Introduction

This is the third story in my series "Trip of a Lifetime", which I started in early 2009. Part I was the first fanfiction story I ever wrote. This series often gave birth to ideas for my other works, so you might encounter similarities to my other stories. It is also the one where I often try less common themes and concepts, so there might people out there, who don't like some of my ideas, especially when the often vast cultural differences between Europe (I come from East Germany) and other continents come into play.

This story is fit to be read by older teens, who know about the birds and bees. There is occasional ripe language, but nothing that kids don't hear on the street every day.

This story will make no sense if you haven't read the other two stories. I'm providing a short synopsis for both, but it won't make up for actually reading them.

Part I: I Grieve With Thee

Shortly after the death of little baby Elizabeth T'Pol and Trip are called before a joint Starfleet and Vulcan commission to be 'debriefed' about the events leading to the child's creation. A Vulcan minister with an own xenophobic agenda tries to destroy the pair in an attempt to have them removed from Starfleet and thus wants to remove their interspecies-romance from the public eye. But Trip and T'Pol fight back with the help of their crew mates on Enterprise and Ambassador Soval.

With Kov and Shran Starfleet recruits two more illustrious aliens.

Part II: Vulcan Heat

After Trip publicly claimed T'Pol as his mate bang smack in the middle of the High Council chambers, their bond is being witnessed by First Minister T'Pau herself, who has taken a shining to the dashing engineer and his wife. Encouraged by Trip and T'Pol's permission to explore their minds freely during the witnessing meld, the inexperienced and impulsive T'Pau delves deep into their consciousness and unexpectedly performs an unintended bonding meld that leaves Trip and T'Pol bound to her as her En'ahr'at – her adoptive parents.

Assigned to Admiral Gardner directly, Trip and T'Pol are marooned on Vulcan until transportation can be arranged. Never content with sitting on his butt Trip buys himself his dream estate on Earth with the help of his mother Cathryn, who gets to know her daughter-in-law better in the process. Trip also manages to procure a shiny new Warp 5 engine – built by the Vulcans.

An assassination attempt on T'Pau strengthens the already close relationship between Trip and his adoptive daughter. When the aftermath of the attack on T'Pau reveals a conspiracy that involves a top Starfleet official, Trip learns the hard way that trying to be Vulcan is bad for a human and T'Pol takes radical action to undo the damage he has inflicted on himself – by damaging him some more.

Finally back on Earth they settle into life as house owners and T'Pol explores the advantages of human mating customs. When Trip realizes that T'Pau is fairly overwhelmed by the task of being the big leader of Vulcan, Soval comes to the rescue again.

Trip is missing his recently adopted daughter, a feeling that is painfully mutual and all seems well when T'Pau plans to stay a few days on Earth to recover from an acute bout of exhaustion. But more trouble is brewing, when Travis Maywheather charms Roxana, the hair to the throne on Betazed. Since all Coalition leaders are invited to the resulting wedding, T'Pau gets invited, too. The peculiar tradition of Betazoids to stage weddings as a nudist event, puts T'Pau in limbo as being naked in front of others isn't normal workplace practice on Vulcan. Trip and T'Pol see no other option than volunteering as Earths representatives to provide support for T'Pau during the ordeal.

Back from the weirdest mission of their lives, T'Pau returns to being big boss on Vulcan, while Trip is busy building the NX-03 Discovery – Shran's new ship. Another chance to see T'Pau presents itself a few months later when she is invited to attend a Coalition conference on Earth. Trip invites her on a climbing trip, but a second assassination attempt on T'Pau nearly succeeds. Despite being badly injured in the attack, Trip takes Shran's completed ship out on a trial run and runs into a Vulcan ship that doesn't appear to be what it looks like.

War breaks out when a Romulan invasion force attacks Vulcan. A combined fleet of Earth, Vulcan and Andorian vessels hands the entire Romulan invasion force over to their creator at a great loss of life and sets back the Romulan war effort by over a year.

While the Romulans are forced to retreat and rebuild, the Coalition decides to make the best of the break they are given. Trip starts construction of the new Coalition warship "Constitution" - the first of the eponymous class. But before that he will have to travel with his wife to Vulcan.

While T'Pol instructs young Vulcan cadets, who have been selected for service on human vessels, Trip is technically on a two week vacation, but that turns into a bus driver's holiday when he has to construct several facilities needed to survive the most dangerous mission yet. T'Pol's plak-tow is about to come upon her and Trip learns the hard way, how much it can cost to be in love with a Vulcan.

Now on to Part III – Little T'Mir