in the *Where They Left Off* universe.
1) The First
Cup Of Coffee
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.
over in her sleep and suddenly woke up because
of the coldness
of the bed sheets. She was alone in the queen
There was no sign of Tom around. She felt bitter
Tom had left as quietly as a cat, without
saying a word,
again. Her disappointment quickly subsided,
restless and mostly sad.
on her back and asked for the time. It was 0311
mechanically stared at the dark ceiling. The
faintly illuminated by a dim light coming from the
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
Kathryn did not mind the light. She had
to it, as she had gotten used to Tom leaving in
of the nigh -- she obviously did not even wake up
when he did
anymore. However, she would never get used to
alone after a heated passionate evening of making
still remember how angry at him she had been
when she had
woken up alone the first time over a year
had been the morning of their third night
She had felt incredibly betrayed. She had felt like
conquest. *How could he have treated her like
the amount of courage it had taken her to finally
feelings to him?* she had wondered.
That day, she
had given him the cold shoulder. Hurt by her
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
more than four, sometimes five, hours each night.
hardly imagine that he had laid awake by her side
two first nights, they had spent together, holding
her in his
arms in contentment as she had peacefully slept.
on the third night, he had been so uncomfortable and
he had to get up or he would have woken her.
*Of all people,*
he had insisted. *Captains need their sleep.*
the difficulties Voyager had encountered, Tom's
taken a more natural rhythm over the months that had
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
Since Tom had
walked out of the brig, his insomnia had come
back in full
force. He had left her side almost every night,
Sadly, it was
another reminder, just like the facts that he
and that he had lost weight, that, not only their
but also their lives, were still suffering from
in the brig more than two months earlier. She was
him. He claimed that he was fine and that he had
what had happened following the Morean
Kathryn was not convinced. True, he seemed genuinely
happy -- smiling,
laughing, and joking -- most of the time.
were times during the day when he looked
sad, tired, and overwhelmed by a sense of doom. It
him so hard, he was unable to hide it properly to
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.
a lump in her throat at the thought. She sprang
out of the
bed and called for Tom's location.
is in the Mess Hall," the computer answered her.
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.
came the reply.
"Well, he won't
be for long," she said out loud.
got dressed and left her quarters. She found Tom
in the Mess
Hall, as the computer had informed her before.
was as much as she had expected. She had feared
that she might
find Tom sad and depressed, as she had seen him
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
he had obviously not heard the door opening.
like crying as she looked at him. What could he
that his handsome features could reflect so much
desperately wanted to run to him, to take him in
and to comfort him, but she could not move. She
stare at him helplessly as tears formed in her
thinking of Tom as a puzzle during their early
days in the
Delta Quadrant. A broken puzzle which had taken
and herself four long years to put back
sadly realizing that the scars would always show and
of the pieces were lost forever...
in the Mess Hall, the puzzle was dissembled once
pieces were like broken glass, each reflecting a
image of the man that she loved. Tom's scares were
as the wounds were reopening.
God, what had
After the Monean
incident, she had struck back, hurting him as
much as he
had hurt her. At least, that was what she had
the heat of the moment. Just like Tom, she had not
all the implications of her decisions and the
her anger could be just as deadly.
the pieces of the puzzle, Kathryn. That's
what you did
-- just like you did when he came on board,* the
in her mind sobbed.
"Do you plan
on joining me, or will you just stand there?" Tom
His voice was soft and teasing.
There was a smile on his face. No traces of
He looked so peaceful that she wondered if
she had dreamed
the entire scene. Had it not been for the dark
his eyes, she might have believed it. God knew
"What are you
doing here so late?" he asked again. "Shouldn't
the chief pilot?" she replied with a smile that
"He can manage,"
Tom answered her.
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.
he interrupted her. "You should go back to bed,
you, Sailor," she objected.
silent. After a few minutes of enjoying the mutual
she sought his eyes.
wrong," she stated. "Your barge is adrift,
the currents are slowly pulling you towards
reefs." He tried to object, but she put a finger on
"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
I need to know. Otherwise..."
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
"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,"
she echoed. "From what you told me, they
I'm dreaming awake. That's the scary part," he
"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
to speak. It was one of those issues that were split
in half by
a very thin line between what she wanted as his
what she needed as his captain.
"Is that an
order?" he asked neutrally.
disappointed that he made it an issue.
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.
she could not do anything yet. She only hoped
that it would
never come to that.
also talk to Chakotay. He knows a lot about
said as a matter of fact.
it, Kathryn," he warned her.
"I just want
you to think about it, Sailor," she told him
the conversation with a kiss.
End of part
reading this little piece.
be more, I'm just starting ?
always appreciate at Synbou@hotmail.com