not too late to change it…” Hoshi was getting some strange vibes from her Commanding Officer.
“No, it’s all beautiful, I...just…”
“What is it, T’Pol?” Hoshi asked gently.
“I was picturing something a bit…smaller…perhaps just the senior staff.” T’Pol admitted quietly.
“Well, Human weddings are kind of a big deal. It’s not just about the bride and groom, but a celebration with their family and friends. I know Trip would want his Engineering crew there and then there’s your Science team…”
T’Pol nodded. “I understand, but…” She sighed deeply, struggling for words as Hoshi non-verbally encouraged her to continue. “I haven’t asked him yet…What if he says ‘no’? That he’s not ready?” She quickly finished her sentence and focused wide eyes on her human friend.
Hoshi smiled indulgently. “Commander, just yesterday he asked you to complete the Vulcan bonding ritual with him…How much more ready could he be?”
“You might have a point. If you will excuse me, I feel the need to meditate before this evening’s activities.”
Trip, looking rather handsome in his full dress uniform, stopped short when he stepped into the mess hall and looked around. Jonathan Archer, not looking too shabby himself, immediately went to his side.
“Cap’n? What’s goin’ on? If I didn’t know better, I’d say this looked more like a wedding than a diplomatic reception.”
“You’re right…You don’t know better.” Archer grinned at his friend.
“There aren’t any trade routes in this sector, Commander! You should be better informed.” The Captain was laughing by now.
“This was your idea?”
“Well, Hoshi and Chef put together most of details, but we got the idea from your fiancée.”
“You got another woman out there you plan to marry?”
“Of course not! I just didn’t think…”
“You and T’Pol both came to me asking for extra shore leave and you both told me you were talking to Hoshi about marriage ceremonies...You know you two really ought to talk to each other every so often!”
Trip just shook his head, speechless. His mouth continuously moved but nothing came out as shock, turned into comprehension, which turned into pure excitement and joy. He started laughing. “Well damn! I never thought you’d be the one asking me to get married!”
The Captain glared at him. “Watch it, Buddy. You still need me to perform the ceremony…”
“You know, just one thing bothers me about all this, Cap’n.”
“What’s that?” Archer asked, amused.
“Whose gonna tell my Mom?”
Hoshi Sato and Kara Mayweather were attempting to calm what appeared to be a very nervous Vulcan bride. T’Pol was pacing the floor in her quarters, smoothing her flowing cream colored dress, practicing how to breathe, and trying to determine the logic of the fine netting perched on the top of her head, covering most of her face.
A communicator beeped. “Archer to Sato.”
Hoshi excused herself and went out into the hall. “Go ahead.”
“I’ve got an eager Engineer all cued up in the mess hall. How are you doing?”
“Just a couple of minutes, Sir. We’re just waiting on the “Father of the Bride.”
“Good. Archer out.” The Captain then frowned momentarily. *Wait a minute…I thought he was dead…*
Trip stood fidgeting at the far end of the Mess hall with Malcolm Reed and Travis Mayweather standing stoically by his side. A light strain of classical music drifted through the speakers as Kara Mayweather started down the aisle. Her smiling husband met her halfway and escorted her to her proper place before resuming his own position at Trip’s side. Malcolm Reed was busy admiring the way Hoshi Sato looked in her pale green dress when Travis gave him a not-so-subtle push in her direction.
The music subtlety changed as both bridesmaids were in place and the mess hall doors slid open to reveal a beautiful Vulcan bride and her escort. Archer’s eyebrows both raised in surprise as T’Pol started down the aisle accompanied by Dr. Phlox. He then remembered his last conversation with Hoshi and everything made sense. A kind of perfect symmetry. Enterprise’s crew was not related by blood, but they had in a way become a family. A family who was about to celebrate love in its truest form.
From the moment his eyes laid on T’Pol, Trip’s breath hitched. He flashed back to another ceremony that had taken place not two years before. Then he had felt like throwing himself into the Vulcan lava fields. Today, with his heart so full of joy he could scarcely believe it was true, he felt like he could fly unaided through the depths of space. As wrong as things had been that day, today made up for every second.
And then there she was, standing before him, meeting his gaze, questioning him with her eyes. Searching for confirmation that this was truly what he wanted. His blue eyes glistening with unshed tears and his warm smile told her all she needed to know. As the Doctor began to retreat to his seat, Trip gently folded back the veil from her face, took her hand and they turned to face Captain Archer.
“From the days of the great sailing ships of Earth’s oceans, Captains have enjoyed the great honor and privilege of being able to join two people in marriage. I can not imagine any of them being more proud of the two people I have standing before me today. Theirs is a love story for the ages, a story of two hearts that transcends the barriers between alien races and cultures. Their journey to each other reflects our journey of exploration which is the heart of our mission. May their example shine a light for future generations.”
“Trip, T’Pol it is your intention to marry here today?”
“Have you both come willingly, of your own choosing, free from any doubt or reservation to join your lives in the sanctity of marriage?”
“Turn towards each other and proceed with your vows.”
“I, Charles, take you T’Pol to be my wife, and I do promise before God and all these witnesses to be your loving and faithful husband. In plenty and in want, in joy and in sorrow, in sickness and in health, for as long as we both shall live.”
For a fraction of a second, Trip’s eyes cast downward as he contemplated what “as long as we both shall live” truly meant. A squeeze on his hand from T’Pol brought him back to the moment as she began to speak.
“I, T’Pol, take you Charles, to be my husband, and I do promise before these witnesses and by the ancient truths to be your loving and faithful wife. In plenty and in want, in joy and in sorrow, in sickness and in health, for as long as we both shall live.”
“Are there rings?” Archer queried.
The groom looked slightly panicked for a second until Malcolm produced two shiny platinum bands from one of his pockets and handed them to the Captain. Trip stole a glance at his friend that said ‘How did you know I was workin’ on those for her?’ Reed just grinned back at him.
He then turned sheepishly to T’Pol and whispered “Sorry I didn’t get a chance to ask you about wearin’ rings; it’s a human tradition, you don’t have to continue to wear it if...”
“On the contrary, Ashayam, your work is exquisite.” she whispered back. Upon further examination she discovered each band was actually made of two smaller strips intricately intertwined together. Reflecting on the symbolism, she thought they were perfect.
Trip was beaming by this point, unable to wipe the smile off his face, if he had wanted to try. He picked up the smaller band and slid it onto her finger, a perfect fit. “With this ring, I thee wed” he spoke softly.
T’Pol did the same with the larger ring. “With this ring, I thee wed.” Her eyes met his and she almost got lost in the sparkling depths.
“And now by the power vested in me by Starfleet and United Earth, it is with great joy that I pronounce you husband and wife!”
Trip quickly searched the face of his new bride as if asking for permission. Finding no objection, he leaned toward her, gently cupping both sides of her face. Their lips met softly, their audience forgotten, until they heard the round of cheers. Coming up for air, Trip started laughing. T’Pol for a moment shyly buried her face in his shoulder, before bravely greeting her shipmates.
Chef had pulled out all the stops for the party that followed the wedding ceremony. And Hoshi, along with the rest of the senior staff had assured that the room was appropriately decorated. As they ate their meal together, the sound of laughter floated freely throughout the room. But then the low din of voices gave way to a new sound. Metal clinking on glass. T’Pol looked at her new husband in confusion as he rolled his eyes.
“Um...it’s a silly tradition, Honey.”
“Indeed, tell me,” she replied curiously.
“You’re gonna think it’s illogical,” he whispered back.
“Tell me what we need to do to get that incessant noise to stop.”
“Maybe I just outta show ya.” He quickly leaned in and stole a kiss from his surprised, but willing wife.
“I see,” she replied evenly. “Fascinating.”
As the meal was drawing to a close, Hoshi kicked Trip under the table. As he tossed her a slightly annoyed glare, she made an obvious gesture toward the empty dance floor.
Clearing his throat, he leaned into his wife to whisper in her ear.
“Um, I think they’re all waitin’ for us to lead off the dancin’.”
An eyebrow raise told him all he needed to know as she folded her arms in front of her. “I can not” she stated firmly.
“Aw, come on, we’ve danced together before.”
“In the privacy of your quarters...where we could pick the music.”
“Well, somethin’ tells me Hoshi’s gone to a lot of trouble to pick out somethin’ special...Please?” He gave her his best puppy dog face.
Knowing her better than she knew herself, he bravely stood up and offered her his hand. “Shall we?” She knew in an instant she could no less say no to this man than she could cease to breathe. She followed him as he led her to the small dance floor. “You’ll be fine, Ashayam.” he whispered as the music began to play.
Unforgettable, that’s what you are,
Trip led his bride gently through the first several measures of the song and then caught Archer’s eye and beckoned him and the others to come join them to take the focus off T’Pol.
Archer reached a hand out to Hoshi. “Partner in Crime, would you do me the honor?”
She smiled, “I’d be happy to, Captain!”
Travis silently held out his hand to Kara, as Lieutenant Hess came up and tapped Malcolm on the shoulder. Dr Phlox, grinning from ear to ear, sat in his seat observing the four couples and relishing the happy occasion.
That’s why, Darling, it’s incredible,
At the end of the song, T’Pol was surprised to say the least, to find herself nearly horizontal, staring up at the ceiling. It seemed her new husband had pulled a previously unrehearsed dip move on her and his strong arms were the only thing keeping her from crashing to the floor. She had barely caught her breath when she felt his lips on hers, drawing her slowly upright. His lips released hers as forehead gently rested on forehead. “Thank you for today, Darlin’. I can’t wait to start the rest of our life together.” It was then that T’Pol of Vulcan graced Trip Tucker with the closest thing to a smile that he would ever see.
Later that evening - T’Pol’s Quarters
“I am sorry, Charles.”
“For what, Darlin’?”
“That we cannot start a…honeymoon immediately like a normal…human couple.”
He went over and placed his arms on her shoulders, stroking her hair just behind her ears. “Hey, now, I am perfectly content to just hold you in my arms all night long. Phlox made sure I understood all about the Vulcan blood fever. Besides, the real deal is just a few hours away.”
She pulled away from him looking slightly hurt. “Tonight was not the ‘real deal’?”
“What do you mean by that?” he asked, slightly confused.
“I took those vows tonight very seriously, but if it was only a trial run for you, then…”
“What? No! Gawd, Darlin’ I meant every word! If you don’t believe that, I…” his voice trailed off a bit frustrated.
She sighed and bowed her head. “I apologize…this has all been a bit overwhelming.” Her eyes met his for a brief moment and then flitted away.
Trip immediately crossed the room and engulfed her in his arms. “I know that…for me, too.” He lifted her chin and smiled. “But face it, Mrs. Tucker, you’re stuck with me for the long haul.”
A slim eyebrow rose, as her Vulcan calm began to reassert itself. “Mrs. Tucker?”
“Well you don’t have to go by that publicly if you don’t want to…” he hesitantly said.
“Why are you not called Mr. T’Pol?” Her twinkling eyes belied her tone of voice.
“Well…I um…I don’t know why, Darlin’. It’s just not the way it’s done…But I’ll answer to whatever name you wanna call me by,” he mischievously concluded.
“I will have to get back to you on that one, Husband.”
Trip grinned widely, “Ooo! I liked that one…say it again.”
“Ummmm,” he sighed contentedly, hugging her tightly. “I love you, T’hy’la.”
“And I, you, Ashayam.”
“Oh, and Wife?”
“Yes?” She broke their embrace and eyed him warily.
“Go meditate. We’ve got a big day tomorrow.” He gently kissed her forehead and went to change out of his gawd-awful dress uniform, before joining her.
The next day - Corisca Prime
Once Trip was satisfied the engine repairs and upgrade project could continue on without him for the next several days, he and T’Pol were ready to start their honeymoon. Since they would essentially be camping out for a week, Captain Archer had allowed the newly married couple to take a shuttle pod to the surface, with their extra equipment.
They quickly set up camp near the lake where Trip had proposed to T’Pol 2 days earlier. The site was comfortable, complete with a large air mattress, adjoining sleeping bags and extra pillows. T’Pol’s meditation candles were set up near the campfire ring. They couldn’t have asked for better weather. A slightly greenish tinged sky along with the twin suns where the only noticeable difference between this alien world and a tropical paradise on Earth in early spring. A slight breeze kept the temperature regulated on the planet to a near perfect 25 degrees. Finally, the busywork was complete and they were ready to start the bonding ceremony.
Meditation candles were lit and set up in the traditional fashion. Trip took a deep breath as he knelt down across from his serene wife and mirrored her posture. She reached out and placed her right hand on the contact points of his face and gestured that he should do the same.
As both sets of eyes fluttered closed, T’Pol began to speak audibly in Vulcan. However to Trip’s surprise, he also heard her in his mind without having to translate the words.
“Kashkau wuhkuh eh teretuhr. Dahshal s'nash-veh heh worla dahshal. Worla eh kwon-sum estuhn heh vesht estuhl. Nam-tor etek wuhkuh.” (Our minds, one and together. Parted from me and never parted. Never and always touching and touched. We are one.)
Trip then answered her speaking the Vulcan words he had memorized and learned to pronounce. Kashkau wuhkuh eh teretuhr. Dahshal s'nash-veh heh worla dahshal. Worla eh kwon-sum estuhn heh vesht estuhl. Nam-tor etek wuhkuh. (Our minds, one and together. Parted from me and never parted. Never and always touching and touched. We are one.)
Their breathing synchronized as did their heartbeats. After several moments their eyes opened back up to gaze at each other. Trip was a bit confused and unsure of himself.
“Um, aside from hearin’ you in my head, I don’t really feel any different...Is something supposed to be happenin’ here?”
“The blood fever and the mating bond are interdependent. A strengthening bond instigates the blood fever, the physical joining deepens the mental link in an ever increasing cycle, until the bond becomes permanent, virtually unbreakable.”
“Ya know, we’ve waited so long for this moment, but now that it’s here I feel like an awkward teenager...”
“Perhaps you should kiss me, and see where it leads us.”
Trip smiled at her. “I think I can handle that...” With that, he raised himself up on his knees and gently cupped his lover’s beautiful face. As they both leaned into the kiss, the self-imposed barriers of celibacy began to crumble and fall away.
Their first joining was the slow burning passion of newly wedded bliss. But the inevitable release of physical pleasure came at a price as both started spiraling downward into the voracity of the blood fever. It overwhelmed their senses until the only imperative became satisfying the bonding progression.
Enterprise - one week later
A happy, fully bonded couple returned to Enterprise, seven days later. After the first 3 days of fervent love making, they were able to experience the overwhelming comfort and joy of simply being completely together. They made the most of their time alone, exploring each other’s mind and practicing conversing telepathically.
It was a little strange to be able to carry on a complete conversation within one’s own head, and not be considered crazy, Trip thought. T’Pol on the other hand was amazed at just how expressive and passionate her mate truly was about life, his love for her and exploring the unknown. His presence gave her a deep sense of peace and completeness that she had never dreamt possible before.
As the two left the cargo bay, a thought occurred to Trip.
“You know we never really talked about where we were going to live. It seems half our stuff is at the other’s place.”
“Both of our cabins are the same size, perhaps we should keep the other for storage purposes.”
Trip nodded. “Well, I’ll stop by and grab a few things and meet you in your quarters. Maybe I’ll take a shower first.”
*Or you could take your shower in my quarters.* T’Pol switched the conversation to their minds.
Human eyebrow’s furrowed in confusion for a moment. “But, we both need showers, it would be faster if...” *Oh...I see what you mean,* he grinned, immensely enjoying this new bond.
Trip stopped by what he thought were his quarters, but was surprised when his access code refused to work. In a last ditch effort he pressed the call button outside his door and was shocked when a young female crew member answered.
“Welcome back, Commander!” the young lady giggled.
“I thought I lived here, where’s all my stuff??” Trip asked, getting slightly annoyed.
“The Captain thought it would be easier to give you the cabin next to Commander T’Pol, and we were all to happy to make the trade.” She smiled sweetly as her roommate nodded enthusiastically in agreement.
“Yeah...” *I’ll bet you were,* Trip thought wryly, knowing full well that that cabin was approximately half the size of his. The fact that the switch had been made, was not what was bothering Trip; he just wished someone had asked him first.
He made his way to his wife’s quarters, happy he wasn’t really homeless. Still hauling around two heavy bags, he stopped at the doorway next to T’Pol’s and tried his security code. As the door slid open there was his wife standing in their new bedroom.
“T’Pol?” Trip asked surprised.
“It appears the crew has been busy in our absence,” she explained, having just gotten over the shock herself.
A slow grin crept up Trips face as he stepped inside. The bulkheads had been removed between the two cabins creating a much larger living space. A new queen-sized bed was in the smaller set of quarters along with several drawer units and a tall storage closet. In the larger room that was once T’Pol’s quarters, her bed had been removed and in the space was placed a second desk on which Trip recognized his personal computer and data pads along with several pictures. A small sofa and a glass top table with 4 chairs completed the additions to the room. As a bonus they each had their own bathroom, although somehow that was probably not going to deter them from their previous showering plans.
“Well, I’ll be damned.” Trip smiled, still gazing about the two rooms.
Part II (Chapters 3 -4)
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
What a wonderful story! So many wonderful parts to comment on - Loved: how T'Pol revealed her 'line of thought' to Trip, and got the crew involved as well; they weren't the first couple - good for you, Travis!; and the whole plot where they each plotted to 'propose' to the other - Great story!
That was really good, I liked the change of pace over other TnT fics where they didn't get married right off the bat...Like the idea that they needed to settle into their relationship was good and realistic ;)
I also loved the end with the conjoined quarters, what an original idea! It's cool cuz you can imagine that this would cause starships to be designed with a few sets of 'couples quarters' that are joined like that :)
Finally the thread where they are both plotting their marriage to each other reminds me of a not-very-good movie plot. Always happy they get together, but not crazy about how you got them there in this fic.
Very nice... I love this story... "Snapshots" was a perfect title for it.
I also loved how they "dated" before making a permanent commitment, that was very realistic to me.
Thank you for that... it was beautiful and sweet. :-)
I can't count how many times I "Awww!"ed at this story! I think it changed to a continuous "Awww!" throughout the wedding! This was so sweet. I loved it!
I have to say that in all the time I've read fanfiction, I've never had the pleasure of reading anything this fantastic. You're better than most of the novelists who work professionally. Abosultely perfect in every way!!!
This was funny and oh-so-sweet. I loved this. I loved the characters, their voices, the plot, everything. Miracle of miracles, I actually liked Archer. Bonus points for the mentionings of Porthos, water polo and leeches.
That was just great!!!!!!!
Love it, especially the captain setting them up at the beginning
I loved this!!! So, who did tell Trip's Mom? Hmm, seems we need a sequel... :)
That was so sweet! I liked the scavengerhunt part. Really creative. :D
I throughly enjoyed this story.Keep the good work up.
Sweet! Not sure T'pol's elaborate plotting with the red tags was realistic, but man it was fun to read
I loved this to bits! Especially good was the way Hoshi and the Captain conspired to give our two love-sick and oft times star-crossed lovers exactly what they wanted! Oh yeah, three cheers for really cool mating bonds. Ali D :~)
God I loved the last minute trail of bread crumbs that T'pol left for Trip, It was so Vulcan of her to give the evidence as to what and how she felt about Trip, and real sweet at the same time. Great story.
Awwwwwwwwww! That was great! Loved it, hope there's more! :)