Title: Past Resurfacing (14/?)
Pairing: VOY (P/T)
Rating: R, for language
Archive: ATPS, Paris Nights, TPD. Anywhere else, please ask first.
Spoiler Warning: Thirty Days
Disclaimer: Paramount owns all rights to Star Trek Voyager, its characters, and the Voyager episodes referred to in this story. The story idea is mine, but I am doing this just for fun, no money to be made.
Tom stretched, pushing one arm across his chest as he tried to work the kinks out of his back. He did the same then with the other arm, noting that his back felt marginally better. With a sigh, he sat down on the couch in his quarters.
Hed been waiting for BElanna for over an hour now. The Captain had told them both to get some rest, but BElanna had told him to go ahead without her. Shed be along in a few minutes, after she ran a few more checks. He should have known better. If she didnt get here soon, hed have to go looking for her--otherwise shed most likely spend the night in engineering. He couldnt blame her; the whole thing was incredibly frustrating.
The two of them had worked for hours on the impulse drive. At first, he had monitored things from the bridge, letting her know if anything she did affected the panels on the conn in any way. Finally, they realized that wasnt working, and he had joined her in engineering, but still each idea they had failed. As far as he could tell, they had tried everything short of taking the engines completely apart. Everything checked out fine, yet the engines didnt work. One more thing to add to his conviction that something was keeping them here.
Tom was just about to get up and go find BElanna when the doors opened and she walked in.
Hey, she said.
Any luck? he asked, knowing the answer already by her glum expression.
None, she replied tilting her neck to one side and then the other.
Come here. Tom moved over on the couch and tapped the cushion beside him. Let me see if I can work out some of those kinks.
She gladly took up his offer, breathing a sigh as those long fingers worked out the knots that seemed to have formed across the top of her back. The silence and his touch felt good, and she felt herself relax for the first time in hours.
When he could feel that her muscles were much looser, Tom removed his hands, asking, Better?
Much. Thanks, BElanna said leaning back against him. Tom slid his arms around her, pulling her against his chest. He pulled them both farther into the couch, and then rested his chin against her head. They stayed like that for a while, neither moving nor saying a word. Simply enjoying the quiet and the closeness of the other.
When she had stepped through the door, BElannas brain had felt like mush. She had given up on it for the night, but her mind recovered fast. After a few minutes of lying quietly, she started thinking back to the briefing earlier. Toms reactions had seemed a bit odd, and she had also noticed that he and Chakotay had exchanged a few looks. It was almost as if Tom had been expecting Chakotay to contradict him in some way. BElanna wondered what else had happened on that planet.
She eased out of Toms embrace and turned so that she was facing him. He reached over and ran a finger down the side of her cheek, smiling softly. As his finger left her face, she caught his hand. With it wrapped in hers, she asked, Are you all right?
He gave her a curious look. Of course. Tired, but otherwise fine. Why?
You seemed a little tense earlier in the briefing room. Did something happen on the planet between you and Chakotay?
He gently pulled his hand out of her grasp and put a little distance between them. Nothing much. Just Chakotay being a little annoying, thats all.
Why was he annoying?
Because he likes to be, Tom quipped back. He sighed at the glare that got. We didnt agree about what was going on down there. Chakotay and I discussed it, and its over.
When you were talking about those aliens who had died, I noticed you seemed disturbed, BElanna said, not giving up.
So much for no one noticing my lapse earlier, Tom thought. Death usually bothers everyone.
Yes, but it seemed to affect you more than Harry or Chakotay, BElanna said stubbornly.
Thats because they didnt smell anything. Toms voice rose slightly. He took a deep breath, calming down. Why couldnt they just go back to lying together quietly? It had been so nice. He was tired of being interrogated. He moved closer, and lifted her arm, placing a soft kiss on the inside. His eyes caught hers, and he said, Im tired of talking about that planet. Why dont we discuss something else? He leaned in closer and slowly kissed her. He moved back smiling. This was much better.
BElannas eyes narrowed as she saw his efforts as one more ploy to avoid talking to her. Why wouldnt he open up to her? Didnt he trust her? She was sick of this fencing match they seemed to be playing. He was going to talk to her right now.
She crossed her arms against her chest and said, Id rather discuss this.
The smile left his face. Fine, he said through gritted teeth.
Youre the one who said you wanted to discuss things, he said acidly.
Tom! What the hell is going on with you? I dont understand it. What bothered you on that planet? Did it have something to do with your nightmares?
Im not having nightmares, Tom said glaring at her.
Not anymore, but the ones you did have, you still havent gotten around to discussing with me. Its always another time. Well how about now?
That was the final straw. He was sick of being treated as if he needed to be taken care of. He had a few dreams, and the whole damn crew, including his girlfriend, seemed to think he was on the verge of a mental breakdown. He stood up, anger coursing through him.
How about never. Theres nothing to fucking discuss. They were dreams, bits of leftover images blurred together. They're not bothering me, so why the hell are you so fixated on them. Let it go, he yelled storming across the room, his back to her.
BElanna stared at him silently, a chill crossing her heart, as exhaustion muddled her mind. She was tired of dealing with all this. Tired of dealing with mysteries that refused to be solved. If he didnt want to let her in, fine. She wasnt pushing anymore.
She stood up and headed toward the door, stopping just before she reached it to say quietly, Ill let it go. Tom, Id prefer if we spent some time separately. I have things to think over. She turned back to the door, as he spun around, her quiet, cold tone breaking through his anger.
BElanna wait, Tom said moving toward her. Damn, he hadnt meant to lose his temper like that. It was just that he was so sick of feeling like he had to prove to everyone that he was fine. Sometimes he felt like in addition to his thirty-day brig sentence, he had also gotten a probationary period of eternity with everyone watching him closely.
She stopped but didnt turn around. He put a hand on her shoulder, and BElanna stepped away, but she did turn to face him. Im sorry. I didnt mean to lose my temper like that. Its been a long day. You know that.
She nodded. I still mean what I said. I think with both need time to think--alone.
You dont mean that. Come sit back down, please, Tom entreated.
No. There are certain things missing from our relationship Tom that really bother me, and I need to sort that out. Good night, she said.
Wait, what things?
Trust for starters.
BElanna, this is ridiculous. You know I trust you, Tom said, thinking that she surely couldnt mean what she was saying.
No, I dont. I mean this Tom. I want some space. Please respect that.
He started to panic as he realized she was extremely serious. The lack of anger coming from her was really concerning him. This wasnt a rash action. Dear God, had she been thinking about this for a while.
When you say space, do you mean you want to be alone, just for tonight? he asked, hoping that was exactly what she meant.
No, I mean for as long as it takes for us to both to decide if this relationship is really whats best for us.
I can make that decision right now. It is, Tom said.
Ill let you know what I think. Give me space, she said and walked out the door.
BElanna, Tom said, the last part of her name drifting off as the door slid close.
He closed his eyes, trying to restrain the urge to run after her. It wouldnt help, not unless he could tell her what she wanted to hear. Could he do that? He had to. He was not going to lose BElanna. No, he couldnt let that happen.
He walked back over to the couch and sat down, putting his head in his hands. She thought he didnt trust her. He guessed he couldnt blame her for thinking that. She was right; he had kept pushing aside her questions, but not because he couldnt trust her. He just couldnt bring himself to tell her. Why?
Of course what happened was classified, but what did that matter anymore? In the last communication they had from Starfleet, he had learned that the Federation was at war with the Cardassians. So there was no longer any reason for what had happened to remain a secret. Even if it was still considered classified, he was in the Delta Quadrant, what would it matter if he talked about those events.
But it had never been about violating classified files, at least not for years. He had just never spoken about it. Even thinking about her made it seem like it was happening all over again. Better to leave it all in the past.
No, not if it means losing BElanna, he thought.
He could do this. He would go to BElanna and tell her about Cal. His throat closed, and he couldnt complete the thought. How the hell was he supposed to talk about something, he couldnt even bring himself to think about? Damn it. Hed compromise. Hed tell her that he lost someone he cared about, that it involved a classified situation and that he hadnt ever spoken about it, and he didnt know if he could. It was a start, and maybe just by telling her that much, hed be able to start telling her the rest. Tom knew that eventually he needed to tell her all of it, or hed lose her. That was not going to happen. He wasn't going to let BElanna slip out of his grasp. Hed get
himself calmed down, and then he would go to see her and they would talk. He would try to answer things as best he could, and even if it killed him, hed at least try to give an explanation for the things he couldnt bring himself to answer.
Tom leaned back against the couch with his eyes closed, taking deep breaths as he tried to prepare himself to discuss a part of his past that refused to let go of him no matter how far he buried it.