Author: Julie Evans
Series: VOY, Scenes From a Marriage
Summary: A brief coda to "Prophecy." Also part of the "Scenes From a
Disclaimer: Star Trek and its characters are the property of
Paramount/Viacom. I am borrowing them for fun only, not profit.
Archiving: Okay to archive to ASC, PT Collective archive, and BLTS.
All others please ask author for permission.
by Julie Evans
"Put it on the list."
B'Elanna had a small smile on her face as she spoke those words, and
Tom smiled back at her amused but genuine assent to his suggestion that
they consider Kuva'mach as a name for their daughter. He was kidding,
since he thought their daughter might prefer to have a name that was a
little less weighty, but he understood the significance of B'Elanna's
receptiveness to a Klingon name. He reached into the cradle and tucked
in one edge of the baby blanket, and then let his fingers linger for a
moment on the soft cotton. "It's getting to be a long list. We'll have to
pick one eventually."
B'Elanna shrugged. "There's no need to rush. She'll have her name
forever, and I want it to be right."
Tom's sentiment exactly. "What about giving her a middle name?" he
suggested. "Even though it's not a Klingon tradition, it would reflect her
human heritage. Then she could have a Klingon and a human name."
"We can consider that too," B'Elanna said as she folded over the top
"Maybe a family name,'' Tom said. "A middle name can be carried
B'Elanna looked up at him suspiciously. "I hope you're not thinking
about *your* middle name."
Tom frowned. "Hey, what's wrong with the feminine version of my
middle name? I kind of like Eugenia."
B'Elanna rolled her eyes. "Tom..."
"Thomasina?" Tom offered drolly.
B'Elanna snorted. Tom patted her shoulder as he moved around her.
"Okay, we'll leave those ones off the list." He checked the base of the
mobile, and flicked the Klingon ship with a finger. It swung back and
"You do know that Klingon battle cruisers are not pink."
Tom grinned at B'Elanna's dry observation. "Federation starships aren't
blue either. But I think she'll like it anyway."
B'Elanna stopped the gentle motion of the Klingon cruiser with her
hand. "I'm sure she'll be fascinated." She studied the little ship for a
moment. "It is a cute mobile, Tom." She looked at him with a wry
smile on her face. "Trust you to think of it."
Tom decided that was a compliment. "She won't be able to play with
her bat'leth for a while, so she'll need something to entertain herself."
B'Elanna shook her head. "A bat'leth's not a toy, Tom," she admonished
"I know." He looked at the razor sharp edge on the bat'leth hanging on
the wall. "It was quite a gesture from Kohlar, giving our daughter his
"She is the savior of his people," B'Elanna reminded him.
Tom smiled at the trace of sarcasm in her tone. "True, but I think it was
a more personal gesture. I think he did it because he admired the baby's
B'Elanna held Tom's keen gaze for several moments before she said
softly, "I came to admire him quite a lot too."
It was the first time Tom had ever heard B'Elanna express admiration for
a Klingon, except for her mother in rare and generally oblique
references. "He's an honorable man. I wish I'd had the time to get to
know him better. All of them."
"Even T'Greth?" B'Elanna asked.
Tom shrugged. "He wasn't so bad."
"He was a little typical."
"Typical?" Tom shook his head at her dismissive assessment.
"Klingons come in all varieties, just like humans. Otherwise you would
have chased me like Ch'Rega chased Harry, instead of the other way
B'Elanna's eyes narrowed at his teasing grin. "Well, I could still do
without all the macho posturing. Which *you* contributed to, by the
way, accepting a death challenge."
Tom knew she was still a little irritated about that. He repeated what
he'd already said, though he knew she didn't entirely buy it. "I didn't
have much choice. I couldn't back down if I wanted to earn their
"It's not worth risking your life--"
"I think it is."
B'Elanna stared at him, nonplused. "Tom--"
"You are part Klingon, B'Elanna, and so is our daughter. They're your
people, and I'm your husband, so that makes them my people too, in a
sense. It is important to me to be accepted and respected by them."
B'Elanna looked at him consideringly for a moment. "You don't have go
into testosterone overload to be accepted by them."
Tom's lips quirked. "Don't worry, it comes naturally to me."
B'Elanna shook her head at her husband's unabashed tone. It was true.
She'd never thought about it before, but Tom at times acted a lot like a
Klingon. It wasn't just the fact that he was brash and pigheaded, and had
an occasional tendency to boast. He also stood fast in the face of a
threat, and he was fiercely loyal to those he cared about. She was
momentarily startled at her easy attribution of positive traits to Klingons,
though she'd begun to realize that she'd judged them too narrowly. And
she wondered what it meant that she had fallen in love with a man who
had more than a few traits in common with them--
"Besides, I really didn't like what T'Greth said to you, B'Elanna." Tom
was frowning. "I know you can defend yourself, but it made me mad."
"So I noticed," B'Elanna said dryly. She looked at him curiously. "Did
you know that the captain wouldn't let you fight a death battle?"
"It certainly is against Starfleet regulations, and the captain can be a
stickler about that," Tom said. "If I had thought about it for any length
of time, I would have realized that she'd intercede. But I didn't accept
T'Greth's challenge thinking that I'd just get out of it in the end anyway.
I *would* have fought him."
B'Elanna didn't doubt he would have followed through with it if the
captain hadn't intervened. "I've never doubted your courage, Tom. You
don't have to prove it to me by getting yourself killed."
Tom shook his head. "You really don't think I could have won, do
"Tom, you're human, and you have very little experience with the
bat'leth. T'Greth is a Klingon, and he's spent most of his life using a
bat'leth. So, no, I don't think you could have beaten him." B'Elanna
squeezed his arm and added reassuringly, "But I didn't marry you for
your brute strength."
"For your endurance, maybe..."
Tom eyebrows rose at her implication. "My...endurance, huh?"
B'Elanna's lips curved a little, but she just said, "You lasted quite a while
with T'Greth. I was impressed."
"I was getting tired at the end," Tom said. "If he hadn't collapsed from
the virus he would have had me soon enough."
B'Elanna shrugged. "You held your own, especially for someone who'd
only handled a bat'leth once before for just a few minutes."
Tom was surprised at B'Elanna's reference to the only other time he'd
handled a bat'leth. When Tuvok had mentioned a suitable training
program, Tom had glanced at her, but had been saved from a response
by Kohlar's offer to train him. "I did practice for several hours with
Kohlar," he reminded her. "And you know I've always been more than
willing to explore Klingon culture with you."
B'Elanna nodded. "I know." It was she who had long been...well,
hostile to the concept, as Tom had once correctly accused her. "I guess
some of it isn't so bad. The prayer for the dead, for instance. I'd
forgotten that it actually is a...comforting tradition." She'd been
momentarily disconcerted by the sense of connection and solace she'd
felt at just saying those words again. During the years she'd expunged
everything Klingon from her life she'd lost that feeling, and had
forgotten that Klingons, including her mother, sought out that spiritual
renewal every day.
"Whatever Klingon traditions you want to pursue, B'Elanna, you know
I'm all for it," Tom told her earnestly. "I may not be Klingon, but I'm
willing to join you in any of them."
"I'll hold you to that," B'Elanna said. She knew of several traditions her
husband would embrace eagerly. She smiled. "You may not be
Klingon, Tom, but the Klingons accepted you, even T'Greth. And
Kohlar told me I had chosen a worthy husband."
Tom couldn't help feeling very pleased, but he just replied facetiously, "I
guess he didn't base his judgment on my bat'leth skills."
B'Elanna chuckled. "Probably not."
"Hopefully your family will feel the same way one day," Tom said."
"They will," B'Elanna said, without hesitation. She looked down at the
cradle, and ran her hand over the polished wood. Everything in it was in
place. "I guess this is as ready as it's going to get."
Tom nodded as B'Elanna stepped back, but he didn't join her
immediately. Instead he brushed his fingers over the carefully folded
and tucked blankets again, and a brief, gentle smile touched his lips.
"What are you thinking?" B'Elanna asked, though she knew. The same
thing she thought about whenever she looked at the cradle.
Tom looked up, the tenderness still in his eyes. "I'm imagining our
daughter curled up here in a few months."
B'Elanna pressed her hand to the small mound of her belly, and said
softly, "It's a nice thought."
Tom nodded and moved to join her, his expression sobering suddenly.
"Do you remember when I said that nothing had ever scared me as much
as hearing that our baby had a problem, even though it turned out to be a
small problem?" He continued before she could respond, his voice
taking on a rough edge. "I spoke too soon. It was nothing compared to
the terror I felt when the doctor told us that you and the baby both had
B'Elanna slipped her arms around Tom's waist and hugged him, letting
her cheek rest against his shoulder. "That turned out to be a small
problem in the end, too," she reminded him gently.
"Thank God," Tom said, his voice almost a whisper. After the doctor
had given them the bad news he'd spent the rest of that day at the helm
feeling powerless--getting alternately hot with fury at the Klingons for
bringing the virus onboard, and cold with dread over the thought of
losing B'Elanna and their daughter. He hugged his wife now and spoke
against her hair, "When you called me from sickbay and told me the
doctor had found a cure in the baby's antibodies...well, I've never felt so
incredibly relieved in my life."
B'Elanna looked up at him and smiled with deliberate nonchalance. "We
survived the Nehret and a bat'leth challenge, and we're still here, same as
always. That never changes."
Tom nodded and gave her a grateful smile in return. "Our life is pretty
damned good, isn't it?"
"I don't have any complaints," B'Elanna said. Then she amended, "Well,
Tom looked concerned. "What?"
Tom grinned. "Is that a hint that *I* should make dinner?"
"You are quite an expert with the replicator," B'Elanna said dryly as she
turned him toward the dining area, keeping one arm around his waist.
She pressed her free hand momentarily to the small of her back.
"Backache?" Tom asked.
"A minor twinge," B'Elanna said dismissively. "It's nothing. It goes
with the territory."
Tom knew she'd just recently started feeling the effects of the baby's
weight on her back, especially after working in engineering all day. "If
*you* fix dinner, I'll give you a back rub after."
His offer was suspiciously close to blackmail, and B'Elanna glared at
him briefly while he just smirked back. Still, she knew a good offer
when she heard one. Among Tom's many talents, he would have made a
great masseur. "Deal."
"I'll set the table," Tom offered gallantly as they walked toward the
B'Elanna gave his butt a firm pat. "That's very sweet of you."
A minute later Tom was arranging their red china on the table. "What
do you really think about giving our daughter a family name?"
"I'm open to the idea," B'Elanna said as she carried the salads to the
table. "We already put a few on the list. I do like your grandmother's
name, Mikaela. And Amanda...a great-grandmother, right?"
"Right," Tom said as he moved over to the replicator. He picked up one
of the steaming serving bowls and breathed in the aroma of beef tips in
burgundy sauce. "Ummm, smells good. What about your female
"We talked about Isabel," B'Elanna reminded him.
Tom took the bowl of glazed carrots from her and set it on the table.
"The grandmother who made you banana pancakes."
"Yes." B'Elanna had told Tom a little about her father's mother. Losing
contact with her human grandparents had been another painful
consequence of her father's desertion.
"What about your Klingon grandmother?" Tom asked as he pulled out
B'Elanna watched Tom walk around the table and take his seat before
she spoke, her voice rueful. "I guess I've never really talked about her,
Tom shook his head. Besides her mother, she'd told him almost nothing
about her Klingon family. "No," he answered her question, his voice
mild. He picked up one of the serving bowls and began to fill their
plates. "But I'd love to hear about her."
B'Elanna was silent for several moments as Tom set a plate in front of
her. He looked at her expectantly, and she began to speak softly, "Her
name was Linan. She was the daughter of Krellek..."
While they ate B'Elanna spoke in detail of her Klingon family, recalling
those memories that she realized with mild surprise were more good
than bad. She shared them with her husband for the first time--the first
time she'd shared them with anyone.
Late the next afternoon Tom walked into their quarters. He knew
B'Elanna wouldn't be there since she was scheduled for a double shift.
She'd been putting in fewer of those lately, since Voyager's systems had
managed to stay in good working order over the past several weeks. He
worried a little that she was pushing herself too hard, but she was
perfectly healthy, and he knew she wasn't going to slow down any more
than she absolutely had to.
Their quarters brightened as the door closed behind him. The first thing
that caught his eye was the cradle, and he smiled. He liked seeing it
there every time he came home now, with the little ships dangling over
it. It gave him a deep sense of contentment.
The second thing he noticed as his eyes automatically scanned the room
was the bulky object lying on the bed, wrapped in some sort of paper.
His brow creased as he moved to the bed, and then his mouth dropped
He couldn't fail to recognize the shape under the white paper. A bat'leth.
He glanced at Kohlar's bat'leth, still hanging on the wall. For a brief
second he wondered how the one on the bed had gotten there. Then he
smiled as he reached over and picked up the bat'leth. It could only be
He hefted the still wrapped bat'leth with one hand, feeling its weight,
and then noticed the small data recorder resting on the bed. It had been
obscured by the bat'leth, and he retrieved it with his free hand. There
was an audio message notification flashing on the screen. He pressed
the retrieval button, and dropped the recorder back onto the bed. He
started tearing the paper from the bat'leth as B'Elanna's voice spilled out.
"Since you were so enamored with Kohlar's bat'leth, I thought you might
like this. I found the specifications still filed in the computer. I figured
you should start practicing if you're going to help teach our daughter
when she's old enough. Or if you decide to accept any more Klingon
Tom smiled at the sardonic tone in B'Elanna's voice as he tossed the
paper on the floor.
"Once the baby's born, maybe we can try out that old program of yours
Tom smiled wider. He'd always regretted the abrupt termination of their
"I'll be home late, since I'm working a double shift. And you know what
*that* means, so maybe you'd better use your holodeck time tonight to
start refining your defensive moves."
Tom grinned at the mock snarl in her voice. He hadn't been sure she'd
heard his comment to T'Greth, since she hadn't called him on it.
Obviously she had.
He swung the bat'leth in an experimental arc as the recorder clicked off.
He recognized the feel of it. It was one of the two bat'leths he'd
replicated for that training program he'd all but tricked her into
participating in nearly four years ago when she'd lost a bet to him. It
was a bet he'd deliberately manipulated--not that he'd actually cheated,
he'd just made sure he knew the answer beforehand. She hadn't wanted
to do the program at all, and their match had lasted all of ten minutes
before she'd stormed out of the holodeck. He'd recycled both bat'leths
the next day.
He ran a finger carefully over the sharp edge of the bat'leth. A lot of
things had changed since that day, not the least of which was B'Elanna's
attitude toward her Klingon heritage. He'd been fascinated by it from
the beginning, but she'd rebuffed nearly all his early efforts to get her
interested. Though he'd never lost interest in that side of her heritage,
he'd finally quit pushing her on the subject. He knew now that he should
never have pushed her at all. B'Elanna had needed to accept her heritage
on her own terms. It had been a slow, difficult journey for her--it still
was--but she was coming to appreciate and value that part of herself.
He was genuinely happy for her, and for their daughter.
And for himself, Tom admitted silently. He wanted to share in all of
B'Elanna's life, and in all that their daughter's life would be.
Tom recalled the comment Kohlar had made while they'd been training
with the bat'leths. Kohlar had told Tom that he was a lucky man, and
while Tom had been momentarily distracted by that unexpected
comment, Kohlar had swung his bat'leth, knocking Tom off his feet. As
Tom had landed hard on his butt, Kohlar had growled and warned him
not to let anything pierce his concentration while he was wielding a
Later Tom had reflected on Kohlar's words that had initially startled
him, and the undercurrent in the Klingon's voice he'd recognized as
loneliness, and maybe envy. He knew that Klingons valued family even
above glory in battle, since glory was meaningless without the family on
which that glory was bestowed. It was no different than Vulcans
revering family even above logic. He knew Tuvok would find some
way to argue around that, but he'd seen and heard the depth of Tuvok's
devotion when he spoke of his wife or children. He supposed that was
one thing virtually every humanoid race had in common. Rarely was
anything held in higher regard than family. In that respect, Tom knew
Kohlar was right. He was a very lucky man.
Tom swung the bat'leth again, getting the feel for it as Kohlar had
instructed him, unable to keep a grin from spreading across his face. It
was an elegant weapon, heavy and powerful, yet graceful. He intended
to master it.
He wondered if the original program he'd designed four years ago was
still in the inactive files somewhere. If not, he'd just redesign it.
Tom strode into the corridor, bat'leth in hand. The car race he'd planned
tonight would have to wait. He headed for the holodeck, still smiling
broadly, well aware that what he'd said to B'Elanna last night was the
whole truth, on every level.
Oh yes, his life was damned good indeed.