Live Long and Prosper


I own nothing.

Author Note: this is supposed to be my last ENT fic for a while because I've been hitting bust on all my stories. I only hope this one doesn't suck.

Dedication: To Ray Walston, the greatest gardener to ever live.


"Shut the door Mr. Boothby." The ancient Vulcan woman said in the darkness of the groundskeeper's lodge. The youthful Cadet Boothby took one last look at the rows of flowers just outside the door and complied.

He heard the smooth, cultured voice rolling through the air like a verbal translation of a marble statue. It was cold and pale and beautiful in the darkened living room. Actually, Boothby only saw the old woman in the dark. She was always sitting in the living room rocking chair with the shades drawn and the illumination programmed automatically to half. Some times he thought that she had become photosensitive in her old age, other times he realized the real reason. It was a way of controlling people in her environment, keeping them on their toes. She would make them conform to her light and make their eyes adjust to her light. She totally controlled they way people saw he and the image was a little intimidating.

There were some cadets who lived in fear of the old Vulcan and her spooky house, they claimed that her extreme old age had granted her powers far beyond those of others Vulcans. They said she could mind meld from across a room and find your darkest secrets with a glimpse. Even Ambassador Sarek had been seen bowing his head in wonderment once or twice and was heard to claim that the woman was "immortal" and "mystical". It was amazing how one person could be so famous and so anonymous at the same time. Everyone knew her name but nobody had gotten a good look at her face in years.

Another striking thing about Starfleet Academy's grand old dame was that she never talked to anyone. Nobody. Not the cadets, not the teachers, not even some of the admirals. The only people who had more then passing contact with her was the Head Master (who had tea with her at EXACTLY 12:45 in the after noon) and the grounds keeping crew.

That was her official title on the staff, Head Groundskeeper

Not that anybody ever saw her actually do any work. Instead, various assistants or cadets on worked detail seemed to do all the work. The most she did was instruct how the garden was to be maintained every morning at EXACTLY 5:35 on the dot.

Boothby should know, he was one of the assistants she was always instructing.

It was in his second year as a cadet when his advisor had first recommended that he chose a position in the student volunteer services so he could earn a few extra credits. Naturally, he signed up for that cushy library job. What he got was hot sun and yard work with the Vulcan ghost.

And she was a ghost, in nearly every sense of the word. She was rarely seen, had mysterious motives, and should really have died a long time ago.

Actually, Boothby's time with her was not all that unpleasant. Over the short period he had worked for the old lady he had found her to be pleasant and kind, in the gruff Vulcan way. She had quickly become one of the most respected people in his life.

He had been almost heart broken when he heard about his mentor's illness.

"Good morning, ma'am. How are you feeling today?" Boothby instantly regretted the words. He knew how much she hated doting and pleasantries. She was a Vulcan after all.

His answer was the expected glare of annoyance he thought he would receive. "I am feeling well enough…" She muttered but letting her tone remain emotionless, "…to realize when you are being too human for your own good."

Boothby cringed "Sorry." Quickly changing the subject, The cadet took a side beside her, "So why did you ask me to come?"

He watched in amazement as the old Vulcan reached into a small wooden box at her side and pulled out a stack of old digital pictures, the kind that came before holophotos. "I will get to that. For now I wish to tell you a story."

She handed him one of the pictures. What he saw made his eyes pop out of his head. It was a photo of two men and a woman. He recognized the two men instantly "Oh my God! This is Jonathon Archer! Where did you get this?"

"Look closely."

He did and found himself noticing the woman's beautiful, smooth face. He saw he short hair and then he noticed her long ears. Her Vulcan ears. Then it struck him who she was. "I-is this you?"


Boothby's jaw dropped into his lap, "So you're…her." He pointed to the woman in the picture.

"I was 68 years old, a young Vulcan girl really, fresh from one of my first diplomatic assignments with the Vulcan embassy in San Francisco. To my extreme horror I found myself assigned to act as an observer and Science officer for some human vessel filled to the brim with a group of smelly primitives on some pointless crusade to explore the universe. "

"You must have been pretty pissed off." He said, officially fascinated by his mentor's life story.

"I was certainly not pleased," she said, "However, someone…changed my mind."


"Actually, it was a man." Her eyes avoided her young friend's, "A very interesting man."

If Boothby had not understood before, he did now. "You fell in love."

The old Vulcan seemed reluctant to admit that in front of another person, but finally she released the words from her lips. "Yes."

"So who was he?"

"Charles Tucker."

Boothby nearly had a heart attack. This woman was telling him she had an affair with Commander Charles Tucker. This was amazing! It was like someone saying that they could prove George Washington was gay or that Abraham Lincoln had robbed a bank, this was monumental. "Oh my god! Charles Tucker? This is unbelievable!"

She seemed to become very annoyed with him. "If you are having trouble believing me then look at this photo but do not interrupt me again."

She handed him another old digital photo, this time he saw a smiling Commander Tucker with his arms around the same youthful Vulcan woman from before. You could see the love and affection pouring from the Commander's eyes onto the Vulcan's science officer emotionless face. Boothby was not an expert on Vulcan's but he was fairly certain that the one in this photo was in love. While she didn't outwardly seem to care about the human holding her there was a certain mischief and passion surrounding her like an aura.

She really enjoyed having this man around.

"At first I hated that man." A flash of long remembered anger and aggravation ran through the old woman, "I found him to be an insufferable, unenlightened, annoying, stubborn little human with far too many emotions for his own good and a complete in ability to follow any semblance of an order."

Boothby chuckled, "He started to grow on you."

"Like a leech." She spat.

Boothby thought it was funny how annoyed the old Vulcan was that she had fallen in love with Tucker, like her affection for the man was nothing more then another way for Tucker to piss her off. But beneath that Boothby spied a genuine affection in her voice.

"That picture," she said, starting again. "Is of the night I told him how I felt. We were on leave on one of the Risan pleasure resorts, Dr. Phlox had insisted I go since I had missed the last four leaves to Risa. I remember that to my immense disappoint, Tucker decided to accompany me on my tour of the planet's ancient ruins. During the course of the visit he did nothing but goad me about how he thought Vulcan's didn't need to relax. I was most annoyed by him."

"But…" Boothby pushed her forward with all the tact of a rhino.

"But eventually during the course of our stay, I started to…feel things. Things I had never felt before nor have I ever felt them again. On our last night on leave, I asked him about these feelings and he told me he was having the same problem. He was in love with me as well."

"So what did you do?"

The old Vulcan's eye shot up at his naivete. She said, slightly bemused, "We had sex."

"Oh." Boothby suddenly felt like a dope.

"I had of course hoped that our relationship would remain a secret, if Vulcan High Command had learned of my affair with Mr. Tucker I would most likely be removed from my position on the Enterprise and I would never see Charles again. But things do not always work out the way we plan." Her hand moved to her stomach and she smiled briefly, "I became pregnant and the crew found out about our relationship. I was luckily able to keep Vulcan High Command from discovering the child's conception but I was unsure for how long."

"What did Tucker do?"

"He proposed marriage." Her eyes narrowed in memory, "Rather quickly I might add, I have always suspected that he was going to propose with or without the child."

"Did you accept?"

"No, I wanted to wait until after the child was born. In Vulcan society, you must wait after the child is born to marry. Marriage while pregnant is considered unseemly."

"Well," Boothby was on the edge of his seat, "what happened when the baby was born?"

"I had never felt closer to Commander then on the day my son was born." She said, a sparkle coming to her eye, "He was so proud and excited. He spent the entire morning running around the ship telling everyone that he was a father, that he had a little Tucker to show to the world." Boothby then saw her face grow dark, her expression lost its subtle joy.

"Ma'am…are you all right? "

"Humans are such fragile creatures." She turned away again to stare into the darkness of the room. "Six weeks after my son's life began, Charles was trapped in a rock slide on an away mission and he…I held him in my arms just before…it happened so quickly…" Her voice collapsed into a soft sob as the memories of that day flooded back to her. Just before she completely broke down, she began to struggle for control of herself. Boothby was shocked to see her face was wet with tears. He had never seen the old Vulcan show any kind of emotion before. He had actually thought she was incapable of it.

"You must forgive my lack of control, when a Vulcan becomes as old as I am, they become unable to muster the energy it takes to obey Surak's teachings with any kind of zeal." She dabbed at her leaking eyes with a handkerchief and tried to regain her composure, "Now where was I?"

Boothby rubbed the old woman's back carefully. He was eager to hear the rest of the story but didn't want to push her, "The away team…"

"Yes, the away team." She took a deep breath and refocused her weak energy, "After that day I was left alone with our infant son in a galaxy that would never understand how a young Vulcan boy can have dirty blonde hair. I knew I could not take him home with me, I was not willing to raise him in that environment. Half-breeds are not always accepted with joy on Vulcan and I knew Tucker would have wanted his son to be raised on Earth. But I knew I could not remain on Earth to raise him or Vulcan High Command would question my reasons for doing so. "

Boothby cringed. He had known from history classes how tense things used to between Vulcans and Humans but he hadn't known just how tense until now. She had to give up her own child just so it wouldn't be persecuted on her home planet.

"So I went to the southern region of North America where Commander Tucker was born. I had my son's ears reshaped by a cosmetic surgeon and gave the child up for adoption. I never saw my son again." He saw her eyes go dark with long withheld pain "For every day that passed since then, I thought about my dead love. I thought about how I had abandoned his only son on Earth without a mother. The success and acclaim I had gained from my voyages with Captain Archer meant nothing to me without my child."

"But I am glad to say there is a mildly happy ending to this story." She smiled demurely and leaned back in her chair, "I recently found my son." She said the words triumphantly, like she had just climbed a mountain with weights tied to her legs, "He is a Starfleet officer, a Commander and a scientist ironically. He lives on Deep Space Two with his wife and children. He is married to, of all things, an Andorian scientist who specializes in engineering." Boothby could have sworn he saw her smile, "There must be something in those genes that makes alien engineers so appealing. I now see I was the exception to the rule."

Boothby grinned at her broadly, "So you're going to see him?"

Her answered shocked him. "No."

"But I thought-"

"I cannot."

The cadet sat there in stunned silence, "Why not?"

A grim expression fixed itself on her face and Boothby needed no further answer from her, "Your sickness." A great sadness over took him, "Its worse then they originally thought."

She nodded and leaned forward to whisper in his ear. Despite the situation, She briefly had a wicked smile on her face. "We now come to the reason I called you here." She picked up the picture of her and Tucker on Risa from where she put it on the coffee table.

"My son's wife is now with their sixth child. The time for him to learn about his past came long ago, someone must go to DS-2. They must tell him the story of his birth. They must tell him how very much his mother loved his father." She turned away to glance through the window of her living room and whispered, "They must tell him how much I miss him."

And then, she held out the hand with picture in it to the poor cadet. The boy frowned in thought about the deed she wanted him to undertake.

Boothby sighed and looked at his old mentor's weary face. "You're sure? About this?"

"More then anything." She said wearily and pressed the old picture into his hand, "My son grew up without a mother, I can not bring myself to deprive his children of a grandmother."

She saw his continued hesitancy and urgently tried to impress the importance of the situation on him, "Please," Tears began to spring to her eyes again and the quiet sadness took over her voice, "You must do this for me."

Knowing he could deny this poor old woman nothing, Boothby took the picture and walked out the door. He did his best not to cry as he let the screen door bang slam behind him. He squinted so that his eyes could adjust to the light from the sun, now low in the sky.

As he treaded the path through the giant flower garden, Boothby realized why the old groundskeeper never left her house. She didn't have the heart to walk past all these beautiful reminders of love and passion. These flowers represented something wonderful that she had lost and she couldn't bear to be reminded every day.

But that didn't mean she hadn't cared for the flowers. Even though she had only given orders to the ground crew, that woman was probably the best groundskeeper that the academy had ever had.

I wonder, Boothby thought as he walked back to his dorm, if any future groundskeepers would ever do as good a job as she had.


As she heard the screen door slam behind Boothby, T'Pol shifted in her rocking chair and closed her eyes. In her mind she pictured the face of her long dead love, Charles Tucker III. She remember how he used to hold her in his arms and hug the lines of her body to his own. She remember how he was always putting flowers in her hair or caressing her ears with his hand until she would moan with lust.

She remembered how he would hold her had to comfort her or pull her towards him and assure her how everything would work out in the end.

* The day I leave you, T'Pol, is the day they bury my carcass in the ground. * He used to say that to her late at night when he thought she had fallen asleep in his arms. He would squeeze her just a little harder to show how much he cared.

I miss you so much Trip, She thought before taking one last breath.


End note: sniff sob *Wipes away tear. *

How'd I do? Please read and review, like I said this will be my last ENT fic for awhile. If people like it I'll post a little prologue/epilogue at the end.