Where They Left Off
Synopsis: Set after *30 Days*. Will
Tom and Kathryn be able to
take back their relationship where
they left off as Tom comes out
of the brig?
1)The First Cup Of Coffee.
By Isabelle S.
"Wake up, Mr. Paris," came Tuvok's
*charming* voice from across
the force field.. "Your thirty days
are over. You just have the
time to shave and get into uniform,
before your meeting with the
"I see that she accepted my invitation,"
Tom said as he swung his
feet off the bunk. "Did she say
where we are suppose to meet."
"She did not," the Vulcan replied.
"I would stipulate that she
meant her ready-room, Ensign."
He cringed at the blunt reminder
of his recent demotion. He
better had to get used to it now,
this was just the beginning.
Since when did he cared so much
about rank anyway? As much as he
would of have liked to kid himself,
he *knew* that his rank had
mattered to him since the beginning
of their voyage in the Delta
"Tuvok, Tuvok, Tuvok," he repeated,
putting his thoughts aside.
"Never make assumptions," he said
as he crossed the threshold of
the cell that had been his *home*
for the last month. "It's good
to see you too, by the way."
Tuvok replied by raising his eyebrows
-- so predictable. Tom
grinned to himself, he had missed
the stoic Vulcan. He had missed
all his friends. Confinement was
bad, solitary confinement was
cruel! The Captain had made of good
job of letting everybody know
that going against her orders would
be met with negative
reinforcement. Considering his past
however, it was obviously that
particular psychological approach
had never very efficient in
curing of maladaptive behaviors.
Tom cursed himself for the umpteenth
time, wondering what was
wrong with him. Again, he had acted
before considering all the
implications of his actions on the
people that he cared about --
disappointing the ones that trusted
him, that had faith in him.
Disappointing Kathryn ...
He had probably already lost more
than he could bare to imagine.
It hurt. He wondered if this latest
punishment would succeed in
teaching him *the* lesson he needed
to learn to stay out of
trouble. Somehow he had doubts,
everything else had failed before.
Hell, he could be a stubborn man
-- a flaw he had no problem
blaming on his father -- but when
it came down to what he was
ready to do or not do for Kathryn
Janeway, it was something else
entirely. He could remember a time
when everything that she did,
everything that she said was an
inspiration to him. It still was.
He knew he would be fooling himself
Tom went to his quarters, shaved,
and changed. He looked at
himself in the mirror and brought
a hand to his collar. He was
Ensign Tom Paris now. The good years
of being a lieutenant were
over. He might as well make the
best of it. He knew better than
anyone that a rank was not something
written in stone, upward or
downward. He had been an ensign
before, he could manage. But,
could those around him do as well?
He would find that out soon
enough, he thought. All things considered,
it could have been a
He left his quarters knowing full
well that what was about to
happen could change one of the most
important part of his life
forever. He stopped in front of
the door, and rang the chime. On
her invitation -- at the sound of
her voice, his heart skipped a
beat -- Tom walked into Kathryn
"Good morning," he greeted neutrally,
hoping that his
nervousness would not show too much.
As he had walked in, he
had thought that the worst had probably
already happened. Now,
he was not so sure.
"Good morning to you, too" she acknowledged
barely looking at
him before rising up from her coach
and making her way to the
replicator. She ordered two cups
of coffee, then walked up to
him and gave him a cup. They stood
in silence for a moment,
this first encounter in month feeling
rather awkward. "Do you
really think that we can start back
where we left off?" she
finally asked him. There was a hint
of defiance in her voice. She
held his gaze as she brought her
cup to her lips.
Tom found himself at loss with words.
Suddenly, all that he had
carefully rehearsed back in the
brig had vanished. His mind was a
total blank. He looked away for
a brief moment and bit his lower
lip. It was not the time to let
his big mouth get away from what
he really wanted to say. But, what
did he really wanted? Even if
he wanted to, could he make it work?
Could they make work?
How could he ever expect her to trust
him again, when he could
barely trust himself. He took a
deep breath and looked back at
her, hoping that his expression
would reflect the sincerity of
"It's up to you, Kathryn," he answered
her in a low voice. "I'm
fine with what happened. I respect
your decisions." Her lips were
shut in a tight fine line, and he
knew she was angry. "I did
something which I knew I would never
get away with without
consequences. But Kathryn, I had
to try. It was very selfish of
me, I shamefully did not think about
all of you, about the
position I would put *you* in. I
figured that if I had to die
for something that I believed in
... for once ... that I ... "
Again, he fled her intense gaze.
What was he trying to say
exactly? His fingers held the coffee
cup tighter. He felt a lump
in his throat. Then, her hand reached
for his cheek, and brushed
away the tear that he had never
felt coming. He lost himself in
the tenderness of her touch.
"I love you, Kathryn," he whispered.
"I managed to hurt you
nonetheless. I'm sorry ... If you
want us to put a end to our
relationship, I'll accept that."
"I was somewhat hoping that you would
put on more of a fight to
keep me," she said a bit teasingly,
taking him by surprise.
Their eyes met. She had a sad smile
on her beautiful face.
"Well ... I'm just beginning," he
defended tentatively, a small
grin forming on his lips.
"Tom, I know that you had to try.
You would never have been at
peace with yourself -- with whatever
drives you to do these
things. Like I told you a month
ago, I respect that. I wish I
could have helped you. I wish I
hadn't had to do what I did. But
..." She sought his blue eyes. "Don't
ever put me in that
He wanted to make that promise to
her, but the words got caught
his throat. He sighed. "I can't
promise you that. I can try, I
can't promise," he replied almost
Kathryn surprised him again with
a grin. "I don't think that
you can promise, either. I'll have
to live with you trying
very hard then," she added mischievously.
"So ... where does that leave us?"
She took his untouched cup of coffee
away and put it beside
hers on the table. Then, she lovingly
put her harms around his
"Where does it leave us?" she repeated.
"Where we left off.
That is, if you remember how to
He smiled, looking down into her
sparkling grey eyes. "Now,
that shouldn't be a problem."
"I love you too, Tom," she said as
their lips met.
END of part one
There'll be more. What can I say?
My 30 days aren't over ...
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Copyrights @ December 1999