Title: I Hope You Dance
Author: Brigid
Email: brigidandmike@juno.com
Rating: [PG] 
Series: Voyager
Part: 1/1
Synopsis: P/T, Tom sings at Harryís wedding.

Disclaimer: Paramount owns the characters. I thank them for letting me play with them.

Date: March 2002

Thanks to Dasia for the beta and to all the inspiration found at the PT Collective. 
 
 

I hope you danceÖ

Harryís wedding day, Tom mused. Well, it had to happen someday and it couldnít happen to a nicer girl. Harry had given his heart to Tal Celes, or Celes Tal, since Bajorans listed their family name first. Whichever it might be, Tom was glad to just call her Tal and to know that she made Harry happy. 

"Tom, if you donít hurry we are going to be late." His wifeís voice was starting to lose the air of affection that it had held 30 minutes ago. One last look at the music and he rose from the piano bench, satisfied that he had found the perfect piece. His three-year-old daughter had preceded her mother into the room and launched herself at him. 

"Daddy, we have to hurry or Uncle Harry will get married without us!" 

"He canít get married without me, Iím the best man!" 

"Tom," B'Elannaís tone was dangerous, "best man or not if we are late I promise you, you will be sorry."

Kissing his wife soundly and caressing her well-rounded belly, Tom laughed without a trace of fear. "I had to find the right song for the reception. A best man has some responsibilities, you know."

"One of which is to be on time," BíElanna reiterated, but she was smiling as she took his arm and headed for the door. 

*** 

The church was an old fashioned cathedral. It had reminded Tal of the temples on her homeworld. The guests were few in number. Harry was an only child, as were his parents, and Tal had lost all of her family in the Cardassian occupation of Bajor. The Voyager crew was their only family and many of them were unable to attend, off on other missions or homeworlds, still finding places for themselves three years after the end of their seven year journey. 

The first person to greet the Parises was Harryís superior and Tomís father, Admiral Owen Paris. He was looking a little irate. "Thomas," he intoned.

"Admiral," Tom matched his tone so perfectly that B'Elanna almost laughed. 

"I thought the wedding party was supposed to be here fifteen minutes ago," the admiral continued. 

"Yes, sir, we were. But I got held up."

"Daddy was singing, Papa," Miral giggled as she took her grandfatherís hand. 

Unable to retain his stern countenance with Tomís obvious lack of concern and Miralís delighted laughter, he smiled as he asked the small girl, "What was he singing, Miral?"

"I donít know, itís a surprise for Uncle Harry. He was playing the piano too," she whispered to her grandfather. 

Admiral looked at his son in surprise. Tomís musical training had been at his motherís insistence. Owen Paris had thought it distracted Tom from his real mission in life, Starfleet; but he had spent hours unobserved, listening to Tom play the piano and sing. Whether he wanted to admit it or not, he was proud of Tomís musical talent. And now that Tom had left Starfleet to pursue his career as an author, the admiral had assumed that his music was being neglected also. 

"I still know a few notes, Dad. I promise I wonít embarrass you." Tom answered the unspoken question lightly.

"I know, son. It never occurred to me that you would. I was just a little surprised. I thought your writing took all of your time."

"Well, Iíve discovered that I like to add the music to my holonovels myself, sometimes." Tom was turning red, the curse of fair skin. 

His mother came to his rescue. "Tom, you need to go stay with Harry. Heís as nervous as a cat and his father isnít helping one bit. B'Elanna, my dear, I am so happy to see you. You look wonderful. How are you and the baby doing? Miral, how pretty you look! Come give Grandma a kiss. ÖB'Elanna, Mrs. Kim and I have been helping Tal and Jenny dress and I think they need to see someone younger and far more understandingÖ" Tom laughed as his mother, still talking, dragged his wife off on her errand of mercy. 

"I guess you have the munchkin, Admiral." Tom nodded to his father as he turned to walk away. 

"Weíll be fine, wonít we, Miral?" Owen answered.

Miral laughed. She had just begun to tell her grandfather a story about one of her friends at pre-school when she stopped and her eyes got as big as saucers. "Kotay!" she squealed in delight. Forgetting all about her grandfather she raced down the steps of the church to throw herself into Chakotayís arms. 

"What is it with you and younger women throwing themselves at you," his wife asked. 

"It must just be my animal magnetism," he answered as Miral conducted a thorough search of his pockets. Giggling in delight, she pulled out a package of Gummi Bears and handed them to her captive. 

"OpenÖ. please." She remembered her motherí stern warnings about making demands instead of asking nicely for help.

"Chakotay, her mother will kill you if you let her get all sticky before this wedding."

"No problem," he unconsciously mimicked Tomís style as he pulled a small foil-wrapped package out of another pocket. "Wet-ones. I came prepared!" 

Admiral Paris followed his granddaughter down the stairs, laughing at the exchange. "Kathryn, itís wonderful to see you, and you too, Chakotay. How are things in the Office of Scientific Exploration?"

"Theyíre fine, Owen," Kathryn responded as she embraced her old mentor. "Weíve just returned from a dig that required my personal attention."

"And I assume the attention of one of the Federationís leading paleontologists?"

"Yes, I took him along too, although I donít know why. Heís seems to have his sights set on a younger woman now." She laughed at her husbandís attempts to keep the sticky candy off his jacket and Miral's dress.

"Kathryn, I could use a little help here," he grumbled.

"Youíre the one who has such a way with women," she reminded him.

"Letís just say that I know the way to a womanís heart is to feed her regularly," he responded. 

"So thatís why you were always inviting me to dinner on Voyager." Her answer was given as she ripped open the foil packet and spread out the moist paper that it held. 

"I must say, with Miral it didnít take near as long to win her heart." Chakotay held Miral out for Kathryn to make the necessary ablutions. 

"I donít know about that, maybe sheís just more vocal about it." Kathryn smiled up at her husband. His happiness showed and she caressed the cheek that held her favorite dimple, as least the favorite dimple fit for public consumption. 

Owen Paris cleared his throat and reclaimed his granddaughter, suggesting that they go in and find seats. 

*** 

The wedding was a perfect mixture of Earth and Bajoran traditions. The young couple seemed to have gotten over their nervousness and proclaimed their vows for everyone to hear. Tom as best man and Jenny Delaney as maid of honor performed their tasks magnificently. And no one applauded louder than Tom when the minister introduced Lt. Commander and Mrs. Harry Kim. Tom was delighted that his closest friend had found someone to share his life with. He looked at B'Elanna sitting with his mother and father and found her smiling at him, probably reading his thoughts. She did that occasionally and he loved her for it. This time she simply nodded, indicating her happiness for Harry also. 

Tomís gaze drifted next to Kathryn and Chakotay. What a surprise their wedding had been! When Voyager had returned to the Alpha Quadrant Chakotay and Seven had been an item. Then, without any warning, Seven was on Vulcan meditating with Tuvok and Chakotay was on an Indian Reservation in Arizona. Too busy with their own adjustments to do more than call every couple of weeks, Tom and B'Elanna had assumed he was alone and pursuing his first love, paleontology. The second reunion for the Voyager crew had also reunited the command team and given them a chance to reassess their relationship. Captain Janeway and Chakotay had been dancing around each other all evening until Tom persuaded the bandleader to play a song, one he knew would get their attention. As Tom sang the familiar words, they began to dance. 

Wise men say, only fools rush in

But I canít help falling in love with youÖ

Six weeks later the Parises received an announcement, "Married on Mars. Honeymooning on Risa. Call you when we get back to earth." 

Like a river flows, surely to the sea

Darling so it goes

Some things were meant to beÖ

Tom had sung to his wife as they danced around their kitchen with Miral laughing ecstatically between them. They were delighted that their old friends had found happiness in each other.

*** 

The reception was wearing down when Tom took the microphone from the bandleader. "Well, itís tradition for the best man to prop up the groom during the wedding, I did that. And to make the first toast, I did that. And to go home with the prettiest girls, next to the bride of course, and I certainly plan on doing that." He grinned at his wife and daughter. 

"But I have another gift for you, Harry. Youíve been the best friend that I ever had, the first one to call me a friend on Voyager when no one wanted anything to do with me. You stuck by me when lots of others would have given up. I strongly suspect that you kept B'Elanna from spacing me those first couple of years." Laughter wafted across the room. 

"You took a lot of chances on love but Iím glad you never gave up." Tom bestowed his brightest smile on Tal. "Unfortunately, you didnít realize that there was a beautiful Bajoran by your side who was too shy to tell you that sheíd already laid claim to your heart. It could have saved you a lot of grief but you wouldnít be the man you are today."

Tom paused in his speech to look at his friend, "Youíve grown up, Harry and Iím proud to say I knew both Starfleetís oldest living ensign and its finest lieutenant commander. Donít ever lose your sense of wonder, Harry. Starfleet could use a little wonder." Tomís smiling glance rested on his father and drifted to his captain. 

With a signal to the band leader Tom began:

I hope you never lose your sense of wonder
You get your fill to eat
But always keep that hunger
May you never take one single breath for granted
God forbid love ever leave you empty handed
I hope you still feel small
When you stand by the ocean
Whenever one door closes, I hope one more opens
Promise me you'll give fate a fighting chance

And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance
I hope you dance
I hope you dance

Harry stood and took his wife into his arms and they danced, alone in the center of the floor with the ocean breeze cooling the air as it wafted through the open doors of reception hall. Their faces held all the joy and wonder of the newly married, promises of so many joyful times to come, so many chances to take, so many paths to follow. 

I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance
Never settle for the path of least resistance
Living might mean taking chances
But they're worth taking
Lovin' might be a mistake
But it's worth making
Don't let some hell bent heart
Leave you bitter
When you come close to selling out
Reconsider
Give the heavens above
More than just a passing glance

And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance
Time is a real and constant motion always
Rolling us along
I hope you dance
I hope you dance

Kathryn and Chakotay joined the Kims on the dance floor, swaying gently to the rhythm of Tomís words, lost in the arms of a chance they had for so long been unwilling to take. 
 

I hope you still feel small
When you stand by the ocean
Whenever one door closes, I hope one more opens
Promise me you'll give fate a fighting chance

And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance

Dance
I hope you dance
I hope you dance
Tell me who
Wants to look back on their youth and wonder
Where those years have gone
I hope you dance
I hope you dance
I hope you dance

Tell me who
Wants to look back on their youth and wonder
Where those years have gone

I hope you dance

Tom handed the microphone back to the bandleader and walked over to his wife. He held out his arms and she walked into them. With their unborn son nestled between then, they danced. 
 
 

The End
 
 

Canít Help Falling in Love by Elvis Presley

I Hope You Dance by Lee Ann Womack