T'Pol could not take the pressure of guilt after realizing what she had done to Trip, all the pain she had caused him through her harsh words. If he was a Vulcan who had been trained at birth to ignore his own emotions then she would have been reassured but he wasn't. He was human. They were unfamiliar at hiding their feelings, in fact it was very unhealthy for them. By keeping his love for her a secret he had been risking great psychological damage.

T'Pol had been halfway through her meditation cycle when the door chime rang.

It was Trip.

They just stood there looking at one another. Each one was trying desperately to analyze the other. Tucker smiled when he saw the softness in her eyes, like she was ready to tell him something.

Yup, she was definitely in love him. T'Pol on the other hand saw how he was smiling at her. He had come here to tell her how he felt, to express his love. The part of her she allowed to feel emotions was very flattered by his impending profession of affection.

Trip cleared his throat, this wasn't going to be easy. "Can I talk to you?" he said, unable to look at her. T'Pol waited before answering, not wanting to betray anything. It would be better for him to make the first move. "Yes, Commander, we must speak." And then he entered her quarters and all bets were off.

T'Pol had thought that allowing him to express how he felt first would allow her time to think of a dignified response, but suddenly nothing was clear anymore. She had to say something! Anything to let him know that he was not completely alone in his feelings, that she was not cold or unreachable.

Tucker had thought that by letting her speak first he'd be able to reassure her while keep his own control intact, but when he looked into her eyes, he saw something that had never been directed at him before.

Love.

God, he had to tell her before it was to late that he wasn't completely unreasonable, that he could see past their differences.

They took deep breaths, opened their mouths, and said exactly the same thing at exactly the same time.

"I love you!"

With their mutual declarations of love still ringing their ears, they pulled into a long, beautiful kiss.

*************************************

Epilogue

Two years later, Commander Tucker and his recently pregnant wife, T'Pol, were having a very loud and public row.

"WHAT DO YOU MEAN I'M DISAGREEABLE?!" T'Pol looked sternly at her husband. It was more then a little obvious that she had spent far too much time around humans because she was on the verge of actually screaming at him, "I merely stated that you occasionally jump to conclusions!" Trip steamed "THAT'S TOTALLY UNFAIR!"

"Well, if the shoe fits, DEAR HUSBAND!"

Off to the corner of the Mess Hall, Ensign Hoshi Santo and Captain Jon Archer sat desperately trying to ignore the firestorm of marital bliss. After a few particularly loud bursts from T'Pol, Archer took another sip of his orange juice. "Great plan, Hoshi." He muttered sarcastically, " We made it worse."

Hoshi sighed "Shut up, sir."



**************************************

BENEDICK: Soft and fair, friar. Which is Beatrice?

BEATRICE: [Unmasking] I answer to that name. What is your will?

BENEDICK: Do not you love me?

BEATRICE: Why, no; no more than reason.

BENEDICK: Why, then your uncle and the prince and Claudio Have been deceived; they swore you did. BEATRICE: Do not you love me?

BENEDICK: Troth, no; no more than reason.

BEATRICE: Why, then my cousin Margaret and Ursula Are much deceived; for they did swear you did. BENEDICK: They swore that you were almost sick for me.

BEATRICE: They swore that you were well-nigh dead for me.

BENEDICK: 'Tis no such matter. Then you do not love me?

BEATRICE: No, truly, but in friendly recompense.

LEONATO: Come, cousin, I am sure you love the gentleman.

CLAUDIO: And I'll be sworn upon't that he loves her; For here's a paper written in his hand, A halting sonnet of his own pure brain, Fashion'd to Beatrice.

HERO: And here's another Writ in my cousin's hand, stolen from her pocket, Containing her affection unto Benedick.

BENEDICK: A miracle! here's our own hands against our hearts. Come, I will have thee; but, by this light, I take thee for pity.

BEATRICE: I would not deny you; but, by this good day, I yield upon great persuasion; and partly to save your life, for I was told you were in a consumption.

BENEDICK: Peace! I will stop your mouth. [Kissing her]

Much Ado About Nothing By William Shakespeare

Act V, Scene IV

**********************************

THE END