Author: Gwen Slaughter
Codes: Miral (P/T, Miral/m)
Disclaimer: Tom, B'Elanna and all of Voyager belong to
Paramount and Star Trek. I am simply borrowing them
for fun not profit. All original characters are my
property and cannot be used without permission.
Authors notes: I really have no idea where this came
from. It just came to me and I had to write it. Call
it a birthday gift to myself I suppose. This one is
in first person (once again, I don't know where that
came from either hee hee), but I am not going to give
away who's though I hope it will be fairly obvious.
Enjoy and feedback is craved as always!
When I was really young I once asked my mother how she
knew what love was. I didn't understand her answer
for years afterward.
She told me that feeling love was the easy part,
admitting that that was what it was that was the
difficult part. I must have looked rather confused
because she went on to say that the reason it was so
difficult was that it took admitting that it maybe
didn't have to be her against the universe, that she
didn't always have to be the strong one, and that she
could be stronger than on her own. Then she got one of
those thoughtful looks on her face, that she always
got when thinking of dad. I knew she had forgotten,
for the moment, that I was even in the room.
I still didn't know what love was, but I always knew
my parents had it. It was obvious. You could see it
in the way my dad could disarm my mother with a single
look, the way they were playful around each other,
even in the way they fought. And they did fight. But
as my dad once told me it made the making up all the
sweeter. Of course, I had inherited along with my
dad's blue eyes my mothers' temper; so I fought with
them a lot too. Above all else, though, we were
My mother was my hero. She was smart, brave, and she
could fix anything. I always wanted to BE her when I
got older. Except for the space thing, I could never
understand how my parents had ever LIVED in space.
Every time I said that to my parents, my dad would
laugh. Then he would turn to my mother and say, "she
was born in space and now she doesn't want to live
there." Of course, I was always fascinated by the
stories he would tell about their years in the Delta
Quadrant and of course my birth. When I was young he
would tell me those stories for hours and I never
tired of them. My dad could make anything amusing.
But the one thing that I took away from my parents'
stories and those of Uncle Harry, Aunt Kathryn and
others, was just how many times they came so close to
not surviving the experience. I think that may be the
main reason I am not up for space travel. I can't
bear to think of losing my parents or anyone I care
about that way. I've never told my parents that
though and I likely never will.
My parents, though, they loved the adventure of it.
By everyone's estimation, even their own, they came
out stronger for the experience as well. Strength.
That was what I never truly understood about my
mother's love definition until years and years later.
She was the strongest person I knew. As far as I
could see, young and idealistic as I was, she didn't
need anyone. For that matter neither did I.
The first time I met Jason Hastings, I hated him.
Just one look was all it took too. He was gorgeous of
course; all the girls said so. He knew it too. The
moment I saw him I was struck with it all at once he
was arrogant, egotistical and thought himself to be
brilliant and of course 'God's gift to women'. I
could have sworn he was trying to set a record for
going through all the girls in my class. It was truly
I remember complaining to my parents about him after
one of our first meetings. They couldn't seem to keep
from smiling, which just served to infuriate me more.
"If you dislike him that much just ignore him," my
mother had said.
"Yeah," my dad had agreed with a grin as he winked at
my mother, "It's not as if you care about him or
At this I was outraged. How could they possibly find
"Just calm down," my mother had continued. "He can't
possibly be worth all this drama."
I remember leaping from my chair at that. "But he's
such a PIG, mother!" I screamed, as I recall very
loudly. Then my parents did something that shocked me
at the time and I still remember clearly to this day.
They fell out of their chairs onto to the floor
When I was young I wanted to "be" my mother. She
always seemed to do so well with everything she
touched. So at one time I went around for months
saying how I was going to be an engineer just like
mommy. Uncle Harry still teases my parents
unmercifully about that. But I didn't have the drive,
the talent or, let's face it, the interest to see it
through. I eventually ended up: not in medicine, in
piloting or in engineering, but in art. The one
talent I did seem to take away from my parents, or
rather my dad was holoprogrammig. I'm better than
even my dad was though. By age 14 I had designed over
500 programs of different interests and variations.
When I was 15 I began to design training scenarios for
the schools. One of my favorites was a survival
program loosely based on the Alaskan countryside.
Somehow, despite being 1/4 Klingon, I never quite had
the abhorment of the cold my mother did. I think that
the beauty of the landscape always took the sharpness
of the cold away for me. I suppose it's an artist's
When I was 21 I was asked to supervise a group of
students on that very program. My co-supervisor in
this endeavor: none other than Jason Hastings himself.
By this time, I no longer hated him. He had even
dated my best friend Alexandria for quite a few
months. He was still egotistical, but he also had a
kind spirit. And he treated Ally well, even after she
broke up with him. So I even started to like him as a
friend, a little. That's not to say we didn't still
fight like mad every chance we got.
That was exactly what we were doing the day of the
program. Our students had gone ahead to scope out the
best point to begin our climb over a particularly
dangerous mountain. We were standing at the base
arguing about the weather of all things. He swore
there was a storm coming and I swore that there wasnt
seeing as how it was "my" program. (My program that
had been in the hands of the school for around 5
years, but I had conveniently forgotten that.)
Suddenly, we heard a loud rumbling and one of our
students yelling to us, but it was too late to really
do anything. Truthfully, I don't remember much about
the avalanche itself. The next thing I do remember,
quite clearly, is lying on the ground under Jason,
under this small over hang of ice that had somehow
protected us from being completely suffocated by the
snow. I had forgotten somewhere along the line that
it was still a holodeck program and though the
safeties were on minimum, they were still on.
Regardless, Jason had saved my life.
Even so, it took them 3 hours to rescue us; luckily we
both had badges on so it was easy to pinpoint our
location. We spent those 3 hours talking really
talking. I know that Jason was just trying to
distract me and it was working, though not quite in
the way he was thinking of. I learned quite a lot
about him that day that I had never realized or even
considered before. Not the least of which was his
restraint, which was in fact greater than mine. I
spent the first 2 hours worried that he might try to
take advantage of the situation we were in. I spent
the last hour wishing he would. What my mother had
said all those years ago kept coming back to me as
well. I realized why I insisted on fighting with
Jason all them time instead of letting us get closer.
Maybe I didn't always need to be the strong one. I
also realized partly why my parents had laughed at me
so hard. Seconds before our rescue I finally took
matters into my own hands and kissed him. If he was
surprised I couldn't tell because he kissed me back
within an instant and just as passionately. Maybe we
were both ignoring what was in front of us.
Uncle Harry still teases Jason and I and my parents
about how it took a near death experience and a cave
to bring us together. Paris family tradition he likes
to say. I would argue that it wasn't really a cave
but it's all a moot point anyway.
Of course, that is where the similarity to my parents
story ends. In fact it was me who asked Jason to
marry me, 6 months later. It's been a great 17 years.
The other day my oldest daughter came to me and asked
how I knew what love was. I told her the same thing
my mother told me. Who says you can't learn from your