Paramount owns Voyager and its crew, I own the series. However,
Ensigns Ashton Rait, Krista Courtland (hi, Krista!) and Sasha
Harrington were created by me. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
Ensign Sasha Harrington silently cursed fate as she worked at the
console behind the auxilary warp core in Engineering. Why, *why*,
did *she* have to be the one picked from Stellar Cartography,
dragged away from her mapmaking--to slave down in Engineering, just
because some of the regular crew were sick, due to something they
ate on an away mission?
*Serves them right*, she thought. *Should have listened to
that stiff Tuvok. For once, he actually was right.*
Sasha sighed with disgust. She couldn't stand the Engineering
crew--they were always bothering her, from the lowest ranked
crewman to that smart-aleck Joe Carey. At this rate, she'd never
get a thing done--and that would mean more time away from her stars
A cold fury swept through Sasha. What did *she* want? Slowly,
she looked up, masking the hate in her eyes with a quiet
Lieutenant B'Elanna Torres looked down at Sasha Harrington.
She didn't know Sasha very well, her being one of the minor crew,
sent up from Stellar Cartography to fill in because some of the
Engineering crew had become sick, after disobeying Tuvok and eating
the fruit they'd found. B'Elanna wasn't sure why Sasha always had
an odd look in her eyes whenever she was near. But she shrugged it
off. Most of the cartographers stayed down in Stellar Cartography,
working alone and at all hours, stopping only to eat or sleep. Most
of them didn't know the senior staff--and many of them probably
didn't know she was chief engineer.
"Yes, Lieutenant?" Sasha's voice snapped B'Elanna out of her
B'Elanna handed Sasha a data padd. "This is the list of the
scans and safety checks the captain wants done. The highlighted
ones I want you to do. Have it done by 1530 hours." She turned and
headed back to the main console.
Sasha looked down at the list. All of the highlighted ones?!
That would take forever! She shot a glare at B'Elanna's retreating
form. *It figures--throw it all on me, just because I was forced
to come down here.*
She was just beginning the second scan, when Ensign Ashton
Rait's voice distracted her. "Look who's here," he said in a low
voice to Ensign Krista Courtland.
In response, Krista began to quietly whistle an old 20th-
century love song.
Sasha looked up--and there he was. Across the room, but much
closer than he'd ever been before. He looked, as always, absolutely
dreamy. His golden brown hair was unruly. He had probably been
running his hand through it, but then, it never seemed to want to
behave. His cerulean eyes matched the shade of the ocean. And his
grin could charm any girl.
But he didn't even notice Sasha. He headed straight to *her*.
The rest of the Engineering crew hid their smiles, pretending
nothing was amiss. When he reached her, he covered her eyes with
"Give it up," B'Elanna said aloud when the hands covered her
eyes. "I know it's you."
Tom Paris grinned as he dropped his hands. "Just making sure."
He slipped his arms around B'Elanna's slender waist. She smiled and
leaned back against him.
The Engineering crew turned back to their duties, smiling and
some shaking their heads. They were used to this, but it was still
amusing. However, they liked the fact that B'Elanna and Tom were
together. To begin with, they were a cute couple. And ever since
the start of their relationship, B'Elanna was a little less strict,
though her temper was still not to be reckoned with.
Everyone was happy for them. Everyone but Sasha.
Sasha glared hatefully at B'Elanna. How *dare* she go near
him! And the way that Tom looked at her, the way he held her, the
love in his eyes--for *her*, that Maquis witch, only infuriated her
even more. Tom should be with her, Sasha, not B'Elanna! She didn't
Sasha returned to her work, but with one thought constant in
*Be happy while you can, B'Elanna. Because pretty soon you're
going to lose it all.*
B'Elanna returned to her work, but Tom stayed with her,
resting his chin on her shoulder.
"Tom," she said softly. "You've got to quit. They'll start
making fun of us."
"Let them," he answered. "I don't care." He kissed her cheek.
"Besides, you distract me," she added, reaching over to tap
at the console.
"I do?" he said innocently. "Well, I didn't know that."
B'Elanna turned to glare at him, but at his heart-melting
grin, her glare faded to a smile.
"Well then, I'll go away and leave you alone," he teased. "I
have to be getting up to the bridge anyway. I'll see you tonight."
Giving her one last grin and a tender kiss, he left.
B'Elanna turned back to the console, ignoring the grins of the
rest of the crew, a soft smile touching her face. Tom could be so
exasperating at times, but she loved him. She loved his blue eyes,
his grin, the sound of his laughter, the way he said her name, his
She shook her head. If she was going to get any work done,
she'd better quit thinking about him for a while.
She glanced over at Sasha Harrington briefly. For an instant
she thought she saw hatred in Sasha's eyes, then it quickly
vanished as Sasha bent over the console again.
B'Elanna shrugged to herself. *I've been downloading too many
mystery holonovels lately. I better quit before I get in over my
So deciding, B'Elanna got back to work, not realizing that
the hate in Sasha's eyes was very real--and that Sasha's intentions
were dangerous--very dangerous.
At approximately 1530, B'Elanna circled the room, checking on
everyone's progress. She stopped by Sasha last.
"How's it going, Ensign?"
"I'm sorry, I'm not done yet," Sasha said, struggling to keep
the anger out of her voice. "Some of these scan commands are
B'Elanna shrugged. "It's all right. You got the majority
done. But see if you can have the rest finished by about 1700, so
that I can have the results ready in time for tonight's senior
staff meeting at 1745. I'll be back at 1710. Have it done by then."
Sasha's cold glare followed B'Elanna as she left. Once she was
gone, Sasha took a quick glance around the room. No one else was
Getting up from her seat, she went over to the main console
and brought up B'Elanna's to-do list. At the top was "Check plasma
conduits on left side".
Perfect! Glancing around again, Sasha dashed to the left side
of the room. Prying open the panel, she found a row of ten small
plasma conduits and three larger ones, two on the right, the third
in the middle.
Picking up a handful of nearby tools, she carefully created a
tiny cut in the center of the middle conduit and another at the
bottom of it. When a very thin wisp of nitrogen began to seep out,
she was satisfied. Putting the tools back the way she'd found
them, she closed the panel. This was perfect. If it worked the way
she thought it would, then when B'Elanna went to check the conduits
later tonight, it would explode the second she opened the panel.
And if the nitrogen built up enough, it would do exactly what Sasha
wanted it to do.
It would kill B'Elanna.
A delighted smile crossed Sasha Harrington's face as the
doors opened and B'Elanna Torres walked in. Her plan was almost
B'Elanna approached Sasha. "Have you finished those scans?"
"Yes," Sasha answered. She handed B'Elanna a data padd.
B'Elanna took it from her and scanned it, then nodded. "Good
work, Ensign." Without further comment, B'Elanna turned and headed
for the main console. Setting down the padd, she brought up her
list. But before she could head for the left side, Joe Carey
stopped her, insisting that she look at something first.
Sasha tapped her fingers impatiently. How long was Carey
going to take?
Finally, Carey turned to leave. B'Elanna glanced back at her
list, then headed for the left side plasma conduits.
*Yes!*, Sasha thought. *Almost there....*
B'Elanna stopped to gather the tools she would need, then
reached up and opened the panel.
A deafening explosion rocked Engineering. Joe Carey spun
around in time to see B'Elanna being flung across the room from the
force of the blast.
*It worked!* Sasha thought gleefully.
"Bridge to engineering. What the hell just happened down
there?!" Captain Kathryn Janeway's voice held a hint of alarm.
"Some of the left side plasma conduits exploded. We don't
know how it happened."
"Are there any casualties?"
"B'Elanna's been seriously injured. I think she was close to
the panel when it exploded."
"No!" Sasha heard another voice scream. But the voice didn't
come over the comm line. It came from the doorway. She turned to
see Tom Paris run to B'Elanna, cradling her in his arms.
*No, damn it!* Sasha thought angrily. *You're not supposed to
care what happens to her!*
Carey slapped his commbadge. "Engineering to transporter room
3. Medical emergency. Beam Paris and Torres directly to sickbay."
As the two disappeared, Sasha quickly left Engineering,
unnoticed by anyone. She headed for sickbay.
The EMH raised an eyebrow. "What happened to Lieutenant
Torres?" he asked as he picked up a medical tricorder.
Kes, the slender, blond Ocampa nurse, prepared a hypospray as
Tom set B'Elanna down on the nearest biobed. Once Kes had injected
the sedative, the Doctor began scanning B'Elanna.
"Several second-degree burns, a few third-degree. A fractured
arm and a serious concussion."
"Will she be all right?" Tom asked, a lump rising in his
"I am certain she will be fine, Lieutenant. I will have to
request that you leave, however. Kes and I will be busy and we
cannot work with people in the way."
Tom was reluctant to leave B'Elanna, but knew he had no
choice. He squeezed her hand, then leaned down and brushed a kiss
across her brow ridges. Then he left sickbay, fighting to hold back
Outside sickbay, he ran into Sasha Harrington.
"How is she?" Sasha asked.
"Doc says she'll be fine, but I'm not sure."
Sasha put on a sympathetic face, though inside, she was
gloating. At the very least, B'Elanna was severely injured. And
most times, severely injured people did not survive. Even if her
plan hadn't worked exactly the way she'd imagined, it was good
enough. The end result would be the same. B'Elanna would die--and
Sasha would have Tom.
Sasha glanced into sickbay just before the doors closed. When
Kes moved, she caught a glimpse of B'Elanna's pale, burned face,
her color deathly white, making her brow ridges seem even more
*You finally got what you deserved, you Maquis witch.*
With that final thought, she put a comforting hand on Tom's
shoulder and led him away from sickbay.
*Three days later.*
Sasha Harrington was filled with glee. According to the Doctor,
B'Elanna was on the edge of death. There was little hope for her
survival. One way or the other, she would get her wish.
Now if only she could get Tom out of his dark mood....
The only downside of the whole plan was that Tom was still
worried about *her*. When he wasn't on duty, he was down in
sickbay. When the Doctor chased him out of sickbay, he was in his
quarters, pacing the floor. He hadn't slept in the three days since
the accident. He wanted to be near her all the time.
But it didn't really matter. Soon, she'd be dead and Tom would be
hers. That was what was important.
Then the Doctor had news that ruined her good mood.
"She'll survive?" Harry Kim asked.
The Doctor nodded. "The worst is over. Lieutenant Torres will be
*Damn it!* Sasha silently cursed. *She's not supposed to live!*
Tom's hollowed eyes brightened a little. "She'll be OK?"
"Yes, Lieutenant, she will."
For the first time in three days, the sparkle returned to his
cerulean eyes. This did not go unnoticed by Sasha. She knew only
one thing. That she had to add to her plans. And soon.
Kes entered some data into the sickbay computer, then turned
toward B'Elanna, who was asleep on the biobed. After giving her the
usual dose of a cc of entrosine, she set down the hypospray, just
as Ensign Sasha Harrington entered.
Kes smiled at her. "Did you need something?"
Sasha shook her head. "I was coming to visit Lieutenant Torres.
The Doctor says she'll live."
"That's right," Kes answered. "But she's not awake. Maybe you
should come by later, when she's awake. Then you can talk to her."
Sasha shook her head again. "It's all right. I just wanted to
see how she was doing."
Kes nodded, then picked up a stack of data padds and headed for
the Doctor's office.
Sasha was glad she was gone. Kes gave her the creeps. She didn't
know why. It was probably the ears. Other than that, nothing
bothered her where Kes was concerned. Except her know-it-all
attitude, which she probably got from working with that stiff
Besides, now she was alone with B'Elanna. It was too bad Kes was
nearby, or she'd do something now. But she could be patient. She
had been patient. She could be patient a little while longer.
"You were lucky," she whispered. "But your luck's about to run
out, you Maquis witch. I won't let you interfere with my plans."
In the midst of rearranging the data padds she'd carried in,
Kes glanced up to see Sasha Harrington looking down at B'Elanna.
There was a baleful look in Sasha's eyes, one of pure hatred. A
shiver went through Kes. But then Sasha's sympathetic look
returned, and a minute later, she left sickbay.
*Maybe I imagined it*, Kes thought.
But deep in her heart, she wasn't so certain.
With the exception of the night bridge crew, Voyager was dark and
silent. The only light was from the dimmed corridor lights, and
through the windows, faint starlight. But in sickbay, where there
were no windows, it was nearly pitch black.
B'Elanna was peacefully asleep, her soft breathing the only sound
in the room.
The near-silence was broken when the doors slid partway open and
a figure crept in. The doors closed--and the figure crept toward
B'Elanna. Pausing by her side for a brief moment, the figure then
tiptoed toward the table where the Doctor kept the current
medicines he was using. Right now, the only thing there was a
hypospray, prepared for the next morning.
The figure picked up the hypospray, slipped out the tube of
medicine, then slipped another tube inside it, and replaced it.
With one last look, the figure opened the panel to the Jefferies
tube, slipped inside and closed the panel. The figure smiled. Now
B'Elanna's fate was sealed.
Kes walked into sickbay, ready to begin the day. The Doctor
would arrive within five minutes.
The lights had already come on. Kes ordered the computer to
turn power on on the wall consoles, then turned to check on
B'Elanna. She was still asleep, but her pulse and breathing were
back to normal. The Doctor would be happy to hear such results.
*And so would Tom.*
Kes smiled to herself. Tom was so dedicated to B'Elanna,
coming by every day, talking to her, even if she was asleep.
The Doctor appeared a minute later. "Good morning, Kes. How
is Lieutenant Torres?"
"Pulse and breathing are back to normal, and she seems to be
resting better. I'm thinking she might actually wake up today."
The Doctor nodded. Kes picked up the hyposoray she had
prepared the night before and injected the medicine. Setting down
the empty hypospray, she turned to ask the Doctor a question, when
suddenly, the console alarm beeped.
"What is that?" the Doctor asked.
Kes ran to the console. "Her breathing rate's dropped by
half. She's gone into cardiac arrest."
"What?!" the Doctor demanded.
"All I did was give her the medicine," Kes explained.
"What was in that hypospray?" The Doctor picked it up, while
at the same time, picking up a tricorder. "Ten cc's of cortrasine?
Kes, what were you thinking?"
"That's not what I put in there last night!" Kes cried. "I
put in the entrosine."
"Give her some trianoline, three cc's to counteract the
cortrasine. And prepare three more cc's." The Doctor disappeared,
reappearing next to B'Elanna, one hand pressing her down as she
struggled briefly, then went absolutely still.
Kes slapped the hypospray into his hand, then dashed to
prepare the next one. The Doctor injected the dose of trianoline,
then began to scan her. "She's still not responding, Kes. I need
Kes hurried over, hypo in hand. He took it from her and
injected it, then scanned her again. "I think that did it. The
cortrasine's effects have been counteracted. Breathing is still
shallow, pulse low and erratic, but coming back up."
Kes breathed a sigh of relief.
"We'll have to watch her every minute. If there's the
slightest change, it could spell disaster." When she nodded, he
continued, "But what I want to know is how the cortrasine got
switched with the entrosine."
"I don't know, Doctor," Kes said truthfully. "I prepared it
last night so it would be ready. But I know for a fact that I put
in a cc of entrosine, not ten cc's of cortrasine."
"I believe you, Kes," the Doctor said. "I know you would
never want to harm Lieutenant Torres. I will be in my office. I'll
need you to monitor her condition. Call me right away if there's a
change." He went into his office, opened his desktop console and
began entering data, wondering how the medicine could have been
mixed up, since he'd seen kes prepare the hypo himself.
Kes looked down at B'Elanna. She felt terrible. But the only
thing she could do was watch and wait.
Tom Paris awoke that morning, elated. B'Elanna would be all
right! Leaping out of bed, he got dressed and combed his unruly
golden hair. Maybe she would awaken today. Oh, to see her
beautiful brown eyes again, to hear her voice, to be able to hold
He practically skipped to the bridge.
B'Elanna's condition remained, for the most, unchanged. Kes
still felt bad about not paying attention to the medicine, but the
Doctor assured her that it wasn't her fault.
The console beeped and Kes looked at the screen in alarm.
There had been a fluctuation in the heartbeat reading.
The Doctor hurried out of his office. "What is it, Kes?"
"There's been a fluctuation in B'Elanna's heartbeat reading.
I think the trianoline has stopped working."
"Get five cc's of concentrated trianoline. It should keep her
heart rate from dropping."
As Kes hurried to get the drug, the Doctor tapped at his
console. "I don't understand it. The trianoline should have
Kes brought the trianoline. Once he had injected her, the
Doctor scanned her, then glanced at the console again. What he saw
did not lift his spirits. He looked down at B'Elanna, then tapped
his comm badge. "Sickbay to Captain Janeway."
"I'm afraid I have bad news."
"Is it about B'Elanna?"
"Yes, it is. Somehow, her dose of entrosine got mixed up with
a major dose of cortrasine that had been tampered with. We pulled
her out of danger--or so we thought."
"What do you mean?" Janeway demanded.
"She is barely holding on--and most likely won't for much
"Are you saying...."
"I'm afraid so, Captain. Lieutenant Torres will not survive
Tom looked down at B'Elanna's pale face. The sight shattered
his heart into a thousand pieces.
Only twelve hours ago, he had been on top of the world. The
Doctor had said she would live. But then her medicine had gotten
mixed up with tampered cortrasine. It had caused her to go into
cardiac arrest. The Doctor and Kes had pulled her out of it. But
when several hours had passed and B'Elanna had gotten no better,
the Doctor had told Captain Janeway that there was little chance
that B'Elanna would survive the night.
Most of the crew had already said their good-byes. But Tom
hated the thought. How could he say good-bye to her? It was so--
cold and distant, as if she were only leaving.
*She's dying, damn it!* he wanted to scream at everyone. *How
can you all be so insensitive?!*
Looking down at her, he took her hand in his, and pressed it
to his chest, over his heart.
"I love you, B'Elanna Torres," he whispered. "No one will
ever be able to replace you. May you find the happiness I never had
the chance to give you."
He leaned down and touched a final kiss to her brow ridges.
Then releasing her hand, he left sickbay, tears in his eyes.
Sasha Harrington was waiting for him outside. "What
happened?" she asked.
Tom couldn't speak; he shook his head. Sasha seemed to
understand. She put a hand on his shoulder and led him to his
Sasha had followed him inside. Right now, he didn't care. He
was devastated. Flopping down on the edge of his bed, he buried his
face in his hands.
Seconds later, he felt Sasha's hand on his shoulder. He
shrugged her away, but her hand stayed. It didn't matter--nothing
could take away his heartache.
"Tom," Sasha said quietly. "You'll be all right."
He didn't say anything.
*Still worried about *her**, Sasha thought disgustedly. *Oh,
well. No matter. It's too late.* She reached a hand into her
pocket. A secret smile crossed her face as her hand closed over the
tube of entrosine. *Once she's gone, which won't be long, you'll be
mine and I'll have bested that Maquis witch once and for all.*
Sasha saw Tom look up and quickly dropped the smile, replacing
it with her sympathetic look.
"What did you say?" he asked her.
She was puzzled for a minute, then realized that he probably
hadn't heard her reassurance. "I said that you'll be all right."
"No. After that."
"I didn't say anything after that," Sasha said, confused.
"Yes, you did." Tom slowly rose to his feet. "You said it was
too late--that I was yours." Tom's cerulean eyes narrowed. "And you
called B'Elanna a witch."
Too late Sasha realized that she'd voiced her thoughts aloud.
Sasha began to back away. "I didn't...."
"The hell you didn't! You tampered with the hypo and I bet you
rigged the conduits to explode, didn't you?!"
"I had to," Sasha snapped. "It was the only way to get you to
"See what?" he demanded.
"The fact that you're with the wrong person. You should be
with me, not that half-Klingon freakish--Maquis witch! She didn't
Tears mixed with the rage in Tom's eyes. "I'll never be with
you. Not now that I know this. I won't be with the one who, for
her own selfish jealous intentions, murdered the one I cared about
more than anything else. You lost after all, Sasha. You killed my
B'Elanna, and you still don't have me. You never will."
He took her by the wrist. When she tried to break free, he
pinned both arms behind her, then called for security.
Once the security team had taken Sasha away, even as she
struggled and screamed at him that he had nothing left, that he
would be hers yet, Tom walked back to sickbay. Even if B'Elanna
could no longer hear him, he felt that he owed it to her to tell
The sickbay doors opened. The Doctor and Kes, seeing him,
retreated to the Doctor's office, so that he could be alone with
Pausing by her bedside, he took her hand in his again.
"I know that you can't hear me anymore, but I thought I'd
tell you anyway that it was Sasha Harrington who did this. All
because she wanted me. She's down in the brig now. But what hurts
me most is that she took you away from me." The tears that had been
in his eyes began to fall. "What hurts even more is that I never
got the chance to tell you how much you meant to me." He pressed
the back of her hand to his cheek and let the tears flow.
A minute later, Tom thought he felt a slight pressure on his
hand for a brief second, but decided he'd imagined it. But it
"Tom?" came the faint whisper, so faint he almost didn't hear
it. It couldn't be.
He looked down. B'Elanna's eyes were open, though she was
seeming to have a hard time focusing her gaze for a minute.
"B'Elanna?" he whispered, daring to hope it were true.
She nodded weakly.
He leaned down to kiss her, then wrapped her in his arms,
beginning to cry again. But this time, they were tears of
*Two weeks later*
On the holodeck, dusk had fallen. Neelix's island resort was
bathed in moonlight.
Tom relaxed in one of the big chairs, holding B'Elanna close.
She was leaning against him, her fingers laced through his, her
head on his shoulder. Tears stung his eyes as he again thought
about how close he had come to losing her. A fierce protectiveness
swept through him and he pulled her closer.
B'Elanna looked up at him. She saw the tears he was trying to
hide, and as she watched, one fell. Leaning close, she pressed a
kiss to his cheek.
He looked down at her in surprise. She looked back at him,
smiled quietly, then leaned back against him.
"I love you," he whispered, kissing her hair.
"And I love you, Tom," she said softly.
Wrapping her in his arms, Tom sighed quietly. He had B'Elanna
back--and he never wanted to let her go.