Title: Sunrise, Sunset
Author: Vesper (Regina)
Category: ENT, drama, future fic
Codes: Tu/S, R/T'P, CiaC
Summary: CiaC--Grandfather, Shimmering, Rose
Disclaimer: The almighty Paramount encircled by twenty-two stars owns this particular show, but I own the story.
Archival: Permission to--Warp 5 Complex (EntSTCommunity), Linguistics Database; anyone else, please link to my website. Please keep these headers intact.
The sun is setting, with vibrant shades that glint and glimmer off the waves outside. He watches it from inside the large bay windows.
He's seen the sun set and rise many times in his life.
Once, on leave from the Enterprise, he'd caught a sunrise. She had been in dry-dock, after ten years of service, come back to Earth for repairs and upgrades. Though technically off-duty, he'd stayed to supervise. There was no telling what the assistant engineers would do while his back was turned.
He supposes, now, that all engineers feel the same way about their ships.
They told him to go home and go to sleep, but Enterprise was being cranky, not accepting a particular programming protocol and he'd stayed through the night. Finally, he'd transported to the surface. He wasn't tired, feeling invigorated from the battle Enterprise had given him. He could have taken the transit, but he decided to walk, thinking it would tire him out enough to sleep.
By the time he'd reached the hotel he was calling home, he felt like he'd never seen a sunrise before.
She was there. She was always there. She kissed him when he came in, wouldn't listen as he tried to describe what he'd seen, in words that she probably could have found better than he, and sent him straight to bed.
She has put up with him forever, he thinks.
From upstairs comes the sound of girlish giggling and a low voice, a little worn by time, but still soft and melodious. He smiles.
She'll be coming downstairs soon, and there will be a young man waiting for her, to take her dancing.
Starfleet retired him at sixty. He felt this was good enough. He was tired of younger officers calling him Admiral and not knowing how much he itched to get at the new engines. Time is just, he thinks. They'll have their wanderlust and come home again and again, only to long for the beat of their ship's heart underneath their feet. They'll be called Admiral and wish they were out among the stars again.
He made a choice, one he doesn't regret. Not if he could keep her, instead. He has only traded one love for another, but the choice was right. She has a patrician grace now, aging a thousand times better than he has. He always tells her that and she always laughs. She still kisses him in the morning and she still kisses him at night, and each kiss makes him feel like that sunrise did--blessed, cherished, entrusted with a precious gift.
It was his grand-daughter's sixteenth birthday today. He wishes his daughter and son-in-law were alive to see the graceful young woman Rebekah has become.
A sharp tapping clashes on his ears and he looks over at the young man whose leg is bouncing up and down.
He stops when he notices the steady stare.
"I'm sorry, sir," he says.
He relaxes back against his seat at the encouraging smile he receives.
Trip has always liked this young man, even if he has an over- abundance of manners. Of course, he thinks, Malcolm Reed's grandson wouldn't be anything but proper. Especially with T'Pol as his grandmother. Their partnership, as they chose to call it, raised more eyebrows than just his own.
The Vulcans disavowed any knowledge of T'Pol when they got wind of what she'd done, but the Reed family has always been welcome at the Tucker household, even if they had beat them to adding members. Their adoption went through a month before Hoshi had Elizabeth.
Arthur stands, surprising Trip until he hears the tap of a high-heeled shoe against the wood of the staircase.
His grand-daughter comes down the stairs, dressed in a gown that seems luminescent. Its color shades from the most delicate rose, to the most vibrant orange--a sunset come to life. She shimmers in the light. Trip can see so much of her mother in her, but more of her grandmother in the black hair that curls around her face. Her green eyes are all her own, though. Behind her stands Hoshi, tears in her eyes.
It wasn't too long ago, that Elizabeth came down to meet her own young man.
Rebekah stops at the foot of the stairs and stands there, looking down, the picture of shy innocence. Until she looks up. There is a light of mischief in her eyes, and when her smile brightens her face, Trip knows Arthur is a goner.
He looks over at his best friend's grandson, who wears the look of a man enchanted.
Rebekah says, "Well, Art, are you going to say anything?"
Arthur gulps, visibly, and says, "You look beautiful, Bekah."
Her blush rivals the rose of the fading sunset. Arthur holds out his arm and Bekah places her hand in the crook of her elbow. He leads her out of the house, whispering something that makes Rebekah almost double over with laughter.
Hoshi comes downstairs, drops a kiss on Trip's mouth and sits beside him. They watch the sunset drift to twilight, in comfortable silence, Hoshi resting against his side.
She says, after a long time, "What are you thinking?"
He answers, "I'm thinking...she's gonna break his heart."
She laughs. "Is that all?"
"No. We did good, Hoshi."
"Yes, we did, Trip."