Mother, Mourn No More
By A'Lehsen Paris
Written: January 2000
Summary: After "The Greatest Man", Tom goes down to Earth to visit his mother. Set mostly in Anne Paris' POV.
Disclaimers: Star Trek is owned by Paramount/Viacom. The characters on Voyager are owned by Paramount/Viacom. However, Anne Paris and this story are MINE!!! All MINE!!!!!! Ha ha ha ha!!!!!! (pause) Ahem. Also, I am not doing this for monetary gain or for any other reason than that I wish to be know for my writing.
"Earth, San Francisco"
She sat alone in her dark apartment and stared out of the large plasglass windows at the setting sun. The rooms were empty. Well, that was nothing new, really. He had not really been home much these last few years, with the Dominion War and then having to visit different worlds as a diplomat. This emptiness, though, was not the one she had become so used to. This one was a pulsing, almost tangible emptiness, a constant reminder.
Whatever her husband's faults, she had loved him. Six, seven years ago she had been close to hatred, but even that was born of her love. So, as the years had past, the wounds in her heart, caused by his mistakes, his deeds, had begun to heal.
It seemed to her now that those scars, fresh and tender still, had been ripped open when she had received the news of his death. She had locked herself in these rooms and kept a vigil through the days that followed, allowing no one in, even her two daughters. She had kept the viewscreens turned off as well. What did it matter to her if some new alliance was made, or a small war started? Her life seemed at an end.
The bright red sun slipped down past the horizon, and she watched it go with a feeling akin to regret. Not that the city before her didn't provide enough light of its own without that great ball of fire. And not that her days and nights were any different from one another, now.
The tears which had been flowing off and on for the past week returned, a slow welling at first, and then a great flood. She curled up in the large comfortable chair that, somehow, still smelled of him and sobbed quietly.
She wasn't aware of the passage of time after that. Perhaps she had cried herself into an exhausted doze. The chime brought her back to reality, though, and she called, as she had been wont to do ever since the news came, "Go away. I want no visitors."
Then, a miraculous voice came over the comm. "Mom, please let me come in. I--I'm home," he said.
"Tommy?" she cried, leaping up with nearly-forgotten strength. She added, "Come in!" She ran to the door, and even as it opened she was staring into his blue eyes, so like his father's.
She opened her arms at the same time he did, and they fell into each other's embrace, two tall blonds, one whose hair was more silver than blond as age and grief had taken their tole on her physical appearance. The resemblence between them might have been uncanny to a stranger, but to them it was just another reason to love each other.
"Mom!" was all Tom Paris could manage at first. He held her tightly, letting her tears soak the shoulder of his new uniform, and he stroked her long hair even as his own tears began to fall.
They were silent after that, each taking some measure of comfort in the other's presence. The world around them grew distant as they shared their pain, not through words, but through the bond that had always been between them, the bond that both had thought all but severed years before.
Finally, a discreatly cleared throat reminded Tom that they weren't alone. He pulled away from his mother gently, smiled down at her, and then looked behind him at the woman waiting patiently to be introduced. He held out his hand to her and she took it.
"Mom, I would like for you to meet my fiance, B'Elanna Torres. B'Elanna, this is my mother, Anne Paris," he said proudly.
Anne stared for a moment at the beautiful woman now standing next to her son. She was half-Klingon, as the shallow ridges on her forehead attested, with dark brown hair and eyes that seemed to take in everything around her at once. She had a look that was full of love and an odd protectiveness for Tom that won Anne's heart completely.
"Hello, B'Elanna," Anne said softly. Then she drew the young woman into a tender embrace, which seemed to surprise B'Elanna at first, although she did accept the hug.
As Anne released her daughter-in-law-to-be, she looked down at B'Elanna's stomach. "Is it just me, or are you pregnant, dear?" she asked with a hope such as she had not felt in years.
B'Elanna blushed a little and glanced at Tom before replying, "Yes, I am. The doctor just confirmed it this morning. I--we will be having a baby in five months."
A wave of joy washed over Anne, tinged with some bitterness as she realized that her Owen would never get to meet the son or daughter of their long-lost son. She smiled, though, and gestured for them to come in.
When all three were seated, Tom caught his mother's eyes and said seriously, "Mom, I didn't like hearing what Heather and Lauren had to tell me. Is it true that you have been holed up in this apartment ever since Dad died?" Heather and Lauren were his sisters.
It was Anne's turn to flush, and she looked down at the hands she had folded neatly in her lap. "It hasn't been so very long, and I . . . I just missed him so much, Tom, and I really didn't feel like seeing anyone . . ." she said faintly.
Tom shook his head and took his mother's hand. "Mom, don't do that to yourself. You know that it's not good for you, and it's not what Dad would have wanted for you, either. You should be going on with your life, spoiling your grandkids, painting more of the wonderfull works of art Heather has been so enthusiastically telling me about the last few hours. She and Lauren are worried, Mom, just like I was when I heard what you were doing. Wallowing in your grief isn't going to change what happened. You still have your children, and your grandchildren. Your life is anything but over," he said firmly, compassionately.
Anne's face crumpled as the tears overcame her for the third time. "I know that! Do you think I don't know that? But it's so hard to forget!" she cried out.
Tom shook his head. "I'm not asking you to forget Dad, Mom, although the gods know that I have wished I could, sometimes. You should cherish the memories of the good times you had with him. That doesn't mean that you should live in the past, though. Make more terrific memories, even if you can't make them with him," he said.
Anne looked out at the city and sighed. "You're right, Tom. That's what my head is telling me to do. My heart, though . . . My heart is broken, and I don't see how it could ever be fixed," she said quietly.
Tom took her in his arms once more. "Let us help, Mom. Let us help," he pleaded with her, unwilling to admit how much he also needed her help, her strength which he had always depended on as a boy, to banish the grief in his own heart.
"Yes, please let us help," B'Elanna added. She was gazing on the scene sympathetically. She knew what it was like to lose a parent. Maybe her father had not died, but his disappearance from her life at the age of five had amounted to basically the same thing.
Anne looked at her and couldn't help smiling, albeit tremulously. She pulled away from Tom and stood. She walked over to the large windows and stared out blindly for a moment. Then, she turned back and nodded.
"Yes, you're right. With my family's help--with your help, I think I can make it," she said.
And so it was that her unnatural grief was replaced by a gentler one. Although it would stay with her for the rest of her days, she would still go on living, enjoying her granchildren as Tom had said she should. One grandchild was admittedly her favorite. He was blond haired and blue eyed, and his parents had named him Thomas Owen, in honor of his father, who never forgot to say "I love you", and his grandfather, whom he would never know.
Well, what did you think of this sequel? Did it tie up any loose ends, and did you enjoy it simply for itself?