Title: Paper Hearts
Author: KayTrek (
Rating: R
Codes: C/P
Archive/Post: In no particular order, CPSG, VSPS,
ATPS, Cha_Club, The Tom Paris Dorm, anyone else please ask first

Disclaimer: Star Trek and everything related is owned by Paramount/Viacom, this is just a not-for-profit fun fic.

Summary: Tom has a secret Valentine's admirer.

Thanks, as always, to CatHeights for her editing, support, and enthusiasm

Paper Hearts

Tom moaned as the alarm went off. "What was that
Twentieth Century statement? Another day, another
dollar?" he thought to himself as he rolled out of bed
and dragged himself to his bathroom. It was a bit
easier, he reflected, to get up in the morning since
he had broken up with B'Elanna. He certainly wasn't as
tired the next morning, but, he admitted to himself, he
was so depressed that he might as well be exhausted,
because he still couldn't manage to get up with any

A scant few minutes later, Tom found himself dragging down the hallway to the lift and the mess hall. Harry
expected him to join him for breakfast. Were it not for
that standing morning "date", he might not get out of
bed at all.

Actually, he reflected to himself, that wasn't quite true. There was one other thing that made him get out of bed each morning.

His bright Lady, Voyager.

Flying Voyager was close to a religious experience for
him. At least his feelings seemed to match what he had
read in the ship's database on religion and religious
ecstasy. That was what it was like for him --
ecstasy. He forgot everyone and everything. There was
the ship, and him, in a kind of symbiosis. No wonder
he had fallen for Alice so easily, she had offered him
what essentially sounded to him like his idea of
Heaven -- being one with his ship. And now, without
B'Elanna, it sounded even more appealing.

A short time later, Tom regretted getting up more than
ever. The little Talaxian had managed to corner Tom
and Harry again, asking more about Earth holidays.
Tom couldn't decide if Neelix took his job as morale
officer a little too seriously, or if he was still
trying to figure out humans after five years.
Whichever it was, Neelix had returned to his obsession
with Earth holidays again, and was asking about winter festivals.

"Why winter, Neelix?" asked Harry, perfectly willing to
humor the Talaxian, much to Tom's dismay.

"Well, because it is winter on Earth right now, of
course! At least in the Northern Hemisphere, where you
all seem to come from. Isn't that where your
lovely San Francisco is?" asked Neelix, clearly puzzled that the Humans wouldn't know this simple fact.

"We have been in the Delta Quadrant for years, Neelix,
we really don't keep track of Earth seasons any more,"
Tom attempted to explain.

"But surely you have winter holidays! We Talaxians
have so many to liven up the winter months! What do
they do on Earth?"

"Well," started Harry, "there IS St. Valentine's Day."

Tom moaned quietly to himself. That was all he
needed. Start the hopelessly romantic Talaxian off
about Valentine's Day. As the two started to chat
brightly about the holiday, Tom slunk out of the mess
hall and headed to the morning briefing early, for
once. At least the Captain and Chakotay wouldn't
be interested in his romantic life, or lack there of.

But Tom should have known that the fates were
conspiring against him, as usual. He had inwardly
cringed at the strange looks the Captain and First
Officer had given him when he actually arrived early.
Then as soon as all the senior staff had filed into the
briefing room, Neelix had enthusiastically burst out
with an idea for a weeklong Valentine's celebration, to
end with a romantic Valentine's SweetHeart Dance.

"It could be great fun," Harry added enthusiastically. "Neelix and I were talking about a
valentine exchange -- secret valentines, you know?
Pick your secret valentine, leave them messages all
week, and then meet at the dance."

"That sounds romantic," Chakotay chuckled, grinning at
the enthusiasm Harry and Neelix were showing over the

"Well, as long as it doesn't involve a security risk or
too many replicator rations, go ahead," the Captain
added, smiling as well. "I think the two of you
already have a plan in hand, and it sounds like
something everyone can have fun with."

As the meeting continued, Tom reflected to
himself, "Yah, everyone would have fun, leaving their
sweethearts little valentines and gifts." Except him.
He was alone, as always.

As a result, Tom was very surprised when he returned to
his cabin that night.

He had done a full shift at the conn, and then a half-
shift in sickbay with the Doctor. He was ready to
collapse when he opened his cabin door to find a
valentine on the floor.

Tom picked it up with some trepidation. He figured at
first it would be some sort of sick joke. But it
wasn't -- it was an old-fashioned paper valentine that
looked like it had been slid under his door. The
valentine was large and red, with lace trim, and had a
very simple message:

Roses are Red
Violets are Blue
You don't know me
But I know you

Your Secret Valentine

Tom was nonplused by the card. Who would send it? It
could still be a joke, or maybe Harry trying to make
him feel better by making him think that he had a
secret admirer.

In fact, Tom reflected, maybe it was little Naomi. She
had been acting like she had a crush on Tom lately.

Oh, joy, Tom thought as he got up to his alarm the next
morning. Yesterday was Monday, and the party was set
for Sunday night. A whole Valentine's week. Tom had
decided to start leaving Naomi little presents, with
Sam's knowledge, of course. It would make the little
girl excited, and no one could bug him about not
participating. Yes, Tom thought to himself as he
dragged himself to the mess on Tuesday morning, that
would be a safe and fun way to participate. Naomi had
always been special to him, like a little sister.

Tom greeted Neelix, grabbed the least objectionable
breakfast entree, and sat down beside Harry, to find
his best friend eagerly discussing valentine gifts
with Ayala.

"The thing is, you know, I don't know if Tem will know
what I am doing. If I leave him valentines and
chocolates, you know?" Ayala was telling Harry.

"Well, look in the database on romantic Bajoran stuff,
Miguel," Tom said as he sat down. "No sense wasting
replicator rations on a heart full of candy if he
doesn't know what it means."

"Who are you choosing, Tom?" asked Harry, grinning as
he expected Tom's reputation to be in full force.

"Naomi Wildman," Tom responded, taking a bite of


"Hey, she's my best gal," Tom said, forcing a grin on
his face. "Why not?"

"Tom, I know you are upset about B'Elanna still, but
you have to get back into circulation," Harry started.

"Uh huh, circulation, yah, o.k., Harry," Tom responded, trying to ignore Harry's and Miguel's concerned looks.

"Harry's right, you can't pine away about B'Elanna
forever," Miguel offered.

"Maybe I'm not, maybe I'm waiting for someone to chase
after me for a change," Tom responded, uncomfortable
with the direction the conversation was taking.

"Think someone might do that, Tom?" came a voice
suddenly from behind him. Tom twisted to see Chakotay
and the Captain retrieving their breakfasts from

"They just might, Commander," Tom responded, eyes
narrowed, trying to decide just where Chakotay was
going. Did he think no one would be interested?
Sheesh, the guy didn't have to take a public jab like
that at him, but what did he expect, Tom thought to

Later that day, Tom yawned as he entered his quarters.
He had snuck by the Wildman's quarters with a stuffed
bear he had replicated at lunchtime. At least it had
spared him eating Neelix's chow. He had gotten a few
snickers on the bridge when he had returned with it,
unable to deliver it until after the shift. Once he
had explained that he was Naomi's secret Valentine,
though, the Captain had just smiled and sat the bear
next to her until the end of the day.

But the shift itself had been stressful, with Chakotay
sitting behind him after that breakfast remark, and
then snickering at him with the teddy bear. Tom
sighed. He just wanted to forget the whole Valentine's
thing and sleep.

Just as he was about to get some rest, he noticed the
single rose on his table. A note propped up next to it

Number Two
For You.
Meet me at the Dance?

Geez, Tom thought. Whoever was leaving these notes idn't write very good poetry. Maybe it was Naomi. Or
one of the Delaney twins. But the rose was sweet.
Tom smelled it, then took it into his room and placed
it next to his bed. Maybe it would give him sweet

End Part 1