With a sudden jolt, his eyes opened quickly. First unfocused but after a brief moment, he was now looking clearly and straight ahead into the deep vastness of space. He quickly looked over his surroundings and quickly confirmed to himself that he was standing in the mess hall. The entire mess hall was heavily decorated with Christmas decorations and Christmas music in the background.
"What the hell is going on?" He asked the empty room.
He began to walk around the mess hall but no one else was present. After a quick check of the time on one of the control panels, he wondered why he was wearing his workout attire at this time of night. Half of the crew had already been in bed for hours and here he was standing alone in the mess hall with all the Christmas lights on and Christmas music playing in the background.
"I…was… running?" He spoke as he scratched his head in confusion.
At that point, the Christmas background music had changed to an all too familiar song.
"Dad, your song is playing." Archer spoke to the empty room.
All of this seemed all too familiar to him, like he had already lived this moment. The mess hall decorated with the lights still on, his father's favorite song, his attire, it all began to come back to him. He remembered T'Pol sitting in the corner as she sat quietly overhearing himself decreed his love for her as he spoke to his deceased father, so he quickly made his way towards the area in which he remembered where she was sitting. As he approached the area, she was not sitting there. He shook his head rather forcefully.
"Was it all a dream? It couldn't have been."
He quickly examined his arms and legged to see if there was any scaring from the beatings…nothing. He tried to open his telepathic link with T'Pol…nothing. The more he thought about his current situation, he truly began to believe that it was all a dream. There would be no way that a Vulcan would have feelings for a human let alone fall in love with one and have a child. It felt like he had lived an entire year within a matter of minutes. Falling in love with T'Pol, the birth of their child, everything a dream? This brought great sorrow to him as he remembered how much they loved each other and what they had done and gone through to be reunited but all of that looked like it was a cruel dream. He walked over to the control panel and turned off all the Christmas lights and music that was playing. As he exited the mess hall, he quickly turned around and watched the doors close in on the now dark and empty room. He began his slow walk back to his quarters for a quick shower and finally some well deserved sleep. As the turbo lift door opened to his deck, standing in the middle of the corridor was a far too familiar face.
"Daniels!" Archer spoke forcefully.
"Captain Archer, are you alright?"
"What the hell are you doing here?"
"Captain please, let me explain. You just experienced what your life could have been if you told Sub Commander T'Pol how you felt about her."
"So it was all a dream!? What gives you the right to play with peoples lives?"
"We had to make sure." Replied Daniels.
"We? Make sure of what?" Archer quickly snapped back.
"I only have one question for you Captain and then you will never see or hear from me again."
"Which is?" Archer quickly replied.
"With all that you went through, the pain, the heartache, would you change anything?"
"If you're asking me if I would change the fact that I love T'Pol or all the pain and hard ache that I thought I went through to be reunited with the love of my life. That's simple, I wouldn't change a thing Daniels, I love her."
Archer shrugged and his head lowered bringing his jaw down towards his chest.
"That is all I needed to hear Captain. I hope that the four of you will be very happy together. Goodbye Captain, take care of them."
Archer was rather confused by Daniels comments so he raised his head and quickly noticed that Daniels had disappeared. He quickly exited the turbo lift and walked down the hall to see if anyone was around. There was no one in sight so he continued to approach his quarters even more confused then he was before. He was now standing directly in front of the closed door to his quarters but hesitated to activate the door to enter.
"Another lonely night at the Archer residence." He whispered to himself.
The door to his quarters slid open and a familiar scent chills down his spine and encouraged hope. The door slid shut behind him and he further entered his quarters to find T'Pol lying on the bed with a book in hand and a small desk lamp which provided the only light source in the room.
"Jonathan?" She asked.
It felt like his heart was in his throat. At this point, he was so confused that he had no response for T'Pol.
"Jonathan, did you hear me?"
"Yes I did, I'm sorry T'Pol. Are you alright?" He asked hesitantly.
"Of course, why would you ask me that question Jonathan?"
"I have no idea."
At that moment, he sat down on the bed next to her. She immediately positioned herself so that they were now face to face. She was now looking into his eyes and could see that something was troubling him so she placed her right hand on his left cheek. As soon as he felt her soft touch, all of the confusion disappeared and all that had happened was now crystal clear.
"T'Pol, why are you still up?"
"I sensed that something was bothering you so I decided to remain awake and wait for your return. I also took the opportunity to change the baby."
"Baby?" He replied.
"Yes baby, our daughter. You do remember that we have a daughter? Are you certain you are alright?"
T'Pol asked with uncertainty in her voice.
"I.....ah..... It wasn't a dream, it was real." Archer spoke to the darkness.
At this point, T'Pol knew that she needed to find out exactly what Jonathan was talking about so she immediately opened the link that they shared. At this point, Archer was standing beside the small crib that held little Archer. She could sense the confusion but she would be able to clear his emotions quit easily. Before she closed their link, she witnessed the final conversation between Daniels and Archer. A tear quickly appeared and as quickly ran down her left cheek as she witnessed Archer's response to Daniel's final question.
"Jonathan?" She whispered
With Archer still looking down at the small little occupant whom was sleeping very peacefully, her whisper had caught his attention and he turned his head slowly to watch her raise from the bed and approach him.
"What is it T'Pol?" He asked quickly.
"After all we have been through, looking back at all the suffering you endured..." She lowered her head slightly.
Archer placed his index figure under her chin and raised her chin so that they were once again looking into each others eyes.
"I meant what I said. I would not change a thing T'Pol."
After seeing all of the medical scans of Archer's body, after witnessing all of his emotions and memories of his experiences as a Romulan prisoner, she could not understand why anyone would endure what he went through for a chance, slim as it was to keep fighting and be reunited with her.
"Does this happen often?" She asked.
"Does what happen often?" He replied.
"Do you receive visitors from the future often?"
He quickly looked at her with confusion. After all of this time, he still had a difficult time reading her. Was she serious or was this another attempt at humor.
"You still don't believe me that time travel is possible. After all that we have been through, you still doubt me?"
T'Pol approached Archer and placed both of her hands on his chest. She slowly raised her eyes to meet his. She could see that he was a little aggravated by her last comment.
"There is only one thing that I will never doubt Jonathan. How much I love you."
This last comment caught Archer off guard. As T'Pol settled into bed, she watched Jonathan walk over to the crib and kiss his little girl on the forehead.
"I love you T'Lin" Archer whispered.
T'Pol studied Archer as he quietly approached the bed. Archer turned out the light and lay beside T'Pol as she held the blankets open. She gently placed the blankets on top the both of them then placed her head on his chest. Archer carefully placed his left arm around her for support and comfort.
"Merry Christmas T'Pol." Archer whispered.
As they slowly fell asleep in each others arms, they began to share thoughts and emotions through their mental bond. T'Pol already knew that he was an amazing father and man but she wondered what would happen once he found out about her Christmas surprise. At that point, Archer could sense what she was thinking and decided to ask what Christmas surprise she was talking about.
"What Christmas surprise?" T"Pol heard through their bond.
"We are going to have to make renovation plans to expand our quarters again Jonathan." She replied through their bond.
Archer quickly woke from his sleep as did T"Pol. She gently raise her head from his chest. Archer was able to bearly see her face thanks to the stars that were warping by and iluminated their quarters.
"What?" He whispeard.
She placed her left hand on his right check and softly replied.
"Merry Christmas Jonathan."