At last, what you‘ve all been waiting for...part 8! Yea!!! :)

This should be the second-to-last story in the series. I‘d have to say that this is definitely the longest fanfic I have ever written. And it‘s the most fun I‘ve ever had writing! :)

Oh, yeah, and one more thing. The title, "A Pair Of Blue Eyes", comes from a Thomas Hardy novel of the same name, written in 1873.So, without further ado, I give you:

Love Is Blind: A Pair Of Blue Eyes
by JoAnna Walsvik
part 8/9

Tom Paris groaned, burying his face in his pillow. It was getting harder and harder to get up in the mornings, knowing that when he opened his eyes he would face the same perpetual darkness.

He stretched and yawned, squinting at the bright light that suddenly flooded his face as he blinked his eyes open.
The bright light that flooded his face... He froze. A light...?
Tom‘s eyes flew open. He bounded out of bed, blinking in disbelief.

There, right in front of him, was the doorway leading out of his bedroom. Beyond the door was his couch, and the replicator. To the right of him was the door leading to his bathroom. Behind him, a window displaying a view of the starry beyond.

"I can see," he murmured dazedly, gazing at his surroundings in open astonishment. "I can see! I can see the window! And through it! I can see my bed...and my couch...and my replicator!"

He dashed into his bathroom, stopping dead in his tracks once he confronted the mirror. Then, almost timidly, he stepped towards it‘s glossy reflection.

Tousled blond hair, pale complexion...a pair of blue eyes, once dim, now bright.
"I can see me," he whispered.

"Doctor! Doctor!" Tom shouted, running into sickbay as fast as he could.

"Mr. Paris? What‘s wrong?" the hologram queried, stepping out of his office. He looked the pilot up and down, taking in the pajamas, the flushed expression, and the bright blue eyes.

"I can see! I woke up this morning and I CAN SEE!" Paris gasped excitedly, nearly out of breath from running all the way from his quarters.

The doctor stared at him for an instant, disbelief coloring his features. "How many fingers am I holding up?" he demanded, raising his hand.



"And now?"


Quickly, the doctor grabbed his tricorder, scanning the pilot rapidly.

"Well, Mr. Paris, it seems that my original hypothesis was correct. The operation did work. It just took awhile for the effects to display themselves."
Tom was nearly delirious with joy. "So this is permanent?"

"Of course." The doctor was smiling broadly. "Welcome back to the land of the seeing, Mr. Paris."

Tom gazed around sickbay. Nothing had changed since the last time he had seen it, of course, but just to be able to look upon the pale gray carpet and the flashing consoles was a delight in itself.
"Would you like me to inform the captain?" the doctor asked.

He hesitated slightly. "Isn‘t Neelix having another luau tonight?"

"That‘s right; in the holodeck," the doctor confirmed. "1900 hours."

An impish smile danced upon the pilot‘s lips. "I think I‘ll go—and surprise them tonight."

"Excellent idea, Mr. Paris. I won‘t say anything until you do," the doctor promised.

"Great! Thanks, Doc," Tom said, looking happier then the doctor had seen him in months. Suddenly, the pilot smiled sheepishly and glanced down at the pajamas he still wore. "I guess I should go change, huh?"
"That would probably be a good idea," the doctor agreed.

Tom dashed out of sickbay, his mind running a mile a minute as he planned the surprise for his friends tonight. He couldn‘t wait to see the expression on their faces...hell, he couldn‘t wait to see their faces again.

And maybe...just maybe...B‘Elanna would be there.

Since his newfound independence had come about, they had less and less time to spend with each other. B‘Elanna was so busy repairing the ship while Tom assisted in other areas that they hadn‘t talked to each other in...well, it had only been a few days, but it seemed like months.

Rushing into his quarters, he began to rummage around in his closet. "Now, let‘s see," he muttered. "Where did I put that 1962 Big Daddy-O Surf Special?"

"Tom!" Harry clapped his friend on the shoulder warmly. "This is a suprise! I didn‘t know you were coming!"
"It was kind of a last minute thing, Harry," Tom said carelessly.
"Who else is here?"

"Um...most of the crew. Captain Janeway, and the commander are here, and I think Tuvok‘s around her somewhere. Neelix and Kes are, and the doctor...and B‘Elanna." Harry watched his friend‘s reaction to this statement carefully.

Tom immediately brightened upon mention of the chief engineer‘s name. "She is? Where?"

"Over there, by the captain. C‘mon, I‘ll take you there." Harry gently took Tom‘s arm and led him over to where the captain, Chakotay, and B‘Elanna were standing in a corner and chatting amiably.

Tom struggled to keep from laughing. Harry, the poor guy, clearly thought he couldn‘t see where they were. He could see them, all right. The captain was wearing a very tasteful off the shoulder Hawaiian dress of pale blue and green, and Chakotay a matching shirt.

And B‘Elanna...her dress was strapless, revealing her graceful neck and shoulders. It‘s color was a rosy shade of pink that brought out the dark of her eyes and the gloss of her hair. She was so beautiful it nearly took Tom‘s breath away.
"Hey, look who‘s here!" Harry announced cheerfully.

"Tom!" Janeway was smiling in relief. Evidently she hadn‘t thought he would come. "How are you doing?"
"Oh, I‘m fine," Tom said vaguely. "Hello, Commander."

"Mr. Paris, I‘m glad to see you up and about," Chakotay said sincerely.

"Hello, Tom." B‘Elanna‘s voice was barely above a whisper. She had paled at his approach, Tom noted. Hopefully, he could bring back some red into those cheeks.
"Hi, B‘Elanna. Say, nice dress."

"Thanks," she said uncertainly, giving him a strange look. Tom could just imagine what she was thinking: *How the hell would he know?*

It was time to unleash his surprise. The doctor, Kes, and Neelix had approached them, so they were all within earshot. "It looks really good on you," he remarked casually. "You should wear pink more often."

The bomb dropped, landed, exploded, and caught everyone in it‘s wake. The assembled officers merely stared at him uncomprehendingly, while Tom, unable to hold back his mirth any longer, grinned from ear to ear.

Finally, B‘Elanna spoke. "Tom," she said unsteadily, "how did you know the color of my dress?"
"I saw it," he replied sweetly. "I‘m not blind, you know."

Dead silence.

"At least, not anymore," he added, beginning to laugh at their obvious shock. In fact, B‘Elanna looked like she was about to pass out.
"Thomas Eugene Paris," Captain Janeway began, "are you saying that you—"
"I can see!" he beamed proudly.

B‘Elanna fainted dead away.

Go to Part Nine: Love Is Blind: Seeing Is Believing

=/\= =/\= =/\= =/\= =/\= =/\= =/\= =/\= =/\= =/\= =/\= =/\= =/\= =/\= =/\=

<grin I‘ve always wanted to have B‘Elanna faint! One more part to go! I‘ll get on it ASAP!
Legal crapola: Paramount ------ god. Star Trek: Voyager ------ owned by Paramount.

Copyright 1997 by JoAnna Walsvik; all rights reserved and most of the lefts, too. Archive, distribute, etc.; but keep my name and the disclaimer attached.