Title: The Unforgotten
Author: RoseKira@aol.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Series: VOY Rating: PG-13
Disclaimer: All characters herein owned by Paramount Studios. No copyright infringement intended.
Summary: Tom Paris visits the Guardian of Forever and finds that sometimes what you have is the best you could hope for.
"Father?" Moving into her childhood quarters gingerly, Linnis whispered for lights, gaze taking in the disarray and, finally, her father. "Daddy." He was awake, and eyeing her, so she worked a little indignant
scolding into her tones, brushing away the empathy. "Look around you. If the Captain called a review..."
"He won't." The mumble was sleepy, half-hearted. Grimacing, Paris pulled himself up from the couch. "I'll clean it, though. After a shower and meal."
"Andrew wants you to eat with us tonight."
"No, you do. Just know I won't refuse my grandson." Replicating a glass of water, he returned her stare.
She backed down. "Possibly, but Andrew does want to see you. He misses Mother enough, and with you hiding yourself away..."
"I'm not becoming the lousy widower, Linnis, don't you even suggest it."
"No, just lousy company."
"You know, if you were anyone else, I'd be tempted to hate that perceptive sarcasm of yours, young lady."
"But I'm not anyone else." She smiled, reaching up to kiss his cheek. "I'm your daughter, and you happen to be the parent I inherited it from."
He grinned wryly, giving in. "Right. Go on home, butterfly, and tell Andrew I'll be over for dinner."
After waiting for the door to close, Lieutenant Commander Tom Paris sighed, staring at the picture still half-buried in the mound of pillows and blankets. Kes, holding a baby Andrew.
"God, how I miss you." He whispered, remembering saying the same too few years ago, to another dead. Burying his head in his hands, Paris cried.
"Grandpa." The word never failed to make him start, it was too damned ludicrous, but the voice behind it could bring nothing but warmth. "Grandpa, Mom says you've forgotten the time again."
Brushing a hand across his eyes, he tried for a look of normalcy, sitting the picture down on the coffee table as Andrew Kim crossed the living area. "So I did. She'll scold me, I bet."
"Just hum in your head until she quits."
He laughed, standing and leading way into the corridor, into his daughter's quarters. "I'll remember that."
Linnis turned from the table, eyes alight with rare, childish delight. "You recommended that I accompany the away team to the Monean homeworld."
"I thought you might like it. It's hard, at times, I guess, for you. You've grown so fast and had to take in so much that trying to keep you up to date as far as off-ship experience goes is impossible." He touched her arm briefly, helping clear the various padds scattered across the table. "Besides, it'll do you good. I know you've been dealing with your mother's death badly too."
Her hand was tiny, fragile as it rested on his. "Thank you."
"Nothing for it, kid." Hearing the door open, he grinned as his 'son-in-law' entered, barely avoiding Andrew's whirlwind attack.
"Now, wait a minute..." Patting the dark head awkwardly, Harry Kim eyed the rest of the family. "Is this one of those rare days of sentimentalism?"
"Of course not, Har."
"Never." Sweeping away, Linnis smiled back at them both.
"You've seen enough." Miral's velvet bladed tones cut through his reverie. "And so has Harry. How could you bring him here, knowing..."
"Shut up, Mirie." Tiredly, he turned to glance at his friend, who still
stared at the Guardian with something akin to shock. "Admiral?"
Harry raised a hand to hush them. "Guardian, show us more. Move ahead slightly."
"Linnis?" Resting a hand on the table, Paris flipped the terminal monitor up for better viewing, lips thinning as he took in the connection. Shuttle cockpit, and his constant despair propped in the pilots chair, peering back at him with a furrowed brow.
"Linnis Paris, I'm going to kill you."
A brief smile rose, but she suppressed it quickly, stiffening to business. "I've requisitioned use of the Cochrane in order to assist the Moneans. My request is on the Captain's desk, I believe, but he may have mistakenly overlooked my arguments for helping them. Now, I have to set in course. If you recall, the planet is approximately..."
"Linnis. We need some semblance of sanity aboard this god-forsaken ship. You, who hates shuttles, who during childhood screamed bloody murder every single time I tried to take you out in one...you want to
fly a shuttle all by yourself, breaking orders, just to help the Moneans?"
Her smile slipped another notch, shoulders tightening. "That was the thought, yes."
He ignored the interruption. "Well, I'd like some peace. My wife
died...*died* dammit, Linnis, and I'd like to at least have the comfort of my daughter around, and that failing, I'd like to at least think myself up to comforting you. But no, I guess you don't need Daddy anymore, do you? You want a *shuttle*, and an unauthorized mission. I'll never understand you Ocampans and your ways."
"No." Her tones emptied as she turned away, staring out the shuttle viewport absently. "I don't suppose you will."
"I didn't mean for it to come across like that, Linnis, and you damn well know it."
"No, I'm afraid that I don't know it. I cannot help the fact that I'm
Ocampan, Father. You and my mother created me, through no choice of mine. I don't hate my human side, I appreciate it a great deal more than you probably appreciate your own humanity. When I was a child, I would...listen to you and Mother as you played cards or enjoyed your evening parties with the Captain and Harry...and I would lie in my bed watching the shadows on the wall, knowing that it would all go away sooner than I wanted. I knew I was growing fast, and that I might not die in nine years, but it would probably still be a brief
nineteen...even as a child, I knew that you would outlive me, that you were different, too different, and I thought maybe you didn't like me because of it. That I frightened you. Of course I did, I understand that, you're so human, and good-hearted, and you and Harry were never meant to love people like Kes and I and maybe even Andrew. People who live life in the blink of an eye. I never told you that I didn't sleep because I was a silly child afraid of dying...I couldn't stand the thought of hurting you. Kes always taught me to help...and that's what I want now...to help these people. Understand that, please."
"Crewman Paris, as a superior officer, I'm ordering you to redock that
"Commander Paris, I can't do that. I guess I'm a little too much like you." Turning away, she cut the channel.
He swore, grabbing his uniform jacket and heading into the corridor. "You're cooking tonight, Har."
Matching pace with his friend and following him into the bridge turbolift, he stared at the wall, back rigid.
"Linnis should be back by then..." Lieutenant Kim paused, holding his padd aloft. "Tom, she did just take the Cochrane on a test run, didn't she?"
"Try a test run to the Monean homeworld. Without permission. Now, while she just might make it home for dinner...I'm betting hers is going to be served in the brig."
"I'll kill her." The words were fevered, despairing.
"Oh, I've got dibs. After Chakotay. That's where I'm headed now, to try and wheedle a shuttle out of him, track her down before she does something all of us really regret. She's too much like me for my liking."
"Tom..." Whatever the Lieutenant had been planning on saying was cut short as the ready room doors swished open. Chakotay leveled them both with glares. "Regarding Linnis. In my ready room, now."