Claustrophobia by Gemini

This is a bit of story that sprung into my head. I decided to
write it down. I hope you like it. It is a bit of a tear-
jerker but not that bad. This is my first story so please be
nice. All flames and/or comments to

As usual I am not making any money from this nor do I expect
to. I do not own Star Trek: Voyager or any of the characters
if I did I would not have to save up to go on holiday to
Italy with my Friends

Claustrophobia by Gemini

"So...." B'Elanna stood with her arms crossed facing Tom. "So
What?" "So. As in why are you so afraid of Stasis?" "I'm not
afraid. I just...." A small tear trickled down Tom's face but he
wiped it away before B'Elanna saw. "Are you going to tell me
or not?" B'Elanna carried. Her look threatened violence if he
didn't tell "not" Tom replied and then he walked out of the
mess hall. B'Elanna paused for a second before running after
him. Seven turned to Harry, with a curious look "Why was
Lieutenant Torres so keen to find out about Lieutenant Paris'
fear of stasis?" She asked "I don't know. Curiosity killed the
cat" "What cat?" Seven replied.

"Tom, wait... Why won't you tell me? How bad can it be?" Tom
whirled on his heels his face dancing with rage "Why can't you
just leave me alone?" This time he didn't succeed in wiping
away the tear before B'Elanna saw "I'm sorry" B'Elanna replied
"but I love you and I want to know what's going on" B'Elanna
placed her hand on Tom's shoulder, her eyes pleading Tom to
tell her. "I will tell you. Just not here, not now" and with
that Tom broke from her grasp and headed into the Turbolift to
his quarters.

The next day, Tom didn't see much of B'Elanna he had Alpha
Shift and she had Beta shift so they managed to miss each
other until B'Elanna finished her shift. "Carey, Can you check
the Plasma Manifolds, I think there may be a problem. I'm off
shift now" and she left Engineering and headed to Tom's
quarters. She heard his voice inside saying "Come in" She
walked, slowly, into his quarters, huddled on his sofa staring
at a padd. She walked up to him "Tom, I know you didn't want
to talk last night, but will you talk now" He looked up his
eyes brimming with tears. "okay, but please don't interrupt I
need to tell the whole story" B'Elanna sat down on the sofa
next to him and placed her arm around him. He started the

"I was 9 at the time. It was the 21st of June. We were living
on a colony on Mars at the time but Dad was going to be posted
to a Starship soon and we were to be moved to a colony on
Terrus 4. It was a week before we were supposed to leave and
Dad had been packing his bags to join the Starship. It had
been really busy that morning. My sisters had been saying
goodbye to all their friends and making up padds with all
their friends details. I didn't have that many friends, Dad
had moved me forward in class 2 years and all the other kids
treated me like a spoilt brat so I just sat in my room staring
up at the sky and wondering if I would find any friends on
Terrus 4. I sat there all day. Eventually my sisters came
home, crying about all their friends, Melissa was especially
upset because she had to leave her boyfriend of three years.
Andrea was complaining about the weather on Terrus 4 and how
it wasn't artificially controlled like it was on Mars."

"It was about Midnight and everyone except me had gone to
sleep. I heard a rustling in the room next to me. I thought
about getting up and asking what was going on. I just thought
Alex had brought one of his pets into the house but the
rustling didn't stop" "Who's Alex?" B'Elanna interrupted,
forgetting her promise. Tom just carried on "Alex was my
brother. Anyway the rustling didn't stop so I grabbed my Jeans
and Sweater off the back on the chair and quickly got dressed,
putting on my trainers. I crept outside my room and I waited.
I must have waiting for an hour before Alex crept out of his
room with a large bag slung over one shoulder. He placed padd
on the table in the sitting room before walking out of the
door. I grabbed my coat and followed him, making sure I shut
the door behind me"

"He walked for a long time until he reached the ruins of an
old house that used to stand in one of the craters. He walked
into the house and dropped his bag on the floor. I followed,
cautiously, I had heard that the house was haunted and I was
quite gullible in those days though I was so adventurous I had
to find out what was going on. I watched him walk up the
staircase and walk into one of the rooms. I started to follow
him but one of the stairs creaked and he came back out of the
room and he stared at me 'Tom' he said 'What are you doing
here?' 'I wanted to know where you were going' I replied.
Barely, daring to look at his face. I thought he would be
angry instead he just smiled and helped me up the stairs. When
were at the top and turned round to me and said 'I hope no-one
followed you. I don't want Mum and Admiral Paris' he did a
fake salute at those words 'to know where I've gone' He turned
round to me and said 'you better go home'. I just stared up at
him 'Where are you going?' I asked. It finally sunk in that he
was leaving home. 'I don't know' he replied, his words were
intertwined with sobs 'away from here'"

"I didn't understand why he was leaving on that day. I do now.
I learnt why shortly after that day. 'Why?' I asked Alex
'Because Admiral Paris' again followed by a fake salute 'Is
very nasty to me' he said, trying to put it into words I'd
understand. 'Nasty? How?' I questioned him further 'He likes
to hit and beat me because I don't do what he says. Because I
don't want to go into Starfleet' Alex was only 17 at this time
but Dad had already enrolled him in Starfleet Academy. 'why?
You always told Daddy that you wanted to go?' 'I told him
because I didn't want to be hit again' and then he sank to the
floor 'I know you don't understand, Tom, and I hope you never
will but Daddy likes to pick on someone weaker than he is. So
he picked on me. He might pick on you someday but I will try
and make sure that never happens. As soon as I get settled in
a new place. I'll send you a Comm and you can come and live
with me' He was right, I didn't understand. Admiral Paris was
always nice to me apart from when I was really bad. I didn't
that Alex's multiple bruises had anything to do with Dad. Alex
was very clumsy you see. Always falling over, Dad said."

" 'Look this may be my last day here. So Tom, I'm going to
give you the responsibility of looking after Andrea and
Melissa. You're going to be the man in the house. Gods know,
Admiral Paris can't be' I felt very proud that I was going to
look after the house at that moment but, also, sad that Alex
was leaving. 'Can I stay here tonight?' I asked. Alex smiled
and said 'Of course, but when you wake up in the morning I'll
be gone. I'm getting an early shuttle' I just smiled and Alex
picked me up and we went into one of the room. I went to sleep
on the floor while Alex slept on the bed"

Tom ran a hand through his hair. B'Elanna kept silent though
she could see he was getting to a difficult bit. "I was woken
up that night by a massive shuddering of the building. I knew
what it was. Mars very commonly had Earthquakes but I was
still afraid. The building was very unstable. I stood up and
walked over to Alex and woke him up, 'Don't worry, Tom, it's
just an Earthquake. It'll pass' He got out of bed and we sat
huddled in the middle of the floor waiting for it to pass. I'm
not sure what happens next but suddenly the floor and roof
caved in I felt myself fall and Alex grabbed my hand as we
fell together. I don't remember hitting the floor. I must have
blacked out"

"When I woke up, I still had hold of Alex's hand but I felt
cold. I thought it was because there was no roof to shelter
us. I tried to move but I was completely enclosed by rubble.
The only contact I had with the outside was Alex's hand and
that felt so cold and clammy. I couldn't see a thing. My lungs
felt clogging with dust and every breath was a wheezing cough.
The pain was, almost, unbearable. It felt like every bone in
my body was broken. In fact most of them were. I tried to
scream but every effort just filled my lungs with more dust. I
lay in the dirt for almost 6 hours trying to warm up Alex's
hand when I heard voices. 'The old house collapsed last night
in the Earthquake. Thank god it was deserted' I tried to
scream again but no sound came out 'Hang on what's that' I
heard feet scrabbling. 'Oh my god, it's a kid. Check for a
pulse' 'No, there isn't one' I remember thinking that they
couldn't be looking in the right place. Alex had to be alive.
'Let's get him out of here. The rest of the house could come
down any minute' I felt Alex's hand being pulled away from me
so I just hung on tighter. 'It's caught on something in the
rubble' 'See if we can clear some of it away' I could hear
stones being pulled away until I felt a slight chill on my
hand. 'Holy shit' 'What is it?' 'There is another hand here'
'Oh god, not another one' 'No, this one seems to have a pulse,
just a weak one but there is something there' 'I go and get
help. You see if you can speak to him or her' I heard
footsteps running away from the site and repeated calls for

"Meanwhile someone took Alex's hand away from mine, I
tried to hold on but I couldn't. I felt another hand in mine.
A warm hand. It was, then, I realised Alex was dead. I tried
to pull my hand back but the other person just held on.
'Shush, It's all right. My name is Andrew Green. I'm going to
try and get you out of there. My son, Jonathan, has gone to
get help. What's your name?' Somehow I managed to reply 'Tom'
the voice sounded hoarse. 'Okay, Tom, I going to try and dig
you out. I may hurt a bit' 'Where's Alex?' I asked. 'Os that
your friend' 'My brother. He was here. His hands gone' A
silence filled the air. 'I'm afraid your brother was very
badly hurt in the fall. He isn't alive' I let a massive sob
into the air and my body was racked with convulsions. 'Hey,
hang on, kid. Where are your parents? I need to find them' His
voice sounded reassuring. 'Daddy's leaving for a Starship
today. Mummy's a home' The man decided to try and keep me
talking. 'Is your Daddy in Starfleet?' 'He's an Admiral' I
replied. I, now, know why the man went silent. I didn't then.
I could imagine the feeling of knowing that trapped under the
rubble was a Starfleet Admirals son and that one of his sons
had already died. 'Help' I whispered, my mouth was clogged
with dust. This seemed to spring him back into life and so I
felt rocks moving off me, soon my face was clear I tried to
open my eyes but I couldn't see anything. I heard a lot of
people scrabbling down the bank and soon all the rocks were
moved off. A stretcher was placed under me and I was carried
off to a shuttle near the house."

"There weren't good enough facilities on Mars so I was
taken over to Earth. Apparently my sisters sat with me the
whole way but I don't remember any of it. I remember my Dad
telling everyone to leave us alone and then he turned to me
and said 'Your brother is dead. It is your fault. I wish you
were dead' and then he turned around and left. I believed him.
I thought it was my fault Alex died. After about a year I was
able to walk normally again. Dad had left the day after the
accident for the Starship. We moved to Earth for most of the
time so I could keep having physiotherapy and psychotherapy. I
didn't say that I was responsible so the Psychiatrist thought
I was getting better. As soon as I was released I tried to
commit suicide. I slashed my wrists. Andrea walked in and
found me she rushed me to casualty where they managed to save
me but I took a month for me to recover. I was in constant
psychotherapy for 6 years. When I was 16 I joined the academy.
Dad had come back in the last year and he constantly beat me
and hit me. I realised what Alex had been talking about. I
wanted to run away but I didn't. I thought it was my fault and
that I deserved the beatings. The rest of my history you know"
Tom finished with tears running down his face. B'Elanna drew
him into a tight hug "Ever since then I've hated being in any
sort of confinement. Severe Claustrophobia, the Psychiatrist
called it. They tried to cure it but I could never face any
sort of small space without a severe panic attack often
leading to me knocking myself out to get away. So they
stopped. There you go, my story. Happy?" The tone of sarcasm
in Tom's voice didn't cover up the severe sadness in his
voice. "I'm so sorry, Tom, If I'd known, I wouldn't have
teased you" "I needed to tell someone. Thanks for listening"

Tom and B'Elanna just sat there hugging each other until
it was time for Tom's shift to start. "Are you going to be
okay?" B'Elanna asked her voice laced with concern. "Now, I
will" Tom replied as he left for the bridge "With you,
everything is okay"

The End Any flames, comment, threats of violence if I
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