TI: "Carpe Diem: sequel to ĎAnimaí." VOY (KP, P/T)
AU: SnoopMary (MillicentFawcett@aol.com)
DI: Paramountís property, Iím just having fun! No money earned!
AN: Part Six of  "Latin Series (Passer Mortuus Est, Familia Omnia Vincit,
 Perdido, Arma Capere, Anima), available at www.parisnights.de. You need
 to read them first.
SU: Interventions and heroic measures, care of Kathleen Paris.

Jesus, Tommy.

I couldn't believe it when I got the call. If I didn't know better, I'd swear the family banshee had it in for you. That destroying your life, sending you to prison, then sticking you in the Delta Quadrant wasnít bad enough. But this! Good God and all the angels in heaven!

Tommy, she beat the hell out of you, but because she says she loves you, you just suck it up! And you tell us you donít want to press charges! Even though she very nearly killed you?

And donít you think I donít know why, Tommy! You may be able to lie like a rug on Sunday to every Tuvok, Doc or Harry, but you canít lie to *me*, Mister!

I know, Tommy. I know that you love her. I know that you wanted Hannah Belle to have both her parents, that you wanted the munchkin to have what we had growing up, before Momma changed.

But honey, love isnít supposed to be like this. Love isnít supposed to put you in an ICU.

Tommy, you canít keep doing this to yourself, or to Hannah Belle. Or Daddy, for that matter. It took a hypospray and Moiraís sleight of hand to get him to rest, to get him to leave you. Tommy, he found you lying in a pool of blood! And Hannah Belle locked in her bedroom crying hysterically, all because of  that *bitch* you call a wife! How the *hell* do you think that made him feel, Tommy? Made Moira and I feel?

Dammit, Tommy, sometimes I wish Dad hadn't tried to turn you into the perfect Starfleet Officer!  Hell, I wish he hadn't made the three of us feel that showing our feelings,  hell, that *feeling* was wrong, a distraction from the higher purpose of being a Paris! He was always proud of  how we never cried when he went on rotation. The Paris children  knew how to maintain distance and dignity, understood the importance of duty over desire.

Dad never quite understood that we never cried when he had to go because we didn't want to disappoint him. Instead, we put on the Paris masks. I went for calm and distant. Moira went for passionate intensity. But you, Tommy, you put up walls and reinforced  them with sarcasm and bitter anger and a chip on your shoulder that keeps people far enough away so you donít get hurt!You pushed people, me, Moira, away, Tommy! You walled yourself off, locked yourself away and made yourself into an emotional hermit, and kept it up after Caldik Prime!

But you won't let anyone cross into your cave. You won't let anyone rescue you. You won't even rescue yourself.

You donít have that luxury anymore, Tommy. You have to rescue yourself for Hannah.

God, Tommy, I know you love her. I know Hannah loves her mommy. But Tommy, that creature that did this to you isnít her mother! Iíve talked to some of your friends from the ship. Thatís not the BíElanna they knew, either. Ever since that Isomorph, it hasnít been their, *your* BíElanna.

Sheís gone, Tommy. Sheís gone. Let her go. Please.

If not for yourself, then for Hannah Belle. She doesnít need to see things like that. Life is awful enough without learning early on that the people you care most for can hurt you the most.

Iím going to tell you something, brother of mine, and you will obey me without question. I havenít pulled family rank since you went to the Academy, but I am now.

We are going to get your BíElanna the help she needs. There is obviously something seriously fucked up in that shingled head of hers. Moira, Daddy and I are calling in favours to get her committed to Starfleet Medicalís psychiatric services. Since we can pinpoint when BíElanna changed, that it happened while she was serving the fleet, we can force them to treat her. We will help her, Thomas. But on one condition.

You give her up. No more expiations, no more obfuscations, no more one-last-chances. Itís over. She is *verboten*. You get me? We will not risk you, or Hannah Belle, any more. She is, as of this moment, not only persona non grata but a security risk. She is off-limits and out-of-bounds.

Donít look at me like that. You know just as well as I do why you keep letting her do this to you, why you let her get away with it. One of the major problems that we Parises have is that our pride can block the sun from shining on flaws that others see. Another is our collective inability to recognize that sometimes being the hero is self-destructive, in that thereís never anyone left to rescue the hero.

Youíre at the crossroads, Tommy. We all are. If you canít break the cycle, how on earth could Moira and I? Youíve always been the strong one, Tommy. Youíre the survivor. You can make friends, find places to belong. You have people skills, for Godís sake! Youíre not afraid to be a risktaker, to put yourself on the line for others. We canít. Moira and I manage to alienate damn near everyone because of our fears. After all, the Supreme Bitch and the Ice Queen canít sacrifice control, ever! Nor can we risk letting people inside, no matter how much we want to.

The future of the next generation of Parises rests upon your shoulders, Tommy. Moira and I have never been able to lower our shields. We just canít share ourselves with others the way you can. You arenít so afraid that the idea of human touch is repugnant. You beat the curse, Tommy. You can let people in. You have friends who are absolutely devoted to you. Youíre the one Paris who isnít afraid to love, Tommy! But the problem you have is the inability to make people you love accountable for their actions. Youíd rather take the blame yourself. Youíre too scared of losing them, and our damnable family pride precludes asking for help, admitting that thereís a problem, until we have absolutely no choice. We exist within a perpetual state of denial.

Itís a beautiful day, even when it isnít. Family policy in action.

Tommy, remember the song Moira used to sing in the shower? Cruel to be kind? Thomas Paris, you have to sacrifice BíElanna to save her! Sheís counting on your not turning on her! You are her safety net, because no matter what she does, you stay. Itís time to shake her foundations, Tommy, to rock her to the core. You have to let her hit rock bottom. Thereís no other way. We, you, they have tried absolutely everything else, and nothing worked.

Itís judgment day, Tommy. Itís up to her whether she bounces or not. She has to start owning up and taking responsibility for her actions. She has to choose whether or not she wants help. She has to decide whether sheís willing to make the necessary changes to become the BíElanna she wants to be. Thatís her choice, Tom. We canít make her change.

But you can make yourself change, and by extension, force her hand. I want you to take that risk, Tommy. Moira and Daddy want you to take the risk. Make her choose, Tommy: redemption or rejection.

But we will not let her hurt you again. You donít have a choice in the matter anymore.

God, Tommy, if they manage to screw her head back on straight, Iíll welcome her back myself! But until then, she canít be trusted.

We have to protect you, Tommy. Even if it means hurting you, we have to protect you.


TBC in "De Lacrima".

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