Title: Only You
Disclaimer: Paramount owns everything. I have nothing, but my vivid imagination.
He could hear her cooing over the comm, and knew a joy like none he's ever felt in his life. He had just escaped death for, what seemed like, the millionth time, he help destroy borg technology that would save millions of lives, and on top of that he made it back to the Alpha Quadrant. He was home. This entire crew had struggled for seven long years, and they had finally made it home, but that sweet noise, that beautiful sweet noise brought him more satisfaction, more sheer happiness then all of those things combined. Sure a million or more lives would be saved partly because of him, but this ONE life was here solely because of him. Well B'Elanna had a little something to do with it too.
All of these thoughts kept going through his head until the sound he heard was no longer coming from the comm, but from the infant grasping her mother's finger...in her mother's arms. His daughter. Miral.
"Hey." his smile lit up his whole face and his eyes never left his daughter.
"Hey." she replied with a smile matching his own.
"Are you alright?" he said finally looking up from the baby, slowly making his way toward the pair.
"I'm fine. A little tired, but I'll live."
His fingers reached out and stroked the soft skin of his daughters face. "Hi Miral. I'm you're daddy."
B'Elanna smiled at his boyish grin and handed the baby over to Tom.
"Would you like to hold her?"
Reaching out to take the baby in his arms he looked up at B'Elanna with that cute little grin and said "Are you sure? I mean if you want to hold her a little longer..."
"You've been waiting a long time for this flyboy. Come on. She won't bite. Well at least I think she won't. She is part Klingon."
Taking his daughter from B'Elanna's arms Tom marveled in the fact that he was finally holding her. No more talking through B'Elanna's stomach at night. No more rubbing her belly hoping that the baby would feel his touch and kick. His daughter was here.
"She's so tiny."
"She didn't feel all that tiny a few minutes ago."
As he sat on the edge of the biobed he looked into B'Elanna's eyes with such a pained expression and said, "I'm sorry I couldn't be here. I wanted to be so badly."
"It's okay." She knew that this would be coming, and somehow she had to make him understand.
"No it isn't, B'Elanna. For months now all I could do was picture the two of us going through this together, welcoming Miral into the world together, and instead...I'm piloting a ship. I guess you were right about me after all. I'm like all the rest of the starfleet flyboys...taking the mission, and leaving you behind to do all of the work."
"What're you talking about? Do you think that I'm sorry you weren't here with me? Sure it would've been nice to have my husband by my side, but I'm not sorry you were piloting Voyager. Not for one minute." Looking down on their daughter, she said, "Do you think that she won't know the sacrifice her father made? Just to save this ship, and these people? Tom, I know how badly you wanted to be here, I know because I wanted you here with me too. But...I also know that if you hadn't been the one piloting this ship, we wouldn't be in the Alpha Quadrant right now. We are in the Alpha Quadrant, aren't we?"
"Yes. We're in the Alpha Quadrant."
"And did you have to do some pretty fancy flying to get us here?" knowing all the while that he did.
"Well....a little." disclosing the fact that he did have to hide Voyager in a borg vessel, and get them out of there before the whole ship blew up right along with the borg vessel.
"And is there anyone on this ship that could've done it other then you Tom?"
"Maybe?!" she said out of frustration. Sometimes you've just got to draw men a picture.
"Tom, don't you get it. Yes! You could've been in here with me, helping me bring our daughter into this world, and that would've been wonderful. Or... you could've been exactly where you were suppose to be. At the helm making sure our daughter had a life span longer then 30 seconds. I don't know about you, but there is no one on this ship that I trust more then you when it comes to keeping us safe. And I'm not just talking about Miral and me, I mean all of us on Voyager. You are the reason we're sitting here right now holding our daughter instead of being blown up, or worse yet....assimilated. Miral will never think you abandoned her during her birth, but she will know the sacrifice you made to ensure her safety....her life."
"Thanks. I guess I was feeling a little guilty for neglecting my responsibilities as a father, and a husband. I guess I didn't see it from that point of view."
"Well now that you do. I'll ask you again....Is there anyone on this ship that could've flown Voyager,and kept us alive,and safe other then you?"
"Feel better now?"
"Good. So what'd ya say about trying to break us out of sick bay so our daughter can see the home we made for her before we have to leave Voyager?"
"Hmph." Seeing right through her scheme, "That's you're mommy...never wanting to be in sick bay longer then she has to."