Happy December, everyone! May it be filled with love, laughter, sharing, and so much joy that it flows out from you and embraces others.
To help with that, I’ve created a special Advent calendar. It’s as non-denominational and doesn’t stop on December 25 – and it espouses the concept of IDIC – Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations.
Each day I post a flash fan fiction story. These are freewritings – rough and imperfect; I only correct for spelling and grammar. Read one, read some, read them all – suit yourself!
A note: Today’s story is especially long, so I’ll tell it in two posts – a little gift for you! Find Part Two here!
OK, briefing time:
Spoiler zone ahead! Don’t read these posts if you don’t want series spoilers, or even spoilers for other parts of The IDIC Romance, because things will be revealed, and I don’t like spoiling…I’d much rather delight.
The base art for the calendar elements of this post was created by Annalise S. Burton, and is used with permission and compensation.
I don’t own Trip, T’Pol, or the franchise that conceived them. These stories are offered as a gift, without expectation for any compensation. Of course, comments, rhapsodizing ramblings, and honest feedback of all kinds are always welcome!
And now, to the calendar…..we lift the tab… and find…a small gold ring, and an unanswered question.
“You really will marry me?”
T’Pol looked at the ring he held. A small thing – there had been so many small things, between them, but each one represented a great deal. Conflict. Negotiation. Trust. Choice.
And now this small symbol, which had belonged to his dead sister, and now was hers. It meant more than the two Elizabeths, more than the things the heart, hands, and crown represented. It meant more even than the circle that would encompass her finger – commitment without beginning and without end…
“Pepperpot? You got awfully quiet…” She could feel him preparing for disappointment.
She spoke the ancient words she’d learned in the Kir’Shara. No others would do, in this moment, when she knew that she must tell him what these words meant, the promise they made. Would he still wish her to wear the ring, when he knew what she’d so recklessly bound him into?
“I’m afraid you’ve lost me. Can you try it again, in English?” He was still kneeling there, holding the claddaugh ring on his palm.
“Parted from me, and never parted. Never and always touching and touched.” T’Pol watched his face, his posture, opened her nostrils to take in his scent, opened her mind to what was between them. Would he understand? Could he?
“That’s beautiful. Like poetry, and a promise, all wrapped up in one. It’s Vulcan, right?”
T’Pol nodded. “It’s from the Kir’Shara.”
“So Vulcans have a long, long history of being really good at being dramatic. It would make a hell of a good wedding vow – if you still want to marry me, that is.”
“I have already said that I do, Trip.”
“Remember those words, even if they don’t have nearly the same flare. They’ll come in handy on the big day.” He took her hand, very carefully. “This belongs on your finger – specifically, the fourth finger of you left hand. But that’s my custom, not yours. You don’t have to wear it, especially since people are bound to notice it…but maybe you could just let me slide it on, and get a picture, first?”
“I will wear it, Trip. It doesn’t matter if people notice. Only Hoshi or Phlox would ask.”
“I’ll confess to having already told them both what I was planning to do – wasn’t sure this was a good time -”
“Trip, there’s something I must tell you – before you place the ring. It’s possible that you will rescind your offer, once you know.”
“Trellium didn’t scare me off. Pon farr – well, that one sounds like it’s got a helluva lot of potential. Elizabeth – she just makes me want you more. And this bonding thing – “
“It’s about ‘this bonding thing’ that we must speak. Trip, you didn’t choose to become my bondmate. That I was unaware of the potential outcome of our mating is irrelevant to me, since I have never desired a romantic relationship with any other but you. However, you are human, and your mating practices are very different.”
“Pepperpot, I asked you for the privilege of being your husband. Maybe there were other women before you, and one or three while we were figuring each other out – but there hasn’t been anyone else since we first made love, and there won’t be. No one else could compare, because no one else is you.”
“It may be that there’s been no one else because we’re bonded, Trip.”
“What do you mean?”
What does T’Pol mean?
Will Trip understand?
Will this new information spoil the proposal?
Who are the two Elizabeths?
Will there be a wedding?
Remember, this story continues with Part Two, here from 12/23. If you’d like to know more about what led to this proposal, you can watch the Season Four episodes “Demons” and “Terra Prime” to learn more.
And now, two more paragraphs from Whither Thou Goest:
For context, Trip transferred off Enterprise. T’Pol is struggling with the certainty that she is responsible for Trip’s departure.
T’Pol was completely out of her element. She couldn’t figure it out on her own; she didn’t have context, and Trip apparently hadn’t told her what the problem was. Maybe he’d expected her to know. Hoshi got up, trusting her instincts, and pulled the Vulcan woman into an embrace. T’Pol was stiff for a breath; then her body shuddered, her breath caught, and she started crying softly.
Hoshi held her as she let her knees slowly fold, and T’Pol came with her to the floor. How did you comfort a heartbroken Vulcan? She rocked gently, stroking the other woman’s back, hoping that she was actually offering comfort in the human contact.