Hear Baby Cry

Star Trek: Voyager
Title: Hear Baby Cry
Rating: [PG]
Codes: P/T
Setting: 1.5 years after “Revulsion”

Written By: Sean Clark-McCarthy

Summary: B’Elanna Paris is pregnant and has a BIG decision to make. The rest of the crew gives her advice on what to do.
Will she take it?

Warning: This story has adult content. Parental discretion is advised.

——

He woke up next to her, very tired. The night had been a no-sleeper, as had most of their nights since they moved
in together. Tom Paris rolled over and looked into B’Elanna’s eyes. She was so beautiful. He didn’t know what his life
would be like if she weren’t in it. He gently shook her shoulder to wake her up.
“B’Elanna, time to wake up. We’ll be late for duty.”
“Tom, leave me alone. I want to sleep,” she growled back.
“Come on, you’ve got a ship to repair.” Tom got up from the bed and walked into the washroom. He stripped his
clothes and stepped into the sonic shower. He was washing himself when he heard pounding along the deck. Someone was
running. The door to the washroom slid open and B’Elanna ducked down over the waste receptacle. She began to heave.
“Are you okay?” Tom asked as he stepped out of the sonic shower and knelt beside her.
“Yeah, I’m fine.” she replied. She heaved again and food particles rushed from her mouth and landed in the
receptacle. “Okay, maybe I’m not,” she said after she caught her breath.
“I’m going to call Engineering. You’re staying put today.” He left the room to contact Engineering. After a few
minutes, he returned. “Ensign Vorik said that he would take care of everything for you.”
“Tom, I’m really all right. It must have been all that leola root we ate for dinner,” she smiled at him.
“Okay, well, I still want you to go to sickbay. I’ll walk you on the way to the bridge.”
“Fine,” she sighed. “You’d better finish your shower before you’re late.”
“Okay. Go get dressed, and I’ll be out in a minute. I don’t want to see you in a uniform.”
“Sure.” She tapped a button on the receptacle and all the water was drained. She looked up and hugged him, and
walked out to their bedroom.

After Tom had finished taking a shower and getting dressed, both of them left their quarters and proceeded towards
sickbay. He dropped her off and departed with a goodbye kiss.
“What seems to be the problem?” the Doctor asked her.
“I don’t know; that’s why I’m here,” she snapped.
“Well, I can see you haven’t been working on YOUR bedside manner. What are your symptoms?”
“I threw up this morning, and I’m very tired,” she said.
“Hmmm.” He ran the medical tricorder over her head and slowly moved it down her body. When he ran it over her
abdomen the tricorder beeped repeatedly. “Interesting.”
“What? What is it? What’s wrong?” she asked, almost frantic.
“I’m happy to say that you are pregnant. I can tell you the sex if you like.”
“What? I’m pregnant?!?”
“Yes, why? Is there a problem?”
B’Elanna just sat there looking at her stomach.
“B’Elanna?”
She jerked her head up. “What? Oh no, no problem. Doctor, do me a favor. Don’t tell anyone about this. I want it to
be a surprise.”
“Of course. I will need to see you on a bi-monthly basis to make sure your baby is doing all right.”
“Yes, of course. Thank you, Doctor.” She got up off the biobed and proceeded back to her quarters. She had a lot
to think about.

After returning to her quarters, she got a cup of tea from the replicator. The Captain had introduced her to this
tea. It was *okay* by Klingon standards. B’Elanna had a lot of thinking to do, and tea seemed to always calm her nerves.
She looked back at her life, at the decisions she had made, at the decisions she had been forced into. She got to thinking
about her mother, and how her mother hadn’t abandoned her. She wasn’t so sure that she could abandon her child, even though
he or she hadn’t been born yet. She still couldn’t bear to bring a child into this kind of environment: no kids to play
with, and no things that kids like to do. Voyager was stranded out in the middle of another quadrant with no hope to get
home. Could she really commit another person’s life to this; a life in constant danger of being destroyed? She just
couldn’t do it. She needed to talk to Tom.
“Paris to Paris,” B’Elanna called to the air.
“Paris here. What’s wrong?” Tom asked over the comm-system.
“I need to talk to you.”
“Sure. Want to meet in the Mess Hall for lunch?”
“Actually, could you come back to our quarters?”
“That’s fine, see ya there. Paris out.”
She had two hours to think of what the hell she was going to say. She could be blunt, but decided against it. Then
again, bluntness had its advantages. She decided to just go with the flow.

Two hours passed. B’Elanna replicated a nice lunch for Tom. Even though it cost her half of their replicator
rations, she was sure that he’d appreciate it.
At 13:30 hours, Tom walked in the door. B’Elanna sat at the table with the food all strewn out.
“Wow. You’ve been busy. Are you feeling better?” He placed his hand on her ridged forehead to check for a
temperature. “What did the doctor have to say?”
“The Doctor said that I have morning sickness. He also says that I’ll probably have it for the next month. But
other than that, he gave me a clean bill of health.”
“Morning sickness? But, that’s only related to…” he said as he laid his napkin down on his lap. “You’re pregnant.
Oh, WOW!! That’s great.” He stood up and walked to her and tried to hug her while she was sitting down.
“I don’t want it, Tom,” she just blurted out.
He pulled her in front of him. “What? What are you talking about?” he said, puzzled.
“I said I don’t want it. I don’t want to raise a child in this kind of environment. I don’t want to live every day
in fear that he or she is going to be killed by some other species that wants to try and destroy Voyager. I just don’t want
to live that way, and this baby doesn’t deserve to live that way.”
“B’Elanna, you can’t be serious. We can cope with those problems. Ensign Wildman has managed just fine.”
“Well, that’s Ensign Wildman. I’m B’Elanna Paris.” She stood up and started to pace the room. “I just don’t want to
go through the pain of possibly losing him or her. I just can’t do it, Tom.” She started to cry. “You just don’t understand
the emotions that I’m feeling.” She wiped a tear off her cheek and jerked her hand down.
“B’Elanna…”
“Tom, I don’t want to hear it. I don’t want this baby!” she screamed.
He walked over to her, grabbed her forearms, and shook her gently. “B’Elanna, you can’t make that decision by
yourself. Did you even take into account the way that I feel? HUH?” he raised his voice. “Did you ever stop to think that
maybe I would like a child? This is a problem that we both have to deal with, and I won’t let you make a decision on your
own.”
“It’s not your decision to make! It’s my body…”
“But it’s my child!” he raised his voice again. He couldn’t stand to look at her anymore. How could she even think
about aborting the pregnancy? He let go of her and walked out the door.

=/\= =/\= =/\= =/\=

That didn’t go the way she had planned. Now what was she to do? She needed someone to talk to, but whom? She
already had tried to talk to Tom and that didn’t work out too well. Who else would know what she was going through? Ensign
Wildman.
“Computer, locate Ensign Wildman,” B’Elanna said shakily.
“Ensign Wildman is in her quarters.”
Good, she wasn’t on duty. B’Elanna could go and talk to her now. She got up from the bed, went into the washroom to
clean herself up, and then got dressed in something more than a robe.

15 minutes later…

“Computer, is Ensign Wildman still in her quarters?” she called to the air as she finished zipping up her uniform.
“Affirmative.”
“Notify me if she leaves her quarters.”
“Affirmative.”
She gathered herself up to face the world and strode out the door.
She was so angry with herself for blowing up at Tom like that. How could she do that to him? It was her Klingon
side asserting itself once again.
How she despised being half-Klingon and half-human! That brought a new thought to her head about her child. What
would it look like… and how would it react to other people? How would other people react to it? *It.* What an awful way
to describe him/her. Wasn’t that all it was right now though? An *it*? If that wasn’t all it was right now, how could she
live with herself, knowing that she killed a helpless being? Ensign Wildman’s quarters was just ahead of her. She walked up
to the door and hit the call button.
“Come in,” a voice called from inside.
The doors opened before B’Elanna and she walked into the quarters.
“Ensign Wildman?” B’Elanna called, not seeing her.
“In here,” her voice came from the bedroom.
B’Elanna walked to the door and looked inside. Ensign Wildman was sitting in a chair near the window of the
bedroom. The stars outside streaked by as Voyager slipped through space at high speed.
“Lieutenant?” Samantha jumped up from her chair in surprise. She noticed B’Elanna’s long face. “What’s wrong? Are
you O.K.?” she asked. She walked across the room and put her child in the crib beside the window. “Come. Let’s talk.” She
led B’Elanna into the living room. They both sat down on the couch. “Would you like something to drink?”
B’Elanna shook her head. *No*. Samantha walked over to the replicator and ordered a hot cup of coffee. She took the
warm steaming cup from the replicator and sipped a little as she walked slowly over to the couch, being sure not to spill
any. She sat down and placed the mug on the triangular glass table that stood in front of the couch. She looked into
B’Elanna’s face and could see the unhappiness buried deep beneath her ridged forehead. “What’s the matter, B’Elanna? I’ve
never seen you this upset before.”
“I’m going through a rough time right now and I could use your advice.”
“I’m here for you. What’s the problem?” Samantha sat back and crossed her legs in an effort to make herself more
comfortable.
“I woke up this morning feeling very sick. I went to the doctor to find out what was wrong, and found out…” She
paused, trying to breathe courage from the air as if it was something tangible. “… that I’m pregnant.”
“That’s great news…” Samantha started. Realizing that wasn’t the case, she quickly changed her tune. “Why do I
get the feeling it isn’t such good news to you?”
B’Elanna didn’t know what to say.
“Do you *want* this baby?” Samantha asked.
“I don’t know. I think it would be great to have a child, but Voyager isn’t the best place for kids.”
“B’Elanna, if people don’t start having kids, who do you think will run this ship once we are gone? If there aren’t
kids around, we will never be able to *make* this a place for kids. We’ll have a schoolroom once there are kids of age. I’m
sure of that. In fact, I’m most likely going to be the one to demand it once my child comes of age.”
“It’s not only that. I don’t think I could live with myself if my child got hurt one day when another species from
this god-awful quadrant try to take us over again.”
“How do you think you’d be able to live with yourself if you destroyed the fetus before you even gave it life?”
Samantha shot back.
That hurt. B’Elanna hadn’t thought about that. How could she live with herself? If another species killed her child
she would get over it eventually. How long would the process take if *she* killed her child? Never? Would she, *could* she
go on with her life as if it never happened?
“Besides, who will little Jeffrey play with if there are no other kids on board?”
B’Elanna couldn’t help but laugh at that.
“Here’s my advice to you. Go with what your heart says. Don’t worry about what other people think or say. I’ll bet
you anything that another child on this ship would bring up morale quicker than Neelix’s leola root stew would…”
“Who said Neelix’s stew brings up morale? More like it takes it down!” B’Elanna joked.
Samantha laughed along with her.
“All I’m saying is: it’s your decision. Don’t let anyone else judge you because of what you decide. If you want to
keep it, great. It will bring up the mood on this ship. If you don’t, just think about the consequences.”
“Thanks, Sam.” B’Elanna patted her on the knee. “I’m going to get going. I’ve got a lot of thinking to do.” She
stood up to walk out the door.
Sam stood up as well. Just as B’Elanna reached the door, Sam said, “B’Elanna? If you need anything, please remember
that I’m only a comm-link away.” She smiled.
“Thanks.”
B’Elanna stepped out the door and started heading back to her quarters.

=/\= =/\= =/\= =/\=

Tom stepped onto the bridge and proceeded to his workstation, obviously very flustered. Janeway took note of his
attitude. “Is everything all right, Mr. Paris?”
“Just fine and dandy, Ms. All-High-and-Mighty!” Tom snapped at her.
Janeway looked up from her PADD at Tom, then shifted her view to Chakotay. She was noticeably surprised by the tone
in Tom’s voice. She handed her PADD to Chakotay and stood up. “Mr. Paris, my ready room. NOW!” she called.
Janeway strode across the bridge in a feverish manner. She grasped the rail to propel herself around the corner
down to her ready room. The doors gave way to her presence, and remained open to allow Tom to pass through.
Janeway sat at her desk and glanced at Tom. He was at full attention, looking very annoyed at the entire situation.
“Explain yourself, Lieutenant!” Janeway ordered.
“Permission to speak freely, ma’am?” Paris asked.
Shocked at his willingness to explain his behavior, she sat back to listen. “Granted.”
“I’m sorry for my outburst on the bridge. It was totally uncalled for and unnecessary.”
“Apology accepted, but that doesn’t explain why you did so.”
“It’s of a *personal* nature, Captain.”
“Well, I’m already the mother of this crew. I might as well help my children, so to speak, cope with their
problems. So what *IS* the problem?”
“It’s B’Elanna.”
‘Oh, God,’ Janeway thought. ‘What have I gotten myself into now?’ “You don’t want a divorce already, do you? I just
married you three months ago!” she said, half joking, half-serious.
“It might come to that if we can’t resolve this issue,” he said.
Now she was concerned, the incident on the bridge completely forgotten. She poked at the problem a little more.
“What issue?” She stood up from her desk and made her way to the couch by the window.
“I don’t know if the doctor’s told you already. Hell, I don’t even know *how* to tell you.”
“Has something happened? Is she all right?” the captain said, very worried.
“No, no, nothing has happened. Not in the sense you are worried about.”
“Well, tell me, Tom, before I die of the Bolian flu.”
Tom explained the entire situation to the captain while she sat on her couch. After his story was finished, Janeway
sat in silence, thinking.
“Tom, you have to understand something. You’re not the one having this baby.” She sensed he was going to interrupt
her. She put up her hand to silence any oncoming interruptions. “Granted, it may be your child, but you have to respect her
decision no matter what it may be. You’re not the one who will be breast-feeding it, or caring for it almost consistently,
or going through the unbelievable agony of childbirth. Once you understand her point of view and accept her feelings, and
she does the same for you, then you *both* will truly be happy.”
“How do you *know* that we will both be happy?”
“Trust me.”
“Thanks, Captain. May I be excused so I can go see…”
She put up her hand again to stop him. “No need to ask. Go. And remember what I said.”
“Thanks again.”
“You’re quite welcome.”
Tom turned and left her ready room. Janeway sat down at her desk and smiled as she watched him go.

=/\= =/\= =/\= =/\=

B’Elanna walked into her quarters and looked around. The food they were supposed to have for lunch was still spread
on the table. ‘There’s no point in wasting replicator rations,’ she thought. She gathered up the plates of food and took
them to the replicator. Then she pushed a button to recycle the energy and give her her rations back. B’Elanna walked back
over to the table to finish clearing it when the doors to her quarters slid open.
“Aren’t you supposed to be on bridge duty?” she asked Tom.
“I think this is more important. I would hope you felt the same way.”
“Oh, I do. That’s why I need to talk to you.”
“Good. I need to talk to you too,” Tom said.
“I went…” they both started at the same time.
“Go ahead,” she said to him.
“I talked to the captain about us,” he started.
“Oh really? What did she have to say?” B’Elanna asked.
“She told me exactly what you told me. I have no right to interfere with it. It’s your decision, and I’m going to
respect that. If that’s what you want to do, then feel free to. I just wanted you to understand the way I felt about it.”
“Tom, you have no idea how happy that makes me.” She walked over to him and put her arms around him.
“I’m sorry I got upset at you earlier.”
“It’s okay now. I’ve made my decision. I talked to Samantha, and I agree with her.”
“So do you think the Doctor will go through with it? He did take the Hippocratic Oath,” Tom said.
“Go through with what?” she asked, puzzled.
“The abo…”
“Shhhh.” She put her finger up to his lips. “There isn’t going to be one.”
He looked down at her and smiled. As Tom wrapped his arms around her, he thought of that morning when they had lain
in bed together, and the love that had overwhelmed him then came back in full force now. He softly kissed her hair. They
had conquered a bumpy road with their love intact. There was nothing that could stop them now.

Finish…

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