Origin in Pain
It had *not* been an ideal day for B'Elanna Torres. Pressing a hand to her swelling stomach and releasing a faintly annoyed growl, she strode over to her husband, successfully spinning him around to face her and ripping the padds from his grasp in once swipe. "Bed rest, Tom. Doctor's orders. CAPTAIN'S orders. Pregnant Klingon's orders." Then, rifling through the stack. "I sent these up to her hours ago. Kahless, Tom. You've actually gotten her so desperate to be rid of you that shes making up errands."
He grinned guiltily. "It brought me to you..."
"Thats the third pot in an hour."
"I suppose I should quit." Sitting her pot of coffee down with a thunk, Kathryn Janeway took a seat behind her desk.
"You may need more." Standing, Chakotay smiled knowingly. "If you intend to attempt those diplomatic negotiations with the Moirae, you're going to end up having Paris pilot you down to the planet. Rough weather for a shuttle ride."
She inhaled. "We have to negotiate now."
"I'm afraid so."
"What about his alternate?"
"All of the other pilots have been stretched to the limits filling in for him since he went on medical leave. He's the only one rested. Besides, the Doctor feels that he may be developing 'cabin fever'. Taking him with you might actually make him less bothersome."
"One can only hope." She murmered, giving up on the coffee altogether and tapping her com badge. "Janeway to Paris. Get into uniform, Lt, its time for a sickbay field trip."
"Ready to go, Captain?" Fingers gliding across the delta flyer panels in delight, Tom Paris offered his companion a brilliant smile.
Like a child with a newly rediscovered toy, she thought with a stifled chuckle, but kept a poker face, putting her equipment in order. "Steady as she goes, Mister Paris."
"I can resume full duty after this, right?" He teased, bouncing lightly in the seat.
"Oh, I don't know. The Doctor wasn't especially thrilled by your escape from bed this morning." She scanned her padd, lips twitching.
"The Chief Engineer wasn't especially thrilled by status report replicas either, ma'am. And when I'm on bed rest, I have to live with her day in, day out. Its all your fault if I become more stressed out..."
Touche. She shifted in her seat, leveling him with a captains glare. "Smooth one, Lt. We'll see. Take us down."
"Going down, aye." He turned back, grinning.
It shouldn't have happened.
He was the best damned pilot in the Delta Quadrant, his captain and his mother was his favored passenger, and there was simply no fucking way Tom Paris could have crashed on such a routine flight, or so he told himself before the flyer hit solid ground and his head snapped back.
Somewhere in the the groan of compromised infostructure echoed, portending disaster. .
Fighting against a wave of nausea, he jerked out of the pilots seat, nearly falling into a pool of blood and briefly hoping that it was his own and not *hers*. "Captain?!"
Tiny, delightfully strong fingers dug into his hair, pulling his head level to meet furious eyes. "*Sit* down, Paris. You already crashed my shuttle, theres no need to bleed to death on the carpet."
He swallowed a burst of hysterical laughter, falling to the floor shakily and taking a heaving breath. "Whatever you say, ma'am."
"Its going to blow." Janeway turned from the main consoles, tone abrupt. "We have to move out. Can you walk?" Not waiting for an answer, she dove around a corner, grabbing a med kit and tricorder.
"I'll give it my best shot." Paris stood, wobbly, and accepted the shoulder she slipped under his arm as they moved through the wreckage. Reaching the door, she kicked at it, and, never a good sign of structural integrity, it caved outward. She pushed him out.
"Not good enough." The captain judged with a tricorder. "RUN."
Easier said than done, but they did clear the horizon and throw themselves behind a sand dune before his flyer...his precious delta flyer...went up in a grand anticlimatical roar.
Falling back on her heels and shaking his arm from her shoulder, Captain Kathryn Janeway stared at her helmsman. "A week away from conn did *that* to your piloting skills?"