TI: "Arma Capere: Sequel to 'Perdido'." VOY (P, P/T)
AU: SnoopMary (MillicentFawcett@aol.com)
DI: Paramount's, not mine; no money, just for fun.
SU: Fourth in the "Latin" Series. My own answer to "Where's the Paris'
mommy?". What can I say, I'm a freudian, not a jungian!

I couldn't save your soul. God knows I tried, B'Elanna, I wanted to save you.

Dammit, I *love* you. You're my wife, divorced, annulled or separated. I belong
to you. This Paris, like every other Paris, will go to his grave knowing that
he kept to his vows. I may not have been there, but dammit, I was faithful to
you. I meant those words I said and I know you did too, B'Elanna, so don't lie
and say you didn't mean them! The law alone can't sever that vow I made to you,
above and forsaking all others.

I left because I had to. My heart stayed right where it was.

B'Elanna, we were *home*. We could get you help. We could be a family again. We
could have the house, the garden, the dog and each other. So how could you do
that, B'Elanna? How could you just *leave* me, leave Hannah Belle? How am I
supposed to explain your decision to our baby girl? How do I explain your

How do I explain it to myself, B'Elanna?

I was so *angry*, B'Elanna. At you, at the Captain, at myself. I swung at any
and every pitch thrown at me for months. I couldn't hardly look in the mirror,
couldn't sleep, couldn't concentrate, couldn't think straight. I barely
breathed. I did the best I could with Hannah Belle, but I thank God for my
father. He brought up the rear when I dropped the ball.

He loves me, B'Elanna, and he adores Hannah Belle. He doesn't push, doesn't
prod, nothing. He just wants me to be Tom. He's just happy that I'm home and
I'm alive and that I'm not going to go off the rails again.

Mom, Ha! Like she cares.

I never told you about my mother, did I? I don't like to talk about her.
Neither do my father or sisters, for that matter.

She left us, you know. Just over a year before I went to the Academy, she left.
One day she was there, the next day, *poof*. I don't think any of us will get
over that. Especially Dad. She didn't leave a note, nothing. We had Starfleet
and Federation Intelligence searching for her until it was decreed that she was
willingly missing until evidence proved otherwise.

I doubt that you could possibly comprehend what it's like, not knowing, scared
out of your mind that she'd been taken to get back at Dad. God, B'Elanna, Dad
was having nightmares about the Cardassians....well. We just didn't know,
B'Elanna, and that *hurt*. A *lot*.  My sisters reacted by burying themselves
at school. I reacted by getting into trouble and Dad, well, he was an picky
professor when the Captain was at the Academy, but he didn't become a
ball-breaker until Mom took off. Or a maniacal stage father, but that's another

Then, she walked back into our lives about two days before Caldik Prime. Just
to tell us to go away. So long, and thanks for nothing.

New man, new child, new life.

I know you and everyone else wondered why, B'Elanna, why my family doesn't talk
about it, why I won't talk about the accident. Why I got off so easily
considering what I did. B'Elanna, every single person on that board knew about
what had just happened, knew that Caroline Paris had just walked back into her
family's life four years after leaving just to tell them to fuck off.

Most of the flag admirals were there when she did it. It was my father's 60th
birthday party. Right to our faces, B'Elanna. And of course, we thanked her for
coming, and wished her well, Paris masks firmly in place.

I care, B'Elanna, and I do hurt. I cared and it hurt every time you got that
look in your eye, and every time someone called me 'traitor' or 'murderer', I
cared and it hurt! I just don't know how to show that I do!

Not part of the Paris Protocols, I guess.

Maybe if we were willing to go public, to react or acknowledge how much it
hurt, to accept that sort of humiliating weakness, I could have argued for
extenuating circumstances. But how do you let people know that your mother
didn't want you and didn't care that she put you and your family through abject
hell during the process of finding herself? That she said, in front of the men
and women who you'd known for most of your life, that you called 'Aunt' or
'Uncle' in some cases, that it was you, her son, that made her realize that
she'd wasted her life?

It quickly became the equivalent of a state secret, B'Elanna. Everyone knows,
but nobody dares.

Then, while you're sitting waiting to be released by Starfleet Security, she
comes to visit and says that you're a useless waste of space and that she
wishes she'd never had you.

So, honey, I do know what it's like to hear your mother say she doesn't want

How do you let people know that you hurt? You don't. You just try to keep
moving and remember that the trick is to keep breathing. And you keep running
until you can't anymore. Until you stumble into working for a cause you don't
even believe in because you didn't want to face that you were the reason she
didn't want your family anymore. Then one of your uncles finally tracks you
down and finds out what you're doing and your father and your uncles and aunts
make the decision to bring you back into the fold. You get caught, and sent to
prison, and are told by your father, in a private meeting, that it's for your
own good.

And you resent them for thinking you're worth it.

Then, you become a pain-in-the-ass prisoner, and refuse to see anyone, father,
sisters, aunts and uncles.You become determined to protect the people you love
by driving them away, hating yourself even more for hurting them by sending
them away. Until one day, a redhead shows up and offers you a way out, and you
grab it like a lifeline, knowing who sent her, and why.

I want to do that for you, B'Elanna.

I found your father, B'Elanna. I found him and I told him what he'd done to
you,  that it was time to own up, to remember his daughter, the one he
abandoned. The little girl he left behind when he ran away from home.

I would not stand by and let him deny that you matter. I made him confess, I
made him acknowledge you to them, to the ones he chose to live for.

You deserve better. You should know that. He's not worthy of you.

You say that you can't be our daughter's mother. Well, wife, you are her
mother. B'Elanna, she's you. Hannah Belle, I mean. I watch her sleep, and she's
you. I watch her play and there you are, shining out of her smile. And then I
ask myself why you aren't there. Why you chose to leave. Why you nominated a

She's not you, B'Elanna. She could never be you and I'm just not interested in

I stayed, B'Elanna, until I had to leave. I ran when I thought I had to, when
you left me no choice! Why couldn't you see that I never went far? I left your
fists, not you.

I'm here, B'Elanna, waiting for you, always. I'm a Paris, and just like my
father, I can't walk away from the woman I gave my ring to. I won't break faith
with you. You are my wife. Nothing can make me not love you, you own my soul.
Whatever I am, will be, is yours. I will get you the best help my father's name
will buy. I want to help you be the B'Elanna you want to be. The B'Elanna I
know you are. The B'Elanna I fell in love with.

Please, come home.

Whatever's wrong, I'll fix it.

Your loving husband,


Next up: "Anima."