Disclaimer - Paramount and Viacom own the characters from Voyager, although they didn’t often treat them right. The story line belongs to me. 

A special thanks to: My friend and editor of all my stories, Mill3rs.


Chapter 16


The Doctor sat at his desk and began dictating his status report on Ensign Paris. He was detailing Tom’s injuries and the treatments he had performed, when he heard the outer doors open. Looking up, he saw Captain Janeway enter sickbay and walk to Tom’s side. He got up and joined her in the surgical bay.

"Doctor, I know your initial report sounded favorable but I wanted to see for myself how Mr. Paris is doing." She looked down at the pilot with a pensive expression on her face. "I should have been more aware of what was happening on my ship. I should have never sent Tom out with Darwin and Morrow." Her voice was hoarse with emotion.

The Doctor placed a hand on her arm and looked at her with genuine concern on his face. "Captain, Mr. Paris did an excellent job of hiding his attacks. I was not even aware of them. Perhaps we were all fooled by his ability to push people away when he has a problem. I have observed that Mr. Paris does not feel comfortable talking about what bothers him. He seems to feel that he should be able to handle everything himself."

"I’m sure that comes from his childhood. His father was very strict and demanding of Tom from a very early age." The Captain cleared her throat as she reached out and touched Tom’s shoulder. ‘Tom looks so young and vulnerable. I have to let him know that he needs to let people get close to him when he’s having difficulties.’ She turned towards the exit doors and spoke quietly to the Doctor. "Please let me know when Mr. Paris awakens. I need to talk to him about the events on the planet’s surface."

"Of course, Captain." he answered in an equally quiet voice. "And, Captain, he’s going to be alright." He watched her exit sickbay without a backward glance. ‘The mantle of command is indeed a heavy one.’ he thought as he walked back into his office.


Captain Janeway paced in front of the window in her ready room. She had asked Chakotay and Tuvok to join her there. She had just finished reading the Doctor’s report on Tom’s injuries. The blast from the communications console’s explosion had resulted in electrical burns to Tom’s face and hands. He had suffered chemical burns to his larynx and corneas. His right forearm had been fractured again. The Doctor had healed the burns to his skin and regenerated the broken bones in his right arm. He had needed surgery to repair the damage to his corneas and was undergoing treatment for the burns in his throat. He was expected to make a full recovery and be able to return to duty in three days. Her pacing was interrupted by the chime at the corridor doors. "Enter." she ordered.

Chakotay and Tuvok entered the ready room and stood in front of the Captain’s desk. She motioned to them to sit down and turned the communications screen towards them so they could read the Doctor’s report.

"It would appear, Captain, that Ensign Paris is going to make a full recovery from the injuries he suffered on the planet." Tuvok stated in his usual calm voice.

"The Doctor assures me that Mr. Paris will be fit to return to his post in three days. I understand that Crewman Morrow is fully recovered from his injuries as well." Janeway said.

"Yes, Captain, the phaser burns and injuries from the shuttle crash have been healed. Morrow is currently in the brig awaiting charges of assault with a deadly weapon on a superior officer." Tuvok answered.

Chakotay shifted uncomfortably in his seat. Morrow had been on the Liberty ship under his command and had not gotten into trouble before with any of the Maquis or Starfleet crew. "Captain, what do you intend to do with Morrow?" he asked.

The Captain leaned forward in her chair and clasped her hands under her chin as she gazed at Chakotay. "If we were in the Alpha Quadrant, Commander, he would face a Court Martial and no doubt be sentenced to a long prison term. What would you have done on the Liberty?" she asked.

"He would have been thrown in the brig until we could assign him to another cell within the Maquis." Chakotay answered evenly returning her gaze.

"Crewman Morrow was attempting to shield Ensign Paris from the Romulan’s weapon, Captain. My initial interview with him indicates that he was aiding Crewman Darwin in the assaults and did not actually inflict any of the injuries." Tuvok stated.

"Regardless of his behavior on the planet and his intimidation by Frank Darwin, he did participate in several assaults on a superior officer that resulted in serious injuries. If Commander Chakotay had not come across Mr. Paris outside of his quarters after the last attack he might have died from his injuries." Captain Janeway’s voice rose as the anger and frustration increased, since she was unable to prevent one of her crew from being injured. She knew that most of the anger was due to her own sense of guilt, for not protecting Tom as well as her anger towards him, for not reporting the attacks.

"I believe that the next step in this incident would be to question Mr. Paris about what happened on shuttle and on the planet’s surface." Tuvok stated in his composed manner.

"I’ve asked the Doctor to notify me when Tom awakens. We’ll be able to question him then. Until we hear from the Doctor you two are dismissed." she said.


B’Elanna entered sickbay quietly and stood looking at the figure on biobed one. The lights were low over the surgical bay and the room was quiet. Tom was curled on his left side, his face was pale even in the lowered lighting. The Doctor was adjusting a clear mask over Tom’s nose and mouth. The Doctor looked up and gave B’Elanna a small smile as he walked towards her.

"How is he, Doctor?" B’Elanna asked quietly, not taking her eyes off of Tom.

"He’ll be fine, Lieutenant. I’ve regenerated the fractures to his right arm and the burns on his hands and face. He needed surgical repairs to his corneas but due to my excellent care he’ll have no problems returning to the helm." The Doctor answered with a rather smug look on his face.

B’Elanna ignored the boasting as she gazed at Tom. She did not realize the depths of her feelings for the pilot until they had thought him dead. "What about his throat?" she asked as she remembered the warmth in Tom’s voice whenever he talked to her.

"His larynx will be just fine. I’m giving him a nebulizer treatment right now that will ease his breathing. His voice will be a little rough for a few days and he might have some difficulty swallowing but he should be fine within 72 hours." The Doctor answered with a more gentle tone of voice as he noticed B’Elanna’s concern for the young pilot evident on her face.

"Lieutenant Carey to Lieutenant Torres. You’re needed in Engineering, Chief. We’re ready to get the warp drive back on-line." Joe Carey’s voice came over the communications system.

B’Elanna gave Tom another wistful look and turned towards the exit doors. "Take care of him, OK?" She glanced at the Doctor and headed into the corridor.

He smiled as the doors slid shut and walked back to the biobed. He glanced at the readings and satisfied with the results, went to his office.


Harry had joined the engineering staff as they began bringing the warp drive on-line. He manned one of the operations consoles in engineering and monitored the plasma levels. Once the warp drive was up and functioning, he moved to B’Elanna’s side. "You were in sickbay. How’s Tom doing?"

B’Elanna turned away from the main console and looked into Harry’s dark eyes. She could see the concern for his friend clearly on his face. For all their battles and dealings with aliens, Harry was still so very young. "The Doctor said that he’d be fine in a few days, Harry. He’ll have a sore throat but will be able to return to duty in 72 hours." B’Elanna answered in a quiet voice. She felt a chill go up her spine as she realized how seriously Tom had been hurt and what that meant to her. ‘Why is he getting to me? He’s just a friend like Harry. No..not quite like Harry.’ "What do you say Starfleet, how about some dinner?" B’Elanna smiled and grabbed Harry’s arm pulling him out of engineering.


The doors to sickbay slid open and the Doctor looked up from the console in his office. He saw Commander Chakotay enter and walk over to the surgical bay. He stood quietly looking at the monitors over the biobed. Shaking his head slowly he turned back to the doors. The Doctor started to stand but, sensing that the Commander wished to be alone with his thoughts, he resumed studying his console. The doors slid shut as Chakotay exited sickbay.


Captain Janeway savored her first sip of hot coffee in the morning as she cradled the mug in her hands. The warm liquid did not take away the chill she felt over the events of the past two months: her ship had been tailed by both the Kazon and Romulan ships, they had been attacked repeatedly with damage to many of the ships systems, they had lost valuable time on their journey to the Alpha Quadrant, and Tom Paris had been assaulted numerous times by two members of her crew. The warp drive was now back on-line and repairs had been made to the ships systems. She knew the crew was ready to resume their heading for home.

Janeway’s thoughts were interrupted by the Doctor’s voice. "Sickbay to the Captain. Mr. Paris is starting to awaken."

"Thank you, Doctor. I’m on my way." She put the mug of coffee down on her desk and walked onto the bridge. "Lieutenant , you’re with me." She motioned Tuvok to follow her into the turbolift. "Sickbay." she ordered the computer.


The Captain and Tuvok entered sickbay. The lights over the biobed were lowered and the Doctor was talking quietly to Tom. The back of the biobed was raised so Tom was able to sit up. The two officers walked towards the surgical bay. They could not hear Tom’s voice but his face had more color than the night before. The Doctor looked up as they approached and turned back to Tom. "You have company, Mr. Paris." 

The Captain put her hand on Tom’s shoulder. "How are you feeling, Tom?" she asked.

He turned and looked up at her with clear blue eyes. Giving her a small grin he answered. "I’m much better this morning, Captain." His voice was low and rough and he winced slightly as he spoke.

"We would like to ask you a few questions, Ensign." Tuvok said.

The Doctor glanced at the monitor over the biobed and turned to Tuvok. "Lieutenant, please keep your questions to a minimum. Mr. Paris is not ready for lengthy conversations.

"Captain, I..I’m sorry about Frank Darwin. I tried to get him to stand down and put his phaser away when the Romulans boarded the shuttle." Tom looked at Janeway with guilt and regret in his eyes.

"Ensign, you were not responsible for Crewman Darwin’s death. Crewman Morrow informed us about the events on the planet’s surface." Tuvok stated.

"Captain, Morrow is still very young and he was intimidated by Darwin. He didn’t act on his own will." Tom swallowed hard and pain was evident in his face. "He helped me in the caves. Go easy on him."

"Captain, Lieutenant, you need to continue this at a later time." the Doctor moved to Tom’s side. He picked up the plastic mask that was attached to the biobed by a clear tube and placed it over Tom’s mouth and nose. "This nebulizer will ease the pain in your throat, Mr. Paris."

The Captain gave Tom a concerned look as the hiss of the treatment began. Tom’s face relaxed as the medicine reached his throat. "We’ll come back later today, Tom. Get some rest."

Tom nodded at the Captain as he sank back into the cushion on the biobed and closed his eyes. Janeway and Tuvok turned and exited sickbay. They walked down the corridor and entered the turbolift. "The brig." Janeway ordered as the doors slid shut.