Disclaimer - Paramount and Viacom
own the characters from Voyager, although they didnít often treat them
right. The story line belongs to me.
BíElanna Torres slowly opened her
eyes. It was dark in the room and she wondered what had awakened her. She
rolled onto her left side and found an empty space where her husband, Tom
Paris, usually slept.
Slowly, BíElanna sat up in bed and
listened in the darkness. She heard Tomís voice from the living quarters
of their cabin. Rising from the bed, she walked quietly into the other
room. Tom was faintly silhouetted by the star light coming in the viewport.
He was staring into the starscape.
"Admiral, itís good to see you again.
No...no.... thatís not right. Well, Dad, itís been almost ten years. How
are you?" BíElanna walked up quietly behind Tom and gently slipped her
arms around his waist.
"Youíre still nervous about today?
Itíll be fine, Tom. He loves you. You know that."
"I....I guess so. Itís just that
we havenít really spoken since he threw me out of our house after I was
discharged from Starfleet." Tom answered as he turned around in her embrace
and kissed her forehead ridges.
BíElanna tilted her head up and brought
her arms up around his neck. She pulled his head down and captured Tomís
mouth with hers. Tom put his arms on BíElannaís shoulders and returned
the kiss. "Letís go back to bed. Weíre on duty in two hours." BíElanna
said as she slowly led him back into the bedroom.
Tom entered the turbolift after leaving
his quarters. "Bridge." he commanded the computer. ĎWhy am I so nervous
about a simple talk with my family?í Tom thought as the turbolift started
It was just over six weeks since
the crew began to talk with their families through the Transgalactic Com
Link. Seven and Harry had thought of bouncing a Tachyon beam across the
quantum singularity which afforded them the opportunity to speak directly
to the Alpha Quadrant. Neelix had handed out the 146 isolinear chips. One
for each member of the crew. Tom drew number 6 but had traded with Harry
who drew number 130. Harry was so anxious to speak with his parents and
Tom was in no hurry to face his family. They were only able to access the
link for 11 minutes a day so, only a few crew members could speak with
their families each day.
Suddenly, the six weeks were over
and it was Tomís turn to receive a call from home. Now that the day was
actually here, Tom was not sure if he wanted to go through with it.
Tom entered the bridge and took his
station at the helm. The first half of his shift was uneventful and his
relief pilot appeared at his side before he knew it. "Join you for lunch?"
Harry asked, as they left the bridge.
"Sure, Harry." Tom quietly replied.
Harry could see that something was bothering his friend but wasnít sure
if Tom wanted to talk about it. He often kept things inside when he was
upset. They rode quietly to deck 5 and headed to the mess hall for lunch.
Neelix was bustling around behind
the counter, stirring several large pots on his stove. "Is that Plinka
Rind Stew, Neelix?" Harry asked as they approached the counter.
"Oh yes, Mr. Kim. I know it is one
of your favorites. Iím also working on a surprise for dinner."
"Arenít most of your dishes surprises?"
Tom questioned the affable cook with a small smile on his face.
"Why, Tom, one would think that you
donít appreciate my cooking." Neelix grinned at the two men as he served
up ladles of the stew. They took their trays and went to a small table
next to the viewport.
"So, todayís the day you get a call
from home." Harry remarked as they began to eat.
"Yeah. Todayís it." Tom answered
with an apprehensive look on his face. "I donít know what to say or if
Iím up to facing them after all this time. I havenít seen anyone since
"Itíll be fine, Tom. Just tell them
how you are now and listen to their news."
"Thatís just what BíElanna said this
Harryís com badge chirped suddenly.
"Ensign Kim, please report to Astrometrics. I require your assistance."
came Sevenís voice. Harry gave Tom a faint smile as he got up and left
the mess hall.
Tom quietly resumed eating his lunch.
He was pushing the food around on his plate when Neelix came up to the
table. "May I join you, Lt.?"
"Sure, Neelix. Have a seat."
"Lt., I noticed how quiet you were
earlier. Lt. Torres told me, this morning, that today you get your call
"I guess the whole ship must know
that itís my turn today." Tom answered softly.
"If Iím not being too bold, Lt. Torres
also said that you were uneasy about it."
"Yeah, I am. Itís been almost ten
years since Iíve spoken to anyone in my family. I wasnít exactly the favored
son when I last saw them. I donít know what Iím going to say to them."
"Tom, theyíre your family. No matter
what happened in the past it doesnít change that. Youíre a fine officer
and a good man. They know that and they love you. Just tell them that you
love them too. Not having a family to go back to, I know how important
family is. Reach out to them and I know theyíll reach back to you."
Neelix put his hand on Tomís shoulder
as he stood to return to the kitchen. "Thank you, Neelix. Youíre a good
Tom stood, took his tray to the recycler
and left the mess hall. As he neared the turbolift, his com badge chirped.
"Lt. Paris, could you please report to sick bay." the Doctorís voice requested.
Tom entered the turbolift. "Sick
bay." he instructed the computer.
Tom entered sick bay to find BíElanna
sitting on the edge of a biobed. "Are you OK?" he asked as he rushed over
"Lt. Torres is just fine." The Doctor
stated as he returned to the biobed. "I just wanted to inform you both
that the latest scans reveal that the pregnancy will likely be longer than
I first anticipated."
"What!" BíElanna exclaimed. "You
already said that it would be longer than normal Klingon pregnancies. Now
youíre telling me it will be even longer?"
"Iím sorry, Lt., but it does look
that way." the Doctor replied as he walked towards his office. Tom held
BíElannaís hands with his and leaned his forehead against hers.
"Weíll get through this, ...together."
"Just like weíll get through your
call this evening, Tom. You supported me when I spoke to my father. Now,
itís my turn to stand with you." BíElanna gave Tom a quick kiss on the
cheek and got off the biobed. "I have to go back to engineering. See you
at 1700 hours?"
"Yeah, 1700 hours."
"Lt. Paris, may I speak with you
a moment?" the Doc asked as he came out of his office.
"Sure, Doc. What is it? Youíre sure
"Yes, sheís just fine. Itís you Iím
worried about. Youíve been much too quiet the past few days. Iím beginning
to miss your acerbic wit."
"Iím fine, Doc. Just have something
on my mind."
"Maybe I could help, if youíre willing
to talk about it?"
"My number came up today. My call
from home and Iím not sure if I want to go through with it."
"Mr. Paris, Iíve seen how the crew
has looked forward to their time with their families. Surely you want to
speak with your parents, let them know all the things youíve been doing
over the past seven years, and introduce them to your wife."
"Yeah..... sure, Doc. I want to do
all of those things but Iím not sure how much they want to talk to me."
"They would not be making the call
if they did not want to see and talk to you. You, at least, have family
to speak to. I only had that unscrupulous publisher."
"But that was resolved, Doc. You
were found to be an artist with complete control over your work. You did
find another publisher, didnít you?"
"Yes, I did and the revised work
will be published soon. Tom, I respect you as an officer and value you
as a friend. Go through with the call and give your family a chance to
know the new you that everyone here on Voyager knows."
The Doc put his hand on Tomís shoulder
as they walked to the doors. "Thanks, Doc. Iíll do that. See you tomorrow
for Alpha shift."
Tom walked to the turbolift and headed
back to the bridge. ĎI guess everyone is right. I need to give them a chance
just like Iíve been given one. I wonder if Dad will be there too.í Tom
thought as the doors opened onto the bridge and he walked down to take
his place at the helm.
BíElanna came around the corner and
looked toward the doors of Astrometrics. She saw Tom leaning against the
wall, his arms folded across his chest and his eyes closed. "Hi. Itís almost
1700. Are you ready to go in?" She greeted her husband and took his hands
Tom opened his eyes and gave her
a slight smile as he answered. "Yeah, might as well get this over with."
They waited until the doors opened
and an Ensign from telemetry passed them. Holding Tomís hand, BíElanna
gently pulled him into Astrometrics. Seven stood at the back console. "Good
afternoon, Lts. Your call is starting to come through, Lt. Paris. You have
"Thank you, Seven." he replied hesitantly.
Tom and BíElanna approached the view
screen and he unconsciously assumed a position of attention. The static
on the screen cleared and two women could be seen, seated on a royal blue
couch in a very comfortable looking room. They were similar in appearance
with familiar blue eyes, soft blonde hair and nervous smiles on their faces.
The older womanís eyes began to tear as she reached her hand out to the
image of her son. "Oh, Tom, you look so good."
Tomís face paled, as he gripped BíElannaís
hand tightly. "M...Mom...." he whispered. "You look wonderful. Iíve missed
"Weíve missed you too, Tom, ...so
very much. ....... So, ....this must be BíElanna. Welcome, dear, to the
Paris family." Elizabeth Paris looked warmly at BíElanna.
"Thank you, Mrs. Paris." BíElanna
replied with a small smile on her face.
"Please, call me Elizabeth, dear."
Tom found his voice and, smiling
at his mother, said. "Yes, Mom, this is my wife. The woman who tamed your
wild son. BíElanna that beautiful woman sitting next to my mother is my
"Tommy, you look great!" Moira exclaimed.
"Sorry Kathleen couldnít be here. She wanted to come but the doctors at
Starfleet Medical wouldnít let her leave."
"Sheís OK, isnít she?" Tom asked
with a worried look on his face. Kathleen and Tom were the nearest in age,
when they were growing up, and he felt a certain closeness to her.
"Oh, sheís just fine. She gave birth
to twins yesterday morning."
"Yes, she and Patrick have been married
for three years now. The twins are as healthy as can be. Thereís one of
each. Jennifer Elizabeth and Thomas Patrick OíBrien. ..... Oh, Tommy, we
thought you were dead. Kathleen and Patrick promised each other that if
they ever had a son, they would name him after you." Moira stated, with
tears in her eyes.
"OíBrien?" Tom questioned.
"Yes, he has a brother on DS9, Miles
OíBrien." "Heís their chief engineer."
BíElanna spoke up. "Iíve met him
"Thatís right. Patrick said his older
brother was an engineer. Patrick is a muscian just like Kathleen. They
perform in the San Francisco Symphony, right here in town."
BíElanna could feel Tomís breathing
slow and his hand relax, as he talked with his sister. "Tommy, I have to
go now. I have a transport waiting. I have to be at the Mars base tonight."
"So, youíre still on archeological
"Sort of, Tommy."
"Moiraís in charge of this latest
dig, Tom." Elizabethís pride in her daughterís accomplishments coming through
in her voice.
"Bye, Sis. I love you."
"Love you too, Tommy. Hurry home,
both of you."
"Well, Tom. Let me just look at you.
I swear you look even taller than the last time I saw you."
"That was at my trial, Mom. I donít
think I was standing quite so straight back then." Tom answered with a
slight trace of bitterness in his voice.
"Tom, all of that is in the past.
Weíve read the reports from your EMH about all youíve accomplished in the
past seven years. Weíre all so very proud of you, Tom."
"All of you? Wh....whereís Dad?"
Once again, Tomís hand squeezed BíElannaís tightly.
"He wasnít sure if you wanted to
speak with him, Tom. Heís afraid to face you after your argument."
"Argument!! Mom, he threw me out
of our house. He told me to never come back. That he no longer had a son."
Tomís voice began to rise and he stepped back from the view screen.
"Tom, thatís in the past. He regrets
what happened between you two. He loves you, Tom."
A low beep sounded from the console
and Seven turned to Tom. "One minute left Lt."
"Thank you, Seven." Tom could hear
Moiraís voice in the background telling someone to sit down now because
there wasnít much time left. He let out a small gasp and his hand trembled
slightly in BíElannaís as an older version of himself slowly sat down next
to Elizabeth. Steel blue eyes looked back at steel blue eyes. "Admiral,
youíre looking well."
"Thomas." his father stated.
Elizabeth looked at both of the Paris
men and whispered to her husband. "Now is not the time to be a stubborn,
old fool. Heís your son. Let him know that."
"Tom, Iím so sorry."
"Dad, Iím sorry." both men spoke
at the same time. Tomís grip on BíElannaís hand tightened as he looked
at his parents for the first time in almost ten years.
"I was wrong, Son. You didnít deserve
to be treated like I did. Then, we thought you were dead. Well, I thought
you were dead. Your Mother always believed you were alive and would be
coming home to us again." His fatherís eyes began to tear as he looked
with pride at his youngest child.
"Dad, itís OK. Itís over now."
A low beep alerted them to Seven,
at the console. "Iím sorry, Lt. you have 20 seconds left."
"Son, I love you and Iím proud of
you." Owen Paris looked into his sonís face with a sad expression.
"I...I love you too, Dad." Tom replied
as the screen faded into static.
Tom and BíElanna slowly walked out
of Astrometrics with her arm around his waist and his around her shoulders.
"Do you think he heard me? The transmission shut off so quickly."
"Of course he did. Even if he didnít,
Tom, he knows you love him and now, you know he loves you too."
"Yeah, I guess he does."
"Iím actually looking forward to
the next round of calls." BíElanna said as she turned into the turbolift.
"Me too. ....Computer, mess hall."