This part is dedicated to Julia. I wanted to call this part Shocking Relvelations =P Heeheehee ;) This part is copyrighted December 1998 by Jane Griffen. All feedback welcome at JaneG100@rocketmail.com. See Part 1 for original disclaimers.
CHAPTER EIGHT: THE PAST...
B'Elanna tossed and turned in bed, trying to get to sleep. Realizing that she wasn't going to fall asleep anytime soon, she sat up and swung her legs over the side of the bed. Yawning, she glanced at the chronometre. 0200 hours. Groaning inwardly, she rubbed her eyes and sat up. She, along with Kathryn, Seven, and Heather, was planning on getting up early to go shopping for Tom and Lisa's wedding present. Lisa was supposed to meet with the florist one last time, so that gave the four women plenty of time to do what Tom had once jokingly termed 'Heather's favorite hobby' - shopping. *Tomorrow should definetely prove to be interesting.* she mused, standing up. She grabbed her bath robe and slung it on over her pajamas. Yawning yet again, she tied her robe around the waist and silently pushed back the curtains and gazed outside. She then stepped quietly onto the balcony and leaned against the railing. She absentmindedly followed the path of a shooting star out of the corner of her eye, her mind wandering. The closer the wedding was, the more confusing everything seemed. She had no idea what to make of the conversation she'd had with Tom, and she had no idea whether to tell Tom the truth or not. Sighing, she watched the waves and listened to the sounds they made when they lapped against the sandy beach.
Torres whirled around, startled. She grinned when she saw Heather, busily tieing up her own bath robe. "What are you doing here?" the half-Betazoid persisted, leaning against the rail next to B'Elanna. The wind caught her loose hair, creating a wild mane of auburn hair. "No matter how I have it, it always gets in the way." she muttered. Turning to B'Elanna, she scrutenized her. "Well? Only someone insane would be up this late."
The half-Klingon smiled. "Then I guess that would include you." Then her grin broadened. "I could ask you the same question, Lieutenant Commander."
Heather turned a dark shade of red as she brushed back her hair with her hands. "Well, if you must know..." she stammered.
Her reply was broken off by B'Elanna's knowing laugh and grin. "I was only kidding." Sobering up, she shrugged. "I couldn't get to sleep."
Whitney's aqua eyes widened slightly, "But it's 0200 in the morning!" she informed Torres, who shot her another pointed glance. "By the way, I thought up of 3 more reasons to add to the list." she said.
B'Elanna couldn't help smiling. "You'll have to give me a copy when you're done." she commented. "Remember all the fun we used to have?"
Heather grinned, but it faded. "Yeah." she commented slowly, then frowned. "I know this will seem really bad, but if I could go to any point in time in my life, I'd choose my days aboard Voyager above anything else. I mean, I can't wait for the future, and I couldn't be more excited about marrying Harry - I love him - and spending the rest of my life with him, but on Voyager everything..." her voice trailed off and she shrugged. "Everything was perfect."
Torres nodded understandingly. "Remember when those aliens experimented on the crew?" she asked offhandedly.
Heather refrained from laughing. "Chakotay went bald!"
The two smirked quietly, joined in their thoughts of a 90-year old bald Chakotay. "It was pretty funny, though." Torres commented.
Heather shook her head. "What about the time the Nyrians took over the ship?"
"Ooh, Tom and I were so mad at each other." B'Elanna thought out loud. She grinned. "I remember the look on Harry's face when I asked him if he thought I was hostile. Oh, I wish I'd had a camera. He looked like he was ready to run!"
The two laughed some more, and reminisced about the past. They discussed the Borg, Seska, the Omega particle, and a bunch of other stuff.
"And my favorite part was when I went into the Cargo Bay and Harry was fuming because Seven had demoted him." said Torres, trying not to laugh too loud.
Heather nodded vigorously. " 'Two of Ten'." she quoted. Then she sighed and gazed up at the stars. Abruptly, she asked. "If you could choose any point of time to go to, where would you go?"
Torres didn't answer for a few seconds. Then she frowned. "What do you mean?"
"Well, I pretty much know what my future holds; I love Harry and I'll be with him for the rest of my life. I don't *know*, exactly, but-"
"But you have a pretty vague idea." B'Elanna suggested.
"Right. And the present isn't exactly a joyride, with the war with the Dominion and-" She lowered her voice. "Tom getting married. I'm happy for him, I really am, but somehow it just doesn't seem to make any sense. It was just the four of us on Voyager, and now most of the time we're not even all on Voyager." She grimaced. "You didn't feel that way about me, did you?"
B'Elanna shook her head. "Everybody loves Heather." she commented, smirking.
Heather rolled her eyes. "C'mon."
"No, I'm serious! You were the best addition to Voyager's senior staff, Heather. And you made everything seem like fun." Torres cracked a smile. "Even Tuvok's lectures."
Heather laughed, "Remember all those telepathic comments I used to make?"
The two tried hard not to giggle.
Then Whitney continued what she had been saying. " And if I could choose *any* point in time to go to, I'd go back to living out the year and a half I spent on Voyager, because," Heather stopped and shrugged. She realized she'd just repeated herself, but she didn't really care. "I don't know, everything seemed right; you and Tom-"
"You and Harry," Torres pointed out.
Heather shook her head, smiling softly. "Not really; I mean, we were close friends, but we didn't really start dating until right before Voyager got home. And then there was the four of us - remember all those holonovels we ran?"
"Yes! I *loved* that holoprogram! Life just seemed perfect on Voyager..."
"Oh yeah, Heather. It was perfect. What with the Borg, and Species 8-4-7-2, and the Hirogen, and the Kazon, and the-"
Heather stamped her foot. "Don't you dare mock me, Lieutenant!" she exclaimed, then frowned when B'Elanna laughed. "Oops."
The two continued to joke for the next few minutes, then an easy silence fell between them as they both stared out into the horizen. Heather turned to gaze at B'Elanna, and studied her friend intently. Then she spoke. "You still love him, don't you?"
"As much as I did when he proposed and I said yes." Torres said, barely above a whisper. She didn't meet the science officer's gaze, and instead looked out at the sea.
There was a deathly silence, which was interrupted periodically by a few crickets chirping, then Whitney finally spoke up. She sounded almost hoarse when she whispered. "What?" She was careful to keep her voice down; the last thing she wanted was to wake up the entire househould. Owen Paris would have a fit.
B'Elanna didn't answer.
Heather shook her head, not believing what she had just heard. "But you and Tom broke up-"
"You think I don't know that, Whitney?" came the sharp retort.
Heather waited; uncertain. She rephrased what she had said. "What *did* happen to you and Tom anyway?" she asked incredulously. This was the first time she'd ever herad of Tom and B'Elanna being engaged.
Torres turned, her eyes filled with unshed tears. She sighed and wiped them away. "I'll tell you, but you have to promise not to tell *anyone*." she commented quietly.
Heather frowned. "Not even Harry?"
B'Elanna's brow furrowed. At the empath's pleading look, she relented. "All right. But *only* Harry. And Tom will have my head if he finds out I told you about it."
Heather nodded solemnly.
B'Elanna frowned thoughtfully, trying to think of where to start. Then she began.
Whitney frowned menacingly. "That son of a-" She stopped in midsentence realizing that she was swearing. "Oh, sorry. Yeah."
"It was a few weeks after that. We were having dinner in his quarters, and he proposed to me. Then, everything seemed right - all the pieces fit together to make the puzzle. I'd never been more happy than I was that night-"
"Why didn't you tell anyone?" Heather asked cautiously, her eyes already filling with tears.
"We kept on waiting for the right time to tell everyone. But it never seemed like the right moment. Then things just got so hectic. He was so caught up in the blueprints for the Delta Flyer, and I was so caught up with that transwarp experiment with Harry and Seven. It got to the point where we never had any time to spend with each other, and then the fighting started." B'Elanna stopped, but Heather didn't pressuer her. "I don't know, Heather. We fought, but it never really seemd real. We sat down and talked over our whole relationship-" At Heather's raised eyebrows, she smiled. "From the time he asked me out in the shuttle to Sakarri IV to floating in space. And we decided that the best thing would be for us to call off our entire relationship since things weren't working out."
"Damn, B'Elanna! How could you be so stupid?!" Whitney cried, trying to keep her voice low. Her blue eyes flashed with annoyance and anger for her two best friends, but a part of her understood Torres's confusion - then and now.
"Heather, do you realize how many nights I've lied there thinking about it?"
Whitney didn't have an answer for that.
"Heather, you have to promise me one thing." Torres said, her voice almost breaking. The science officer nodded wordlessly. "Don't *ever* wait for the right moment, because by the time you realize its the right moment, its already gone. And then..." her voice trailed off, and she gazed out at the moon.
Whitney nodded. "I promise." She cocked her head to one side, scrutenizing the half-Klingon. Then she spoke up, "I'll see you tomorrow. Good night. And," she lowered her voice. "Thank you. I promise I won't tell a soul except for Harry."
B'Elanna had to smile -- the half Betazoid was known throughout the ship for her idle gossip. "Thanks, Heath. 'Night."
Heather ran a hand through her hair, took one last look at B'Elanna, then walked slowly down the balcony to her door. "B'Elanna?" she called softly.
"Hmm?" Torres looked up, her eyes bright with tears.
*You should tell him how you feel,* Heather told her best friend firmly through telepathy. She met B'Elanna's brown eyes with her own blue ones, then opened the door softly. The bedside lamp was still on, and Harry was in bed reading from an oldfashioned book. He looked up when he heard the door open and close. "Heather-" He stopped when he realized that she was standing there with a shocked expression on her face crying. Tears were streaming down her face as she sat slowly down on the bed. He immediately wrapped his arms around her. "Shh, Heather. Everything'll be all right." he whispered into her ear, smoothing back her hair as she sobbed. Heather was a strong individual, and she didn't cry a lot. This was the third time he'd ever seen her cry before.
Heather leaned her head on his shoulder, enjoying the embrace. She pulled back, and fingered the damp spot on the shoulder of his pajamas. "I got your pajamas all wet." she said softly, biting her lip as she gazed up at her fiance.
Harry kissed her. "I couldn't care less about that. What's wrong?"
"It's B'Elanna," At Harry's confused look, she added, "And Tom." Tears continued to stream down her face, and Harry wiped them away. "What happened?" he asked, concerned.
Heather wiped her eyes, the shock still vivid in her eyes. "I was talking with B'Elanna, and she said-" Whitney paused, still too shocked to go on. In a rush, she poured out the entire story. In the end, Harry was gaping. "What?" he asked incredulously. Then he frowned. "They gave up their entire relationship because 'things weren't working out'?!"
Whitney nodded vigorously. "It's so idiotic, Harry! They loved each other *so* much!"
Harry nodded; even though he wasn't a telepath, he knew very well how much Tom had loved B'Elanna, and vice versa.
"And if that could happen to them, what's to say it won't happen to us?"
Her question hit him like a ton of bricks. "Oh, Heather," he soothed. "That could *never* happen to us. I love you so much, and *nothing* could ever change that. No matter what happens."
Whitney smiled. "You can't promise me that," she accused.
Harry paused. "Maybe not, but I'll still always love you." he said.
They kissed for a minute, then Heather pulled back. Her blue eyes twinkled. "You know what?"
"What?" Harry had to smile at her knowing grin.
"I've got one more reason to add to the list."
Laughing, Harry shook his head. "Come on. Let's go to bed. We've got to get up early tomorrow, remember?"
Heather nodded, vaguely listening to him. “You know what’s really confusing about this?”
“Hmm?” Harry asked, already in bed.
Heather said thoughtfully, “B’Elanna’s still in love with him-” Harry was about to point out that that was obvious when he realized that although Heather sometimes made pointless comments, that wasn’t one of them. “And Tom’s still in love with her, whether he realizes it or not.”
To Be Continued...