Title: Her Simple Words
Author: A'Lehsen Paris (aka Ally)
Summary: In the wake of B'Elanna's death, her ten-year-old daughter Lanna's personal log, plus a little scene at the end with Tom.
Disclaimer: Voyager and her crew are Paramount's. They aren't mine, I just write about them alot better than a lot of the actual writers. Lanna and Tommy Paris are mine.
* * * * *
A small girl sat curled up on her bed and let the tears flow freely for the first time since the accident. She clutched a stuffed animal to her chest and sobbed.
When the tears finally slowed a little, she sat up and picked up a padd. After a few sniffs, she pushed a button.
"Begin log," her low, childish voice sounded breathy. "The Doctor says I'm still in shock. I don't know what that is. All I know is that my whole world is turned upside down, and I don't know how to handle it."
"Just yesterday I was so happy. Mom and Dad were both off- duty for the same shift, so they took Tommy and me to the holo- deck. We spent three hours there, at a beach somewhere on Earth called Tahiti. It's so beautiful there, especially during the day when the sun is shining so brightly from the deep blue sky. That sky reminds me of Dad's eyes, sometimes."
The memory took over for a moment, and the harsh look of grief faded to be briefly replaced by a soft smile. Then she shook her head and the tearfull look come back. "Tommy still can't swim as well as I can--he's just six, four years younger than me. Mom--" she choked a little, then continued. "Mom gave him another lesson, while Dad took me water-skiing. We had so much fun!"
The girl hung her dark head. "But that was yesterday. Today--it hurts to talk about it, but Doc says it'll help, so I'll try."
"It started out like any other day. Tommy and I went to school, and Ensign Wildman said that we were going on a field trip to Engineering to see the way some drills are handled. Tommy and I felt pretty important, 'cause our Mom's the Chief Engineer. She was, anyway..."
The girl sniffled and wiped her eyes with the sleeve of her gold and blue jumpsuit. "It was just going to be a quick trip; we were only going to be there for half an hour."
"Something went wrong. No one's saying what, not even Dad. That's strange, 'cause Dad always explains everything."
She stared into space for a few moments, her slight Klingon ridges becoming deeper as she frowned in confusion. Then, she continued.
"Anyway...during one drill, a console exploded. No warning, just a flash of sparks and a loud noise. I know, 'cause I was watching. And I was watching because--because Mom was standing there," she said with another sob. She regained control after a few more moments.
"The Doc told us later that the force of the explosion was what did it. I don't really care." This was said almost defiantly.
"All I could see was Mom flying backward and then falling to the floor. Tommy said I screamed really loud...I can't re- member."
"I do remember running over to Mom and throwing myself onto her. She wasn't moving and I was trying to make her wake up. I shook her and shook her and nothing worked!" she wailed softly.
"Uncle Joe finally picked me up. he held me, and told me not to look. I couldn't help myself, I had to."
"Mom was burned bad, and where there were no burns or blood her skin was so pale...She still wouldn't wake up, even though some engineers were trying to carry her away from where she had fallen."
"I heard someone call for Dad to come down to Engineering, and I wanted to scream at her because Mom had already gotten hurt and I didn't want Dad to get hurt, too," she said.
"A few minutes later, Dad got there. He took me from Uncle Joe and held me close and said something under his breath, probably one of those words. Dad was staring at Mom, and there were tears in his eyes and on his cheeks. I knew then, I knew that Mom was dead and that nothing would ever be the same again. I couldn't cry though. I felt so cold inside..." she trailed off and hugged the stuffed toy to her again, as if seeking the little comfort and warmth that it could give her. More tears dripped down her cheeks.
"They took us, Tommy and me, I mean, down to Sickbay, and the Doc cleaned Mom's blood off of me. Funny, I hadn't even noticed it was there, on my hands and my jumpsuit and my face, until he started sterilizing me," she rubbed a hand against her cheek, more to wipe away the now-nonexistant blood than the tears.
"After that, the Doc talked to me and Tommy and Dad. He said a bunch of stuff about grieving and accepting and healing."
She stopped, and her small face scrunched up again, this time with a look of shame. "I know it sounds selfish, but all I can think of is that I won't have a mom when I'm a teenager, the way Naomii Wildman does. I won't be able to talk to Mom about boys and hair and clothes. That's what's so awful about this," she admitted softly.
"I never knew how much I'd miss Mom until she was actually gone. It's like there's a hole inside me where my heart should be. I know I still have Dad, and I love him, but I loved Mom, too, and I wish she wasn't gone!" There was another quiet sob, then the little girl lifted her head with a dignity that should have been amazing in a child so young, but which seemed entirely appropriate on her.
"At least I can say that my Mom was Lieutenant Commander B'Elanna Torres-Paris, the best engineer in Starfleet. I was proud of her when she was alive, and I won't let that change! And I promise I'll make her proud of me, wherever she is now. I promise."
It didn't seem to matter to the girl that the only witness to her vow was a toy. She looked determined to keep it, no matter what.
"End log," she said. She laid back down, pulled a blanket over herself, and began to cry herself to sleep.
* * * * *
Tom Paris stood in the doorway of his daughter's room and let the tears fall unchecked down his cheeks. He didn't know how to help her, because he couldn't even accept B'Elanna's death yet. But he was so proud of his daughter.
Miral, named after her grandmother, was so completely B'Elanna's daughter, from her dark brown hair and eyes, to her avid interest in engineering, to her quick temper and strong will. In a way, it seemed to Tom, as long as Miral lived, so would B'Elanna.
Tom dragged his weary body to bed. He settled down to sleep, comforted, in an odd way, by his daughter's simple words.