By Morticia


ST: Voyager C/P

Rating. SLASH, m/m R

Archive: Anywhere, just let me know, please

Disclaimer: Tom, Chak et al are Paramount's (lucky devils) Angel is
mine (yippee!) And the name Jacqueline was borrowed with kind permission from Elli.

Jacqueline Paris

When Owen told us the news of Voyager's return it was as though a
light was suddenly switched on in our dreary gloomy house. A light
that had been dimmed for years.

I had never truly forgiven Owen for the way he arbitrarily dismissed
Tom from our house and from our lives. For the sake of the girls I
had outwardly supported the decision, I understood that Owen was
concerned that their own budding Starfleet careers would be tarnished
by Tom's misdemeanors and that would have been so unfair to Elisabeth
and Jeanette.

The girls had always been the epitome of good behavior. Their
complacent obedience had always cast Tom's reckless spirit deeper
into the shadows. We had three beautiful children, blonde blue-eyed
angels, but sometimes it seemed that the very devil himself was in

Only, to be honest, Tom had always been the favourite of my children.
I always preferred his lack of reverence, his joi de vivre, and his
impish naughtiness. Tom wasn't BAD; he just couldn't manage to be
GOOD. On so many occasions he tried so hard for Owen's approval, but
he always failed to live up to my husband's standards in some crucial
way, and eventually, unsurprisingly, he stopped trying.

And deep inside myself, where I still jealously hoarded memories of
my own wild and flighty childhood before I had married a Paris and
learnt the terrible weight of respectability, I cheered and applauded
his defiance. His refusal to become a bland imitation of his father
brought Tom heartache and sadness, but I saw it as a strength that
was lacking in the girls, and in me by that time, to be honest.

Owen paraded we three women in public like Dresden dolls, perfectly
groomed, and perfectly behaved. Tom was never invited to those
events. Owen had long given up on Tom as an asset to his political
ambition, years before the accident at Caldik Prime.

Even after Tom was thrown out of our lives, we all kowtowed to the
Paris commandment "Thou shalt not disappoint the Admiral". It was not
until Tom was caught flying for the Maquis and imprisoned that the
sparks of defiance finally caught flame in my heart.

I couldn't believe that Owen would stand by and let our only son be
condemned as a criminal and sent to Auckland, especially since I knew
that Owen had a secret sympathy for the Maquis cause. I begged and
pleaded with him for compassion but he was as unmovable as stone.

I actually hated him then. I had never approved of his treatment of
Tom but never had the bravery to defy him before. Hatred gave me the

It took many months of maneuvering, and the help of both Elisabeth
and Jeanette, who were both working at Starfleet HQ by then, before I
managed to bypass Owen's own security and I made contact with Kathryn

Jeanette had told me of a Maquis ship that had been lost in the
badlands with an undercover operative on board. She had learnt of the
plan to send a prototype starship after the missing vessel and that
Kathryn was to be given the Captaincy.

Kathryn and I had become acquainted when she had served with Owen on
the Al Betani. I had needed her support and understanding after
Owen's experiences with the Cardassians. He had come home bitter and
disillusioned with Starfleet. He had objected strenuously to the
Treaty agreement and had privately applauded the Maquis.

It was my suggestion that Tom should be used to help find the missing
ship. Kathryn was unreceptive to the suggestion. I think she realised
that I didn't truly believe that Tom could help her, that I just
wanted to get him out of that prison. But, to my surprise, Tom was
assigned to Voyager and left for the badlands.

When Voyager was immediately lost with all hands I had been
devastated. I had been too shell-shocked by the terrible news to
grasp the fact that Owen had also been destroyed by Tom's death. We
both blundered around the house like pale ghosts for months, barely
acknowledging each other's presence, rarely speaking, never sharing
our pain.

Then we received news that Voyager had survived but that she was in
the Delta Quadrant and wouldn't return in our lifetime.  I was
overjoyed, not only by the fact that Tom had survived but also by the
knowledge that he would never again be jailed. Whatever dangers he
might face out there, he was free and that was something worth

So Jeanette, Elisabeth and I shared a rapturous, drunken evening
exchanging tales and anecdotes of Tom, laughing and crying, both
celebrating his freedom and mourning his loss.

When Owen had finally come home and walked in on us, his face was a
picture of outrage. He had hurled abuse at our behavior and in our
giddy grief we had just laughed at him. And instead of erupting in
his usual fury, he had sunk down on a chair and cried, collapsing in
on himself like a deflated balloon and he finally confessed to us
that it had been HIS decision that had put Tom on Voyager. It turned
out that Kathryn had gone straight from me and told him everything,
only instead of him forbidding Tom's `escape' as she had obviously
expected, he had ordered that it be so.

Looking back, I realise that Owen must have been regretting his
treatment of Tom for years. Age had mellowed him. He regretted his
harsh disciplinarian treatment of Tom, his rigid unyielding pressure
that had so terrified our son that he had lied about a simple
accident and in doing so had ruined his own life.

And life went on.

Jeanette found a defiance of her own. She willfully became pregnant
by some fly-by-night and then left Starfleet to become a fulltime
mother to a boy she called little Tommy.  She refused to back-down to
Owen's anger about the way that she threw her career away.

When she point-blank asked him whether he intended to throw her out
too, he accepted her choice without a further murmur and then treated
Tommy with a doting affection that was alien to our expectations.
Little Tommy was as boisterous as his namesake but Owen was a changed
man and he simply laughed at antics that would have earned our Tom a

Elisabeth married and had two children, but she stayed in Starfleet
and joined her father in his efforts to find a way home for Voyager.
He became a liaison for all of the families of the lost crew, both
Maquis and Starfleet. In our grief we all became closer. The loss of
Tom bound us tightly together so that we became a real family for the
first time ever.

Each Christmas the house rang with the gleeful shouts of Little Tommy
and his cousins, Sarah and Jonah, but under the tree there would
always be an untouched pile of presents for Tom which grew year by
year as a testament to hope.

One day he would return. One day he would walk through the door and
seeing that ever growing pile of dust covered boxes he would finally
know that we loved him and that we were sorry.

The years passed in a grey blur. Owen visibly aged, as his quest to
rescue Voyager bore no fruit. His political ambitions were shelved as
he learnt far too late that nothing was more important than family.
For myself, I helped Jeanette look after the children, retired from
public life and attempted as normal an existence as possible. But at
least once a week I would go into the room where Tom's unopened
presents lay and I would allow myself to privately grieve.

I don't think any of us realised how sad and soulless our house had
become until Owen announced the news that Voyager had returned. It
was only the contrast of our elation that made us understand that we
had been merely sitting in a holding pattern for years. It was as
though time had stopped with Tom's loss and his return was like an
electric shock that galvanized us back into life.

Owen had been involved in the rescue attempt and had positioned a
ship to collect Tom straight off Voyager in the event that the
operation was successful. He had kept his plans to himself, unwilling
to risk our hopes being dashed yet again. So the news was a complete
and wonderful surprise to us all.

Owen warned me that he had received a message that Tom was unwell,
suffering from some form of depressive illness, but I refused to let
the news dishearten me. The whole family had been suffering from
depression. Tom's return had cured us, surely our love would cure
him, I thought with a kind of blind faith.

The next few days were frantic with preparations as Tom's old room
was redecorated and aired. All of the presents were dusted and piled
in his room, and then added to endlessly as Jeanette and Elisabeth
raided the entire sector in an effort to find the luxuries that Tom
had been deprived of for so long.

We wanted his return to be PERFECT. We wanted to erase years of hurt
and neglect with fripperies. It was crass, possibly, but it was the
only way we knew how to show him physically how much we had missed

Even Owen joined us to watch the televisation of Voyager's homecoming
party at DS9.  Of course we knew that Tom was already halfway home,
but we wanted to see the return of his colleagues and friends. We
felt that seeing the people who had been his "family" for so many
years would be a way of "touching" Tom and would be a first step to
understanding him.

We knew that he had gained a position of respect and authority on
Voyager. He was a lieutenant, chief pilot, fourth in command. This
was a Tom even Owen could finally be proud of. But more than that, he
was our little boy who had been lost and had now been found again.

"That's Kathryn" Elisabeth breathed excitedly as the vid-cams played
over the podium

I actually flinched a little as I saw the haughty little Captain. As
much as Voyager's disappearance had hurt me, I still couldn't forgive
her for telling Owen of my plan to get Tom released.

"The Vulcan next to her is Tuvok, the one who was undercover on the
Maquis ship" Jeanette explained to me

"Apparently they are married to each other now!" Elisabeth giggled "I
wonder which one is Tom's girlfriend?"

To my surprise I saw Owen flush slightly and look uncomfortable. I
had been married to him for enough years to recognise his quickly
hidden expression of distaste, besides I may have never been the best
of mothers, but I DID know my own son.

"I expect Tom is more likely to have a boyfriend" I replied mildly

"MOTHER!" Elisabeth screamed in shock as Owen coloured further and
sank slightly into his chair. Jeanette, on the other hand, met my
eyes with a knowing grin.

"So who do you think HE is?" She asked me slyly.

I looked carefully at the vid-screen, weighing each of the faces in
the crowd and then I shook my head in defeat.

"I don't know." I confessed. To be honest, the one person who had
caught my eye had been a heavy-set bronze-skinned man with a strange
tattoo over one eye. There was something so solid and dependable
about his handsome features that I could actually imagine him as
being Tom's choice. However, since he was currently being devoured in
the embrace of some huge glorious blonde giant, he was evidently not
the one.

"WOW" Jeanette breathed as she noticed the two men's passionate kiss.

"Yuck!" Elisabeth replied.

I had to smile. Elisabeth was obviously spending FAR too much time
with her straight-laced father.

"SHIT!" Jeanette screamed

I blinked in astonishment at her language and then was more amazed
that Owen didn't comment on it. He just went pale as he looked at the
screen. I followed his gaze and for a moment my heart actually
stopped. It was Tom.

He was so emaciated he looked as though he had spent the last seven
years in a Cardassian POW camp. His skin was white as parchment but
flushed with a feverish fury as he limped painstakingly up the room
towards the podium. I could feel the tears pouring down my cheeks as
I saw my beautiful son now reduced to a wounded skeleton.

Our living room was deadly silent as we all watched agape as the
events unfolded in a blur of violence. We saw Tom attack the blond
giant, saw the older man restraining him with a protective hug, heard
Tom call `Chakotay' his husband and Captain Janeway say that Tom was
mentally ill and then we watched in horror as the battle took place.

It was only when I saw Tom hand a knife to `Chakotay', and I saw the
older man nod and pull Tom close that I began to scream and as I saw
the blade plunging towards them I fainted.

So I didn't see their `miraculous' escape, I still don't know for
sure that the knife didn't actually pierce Tom before Chakotay
realised they had been rescued.

Apparently, with the help of an alien from the Delta Quadrant,
Chakotay has stolen a ship and Voyager's EMH. It is the theft of the
EMH that makes me believe that Tom was definitely injured.

Reports from DS9 are sketchy at the moment. It appears that
this `Chakotay' was the leader of the Maquis cell. He has been acting
as First Officer on Voyager but Captain Janeway is saying that she
never trusted him, she only allowed him the position in order to keep
the rest of the Maquis tame.

The official ship's log states that Tom was paralyzed in an accident
18 months ago and spent most of that time as a quadriplegic. Chakotay
took advantage of his vulnerability, completely taking over Tom's
care and in a classic case of the patient falling in love with his
doctor, Tom fell in love with the Maquis and was intending to marry
him, only Chakotay left him after he was cured.

Tuvok says that the alien cure had unexpected side effects on Tom,
making him suicidally depressed.

Owen is convinced that Chakotay intended to use his marriage to Tom
and Tom's dependence on him as a bargaining chip in case they
returned to the Alpha Quadrant. The arrival of "Angel" meant that
Chakotay had no more need of Tom and the discovery of how badly he
had been used had made Tom's mind snap, since he was already affected
by his `cure'.

Owen believes that Chakotay is taking advantage of Tom's illness. He
is calling it kidnap.

But I don't believe it.

I saw the way Tom and Chakotay looked at each other. The moment I saw
the handsome Indian, I KNEW he was someone that my Tom could love.
Their bizarre attempted suicide pact was the act of desperate lovers
not a criminal and his victim.

So we are going to DS9 on the fastest ship that Starfleet had within
hailing range, the USS Enterprise.

I have finally put my foot down. I don't care if the whole of
Starfleet is up in arms and pursuing the little craft. This is a
FAMILY matter, this time I will not stand by and let the wolves
gather around my son and the man who he calls his husband.

Owen, Jeanette, Elisabeth and myself are going to find Tom and we are
going to finally bring him home.