Title:  Past Resurfacing (17/?)
Author:  CatHeights
Pairing: VOY (P/T, P/f)
Rating:  R 

Feedback: CatHeights@yahoo.com
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. 

Note:  five stars (*****) denotes the beginning of action that has taken place in the past, four stars (****) indicates the end of a segment that has occurred in the past.

Part 17

BíElanna watched as the image of the woman shimmered into existence and then turned to look at Tom.  His expression seemed confused at first, but she could tell that after a moment, he seemed to recognize the scene. BíElanna watched as his face twisted in anguish.  His reaction surprised and concerned her.  Tom was a master at not letting his emotions show, and yet right now she could clearly see how this disturbed him.   Was it the woman or the place that evoked such emotion?   It seemed to her that with the first picture it presented, the alien already showed that it knew how to get past Tomís defenses.  Or, she thought, maybe Tomís decided it doesnít matter; everyone is going to see what happened anyway.

It bothered her that she had no idea how he would handle the situation.  She was his lover, shouldnít she know how he would deal with confronting his past.  How, she thought wryly.  It was ironic really, the thing that had made her start to soften toward Tom was his willingness to talk with her about things that she knew couldnít be easy for him to discuss.  His talking about his father and how he felt he could never live up to the manís expectations made it easier for her to open up about her mother.  He shared with her how isolated he felt after Caldik Prime, and she with him the loneliness of her childhood.  He opened himself up to her, giving her the power to hurt him, and that trust in her had broken through her defenses.

Yet while Tom would talk to her about how he felt at certain times, he never spoke about incidents.  It was always generalizations.  He had never told her what had happened at Caldik Prime and never spoken about prison.  In some ways, she thought her and Tom were very much alike.  They depended only on themselves, as experience had taught them that others couldnít always be counted on.  This self-sufficiency meant that they could appreciate when the other needed time alone.  They didnít crowd each other, but it also meant that they didnít readily go to each other for help. Sometimes it seemed to her that they were always trying to get through to the other.  Saying Iím here, you donít have to go through this alone, and receiving a wary response.  They were hopeful and wanting to believe, but leery lest life pulled something precious from them again.  Yes, they had that fear in common.

Still, the longer she was with Tom, the more she recognized just how different they were.  There were the little things like their interests.  At first, she couldnít even begin to fathom his fascination with the 20th century.   It seemed like such a waste of time.  She was glad Harry was willing to indulge Tom in his need to create bits from the past.  Lately though, she had been finding herself more interested.  Truly listening to Tom as he talked, she found that not only was some of it interesting, but she enjoyed seeing Tom so animated.  She did find it odd that a man who loved history so much avoided discussing his own past.  Well, Tom was anything but simple, which was probably a good thing as simple would never hold her interest.

The bigger issue though was how they handled things.  She hated discussing her emotions. She felt and acted upon those feelings; why bother talking about emotions.  She was used to feeling strongly, when she didnít, she felt at a loss.   Tom, on the other hand, came across as more calm and easy-going.  He was able to express what he was feeling much more easily than she was.  He could put his emotions into words while she sometimes had to struggle with that.  Yet, while he seemed more open, he really wasnít.  He chose carefully what he revealed.  The alien was right.  Tom kept things to himself until he blew.  Pushed it aside, until finally it had to release.  His temper was as fury as her own, it just had a longer fuse.

Gazing at Tom, she saw that he had resumed his indifferent expression.  What was he thinking?   She wanted him to let her in; explain to her why he reacted the way he did.  What had he gone through that would make him have such violent nightmares in the brig that he woke up in sickbay not knowing her?  She realized that she might actually find out, but this wasnít the way she wanted to learn about Tomís past. She wanted to hear it from him. Be there for him when he told her.  She knew the pain most likely would never go away, but she had thought if he told her, she could help him deal with it.  Instead, she was going to be forced to sit here and watch him be hurt by it again.

Anger raced through her, and she clenched her hands, forcing herself to breathe evenly.  She felt the creatureís yellow eyes focus on her, and knew it had sensed the force of her emotion.  She ignored it, telling herself she needed to stay calm. For all she knew, it somehow could use her feelings against Tom.  The worse thing she could do now was to distract Tom.  All she could do was watch and keep her eyes open for any possible way of ridding themselves of this alien.

She turned back to looking at the scene and saw a familiar, although younger, figure walk toward the woman.  Both figures were in uniform.  Cadets, BíElanna thought.  Tomís at the academy at this point.  Still feeling the alienís gaze on her, she kept her face blank as she watched.

Caught up in the scene unfolding before him, Tom didnít notice BíElannaís scrutiny.  For the first time in years, he felt himself remembering that day by the docks.   Hoping to flee the pain of being dumped by Susie Crabtree, he had made a request, which was granted, to complete his coursework in France.  Out of her presence and away from friendsí constant inquiries of whether he was all right, he quickly discovered that he was more upset over having been dumped than over losing Susie.  It was his pride that was injured not his heart.

What would his father have thought if he had seen his friends giving him pitying looks?  Tom Paris didnít need anyoneís pity.  Here in Marseilles, there were no distractions.  He could concentrate on his studies.  To think that he had almost slipped over a girl; a Paris didnít make mistakes like that.  He decided at this point in his life, he shouldnít get tied down. Better to focus on staying at the top of his class.  If his father ever stopped by to see him, which happened less and less, he could at least answer yes that he had attended to his studies and was doing not just well--but exceptionally.

He remembered just how much he had loved Marseilles.  How at home he felt there.  She was an unusual Earth city, as parts of her had actually been neglected and only recently were being rebuilt. Tom had enjoyed strolling in areas that to him had seemed to hold a touch of danger.  They werenít pristine, kind of like life.

As he looked at her hair being tossed by the wind, Tom felt as if he could smell the ocean air and feel the dampness of the day.   Drawn into his memories, he momentarily forgot Voyager and his friends, as he relivedÖ.

*****

The past few days had been unseasonably cool, brisk even.  Tom didnít mind though, he liked the way the wind chilled his cheeks and sprayed him with a light mist from the ocean.  It was nice to be outside.  He had been feeling a little bored lately.  At first it had felt good to get away from his friends and their well-meaning intentions over his break-up with Susie, but now he kind of missed them.  Well actually he missed the social life.  He needed to find something exciting to occupy him.   Flying was great, but you could only get so much shuttle time, and while studying was necessary, he could only put up with so much of it.

As he walked along the harbor, he noticed a cadet gazing out at the water.  He was surprised; he had never seen anyone from the academy down this way.  Curious, he wandered over to her.  Coming to stand beside her, he said, "I thought I was the only one from Starfleet who hung out down here."

Without turning to look at him, she said,  "Well you were wrong."

Amused by her dismissive tone, Tom smiled.  From the angle that he was standing at, he could only make out a little of her profile, but what he saw was pleasing. She seemed quite attractive, and he was in the mood for a challenge.  Chuckling, he again tried to engage her in conversation.  "I can see that. I was just wondering why someone else finds it interesting down here."

"Because, usually it's a nice quiet place where one can enjoy being alone," she said in a clipped voice.

Tom turned so that his back was resting against the wall that stood between them and the water below.  "It is very peaceful here."  He grinned as he heard the annoyed intake of her breath.

"That was a hint for you to leave me alone," she said.

"Oh, I know.  I just chose to ignore it."  He turned slightly to gaze at her, as he drawled off that gem.  Still smiling, he watched as she tightened her jaw muscles and clenched the hand that was in his view.  Oh yes, she was very annoyed with him.  He didn't know why that pleased him.  It wasn't that he wanted her to be angry with him. Why would he?  He didn't even really know her.  For some reason, though, he didn't want to just be dismissed from her thoughts.  He was determined that she would pay attention to him. It must be the boredom, he thought.

"Listen.  I'm not in the mood to be picked up by some guy who thinks he's a gift to female kind," she spun around to face him.  "So I suggest you leave."  The intensity of the last word drifted as she met his eyes.  For a moment they were both silent.

The smile slipped off of Tom's face as he stared at her.   Looking at her profile, he had thought she was simply attractive.  He was wrong.  She was more than that; she was beautiful.  The wind blew her hair across her face, and he wanted to reach out and push the auburn strands away from that creamy skin.  Her complexion was flawless and so pale that in contrast to it, her green eyes seem to sparkle like a rare gem.  He had never seen eyes of that bright a green color.  They reminded him of spring--full of energy.  As she stood straight and still before him, he realized that she was only a few inches shorter than he.

He wanted to say something to break the silence, but none of the words that came to mind seemed adequate.  A few times in his life, he had felt as if the world had suddenly slowed down, and that life was presenting to him something or someone that would play a large role in his life.  He had felt this way the first time he had sat in the pilot seat of a shuttle.  It had been a moment of complete clarity.   He had known then that he was meant to fly and that not only would he be good at it, but he would be exceptional.  Staring into the eyes of the woman before him, Tom knew that somehow she was going to change his life.  Or he was going to change hers.  He didnít believe in love at first sight, but he did believe in instinct, and his was telling him that there was something different about her.  Tom didnít think he had ever been so strongly attracted to someone so quickly.  He could tell by the expression on her face that she felt the attraction too.

She recovered first, taking a step back, and then turning to look out at the ocean.  Her voice neutral and holding none of its previous annoyance, she said, "Are you always this annoying?"  She drew the last word out, indicating that she was looking for his name.

"No.  Once you get to know me, Iím quite likeable," he said with a smile.  "And itís Tom. Tom Paris."

She spun to look at him, surprise showing on her face. Then she returned to gazing at the water, chuckling softly.  Tom tensed; he didnít like the tone of her laughter.  "I didnít think I said something funny."

"You didnít," she responded, turning so that she was leaning back against the wall.  She gave him a long appraising glance.  "Tom Paris, huh, son of Owen Paris?"

"Yes," Tom said, his shoulders stiffening at the mention of his father.

"I should have guessed it was you.  Only a son of one of Starfleetís elite would have a right to such arrogance.  After all youíre a Paris."

Tom scowled at her.  "Iím sorry. Do you have a problem with my family or just the sons of Admirals in general? You seem to know a lot about me, considering we just met.  How about at least giving me your name before we continue discussing my *rights* as a Paris."

She smiled tauntingly at him.  "Oh of course.  How silly of me, I forgot I hadnít mentioned my name.  Itís Callista."  She paused and then added, "Allette."

It was Tomís turn to look surprised.  "Any relation to the Allettes whom most would consider another family of the Starfleet *elite*?" he asked in a voice heavy with sarcasm.

Callista smirked.  "Yes."

"Ah, then that explains your arrogance.  After all you have as much a right to it as I do."

She chuckled and said, "Youíre right, I do."

Tom looked at her coldly, but he was confused.  While he wasnít friendly with anyone in the Allette family, he had attended plenty of functions with members of the family, and he didnít recall seeing her.  Yet, she did seem familiar.

"You donít remember me.  Do you Tom?" she asked, amused.

"No, Iím afraid I donít," he said cautiously.

"My father was Paul Allette. Ring any bells?"

It did.  An image of a brazen, little girl pushing him, fully clothed, into a pool came to mind.  "Cali," he said, shocked.

"Callista, please. Although I guess I should be thankful that at least youíre not saying that awful nickname in a sing-song sneer."

 Tom shook his head in amazement.  He hadnít seen her since he was what, seven, eight?  Their fathers had been close friends, so they had ended up spending a lot of time together, and for the most part they hated every moment of it.  As a child, he found her to be the most annoying girl.  She made him wonder why anyone would even like girls. They fought constantly and were forever coming up with ways to torture each other.  On several occasions, their arguments had turned into fistfights, which led to lectures from their parents on the proper behavior of future Starfleet officers.  The lectures were ignored shortly after they were given.  Neither child willing to back down.

Then, one day her father resigned his commission and moved to Acutan.  He vaguely remembered that at the time there was a huge uproar over Paul Alletteís resignation.  Acutan had submitted a petition for admission to the Federation, and it had been denied.  Caliís mother was Acutanian.  She had Federation citizenship through their marriage, but the family had chosen not to stay on Earth. Tom didnít know why.  He remembered hearing loud arguments between his father and Paul Allette.  After they left, his father never mentioned his friend again.

Tom looked at Callista, and a smile broke out on his face.  "I canít believe itís you.  I should have guessed from your annoying behavior, but youíve grown up. Quiet nicely, I would say."  Maybe that earlier feeling he had had when he looked at her was because a part of him recognized that he knew her.   Well it definitely wasnít the feeling of love at first sight, he thought humorously.

"A compliment from Tom Paris.  Iím in awe.  I have to return it though. You grew up quiet nicely yourself.  Not bad at all," she said with a smirk as her eyes traveled down his body.

Laughing, he said, "Glad you approve.  I canít believe youíre in the academy, and I havenít run into you before now.  Is your whole family back?"

Her smile faded.  "My father died two years ago, just four years after my mother."

"Iím sorry," he said awkwardly.  He tried to picture her parents, but came up with only vague images.  He remembered her father as being very tall, but when he was eight, he had also thought his own father was very tall.  He was the taller one now.  He remembered her mother with a little more detail.  A small woman, with brown hair, and whose pale skin had the striped, black markings of an Acutanian down the side of her neck, and the black patterned rings around her wrists.

He looked at Callistaís neck, unlike her mother, her neck was clear of all markings.  The only indication that she shared her motherís Acutanian genes, were the faint black patterns around her wrists.  Tom thought they looked like tattoos and made her arms appear more elegant.   Iím thinking that Cali Allette is elegant, Tom thought in amazement.

"Iíve heard your father has done well for himself.  No surprise there.   How is your mother dealing with his success?  Does he ever make it home?"

Tom sighed.  "Mom died five years ago.  I guess weíve both had a lot of changes in our lives since we last met."

"Iím sorry.  She was a good woman, and you know she told me someday I might actually like you."

He laughed.  "That sounds like Mom. Well, was she right?"

"Maybe. I do have to admit that when you first came up to me, I did have the urge to toss you in the ocean.  If I had given in, it would have been almost a repeat of my tossing you into the pool."

Tom mock glared at her. "I never got you back for that."

She smirked. "I know."

"Ignoring paybacks.  What do you think about me now?"

"Iím very impressed. You can actually hold a conversation. I never would have expected to be able to converse with you without it leading to a tussle on the ground.  Seriously, though, it is nice to run into you.  Although, we should have known weíd see each other again. After all we both have legacies to live up to."

"What do you mean?" Tom asked as he leaned his arms against the wall and glanced sideways at her.

"There was no doubt that either of us would be at the academy. We have to not only equal, but surpass our fathersí successes.  Starfleet's best and brightest. Thatís us."

He stood up to face her.  "Was that supposed to be a joke?" Tom asked, feeling uncomfortable.  He had always felt that to uphold the Paris tradition of excellence, he had to surpass his father, but he had never dared voice that feeling.  Besides, if he had trouble meeting his fatherís expectations, how could he embark on career that would be even more glorious?  Most of the time he wasnít even sure he wanted to.

"It wasnít a joke.  Itís the truth.  Itís expected that we will be at least as good as if not better than those in our families who came before us.  I wasnít joking when I said we had a right to be arrogant. We do, but thereís a price on that arrogance.  It demands success."

"Are you saying that we are somehow better because of the successes of the people we are related to?"  He wasnít sure he liked the direction of this conversation.  He had always felt he had to be careful not to do something to embarrass his familyís name, but did he think he was better than anyone else was because he was a Paris?  No.  He felt like he had more demands placed on him.  However, what Callista was saying sounded like something his father might say.  It made him uneasy.

"Not better.  Just raised to be more driven.  Thereís more at stake. Itís not just our own reputation on the line."   She lowered her voice and asked, "What do you want out of Starfleet?"

"I want to fly," Tom said firmly.  "Iím the best pilot there is.  I want to fly the best ships and some day, I want to pilot the ship that breaks the warp 10 barrier."

"Then you will," Callista said.

"And you?"

"Well, after an illustrious career, youíll find me in Starfleet Command," she stood with her hands on her hips, her head held high.  For a moment, an image flashed before Tomís eyes of her as a young girl, dirt smudged on her face, standing before an extremely tall tree and defiantly telling him that sheíd climb to the top of it.  It took her three hours to do it, but she did.

"I believe you," he said.

She smiled.  "I knew you would.  It was nice to run into you, but Iíve got to get going.  I have some errands to run."

"Cali, wait.  Iíd like to see you again."

"Callista."

"Callista.  Iím not sure. Itís just doesnít sound right.  Sorry, Cali sounds much better."

"I remember why it was so much fun tossing you into that pool."

"Itíd be much more fun to grab something to eat with me tomorrow.  How about we meet at 1600 outside of the astrophysics center?  We can grab a sandwich or something."

She shook her head, looking very serious.  "Sorry."

Tom felt his stomach drop.  Was it possible that she actually couldnít stand him?  That she felt the same dislike she had felt for him as a child?

She suddenly smiled and laughed.  "Make it 1700, and Iíll be there.  My class doesnít get out until then."

"You are still such a pain," he said, but he was smiling again.

As she walked away from him, she said, "See you tomorrow, Tom.  Iím glad you were annoying enough to try to talk to me.

"It was my pleasure," he paused and then said, "Cali," drawing out her name in a little sing-song.  She gave him a dirty look and with a small smirk, stuck her tongue out at him, and then walked away without another glance back.
 

TBC