And This Is His Story 9
By Zappy Zaps

Rating: PG-13

Thanks Brigid, for all your help!!

Part 9: Final Stand

Four years later….

Tom stepped out of the shuttle that brought him home. He said a quick thank you to the pilot and rushed up the walkway to the Paris residence. He had been on a three-week shakedown cruise testing out a new class of Starfleet vessels and was more than happy to be returning home to his family.

The front door opened before he had even reached the front steps and his very pregnant wife came rushing towards him. Meeting her halfway he wrapped his arms around her and gave her a loving kiss. Following the same path as B’Elanna but at a slower rate was his mother.

B’Elanna was six months pregnant, which due to her Klingon heritage, meant that she was in her final trimester and there would be another little Paris running around soon. They had asked the doctor not to inform them of their child’s sex, not wanting to spoil the surprise.

Tom hadn’t been comfortable going on a mission with B’Elanna so far along in her pregnancy but she had assured him she would be fine. Tom went on the mission under the condition that B’Elanna stay with his parents, just in case. He didn’t want her living alone. B’Elanna had consented and for the past three weeks she had been the guest of Emily and Owen who welcomed her with open arms.

Plenty had happened over the past four years. The Maquis had all been pardoned and some of them had decided to continue their service in Starfleet to help with the war against the Dominion. The war was over now and many of the Maquis went back to their colonies to help rebuild and be with their families. The DMZ was not officially part of the federation but was under the protection of Starfleet and the Federation while the treaties were in the works.

The Doctor had been studied in detail by the Starfleet scientists and was later granted sentience. He was currently working at Starfleet medical creating new procedures and teaching the ones he had created while in the Delta Quadrant.

Chakotay had accepted a teaching job at the academy while Captain Janeway continued to command Voyager after it had gone through a refit, with Commander Tuvok serving as her first officer and Lieutenant Kim still the head of Operations.

B’Elanna, until a month ago, had been working at a research center on earth along with Tom. They had decided to work at the same place to stay together. A few months after returning Tom and B’Elanna were married and soon after Harry and Libby had tied the knot as well.

Tom had finally been completely secure in his position and it was reflected in his career. He had been promoted a few times and was now a Commander. More comfortable with his role and his occupation, Tom had been able to let go of the life he used to lead and concentrate on his new one. He didn’t know one aspect of his old life would bring all this to an abrupt halt. He had lived regretting not killing Douglas when he had the chance; he would die with the same regret.

A few days later Tom and B’Elanna arrived at a planet a few light years away. There was a conference taking place in the Yoma system that Captain Janeway was attending. She had extended the invitation to her senior officers and Kes and Neelix since they were her closets compatriots from Voyager. It turned into a small reunion of the Voyager crew.

Kes had aged due to the short Ocampan lifespan but was still her cheerful and insightful self. Admiral Paris was also present at the conference as a Starfleet representative.

Friends reminisced and found out what was happening in each other’s lives. They still kept in touch with each other and most of the crew. Each one of them had ties to different members of their old crew and they were able to exchange a lot of news. It was a nice vacation but short- lived.

While they were relaxing in a lounge at the Starfleet diplomatic building Captain Janeway’s commbadge chirped and an officer warned them that there had been a security breach. Everyone’s first move was to get Kes, Neelix and B’Elanna to safety while the others attended to their duties. They didn’t know that the person who had breached security was out to settle an old vendetta.

“Tom!” Tom turned around and saw his father coming towards him.

“Dad, you should get out of here.” Tom knew this person might decide to go after a high-ranking official and an Admiral was a good target.

“I belong here,” Owen said stubbornly and continued with his son down the corridor. They entered one of the security control rooms where Captain Janeway and Tuvok were waiting.

Going through the procedure, they managed to isolate the bio-sign of the intruder, Tom recognized it and his heart began to race. It was half human and half something else. A species no one could identify but Tom had seen it many times before. He darted from the room after grabbing a phaser. Tuvok and Owen followed but when they exited the room the corridor was vacant. Tom had been too fast for them and now they didn’t know where he was going.

Tom ran full speed through the hallways heading towards the room where B’Elanna and the others had been taken for safety. Douglas was heading in that direction as well. Security would have beamed them out but a malfunction in the transporter system had mysteriously appeared. Tom recognized it as Douglas’ handy work and knew he was playing for keeps. He knew it was most a trap but he had to protect B’Elanna and his friends. This was between him and Douglas.

He arrived at the room where B’Elanna, Neelix and Kex were but there was one uninvited guest with trio. Tom came to an immediate halt once the door opened. Douglas was seated on the armrest of one of the chair holding a weapon to B’Elanna’s head. He looked tired and there was a maniacal glint in his eye, which scared Tom but he didn’t let it show.

For the past four years, Douglas, Vaiyer and Mec had been travelling towards the Federation. It had been a long journey in a small ship but they had survived. When they had used the displacement device they waited too long and the explosive was detonated while they were using it. It threw them years short of the Federation but Douglas’ grim determination had practically powered the ship as it limped to Federation Space. Once they made it to the border. Vaiyer and Mec had left and gone there own ways, leaving Douglas alone.

He was no longer the strong leader he had been. On the small ship they had too much time to think and while Vaiyer and Mec had decided to take different paths Douglas had become unstable; revenge had been his driving force for those years and he would finally get his chance.

He seemed to have aged a decade in the four years and the calm confident countenance he had always had before had crumbled leaving a deranged man in its place.

“You’ve been busy,” Douglas said as he patted B’Elanna’s swollen stomach.

“Don’t touch her,” Tom warned and took a step forward but immediately back tracked when Douglas pressed the weapon to her head. “No, don’t!”

“Don’t you tell me what to do, boy!”

“Please let them go. I’m begging you.” Nothing else mattered to him other than saving his friends, B’Elanna and their child.

A smile crossed Douglas’s lined features and he waved for B’Elanna and the two delta quadrant natives to leave. B’Elanna quickly moved away from Douglas looking as though she wanted nothing more than to teach that man not to mess with a pregnant, temperamental Klingon but the safety of her child made her calmly walk away and towards Tom. She paused when she reached him not wanting to leave Tom alone with a man who had caused him so much pain.

“Go,” he urged her softly. Their eyes met and Tom whispered to her the three affectionate words that always made her smile. She left a few seconds later with Kes and Neelix.

“Well, now that we’re alone…” Douglas trailed off and just looked at Tom, contempt shining from his eyes.

“What the hell do you want? Why won’t you leave me alone?” Tom asked, angry at first but weary by the end. There was no forthcoming answer and the two remained in silence for a few moments.

“You….you were always….annoying me…” Douglas started but he didn’t have much to say. There was no logical reason for Douglas to feel so much hatred towards Tom but he didn’t care.

“Tom,” the both heard the voice and Tom knew it was his father’s. He was going to yell and warn his father away but Douglas raised his weapon again and Tom stayed still. “Tom,” Owen said in relief but when he saw the other man with the weapon the relief vanished. He looked at the man’s face and recognized it; the man who had kidnapped his son. “You!” Owen was going to go after him but Douglas re-aimed his weapon at him and he stopped. “Security is coming. You can’t get away with this,” Owen told him but Douglas had no intentions of getting away.

“How true you are. I better do this now. Every other time I was interrupted but not this time.” Douglas smiled and was about to press the button on the phaser aimed at Owen…

“Dad!” Tom yelled and was going to push him out of the way.

Douglas shifted his aim and pressed the button. A fiery beam of energy erupted form the tip of the weapon and hit its target.

Tom felt the burning pain in his chest. Everything seemed to happen in slow motion. He saw the smile on Douglas’ face and the fear and shock on his father’s. He fell to the ground barely conscious. Owen raised his weapon and fired at Douglas not even knowing what setting the weapon was on. Douglas collapsed but Owen paid him no mind as he went to his son.

“Tom!” Owen called hoping Tom would focus his eyes on him. “Come on Tom, stay awake!” Tom’s eyes opened and closed as he tried to do as his father had instructed but his chest hurt and he was in pain. “Paris to Medical Bay, medical emergency!” Owen frantically yelled into his commbadge. He knew his son needed immediate medical attention.

“Admiral,” Tuvok and a few other security officers arrived but could do nothing to help Tom. “Tuvok to Doctor, your assistance is immediately required,” Tuvok called the Doc just as B’Elanna rounded the corner.

“Tuvok where are they?”

Tuvok looked to his left and saw B’Elanna coming down the corridor in a hurry. There little an expression on his face but after spending years on the same ship she could read his body language and knew something was wrong. Fighting her way past Tuvok she saw her husband lying on the cold floor with Owen over him trying to hold his attention. “Tom!”

“Open your eyes, Tommy!” Owen said. A few seconds later Tom’s eyes opened again. His eyes where glazed and he wasn’t totally coherent and they all knew he was dying.

“I love you,” Tom whispered to B’Elanna when he saw her over him. She told him the same and a tear took a silent trail down her face. Raising his hand he wiped it away and B’Elanna held his hand there. His movements, usually so strong and sure were now weak and his muscles trembled with the effort of moving. “Don’t worry.” He tried to make her feel better but he knew he wasn’t fooling her. As his life slipped away she could feel piece of herself leaving with him. “I’ll always be with you.” His eyes began to close but they opened a moment later. He had so much to say before he left but there was no time.

“Tom, please hold on,” Owen pleaded.

“Love….you …Dad…” Tom managed to choke out in his last breath. He looked once more at B’Elanna. “Tell my son, I love him….” His eyes closed slowly and despite the yells, the tears and the broken hearts, nothing they did could bring him back. The slight pressure on her hand eased and Tom’s hand slipped from hers and fell to the ground.

“Tom?” she called hoping he would open her eyes again but deep down she knew he was gone. “Tom! Please come back!” she kept calling him but there was no response, driving home the fact that he had passed on. “Tom, don’t leave me alone!”

Owen’s eyes were closed tightly. He tried in vain to hold back the tears as his son passed. He heard his daughter-in-law crying but he was frozen and couldn’t offer any comfort as a part of him died as well.

Chakotay, Kathryn, Harry and the Doctor arrived. They had heard the pleas from down the corridor and had hoped there was still a chance but they saw with their own eyes that Tom Paris was dead. Harry went to B’Elanna and pulled her away from Tom’s body as the Doctor ran a tricorder over him. The Doctor closed the tricorder but couldn’t look up at anybody to tell them; he didn’t need to.

Harry held B’Elanna as she cried and tears flowed freely down his face as well. Kathryn moved to Owen’s side hoping to offer what little comfort she could. Tearstains glistened on his face and he didn’t try to hide them. The same man who had taken his son when he was only five had taken him again, only this time there was no chance Tom would somehow find his way back.

The funeral was held a few days later on earth. Voyager's original crew, all who could make it, came to pay their last respects and mourn a life cut tragically short.

Two and a half weeks after the funeral B’Elanna gave birth to a healthy baby boy. Somehow Tom had known his child would be a boy and she smiled faintly. The baby had dark hair and cranial ridges about as pronounced as B’Elanna’s but he had sky blue eyes, identical to Tom’s.

The Doctor delivered the baby with Harry and Emily Paris at B’Elanna’s side during the delivery. Chakotay, Kathryn, Neelix and Kes where in the waiting room during the birth. Tuvok was away visiting his family on Vulcan and had missed the event. When they saw the baby for the first time they could see the ridges and dark hair and when the child briefly opened his eyes they were all caught by surprise by the blue eyes that looked back at them. They could see hints of Tom in the baby already. How would this child grow up without his father?

Too many pages of a book left unturned and with his departure, Tom left behind his family, his beautiful wife, his newborn son, many friends….

….And this was his story.

End Part 9: Final Stand

I’m so evil! :-)

Epilogue coming soon….

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