By Jessica Ferroni

This is dedicated to Serena, my friend and fellow Paris-ite.

* * * * *

Silently, softly, I’m watching, waiting. I’ve been here for what
seems like hours, but I have no way of knowing exactly how long;
I lost track of time the minute they brought you in here.
The Doctor says you’re going to make it, but I was so scared for
awhile there. The Doc says you kept slipping at first, but you’re
too stubborn to die. Yes, you are, Thomas Eugene Paris.
The Doc says you’ll pull through, but I feel so helpless — why
did you just leave me here to wait? All I can do is stand here by
your biobed, looking down at your pale, bruised face, and wait for
you to open your eyes and make some sarcastic, cocky comment about
surviving one more time.
Why do you have to go and scare me like this? Stay out
of trouble, I keep telling you, but, no, you have to be right in
the middle of the action. Someday, Tom, someday you’re not going
to pull through by just the skin of your teeth. Someday you’re
really going to be lost, and you’re going to leave me alone.
I think you should know, though, that the Captain is fine,
thanks to you. Tom, you should have joined security. Or maybe
you just like jumping in front of phaser beams, I really don’t
know. I probably don’t want to know.
You exasperate me, Tom, you know that? I just can’t get over
it. Why do you always act like you only look out for number one,
and then you turn around and throw yourself in front of the
nearest phaser beam to protect someone else? Why don’t you just
admit to yourself that you’ve got a heart of gold? Everyone who
knows you knows it, but you seem to have a hard time accepting
it yourself.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. `Fine person you are, B’Elanna,
to be telling me this. Why don’t you help yourself?’
The truth is, Tom, that I have helped myself. In trying to help
you see who you are, I’ve found out who I am, too.

“Lieutenant Paris?” The Doctor’s voice came from behind my
“He will be fine,” the Doctor assured me gently. “You should
get some rest now, Lieutenant. I will call you as soon as your
husband is awake.”
“Thank you.” I rested my hand on Tom’s forehead briefly, then
brought it down to squeeze his hand. Rest now, I thought, I’ll
be back soon.

© Copyright March 1997 by Jessica Ferroni on all original story content.
Not meant to infringe on copyrights held by Paramount or any other copyright
holders of STAR TREK: VOYAGER. Please do not reproduce for anything other
than personal reading use (including fanzines) without written consent of
the author. Comments are welcome at


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