Author: BíElanna Paris

Title: Confronting Fears

Rating: G

Disclaimer: All characters and Star Trek related stuff belongs to Paramount Pictures.

E-Mail: dqcafe[at]yahoo.co.uk

Feedback would be much appreciated.

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Intro: At the Doctors hearing, BíElanna gives a little speech about him being the babyís godfather. But then she leaves because she cannot sit on those stools. Tom goes after her.

Summary: Tom tells BíElanna why his avoiding speaking to his father & why he's scared.

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"Hey", Tom said, "where are you going?"

"Back to Engineering, Iíve got things to do and my back, I couldnít sit on those stools any longer."

Ever since just before the Klingons had arrived on Voyager, BíElanna had began to complain of terrible back pain from the increasing weight on the baby.

"I would offer you a massage except Iíve got to get back in there." BíElanna just smiled he always seemed to say these things in front of crewmen who were walking by, probably to fuel the gossip mill.

Suddenly, an odd look came over BíElanna as if something had just dawned on her. "Whatís the matter?" Tom asked concerned. BíElanna had noticed that was his daily phrase at the moment it entered nearly every conversation they had. She thought Tom was way over-protective for his own good.

"Why arenít you in Sickbay?" her faced had now changed to a quizzical look.

"I told you this morning the Captain is letting me sit in on this because I gave my chip to Harry, she feels I could at least see him. I couldnít really turn her down."

"I donít remember you telling me that." looking even more puzzled then she was a minute ago.

"Thatís because you were trying to start a letter to your Dad!"

"Oh," BíElanna lowered her head remembering the letter she was trying to write, she had tried to start it last night but had only wrote ĎDearí and she stayed awake half the night to think what to write. So this morning, she wrote about a paragraph of what she had thought up that night. "well you better get back in there, see you tonight."

Tom kissed her and said "Yeah, see you tonight."

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BíElanna arrived late back from Engineering, to find Tom watching the TV.

"Hi", BíElanna said

"Hey" Tom replied.

"Did you get to say anything to your father?" BíElanna somehow knew what he was going to say. "No, remember it was only to see him." he said raising his voice slightly. "Anyway, I can wait, Harry needed that chip more than me." BíElanna knew that Tom was trying to avoid his father. They had wrote letters to one another but Tom hardly wrote anything meaningful in those letters. When ever she asked about his father or the letter that he had received, Tom would get unduly hostile and had told her that it didnít say anything much or that his mother had wrote most on it. Oh course, she had read two of these Ďno substance lettersí and even though they didnít go have a lot of substance, they did show that Admiral Paris was trying his best to apologise to Tom.

"I know but who says you didnít that chip?" she said.

"Are you trying to imply something?" raising his eyebrows at her question.

"That your deliberately trying to avoid speaking to him, no, it never crossed my mind." BíElanna tone had gone from stating a fact to trying to ease the tension in the room, that seemed to be building up, with a sarcastic joke.

"No, Iím not, Iím telling you Harry needed it more than me." raising his voice even higher.

"Sure, Tom," BíElanna speaking in the same tone of voice, "Iím going for a long soak in the bath."

Tom turned back to the TV, this always seemed to happen when ever they spoke about his father, BíElanna was trying to encourage him to put a bit more content in the letters he was sending home but he wouldnít or was it that he couldnít? He looked at BíElanna who was sitting on the bed getting undressed, she had got down to her bra and panties when she got up and headed around the bed and cot to the bathroom, when for some unknown reason Tom said "You know your right" this caused BíElanna to stop and turn around, "about my dad."

There was silence between the two of them for a moment, until BíElanna began to walk over to him and he said "I am trying to avoid him." BíElanna seat on the sofa next to him she was surprised to say the least. "I never expected you to say that."

"Why not?" Tom said.

"Well.... your not exactly.... open with your feelings, especially about your family."

"Maybe its your influence" Tom said. He had just realised what he said and he was unsure whether to take it any further.

"Um.... no, I think that weíre both a bit more open with..... our feelings nowadays." Tom knew what she was referring to, the incident in Sickbay, he had told her afterwards that she was going to tell him whenever something was wrong and they both would be more open with each other.

BíElanna was keen to get back to the subject at hand, they had decided that the sickbay incident would remain in the past and they would not bring it up.

"So, why are you trying to avoid him?" BíElanna said.

"I suppose itís a........ a combination of things really. When ever we talk thereís always an air of formality and well....." Tom stopped for a moment, he was beginning to realise that telling someone, BíElanna, that it was lifting some sort of weight from his shoulders.

"Go on." BíElanna prompted him.

"And I suppose its easier not to speak to him. When we last spoke there were things said that well.... its hard to take back. I mean we havenít spoken for 8 years!"

"Well, nowís the time to start, just look at me Iím beginning to write a letter to my dad, whom I have seen or spoken to for nearly 20 years."

Tom knew BíElanna was glad that she was getting a chance to speak to her father again. At first she had been unsure whether it was a good idea. But after she had spoken to him. She had told Tom that she was definite that this was the right course of action.

"I guess your right," Tom said admitting that maybe he should speak to his father, "I just have to...... er...... buck up enough courage, to speak to him." swallowing hard this was difficult admitting that he was actually terrified. He didnít really why, it was maybe because if either said something if could flare up into something. Tom also didnít know how he was going to take the things that were said between them back.

BíElanna looked at him oddly. "What?" he said unsure at what she was thinking.

"Its just that Tom Paris, the guy who can go on all these daredevil missions and isnít at all scared. But is terrified of speaking to his father." she let out a little giggle that she couldnít control.

"Hey, Iím scared of stuff.... its just that I donít let it show." he said trying to counter this.

"Donít worry Iím not gonna tell anyone and if you want me to come with as you did with my father, Iíd be happy to do it." To be honest BíElanna was still unsure whether she should speak to her father but the minute Tom said ĎIíll come with you if you want?í she knew she would be alright in the end.

"You were coming along anyway, Iíve got to show my wife off."

"Huh... what Iím I your new fashion accessory?"

"No, just my beautiful, intelligent wife and mother to my child." Tom put his hands on BíElanna swollen belly and they both smiled at each other. Tom had to admit that he was scared just at how this conversation with his father will eventually pan out but he knew he would be alright with BíElanna with him.