And This Is His Story
By Zappy Zaps
Standing in front of the tombstone that marked his the grave he read the name engraved into the surface: Thomas Eugene Paris. This man was his father. He stared at the name. He hadn't come here often, usually his mom came alone. The four times he had accompanied her he'd never been left alone.
“Hi Dad,” the young man said, feeling slightly awkward. He had never met his father but he felt as if he knew him. His mother had told him all sorts of stories and could see it in her eyes even now, eighteen years later, she still loved him as much as she always had.
“I thought I should come see you before I left. I’m going to Starfleet Academy.” He sighed wishing his father were really here. Uncle Harry and his Grandfather Owen had been the largest male influences in his life and whenever he asked they told him stories about his father. “Mom said you would have been proud of me.” He smiled faintly. “I wish you could tell me yourself.” He paused. “I get to hear so much about you, and believe me I know everything from the amazing pilot you were to how your brow creased when you were concentrating. Yeah, mom told me *everything*, well…almost everything,” the smile on his face faded, “But I never met you, I never knew you and I wish I did. Uncle Harry’s always telling me how much like you I am.”
He looked around and saw other people talking to the headstones of their loved ones and felt better knowing he wasn’t the only one doing this. He ran a hand through his hair, an exact mimic of Tom, to get the dark hair out of his face. He crouched down and gingerly touched the cool stone. “I wish I knew you,” he said quietly.
He remembered his mother’s words from words from their nightly routine when he was a child: ‘Your father loves you’, she would tell him.
“I love you too, Dad,” he whispered. “I wish I had the chance to know you.”
“Tommy,” his mother’s voice called.
“I don’t think she’ll ever stop calling me that,” he said to his father. His friends referred to him as Tom but she still called him Tommy. He placed the flowers at the base of the stone before he stood. He saw her coming towards him and smiled. She kissed him on the cheek and them proceeded to straighten out his hair. “Mom,” he whined.
“You’ve been running your hand through
it again,” she said smiling. Her brown eyes still held the fire they always
did. Her hair had was lighter but her skin was still mostly line-free due
to her Klingon genes. “Ready to go?” she asked and Tom nodded.
“Hey, Uncle Harry,” Tom said with a smile. He was packing his bags before he left for the Academy. Harry walked into Tom Junior’s room. Harry was now the Captain of the Rhode Island and a proud father of two girls. B’Elanna had never served on a ship after Voyager, nor had she never remarried; Klingons mate for life, she had told Harry and Chakotay, so she had to raise Tommy. She got help from Emily and Owen, who treated her no differently after Tom’s death, and her parents helped out. Still taking three week or longer missions was out of the question for her. She remained at the research facility so she could work on earth most of the time.
Harry picked up a framed picture that sat on Tom’s dresser. It was a picture of B’Elanna and Tom Sr. together. He, like the others, missed Tom, even now.
“What happened to Douglas?” Tom asked out of the blue and Harry turned his attention back to his honorary nephew.
“Douglas, the man who killed him,” Tom gestured to the picture with his father’s image.
“He’s in prison.” Harry said and replaced the picture.
“It doesn’t matter. You should finish
packing,” Harry said evenly. Tom stared at his uncle for a moment before
returning to his bag. Harry gave Tom a quick look before walking out thinking
the stubborn gene was one of the things Paris’ passed along to the next
generation; but then again, B’Elanna was a fairly stubborn person too.
“You have a visitor,” the guard said. The man on the cot sat up wondering who it could be. He had been here for nearly twenty years and had never once received a visitor other than that psychiatrist who used to visit. He stopped coming fifteen, maybe sixteen years ago.
He was escorted to the room where he was allowed to meet with his visitor, under guard. At the single table in the room sat a young man with dark hair. He was looking at the tabletop and tabletop and Douglas could not see his eyes.
“Who the devil are you?”
The young man looked up and blue eyes met dark brown. The convict stepped forward the shackles binding his ankles clinking loudly.
“I’m not the Thomas you’ve mistaken me for. The man you killed was my father,”
“Oh, so you’re his bastard child,” Douglas collapsed into the other seat.
Tom just stared at the dishevelled man. He obviously didn’t know the definition of a bastard.
“Why did you do it?” Tom finally asked.
“Why’d I kill him?” Douglas’ tone carried no regret. He shrugged. “Why not?”
“If you had just left him alone you could still be free-”
“And you would still have a father,” Douglas added and after a moment Tom nodded. “Well, too bad, son. Things just don’t turn out the way you want them to.”
“No they don’t,” Tom looked down at the table again.
“I don’t really have a good reason.” Douglas began again. He brought his hand up to stroke the beard on his face. and Tom noticed the chain was barely long enough for the gesture. “I really didn’t like him though. Always pissing me off he was. You’re lucky you didn’t know him.”
“If I had half the chance I’d make you pay for what you did to him and for what you’ve put us through; my mother, my family….”
“Your father could never manage to do it. He was so spineless. You’re more like me,” Douglas said with a smile plastered on his aged face.
“I am nothing like you. You are a coward.” They stared at each other for tense moments before Tom ended the meeting. He got up and left without a backwards look. As he walked away he heard the harsh laugh of the older man, a man who had lost his ignoble purpose and with it his mind.
“Tommy! Where were you, we’ve been calling everybody wondering if they knew! Are you alright?” Tommy’s Grandmother Paris asked, nearly hysterical.
“I’m okay. I just had to….see someone.” He replied carefully.
“You went to Mentari 4 didn’t you?” a voice from outside the screen asked. Tommy recognized his grandfather’s voice.
“Yes,” he said solemnly. Owen moved into the range of the screen.
“Did you get any answers?” Owen asked, though he wasn’t truly interested. Nothing that lunatic said would bring back his son.
“No good ones,” Tom replied.
After a moment Owen spoke again with a soft voice laced with fatigue. “Come home, Tommy,”
“I am. I’ll be back in three hours.”
Owen nodded and Tommy ended the transmission.
The shuttle crossed the empty space looping and flipping as skilled hands manoeuvred the nimble craft. His lips curved into a grin as he did what came naturally to him; another legacy his father left him. Knowing he would be in for an earful but smiling anyway, he headed home…
…and another story begins anew.
That’s it finally done! Yay, you’re all saying. I know you’ll miss it don’t even try lying to me. Tell me what you think please. If you’ve already left a review (or more), good, now leave another one :)
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