TI:    "Perdido" VOY, (T, P/T)
AU:   SnoopMary (MillicentFawcett@aol.com)
DI:    Paramount's, not mine! Just for fun! Let the lawyers go back to Florida!
SU:   Third in the 'Latin' series ("Passer Mortuus Est", "Familia Omnia
         and the forthcoming "Arma Capere"). Since so many of you asked,
        "What the *&^% is with B'Elanna....."!

I never wanted to be my mother.

I knew what it was like, growing up never knowing whether I would be getting
kissed or kicked when I got home. Being forced to read the teachings of Kahless
over and over for perceived slights to the family honour. For not being a good
little warrior.

Fighting at school? My fault, even if I only hit back in self-defence. Not
hitting back? Failing to defend my house's honour. No matter what I did, I was

I used to spend hours wondering what I'd done to deserve that treatment, to
earn her hatred. Her slap. Her cold words, like useless, accident, better off
dead, or my favourite, I never wanted you.

I never wanted to do that to you. I never wanted to hurt the people I loved
like she hurt me. And look. Just look at what I've done.

I meant it every single time I said I was sorry, that I wouldn't do it again. I
really did. I just couldn't help myself. And I hate myself for what I did to
you. I hate myself for the way I used the baby to keep hold of you. I hate
myself for being afraid to go near Hannah, to be the mother I wanted to be.

I don't ever want to say to her the things I heard every day from my mother, to
do the things to her that Miral did to me. Things I know she regretted after
she did them, said them.

I have one good memory of her, you know.

I was fourteen. We had gone for a walk, and got caught in a storm. We hid in a
cave. We had to cuddle to keep warm. She told me all about her mother, and how
she'd never wanted to become her, but seemingly had. That it was her fault
Daddy left, that he didn't want me because of her, because we were a package
deal. That night, that one dark and stormy night, she was my mother.

I looked up my father's record. I know why he left. I know that he had to
choose between life, and me and certain death. He chose to leave me and live.

He lived with a little girl named Celia.

But you, you chose me and the possibility of death. No, that's not true, at
least it hasn't been for a very long time. You chose Hannah Belle and the risk
of certain death.

I love you for that. I know that you put her first,  that our daughter won't
continue this nightmare of a family tradition. What could've ended with me if
my father had taken me with him instead of leaving me to Miral's tender

What I did to you, to Hannah....

I know the Captain wonders what role she could've played in this, if my
deathwish all those years ago was a cry for help.

It was, and it wasn't.

It isn't her fault, or anyone's for that matter, that no-one could save me from

She saved you and she saved Hannah, the best parts of me, and that matters.

I've kept my distance over the past year, since that night, voluntarily giving
you the annullment you deserved - did either of us honestly mean the words we
said that night? I think we both grabbed a brass ring that wasn't; you saw
stability and validation, I saw love that couldn't leave - and custody of all
the good we ever were together. Hannah Belle deserve more than me. She needs a
mother who won't hurt her, who can give her the confidence to love herself.

You deserve to be loved the way you love - totally, utterly, loyally,

And it hurts. It hurts so much that I can't be that person, Tom. I hope you
find the person who can. In fact, I know of one person who would love the
chance to give it to you and I have the feeling that you'll take it. Now that
we're home. Now that we've brought the _Voyager_ back.

Don't let me take your future, Tom. Carpe diem. Give her that chance. Don't
laugh: I know you know who I'm talking about. I see you visiting her in
Engineering enough.

I ask two things of you, Thomas Eugene Paris, and you're going to give them to

Tell Hannah Belle that I love her. Tell her every day. Tell her about the
B'Elanna I could be: the engineer, the friend, the fighter. Please, don't tell
her about the B'Elanna I couldn't not be. Tell her who I want to be.

That's the first thing I want you to do for me.

The second thing?

Don't cry for me.

I love you,