TITLE: The Deal
AUTHOR: Alice Max
PARING/CODE: P/T, Dr. Crusher (TNG)
DATE POSTED: 6/30/02
DISCLAIMER: Paramount owns these characters but the story is mine.
SUMMARY: Set after "Endgame." What would happen if the deal that Tom and B'Elanna made in 'Friendship One' actually came true? Spoilers are 'Friendship One' and 'Endgame.'
His office was as he left it - the setup was still unfinished and disorganized. It was early in the morning and this was his first night home in a couple of months. Part of him wanted to stay in bed and snuggle with his wife but he just couldn't sleep. He decided to channel his nervous energy and work on his own project for a while until he was ready to go back to bed. Transferring the data from the PADD he held in his hand to his home computer, he eased into his favorite office chair and positioned himself for comfort.
"Computer, run holonovel draft. Voice level: soft setting," he whispered as he drank some hot herbal tea from a tall mug.
"Preface: Greetings and welcome. The content of this holonovel may seem along the lines of fiction but as we are beginning to understand in the 24th century, what we still believe to be impossible could very well be possible. You will be assuming the role of our hero who must comfront a very unique crisis. The scenario will be presented to you in the beginning chapters and you will have a number of obstacles to overcome as you ultimately must decide our hero's fate in this story."
"Chapter 1 - How Could This Happen?
We find our hero, Ensign Sandrine, about to receive a second opinion regarding what he fears is happening to him:"
"Dr. Crutch I presume?"
"That's me. Oh, but you can call me Gene."
"Nice to finally meet you. I've been reading about your extraordinary accomplishments in quantum mechanics and hearing all about you from our mutual acquaintance Mr. Broccoli.
"He is a great guy. In fact he's the one who suggested I see you."
"By the way, forgive me for asking but why have you chosen to visit me instead of you own doctor. He knows you better than I do, not to mention he's familiar with your medical history."
"That's precisely why I selected not to see him regarding this particular situation. I needed to consult with a . . .female doctor."
"Oh, I see. Well, how can I be of assistance Mr. Sandrine, I mean, Gene?"
"I would like you to run some tests to confirm my pregnancy."
"Is this a joke?"
"I only wish it was, Doc. It's a long story. Will you help me?"
"Of course but first I would like to review your medical history so that we can decide on a course of action if what you're telling me is true. I will have to contact your doctor to get this information."
"Doc, I can get that information for you. I occasionally assist my doctor in his record keeping."
"Very well, Gene. I'll need it as soon as possible."
"I can access those records for you right now, if I can use your computer."
"Be my guest."
"OK, I'm typing in the access codes. There they are. My records are now downloading to your database. Just a few more files and there we are...all of my records are now at your disposal.
"Thank you Gene. I'll review this information once we get some preliminary tests done."
"Our hero will now proceed to undergo a series of tests to determine if what he suspects is true. Each test now assures him that the doctor's answer will be positive one. Once that answer is confirmed, it will unearth a number of questions and fears buried deep in his mind. The doctor now offers the confirmation:"
"Well, let me be the first to offer you congratulations. It seems that you are seven weeks pregnant. You'll be interested to know that you are not the first human male to be impregnated. There was a Charles Tucker on board the first commissioned Starship Enterprise that had a short-term pregnancy during his tour of dury. Apparently most of the information about Mr. Tucker's pregnancy is vague and the details are missing from the ship's records. It seems almost as if, back in those days of early quadrant travel, his situation was an embarrassment and there might have been some cover up involved."
"You know I remember reading something about this. I always thought that was more fiction than fact. So it IS possible."
"Apparently so. I suppose pregnancy is the last great mystery we human females have yet to share with the rest of the male population. Pertaining to this historic information I have to ask this question, Gene. Did you have contact with any Xyrillians lately?"
"No, just Humans, Vulcans, Boilians, and Klingons. Oh, you mean intimate contact. Just with my wife but it's been months since I've seen her. She's living with our child on Earth. We started to move into our new home when I was offered a position I couldn't refuse.
"Well this is indeed puzzling. I see from your records that your wife is part Klingon. Human/Klingon conceptions are quite rare and yet you and your wife have a child.
"That's true, Doc. Just imagine how surprised my wife and I were to discover we were about to have a baby. We thought about planning for a family but we knew the odds were against us having a family. Speaking of going against all odds, I'm curious to know who the baby's mother is.
"According to the data, it looks like your baby has Human and Klingon DNA."
"How can that be? I have been faithful to my wife these past months. I've just been so busy with this job that, well, having intimate relations with someone was the furthest thing from my mind. And believe me I had my share of opportunities."
"Those are the results. I can run the tests again but I have already double-checked my findings."
"So the baby is my wife's and mine?"
"I'll have to access her records to be certain."
"How long will that take?"
"Not long, if you care to wait."
"Yes, I'd like that. Thanks Doc."
"Our hero must now face the inevitable - something that no male should have to deal with - being pregnant and unsure who the mother is of his baby. How could this have happened? What would he tell his employers? Furthermore, how could he tell his wife?"
"Gene, there is a 97% certainty that the baby belongs to you and your wife. You could very well be history's first male host regarding a Human/Klingon pregnancy."
"I always wanted to be remembered for my professional achievements, you know, something for my offspring to be proud of. Now I'll probably be remembered in the history books for this. It's unbelievable. I don't know what to say or think or...Doc, I really would like to keep this a secret for now, if you don't mind."
"That's no problem but I do think you should talk to your wife about this. You can't keep it a secret forever."
"Ah, sure. I need to try to find a way to break the news to her."
"You should continue to have another fetal resonance scan next week. At that time, I'll put together a schedule for you to meet with me that doesn't interfere with your work or your family. In the meantime, you might experience some side effects like behavioral volatility, an increase in appetite and some nausea."
"Believe me Doc, I've already experienced all of those symptoms and more. I must have gained at least 10 pounds in the last two months."
"Actually you've gained close to 20 pounds. I would like you to follow this exercise and food intake program. You have a small sack forming in your abdomen which contains the placenta. This is interesting. If you don't mind, I would like to perform some additional tests before you leave."
"Sure Doc. Oh, by the way, is it a boy or a girl?"
"It's a boy and he has mostly human features. Congratulations."
Just then she appeared in the doorway of his dimly lit office.
"Oh there you are Tom."
"Computer, halt program." Tom was indeed startled by B'Elanna's appearance in the doorway and reacted abruptly.
She was equally startled by his unusual behavior. "Sorry, I didn't know you were still working. I had to get up because Miral was crying and then I discovered you weren't beside me in bed."
"I couldn't sleep," he replied drinking the last of his tea.
"Well, don't let me disturb you. Good night," she said as she quietly walked away.
"Good night," Tom repeated softly back to her. He inhaled and exhaled slowly setting the cup on his desk. Looking down at his form, he traced his fingers over the small sack forming in the middle of his abdomen.
Tom yawned and scratched his head as he walked into the kitchen area. He stood in the doorway and watched B'Elanna breastfeeding Miral.
"Hey," Tom smiled as he walked over to where she was sitting and bent down to give her a kiss on her cranial ridges.
"Hey," she looked up at him and smiled.
"How's my daughter doing this morning," he asked as he touched Miral's cranial ridges.
"She has your eyes and my disposition, which can be very trying at times like these."
He stopped to look at the both of them in a different light and context now that he was carrying their child. He suddenly envisioned himself replacing his wife at this routine. "Does that hurt?"
"Only when she tries to bite them," she responded. Tom looked a little bewildered and more concerned by her statement. B'Elanna glanced at Tom's face and realized that she had struck a nerve of concern. She then added, "It kind of tickles but I like the feeling."
It was a unique way of bonding that he would soon experience. All of a sudden a flood of questions rushed through his mind but he managed to trickle them out one by one. "How do you know when she's finished? How often do you have to nurse? Do your breasts get sore before nursing or after or during?"
"Why all the questions Tom? You've never been that interested in nursing before."
"I'm just trying to take an interest in my daughter and my wife now that I'm home." Tom replied as he touched her on the shoulder.
"Tom can you get me the towel laying on that chair?"
As Tom turned and walked away from B'Elanna, she became painfully aware of the change in his build.
"The food there must be great. It looks like you've gained some weight," she remarked showing some criticism of his appearance.
Tom flinched a little then attempted an explanation to cover for the weight gain. "Well I don't have time to exercise regularly. My week consists of 12-14 hour days, more weekend work than I care to think of and little time for anything else. The time I have to myself has usually been spent talking with you or bringing my project home with me to work on." At this point he stopped volunteering information in hopes that she accepted his answer.
"So how is the neurogentic interface coming along?"
Tom was slightly relieved by her statement and sighed to himself: 'She bought it, for now.'
"We've got a lot of work to do but it's progressing at a steady pace. It's really exciting to work on the next development of the galaxy class starship." His eyes almost sparkled as he continued to talk about his work to her with such vigor. "We're still working out the bugs to the Captain's controls but the shuttlecrafts are ready to be tested. You know, I would have never been a part of this team if it weren't for the experience I had with my ship, Alice. The hours I spent learning that interface I'm now using to create future starships.
"Sounds interesting and exciting," B'Elanna sighed and then added, "It's funny, I just thought of how much I really missed being on Voyager, working in Engineering and making every day count being so useful. It almost makes me want to join you on a project like this."
"I would love to have you with me but currently I'm taking a leave for a while."
"Why? What happened?" she questioned.
"I know I've spent a lot of time away from you and Miral. Starfleet has to realize that my family comes first," Tom said sincerely.
"And your superiors let you leave because you feel your family comes first? That doesn't sound like the Starfleet I remember," B'Elanna exclaimed, disbelieving his statement.
"I'm exhausted so I took a sabbatical."
"If you're exhausted...sleep. That's not the only reason is it?"
"You're right, it wasn't. We reached an impasse regarding a problem we experienced with the interface. There's a scientist that might help but he's on a deep space assignment and won't be able to work with us for the next few weeks. I convinced my superiors that I needed some time off until he arrives." Tom walked over to where she was sitting and knelt down in front of her. "B'Elanna, I realize I haven't been much of a father and a husband since I took this job but I'm here now and I want to make this up to you and Miral." He leaned forward to reach B'Elanna's lips and gently kissed her, then moved to softly kiss Miral's cranial ridges. "Please. I want to still be a part of your lives."
"I'm not going to say it hasn't been difficult but Miral and I managed. In fact, my father invited us to spend some time with him and I was just about to accept his offer before you came home," she confessed.
He sensed she was rather upset about his sudden change of heart to be close to his family. "Oh I see. Is that what you want to do?"
"Tom I know it's only been a few months but a lot has changed since you've been home. While you were away Admiral Janeway came to visit me and told me she needed my help with some sort of Klingon negotiation that's scheduled in a few days."
"You're not the only Klingon in the Alpha quadrant. There must be someone to take your place."
"Yes but there's no one she can trust like she trusts me. So you see, I need help with Miral and my father is willing to help me."
"B'Elanna, don't you know that you can always come to me when you need help?"
"No, I guess I didn't know that," she retorted. "Every time we talked, you would go on and on about your recent accomplishments. You sounded so excited that I couldn't ask you to sacrifice your job and come home to take care of Miral for a while. Ha, I honestly didn't think you could tear yourself away from that job in order to help me."
"B'Elanna how could you say that? You and Miral are the most important people in the entire universe to me. I would do anything for both of you and it would be no sacrifice." Miral finished her feeding and Tom took her into his arms. "Then it's settled. I'll take care of Miral while you're on assignment."
"I don't know why you have this sudden change of behavior but maybe I shouldn't look a gift pig in the face."
"That's a gift horse in the mouth, babe." Tom laughed.
"Oh. Whatever," she smirked.
"Listen, I have do a couple of errands today. I'll take Miral with me so that you can have some time to yourself for a while, OK?"
B'Elanna was again amazed at his thoughtfulness and replied, "Thanks, Tom. I appreciate that more than you'll know." She stood up, started to organize the kitchen area, stopped and looked at Tom leaving the room. A grin appeared on her face and she said in a voice loud enough to attract his attention, "Oh and Tom, it really is good to have you home with us."
"It's good to be home." Tom smiled back at her and left the kitchen area with Miral still in his arms.
Miral was indeed her mother's daughter but she was adventurous like her father. Today she was daddy's little girl. He thought it would be a nice day to take Miral on her first 'fun' ride in the Delta Flyer. Tom did some acrobatic maneuvers that made Miral giggle - flailing her arms and legs as she enjoyed dad's 'roller coaster' ride. He completely lost all track of time until he noticed the chonometer and decided to return home, since they were both feeling exhausted and a little nauseated. Tom had the sleeping Miral in his arms as he opened the door to their home. B'Elanna met him at the door with his PADD in her hand. She then noticed that Miral was asleep and both of them put her to bed before they confronted each other.
"When were you going to tell me Tom? Were you waiting for the Doctor to tell me?"
"Calm down. I really didn't know how to tell you because this whole thing is difficult for me to believe. I just couldn't blurt out the fact that I'm pregnant with our child!"
"I'm your wife. You could have at least given me the benefit of the doubt and tried to tell me!" She reached out lovingly to touch Tom's shoulder.
Tom flinched at her touch. "Don't....touch me. Please."
"Tom, please don't shut me out. I'll help you work this out."
"There's nothing you can do now, B'Elanna."
"Oh yes there is. I can give you some pointers about getting up from chairs and show you the best position for lying in bed plus a lot of other trivial things you should know about being pregnant."
Tom smiled into a laugh as B'Elanna joined him.
The Doc said I might have some instances of irritability and..."
"Yes, I know exactly how you feel. It wasn't that long ago I once used that as an excuse." Tom allowed her to enter his space and she gently encircled her arms around his neck. Sighing as her head touched his shoulder she remarked, "Usually when I tell someone that I know how they feel, I really don't mean it. I just don't know what to say at that moment to comfort them. But now, I can truthfully say it and mean it."
"Ahhh B'Elanna," Tom sighed as he held her tight. "I'm sorry I wasn't the one to tell you. I just couldn't put the words together so it would all make sense."
"You're forgiven Tom Paris," she muttered as she buried her face in his shoulder and exhaled.
"Oh, by the way, I'm not using the Doctor as my physician."
"Why?" Who are you seeing for your checkups?" B'Elanna queried.
"Dr. Beverly Crusher. She's the physician onboard the starship Enterprise. I thought it would be better not to involve the Doctor. He doesn't have a high opinion of me to begin with and this might make it worse. And right now I don't need that kind of harassment."
"How far along are you?"
"Dr. Crusher estimated seven weeks. The Doc gave me a medical leave but in her report she didn't exactly explain the entire situation to my superiors."
"Seven weeks huh?" B'Elanna thought for a moment then replied, "You know we've been through a lot of situations before and this really sounds like alien intervention."
"It does...doesn't it?" Tom agreed. "I've been thinking about that too but who could have done this?"
They both looked at each other and responded in unison: "Q!"
Tom was still puzzled by their response. "But why? What would Q have to gain from me being pregnant?"
B'Elanna thought for another moment then answered coyly, "I don't think it was Q. It was probably Q2."
"Remember I told you that Admiral Janeway came to see me a few months ago about helping her with some Klingon negotiations?"
"And what I didn't tell you is that Q2 flashed in about half way into our conversation. He needed a female's point of view regarding his courtship techniques. We offered him advice and to make a long story short the advice worked."
"Too bad I wasn't there. He could have aced his technique with my help," Tom said smugly.
"Ha! With your help Q2 would have transformed you into an amoeba! Where was I? Oh yes, Q2 was very appreciative of our advice and I guess he listened a little too closely to my ramblings. I must have mentioned to him that I was a little envious of what you were doing and well. . .Tom, don't look at me like that!"
"You must have really been angry with me for him to do this!" Tom realized.
"Well, this IS the twenty-forth century and we ARE suppose to share parenting responsibilities. When you took that job I felt as if that job was more important to you than we were," B'Elanna sniffed with tears in her eyes.
"Oh, B'Elanna, I am SO sorry," Tom signed as he cradled her in his arms. "I guess I needed another wake up call and Q2 happened to volunteer as my alarm clock this time."
B'Elanna was happy that the negotiations were almost over. It was the fifth (and hopefully) final grueling day of listening to the endless banter between representatives of the Klingon empire, Starfleet ambassadors and Federation members regarding new alliances formed in the Alpha quadrant. She knew Admiral Janeway wanted her to stay to the end to keep the Klingons in line. Being the mother of the alleged Kuva'Mach had some bearing on the situation and gave her the honor she needed to carry out her assignment, making sure that the talks ended peacefully. Shortly she would be returning home to Tom, Miral and their soon-to-be-born little baby boy. During one of the recesses, B'Elanna was informed that there was an urgent transmission for her. Excusing herself from crowd of delegates that gathered outside of the meeting room, she walked quickly to the next room to answer the transmission.
"Yes this is B'Elanna. How can I help you," B'Elanna questioned unsure of who she was talking to.
"My name is Dr. Crusher and I'm. . ."
B'Elanna recognized her name and broke in: "Yes, I know who you are doctor. Something's happened to Tom. Is the baby OK?"
"I'm afraid it's bad news. Tom had complications with the pregnancy and lost the baby."
"Where is he now? Is he alright?" B'Elanna tried to calm herself and concentrate on the doctor's answer.
"Your husband is in sick bay on the Enterprise. Counselor Troi is taking care of your daughter."
"Tom contacted me shortly after he began hemorrhaging. Fortunately the Enterprise wasn't far from Earth at the time of your husband's distress call. We are currently in orbit around Earth and we will be here for the next couple of days. B'Elanna, when Tom miscarried we had some problems stabilizing him for a while but presently he seems to be out of the critical stage," Dr. Crusher reassured her.
"I'm taking the next shuttlecraft out of here. I should be there in six hours," B'Elanna promised. "Dr. Crusher, thank you for being there for my husband."
"Tom is resting now and your daughter is fine. Take all the time you need. Crusher out."
Tom woke to find B'Elanna's face strained with concern staring at him.
"Dr. Crusher told me you're going to be fine," B'Elanna said with a restrained smile.
"Yes, I know," B'Elanna interrupted. "Tom, some things just aren't meant to be."
"Yea, but he was my boy. The things I had planned for both of us. He'd be my copilot on all missions, Buster in the Captain Proton holonovels, my first mate when we would go sailing..."
"Tom you can do all of that with Miral and me. Except maybe call us Buster," B"Elanna smiled trying to cheer up her husband.
"By the way, where is Miral?" Tom desperately needed to change the subject and fight more tears from falling down his cheek.
"Miral's on board the Enterprise and being spoiled rotten by a number of doting officers. She's got that Paris charm that's simply irresistible." B'Elanna leaned over the bed and placed a kiss on Tom's wet cheek.
"Well, when do I get sprung out of here," he demanded.
"Soon," she replied. "Dr. Crusher would like to keep you here a while longer for observation." She reached into her pocket and presented him with his PADD.
"What's this," Tom asked as he took the PADD from her.
"The holonovel you were working on. I thought since you're going to be here for possiblly another day you might like to finish the story. You know it's the author's prerogative for a story to have a happy ending."