Title: To The Voyage
author: kiraananke@hotmail.com
Series: VOY Rating: PG-13
Disclaimer: ST: VOY and all related characters owned by Paramount Studios. No
copyright infringement intended.
Summary: Response to a challenge involving beginning a story with 'I had coffee
with your mum, she always seems so glad to see me'. The Paris family has a
little important discussion and a certain captain offers support. Unlike my
other stories, this one actually seems to be...happy.


"I had coffee with your mum, she always seems so glad to see me..."

Gingerly making his way across Voyager's dim bridge and sitting at helm, Tom
Paris awkwardly lifted his daughter into his arms, fingers reverently brushing
back the downy hair and tracing the tiny brow ridges.

"Which is a good thing, actually, it means her hormones are right back to
normal, and she can come home with us soon. You'll like that, won't you, Miral?
Spending the first weeks of your life away from your mother isn't exactly a
prime start. Lucky we have such a clannish clan to keep me above water..."
Unwinding a strand of his hair from her tiny finger, he leaned back, bouncing
lightly, staring at the darkened viewscreen wistfully. "You don't know them
yet, but I can give you the run down, puqbe'. There's the good Captain Janeway,
who happens to be up for Admiral, and'll probably be insufferable by the time
you're old enough to accept her mentoring. Then we have civilian archeologist
Uncle Chakotay, who seems
more deliriously happy than any self-respecting Indian ought to be. The woman
behind that, Seven, is a civilian liaison to Starfleet, like me, and really one
of the bravest, most beautiful honorary aunts a girl like you could hope for.
She's proved it, standing up for her rights and turning away from her Borg
past. Even your mother says so, but I think she's just happy to see the old man
happy. There's Harry, of course, you'll see a lot of him, as Starfleet allows.
The Doctor...your godfather. He's a hologram, Miral, and someday you'll see
what that means to this sometimes bigoted universe, but to us he's just Doc,
family. Tuvok...the tall, dapper pointy-eared Vulcan. He's actually a fairly
nice guy. Strong, and wise, and a little more humane than humanity usually
expects. There's Sam and Naomi...Sam will be giving your mother a lot of
advice, I can tell, and Naomi will be a great older friend for you. A little
older than most, thanks to her roots, but a friend still. Not to mention all
the others...you have a big family, and won't ever be alone, that's for sure.
Somebody will always be here for you. Always, no if, ands, or buts."

"And then there's your grandfather." The voice was deep, reaching across the
room. Turning, Tom met his father's gaze, shifting positions to hide the
automatic tension.

"And then there's your grandfather." He agreed, forcing calm. Running into Owen
Paris face to face hadn't been wholly unexpected, you could only hide so well
from the man...but still, he had wanted time, time to rethink his position,
redraw emotional boundaries.  Of course not, he hadn't gone to Dad, so Dad had
come to him.

The older Paris moved forward, touching the command seat in passing, taking in
the view. "Kathryn told me you'd received Command clearance to visit Voyager
one last time. Said she almost came with you, but thought better."

"Saying goodbye is going to be hard on all of us. Voyager was home."

"Best you ever had, I suspect."

"That was a topic I was hoping to avoid." Standing, the pilot lifted the baby
to his shoulder, standing toe to toe with the admiral.

Owen nodded briefly, hand reaching up to stroke the baby soft skin. "She's
lovely. Looks rather like you did as a baby...with the understandable

"You always swore you'd never let me mate with a Klingon." Involuntarily, the
memory returned...one of his first dates, Sirla...full-blooded Klingon. Owen
Paris had nearly asphyxiated. Shaking his head, Tom grinned at his father.

"You did have to go all the way to the Delta Quadrant to do it, son." A
grudging smile rose. "B'Elanna is only half-Klingon, and...an exception."

"That she is."

Turning, Owen motioned to the empty command chair. "You could be there someday,
Tom, after the refitting."

"I need to be at home with my family, Dad." Tom shook his head, pacing slowly
to soothe his daughter. "B'Elanna and I want to do things differently than you
did, her parents did. We want to be there, completely. Maybe someday...but for
now, I already have my duties."

"I'm proud of you, then."

"That's what I've been telling him for years, sir." Brushing past the cankerous
turbolift doors, Kathryn Janeway settled on the upper bridge level, eyeing them

"And here we thought you hated good-byes, Captain." Smiling faintly, Tom moved
to join her, staring down over the empty command center. Fingers clasping
together tautly, his former captain shook her head.

"I didn't come for the good-byes, Mr. Paris, I came for the fireworks."
Crossing her arms, she took them both in suspiciously. "Are you telling me
you're going to disappoint me?"

"We can't all be perfect, Kathryn." Tapping her shoulder, Owen Paris headed
into the lift. "Tom...your family, and you, Captain...join us for dinner
someday soon."

Staring after the closed door with bemused affection, Janeway caught her former
helmsman's arm. "Tom?"

"It's all right." Glancing down, he allowed her to take the baby, amused by the
unconsciously maternal touches. Had things gone differently for Kathryn
Janeway...but no, she had had her chances, he decided, and seemed to know it.
Maybe, in her own way, she was satisfied...crew mother, and all that. As much
settling as a woman of Janeway's caliber could handle.

"Are you certain?" Her gaze was probing as she smoothed his sleeves down,
wiping away the faint traces of drivel.

"Yeah." He guided her into the returned lift. "Not 'Leave It To Beaver', but
things are okay."

"'Leave it to Beaver?'"

"Just a little piece of antiquity, Captain." Holding the doors open, he
followed her gaze. Empty room, empty chairs, sterile silence. "Do you think
I'll ever be back here?"

"Oh, I don't know." Her smile was enigmatic. "Time has a way of leading one
home, Mr. Paris. You may surprise yourself yet."

Nodding, he let the door close. "To the voyage."

"To the voyage." His captain agreed.

The End