TITLE: How It All Began


E-MAIL: scarab@blueyonder.co.uk

URL: http://www.lookout2.com/nautika/sara/

DATE: 01/11/03

SUMMARY: Archer recalls how he met his lover.


SERIES/SEQUEL: This fic has a sequel, How It All Began 2

ARCHIVE: My page on Nautika's site, the list archives, and anywhere else, just remind me where it's going.

WARNINGS: No spoilers.

FEEDBACK: Yes please, if you feel it deserves some!

AUTHOR'S NOTES: This is just a short piece that I thought could explain how Archer and Tucker met. I hope you enjoy it.

DISCLAIMER: Unfortunately I don't own Enterprise or her crew, Paramount does (although if they ever get tired of Trip, he can put his boots under my bed anytime!)

As I walk along the beach near my family home I think of my father. I had come home on leave from Starfleet, knowing that his health was failing and that his dream of seeing his engine fly were no nearer coming true. He has tried to stay optimistic, working long hours, trying not to let his frustration at the Vulcans show, but still it seems that they are holding back just enough help and information to prevent him from completing his task. Can't they see that we have come so far in a small amount of time, that we are ready to take this next step. They hide behind logic and detest our emotional natures, yet they stay, telling us they will help and assist but they hold us back. They dictate certain policies, you could say in a strange way; we've become a Vulcan colony. That's why I needed to take a walk before I see him, I need time to prepare to meet the latest assistant assigned by Starfleet and the Vulcans to help with the project. The past ones have been old engineers and scientists who believe that we humans are better off staying in our own part of the galaxy, where it is safe. Some have been civilians, some Starfleet, old officers coming to the end of their long careers and I daresay this Charles Tucker the Third is just like them. I sigh as I look out at the waves hitting the beach, knowing that I will be polite and civil for my father's sake.

I stop walking and look at the surf hitting the beach, my eyes straying to a young man who emerges. He pushes his blond hair out of his eyes and I can't help but notice his lean muscular body. He notices me and smiles and my heart melts. The man is stunning and before I realise it he has walked up to me.

"Hi" he says in a soft Southern drawl, "Didn't think anyone else was around."

"I was just walking." I watch as the man retrieves a towel and dries off, "You're not from around here."

He laughs and shakes his head, "Nah, just got a job here." he pauses and then extends a hand, "Name's Trip."

"Jon." I answer shaking his hand and then watching as he picks up a pair of sweats and slips them on over his Speedo's, "I was wondering if you'd like to go for a drink?" I know I'm being forward but I feel like I really would like to get to know this man a little better. I don't usually allow my bisexual tendencies to surface but looking at him, as the water glistens on his tanned skin, makes me decide to take the chance.

"I'd love t' but I've got to be somewhere this afternoon and I need t' shower and change first." he pauses looking thoughtful, "If ya stayin' around for awhile, we could meet for a drink later, there's a bar just up the beach, meet there at 'bout 8."

"Hannigans…yeah I know it." I smile; pleased that this man seems to want to know me better too. "See you there at 8."

"Great, see ya later." He smiles one last time and then jogs back along the beach. I watch him until he is out of sight, suddenly feeling a little better and ready to visit my father.

The house is just as I remember it from my last visit which seems like ages ago, my father however isn't and I try to hide my shock at his weakened state. He looks thin and frail and I feel tears prick at my eyes as I remember the strong man I used to know. On seeing me he smiles and his face lights up.

"Jonathan, it is so good to see you." He hugs me as I walk into our family home.

"You too Dad, how's things going?" We walk into the lounge and sit.

"Great." he smiles, "Those bureaucrats at Starfleet have finally sent me someone to help who knows a little about warp engines." "Just a little?" I laugh.

"Well actually he knows a lot, it's nice to have someone to talk to who shares my enthusiasm for building a warp five engine. I was hoping he would be here when you arrived but he must be running late." Suddenly the door chime sounds, "This must be him now."

As my father goes to answer the door, I look at the various awards and accolades that he has won throughout his career which hang on the wall. I have always felt a sense of pride in him for his achievements and know that this engine will be the crowning glory to everything he has done. My eyes rest on a photograph of my mother, father and myself that is among all the honours and I start to remember when we were a family, such a happy time, when my father's voice distracts me.

"Lieutenant Charles Tucker the Third, this is my son Jonathan."

I turn and come face to face with the man I had spoken to earlier. He looks just as surprised as I am.

"Trip?" I say and my father looks at me puzzled. I feel I owe him an explanation, "We met earlier on the beach."

"Didn't realise he was your son, Henry." Trip says looking slightly embarrassed.

"Yes Jonathan is a Lieutenant Commander is Starfleet." My father smiles proudly and I notice that Trip looks a little shocked.

We sit back down and begin to talk about the project. Then my father encourages Trip to tell me about himself and I find that I'm almost mesmerised by that soft accent. I glance over at my father and he smiles that knowing smile that all parents have when they know something their child is trying to hide. After awhile I offer to make some coffee, but Trip beats me to it and heads to the kitchen.

"You like him don't you?" my father asks and I feel myself blush. " It's alright Jon, I know you like men as well as women and I won't judge you for it." He pauses, "I just want to see my son happy and you can't be happy if you hide who you are."

"Thanks Dad," I smile, "I must admit that when I met him this morning, there was an attraction, but I don't even know whether he's interested in guys." I chuckle, "Although we have arranged to meet tonight for a drink at Hannigans." My smile falters when I think of his expression when he realised who I was, " That might change now that he knows who I am."

My father smiles knowingly and is about to say something when Trip reappears with a tray of coffee. We resume the conversation we had before he left and I tell both my father and Trip about my recent assignments at Starfleet Command.

The afternoon is enjoyable and I'm surprised by how well my father values Trip's assistance. I know that when I chose a career in Starfleet, telling my father that I wanted to go where no man had gone before, as Cochrane had said in his speech, that my father had been disappointed I hadn't chosen to follow in his footsteps but he respected my wishes. I watch now as he chats with Trip and realise that the young man has become a surrogate son. He is the Jonathan Archer who became an engineer and stayed to work with his father and a part of me is jealous. Jealous, because I know that in some ways he has taken on my role. This soon passes when I notice a brightness in my father's eyes that I haven't seen in a long time and I realise that this time my father has someone to help him that shares his dream and his vision. I look at Trip just as he looks at me and nod my understanding to him. He smiles and gives a light nod in reply. I know that when I leave someone will be there to look after my father, someone to support him and help him get this engine built.

Suddenly I notice Trip looking at the clock. He looks uncomfortable for a minute and my father smiles.

"Is this family reunion boring you Trip? You look like you want to leave."

"No…Well, it's just I said I'd meet someone." He looks thoughtful for a moment and then even more embarrassed, "That's if they ain't changed their mind."

"Well have you Jonathan?" My father's comment makes Trip's head snap round to look at me and I feel my face burn. My father looks at the two of us and laughs. "It's alright Trip, Jonathan told me that you had arranged to meet later." He stands up and heads towards the door. "Well I've got some work to do." He stops in the doorway, "Just have fun boys and I'll see you in the morning."

"'Night Dad." I mumble still staring at Trip as my father walks out the door.

"G'dnight Henry." Trip says, his eyes still on me.

We sit there for a few minutes and then realising that we're getting nowhere I decide to break silence. "Come on, let's go that bar."

Nine Years Later

I sit propped up in my bed recalling that night and feel grateful that in my father's final years he had someone like Trip to take care of him and help make his warp five engine a reality. The door chime interrupts my memories.

"Come in." I call and smile when I see who my visitor is, "I was just thinking of you."

"Yeah." Trip smiles back as he walks up to me, "Good thoughts, I hope."

"Always." I grin as my lover of nine years kisses me.

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