Disclaimer: See chapter one.

A/N: Like I said, two today to make up for not posting.

Chapter Seven

"Come in."

The door swooshes open to reveal an untidy office, and a woman sitting at the big desk in the middle of the room. I stand in the doorway, unsure.

"I said come in, dammit!" She stands and walks towards us.

Shoshana makes a scared little noise and steps behind my legs again.

"I'm Miral, and this is Shoshana..." I say, trying to coax Shoshana out from behind my legs.

"Wonderful. Three minutes." She sits back down and gestures for us to take the two seats on the other side of the desk.

"Well, we were wondering if you know who Torres is. B. Torres."

"B'Elanna? Why do you care?" She eyes us suspiciously, reaching for a glass jar of caramels.

"I...think I might be her daughter."

"If I had a nickel..."


"It's not a big secret or anything. I suggest you leave now before you really piss me off."

"Wait! I can prove it...I think. Just give me a chance!" I plead.

"Alright. Prove it. You have one minute and thirty seconds."

I take Universe out of my bag and hand it over. "Look on the inside cover."

Cherry opens the book and reads the name. "Excellent. Excellent forgery. Looks just like B'Elanna's writing. How much did you have to pay for this? Obviously more than your ridges." She glares at me and tosses the book back.

"I-I didn't pay anything. I've had this book my whole life." Tears well up in my desperate eyes. There has to be some way...

"Thirty seconds. Got any more proof, kid?"

"Uhh...uhh..." I stammer, letting the tears fall.


"I j-just want to find my mom. I don't want a-anything. Please.."

"Ten. Nine. Eight. Seven. Six. You better scram, and I mean it. Four. Three. Two."

"PLEASEJUSTHELPMEIWANTMYMOM!" I scream as loud and as fast as I can.

Cherry stands up abruptly, leaving the chair skidding across the room. Picking up a handful of the caramels, she leans over the desk and whips them in my general direction. Hard. "GET THE HELL OUT!"

I run out the door, and down the hallway, Shoshana hot on my heels. Finally, we reach a dead end. I curl myself into a ball on the floor and cry.

After what seems like hours, someone taps me on the shoulder.

"Hey. Are you okay?" He whispers.

"No, I'm not okay." I sniffle.

"Want to tell me what's wrong?" He gently turns me to face him. He has dark blonde has and

ocean blue eyes. The same eyes as-

"I'm Tom Paris, by the way."

"I'm Miral...Paris."

"Oh my god."

Oh my god. I think I just found my dad. See, crying in a corner really does solve problems!

"Hi dad." I offer sheepishly, wiping the stray tears rolling down my cheeks.

"Hi yourself. Want to tell me what's wrong?"

"I-I just wanted to find my mom, but...but Cherry, she yelled at me and t-threw caramels at me." I sob, feeling childish and stupid.

He chuckles slightly, and I do too, realizing the slight humor of the situation.

"Lucky for you she has horrible aim, did any of them hit you?" He asks, rolling up my sleeve to look for bruises on my arm.

"One or two." I show him the bruises.

"I'm going to go talk to her. That was way out of line. You can come if you want." He stands up and trots down the corridor. I start to get up too, but Shoshana grabs my leg and pulls me back down.

A few minutes later, my dad comes back around the corner, followed by a shameful and slightly pissed off looking Cherry. She kneels down and speaks, never breaking eye contact with me.

"I'm sorry for getting angry with you and throwing things, if I hurt you, feel free to return the favour. You caught me on a bad day. Anyway, you don't know how many young girls have come through my door claiming to be the long lost Paris daughter. Hell, I don't even know! I lost track a while ago." Tom kicks her gently in the back of the knee and clears his throat.

"Sorry. So I'd like to invite all of you to have dinner with me. Catch up with your parents and everything. Unfortunately, I'm a bit short on funds at the moment, so I hope you won't mind home cooking."

I glance up at my father, who smiles back and nods.

"Okay, I-I guess." I say, smiling slightly.