Title:  Past Resurfacing (8/?)
Author:  CatHeights
Pairing: VOY (P/T)
Rating:  R
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Feedback: CatHeights@yahoo.com

Archive:  If someone wants to fine by me as long as you drop me an e-mail letting me know where it is archived.
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Spoiler Warning: Thirty Days
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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.
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     Iíve gotten no where, BíElanna thought as she worked on a malfunctioning EPS relay.  Her shift had been over an hour ago.  She knew that she could have ordered Vorik or Nicoletti to fix the relay, but she found herself reluctant to go off duty.   Tom was spending time with Harry on the holodeck.  Captain Proton again, she supposed.  She still didnít understand the lure of that program.  She knew if she went back to her quarters, she would just sit there feeling frustrated over Tomís constant refusal to discuss his dreams.

      Having fixed the relay, she ran a diagnostic on the entire system.  All is well, so you might as well leave your staff in peace, BíElanna thought with a wry grin.  She walked through Engineering to find Vorik.  "Vorik, I fixed that relay.  The EPS system is working fine.  Iím going off duty.  Sheís all yours, for the time being." 

      "Yes, Sir.  Good Night," Vorik said.  Distracted BíElanna simply nodded and walked out of Engineering. Three weeks had passed since Tom had been released from the brig.  In that time, Tomís nightmares had almost completely disappeared.   The other night, she had heard him yell a few times in his sleep, but it was only briefly, and he didnít wake.  The first week after his release, the nightmares were a nightly occurrence, though none of them were as bad as the first one she had witnessed.  At least those dreams hadnít made him ill.  Still, even though the dreams had been consistent for at least a week, BíElanna had not had any luck in getting Tom to talk
about them.  He avoided the subject in anyway he could.  BíElannaís frustration was quickly turning into an uneasiness about their relationship.

      She remembered the morning after the first dream.  She had been positive that she would be able to get him to open up to her.  She had never been more wrong in her entire life.  First, he claimed he didnít remember. When that didnít work, he said, "BíElanna the past is the past.  Itís not worth discussing and I donít want to discuss it.  It was one meaningless dream.  Right now I just want to get back to my life," he paused and continued softly, "and I want to earn the Captainís respect back."

      His last remark distracted her for a minute.  "Earn her respect back?  What do you mean?  You donít think how she punished you was justified, do you?" she said angrily.

      "Mostly," Tom said.  "I didnít realize you were so angry at the Captain."

      "She threw you in the brig for thirty days, refused to let me see you, and wouldnít release you even when she was told you were having nightmares.  Yes, Iím mad at her. Why arenít you?" she demanded of him her eyes glaring.

      "Sheís the Captain.  She was doing what she had to do.  I violated orders.  I knew I would be punished when I did it.  I did what I thought I had to do, and she did what she had to do to maintain order on the ship," Tom said. 

      "Donít you think her punishment was a bit excessive?  Come on, youíre not the only one who has ever disobeyed orders, and no one else has been stripped of their rank and incarcerated for 30 days," BíElanna said.

      Tom winced at BíElannaís choice of the word incarcerated. "I let her down.  I thought what I was doing was right, but now Iím not so sure.   Still, I bet even knowing the consequences, I would have tried the same thing again.  Iím not sure if I could have stood by and done nothing.  Yet, in the end, I accomplished nothing but disappointing the Captain, making you miserable, and getting myself demoted.   I had to try to put a stop to those refineries.  I tried and I failed.  I have to move on now, and part of moving on is gaining back the Captainís respect."  He looked at her hoping she would understand.

      "What about her keeping you in the brig even though the Doctor recommended she commute your sentence?" she said unwilling to give up her anger at Janeway.

      "The Doctor recommended letting me out of the brig," Tom said astonished.  "I shouldnít be shocked, he really is a soft touch.  Anyway, Iím not surprised the Captain said no.  I think I can handle a few dreams.  I did handle it all, and now itís over.  So letís stop harping on it and just get back to living our lives, okay?"  Tom asked with a small grin.

      BíElanna was not about to be placated though with a Tom Paris grin.  "If you can handle the dreams, why did you end up in Sickbay not knowing anyone, and why did you wake up retching last night," she said back on her original topic.

      The grin faded and Tom stepped away from her.  "BíElanna this conversation is a waste of time.  Iím fine. I just need to get back into the swing of things.  There is nothing I need to discuss or to get off my chest," he said.

      "Damn it Tom, why wonít you talk to me?" BíElanna yelled at him frustrated.

      Before he could answer, his comm badge chirped.  "Doctor to Paris."

      "Go ahead, Doc," Tom said.

      "Mr. Paris, when should I expect you to stop by so I can clear you for duty?" the Doctor asked.

      "You free now Doc?" Tom asked.

      "Yes.  This is a surprise.  You eager to come to Sickbay," the Doctor said in his smug tone.

      "Iím full of surprises," Tom said.  "Iíll be there in five minutes, Paris out."

      "Youíre running away from this conversation," BíElanna accused him.

      "No," Tom said. "Iím just getting back to my life."  He kissed her lightly. "Weíll talk later, okay," he said and then walked out of his quarters.

      Of course, they had never gotten to talk about it later. Something always came up. As the days and weeks passed, he always had some reason why he couldnít talk to her about his dreams.   Ironically, everyone else seemed to think Tom was confiding in her.  How else would one explain how Tom Paris seemed to be handling his demotion so well?

      How indeed, BíElanna thought as she entered her quarters.  She lay on the bed only to stare blankly at the ceiling.  Tom had handled things but not with her help.   He had done it alone.  Done it very well alone, she had to admit.  Heíd conquered the nightmares, returned to duty with no problems, and was even joking with the Captain again.  It was almost as if nothing had ever happened.  Tom had said to her that the past was the past, and he seemed to be following this motto with no problems.   At first, part of her assumed Tom was just pretending everything was fine, but as his dreams started to subside, she began to doubt that assumption.

      Now, she found herself more hurt than worried.  It seemed that Tom didnít trust her enough to confide in her.  He had preferred to deal with his demons on his own rather than to accept her help.  The sad thing was how could she blame him for relying only on himself when she had done the same thing not too long ago.  When she had learned that most of the Maquis had been killed, she had felt empty.  Had she gone to Tom for help?  No. Instead, she had avoided him, turning away his attempts to talk to her.  She tried to find some way on her own to make herself feel again.  If when things were bad, they didnít turn to each other for help, what did that say about their relationship?

      She had often wondered if her parents had truly loved each other.  Maybe they did, but somehow couldnít find a way to truly trust each other, the differences in their backgrounds just too great.  Sometimes love didnít solve everything.  If that were the case, then maybe she and Tom were better off alone.   She had to admit they both seemed more comfortable dealing with things on their own.  Still, the thought of being without Tom made her feel physically ill.  That was a good sign, right?  Yet, if her parents had been in love, then it was possible to be in love, but for it still not to be right.

      "Ugggggh," she said in the darkness of her quarters.   She was getting nowhere again.  The same arguments just circling round and round in her head.  She sat up thinking of getting something warm and comforting to drink, but as soon as she stood, the ship gave a violent lurch and she tumbled to the floor.  By the time the alarm klaxons had sounded indicating the ship had gone to Red Alert, BíElanna was already on her way back to Engineering.

TBC