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."
"Well." Miral stepped back, face whitening faintly. "Are you happy with that?"
"No." Tom Paris admitted, shoulders sagging. "Not at all." Moving slowly, numbly, he paced a path in the sand, rubbing his neck. "Harry...Kes only saw the semi-good part. She lived with...the regret, the thought that she'd given up...a good personal future, a happy one. But it wasn't, not always. If I could tell her that, maybe she wouldn't be so..."
The Admiral withdrew from his stunned silence, turning sharply. "Bitter? Wouldn't do the things she did to Voyager? Tom, that's the point. You can't interfere. If you go find Kes through the Guardian and tell her
not to regret her choice, her whole future might change. OUR whole future. There are reasons we have protocols guiding..."
"Like they guided Voyager's crew."
"Don't compare it."
"I can't help comparing it. There." Paris lunged forward, stopping only at his daughters grip, pointing into the gateway. "Halt it. See, there, Harry...it was after the party, after we'd gotten Kes back...that's where
I'm supposed to go. To talk to her. Even the Guardian is telling me where to go."
"You can't do that, Tom. You can't interfere in the past."
"Interfere? Interfere?" The words poured out, angry, unbroken. "Hell, Harry, she saw heaven, all she ever wanted, and had to prevent it from happening. She spent the rest of her life...her poor, tortured life... regretting it. I have to tell her, that she did the right thing, that it wasn't all joy she missed..."
"You really loved her, didn't you?" The voice from behind them was low, soft, dry.
"B'Elanna..." Paris turned, grasping her hands feverishly, meeting the tired, dark eyes desperately. "I have to tell her."
She shook her head, gripping his hands. "Paris, it could change her future."
"It could also change our past." He caught her face with shaking hands. "For better."
"I can't support this." Admiral Kim backed away.
"Not asking you to. I'm just asking you to support me, all three of you."
Backing away as well, the half-Klingon nodded slowly, chin lifting. "Let him go, Miral."
"Let go, Mirie, and it's no request."
"I'll never understand either of you." Stepping to the side, Miral Paris
watched her father step through the gateway, then turned away to rejoin her mother and the admiral. They waited in silence.
The holodeck. Sandrine's. Tom Paris had forgotten just how much he had missed the dark little hovel.
Moving forward, he stared at the woman dangling her feet from a barstool, holding a padd up...the same padd, God...and staring at it intently. He had also almost forgotten how very damned adorable she was. Forgotten too much. "Computer, privacy lock, authorization Paris."
"Authorization accepted." The on again, off again verification rang out. Kes sat her cup down with a clatter, turning, eyes widening with faint shock as she took him in. "Tom? Oh, Tom, where..."
Moving forward, he held up the padd, his older, battered version. "I got your message."
Her lips pursed, hands entwining as he took the seat beside her. "I never intended for you to find it, I thought I had hidden it very well."
"They took Voyager apart bulkhead by bulkhead. This padd was a historical goldmine, Kes. I'm just lucky they let me have it."
"You read it." Her eyes glinted with tears, slender fingers reaching up to canvass his face. "After so very long, you read it. I'm sorry."
Shaking his head, he met her gaze, smiling. "No, Kes, I didn't just read it...I saw it. You remember from Voyager's database...the time portal, The Guardian Of Forever. I had the chance to go to it, to... watch. I saw it, that timeline."
"Voyager made it back to the Alpha Quadrant. You were able to see Linnis through your technology." The words were soft, reverent.
"And Andrew. And everything else."
"I have to give it up, Tom, I can't do anything else. If the timeline does transpire uninterrupted, there will be Linnis, and Andrew...but no Captain Janeway, no B'Elanna. Perhaps...no Alpha Quadrant."
No B'Elanna Torres, leader of Qo'NoS, no Miral, and eventually no Tom Paris. Pushing the thought away, he gripped her hand, marveling at the warmth, the liveliness pulsing.
"Tom." This time, her hands were the ones gripping, her eyes the ones seeking. "I see pain in your eyes, and I can only imagine what put it there...but I know I can't help that. I can't let our timeline unfold
here...in this reality. That doesn't mean it won't in another reality. Linnis may be out there, and all of them. For another Kes, and another Tom. We have to accept what this reality grants us."
If only she knew. Reclaiming a hand, he rubbed his neck. "Of course, you're too damned sensible to do anything else."
"Please, don't ever be." Dry, tired, the laugh broke forth.
"No, don't." He pressed shaky fingers to her lips. "And don't listen to me. Everyone says I'm senile. You're doing the right thing."
"And you came all the way from the future just to tell me that?" Her smile grew, eyes glowing.
"I don't get out much anymore, thought I'd really make a go at it." The quip was half-hearted, but she laughed, and it was enough. "It was something you needed to know. Something I want you to
"I will." Helping him stand, she rested a hand on his arm briefly. "You could stay, talk to the rest of them. They'll know another Tom Paris was here, two identical biosignatures will be impossible to explain."
"But they won't know anything else. That's how it has to be. I trust you with the information. You trusted me with our reality." Pulling away, he glanced sharply across the room, recognizing the energy building.
Winds, howling, and an odd feeling, almost otherworldly...with what little strength he had, he pushed her back towards the bar. "Hide, under the bar, and hold on, I don't know...pull you in..."
Tom Paris disappeared into the swirling waves of wind and energy.
B'Elanna Torres, leader of Qo'NoS, caught him as he fell back.
Tom Paris burst through the holodeck door, phaser raised.
B'Elanna Torres, Chief Engineer of Voyager, caught him as he fell back.
"Guardian?" Kneeling over her husband's body, B'Elanna Torres stared upward, gray hair swirling in the wind, eyes dark, tear-filled.
"I am the Guardian of Forever."
"I don't want to know anything." Falling back on her heels, the half-Klingon pulled Tom Paris into her shaking arms.
"I..." Struggling away from the bar, Kes stared at the two officers before her, face stark white.
"I don't want to know anything." Falling back on her heels, B'Elanna Torres pulled Tom Paris into her shaking arms.