Part 4 - see disclaimers in part 1

Tom didn't know where he was going; he just knew that he had
to get away from the Captain and the Commander. They were
smothering him; he had to think. Unintentionally, he had started
to head for the mess hall, but instead, he ducked into the
observation lounge nearby and put a lockout on the door.

How in the world could someone wake up in the morning and be
told that they had lost a year and a half of their life? He didn't
understand. Waking with the Captain and the Commander had
to be some sick joke. Maybe Harry and the Delaneys had set it
all up to get even with him. The problem was that he didn't remember
doing anything to them recently that would make them want to get
revenge this badly -- he actually couldn't seem to remember anything
that had happened recently at all, and that frightened him. And he
couldn't believe that the Captain and the Commander would agree
to such a joke.

He realized he had done what he always did, struck out at the
people who were trying to help him, but he couldn't help it. Gut
reflex. This morning had been a little too close to his most secret
fantasies, and having it almost in reach had put him on the defensive.
He couldn't, wouldn't, believe it -- he had learned long ago never to
let his defenses down.

Tom knew he had to think. Who would give him the real story?
How could he find out what was really going on? B'Elanna. She
never lied to him. Sometimes she wouldn't tell him something,
but if she would talk, it was always the truth. Even Harry was
funny sometimes, like he was trying to protect Tom or something,
but B'Elanna always told him the truth. Besides Harry would
probably just go running to the Captain and the Commander and
tell them where Tom was. And they were the last people Tom
wanted to see right now.

That thought galvanized Tom to action. If he stayed still too long,
the Captain could use the computer to track him, unless he ditched
his comm badge. But Tom figured if he did leave his comm badge
behind, he'd be in even more trouble than he was now, and Tom
already knew he was in way too deep before he had fled sickbay.
So he would have to keep moving and stay one step ahead, until
he had this nightmare figured out.

Nightmare. That gave Tom a pause for a moment. This almost
was like a nightmare, in a way, and Tom wondered for a minute
if he was asleep. A quick pinch, however, showed Tom he was
wide-awake. For a moment, he had a flash of waking from a
nightmare, strong arms around him, soft hands cupping his
face -- but then it was gone. God, all he needed now was some
sort of subconscious daydreams. He had enough to deal with.

Tom quickly asked the computer the location of Lieutenant Torres,
and took off the privacy lock on the observation bay. He poked his
head out the door, saw the coast was clear, and headed for the
Jefferies tubes. Better to take the back way than get cornered in a

In sickbay, Kathryn and Chakotay just stared at each other, ignoring
the Doctor's outrage at the escape of his patient.

"What are we going to do, Chakotay?" Kathryn said, staring into
the warm dark eyes, only for a moment showing her fear to him.
But it was enough, and Chakotay knew he had to find a way to
reach Tom if he wanted to calm Kathryn's fears.

She was so strong, so very strong, and the two of them had
clashed continually until Tom came, miraculously, into their
relationship. Tom had altered something fundamental between
them, brought them together, with him, in a way they never had
been before. And Chakotay was not about to lose either one
of them.

"Computer, location of Thomas Eugene Paris," Chakotay said
calmly, refusing to betray the ice around his heart. Then he and
Kathryn left for the observation bay, hoping they could corner Tom
there, and talk some sense into him.

Only when they arrived, they found they were too late. Chakotay
calmly inquired of the computer again, and the two set off in
determined pursuit. They would catch up with Thomas Eugene
sooner or later, and then pin the brash young man down until they
could explain everything.

Tom took the Jefferies tubes down several levels to the floor where
B'Elanna's quarters were located. He hadn't realized it was still so
early; so much had happened already that Tom couldn't believe a
day could hold so many incongruous events, much less one
morning. The hall was clear, so he jogged down the corridor to
her quarters and rang.

When B'Elanna didn't answer, Tom frowned, and asked the
computer her location again. She definitely was in her quarters.
Tom shrugged, and used the override code she had given him.
See, he told himself, you can still remember some things.

He slipped into her quarters quietly.

Tom was confused. B'Elanna had definitely redecorated since
the last time he had been here. He wished he could remember
when he had indeed been here last; his head was still foggy.
He shook his head, and instantly regretted it. But he knew he
had to stay one step ahead of the Captain and Commander,
which meant he had to talk to B'Elanna. She must still be in
bed, he decided, and walked into the bedroom. He stopped,

Someone was in bed with B'Elanna. Before Tom could gracefully
back out--run, he admitted to himself, before B'Elanna could
notice him, the other person turned toward Tom, obviously having
heard him.




Oh, God, Tom thought. I think I've fallen into a parallel universe.
B'Elanna and Tuvok?

Tuvok said nothing, simply quirking an eyebrow at him, but
B'Elanna had stirred and turned to look at Tom as well. And
from the look, Tom knew he was going to Sto Vo Kor very soon.

"Paris, what in Kahless are you doing in our quarters? How did
you get in in the first place?" B'Elanna growled, starting up off the
bed and towards Tom, oblivious to her lack of clothes.

"Um, I still, um, had the door code?" Tom said as he slowly began
to back away from the snarling half-Klingon.

"You never changed it?" Tuvok inquired calmly as he rose and
threw a robe over B'Elanna's shoulders.

"I never thought the P'Taq would have the nerve to use it! And
I hate coming up with new codes." B'Elanna kept advancing on
Tom as he moved backwards, almost falling over a chair.

"Explain yourself, P'Taq. What are you doing here walking in on
Tuvok and me?"

"Um, since when are you Tuvok together, anyhow? What
about me?" Tom snapped back, his confused brain finally
making sense of finding Tuvok here.

"Oh, let's see. Remember nine months ago? When we
bonded? The Captain even made you come to the party,
remember, though you wouldn't talk to me? What is with
you? Hit your head or something?" B'Elanna snarled,
stepping closer to Tom as he retreated towards the door.

"He did have a neurological shock yesterday," Tuvok offered as
he calmly followed the two, apparently content to observe, not
to interfere.

"Well, I'll give him another one," B'Elanna barked, and dove at Tom
as he backed into the door, effectively sending him flying into the
hall, landing on his back at the Captain and Commander's feet.