By Jane Griffen
Disclaimers: Paramount owns ‚em, I just borrow ‚em, except for Heather Whitney and the junior officers that I made up (as well as the story).
Author‘s Note: This is a sequel (among countless others :) to the episode Blood Fever.
=/\= CHAPTER 1 =/\=
Lt. B‘Elanna Torres sighed in her quarters. This was the sixth day she had gone to her quarters right after her double shift. She wanted to lessen the chances of running into Lt. Tom Paris. This was the sixth day since they had ran into each other in the turbolift after she had gotten Ponn Far. Thankfully, the only time she saw him was at the daily briefings. She had declined the offer by her friend Lt. Heather Whitney to go to the holodeck and relax, who had been baffled at her reply, "Not today, I‘m busy." She looked at the chrometer. It was 2100 hours, too early to go to bed. She went over to the replicator and got some coffee. * I might as well read. * she thought, and went to get a PADD. Again she listed the reasons why she shouldn‘t go outside her quarters. * Number one, I might run into Tom Paris,* she paused, remembering what he had said in the turbolift, * Number two, I might run into anyone from the away team, Number three, I might run into Harry or Heather, especially Heather. Number four, I might run into Vorek. * How she wished she had never suggested that they go and mine the galacite! Then she would have never... She stopped and shuddered involuntarily. She didn‘t want to think about it.
* * * * *
Lt. Tom Paris sighed. He had decided to go to the Mess Hall to get a snack, but saw Harry and Heather there. * I might as well go in, since there‘s not much else to do. * He took a deep breath and walked into the Mess.
Harry and Heather looked up when he stopped at their table, " Mind if I join you?" he asked hesitantly.
They looked up and smiled. "Sure!" Heather said.
Tom sat down, "So what were you talking about?" Tom asked.
Harry and Heather looked at each other. They had been trying to figure out what was wrong with their two best friends, Tom and B‘Elanna, but they couldn‘t tell that to Tom.
"Oh, the warp core with the new galacite. You won‘t believe how much better it is." Heather said.
"Yeah, the refitting‘s done and now the warp core‘s as good as new." Harry offered.
Heather thought she saw Tom cringe at the mention of galacite. She decided it was her imagination. "You are so lucky to have gone on the away mission. It must have been fun, climbing the rocks. It‘s just not the same on the holodeck..." her voice trailed off when Tom interrupted.
"It wasn‘t fun, I can tell you that. I‘d rather die then be on the away mission if I had a choice to do it over again." he said and got up and walked out of the mess, leaving Harry and Heather mystified.
"What is with him these days?" Harry asked.
"I don‘t know, but I do know this, if we don‘t fix things up between Tom and B‘Elanna, they‘ll both be miserable."
"What do you mean by that?" Harry asked.
"I don‘t know, I‘m just feeling very strong feelings from him about B‘Elanna, but I can‘t quite place it." Heather replied. She rubbed her temples and sighed, "We‘ve got to do something!" she said.
Harry nodded, "Computer, where is Lt. Torres?" he asked. "Lt. B‘Elanna Torres is in her quarters." came the reply. He raised his eyebrows. "Normally that is the last place B‘Elanna would want to be." he told Heather, who nodded.
"I‘m going to go talk to B‘Elanna. Maybe...." her voice trailed off.
"Be careful." Harry cautioned.
Heather nodded. "I‘ll set my phaser on stun." she joked, and walked out of the mess hall, leaving Harry deep in thought.
* * * * *
The doors chimed. B‘Elanna looked up, startled at the interruption. "Who is it?" she asked.
"It‘s me, Heather. Now will you open the doors or do I have to stand here all night?" she said.
B‘Elanna opened the doors and peered cautiosly out into the corridor. No one else was in sight. "What do you want?" B‘Elanna asked suspiciously.
Heather sighed and sat down on a chair. "I want to talk about what‘s up with you and Tom." she said bluntly, using her telepathic powers. Yes, there was something. The same feelings she had felt from Tom.
B‘Elanna‘s face paled, "I don‘t think so, Whitney." she said quietly, staring at the floor. T his was more than Heather had expected. She had expected was for B‘Elanna to leap at her and strangle her.
Heather stood up. "Look, I don‘t know what happened down on that stupid planet, but I know this, something happened between you and Tom and if neither one of you are going to do something about, you‘ll be throwing away a perfectly good relationship. What you had with Tom was special. And I should know, since I‘m a telepath. You can argue all you want, but it won‘t change my mind one bit." Heather said angrily. She hated it when her friends had fights. B‘Elanna stood up from the couch and looked Heather in the eye, "What happened down there is none of your business. It was a very personal matter and I don‘t want to talk about it!" Tears streamed down B‘Elanna‘s cheeks as she said this.
Heather walked over to B‘Elanna and took her hands. "I don‘t want to know what happened, B‘Elanna. I‘m just a worried friend, that‘s all. Harry‘s worried sick about you as well. When was the last time you had a meal in the mess hall, the last time you went to the holodeck? When was the last time you and Tom had a conversation? I just want this cold silence to end between you and Tom." she asked, then walked out the door. B‘Elanna sighed and sat down. Life was so complicated!
* * * * *
The next day, Harry met Heather at the holodeck. He sat down in one of the chairs that was from Neelix‘s resort program. Heather had a PADD in her hand.
"What? You said you had an idea?" he asked. Heather grinned evily. "I do. See, I figure if B‘Elanna and Tom won‘t talk to each other, we‘ll make them talk." she explained.
Harry rolled his eyes. "You‘re forgeting something, Heather, B‘Elanna‘s half klingon and Tom isn‘t exactly the negotional type." he reminded her.
Heather looked disgusted. "We‘ll just lock the holodeck doors. Anyway, we‘ll be there, too." she said.
"But won‘t they want to talk in private?" he asked.
Heather shrugged. "We‘ll be able to leave whenever we want. They don‘t know our commander codes so they won‘t be able to open the holodeck doors." she replied.
Harry grinned, "What‘s the program?" he asked.
Heather just smiled innocently, "Do you like to swim?" she asked. Harry raised his eyebrows in a Tuvokian way. Heather filled him in on the details of the program and he smiled. "They‘ll never know what hit them." he said.
Heather smiled wickedly. "You get Tom to come to Holodeck 2 at 2400 hours tomorrow, I‘ll get B‘Elanna. Tell him to be dressed in a swimsuit." she said, "That goes for you, too. Both of them are off duty at that time. I already explained what we‘re going to do to Captain Janeway and she was very sympathetic. Even she doesn‘t really know the whole story on what happened. Commander Chakotay and Tuvok do." she said.
Harry nodded. "Computer, locate Tom Paris."
"Lt. Tom Paris is in his quarters." Harry shook his head, "Good luck!" he called to Heather.
Heather got up. "B‘Elanna‘s down in Engineering now. I‘ll go talk to her." she said, and the two friends walked out of Holodeck 2.
"B‘Elanna!" Heather called out in Engineering.
B‘Elanna looked up from a console near the warp core. "Yes?" she asked suspiciously, remembering the night before.
Heather went over to her. "I was wondering, do you want to check out the new holodeck program I made?" she asked.
B‘Elanna shrugged, "All right. What time?"
Heather smiled sweetly, "2400 hours tomorrow. Wear a swimsuit." Heather said inocently. B‘Elanna agreed and Heather left Engineering. * One down, one to go. * she thought as she took a turbolift to Deck 7.
Meanwhile, Harry was having a little bit more trouble with Tom.
"Come on, you haven‘t been to the holodecks in ages! Why not?" he asked angrily.
Tom just shrugged, "I just don‘t feel like it." he answered.
Harry shook his head disgustedly. "All you do now is hang around in your quarters and work double shifts. Why?" he demanded.
Tom just shrugged again, "I just feel like it." he said. That didn‘t go well with Harry. Now he was really mad.
"No. I think its more like, ‚ I don‘t want to take the chance to run into B‘Elanna.‘ What is with you guys? You go on one away mission to simply mine a mineral, and then you avoid each other after that!"
Tom looked mad at this, "Listen, something happened down there that changed our relationship from that point on. I don‘t want to talk about it!" he shouted.
Harry sighed, "Will you at least go for a swim on Holodeck 2 tomorrow?" he asked.
Tom sighed, "Sure. What time?"
Harry smiled, "2400 hours." he said and turned sharply on his heel and left, leaving Tom mystified. He sat down on the couch and closed his eyes. Immediatly, thoughts of B‘Elanna came to his mind, * She made it clear she wasn‘t interested, Tom. * he told himself, but a part of him wondered about what she had said, ‚I was just afraid, Tom, just afraid.‘ There were some parts that hadn‘t been so bad, like the very beginning when they began to descend down to the tunnels, before Neelix had fallen down. He could almost feel her lips on his. He opened his eyes and the thoughts didn‘t go away. He sighed and shook his head and decided it would be a good idea to go to the holodeck tomorrow.
* * * * *
B‘Elanna sighed and pulled on some clothes over her black bathing suit. She decided it had been a good idea to agree to go swimming with Heather. * At least it will take my mind off Tom. * she said. The night before she had dreamed of him, * Again. * she thought angrily. It seemed as though things would never change. She brushed her hair one last time, grabbed a towel, and headed for Holodeck 2. She would be early, but that would be okay.
She arrived at the holodeck, where Heather and Harry were. "Oh, hi Harry!" she said, smiling, "You coming swimming too?" she asked.
Both Harry and Heather looked slightly worried, "Yeah, if you don‘t mind." he said. B‘Elanna shook her head. "That‘s fine with me." she said, then glanced around. She stood in a small clearing that was surrounded by woods.
"There‘s just one problem, where‘s the water?" she asked. Heather laughed and tried to smile, but failed miserably, "It‘s a ten minute walk to the water." she replied.
Harry had gone to wait in the corridor for Tom, who arrived a minute after B‘Elanna. They walked into the Holodeck togethere, and there was no sign of Heather or B‘El
story incomplete for some reason..