Title: Late Night at Sandrine’s
[Star Trek: Voyager -- P/T]
Author: Jane Griffen
Author’s Notes: Set in the early/middle third season, before Blood Fever. Please send me feedback!
Disclaimers: Paramount owns Star Trek: Voyager and the characters
Tom Paris sat alone in Sandrine’s on a bar stool, sipping a cup of decaff coffee. It was late at night, and he had been unable to sleep. So instead of going for a walk on Voyager’s decks, he had uploaded one of his favorite holoprograms -- Sandrine’s Bar, from Marseilles, France, on Earth. He sighed, his thoughts focused on one subject. Actually, one woman.
“What’s wrong, Tommy? You look sad,” a melodic voice told him.
He looked up to find Sandrine standing there, hands on her hips. “It’s nothing,” he replied, flashing a charming smile in her direction.
Sandrine didn’t buy it. “Oh, really? Then how come I had to say your name five times just to get your attention?” She walked around the bar and sat on the barstool next to Tom. “So, who is she? Somebody I’d know?”
His mouth quirked upwards in a grin. “Probably.” He vaguely answered her, not fully wanting to talk about it but really wanting to get it off his chest.
“Well, does she come in here often? Is it that cute blonde with the pointy ears named Kes? The two brunette twins who’re the Delany sisters?” Sandrine persisted, a knowing smile already on her lips as she watched Tom shake his head.
“It’s . . .” Tom’s voice trailed off, and he whispered the answer as if afraid anyone would hear him. “It’s B’Elanna.”
“Ah! The chief engineer! She’s the dark beauty with a fierce temper, is she not?”
Tom had to smile at that. “Yeah.”
“Does she know you are interested in her?”
At this he shook his head. “No, we’re just friends. It’s nothing more than that. It’s just that lately-” He stopped. *Don’t go there.* But he ignored his mind. “Lately I’ve thought of her as more than just a ‘friend’. As someone . . . She’s very special to me. I think I’m in love with her, but I’m not sure.”
“You’re afraid to tell her the truth, then. All lies lead to the truth, you know,” Sandrine commented wisely, leaning back against the bar and watching the multiple emotions flash across Tom’s face. “When did you first ‘fall in love’?”
Tom sighed and shrugged, letting his gaze drift from the piano to the tables to the dance floor. Finally his eyes fastened on the pool table-
Tom’s eyes narrowed in concentration as he scrutinized the position of the balls on the pool table. Then he leaned over, and with one quick swift shot he sent the number 7 striped ball ricocheting off the pool table’s edge, sending three balls into two different holes. Hearing someone whistle, he looked up to find B’Elanna gazing at him, an astonished look on her face. “Not bad,” she murmured, a smile spread across her face as she looked at him.
What it was that made him suddenly notice how gorgeous she was, how her brown eyes sparkled in the dim lighting, how the light made her hair shine, how her body curved in just the right places, how beautiful her smile was, he didn’t know. Eyes wide at his sudden realization, he merely flashed her a quick smile. “Beat that,” he had replied saucily.
After the pool game, won by Kathryn Janeway, he had dismissed his sudden feelings for the chief engineer.
Until they kept on coming back.
So here he was, alone at eleven o’clock at night, not being able to sleep because of his thoughts of B’Elanna Torres.
“It was here,” he told the waiting hologram.
Sandrine smiled, and was about to comment when the holodeck doors opened, revealing none other than B’Elanna Torres. She spotted Tom talking with Sandrine, and stopped dead in her tracks.
Tom took in her simple one-piece dark blue jumpsuit as she started to blush. “S-sorry, I didn’t know you were in here. I thought no one was here,” she stammered, looking down at her hands.
He merely shrugged, barely noticing Sandrine heading for the back room to make herself scarce. He gestured for the now-empty barstool and B’Elanna came over. Sitting down, she flashed him a quick smile. “You too, huh?”
“Yeah, I couldn’t sleep.” He paused, not knowing what else to say. “Want a sip?” he asked, gesturing to his coffee.
She shook her head. “No thanks. I’ve got to get up early to run some schematics on the warp core since we just integrated the new source of dilithium crystals with the old ones.”
B’Elanna smiled slightly. “Well, in *that* case . . .” She took a sip of coffee. “Mmm, this hits the spot. So, how come you couldn’t sleep?”
Tom shrugged, not wanting to tell her the truth. ’All lies lead to the truth’ he suddenly remembered Sandrine saying. He merely shrugged. “I just had an acute case of imsomnia. I was thinking.”
“About what?” B’Elanna persisted, one elbow on the bar and leaning her head against her hand, watching him.
Tom took a sip of his coffee. “Voyager. Earth. Home.” *You.* he added silently, scrutinizing her. Even though she had been up since early in the morning, she didn’t have black circles under her eyes. She still looked alert and fresh. “How about you?”
This time it was she who shrugged. “I don’t know, really. I think it must have been that last cup of coffee I had,” she said, joking.
He smiled. “Seriously,” he pressured.
B’Elanna looked down at her hands. “Oh, nothing much. I was just thinking about my life here on Voyager, and how much everything and everyone has changed over the past three years.”
“Have I changed?” Tom regretted asking the question as soon as the words left his mouth, seeing the look on her face.
To his surprise, she looked up at him quizzically. “What do you think?” She stopped, and winced. “Sorry. There I go again.” she muttered, more to herself than to Tom. “Yes, you have.” she said louder.
Tom smiled. “I was wondering . . .”
B’Elanna’s brow furrowed. “What?”
“Wanna go for a walk along the boardwalk? It’s not too far from here, and it’s got a gorgeous view of the water,” he suggested.
Her brown eyes widened slightly, and she looked wary. Then she smiled softly. “You know, I’d like that,” she said, and stood up from her stool. Then the two of them left Sandrine’s, hand in hand.