Daddy's Little Girl

She took his outstretched hand in hers, and looked up into his face.  So many thoughts going through her head, so many memories - her father pushing her on a swing, eating ice cream on a hot summer's day, the two of them laughing, and the day he left.  That one stood out the most, and all of those feelings filled her heart with a pain that was as fresh as the day he left.  It was as though she was an abandoned child once again.

Tom sensed her sadness and lifted her hand to his lips to place a soft kiss upon it, trying to bring her back to the present.

"You okay?"

"Yeah...I think so.  It was just so...I don't know.  I mean to see him again after all this time..." her thoughts trailed off again as two ensigns walked passed them in the hallway.

Sensing her need for privacy and her need to talk, he said "Why don't we go back to our quarter's for a little while?  I'll replicate us some tea, and we can talk for a while. What do you say?"

"I wish I could, Tom, but I have to go back to Engineering."

"You don't look like you're up to being the 'Chief' right now. "

"I'm fine...I mean I'll be fine.  I just need to get back to work."

"Are you sure, B'Elanna?  I don't think the Captain would mind if we took a little break before heading back to work.  I know the Doctor would recommend you taking a little down time after something so obviously...painful."

"It wasn't painful, Tom.  It just wasn't painful!  Okay?!"

"Okay."  He could tell she wasn't ready to talk yet, but he would be there for her when she was ready.  He silently vowed, once again, to always be there for her.

"I'll see you later."  She said and headed off.

Returning to sick bay, Tom felt a little heavy hearted, knowing what his wife was going through, knowing the effect the absence of her father had caused her over the years, Tom wasn't sure if he would be able to wait until she was ready to let him in, but he would try.  He knew it would be easier for her if she was ready to talk about it, then to force her into it, so he would wait, but not for too long.

"Well Mr.'s about time you got here.  I have several ideas about the re-write."

The Doctor had recently penned a holo-novel loosely based on the Voyager crew - very loosely based.  The Chief Engineer was a woman that looked considerably like B'Elanna without any Klingon traits, the first officer had a tattoo covering half of his face, the Chief Helmsman
acted like an olden day rogue, married to one woman suspiciously ...the Chief Engineer, yet romancing every other woman he could get his hands on.  Tom couldn't imagine the thought of ever being unfaithful to his wife, of course he could never imagine himself with a dark head of hair and a moustache, but the Doctor seemed to visualize it all too clearly. These "loosely based" characterizations caused quite a bit of disturbances throughout the crew, which prompted the re-write, the Doctor spoke of.

"I'd like to get started as soon as possible."

"Sure Doc.  Have a great time on the holodeck...and Doc."
"Yes Mr. Paris."
"Lose the moustache, will ya?"

With that the Doctor left for the holodeck to complete his "work of art".

Tom spent an uneventful hour in sickbay when the doors swished open and his wife walked in.

"Hey" she said softly.
"Hey" he said grabbing his medical tricorder and immediately starting a scan on her and their daughter.

She smiled wistfully and said "Tom...I'm fine.  I just wanted to talk."
"Oh."  He thought how far they had come since they first admitted their love for each other.  It's taking a lot less time these days to admit when one needed the other.

"What's on your mind?" he said trying to lighten the mood a bit.

"My father."

"Here...come on over and sit down.  Do you want a cup of tea or something?"

"No.  I just need you for a little while.  Is that alright?" she asked sheepishly.

"You don't even have to ask.  I'm always going to be here for you, whenever you need me." he said as they walked over to a biobed and sat down.

"I know.  Maybe I forgot for a while..." both of them remembering her reaction to finding out their daughter would be born with forehead ridges.  An obvious sign of her Klingon heritage.

"...But I do know that you'll always be there for our daughter. And me" she continued.

"Tom, my father...he...well...he's a good father.  That is he was a good father until the day he left my mother and me.  That was the most painful day of my childhood.  I think back to all of the fights my mother and I had, all of the disputes, of how I was nothing but a
disappointment to 'our Klingon ancestors', because I was joining the Starfleet Academy -God, I was sure she hated me then - but even all of that didn't cause me as much pain as the day my father left us.  He ripped out my heart that day, and until you I wasn't sure I still had one left."

He wanted to tell her that she always had a heart, otherwise she wouldn't have joined the Maquis cause, but sensing her need to talk he let her continue without interruption.

"When I saw him today on that view screen it was like I was 5 all over again, and my daddy was there for me.  I want so much to let him back in, to be his little girl, but I'm so afraid of being hurt again, of him hurting our daughter.  I would never let him hurt her that way."

" should take it slowly, B'Elanna.  Look, today was the first time you spoke to him in how many years?  No one expects you to just open up your heart and let him back in just like that."

"Yeah.  I guess you're right."
"B'Elanna, why not write to him and see what happens."
"Do you think he'll write back?"

"Well...he did send you a message saying he wanted to talk to you, and he did seem pretty sincere in wanting to get to know you again."

"He did didn't he?"
"Yeah...he did."
"Well...I guess I'll write to him then."

"I guess so, and as far as our daughter is concerned...we have a long time before anyone, other than her mommy and daddy, are going to be close enough to even hold her.  Well...maybe the Doctor, him being the Godfather and all."

"Oh you think so, huh?"  She said feeling much more at ease now.

"You think I'm going to let just anyone hold her?  No way."

"I think you might have a problem with Chakotay and the Captain there, Tom."
"Well this is the one area of this ship that you and I will be in command of, and nothing they say or do can change that."
"Oh, I don't know...the Captain could order you to let her carry the baby."

They both chuckled at the thought of the Captain and Chakotay trying to order Tom into letting them hold their daughter.
"All kidding aside, B'Elanna...I'll never let anyone hurt our daughter, or you." he said as he placed his hand on her face and made her look into his eyes. As he leaned in to place a kiss on her lips he whispered, "I love you...both."
"We love you too."

He placed his warm lips over hers and kissed her lightly, stroking her face and looking into her eyes while he kept on kissing her over and over.

"Well...isn't this nice.  Mr. Paris pleases stops performing a tonsillectomy on your wife in my sick bay."

Tom and B'Elanna barely pulled apart to acknowledge the Doctors, untimely arrival, and resumed kissing for a few more seconds.

"Perhaps the two of you would like me to leave?"  He said as he took his seat in his office, obviously not planning on going anywhere.

"No that's okay Doc, but thanks for the offer."
"Well...I have to go back to engineering.  I'll see you later, and thanks...Mr. Paris.," she said in her best "Doctor" voice.
"No thanks necessary...Mrs. Paris."  He'd been trying that name out on her more and more often lately, secretly hoping that she would eventually succumb to it. Whispering in his ear she said  "Have I told you how much it turns me on when you call me that?" giving him a look that he knew all to well, she pecked his cheek, and was off to

He wasn't sure exactly how turned on it made her, but he was definitely going to find out tonight.

The End