Title: Hat Full of Stars
Author: RoseKira@aol.com
Series: VOY 
Rating: R
Disclaimer: ST:VOY and all related characters owned by Paramount Studios. No copyright infringement intended.
Note: I just want to point out that this is NOT my fault. No way, no how.
Blame monkee, and the backlog, and a stupid J and P Cyndi Lauper challenge. You people KNOW I can't resist a challenge to completely
screw up the Trekiverse in prose. 'Prove it.' comes from a JuPiter challenge.
Hat Full of Stars
by C.Lauper and N. Holland 

I was folding up your letters
unpacking winter clothes
searching for my hat
I thought I left it by the door
so I tore around the room
like a bird without a head
I saw your picture waving back at me
from underneath the bed
from a long, long time ago

When all I had
was a hat full of stars
the one I'll always treasure
the one that you wore

I'm trying to live in the present
but I keep tripping on the past
finding out reality, well clarity 
comes in dribs and drabs
no we never had the time
for everything we had
so it felt like we had nothing
that's what makes this hat so sad
It was a long, long time ago


Tom Paris hated good-byes. 

Flopping down on the bed he and B'Elanna Torres had shared for what seemed an amazingly brief time, he stared at the surrounding mess. Moving onto Voyager had been easy for both of them. A duffel for him, zilch for her. Moving off was a different story. Sighing, he dug into a storage box, pulling up a handful of holos...nothing unusual. The crew, each other, alien scenery...

His hand paused on the encoded one. Disk type, special security. He well remembered wanting the privacy, there was no way in hell he was willing to explain the contents to anyone, but now...maybe a look while he was alone. Sitting at the table, he plugged the chip into his personal terminal, calling up the recorded image. 

Indiana. Snow-swept winter. A cabin, a beautiful woman, asleep on a sofa before a warm fire, her chestnut hair falling about her bared breast, a newborn child drowsily suckling. 

He remembered, all right. It had been a temporal screw up, an unbelievable roll of the dice. He'd first gone onto Voyager's holodeck, had been helping Torres clear out unused files. He had been put in charge of Janeway's Indiana simulation. Pretty place, her home retreat. Then, that alien farce. They'd rearranged time, swept him right out of the scenario and into the reality. Nine months and some few days before Kathryn Janeway's birth. 

Gretchen Janeway had been beautiful back then (still was, according to the updated feeds he'd peeked at almost guiltily). Young, beautiful, and lonely. She hadn't known who he was, of course, she'd had no
contact with Owen Paris yet, no connections between the families. Tom Paris hadn't been born yet, she had no way of recognizing him. He'd been startled, certainly, and hadn't known what to make of it. The captain would rescue him, eventually, she always did. He just hadn't quite known what to do with her completely oblivious mother while waiting. As it turned out, they'd found something to do together. He's seen a lot of Kathryn Janeway in her mother. He had been a pig. A real pig.

"Mr. Paris." 

Glancing up from the picture in faint surprise, he met the gaze of his
captain. Kathryn Janeway stood in the doorway, arms crossed. He quickly flipped the terminal away, praying she hadn't seen the image. Her brow arched, and she moved forward, hand swiftly turning it back. Her gaze was stunned, a bit taken aback. "Tom, I've yet to find anyone else capable of getting kicks off his captain's baby pictures."

He glared. "It's not like that."

"I'm assuming my mother certainly didn't send you that. You've been hacking into files."

"You mean you have a copy too?" He had left one...in the cradle, tucked up with a note. 

She didn't seem amused. "Mr. Paris, where did you get this picture?"

"I took it." Fair enough, up front.

Maybe he didn't achieve the smug look he wanted. Something in her eyes said she was taking him too seriously. "Prove it."

"You don't really want the story."

"Oh, I do. I'm not sure which is more upsetting, the possibility that you've hacked into my private files or the possibility that you were telling the truth when you claimed you were really in Indiana all those years ago. You say you took a picture of me as a newborn. Prove it."

He leaned back, neck tensing. Easy enough to call it off, admit to hacking, stave away the drill. Throwing him in the brig the last day aboard ship would really thrill Tuvok. Still, dammit, he couldn't afford to take another fall. Not with B'Elanna and Miral in the balance. Especially for this.

"I was there for nine months.
A few days for Voyager. I was there throughout your mother's entire
pregnancy. Her ENTIRE pregnancy."
He didn't know how much more clearly he could put it. Coming out and saying it was impossible.

"Are you implying that you were swept off a holodeck, into my past, and impregnated my mother?"

Well, that was clear enough. He winced. "Let me explain, I WAS there. You were born on May the 20th, in Indiana."

"Common knowledge, Mr. Paris. Any computer database has it." Her eyes were blazing now.

"You were also in critical condition at the time of your birth...away from a hospital, snowed in. Your survival was reckoned a miracle. The best technology of the times rarely saved infants with your condition,
and there had never been a survival without immediate medical crisis

"I was lucky."

"You had a specially trained medic in that cabin overseeing your birth and saving your life. Me."

"That's damned ridiculous."

"I couldn't stay. I left you and Gretchen..." He shook his head as she
snapped back at the personal use of her mothers name. "I left you two there, after assuring myself of your safety. But before I left, I built a cradle. Every child deserves a proper bed during the early days. Your mother was tired, she slept. I rocked you, and put you in your cradle. Before I left, I took a holo. See the cap you were wearing? Mine. I still
have it, started to leave it there, but I was afraid it'd contaminate things. Hell, how much worse could it have, though? So I took the picture, and left, with my copy and the cap. Not the type of sightseeing I had in mind for the original holodeck mission, but unexpected profit. Helping your future come into existence...hell, creating it...is no small miracle. I wanted a keepsake."

"Now you're crossing boundaries, Mr. Paris. Invading personal memorabilia is an offense, and using it for stories like this is a criminal one." 

"If you showed this image to your mother and introduced her to the person who says he took it, do you think she'd call it manipulation?"


Captain Janeway hadn't put him in the brig. She wasn't entirely sure why. For Miral's sake, she told herself. It was just a holoimage. She'd confiscated it. He hadn't argued.

His claim, it was damned ridiculous, didn't bear further contemplation.

Sitting, Kathryn Janeway stared around the Janeway retreat in Indiana. Snowy. Not snowed-in, as her birth had been. Her mother had confirmed that aspect of the story for her hours ago. Neither of them had spoken of any third party to the birth, but her mothers gaze had followed her all afternoon, puzzled, worried. Guilty.

Suffocating, terrifying darkness.

Ridiculous, Kathryn Janeway decided, wrapping her robe more tightly and pacing over to her communicator. "Janeway to maintenance. My lights are down."

Silence. Rain shattering against a tin roof. 

She glanced up, eyes taking in the rafters, to the side, taking in the firs and bare limbs beyond the glass. She looked to the sofa. Her mother slept, tired.


No crew to help. Only the cabin. No light. No light.

There, fire. A candle. Nothing man hadn't been doing for eons. Nothing of the 24th century. Another candle, a growing circle of light, timeless. 

She had asked her mother for the cap. Gretchen had told her she didn't have it.

Kathryn Janeway's gaze fell on the cradle in the corner. Her cradle. Tired eyes took in the dips and contours anew, the worn wood awkwardly put together, the initials carved into an obliging angle.


Tom Paris?

She sat heavily, in defeat, and fiddled with the communicator. No way to get Voyager, but there were other frequencies, always open. Settling on the floor and curling an arm over her bent knees, she sighed and
spoke. "Mr. Paris, if you do indeed know the way,  I believe it's time you visited the cabin again."

A pause, and then the connection cut through, his voice clear and faintly relieved. "Aye, Captain, on my way."


He was prompt, but not prompt enough. Her mother had woken to the tail end of the hail. "Him, Kathryn?"

"Just my former pilot."

"Just your former pilot."

"You ever met him?" There were holes, a lot of them, in the Janeway-Paris history. Kathryn had been Owen's mentoree. She wasn't entirely sure Tom Paris had ever meant anything to her parents, had even met them. Maybe at a gala. At a distance.

"A very long time ago."

The calm warmth of her mother's tones chilled. Janeway straightened,
smoothing her blouse into place, meeting the familiar eyes. "When he was a child?"

"I wouldn't say that."

"Do you know why I  requested his presence?"

"I have an idea or three." The smile was amused, knowing. 

"He told me a story..." There, she felt inadequate again, back to the child at an adults knees stage. 

"I'm sure he told it well."

"Stop answering in riddles."

"I don't think you'd listen to anything but riddles at this point, dear. You want a supposed truth either confirmed or denied, but the thought of that confirmation terrifies you." The older woman stood, sweeping
her hair behind her ears, pulling her robe snugly around the still shapely body.

"Captain?" The door slammed open and shut as quickly, leaving snow on the floor. Tom Paris stared in, eyes restless, lips lined with worry. He stared at a point somewhere on the ceiling. Kathryn watched her
mother. Gretchen Janeway didn't bat an eye. They were both damned good actors. 

She moved, motioning him to a seat. "We need to talk, Mr. Paris."

"Yes." Gretchen took the seat opposite. "We do, Kathryn."

He swore lightly. His former captain let her shoulders sag, rubbing her
forehead. "Mother."

"Mr. Paris." Smoothly, Gretchen interceded, turning her attentions to the guest, who was studiously avoiding looking at them both. "I'm here to defend your prowess in all matters relating to the intimate 
learning and upkeep of the human body."

He groaned. 

Kathryn's ears curled. "Mr. Paris." Her voice fell by degrees, eyes narrowing as she approached. "I'm giving you two minutes. Two minutes to back out of here and never set foot in my presence again before I have you arrested for temporal violations..."

"Temporal violations?!" He all but yelped, finally meeting her gaze as he stood. "How the hell can you do that? If I hadn't 'temporally violated', you never would've been born to HAVE me arrested!"

"Or, of course, perhaps I would have been born and the timeline would have been carried on just right, with no odd goddamned Tom Paris as my father quirks..."

"Kathryn..." Gretchen stepped to his side, glancing uneasily between them. "He may have a point. You might've been born, but you wouldn't be the same. Whether you enjoy admitting it, many of the little quirks that make you who you are come directly from Tom Paris..."

"Oh, shut up." She HATED temporality. More than that, she hated the fact that they were probably right.

"I beg your pardon?" The older woman's lips thinned.

"I wasn't talking directly to you, Mother." Pressing a hand to her forehead, Janeway pursed her lips.

"I beg to differ."

"I'm sorry."

"I'm just glad somebody has control over you..." Paris began heatedly. 

His former captain wheeled, driving a fist into his stomach with brute force. "I WAS talking directly to you!"

"Kathryn!" Gretchen cried, grabbing her arm. "Look at you, resorting to violence over a little frustration...hitting your father, at that!"

"Tom Paris is not, and never will be, MY FATHER!"

The End