Life With a Paris: Saying Goodbye
Delta didn't know what was happening, all he knew is that he didn't like it. His world had shuddered and shaken around him as Voyager plunged forth through the many lights that had made him dizzy as he watched out the view port. Now everything was silent. Everything, that is, except for his parents, and the opening and closing of drawers.
His Mommy and Daddy were very quiet tonight. They kept looking at each other, sometimes sadly, sometimes with a glimmer of excitement burning behind their eyes. Delta's body twitched and tingled as he wondered exactly what was going to happen in the next few hours, but nothing had been said.
He padded over to the bedroom, watching as Mommy continued removing her clothing from the closet, placing each piece of fabric slowly into a bag. He cocked his head to the side, whining gently through his nose.
B'Elanna glanced down at him, and smiled softly. "Don't worry, Delta. You're a good boy, you'll like it here. I promise."
Delta wagged his tail softly, still unsure of whether to be happy or sad. He leapt upon the bed, sticking his nose into each of the open bags, snuffling at the objects inside. He noticed two of the bags contained his baby's clothing and toys and he whined again. Was his baby going away?
He sniffed at another bag, finding his Daddy's play clothes inside. Now he was really confused. What was happening? Why were Mommy and Daddy throwing their whole lives into these little carry-alls? Were they leaving him? Where were they going?
His whine grew deeper in pitch, coughing out a sharp cry of sadness as he snuffled through the bag holding all his Mommy's clothing. Deep inside, he found Toby the Targ, his old nemesis, and he knew now that something was very wrong. Mommy never went anywhere without Toby, even after the poor toy had been so crudely stitched back together by Delta's exhausted Daddy.
The next bag was empty. Fearing that his parents were leaving him, Delta was determined to make sure he would be going along on their journey. Leaping off the bed, he searched his quarters, dragging all of his beloved toys into a pile near the bed. One by one, Delta began dropping them into the empty bag, until all traces that the puppy had lived in these rooms for the last eight months of his life were packed away.
Pausing, he noticed the kitten, high above him on a dresser, peering down, also with sadness and fear. As much as Delta enjoyed tormenting his kitten, he also knew that he couldn't leave her behind; he couldn't make her suffer the fear that was inching its way into his heart. She was just a baby still, and she was his responsibility just as much as Delta's baby and parents were. With a sigh born from the knowledge only gained from living his long eight months, Delta padded back into the living room and began gathering all the kittens toys as well. Stuffing his nose into the bag containing his things, Delta discovered enough room to pack the smaller cat toys without too much trouble.
Finally, satisfied, he sat back. His chocolate brown eyes were still sad, he didn't know what the future held, but at least as his bag sat packed and ready beside those of his family, he knew he wouldn't be left behind.
Hours passed until at last all the mementoes of the Paris family's life aboard Voyager were packed away. Some crates were left in a corner, to be transported to their new home at some future time, but the most important things were slung over Tom's shoulder or waiting on a anti-grav lift to be taken to the transporter room.
Tom snapped Delta's leash onto the puppy's collar and glanced back over his shoulder at what used to be his home.
"Well, Delta-Dog, I guess this is goodbye."
Fear clutched at Delta's heart once more. Goodbye to him? Delta wondered. But he'd packed all his toys! He had to go too!
"We're going to have a new home, now. You'll have grass fields, backyards, and plenty of space to run, so you'll be okay, Delta."
Man and dog sighed, both thinking the same thing. Yeah, they were going to have a home, but it wouldn't be the same as Voyager.
"Nothing will be the same as Voyager."
Delta and Tom turned to look at B'Elanna, who was regarding their quarters with sad eyes. At last, she shrugged.
"But I guess life goes on."
She picked up the baby in one arm, and held the kitten's carrier in another, and as a family, the five Paris' left their home aboard Voyager for the last time.