Disclaimer - Paramount and Viacom own the characters from Voyager, although they didnít often treat them right. The story line belongs to me.
A special thanks to: My friend and editor of all my stories, Mill3rs.
Chapter 3 - Reflections
Seven watched as Tom and BíElanna
exited Astrometrics together. Tom was the last crew member to speak with
his family today. She shut down the view screen and looked at the logs
for the next day. The calls would start at 0900.
Seven could sense that Tomís call
had been quite emotional for him as well as his family. Both Tom and his
father had been constrained when they began to talk but ended the conversation
with apologies and admissions of love for each other.
Seven had talked about families and
past deeds with Tom when she had first come on board Voyager. Tom had said
that everyone had a past but it was what they made of themselves now that
Ď He was able to forgive his father
and tell him that he loved him.í she thought. Would she have been able
to forgive her father for bringing them into Borg space where they had
been assimilated? She hadnít thought of her parents in years. Now that
the crew was able to speak with their families on Earth, she felt a longing
for family. She had spoken with her Aunt and learned among other things
that she had always liked strawberries. Is that what families were about,
thoughts of childhood and shared memories?
The doors to Astrometrics slid open
softly. Nobody was scheduled to receive a call until tomorrow. Seven turned
to see Harry standing in the entrance gazing at her. He walked to her side
and slowly reached out to brush a single tear that trailed down her right
cheek. "Are you OK?" he asked kindly.
"Yes." she whispered. "Iím fine,
just a little tired. Itís been a long day with many crew members coming
in to talk with their families.
Harry took her in his arms for a
gentle hug then stood back. "I was just heading to the mess hall and stopped
to see if you would join me for dinner." he smiled hesitantly at her.
She looked into his dark eyes filled
with concern and gave him a tentative smile in return. "That would be agreeable.
I find that I am in need of nutritional supplements at this time." She
took his offered arm and walked out into the corridor, glancing back at
the view screen as the doors closed behind them.
Tom and BíElanna walked silently
back to their quarters. Tomís hand shook as he keyed in the entry code
at their door. It had been an emotional reunion with his family. BíElanna
broke the silence. "Do you want to eat dinner now?" she asked softly.
"Iím not really hungry but you need
to eat." he replied in a low voice. He moved to the view port and gazed
out at the starscape. BíElanna noted that he had returned to the same spot
she had found him in early that morning. He didnít hear her commands to
the replicator or sense when she came up behind him. She gently slipped
her arms around his waist and leaned against his back.
"Come sit down, youíve had a long
day." she took him by the hand and led him to the table. As he sat down,
he noticed a steaming mug of tomato soup and a plate with several peanut
butter and jelly sandwiches on it. Comfort foods Tom called them and his
wife knew he needed comfort at that moment.
Tom gave her a small smile as he
gathered her into his arms. "I must be the luckiest guy in the Delta Quadrant.
What did I do to deserve you?" he gave her a gentle kiss on her neck.
"Eat first, snuggle later, Tom."
she pressed him down into a chair and sat next to him. She took one of
the sandwiches and bit into it. She never understood his passion for peanut
butter but over the past year had gotten to like it almost as much as Tom.
She picked up her glass of milk, Ďgood for the babyí both Tom and the Doctor
had insisted. But why did it have to taste so strange?
Tom sipped the soup and absently
picked up one of the sandwiches. "Heís proud of me." barely a whisper as
if he was talking to himself. His gaze focused on another place and time.
BíElanna reached out and took his
chin in her hand and turned his face towards hers. "Yes, heís proud of
you and he loves you, Tom." He leaned into her touch. She looked into his
clear blue eyes. "Do you want to talk about the call?"
"Iím not sure if I can right now."
he replied quietly and they resumed their meal.
Harry and Seven entered the mess
hall and made their way down the serving line. Neelix had several choices
for dinner and they filled their trays. Choosing a corner table, the two
sat down and began to eat.
"The crew are very close to their
families." Seven noted wistfully as she looked into Harryís dark eyes.
"Yes, they are. Weíre a long way
from home and its been over seven years since weíve been able to speak
directly to our families." Harry replied as he returned her gaze. ĎSheís
so beautiful and seems so lonely.í He took her hands in his. "You have
family here as well as on Earth, Seven. People who care about you." He
gave her hands a gentle squeeze and released them.
She gave him an uncertain smile and
resumed eating. They finished their meal in silence and rose to leave the
mess hall. "Ensign Kim, I understand that you have been practicing a new
musical arrangement for your clarinet." Seven turned to Harry as they approached
A faint blush rose in Harryís cheeks.
"Yes, I am but who told you?"
"Lt. Paris informed me of it this
morning. Would it be OK if I was to listen to this arrangement?" Again,
she smiled slightly at him.
His face blushed even deeper but
a grin began to spread to his eyes as he answered. "Iíd be honored if you
would come and listen to me play."
They entered the turbolift and Harry
gave the command for the crewís quarters as the doors closed behind them.
Tom and BíElanna sat on the small
couch in their quarters. Tom sipped the Vulcan spiced tea he had replicated
after they finished eating. BíElanna held a steaming cup of Raktajino in
her hands. Tomís hands trembled slightly as he placed his cup on the table
in front of them. "I donít know what changed between my father and I. We
were so close when I was young."
BíElanna gave him a warm embrace
and gently rubbed his back in a soothing motion. "Tell me about him when
you were a boy."
His eyes sought the memories of happy
times spent together. "When I was five years old my father took me to Starfleet
headquarters and we flew shuttle programs. I flew a level 5 program and
kept having problems with the landing. He wanted to leave but I insisted
on staying until I could land the shuttle smoothly. We stayed and I did
it on the eighth or ninth attempt."
"A level 5." BíElanna asked in astonishment.
"Thatís something second year cadets are tested on."
"I think he would let me stay all
night until I landed it." a smile spread across Tomís face as he thought
back to that day......
"Once more, please, Daddy." Tom turned to his father. He wanted to land the shuttle simulation smoothly. They had been at this program for several hours. The five year old never seemed to tire when he was flying the Starfleet simulators. Captain Owen Paris was rightly proud of his son. The boy with the bright blue eyes had a natural touch for flying. He was working on a level 5 program which was usually taught in the second year at the Academy.
Owen smiled down at the blond haired boy in the pilotís seat. "OK, Tom but only one more time or your mother will have both our hides."
Tom landed the shuttle as smoothly as any cadet and the two walked to Owenís private transport. Tom snuggled against his father and was asleep when they reached home. Owen carried him into the house and faced his wifeís smiling face. She knew he indulged their youngest child but he also had high aspirations for Tom. As a Paris, he was expected to attend Starfleet Academy, graduate with honors, and become an Admiral like his grandfather and great grandfather before him.
Tomís thoughts returned to their quarters as BíElanna continued to slowly rub his back. He turned to her with pain filled eyes. "We were never so close as when I was flying." He got up and returned to the view port. "Things changed after he and Captain Janeway were captured by the Cardassians." His voice low and hesitant.
BíElanna came up to him and took
his hands in hers. "Thatís all in the past. Heís reaching out to you now,
Tom. You told me to try to forgive my father
Tom felt the baby kicking and enfolded
BíElanna into his arms in a warm hug. He slowly stopped trembling and let
her lead him to their bed. "Itís been a very long day and I think we all
need some rest. Computer, dim lights."
Tom entered the mess hall the next
morning at 0730 by himself. He picked up a breakfast tray and a cup of
coffee and sat at one of the tables by the view port. He was staring at
the starscape and holding the coffee cup in his hands when a familiar voice
"Good morning, Lieutenant. And where
is that lovely wife of yours?" Neelix asked with a smile on his face.
"BíElanna got called to engineering
about an hour ago. Sheíll stop by for breakfast when she gets a break."
The Talaxian noted that Tom did not
look as distressed as he had the morning before. "How was the talk with
your family yesterday?"
"Actually, Neelix, it went better
than I expected. My mother and older sister were there and I found out
that Iím an uncle. My sister, Kathleen, had twins and they named the boy
Thomas after me." Tom replied with a slight smile that even reached his
"An uncle, why thatís grand, Tom."
Neelix slapped Tom on the back. He then hesitated and asked quietly. "Did
you get to speak with your father, Tom?"
Tomís smile faded momentarily, replaced
by a wistful look. "Yes, we did get to talk for a very short time." Tom
glanced away and whispered "He told me that he was proud of me and that
he loved me." he looked back at Neelix with his eyes glistening.
Neelix placed his hand on Tomís shoulder
as he leaned in close. "Thatís wonderful, Tom. Iím glad that you were able
to speak with each other. Oneís family is to be treasured."
"Thank you, Neelix for encouraging
me yesterday. You were right, he did reach back. I know it will take time
for us to really communicate with each other but it was a good start."
Tom started to eat his food and glanced up as Harry entered the room.
Harry noticed Tom at his table and
picked up a tray. He selected some fruit, a large purple muffin, and coffee.
He walked over and sat across from Tom. "How did your talk go yesterday,
"It went well, Har. My mother looked
older but happy. My sister, Moira was with her and my sister, Kathleen,
just had twins." Tom replied.
"What about your father? Was he there?"
Tomís face clouded over momentarily
but then a small smile appeared. "Yeah, he was there. My sister made him
sit down and talk. We apologized for things weíd both done. Itíll take
some time but I think we might be OK." Tom suddenly grinned widely. "How
did Seven like your new composition?"
Harry blushed but a small smile spread
to his eyes. "She liked it very much. She told me the mathematical undertones
were appealing to her ear."
"Senior staff please report to my
ready room." The Captainís voice came over the comm system. The two friends
got up and put their trays in the recycler and headed for the corridor.