Authors notes: This is just a transition, character development piece. Somewhere along the way they decided Voyager was their home. I just wanted to explainJ
By Katie Truman (AKA "Katie" on the boards)
Written May 29, 2001
Synopsis: Set after lineage and before Endgame. Tom and B’Elanna get ready for their child, as they realize what home truly means to them. Rated P/G
Disclaimer: I’ll write a disclaimer when Braga reads my story and decides to personally write me and tell me to write a disclaimer. How about that!
As Tom walked down the corridor he could feel his heart rate growing more and more rapid, his hands getting a little bit sweaty and he just couldn’t wipe that smile off of his face. He couldn’t believe that after all the years of dating, nights together, and marriage, she could still do this to him. He had worked all day in sickbay and was just looking forward to a quiet evening at home.
B’Elanna couldn’t believe her luck. All she wanted to do was to go home, and be with Tom, and do something about her backache. The Doc told her these were classic symptoms, but when you have the job that she’s got, everything comes in full force. All she had left to do was recoil the dilithium matrix and she could go. Those were the longest 25 minutes of her life.
When Tom arrived at their quarters he expected to see her there. Lying on the couch, or maybe even asleep! When he walked in he pronounced, "B’Elanna, what a day I’ve had…" There was no answer. "Hello?" He would just have to wait. In the mean time Tom thought it might be best to use this time to study the Padds the Doc gave him to review before their first parenting class tomorrow. So he lay down on their bed and began to read "A day in the life of your daughter" Tom rolled his eyes at the thought of how much fun the doctor was going to have playing teacher. He knew they made a good choice in choosing him for the godfather.
Just as he got to "5 tricks to a goodnight sleep" B’Elanna strolled, or reared into their quarters with one purpose. Blood pie. She didn’t know why, but ever since she began her second trimester she was having cravings for klingon food that she never liked. Those generational Klingons were right about one thing; she was special!
As delighted as she was to see Tom; she headed straight for the replicator and decided he could do the walking. "Did you know that the doctor expects us to read all these Padds before tomorrow?" Tom spoke his disbelief as he jumped off the bed and headed towards his wife at the table.
"At least you won’t have to go in twice a week so the doctor can sing to her through a diatonal amplifier."
"I missed you" Tom crooned as she finished her meal.
"I missed you too, but you know what I missed more?" B’Elanna liked to pull at his heartstrings, and she always knew just which string to pull.
"Tell me" Now they were nose to nose, with Tom sitting backwards on a chair leaning deep into her personal space.
"I miss that back rub you gave me a couple days ago, it’s been hurting all day and I just don’t think I will fall asleep without your magic touch." With that look on her face how could he refuse?
"Well then, let’s get to bed. Besides, we have to get up bright and early tomorrow morning for our parenting class." With that they got ready for bed and settled down for the night.
"B’Elanna!" B’Elanna was tired and it was going to take more than Toms persistent nagging to get her out of bed this morning. "We are going to be late… If you don’t get up now you won’t have time for a sonic shower." Tom hoped that would do it.
"I’m up! Well, as soon as I can sit up." B’Elanna was dreading this parenting class, but at the same time she was excited. It brought the whole idea of being a mother much closer to Home. Tom helped B’Elanna out of bed and they both got ready for their first class in parenting. God only knows they would need it. Neither of them had any real good role models themselves.
"Welcome Mom and Dad!" The Doc was in an incredibly good mood this morning. "And how is my god daughter doing this morning?"
"You tell me." B’Elanna spoke as she sat down at the examination table. Tom sat beside B’Elanna and put his hand on her Belly and felt his daughter kick as the doctor examined the fetus.
"Let’s see… you are 20 weeks along, and your daughter has fully developed. Heart, lungs, digestive tract, nervous and circulatory systems all functioning normally." Paris sighed in relief. He wasn’t expecting any trouble, but he could help but worry just a little. As wonderful as it was for Tom to hear his daughter’s heartbeat, he was getting anxious to get started.
"Alright Doc, so what do you have planned for us today?"
"For you Mister Paris? Well, Today we are merely going go through feeding techniques, and well… I thought I would let the two of you decide what the lesson plan would be afterwards. I did give you a lot of homework; perhaps there was something you wish to discuss?"
B’Elanna smirked to herself. "I know I would like to know about ‘five tricks to a goodnight sleep!’"
"Here, here!" Echoed Tom as the Doctor began downloading his lesson plans from the database. Yes, this was going to be an interesting next few months full of surprises.
Tom only had time for a quick bite to eat before he had to be in sickbay, after a grueling 8-hour shift on the bridge. He had to make the most of this hour. Tom noticed Harry eating along the long table facing the window. He was writing something, and Tom was determined to find out what it was. "Reading up on promotion tactics Harry?"
"Very funny Tom. No, actually I am writing a letter home to my folks. I wanted to tell them about my command on Nightingale, and I need to find out about my cousin. She should be having her first baby pretty soon."
"Alright Harry, you’re off the hook, I should have known you were doing something that had to do with Earth."
Harry out his padd down and faced Tom. He had to find out once and for what this was about. He always knew Tom wasn’t keen on getting home, but you would think after seven years, he would get a little homesick. "Tom, how come you never get excited about home. You’re never interested in writing letters or talking over the comm. I know that you and your Dad have had your problems, but I thought you had put that behind you." Tom just stared at Harry for a little while, not quite sure how to answer the question. Then it dawned on him.
"You don’t get it Harry. I have put it behind me. The reason I am not excited to get home is because I am already there. B’Elanna and I are planning on raising our family here. I have never had anything better than what I have on Voyager... and if we get home…. I would be loosing my family." On that note Tom picked up his tray and left Harry with a half-finished padd full of high expectations and a smile on his face. Tom was different. Tom was a new man.
B’Elanna was in Engineering and to her surprise it was quite a slow day; compared to the last few days. She was relieved though, since she had been quite tired lately. She surprised herself by humming a tune while checking on the injector ports. Before she knew it, her song turned into a duet. A little embarrassed, she stopped right away.
"Hi B’Elanna! You have a very lovely voice. You should sing at Ensign Kim’s recital this week." B’Elanna turned around to see none other than the Captains assistant checking up on her no doubt.
"Well hello Naomi! Thank you, but I think I will stick to the sonic showers as my singing audience." They both shared a laugh. "What can I do for you?"
"Well, I just wanted to see how your baby was doing. I have never seen anyone pregnant before. What’s it like?" B’Elanna couldn’t find a way to explain. She tried anyway.
"It is wonderful, but at the same time it’s very awkward. I get sick, moody, my back constantly hurts, and I can’t go any away missions!"
"How is that wonderful?" Naomi looked at her with total fascination.
"You didn’t let me finish! To feel connected to my child like this… such a bond. Words cannot describe it. You should ask your mom. I know that I have talked to her a lot about when she was pregnant with you."
"Really, because I can’t wait for you and Lt. Paris to have your daughter. I am sure we will be best friends one day, when she is old enough to play games and go on the holodeck." B’Elanna didn’t know what to say. It suddenly dawned on her that this is what it would be like. Her daughter would be like Naomi; living her whole life on a starship. Voyager would be the only home she would know.
"You and my daughter have more in common than you may think…"
B’Elanna came home from her shift expecting to be the first one to turn in for the evening, but Tom was already there, and was sitting on their couch with a package in his hand. "I thought your birthday wasn’t for a few more months!"
"Very funny", Tom quickly stood up and greeted his wife with a good kiss. They hadn’t really kissed in a long time. With all the fuss about the baby; they seemed to be forgetting about themselves. Tom put his arms around B’Elanna and softly touched he lips. As their eyes closed; as did the space between them. As their kiss deepened, B’Elanna felt the baby kick and Tom could feel it too. It was as if all three of them were connected for one brief moment.
"Well it certainly isn’t my birthday, or our babies." She spoke with a slight hint of a tease in her voice.
"I know, this isn’t a birthday present B’Elanna. Just sit down and open it." They both sat down on the couch facing one another and her passed her the package. B’Elanna didn’t wait. She tore through the wrapping. At first she wasn’t sure what it was, so Tom took the liberty of explaining. "It’s a doormat. In the 20 and 21st centuries they used to place these in front of the doors to their home. Like ours, "WELCOME" was commonly written on them, as a greeting to those entering ones home. I thought it was fitting." B’Elanna was looking out their window and through the reflection she could see Tom. He was staring at her with a look she had never seen before, and yet she found her self seeing images of them growing old, their daughter growing up, and their house becoming a home playing out right before her eyes, as a reflection of the future. Tom was right. This as there home, and it didn’t matter whether got back to the alpha quadrant or not. If they were together, they were home.
"It’s perfect Tom, lets put it in front of our door." She held his gaze just for a moment, and then they both turned and walked out of their quarters. Through their door and into a world where they welcomed what came to them. Because home is where the heart is, and Voyager was their home.