Summary: An invasion - set after Voyager returns to Earth. A good story to read in late December.
They sat and surveyed the devastation, not quite believing that something more destructive than the Borg had been unleashed on Earth.
They had thought they were prepared. Hours had gone into fortifying their home, laying in supplies and socialising as if there might be no tomorrow. Even when the replicator had burnt out from overuse they had avoided the queues for spare parts as Tom thanked whatever gods looked after fools and small children that he had married a miracle-worker engineer. They had apologised to family and friends, they were not leaving home during this time. They were always away at times of crisis and this time they were staying put anyone who wanted to see them could come to them.
The invasion had begun quietly at first a seemingly helpful soul who delivered toys to Miral and Owen and disappeared with a broad smile. Of course she was smiling. She had left behind a Neelix-inspired smelly star-freighter which had Miral writhing in delight as she ran to every adult, releasing an all-too familiar stench. Owen had received a full-battle-sounds Klingon bird-of-prey that made Klingon-volume weapons sounds. BElanna swore that Kathryn would pay by babysitting the two of them for a week with said toys.
The next phase was the arrival of Toms parents. Fortunately BElanna and Elizabeth had come to a truce. BElanna stayed out of the kitchen and Elizabeth didnt complain about her lack of "real" cooking skills. Tom and his mom had Christmas dinner all worked out and BElanna was happy to stick with "Grandpa Owen" and the kids and keep out of their way, only tweaking the replicator or (primitive technology be damned) oven when asked.
The big day itself arrived, heralded by excited jumping on all of the adults beds by young Owen and Miral. Stockings had been filled by a mystical process, unchanged in centuries that brought just as much wonder as it ever had including chocolate gold coins to be found in the toe. This year Miral had a holographic galaxy in a cube it would zoom anywhere in the galaxy and contained facts and displays about just about any known region. Owen had something his father had made for him a miniature remote controlled sailing ship.
After breakfast (managed by Elizabeth) the children played with their toys and Tom and BElanna tidied. Paper in the replicator, ribbons on the tree. Tags piled up in the corner. Quite manageable. Tom and Elizabeth got busy in the kitchen, BElanna and Grandpa Owen tried to avoid Miral and the stench-freighter, trying to steer her on to the galaxy-cube instead.
The doorbell chimed and announced the arrival of Abuelo BElannas father had taken to this role with gusto he was greeted with cries of "Where is it? Where is it?" until a massive pinata was produced. It was his contribution to every family festival and the Christmas one was always astounding. As he had explained to BElanna one day "I may not have been able to establish too many family traditions amongst the three of us, but this I can do for your family!"
Toms sisters and their families arrived the cousins all had a wonderful time racing around the house and then playing in Toms holosuite. It was a struggle to get them all out for Christmas lunch but somehow, eventually (with Admiralty, rather than Grandfatherly insistence) all the family was sitting down at last to a hearty meal with delicacies from across the galaxy (no leola root was on this Christmas menu one tradition Tom and BElanna had firmly declined).
After lunch came the presents the Paris clan children opening presents was a sight to behold. There were rippers (young Owen), paper preservers (Toms 9 year old niece), chewers (Toms 9 month old nephew) and everyone in between. The adults sat and laughed and ate and drank and then it was time for everyone, save Toms parents, to leave and go to other places with other people.
It was in this aftermath that Tom and BElanna looked at their living room strewn with left-overs, paper, half-pulled down lights, stinky space-ships and two TV-entranced children watching a show about an improbably-glowing nosed reindeer with an equally improbable snowman singing away. It was hard to believe that so much love had gone into making so much mess.
In the end they looked at the mess, looked at each other and smiled and toasted
each other "Merry Christmas!" They were truly home.