Title: The Unforgotten
Author: RoseKira@aol.com or email@example.com
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.
"Guardian." Paris shifted, ignoring the cold knot in his stomach. "Move ahead
to the point at which Linnis
Paris was returned to Voyager."
Linnis Paris was resisting tears, back ramrod straight, chin tucked up.
The captain of Voyager settled directly before her, glancing down, ignoring the audience. "Crewman Linnis Paris. You are guilty of insubordination, unauthorized use of a spacecraft, reckless endangerment, and conduct unbecoming an officer. Do you have anything to say?"
Her voice was barely audible, eyes turbulent as they broke protocol briefly to glance across the room to the grim-faced third party. "The Riga needed my help."
"In doing so, you disobeyed direct orders."
"You violated the protocols that govern this crew."
"Yes, sir." Her head lifted, shoulders squaring. "Permission to speak freely. Riga's people weren't going to listen. They were going to ignore our warnings."
"You don't know that."
"Riga knew. And I was the only one that could help them. I broke the rules for a reason...for something I
Briefly, the Indian's eyes softened, but he shook his head finally. "I admire your principles, Linnis, but I can't ignore what you've done. Crewman Paris. I remove you from the rank of acting medical officer, and I sentence you to thirty days of solitary confinement."
"Captain." Finally, the third party spoke, tones half-pleading.
"Commander Paris, you may escort Crewman Paris to the brig."
Linnis followed her father from the room wordlessly.
"It isn't fair." Childish, the phrase, unindulged in for years, but it
suited. Wrapping her arms around her waist, the half-Ocampan stared at the turbolift wall, eyes burning. "Thirty days for his command mistake? He was the one who wouldn't help them. What about my son? Does he have any idea how thirty days are to an Ocampan? It's an eternity of missed time."
Tom Paris nodded, absorbing the stark, angry inflections of the words, moving to her side. "It was his command mistake, and I'm beginning to see your Ocampan viewpoint better and better, Linnis...but it was your mistake as well. Chakotay trusted *you* to know your limits. You
chose to act beyond them. He has to enforce the rules..."
"Captain is always right?" The first tendrils of hostility rose.
"Not always. In this case, yes." He nodded. "Chakotay isn't a bad man, but he is only a man, and guiding this crew is hard on him. If you had been here when Janeway was alive you'd understand. Protocol was everything to her, and it's his dubious tribute to keep the damned Starfleet charade up..."
"I wasn't born at the time he took command, of course, but I hear that he didn't want to." Hollow, dry, the laugh broke out. "The captain got Voyager through the loss of people that were loved very dearly and
could never be replaced..."
"And now he's lost someone else. You feel guilty for depriving Voyager of living, useful crewman, don't you? Like me, the one thing worse than guilt to you is admitting to guilt. Poor Linnis, you're so damnably
alike Kes and I both I doubt your two sides will ever reconcile." Shaking his head ruefully, the pilot touched her arm.
"You don't miss anything, do you?" It made her love him fiercely.
He considered, stepping back just slightly, eyeing the security detail
outside the doors, touching her shoulder warningly. "If it makes you feel any better, my next three months will be spent devising some
crash courses in piloting and Starfleet policy. Can't imagine why Chakotay thinks *I* need the brush-up, but..."
Her laugh, genuine, soft, was worth it. He shook his head, taking her elbow and ignoring the discreet but trailing detail as they made way down the corridors. "Escorting me to the brig?" Her tones were dry,
"Hey, it's a father's duty." Pausing, he met her gaze. "Linnis, what you did was right. I would have done it myself. Just...don't do it again."
"Yes, sir." Kissing his cheek wanly, she stepped behind the forcefield
perimeter, watching it shimmer up.
"He never did like a Paris." Tom quipped, eyeing the Guardian tiredly.
Kim met his friends gaze wryly, empathetically. "We have to see this through."
"Yes." Glancing to the side, the ill man smiled dryly. "Better take a seat, Miral, we fools could be here a while."
"I don't see how looking at might have beens will help you." Sighing, the quarter-Klingon took his arm, providing support. "But I'm here."