A Life Together

By Bluetiger

Rating: R

Genres: au romance

Keywords:

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Summary: Trip and T'Pol spend the night in a Starfleet issue sleeping bag, stranded in a dank little cave, on a grubby little planet, on an away mission gone awry.

 

Author's Note: I was asked by several kind people to tell what happened at the end of 'The Talk'. I can't bring myself to do NC-17. I don't have that skill set, so I hope this does not disappoint. My humble version of our favorite couple's first time. (As I've stated before Harbinger doesn't exist in my universe).  

 


 

Dr. Phlox smiled one of those big Denobulan smiles. The kind of grin that unbeknownst to him creeped his fellow crewmembers out. He had been working on this problem for many years. Fortunately, Phlox's people were renowned for their patience. The doctor decided that it was now time to call the Commanders in for a talk.

Trip and T'Pol were walking down the corridor discussing why the doctor might have summoned them.

"The crew physicals were completed last week. Perhaps the doctor discovered something anomalous in one of our examinations."

Trip thought about this for a minute, "I suppose that's possible, but he seemed kind of excited when he called us."

When they approached the doors to sickbay, Trip pushed the button and stepped aside to let his wife enter first. The doctor's domain was pristine as usual; however T'Pol still found the scent of his various creatures slightly unpleasant.

Phlox stepped around the corner, "Ah, there you are. Please come in and take a seat."

Trip cut his eyes at T'Pol. Phlox was more than his usual cheerful self, he was practically gleeful.

"Commanders, I imagine that you are wondering why I asked you here. To get straight to the point, I have been working on the issue of interspecies procreation for many years now..."

Trip broke in beginning to display some excitement of his own. "Doc, have you finally figured it out!"

"I believe I have indeed had a major break-through. It should now be possible for Humans and Vulcans to successfully reproduce. Well for that matter Humans and Klingons, Rigelians and Andorians...you see what I mean."

Trip scowled, "A Human and a Klingon? Can't say I could see that happenin', Doc."

Of course by virtue of being Vulcan, T'Pol was a bit more cautious than the easily excitable men.

"Doctor, I would appreciate a few more details if you don't mind."

"Of course, T'Pol, I apologize for getting carried away as it were.  Please step over here."

T'Pol and Trip moved over to a cage that Phlox had indicated and looked inside.

"What is this animal, Doctor?" T'Pol had never seen an animal like this before. It had a long white body and what appeared to be a meter long black and white stripped tail.

"That is a Denobulan lemur, I brought her with me from my last visit home."

As Trip watched, the lemur shifted and he could see a small brown furry little bundle. Trip tilted his head in confusion.

"Doc, is that a beagle puppy?"

Phlox smiled, "Indeed it is, Commander. My lemur gave birth to it this morning."

"Okay Doc, we definitely need details here."

"The answer came from you, Commander Tucker. I found something in your DNA that made all this possible. It was your pregnancy that gave us the solution to your reproductive problems."

This was a sore subject with Trip. He had been the butt of more than a few jokes before people realized how serious it was. T'Pol came to him later and apologized for her attitude when she realized that he was truly an innocent victim in the matter. That meant a great deal to Trip at the time. During the weeks he was pregnant, Trip did a lot of soul searching about raising the baby by himself. Being such a family man at heart, he never entertained the idea of aborting the child.

T'Pol could sense her husband's upset, "What are you talking about, Doctor Phlox?"

"At the time I wondered why the Commander's body would accept the fetus so completely with no hint of rejection. There was quite a bit of adaptation and reconfiguring going on in your body, hence the nipples on your wrist. Things happened so quickly that I had little time to investigate. The health of the Commander and child were my primary concern. After the fetus was transferred to the male Xyrillian, I had time to do research on the myriad of tests and samples I had taken. It seems that at the time Ah'len transferred the genetic materials to you through the pebbles she also inundated your body with a peculiar enzyme."

T'Pol could tell that Trip was very uncomfortable with this conversation, so she provided the questions.

"What kind of enzyme?"

"Even though the Xyrillians usually mate with their own species, it seems that nature took into account that the child has only the mother's DNA. The females produce the enzyme to go along with the genetic material to ensure the safety of the child no matter the male's genetic profile. Hence the Commander was able to have a foreign body inside him and not reject it."

"Are you saying that you've known this for years, Doc?" Trip was stunned to say the least.

"Commander, this enzyme is the most complex substance that I have ever encountered. I was uncertain that it could be recreated.  However I devoted as much of my time as possible to developing a synthetic version. As you can see I was finally successful," Phlox said gesturing toward the cage.

"Is that puppy by any chance related to Porthos?" Trip leaned in close to the cage.

Phlox smiled, "Indeed it is Commander. As with all the crew, I had various samples of the beagles' DNA. After running all my simulations over and over, I asked the Captain if he was comfortable using the samples from Porthos for the experiment. He said that if it advanced the research that would aid you two he would agree."

"That was very generous of the Captain, don't you think, Trip?"

Smiling at his wife, Trip replied, "Phlox, how many times has the Cap'n been down here to check on the puppy?"

"It is strange that you should mention that Commander. Captain Archer checked on my lemur at least twice a day for the last week and since the birth he has been to sickbay every three hours."

Trip laughed, "Let me guess, he volunteered to take the puppy when it's old enough, right?"

"Indeed he did, Commander."

T'Pol was thinking so hard that Trip thought he could hear the wheels turning in her mind.

Finally she spoke, "So with this enzyme one species can carry the child of another to term and then deliver it safely. You are saying that I could be implanted with a Human egg fertilized by Trip and deliver his child myself?"

This was more than T'Pol had hoped for.

Phlox beamed, "Oh better than that. As my research progressed, I realized than the enzyme if introduced at the proper time could aid in the conception between two separate species. It allows the dominant characteristics of one of the species to come to the fore and the less dominate ones of the other species to be fully integrated."

Phlox reached into the cage and handed the puppy to Trip. Upon closer inspection the couple could see that the tiny animal was not just a dog. Its body was slightly elongated, the face had almost a bear like quality, and most impressively it had a very long brown and black ringed tail.

"Doc, this is amazing. Is it male or female?"

"It is a female. Do you think I should call it a 'leagle' or a 'bemur'?"

Trip held the beautiful little animal close to his face and smiled, "I say you call it a miracle."

 


 

Back in their quarters, the couple had much to think about. Phlox had gone on to explain that about four weeks of enzyme therapy would be needed by both to ready T'Pol's and Trip's bodies for conception. It was fortunate that the doctor needed so little sleep. Phlox had worked many days and nights on end for years to perfect this technique. He was aware that their biological deadline was looming.

"Well Darlin', what do you think we should do?"

"While this is more than I thought would be possible, the decision of whether to try to become pregnant now or wait seven more years will require thought."

"I realize that raising our baby on a star ship may not be optimal, but after the Xindi attack it seems to me that no place is a guarantee. The boomers seem to do fine raising children on extended deep space flights."

T'Pol could tell through the bond that Trip was becoming excited about the prospect of them having a child sooner rather than later.

She looked into her husband's eager face, "You and I have already discussed the prospect of returning to Earth and working for Research & Development in approximately five years."

Trip hung his head; T'Pol could tell he was a bit crestfallen, "Yeah, I guess you're right. We can wait until we get back to Earth to start our family."

T'Pol stepped up behind her husband putting her arms around his waist and laying her head on his back.

"You misunderstand me, Husband, I was merely contemplating the fact that we would have returned to Earth by the time our child would be ready to start a formal school."

Trip wheeled around in the circle of her arms, "Do you mean it? You're seriously considering having a baby now?"

"I can think of nothing more agreeable than having your child as soon as possible."

Trip grabbed her in a hug that would have injured a Human woman. The burst of pure joy that slammed into T'Pol from her bond with her husband was almost staggering.  It rivaled the feeling she experienced from him the first time they made love.

 


 

In the month's prior to Phlox's announcement of his discovery, Trip and T'Pol had settled into a routine that revolved around doing their jobs and the enjoyment of being engaged. Commander Tucker's leg had finally healed to the point that physical therapy was no longer necessary.

Trip had now been off the ship for five days and Captain Archer began to notice that for lack of a better word, T'Pol was crabby. Not just general Vulcan unemotional distain but 'bite your head off' crabby.  The planet that Enterprise was orbiting was a totally non-descript little dust ball. Its only redeeming feature was as a prime source of raw duratanium.

Trip looked toward the sky when he heard the engine noise from shuttlepod two. As the pod set down, he walked over to give the pilot instructions for loading the last of the ore. The hatch opened to reveal a surprise.

"T'Pol, what are you doing down here?"

"Captain Archer told me to come down with the shuttle. He seemed to think I needed a change of scenery."

The team had just finished loading the ore and lifted off heading back to Enterprise when the engineer's communicator beeped.

"Archer to Commander Tucker."

"Yeah, Cap'n?"

"What's your situation down there, Trip?"

"Well Sir, me and T'Pol are the only ones left dirt-side. We need to gather up the tents and some equipment, and then we'll head back. It'll probably take about thirty minutes or so."

"You know Commander, I was just thinking. I realize this little dirt ball isn't exactly a garden spot, but would you two like to stay and explore while we take the Balarians their share of the duratanium?  One day there, a state dinner and a day back. You two could have an overnight camp out. You certainly deserve some time off, Trip."

Trip looked at his mate and raised his eyebrows in question. T'Pol took only an instant to think. When Enterprise opened diplomatic relations with Balar, Captain Archer found they had a small sister planet that was uninhabited but rich in duratanium. The Balarians, while a friendly and generous people, did not have the capability to extract the valuable ore. A deal was struck, half the ore mined to the Balarians and half to the Humans. T'Pol had no desire to sit through another boring banquet with absolutely inedible food.

"Captain, Commander Tucker and I would enjoy a chance to study the geological oddities of this world. We accept your suggestion."

"You heard the lady, Cap'n, see you in a couple of days."

"Do you guys have enough rations and supplies to last until we return?"

"No worries, Sir, we have plenty of stuff left. We'll be fine."

Archer's voice had unmistakable humor in it, "Okay then, you two have fun. See you soon. Archer out."

Trip reached for T'Pol and pulled her into his arms, "I now consider us officially off duty...so."

T'Pol interrupted him by pressing her lips to his in an urgent kiss.

Her mate eventually pulled back and smiled, "Miss me, did you?"

 

 


 

 

Although there was very little fauna the geological formations fascinated T'Pol. Even the dirt under their feet was unique. It consisted of a fine brown powder several inches deep. Trip reckoned that it felt like you were walking in sand. They packed up the shuttle then loaded some emergency supplies in backpacks for the hike up the mountain. T'Pol wanted to see where the mining had been done.

The couple reached the cave where most of the ore had been obtained. Trip was showing her the area they had excavated when they heard a deafening boom of thunder. Stepping outside, they saw a large storm in the distance.

"Holy cow, that looks worse than the diamagnetic storms I got caught in with Hoshi. We better head back; it may be that we have to spend the night in orbit aboard the shuttlepod."

"Trip, this storm is moving rapidly. We may not have time to get back before it breaks."

T'Pol's words turned out to be prophetic. The rains began before they made it to the base of the mountain. Not very many steps from the rocks, the rain mixed with the fine powdery soil becoming a mud pit. The mates were soon up to their knees in mud and the suction was making moving their legs near impossible. The roar of the torrential rain was deafening. T'Pol grabbed Trip's hand and shouted to him.

"Trip, we must return to high ground quickly."

"T'Pol, I can't get my foot out of the mud."

She reached down to his pant leg and tried to help him pull. Finally together they pulled his leg free, sans boot. Using all her Vulcan strength T'Pol retrieved Trip's boot from the mud and they began to reverse their course. It took nearly an hour to travel the several meters back to solid rock and both were covered head to toe in the slickest mud Trip had ever felt. Once on solid ground, the mud covered couple hurried to the cave.

Trip and T'Pol collapsed to the floor of the dank cave panting for breath.

When Trip had enough air to speak, he shook his fist and asked the universe at large, "Why does this crap always happen to me!?"

"A better question would be how did I let you drag me into it with you?"

Trip leaned up and gave his wife-to-be a death glare, "Hey, you wanted to stay."

 

 


 

 

They began to reconnoiter the supplies they had in their backpacks. Each had a Starfleet issue sleeping bag, a blanket, water pouches, and several ration packs. The floor of the cave was damp with rain water that had blown in. fortunately due to the excavation and mineral removal there was a smooth platform of rock about a meter off the main cave floor.

Trip spread the sleeping bags out on the raised area. He attached the two by pushing the hook and loop strips together to make one large sleeping bag. Trip couldn't help but smile. Thank goodness T'Pol's second foremother, T'Mir introduced Velcro to Earth.

He turned and caught sight of his mate. The drying mud on her face gave her the look of an antique porcelain doll. Trip smiled at the sight and felt the mud on his face crack and flake away.

The rain poured over the rocks at the mouth of the cave creating a veritable waterfall. The couple decided to rinse out their clothing and shower the caked mud off their bodies before trying to eat.

Suddenly Trip found himself watching the woman he adored most in the world strip off her muddy clothes and start to clean them. He decided to concentrate on cleaning his uniform instead of watching T'Pol. When they had the worst of the mud washed off Trip took their clothes inside and spread them out over the rocks to dry. He laid one of the blankets just inside the mouth of the cave, intending to use it to dry them off. Trip took a deep breath and stepped back out. 'I can do this' he told himself, 'after all I'm not some sex-crazed teenager'.

Trip's breath caught when he saw T'Pol under the water. It was a déjà vu moment. Years ago he had seen her under a multi-color waterfall before either realized a bond was forming between them. He had known then that he would never see a more beautiful woman.

 Unfortunately the mud didn't just rinse off. It wanted to cling to their skin and had to be rubbed off. As the rain washed over them, softening the dried mud again, Trip used his hands to help wash T'Pol. Running his hands over her shoulders the mud became insanely slick again, almost like decon gel. Trip decided he wanted a sample of the stuff to analyze. It certainly wasn't normal soil.

'She feels like a new engine part dipped in high quality lubricant' Trip thought to himself.

Trip heard a voice in his head, 'That is hardly a poetic sentiment.'

'It is for an engineer,' Trip sent back with a grin.

He tried to keep his mind on the job at hand, but as they washed each other, T'Pol kept accidentally brushing against him. Her thigh against his, a breast across his chest; it was becoming hard for Trip to concentrate. He suddenly felt a rush of amusement coming from his love and realized she was purposely teasing him.

Trip stood up straight reached for her shoulders and turned her around. Smacking her bottom lightly he told her, "Behave yourself or you'll be sleeping covered in mud tonight."

Trip was trying with all his might to concentrate on wiping the slick substance from her back. T'Pol stretched her arms up under the flowing water. Turning back to face Trip, she put her arms around his neck. Pressing her body into his she kissed her mate while sliding her slick body against his.

"Do you still wish me to 'behave myself'," T'Pol asked in a husky voice.

Apparently, Trip had now lost the power of speech.

 


 

Several hours later the couple was curled around each other in a most satisfying exhaustion. Despite the many and varied scenarios Trip had played out in his mind for making love to T'Pol the first time, in a Starfleet issue sleeping bag, stranded in a dank little cave on a grubby little planet had never been one of them.

Even though Trip had a fair amount of experience with women, this had been a revelation.

The bond the couple shared allowed for the transfer of needs and desires without the necessity of nervousness and awkward questions. He knew T'Pol wanted him and was completely ready for her first sexual experience. She in turn had no need to feel inadequate since the young Vulcan could draw the information she required to please him directly from Trip's mind.

The commander had carried his mate back inside the cave to dry them off. They were not able to remove all the mud, however at this point neither cared. Trip lifted T'Pol and placed her on the sleeping bag crawling in beside her. Very few words were spoken between them as they slowly brought each other to a frenzy of arousal. Love and desire flowed freely between them through the bond. As T'Pol received her lover for the first time a blinding flash of white hot joy enveloped them both. This was indeed two kindred souls united. What began oh so slowly eventually came to a fiery and fierce climax.

The amorous couple made love all through the night taking a break after several hours to dive into their packs for an impromptu picnic. Trip knew for a fact that he had never known such happiness and waves of contentment rolled off T'Pol that he could now identify as her love for him.

The next morning, an annoying beep brought the exhausted engineer to consciousness. Trip was having trouble finding his communicator lodged in his backpack with a very warm, nude Vulcan entwined around him. T'Pol snuggled closer with a moan of pleasure as he located the errant device.

Flipping it open he responded, "Tucker here."

He heard the worried voice of Captain Archer, "Trip, are you two alright? We're still several hours out but the sensors picked up a large storm just leaving your area and the shuttlepod seems to be half buried in a mud slide."

"We're fine Cap'n, we had to make a break for the mountain caves and we're both a muddy mess but unharmed."

T'Pol sat up, now fully awake.

"That's a relief, I'm sorry things didn't work out, Trip. You and T'Pol deserved a little decent R&R."

"Well you know how it is, Sir. When do things ever work out like I plan?"

Archer laughed, "That's so true, Trip. You two sit tight and we'll signal you when we come into orbit."

"Will do, Sir. See you in a couple of hours. Tucker out."

T'Pol leaned back down placing her folded arms across Trip's chest, "So am I to understand from your conversation with the Captain that you did not enjoy your shore leave?"

Trip quickly rolled over, trapping his beloved mate underneath him, "On the contrary, Darlin', best shore leave ever!"

Trip began kissing T'Pol's neck but suddenly stopped, "Oh by the way, we should start planning our wedding when we get back."

"I thought you just told the Captain that your plans never work out."

Trip began to chuckle, "Well that's true, but really, what could go wrong with a simple wedding?"

 

 


 

 

Phlox had been closely monitoring T'Pol's hormone levels for several months. Her seven-year cycle of fertility was drawing near. The doctor called the Commanders and asked for them to drop by sickbay.

As the Tuckers proceeded down the corridor they met Captain Archer walking Porthos and his new pet. The odd little animal bounded up to Trip.

"Hey there, Lady," Trip bent down and scratched her little head cause the long ringed tail to sway with delight. "She sure is a cutie, Cap'n."

Porthos came over to Trip, licking his hand. Since he claimed the engineer's attention, the smaller animal trotted over to T'Pol and leaning against her ankle wrapped her tail around the Vulcan's leg. It spiraled all the way to her knee. For some reason this was the way she always greeted T'Pol. "How are you today, Milady de Winter?"

The Captain laughed, "I'm still getting used to the fact that she isn't just a dog. I won't be able to find her and suddenly she appears on the top of a cabinet or bookshelf. Her jumping ability is amazing. I think she's just showing off to Porthos."

Archer had named her after a female character in The Three Musketeers. After agreeing to meet Trip and T'Pol for dinner, Archer left with Porthos and Lady falling in single-file behind. 

Entering sickbay the Tucker's approached the doctor. 

"Hey Doc, what can we do for you?"

Phlox smiled, "It's more a matter of what I can do for you. T'Pol, do you still wish to try and become pregnant during your upcoming cycle?"

"Indeed Doctor, Trip and I have discussed this at length and believe that now would be an opportune time to start our family."

"In that event we should start your enzyme therapy today."

"Wow Doc, are we that close? Didn't you say we would need about four weeks of therapy? T'Pol, we could be pregnant in a month!" Trip was becoming very excited. "I never thought I could be grateful for what Ah'len did to me, but this makes it all worthwhile. Now we can have a life together, complete with our own children."

T'Pol, ever the cool head of the pair asked, "Doctor, are there going to be any side effects from the enzyme?"

"The side effects are negligible except for...." Phlox hesitated for a moment.

"Except for what, Doc?"

"Well the enzyme acts as sort of an aphrodisiac."

"What! Doc, do you realize how many times a day we already..."

"Trip!" T'Pol believed in being open with their doctor; however this information was not on Phlox's need to know list.

Trip raised his eyebrows and blew out a soft breath. With a small chuckle he muttered to himself, "You knew the job was dangerous when you took it, Fred."

The End


Comments:

lbekoj

Thank you, Bluetiger, for this marvelous story! It is so full of the warmth between TnT and includes the vivid depiction of their mishap on the planet with very pleasant outcome that it literally warmed me in this cold winter evening. I love your original brainwave of the surprising possibility of the "Unexpected". Your portrayal of Trip and T'Pol as usually is adorable and your Archer is quite the sympathetic character. My favorite of many beautiful descriptions in this story is the next image:
"He turned and caught sight of his mate. The drying mud on her face gave her the look of an antique porcelain doll. Trip smiled at the sight and felt the mud on his face crack and flake away"
I am fond of your skill to transfigure the reality (even not shining) in something splendid. And I like your representation of the bond and its usefulness.
I am looking forward to new appearance of Archer's new pet 'leagle' ('bemur') and its communication with Porthos.

evcake

<g> "Unfortunately the mud didn't just rinse off. It wanted to cling to their skin and had to be rubbed off. As the rain washed over them, softening the dried mud again, Trip used his hands to help wash T'Pol. Running his hands over her shoulders the mud became insanely slick again, almost like decon gel. Trip decided he wanted a sample of the stuff to analyze. It certainly wasn't normal soil.

'She feels like a new engine part dipped in high quality lubricant' Trip thought to himself.

Trip heard a voice in his head, 'That is hardly a poetic sentiment.'

'It is for an engineer,' Trip sent back with a grin."<g>

My fave of the many giggles.

What fun.

 

Transwarp

My favorite line:
   Trip began to chuckle, "Well that's true, but really, what could go wrong with a simple wedding?"

It takes me back (brings me forward?) to the story "You Are Cordially Invited", which contains one of my all-time favorite T'Pol moments:  Hoshi's gag-gift of a flannel night gown, which T'Pol ends up loving.

Pitseleh

This is yet another winner! The story was not nly highly entertaining, but also interesting and hilarious. I loved it!!!

Dinah

I love your creativity!  What an interesting way to make use of the events of "Unexpected."  From "E2," we know that Phlox discovered a way for Trip and T'Pol to conceive a child; this explanation for how it was done is as good as any.  Actually, it's rather nice that Trip would have been instrumental in bringing his child into the world -- in more than the obvious biological way.

You did a nice job with Archer here.  I was a little surprised that he named the new arrival after one of the villains in The Three Musketeers, but maybe he didn't like the name Constance.  It's nice to see Archer trying so hard to help Trip and T'Pol.  He obviously knows how much a child would mean to Trip; he probably suspects that it would be important to T'Pol, too.  On a related note, it's about time Porthos had a playmate.

The camping trip...the storm...the mud...the cave...  You may not feel comfortable doing NC-17, but this works just fine.  My imagination filled in the blanks nicely, thank you.  This was a terrific story!  I really enjoyed it. 

bluetiger

Thank you for the review Panyasan, I'm sorry you got lost. T'Pol was the one that assumed the puppy was a full beagle and was pleased that she could even carry a human child. Then Phlox showed them that the little animal was a product of both species and he had figured out how to combine them. Sorry for the confusion. All of their children are part Vulcan and part Human.

panyasan

I enjoyed the scene in the cave, great humour and I liked how Trip and T'Pol were acting like a caring couple. I liked that you touched on the fact that Trip and T'Pol have difficulties having childern. You lost me a bit in the medicial details and I wondered if I understand correctly that Phlox wanted to use a human egg? From a human women? Then the child would be totally human. I did enjoy you made it clear how horrible the experience of "Unexpected" was for Trip and that something would help him now, was a great idea. The ending was funny and I liked the tie-in with your other stories.

Asso

This is among the most clever and at same time most  sweet and at the same time most exciting stories I have ever read!:D

The explanation you gave us, BlueTiger, about Trip's pregnancy and the way you used it in order to allow Phlox to get the manner to permit T'Pol's pregnancy on her turn, it is awesome.

And how sweet is the way you show us our T'Pol and Trip, too, and their love.

But that isn't enough: without you being explicit, you allow us to see the depth of their love, just as it's needed.

And - as all this were not yet sufficient - you also succeeded in being hilarious and humorous.

This story is magical.:p

IT'S A REAL GIFT!;)

Honeybee

This may not be NC-17 - but that mud strikes me as a little kinky - in a good way. In any case, this is a sweet, romantic and fun story - with a great callback to "Unexpected". Good job. 

WarpGirl

Sorry I just forgot about it. I remember now. Please don't feel bad, I didn't intend that.

Alelou

I love the last line.  Very sweet story!  I hope Phlox got some of that mud to study.:p

bluetiger

WarpGirl, my beta and I both hung our heads in shame after reading your comment. I should have specified that he was working on the fertility issue for years.

As to the last line, that is a catch phrase (from Love Languages) that Trip and his grandmother used as a joke every time Trip was hurt or distressed. It has been a recurring line in several of my stories. Trip realizes that, for the next month, he will have to put up with an unusual amount of amorous advances.  I guess you have to be familiar with my work to get it.

WarpGirl

Hmm Interesting... I just need a little clarification with this line, "The kind of grin that unbeknownst to him creeped his fellow crewmembers out. He had been working on this problem for many years." If Phlox doesn't know that his enormous smiles creep the crew out, how is he working on the problem? I love the plot it was very sweet, infertility is such a sensitive subject for some of us, and it was handled with such a delicate and respectful hand. Thank you for that. I found the jumping between time periods a little choppy, but it was fine. But that puppy's name and abilities spells T-R-O-U-B-L-E. One more question, what does Trip mean by that last line?

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