TITLE: How It All Began 2


E-MAIL: scarab@blueyonder.co.uk

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

DATE: 01/18/03

WARNING: Deathfic

SUMMARY: Trip helps Archer through his loss.

PAIRINGS: Archer/Tucker

RATING: G…one or two naughty words though! It's a sad one…so possible kleenex warning!

SEQUEL TO: How It All Began

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's good enough!

AUTHOR'S NOTES: I tried to write a sequel which involved Tucker and Archer having sex in the surf…but to be honest I write lousy sex scenes and would never have done a scene like that justice. This is what popped into my head instead. It is a little sad and does have a CHARACTER DEATH…but it's none of the main characters and is probably not what a lot of people would expect. I hope you like it.

DISCLAIMER: Unfortunately I don't own Enterprise or her crew, Paramount does (although if they ever get tired of any of the guys, they can saty at my place!)

Anniversaries. They can make you happy, they can make you sad and as I look at Trip sleeping in my arms, I think of the day that has just begun and the anniversary that it represents.

The ticking of the old clock in the study is the only sound to be heard as I sit in my father's chair. It's strange but in the past I'd never really noticed it and I wonder if it was ever a distraction to my father as he worked on his designs.

"You gonna stay there all night?"

I look up at Trip, his voice making me realise that I've been sitting in the room for some time."

"What time is it?" I ask and then feel foolish as Trip looks up at the clock.

"A little after 7." He walks over and squats at my feet, his hands threading with mine in my lap and looks up into my face, "Ev'ryone's gone now. How you doin'?"

"I've been better." I admit and feel the tears threaten to fall again. "I'm sorry I left them all to you," I pause trying to regain my composure, as I feel his fingers gently stoking my hands. "I just needed to be on my own for awhile."

"I know. It's okay. Ev'ryone understands." He stands, not letting go of my hands, "Do you want anythin' t' eat?"

I shake my head, not having any appetite, just wanting to sit in the room that personifies my father.

"Jon, you have t' eat, you can't just sit here."

I hear the worry in his voice and I know he's right but I haven't got the words to explain how I feel.

It had all started when I got a call from Trip to say that my father had been taken ill and that the doctors held out little hope. I had left straight away and got to my father's side just before he lapsed into a coma and died. I had felt grateful to Trip for letting me know, enabling me to be by my father's side until the end. He had been conscious long enough to tell me that he loved me and that he was happy I had Trip in my life.

Since his death three days ago, I feel I'm in a daze, people have called and passed on their condolences at my loss but I haven't really seen them or taken in what they have said, they've been a blur of faces in a sea of black. Trip has handled all the funeral arrangements as well as taking over responsibility for the warp 5 project, just at the time when the engine my father dreamt of seeing in a starship is being built.

"I know but I'm just not hungry, I feel like I've let my Dad down"

"What?" Trip releases my hands and folds his arms, "Now that has got t' be the biggest load of bullshit I've ever heard. What the Hell makes you think you let your Daddy down?"

"I never became an engineer like him, I could have helped him make his dream come true, maybe if I stayed his engine would be in starships now, instead of just in the early prototype stages. I'm his son, and I should have been by his side."

"Jonathan Archer, believe me when I tell you that you have never let your father down. He always spoke of you with such love and pride." Trip's anger is evident and I know deep down that what he says is true. My father never judged me for the decisions I made, never expected me to follow in his footsteps, always allowed me to be my own man, even when Trip and I became lovers. He just wanted to see me happy.

I smile in remembrance of the time I came home on leave to find that my father had let Trip move into the family home. He'd justified this by saying that as he wasn't as well as he used to be, he liked to think there was someone in the house should he be taken ill and as they both tended to work late, it made more sense for Trip to live in the house. I know his reasoning was sound but what he didn't let the outside world know was that he wanted his son's lover to be part of the family. That first night had been the most embarrassing of my life, as my father accepted that we would share a bed. My plans of a night of passion with Trip in his small apartment were wiped out and we just lay in each other's arms flinching everytime one of us moved making the bed creak, feeling like horny teenagers and praying that my father hadn't been woken. The next morning at breakfast, we had both looked tired and my father had laughed when I had corrected his assumption of what we had been doing. That evening my father had gone out visiting friends and the moment he had closed the door, Trip and I were halfway up the stairs to the bedroom. The sex that night was incredible. After that we didn't give it a second thought, although we showed restraint around my father, being content with giving each other secret smiles and the occasional touch.

"Do you want a drink?" Trip's words bring me to the present. "'B'cause I sure could do with one."

I watch as he walks out of the room and decide that a drink may be a good idea. He's in the lounge pouring himself a glass of bourbon and when he sees me he pours a glass for me. I take a swig and the burning as it slips down my throat is welcoming. I notice that Trip has virtually downed his and refills our glasses. He looks at me and lifting his glass, makes a toast.

"To Henry Archer, a true friend and a great father, may his dream become reality and may his soul rest in peace." He knocks the drink back and I follow suit.

We walk over to the couch and sit down, Trip bringing the bottle with him. He fills our glasses again and this time we drink them slowly.

"When do you have t' go back t' Starfleet?" he asks the question he has been avoiding since my father died.

"The day after tomorrow." I answer sadly, "What are you going to do?"

"Well, Starfleet are supposed t' be sending someone t' oversee the project, " he pauses at my startled look, "They say I ain't got the experience."

"What!" I can't believe what he's saying, " So they'll take you off the project and send in someone with half a brain, who those Vulcan bastards recommend, that way the engine is never finished,"

"Woah, Jon, keep your shirt on, I never said that." He sips his drink, "They're talkin' of keepin' me on but someone else will be in charge."

I can tell Trip is disappointed, he knows as much about this engine as my father did and I know my father would have wanted him to carry on his work. It suddenly occurs to me that Henry Archer's death has hit Trip hard too and I can't help the tears as they start to fall. Trip moves to my side and his arms wrap around me.

I don't realise that I'm crying in the present as well as in the memory until I feel Trip move from my arms and the small light above my bed is switched on.

"You okay?" he asks sleepily.

"Fine." I lie, trying to keep my voice steady, but he's seen through it and sits up in the bed, looking down at me.

"Okay, let's have it." I smile as I look into his still sleepy eyes, his hair sticking up in all directions.

"I was just thinking of my Dad." I pause, but Trip stays silent and I know he remembers the significance of the day, "I just wish he had a chance to see his engine fly, to be part of this." I feel the tears in my eyes and turn my face away.

I feel Trip touch my shoulder and then slip out of bed.

"Come with me."

"What?…Where?…" I'm confused as I watch Trip slip his uniform on over his naked body and try to smooth down his hair.

"Will you just do it."

I slowly get up and pull on a pair of sweat pants and a T-shirt, while Trip pulls on his boots. I walk out the door first; making sure no one sees Trip leaving. Once the coast is clear he leads me to the nearest lift.

"Where are we going?"

"You'll see." I'm intrigued and follow him silently until we are at our destination…Engineering, "What do you see?" he asks as we stand in front of the massive warp engine.

"The warp engine?" I say puzzled.


"Trip…I don't understand." I'm too tired physically and emotionally to understand what he is saying.

"The warp engine…Henry Archer's warp engine…it may be in a Starfleet vessel but it's his engine. You say that you wish he had had the chance t' see his engine fly, well he put his heart and soul int' that engine and so in a way a part of him did make it int' space," He pauses and walks up to me, placing his hand over my heart, "And while he's in here he'll always be with you wherever you go."

I'm touched by what he has said and feel the tears well up again, Trip Tucker can be a real pain in the ass but sometimes even after all this time he still surprises me. I watch as he walks back to the door and then turns.

"Let's go back t' bed, b'cause if don't get my sleep I'm going t' be real cranky."

I laugh and follow him, yep definitely a pain in the ass, but I wouldn't have him any other way.

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