More Than a Memory

By Elessar

Rating: PG

Genres: angst

Keywords: character death E2 Lorien

This story has been read by 462 people.
This story has been read 681 times.


By: Elessar/John O

Rated: PG

Disclaimer: No profit is made, Star Trek belongs to Paramount, regardless of how many séances I hold in communion with the dark powers to make it otherwise.

Summary: Depressing… but necessary. All I will say is that this occurs in the Expanse…

 

 


A flash.

At first it was a blur of violet with gold embroidery. Suddenly, a red sash with a golden tail whipped before his eyes. He tried to track it, but darkness followed. Invading it, a pool of brown bubbled out of the darkness, coming into focus… T’Pol slowly moved towards him, her eyes a wobbling storm of anxiety. She was nervous. Hell, he thought. I was so nervous.

There was a deep, plunging ring in his ears as a hot Vulcan breeze stole the air from his lungs when… No, it was Her… She was about to be his wife.

 


The dress, the wind, the light thrum in the back of his mind all disappeared and he became senseless – until one broke through the void and shattered nothingness with a single sensation. It defined him. Her lips.

He tasted her kiss, sudden and shaking with anticipation as the deck plating vibrated beneath them. Trip couldn’t believe she was kissing him, couldn’t believe he was kissing ‘the Vulcan’ as he had ever-known her. He hadn’t dared imagine her more – until they shattered the illusion with the gentle pressure of each other’s kiss.

He hadn’t noticed it the first time through – but the stars were frozen – relativistic smears of light no longer whizzing by, but stricken. Watching.

Just as he was.

 


“He’s stable but –”

 


“I said I’m not going!” Trip yelled. For an instant he recalled having been here before, but rejected the notion as he sat down on a stair near the front door of his parents’ home. The stiff cloth of the tuxedo crunched lightly beneath him.

Trip’s father took a sharp breath as if hit by a shockwave, then recovered an instant later. Trip’s cheeks grew hot and his chest fluttered with guilt. He wasn’t mad at his father… Hell, young Trip realized with anguish. I can’t even be mad at her…

A slightly fearful frown spread over Trip’s anguished face as he waited for his father’s fiery reaction. Sassing back to his old man wasn’t allowed in their house. Charles forgave him, moving closer to hug the boy.

“I’m sorry, boy,” Trip’s father said as he embraced his angry, red-faced seventeen year-old-son

Trip pictured Natalie holding that smooth, black-clothed arm of his as they walked across the dance floor. He felt stiff, immobilized. Staring down at his tux, he wanted to will Natalie there. No matter what she had done… the shame would be with him forever. The shame of having let a tiny corner of himself believe in that fraction of a second that if he wanted it bad enough, she would appear. He’d forgive her.

Unfortunately, Trip realized as he looked on reservedly, I did.


He couldn’t shake it, the tears were coming. The boy was so adorable that Trip found himself laughing uncontrollably. It wasn’t a belly-aching, bad comedy film laugh – it was joy, rising up unabashedly from somewhere he couldn’t begin to define. The boy cried and cried while his mother held him, instinctively caressing his white-blonde head. When T’Pol’s fingers slowly moved over the points of the newborn’s gracefully swept ears, he began to quiet down. The first of his kind anywhere, he was unique… even majestic, Trip thought… like a little elf.

I have an idea for a name, Trip thought, as T’Pol instinctively handed him over slowly, introducing their son to his father.

A tear fell and hit T’Pol’s hand as Trip watched, waiting for the light echo of joy in his heart to vanish again, as he felt the tingle in the back of his head and waited for the scenery to change again.

 


Phlox approached the two as Trip nervously paced from biobed to biobed. T’Pol waited with her hands calmly at her back. Trip imagined she was doing her best to both suppress her own anxiety and filter out his.

“You will damage the deck plating,” T’Pol warned him. Trip turned an amused half-grin on her.

“Maybe it’ll make all the other repairs feel easier,” he laughed painfully. Another encounter with a local pirate armada left Enterprise licking its wounds. When Phlox announced he had the results of the third test, he didn’t have to go far, since he had been in a bed a few meters away. Third try. Hopefully a charm in the Expanse, too, he hoped, while trying not to wonder if bringing a child into a world like theirs was right. Trip and T’Pol had suffered through thatconversation plenty of times lately.

Phlox appeared from behind a medical curtain. His appearance and the ear-to-ear grin he wore was enough to lift the wear from Trip’s features and his heart like a forgotten stain.

“It worked? It worked! It worked!” Trip yelled. Before T’Pol could brace herself, she was in his arms, taking the full heat of Trip’s excited lips. Phlox beamed to himself as he watched the display openly, as was his uninhibited nature. Reigning in his exuberance, Trip released T’Pol – finding her resistant.

“You ready to be a momma?” Trip asked her. For an instant, the joy welling up inside her and reverberating through the bond erupted victorious onto her face without control – for just long enough.

“I saw that,” Trip thought aloud in awe.

“Tell no one,” T’Pol demanded, regarding him seriously as he laughed and embraced her again.

 


Cold.

Steel pressed against his back so hard he was sure the grav-plating must be working over-time. His head, very light, seemed to move away and then return to his body. There was white all around him, almost like thick sheets. The iron grip of his bodily injuries released him as his mind moved into the open space, searching for T’Pol. He moved through them more vigorously, playfully, losing all care and concern – like someone was plucking it from his soul, piece by piece. She’d do that for me…Trip thought to himself, half-asking, half-certain of it.

“Trip.”

This is her mind, Trip realized.

 


The effusing calm of the deep, white surroundings disappeared – replaced by fear and panic. Panic greater than anything he had imagined as all that came before came to an end.

“I’m losing him, I need everybody out, now!” Phlox shouted.

 


“Alright, here’s whatcha’ do,’ Trip said as he and Lorien stepped out onto the diamond. Trip rubbed the dirt from his fingers onto a pair of worn jeans as he shielded his eyes from the sun. He took the cap off and stared at it briefly… His father had given him the hat. He turned to find an inquisitive-looking Lorien.

“It’s called baseball. The point a’ the game is to out-score your opponent, just like anything else,” he explained. Lorien nodded clinically, his high-swept brows disappearing under a red baseball cap. A swirl of dust kicked up, disturbing the warm coastal breeze with a frigid influx.

“Damn, that was cold,” Trip shivered. He looked back and found Lorien gone. He turned round frantically.

“Lorien!”

Suddenly, T’Pol appeared near the mound. Trip jogged out to her.

“T’Pol?” Trip implored.

For the first time, he saw T’Pol openly weep.

“Sweetheart, what is it?” he asked, embracing her.

“This is too real,” she sobbed sadly, holding her mate tighter.

“What do you mean this is too real, wha…” Trip asked. Suddenly, he became aware of it, aware of it all. He pushed away from her a little and stared out over the diamond: the fence behind the mound. The plains grass beyond the outfield. Even the bag on the first base – he couldn’t smell any of it, taste any of it, feel any of it. He felt nothing.

“I’m dying,” Trip said. Resolution and desperation collided in his voice as he swooned, looking down at T’Pol.

“I can’t believe this,” he moaned, leaning into T’Pol. “I can’t leave you like this,” he said, cradling T’Pol in his hands. “I can’t leave Lorien, he’s just a teenager, he…”

“You stopped the breach,” T’Pol announced, wiping a tear defiantly. Staring at the fake dirt, she wished that somehow she could look up to find her husband’s trusted face looking back at her from a bed in sickbay, alive, awake, and laughing off another close call.

 


T’Pol cringed at the illegitimacy of the reality she tried to force upon herself, cracking another frown as a tear wracked her features into anguish. In sickbay, her physical body wretched as another tear broke from her cheek, joining its kin in a small wet spot forming on Trip’s singed blue shirt cuff.

Losing her composure, T’Pol fell into Trip’s arms and held his chest as tightly as possible… she was losing the link. She squeezed Trip’s hand so tightly that the remote and isolated part of her still thinking rationally feared she would hurt him.

Jon held Trip’s other hand, his body tight with anger, fear, and desperation. He looked up over lightly silvering brows to see T’Pol, bared fully before him. Ashamed, as if he had walked in on her in the shower, he turned away and buried his face in his friend’s shoulder as T’Pol wept, and Phlox stood over them, feeling helpless, watching his friends say goodbye as the line indicating the rhythm of Trip’s heart traced out a single, flat line.

 


“Dad, it’s alright,” Lorien interrupted, stepping up to the mound and taking hold of his mother and father’s connection. He held it steady, anchoring his father even as the shores receded and stole from them any hope of harbor – of port, together for the many years they should have had left together. Lorien took a deep breath, cradling the thick, leather-hide glove in one hand, fingering the laces.

“ That was my granddad’s,” Trip said, wiping the tear from his cheek and taking it in his hand. Lorien looked up at his dad, blinking unsurely.

“Mom says it’s illogical…” Lorien guiltily looked up into his mother’s face. T’Pol made no effort to hide her own tears from their hybrid son.

“But… I think that we will see you again,” Lorien said hopefully.

Trip kissed T’Pol on the forehead as he felt the air grow chilly and his chest fluttered.

“I’m so proud’a you,” Trip whispered as he pulled Lorien and T’Pol tighter.

 


“How the hell’d you get here?” Trip asked.

“It’s a long story, mah boy. I figure it’s best jest not to worry ‘bout it.”

“He’s a good lookin’ boy,” his pop said admirably, gripping Trip by the shoulder.

“Damn right,” Trip said, laughing through a tear.


Comments:

Brandyjane

This story left me in tears.  (And that's not good, since I was putting on eye makeup while reading it!)  It's so sad and beautiful.

Emberchyld
Absolutely beautiful. You made me cry, darnit! I loved it all. *sniffle*
evcake
Excellent. Reading an angst overload in my bioscan. Better lie down...
Michelle
I like it! I can understand that your head would be pretty jumbled just after a terrible accident that you were slowly dying from. Although I am a touch confused: This is either the E2 universe where Trip is hallucinating about marrying T'Pol on Vulcan instead of enterprise, and that he got to give his son his granddad's baseball glove on earth. Or this is Trip's death from TATV and this is the life T/T secretly had. Or this is Trip making up a life with T'Pol he wanted but never got to live.
justTripn
I feel those are the moments that would [b]flash before[/b] his eyes in such a situation. Sorry . . .
justTripn
Love the ending. Love the Lorian focus throughout as Trip's life flashes before him. I feel those are the moments that would his eyes in such a situation. You captured the near-death situation as it is always described--the desire to stay competing with the comforting appeal of letting go and moving toward "the white light." You should unclutter this a little, but . . . very impressive, as always.
Linda
Stunning, engages the senses in a dreamy poetic way. Shifting, like a mind would under the circumstances. Sad, but loving and in its way, life and afterlife afirming.
Asso
Beautiful, beautiful. It touches all senses.:) But, honestly, I share somewhat Distracted's doubts:s and I make as my own her final words.:)
dialee
When I realized what the story was, I had to go finish my Spider Solitaire game to pull myself together before I could finish reading this story.
Dinah
If E2 Trip had to die, I'd like to think that things would have happened just this way -- a brave man surrounded by those he cared about most. This is an interesting way to structure your story. I think I picked up all the right clues. The only thing that threw me slightly was the fact that the vingnettes jumped around timewise. You were right about the depressing part, though. You did a nice job of capturing the grief of all the characters. Sad subject; good story!
Blacknblue
I think I get it. It starts off with hallucinations brought on by injuries, as Trip's mind is dazed. As he begins to slip away T'Pol reaches through the bond to anchor and stabilize his thoughts so she can say goodbye. Is that it? Very nicely written. As always, you have a superior gift for descriptive writing. Your scenes are almost photographically intense.
Distracted
Intriguing little series of sound bites you have here, John. I may just be obtuse, but I'm having a bit of trouble following the story. Is this supposed to be as E2 Trip lies dying? At the end is he imagining seeing his father or is he supposed to be in the afterlife? What does Natalie have to do with it, and why does Lorien's successful conception (I assume) come AFTER his birth? I'm so confused.:s This is emotionally effective, though, even if it's too non-linear for my taste. Some very impressive writing.

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