Author’s Note: Written during S2 of Enterprise…back when I still had some small, unrealistic hope that things might go this direction with Trip and Hoshi…even if I’d already had to give up on Harry/B’Elanna. *g*
Museum of Starfleet History
San Francisco, California, Earth
The engineer and the ensign. It had been one of his favorite stories as a child. So much so that maybe he’d just wanted it to repeat in his own life. Maybe he’d never really loved her at all, only the idea of her. Only the idea of recreating that beloved story in his own life.
Lieutenant Harry Kim sighed deeply, staring at the photograph on the wall of the exhibit. A real photograph, taken before holo-pictures really caught on. Of Commander Charles “Trip” Tucker and then-civilian Hoshi Sato’s wedding day. Held on the bridge of the Enterprise NX-01, the ship where they’d first met and served together. Before Tucker turned down his own command because he wanted to remain in Engineering, not on a command track. Before Sato resigned from Starfleet at the end of the mission. Before both the engineer and the linguist made perfecting the Universal Translator their life’s work, the marriage of their talents as perfect as the marriage of their souls.
Generations of Starfleet personnel owed their lives to that marriage; he in more ways than one. Because they were his ancestors.
Harry sighed. No matter how long he stared at the photograph, he still couldn’t convince himself that the only thing he’d lost when B’Elanna married his best friend was the chance for history to repeat itself.
Sometimes learning the lessons of history wasn’t what kept you from repeating it.
Almost involuntarily, his hand rose towards the image, before he remembered the force field guarding it. That was something else that had come out of the Enterprise NX-01’s historic mission–Lieutenant Malcolm Reed’s invention of the first energy containment field, or at least the first human one. Ironic that it should be guarding now the wedding picture of his two one-time crewmates.
He wondered if someday Tom and B’Elanna’s wedding picture would join it. The first human/Klingon wedding in the Delta Quadrant.
Standing there, staring at the image, he could almost hear great-great-great-grandpa Trip’s voice scolding him sympathetically:
“You got nobody to blame but yourself, kiddo. If you had feelings for her, you shoulda said somethin’. Never just assume the lady’ll wait for ya.”
In his mind, great-great-great-grandma Hoshi chimed in:
“He’s right, you know. I thought Charlie was in love with T’Pol. Every other man on the ship was. If he hadn’t told me he was interested in me, I would never have known otherwise.”
And then the UT would never have been able to simultaneously translate just about any language in the known universe except Tamarian. At least, not for many more years.
Not that there was any loss so grandiose as that resulting from his failure to win B’Elanna’s heart instead of Tom. To even think so would be both ridiculous and presumptuous. Still…he couldn’t help but wonder what they could have accomplished as a team.
What legacy could they have created together, the engineer and the ensign of this generation?
Harry sighed. If that was one lesson he’d failed to learn from his ancestors, there was another he could still take away–let go of the past and look always to the future. Voyager was home, they were safe, and in spite of everything he really was happy for his two friends, for the family they’d created.
Deliberately turning his back on the photograph and everything unfinished it represented in his life, Lieutenant Kim walked away.
His life, his destiny, was still waiting. There was no place for regrets.