Pairing: P, J, O-P, C, P/T
SYNOPSIS: Set after Pathfinder, Tom
and his father get
Prior story in the *Among The
1) Standing Over The Sea, 2) Looking
Down, 3) Searching For
What Is Lost, 4) Finding Only Pieces,
5) Standing Up For
Oneself, 6) Knowing The Future,
7) Going To Extremes, 8) What
Came Between Them.
by Isabelle S.- Synbou@hotmail.com
"Forgiveness?" Tom echoed outraged.
"You're dreaming Dad,
because I'm never going to forgive
you for what you did. *You*
ruined my life! Okay, what I did
with it afterward wasn't that
great. But, *you* tried to have
me committed to mental hospital!"
The accusation fell on Kathryn,
Chakotay, and the Doctor like a
bomb. If it shocked Owen Paris,
the Admiral was quick to
"Yes, I did *admitted* you in psychiatry
for an evaluation," he
acknowledged holding his son's gaze.
"But I did *not* try to
have you committed to an institution.
Never did any of us ever
thought that you were crazy, Thomas.
But you needed help dealing
and accepting the accident the way
"You don't know how it happened,"
Tom remarked angrily.
"And I know for a fact that you're
still not sure either," his
father pointed out. "Yes, you may
have done a mistake. But,
Son, putting yourself into the place
of your friends and reliving
over and over what they might have
been through during their
final moments was not going to shade
more light on what really
Kathryn felt her blood run cold at
the mere thought of her
sensitive friend putting himself
through some much pain.
"You don't know that," Tom defended.
"Do you really think that you would
have found more answers?"
Tom remained silent.
It was obvious that the intensity
of the present argument was far
beyond the level of energy Tom had.
Kathryn felt that he was
starting to falter under her support.
The sudden rush of energy
that had ran through him at the
sight of his father was now
exhausted. Tom was totally defenseless
to the pain his old woods
were creating as they were reopened.
She helped him to leaned
back on the edge of the biobed.
Owen took advantage of this moment
of weakness to get even closer
to his son. Cornered by Kathryn
and the bed, Tom had no other
choice than to face the older man.
Kathryn stepped back as Owen
took his son by the shoulders.
"I'm not here to revive old quarrels,
Thomas," his father said
softly. "Unfortunately, we've grown
so distant physically and
emotionally in the last decade that
my being here was sure to do
just that. I am sorry, Son."
Tom slowly gazed up as his father
talked. He had that captive
look in his blue eyes, the one that
could reach your very soul
and send shivers up your spine.
No one was immune to it, not
even the dreaded Admiral Owen Paris.
The older man faced his son in silence
for moment, fighting to
keep is countenance.
"How did you get here?" Tom eventually
asked as thought he was
finally realizing and accepting
his father's presence.
"Pathfinder. It's a complicate story,"
"I'll wait for the movie to come
out," Tom remarked. He sighed as
he shook his head. *Why*?!"
"I *had* to see you," his father
"I guess that it's another good stupid
way to go," Tom commented
not too impressed.
"Now, look who's talking! I suppose
giving yourself a stroke was
smarter?" his father challenged.
"I *had* a good reason," Tom defended.
"And I didn't?" Owen snorted. "Kid,
wait until you get children
of your own."
"I don't see that happening anytime
soon," Tom replied snorting
back. He met his father's gaze once
again with a sudden insight.
"You were scared for me," he stated
a bit surprised.
"Well of course I was scared for
you, Thomas. You're my son.
When I heard of what you had done
to help young Naomi, I felt
myself suddenly thrown in the past,
reliving at the same moment
the call I had received form the
captain of The Exeter after you
had 'mind-melded' with a Betazoid.
I feared the worst. I
remembered how bad it got in the
past. It almost killed you
twice before. This time, when the
Doctor told me that you were
in a type 4 coma, I had to come.
I had to see you alive, even if
it was even barely. I could *not*
loose you again without
telling you that I love you, that
I never stopped loving you."
Tom put a finger onto his father's
"It's okay, now," he whispered. "I'm
okay. I always loved you
too. You don't have be scared anymore."
He brushed away his father's tears.
"I never seen you cry
before," Tom pointed out.
"That's not true. You saw me cry
before. You even cried with me
to help me get better. Remember?"
Tom gave his father's question some
thoughts. "I don't know
anymore. I'm confuse," he admitted.
"I'm too tired."
Owen squeezed his son's shoulders
as their blue eyes met.
Owen smiled as he pulled his son
into a hug.
Kathryn walked into the Mess Hall,
where she knew she could find
Tom and Owen Paris.
It had been almost a week since Admiral
Paris had arrived into
the Delta Quadrant for what would
turn out to be a one month
stay. Tom, on his part, had been
released from Sickbay four days
before and was now back on regular
It was Kathryn Janeway's greatest
joy to see the father and the
son share some time together, making
amends. Beneath the mutual
anger and resentment, Tom and Owen
Paris had obviously never
stopped loving one another and wanting
each other's approval.
In those few days, Kathryn had noticed
Owen relax his stern
demeanor. He was smiling a lot more,
bringing a glee in his blue
eyes that Kathryn had not seen there
for a very long time. She
knew Tom had also saw it and the
effect it had on the young man
was even more heartwarming.
Tom had finally found what he had
been looking for all his adult
life: his father's approbation.
It had been there for years,
although it had never been said.
Owen was proud of what Tom had
become, of what he had done, and
of what he was doing. The older
man open and sincere emotions were
felt more strongly each day by
his empathic son. Obviously, Owen
had learned, or should she
say, relearned to deal with Tom's
gifted sensitivity. In response,
Tom had magically blossomed, like
a rose on a bright early sunny morning.
"When did you say we would be able
to send you to the Alpha
Quadrant?" Kathryn heard Tom asked
his father on an annoyed tone.
The admiral snorted.
On the other end, Kathryn remarked
as an afterthought, it could
turn out to be a long three weeks.
"Kathryn," Owen greeted as he noticed
her presence. "Please,
have sit. Thomas was about to tell
me what had brought him to
"No, I was not," Tom contradicted.
"You never give up, do you?"
"I'm here, aren't I?" his father
A blush crept upon Tom's cheeks.
He smiled with embarrassment.
"You're not gonna like this," Tom
"Seeing how adamant you've been to
answer my questions, I already
figured that much. Still, I would
like to know why you were in
Lankl's most dangerous part of town.
Please, don't tell me it
was faith, President Haral already
gave me that one."
Tom chuckled. "The president is a
"Yes, he is, and he was lucky as
hell to have you cross his path
and save his life that night."
Weraq had joined the Federation quite
recently. Its membership
could not be more than ten or twelve
years old. Kathryn had
heard about the attempt made on
the president's life, prior to
The idea that Tom had been on the
planet during such a time of
turmoil was intriguing, but surely
not out of character. The
fact that he had saved the life
of a man who would become one the
most influential figure of the Federation
in a short period of
time was even more captivating.
Needless to say that she wanted
to know what had brought the young
man to Lankl as well.
"I didn't do much," Tom shrugged.
"I was at the right place at
the right time."
*Of course, he had been,* Kathryn
reflected. *Tom always knows
where to find trouble.*
"Not according to him," Owen pointed
"Oh? What did the President told
you about me?"
Kathryn, seeing how far this conversation
could be going, leaned
toward the Admiral. "Bring him back
to your question before he
leads you too far away from it,"
she urged him.
"Yes, a judicious advice, My Dear,"
he replied with a wink
She returned his smile.
"Well?" they both prompted the younger
"Well, I was in this particular part
of town because I needed a
cheep place to stay."
"You could have come home," Owen
"Yeah, right," Tom replied rolling
"Why Weraq?" Kathryn asked hoping
to do some damage control
before the two men took another
Tom shrugged again. "I had found
a job," Tom answered her
It could be darn annoying when Tom
Paris was deciding to be
uncooperative. He could test one's
patience until its very
limits, and Kathryn Janeway had
never been a very patient woman.
She had to give credit to the Admiral
perseverance. Of course,
Tom was the good Admiral's son.
As the saying was going: the
apple was never falling very far
from the tree.
"I have visited Weraq. Irish traditional
music is not popular
theme over there, so yo weren't
in Lankl to sing. That's obvious."
"Not too loud about my singing. The
last thing I want is that
Neelix overhears us," Tom said in
a low voice.
"I would love to hear you sing again,"
Kathryn told him delighted
about the idea.
"And I'd love to see you do the Dying
Swan again," came his
response without missing a bit.
*I'll get you for that, Mister,*
Kathryn thought to herself as
she gave him a challenging glare.
She saw Owen looking at her
with an evil grin. *Better stay on
top of things,* she decided.
"So you had find a job," she recapitulated.
"What kind of job?"
"Nothing to complicated," he answered
with a shrug.
"Anything to do with your Spanish
Lady?" asked the Admiral.
"My Spanish Lady?" echoed Tom.
"You know, the petite brunette with
chestnut eyes that always
looks at you with a mischievous
smile which tell you: 'for me to
know and for you to find out.'"
Tom laughed. "I think I know who
you're talking about."
"Ricky?" wondered Kathryn.
"Her real name is Rachel Fernandez
Castillo," Owen stated. "She
proved to be wonderful addition
to the Pathfinder project."
"Really?" voiced Tom. "She's not
a Starfleet Officer."
"She doesn't need to be," Owen told
him. "She's the public
relation representative. She's in
charge of keeping us in
contact with the families of Voyager's
crew. She is quite an
asset when it comes to track down
some people on which we do not
have much to go on."
"She's very good at what she does,"
"Yes," agreed Owen, "Which brings
me back to your little
"We aren't associates," Tom denied.
"But you are friends," Owen offered.
"So, Rachel was in the business of
finding people and I know
that she asked your help on a few
occasions. Were you on Weraq
to find someone?"
"I'm sure Rachel already told you
that her relations with her
clients are confidential," Tom replied.
"She did. But I'm not asking you
who you were there to find.
I'm asking you if you were there
to find someone."
"What if I was?" challenged Tom.
"It tells me what you were doing
on Weraq," Owen answered as if
stating the obvious.
"Why didn't you asked that in the
first place?" came Tom's
Owen and Kathryn exchanged a look
full of exasperation. They
started to laugh with dismay.
Tom would never change.
"What's in this that your father
is not suppose to like?"
"The methods he uses to find people,"
"I had to ask," Kathryn muttered,
thinking that she should have
"And *I* don't like your traveling
methods," Tom retorted.
"We already discussed that issue,"
Owen reminded him.
"I guess, we'll have to discuss it
again," Tom told him.
"Tom, I wish we could tell you what
you want to hear, but we
can't," Harry told him sympathetically.
"This is as safe as
we can ensure your father's transport
to the Alpha Quadrant."
"Well, it's not enough," Tom retorted.
"It will have to suffice," Seven
Was he detecting a hint of irritation
in the stern voice of Seven
of Nine? Nah, it had to be his imagination.
"Listen to the voice of reason,"
B'Elanna told him. "Seven is
Tom glanced back at the data showing
on the main screen of the
Astrometric Lab. He sighed again,
unsatisfied with the results.
With the help of his father, the
Captain, B'Elanna, Harry, Seven
and the Doctor, Tom had looked over
every bit of information
regarding his father's 'trip' into
subspace over and over again.
Despite all their best efforts,
they could only improve the
safety of the transport from ten
Ten percent was far from being enough
to ease Tom's fears of
losing his father to this suicidal
"I still can't believe he did a stupid
thing like that in the
first place," Tom mumbled not for
the first time.
"Your father cares about you," said
B'Elanna. "Besides, you did
stupid things for people you cared
"I never did anything *that* stupid!"
B'Elanna rolled her eyes. "You don't
really believe that, do
"Maybe I should contact the Doctor
and asked for his insight in
the matter," suggested Seven.
It was Tom turned to snort. "Alright,"
he gave in. "I'm an
idiot too at times. But that doesn't
"No, it doesn't" agreed B'Elanna.
"Tom, your father is leaving
tomorrow. Why don't you make good
use of the time you have left
Tom nodded. "You're right," he told
his lover. He gave the
situation some more thoughts before
looked up at Harry. "You know
any one who has a violin?"
It was definitely one of Kathryn's
dreams come true. Heck, it
was even better than what she could
have imagine! There, in the
replication of an old Irish pub,
Tom had handed a fiddle to his
father as an invitation to join
him on stage. There makeshift
was also composed of Harry Kim,
Patrick Fitzgerald, Joe Carey,
and Michel Ayala.
Kathryn had heard rumors of the Admiral
playing the fiddle, but
she didn't know that he could sing
as well. He had a deep soft
tenor voice that could carry you
miles away. It was a gift
that his son has inherited along
with a taste for Celtic
Tom took a sip of water before speaking
"This next song as a rather strange
title. And it deals with a
rather strange subject, at least
from the point of view of the
people of Delta Quadrant. You see,
this song irritates the
people of this quadrant because
of all those carpet-banging
strangers from the Federation who
are infesting the D.Q."
Snorts and laugher.
"Everyone is out there trying to
get their hands on those leola
root supplies," he added.
"That's for sure!" agreed Neelix
somewhere in the crowd.
"This song also has a personnel connotation.
It came to mind as
I tried to figure out which of my
father or I tended to do the
most stupidest things. Sadly, I
realized that the apple was
never falling very far from the
Again, laugher could be heard.
"To make this song a bit more relevant,
I did make a few changes
to the lyrics. And it is dedicated
to all you, with apologies to
the people of the Delta Quadrant,
*and* even to you Dad. This
song is entitled: The Idiot."
"I often take those night shift walks
when the Commander's not
I turn my back to the Doctor's tacks
and make for open ground.
Far into the holodeck where the
warp core makes no sounds
I forget the stinks and always think
back to that Eastern town.
I remember six years ago this Western
life I chose
and everyday, the news would say
some sector going to close
Well, I could have stayed and take
the Dole but I'm not one of
I take nothing free and that makes
me an idiot, I suppose.
So I bid ferwell to the Eastern
town I never more will see.
But work I must so I eat this food
and breath refinery.
Oh, I miss the green and woods and
And I don't like Starfleet clothes
But I like being free and that makes
me an idiot, I suppose.
After offering his best wishes to
the crew and making his
goodbyes, Admiral Owen Paris left
the bridge of the USS Voyager
for the transporter room in company
of Captain Janeway and his
Kathryn stopped in front of the transporter
room indicating that
she had no intentions of going further.
They all had a very busy
morning, making sure that the Admiral's
transport back to the
Alpha Quadrant would be a safe one,
leaving no time for Tom and
his father to have a private moment
Kathryn extended her hand expecting
the Admiral to shake in
return. He took her hand in his
own and pulled Kathryn into a
friendly hug for a few seconds.
"You are making an old Admiral very
proud, Captain," he told her.
"Your devotion and this crew's dedication
is an inspiration to us
all. You take good care of yourself,
"I will, Sir. You have a safe trip."
He nodded, and with that, followed
his son into the transporter
room. Ensign Kim working at the
control station looked a bit
surprised to see only the two men
come in. He recovered quickly,
understanding that the moment should
be a personal one for the
father and the son. He informed
Tom that everything was ready,
made his goodbyes to the Admiral,
then took his leave.
"This is it," Tom said trying to
hide his nervousness.
"Ye,"Owen agreed, hoping his son
could not feel just how nervous
he really was. "Everything will
go as planed," he reassured his
son for the umpteen time.
"It better be," Tom said. "I can't
loose you again."
"You never lost me, Son," Owen replied
"Yes, I did... At least, that's how
it felt to me," Tom tried to
explained. "I know with might never
see each other again, but
promise me you still be around for
a long time."
"I will, if you promise me the same
thing," Owen agreed with a
smile. "No more stunt like you did
a month ago. Otherwise, I
will have to come back and kick
"Oh no, not that!"
They both chuckled.
"I'm proud of you, Son," Owen said
more seriously. "I'm proud of
your work. I'm proud of who you
became and what you stand for."
He put his hand on Tom's shoulder.
"I love you, Thomas. Remember
that. Both your mother and I love
He pulled his son into a bear hug.
"I love you too, Dad," Tom said trying
to control his emotions.
"You tell Mom, Moira, and Kathleen
that I love them very much."
"I will tell them," Owen promised.
"You be careful out there."
They share an instant of Uncomfortable
"We better do this," Owen said taking
upon himself to break the
special moment between the two of
Tom nodded and made as his way to
the control while Owen
positioned himself on the transporter
"Have a safe trip," Tom said.
They shared one last look before
Tom it the 'energize' button.
Harry Kim walked on the bridge with
a series of PADDs in hand.
With Seven of Nine, Harry had passed
the last few hours
downloading the latest transmission
sent by Pathfinder. It was
not in Harry's habits to walk around
the ship playing mailman,
that was one of Neelix's prerogatives,
however this time was
Tom had finally received news from
home. Ever since Admiral
Paris had been transported back
to the Alpha Quadrant a month
earlier, his best friend had lived
in a constant uncertainty that
something might have happen to his
From what they had been able to determined
from their sensory
readings, the transport seemed to
have gone accordingly to plan,
but that had not reassured Tom much.
As he had elaborated
numerous times, a lot of things
could have happen: degradation of
the transporter patterns over the
distance, toxicity of organic
materials that could lead to neuronal
degradation and other
cellular death, so on and so forth.
Truth be told, his fears
"Tom," he called, coming down to
the pilot's station.
Tom looked up with a smile as he
acknowledged's Harry's presence.
His smile faded away as he saw the
PADD that his friend was
tending to him. Aware of everyone's
gaze upon him, Tom took the
PADD self-consciously. He read the
few first lines and then a
smile reached his blue eyes.
"It's from Mom," he told them. "She
says that Dad is fine. She
is wondering if by any chance we
would like to have him back."
A year later, I finally finished
this story. Thank you for all
of you who read the story and encouraged
me along the way.
The original song: "The Idiot" as
been written by Stan Roger, a
late Folk signer from Halifax, Canada.
Big Thanks too all of you! Feedback
is always appreciated.
Isabelle S. - Synbou@hotmail.com
Copyright April 2001.