Author's note: This is more of a fragment than a story, but call it
what you like. Caution--I wrote this while suffering from a serious cold--it
was the only thing to distract me from my coughing till the Nyquil kicked

Dedication: To PJs for her wonderful poem and allowing me to borrow it
and to Kim (aka Fever) just 'cause. :)

Disclaimer: I'll quote Em Wycedee - Paramount owns the franchise, the
characters, and more of my soul than they should.

Warning: Paris angst alert. Those of you who hate seeing Helmboy
suffer, stop here.

by Cheile

It has been four years since we have been out here--four years trying
to make it back home.

Over time, the days have become easier. I have true friends now and
being around them makes the time go by faster. I don't mind the days at
all anymore.

It is the nights I dread.

The tears in my heart are flooding my soul
All the years of pain are washing over me

Dark moods I have tried so hard to shed
Creep slowly from the abyss of my life

During the day, there's always something to occupy my mind. But at
night, the darkness presses in on me. The demons of my past return to
haunt me.

People who pretended to be my friend, only to abandon me when I needed
them. Those who hated me and delighted in seeing me suffer. My father,
whose respect and love I longed for and never got. My mother, who was
forced by my father to stand by and do nothing, who cried for me, her
only son.

False friends who could not wait to discard me
Enemies who celebrated my fall
Shunned by the father I disgraced
Mourned by the mother who loved me

The darkness presses in, haunts me. There's no escape. I struggle
alone, desperate for respite, never getting it. Sometimes, I want to
die, for I feel it could be the only escape from this hell. No one is
there to help me, no one understands, or even cares.
No one.

In my sleep the darkness surrounds me
Each night I fight the battle all alone
When will my very being surrender
Forsaking this life to seek final rest

*We'll teach the admiral's brat to cross us....*
*You're a failure, Thomas--nothing but a failure. You're not even
worthy of the Paris name....*

*"No!"* I cried in my mind. *"Go away!"*

But they showed me no mercy, continuing to mock me.

"No! Leave me alone!"

*You're a failure, a worthless failure....*

"No!" I cried again. "*No*!"


The nightmare began to recede. A warm pair of arms circled me, pulling
me against something soft and warm.

"Tom, don't be afraid. I'm right here."

The beloved voice began to drive away the demons. As I grew closer to
wakefulness, the voice and the warmth became familiar.

My eyes opened. Dark chocolate eyes gazed back worriedly into mine.

"It's all right. I'm here. I won't leave you."

Letting out a sigh, I allow her to pull me closer. I wrap my arms
around her.

"Go back to sleep, Tom. I won't leave you."

A hand brushes over my hair. A kiss is pressed against my forehead.
As I drift back to sleep, I realize that someone is there for me now.
Someone to hold me close. Someone who will help me drive the demons
away for good. Someone who loves me. That someone is B'Elanna.

As I struggle against the night demons
Two warm arms pull me close and comfort me
Holding me safely through the long cold night
Brown eyes that promise to love me always

Legal B.S. Paramount owns the copyright, I babysit. Copyright March 3,
1998, by Cheile. Comments -