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New Fic: Famous Last Words

Famous Last Words
Fandom
: Star Trek Enterprise, Star Trek TOS.
Rated: PG
Category: Crossover. AU in that TATV didn’t happen. Trip/T’Pol Friendship Plus.
Season: Set 2230. Post-ENT and Pre-TOS.
Spoilers: General series knowledge for both TOS and ENT. (Mild overall.)
Summary: Leopards don't change their spots, you know, and I see no reason why engineers would, either.
Word Count: 918
Disclaimer: Why bicker about who owns what? Can’t we all just live long and prosper?
Note: Continuity notes at the end.

xxx

The nurse sighed in exasperation as her patient grew impatient yet again.

“Well, you gonna take me down there or not?” he groused.

“Just a minute,” she answered. “I’ve just got to transfer your line to the mobile pump and get you situated.”

“Never mind all that rot,” answered her patient. “I’ll be fine. Just get me down there.”

“You need your medications,” said the nurse, growing more frustrated by the moment.

Her patient waved one hand. “It’s not like it’ll make much difference at this point.”

The nurse very nearly shrugged. The man had a point. At his age, his days were numbered no matter what the doctors did for him, and he understood that undeniable fact. For that, she was grateful. At least this old man, stubborn though he was, had his mind. Some of her other patients broke her heart continually when they couldn’t remember their own names, and she didn’t have to deal with that with him. So she packaged him up for transport with as much of a smile as she could manage. Once he was ready to go, she pushed his anti-grav chair down to the communication center.

Moments later, with both patient and nurse lamenting the fact that the powers that be hadn’t put individual comms in the rooms yet, the elderly man sat in front of a monitor and waited.

A second later, a female Vulcan’s head filled his screen, and he immediately launched a inquiry.

“Well, have you heard?” he asked.

The Vulcan on the screen nodded.

“And?”

“According to all reports, he is healthy,” she said.

A huge grin split the old man’s face.

“That’s excellent!” he exclaimed.

Then he began to cough, causing the Vulcan to grow concerned.

“Are you alright?” she asked.

The man waved off her concern. “Yeah. Yeah, I’m fine. Just got a little excited there. That’s good news, is all.”

“It is indeed,” said the Vulcan.

The man grew still and nodded slowly, a more serious expression on his face.  “Yeah. Yeah, it is. I’m happy for them.”

“I am also gratified by the situation.”

The man snorted. “You Vulcans and your overwhelming sentiment.”

A raised brow was the only response to his statement, and the old man changed the subject.

“So, how are you, then?” he asked.

The Vulcan answered evenly. “I am well. And you?”

“About as good as I can be, all things considered,” he answered.

Small talk filled the next few minutes, but soon fatigue overtook the man and he sagged into his chair.

“Afraid I’m starting to flag, here,” he mumbled, and his nurse appeared behind him.

The Vulcan on the screen met the nurse’s eyes and nodded once.

“Very well, then,” she said. “I shall speak with you again next month.”

“Yeah…” mumbled the man, “yeah, I’ll talk to you then, sweetie.”

If the nurse was surprised by the endearment, she didn’t show it, and the Vulcan didn’t bat an eye.

Instead, she placed a hand to her screen and bid her own special farewell.

“Good night, ashayam.”*

A moment later, both screens went blank.

Several minutes after that, the old man was nestled back in his bed, and his nurse turned out his light as she left his room. Her patient was nodding off. He got fatigued quickly - more so every day. She sighed as she left him, knowing his time was indeed short.

In his bed, Trip Tucker sighed as well, though he wasn’t yet asleep.

Soon, he would be dreaming of better days, but for now, as he remembered the news T’Pol had given him, a grin alit on his mouth. He couldn’t help but be overjoyed at the fact that Ambassador Sarek had a son - a son that was half Human and apparently healthy. As much as it pained him to remember his own experience with a Vulcan-Human hybrid child, he wanted nothing but the best for this one.

As he drifted off to sleep, Trip’s grin faded into a mischievous smirk that made him look far younger than his 109 years. His expression was completely justified. After all, today had been a good day. His usual pains had been minimal, he’d gotten good news, and he’d just thought of a blessing for the new baby. And since no one else would dare say these words to the kid, he was delighted with himself. For he was old enough to get away with just about anything, and he had only one thing to say to that boy.

He reached under his pillow, pulled out the voice recorder his nurse pretended she didn’t know he kept there, cleared his throat, and recorded just seven words.

Trip didn’t know that these would be some of the last words he ever spoke, nor that he’d never make that next call to T’Pol, but if he had, he wouldn’t have taken them back - not for all the peaches he could eat.

And when T’Pol heard them some time later, she’d know that quite well, thank you.

She’d keep them to herself for many years, but when she got the chance to actually speak to the man they were meant for (in a spaceport as he left for Earth, of all places), she’d pass them along, and the corner of his mouth would twitch just so, making it all worthwhile.

But for now, they’d sit on a recorder, just biding their time, and making an old man smile.

Give ‘em hell, Spock. Give ‘em hell.

xxx

*Ashayam: beloved - a beloved person; used as a term of endearment; similar to t'hy'la but more personal and with emotional connotations. (Vulcan Language Dictionary)

Note: I figure that since folks live to 109 very occasionally now, and Leonard McCoy lived to at least 137 in 2364, it’s not too much of a stretch for Trip to reach this age in 2230. And the way I figure it, Trip and T’Pol remained very good friends for life. That is all.

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