Codes: P, T, J, P/T, J/P
Summary: Set two and a half years after Voyager’s return home, Tom and B’Elanna set out on a rescue mission.
Disclaimer: Paramount/Viacom owns everyone yadda yadda.
Author’s Note(s):-Tom and B’Elanna have been separated for 2 years.
-Voyager was re-launched over 4 months ago.
-Chakotay is Captain and Tom is first officer.
Three weeks earlier
Tom walked down the path, watching the other people enjoying themselves in the warm heat of the late summer evening and savouring the peace and quite around him, a stark contrast to the constant busyness of life on a star ship.
"How are thing's going?"
Tom looked down at the woman he was walking arm in arm with and smiled. "What you mean is - - How am I finding listening to different departments complaining about people, supplies, the systems and generally just complaining about every thing?" He paused to smile at her. "It's going fine."
Kathryn laughed and smiled. "It comes with the territory I'm afraid Tom."
"To be perfectly honest, I'm having trouble not dismissing the person at the helm and flying myself."
"Old habits die hard."
"As do new ones. Do you realise how much coffee I've been drinking since I went back? I'm even developing a taste for Neelix's special blend."
Kathryn looked up at her former helmsman and wagged her finger at him disapprovingly. "You said you wouldn't pick that habit up..."
Tom shrugged. "So I lied."
Kathryn smiled and tightened her grip on Tom's arm. "And how are things with B'Elanna?" She felt Tom's body shake and could tell he was laughing. "What's so funny Mr. Paris?"
Tom grinned, his eyes dancing. "You know the good thing about having worked with you for so long Kathryn, is that I can tell when certain things are going to come up in a discussion."
Kathryn smiled. "So I'm constant. How is she?"
Kathryn raised one eyebrow and gave him a stern look.
Tom caught Kathryn's look and smiled. His gaze moved to the sky where the setting sun was casting her warm colours on the sky. "Okay I suppose."
"I'm a busy man. I don't get as much time to socialise now that I'm the first officer."
Kathryn snorted. "I bet you do. I bet you just don't want to spend that much time around B'Elanna."
Tom sighed his gaze still locked on the sky. "It's awkward."
"I never said it wouldn't be."
"You get the feeling that all the people that were on Voyager before are expecting us to be in each other's arms, they expect everything to be the way it was." Tom paused. "Not that we ever were in each other’s arms for the ship to see."
"You were the big focus of attracting for many years Tom. You pair were always the big news on such a small ship."
"I know. But it takes time," His gaze moved back to his friend. "We've spoken a lot, about what happened, what went wrong. But I think it's always going to go back to the same thing."
"Trust." Kathryn said knowingly.
Tom grinned ruefully and nodded. "That one thing."
Kathryn brought her hand to his cheek. "I just takes time Tom."
Tom nodded his eyes locking with hers. "Time? That's one thing I have plenty of, I hope," His expression became one of studied innocence. "Coffee?"
Kathryn slapped his cheek playfully and shook her head. "Black no sugar?"
Two weeks earlier.
Deck 2, Tom's office.
Tom sat in his office on board Voyager slowly sifting his way through the seemingly endless mountain of reports he had to do. Tom smiled to himself as he thought about Kathryn's comment to him, when he had last seen her. *If somebody had told me that all these reports came with the territory *before * I had accepted my promotion I would politely told them where to go. *
Tom shook his head and threw the padd he was reading onto a stack of others that were sitting on his desk. He got up and walked over to the replicator and ordered a coffee. Tom smiled again as he took the cup into his hands. He stood by the window and watched the familiar alpha quadrant stars pass by at warp 6. Tom was lost deep in his thought when his comm badge chirped, stealing him from his reverie.
"Commander, Admiral O'Donnell wishes to speak to you."
Tom sighed and walked back to his desk, pushing off a stack of padds to make room for his coffee cup. "You don't want to talk to her for me do you Harry?"
"No thanks, Tom. I'll leave that to Voyager's first officer."
Tom laughed. "Thanks Harry. I know which friend not to ask if I need a favour. Put her through Harry.
Tom tapped a button on his desk console and the image of Admiral O'Donnell filled the screen. "What can I do for you Admiral?"
Admiral O’Donnell sat behind a varnished oak desk similar to the one in his father’s office, there were padds marked classified on the desk among which there was one bearing the insignia of Omega Section. Her face was serious as she stared at the young commander before her. "I’m afraid I have to inform you of a matter of extreme importance, Commander."
Tom frowned as his curiosity was piqued but he couldn’t shake the feeling he wouldn’t like what she had to say. "What is it?"
"I am afraid to inform you Commander, that late last night Admiral Kathryn Janeway was abducted from her home in San Francisco and has not been heard from since."
"What? How?" Tom gaze became distant as he absorbed the Admiral’s message. "We’ve got to find her. Did they leave any ransom note or any demands?"
Admiral O’Donnell shook her head. "An investigation has already begun. Omega Section has been dispatched to investigate."
Tom shook his head. "We can get the job done, get Kathryn back. Do we have any leads as to who abducted her?"
"There is no ‘we’ Commander."
Tom’s head snapped up and his eyes locked with the older woman’s. "Ma’am?" His tone was disbelieving.
"You are not to be involved with the investigation Commander."
"What? Why the hell not?"
O’Donnell’s voice was gentle, trying to pacify the young man. "Concerns have been raised that if you are to be included as part of the investigation team, your emotional attachment to Admiral Janeway may affect you judgement."
"What emotional attachment?" Tom’s voice was quieter; he had sat deeper into his chair as the shock had finally begun to register.
"That emotional attachment. The one that at this moment, has you talking to me like this."
"Talking to you like what Admiral?" Tom stared at the older woman on the screen and smiled grimly. "What if they hurt her?" Tom’s voice was low and rough, his worried eyes met O’Donnell’s looking for reassurance.
"She won’t be hurt Tom."
"How do you know?" Tom leaned forward in his chair, his face and eyes blank, once again covered by his mask.
"There have been no ransom demands made by whoever or whatever kidnapped Kathryn."
"Exactly. You don't even know if they killed her. If she's still alive. You're just wasting time."
O'Donnell stared at Tom firmly. "I'm not the only one making decisions about this investigations Commander."
Tom stood up and stared at her defiantly, his tone accusing. "Or maybe you don't want me part of the investigation because I might find something you don't want me to."
"That is ridiculous Commander and you know it. You've been granted a weeks leave. Take it. I don’t want to have this conversation with you again Commander. Understood."
A week later
Tom sat in a darkened corner of the mess hall going over the padd he had in his hand. A stack of reports besides his left arm and an empty coffee cup next to his right.
"Fill your cup?"
Tom looked up to see Neelix approach him from the shadows. He automatically put down the padd he was reading and held out his coffee cup. "Is it strong?"
"Even Kathryn Janeway would be proud."
It was a full week since Admiral O’Donnell had informed Tom of Admiral Janeway’s abduction, and a whole week of Tom sitting next to his desk console waiting to be informed she had been found, safe and unharmed. Tom pulled himself back from the far reaches of his thoughts and looked at Neelix when he heard him begin to talk.
"Have you heard anything?" Neelix finished re-filling Tom’s cup and sat in the seat opposite him.
Tom took a sip of the strong brew in his cup and savoured the sensation as it flowed down his throat. "No," He shook his head. "I haven’t heard anything."
"It’s been almost a week." Neelix had been the one that had informed everyone of their former captain’s abduction in a special edition of a Briefing With Neelix. The reaction had been the same through out the ship. Shock and anger. Anger at the fact it had happened and also that Voyager had not been included in the investigation. Chakotay and Tom had constantly been in contact with Admiral O’Donnell, attempting to persuade her to let Voyager and Tom, be part of the investigation, but she had been adamant, insisting that they had enough man power already working on the investigation.
"Has Admiral O’Donnell changed her mind yet?"
Tom snorted. "Admiral Janet O’Donnell can be more stubborn than B’Elanna on a good day when she wants to be. She’s determined that Voyager and I will at no costs become involved with this investigation, due to our ‘unique’ personal relationships with Admiral Janeway."
"That’s stupid. If anyone should be on the investigation team it should be us, we all worked with Admiral Janeway for long enough."
Tom leaned forward resting an elbow on the table and rubbing his weary eyes, "I just hope they find her." He looked at Neelix. "I spoke to her sister yesterday. She said her mother was distraught at the possibility of losing her again."
"Something like this must not be good for her mother at her age."
"Yeah Mrs. Janeway is a grand old age, but if her Kathryn’s anything to go by she’ll be just as stubborn and determined."
"How is her sister holding up?"
"Good. She's determined that her sister will be found. And very persuasive." Tom shook his head and sipped his coffee.
Neelix raised an eyebrow, a painfully familiar expression that almost made Tom smile. "Persuasive?"
Tom looked at Neelix his expression blank. "Unlike her sister. Phoebe Janeway is not a great, how should I say it? Enthusiast? When it comes to with holding Starfleet protocol."
"What did she say to you?"
Tom looked at Neelix sharply. "What do you mean?"
Neelix stared at his friend. "You seem to have to become a close friend of the family. I know If it was me in her position, I would have tried to persuade you to, act alone?"
Tom grinned. "Possibly. But then you wouldn't know unless you where actually involved in the conversation."
A few hours later
Shuttle Bay 2
Tom walked into a darkened shuttle bay and moved over to the main console. "Computer alert me if anyone enters the shuttle bay."
Tom walked over to the Delta Flyer and entered a unique set of command codes that had been installed by Engineers before the last Omega Section mission.
"What are you doing?"
Tom spun on his heel to face the owner of the voice. "Christ B’Elanna, what the hell are you doing here?"
"What am I doing here? What are you doing here?" B’Elanna stood directly in front of Tom, her arms crossed over her chest.
"Just checking on my pride and joy. I don’t need your skills for this Chief. You can leave." Tom smiled sweetly.
B’Elanna frowned and took a step away from Tom. "Why should I? I’m working here. There’s a problem with a few of the plasma conduits that run through here."
"They can wait till later."
"What’s so important that you want me to put off performing maintenance on a few plasma conduits."
"That’s an order, Commander. The conduits can wait, go have a break or find something else to perform maintenance on."
B’Elanna’s eye’s flashed and her voice became hostile. "I’m not leaving this shuttle bay, order or not, until you tell me what’s going on Thomas Eugene Paris."
Tom stared at B’Elanna, recognising instantly her posture of defiance and determination. In the back of his mind remembered how much he used to love that about her.
He sighed and took a step away from her. "B’Elanna, you don’t want to be here. You shouldn’t be here."
"Why?" B’Elanna’s relaxed her posture and she stared at Tom.
Tom shook his head and started pacing "Because, if I get caught, I could do more than lose my rank and get thrown in the brig for 30 days. I don’t even want to risk what they’d do to you."
B’Elanna watched Tom pacing, trying to figure out what he meant. "You’re going after her?" Her voice was disbelieving. "Tom you can’t," B’Elanna walked up to him and placed her hand on his shoulder. An effort to make him see reason, but somehow she doubted he’d listen. It was another thing that had suffered during their two years apart. Now the only person who seemed to be able to make him see reason was… B'Elanna mentally shook herself. *Now is not the time or the place. *
"I can’t sit just here and do nothing B’Elanna." Tom turned on his heel and faced her. His voice tight with unreleased emotion. "It’s been a week and there’s still nothing."
"Let me come with you."
Tom’s blue eyes stared at B’Elanna in shock. "No. I wouldn’t want anything to happen to you."
"I’m a big girl, I can look after myself." B’Elanna took a step closer to Tom. "Please. Let me come with you."
"Sir." Harry looked up from his console. "We have a unauthorised shuttle launch in Shuttle Bay 2. It’s the Delta Flyer."
Chakotay frowned and rose from his chair. "Whose on board?"
"I don’t know sir, the Flyer’s shields have been modified to deflect any type of sensors."
"Bridge to Commander Paris." Chakotay tapped his comm badge and frowned again, as there was no answer. "Computer, locate Commander Paris."
::Commander Paris is not aboard::
Chakotay turned to face Harry. "How long ago did Commander Paris leave the ship?"
::Approximately 2 minutes ago::
Chakotay walked down towards the helm. "Follow him, don’t lose him."
"Aye sir." The Ensign acknowledged.
"Bridge to Engineering." Chakotay stood in the middle of the Bridge.
"Carey here sir."
"Where’s B’Elanna? Mister Carey?"
"She was performing maintenance on a couple of plasma conduits in shuttle bay 2."
"Where is she now?"
"Still in the shuttle bay as far as I know sir, why?"
"No reason. Bridge out."
"There’s still no response sir." Harry’s voice was tense but his face betrayed nothing, testament to how much he had grown since he had first come aboard 9 years ago. "Sir," The Ensign at the helm turned to face her captain. "I’ve lost him. Commander Paris has masked his warp trail. I can’t follow him." Chakotay sat heavily down in his chair.
"Carey to the Bridge. Sir, B’Elanna isn’t in the shuttle bay."
Chakotay shook his head. "Harry." Chakotay’s voice was low. "Contact Admiral O’Donnell. Inform her that Commander Paris is no longer on board Voyager as he has taken the leave that was due to him. And also that our chief engineer is with him."
"Aye sir." "Oh and Harry. None of this happened. And if did. You didn't see anything. You were not here, and there was nothing you could have possibly done to stop it."
"Aye." Harry’s brow lowered in confusion. "Urm Sir?"
"Why did you let him go?"
Chakotay turned to look at Harry. "Because, I'd give anything to be in Tom's position, but I'm not. And the least I can do is support him, he is my first officer after all. "
A week later
A space station somewhere near the DMZ zone.
"Damn it B’Elanna. I told you to be careful." Tom voice and face were full of concern as he got a clear view of B’Elanna as she stepped into the light.
"I was careful."
"Yeah, of course you were, that's why you're bleeding. Sit down." Tom’s hand rested on her arm as he guided her toward a chair and sat her down.
"What happened?" Tom rummaged in a storage cupboard for a med kit.
"I got jumped on the way back."
"Are you okay?" Tom walked back towards B’Elanna and kneeled down in front of her setting the med kit on the ground besides him.
"Aside from a few cuts and bruises and a major headache I’ll be fine."
"Humm." Tom ran the scanner over her and paid close attention to the readouts on the tricorder. "You have a small fracture just above your left eyebrow. What did they hit you with?"
"Just their fists," B’Elanna winced as Tom lightly prodded the area around her eyebrow.
"How many of them were there?" Tom’s voice was full of unchecked concern as he ran a dermal regenerator over the wound.
Tom’s eyebrows rose in surprise. "And you managed to fight them off single handily?"
"Yeah well they were drunk and I’m a half-klingon." She said, as if it was the most natural thing in the universe.
Tom couldn’t suppress a small smile at the smugness in B’Elanna’s voice. "Remind me not to bump into you in a dark alley."
B’Elanna smiled warmly at Tom. "Besides, I cheated."
"Cheated?" Tom’s voice was wary
"Yeah. It’s amazing what a well aimed kick to a man’s lower portions can achieve."
Tom winced and smiled ruefully. "I think I’m actually beginning to feel sorry for the guys who decided to mess with you. There I’ve finished. Would you like something for the headache?"
"No thanks." B’Elanna rose grabbing Tom’s shoulder for support.
Tom stood up. "I think you should go and lie down for a while, just until the dizziness passes."
"No, it’s okay, it doesn’t matter," B’Elanna’s tone was defiant. "Besides, we still have work to do. I didn’t find out anything new. Either people don’t know where Admiral Janeway is or they’re not telling."
DMZ Space Station
"He said he would meet us here." B’Elanna’s voice was low and defensive.
"I didn’t say I didn’t believe you," Tom’s voice was neutral as he studied the tavern they were in.
B’Elanna watched Tom’s eyes scan the crowded bar, straining against the shadows to make out the people and the objects. "It’s been almost a week Tom and still nothing."
Tom’s gaze was focused on B’Elanna opposite him and he smiled. "I wouldn’t worry yourself if I were you B’Elanna. Omega Section has had as much luck as we have. They still haven’t found anything. All they have are a set of demands the kidnappers sent them a day ago. They’re some pretty harsh demands. The Admiralty will never agree to them."
B’Elanna’s eye’s narrowed. "How do you know?"
Tom’s smiled widened and he sipped at his drink. "I’m Omega Section’s commanding officer; I have my sources."
"Thank you for telling me."
Tom detected the slight trace or anger and hurt in B’Elanna’s voice and shrugged. "Well you know now."
B’Elanna stared at Tom, his gaze once again lost in the shadows. "What do you think will happen?"
"What do you mean?"
"Do you think Starfleet will be coming looking for us? Do you think we’ll ever find her? Do you think this is even worth it?"
Tom put down his glass, his cold blue eyes locked on B’Elanna. "If you don’t think this is worth it then why did you come?"
B’Elanna stared at Tom, trying to find an answer from among her raging thoughts. "I… I don’t know. Maybe because for some insane reason I thought that I owed her. I don’t."
Tom stared at her, his gaze never wavering or lessening in its intensity. "I told you before that while I wear the uniform and the insignia, my loyalty lies with Admiral Janeway."
"You’re not wearing the uniform Tom. You could have stayed onboard Voyager and attempted to persuade Admiral O’Donnell to let you help on the case, but you haven’t. You’ve stolen a Starfleet shuttle and you’re attempting to find her on your own. Why Tom? This is way beyond loyalty to your commanding officer."
Tom’s grip on his glass tightened until he suddenly released it, remembering the last time he had broken a glass in such a way. He turned his head to stare into the smoky tavern. "What’s it to you anyway?" His voice was low.
B’Elanna watched, watched his emotions, for once, flicker across his face. Watched his fingers drum against the table and listened to his low, soft voice, that always managed to scare her more with its intensity than when he had raised it in anger. "I just want to understand."
Tom turned to face her, his cool mask back in place, one eyebrow raised.
"Even when our relationship was stable and we weren’t arguing with each other, there were some things I could never understand about you. You’re unwavering loyalty to a woman who at times hurt you, treated you unfairly, yet you never held it against her. You never argued with her, even when Chakotay argued against what she was doing. It’s something I never understood."
Tom leaned both elbows on the table and rested his head in his hands, suddenly seeming tired and weary. His eyes locked with B’Elanna’s and he sighed. "I don’t think you’ll ever…understand, because even I don’t understand."
2 years, four months earlier
The Mess Hall
"Can I join you?"
Tom sat in a darkened corner of a deserted Mess Hall watching the stars go by a warp 6. "Please, have a seat."
"How are you?
Tom snorted and smiled. "I’m fine, like I always am." He finally turned to face the visitor. "Would you like some tea? It’s much more relaxing than drinking coffee, besides certain blends help beat insomnia, and I have the feeling that I’m not the only one who can’t sleep tonight."
Kathryn smiled and held out her empty coffee cup. "Some call it the curse of the Starfleet Captain."
Tom nodded. "Other’s call it the companion of a troubled mind. And mine’s definitely troubled; it has been for years." Tom gave her a weak smile and sipped at his tea.
Kathryn studied the man opposite her, his eyes were red and sore, his hair was rumpled and his expression was weary. "When was the last time you had some sleep Tom?"
"Sleep? What’s that?"
Kathryn frowned, her eyes filled with concern. "It’s where a person goes to their quarters, lays in bed and sleeps until they wake up approximately 9 hours later, feeling refreshed and ready to face a new day."
"Nope. I don’t think I’ve done that in quite a while. I have nightmares, if that counts?" Tom leaned over to the pot and refilled his cup with tea.
"People are saying you’ve had an argument with B’Elanna. But I've never been one to pay much attention to gossip."
"Oh yeah. I do that quite regularly actually. I come to think of it as a normal conversation when I argue with B’Elanna. It’s easier, most of the time, to just walk away before they even begin."
Kathryn frowned again and reached out to touch Tom’s arm. "That’s not right Tom."
"What?" Tom’s raised one eyebrow. "Walking away?"
"No." Kathryn shook her head. "Having to constantly argue with B’Elanna...."
Tom drained his cup and shrugged his shoulders. "Yeah well, I’ve got a feeling I won’t have to argue with her for much longer. Tom put down his cup and stood up. "I have to go Captain. I’m on the Alpha shift tomorrow and I wouldn’t want to be late." He looked at her one last time, reading the reaction. "Goodnight Captain."
"Good night Tom."
DMZ Space Station
Teevan walked quickly through the dark corridors of the space station. He spun around quickly when he heard something behind him, after a few moments he turned back around and began to walk only to bump into a person who had been standing in the shadows.
"Mr Teevan. I believe you have some information for me regarding the missing Admiral."
Teevan took a step back but the stranger grabbed him roughly by the arm.
"I don't appreciate people wasting my time. You were supposed to meet me but you never showed."
"Please. Wait." Teevan held his hands up and took a step back. "I can tell you everything. I even know where they're keeping her."
"Do you think he was telling us the truth?" B’Elanna sat at the operations console in the cockpit of the Delta flyer and watched as Tom manipulated the helm controls.
"Any lead is better than no lead." Tom's voice was detached as he focused on flying.
"How are we supposed to get past the security systems?"
Tom turned in his seat to face her and smiled "The Flyer’s been through quite a few modifications since you last had your hand on her B’Elanna. She’s fitted with a cloaking device and a system the deflects any kind of sensors."
"My, we have been busy." B’Elanna’s voice was sarcastic. She watched Tom manipulating the helm controls.
"You never did answer my question."
"Which one would that have been?"
"The one I asked you in the bar. About Janeway." B’Elanna sat waiting for an answer but the last thing she was expecting was Tom’s response.
He laughed. Tom turned to face her laughing, his eyes beginning to water.
What’s so funny?" B’Elanna crossed her arms over her chest and glared at him.
Tom smiled "I’m sorry. It’s just every time you say her name there’s a tone in your voice and I’ve only just realised what it was. You’re jealous of her aren’t you?"
"No," B’Elanna stared at Tom as though he had grown a second head. "Where the hell did you get that idea?"
"You are. You’re jealous of her because we have this bond that you can’t understand, and it’s one that we don’t share. That’s why when I came to see you that time in the bar and I said Kathryn had sent me you asked me if we were getting married, and the way you flinch every time I call her by her first name."
"You’re deluding yourself Paris." B'Elanna stared at him belligerently
"The hell I am. It makes so much sense." He chuckled to himself.
"You’re a pig," B’Elanna rose from her seat and walked towards the cargo hold. "And you’re annoying. Inform me when we arrive."
B’Elanna lay on a bunk in the cargo hold, trying to persuade herself that what Tom had said was wrong.
*I’m not jealous of her. I have something she could never have *
*Had something. You had something but you let him slip away*
*That wasn’t my fault, It just wasn’t working*
*That’s because you weren’t trying…*
*We weren’t trying. Even Tom agrees it was both of us. We didn’t try hard enough to make it work*
*He only said that because he didn’t want you to feel sorry for yourself, because you destroyed the relationship you had with the only man you’ve ever really loved, who ever excepted you for who you are. *
*I didn’t mean for it to happen...*
*But it did, and do you want to know why? Because you didn’t trust him. You never did. There was always a constant worry niggling in the back of your mind that he may be unfaithful or he may leave you. And after you heard what the Captain had said to Harry, it was always there. That worry was your constant companion*
*No! I trust him; I’ve always trusted him. I still trust him. *
*We’ll it doesn’t matter anymore because he’s not yours. You wake up in the morning and don’t look into his blue eyes, or have his arms lay possessively over your waist while he sleeps. You’ve lost him. *
B’Elanna turned over in her bunk. It was too hard to think.
Tom sat in his chair, only just paying attention to the controls in front of him.
*I shouldn’t have said that to B’Elanna. It wasn’t fair. *
Tom leaned back in his chair and closed his eyes, remembering all the long hours he had sat up whether it was in his office or in his apartment, attempting to figure out where it had all gone wrong. Tom tapped a few panels on his console and got up and walked towards the cargo hold, wanting to somehow apologise for what he had just said.
Tom walked into the cargo hold to see B’Elanna laid out on one of the bunks, her face contorted, muttering and thrashing around, obviously having a bad dream. Tom frowned and walked over to the replicator and ordered a glass of water. He walked over to the bunk and gently shook B’Elanna by the shoulder. "B’Elanna. B’Elanna. Wake up." B’Elanna opened her eyes suddenly and her hand went out to hit him. Tom’s reactions being quicker and honed after many such experiences caught it before it could connect with his jaw. B’Elanna looked around quickly and then began to calm down. Tom let go of her hand and passed her the glass of water. "Here drink this. You were having a bad dream."
B’Elanna accepted the glass and looked at him warily. "What are you doing in here? Don’t you have to fly?"
Tom sat in a chair not far from the bunk. "There’s an auto pilot, and I came to apologise, for being a jerk."
B’Elanna looked away. "It’s okay. You were right anyway."
Tom shook his head. "No it’s not okay," His blue eyes stared at her. "It took two years and the intervention of other people to finally get us to talk to each other again. I don’t want to throw away all we’re that we’ve accomplished since then."
B’Elanna’s eye’s locked with Tom’s "Neither do I."
A day later
B'Elanna heard a knock on the cargo hold door just as she finished zipping up her black jump suit. "Come in." The doors opened and Tom walked in clad in the same kind of suit she was wearing and carrying two phaser compression rifles.
"Are you ready to go?" Tom threw one of the rifles in her direction.
"Ready as I'll ever be." B'Elanna caught the rifle and checked the settings.
"Are you sure?" Tom’s questioning eyes met hers. "You don't have to go through with this if you don't want to."
B'Elanna turned to face him. "Why would I have come all this way to back out now?"
Tom smiled. "Thanks," His smile vanished and his face became serious. "The sooner we find Kathryn the sooner we can go home."
2 hour's later
An under ground cavern
"I thought you said you could disable the security alarm," B'Elanna shouted as she ducked phaser fire just mere inches away from her head.
"I did. And I can. But the Flyer’s sensors didn't pick up any security alarms in this area, and this is the only way in."
B'Elanna moved forward as Tom pushed her from behind.
"Believe it or not I do know what I'm doing." B'Elanna's anger began to seep through.
Tom stopped behind her and looked around. "I'm sure you do. But you haven't actually been involved in an assault on a complex like this."
"Who says I haven't?" B'Elanna span on her heel to face him. "I was in the Marquis you know."
Tom stared at her, having trouble keeping his own temper in check. "Okay then maybe you have, but that was years ago and believe it or not things…change."
B'Elanna stared at him. "Do you want to get out of here alive Paris? ‘Cause if you do I suggest you shut up!"
Tom pushed past her and laughed. "That's one thing I missed while I was with Omega Section. No one had a temper quite like yours."
B'Elanna stared at his retreating form. Not sure whether he had just insulted her or complimented her.
Tom stopped about 10 meters away from her and kneeled down, pulling away a hatch that was seemingly embedded in the rock. "Are you coming or not?"
B'Elanna walked up behind him. "What have you found?"
"The entrance." He stood up and pointed towards the hole in the wall. "Ladies first."
"Thanks," B'Elanna replied sarcastically.
Tom came to the end of the tunnel and reached for the tricorder that was in his belt. He took it out and scanned the area. He put the tricorder back and carefully removed the grate from the exit and cautiously started to crawl out of the tunnel and into the corridor. Once he was free he reached out a hand to help B'Elanna out of the vent and scanned the corridor once more.
B'Elanna accepted Tom's hand and pulled herself from inside the vent, carefully replacing the grate once she was fully in the corridor. She watched him scan the corridor and followed as he motioned to her.
They were in a dark corridor, similar to those onboard Voyager. Bulkheads lined the walls and there were small lights that gave off a dull red light.
She followed Tom as he made his way cautiously along the corridor, stopping occasionally to scan the area ahead. "Are you all right?" B'Elanna saw him stop walking and shake his head, as though to dislodge something.
Tom looked over his shoulder to see B'Elanna's concerned face. "Yeah I'm fine. Pay attention, it's not far now and we may have to get back here in a hurry. It'll be best if we don't have to use tricorders to find our way back...."
"How do you know where we’re going?"
"The Flyer's sensors helped me get a extremely detailed map of the complex. Did you bring a med kit with you?"
"What for?" B'Elanna's hushed whisper held a hint of puzzlement.
"In case Admiral Janeway needs medical attention."
"You're the expert of these sorts of missions I thought you would have thought of such a thing."
Tom looked over his shoulder again and smiled. "I deserved that."
B'Elanna looked at him and smiled innocently.
B'Elanna looked around for Tom. Phaser fire lighting up the dim corridor. "Tom." She ducked as one of the guards hit the wall just above her.
Tom's voice was strained. B'Elanna could hear his harsh breathing. "Got a good plan on how to get out of this?"
"Give me a few minutes." Tom moved from behind her and moved to her side, raising his poking his head over their cover to get a better view.
B'Elanna let of a few shots as Tom surveyed the area in front of them. "Well?"
Tom looked at her. "Kathryn's got to be down there, we haven't seen any other guards since we've got here. We're gonna have to get rid of them and fast. This phaser fire is bound to attract someone's attention. How about we go up and over?"
"Are you crazy? There are five of them and two of us! We'll be slaughtered."
"There may only be two of us but I'm willing to bet that we’re better shots than they are."
"What if we're not?"
"Well we're definitely more determined than they are." Tom smiled at her and got ready to move.
"Has any one ever told you that you're mad?"
Tom looked at her, his expression thoughtful. "Not recently."
B'Elanna slid and then finally stopped grabbing the wall to support herself. Tom was just moments behind her and he leaned against a wall and slowly slid from standing to a sitting position.
"Well that was fun." Tom's voice was tight.
"You always had a weird idea of fun Tom." B'Elanna looked at him and saw his face was creased and his teeth were gritted. He had his hand pressed firmly on the lower part of his left shoulder. "Are you alright?" B'Elanna walked over to him and knelt down.
"You're bleeding." B'Elanna could see blood seeping through Tom's fingers as he held it to his shoulder.
Tom pushed himself up and grabbed his rifle. "I said I was fine. We've got to get moving." Tom looked her directly in the eyes and began to move forward.
B'Elanna grabbed him by the arm and pushed him back on the floor, leaning him against the wall. "I don't care whether or not you order me to keep moving, we're not going anywhere until I've done something to slow down the bleeding of that wound."
Tom looked up at her but held his tongue.
B'Elanna ripped pieces from her jump suit to make a dressing and some bandages and then she gently moved Tom's hand away from his wound. She ignored his hiss of pain as she moved his hand and concentrated on keeping her face impassive as she inspected it. He had been hit by one of the guard's rifles; there was a deep gash in his shoulder and the skin in and around the bleeding wound was burned and raw.
Tom hissed again as she gently placed the dressing over the wound and began to wrap the bandages around the rest of his uninjured shoulder to keep it in place
"There. You'll live." B'Elanna's voice was shaking and her face was pale.
"Is that you're professional opinion Doctor Torres or your personal opinion?" Tom's voice was teasing and B'Elanna smiled weakly. Tom brought his hand to her face. "I'll be fine. We're nearly there and the sooner we get out of here the better."
B'Elanna looked into his eyes and found her self slowly leaning forward and her lips gently touching his. …
Tom closed his eyes as he felt B'Elanna's lips on his and he gently kissed her. The kiss became deeper but was still gentle as if neither of them wanted to break the spell.
Tom pulled back and looked into B'Elanna's eyes, his own eyes blank. He once again pulled himself up and took the tricorder once more from his belt. "We're almost there. Only a few more meters. We can expect there to be more guards so we better be on the look out."
Admiral O'Donnell's office.
"I told you they wouldn't respond to your demands."
"They must. We have one of their Admirals."
"Your demands were too much; the Admiralty will never agree to such demands."
"You speak as though you are one of them. Have you forgotten who you are?"
"I could never forget."
"Good. Remember we are doing this for the good of our people. If a few of theirs must suffer, so be it."
"Are you okay?" B'Elanna watched as Tom stopped and leaned against a wall.
"I'm fine. How much farther?"
B'Elanna took Tom's tricorder from her belt and scanned the area. "Not far, about 100 meters that way."
Tom nodded and walked up to her. "Let's go."
Kathryn shifted against her bonds in an attempt to get comfortable. She had lost track of the days she had been held captive, although she knew it couldn't have been for much longer that two weeks. The room was pitch black, save a small beam of light that flowed through a crack in the wall.
Her kidnappers hadn't spoken to her or asked anything of her since she was abducted. She didn't really know what they looked like. The only time she had the opportunity to study them was when one of the guards brought her some food, if it could have been described as food.
Kathryn listened carefully. She thought she heard people talking but she couldn’t make out their voices. She shifted again and closed her eyes, no matter how much she moved she couldn't quite get comfortable. She smiled as thought about it. * But then, I suppose that's the whole idea of being held prisoner. *
Tom and B'Elanna rounded the final corner in the corridor expecting to see guards posted outside the cell that they believed held Admiral Janeway. They made their way cautiously towards the door and B'Elanna inspected the locking system. "You didn't tell me to bring my engineering kit," Her voice was playfully accusing.
Tom looked at her and frowned. "What for?"
"To open this lock. But I suppose since we don't have one we can just blow it open."
"Oh." Tom smiled at her. "You don't need it and blowing the door to pieces would be too messy."
"Too messy?" B'Elanna looked at him.
"We need to leave a good impression. All you have to do is scan it with the tricorder and it will give you the code you need to open it."
"Oh right. Another one of you section’s advancements?"
Tom laughed at her. "It's not my fault we're good at what we do."
B'Elanna narrowed her eyes at him and shook her head. She entered the code and the lock beeped. "It's open."
Tom looked to her and nodded.
B'Elanna pressed a button and the door slid away.
Kathryn flinched as the room was suddenly filled with light. She blinked and then tried to focus on the figures that stood in the doorway.
She stared at the person walking towards her. "Tom?" Just to hold the mystery a little longer.
"Hey" Tom smiled at her and began removing her bonds.
"What are you doing here?" She asked, blinking against the light, her pupils wide and black.
"Are you stupid. They'll kill you if they find you. Did you get in here all by you're self?"
"No I had some help…from a friend."
Kathryn rubbed her wrists and looked at Tom. "Don't you dare do anything like this again. Do you understand Tom? You could have got you're self killed." Kathryn's tone was harsh but her eyes were full of gratitude as she hugged Tom.
"Let her go, or I'll kill her."
Tom loosened his grip on Kathryn and slowly turned to see a guard standing with his rifle in B'Elanna's neck. Tom stared at the guard; his eyes daring him to make a move. He looked at B'Elanna, who nodded. He turned back at the guard and took a deep breath. "Go for it." He felt Kathryn's grip on him loosen and he saw a look of confusion pass over the guard's face.
Suddenly B'Elanna kicked the guard, savagely. And he fell to the floor in pain.
Tom cocked his head to one side and looked at both B'Elanna and the guard on the floor. "So you cheated huh?"
B'Elanna smiled and nodded. "Yeah, I cheated."
A week later
Kathryn walked into Tom's apartment to find him sprawled out over his sofa staring out of the window. "Are you all right?"
Tom looked up at the sound of her voice and smiled. "Yeah, I'm fine. I'm just thinking." He moved over to make room for her to sit down and studied her closely. They had made it back to earth earlier that day and Tom had decided that her rescue stay a secret as they didn't want to run the risk of her being kidnapped again.
Earlier, Tom had, after much persuasion, made an appearance at Starfleet HQ. To attempt to stick to the cover story Chakotay had fed to Admiral O'Donnell for him. Tom had contacted Chakotay as soon as they had arrived safely home, prepared to defend himself and B'Elanna against any disciplinary actions that they may have had to face. Chakotay has shocked them all when he told Tom of his attempt to stop Admiral O'Donnell from finding out their plan, and after a few minutes conversation with Kathryn had happily given the pair a week to recuperate from their ordeal.
"Are you sure? How's you're shoulder" Kathryn looked at him in concern. Her fingers gently prodding his injured shoulder.
Tom winced. "Yeah I am sure and it is fine. It's just a little sore." He smiled and stood up. "Would you like some coffee?"
Kathryn nodded and watched him walk over to his replicator. "I didn't expect B'Elanna to be with you."
Tom looked at her as he brought the coffee over. "Why? Were you surprised?"
"Pleasantly, I didn't thing you two would be able to work together on such a project."
Tom grinned at her as he set the coffee down on the table. "She wanted to come along for the ride."
Kathryn stood up and looked into his blue eyes. "Are you glad you brought her along?"
Tom looked down at her. "I probably wouldn't have been able to have got you out of there without her."
Kathryn raised an eyebrow at him. "Did it clear the air?
"You suppose?" Kathryn took a step closer her eyes searching his.
Kathryn stood on her tiptoes, gently kissing Tom's lips. Not applying any pressure, giving him the chance to walk away.
Tom returned her kiss his lips gently caressing hers, his arms moving to encircle her waist.
Kathryn moaned as she felt Tom's arms wrap gently around her waist. She broke the kiss and looked up into equally passion filled eyes. "Are you sure?"
Tom nodded and leaned down to capture her lips once more.
Kathryn smiled and brought her arms up to his chest, slowly beginning to undo his shirt and pushing him gently back towards his sofa.