Title: Homebound
Author: Jera: jera@freeUK.com
Rating: PG
Disclaimer: Paramount owns all, and anyway I’m broke
Archive: yes please, just keep it as it is and tell me where.
Feedback: ta muchly if ye would.
Author’s notes: Adam gave out a challenge for a story completely without dialogue. Some rl problems have now given me two angst stories, which are both turning out to be long so I’m ignoring them for a while. This story, unusually for me seems to be happy.
Dedication: To Adam for the idea and to both Nigel and Adam for encouraging me to write at all.

by Jera: jera@freeUK.com

Tom was the first to wake that morning, his blond hair tousled from the night. He stared down fondly at his lover, who lay beside him with his dark hair falling into his eyes. Harry, when asleep, still looked like the naïve, young ensign he had been when this journey had begun. Tom still remembered that day vividly, a few words had given him the best friendship he could ever have hoped for.

Voyager had been in the Delta Quadrant for twelve years now. They had suffered much while making their way home, their graceful ship battered and worn from too many battles, her crew depleted after so many deaths, each taking their toll on the remaining company’s morale. Captain Janeway had died three years ago, in a battle with one of the mighty Andra star furies which had claimed 20 crewmen. The ship’s Chief Engineer B’Elanna Torres was killed in a brutal fight through Carna space five years ago, when main engineering was flooded with radiation and only B’Elanna heroic effort had saved Voyager.

Chakotay and Tuvok had become friends after the Captain’s death, their differences only serving to make them stronger. Four years ago both Tom and Harry had been promoted to Lieutenant Commander. That ceremony had given many of the crew one of the brightest memories of the Delta Quadrant, both men were popular and the party they had had in the holodeck had been very memorable. It had been B’Elanna’s death which had brought Tom and Harry together. Their strong friendship and been increased by mutual grief and through the pain and turmoil they had turned to each other until neither could understand why they had spent so long procrastinating, in the face of something so overwhelmingly right.

At last Harry stirred and smiled as his chocolate eyes opened to see the blue ones of his partner. The pair showered and ate breakfast quickly. Today they had to run final checks and then test run the equipment that should take them home. Each culture that they had passed had brought Voyager closer to home and many had kindly helped Voyager on its way, doing what they could to quicken the journey. The equipment, much of which had been given to them by the Gran, theoretically could direct one of the wormholes of a region of space known as Praxes Cloud, to take them home. They were careful not to raise their hopes too high, however, as they had had so many chances at a quick journey home which they had not been able to take.

They left early for main engineering, passing rapidly through the corridors nodding their greeting to their colleagues, who in turn greeted them with hopeful smiles. When they arrived, however, both Seven of Nine and Lieutenant Commander Carey were already there. Tom and Harry took their places with the others and the four worked steadily through the last minute checks and alterations they still had to do. As the machines bleeped their positive answers until, finally, the main console gave its final affirmative. Tom and Harry grinned at each other, light eyes meeting dark, both shining with joy. Even Seven indulged in a smile, which lighted up her face as she contemplated what they had achieved.

They made their report to Captain Chakotay and, with his approval began to power up the instruments, which should take them home. Outside Voyager a wormhole opened up, showering its powerful beauty onto the Bridge crew, who stood barely able to hope as the wormhole’s destination was checked. When it was known that the wormhole did indeed reach into the heart of the Alpha Quadrant, and that it had sufficient stability for them to make the passage, an audible sigh ran throughout the bridge. It was going to work!

When all the crew were in their positions Voyager moved slowly towards the wormhole. There was a moment of complete silence as they passed over the threshold, even Voyager herself seemed to sense the awe her crew felt. The journey through the swirling colours seemed impossibly long, readings being taken and then retaken, crewmembers paying to their deities that nothing went wrong. Then, suddenly, they left the wormhole and it flared behind them before disappearing.

Then an inarticulate cry of joy went up, they were home, but a day’s journey from Earth. After a moment Tom took Voyager into warp, heading towards Earth. Tom and Harry left the Bridge when their shift ended, they would be back in their places well before they were due to come out of warp. They walked to their quarters each completely content to be in the other’s presence. Both knew they had much still to face, they had been away for a long time after all, and neither knew what had happened to their families since Starfleet’s last communication. Harry however, was delighted, secure in the knowledge of his family’s love and that they would welcome him back whatever. Tom was nervous of how his father would react, both to his return and to his relationship with Harry. But he knew that, as long as he was with Harry, he would survive.

They shared a long heartfelt kiss once they had reached their quarters, the joy of arriving home was enough to quell any doubts for the present. Later they lay looking into each other’s eyes, simply staring as they had done that morning which now seemed so long ago. The chronometer beeped to remind them of their duties and in a short while they returned to the Bridge, to count down the remaining hours.

At long last Tom brought them out of warp and there were many tears as the human crewmembers glimpsed the gleaming jewel that was their home. Harry waited quietly for the Captain to request a communications channel, they were home.

The End