Commander Tucker Has a Baby

By Alelou

Rating: PG

Genres: drama

Keywords: Klingons male-pregnancy

This story has been read by 1414 people.
This story has been read 3766 times.


Chapter 4

Author’s Note: Thank you so much for the feedback. I’ve been slogging away on general fiction for five years now, suffering countless rejections in the process. This has been a really nice little break for my slightly downtrodden ego.

 

T’Pol had been meditating for some time when she heard Trip stir.

“How long has it been?” he whispered. He’d fallen asleep against the wall with an exhausted Laney in his arms. She hadn’t liked the decompression chamber one bit, especially once it started filling with gas, and she had screamed in terror for some time before she’d finally accepted the comfort of her father’s breast and fallen asleep. Commander Tucker had started snoring lightly not long after.

“Two hours and twenty-three minutes,” T’Pol said.

Tucker yawned. “She didn’t like that gas any more than I did the first time.”

“It was uncomfortable,” T’Pol agreed.

“You got anything to drink there?” Tucker asked. “I’m parched.”

T’Pol fished in her case and handed over a water bag.

“Thanks.” He drank, and she watched his larynx bob up and down in his neck as he swallowed.

She knew, from conversations she had overheard in the mess, that many of the females on the ship considered Tucker an attractive male. At first she had not been able to determine to her satisfaction why this was, since his facial features had initially struck her as ordinary relative to other light-toned Caucasian human males. Her early opinion had also been that he suffered from excessive hair growth.

However, she had begun to find his features more agreeable as time passed. She had overheard Ensign Sato and Ensign Cutler discussing this same phenomenon one day. Cutler had said she thought it was actually Tucker’s personality that made him attractive, especially his smile and his ready interest in others. T’Pol thought there might indeed be something to this theory. But of course it was also well understood on Vulcan, where one might not even see one’s mate as an adult before marriage, that a great deal of physical attraction consisted simply of becoming accustomed to someone.

Apparently, in the three-plus months they had been in space, she had become accustomed to Commander Tucker.

“Have you made a decision about whether you will return to Enterprise?” she asked, when he handed the bag back to her.

He shook his head. “I guess I’ll see how it goes. They may not even want me.”

“I believe there is also some question about the long-term suitability of the environment for your physiology.”

“I don’t know. I got pretty used to it after three days,” Trip said. “But it was definitely hard at first. They’re probably going to recommend a nap when we get out. I know the captain is in a hurry, but it wouldn’t be a bad idea to take them up on it.”

“Vulcans don’t take naps.”

He smiled. “The Klingons didn’t seem to need one either. You’ll probably be fine. Me, I plan to nap if there’s an opportunity. I wonder if they still have that recording.”

“Recording?”

“The captain sent over a recording of ocean waves to help me relax when I lost it that first day.” He sighed and looked suddenly remorseful. “That was pretty thoughtful of him.”

“He can be thoughtful at times.”

“I guess it helps make up for the times when he’s an insensitive pain in the ass.”

“Indeed,” T’Pol said, without thinking.

Trip gave her a sidelong look. “I know he can sure give you a hard time, especially when it comes to the Vulcan stuff.” He sighed. “Then again, so do I sometimes, huh?”

She judged it best not to answer. Still, she found it oddly satisfying that he was conscious of the phenomenon.

He looked down at Laney, who was still deeply asleep. “Sometimes when she’s sleeping she gives off heat like a furnace,” he said. “I guess it will be nice to know whether that’s normal or not.”

“She appears to be extremely healthy,” T’Pol said. “You have been a far more capable parent than I would have expected.”

He looked amused. “And you have been far better friend than I would have expected. In fact, I’d say you’d make a pretty good godmother.”

She tilted her head curiously. “Godmother?”

He grinned. “Not anything you need to worry about now.” His smile faded. “I guess I shouldn’t wake her up just to spend more time with her, should I? She might start screaming again.”

“We do have over three and one half hours of decompression to go.”

He looked down at his daughter as if he were trying to memorize her. Softly, he said, “That seems like no time at all.”

x x x

Laney would not stop screaming.

“Laney, darling, it’s okay, you’re fine,” Trip crooned, grabbing her back from Ah’len and trying to calm her down. Ah’len had flushed bright red as her daughter made it clear in no uncertain terms that she wanted nothing to do with her.

“She’s just a little overwhelmed,” Trip explained, conscious that Ah’len herself looked as if she might cry. Other Xyrillians were looking on in obvious consternation.

“Perhaps if you had a quieter, more private area,” T’Pol suggested. “The child is likely suffering from over-stimulation.”

Trip thought T’Pol sounded just a touch over-stimulated herself. Maybe she wasn’t quite as immune to the transition as she had confidently predicted she would be. He wasn’t having much trouble himself, perhaps because it wasn’t new to him, or perhaps because he was so focused on Laney.

“You’re probably right,” said the woman who had been introduced as their doctor. “Follow me.”

Trip followed the doctor to the same quarters they’d assigned him that first time aboard. He resisted the urge to stop on the way and say, “Look at the eels, Laney!” She was crying too hysterically, her face buried against his neck, her tiny hands gripping him fiercely.

“I do not understand why she does not recognize the scent of her mother!” Ah’len said.

“That is to be expected,” the doctor reassured her. “How could she? Her initial bond was with another. Do not worry, she is still very young. She will soon transfer her attachment, I assure you.”

“Let me just give her a suck,” Trip said, sitting down on that big red whatever-it-was and trying to peel Laney off his neck. “That always calms her down.”

“We have a feeding tube,” the doctor said.

“I don’t need one,” Trip said, and started unbuttoning his shirt. Laney sensed what he was doing and all but dove for his chest. She latched on and began to suckle between the occasional hiccupping sniffle, one hand rhythmically tightening on Trip’s chest.

“There now, that’s better,” Trip said. He looked up and realized that both Xyrillians were staring at him.

In horror.

“What?” he said defensively. “Don’t you people breastfeed?”

“But you’re a male!” the doctor said. “Aren’t you?” She suddenly looked doubtful.

He glanced at T’Pol. “YES! And don’t your males have the babies?”

“Well, yes, of course,” Ah’len said. “And then their mothers raise them. What do you think we have these breasts for?”

He had wondered that, actually. Ah’len certainly had a rather unforgettable pair. “If that’s true, then why the hell did I start growing nipples up my arm when I was pregnant with her?”

“You started growing nipples up your arm?” the doctor said. “That is a rather unusual symptom. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of such a thing.”

Trip slumped. Why hadn’t he seen this coming? “So you’re telling me this is weird here too.”

“Yes. Extremely,” Ah’len said. She actually looked a little ill.

He scowled. “Well, I’m sorry, but we didn’t know that and she was hungry. And obviously, a guy can feed a baby too. In fact, our doctor told me I’m far from the first human male to do it. Put the right hormones in and bam, you got yourself some mother’s milk. Or father’s, in this case.”

“Father’s?” Ah’len said.

“Yeah, father’s. You know. Father, daddy, papa? The paternal figure? The guy who helps you raise the child?”

They looked blank. Trip looked at T’Pol for help.

“On our home planets each child has two parents, a male and a female,” T’Pol said.

Ah’len looked bemused. “Our only parent is our mother. Xyrillian males belong to their mothers and serve as hosts for anyone in the clan who needs it. They support and protect all of their mother’s descendents equally.”

“How do you avoid the problem of genetic degradation from repeated expression of the same DNA?” T’Pol asked.

The doctor chuckled. “Oh, there’s no lack of recombination. A Xyrillian female mates with many different extra-clan males during her egg cycle.”

“Just figures that I missed the good part,” Trip groused.

T’Pol shot him a reproving look. He scowled right back at her.

“Will the child be confused the rest of her life?” Ah’len asked the doctor anxiously.

“Her name’s Laney,” Trip said. “I mean, Ah’lane. I tried to keep it related it to you somehow.”

Ah’len and the doctor exchanged looks.

“What?” Trip said. He was getting really tired of unpleasant revelations.

“On Thera, a ‘lane’ is a large, squat fruit,” the doctor said.

“Indeed,” T’Pol said. “And do you also use this term as an endearment for babies?

“No,” Ah’len said. “We use it as a synonym for ‘large and squat’. It would be considered rather cruel. We will have to choose something more appropriate.”

“Though she is quite a plump little baby,” the doctor observed. “Apparently you have been feeding her quite well.”

Trip couldn’t take any more of this. “Are you saying I’ve made her fat? Do you people think I’ve done anything right?”

“I didn’t say she was fat,” the doctor said quickly. “Just a little plump.”

T’Pol’s voice betrayed a hint of impatience. “I assure you that by both human and Vulcan standards Commander Tucker has been an exemplary parent. You could not have asked for a more attentive caregiver.”

Trip gave a little sigh. He could just kiss T’Pol for saying that.

“Oh, it’s clear he’s performed surprisingly well,” the doctor said, scanning Laney with a small, hand-held device. “She is in extremely good health, and she has clearly formed a strong attachment. I’m sure it will be relatively easy to transition her to a normal attachment to her mother. No one need ever know her first month was so ... exotic.

“And the sooner we accomplish this, the better,” Ah’len said. She gave the doctor a pleading look. “They are probably already wondering what’s wrong with her, that she was clinging to a man like that.”

Trip shook his head in disgust. “Did anyone ever tell you people you have some pretty sexist attitudes?”

“Commander,” T’Pol said quickly, “It is not our place to judge another species’ family systems or cultural mores.”

“It is when it concerns my daughter! How do I know she’s not better off just staying with me?”

Ah’len and the doctor looked shocked. T’Pol stood up a little straighter – probably wondering if he might be about to make a run for it.

Unfortunately, the hours of recompression involved didn’t exactly make that a realistic option. He’d known before he left Enterprise that there would be no going back for Laney. What he hadn’t been sure about was whether he would be going back himself.

But it was obvious there was no place for him here.

“Don’t worry,” he muttered. “I know it’s better for her to stay here with you.” He shot T’Pol a sullen look. Yes, he’d be a good little Starfleet officer . . . seeing as he had no choice anyway.

“Of course, I am entirely in your debt, Commander,” Ah’len said, perhaps realizing it was time for a little belated graciousness. “And I am extremely sorry about the inconvenience. I assure you, I had no idea this could happen between our two species.”

“I don’t need your apologies,” Trip said. “I just want what’s best for Laney.” With a pang, he corrected himself. “For your daughter.”

“As do we all,” the doctor said. “Let us discuss how best to achieve this.”

x x x

T’Pol guided Tucker back through the corridors of the ship behind Captain Tre’nal, moving quickly. She hoped that he could not hear Laney’s piercing screams as clearly as she could. He was crying so hard she suspected he couldn’t even see where he was going.

Laney had been happily playing a Xyrillian baby game with Ah’len when she realized her father was leaving. “Bye, sweetie, I love you,” he’d said, unsuccessfully choking back tears, and the baby had immediately started to wail.

“I’m so sorry,” Tre’nal said, as he opened the decompression chamber. “We certainly would never have wished to cause such pain.”

T’Pol just nodded grimly and pushed Tucker in before her, then waited while the door sealed behind them. It seemed to her the Xyrillians found it all too easy to apologize.

“Doctor Phlox gave us Mirazine for the return trip, Commander,” she said, going into her case and pulling out the hypospray. She injected each of them. “It will shorten the decompression time considerably.”

He was standing at the door, his fingers spread out across it, his head leaning against it, as if he could somehow sink through it and back to his daughter.

“She is young. She will adjust quickly,” T’Pol said. “And it is clearly better for you to return to Enterprise. Leaving her with them was the only viable option.”

He just stood there against the door and wept. T’Pol watched and waited and eventually she grew concerned. Surely this much raw emotion could not be healthy, even for a human? When five minutes had passed and he’d shown no sign of stopping, she hesitantly put a hand on his shoulder.

He gripped it with his own for a moment, then turned to face her, his face swollen and splotchy. “It’s okay, T’Pol. You don’t have to try to make me feel better. I just have to get it out of my system. Just ... ignore me if you can, okay? I’ll be fine, I promise.”

“There is a sedative available if you wish it,” she said. “Dr. Phlox provided it before we left.”

He shook his head. “Just ignore me,” he repeated, and turned back to the door, spreading his hands against it again.

She sat down and took out a PADD. She would honor his wishes. She had brought work to do, and she also wanted to analyze information she had gathered.

However, she found it difficult to focus, and she began to wonder if human emotions this powerful could be somehow contagious, even to a well-disciplined Vulcan mind.

x x x

Trip eventually cried himself out and slid down to sit against the door, then thought better of it and turned back to lean his forehead against it. He knew his breakdown must be extremely distasteful to T’Pol’s Vulcan sensibilities. Even if it wasn’t, he didn’t particularly want her to see him cleaning up all that snot with his shirt.

Oh Laney, he thought, head against the door. Had she stopped crying yet? At the last minute he’d shoved one of his dirty shirts into the duffel T’Pol had packed, figuring that he would either clean it to use if he stayed, or give it to them for Laney so she’d have a comforting scent nearby if he left. But when he’d produced it for Ah’len, she’d looked distinctly nonplussed.

“It might be better for her just to make a clean break,” the doctor had said, trying to smooth it over. “That way the child won’t be confused, wondering why she can smell you but you’re not there.”

“Look, just keep it,” Trip said. “Humor me. You don’t know how rough the first night might be for her. You people are completely different than anything she’s experienced since the day she was born.”

“Of course,” Ah’len had said. “You are right. We will keep it. Just in case.”

He’d almost handed the PADD over to them too, the one with all the family pictures, and the quick letter he’d recorded for Laney, and even some shots he’d gotten in the decompression chamber in the last couple of hours, when she was relaxed and playful and blessedly oblivious to her daddy’s growing tension.

He’d almost handed it over, but then he’d realized that they would never show any of it to her. They considered the way she’d been raised thus far somehow shameful ... something to hide. His daughter – who wasn’t really his daughter at all, and wasn’t going to be called Laney by anyone ever again – would soon forget him.

He fought down another bout of tears. He had a feeling T’Pol might just sneak up on him with that sedative if he lost it again.

Trip had never been particularly religious, but now he leaned against that door and prayed: Lord, please watch over my Laney. Please watch over her. Please watch over her.

And then he repeated it over and over, until he lost all sense of time, until he arrived at some approximation of peace.

x x x

“How much time do we have left?” Tucker asked.

T’Pol looked up. He’d turned to face her at last, seated on the floor with his back against the door.

He had been so quiet for so long that she had managed to sink into much-needed meditation herself. She blinked and consulted her PADD. “Fifty-four minutes,” she said, surprised. She had been in that soothing white space in her mind for longer than she would have guessed.

Tucker grunted. He looked calm. “Were you meditating also?” she asked, curious.

“Praying,” Tucker said. “I guess. Maybe you could call it meditating. It’s not something I usually have much patience for.” He sighed. “You got any more of that water?”

She handed it over. “Would you like something to eat?”

He shook his head. He still looked pale and drawn.

Silence fell. T’Pol suspected that she ought to say something supportive but had no idea what it should be. Tucker had said he didn’t want anyone trying to ‘cheer him up.’ This struck her as odd, since she had fairly often observed him attempting to comfort other crewmen who were in difficult situations.

“Commander, may I ask you a question?”

He raised his eyebrows.

“Why did you specifically not wish to be ‘cheered up’ during this process?” she asked.

He smiled. “Oh, I won’t mind some cheering up when I’m ready for it. But sometimes, I guess, a body just likes to be left alone to wallow in his misery for awhile.”

“Why would you wish to prolong feelings that are so unpleasant?”

He looked thoughtful. “I guess, sometimes, you just want to go ahead and feel them. I don’t know. Maybe I wouldn’t be such a basket case right now if I didn’t have all these hormones putting the whammy on me. I’m not really sure how much of this is me and how much of it is prolactin. Or some weird Xyrillian hormone. I mean…” He hesitated and began to look overwhelmed again.

“You needn’t discuss it if you don’t wish to,” T’Pol said quickly.

He swallowed hard. “No… no, it’s okay. I was just going to say, part of me thinks I’m kind of over-reacting here. I mean, it’s not like I wanted to quit Enterprise to raise a kid. It’s not like she was even really mine. And it’s not like she died. She’s probably a whole lot better off here, with her momma. I should be happy for her.” He started to tear up again, and shook his head. “Sorry.” He turned his head back towards the door.

“Commander,” she said. “I believe your reasoning is flawed. You bore that child and raised her from birth for nearly a full month. From your point of view she was very much your daughter. And your loss is complete, since you are unlikely ever to see her again. Indeed, a Vulcan mother who experienced such a loss would typically go into ritual seclusion for at least a month.”

“That sounds pretty good right now,” Tucker said, his voice muffled by the door.

She kept silent. At least for the next forty-eight minutes, she would try to give him the seclusion he craved.

x x x

Jon had decided that if he was going to mend fences with Trip, he could start by being the one to pick him up. T’Pol had let him know Trip was returning before they went into decompression, but her tone had been particularly inscrutable and Archer had gotten the feeling it would be wiser not to ask anymore about it with the Xyrillians possibly listening in. He’d also resisted the temptation to call during decompression; he didn’t want to risk driving Trip back toward Laney, away from Enterprise.

But they would have to converse now. “How’s he doing?” he whispered to T’Pol, when he opened the hatch.

“I have no good frame of reference from which to judge,” T’Pol said, but she looked subdued. She handed her carry-on down to Archer and turned back, calling, “Commander?”

Jon heard Tucker say, “Give me a minute.”

T’Pol hesitated, then climbed down, adding quietly, “It has been difficult for him.”

“Probably not a walk in the park for you either,” Jon said, patting her on the shoulder. She frowned briefly and Jon wondered if she was perplexed by the figure of speech. She didn’t ask him what he meant, though, just moved on to the helm and started running a pre-flight check.

“Trip?” Jon called.

Finally, his chief engineer started down the hatch. He paused for another long moment before shutting the doors behind him, then climbed down the rest of the way.

Jon was prepared for anger, but he didn’t see any. Trip just looked exhausted and rumpled. He gave Jon a brief wince of a smile and sank down into the nearest seat.

“You okay?” Jon asked, grasping his shoulder.

“I’ll be fine.”

“Would you like me to pilot?” T’Pol asked.

“No, I’ll do it,” Jon said. As long as he had to be the bad guy, he might as well be the bad guy to the end. “Tre’nal said they are anxious to get under way.”

“If they were smart they’d wait around a day or two,” Trip said. “Make sure they don’t experience any problems with her they can’t handle.”

Jon exchanged a quick look with T’Pol. “Actually,” he said, “They told us she’s settling in very well. Ah’len even held her up for us to see.” He turned to T’Pol. “Disengage the docking clamp.”

“Yeah?” Trip sounded wistful. “And she looked okay? She wasn’t crying?”

“She looked fine.” Which was true, but she had also stretched towards them, grunting and whining. Hoshi was convinced she was looking for her daddy, but Jon didn’t think Trip needed to hear that right now.

“Ah’len also asked me to thank you for the shirt, whatever that means.”

“Oh, good,” Trip said softly. Jon turned to check on him, but Trip had turned around in the seat so that he was facing the rear of the pod.

T’Pol had also turned back towards the engineer, her face solemn. Then she noticed Jon watching her and quickly turned back to her panel.

Jon turned back to the helm. It was funny how these two fought like cats and dogs and yet somehow seemed to have forged a real connection along the way. Still, he hoped Trip had just had a very useful lesson in the danger of connecting too quickly with people from worlds you didn’t really know or understand.

It was hard enough just managing relationships with fellow humans.

“Shuttle Pod One to Enterprise,” he said. “Get ready to bring us in. It’s time we got back on course.”


Warning: Below you will find an epilogue that jumps ahead ten years. If you hate The Episode Commonly Known as the Abomination (TATV) so devoutly that you want to pretend nothing in it ever happened, JUST DON’T READ IT. I certainly understand your feelings, and the plot is essentially complete at this point anyway.


Epilogue

Ten years later, T’Pol was packing up Trip’s effects in his quarters when she came across an old PADD, a kind that hadn’t been used since the early years of their mission. She checked its contents quickly, trying to determine whether it contained something that might have meaning for his family.

That’s when she saw the file labeled “For Laney” and suddenly realized what it must be. She played it, and there was Trip, so young, with the Xyrillian infant in his arms. Talking to the screen, he gently told the story of how she’d come to be born on a human ship, and who her daddy was, and how if she was having trouble falling asleep, sometimes he’d sing her a song with words he’d had to make up a bit because he couldn’t remember them all.

And then he’d gone ahead and sung to the baby in his arms, in a sweet and deep voice:

Hush little Baby, don't say a word
Daddy's gonna buy you a mockingbird.
And if that mockingbird don't sing,
Daddy's gonna buy you a diamond ring.
And if that diamond ring don’t shine,
Daddy's gonna bring warp drive online.
And if the engines don’t break warp five,
Daddy’s gonna skin his crew alive.
And even if Enterprise falls apart,
You’re still gonna have your daddy’s heart.

It was the first time T’Pol had thought about Laney in many years, and her thoughts ran automatically on to Lorian and to baby Elizabeth. And she reflected again, certainly not for the first time in recent days, on how brutal fate could be. It had seen fit to make Trip a father three times by the most extraordinary means, only to rip each child away from him.

And not just his children. His sister, his hometown. His conflicted Vulcan lover. Over the years the combination of losses he’d endured had certainly made Trip less flexible, more cautious. And yet only recently, he’d seemed to suggest that he hadn’t shut the door on their relationship. T’Pol had been unaccountably cheered that the end of Enterprise’s mission might not mean a final separation from her th’y’la after all.

But no separation could be more final than this one.

She wished that Laney really had been Trip’s daughter. It was not logical, but it would comfort her to believe that some piece of him still lived.

T’Pol decided she would keep this PADD for herself. The Tuckers surely knew about Laney, if only because news of the first human male pregnancy had eventually hit the tabloids. But they already had enough to cope with right now. She could always make a copy of the data for them if they expressed interest later.

She held the PADD clutched tightly in her hand and realized she was rationalizing. The truth was that she wanted this little memento of Trip for herself – from a time when he’d just been an oddly compelling fellow officer, and it seemed as if the whole galaxy lay ahead of them.

THE END


Comments:

shanjeniah

OK, I know I'm probably really late to the party, but I LOVE this. Trip nursing his little girl didn't make me squeamish at all. It seems like something Trip would do, if he could.  

And T'Pol was very sweet, in a very T'Pol way. =)

Misplaced

I finally got around to reading this.  Well done, but all your stuff is.  (Didn't know you were attempting to get published too... there are a lot of folks like us in fanfiction.  LOL)

I love the idea that the nipples weren't a Xyrillian thing but some biological phenonemon of a human male getting pregnant.  Nice.  This last chapter was absolutely gut-wrenching for me, but in a beautiful way.  Thank you for the fun and heartbreaking read.  :)

If I had read this before I had accepted Distracted's challenged, I would have just directed her to your fic and left it at that!  LOL  So good!

Aquarius

I read all four chapters today at work between clients.  Replying is impossible from my phone, so sorry for not commenting chapter by chapter.

This story was very touching and was a nice alternative to how the episode played out.  Trip's ordeal over losing his baby was heart-wrenching, as was the epilogue.  I found T'Pol to be touching in her own awkward way, so kudos for capturing that aspect of her characterization so beautifully.

Among the things that stand out most for me are when T'Pol tells Trip she hasn't forgotten he's a man, and when T'Pol is watching the kid as he showers, taking her around the room and talking to her.  Stepmom rehearsal, perhaps???  ;)  Just kidding, I know they weren't ready for that yet, but the way you wrote it evoked that thought, and it was fun to think about!  :D

Rose
Nice story, but the end was too sad.
justTrip'n
Whoops! That first very enthused poster was me, justTrip'n.
Alelou
Thank you all. I really appreciate it! (Can you hear the happy, purring writer's ego?):)
Paul
Thank you, Alelou. I enjoyed your story very much.
Linda
This truly is a beautiful story. You deserve to get something published someday. Don't get totally discouraged; many writers have said it takes a long time. Hey, do you know that the first Harry Potter book was rejected by publishers 18 times? Keep trying!
Dinah
Chapter four is a wonderful ending to your story. Thank you for writing it. I think Trip would have responded just that way to Laney. The epilogue, on the other hand, is hard for me to accept. For someone as bright and optimistic as Trip to spend his last years weighed down by nothing by death and loss -- to have no one he could draw comfort from -- is just too bitter to contemplate. That's why I chose to see the Abomination as only a poorly written and poorly researched holoprogram. Terrific story! Thought provoking and very well done.
evcake
Oh, that is so sad. And wonderful.
Distracted
Very sweet and tragic. Thanks.
Asso
Beautiful, sure! Well written, sure! But, don't take this wrong, Alelou: it's hard to digest for me. [i][b]Well, this is my limit, that must be clear.[/b][/i]:D Anyway, thanks for the warning: I stopped at the right point.:p
Blackn'blue
Like I said on ff.net, this is one of the best re-writes of an ENT episode I have ever read.
Its 100‰, absolutely, totally perfect. Up through and including the last line. What more can you say? Thanks for a little memento of Trip from a time when he was just an oddly compelling character, and it seemed as if the whole galaxy lay ahead of us . . .

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