Star Trek Voyager(P/T)- Hidden
by Elli- archivist@ParisNights.de
Summary:
After B'Elanna breaks up with Tom, he is sent into an emotional depression. Rated PG- 13
Disclaimer:
Star Trek Voyager belongs to Paramount. The story and the characters in it belong to me.
Dedicated to my mom, who understands my obsession...
and Isabelle S, guess why pal...

Archiving:
Please don't archive without my permission. Linking however is okay, if you tell me where it goes, first.

*****
Conny Donovan headed down the corridor quickly. She had just finished her shift in stellar cartography where she usually worked, and was looking forward to some relaxation. As she passed Tom Paris' quarters, she heard the noise of objects being thrown across the room.

At first she believed Paris and Torres had one of their usual arguments, but as the noise did not subside, but grew louder, she decided to do something. She also remembered that Tom had broken up with B'Elanna the week before, maybe she was now in need of revenge.

Conny didn't want to call security yet, since she thought it was a little premature. So she opened the door manually, using an old trick her uncle had shown her once. She was surprised to see that B'Elanna was not present, but that it was only Tom, who was raging around.

She saw the pure anger in his eyes, the tears streaming down his face as he threw yet another vase across the room.

He then noticed her staring at him with disbelieve. He didn't say a word, as he was now staring too. He looked like he wanted to say something, but didn't.

Conny was caught off guard as he suddenly sank to his knees and started sobbing uncontrollably. Not sure what to do, she sat down next to him and made caressing motions on his back, trying to soothe him.

"Why dammit, I don't understand", he murmured over and over again.

"Don't understand what, Tom ?" she asked, wanting to help.

"Why did she leave me, only to jump in bed with Joseph Lasalle? I want to know why!"

B'Elanna terminated the relationship, not Tom.

She could hardly believe it knowing that B'Elanna had been extremely miserable these last few days since the breakup.

"I don't know... But I thought you were the one who broke up with her, not the other way around. I mean , the whole ship has given you the cold shoulder over this, even Harry. Why haven't you defended yourself?" she asked wondering what the answer might be.

"I- I love B'Elanna so much. If she wanted the break- up, then I had to accept that. I couldn't force her. I just couldn't," he explained, still crying.

"Dammit, I knew she would leave me someday. I'm just not good enough, not good enough for anyone. I guess she found someone more worthy now." His voice sounded monotonous.

"How do you know she betrayed you. That doesn't sound like B'Elanna."

"I heard them. After I finished my shift this morning I went to my quarters and as I passed by Lasalleís quarters, I heard them. It was B'Elanna and him having sex." he said disgustedly.

"But they must have known you had just finished your shift, they wouldn't have done it. You must be mistaken." She tried to defend B'Elanna.

"I know what I heard... Maybe she wanted me to hear it. Who knows..." He threw his arms in the air with exasperation.

"Tom, I know B'Elanna, she would never hurt you like that."

"Maybe, but I don't know what to believe anymore. I need to be alone...".

Without another, word she excited his quarters and pondered what she had just heard.

*****

After a long sleepless night Tom Paris entered his bathroom. It was his day off, so he didn't need to hurry.

He stared at his reflection in the mirror. His eyes were puffy and red from crying. His face was ashen looking. It was only after a few minutes, that he knew that something had changed. The pain over the breakup was gone as was his ever present feeling of unworthiness.

An unexpected change.

Examining himself further, he noticed that he didn't feel much of anything. That he didnít feel anything at all. Nothing good or bad.

He didn't know if it was good or bad, but he kind of liked the quietness.

It just didn't feel like himself. Then maybe I'm someone else now, he thought.

He liked the idea.

*****
Ensign Lasalle entered his quarters later that day, Crewmen Rollins and Bristow in his wake.

"What do you think, did it work?" Ensign Bristow asked the other two eagerly.

"We don't know yet. But I bet it did." Lasalle commented.

"Yes, I think you have full range with B'Elanna now, Freddie. I doubt Tom will try to get her back after our little surprise," Rollins said.

"I'm glad we found out it was B'Elanna who broke up, not Tom. We killed two birds with one stone. We could make Tom miserable and you can have B'Elanna all to yourself."

*****
B'Elanna Torres sat across from Harry Kim at the table. She was glad no one had asked her about her breakup with Tom. That nobody had demanded to know why.

She knew it had been her own insecurities that were cause for the break- up. She'd always wondered about his feelings for her, for he never actually said the words to her.
She had hoped, during the last week, that he would fight for her, that he would ask her
why, and she would tell him.

But he hadn't. In fact she hadn't seen her at all. It also bugged her somehow that Harry had spent most of his off duty time with her and not with Tom to maybe comfort her.

*****
Conny sat in the resort, pondering over her discussion with Tom Paris.
She hadn't decided what to do about the information she had gotten from him. But she knew she would confront B'Elanna sooner or later.

Her good friend Jessica entered later, noticing Conny's expression she asked what was wrong.

" I was just thinking about Tom and B'Elanna," she just said.

"Yeah, poor B'Elanna," Jessica commented.

"So you believe anything coming from the rumor mill ?" Donovan snarled more angrily than she had intended.

"Conny, what's wrong with you?" she asked after her outburst.

"B'Elanna broke up with Tom, not the other way around, Jessica."

*****

After her conversation with Conny, Jessica Williams entered the messhall to talk to her friend B'Elanna.
She wanted to know from her whether Conny was telling the truth or not.

Without invitation she sat down next to B'Elanna and Harry Kim.

" Is it true?" she asked her.

"Is what true?" B'Elanna asked her back.

"That you were the one who terminated the relationship and not Tom."

Harry looked at B'Elanna with disbelieve. "You broke it off"? he asked. As she didn't answer he knew she had.

"For the last week the whole crew has given him the cold shoulder for hurting you and now you tell us that he was the one that really needed the support of a friend. I can't believe this."

"I thought everyone knew that," she defended herself, aware that all occupants of the messhall were listening.

"But why?" Jessica wanted to know, not telling her what Tom had heard.

And so B'Elanna explained it to them.

*****
The next few weeks were hellish. Having been told the truth, everyone had tried to make amends with Tom Paris.

But the pilot wasn't reacting to any of it. He was not going out, engageing in his normal social activities anymore, nor was he doing anything with heart. Not even sitting at the helm of Voyager seemed to be pleasurable. He was not interacting with the other crewmembers at all.

Even B'Elanna had tried to save their relationship, but he was adamant.

He spent most of his free time in his quarters or on the holodeck.

The crew was getting extremely worried.

Freddie Bristow had after a while stopped pursuing B'Elanna Torres, for she had told him how little she enjoyed being in his company.

She had also made it clear that she would try to be friends with Tom again.

She was extremely worried about him. And now knew that she did not want to be separated from him. She had now learned that from first- hand experience.

*****
Tom Paris paced his quarters. Pain was radiating from his arm which seemed to be broken in two places.

His excursions to the holodeck seemed to be the only things that kept him going theses days.

Although the crew was reaching out to him again. He still didn't feel anything in regard to them nor to B'Elanna, who he had evaded every time she'd try to talk to him.

At first it was a good thing not to feel anything, but now it was tormenting him.

The only way he knew he was still alive was if he injured himself on the holodeck.
He didn't know who he was. Nor did he feel anything at all.

He knew if he didn't do something about it soon, he would break from it.

Give me love, give me pain, give me myself again.

He needed to do something.

*****

Tuvok woke up in the middle of the night, due to the constant ringing of his door-chime.
"Enter", he said.

He raised an eyebrow as he recognized his visitor. "Mister Paris. May I remind you that it is the middle of the night and that you as a human need your rest."

"I know that Tuvok, but this is important. I need your help," he stated.

"I assume this is of a personal nature. I will return shortly. Please be seated on the floor, Ensign."

He left the room for a short while.

As he returned with his mediation lamp Tom was already seated on the floor.
He kneeled down in front of Tom and placed the lamp between them.

"What is the nature of your problem, Mister Paris ?" the Vulcan asked wondering what might bring him to seek his help at this hour.

At first it seemed as tough Tom would not answer, he kept staring at the floor. But then, he
finally started to talk.

"I can't feel anymore. I don't feel anything, Tuvok." he explained.

Tuvok raised his eyebrow again.

A Vulcan not feeling something was normal but a human? It would mean an extreme ability of self control. As for Tom Paris...

Tom realized Tuvok needed more information so he continued.

"It started after the break-up with B'Elanna. I remember feeling like the world had collapsed around me. But at least I was feeling. I also remember my anger at her for jumping in bed with Lasalle. I remember totally losing control in my quarters. I was crying, throwing things. But as I woke up the next morning. It was all...gone.

At first I thought it was a good thing. I didn't hurt over the breakup.
What the others said. It didn't bother me anymore. I couldn't feel my own unworthiness anymore and for a while I was okay. But Tuvok. I don't feel. If I don't feel anything, not who am I, nor who I want to be. Nothing. Nothing seems to matter to me anymore. I don't even know who I am. It does not feel... like me. Am I even still alive?"

"Who am I, Tuvok?"

"Mister Paris. You must be aware that the powers of a Vulcan lay in his ability to supress emotions, not bringing them to the surface. However given the circumstances, I believe it was a prudent course of action to seek me. I believe that to save yourself from emotional collapse your body and mind forbid yourself to experience those painful emotions. You've developed a barrier to prevent further hurt.

The reason for that may not only be this recent problem with Lieutenant Torres but past events, as well.

To find the root of your problem I suggest meditation," Tuvok elaborated.

"Anything that helps, Tuvok. What should I do?"

"Concentrate on the meditation lamp and try to remember..."

*****
Tom Paris was reading a book in his quarters, but the usual joy was missing.

For four days now, he was being counseled by Tuvok. But the constant meditations had brought no results at all.

He was frustrated by his inability to feel and he needed the release he could only get on the holodeck, the one thing that showed him that he was still alive.

As he entered the holodeck, he immediately started a battle simulation. Right now he was fighting at the side of king Arthur, the King of Camelot.

He swung his sword from side to side, taking down his enemies, but it stirred no feelings what so ever.

After a long, dirty battle with a villain opponent, he failed to see the ax of a wild looking man coming his direction.

Pain rushed trough him as he felt the ax slice his stomach and cut trough his skin. It was a relief to know he was still able to feel the pain.

*****
Tom Paris was five minutes late. That in itself was not cause for worry, but he'd behaved atypically lately, so Kathryn Janeway wondered if there was something wrong.

"We should give him another five minutes." Chakotay, her first officer marked. A generous offer for him, for he hadn't been best friends with the pilot, while they'd both been in the
Maquis together.

She nodded.

But after five minutes, Tom Paris still had not shown up and both the Captain and the Commander were getting worried.

Tuvok, who was the only one knowing of Tom's condition called for his location.

"Tom Paris is currently on holodeck two," The compute announced.

"Chakotay, you're with me," the Captain ordered.

"Captain," Tuvok interfered.

"I believe I should come as well." The Captain nodded, thinking that maybe Tuvok feared a matter of security.

*****
They entered the holodeck shortly after that. The Knights were still fighting at the side of the mighty King Arthur and the Starfleet officers were almost drawn into the fight.

"Computer, freeze program." The Captain ordered.

"What kind of program is this", Chakotay asked, disgusted at all the blood.

"Mister Paris," Tuvok called Tom, but didn't get an answer.
"Computer, deactivate holoprogram Paris beta 6."

Immediately the program disappeared only to be replaced by the yellow grid.

They noticed the still form on the floor immediately. Chakotay ran over to check for a pulse and was taken aback by the state Paris was in.
He was bruised and bloody all over, a big gash was evident on his forehead.

As Chakotay couldn't find a pulse, he became worried for the younger man's life.
He quickly called for an emergency medical beam out and Tom's body disappeared.

*****
B'Elanna, Harry and Conny Donovan were seated in Harry's quarters, discussing the situation.

"We have to find a way to make Tom talk," Harry said.

"The night, in his quarters, it was so clear to me that Tom loves you. I don't understand the way he's reacting now," Conny mentioned.

"I can't believe I've let my own insecurities control my decisions again. I should never have been so selfish," B'Elanna interfered.

"B'Elanna, you were afraid he'd leave you, he'd hurt you because he never told you he loves you. I think it's somehow understandable," Harry soothed her.

"And Tom didn't think he was worthy of you in the first place, so he chose to let you go, since he thought you'd leave him eventually. You're really quite a pair, you know that?" Conny marked.

Harry nodded.

"There is just one thing I don't understand. If you love Tom. Then why does Tom think you cheated on him with Joseph Lasalle," Conny asked, bewildered.

"Cheated on him? With Joseph Lasalle? That Moron?" B'Elanna's voice had risen now.

"He said he heard you. In Lasalle's quarters. Together. Having sex."

"I don't know how he could have heard that, I've never even set foot into Lasalle's quarters."

"Well, then maybe we should ask Lasalle," Harry suggested.

*****
The Captain, Tuvok and Chakotay were gathered in sickbay. All glanced worriedly to the biobed where the doctor was working on Tom Paris.

What was going to happen?

It felt like a deja vu. Wasn't this the same thing that had happened to B'Elanna a year ago or was it maybe different?

All had witnessed the state Tom had been in, but no one had really done anything about it. They all hadn't thought it would come this far.

"He's stable," the doctor said after coming over to them, "but until his emotional problems are  resolved, there is no way I can prevent a relapse."

"What exactly iswrong with him?" the Captain asked.

"The symptoms everyone described are all pointing to severe Depression." the Doctor explained. "The low levels of serotonine and dopamine in his brain support this diagnostic.
Tuvok said, he was unable to experience pleasure, which is a condition known as Anhedonia."

"Anhedonia?" Chakotay asked.

"The inability to experience pleasure." the Doctor elaborated.

"Tuvok, I know you worked with Tom. Is there anything you can do?" Chakotay looked at the Vulcan, waiting for an answer.

"I have thought about this a great deal. Do you remember what Mister Paris was like in the beginnings of our journey together?" he asked.

"How could I forget," Chakotay answered.

"He had covered his true persona under a devil- may- care facade and didn't let anyone come too close. While talking to Mister Paris in our sessions, I found out that these walls didn't always exist. There must have been a time when he trusted his friends completely and without question.

There must have been some kind of trauma which changed that. He built his defense mechanisms to protect himself from further hurt.

As time went on, Mister Paris learned to trust again and his walls came down. I think we have B'Elanna Torres to thank for that.

But as the very same person shattered that trust, his mind needed to find new ways to keep itself from being mentally damaged.
Since the former defense mechanisms were gone, it simply constructed a new one, the Anhedonia." Tuvok explained.

"And what can we do to help Tom and get this new defense mechanism down?" Janeway asked.

"We have to find the root of the problem," Tuvok elaborated. "The trauma that happened in the very distant past."

"And that would be?" the Doctor interrupted.

"I believe it was Caldik Prime."

*****
B'Elanna, Harry and Conny entered the messhall and went straight for Lasalle's table in the corner.

It was common knowledge that Joseph was no fan of Tom Paris.

"Could you explain why Tom believes I cheated on him. With you?" she blurted out, not caring what the others might think.

"I have no idea what you're talking about, Torres."

Freddie Bristow came from behind. He had made a decision.

"It was a ruse, B'Elanna," he explained to her.

"Bristow, are you stupid?" Lasalle screamed at him.

B'Elanna sent an ugly glare into his direction. "A ruse," she stated.

"Lasalle and Rollins wanted to hurt Tom, they don't think he deserves to be here."

"And after that, do you think YOU deserve to be here." she blew up at Lasalle.

"And how in hell did you do that anyway. And why do you know anything about this, Bristow." she was raging.

"I- I was in on the plan." he admitted.

"I thought that way I could have you to myself. But I realized I didn't stand a chance.

Rollins stole Seven's data from her mating studies and copied your, you know... We made an audio tape."

"What?! You- you are going to pay for this, you bastards!" she roared.

"B'Elanna stop, please." Harry begged. He didn't want her to have any trouble over this.

"I think what the crew will do to them now is worse enough."

*****
After Tuvok had let the information settle in, he continued.

"Since my previous efforts to find it have not succeeded, I think there is only one course of action now."

"What is it ?" the Captain asked worriedly.

"A radical mindmeld." he said.

"A radical mindmeld?"

"Yes. It will determine the cause of Mister Paris trusting problem. He has successfully repressed the incident until now."

"Tuvok, you know my opinion about mind melds," the Doctor criticized.

"Yes, but It is the only way to help Mister Paris, and therefore the logical course of action."

*****
Things were quiet here . Tuvok entered Paris' mind deeper.

A voice.

A man's voice.

You're a failure Thomas. I am so disappointed in you. You are no longer my son.

He fell deeper yet.

I don't love you. I never did, - a woman's voice.

You're pretty. You're a good fuck. You have connections.

Now you have nothing.

You're a failure.

A worthless failure.

A failure.

Worthless.

Nothing.

And a ring fell in slow motion, connected with the floor and rolled away, into oblivion.

*****
Tuvok's eyes opened with a start. Tom Paris was shivering beneath him. He was free, but now there was only pain.

He'd have to see until Tom woke up.

He knew now. He understood.

He informed the Doctor and the Captain of his success.

*****

Pain.

There was just pain. Nothing else. His bed wasn't giving the warmth he needed.

He had been released from sickbay.

How can I ever trust again, he asked himself.

His door chimed.

*****

B'Elanna pressed the door chime to request an entry to Tom's quarters.

She needed to clear up some misunderstandings.
She hoped it wasn't too late, that he had come out of this depression.

*****
"Tom, I need to talk to you. You've been avoiding this. But I want to help you. I know what you are going through." she begged.

He didn't answer. He was staring out of the window, his back turned to B'Elanna.

That doesn't change the fact that I heard her with Lasalle. I don't know if I can trust her yet.
but  I want to.

Oh, how much I want to.

"Tom, it was a ruse. Lasalle wanted to hurt you. Nothing happened between us. Except that I almost broke his nose yesterday."

She continued explaining exactly what Lasalle, Rollins and Bristow had done.

"I love you. I don't want to loose you."

"I don't want to loose you, either."

If I don't say it now I might never have a chance with her again.

"I love you, B'Elanna."

She couldn't believe what she was hearing. She encircled him from behind.

"Oh, Tom, I'm so glad."

He told her about the mindmeld.

"I just need some time, " he said.
 

The End

I know it's short. But my muse has almost left me on this one in the end.

Thanks to my beta readers JK, who helped me get rid of mistakes and Isabelle S, who helped me completely rewrite a part and of course to Ronda Sexton, who helped ma a lot with grammer...

Finished January 2000