By: Katherina Rosellini
Rated: P/G 13 for a little sexual innuendo.
Date: September 2001
Synopsis: Tom wants a “toy”, but first he’s got to get his wife’s permission.
Thanks again, Brigid. You’re an insomniacs dream.
Tom Paris walked through the Starfleet Museum until his reason for going there was displayed in front of him. There was a tour of it currently in progress, and the next, and final one of the day, was in less then an hour.
He walked around it, touching it, remembering the day he first thought of it. Running his hands over its smooth surface he thought about how many different times it saved not only his life, but also so many other lives. Lives that meant more to him than his own.
Walking around the museum waiting for the next tour, he felt like he was taking a step back in time. Thinking aloud, he said, "Maybe a walk wasn't such a good idea. One memory at a time, Tommy boy."
The announcement for the final tour was made and the line started forming. "Welcome to The Starfleet Museum. Today's final tour of the Delta Flyer will begin in 10 minutes." Getting up and taking a place in line he started to prepare himself for his trip to the past.
The crowd started to move as the tour guide started to speak informing them of the rules and regulations that must be adhered to during the tour. Certain areas that weren't to be trespassed upon. And above all "DO NOT TOUCH THE HELM CONTROLS." She might as well ask him not to breathe during the tour either.
Walking with the rest of the crowd and listening to the surprisingly accurate description of "his" ship, Tom remembered, and silently praised her one more time.
As the tour came to an end he found that he wasn't ready to say goodbye quite yet. Going backwards, he made his way to the helm, which was roped off in certain areas, so that people could go see it up close, but not touch. Ignoring the rope he took a seat in his old piloting chair and as he touched it a million visions went through his mind: B'Elanna rigging a force field to keep them safe from the hull buckling, spending two very long weeks with Neelix, Chakotay, and Harry on a quest for dilethium, asking B'Elanna to marry him, and then celebrating their wedding night right there in that very seat, not to mention a very special picnic a month or two after that.
"If only Miral really knew where she was conceived.” He chuckled to himself.
Tom jumped at the sound of the voice behind him. "I'm sorry. I know that this area is off limits, but I was just...remembering."
"Oh my God! You're Lt. Tom Paris, aren't you?" She said, while looking up at some of the holo-images on the wall by him. Other then a little less hair he looked surprisingly the same.
"Actually...it's just Mr. Tom Paris now, but yes, I was."
"I'm sorry Mr. Paris, but this area is restricted. I'm sure if you'd like a personal tour that could be arranged.
"You'd think?" he said in a sarcastic tone. "Look. Just give me a minute. I promise I won't take it out for a test drive." The tour guide’s uncertainty was apparent, and Tom knew that she just needed a little more prodding and he'd have her. "It's sort of an anniversary for us," making a swooping gesture with his arm around the cockpit of the flyer, "and I just wanted to pay tribute to the flyer. That's all. Please, Ma'am." From the look on her face he knew...he had her.
"Well...I guess it's okay. I mean you did design her, and built, and rebuilt her too if I'm not mistaken. Besides, Starfleet has given ownership of the Delta Flyer to a private party so its time here in the museum is limited. The museum closes in 30 minutes. It was an honor meeting you, Mr. Paris." and she left him to his mission.
"Well now that that's taken care of." Taking his usual seat at the helm, Tom said "So...how's museum life been treating you? I'm sorry they've got you cooped up in here, girl, but after all the years we spent together in flight, I guess they thought it was time to ground us. Yup. That's right. I said, US. About a year or so ago I was politely asked not to fly anymore. Oh, don't get me wrong, it's not that I'm not able to, it's just that my 'response time isn't what it used to be'. Yeah. It kind of hurt, but...."
"I only have a few minutes left so I guess I should do what I set out to do." Taking a deep breathe, and letting out a loud sigh he said, "I want to start by saying thank you. Thank you for keeping her safe. Thank you for keeping us both safe. Thank you. If it weren’t for you she wouldn't be here right now. My children wouldn't be here right now. Hell. My grandchildren wouldn't be here right now either. Years ago you heard my promise to keep you safe as long as you brought her back to me alive" he said thinking back to the time B'Elanna and Harry crash landed on a planet and were missing for two weeks. "Well you've kept your end of the deal so now I'll keep mine." Tom took out a padd from his pocket, and began to read the contents out loud to the Delta Flyer.
"What!?!" B'Elanna interrupted.
"B'Elanna! When did you get here?"
"Sometime around hereby declare ownership of The Delta Flyer has been given to said Thomas Eugene Paris...What the hell does that mean, Tom?"
"Simple. I asked Starfleet to give me ownership of the Flyer, and they agreed."
"They agreed? Just like that? I find that a little suspicious on Starfleet’s part, Tom. As much as I trust and respect them I find it difficult to believe that they would just give you ownership of the Flyer without you having to give up something in return."
"What? What did you agree to?"
"Nothing major. I agreed to two semesters of teaching at the academy."
"You? A teacher? What subject? I know it's not flight instruction."
"Tom. I thought I had asked you not to fly anymore. It's not that I don't think that you're capable, it's just that your response time has somewhat...slowed down, and I just don't think you should be spending what little time we have left piloting a ship, even if it is the Delta Flyer."
"That's just it B'Elanna. This is the Delta Flyer we're talking about. I owe her."
"You owe her? It's a ship, Tom. What could you possibly owe a ship?"
"You heard me. I said your life. It was forty years ago today. Do you remember?"
"Remember what? Our anniversary? Why wouldn't I remember the day we got married? It was one of the happiest days of my life." she said as she took his hand in hers, and looked up into the blue eyes that stole her heart over four decades ago.
"It was one of the happiest, and scariest days of my life too.”, he said while bringing her hand up to his lips and placing a soft kiss on her wedding band. "I thought you were trying to get rid of me that day. I thought that you didn't love me anymore. My God, how that scared me."
"I thought that I was just a passing phase for you. That your fascination with me had finally come to an end." she said.
"I still don't understand how you could think that way, B'Elanna. Other then letting my love of flying blind me on occasion, did I ever give you any reason to think that I stopped loving you? If I did, I'm sorry. You were...are my life."
"Well at the time, I was much younger...and dumber, but no, you never gave me any reason to believe that you didn't love me anymore. If anything you showed me on a nightly basis." she said with that little half smile. "Of course over the years, I'd have to say you say it a lot more than you show it now, but that's okay."
"Is that a challenge, Torres?"
Pulling her down onto his lap and taking up the pose that looked just like the holo-image located on the wall above them, he turned his face in towards her neck, and breathed deeply the scent that he could only classify as B'Elanna.
"Mmmmmm. This feels familiar." she said as she snuggled a little closer to him.
"Yeah. It feels good too. So you wanna......."
"Tom! We can't."
"Well maybe you can't, but I'm certainly capable." he said as he ground himself up into her backside.
Giggling, and leaning her head back to rest on his shoulder she said, "It's not that I can't, and it's definitely not because I think that you can't either. It's just that the last time we did it in the flyer I got pregnant. We wouldn't want that to happen again, would we?" she said as she pressed down on his lap suggestively.
"I don't think we need to worry about that anymore B'Elanna."
"Hey!" she laughed. "It could happen."
"Not with our clothes on, it won't." he said as he lifted his hands up to cover her breasts.
"Tom, stop it."
"Oh, come on, B'Elanna. It'll be just like old times. Your back pressed up against the view screen, my front pressed up against you." he said as he nuzzled at her neck.
"Yes, but, Tom, back then we weren't being watched by security on a view screen."
"What?!!" he said as his hands quickly removed themselves from her breasts.
"Well how do you think I found you? I ran into a member of the museum staff, and he suggested that we go to security where they have a view of every area in the museum. I wasn't looking for more then a minute before I found you talking that poor tour guide into letting you reminisce. She never had a chance."
"You could have told me about that before I started...."
"You could have told me about the flyer before you...."
"Okay," he said, holding both hands up, "Truce."
"No, Tom. It's not okay. We still have to discuss this teaching thing."
"What's there to discuss? I'm doing two semesters. Two. That's it. It's not like I can't fly anymore. I'm still one of the best there is you know?"
"Yes, Tom. I know, but..."
"But what? It's not like Starfleet took my piloting credentials away."
"No. They didn't." she said once again feeling slightly guilty about asking him to stop flying over a year ago.
"But you think they should've."
"Then what is it, B'Elanna? Why don't you want me to fly anymore? And don't say it's because of my 'slow reaction time', because that's a crock, and you know it,” he said as she stood up and turned to face him.
"No. It's not because of your reaction time. Not when you're flying anyway. It's because..."
"What!!!? Because what!!!?"
"Look, Tom. I love you."
"I know. I love you too, but what the hell is going on here?"
Arms crossed in front of her chest, and a defiant look in her eyes she finally decided to tell him the truth, to let years of pent up frustration out. "You know? You came here today to thank the Delta Flyer for my life. Isn't it funny how I often damned her for getting in the way of my life? So many times I wanted to do something with you, just spend time with you, and all you ever cared about was this damn ship. Even after we came back to the Alpha Quadrant you still put her first, and after all these years Tom, I just don't want to come second anymore. I just don't want to spend what little time we have left in life taking care of a ship."
The sound of his laughter brought even more rage into her eyes, as she slammed her fists down she said "What the hell is so funny?!"
"You. You're jealous of the Delta Flyer."
"I am not jealous! I'm just..."
"Just?" he said, standing up and moving in towards her.
"Well I'm definitely not jealous. That's for sure."
"So then why all the fuss over a machine?"
"You tell me.”
"I already did tell you. Now it's your turn."
"Do you realize that almost every one of our milestones happened in this damn ship?"
"Yup. Why do you think I want her back in the family?"
"I guess I didn't realize she was a member of our family."
"Well she is. It was right here that I proposed to you. It was on this very chair that we consummated that marriage. This view screen behind you should have a permanent dent of your cute little ass in it; I've had you pressed up against it so many times. Over there..." he said as he turned and pointed to the little stair that led down to the co-pilots seat, "...is where Harry tripped and broke his arm. Back there is where Miral gave birth to Kathryn on our way to Starfleet medical. Do I need to go on?"
"No." she said somewhat sheepishly.
"B'Elanna, this ship is like all of those holo-photos we have around the house. It holds more memories then any one person ever could. And not just for us either. Seven and Chakotay fell in love in this ship.”
"Oh, really?" she said with raised eyebrows.
"Well, that's what Chakotay told me. He actually said that he realized he wanted to.... get to know her better, while they were in the Flyer. So you see, B'Elanna. This isn't just a machine; it's a lifetime of memories. And what makes you think that we don't have much time left together? Personally I've got a good twenty or thirty years left in me."
"Well I don't plan on spending those twenty or thirty years riding on the coat tails of the Delta Flyer, Tom. I'm telling you now, if I want to go somewhere or do something, you better not tell me 'when I'm through with doing.... whatever to the Flyer'. Do you understand me? I will not let this damn thing get in my way again."
"B'Elanna, when exactly did it get in your way? I mean you've already said that every one of our milestones in life happened in here. So when did it actually get in our way? The way I see it, it helped us along the way. Don't you think?"
"Maybe. On occasion."
"But you're still jealous."
"I told you I am not jealous!"
"Then why all the histrionics?"
"I hate it when you use that damn word." she said, and proceeded to follow her words up with a deadly glare.
"Well you have to admit, you are being a bit...."
"Watch it, Flyboy. If you plan on going home with both the Flyer and myself, you may just want to watch what you're saying."
"Okay. So? Does she get to come home with us?"
"The first time she gets in the way of our plans Tom, she's on her way back here. I mean it."
"So she can come?" he said while maneuvering himself a little closer to her.
"And if you think that I'm doing any repairs on her, well you're nuts. I'm not going to spend my free time, fixing up a relic like this."
"But she can come?"
"And she's also not going to be our only source of transportation. I like the little shuttle you gave me a few years ago."
"B'Elanna!?! Can the Flyer come home with us?!"
"YES! Yes, Tom she can come home with us."
"Were you talking to me or the Flyer?" she asked pulling him towards her until he was pressed up against her front, and her back was pressed up against the view screen.
"You. I was talking to you."
They spent their last few minutes in the Flyer setting down ground rules, all while kissing and giggling like teenagers until someone from security came down to inform them that the museum had been closed for an hour, and it was time for them to vacate the building.
They left arm in arm. Intent on celebrating their anniversary the good old fashioned way as soon as they left the building.
The Delta Flyer was delivered to the Paris-Torres residence a week later.