Light Speed
By Erin Alpert

Yes, I do know there is a lot of K/T.. that’s the point... don’t hate me!
This one is for Lauren.. thanks for everything! And for Shawn, who will
probably never read this, but wrote a weird (and good) story like this, but for K/T. This takes place in the first season.. before “Faces”.... and.. I know there are parts like “Resolutions” like the massage... no more spoilers.. you must read to find out!

“You’re kidding, right?” B’Elanna Torres nearly shouted at Kim.
“No, I think if this relationship is going to go any further, you should get to know my best friend better,” Harry replied.
“But Tom, honestly?!!?” It didn’t sound like a question, as much as it did an exclamation.
“Sorry, but I already set up the first meeting, tonight in his quarters...
you two have fun,” Harry smiled at Torres, as he got up and left.
“ ‘You two have fun,’” she grumbled in a mocking tone of voice, “Yeah right.”

“Paris!? This is ridiculous!! We have nothing in common!” Torres more than frowned, she shouted.
“Torres, calm down,” Tom told her, looking at her from next to her on the couch.
“How the hell am I s’posed to calm down when Harry made me spend tonight with * you! *” 
Tom looked hurt.
“Listen, Paris, I’m sorry... I’m tired, I don’t feel good, and I... what
happened?” She reached out and touched his face gently, running her fingers along a scar.
“Oh, that? It’s nothing I’d want to bore you with.”
“No, tell me.”
Paris went on to explain how he got the scar.. a painful childhood memory.. and that, lead to them finding out they had more in common then they had ever imagined.

“So, did you two have fun?” Kim asked B’Elanna the next morning.
“It was better then I thought it would be,” Torres admitted.
“Good, I told you that you’d get along fine.”
“But, do I have to spend more time with him?”
“Yes, you do. I won’t rest until you guys are best friends,” Harry smiled.

Every night that Tom and B’Elanna spent together, they got closer and closer. And by the third night, they were close to best friends. They spent that night with Kim in Sandrine’s.
“Where is he?” Torres snorted.
“Don’t worry, he’ll be here in a few minutes, his shift isn’t over yet,
remember?” Tom reminded her.
Just then, the doors to the holodeck shot apart, and Kim rushed through. “I’m sorry, I can’t stay long, the captain’s got me working on something, I’ll be back later, okay?”
Torres nodded, and Kim kissed her on the cheek, then nodded to Paris.
“So, what now?” Tom asked.
“I don’t know, how about pool?” 
“Sure,” the night continued, and Kim did come back, but it was late, and they all had early shifts.

A few days later, Torres and Paris had spent every night together, but the one they would remember most, had just begun...

Tom rested a hand on her shoulder, and massaged it carefully with one hand.
“What are you doing?” she snapped.
As if suddenly realizing what was going on, he stopped, “I’m sorry.. I didn’t mean to.”
Torres looked over to Paris’ blue eyes. She had never taken the time to look at them, but now that she had, she noticed she had never seen anything like them before. She hadn’t noticed how close he was to her... until he kissed her cheek.
“I’m sorry... I didn’t mean to.... I bet you never want to speak to me
again.. I’ll understand..”
“Paris.. stop.. you’re babbling.” Torres took a deep breath, and sighed.
“You’re not mad?”
“You’re Harry’s best friend... I forgive you... I’ll see you tomorrow.. same time?”
Tom was in shock, all he could do was nod, as B’Elanna walked out of his quarters.

Her mind was racing at light speed. * Harry or Tom? Tom or Harry? Maybe it wasn’t such a good idea to get to know Tom more.... maybe I got to know him a little too much... Why did Harry do this to me?? Could I actually be falling for that pig? Gods, I hope not. But he kissed me... is he falling for me?? *

The next morning, Torres was uneasy around Tom... but it got worse when Harry was there. Kim noticed it. 
“B’Elanna, could you leave me and Tom alone for a moment?” Kim asked at lunch.
“Sure,” Torres left the Messhall, and headed back to engineering. Why not leave a little early, she was due back any minute.
“Tom, what happened last night?”
“We talked.”
“That’s good... I wanted you to talk..”
“And... I kissed her..”
“What?!!?!? You kissed her??!! How could you do that Tom? I trusted you, you * were * my best friend.. I never want to see you again,” Harry shouted, standing up, and slamming an angry fist against the table, before visiting Torres in engineering.

“B’Elanna!” he called.
“Hi Harry.”
“Tom told me what happened last night.”
Torres nearly choked, “He did?”
“Yeah.... I’m not speaking to him ever again..... Are you free tonight?”
“No, Harry, I’m sorry, I already have plans..”
“With Tom?”
Harry threw his hands up in frustration, and stormed out of engineering.

“And then he left,” Torres nearly sobbed into Paris’ shoulder.
He held her to his shoulder, her face buried deep into his red uniform. “What happened?”
“I don’t know, really. He asked if I was free, and I told him I wasn’t...”
“You turned down a date with Harry to be with me?” Paris asked, stroking B’Elanna’s hair. 
She nearly snapped at him, “Yeah, do you have a problem with that?”
“No, I’m just touched,” he smiled.
Torres looked up, and saw his smile. It made her feel a little more confident that she and Harry would resolve things... if nothing happened between her and Tom. Paris moved his hand from her head, to her back. 
“Feeling better?” he asked.
“Yeah.. thanks, Tom, I guess I just needed someone to talk to.”
“I’m always here for you.”
“I know.”

They talked more; talking was something they both enjoyed.
“Ouch!” Torres yelped.
“What’s wrong?”
“I don’t know, I hurt my shoulder in engineering today, now it’s all tight.”
“Is there anything I can do to help? Should I get Harry?”
* ‘Should I get Harry?’ Those were kind words... I’m surprised he didn’t make some smart remark to his advantage. * “No, I’ll be okay.” Torres took her left and tried to rub her own right should... an unsuccessful attempt.
“Here, let me help.” Paris scooted over so he was partially behind her. He took his hands and rubbed her sore shoulder.
It made her nervous, worried. What was happening between them? She quickly lifted her left hand again, and put it over Tom’s hands, stopping them. “I’m okay, really.”
“Okay.. but if you don’t do anything about that, it’ll get worse..”
“I’ll take that chance,” she smiled, and returned to her own quarters.


Everyday for two weeks, Tom and B’Elanna met in his quarters to talk, all the while, Torres was still dating Harry. Tom hadn’t kissed her again, and things were being patched up between him and Kim... but who knew how long that could last.

“Ouch, damn,” Torres complained one night. 
“Shoulder again?”
She nodded.
“Turn around, put your back to me.”
She did as he asked, and he touched her shoulder lightly with his hands, then harder. He massaged her back.... and it felt weird... and not right.. for either of them..
* God Tom, what have you done now? Fallen for your best friend’s girl, and now, rubbing her shoulders in your quarters... you’re in for it.. *
* B’Elanna, what the hell do you think you’re doing? Falling for your
boyfriend’s best friend.. coming to his quarters everyday.. letting him
massage your back... but it doesn’t feel that bad.... * 
“Do you mind if I lay down?” Torres asked.
“Not at all, that might be easier... but it would’ve been much easier if you had this taken care of two weeks ago.”
Torres sighed as she lay down, and Tom moved up behind her, and let his hands touch her again..

Than, all of a sudden, the doors shot open, and it didn’t look to good for either lieutenant.
“Harry?” B’Elanna asked, “I didn’t expect you to come.”
“is this what you do behind my back? Lay here in my best friend’s quarters?
What was happening before I came in?”
“Harry, this isn’t what it looks like,” Tom offered.
“You stay out of this. Is it B’Elanna? What is going on?”
“I don’t know,” she blurted out.
“Don’t you love me?”
“I don’t know!”
“Do you love Tom?”
“I don’t know....”
“What will happen between us?”
“I don’t know..”
“I do.. It’s over B’Elanna.. I’m sorry, but, good-bye,” Harry snorted, as he stomped out the door.

“What have I done?” Torres moaned, sitting up.
“It’s okay, B’Elanna. It’s not your fault. It’s mine.. I’ll go explain to
Harry... It’ll be okay.. I promise.”
“No Tom, don’t. If that’s how he feels,” she stopped and sighed, “Then that’s how he feels. If he doesn’t want to be with me... then he doesn’t want to be with me.”
“Oh god,” Paris frowned, trying to console Torres. He took her hands in his, and tried to cheer her up. “It’ll be okay.”
“I know it will be...”
“I’ll be here for you.”
“I know that too.”
There was an awkward moment of silence. Not a word was spoken. Paris was the one who caused the silence to be broken.
* B’Elanna, I love you? B’Elanna, I want to be with you forever? B’Elanna, forget Harry? No.. that’s not right... * “Never mind.. I forgot..” he lied.
“Well then, Tom?”
She sighed, and kissed his cheek, “Thank you, for everything.”


Torres had gotten over her break-up with Harry rather quickly, and she was good friends with him, as were Kim and Paris. Nothing much had happened between Kim and Torres, so that softened the blow. But, three weeks later, she and Tom were still seeing each other everyday, and not in a boyfriend/girlfriend way, in a best friend/best friend way.... until, something unforgettable happened.

“I was just wondering... oh.. never mind..” Torres fumbled.
“No, it’s okay, what is it?”
“You’ll laugh,” she smiled.
“I won’t promise.”
“I was just wondering if you’d like to go out, like on an ‘official date’
kinda thing.”
Paris smiled, and took her hands, “I’d love that.”
“How about now? I’m sure the holodeck is free, we could use it..”
“Tom!!!” she smiled, then agreed: “Okay, sure.”

Making their ways through the halls and corridors, B’Elanna realized how bad it’s make Harry feel if they were to meet up with him. “Damn.”
“What’s wrong?”
“Did I say that out loud?”
“Yes you did... what’s wrong?”
“I was just thinking about what would happen if we met Harry on the way.”
“Damn,” Paris agreed, and they soon reached the holodeck.

“So, what do you have planned?” Paris asked her.
“I planned something? It was * your * idea to go on the holodeck.”
“Ohhh... it’s my fault now... I see... lemmie see if I can find something.. ah-ha!”
“What is it?”
“You’ll see,” Paris grinned, as the doors slid open.

The cityscape nearly took B’Elanna breath away, “Wow.”
“Do you like it?”
“Where is this place?”
“This is Baltimore, Maryland, in United States, on Earth. But this is only
scene 1... Computer, level 2.”
As the computer reacted, the cityscape turned into a tree-line, and the
harbor turned into a lovely river bank. The sky was a purple-red color, like it was at sunset.
“Where is this one?”
“Just a random spot on the Chesapeake Bay, it’s a great place just to sit and talk.”

They sat down and stared over the water’s edge, it was a beautiful sight. Torres sighed, and relaxed into Tom’s arms; which surprised him. It was only been a few weeks since she broke up with Harry, and she was so willing to go on with their friendship.... their, relationship.
“So, how have things been going lately?” Paris casually asked, just a touch nervous about holding B’Elanna in his arms.
There was silence, and they decided to keep it that way for a while, until it got rather cold on the holodeck. Torres snuggled closer in Tom’s arms, and Paris held her tightly. She nearly feel asleep next to him, but the coldness kept her partially awake. And soon, something else would as well.

Farther away, Kim wandered onto the holodeck, he knew two other people were in the program, but he didn’t know who. He quietly walked to where Tom and B’Elanna were... kissing? He closed his eyes, because he thought he was hallucinating... but he wasn’t.
“Ahem!” he coughed loudly, but they didn’t hear him. He tried louder,

Tom and B’Elanna suddenly realized they weren’t alone, and nearly flew apart.
“Harry? I didn’t know you were coming...” Torres began, * Damn Tom, he forgot the privacy lock. * 
“Maybe I shouldn’t have.”
“No, it’s okay, if you’re here, you might as well stay,” Paris offered, *
Damn you Tom, why didn’t you use the privacy lock? *
“Maybe I will,” Kim frowned, sitting down * between * Tom and B’Elanna.
Torres exchanged a confused glance with Paris, and he just shrugged as the three of them watched the serene lake.


Two weeks later, neither Tom nor Torres had forgotten that, but it was time for another serious talk. They were started to think their relationship had gotten off to a bad start, and that they should just be friends, for now, and the conversation ended with Tom’s, “Who knows what’ll happen next?”

Look how they’ve changed. 

When Torres was split in two, Tom was there. He later offered to rescue her when she had been kidnapped by weird robot things. And when Tom and Harry had gotten put in the prison, no one was more worried then Torres. They got put on a shuttle before the swarm of little critters came, and were the first victims. They spent their sick time together when the Macro-virus came aboard. Tom and B’Elanna went to on of Neelix’s luaus together. And who could forget the Sikari incident, where they almost.... well, they didn’t, but it helped to shape their relationship. And when Tom found her reading a romance novel. When Tom won the bet, and they went on a date. They fought for a while now, but once more, they got trapped together in caves, and all was well soon after. And most recently, when they discovered Tuvok’s holonovel, and she missed their lunch date, but they worked on finding out more about, and improving, the novel too. 

Who knows what’ll happen next?

Only TPTB know......

Copyright May 1997 by Erin Alpert.-
Tom, Bella and the gang are owned by Via-dudes... 
Please Jeri and the gang if you’re reading this (Why would you be, anyway?) let it be a signal for MORE PARIS/TORRES!!