Warning: Below you will find a short epilogue that jumps ahead ten years. If you hate The Episode Commonly Known as the Abomination(TATV) so devoutly that you want to pretend nothing in it ever happened, JUST DON'T READ IT. I certainly understand your feelings, and the plot is complete at this point anyway.
Thanks again for any reviews. (And I'll be interested to see if you think this epilogue was a good idea or not!)
Ten years later, T'Pol was packing up Trip's effects in his quarters when she came across an old PADD, a kind that hadn't been used since the early years of their mission. She checked its contents quickly, trying to determine whether it contained something that might have meaning for his family.
That's when she saw the file labeled "For Laney" and suddenly realized what it must be. She played it, and there was Trip, so young, with the Xyrillian infant in his arms. Talking to the screen, he gently told the story of how she'd come to be born on a human ship, and who her daddy was, and how if she was having trouble falling asleep, sometimes he'd sing her a song with words he'd had to make up a bit because he couldn't remember them all.
And then he'd gone ahead and sung to the baby in his arms, in a sweet and deep voice:
Hush little Baby, don't say a word
Daddy's gonna buy you a mockingbird.
And if that mockingbird don't sing,
Daddy's gonna buy you a diamond ring.
And if that diamond ring don't shine,
Daddy's gonna bring warp drive online.
And if the engines don't break warp five,
Daddy's gonna skin his crew alive.
And even if Enterprise falls apart,
You're still gonna have your daddy's heart.
It was the first time T'Pol had thought about Laney in many years, and her thoughts ran automatically on to Lorian and to baby Elizabeth. And she reflected again, certainly not for the first time in recent days, on how brutal fate could be. It had seen fit to make Trip a father three times by the most extraordinary means, only to rip each child away from him.
And not just his children. His sister, his hometown. His conflicted Vulcan lover. Over the years the combination of losses he'd endured had certainly made Trip less flexible, more cautious. And yet only recently, he'd seemed to suggest that he hadn't shut the door on their relationship. T'Pol had been unaccountably cheered that the end of Enterprise's mission might not mean a final separation from her th'y'la after all.
But no separation could be more final than this one.
She wished that Laney really had been Trip's daughter. It was not logical, but it would comfort her to believe that some trace of him still lived.
T'Pol decided she would keep this PADD for herself. The Tuckers surely knew about Laney, if only because news of the first human male pregnancy had eventually hit the tabloids. But they already had enough to cope with right now. She could always make a copy of the data for them if they expressed interest later.
She held the PADD clutched tightly in her hands and realized she was rationalizing. The truth was that she wanted this little memento of Trip for herself – from a time when he'd just been an oddly compelling fellow officer, and it seemed as if the whole galaxy lay ahead of them.