Hi everyone! :-) I‘ve only been reading fanfiction for about a month now, but about three days ago I got a great idea for a story! As an avid (or is that rabid?) P/Ter (I‘m a moderate J/Cer:-) I was obviously going to write about them. Trouble is, no one else in my family is as supportive of the realationships as I am! Thanks for all the support, sis!

Feedback is worshipped, whether it be praise or criticism! PLEASE SEND FEEDBACK!!!!!!! I need to know how I‘m doing! Feedback can be sent to lizzy@kozi.com! I promise to reply! (Unless you would rather I didn‘t. If so, please state so in your e-mail message!) And please excuse any and all spelling and punctuation errors! I was never good in English class! Anyway, read and enjoy!

Legal Crapola:
´Paramount owns everything and eveyone mentioned in this story except for Joshua and Kaitlin.
Joshua, Kaitlin, Rosemary, and the words in this story belong to me! (Hyacinthia Andrews)

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The Brightest Of Futures

Written By: Hyacinthia Andrews
"Are you feeling okay?"

B‘Elanna started at the sudden question directed towards her
and realized, with a bit of disgust, that she had fallen asleep on the chair in the messhall. She had been waiting for Tom to get off his shift. They were supposed to take a walk on the holodeck. They had been married almost a year now and he was still into doing all of those romantic things they had done as a couple. B‘Elanna smiled at the thought and looked up into the eyes of the very object of her thoughts. Thomas Eugene Paris. His brilliant blue eyes were filled with concern.

"Oh! Is it 1800 already?" she cried as she leapt out of her chair.

"Yes it is," said Tom. "How long have you been sleeping here?" He was worried about her. Although she pretended to be annoyed with the concern. She actually relished the idea that someone cared enough about her to actually ask how she was feeling.

"Uh, 1800 now, 1600 when I got here so just two hours." She paused. Falling asleep with ease was not one of her strong points and the fact that she slept somewhere other than her own bed for two hours was very weird.

"Are you sure you‘re feeling fine?" Tom asked again, he pulled her closer to him and put a hand on her shoulder.

"Yes," she smiled. "I‘m just fine. I probably just shouldn‘t be working so hard."

"Are you sure you want to go to the holodeck? If you‘re tired we could cancel. I know Henley and Nicoletti would appreciate the extra hour."

"No, really," she insisted. "I just need some extra sleep tonight. I‘m perfectly all right." Staring into those beautiful blue eyes, she remembered the last time he had looked so concerned. Almost eight months ago, the explosion of a plasma conduit in engineering had almost killed her. She had been in Sickbay for three weeks in a coma before she finally woke up. As her eyes fluttered open, she had seen the tense, unshaven face of Tom Paris. He started crying as her eyes opened. She had lifted her left hand up to his face and then noticed the engagement ring he had slipped onto her finger while she was unconscious. The ring was a small band with an emerald set in the middle and two small, bluish stones he had found on a planet they visited, set on either side. He later explained that since he was the only one on Voyager who took rocks from the planet, those would be only stones of their kind in the Alpha Quadrant, should they ever return, and therefore be very valuable. She still wore the engagement ring and her wedding band on her left ring finger. A constant reminder that she was now one half of a whole.

She was so lost in her own thoughts that she hardly noticed when the periphery of her vision started to go black. However when she started to fall to the ground, Tom Paris caught her. She was completely unconscious by the time she was in his arms.

* * *

When Tom Paris had found his wife slumped over a table in the mess hall he had immediately known that something was wrong . B‘Elanna was an accomplished insomniac. Knowing her, she had been feeling tired for a month but hadn‘t gone to the doctor. He had already decided to drag her there after their holodeck walk. He was almost glad that she had passed out because it was a lot easier to get her to Sickbay when she wasn‘t looking.

"Paris to Transporter Room 2. Two to beam directly to Sickbay."

* * *

The Doctor looked up at the hum of the transporter. He had been studying the cultural importance of music in the 20th century. It wasn‘t terribly interesting reading but the crew of Voyager had been remarkably healthy during the past month and The Doctor was feeling, well, bored. The last time he had something to do was when Ensign Kim bruised his wrist while on the bridge three days ago. The Doctor could not quite figure out how someone could bruise themselves while standing in one spot and Ensign Kim had not been very forthcoming about the accident.

"Doctor, B‘Elanna fainted in the messhall!" yelled Lieutenant Tom Paris as soon as the transporter beam released him.

The Doctor looked up and was immediately at Tom‘s side. He helped Tom to gently lift B‘Elanna onto the biobed. As The Doctor started his scan, he queried Tom on B‘Elanna‘s symptoms over the past week.

"Well, lately she hasn‘t been really energetic like usual and she‘s been eating a lot more than usual." He paused. "She fell asleep in the mess hall today. I have no idea what could be wrong with her."

Tom Paris was indeed worried about his wife. Six years ago, her death would‘ve been a minor incident. Another small funeral to attend. Now, her death would‘ve been his too. He could not go on living without her. The Doctor was busy scanning her and was no longer listening to Tom so he took the time to do something that he hardly ever had a chance to do. He studied her. He had long ago memorized the curves of her body and how her hair fell just above her shoulders. She was in her uniform now, but he would always remember her in her wedding dress.

The wedding dress was a big topic of conversation on Voyager‘s rumor mill. Some of the people who still thought of Tom Paris as a womanizer and a scoundrel had snickered that the wedding would be Betazed, with no clothing. Others had heard a rumor that B‘Elanna Torres would be showing up in full Klingon body armor. Tom had spent a lot of time talking with B‘Elanna on the subject of her dress. She was completely secretive, however, after Lieutenant Nicolleti and Ensign Henley paid a visit to her quarters with the Delaney sisters in tow. They had advised her on the coloring and cut of the dress and they had obviously persuaded her because she refused to talk about it , saying that it was better to remain a secret. She seemed extremely pleased with herself.

On their wedding day, he could barely contain himself. He would finally be settling down. Starting a family. He had discussed the subject of children with B‘Elanna and she seemed apprehensive but excited at the thought. Now, they were finally on their way.

Captain Janeway was leading the ceremony and B‘Elanna had asked Chakotay to give her away. Chakotay being more of a father that her real father made it even more perfect. Tom stood at the altar in the holodeck recreation of a small, wooden church in Medieval Europe. His hands had been clasped behind his back. Instead of the usual "Here Comes The Bride". B‘Elanna had asked that "The Rose" by be played. It was a beautiful song for a beautiful day. Finally, B‘Elanna started down the aisle with Chakotay at her arm.

B‘Elanna‘s dress was absolutely stunning. It was made of a red-chocolate colored velvet that set off her eyes perfectly. It had small straps going over her shoulders and was backless. It was pretty low-cut and showed just the slightest V on her chest. It fell to just above her knees, showing off her perfectly sculpted legs. Around her neck was a brown choker with a small silver flower dangling from it. Tom had almost gasped loud enough for everyone to hear.
"Mr. Paris? Mr. Paris?"

The sound of The Doctor‘s voice pulled Tom out of  dreamland. He turned his attention to the Doctor, who looked concerned.

"What is it? Is B‘Elanna okay?" he asked, fear tearing at his heart.

"Ms. Torres is...or is it Torres-Paris? What did she end up deciding on?" asked the Doctor.

"Torres," said Tom. "She figured Torres-Paris was to long and it would be confusing with two Paris‘. Now what‘s wrong with her?"

"I‘ll tell you when I wake her up," said The Doctor. "I‘m going to give her some getamine to wake her, then I will inform both of you of her condition." The Doctor quickly gave B‘Elanna the getamine, and then stepped back.

B‘Elanna‘s eyes fluttered open and she sprang out of the biobed, hands in a combat position. Upon seeing where she was she let down her guard.

"Tom! What happened? Why are we in Sickbay?" she asked her husband. He moved toward her and steadied her. She was still woozy from being unconscious.
"You fainted in the Messhall. I beamed us here." he said.

"Fainted! Klingons don‘t faint! What‘s wrong with me?
Doctor? What‘s wrong?"

"Lieutenant Torres you are perfectly fine," said The Doctor. "In fact, there is nothing wrong with you at all. You are pregnant! With twins!" The Doctor beamed at this last statement. Only seven months ago he had told Ensigns Newhart and Poluk-Newhart that they were expecting too. They had both screamed with joy. Tom and B‘Elanna‘s children would be the third and fourth on Voyager. The Newharts were due in two months. The excitement had yet to wear off. The Doctor now looked at the newest parents on Voyager happily. They both looked shocked.
"What?" said B‘Elanna.

"You‘re pregnant." repeated The Doctor.

"With twins?" asked Tom.

"Yes." said The Doctor.

"How long?" asked B‘Elanna.

"Almost two months." replied he Doctor.

"What sex?" asked Tom.

"Both are female." said The Doctor. He was just about to ask
them what was wrong when both broke into wide grins.
"We‘re going to be parents!" yelled Tom as he hugged
B‘Elanna tightly. B‘Elanna laughed and said,
"Of two little girls!"

They continued laughing and hugging until The Doctor finally said, "Lieutenants, please, I will need to see Ms. Torres in here for weekly check-ups. Do you wish for me to inform the Captain?"

"No," said B‘Elanna, still girlishly giggling. "We‘ll tell her right away."

"Well then, I expect you back next Tuesday at 1800 hours, is that understood?"

"Yes Doctor." B‘Elanna and Tom replied in unison. They both looked at each other and started laughing.

"Lieutenant," said The Doctor, putting his hand on B‘Elanna‘s shoulder. Both of them immediately stopped laughing. "I know that you often overwork yourself and that you skip appointments with me . That will have to stop now. You are directly responsible for the safety and well-being of two lives inside you. You have to start acting like a mother now."
B‘Elanna seemed taken aback.

"Doctor! I realize that! I would never do anything to hurt
the babies on purpose! Of course I‘ll start taking better care of myself!"

"And I‘ll make sure she does," said Tom. "If she so much as lifts a tricorder I‘ll send her directly here for a check-up!" B‘Elanna punched him gently on the shoulder.
"Pig!" she said, playfully.

"Anyway," interrupted The Doctor, "I expect you should be
leaving now to tell the Captain." Usually he liked having patients in his Sickbay, but those two were just to strange for him. As the door closed behind them, The Doctor wondered just how they would manage to raise two children when they were both busy senior officers.

* * *

Captain Janeway and Commander Chakotay were sitting on Kathryn‘s couch, talking quietly when the door-chime sounded.

"Come in." called Kathryn, wondering who it could be. Probably Tuvok with some report on something. Kathryn hoped that this wouldn‘t take too long. To her surprise, when the door opened it showed the excited faces of her favorite couple on Voyager.

"Captain? Are we interrupting anything?" asked Tom when he saw Chakotay next to her on the couch. He obviously suspected something.

"No, not really," replied Kathryn, even though what her and Chakotay had been discussing was of utmost importance. "Come in." she motioned them in.

"Oh my God," said B‘Elanna. Tom looked over at her, worried, but before he could say anything she had rushed over to the Captain. She held up Kathryn Janeway‘s left hand to expose a ruby engagement ring on the ring finger.

"I knew it!" exclaimed B‘Elanna. "Too bad last week was mine!"
"What?" said Chakotay, looking at her strangely.

"The whole crew has bets set on a certain week," explained
Tom, slightly embarrassed. "If you had proposed last week than B‘Elanna would‘ve gotten about 120 day‘s worth of replicator rations. I think that this is Henley‘s week." Chakotay and Kathryn exchanged glances which said, quite obviously, ‚How did we miss this?‘.

"Congratulations!" exclaimed B‘Elanna, still holding onto the Captain‘s hand.

"Thank you," said Kathryn. "But actually B‘Elanna did win. Chakotay proposed to me last Friday. I just haven‘t decided how to break it to the crew. I wasn‘t wearing this ring."

"But," interrupted Chakotay. "Why did you two come here in the first place?"

"Oh yeah," said B‘Elanna. "Well, um, I‘m not sure how to say this...." she glanced at Tom. She obviously wanted him to help her out.

"Um," said Tom, this wasn‘t as easy as he thought it would be. "We just wanted to inform you that, uh well...."
"I‘m pregnant." supplied B‘Elanna.

Both Chakotay and Kathryn‘s faces broke into large grins.
"Well," said Chakotay. "I guess its congratulations to everyone!"

"I was wondering when you two would get around to children." smiled Kathryn.
"Is it a girl or a boy?" asked Chakotay.

"Twins," said Tom. "Two girls. Due in seven months."

"Would you like an announcement on the comm system?" asked Kathryn, still grinning.

"Actually," said B‘Elanna. "We were thinking that if we just tell Harry, it‘ll be all over the ship in a couple hours. We‘d rather do it that way."
"While you‘re at it," said Chakotay. "Tell him about us too.
It‘ll save us the trouble of a formal announcement.

"Aye, Commander." said Tom, as he saluted. B‘Elanna giggled and grabbed onto his arm.

"Anyway," said B‘Elanna. "We better start planning a bachelor and bachelorette party now so we‘ll be leaving." Kathryn laughed.
"Nothing too raunchy I hope!" said Kathryn.
"Only the usual," said Tom. "Strippers, beer, one big
orgy..." B‘Elanna elbowed him and started to pull him out the door.

"Good-bye! And congratulations!" yelled Kathryn, as they left.
"You too!" yelled B‘Elanna. The doors slid shut behind them
and, once again, Kathryn and Chakotay were alone. Chakotay shook

his head and playfully said,
"Those kids are gonna turn out really weird!" He said.
Kathryn promptly elbowed him in the ribs.

"I, for one, think that B‘Elanna and Tom will make excellent parents. They may not have had wonderful parents themselves, but at least they will know what not to do."
Chakotay only nodded, then he smiled and said, "Now, where were we?"
* * *

Within only a few days of informing Harry about the conditions of the two couples, the whole crew was congratulating B‘Elanna, Tom, Janeway, and Chakotay. B‘Elanna graciously offered Ensign Henley the replicator rations since the crew found out on Henley‘s week but she had declined, saying that B‘Elanna would certainly need them more than she would.

Actually, thought Tom, it was a good thing that B‘Elanna had gotten those rations. Now that she knew she was pregnant she was no longer skipping meals and when she got an unusual craving she went for it. The latest thing she had eaten was a cold cheese sandwich with spaghetti on top. So far, there had been no major morning sickness, just a little nausea. The Doctor had warned Tom that during the second trimester she would experience violent mood swings. Tom had felt sure that he could handle it but now, when she was barely a week away from the beginning of the second trimester, he wasn‘t so sure. The whole crew was a great help. Ensigns Poluk-Newhart and Wildman had visited B‘Elanna and told her all about their experiences with pregnancy. Even though Cecile Poluk-Newhart was still a month away from her due-date, she felt that she had been through it all. Tom had noticed that B‘Elanna paid rapt attention to Samantha Wildman‘s descriptions of labor. Later, B‘Elanna confessed that she was very apprehensive about the labor part. Tom had promised that he would be there with her all they way.

"Well you sure aren‘t doing much now!" B‘Elanna had said. "Here I am, getting fatter by the day with swollen ankles and morning sickness and you sit in your pilot‘s seat and gloat about your virility!"

"B‘Elanna," Tom had said. "If it were at all possible I would be happy to carry the twins. Or maybe I could have one and you can have one. Unfortunately, there is no medical way to do it so this is just gonna have to work!" B‘Elanna had laughed at him.

"No, I was just kidding. Actually, I‘m kind of enjoying pregnancy in a strange, screwed-up way."

"B‘Elanna? Are you strange and screwed-up?" asked Tom, raising his eyebrows.
"I must be." she answered.
* * *

B‘Elanna Torres lay in bed and watched her sleeping husband on the other side. His breathing was slow and steady. She was amazed at just how calm Tom was. Now in her fifth month, B‘Elanna was having mood swings. She tried to control herself and Tom did his best to calm her down but it did little to help. Usually the moodswings ended with B‘Elanna raising her hand to slap Tom, and then breaking into tears because she had tried to hurt the one person in the universe who loved her as much or more than she loved him. Tonight, there had been no moods swings.

B‘Elanna shifted herself closer her husband and he subconsciously opened his arms to make room for her. B‘Elanna felt a slight fluttering in her abdomen and knew that one of the twins had kicked. The one on the right, she decided. That one seemed to be kicking and moving an awful lot. She moved Tom‘s hand onto her stomach. Even though he wasn‘t awake, she felt that it was her duty to share in this special moment with him. Tom sighed in contentment. B‘Elanna smiled.

As of yet they had not decided on names for either twin although B‘Elanna really wanted to name one Kaitlin and Tom really wanted to name one Rosemary. The problem was, B‘Elanna didn‘t like the name Rosemary and Tom really didn‘t like the name Kaitlin. Harry had joked that they could name one Thomasina and the other Eugenia and both could have the middle name of B‘Elanna. He had thought it was funny. Tom and B‘Elanna did not think so. Tom had at first suggested that they each have a Klingon middle-name but B‘Elanna had insisted that they not saddle them with Klingon names for the rest of their lives when they would probably be living among humans.

B‘Elanna sighed and snuggled in closer to Tom. It didn‘t really matter what their names were. She would love both of them no matter if their names were Thomasina and Eugenia B‘Elanna Paris. She giggled and realized that she was no closer to falling asleep than she had been an hour ago. Although she was usually really tired, tonight she just couldn‘t drop into unconsciousness.

Being careful to not wake up her husband, B‘Elanna Torres slipped out of the covers. Fumbling in the dark she found her dark green robe and pulled it on. On her desks were some PADDs with texts on pregnancy and childcare that she had been reading. Picking one up, she slid quietly out the door. She headed for the mess hall.

Although it was the middle of the night the lights were on full illumination in the mess hall and B‘Elanna soon found out why. Neelix was in his kitchen putting the finishing touches on a very large and very chocolatey wedding cake for Chakotay and Kathryn‘s wedding tomorrow. When Neelix saw B‘Elanna he called out a cheerful greeting.

"Well Lieutenant! What can I get for you today? Are you feeling all right?"

"I‘m fine Neelix," said B‘Elanna. "I just couldn‘t sleep. Do you need any help with anything?" she asked, motioning to the giant cake.

"Oh no," he said. "I‘m just fine! I just finished up with the cake and I was going to clean up now! You go on with your reading!" he said, pointing to the PADD in her hand. B‘Elanna nodded, smiled and settled herself down into a chair. One of the twins moved. The right one again. B‘Elanna decided that if they did decide on Kaitlin and Rosemary, the right one would have to be Kaitlin. She wasn‘t playing favorites. She just thought that Kaitlin was a better name for a rambunctious child than Rosemary was. She activated the PADD and started reading.

She was so interested in her texts that she didn‘t see Captain Kathryn Janeway sit down next to her. It wasn‘t until Kathryn asked her a question that B‘Elanna jumped.
"Cramming for a test B‘Elanna?"

"What? Oh. No. These are child-care and pregnancy texts."

"I see. But you have four months left. Why are you up so
late reading these?"

"I couldn‘t sleep." B‘Elanna explained. "Why are you up Captain? Tomorrow‘s the Big Day. You only get one." The Captain smiled.
"B‘Elanna, we‘re out of uniform. Call me Kathryn."

"Okay Kathryn," said B‘Elanna. "But you didn‘t answer my
question. Why are you awake now?" Kathryn‘s face turned contemplative.

"I...I guess I keep thinking of Mark. He‘s my former boyfriend all the way back in the Alpha Quadrant. I was wondering. What if we get back before seventy years is up? What if Mark still believed I would come home the same old Kathryn Janeway that left him six years ago? If I‘m married, it will hurt him deeply. I still care for Mark. But not like I care for Chakotay now. I don‘t want to hurt him."

B‘Elanna was surprised at the Captain‘s sudden pouring out of feelings for a man that was 70 thousand light-years away.

B‘Elanna had always figured that as a Captain, Kathryn Janeway had

no personal problems. Now she was being proven wrong. B‘Elanna

thought awhile before saying,

"It seems to me, that if he cared about you he would be very grateful that you had found true love on a starship that was far away from him. Even if he did remain faithful to you I think that he would actually be very happy for you."

Kathryn smiled at the Lieutenant. Lieutenant Torres. B‘Elanna, the temperamental half-Klingon engineer, wife of Thomas Paris, soon-to-be-mother of twin girls. B‘Elanna, one of the few people in the universe that Kathryn would‘ve trusted her life to. Now B‘Elanna had a new title in Kathryn‘s mind. B‘Elanna Torres, keeper of other people‘s dark secrets, and dispenser of wisdom.

"Well, you better get to sleep, B‘Elanna. You know...." Kathryn was cut off as B‘Elanna grabbed her hand and put it to her abdomen. Kathryn then felt a faint flutter of movement. Surprised, she looked at B‘Elanna. B‘Elanna giggled.

"That‘s the one I call Kaitlin. She moves a lot. I think the other one will be called Rosemary, but she doesn‘t move much. Sorry if I frightened you but I love sharing this."

"It‘s beautiful." whispered Kathryn. A yawn escaped from B‘Elanna‘s mouth. She was tired.

"I better go," she apologized. "Tom will worry if I‘m not there when he wakes up."
"Goodnight B‘Elanna." said Kathryn.

"Goodnight Kathryn." replied B‘Elanna.
* * *
"Clowns or bears?"

"What type of bears?"


"Aren‘t grizzly bears brown?"

"Yeah, why?"
"I don‘t want Kaitlin and Rosemary to have nightmares about being attacked and eaten by bears."
"But they‘re happy bears."

"Happy bears?"

"Yeah, they have big smiles on their faces..."



"You are seriously demented."

"Thank you B‘Elanna."

B‘Elanna was exactly seven months pregnant and she and Tom
were picking out wallpaper for the twin‘s nursery. B‘Elanna had suggested that the walls be gray and then they could just hang some nice pictures from the walls but Tom had insisted that if their daughters were not exposed to millions of bright colors as soon as they went to sleep they would turn out normal and would therefore not fit in on Voyager. B‘Elanna laughed and agreed but she still thought that some of the designs were pretty silly-looking.

They had agreed on the names, which was a big relief. The one that B‘Elanna thought was on the right would be Kaitlin Bethany Paris and the one on the left would be Rosemary Kathryn Paris. The Kathryn part was obviously referring to Kathryn Janeway. Bethany had been Chakotay‘s suggestion. Lady Bethany was the name of a ship he had flown as a training exercise. He had gotten attached to the name.

Kathryn and Chakotay‘s wedding had been beautiful. It took place in a holodeck re-creation of the Cascade Mountains on Earth. It was green everywhere with snow-capped mountains in the distance. The ceremony was very short and half the reception was in the mountains, but half-way through they switched over to a classic ballroom so people could dance. That was two months ago and B‘Elanna‘s stomach was swollen even more than it had been. She could no longer fit into any of her old clothes. At the moment she was sitting cross-legged on the floor of the nursery which they had knocked down a wall to build. Samples of wall-paper were scattered on the floor in front of her. Across from her, Tom Paris held up a sample with smiling, dancing brown bears on it.

"How about kittens?" B‘Elanna asked. "Don‘t we have anything with Earth kittens on it?"

"Um," mumbled Tom as he sorted through more samples. "Yeah, here we go. Cute little gray kittens playing with balls of red, blue, and green yarn." He held up the sample for B‘Elanna to see. She leaned forward as far as she could which wasn‘t very far in her condition.
"You know what Tom?"

"What?" he asked.

"I actually kind of like that one."

"Maybe we could do all of our quarters in it." he suggested,
"I‘ll rip out your liver."

"I know, I know, I was kidding," said Tom, quick to avoid a
mood swing. Luckily they had started to wane off. He examined the sample in his hand. "I like this one too." he announced, and he put it in the possibility pile which now consisted of one sample. Nevertheless, Tom Paris was enjoying himself. Who knew that looking at smiling animals could be so entertaining? His wife picked up a sample with frogs, frowned, and discarded it. She pawed through the mess on the floor. Her stomach stuck out farther than ever before. He got the feeling that she didn‘t think she was attractive anymore. On the contrary, he truly felt that she was even more beautiful when she was carrying his children. That maternal glow that Tom had heard about so many times but could never see was now apparent to him. He had seen her absently stroking her belly while at boring staff meetings. Sometimes she murmured to Kaitlin and Rosemary. She would be a great mother. He only hoped that he was as good a father. He felt kind of left out at this point. She was already feeding and caring for them. Every time they kicked, she was aware of it. He only knew if she told him or put his hand on her protruding stomach. He had already promised himself that he would take just as much care of them as B‘Elanna did. He had already told the Captain that he expected paternity leave after Kaitlin and Rosemary were born. She had laughed and agreed he would get just as much time off as B‘Elanna did.

"Look, here‘s tigers. Aren‘t they cute?" asked B‘Elanna. Suddenly she slapped her forehead with her palm and exclaimed, "Oh my God! I can‘t believe I just said that a carnivorous animal was cute! My hormones are really out of whack!"

"You mean to tell me that you didn‘t think tigers were cute until you got pregnant?" asked Tom.

"Well, its not like my mother really approved of cuteness in the house. Instead of cute wallpaper like this I had these really elaborate battle scenes on my walls. Of course I tore them down as a teenager but I remember lying awake at night thinking about Kahless‘ conquers...." she trailed off. Tom got up and sat next to her. He knew that her memories of childhood were painful. He hugged her tightly. She too embraced him.

"I don‘t want Kaitlin and Rosemary to think back on their childhood like I do." she whispered. "I want them to remember having parties and playing together with Joshua Newhart and Kristeh Wildman. I want them to be able to recite Fairy Tales instead of battle songs. I want to do this right."

"So do I B‘Elanna. And we will do it right. Of course they won‘t turn out perfect. Maybe Rosemary will end up as a gothic horror writer and we won‘t approve, but at least she‘ll know she was loved and that‘s the most important thing a child can know." B‘Elanna smiled at him.

"Have you been reading my child-care texts again?" she asked.

"I read one yesterday while I was flying in a straight line. According to Doctor Arthur Reldin, we need to both quit our jobs and spoil our kids."
"He did not say that!" said B‘Elanna.

"Well you‘ve been studying day and night for five months. I
only have two months left to cram so I‘ve been reading the condensed versions." said Tom, smiling.
"That‘s cheating!"

"No, it‘s cramming. There is a difference." B‘Elanna
grumbled something about dunces and suddenly broke into a large grin.
"What?" asked Tom.

"Rosemary is kicking. She usually doesn‘t." said B‘Elanna.
Tom quickly put a hand to her stomach to feel for himself. He could indeed feel movement.

"Now Kaitlin‘s moving. She always responds to Rosemary like that." B‘Elanna moved Tom‘s hand over to the right side of her abdomen. That twin was indeed kicking and quite a bit harder than Rosemary had been. B‘Elanna sighed with pleasure and leaned against Tom. Their search for the perfect wallpaper forgotten, they held each other. One of Tom‘s hands around B‘Elanna, the other hand caressed her stomach. B‘Elanna had both hands wrapped around his waist. Unaware to both of them, only one twin was able to sense and feel their mother‘s heartbeat. Something was dreadfully wrong with the other one.

* * *

Eight months. B‘Elanna eight months pregnant. The wallpaper was picked out, but had yet to be put up. There were no cribs yet but there was quite a large collection of books. Dr. Seuss, Richard Scarry, and Mother Goose. B‘Elanna had, much to her own embarrassment, read each one already. But she couldn‘t help it. She had never read them as a child and they were fascinating to her now. She stood in the middle of the nursery rubbing her stomach. She had realized, about three days ago, that if she rubbed in just the right spot on the right, Kaitlin would respond with a few kicks. B‘Elanna enjoyed getting a response from Kaitlin. Her first contact with a new lifeform.

"B‘Elanna? Are you ready?" called Tom from the other room. It was Christmas Eve and the whole crew of Voyager was going to a big Christmas party on the holodeck. B‘Elanna had on a velvety green satin dress. It was obvious that she was pregnant so she didn‘t try to hide it, she reveled in it. Even if she would rather be just a little skinnier. Tom walked into the nursery wearing a blue shirt with a nice pair of pants. B‘Elanna decided that she had married the cream of the crop. He certainly was handsome.
"Reading the books again?" he asked, jokingly.

"No, I was just thinking." she answered.

"What about?" he asked. B‘Elanna hesitated at telling him
her thoughts.
"About being skinnier."

"B‘Elanna, we‘ve been through this before..."

"I know, I know. I can‘t help it!"

"Any woman who is willing to let her stomach become the size
of a shuttlecraft for the sake of two little lives is beautiful no

matter what." declared Tom. B‘Elanna smiled at this little speech

and then said,
"Shuttlecraft, huh?"

"I was kidding. Come on, beautiful, we don‘t want to be

* * *

The party was wonderful. A wooden dance floor out in the middle of a green meadow with a buffet under a tent on one side, and a table area for those who just wanted to talk. B‘Elanna spent most of her time talking, not having the stamina to stay on the dance floor. She had given Tom permission to dance with other women as long as he checked on her after every five songs. B‘Elanna was surprised to see the Captain stop dancing after about three songs. Chakotay pleaded with her for about five minutes and finally left. As soon as Chakotay was gone B‘Elanna sat herself down at Kathryn‘s table.

"Got a headache?" she asked the Captain, who was holding her head in her hands.

"What?" asked Kathryn. "Oh, yes actually I do." She paused and thought. "Why aren‘t you on the dance floor B‘Elanna?" B‘Elanna shrugged took a sip of her drink. It was some type of Italian soda or something. She had developed a taste for them.

"I really don‘t think I would last out there. I‘ve gained thirty pounds in seven months and I‘m just not used to carrying this much weight around. I‘d probably collapse." Kathryn smiled and then turned serious again. She looked around to see if anyone was watching their conversation. No one was.

"B‘Elanna?" she asked. "Can you keep secrets?" B‘Elanna looked at the Captain strangely, and wondered just what she was about to reveal.
"Of course. It‘s the only thing we did in the Maquis."
Janeway nodded, looked down at the table and looked up again.
"I think I might be pregnant."

B‘Elanna was shocked.

"But..." she started.

"B‘Elanna, I‘m checking on you okay?" B‘Elanna barely
noticed Tom‘s question.
"B‘Elanna?" Tom said again. Kaitlin gave a sharp kick.

"Yeah, okay, good, go dance." she said absently. Tom gave
her a weird look and left.
"Captain, how old are you? If you don‘t mind telling me."
Kathryn smiled.

"I know what you‘re thinking Lieutenant. I‘m 46 but I still haven‘t reached ‚That Time In A Woman‘s Life‘ yet. Tell me, you were quite fatigued at first, weren‘t you?"

"Y-yes." stuttered B‘Elanna. She couldn‘t believe the Captain had just said she might be pregnant. Kaitlin kicked her again. B‘Elanna ignored her daughter.

"I‘ve been getting lots of headaches too. And I‘ve had unusual cravings." added Kathryn.

"Why don‘t you go to The Doctor?" asked B‘Elanna. Kaitlin kicked twice, hard. Kathryn smiled at B‘Elanna.

"I don‘t know. Part of me wants to know but the other half doesn‘t. I do want children, badly. But I know I‘ll be disappointed if I turn out to not be pregnant."

"Does Chakotay know?" asked B‘Elanna. Kaitlin kept kicking her. It was getting annoying. This was her longest kicking spree yet.
"No. No, he doesn‘t." said Kathryn. She looked concerned.
"B‘Elanna, is something wrong?"

"Kaitlin keeps kicking. She won‘t stop and I have no way to discipline her." said B‘Elanna.
"Maybe something‘s wrong..."suggested Kathryn, hesitantly.

"No. I don‘t think so. Maybe she‘s just reacting to the
adrenaline rush I got when you said you thought you were pregnant."
"Sorry." offered Kathryn.

"B‘Elanna?" asked Tom. "I‘m back again, are you....is
something wrong?" he changed his thought in midsentence.

"Kaitlin keeps kicking...." she trailed off as a sharp pain in her abdomen made her double over in agony. Tom held onto his wife.

"Come on, we‘re going to Sickbay." he said. B‘Elanna nodded through clenched teeth. Kathryn stood up and grabbed one of B‘Elanna‘s arms.

"I‘ll help you." she said. With Tom on one side and Kathryn Janeway on the other, B‘Elanna just managed to make it to Sickbay.

* * *

By the time Tom had gotten B‘Elanna to Sickbay with the help of Captain Janeway, the pain had obviously worsened. B‘Elanna now clutched her stomach and moaned through clenched teeth at intervals. Tom was extremely worried about the well-being of his wife and twins. He desperately prayed that they were all fine.

While Tom helped B‘Elanna onto the biobed, Captain Janeway watched with an expression of surprise on her face. The Doctor was already busy running scans. As soon as Tom was out of the way, The Doctor activated the large scanner around B‘Elanna. Tom was now holding onto B‘Elanna‘s hand, tightly.
"Hmmmmm," said The Doctor.

"What? What is it? What‘s wrong with the twins?!" screamed
B‘Elanna, near tears. Tom tried to comfort her as best he could.

"Lieutenants," addressed The Doctor. "I am going to deliver one of the twins. I will induce labor and deliver the one that is kicking at the moment. I suggest you prepare yourselves."

"Kaitlin! He‘s going to deliver Kaitlin!" yelled B‘Elanna. "Is she okay?" The Doctor already had an incubator set up next to the biobed.

"But she‘s only eight months pregnant!" yelled Tom. "Will Kaitlin survive?"

"500 years ago she wouldn‘t. Today she will." said The Doctor, as he injected B‘Elanna with something to induce labor. The contractions started almost immediately. Now B‘Elanna had kicking, some type of sharp pain, and contractions wreaking havoc on her body. B‘Elanna was hysterical. She didn‘t even have the strength to push. Luckily, Kaitlin really wanted out of there. Within half an hour of the first contraction, on Christmas Eve, Kaitlin Bethany Paris was born at 2147 hours.

The Doctor gently lifted the child into the incubator. Kaitlin was naked at the moment but the incubator kept her nice and warm. Still, she screamed and screamed. Even though she was exhausted, B‘Elanna managed to get a small glimpse of her child. Kaitlin didn‘t look Klingon at all. She was as normal as a human baby. B‘Elanna sighed and The Doctor came around to give her an injection of something to make her go to sleep. As soon as B‘Elanna was asleep, Tom went over to his daughter, who was still screaming, and bent down over the incubator.

"Mr. Paris?" The Doctor asked. "I didn‘t want to tell you this while Lt. Torres was awake but," he hesitated. "The other twin did not make it. I‘m sorry." Tom turned and looked at The Doctor.

"What? What do you mean she didn‘t make it? She died? But she‘s still inside B‘Elanna!" he exclaimed, in shock. The Doctor nodded.

"Your wife‘s body will involuntarily, um, ‚get rid of‘ the dead baby."

"But, how did she die? She was fine three days ago!" Tom felt like crying.

"No, she wasn‘t. Her medulla and cerebellum never fully developed. My scans didn‘t show the defect until now. She was simply, forgive me, ‚dead weight‘ in the womb. This one," he indicated Kaitlin, still screaming, "wasn‘t getting enough food or oxygen since the ‚dead‘ twin was using most of it, trying to catch up in development. The sharp pain that Lt. Torres was feeling was this twin kicking the dead one into the side of her womb." Thomas Paris could not believe it. An hour ago he had had, or thought he had, a pair of healthy twin girls. Now he only had one. And he would have to tell B‘Elanna that Rosemary was not alive. Tom looked back down at Kaitlin. He suddenly felt very much alone.

"Can I hold her?" he asked, softly. The Doctor scanned the crying infant.

"She is stable, but you must be careful. Let me get some blankets." The Doctor went behind his office to fetch the blankets. Tom watched his crying daughter in amazement. She was incredibly small and her skin was a dark, translucent color. She had no hair yet and only a small suggestion of Klingon ridges on her small forehead. Tom decided that even if he had lost one twin, he still had one and would never make Kaitlin feel guilty about it. He would take good care of her. The Doctor returned with some white blankets, a tiny pair of pajama-type things, a very small diaper, and a cute little cap. He handed them to Tom.

"You‘re welcome to dress her yourself, if you like." The Doctor said as he handed the blanket and clothes to Tom and switched off the incubator forcefield. Tom nodded and The Doctor left the room. B‘Elanna still slept peacefully on the biobed. She was more serene than he had seen her in a long time. Hesitantly, not wanting to hurt her in any way, Tom attached the diaper to Kaitlin. He had seen Samantha Wildman do this to Kristeh a million times so this was not new to him. Kaitlin tried to grab onto his hands as he worked. She had very little muscle so she didn‘t make much progress but it was the thought that counted. Tom slipped the little pajamas onto her and then the cap. Finally, he wrapped her in the blanket and lifted her out of the incubator. As soon as she was up against his chest she quieted down the screaming. Instinctively, she snuggled closer to him. Then, Tom Paris started to cry.

* * *

It was 0337. Tom sat next to his wife in Sickbay. At 2403 her body had involuntarily ‚gotten rid of‘ the placenta, Rosemary, and a lot of blood. Tom hadn‘t stayed around for that part. He took Kaitlin out of Sickbay and sat in the hallway. Captain Janeway had heard what happened and she had informed the crew to steer clear of Sickbay unless they were hurt so no one had walked by Tom in the hallway. Now he was back in Sickbay. Kaitlin slept soundly in the incubator. The Doctor had informed Tom that B‘Elanna would wake up soon and was now in his office doing paperwork or something. Tom was mentally bracing himself for B‘Elanna‘s reaction to Rosemary‘s death. He wasn‘t sure whether she would be violent or hysterically saddened. Either way this would not be fun. Suddenly he heard a sharp intake of air from his wife‘s mouth. He squeezed her hand. Her eyes flashed open.

"Tom?" she asked groggily. "Why am I in Sickbay?" She gasped suddenly as her hand could no longer find the protrudence that had been her stomach. "Where are the twins? Oh God! What did I do to them? Where are they?" She was hysterical.

"B‘Elanna!" yelled Tom, trying to get her attention. "B‘Elanna, Kaitlin is fine! Don‘t worry about her! She‘s in an incubator! She‘s alive! She‘s going to live!"
"What about Rosemary?" asked B‘Elanna.

"B‘Elanna, Rosemary is dead. Her brain wasn‘t fully
developed." Tom said. It was not easy to tell her this. Poor B‘Elanna had been through so much the past seven months. Maybe this would send her over the edge of sanity.

"Rosemary‘s dead!" she shrieked. "What did I do to her? Was it me? What did I do? Oh God! She can‘t be dead! She can‘t be! I took good care of myself! I didn‘t want her to die! Please, God!" B‘Elanna started to weep. Tom started crying too. He hugged her tightly. She was still sitting on the biobed.

"Oh, B‘Elanna it wasn‘t your fault! Rosemary‘s brain wasn‘t completely developed! She‘s been brain-dead ever since she was conceived! There was nothing either of us could‘ve done! That‘s why she didn‘t kick as much as Kaitlin! Rosemary‘s kicks were just involuntary muscle spasms."

B‘Elanna was still crying on his shoulder. He held her for five more minutes and finally she had calmed down enough to ask a question.
"Where‘s Kaitlin? Are you sure she‘s okay?" she asked.

"Kaitlin‘s right over here in the incubator." said Tom.
B‘Elanna attempted to stand and walk but she was still to weak.

Tom made her sit on the biobed.

"Stay here. I‘ll get her." Tom walked over to the incubator, turned of the forcefield, and lifted the only Paris daughter left into his arms. She still had the pajamas and blanket on. She looked incredibly cute, a little dark little face nestled in soft whiteness. He brought her over to B‘Elanna who eagerly took her into her own arms.

"She‘s so beautiful." breathed B‘Elanna. She gently caressed Kaitlin‘s tiny face. Kaitlin yawned and opened her eyes. "Oh." whispered B‘Elanna. Kaitlin‘s eyes were the exact color of Tom‘s. B‘Elanna was so glad Kaitlin had inherited those eyes. Slowly, the eyes tried to focus on something. Kaitlin was trying hard but not having much luck. B‘Elanna moved her finger into Kaitlin‘s vision. Finally, Kaitlin focused on the finger. B‘Elanna moved her finger sideways. Kaitlin followed it. She moved the finger up and down. Kaitlin still followed it. Then she put the finger down. Kaitlin focused on B‘Elanna‘s face and then smiled a bit. B‘Elanna started crying again.

"B‘Elanna what‘s the matter?" asked Tom. He was now sitting next to her on the biobed. He rubbed her arm.

"She‘s so beautiful," said B‘Elanna. "I don‘t deserve a daughter like this. So perfect."

"If anyone deserves a perfect daughter it‘s you B‘Elanna." said Tom. B‘Elanna was silent for a moment.

"Here, I‘ve been selfish. You hold her for a while." she finally said.

"No," he answered, "I held her almost the whole time you were asleep. You need to catch up with me." B‘Elanna didn‘t say anything but she seemed happy to be able to hold her daughter for as long as possible. She continued playing with Kaitlin. Kaitlin and B‘Elanna were both surprisingly alert for a woman who had just gone through labor and an infant who had just waken up. Behind them, the Sickbay doors whispered open, and then closed themselves. Captain Kathryn Janeway, still out of uniform, had entered the room. B‘Elanna looked up. Kathryn silently wondered if it was good to come here when she saw B‘Elanna‘s tear-streaked face, but then knew that her timing had been perfect when B‘Elanna suddenly smiled at her.
"B‘Elanna?" asked Kathryn. "How are you doing?"

"I‘m fine Kathryn." she whispered. "Come and see Kaitlin."
Kathryn Janeway walked over to the biobed they were sitting on. Kaitlin had ceased trying to grab B‘Elanna‘s finger and was now attempting to focus on the ceiling. When Kathryn reached them, Kaitlin focused on Kathryn instead.
"She‘s beautiful." said Kathryn.

"Would you like to hold her?" asked B‘Elanna. "I think you
have to to make her part of the crew by holding her."

"The Captain never held me!" said Tom. B‘Elanna smiled at him and Kathryn laughed. She carefully reached out her arms for the child. B‘Elanna set Kaitlin into Kathryn‘s capable arms. She cooed at the infant and Kaitlin tried to smile again.

"Kaitlin Bethany Paris you are the cutest child I have ever seen." declared Kathryn. "Welcome to Voyager."

* * *

A week later, Kathryn Janeway found out she was pregnant. The crew threw a party and the Paris family attended, even if they were completely exhausted from very long nights. Kathryn Janeway smiled at all of them. She knew she would have the same tired, haggard, and harassed look B‘Elanna had now. Nevertheless, both Tom and B‘Elanna looked like the were immensely enjoying their new daughter. Everyone got a chance to hold her, and Kaitlin never woke up. Joshua Newhart was awake during the party and screamed so much that his parents brought him back to their quarters. Everyone except Tom and B‘Elanna thought it was cute.

Kathryn knew that in about five or six years they would have to start some sort of school on board. Already, she had put plans in motion for more security access locks around potentially dangerous equipment such as transporters. Voyager would be baby-proof soon. Kathryn knew that the future was bright for the Voyager children. While there may not be much of an environment for play and exploration on Voyager, with all the new planets to explore, there was bound to be many new learning experiences available. Yes, Kathryn smiled, the future was indeed bright.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

I know, I know! Sappiness surrounds us! It binds us and penetrates us! (Well, at least this story!) I‘m thinking of writing a sequel to this prequel so keep watching and stay tuned for more!


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