Disclaimer: Paramount owns the characters. I thank them for letting me play with them. Posting: Date: March, 2001 Thanks to BR, I wouldn't have had the nerve to try it without you.
The crew of Voyager had encountered a small m-class planet. Their scans showed no advanced life forms but it was rich with a variety of plant life Lt. Tom Paris was in charge of the mission to gather the edible plants and replenish Voyager's dwindling supply of fresh food. It had been a successful but uneventful mission. In fact the last couple of weeks had been uneventful, at least for most of the crew.
Tom and his wife B'Elanna, Chief Engineer, had just found out that they were expecting a baby, their first. They were thrilled, but B'Elanna's Klingon/Human physiology was moody at best. With the addition of pregnancy her moods had become highly unpredictable. This morning's replicator malfunction had led to Tom's peanut butter toast being plastered to the wall, while last night's choice of music (Brahms - one of the doctor's recommendations) had precipitated a night of passion. Not the usual reaction to Brahms. Tom had considered asking the captain to take B'Elanna off the away team but there were ore samples there that Engineering needed to analyze and B'Elanna was the best person for the job.
The crew had almost filled the cargo hold of Tom's shuttle when B'Elanna called him on her communicator.
"Tom, I'm taking the shuttle to investigate the debris field we passed by on our way down here. There were some signs of trilithium and we could use all that we can get."
B'Elanna was a competent pilot so Tom shouldn't have been worried, but he still reacted as a mission commander should. "Okay, who do you have with you?"
"No one." B'Elanna was laughing now, "I don't need anyone else. All I am going to do is scan the debris and collect anything that looks useful. Even a green ensign could accomplish that."
"Yes," Tom answered patiently, "but wouldn't it be more fun if we did it together? Why don't you wait until I'm finished here and I'll go with you."
But B'Elanna was already in the shuttle and on her way. "Sorry, Flyboy, you have to finish with the vegetable brigade. Stop worrying so much, I'll see you in the shuttle bay in an hour." <Vegetable brigade, she'll pay for that later,> Tom mused as he watched his wife fly off. A brief frown crossed his handsome features but he shook it off. <She'll be fine>.
As B'Elanna gathered some small mineral samples with her tractor beam and stored them in the cargo bay, she noticed a spatial distortion, but her sensors were unable to determine its origin. She decided to go in for a closer look. Suddenly she felt the ship begin to shudder and realized she was being pulled into the distortion. B'Elanna frantically worked the shuttle controls to regain control and reverse course. The distortion continued to pull the shuttle towards it as a shrill, piercing sound left B'Elanna unconscious before she could send out a call for help.
B'Elanna woke up in Voyager's sickbay with a terrible headache and found Harry Kim hovering over her. She tried to sit up but Harry gently pushed her back down on the biobed, "Just lay there and rest, B'Elanna. Don't try to get up yet."
"I think you're right" B'Elanna answered weakly... "Where's Tom? Isn't he back yet?"
Harry looked a little surprised as he answered, "He's on the bridge. Why do you need to see Tom?"
The doctor interrupted before B'Elanna could answer. "Lt. Kim, would you please excuse us? I would like to talk to my patient."
Harry, now looking very concerned, answered, "What do you need to talk to B'Elanna about that you can't say in front of me?" The doctor took him reassuringly by the arm and escorted him to the sick bay office, "I will get back with you in a minute, Mr. Kim. I would just like a few words with Lt. Torres in private, please." He then returned to the area where B'Elanna was really struggling to sit up and regain her equilibrium.
"Doctor, what is going on?" B'Elanna gave him a questioning look, "and did you just call Harry 'Lieutenant'?"
The Doctor seemed startled by her question and carefully asked her, "Just what do you remember, Lieutenant?"
"I was looking for mineral samples in the area of a debris field and I saw what looked like a spatial distortion, so I went to investigate it. I heard a loud piercing noise and I must have passed out. What is going on?"
The Doctor had another question now, "Are you aware that you are pregnant?"
"Of course," B'Elanna replied, and then her voice caught in her throat, "is there something wrong with the baby?" "The baby is fine, Lieutenant., but my DNA scans show that the father is Lt. Paris," the doctor coldly replied.
"Who else would be the father, and why isn't Tom here?" It was only then that B'Elanna realized that Tuvok had entered the sick bay area, and that he and Harry had overheard the conversation in spite of the doctor's precautions. Harry had a look of disbelief on his face, and Tuvok actually raised an eyebrow.
The doctor greeted Tuvok, "Captain, I'm glad you are here. Lt. Torres seems to be quite... disoriented."
Before Tuvok could answer, B'Elanna tried to get off the biobed, catching herself as her feet hit the floor and the dizziness returned. "Tuvok, this isn't funny, what kind of joke are you playing? Why is he calling you Captain, where's Captain Janeway or Chakotay, and where's Tom?" she pleaded as the blackness overcame her again. The doctor caught her before she hit the floor, and with Harry's help returned her to the biobed.
Harry by now was frantic, "What's wrong with her, is it amnesia? Why doesn't she remember that that Tuvok is captain and Janeway and Chakotay were left on a planet four years ago?"
"Amnesia would explain some of her confusion, but it would not explain her pregnancy and the fact that the baby she carries has the DNA of Lt. Paris." Tuvok offered this reply as the doctor was scanning B'Elanna once again.
"I have given her a mild sedative. She should be awake in an hour or so and hopefully less confused." The doctor offered what little assurance he could.
Tuvok nodded and touched his com badge. "Tuvok to Paris. Please come to sickbay at once." "On my way, Captain," was the reply.
Tom Paris loped into the sickbay a few minutes later to face three seriously unhappy people. "What's wrong, is B'Elanna injured? I thought you said she would be okay when we tractored her shuttle on board."
"Mr. Paris," Tuvok began, "Lt. Torres seems somewhat disoriented."
"Is it serious?" Tom asked, looking worriedly at Harry, "Is she going to be okay?" For some reason that Tom couldn't understand his best friend looked like he wanted to smash his face in. Worry was replaced by confusion in the pilot's face.
Again it was Tuvok who answered, "Our chief concern is the fact that the Doctor has discovered that the lieutenant is pregnant." "That's wonderful! Isn't it? Congratulations, Harry. Is the baby okay?" Tom seemed genuinely happy for his closest friends.
Beginning to lose patience, Tuvok answered again, "The baby is fine but according to the doctor's scans, you are the father, not Lt. Kim."
Tom's blue eyes got huge, "What? That's impossible! B'Elanna's married to Harry. I never... we never... I mean, it's impossible." Now he understood why his friend looked so stricken. "Harry, you have to believe me, I don't have an explanation, but the obvious one just isn't so. I promise you."
"I don't know what to believe," Harry murmured.
Captain Tuvok took command of the situation. "Lt. Paris, as Executive Officer I must ask you to begin an investigation. Lt. Kim, I suggest you let the doctor look after your wife while you see what kind of information you can gather from the shuttle itself. Lt. Paris can begin his study with the sensor logs. Doctor, when Lt. Torres awakens, please call me. I would like to question her myself."
The officers all replied with a subdued "Aye, Captain." Tom left sickbay immediately when he saw that Harry was not even going to look him in the eye. Harry went to stand by B'Elanna holding her hand for a moment and then bending to kiss her ridged forehead before he left to investigate the physical evidence.
Three quarters of an hour later, B'Elanna was again struggling to consciousness. The doctor hastened to her side and notified Capt. Tuvok that his Chief Engineer was again awake. Tuvok walked in to find a quickly recovering and now very angry half Klingon threatening to scatter the doctor's program throughout the Delta quadrant if he didn't let her off the biobed and out of sickbay.
"Lt. Torres" Tuvok began, " would you mind answering a few questions for me?"
"Of course not, Commander Tuvok, if you don't mind answering a few for me," she hissed at him.
The eyebrow raised again but Tuvok proceeded calmly. "What is the current stardate?"
"54472." She answered impatiently.
"That is correct."
"Do I get a prize or something?" B'Elanna asked sarcastically.
Tuvok ignored her question and asked another. "Where is Voyager located?"
"Last time I looked we were in the Delta quadrant where we have been for the last 6 years trying to find our way home. Now, it's my turn. Where are Captain Janeway and Chakotay and Tom? If I'm being held prisoner in sickbay can't I at least see my husband?"
Tuvok looked as surprised as a Vulcan can look as he answered her, "Lieutenant, Captain Janeway and Commander Chakotay were marooned on a planet because of an incurable virus over 4 years ago. I am the Captain of this vessel and Lt. Paris is my executive officer. You were married three months ago to Lt. Harry Kim who is the Operations Officer of this ship. Do you not remember any of this?"
B'Elanna looked horror stricken as she said, "No, I don't, at least not that way... we rescued the captain and Chakotay and with the help of the Doctor's friend, Denara Pel, they were cured. I married Tom four months ago and we just found out last week that we're expecting a baby. Tuvok, why would my memories be so different from yours?" "I do not know," the Vulcan answered. "Tell me what you remember about today."
"No, I'm not saying another word until I see Tom." B'Elanna was adamant, so Tuvok called Tom and Harry back to sickbay. B'Elanna waited impatiently for them, pacing back and forth in the small area like a caged animal. As they entered sickbay the relief on B'Elanna's face was quite apparent but it was also apparent that the relief came from seeing Tom, not Harry. However, anxious not to cause any more confusion, B'Elanna did not throw her arms around Tom when she saw him. The three of them stood awkwardly staring at each other for a handful of seconds, Tom looking uncomfortable and Harry searching B'Elanna's face for any sign of recognition.
B'Elanna broke the uneasy silence, "Tom, you were on that mission with me, what do you remember?"
After looking at Tuvok for affirmation, Tom described the morning's mission. "We checked out the planet and collected the minerals and food stuffs we needed. I had Neelix with me and a cargo bay full of perishables so I headed back here. You saw a debris field that looked interesting and said you were going to check it out. When you didn't come back we went out looking for you. We found the shuttle and you were unconscious. We brought you back and beamed you to sickbay. When you woke up, you seemed ... confused."
"Tell me what you remember, B'Elanna." Tom was gentle but firm, the epitome of an executive office.
B'Elanna, calmer now, began her narrative, which paralleled Tom's until she reached the part where she wanted to investigate the debris field. "Do you remember arguing with me, telling me to wait until you could go with me?"
"No, I don't remember that." "Okay, when you found the shuttle, where was it, and was there anything strange about it? I had run into some kind of spatial anomaly, was there any sign of a radiation leak?" B'Elanna asked.
"No, but Harry was checking it out. Did you find anything, Har?" Tom was anxious to include a now smoldering Harry in the conversation.
"There was some debris in the shuttle but it didn't seem to be of any value. In fact it was really hard to analyze. It was unstable and I haven't finished determining why. But the sensors didn't detect any sign of a distortion or any radiation residue."
"I'll help" B'Elanna offered. "I can go to astrometrics and see if Seven can find anything on the scanner to explain that spatial distortion. Maybe there's a clue in the debris field."
"Seven, what is Seven?" asked Tuvok.
"Seven of Nine, the Borg who rules the Astrometrics lab with an iron fist." B'Elanna tried to make it sound like a hint but her attempt at humor failed and her fear was starting to overtake her again.
"We captured a Borg 3 years ago but it was impossible to stabilize her condition and she was returned to the collective in an escape pod as soon as we felt we were out of danger from an attack." Tuvok answered.
B'Elanna was visibly shaken by this news and the Doctor reached out to steady her. She shook his hand off and faced Tuvok again, "Alright, you do have an astrometrics lab don't you? At least I can get a look at the area of space where I saw an anomaly or something." At Tuvok's lack of response B'Elanna looked frightened. "You don't believe me, do you? You think I'm crazy!"
"B'Elanna," Harry reached out his hand to calm her. "We're trying to believe you, trying to figure out what is going on." His hands gently held her arms as he reassured her. B'Elanna looked at Tom who was obviously not uncomfortable with this and it frightened her even more.
"Lt. Torres, please calm yourself. We will continue our investigation. Until we have completed that investigation I recommend that you remain in sickbay." B'Elanna looked crushed but Tuvok appeared not to notice as he left sickbay. Tom smiled his most charming detached smile and left behind Tuvok.
Harry obviously had plenty he wanted to say, but looking at her and not being able to hold her was getting pretty tough. He desperately wanted her to remember the life that they shared, wanted to remind her of it in any way he could. But she seemed to consider him almost a stranger, certainly not a husband. She was still B'Elanna though and he would still walk through fire for her if he needed to. "I'll go see if I can make sense of those readings on the debris you collected."
"Yeah, okay, thanks" was all B'Elanna could offer. She knew it wasn't what he needed but she couldn't give Harry what he needed. Only his B'Elanna could do that. <His B'Elanna>
B'Elanna turned to the doctor and stated firmly, "I need your terminal, we're going to do some research of our own." The doctor considered protesting but since he was now looking at her back he figured she wasn't going to pay any attention anyway.
B'Elanna studied the logs she had pulled up to see what records there were of alternate universes or time warps. Unfortunately there were hundreds, and she had to figure out just what the circumstances surrounding her problem were. She found what she was looking for just as Captain Tuvok sent Lt. Ayala to escort her to the briefing room.
B'Elanna acknowledged the officer and said to the doctor, "Come on, you're going with me, and bring a tricorder... You do have a mobile emitter, don't you?"
"Of course," the Doctor stiffly replied as he secured the necessary piece of equipment from his office and followed her to the bridge.
***** In the briefing room, Harry and Tom sat opposite each other looking absolutely miserable, while Tuvok was actually sitting in the Captain's seat. Ensign, now Lieutenant, B'Elanna noticed, Vorik seemed to be occupying the chair of the Chief Tactical officer. B'Elanna took what was normally the chief engineer's seat and hoped there was nothing else she had missed in the "transition". She looked at Tom who immediately blushed and looked away. That hurt. Then she looked at Harry unprepared for the pain in his eyes. She had to turn away.
Tuvok tried to begin with Harry's report but was interrupted by B'Elanna. "I think I have an explanation and I asked the doctor to come to tell me if I'm correct. I think I belong in a different universe." Harry looked up, shock and hope running together on his face. He quickly turned to share that hope with Tom whose reactions mirrored his. They exchanged the looks that friends share when a new idea has just taken them both by surprise. B'Elanna continued, "There are two Voyagers out here. We must have gotten mixed up in that spatial distortion and somehow my shuttle wound up here. Your B'Elanna must be in an alternate universe. I want the doctor to scan my DNA for a quantum flux."
Tuvok nodded, "That is a logical possibility. Doctor, please conduct your scan."
The doctor, looking highly skeptical, conducted his scan, and after checking his tri-corder closely, he conducted another scan. "Well," he began, "it seems Lt. Torres may be correct in her assessment of the situation."
The DNA scan showed a different quantum resonance signature. Everyone breathed a sigh of relief. Tuvok instructed Harry to begin a scan of the area where B'Elanna had been found and look for fissures. At a look from Tuvok, Tom followed Harry to help with the mapping. Lt. Vorik and the doctor were dismissed also, leaving B'Elanna alone with the Captain.
"Lt. Torres, I would like to question you about the last four years. You have indicated that the Captain and Commander Chakotay were rescued. Please tell me how." B'Elanna gave him a thumbnail sketch of the rescue and the last four years. They found both ships to be closely paralleled in races encountered and battles fought. Both ships seemed to be at the same place in their journeys.
After an hour or so Tom Paris returned to the briefing room with their findings. "We have an area of space where the quantum resonance seems to be in a state of flux, we're scanning it for a warp signature right now, but as I see it, our next problem will be timing. If we're going to get Harry's wife back, we are going to have to plan the transfer down to the second."
"The deflector array can be reprogrammed to emit a resonance beam with the same signature. That should give us an idea of where we are headed. We'll have to rig a means of communication. Both shuttles will have to come through the fissure at the same time." B'Elanna's thoughts were coming faster and faster now. "But they will have to be looking for us, too. What if they don't know anything is wrong and have left that area?"
"B'Elanna, they are just as anxious to find you as we are. And they probably have the best engineer in the Delta quadrant working on the deflector array and the communication problems just like we do." Tom was calm and reassuring. "So all we need to figure out is what you would do in a situation like this, and do it." The absurdity of it all made her laugh just a little.
"Lt. Kim, please begin your efforts with communications." Tuvok nodded to Harry and he left to remodulate the communications array with the quantum resonance signature that B'Elanna had brought with her. "Lt. Paris, you and Lt. Torres need to go to Engineering and begin the reconfiguring on the deflector. Then I suggest that you continue your scans and look for a warp signature from the shuttle as well. We will need to know the exact location of the fissure if we are to coordinate our efforts with the 'other' Voyager." Even Tuvok seemed optimistic, a good sign.
As Tom and B'Elanna made their way to Engineering, B'Elanna took the opportunity to ask him a few questions. "Tom, this sounds really weird but I would like to know... was there ever an 'us'?"
Tom smiled, B'Elanna's directness was one of her most endearing traits.
"No, there wasn't." He answered.
She was slightly offended now and asked "Didn't you ever consider it?"
Tom slowed his pace and said "Not really. We've always been friends, B'Elanna, but in the beginning we were all trying to find our way in this strange new world. And then there was Kes. She and I were... we had... something special. When she left I thought my world was going to come to an end and I wasn't sure I cared, but you and Harry really helped me pull out of it, kept me going. By then, you and Harry were a team and I was the Executive Officer. I was happy for you, but the Exec has to be really careful where he starts looking for love. It could easily be misinterpreted!"
He was trying to make light of it now, but B'Elanna remembered how much Kes had meant to all of them and it didn't surprise her that this Tom had had that special relationship with her. She was surprised, though, at the knots that formed in her stomachs. How could she still be jealous of Kes after all these years? Tom had told her of Kes's vision, several years after Kes had left Voyager. Kes and Tom together.... <No, B'Elanna, don't go there, this isn't your Voyager. He's your friend not your husband.> She shook the thoughts out of her head and refocused her attention on Tom.
Stopping, she touched his arm, "Tom, don't sell yourself short. Any girl on this ship would be lucky to have you. You've earned their trust, and from what I've seen, you're a good XO. Give them a chance, just slow down and smile and let one of them catch you."
They were laughing as they entered Engineering. The department looked the same, and the crew looked the same, so B'Elanna started barking orders just like nothing had changed. At a discreet nod from Tom they all started following those orders. B'Elanna ignored the nod, but she was grateful for his support.
Several hours later all modifications had been made, and exhaustion was starting to set in. Tuvok sent everyone to their quarters to get a couple of hours of sleep, but it became apparent very quickly that 'their' quarters was a relative term at this time. Tuvok suggested that B'Elanna go back to sickbay and rest there. Ever the gentleman, he offered to escort her when the silent challenge between Tom and Harry became awkward.
The bridge was a busy place when B'Elanna reached it the next morning. The communications signal was being broadcast on a wide band frequency but had yielded no results. Harry was at the science station and Tom was in the XO's seat. Both looked glad to see her but Harry looked a little like a beaten puppy. B'Elanna wanted to comfort him but not as much as she wanted Tom to put his arms around her and assure her that everything was okay. Actually, she knew exactly how Harry felt.
Suddenly there was a familiar voice coming through the static and Captain Tuvok directed that the signal be sent to his ready room. The bridge crew was surprised at his order, all except Tom who nodded in understanding and moved to the science station to make sure that Harry was having no trouble transferring the signal. B'Elanna wanted to scream but Tom's calm acceptance forced her to accept Tuvok's strange actions and devote her attention to the engineering station.
In his ready room Tuvok recognized Captain Janeway's voice and, with a little more adjusting to the frequency, was able to communicate with her face to face. "Captain, I am... pleased to see you."
"And I, you, Captain Tuvok," Janeway replied with an enigmatic smile. "I hope you're looking for me to tell me you have my chief engineer."
"Yes, Lt. Torres is here."
"Is she all right, Tuvok, and is the baby all right?" There was a definite catch in her voice.
"Yes, Captain. Lt. Torres and her baby are fine, although her husband was a little disconcerted to discover that it wasn't his child." As usual Tuvok was succinct and factual in relating the trauma that Harry suffered.
"I'm sure he was." She tried to sound light but there was certainly relief in her voice. "I assume we both have the same plan to exchange officers."
"We have identified the fissure, and Lt. Torres believes that sending the shuttles through at precisely the same time with an inverse warp field should return both officers to their appropriate timelines and seal the fissure that allowed them to be exchanged." Tuvok quickly highlighted the plan that B'Elanna had formulated.
Janeway nodded, "Yes, that's the plan that B'Elanna had developed here too." But Tuvok was entirely too neutral for Janeway. "What is it, Tuvok? You seem uncomfortable. Are you afraid that the plan won't work?" Janeway suspected what the problem really was.
"It is disconcerting to talk to you after all these years. Lt. Torres told me of your rescue and cure. I am pleased." He didn't sound all that pleased, just neutral.
Janeway leaned closer to the view screen. "Tuvok, please don't feel any regret for your actions. You had to leave us on that planet."
"Captain, I have reason to question that decision when I see you at the helm of Voyager in an alternate universe where obviously my counterpart had the courage to rescue you." His remorse resonated even in his carefully modulated Vulcan voice. "My friend, you did the right thing. Your captain and first officer are safe and... happy in their new world. I promise you." Janeway was embarrassed to admit it even to her old friend but she knew in her heart that 'New Earth' had been a place where she and Chakotay would be content to grow old together, and have no regrets.
Janeway cleared her throat and became all business again. "I suggest we synchronize our efforts and make this exchange before my pilot and your operations officer stage an all out rebellion." "I agree. Can you be ready by 0900 hours?"
"Yes, we are almost ready now."
In the shuttle bay, the Doctor gave B'Elanna an inoculation which should help her stay oriented during the transfer from one timeline to another. Harry said his good-bye first, wishing her well, but anxious to get his B'Elanna home. As Harry left Tom came over with that million dollar smile that she loved.
"Your plan is perfect, it's going to work, B'Elanna. You'll be home soon. He's a lucky guy, tell him I said so." He gave her a hug that made her heart ache for her Tom, and left the shuttle bay.
Tuvok was obviously waiting until everyone had left to say his farewells. "Lieutenant, I wish you well on your journey. Your plan is sound." He hesitated for a moment.
"Tuvok, there's something else isn't there?" B'Elanna asked.
"Yes. There is a question I would like to ask. Your captain assures me that my Captain Janeway and Commander Chakotay are content to be on the planet where we abandoned them, but I am troubled over my inability to rescue them and find a cure for their disease."
B'Elanna thought for a moment before she carefully formed her answer. "Tuvok, when we rescued the captain and Chakotay from that planet we, the crew, were ecstatic. But there was something different about the two of them. There was a sadness behind their gratitude. They seemed happy to be back on the ship, to be safe, but something was gone from their relationship, some promise that they were never going to be able to keep. I can't explain it, but something was different." B'Elanna shook her head, she didn't usually give that much thought to relationships but this was something that had bothered her for some time. "I think Captain Janeway is right; they were happy there and would have been content to stay."
"Thank you, Lieutenant, Now you must leave if you are to make your rendezvous and return to your universe. I wish you well." B'Elanna nodded and thanked him for his help. She started to enter the shuttle but turned back to him to add with a smile, "Live long and prosper." Tuvok gave her a brief nod as he too left the shuttle bay.
As the shuttle lifted off and moved out of the shuttle bay B'Elanna felt the tension knotting her neck, and her stomachs becoming queasy. Pregnancy was wreaking havoc even on her Klingon physiology, and her desire to get back to her universe - to Tom - was making her anxious and uncertain. She watched the chronometer on the conn as the shuttle headed for the fissure. At the precise moment necessary, she activated the inverse warp field and proceeded into the fissure. For a moment she was aware of another ship coming through from the other side. The loud piercing noise began again and B'Elanna recited to herself over and over, "I will not pass out, I will not pass out, I will not..." and then the blackness overtook her.
She was slowly climbing out of the darkness when she heard her name being called by a very familiar voice. She opened her eyes to the piercing light of sickbay to see Tom hovering over her anxiously. Her arms reached out to embrace him and make sure he was real. His arms answered hers and she knew she was home.
Suddenly she pushed away from Tom to ask anxiously, "The baby?"
"She's fine, she's fine and so are you." Tom answered her as he gently cupped her face and kissed her before returning her to his embrace.
Captain Janeway had been watching quietly from the door of sickbay. As soon as she was assured of the safety of her chief Engineer and the peace of mind of her chief pilot she turned to go, touching her Executive Officer on the arm. Chakotay understood her signal immediately and followed her out of sickbay.
Two days later, Tom and B'Elanna had just finished breakfast when they saw Harry sitting alone in the mess hall. B'Elanna sent Tom to the bridge with a very public kiss and a reassuring smile, and went to sit with Harry.
"Hey, Starfleet. How are you?" she began.
"Hi, B'Elanna, are you doing okay?" Harry looked a little uncomfortable but he continued, "back on duty yet or still lazing around?"
"Back on duty, light duty." B'Elanna laughed lightly then sobered. "I wanted to talk to you for a minute. This has got to be a little awkward for you but Tom said you were wonderful while I was gone and the other B'Elanna was here."
Harry answered "It was really weird. I gotta tell you. Who would ever have thought..." his voice trailed off.
"Yeah, it seems a strange combination doesn't it?"
"Oh, I don't know about that." Harry began a little defensively, "We were always friends but I guess I knew that you and Tom were meant for each other from almost the beginning. That, and I was planning on getting home to Libby. I'm glad they - I guess we - got it worked out in their timeline though. This is confusing." Harry shook his head.
"Well, you're a wonderful guy in both universes." B'Elanna assured him.
Harry smiled shyly "Thanks, I'm glad you're back with Tom. He was lost without you. I never want to watch my best friend in that kind of pain again."
"I'm glad I'm back too, and I hope the other B'Elanna is back where she belongs. I'm headed for the bridge, are you coming?" B'Elanna stood up to leave.
"No, I had gamma shift so I just got off duty. Why are you headed to the bridge instead of Engineering?" Harry asked.
"Someone has to run a diagnostic on the bridge engineering station and Tom is still a little paranoid about letting me out of his sight. I thought it might be easier on him if I took the bridge station today." B'Elanna was blushing as she finished. Her Klingon side did not care for the sentimentality she was guilty of. Harry laughed and took her arm to walk her to the lift.
On her way to the bridge she felt a strange sensation and wondered if it was a prelude to the dizziness and nausea she had felt on the shuttle. But then the sensation came again, more like butterflies in her stomachs. It took a few seconds before she realized she was feeling the baby move. As she placed her hands on her abdomen B'Elanna thought about her daughter and how happy she was to be home, here, with Tom. When she reached the bridge that same Tom was rewarded with the warm smile that he had grown to love so much over the last seven years.