Disclaimer: I'm just a poor obsessed shipper.
Summary: My muse got testy and demanded I write this little
vignette. It was inspired by Trip sputtering "Maybe you're picking up some
of our bad habits!" in "Breaking the Ice." That got me thinking, and this
was the result.
And I Will Touch the Stars
"Thou wert my guide, philosopher, and friend…"
Pope, Essay on Man
Her sons were strong, her daughters beautiful.
No one could ever say that she hadn't fulfilled her obligation to her people.
Four striking children were born of her union with an exceptional man, two males and two females, all dark-haired and dusky-skinned, like their father. They were born to the whistle and crack of the wind, took their first steps on Vulcan's shifting sands, and grew up to follow the path of peace and logic laid down by Surak in the Time of Awakening. Pride was foreign to her nature, but a profound sense of approval, and apprehension, swept over T'Pol as she watched them march out, one by one, to battlefields and frontiers they'd likely not come back from. A great age of exploration was upon them, an era of foolhardiness that began in earnest with Jonathan Archer's maiden voyage to the stars.
She was content.
Her husband was understanding, and patient with her habits. Her eccentricities didn't prevent them from making, of their two lives, one life. If, occasionally, she spoke in colorful metaphor, he never chided her. When, after every twenty years, she went out to the dunes and watched Archer's comet streaking by, he never stopped her. Others whispered that she'd spent too long on the earth ship, and was, subsequently, never the same. Her table manners lifted a hundred eyebrows. When she grasped a raw vegetable with her fingers or professed a fondness for pie, her daughter wondered if she wasn't in another time and place. Just as quickly, the moment would pass, to be followed by the inevitable embarrassed silence. More shocking than her etiquette was her speech, which was peppered with phrases like "no way!" "cozy," and "hold on!" On one memorable occasion, she announced that her plomeek soup had "gone bust."
Then there was the day she and her youngest child stood before the bedroom window, looking out on the coppery desert where armies clashed in the time of trouble, before the hedonists split away to form the Romulan star empire.
"Mother," the daughter asked, "What should I do?"
T'Pol didn't turn from her view of the dunes. "Do you want to marry, or go to space?"
The child didn't understand. "What I want is irrelevant!"
At last, T'Pol turned to her, and there was no doubt in her girl's mind. She was in another time and place.
"No, its not. It's very relevant," was her murmured reply. "Someone once told me that."
And that was that.
Vulcans aren't fond of earth, that huge, sensual potpourri of a planet. It is a riot of sound and scent, of people madly dancing and abruptly standing still. Few went willingly, except the youthful Vulcans that attended Starfleet academy after it was established at San Francisco. T'Pol visited her children there, and watched as bigger, faster starships left the very launch pad that Enterprise set off from, carrying a young crew into an adventure that history forgot, but she never could.
Pushing open the cemetery gate, her bones protested, a sharp reminder of how much time had passed. The bay sparkled blue, and she was taken back in time to a green, Menshara class planet, where she had her picture taken for the first time.
She had not been amused.
They were in the east section, side by side, like brothers. She had insisted on it. Of the triumvirate, she was the last. She was not sentimental, but thought of them often. Coarse language brought Captain Archer to mind, the only man who'd ever threatened to knock her on her ass.
The other she remembered in the glow of her meditation candles, and when there were decisions to be made…
"Your advice, Commander?"
There was squirming, accompanied by a golden pout. "Well, what do you want to do?"
Vulcan called to her, like the stars called to Charles Tucker, to Jonathan Archer, and to his father before him. It was time to go home, for she had been to long away. Before making her way back, T'Pol read, as she always did, the words etched in marble, an acknowledgment of Archer's dream. It was a good dream. The words were good, too.
Audentis Fortuna juvat.
Fortune favors the bold.