Series:  Voyager
Pairing:  J/P
Parts:  2/7
Rating: G

Previous stories in the *Where They Left Off* universe.
1) The First Cup Of Coffee

Synopsis: Set after *30 Days*. Kathryn wakes up in the middle
of the night and reflects on her relationship with Tom.

This one is for you Elisabeth, a tribute to the Paris Nights.

Broken Nights
by Isabelle S.

Kathryn rolled over in her sleep and suddenly woke up because
of the coldness of the bed sheets. She was alone in the queen
size bed. There was no sign of Tom around. She felt bitter
disappointment. Tom had left as quietly as a cat, without
saying a word, again. Her disappointment quickly subsided,
leaving her restless and mostly sad.

She turned on her back and asked for the time. It was 0311
hours. She mechanically stared at the dark ceiling. The
bedroom was faintly illuminated by a dim light coming from the
living area. Tom had the habit of leaving it on in order to
make out his way as he was getting out of bed for one of his
midnight strolls. Kathryn did not mind the light. She had
gotten used to it, as she had gotten used to Tom leaving in
the middle of the nigh -- she obviously did not even wake up
when he did anymore. However, she would never get used to
waking up alone after a heated passionate evening of making

Kathryn could still remember how angry at him she had been
when she had woken up alone the first time over a year
earlier. It had been the morning of their third night
together. She had felt incredibly betrayed. She had felt like
another casual conquest. *How could he have treated her like
that knowing the amount of courage it had taken her to finally
admit her feelings to him?* she had wondered.

That day, she had given him the cold shoulder. Hurt by her
attitude, Tom had confronted her in her ready room at the end
of his shift. It had been a shock for her to learn that he
never slept more than four, sometimes five, hours each night.
She could hardly imagine that he had laid awake by her side
during the two first nights, they had spent together, holding
her in his arms in contentment as she had peacefully slept.
Although, on the third night, he had been so uncomfortable and
restless, he had to get up or he would have woken her.

*Of all people,* he had insisted. *Captains need their sleep.*

Despite all the difficulties Voyager had encountered, Tom's
sleep had taken a more natural rhythm over the months that had
followed. He had even surprised himself by sleeping over six
hours on a few occasions. He had been faithful to the promise
he had made to her to come back in the morning if he had the
need to leave during the night and to wake her up if had been
called on duty.

Since Tom had walked out of the brig, his insomnia had come
back in full force. He had left her side almost every night,
seldomly coming back.

She sighed heavily.

Sadly, it was another reminder, just like the facts that he
was distant and that he had lost weight, that, not only their
relationship, but also their lives, were still suffering from
Tom's stay in the brig more than two months earlier. She was
worried about him. He claimed that he was fine and that he had
fully accepted what had happened following the Morean
incident. Kathryn was not convinced. True, he seemed genuinely
happy -- smiling, laughing, and joking -- most of the time.
However, there were times during the day when he looked
strikingly sad, tired, and overwhelmed by a sense of doom. It
was hitting him so hard, he was unable to hide it properly to
the point that he did not even try. It never lasted very long,
but the fact that his friends had all commented about it led
her to wonder how many times it could happen during a day. How
bad it could be when he was alone.

Kathryn felt a lump in her throat at the thought. She sprang
out of the bed and called for Tom's location.

"Ensign Paris is in the Mess Hall," the computer answered her.

*Ensign* ... She hated that even more than he did. she hoped
that one day, sooner than later, that she would be able to
give him back his rank of lieutenant, or even higher.

"Is he alone?" Kathryn asked again.

"Affirmative," came the reply.

"Well, he won't be for long," she said out loud.

She quickly got dressed and left  her quarters. She found Tom
in the Mess Hall, as the computer had informed her before.
Frankly, that was as much as she had expected. She had feared
that she might find Tom sad and depressed, as she had seen him
before, but never like that...

He was seated beside a window. His head was leaning on one
side and his gaze was lost in the darkness. Despite the fact
that he had a clear view of the entrance of the Mess Hall, he
did not look in her direction as she came in. He was so deep
in thought, he had obviously not heard the door opening.

Kathryn felt like crying as she looked at him. What could he
be thinking that his handsome features could reflect so much
despair? She desperately wanted to run to him, to take him in
her arms, and to comfort him, but she could not move. She
could only stare at him helplessly as tears formed in her

She remembered thinking of Tom as a puzzle during their early
days in the Delta Quadrant. A broken puzzle which had taken
Tom's friends and herself four long years to put back
together, sadly realizing that the scars would always show and
that some of the pieces were lost forever...

That night, in the Mess Hall, the puzzle was dissembled once
again. Its pieces were like broken glass, each reflecting a
distorted image of the man that she loved. Tom's scares were
slowly bleeding as the wounds were reopening.

God, what had she done?

After the Monean incident, she had struck back, hurting him as
much as he had hurt her. At least, that was what she had
wanted in the heat of the moment. Just like Tom, she had not
considered all the implications of her decisions and the
results of her anger could be just as deadly.

**You* rearranged the pieces of the puzzle, Kathryn. That's
what you did -- just like you did when he came on board,* the
little voice in her mind sobbed.

"Do you plan on joining me, or will you just stand there?" Tom
asked her. His voice was soft and teasing.

Kathryn blinked. There was a smile on his face. No traces of
sadness whatsoever. He looked so peaceful that she wondered if
she had dreamed the entire scene. Had it not been for the dark
shadows under his eyes, she might have believed it. God knew
she wanted too.

"What are you doing here so late?" he asked again. "Shouldn't
the captain be sleeping?"

"What about the chief pilot?" she replied with a smile that
was matching his own.

"He can manage," Tom answered her.

She walked up to him. At his invitation, she sat on his laps
and put her arms around his neck. They kissed tenderly.

"I woke up alone and cold," she explained. "I missed you."

"I'm glad you came," he said, holding her tighter.


"It's late," he interrupted her. "You should go back to bed,

"Not without you, Sailor," she objected.

He remained silent. After a few minutes of enjoying the mutual
closeness, she sought his eyes.

"Tom, something's wrong," she stated. "Your barge is adrift,
Sailor, and the currents are slowly pulling you towards
dangerous reefs." He tried to object, but she put a finger on
his lips. "Tom, you're hurting. I can see that. You look as if
you had lost your best friends. You don't sleep, you barely
eat. You can't go on like that. Sailor, you have to talk to
me. I know that I hurt you terribly. You have to tell me just
how much. I need to know. Otherwise..."

"Kathryn," he whispered, caressing her cheek. "I did not lie
to you when I said that I was fine with your decisions. Kath,
I love you no less. Maybe even more."

"I love you too, Tom. I don't want to lose you and I don't
like to see you hurting."

"I... I just can't sleep," he finally admitted. "I do, but
just for a little while. There's nothing new there. You know

"Did you have any sleep tonight?" she asked.

"I must have had some. I had one of those weird dreams again,"
he said.

"Weird dreams," she echoed. "From what you told me, they
sounded more like nightmares."

"It's like I'm dreaming awake. That's the scary part," he
explained. "There's nothing to be worried about."

"But, I *am* worried, Sailor. You should go see the Doctor."

The way his body responded, she knew that she had struck a
nerve, so to speak. It was one of those issues that were split
in half by a very thin line between what she wanted as his
lover and what she needed as his captain.

"Is that an order?" he asked neutrally.

She sighed, disappointed that he made it an issue.

"I'm sorry," Tom apologized. "I'll think about it."

She could live with that, for now. She knew that letting Tom
get used to the idea was the best tactic in order to have him
to agree to something like going to see the doctor.
Professionally, she could not do anything yet. She only hoped
that it would never come to that.

"You could also talk to Chakotay. He knows a lot about
dreams," she said as a matter of fact.

"Don't push it, Kathryn," he warned her.

"I just want you to think about it, Sailor," she told him
before sealing the conversation with a kiss.

End of part 2.


Thanks for reading this little piece.
There will be more, I'm just starting ?
Feedback is always appreciate at
Isabelle S.

Copyrights @January 2000