Title:  Reflections on a Wedding
Author:  Julie Evans
Email:  Juli17@aol.com
Series:  Voyager
Part:  1/1
Rating:  PG
Codes:  P/T
Date posted:  10/24/00
Summary:   Missing scenes from "Drive."

Disclaimer:   Star Trek and its characters are the property of
Paramount/Viacom.  I am borrowing them for fun only, not profit.

Archiving:  This story may be archived to the ASC, PT Collective
website, and the BLTS.  All others please ask author for permission.

Notes and acknowledgements:  I admit to borrowing a line or two from
the wedding scene in "Course: Oblivion."  Why?  In "Drive," Tom and
B'Elanna were in their uniforms as they took off on the Delta Flyer,
presumably to begin their honeymoon.  I can't see them changing *into*
their uniforms to go on their honeymoon, so I can only assume that they
were still wearing them from the wedding, which was obviously a quick
affair.  So for this story I'm assuming that the wedding probably
happened pretty much as it did between their counterparts in "Course:
Oblivion"; in the mess hall, in uniform, with their closest friends present,
and a short impromptu reception following afterwards.  Which would
also explain why TPTB didn't bother show us the wedding in "Drive."
We'd already seen it, more or less.

Reflections on a Wedding
by Julie Evans

"Personal Log, Stardate 54059.2, B'Elanna Torres reporting:

"Damn him!  Damn *both* of them.  I have every right to be upset with
Tom.  We should be lounging on a crystalline beach on Gaedis Prime
right now, and instead I'm sitting in my quarters, alone, and Tom's
getting ready to race the Delta Flyer.

"And Neelix had to make me feel guilty about being upset.  I was trying
to be nice by not coercing Tom into doing something he really didn't
want to do.  And he really didn't want to go away on a romantic
weekend with me.  Even if he offered to drop out of the race, his
priorities were clear.  He wanted to be in the race.

"Yeah, sure, I could have told him how much trouble I went to arranging
this weekend, and I could have insisted that he stick to the original plan.
And he would have, if I'd insisted.  But I would have known the whole
time where he really wanted to be.

"Not with me.

"It's starting to drive me crazy--our relationship that is.  One minute
Tom's here, and the next he's gone, off somewhere completely involved
in something that doesn't include me.  And then I hardly see him.  I
didn't use to mind that about him.  Not very much anyway.  But lately
something's changed.  I guess *I've* changed.  I feel...dissatisfied.  Like
the moments we barely manage to fit in together just aren't enough
anymore.  And Tom...

"I meant what I said to Neelix.  I really did.  Tom *is* a great guy.  He's
funny, he's charming, and when he *is* here he makes me feel
like...well, like I'm where he wants to be.

"And we do have--we have had--some great times together.  The beach
programs, the ski lodge in the Sierras, the private moments we've spent
together on shore leaves...even the mundane things like meeting for
lunch in the mess hall, or cuddling up watching the television have been
enjoyable.  Tom can make almost anything entertaining, even an
argument.  Most of the time.  And certainly the sex has always been
good...*very* good.

"Tom can also be a really romantic guy when he wants to be.  Intimate
dinners, wine, flowers, the little gifts he surprises me with
sometimes...he's done all that for me.  He can be sentimental too, like in
his choice of music.  Some of those twentieth-century songs he likes can
be pretty sappy.  I think he even plays down that part of himself, because
I'm not the most sentimental person.  Though that doesn't mean I don't
like it at all.  I do like it sometimes.

"I know Tom's also done his best to be here for me when I've needed
him.  Even though I didn't have any problems readjusting after I got
back from the Borg, other than a few bad dreams, Tom shadowed me for
two weeks.  He was so intent on making sure I was okay that we ate
almost every meal together, and spent every night together.  He was
practically living with me.  He was almost over-solicitous, which has felt
a little suffocating to me in the past--but this time I liked it.  A lot.

"That's the problem.  I liked it so much that I started getting used to it.  I
thought maybe Tom was making a silent statement with all his
attentiveness, and that our relationship was turning a new corner.  Then
the routine on Voyager set in again.  I started working double-shifts in
Engineering to finish the latest warp refit, Tom got busy with the Delta
Flyer, and he just drifted away again.  In other words, things got back to

"That's really the crux of it.  I don't want 'normal' anymore.  Tom and I
have had this kind of revolving-door relationship, this hot and cold
thing, where one minute we're completely connected--we're an "us"--
and the next minute it's like we're living completely separate lives and
we're barely a couple at all.  I'm not discounting that Tom's been here for
me during the rough times.  But I don't want him just to show up when
I'm hurt, or I've gone through some awful experience like on that Malon
ship, and then disappear again.

"And I know it hasn't only been Tom who's wandered in and out of our
relationship.  I've been part of that pattern too.  Sometimes I get
obsessively involved in my work.  And I've had my moments when I've
wanted space, when I've even pushed him away, sometimes hard enough
that I wouldn't have been surprised if he'd just decided to stay away.  But
he's always come back.

"I guess that's something.  Actually, it's a lot.  Even so, it's not enough
anymore.  I want something more solid, more stable,

"I've never felt that way before.  I never thought I would want someone--
would need someone--around all the time.  Even when Tom and I were
first together, I didn't really know if we'd ever reach this point.  Or, I
should say, if I'd ever reach this point. But I have reached it.  I don't
want us to just flit in and out of each other's lives anymore.  I want Tom
here all the time.

"And maybe that's simply too much for me to want, or to expect.  After
all, Tom seems perfectly content to go on the way we are forever.  If he
wants more than this...almost casual relationship we had for three years
now, he's certainly never told me so.

"Okay, I know I haven't asked him either.  I told Neelix how I felt, of all
people.  I don't know what it is about him that urges me to confide.  And
now I'm standing here rehashing my feelings again into my personal log.
But I still haven't told Tom how I feel.  I guess I thought he'd just notice.
Or maybe I thought if I was feeling this way, then he must be too.  But
obviously he isn't.  And if he doesn't want to move forward, or to
rearrange his priorities, then what's really left between us?

"The truth is, I haven't said anything to Tom yet because I'm scared to
find out where we really stand.  There, I admit it, okay?  Our
relationship has survived so much, and it's not like I *want* to give up
on it, or to lose Tom.  The good things between us...gods, I'm not sure
how I can even give those up anymore.  But I can't just drift along like
this either, not knowing where Tom stands, never feeling secure--

"Neelix was right.  It's not very honorable of me to be deciding the fate
of our relationship on my own, without even letting Tom defend himself.
I guess I'm just trying to prepare myself for the worst.  But maybe I'm
wrong.  Maybe Tom will make a move.  Maybe I'm getting the signals
wrong, and he does want something more...

"Well, I'm certainly not going to find out pacing my quarters and
arguing with myself, am I?

"Lord, even Seven was right.  Not that I would actually discuss Tom's
and my relationship with her, but in Astrometrics a little while ago she
said that she embraced Tom's interests--like this race--as a way to
improve her working relationship with him.  I've haven't done that very
often with Tom.  We've had those things we do together, and those
things we do apart, and there's been this invisible line between the two.
I've never been sure if he wanted me to cross that line.

"Actually, that's not entirely true.  Tom has invited me to Fair Haven,
and he tried to get me to take on a role in Captain Proton once.  He gave
up on those quickly though, because he knows I don't like that role-
playing stuff.  But building ships, and flying, I like to do those things.  In
fact, I helped design the engines for the new Delta Flyer.  So why aren't
I his co-pilot in this race?

"Because Tom didn't ask me, that's why.  I suppose he didn't think I'd be
interested, or that I was too busy in Engineering and wouldn't have time
to get involved.  But if I invited myself to go along on this race, maybe
he'd be happy that I wanted to do something with him that he really

"That's it.  Decision made.  I'll just talk to Harry.  I know he won't mind
if I take his place.  I'll go on this race with Tom.  We'll do something
together that he enjoys.  And then...what?


"Then...I guess I'll just see what happens.

"Computer, end log."


"Personal log, Stardate 54060.3, Tom Paris reporting:

"I should have asked her a long time ago.  To marry me.  B'Elanna, I
mean.  Of course, I mean B'Elanna.  Who else would I possibly be
talking about--

"Maybe I should back up.  I, Tom Paris, asked B'Elanna Torres to marry
me today.  Almost four hours ago to be precise.  I actually asked her
twice, once while we were in danger of being blown out of existence
when the Delta Flyer's warp core was about to explode, and then again
after we miraculously managed to survive the explosion.

"I've wanted to ask her before, several times.  When she came back from
that Malon ship for one.  And after those two weeks when I thought she
was dead and she was really marooned on that planet where the
playwright guy was writing stories about Voyager.  And after she got
back from the Borg cube....

"Yeah, obviously I chickened out every single time.  I was never sure
she wanted to make our relationship that permanent.  Sometimes
B'Elanna's so self-sufficient that I can't tell whether she really needs me.
I know she loves me, but *needs* me--or really wants me around all the
time...?  I wasn't completely sure.

"She said yes, by the way.  To my question.  Thank gods, because for a
minute there while I was waiting for her to answer I was more scared
than I've ever been in my entire life.  Imminent warp core explosions are
nothing compared to that terror--

"Where are my clean t-shirts?  I know I have some.  Damn, I don't have
time to--

"Ah, here's one.  Any--wumph (voice muffled)...anyway, B'Elanna
asked me once when we were first together if I saw a future in this.   In
us.  I told her that would be presumptuous of me.  But the truth is, I can't
imagine my life without B'Elanna anymore.  And I thought she knew
that.  When I told her all I want to be is the guy she's in love with, she
said she didn't know I felt that way.  She really doubted how I feel about

"How could she not know that she's the center of my life?  Every time
something happens to her, every time she takes a crazy risk, like going
on the damned Borg cube, or insisting on almost dying to experience the
Klingon afterlife, it just about kills me wondering if I'm going to really
lose her--

"Where's my other shoe?  Shoot, I can't find anything around here.  I just
had them both before I took a shower.  Harry'd be laughing right now if
he were here, saying that I'm nervous--

"Aha.  Under the bed.  I knew it was there.

"Where was I?  Yeah, I know I get involved in my projects and my
holoprograms sometimes.  B'Elanna's not interested in a lot of that stuff,
so I do them with Harry.  But there are other things she and I do
together.  And I always thought that was okay with B'Elanna.  Just like I
thought our relationship was fine.  How could I know she wasn't happy
with it if she didn't tell me?  And how could she possibly not know how
I feel about her?

"Hmmm.  I know, I know, there's a correlation in what I just said.  Okay,
I should have told her how *I* feel more often.  I guess I've shied away
from that.  On the Delta Flyer I told B'Elanna that I didn't think she liked
the mushy stuff, which was kind of an excuse.  I admit it.  B'Elanna's not
extremely sentimental by any means, but she does like the mushy stuff
sometimes.  She reads those Klingon romances.  She likes some of my
music, even the sappy love songs.  Her face lights up when I give her
some little gift I've come across on shore leave.  She loves roses.  And
she likes to eat dinner by candlelight.  She looks really great in
candlelight too...

"It's just that saying how I feel in words is hard for me.  I don't know
why.  But I have told her I love her.  I'm sure I have.  Sometimes, after
we've made love, and we're both sated and drowsy, I've whispered it in
her ear.  Maybe I haven't said it to her enough, or very recently--

"Shit.  I guess I am a jerk sometimes.  I should have been paying more
attention to her.  But I do love her.  If I've goofed off too much, if I've
been remiss in making sure she understands that she is the number one
priority in my life, then I'll just have to change that.  I'll just have to
make sure that she never has any doubts again about my feelings for her.
Starting with marrying her--

"Geez, my hair's sticking straight up.  Where's my--ahh, at least my
comb's right here where I left it.

"Well, the captain was certainly surprised when B'Elanna and I stepped
out of the Delta Flyer looking pretty grungy, and the first thing we did
was ask her if she could marry us--immediately.  But Captain Janeway
never stays flustered for long.  She recovered quickly and said she could
squeeze us in before the post-race reception began.

"That was B'Elanna's idea, to just do it now--well, it's not like we need a
long engagement or anything.   Heck, we've been on a long engagement
for three years, more or less.  Now is just fine with me, though I
wouldn't have cared if she'd wanted a big wedding, or a Klingon mating
ceremony, or to secretly elope on our next shore leave.  But as far as I'm
concerned, the sooner the better.

"The captain suggested the mess hall, since there really wasn't time to
program a holodeck setting.  B'Elanna went to talk to Chakotay--I hope
he doesn't mind that we've decided to get married, though I don't
suppose he will.  And Harry---

"Poor Harry.  He barely escaped from the clutches of that terrorist, Irina.
Why does that stuff always happen to him?  I know if he was a little
upset about that, but I think he just liked her in that casual sense--he
thought she was fun and all.  Yeah, some fun.  At least he didn't start
caring about her too deeply.

"Anyway, Harry's taking care of the rings for me.  All I have to do show
up in the mess hall, and say my vows--

"My vows.  When the captain asked, we told her the traditional human
wedding spiel would be fine--do you promise to love, honor, et cetera, et
cetera.  The abbreviated version is the ceremony Starfleet captains
usually perform anyway.  Captain Janeway agreed, and then said she'd
give us each a few moments to say our own personal vows to each other-

"And I don't have the least clue what I'm going to say.  Oh, well, I guess
I'll just fly by the seat of my pants again--

"Damn, it's 1819 hours.  If I don't hurry I'll be late to my own wedding.
Gee, that wouldn't be like me at all, would it?

"Well, I'm turning over a new leaf, starting now.  I'm ready.  Let's see,
I've got on socks, shoes, my uniform...  Check, check and check.  I'm
wearing the aftershave B'Elanna likes so much, and my hair's--still
sticking out a little.  Oh, well, B'Elanna likes it kind of mussed anyway.
So I didn't forget anything?

"Nope.  Nothing.  (audible deep breath)  And I'm not nervous at all.  Not
at all...

"Okay, maybe I am, just a little.  But in ten minutes I'm marrying the
woman I love more than anything or anyone in this universe.  I told her
in Engineering yesterday morning that I didn't deserve her.  And I was
right.  But for some reason she's decided to have me anyway.  And I
don't care what doubts she has, or anyone else may have, I'm going to
make sure she's never, ever sorry.

"Computer, end personal log."

(continued in Part 2)

(continued from Part 1)


"Personal log, Stardate 54060.7, Harry Kim reporting:

"Tom and B'Elanna are married.  Imagine that.  They've been married
for... three hours and fifty-two minutes.  That was about four hours after
Tom first asked her to marry him.  Yesterday they weren't even engaged,
and today they're married.  I guess that's what you call a warp speed

"I'm not really surprised.  Well, maybe I was a little surprised at first.
When the captain made the shipwide announcement that Lieutenants
Paris and Torres would be getting married in the mess hall in two hours,
you could have heard a pin drop on the bridge.  Everyone's mouth fell
open.  Except for Tuvok's, though even he looked slightly stunned.

"But I figured it would happen one day.  It's been three years after all.
Tom and B'Elanna have gone through some pretty bad periods when
even I didn't think they'd make it, yet they've always pulled through
somehow.  This time, whatever was going on that made B'Elanna decide
she *had* to be on this race with Tom, they obviously resolved it, in a
big way.

"After everyone got over the surprise, there were a lot of smiles, and a
little amused head shaking.  After all, most people do take a few days or
weeks to plan a wedding.  Heck, I have a cousin who spent six months
planning her wedding.  But Tom and B'Elanna never quite do anything
the normal way, or like anyone else.

"Tom asked me to be his best man.  I was supposed to finish a bridge
shift, but the captain arranged for Billy Telfer to cover for me.  When I
got to Tom's quarters, I teased him a little about finally getting up the
nerve to ask B'Elanna the big question.  He didn't even tease me back.
He just had this...smile on his face.  This really happy smile.  He asked
me if I could take care of replicating the rings while he got showered
and dressed.  I wondered for a moment if I was supposed to pick out a
design too, but Tom had already done that.

"Here's the odd thing.  He'd only been back from the Delta Flyer for half
an hour, and in his quarters for maybe five minutes.  Yet he had the
specifications all ready for me.  He pulled them from one of his personal
computer files in fact.  Maybe it was the design for his parent's rings that
he'd kept stored away on contingency.  Or he'd been planning to ask
B'Elanna to marry him for a while now and just hadn't had the right
motivation to take the plunge.

"Heh.  Every time Tom and B'Elanna almost die in a shuttle mishap,
they do get motivated to kick their relationship up to the next level, don't
they?  I guess that's not really funny, but it's true.  Let's hope nothing
happens to the Delta Flyer while they're on their honeymoon.  Then
B'Elanna might come back pregnant.

"Hmmm (clears throat)...anyway, the wedding went off well considering
the lack of planning.  Everyone just wore their uniforms, including Tom
and B'Elanna.  But Neelix actually found time to hang some streamers in
the mess hall, and everyone who wanted to be there managed to get the
rest of their shifts covered.  Sam and Naomi brought B'Elanna a
beautiful bouquet of flowers.  And Chakotay acted as B'Elanna's...um,
witness.  Traditionally that position is called the maid of honor, but if I
called Chakotay that I probably would be an ensign for the rest of my

"So, it was nice.  And I have to say that Tom wasn't nervous at all when
he arrived.  He wasn't late either.  When he walked in and B'Elanna saw
him...well, she had a smile on her face that was pretty amazing to
behold.  Truly happy, like Tom's.

"The ceremony was pretty short, and I have to admit I didn't pay much
attention to most of the words.  I was kind of busy watching Tom's and
B'Elanna's expressions.  They looked...serene, as if they were completely
certain of what they were doing, despite whatever trials they'd gone
through to get to that point--and there were quite a few of those.  Tom
did stumble a little over his vows, but he recovered quickly enough, in
more ways than one.

"After it was over Neelix whipped out trays of canapés and bottles of
champagne--I don't know how that little guy works so fast, but he can
throw a party at a moment's notice.  It was a pretty short reception,
though long enough for Joe Carey and his team to prepare the Delta
Flyer for departure.  That little send off was actually Captain Janeway's

"The doctor did his part too.  When he announced that he would perform
Tom and B'Elanna's wedding song, I could tell from their faces that Tom
and B'Elanna didn't have a clue what he meant.   Then the doc started
singing 'Let's Call the Whole Thing Off.'  Apparently it's a song from
Gershwin, the twentieth-century musician whose work the doc favors.
Boy, B'Elanna gave the doctor a look that I'm surprised didn't fuse all
the circuitry in his mobile emitter.  But Tom thought it was great.  I
heard him tell B'Elanna it was a classic song from some old dance movie
that they'd have to watch together sometime.  That mollified B'Elanna a

"Actually, the words were kind of nice, and appropriate.  Tom and
B'Elanna are opposites in a lot of ways, yet somehow they've found a
way to fit together, maybe just because they won't give up.  When
Neelix toasted them, he said something about love being more than
enough, and I think he's right.  B'Elanna shared an odd look with Neelix
after he made his toast, and then she hugged him.

"Right after that Tom and B'Elanna left in the Delta Flyer for an
impromptu honeymoon.  The Flyer has no warp core right now, but it's
not like they are going anywhere in particular anyway.  They're just
getting some privacy while Voyager is hosting the post-race reception.

"Speaking of the reception, I wish I could skip it myself.  At least Irina
won't be there.  She was arrested and taken off to while away her time in
some cell, where she belongs.  Hopefully she'll stay there for a very long

"Now I guess I can add a terrorist to the list of horrible choices I've
made in women.  And this one almost killed my best friends without the
least compunction or remorse.  If that J class nebula hadn't been near
enough for Tom and B'Elanna to get to--so they could eject the Delta
Flyer's warp core--they would have died in the explosion.

"That bitch.  Oh, well, at least I can say that I didn't really fall for her.
was just *starting* to fall for her.
But that's it for me.  I'm done.  I'm swearing off women forever.  I'm an
abject failure at relationships.  I guess I just don't have the kind of luck
that Tom has.  Somehow he always lands on his feet.

"I hope I don't sound jealous.  I'm not jealous of Tom, but maybe I am
just a little envious.  Not because Tom has B'Elanna.  I love B'Elanna
too, but not that way.  I'm envious because Tom has found something
with B'Elanna--and B'Elanna with Tom--that I'm starting to think I'll
never find.  However up and down their relationship has been, I know
when they decided to make this commitment to each other, they both
meant it whole-heartedly.  And they have each other now, no matter

"There's definitely something to be said for having someone who truly
belongs to you, and vice versa.  I mean, who really wants to spend their
life alone?  I am happy for Tom and B'Elanna.  I really am.  I just
wonder if I'll ever get even half as lucky as they have.

"Probably not.


"Speaking of luck, that reminds me--the betting pool.  It's been three
years running now.  The odds have changed over the years, going up and
down depending on the state of Tom and B'Elanna's relationship, and the
changing conditions--dates, times, method of proposal, length of
engagement, and so on.  It's a good thing I've had the computer keeping
continuous track of all those variables.  But the credits have been piling
up.  I checked the stats right before the ceremony, and I came darn close
to winning.  Chakotay wasn't far off either.  Nor Neelix.  We were all
close, but no cigar, as Tom would say, if he knew.  Actually, I'm pretty
sure he knows.  B'Elanna only suspects.

"Anyway, I'll transfer the credits into the winner's account tomorrow.

"Hmmm.  I wonder what the heck Tuvok will do with all those credits...

"Computer, end log."


Personal log, Stardate 54060.8, Chakotay reporting:

"B'Elanna and Tom got married a little over four hours ago.  It was a
sudden to say the least.  Tom asked her on the Delta Flyer, in the heat of
the moment, when the warp core was seconds from exploding.  Then he
asked her again after they'd made it through the explosion.  And
B'Elanna said yes.  She didn't give me all the specifics but I got the
feeling that they'd had some kind of altercation, that they'd hit another
crisis point in their relationship, and Tom's response was to propose.

"It was certainly a full-throttle response.  To be honest I wasn't sure how
I felt about it when the captain announced their intentions right after
they returned safely in the Delta Flyer.  They've certainly been together
long enough that their relationship had to move in one direction or the
other.  I just wasn't sure which way Tom would jump when he was put
to the test.  I thought there was a real chance he might jump right off the

"That sounds harsh, since I do like Tom.  He's a decent man.  He's been
good for B'Elanna in many ways, and I know he'd never intentionally
hurt her.  I've known a lot of men who regularly lie and cheat on their
girlfriends or wives, and vice versa.  I can say that Tom isn't like that.  I
know he's never cheated on B'Elanna. In fact he's never strayed as far as
serious flirting, and I've seen a woman or two hit on him on shore leave,
so he's had the opportunity.  When they first got together I wasn't at all
sure Tom *could* be faithful to B'Elanna, given his reputation and his
past, but he has been completely true to her.  He also doesn't lie to her,
and he's never made any promises he couldn't keep, which is one way of
saying that he's never made her any promises.

"That's why always been a little afraid that B'Elanna would end up hurt
in this relationship.  I was never certain just how deep Tom's feelings
went.  I knew he cared about her; I knew he even loved her.  I've seen
him frantic when she's been hurt or missing, and I've seen him by her
side in Sickbay weak with relief when she ended up surviving another
close call.  But I still wasn't sure he loved her enough that when push
came to shove he'd do whatever it took to keep her.

"I think push did come to shove between them in the Delta Flyer, and
what do you know?  Tom did exactly what it took to keep her, without
hesitation.  He married her.

"It's amazing to think that my head probably would have exploded six
years ago if I could had even conceived of the possibility of B'Elanna
marrying that mercenary, womanizing, jailbait Tom Paris.  If I could
have seen the future back then, I would have probably have shoved Tom
out the nearest airlock without a second thought.  But I was wrong about
him then, and it looks like I'm still doubting him too much.  He's
exceeded my expectations once again, and I'm glad.  Because he's made
B'Elanna very happy, and given her something she's yearned for
probably all her life, though I'm not sure she even knows it.

"I remember once, years ago, not long after I first recruited B'Elanna to
the Maquis, a group of us were in a bar on one of the border planets
celebrating an unexpected victory in a skirmish with the Cardassians.
The Saurian brandy was flowing, and B'Elanna drank too much.  It was
the first time I ever saw her intoxicated, and she wasn't the only one who
over-indulged that night.  The conversation somehow got on the subject
of love.  One of the Maquis there had recently gotten engaged, and was
waxing poetic about the devotion of her fiancé.  B'Elanna was very
dismissive on the subject, insisting that love wasn't worth the trouble or
effort, and at the end of her diatribe she added almost blithely that no
one was ever going to love her like that anyway.

"B'Elanna said that as if it was completely inconsequential to her, but I
saw a brief look flash in her eyes, a sort of yearning for something that
she truly believed she would never experience.  And maybe thought she
wasn't worthy of experiencing.  I barely knew B'Elanna then.  I only
knew that she was young, incredibly gifted at engineering, and filled
with anger.  And that she'd been hurt, and was very vulnerable
underneath all her bravado, even though she had erected a wall of
around herself that a phaser couldn't penetrate.  For a few seconds after
she said that I was briefly tempted to try and penetrate that wall, and to
prove her assumption about herself wrong.  I'm glad I overcame my
brief, alcohol-induced impulse, and had the sense not to do it.
B'Elanna's the best friend I've ever had, and I love her dearly, but it
would have been a lie to offer her something that I couldn't have
delivered in the end.

"But someone finally *has* proved her wrong.  Tom Paris, of all people.
The first time I saw him, drunk and swaying on his feet in that seedy bar
in Marseilles, making some boastful comparison between his sexual
prowess and his piloting skills to anyone who would listen, I didn't see a
speck of vulnerability or decency in him.  I have a feeling now that if I
had looked a little harder, then or during the few weeks he was in my
Maquis cell, I might have seen that there was more to him than the
careless, insolent image he presented.

"And now those two are married to each other.  I'm still getting used to
it.  I probably will be for a while.
The wedding happened so fast that there was virtually no preparation,
which was B'Elanna and Tom through and through.  The captain recited
the traditional liturgy, and then they briefly spoke their vows--their
promises--to each other.  B'Elanna told Tom that he'd always been
willing to stand by her, to accept her faults, and to take all the bumps
and bruises that came along with them.  At those words they traded a
look that had a private significance I wouldn't even try to interpret.
Then she promised to honor him and stand by him for the rest of their
lives together.

"The whole time B'Elanna was speaking she looked completely calm
and composed, but Tom was another story.  He was composed up to that
point, but after he told B'Elanna that he didn't know what he'd done to
deserve her, his glibness deserted him.  In fact he was suddenly at a loss
for words, a rarity indeed.  There was complete silence for several
seconds, and the captain gave Tom one of her sternly encouraging looks,
which seemed to galvanize him.  He took a deep breath, then he looked
at B'Elanna and said, 'I love you, B'Elanna.  And that won't ever change.
That's it.  That's my promise to you.  To love you.  Always.'

"That's an exact quote.  The man's no poet, but the smile that lit
B'Elanna's face said it all.  And I'm pretty sure I saw a tear or two in
Kathryn's eyes.  If there is nothing else that convinces me that I can trust
Tom to do his best make B'Elanna happy, that vow did it.

"I think there are probably those on Voyager who still can't believe
B'Elanna and Tom actually made it to marriage.  But the more I think
about it now, the less surprised I am.  There's more to any relationship
than what appears on the surface.  That's especially true with B'Elanna
and Tom.  Whatever troubles they've had, whatever strains their
relationship has endured, nothing's been able to sever the connection
between them.  And now, I honestly don't think anything ever will.

"Oh, I'm sure they'll still have plenty of arguments.  Neither B'Elanna or
Tom is the type to do anything the easy way, including marriage.  But I
think they'll survive just fine.  And I'm very glad they have each other.

"There is one other reason I'm glad Tom married B'Elanna, and I hesitate
to even mention it.  But I can't help thinking about it, though I'd never
tell anyone, least of all B'Elanna, who wouldn't appreciate my sentiment.
If we do get back to the Alpha quadrant any time soon--and with our
monthly contact and Starfleet's renewed efforts on Voyager's behalf that
may just happen--then as B'Elanna's husband, Tom may be able to
protect her in a way I can't.

"Maybe I'm being pessimistic, since I don't really have any facts to base
it on yet, but I have a feeling the Maquis crewmembers won't receive as
warm a welcome as everyone else on Voyager.  In fact I'm expecting
that to happen.  I just don't know if we'll simply be cashiered out of
Starfleet, or if we might actually be prosecuted.  I know that Kathryn
thinks prosecution is a long shot, let alone prison, and she believes that
her influence can keep either from happening.  I hope she's right, but I
think she is being a little overly optimistic.

"Of course, Tom may not receive a completely warm welcome from
Starfleet either.  But as much as some Fleeters may still hate him, he has
paid his dues for his past crimes in the Alpha quadrant.  The most he'll
get is the boot out of Starfleet again, which might not even bother him.
Tom's a skilled pilot, and he's got his head straight on his shoulders now.
He'll be fine in or out of Starfleet.

"Whether Starfleet forgives him or not, I do know one thing for sure.
From Admiral Paris's reaction when Barclay first contacted us, and the
bits and pieces I've heard since, I know that Tom will receive a very
warm welcome from his father.  And B'Elanna is Tom's wife now, a part
of his family.  With Admiral Paris and Tom by her side, B'Elanna's
chances of escaping unscathed from any punishment Starfleet might try
to impose on the Maquis are that much better.

"Like I said, maybe I am being too pessimistic.  But if the worst comes
to pass, B'Elanna is one less person for me to worry about so much.
And of all of them, she is the person whose future I want to see
preserved the most.

"So all the power in the universe to B'Elanna and Tom.  I'm glad they
finally made a commitment to each other.  From the bottom of my heart
I wish them a very happy life together.  And wherever they are tonight in
the Delta Flyer, I'm sure they're making a...vigorous start.

"Computer, end log."

(continued in Part 3)

(continued from Part 2)


Onboard the Delta Flyer, 2342 hours:

"So, this is where we're spending our wedding night," Tom said softly.
"On the floor of the Delta Flyer."

B'Elanna raised herself on her elbows and smiled down at her husband,
who was stretched on his back on top of the rumpled blankets, his hair
damp and tousled, and his skin still glistening from their back-to-back
sessions of lovemaking.  She made a quick motion with her head.
"There is a bed back there, you know."

Tom looked at the blankets twisted beneath them, and at his wife next to
him, with her skin flushed and glowing, and her hair tangled around her
face, looking recently ravished, and very beautiful.  "Actually, I think I
like it fine right here."

"Me, too," B'Elanna agreed.

"Though I guess this isn't exactly the most romantic honeymoon spot."

B'Elanna shrugged, and her hair bounced a little around her face.  "I
don't know about that.  We just made love under the stars.  What's more
romantic than that?"

Tom looked at the scattered stars shining through the front viewscreen.
Their light was minimal, but in the dimmed confines of the Delta Flyer's
forward compartment, that light shone down right on them.  "Good
point," he said.  "And you don't mind that the wedding was so rushed,
and not very romantic?"

"It wasn't?"

"We were in our uniforms, in the mess hall--"

B'Elanna snorted.  "So?  Can you really see me in a garden or
something, surrounded by trellises of flowers and big bows tied
everywhere, wearing a frilly white dress?"

Tom smiled slowly.  "Actually, I can."

B'Elanna shrugged.  "I liked our wedding.  All our friends were there.  It
wasn't overdone.  And the important parts were included."

Tom reached up and played with a strand of her hair.  "I barely managed
to get out my vows.  I wanted to say something profound but I couldn't
think on such short notice.  I got so rattled, I know I must have sounded
like an idiot."

B'Elanna smiled.  "You didn't sound like an idiot.  And you looked sort
of adorable all flustered."

"Adorable?"  Tom groaned, dismayed.  That wasn't the image he wanted
to project in public.  To B'Elanna, maybe...

"Besides, what you said was perfect," B'Elanna told him.

"I love you?  It was kind of...simple."

"Simple?" B'Elanna asked softly.  "You promised me your love.  I don't
want or need anything else, Tom."

Tom looked at her for several moments, and then his fingers tugged
gently at her hair.  "So you don't doubt my feelings anymore?"

B'Elanna shook her head.  "I think you made them pretty clear this

Tom frowned a little.  "B'Elanna, if I've never made them clear before--"

"You have, Tom.  It's just..." she hesitated.  "Sometimes I have
wondered exactly where I stand in your life."

"Now you know," he replied softly.

She smiled.  "Yes, I do."

"I am sorry I cancelled our weekend," Tom told her.  He looked at her
searchingly for several moments.  "You went to a lot of trouble
arranging that, didn't you?"

B'Elanna shrugged.  "A little."

"Neelix said you had the holodeck reserved for the entire weekend.  That
must have taken a good deal of finagling."

B'Elanna shrugged again.  "I just called in a few favors."

Tom sighed.  "And I was a jerk and cancelled on you."

"I forgive you," B'Elanna said.  Then she grinned.  "After all, you did
make it up to me, just like you promised you would."

Tom smiled at her inference.  "So a wedding is a fair trade for a
romantic weekend?"

"I'd say it's definitely a trade up," B'Elanna replied with a teasing smile.
"Besides, the program's still in the database."

"Where were we going?" Tom asked curiously, not sure he wanted to
know what he'd passed up.

"Gaedis Prime," B'Elanna said.  She gave him a sultry look, and trailed a
finger provocatively down his chest, just to punish him a little.
"Crystalline beaches, mood reefs, bioluminescent waterfalls..."

Tom slapped a hand to his forehead and groaned.  "What was I
thinking?"  He shook his head.  "We'll do it again.  Soon.  I promise.
And this time I'll trade favors for the holodeck time.  Though let's just
hope I don't have to deal with the doctor.  It will take two months of
double-shifts for me to get any holodeck time out of him."

B'Elanna's eyebrows rose.  "Don't worry about the doctor.  You take care
of everyone else, and I'll take care of him."

Tom smiled at the confidence in B'Elanna's voice.  He knew the poor
doctor was complete and utter putty in her hands.  "It's a date then.  How
about on our first anniversary?"

B'Elanna frowned.  "You want to wait a year?"

"Our first month anniversary," Tom clarified.  "I'd say first week
anniversary, but I think we've used up our favors for the next few weeks.
And in a month I can probably find a way to sweet talk the captain into
some extra time off."

B'Elanna smirked.  "I'm sure you can, Tom."  She shifted slightly so she
could rest her arms on his chest.  "In the meantime you can practice on

"I'd be happy to," Tom said softly.  "Since I plan on being a very mushy

B'Elanna's lips quirked.  "I think I look forward to that..."

"Good," Tom said.  "And when I sweet talk you now, I can call you pet

B'Elanna frowned.  "It depends on what you mean by pet names."

"How about 'baby'?'

"Not a chance," B'Elanna said promptly.


B'Elanna snorted.  "No."


B'Elanna's eyes narrowed at that one.  "Not unless you want to die."

"So I guess 'sugarplum,' 'buttercup,' and 'honeybun' are out too."

B'Elanna rolled her eyes.  "Tom..."

"How about 'darlin'?"

B'Elanna scrunched her nose, and shook her head.


She paused thoughtfully at that one.  He thought he might just be
wearing her down.  "Maybe," she finally conceded.

"So what are you going to call me?" Tom asked.

"Something wrong with 'pig'?" B'Elanna returned impishly.

Tom grinned.  "The way you say it, B'Elanna, not a thing."

"Pig," she growled softly.  She dropped at the base of his throat, and
grazed her teeth over his collarbone.  When she looked up at him again
there was an odd, almost bemused expression on her face, and she shook
her head.  "I can't quite believe it yet."


"That I'm married.  To you."

Tom saw the mischievous look in her eyes, and he smirked.  "There are
worse fates, you know."

B'Elanna smiled, and brushed her lips over his.  Then she flung one leg
over him, and pulled herself on top of him until her body was draped
fully over his.  "Oh, I know.  *Much* worse fates..."

Tom wrapped his arms around her and shifted until B'Elanna was on her
back.  In the tight confines he rapped his ankle against the base of one of
the chairs.  He yelped, and something fell off the chair.  It was an empty
champagne glass that bounced harmlessly on the blankets, and he
pushed it away with his foot.

"Are you sure you don't want to move to the bed?" B'Elanna asked dryly
when he looked at her again, still wincing.

Tom stilled, and stared at her silently for several moments.  Then he
threaded his fingers slowly through her hair.  "I'm very happy right
where I am."

His voice was soft and resolute, and B'Elanna knew he meant that in the
much larger sense.  "So am I," she murmured as his fingers curled
tightly in her hair, and his mouth descended on hers.

And she was.  Very, very happy indeed.


the end