The Cultural Addition
a
Star Trek: Enterprise - based fan fiction
by: Joycelyn Solo

Summary: An unexpected pregnancy has some interesting consequences for Trip, T'Pol, the Enterprise and the future of Humanity.
Author's note: This story takes place Season Three, so expect general episodic references, but with definite AU qualities.
Disclaimer: Star Trek: Enterprise and associated characters are property of Paramount Pictures. I mean no copyright infringement, this story is for entertainment purposes only.
Rating: PG-13
Genre: Trip/T'Pol Romance; Mystery

Author's Note: Here it is. The final chapter of The Cultural Addition. Writing this story has been an amazing adventure -- especially when you consider the modest plan of a dozen chapters turned into more than twice my original outline. I want to thank all who've read and reviewed this story. I also want to thank Stub, my wonderful and patient beta, for her hard work and suggestions. And, lastly, thanks to my best friend Sue who has faithfully encouraged me to write as the muses demand.

Chapter Thirty-Two - And so it begins...

Though T'Pol never considered herself much for illogical daydreams, she had to admit that, when she pictured herself becoming a mother, she always imagined she would give birth in the traditional Vulcan caverns deep beneath the planet's surface. Never would she have guessed that she would deliver her children in the sterile environment of the Vulcan Science Academy hospital.

Of course, never would she have thought that her children would be half-alien and she would be happily -- yes, happily -- married to an irrational Human. It was true that life, no matter how logically one may approach it, could not be planned in advance. Because no one could have been prepared for the arrival of T'Mir and Charles Tucker IV.

Seated on the bed, T'Pol looked down at the tiny bundle she held in her arms. Never in her life had she felt so calm, so at peace, as she did looking down into her son's face. She could sense the same peace from her husband as he sat next to her, holding their daughter.

Considering the Vulcan High Command had, in the most polite way a bunch of stodgy old Vulcans could, told Trip and T'Pol their family was not welcome on the planet, the Tucker family was doing quite well for their first hours together.

"They are beautiful, aren't they?" Trip asked, his voice barely above a whisper for fear of waking either infant.

T'Pol did not answer -- she didn't need to -- as she met her mate's gaze. She had chastised him in the past for applying aesthetic labels to their potential offspring, but now, with her children and him, T'Pol could not herself recall anything ever being more beautiful than her family.

"Y'think Soval was ticked about our choice of names?" Trip asked, grinning as he remembered the tightened look on the Vulcan's face when he first met his grandchildren.

"My mother was pleased to have her own mother honored," T'Pol offered. It was not a common practice to name children for an ancestor, aside from the use of an "S" name for males in honor of Surak. T'Les seemed to understand that T'Pol wanted to impart a piece of Vulcan heritage upon her daughter, just as Trip wanted to continue his own family's tradition with their son's name.

"The Ambassador understands the art of compromise, Husband. In time he will understand the logic of naming our children to reflect both their cultures."

"For a woman who gave birth less than three hours ago, you're certainly being quite reasonable. Nothing like the stories my dad tells about my mom."

T'Pol stiffened at the mention of her mother-in-law, a woman she had yet to meet, and roused Charles enough that he opened his blue eyes to peer up at her.

Sensing that her brother was awake, T'Mir also opened her eyes and regarded her father. As Trip looked into his daughter's brown eyes, so like her mother's, he couldn't help the smile that spread across his face.

Seeing this, T'Mir's lips moved into a miniature facsimile. "Look at that," Trip said with awe, "She's smiling at me."

T'Pol refrained from telling her husband that, according to most of the books she'd read, the baby's "smile" was probably a result of the nutritional supplement disagreeing with her small digestive system -- even as she watched Charles mimicked the same facial expression.

For a perfect moment in time, T'Pol allowed herself to smile with her husband and children.

- - -

With the various gifts from Earth packed and waiting for Trip to carry them -- he refused to allow her to lift even the oversized bear Ensign Sato had brought -- T'Pol waited for her husband to return to the hospital room.

Seated on the bed, she looked up at the sound of approaching footsteps along the corridor -- footsteps that most definitely did not belong to her husband.

As her visitor entered, T'Pol greeted, "Hello, Father."

"T'Pol," Soval said, looking at his daughter and the various packages piled next to her on the bed. "Your mother informed me that you were leaving."

"It is obvious that we are not welcome on Vulcan."

"It is not you who is unwelcome, T'Pol. You can remain here, with your people."

Though it wasn't the first time he had suggested it, T'Pol was still surprised at her father's audacity. "You would have me abandon my husband and children."

"I would have you remember who you are."

"I know precisely who I am," T'Pol stated firmly. Then, in an attempt to appeal to her father in logical fashion, changed her tactic. "Even if I were to part from my husband, I would not be welcome here on Vulcan. You, though you have spent years as ambassador to Earth, believe I am 'tainted' with Human emotion."

"Several of your decisions bear the flavor of Human influence," Soval reminded his daughter. "Why else would you have broken your engagement to Koss? Or resigned your commission to stay on that ship?"

With an internal sigh of disappointment, T'Pol realized there was nothing she could say that would have make her father understand. None of her reasons would seem logical enough for him. Where did loyalty, friendship and love fit into the Vulcan ideal? Any further discussion would be a waste of both her time and Soval's.

"I will not leave my family."

"The children are not at fault for their creation, T'Pol," Soval said, regarding the sleeping twins in their respective cribs. "T'Mir and --" with great effort, he forced himself to refer to his grandson by his very Human name "And Charles will be raised as Vulcans. Your association with Mr. Tucker, however, must end."

"It is unfortunate you feel that way, but I will not deny my children their father. Nor will I leave my husband."

"You deny your children their heritage."

"If their heritage will not accept their father, then I do not believe it is a heritage my children could be part of."

"If you choose this road, you will never be accepted on Vulcan, T'Pol. Your children will never be accepted."

"I am aware of the consequences."

Seeing there was nothing further he could say to dissuade her course, Soval turned to leave. At the door he paused. "You may never be accepted on Vulcan, T'Pol, but you -- all of you -- are still a part of this family."

- - -

Once again aboard Enterprise, the place where the relationship began, T'Pol stood with her husband as Vulcan receded from view.

Trip wrapped an arm about his wife. "I'm real sorry, T'Pol."

"It is unfortunate, but not unexpected."

"'Unfortunate?' T'Pol, you're being forced off your own planet."

"I am not being forced, Husband. I am making a choice."

"Yeah, you chose me and your own people give up on you."

T'Pol rested her head on her husband's shoulder, exhaustion from the last several days -- several months -- catching up to her. Phlox had strongly suggested that she needed to rest, preferably in Sickbay where he could keep a close watch over her as he was currently doing for the sleeping twins.

But T'Pol needed to see her homeworld one last time.

As Enterprise entered warp, T'Pol turned from the windows and regarded the Human who was her mate. Though he remained silent, she felt his love and support through their bond -- a miracle that had only been strengthened by the birth of their children, not weakened.

"Do you truly believe our union will meet less opposition on Earth?" she asked.

"I can't say for sure, but I certainly hope so. You're a hero and a dedicated Starfleet officer." He traced a finger over the three pips that now adorned her uniform. The rank, as well as the Earth-bound research and development facility they were to head, was a belated wedding gift from Admiral Forrest. Though a small part of Trip ached to give up space travel, nothing was more important that being with his family. "Plus, you're a soon-to-be upstanding Earth citizen. What more could anyone need to know you belong?"

"Including your own family?"

"Darlin'," Trip answered, turning with his wife as they headed back to Sickbay and their children, "My family is going to love you."

Author's Note: Wow. That's it. The end. Or, if you want to look at it that way, the beginning. Because never fear, faithful readers, there will be a sequel to The Cultural Addition. I have other characters waiting for resolution to their own stories, but in a few months you will have the opportunity to join the family Tucker on another adventure.