This part is dedicated to the Burkes; Mrs. Burke convinced my mom it was safe enough for us to go body surfing in Georgian Bay even though a storm was about a mile away, and the two of us and Cailiegh surfed in the waves. It was sooo much fun!
CHAPTER THIRTEEN: BODYSURFING
The alarm went off.
Tom Paris opened his eyes and blinked back the sleep. Then realization hit him, and he threw his legs over the side of the bed.
Beside him, Lisa stirred. "Hmm?" she asked sleepily, opening her blue eyes.
Tom grinned. "Want to go windsurfing?" he questioned.
Lisa took his pillow and hit him with it. "Ha, ha, ha," she replied drly. "Sorry, Tom, but I'm *exhausted*. Some other time perhaps?"
Tom smiled and leaned over. Kissing her forehead, he murmered, "Would you mind if I went and got everyone else up?"
Lisa sat up and kissed him passionately on the lips. Then she grinned back. "Have fun!" she called as Tom grabbed his swimsuit and clothes and headed for the bathroom to change. Then she flopped back down on the double bed and tried to get back to sleep. *Am I the only sane person here?* she thought tiredly as she closed her eyes.
Tom knocked on his oldest sister's bedroom door. "Yo, 'Lyssa," he hissed.
Alyssa opened the door a crack. "What, Tom?" she asked, her voice filled with sleep.
"The weather's perfect for surfing! You were right about the storm," Paris replied quietly.
Alyssa grinned. "I'll be out in a second. Samantha told me earlier not to wake either her or Richard if we went, so don't go pounding on their door! I'll wake up Kathryn and Chakotay. Go wake up everyone else."
Tom nodded and heeded his sister's word. After Alyssa closed her door, he walked down the hall.
Tom nearly did a doubletake. Whirling around, he found Seven of Nine donned in pajamas and a bathrobe standing outside the bathroom door. "Sorry if I scared you," she said with a soft smile.
Trying hard not to laugh in case he'd wake anyone, Tom grinned. "That's all right. Want to go body surfing?"
Seven's Borgified eyebrow raised. "Body surfing?" she questioned.
"Its a long story. Just get your swimsuit on and meet me down at the beach in five minutes. Will you wake Heather and Harry up for me?" Tom explained.
"Sure!" Seven asked, already jogging down the hall towards Heather and Harry's room.
Tom watched her go, then headed for B'Elanna's room. Deciding not to knock on the door since Samantha's bedroom was right across the hall, he slowly turned the doorknob and opened the door. When his eyes adjusted to the darkness, he spotted B'Elanna curled up on the far side of the bed, wearing a silk sleevless pajama top and pajama pants. He knelt down and leaned over B'Elanna. "B'Elanna," he whispered.
B'Elanna slowly opened her brown eyes. Inches away from her face was Tom's. "What the-" she nearly cried, but Tom, with an amused look on his face, quickly put a finger to her lips. She struggled to sit up, and Tom leaned back so that he wasn't directly above her. "What the hell are you doing here?" she whispered fiercely.
Tom gazed back at her, meeting her gaze. He saw a slight glimmer of confusion and apprehension, which made him smile even more. "Get your swimsuit on. We're going for a swim," he informed her.
"Wha?" Her voice slurred out the ending. "Tom, its-" She glanced over at the bedside chronometer Dana Paris had given her when she had first arrived. "Two o'clock in the morning. Why are we going swimming in the middle of the night?" she asked, covering up a yawn.
Tom stood up. "There's a thunderstorm off the coast a few miles out in the Pacific Ocean. It should be great weather for bodysurfing." he explained.
B'Elanna stretched and got up. "Who else is coming?" she questioned, going over to the dresser.
"Seven, Lyssa, Harry, Heather, Chakotay, and Kathryn," Tom replied, scrutenizing her.
She opened the top drawer and rummaged through her underwear. Finding her black one-piece swimsuit, she closed the drawer. Turning around, she found Tom standing there. "I'll meet you downstairs in a few minutes, okay?" she promised, her tone implying for him to leave the bedroom so that she could get changed in peace.
Tom turned to leave, then paused. With a strange look on his face, he commented, "You know, I have seen you a lot more naked before," he commented, deadpan. Then he flashed her a dashing smile - one that she guessed had broken many women's hearts, hers included. He walked out and closed the door behind him without another word.
B'Elanna could only gape in shock. *I really wish I knew what was going through your head sometimes, Tom,* she thought, wondering what the hell he had meant by that. Making a mental note to break his nose sometime sooner or later, perferably sooner, she changed out of her pajamas and into her swimsuit. Pulling on a tank top and shorts over her swimsuit, she shook her head to clear her thoughts of Tom and headed downstairs to meet him.
Heather, Harry, and Seven walked out onto the back porch. Harry shaded his eyes and spotted a few figures out on the dock. There was a full moon out, and it was actually quite light for nighttime. He sighed as Heather joined him on the porch. Behind them, Seven closed the glass door, careful not to make too much noise. He sighed. Heather wouldn't tell either of them what was going on; just that they were 'going for a swim'.
"Let's go!" Seven called with a smile.
"Race you to the dock?" Heather dared.
A few moments later, Seven, Harry, and Heather pulled up at the dock after a dead heat sprint. As usual, Seven won. They stripped their clothing off so that all they wore were bathing suits and unstrapped their sandals, leaving them on the dock. Laughing, the three walked over to Tom, B'Elanna, Alyssa, Chakotay, and Kathryn. All of them wore swimsuits as well.
"Now what?" Chakotay asked.
"We have to swim out to that floating dock over there," Heather cried cheerfully, pointing to a bobbing piece of wood in the distance.
"You can't be serious," groaned Kathryn. It was in the middle of the night, and Voyager's two most rambunctious lieutenants had awoken her and told her to put on her swimsuit and meet them down at the dock with no explanation what-so-ever.
"Actually," commented Tom, "She is. The floating dock is in the middle of the sandbars, which should go up to our waists. The waves are the best out there, and then we can surf heading in this direction."
"Wouldn't we need surfboards?" Harry quiried.
Alyssa laughed. "Thats why they call it 'body surfing', Harry," she told him. "Its actually a lot of fun and easy to learn how to do. We should have about an hour or so before the waves get too rough and the storm comes inland."
Seven raised an eyebrow. "Very well," she conceded.
"Well?" Whitney asked, hopefully glancing at everyone else.
B'Elanna shrugged. "I'm game if you are," she told Janeway.
Janeway nodded. "Why not?"
"I'm in," Chakotay added.
Everyone looked at Harry.
"What?" Kim protested, then laughed. "Lets go!"
Everyone looked at each other, then Alyssa rolled her eyes. "I'll go first," she said, then ran up to the dock. Going right up to the end, she dove off it. Surfacing, her blue eyes went round as she gasped for air. "C-cold," she shivered.
"Maybe I'll just wait here for you to all come back," Janeway teased.
No one replied, for Chakotay had picked her up and tossed her in.
Whitney smirked. "Now who's going to wait for us all to come back?" she asked innocently.
Kathryn glared at her, then swam backstroke over to Alyssa, who was treading water to keep herself warm. She then whispered something to Alyssa, who nodded eagerly. "Sure!" The two women waded out of the water. Kathryn then pushed Chakotay in, and Alyssa grabbed her younger brother by the arm and tossed Tom in.
B'Elanna and Heather looked at each other, then simultaneously grabbed Harry and threw him in. Together they waded out into the water after everyone else.
B'Elanna was about to tease Harry, who had surfaced farther out near Chakotay, Kathryn, and Alyssa, when she felt something grab her ankle. She started to scream, then was dunked under water. Coming up for breath, she found a triumphant Tom Paris standing in front of her. He grinned mockingly at her. Torres paused to catch her breath, then dove for his legs. Tom quickly jumped out of the way, but he was too late. Soon, he, too, was submerged underwater. When they both came up for air, B'Elanna murmered, "That was for what you said earlier," then flashed him a smile before swimming off.
Tom paused before swimming after her.
Five minutes later, they all reached the floating wooden dock. By now the waves were choppier and rougher, making everyone more cautious on where they stepped. Thankfully, there weren't any rocks hidden beneath the now darkened water - only white beach sand.
"We're here," announced Janeway. "Now what?" She glanced around. True to Tom's word, the water almost reached her waist, but not quite. The water was pretty cold, though. She could feel the slight ripples made by the waves in the sand under her feet, and she took a deep breath of the ocean air. It really felt wonderful to be out in the ocean, whether it was in the middle of the night or not.
The next ten minutes were spent with Alyssa, Tom, and Heather showing everyone else how to body surf in the waves. By now the waves were choppier and a few even went up to B'Elanna's chest. Thankfully, there seemed to be a lull in the storm, because by the time the 'lesson' was over, the waves had calmed down a bit.
"How are you supposed to know when to go?" B'Elanna questioned Tom as he stood next to her, showing her how to hold her arms when she started to surf.
Tom only grinned at her. "When it feels right," he replied.
Tom's blue eyes seemed to be laughing at her. She gave him a look. "Seriously, Tom," she remarked, her brown eyes sparkling.
Smiling softly at her, he said gently, "When the adreniline starts pumping." *Like mine is right now,* he thought to himself when he realized how close in proximity their bodies and faces were.
B'Elanna gave him an exasperated look. "Maybe I should go ask Heather," she teased, and pulled away from his grasp.
Tom held onto her arms, making her whirl around. Their bodies were inches apart, and Tom almost broke out into a cold sweat when he realized how close they were to touching. Letting go, he took a step back and gazed out at the ocean instead of at her.
B'Elanna stood, slightly confused at his reaction. "Watch out!" was the next thing she heard, and all of a sudden a wave came up from behind them. The wave shoved her and Tom hard, and she found herself surfing along with the wave. Pushing her arms back to her sides, she came up for air. Tom appeared a second later next to her. He grinned at her. "Get the feeling now?" he asked.
"With no thanks to you, yes," retorted B'Elanna.
Tom splashed her, but she ducked underwater just in time. Their splash fight was interrupted a few minutes later when Kathryn swam over to suggest that they go farther out. Tom, after taking a quick gaze at how far out they already were, nodded. "As long as we can see the dock we're fine," he said.
Kathryn nodded. "The last thing I want to do is to have an accident in the middle of this bay," she commented.
Seven appeared from beneath the water. "How far out can we go and still be able to touch the bottom?" she questioned.
Heather joined the trio. "You can go pretty far out, if I remember correctly," she said slowly, answering for Tom, looking over to make sure she was right.
Paris nodded. "Right."
Harry and Chakotay, deep in discussion, were quickly told of the plan. Alyssa and B'Elanna, who had been bodysurfing farther away, quickly joined them.
"When we reach the red line we have to turn around," Whitney commented as they waded slowly through the water.
Paris gave her a look. "We're not going that far, Heath," he told her.
Heather shrugged noncommitably. The bay was quite calm most of the time, although you had to go a certain way to get to the deeper end. A bright red laser beam above and below the water's edge marked the cutoff end, and she personally did not want to go further out. But since Tom and Alyssa seemed okay with the idea, and the weather conditions were great, she didn't put up an arguement.
Seven dived into a larger wave, and surfaced ten feet ahead of the group. "This is so much fun!" she exclaimed. "You are so lucky to have lived here when you were younger," she added to the two Paris' wistfully. She herself had never gotten to live through the fun and joy of growing up. She had been assimilated when she was only a mere five years old, and had become a member of Captain Janeway's crew some twenty years later.
Alyssa nodded, noting the other woman's dreamy tone. "It was a lot of fun, although Mom used to get so worried about us swimming this far out," she said, then disappeared underneath the water.
Heather smiled. "Remember that time in high school?" she asked Tom.
Grinning, Tom replied truthfully, "Yes. I can't believe we never got around to seeing each other again."
"Wait a sec," Kim accused. "I thought the two of you met at the Academy."
Heather nodded agreeingly. "Not quite, though," she said. "Tom's parents invited me over to this big party they had when I was a senior in high school. It was a big event. All these five-star admirals were there and everything, and I felt so lost. Thankfully, Tom and a bunch of his friends were there and they invited me to hang out with them. They saved me from having to listen to an hour lecture on philosopy from the then Commander Kyrh."
B'Elanna's eyes widened. "Thank goodness they came along when they did," she said.
Whitney nodded, then her brow furrowed. "You knew him?"
"Yeah, I had him for Philosophy my freshman year at the Academy. That was the most boring class I have ever sat through." replied Torres.
Chakotay's interest was aroused. "Wasn't he that Vulcan who had the same routine every single day?"
"He comes him, takes three sips of his coffee, collectes the homework, then gives a thirty-minute lecture. Then he goes over to gaze out the window for a few moments, then turns back to us and tells us what section in our padds we should turn to. After we work silently for fifteen minutes, he assigns us homework. It was always perfectly planned, because as soon as he gave us our assignments, he closed his planner, laid it on the desk, and bring! The bell would ring. *Every* single day." Tom explained with a laugh.
Grinning Kathryn commented, "I think I had him, too, although he always caught the note-passers."
"You should have seen some of the antics my friends and I used to pass notes to each other!" Whitney said. "I would have done Tuvok proud back then."
By now, they were far away from the Paris' house and dock, which they could spot in the dim background. The wave were rougher, but no one really noticed too much. They talked, joked, and bodysurfed in the larger waves for a long time. Then Alyssa commented, "Hey, how about we race to back to the floating dock? We've been out for nearly an hour, and tomorrow's going to be pretty hectic, if ya know what I mean."
Harry smiled. "This is the last day before your wedding, Tom," he reminded his best friend.
Tom groaned good-naturedly. "Thanks for reminding me," he teased back sarcastically.
"Hey, isn't the best man supposed to throw the groom a bachelor party?" Heather questioned with a mischievious grin.
"No way, Heather." Tom shot back at her.
Heather only laughed. "Are you going to have one?" she persisted.
"Not one that you'll be going to," retorted Tom.
"Well?" Alyssa asked.
"Sure. First one there gets a weeks worth of replicator rations!" Seven challanged.
Chakotay rolled his eyes. "You're only saying that because you know you'll win," he told her.
"I am not!" protested the former drone innocently, her blue eyes wide with mock surprise at his comment.
Kathryn only grinned. Everyone knew that the former Borg drone was the best athelete of them all. "Only if you give us all a head start," she insisted.
Seven shrugged good-naturedly. "All right."
"Wait a second. Who's giving out the rations?" Kim asked suspiciously.
B'Elanna snorted. "Seven is."
"Why don't we all contribute?" Janeway interjected quickly, before Seven could retort to what B'Elanna had said. While the two were now friends, there were moments when Kathryn felt she had to douse the fire with water.
"Fine! Fine! Lets just go!" Heather whined.
"Heather." Tom gave her a look, and she stopped whining.
"Well?" Alyssa asked for the second time.
"Go!" Whitney said, and they all began swimming.
B'Elanna did freestyle, only coming up for air when she needed to. The only problem was that with the sea water, she couldn't open her eyes underwater. So she had to frequently come up and look straight ahead to see where exactly the dock was. The third time she stopped briefly, a large wave came crashing down on her, and she was pulled underwater. Fighting to get to the top, B'Elanna couldn't find firm ground to stand on. The sand kept on sliding out from under her. *Help!* she wanted to scream, but when she opened her mouth it filled with salt water. Once again she tried to stand up, but her ankle twisted sideways and she felt a searing jolt of pain shoot up her spine. Propelling herself, she managed to surface, only to be pulled down by another wave.
Tom, who had been swimming just behind B'Elanna, paused and looked around for her. He turned and jumped to avoid being swallowed by a wave. It was a good thing they had turned around when they did - the waves were getting larger and more forceful. *The storm must be closing in,* he thought, a tiny sense of worry creeping into his mind. *But where's B'Elanna?* he thought. By now, everyone else had surfaced and were sitting on the floating dock. He saw Heather nearly lose her balance in the distance, and smiled. Quickly he counted heads: B'Elanna was missing.
Hearing a gasp, he whirled around to see B'Elanna come up for air, but she was pushed down by an even larger wave. Tom yelled, "B'Elanna!" and dove for her. He couldn't see anything in the water, but managed to grab her and lift her up for air. "B'Elanna, are you all right?" he asked, concerned. "Take a deep breath," he cautioned, then turned so that the wave pushed him from behind, not from the front.
Coughing, Torres nodded slowly. Her eyes were rimmed with red; they were irritated from all the salt water. "I'm okay," she managed to gasp out between breaths.
Tom frowned at the clouds. "We'd better get going. The storm's closing in faster than I expected. C'mon." He started to wade back to the dock, but turned when he heard B'Elanna gasp. Her face was pained, and she was wincing with every step she took. "I think my ankle's sprained," she groaned softly.
Without a thought, Paris scooped her up into his arms and carried her the rest of the way. B'Elanna started to protest, then leaned her head against his shoulder and closed her eyes. She was too tired to put up a fight, and her eyes hurt a lot.
"Oh, my gosh!" Kathryn said, quickly hopping off of the dock and going over to Torres. She gently touched the other woman's right ankle, and B'Elanna's eyes flashed open in pain. "I think its broken."
"Great," B'Elanna muttered sarcastically.
Alyssa's green eyes sparkled worriedly. "We'd better wrap it up here. The storm's coming in quickly. Can you walk?" she asked B'Elanna.
Tom put her down, and the engineer took a few wobbling steps. In the end she had to grasp the floating dock for support. "I don't think so," Torres replied, wincing in pain.
"Lets head back." Harry said, and everyone jumped off the dock.
By now the waves were almost to Kathryn's chest, and she struggled to stay above them when they hit. Glancing back, she could see black clouds hovering in the distance. "We'd better hurry!" she yelled over her shoulder.
The eight adults moved quickly, and reached the beach just in time to hear a clap of thunder. A few seconds later, a flash of lightning lighted up the sky.
*Yikes!* Seven wanted to yelp, but she didn't. "Where's the med kit?" she questioned to Tom, who was carrying B'Elanna (obviously against her will).
"There's one up at the house we can use," Paris replied.
Just then, the clouds parted and the showers of rain started falling.
"Aaahhh!" Whitney called out in glee, then sprinted up the path to the porch door.
Shaking his head, Kim followed her. They all quickly rinsed off in the outdoor showers, then Chakotay helped Kathryn up the steps and held the door open for her, Seven, and Alyssa. Tom, still carrying B'Elanna, was the last one in. Chakotay shut the glass door behind him in latched it.
Grabbing some towels. Seven handed them out to everyone. B'Elanna, standing on one leg and supporting herself against Tom, nearly fell when she tried to use both hands to dry her hair. Laughing quietly, Tom dried her hair for her. B'Elanna gave him a withering look, but in the end she smiled. "Thanks," she commented softly, gazing into his blue eyes. She could nearly drown in them.
Kathryn gazed out the back door. "Its a good thing we decided to come in when we did," she remarked, staring out at the rain.
"Woah," Kim remarked.
Seven smiled as she finished drying herself off. "Well, thats one good pair of clothes ruined," she teased lightly.
Heather laughed. "I'm going to go to bed. You coming, Harry?" she called softly, not wanting to wake anyone else up.
Harry nodded. The two bade everyone a good night, then headed off to their rooms. Alyssa, after making sure she wasn't needed, followed soon after. Seven yawned, then sleepily thanked Tom for the wonderful time and climbed the stairs tiredly up to her own bedroom. Kathryn and Chakotay left after Tom promised he'd be able to fix B'Elanna's broken ankle.
"G'night," B'Elanna called sleepily after her two commanding officers.
Kathryn turned and smiled at her before exiting the room. Chakotay, immensely amused at the two former lovers, nodded. Then they were gone.
"I'll get the med kit; here, sit down," Tom told her, helping her into a chair.
B'Elanna nodded, scrutenizing her ankle. "It doesn't look that bad. I'll bet its a clean break," she commented lightly, gently fingering it. The reaction was a jolt of pain. *How on earth am I going to be able to fit into heels?*
Tom nodded, then scanned it quickly with a medical tricorder he had gotten from the med kit stashed away for emergencies. "You were right. Its a clean break. I'll use a dermal regenerator to heal the break. You should be able to walk by tomorrow if you don't jump on the bed or anything tonight."
B'Elanna smiled, then watched as he gently took her ankle and rummaged around for the regenerator. "That was a lot of fun," she commented softly.
Tom looked up at her wistful tone. B'Elanna was gazing out the glass doors at the ocean. Her brown eyes looked sad. "What's wrong?" he asked gently, seeing her eyes shine with tears.
Torres snapped out of her reverie. "Hmm? Oh, its just the pain. I stood really hard on it at first," she quickly said, making up the excuse. The truth was she was thinking about how...right...it had seemed for the two of them to be fooling around gaily, just like old times. It seemed that as soon as she went to sleep, the spell would be broken, and she would be reminded that the next day would be the wedding. Then Tom would be married and Lisa would be Lisa Doav Paris. B'Elanna shook her head, wistfully remembering the last time she and Tom had gone swimming together, just the two of them.
"What is it really?" Tom persisted, running the dermal regenerator over her ankle. He knew B'Elanna too well - the pain, although it probably was there, wouldn't be that excrutiating, and he knew that B'Elanna wasn't the type to admit she was hurting.
B'Elanna bit her lip. "Its nothing. Really." she added, seeing that he didn't believe her.
Tom nodded. "I can't believe that I'm getting married tomorrow," he remarked softly.
"Neither can I," Torres remarked, grinning a bit. She met his gaze, her brown eyes twinkling in the dim light. Surprisingly, his seemed a tiny bit fearful.
"What's that supposed to mean?" retorted Paris, his eyes searching hers.
"Oh, nothing. Its just that five years ago you were known as a womanizing self-centered pig. I'm amazed that Lisa fell for you," B'Elanna remarked lightly, a hint of amusement in her voice.
Tom gave her a dirty look, and she couldn't help but grin. "You fell for me," he remarked quietly.
B'Elanna's head jolted up from staring down at her hands. "That was a mistake," she muttered. *The mistake was that I fell in love with you, and when you stopped loving me I couldn't stop loving you.* She immediately regretted her thoughts as soon as she thought them, but she knew what she was thinking was the truth.
Tom stopped treating her ankle. "Whats that supposed to mean?" he demanded, his blue eyes flashing with intensity.
B'Elanna shook her head. "You know what I mean; we both do. If we had stayed together we would have killed each other in the end, Tom."
"Are you so sure?" Tom asked with certainty.
*This is why you confuse me so much, Tom,* B'Elanna thought anxiously, then continued. "I don't know. Are you?"
Tom didn't answer. Instead he turned back to his work. B'Elanna waited for an answer, but didn't get one. Instead, he set the medical device aside on the table a moment later. "There, that should do it. Don't go running around or anything tomorrow and you should be fine."
"Thanks," B'Elanna said, slowly moving her ankle. There was still a bit of pain, but it was almost gone and her ankle felt much better. "I'll see you in the morning," she called, then headed for the stairs.
She opened her bedroom door and stepped into her room. Tears welled up in her eyes, but it wasn't because of her ankle. It seemed like the longer she was around Tom, the more anguish she felt over him getting married. She quickly dried herself off with a towel and changed into her pajamas as quickly as possible. Snuggling under the covers, she began to cry quietly. The sound of the rain hammering against the roof gently made her fall asleep.
Copyright April 1999 by Jane Griffen; e-mail me at JaneG100@rocketmail.com
To Be Continued . . .