The Long War
By Erin Alpert

I guess my Time Travel stories are becoming some sort of a series.
This would be part three. Any way, we were studying the Revolutionary War in
school recently.  This one is probably PG, but if your mind is broken, you
can easily turn it PG-13.

This story is dedicated to Sharon. How do you know if you're Sharon?
"It might be a Big Screen TV."
"Vulcans do not Congo."
"No No No, not that TYPE of couple."
If you understood that, and your name is Sharon, you're who I'm talking

"Captain, I... I can't get a lock on them," The expression on Harry Kim's
face was priceless.
"Try it again, Harry," Kathryn Janeway was determined to get her two crew
members back.
"Captain, I'm sorry.  They're gone."

Janeway sighed sadly.  She had just lost two of her finest officers on an
unimportant mission.  They had been investigating a strange solar system,
with two suns, and twelve planets.  The fifth planet had been emitting ion
rays, and Kathryn needed someone to investigate it.  On their way there, they
had been attacked, and turned around and headed back.  The badly damaged
craft couldn't make it in time, and an emergency transport was needed.  But,
the ion rays were affecting the system.  Janeway's officers, were gone.

Lieutenant Tom Paris and his companion, B'Elanna Torres, had beamed down,
onto what they thought was Voyager.  As they rematerialized, they noticed
they weren't on their ship, or even in the Delta Quadrant.
"Tom, where are we?" Torres questioned softly, trying not to raise the
suspicion of the natives.
"I don't know B'Elanna," he replied, cautiously observing those around him.

"They're 'Tories," someone called, "let's get 'em."
"Tories?" B'Elanna asked.
Tom just shrugged.
"Tories aren't welcome here," one of the men walked up to Paris and Torres,
trying to make them feeling inferior.
"What's a Tory?"
"Ha! Not only does this lady have some problem with her face, she's stupid
"What's a Tory?" Paris backed her up.  B'Elanna looked hurt, Paris defended
her with words against the mob, and with his hand on her hip.
"They're both crazy!"
"We're not from around here," Paris explained, hand still on B'Elanna's
"Where are you from, another Earth?"
Torres was about to answer, with the truth, but Tom stopped her.
"What?  Don't you want to find out what the hell this is all about?"
"Ohh.. The girl talks back to a man. That's one daring Miss. You know you
could get in serious trouble for that."
Torres ignored them.
"B'Elanna, you know I want to know what's happening as much as you do.  But
we can't find it out this way,"  Paris was speaking softly.
"This man's acting like the girl, and this woman is acting like a man."
Torres was getting steamed, "Shut up!"
"Don't talk to me that way, no girl can do that to me."
"You want to bet."
"Women aren't aloud to gamble," this man, apparently the leader of the mob,
really had something against women.
Torres held up her fists, "C'mon. You and me, I'll make you wish you were
never born."
Paris took her arm, and whispered in her ear, "B'Elanna, no."
"I'd fight you, but I wouldn't like to hit a woman."
B'Elanna clenched her fists, and was ready to take a swing.
"B'Elanna, you'll regret this," Tom whispered, not close enough for it to be
loud in her ear, but she could hear him.
"You should listen to the man."
That was too much for Torres, she threw a punch.  The man ducked, and hit
back.  B'Elanna paused for a moment, waiting for the stereotypical man to
think she was weak, and had given up, then she struck.  Her fist hit him
square in the eye.
"So, missy, you want to play rough."
"B'Elanna, don't to this."
She turned to face Paris, "Tom, do you want me to punch you instead."
He took a step back, as if to signify he didn't care for a black eye, because
of her fist.
"Still talking back, we'll have to teach you a lesson."
The leader of  the mob couldn't get the fact that women could be strong,
smart and in charge in his head.  Maybe Torres could knock some sense in to
him, with her fist.
The man swung back, hitting Torres in the stomach, sending her into a mud
"B'Elanna!! You okay?" Paris rushed over to her, and helped her up.
"The man always wins."
"I will be as soon as he dies, Tom," and with that, she lounged toward him.
Aiming for is ribcage, she hit her target, and smiled. He coughed and didn't
look to happy.
"I don't like you girl, and you have ugly clothes," he stood up, and he and
his mob left.

"Well, good job B'Elanna," Paris whispered to her.
"Thanks," she smiled at him.
"I don't know what I would have done without you."
"Liar, you dirty rotten liar," she joked, punching him lightly in the
"Don't even pretend to hit me. Any way, we still didn't find out what a Tory
"We can find that out later," she smiled, face close to his, "now, we have to
figure out where we are, and where we can stay tonight."
"Okay, 'Lanna."
She gave him a look, when he had never seen before.  In all of his years with
women, he'd never seen that look.  And that worried him, and pleased him at
the same time, an odd sensation.
"Well, Tom, let's go," they headed off on the dirt road.

The roads didn't look any different than they did before.  Same dirt, same
endless plain streets lined with endless plain buildings.  After about an
hour of walking, or wandering, as it should have been called, a small
building caught Tom's eyes.
"B'Elanna, look," he tugged at her sleeve, and pointed at the building.
"Paranormal Inn," she read the sign out loud, then shrugged, "an Inn is a
place where people can spend the night, and get some thing decent to eat,
"Yeah. I think so at least," he paused, as if to mentally check his answer,
"well, let's go check it out."

The stepped into the Inn, it was apparently fairly new, with not much dust.
Torres stopped and looked around, she looked uneasily at Paris.
"Tom, maybe you better wait outside," she put a hand on his shoulder.
"B'Elanna, I'm not leaving you here," he put his hand over hers.
"Tom, I don't like something about this place.  It feels, some what, how do I
put it, futuristic."
"Futuristic?" he asked with a puzzled stare.
"I.. I don't know, I let you know what I find out," she told him.
He obediently left the Inn to wait out side.  Torres walked up to the clerk's
"Excuse me, ma'am? Do you have any rooms available?"
"Welcome B'Elanna, don't tell him about this. Welcome to our planet. Go get
him.  Welcome here. I'll take you to your room. And you're always welcome
here, don't tell him about this, it will spell certain doom," the clerk was
creepy, how did she know who Torres was, and why would telling Tom about this
spell certain doom?
But Torres had went out to get Paris, and he followed her back into the
building.  Two bags had appeared in the clerk's hands, and she was bustling
up the stairs.
"Hurry up you two," she called.
Tom shrugged at B'Elanna, then bounded up the stairs, Torres close at his
heels.  When they reached the top of the spiral staircase, the woman pulled
out a key and opened the door.
"You two can stay in here. It's the only room available, but it's only got
one bed. All the clothes you'll need are in these suitcases. Have fun you
two," and with those final comments, she pushed the suitcases into the room,
pointed a finger at B'Elanna, as if to remind her, and hurried back down the

Torres and Paris ventured into the small room. There wasn't much to see, a
dresser, a mirror, a bed, and a door that led into a smaller room, sort of a
bathroom, with no toilet, but a exquisitely decorated bath-tub, despite the
fact that bath-tubs were rare at this time.

Torres looked out the so-called window. It was dirty, and had something that
looked like a shudder, but didn't look like it should pull down.
"It's getting late, I guess we should try to get some rest," she noticed
there were millions of stars outside of the window, just like on Voyager.
"I guess, but there's one problem, one bed, and I'm NOT.." his voice trailed
off as he noticed B'Elanna smiling, "what?"
She laughed, "Nothing, you just had a weird look on your face.  As for the
problem, I'll sleep on the floor.  But you'll have to sleep there tomorrow."
"If we're here that long," he pointed out, Torres nodded in agreement.
"I wonder if there are night clothes in here," Paris went exploring in a
suitcase he assumed was his, partially because it said Tom Paris on it.
"Why don't you just look and find out," B'Elanna retorted, rummaging through
her own baggage.
"I am. Ah, here they are," he pulled out some PJ-like outfit, then headed off
to the small room to put it on.

B'Elanna stayed in the larger room, looking for something to sleep in.  She
finally found a long dress-thing. It was simple, and plain in both appearance
and the materials it was made of. She would wait to put it on, at least wait
'til she could use the bathroom.

Torres heard the door open, along with Tom's words, "Don't look."
She respected his wishes, so with her eyes closed she said, "I need to get
into that room, but I can't find my way without seeing it!"
"I'll help you," B'Elanna stood up and waited.
She felt two hands on her arms.  They guided her across the room, and into
the smaller room.  They pushed her in and they let go and closed the door.
"Knock before you come out," Paris called.
Torres quickly got dressed and began to open the door, then remembered to
"Okay," Paris called.
Torres walked out cautiously, and saw Paris hiding under the covers of the
"Why don't you want me to see your PJ's?"
"Because what? I'm letting you see mine!"
"Because you'll laugh at me," he said.
"Will not."
"Too bad," Tom shot back and rolled over, turning his back to her.
"Don't make me come over there."
"You wouldn't."
"I would," Torres told him, but Tom kept his back to her.
She carefully, and quietly tip-toed over to him, and pulled off the covers.
Then she did something she vowed not to do...... she laughed, loudly.
"You said you wouldn't laugh!"
She tried to contain herself, "I lied."
"You liar," Paris put his hands around her waist and tickled her.
"Tom... stop it.. that tickles.." she was laughing hardly, and almost fell
"It supposed to," and he tickled her harder.
She fell over onto the bed, right into Tom's arms.  She turned to face him,
his hands still around her waist, eyes tearing with laughter.
"Stop it, I learned my lesson."
"Actually, I think you enjoyed it."
"Did not! I hated it," she lied.  The truth was, she did love it, and loved
any time spent with Tom, and any activity done with him.
"Well then, serves you right."

Torres walked over to the other side of the bed and lay down on the wooden
ground, trying to sleep.  But the floor was cold and hard.
"B'Elanna?" Paris rolled over and looked down at her.
"Want a pillow?"
Paris threw a pillow down, making sure it landed on her face, she picked it
up and hit him with it, then put it on the floor.
"Want a blanket? IT looks cold down there."
"Stop rubbing it in."
"It was your idea."
"Do you want me to come up there, and spend the night in the same bed as
*Yes,* he thought, but out loud her simply said, "no."
"Then throw me a blanket."
So he did, and then the night was peaceful, for now.
"Why do you,
Say it's black? I know it's white.
Why can't we,
Just call it quits without a fight?
I don't think you're very smart,
You don't think I'm very pretty.
Guess we never thought at all,
And it seems like such a pity."
Meril Bainbridge--Sleeping Dogs

"'Lanna, wake up."
"What?" Her eyes were closed, she couldn't see, and was hiding under the
covers, or blanket, actually.
"Wake up," Tom voice sounded nearer.
She turned to face the direction of his voice, and saw his face.  Torres
almost screamed, then noticed he was kneeling down.
"Tom, you got dressed," B'Elanna commented
"Yes, I did. Now, it's your turn, up, up, up," he rolled her over and helped
her off of the floor, but she was being resistant.
"Tom, no. Please, I'll pay you if you let me sleep in."
He got a interested look in his eye, "Pay me? How much?"
"Three days of replicator rations," she told him, sounding both hopeful, and
He considered it for a moment, "No deal."
"A week's worth?"
"Two weeks?"
"B'Elanna, get up," and with that, he took her and pulled her to her feet.
"No, Tom, let me sleep. I want to go back to bed, please."
"C'mon, we're never going to figure this out if we stay in bed."
 "But, we'd be more relaxed."
"B'Elanna, get up, get dressed, get going," and with that, he finally had her
"Fine," she sounded angry now.
"Find some clothes," he reminded her.
"I will," Torres promised.
"Meet you downstairs in ten minutes."
"Okay, see you then, bye."
Paris felt like giving her a good-bye kiss, then heading down the spiral
steps, but just left with a wave.
*Now,* Torres thought, *what to wear?*

Paris closed the door and bounded down the twirling staircase.  He found
himself back in the front lobby. He saw the person at the front desk was a
man now.
"You got yourself quite a looker. Have fun last night?" He asked.
Paris gave him a look filled with surprise, "What?"
"Your girl. Heard she gave those men quite a run for their money."
"Oh.. You mean B'Elanna.. You don't understand she's not my... never mind.."
"I heard her laughing last night, what happened?"
"Stop with the questions, you are you?"
"Now you've got the questions... I am the one who is here.  Don't tell her
about me, welcome to our planet... But don't tell her.  I know what you want
to know. A Tory is a supporter of the King, a Patriot is someone who is
against him.... You are a Tory, my good man.. You may tell her that you know
what a Tory is, but don't tell her you are one, for she is a Patriot."
Tom looked at him, confused and worried, "How'd you know what I wanted?"
"Oh, look, here she comes now," the man's gaze was behind Tom.
He turned and saw Torres. Paris nodded to the man, then hurried off to meet
"B'Elanna, did you change your clothes at all?" he was looking at her plain
white dress.
"Yes Tom, of course I did, I'm not that sick," she looked down at him from
her perch on the fourth step.
"Well, B'Elanna, let's go find some breakfast," he took her hand, and led her
out the door of the Inn, all the time, thinking about what the man told him.

"My mind's been going places,
without me lately.
I need your arms to take me back,
Take me to the ground.
But I hold back!
Get away from the heat.
Hold back!
In my field of vision.
Hold back!
Baby burning,
The B-52's-- Bushfire

There were a few brick building that looked like a place to eat, but none of
them suited the tastes of the Starfleet officers.  Then Torres looked in the
windows of a small house-like building, and saw the woman who helped them
"Tom, I'm going to go thank her," and with that, she opened the door and
stepped in.
"B'Elanna, you can't just.." he trailed off as the door slammed in his face,
"barge in to say hi."
He followed her in, noticed the woman, and thought of his experience with the
hotel clerk.

As Torres walked over, the woman looked up from her food, "Ah, B'Elanna, good
to see you.  Remember, not a word, not a single word."
She nodded, as Paris wandered to join them.
"Tom, please sit with us," B'Elanna swiped a chair from a nearby vacant
The woman got a strange expression on her elderly face, "Actually, I'd like
to talk to B'Elanna, alone."
Paris looked hurt.
"Tom, I promise, you can come back later.  I'll make it up to you," Torres
apologized before she shot a painful glance at the woman.
"Okay, if that's how you feel," he left the two.
"Tom, no, I didn't mean it that way. Tom, please, come back,"  Torres glared
at the woman across from her.
"Don't let him interfere with your work."
"My.." B'Elanna stopped, not wanted to use the word, relationship, she
finished it by saying, "friendship with Tom has never hurt our business,
"Dear, this is more than business.  You wanted to know what a Tory and a
Patriot  are?"
B'Elanna eagerly nodded.
"A Tory is a supporter of the King, a Patriot is someone who is against
him.... You are a Patriot, my dear girl.. You may tell him that you know what
a Patriot is, but don't tell him you are one, for he is a Tory."
Torres looked shocked, "How will this affect... I mean.. What will happen
to... What should I do?"
"You have a mission, my sweet child. Complete it, and you will be fine
forever more."
"A mission? What should I do?"
"Capture him... and kill him," she sounded cool, calm and collected.
"Kill? Him? I can't, I... I lo... love... him... I can't kill him," panic
filled her voice as fear filled her mind.
"Do it child, and all will be well," and with that, she stood up and left.

Torres sat and thought for a moment, until a voice broke her meditation.
"Oh, Tom," she stood up and hugged him.
"What was that for?"
"Oh, nothing.. just forget it.  Oh, guess what!!! I figured out what a Tory
and a Patriot are."
"So did I," he looked at her with an uneasy eye.
"What? Tom, what is it?"
"Nothing, really, I'm okay," his faced returned to  the normal smile, "So,
what's for breakfast?"

 "Think of me, like I think of you.
Give me a sign, show me you care.
Am I so far away, in your thoughts, not there?
Forget what you told me, it's what didn't get said.

It's not much to ask,
To come down off your cloud,
And with your feet on the ground,
Say something out loud."
Donna Lewis--Without Love

The day was normal, except for the fact they were over 600 years in the past.
They had a wonderful breakfast.  Eggs, toast, pancakes.  After that, they
went window shopping, and didn't buy anything, trying to save some of the
money the woman had given them in their suitcases. After all, who knew how
long they would be there.

Lunch was fun.  After Paris spilled a plate of food on B'Elanna's lap, and
having to return to the Inn, things actually went smoothly.  Dinner was
perfect.  They ate at the Inn, candles, music, everything.  Then it was over
all too soon.  No time for anything important.  But the thought that was
running through both of their minds was about what the clerks had told them,
about the Tories and Patriots.  Then, the sun had set, and it was time to
sleep again.

"B'Elanna, I will not sleep o n the floor, it is freezing.  It's winter for
God's sake."
"Sorry Tom," she was sitting on the bed, legs crossed and looking down at
him, sitting on the cold, wooden, ground.
"You're so mean," he playfully pouted.
"You deserve it, I slept there last night," she smiled at him,  obviously
enjoying herself.
He stood up, and looked down at her on the warm bed.  She looked back up at
"You still have the *stupidest* Pjs."
"That's it. Don't make me tickle you again."
"You wouldn't dare."
"I would," if he got to do that again, he would most defiantly enjoy it.
"Prove it," she challenged.
He sat down next to her, and faced her.
"Don't make me," he warned.
"You're just to chicken to do it again."
"That's it," he reached for her, and she got another of those looks on her
face.  The same one she had when her called her 'Lanna for the first time.
"What is it 'Lanna," he was testing her.
"Huh? Oh, nothing, good-night Tom," she gently pushed him away and lay down
in her bed.
Tom thought she was acting strange, "Good-night B'Elanna."
And that was that.

"Blame it on work, buy me some flowers.
Empty gestures, wile away the hours.
Promises Promises, sealed with a kiss.
Please acknowledge, it's me that you miss.
No message received, excuses believed you hurt me so much.

I'll never recover,
Takes time to discover,
A love like no other."
Donna Lewis-- Without Love

The night came and went, the sleepy eyes still opened in the morning.  This
time, B'Elanna didn't sleep in, she, in fact, woke up earlier than Tom.

Breakfast was similar to yesterday's, same food, same place.  But after that,
B'Elanna and Tom went their separate ways. Torres returned to the Inn, to
think of a way to get home, and Paris went to physically find one.
*Home*, the word didn't used to have a meaning.  Now, it meant Voyager, with
all of her friends, and what had now become her family, with Tom.
Chakotay had once said, "Home is wherever you happen to be."
And in a way, he was right. Home was with Tom, and he was here now, so,
therefore, here was home. But B'Elanna wanted to get back to Voyager, where
she felt at home, and could be happy, and love who she wanted, and be who she

Torres had just eaten lunch, and was now sulking without Paris.  The woman
walked up to her.
"Now's your chance."
"Chance for what?"
"Kill him."
"I can't. I don't have a gun, and I don't know where he is."
As if by magic, a gun appeared in the old woman's hand, she handed it to
"Here you go child, a gun.  You'll find him, go outside, take two rights...
Kidnap him, bring him here, and, well, you know what you must do."
B'Elanna nodded, "Yes, I do," and she took the gun, and left.

She did find him, two rights from where she had been.
"B'Elanna," he called, heading toward her.
She carefully approached him, gun in hand, and fully loaded.
"What do you want, Tory?" were the words she snapped, as she stepped close to
him, face to face.
"B'Elanna, what the hell are you doing?" he whispered, eyes pleading in
"Shut up, Tom. Just play along," she wasn't trying to hurt him physically,
but mentally, the pain was greater than anything he ever felt before.
She lifted the gun and pointed the barrel to his chest.
"Well, Tory, you gonna listen to me or what?" what ever she was doing, she
certainly took the part well.
The look of pain shone in Paris's eyes. B'Elanna didn't like hurting him, but
she had to.
"Tom, just play along," she whispered softly, the bone-chilling sub-zero
winds hiding her voice, then louder, " C'mon Tory, you're coming with me."
"No, Little-Miss-Rebel, I'm not going anywhere," it might be fun to play this
In his sweet, low, whisper, he told B'Elanna, "You better have a damn good
reason for this, 'Lanna."
"I do," she was smiling, and Tom could see she was trying hard not to.
"C'mon Tory."
"Don't make me use this," she wiggled her gun, which was still firmly pressed
against his chest.
"I bet you don't even know how to shoot it," Tom was enjoying it, and evident
to B'Elanna, and B'Elanna alone.
"Wanna bet?" she aimed off into the cloud-covered sky, and fired.
"Wow, good shot de...." his voice trailed off, as Torres shoved the gun back
into him.
"So, Tory, you coming?"
The smirk on her face was truly evil. And it convinced Tom.

"At times of war,
We're all the losers.
There's no victory.
We shoot to kill,
And kill you're lover.
Fine, by, me."
The Cranberries-- Warchild

"B'Elanna, what the hell were you doing?"
"Tom, I'm sorry. I had to, now come with me," she apologized, but it sounded
like she didn't mean it.
"B'Elanna, you don't mean it? Do you?"
She stopped walking, and looked at him, eyes showing signs of both being
hurt, and exposed, "How could you even think that?"
He sighed and shook his head, "You didn't mean it? Did you?"
There was rain drizzling now, and Torres hung her head, not making any eye
"Yes I did."
He lifted her chin, "Look at me. And tell me you meant it."
The look of pain was back, "You don't trust me.  That's it, I can't believe I
ever..." she dropped her head again.
"What B'Elanna, you can tell me, I'm your friend."
"No.. I can't, because you don't trust me," the rain was pouring now, soaking
everything that got in it's path.
"B'Elanna, of course I trust you," he was having trouble talking to her,
something that rarely happened to him.
But it was too late, she was walking at a fast pace, several steps away from
him.  She was heading back to the Inn, and would be soaking wet when she got
there.  The sky was dark, and Paris hoped she'd get there okay. Paris looked
back up at the night sky one more time before entering the Inn, and before
seeing her again. He did trust her, and she knew it too.  He walked up the
stairs and knocked on the door.
"What?" the reply was harsh, and most defiantly hers.
"B'Elanna, it's me.  You have to let me in."
"I don't have to do anything."
"Please let me in," he asked.
There was no answer and Paris assumed he'd be stuck out there in wet clothes
for the night.  Then he heard foot steps, and a creaky door-knob turn.  There
she was, beautiful as ever, B'Elanna.
"'Lanna, I'm sorry. I don't know what got into me," he apologized, sounding
"You're soaking wet," she told him, stepping back, letting him know her was
allowed to come in.
"Yeah, I got rained on," he ran his fingers through his wet hair.
"It's okay, so did I," she pushed some of her own wet hair out of her eyes,
"that's why I changed clothes."
And she did. She wasn't wearing another old dress though, she was back in her
"Aren't you going to dinner?"
"I guess, I'm just not hungry," she sighed.
"Well, I guess, I'll stay here with you."
He stepped in the door, and closed it behind himself.  Paris went over and
sat on the bed.
"Oh, Tom, I have something to show you."
He perked up, "You do?"
Her back was to him now, "yes, I do."
She turned around, and in her hands was the gun. Long, slender, sleek, but a
gun, never-the-less.  She walked over to him, pointing it at him.
"B'Elanna, what are you doing?"
"It's over, good-bye, Tom, I'll miss you," she pushed it to him.
"Why? B'Elanna? Why are you doing this to me?"
"Because she told me to, and because..."
"What? Hang on? Who told you to?"
"The clerk," she told him.
"The male clerk told me, that you were a Patriot, is that true?"
"The female clerk told me, that you were a Tory, is *that* true?"
"Yeah, it is.  They're trying to turn us against each other."
She still held the gun to him, "have any last wishes?"
He grinned a rather silly grin, "one."
She stared into his light blue eyes, trying to figure out his thoughts just
from his smile, and she did.  And, personally, she wished she didn't.
"I'm sorry Tom," she began to fire, but stopped, and put the gun down, "I'm
so sorry."
"What did the clerk tell you?" Paris asked, relieved he wasn't going to die
anytime soon.
"To kill you," Torres replied, with no apparent emotions.
"Because, you're a Tory."
"'Lanna, you know, that something like that, will never, ever come between
"You're sure?"
"I'm positive," he promised, and took her into his arms for a hug, never
wanting to let go.
She looked up at him, "You're all wet."
He smiled, "yes, I am."
"So," she was back to her normal self, "I guess I'll sleep on the floor
"B'Elanna, are you crazy? It's freezing in here, and you're soaking wet."
"So, what are you suggesting. You sleep on the floor."
He gave her a puzzled gaze, then nodded, as if an idea suddenly came to him.
He still had a silly grin on.
"What, Tom?"
"You could stay up here with me."
She took a pillow, and hit him with it, "You little.."
"Hey, hey, only a suggestion."
*Not a bad one either* "I'm sure we could find a way to make it work."
He gave her a confused glance, "You're serious?"
She nodded, "it's a big bed, and I'm sure there's a way."
"Okay, whatever you say."

"With you I'm not a little girl,
With you I'm not a man.
When all the hurt inside of me,
Comes out, you understand.
You see that I'm ferocious,
You see that I'm weak,
You see that I'm silly,
And pretentious, and a freak."
Madonna--Rescue Me

All things and been worked out, and all was well.   They both had gotten a
good night sleep, and morning was just around the corner.
"What?" she replied, still mostly asleep.
"Do you want to wake up?" a silly question to ask, for he already knew the
"No," she rolled over and away from him, "go back to sleep."
Paris fell out of his side of the bed, and fumbled over to the other side.
"C'mon, B'Elanna, wake up."
"No... let me sleep," she rolled over, back to him again.
"Wake up lieutenant!!"
"I'm up, I'm up.. By the way, your Pjs are still stupid," she pulled herself
out of bed, and tripped into the bathroom.

When she came out again, she was dressed, and Paris walked in to the
"I'll meet you downstairs," she called, and left.

When Torres had reached the bottom of the flight of stairs, the old woman,
and male clerk, were there to meet her.
"Congratulations," the woman said.
"Yes, congrats, you learned in three days, what it took a civilization over
300 years to learn."
"You can go, if you want," the man and woman were alternating sentences, and
it was getting confusing.
"You may need this," the man held out his hand, and in it, two Comm Badges.
"Mine, and Tom's, Comm Badges," Torres gasped.
"You may need them to reach your ship," the woman said.
"You may," and with that they disappeared, literally, disappeared.
"Tom," Torres called, and Paris came rushing down the stairs.
"What is it B'Elanna?"
She held out her hand.
"Our Comm Badges?"
She nodded.
"But how did you get them?"
"The clerks," and they both understood.

They walked outside, and looked up.  The cloudy skies were clearing, and
above them were storms, ion storms.
"Can we reach Voyager through that?" Paris asked.
"I dunno. There's only one way to find out," she looked at him.
"Paris to Voyager," as if magically, the ion storms vanished, and a response
came through.
"Janeway here."
"Captain, we've experienced some kind of, well, how do I describe it?
Captain, we've experienced something," Paris explained.
"B'Elanna, can you describe it better?"
"Yes, Captain," she shot Paris a disapproving stare, "we've have apparently
been under-going some sort of tests.  About realizing the down-side of war."
"War? Please explain," Janeway told her chief engineer.
"Well, Captain. How about I tell you about it, after you get us back on board
"Understood, we can't beam you through these storms, so a shuttle will be
coming for you shortly.  Janeway out."

Torres looked at Paris, then up at the sky one last time.
"Well Tom, did you have fun?"
"I must admit, I've had better away missions."
"Better? Really? Do tell."

And he went on, telling about his favorite away mission, until the shuttle
came and took them away.  Away from the place that taught them so much about,
love, war, and friendship.

End :+)
(Bajoran Smile)

Copyright 1997, by Erin Alpert
Yeah, yeah.  I said it before, but for legal purposes, I'll say it again.
Viacom/Paramount <shudder> owns these characters, but the story is mine, ALL
MINE, <insert sinister laughter here> Comments are welcome to me, at

And there are more people I'd like to say hi to.  Hey Lauren, hey Jessica,
hey Q and the gang, and hey Bree, and Bree, if you're reading this,
you_are_dead_meat.  :~)