is told by Harry as it was told to him by Tom.
hghghghghghghghghghgIt was hot, little five year old Tommy was hot, he longed for the pool in their back yard this heat was different than earths Tommy hated it he had moaned all the way from earth to Dorvan V he hadn't wanted to come he wanted to stay home and wait for his daddy to come home but his mama wanted to visit her long time friend Kolopak and his family, they had an open house, people he didn't know patted him on the head like a dog and saying what a cutie he was and pinching his cubby cheeks, Tommy hated the groups none were within his age, as usual the boys fawned over his sisters but ignored him, so he took off towards the river, they had been here for three days and he wanted to be back at home but he felt that his mama had to be here among these people she had told Tom not to tell his daddy that it he found out he would be angry with them.That when he saw him, sitting on the little island in the middle of the river, he had seen once when they arrived Tommy couldn't wrap his tongue around his name for that matter he had trouble with all their names not that he talked to them, Sitting beside the raging river staring at the young man who was lost in a world of his own.Tommy didn't hear his sister calling him, as he sat watching the teen, squealing at he was picked up and tossed into the water he faintly heard Moira saying, "That will teach you Tommy."Failing to keep his head above water, at five he could swim a little but that was only in their pool and that was dog paddling he hadn't mastered the other styles yet.Just as he felt himself sink again he felt a strong arm encircle his tiny waist bring him to the surface taking in lung fill of air Tommy wrapped his tiny arms about the teens neck grasping like a fish, once they landed on the shore the teen stormed over to the young woman who had be howling with laugher the whole time Tommy watched as she was picked up and flung into the very same water as he had be and the young man yelling, "See how you like it."
Tommy watched as Moira fight the currents and flop breathless on the shore glaring at him and the teen but wisely kept her mouth shut.
The young man knelt beside him wrapping a fluffy towel around him asking, "You Ok?"
Nodding Tommy couldn't find the right words but settled on, "Thank you."
Grinning he said, "You're most welcome, you're Tommy right?"
"Yup that me, you're Ch'tay right?"
"Close enough it's Chakotay."
Tommy tried saying his name again but gave up as he stamped his feet saying, "I'll call you Tay OK?"
Laughing as he picked the young boy up saying, "Ok but only you can call me that."
Tommy squealed in delight, "Honestly?"
Ruffling his hair Chakotay told him, "Only you may call me Tay it's your nickname for me."
"Oh gee whiz I never had a special name before." Cuddling into the bigger boy Tommy settled in for the ride back.
Tommy woke when he heard his mama screaming at someone not risking anyone noticing that he was awake he peeked through his lashes to see Moira standing with her back to him as their mama yelled at her, "Moira of the stupid things to do how would I explain this to your father?"
"But we're leaving him behind you wouldn't have to explain anything to him."
Tommy eyes widen at that never to see his daddy again? He loved his father but when he came back for camp he had changed Tommy didn't like his new daddy wished that his daddy would return they were happy before the camp.
"He found us, he prepare to let us loose but refuses to let Tommy go."
"We stuck on Dorvan till your father comes for Tom."
"You're going to let him raise him?"
"If I could take him I would, your father has papers that say I can't take Tommy away from your father."
From the door way Tommy heard a new voice powerful he knew that it was Tay's father Kolopak.
"Did you sign them?"
He watched through hooded lids as his mama said, "I don't remember signing them but it has my thumbprint and signature."
Kolopak looked over at Tommy with sorrow saying, "Then Tommy has to go back Owen covered his back, I feel sorry for Tommy I hope that he becomes a better man than his father is."
Tommy watched as the grown ups left his room not wishing to be alone he crept out of his room and to the one across from his opening the door he could see that Tay was at his desk working.
"Tommy why are you up?"
Jumping Tommy yelped, "Sorry I'll go."
"No stay." Standing up and walking over to Tom he crouched down to his level asking, "Tommy what is wrong?"
Tommy looked at the carpet then up at his face searching his face with a tiny smile Tommy reached up saying, "My daddy coming to get me and I may never see you again."
He watched as Chakotay pulled him into his arms saying, "When is he coming for you?"
Clinging to Tay he sobbed, "I don't know," Pulling back so he could look at him as he told him, "So I need to make these last days memorable so that till I'm old enough to leave on my own, I'll come back on my eighteenth birthday."
"And when is your birthday Tommy?" He asked.
"Another two days away remember that date Tay that is the day I will come back to Dorvan V if I am able."
Moving back into Tay's arms Tommy sobbed into his chest he felt Tay pick him up and walk over to his room.
Chakotay laid Tom on his bed staying, "I'll be waiting for you Tommy, now go to sleep."
Over the next day Tommy tagged along with Tay and his brothers sticking like glue he didn't let the thoughts of never seeing any of these people dampen his day, he was going to remember this holiday he snapped photo's so when he got home he could bring them out and remember.
The day of his birthday was a bittersweet one his father had arrived to take him home they had to beg to let Tommy stay long enough to squeeze another memory.
At the time he was due to leave Tommy wrapped his arms around Tay saying, "Remember Tay when it's my eighteenth birthday I'll come back, but till then keep this to remember me by." Handing him a framed Photo of him and Tay, "There are only to copies of this photo, your copy and my copy."
"I cherish it forever." Reaching over to the table beside him, Tay picked up a present wrapped in blue paper handing it to Tommy saying, "Tommy this is for your birthday and something to remember me by also."
Tommy slowly and carefully unwrapped it revealing a light blue teddy bear with his name stitched along the overalls it wore, grinning up at him Tommy told him, "I'll treasure this for always."
"What are you gonna call him?"
Beaming up at him Tommy told him, "What else but Tay."
Chuckling Tay hugged him saying, "What else indeed."
"Thomas it's time to say your goodbyes."
Tommy nodded looking up at Tay saying, "It's time, Bye Tay I'll miss you."
"I'll miss you as well and remember Tommy."
With tears in his eyes, Tommy walked slowly over to his mother and sisters, not sure what to say to them, "Mama why?"
He watched as she gave him a hug but she never explained to him why.
Walking over to his father he grabbed his father out stretched hand gripping it as they walked over to his shuttle, with his new teddy clutched to his little chest Tommy took one more look before entering.
Harry stopped talking, looking over at the others he saw that Chakotay was looking at Tom still form he asked, "Harry did Tom ever tell you if he did go back to Dorvan V on his birthday?"
Tom struggled to sit up he had been listening to Harry tell his tale, with a grimace as he sat up, he replied, "I did, I remembered but you weren't there."
Closing his eyes Chakotay asked, "Why didn't you tell me when we met up again in the Maquis?"
"You hated the name Paris and you hated what I did over Caldik Prime, would you have listened to me?" Tom looked at him with dull eyes saying, "I wasn't that little boy anymore and to you I was a drunken bum and doing anything I could to dull the pain of my miserable life, but you hated my father for what he did."
Chakotay looked over at him confused he asked, "What your father got to do with this?"
Doubt written over his face Tom asked, "You don't know who authorized letting Dorvan V fall into the Cardassian's hands?"
"I know who signed the papers for that deal but I never held that against you."
"Nope I couldn't blame you for your father's actions."
Tom said, "You know that he blames your family for mom leaving him and they had nothing to do it with."
"But they do, my family helped your mother and sisters to disappear you were meant to go with them but he found you in time."
With a grin Tom nodded as he said, "That just the Paris luck."
Chakotay trying to sort out his feeling but shocked that Tom had keep his promise, "You really came back to Dorvan on your Eighteenth birthday?"
Nodding Tom told him, "I had a two week break before entering the Academy, I left Earth and took a Transporter to Dorvan V and spent two weeks looking for you but I couldn't find you so I left and when to the Academy, why were you there?"
Swallowing as he broke his gaze from Tom and to stare into the flames, saying, "I didn't think that you'd remember that promise, I was on the USS Vico patrolling the Cardassia boarders."
Holding his side, Tom tried to move closer to him saying, "So you didn't believe that a little five year old would keep his promise? Did you even remember me when we met again?"
Shaking his head, Chakotay refused to look at him saying, "I never did know what your late name was, I only knew you as Tommy, I remembered him and always wondered what happened to him."
Disappointed Tom stopped moving slumped to close to the flames as his arms gave out under the stain, he said, "Well you can ease you mind now you know what happened to little Tommy, he died that day as his life with his father begun, from that day Tommy crease to exist, Thomas came into being the prefect little Cadet who could fly circles around officers, who was on the officer track way before he even thought about what he wanted out of life, at the time all he wanted to do is to be with Tay his friend, his only friend who his father didn't choose for him."
Chakotay looked up from the flames looking over at everyone as Tom told him, "I can't change the past, I can't take back what happen if I could I would, I would have done anything for Tay, even at Five, I knew that I loved him," Tom shook his head whispering, "I loved Tay and to this day I learnt to love the man he became and that man is you."