The Path Ahead

By ginamr

Rating: PG-13

Genres: angst missing scene romance

Keywords: E2

This story has been read by 585 people.
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Disclaimer: Star Trek is not the intellectual property of the author, no profit made.

Summary: Despite older T'Pol's wishes, Trip feels compelled to see her and so he does.

Notes: There was a topic in the forums discussing reasons why older T'Pol wouldn't want Trip visiting her. This missing scene is set to show Trip, at Lorian's insistence, visiting her anyway. It takes place after T'Pol has returned to Enterprise. 

The italicized text is an actual missing scene written by staff writers. I just tweaked those lines slightly to suit my purposes.

 


Trip paused. "Maybe you could tell me more about your mother. How we got together."

 

"She never told me," Lorian countered. "Mother rarely talked about you. I think it was too painful. She cared for you a great deal."

Trip's brow furrowed. "Doesn't seem like we're talking about the same T'Pol."

A small grin turned up the corners of Lorian's lips and a quiet chuckle escaped. "Your relationship was somewhat contentious. But you were always affectionate towards each other."

"I just can't see myself married to her," he retorted. His eyebrows shot up. "I suppose if we were marooned on a desert island."

Lorian chuckled, earning him a questioning look from Trip. He paused. "You should go visit her."

"Who?"

"My mother," he replied staidly. "Who else would I be referring to?"

Trip hesitated. He could only imagine how that reunion would go over. She'd probably chastise him for contaminating their future. But he was curious as to how, out of everyone on board, he and T'Pol could have chosen each other. "The Captain said she didn't want to see me."

"It would do her some good, I think," Lorian murmured. "She's kept to herself since the other you died and she really should make the most of the time that she has left." At Trip's shocked expression, Lorian sombered. "Even Vulcans don't live forever." 

 


 

In the end, Trip's curiosity got the better of him. Once they'd retrieved the injectors and re-secured them, he made his way to the other Enterprise and the older T'Pol's quarters. He'd run into Lorian, who had given him a head's up that the younger T'Pol was reviewing some information regarding the modifications with her. 

So here he stood in the corridor around the corner from her quarters, waiting for the younger T'Pol to leave. The wait made him nervous and he wondered if they were discussing him. Despite the younger T'Pol's protestations to the contrary, she had to be curious.

He was startled from his thoughts by the sound of doors sliding open and he peaked around the corner to see the younger T'Pol leaving. Once she was out of sight, he moved purposely toward the older T'Pol's quarters.

 


 

The door chime rang again and the older T'Pol froze mid-sip, a smile sliding across her lips. "Enter," she called.

At her command, the doors slid open and Trip stood on the threshold. "You say that like you know it's me," he joked.

"It is you," she countered.

He stepped the rest of the way into the room and found her sitting in a chair in the corner. Seeing her at first was a shock. He supposed he'd expected her to be exactly the same as his T'Pol, but it seemed that the stress had taken its toll.

Her gaze dropped from his and she sipped her tea. "I thought I told Jonathan not to send you."

"Nobody sent me," he said with a grimace. "I came here of my own free will. In fact, the Captain tried to talk me out of it."

She sighed and set her tea aside, giving him her full attention. "So why are you here, then?"

His lips tightened in determination. "I think you know the answer to that."

She stood slowly and hobbled toward him. Their gazes locked and he saw the vulnerability there. Without a second thought, he wrapped his arms around her in a gentle hug. 

The gesture surprised her slightly, but it wasn't completely unwelcome. His familiar scent brought memories to the surface and she smiled. She'd almost forgotten how pleasant it was to be in his arms. Reluctantly, she pulled away.

"I should have known that nothing would keep you away," she teased. "You're too curious for your own good." She turned and made her way back to the chair she'd been sitting in moments ago. "I know you're not particularly fond of tea, but just the same, would you like to join me for a cup?"

He slid into the chair across from her and accepted the tea she offered, taking a small sip. His features contorted slightly at the bitter herbal taste. "So how did it happen? Us getting together, I mean?"

She chuckled, the sound surprising Trip. It seemed that this T'Pol wasn't quite as reserved as her counterpart. Catching Trip's puzzled look, she sighed. "Even after we realized what had happened, I refused to acknowledge what existed between us. We worked well together, but anything of a personal nature was off limits. We were at each other's throats constantly." She paused. "This much I'm sure you gathered knowing your T'Pol as you do. What I'm certain you didn't expect was for me to be the one to approach the other you."

He gaped. "You made the first move?"

She nodded. "Yes. No one was more surprised than me. We were working on a way to destroy the Xindi probe when it happened. We started talking about the future. Being stuck in the past, we had to consider that we would spend the rest of our lives on Enterprise. Our companionable interactions prior to my withdrawal indicated that we would enjoy a pleasant life together. The other you insisted on courting me properly, given that we had a great deal of time to pursue a nuptial union."

"Of course, our failure to destroy the Xindi probe pushed us closer and Jonathan decided that if we couldn't save Earth from the first attack, we should at least find a way to stop ourselves from being thrown back in time. We were married in traditional Vulcan rite shortly after and Phlox began working on a way to combine Vulcan and Human genomes. As I'm sure you already know, we were blessed with a son, Lorian." She smiled. "He's so much like his father-like you."

A watery smile slid across his lips. "I was a good dad. Lorian told me that today."

She nodded. "You were an excellent father and a wonderful husband. As difficult as it was to lose you, I wouldn't change a moment of our life together-even knowing that I would eventually lose you."

He sighed. "I want that chance with her, but she won't let me in. I don't know how I'm going to keep this up. Eventually, it's going to start interfering with our working relationship."

"Give her time," she replied. "One day, she'll come to see her feelings toward you for what they are and she won't be able to deny the truth any longer." She sighed. "If I were one hundred years younger..."

"I think, darlin', that's the closest you've ever come to telling me your age," he teased.

She arched a frail eyebrow. "If you're waiting for me to tell you, you'll be waiting a great deal longer. And, as I'm sure you being a gentleman are well aware, it's not polite to ask a lady's age."

He chuckled. "Still got that shrewd tongue, I see."

"One of the few things that hasn't failed me over the years," she jibed. "I have no doubt that I could leave you dizzy."

A full-blown grin crossed his lips. "I don't know-I'll bet I can give you a run for your money."

Her gaze dropped from his and he knew he should leave soon. They were going to need him to run a couple more simulations before it was ready to go. He stood and strode toward her, lifting her head with a gentle finger under her chin and he smiled when she looked into his eyes.

"Thank you," he whispered. "I know how hard this was for you to talk about."

She shook her head. "Not as much now. Thank you, Trip, for indulging an old woman's nostalgia."

"You're only as old as you feel," he countered. "And if that wit of yours is any indication-you, darlin', still have a lot of fertile years ahead of you." 

He placed a gentle kiss on her forehead and she closed her eyes, basking its coolness. This was the final time she'd feel it and it would need to last her another fifty years. She watched him go, tears stinging at her eyes. Maybe, if she was lucky enough, she'd see her Trip in the afterlife and she'd never have to be alone again. 


Comments:

Mary

Really well done!!!. Loved Trip's initial shyness disolving into playfulness with her, and his unhesitant hug when he first entered her room. Touching sentiments.

 

Linda

This sceen should have been in the episode.  It would have made Old T'Pol's soon to be probably death at least sealed with a little closure.    

Cogito

Well, damn. The thought of old T'Pol looking back at a lonely life after losing her Trip always gives me a lump in the throat and this is a very moving explanation of what it was like from her point of view. And the conclusion is devastating.

Maybe, if she was lucky enough, she'd see her Trip in the afterlife and she'd never have to be alone again.

panyasan

Wonderful story and a great read.

Reanok

wonderful story Ginamr. I was hoping domeone would do a story about Trip visiting the older T'Pol and discuss their relationsip.Nice to see Lorian again too.:D

Aikiweezie

** sigh **  Sweeet!

Asso

Damn! That's incredible! Sad and not sad at the same time. Sweet and still hard, someway, at the same time.
It has in few lines everything.
And it sounds so perfectly just.

BnB

Sweet. Very nicely drawn.

 

Silverbullet

Marvelous. No other word for this story.

Just as I too imagined a meeting between the Old T'Pol and the  young Trip.

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