Only You Epilogue
Disclaimer: Star Trek: Enterprise is the property of Paramount
Summary: As Pon Farr approaches for T'Pol she has to make some choices regarding her relationship with Trip. Of course nothing goes as expected and Trip and T'Pol must decide how to proceed with their relationship.
Spoilers: all the way through the end of Daedalus and AU after that.
Authors Note: Baby has arrived!
Trip gave his wife a look of annoyance. "Ya said 15 minutes ago that I could hold her in 15 minutes. So it's my turn."
T'Pol continued to hold their baby girl and showed no sign of any intention to relinquish her. Her eyes never left her daughter as she replied, "You said you were going to record a message to your family. I suggest you do so now. Once the message is complete you may hold the baby."
"I was under the impression that in Vulcan couples the wife has to obey the wishes of her husband," Trip's tone was sardonic but his annoyance was starting to grow.
"You are not Vulcan, therefore, that custom does not apply."
"Okay, how about the fact that I'm acting first officer now?"
"I doubt Starfleet would consider your request to hold the baby a matter of ship's business."
"Record the message and you may hold her."
"Yeah, and by then she'll be hungry again and I'll have ta give her back." Trip knew he sounded whiny. How could one tiny baby have turned two rational, mature, intelligent adults into people acting like kids fighting over a toy? "I'm on to you you know."
T'Pol merely regarded him silently for a moment before returning her attention to their sleeping child.
Trip shrugged his shoulders and gave up. He went to the desk and picked up a PADD to begin recording the message.
"Hey Mom and Dad. Your grandaugher was born last night. She was born at 21:42 and she weighed seven pounds and one ounce. Since she's a girl ya already know we named her T'Mir Elizabeth Tucker. The Vulcans'll call her T'Mir but ta us she'll be Lizzie. She's beautiful, just like her mom. She's got a lot of dark hair, unlike her namesake, who was bald for a year if I remember correctly. She's also got blue eyes. I know they might not stay blue but T'Pol says Vulcan babies are born with their permanent eye color so I'm hoping they'll stay blue. I'm sendin' ya some pictures. The first few are close-ups of Lizzie and the last two are of Lizzie and T'Pol sleeping." He paused as T'Pol shot him a disapproving look. He just smiled at her as he continued, "T'Pol got ta hold her for a while until Phlox took her to clean her up and check her vitals and all. I did get ta cut the cord but after Phlox was done examining her and wrapping her up, Jon came in and Phlox handed Lizzie ta him. So I didn't get ta hold her until Jon decided ta giver her ta me. I mean, I'm only her father after all and I'm the fourth person ta get ta hold my own child."
He was shaking his head at the recollection. "Anyway, she's got a real good set of lungs on her. She's strong too. I'll have ta tell ya about my first attempt ta change her when we see ya next. It's not like I've never changed a baby before, but I had both Phlox and Jon laughing at me. Phlox says she's not old enough to control her responses ta stimulus but I swear she kicks when I sing ta her. I used ta play this game with her where I'd tickle her feet through T'Pol's belly and she'd kick my hand. Well, I'd sing ta her while we played like that and now when I sing ta her she kicks her feet. I know Phlox thinks I'm crazy but I know she remembers me playin' with her."
He walked over and ran a hand through T'Pol's hair before continuing, "we can't wait for you ta meet Lizzie. We'll be returning ta Earth in just over a month and the Captain is givin' us a few weeks leave so we'll get ta spend some time with you all. By then I'm sure I'll have the whole changing thing down. I'm an engineer after all." He chuckled as he recalled his first attempt. "Give our love ta the rest of the family. Take care and we'll see ya soon." He stopped the recording and put the pad down.
"Now can I hold her?" His exasperation must have won her over because T'Pol lifted the baby so Trip could take her.
He'd only been holding her for a few moments when the door chimed. Trip walked to the door and opened it to allow Hoshi and Malcolm to enter. As soon as Trip turned to greet his guests, Hoshi scooped Lizzie right out of his arms.
Trip scowled at her. "Hey, aren't ya supposed ta ask before stealing someone's baby?"
Hoshi shot him a mischievous grin. "Is that any way to talk to someone offering free baby sitting anytime you ask?" She then turned her attention back to Lizzie and began humming softly to the sleeping child.
"Well, I guess I could charge a babysitting toll for anyone that wants ta hold Lizzie." He smiled at Malcolm.
"I'd love to be able to oblige you Trip, but I don't have any real experience taking care of babies," his friend stated regretfully.
Hoshi moved closer to Malcolm and held Lizzie up, indicating he should take her. She helped to gently transfer the sleeping baby into Malcolm's arms. "Don't worry, Lieutenant, we can babysit together." She smiled up at Malcolm, who blushed slightly.
"Yes, that would be okay I suppose."
Trip chuckled under his breath, drawing a stern look from Malcolm. Trip wiped his hand over his mouth in an attempted to hide his smile. Malcolm took an interest in the recently installed baby bassinette, which also doubled as a lifepod for little Lizzie.
"So this is the design that has Starfleet Engineering so excited?" Malcolm asked.
Trip proudly patted the lifepod. "Yep, Commodore Jefferies had them whip this up from the schematics I sent him. It's designed ta keep Lizzie safe from just about anything, including the ship blowing up." He grinned widely.
"I guess it pays to be the child of the ship's Chief Engineer. I assume they'll be making a slightly larger version for use by Starfleet personnel."
Trip shrugged his shoulders. "I suppose. I don't really care what they do with the schematics as long as I get ta keep Lizzie safe."
Malcolm chuckled softly. "A bet Starfleet is just waiting for your next miraculous feat of engineering. Now that you're a father you'll likely be coming up with all sorts of gadgets for Lizzie that Starfleet can capitalize on."
"Maybe that's one of the reasons Starfleet is letting Lizzie stay," Hoshi said as she moved to take Lizzie back from Malcolm.
The baby was starting to stir but Hoshi rocked her and hummed to her softly and she quieted down.
"You appear to be quite skilled with children," T'Pol remarked to Hoshi.
"Well, I love kids, especially babies. I hope to have a few of my own someday," she replied wistfully.
Trip shot an impish grin at Malcolm and raised an eyebrow. Malcolm frowned at him in response.
"You two should definitely babysit for us real soon. That way Lizzie will get used to ya and you'll both get ta see what havin' a baby is like." He kept is tone casual but he couldn't hide a smirk from Malcolm when Hoshi was turned away.
"How often does she eat?" Hoshi asked T'Pol.
"At the moment she appears to wish to feed every three hours. In fact I believe that she is hungry now." Lizzie had started to cry when T'Pol began to speak.
Trip rolled his eyes. "Yep, I knew it. Now she's hungry again and I only got to hold her for a few seconds."
Hoshi handed Lizzie to T'Pol and helped her arrange the pillows for feeding.
Trip glanced over at Malcolm. "Ya staying?"
Malcolm seemed to realize that Hoshi and T'Pol were about to start feeding Lizzie and he started for the door. "No, I think I'll take my leave for now. Congratulations on a very lovely daughter."
"Wait, I'll go with you," Hoshi called to Malcolm and stood up to leave. "Congratulations both of you. She's beautiful. Just like her parents." Then she smiled down at Lizzie one last time before joining Malcolm and leaving.
T'Pol then began to feed Lizzie and Trip sat down on the bed and gently stroked the top of his daughter's head as she ate.
"She really is beautiful," he said and then lifted his eyes to meet T'Pol's. "Yer both beautiful."
"A fact you must remember when we are both suffering from lack of sleep and she persists in crying."
"Hey, I remember when my sister Lizzie was a baby. I knew what we were in for the day you told me you were pregnant. I'm still thrilled ta have her." He leaned forward and kissed T'Pol's forehead tenderly. "Thanks darlin', she's the greatest gift you could have given me."
"Actually, if you review the mechanics involved in her conception, it is you who gave the gift to me."
Trip chuckled. "Well I had the easy part. You carried her for nearly ten months and you endured half a day of labor on top of that."
Trip smiled at his wife. "So that's why I said thanks."
Lizzie finished eating and made a small noise before nuzzling into her mother and drifting off to sleep. T'Pol laid back and closed her eyes and soon she was asleep as well.
Trip contemplated picking up his daughter, but he reached for the camera instead. He snapped a few pictures then pulled the cover over his sleeping family. He knew he should probably get some rest himself but he couldn't tear his eyes away from T'Pol and Lizzie. They'd been through a lot and to make it this far and there were times he still couldn't believe that T'Pol was his wife and they had a beautiful daughter together. If there was anything better in life Trip couldn't imagine what that might be as he sat there admiring the two most precious things in his life and thanking what powers that be that all the twists and turns in his life had lead him to this moment.
A/N: Okay that's the end. Please let me know what you thought of the story. I don't currently have any plans to write again, but you should never say never I guess. Thank you for your feedback. :)