By Erin Alpert

I finally had to do a coming home story. Why? Because every one is..
Hi Taki!!! Finally got a story for you.. or is it to tease you.... Taki and
Vorik... don’t get me started.

This is the song that inspired the story, which made me think of this story.  It’s a song I learned in camp a few years ago.


“I wanna linger,
A little longer.
A little longer,
Here with you”

“It’s such a perfect night,
IT doesn’t seem quite right,
That it will be my last with you.”

“And as the years go by,
I’ll think of you and sigh,
This is goodnight,
And not good-bye.”

It had been a long time, such a long time. 7 long, painful years.  But it finally happened, they were home.  They discovered a worm-hole, to the Gamma Quadrant, then took the stable worm-hole to Deep Space Nine space station. But they did it.. home.

*Where is he??* Torres had been waiting for Tom Paris for 15 minutes, until he finally showed up.

“Tom, where have you been?” 

“Sorry, I had to get some more stuff,” he told her, showing the packed

“More stuff? That bag is going to explode,” she hit it with her hand.

“Ha! It didn’t!”
She shook her head, “C’mon, we’re going to be late.”

Late, they had to meet Janeway and Chakotay for dinner on The Promenade, of DS9, but first, they had to get settled into their temporary quarters aboard the station.  Janeway’s quarters were on the other side of the Habitat ring from three of her best officer’s.  Paris and Torres had quarter’s next to each other, but didn’t share them. Chakotay’s were a few down the hall.

 B’Elanna was finally done unpacking, so she went next door, and rung the bell.
“Come in,” Paris called.

She cautiously stepped through the door.  When she did, she saw piles and piles of, stuff, lying around. Paris turned the corner, coming out from where he was cleaning up some of the junk.

“Hey, ‘Lanna,” he leaned over and gave her a kiss on the cheek.

“Hi Tom. We’re going to be late.”

“Late? Oh.. ooops!!  Dinner! I forgot.”

“Apparently,” she looked irritated.

“Hang on one sec, I’ll meet you out side in one sec.. promise.”

“‘Kay,” she nodded, and stepped outside, letting the doors close behind her.

She stood waiting for a minute, then, finally, Paris came outside, dressed rather nicely.

“Nice,” Torres commented.


“Oh..  damn... come on, we’re late,” and they hurried off to the Promenade.

“Touch your lips,
Just so I know.
In your eyes,
It glows so.
I’m bare-boned,
And crazy for you.”
Dave Matthews Band -- Crash into Me

“Where are they?” Former-Captain Kathryn Janeway, of the Federation Starship Voyager, asked the man who was her first officer, but since they returned, titles weren’t used, not until each crew member got their next assignment.

“I don’t know. Did we have a time mix up or something?”  Chakotay asked.

“Oh well, I guess they aren’t coming.”

“So... We get to celebrate being home... Without them?”

Kathryn nearly choked on her drink, but swallowed it before bursting into laughter, “Chakotay.”

From off in the distance, they could see two figures moving toward them. They were apparently arguing, undoubtedly, B’Elanna and Tom. 

“See, they are coming,” Janeway whispered.

“I knew it all along,” Chakotay joked.

“We’d have been here by now, if you had remembered.”

“Hey, it’s not my fault, you can’t blame me,” Kathryn could make out the faint, bickering, voices.

“Hi Kathryn... Chakotay,” Torres said as she and Paris approached the table.

“Sit down you two,” Chakotay offered two chairs across from him and Janeway.

“Thanks,” B’Elanna replied, taking a seat.

“What kept you two?” Janeway asked.

“Well, we would have been here sooner, but he  forgot about it,” Torres let her hand point next to her.

“Hey!  I said I was sorry,” Paris protested.

She crossed her arms, and let out a frustrated sigh.

“You’re never going to let me forget this, are you?” Pairs asked.
“Probably not, Tom,” B’Elanna smiled at him, acting as if the other couple wasn’t there.

But they were, and were watching Paris and Torres playfully fighting.  An amusing sight, actually.

“Ahem,” Janeway broke the argument up, “should we order now?”
Torres picked up a menu, “What kind of food does this place have?” She smiled again, and the fighting had stopped, for now.

Later that night, in Tom’s quarters, the fighting began again.

“I can’t believe how badly you ruined dinner!” Torres snapped.

“How did I ruin it?”

“How didn’t you?!!?  You spilled  your drink on Janeway.. you.”

“Don’t remind me of that,” he began to sound serious again, and a worried look stirred in his eyes.

“What is it Tom?” There was a worried look in her eye as well.
He didn’t say anything, instead, he kissed her. Under normal circumstances, she wouldn’t worry, but something was wrong.

“Tom, what’s wrong?”

He sat down on the couch, and she sat next to him. Paris took her hand, “B’Elanna, this is really.. really hard for me to say, but...” he looked worried, no, more like nervous, even afraid.

“Tom, what is it? You know you can tell me anything.”

“I’ll be leaving the day after tomorrow.”

She was shocked, “Leaving?”

“Yeah... I’ll be leaving....”

“Where are you going?”

“I... don’t really know.  I guess back to Earth, maybe I’ll join Starfleet.”

“I’ll come too.. we can...” she stopped.

Tom held up one finger, saying to be quiet. Then he ran it down her face, wiping away a tear.

“‘Lanna, no, I’m sorry, it wouldn’t work....”

“It has to work... I can’t let you leave me.”

“I won’t.... I’ll see you again tomorrow, but, I will be leaving the day
after that.”

“Tom, no,” she was heart-broken, another tear running down her face.

“I’m sorry,” he kissed her face, and pulled her closer, so her head was
resting on his shoulder.

He stroked her hair, “It’s okay, we still have one more day, and one more night.”

She looked up with blurry eyes, “Then what? You leave, and I never see you again?  I want to come with you, we’ve come too far for this.”

“‘Lanna.... I’ll see you tomorrow.”

She pulled away from him, “Good-bye,” and left.

“This is good-night, and not good-bye, B’Elanna.”

“I believe in love,
It’s all we got.
Love has no boundaries,
Costs nothing to touch.”
Elton John-- I Believe in Love

Torres couldn’t sleep. She lay awake in her bed. Nothing could prepare her for the pain she would soon face.


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