Author’s Note: I loved “Terra Prime” and thought those last few minutes were the absolutely perfect way to end Star Trek’s current modern era, since it was Star Trek at its finest, hands down. That thing which followed it doesn’t exist as far as I am concerned.
The secluded cemetery was in a quiet part of the California countryside, away from the crowds of San Francisco. The two parents stood alone before the small white casket of the child, who had come into their lives so unexpectedly, touched their hearts so deeply and left them forever changed just having known her so briefly. They were saying their final goodbyes as the workers stood just over the rise out of their sight and under the watchful eye of Malcolm’s security team, there to insure that this burial was uninterrupted by overzealous reporters.
The media frenzy over little Elizabeth Tucker had rivaled that of first contact nearly a hundred years before. And while neither Trip nor T’Pol really wanted the services to be televised on the news wires, they both knew, as T’Pol had said, that Elizabeth had been important. She had been a symbol of hope and unity between two different species, a shining light to the alien delegates who were still unsure if joining together into a mutual agreement for the betterment of all their races was what they really wanted. That was why Trip and T’Pol had allowed the delegates to come to the services, and why the parents had reluctantly agreed to the media’s presence as well. They refused to talk to the media, however, and Captain Archer and Soval had taken their place in front of the cameras, invoking the parents’ need to grieve privately whenever a reporter got particularly pushy. Captain Archer did read the one jointly written statement from the two parents which expressed their thoughts on recent events and their hopes for something good to come out of their own personal tragedy.
The services had been held earlier that day at Starfleet Command. Again, it was not the first choice for either of them; but it had been chosen it because it offered the best security measures for both the delegates and the parents themselves, since several of Terra Prime’s leading members had slipped the net. And Starfleet could control press access better there as well, in case any of the xenophobes tried to slip in that way and cause trouble. The services themselves were a mixture of Earth and Vulcan customs, to honor both sides of little Elizabeth’s unique heritage.
Trip’s family had been flown in by Starfleet, and the instant his mother spied her boy, she gathered her grieving son into her arms and held him tightly as his tears came once again. Mrs. Tucker cried too, for the granddaughter she had only glimpsed on the broadcast that she would never get to hold. Her heart was breaking for her son and T’Pol too, remembering her own loss of her daughter Elizabeth just two years before. T’Pol stood awkwardly to one side as Trip’s family surrounded and comforted him, and then was astonished when Trip’s father pulled her into a hug. Later on he would apologize for touching her, knowing how Vulcans disliked that. But he told her he considered her as much a part of the family as Trip and the baby had been; and when he’d seen how stricken she’d looked, he only thought to try and ease some of the pain away the best way he knew how.
But all that was past, and it was just the two of them here now. Trip, still wearing his hated dress uniform, had his good arm wrapped loosely around T’Pol’s waist and held a single pink rose in the other, the sling still around his arm. T’Pol, dressed just as formally in her robes, held her mother’s IDIC pendant in her hand as they stood quietly by the casket in the graveyard. Trip leaned his head against hers, his eyes still puffy and red from all the crying he had done, and quietly supported T’Pol as she had that night in her quarters when he broke down. Even without the bond, he knew that she was just as torn up inside as he was. After an indeterminate amount of time, T’Pol finally drew a shuddering breath and spoke softly, looking up at him with her liquid brown eyes. “It is time, Trip.”
Her simple statement, if overheard by anyone else, would have sounded as cold and unemotional as most humans believed Vulcans to be. But Trip had an uncanny ability to sense her feelings even before the bond existed between them. He heard the slight waver of her voice that spoke volumes to him about her emotional state. He nodded once and released her from his grasp, taking the rose in his good hand and leaning forward to set it on top of the casket. Then he lay his hand flat against the lid for a minute, silently praying that his sister Elizabeth and T’Pol’s mom, T’Les, would watch over his little princess until they could all be reunited again.
Then he spoke, just as softly as T’Pol had a few moments before. “I love you, sweetie, and I always will. I’m going to miss not seein’ ya take your first steps or hearin’ ya say your first words. Or chasin’ off all those boys that I know would of come a-courting’ you, and givin’ ya away on your wedding day. And, and…” He broke down, sobbing quietly. His voice cracked as he finished, “I will never forget you, sweetie.” He moved away to allow T’Pol a bit of privacy.
T’Pol stepped up, her eyes betraying the grief she felt to anyone who cared to look into them. She arranged the IDIC pendent on the casket lid, twining the chain with the stem of the rose. “I will miss you also, Elizabeth. I… cared… deeply for you. I will cherish the memories of the brief time we had together all the rest of my days.” She paused, tears threatening to fall from her eyes, but she fought to control herself, taking a deep breath before continuing. “I will not let you be forgotten, Elizabeth.”
Then two tears did fall down her cheeks, and Trip gathered her into his arms, and they stood there, just holding and comforting each other. Finally, as one, they moved off so the burial could be finished, still supporting each other. Both held in their hearts a resolution that Elizabeth’s death would mean something, and that they would insure that something good came from her life, and that they would face the future together.
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