This is dedicated to Julia: Ha! Spice Girls! :::grins impishly::: I just had to do that, Ana! I'd also like to dedicate this to Sarah, Lacey, Julia, Chrissy, Eggy, the Ites, Caitlin, and the rest of my online P/T friends! Oh, and thanks for your comments, PeachTrek! And thanks, Lesa, for explaining what the differences between maitron and maid are! Sixpence None the Richer owns the properties of "Kiss Me", the theme song to She's All That. I really like that song! :::starts humming::: Paramount owns the properties of Joe Carey and Susan Nicoletti, and I own the properties of Jane Marlett and Morgan Chesly, BTW. And the Spice Girls own themselves...
EPILOGUE: FOUR MONTHS LATER...
B'Elanna Torres rolled her eyes as she worked in her office in Engineering. Heather Whitney was busy trying to talk her into singing at the next luau Neelix was having - without luck.
"C'mon, B'Elanna! It'd be fun! And its not like you'd have to wear a dress like those ridiculous things the men picked out for us last time!" Heather pleaded, referring to a childish bet she, Torres, Seven, and the Delany sisters had made with Paris and Kim. The women had lost, big time, and in the end they had to sing in front of everyone at a party. The outfits they had picked for the women to wear had *not* made any of them happy - they were similar to the different Spice Girls' outfits. It hadn't been that bad, really, until Harry took their pictures and Tom recorded them singing and had it played in the Mess Hall during dinner.
Torres shook her head, smiling as she recalled that fiasco. "No, Heather. Besides, I don't know where that dress is," she added dryly.
As the chief engineer turned back to her work, Whitney giggled softly. "By the way, can the Science Lab use the power from the bio gel packs on Deck 13? We're going to do an experiment with tetron particles as soon as Voyager reaches that dwarf star in the Galon sector." Voyager had left Starbase 31, a large Federation station near Deep Space 9, to go on a long-term mission. Their first stop was at a dwarf star.
"Fine by me. One more month, huh?" B'Elanna switched topics, skimming a stack of datapadds on her table.
Heather grinned softly. "Yes. Then I'll me 'Mrs. Heather Kim'." Whitney paused. "Speaking of getting married-"
"Heather, don't. Please. Don't mention about Tom. Can we please not talk about him?" B'Elanna pleaded, interrupting Heather.
Whitney raised her eyebrows but nodded. Torres had never told her what exactly had happened between the two, but Heather knew enough to know that B'Elanna blamed herself for the called-off wedding. "Sure," she said lightly, then winced inwardly. "I was wondering..."
Her voice trailed off and B'Elanna looked up. "Yes?"
"Would you be my maid of honor?"
B'Elanna felt tears come to her eyes as she met Heather's pleading yet hopeful gaze. "I'd *love* to," she said, leaning over to hug Whitney, who had become one of her closest friends.
Heather grinned with relief. "Thanks. There's just one catch, though." she added.
B'Elanna's brow furrowed. "What?"
"Tom's going to be there - he's Harry's best man." Whtiney looked worriedly at the chief engineer.
B'Elanna didn't meet her gaze, her mind in a turmoil. Then she sighed to herself and looked up. "I'm sure that won't be a problem. I'm sure the two of us can..." She groped for a word, "Reconcile our differences for a day."
Smiling, Heather said, "Besides, its not as if it would be the first time the two of you would see each other since we were all going to take that week of shore leave to Risa-" She stopped. *Woops.*
"What?" B'Elanna asked, bewildered. Then her brown eyes narrowed. "Just what exactly were you planning, Lieutenant Commander Heather Andrea Whitney?"
"Well, the three of us-" Herself, Harry, and B'Elanna. "had that trip all planned out-"
"You were going to invite Tom?!"
"Umm...Yes. Its not like we were going to set you up or anything, though-"
"And I suppose you and Harry weren't going to tell me he was coming?" Torres asked, annoyance creeping into her voice. Suddenly she felt very relieved that their shoreleave request had been denied due to the long-term assignment Voyager had been given.
"We were!" Heather protested, then added meekly, "On the way there."
B'Elanna nearly gaped at the other woman, then smiled sadly. "it would have taken a lot more than a week at Risa to get us back together." She turned back to her work. "Oh, by the way, can you bring me a copy of the conn report? Beth Carmen was supposed to, but she called in sick. Turns out Neelix still hasn't perfected his Earthen tuna casserole."
Grinning at the joke, Whitney scrutinized the half Klingon one last time. "Sure." She walked out of the office, deep in thought, and nearly crashed into-
*Tom?!* she telepathically shrieked, taking a step back and ramming into the now-closed office doors.
Tom Paris's blue eyes sparkled as he smiled broad. "Hello, Heather." he replied dryly, giving her a quick kiss on the cheek. "I see you haven't changed a bit."
Heather's eyes went round. "What are you doing here?" she hissed softly, stepping away from the doorway.
Tom nearly laughed at the incredulous look on the lieutenant commander's face. "I told you I was going to be restationed on Voyager at Starbase 31."
"No you didn't!" Heather's jaw dropped with comprehension. "Oh, my gosh! I totally forgot! Welcome back! But what are you doing here?" She gestured around her. Several engineers looked up, and they smiled at the newcomer.
"This'll be interesting," Morgan Chesly muttered to her longtime friend Jane Marlett. Both had been ensigns on their first assignment, fresh out of the Academy, when they had found themselves aboard Voyager 75,000 lightyears from home. Now they were lieutenants, and had been assigned back to Voyager for its next long-term mission.
Jane nodded slowly, eying the two lieutenant commanders curiously. She had heard about Paris being engaged and then calling off the wedding, and they both knew about Tom and B'Elanna's long-standing relationship.
Heather waited for Tom to answer, but he didn't. Instead he asked, "Where's B'Elanna?"
"She's in her office," Whitney replied, extremely curious.
Tom gave her a look. "Since when does she have an office?"
Whitney laughed. "Oh, Starfleet redid one of the storage rooms when Voyager was in drydock." she explained, then pointed to the set of doors. "Is that the conn report?" she questioned, eying the datapadd Tom held.
"Thanks! Dinner in the Mess Hall at 2000 hours?" she called cheerfully.
"Sure, Heather! See you around!" Paris called, then watched as the empath waved at him then cheerfully exited the engine room. He then walked to Torres's office.
Joe Carey watched the pilot go, then turned to Sue Nicoletti. "What do you think?" he asked.
"I'm betting a week's worth of rations that Tom and B'Elanna are going to get back together." Sue replied.
Joe only laughed.
Tom Paris entered B'Elanna's office, PADD in hand. Not knowing what to do or say, he stood there, uncertain.
Surprisingly, B'Elanna didn't even look up from her work. She had her back to him and was working feverishly at a computer panel on the far wall. "Heather, if you came back here to convince me, you're wasting your time," B'Elanna commented, obviously thinking he was Whitney.
Paris raised his eyebrows, wondering what exactly the enthusiastic science officer was trying to convince Voyager's top engineer to do. He walked over to her and wordlessly handed her the conn report.
Torres took it without looking his way. "Wow, that was quick, Heath. Don't you have anything better to do with your time?" she teased. Obviously it had been Whitney's job to deliver the conn report, he mused.
"Actually," Tom started to say, but couldn't think of anything to complete the sentence. He watched her figure carefully as he said it.
B'Elanna turned around to face him, slowly placing the PADD down on her desk. Her brown eyes were wide, and her raven-colored hair hung loosely just above her shoulders. She gazed at him, and from the shocked expression on her face, he knew that Whitney hadn't mentioned to her that he was going to be back onboard Voyager again, although considering Whitney had totally forgotten it didn't seem too surprising. Heather *could* be flakey sometimes when she wanted to be.
"Tom," she said simply, not knowing what else to say.
A smile played on Tom's face, his lips slowly curving upward in amusement at the look of pure surprise on her face. "B'Elanna."
"Oh, my gosh. Tom, I'm so sorry. I should have never- I mean, I shouldn't have- It wasn't right- I'm so sorry-" B'Elanna involuntarily covered her mouth, inarticulate.
"Kind of late now," he teased gently.
B'Elanna felt like she had been slapped in the face. "I'm so sorry," she whispered, gazing down at the floor. She made a mental note to break a certain half Betazoid's nose the next time she saw her.
Tom sighed. "I guess I should be thanking you, really," he said, "Because I realized that I was marrying the wrong person. I loved Lisa, but not in the same sense as I love you." He stopped, waiting fearfully for her to blow up at him.
The blow never came. Instead she slowly lifted her head up to meet his gaze, her brow furrowed in confusion. "Wha-"
"Shut up," he murmered, then leaned down to kiss her.
B'Elanna felt like she was in bliss. *This sure beats 'Seven Minutes in Heaven',* she mused, grinning slightly at the game Heather had suggested they play one time when their two away teams - consisting of them, Tom, Harry, Chakotay, Seven, Neelix, and seven junior officers - had been stranded in caves while it poured outside, complete with thunder and lightning.
"What's so funny?" he whispered, drawing back slightly.
B'Elanna shook her head. "Nothing," she whispered. "I just never thought this would happen again. The two of us, like this..." Her voice broke off, but she went on worriedly. "What if this ends up like the last time?"
"I can't promise you that it won't, but I for one am willing to take that chance." he told her.
They kissed again, and a moment later when they came up for air he added. "How about you?"
"Tom?" she muttered huskily, her brown eyes sparkling as she looked into his blue ones.
"Yes?" he asked, fear flashing across his face.
"Shut up and kiss me." she replied with a slight smile.
Tom was only too happy to comply.
Kiss me out of the bearded barley.
Nightly, beside the green, green grass.
Swing, swing, swing the spinning step.
You wear those shoes and I will wear that dress.
Oh, kiss me beneath the milky twilight.
Lead me out on the moonlit floor.
Lift your open hand.
Strike up the band and make the fireflies dance,
silver moon's sparkling.
So kiss me.
Kiss me down by the broken tree house.
Swing me high upon its hanging tire.
Bring, bring, bring your flowered hat.
We'll take the trail marked on your father's map.
I've been thinking about writing another ending for this story -- along a different storyline. ^innocently^ Does anybody remember last season's 'Friends' cliffhanger? Just wonderin' ^wink^ E-mail me at JaneG100@rocketmail.com for feedback! I luv feedback! This was copyrighted April 30, 1999. Original disclaimers apply.