By A‘Lehsen Paris
Summary: What if the message for Tom in "Hunters" wasn‘t destroyed after all? What if a certain caring girlfriend hid it because she knew it would upset him? Here‘s what I think. Written in third person. It is set some time early in the sixth season.
Disclaimer: Paramount owns Voyager and the crew. I‘m just writing the story. Of course, the idea did come from a rumor I heard recently, and my friend Kat. But this is my version, in case the stupid rumor is true. (Which I REALLY hope it isn‘t.)
Dedicated: Well, if I‘m going to be writing books in a few years, I should probably get some practice at this. I‘d like to dedicate this to Kat and Lauren, who are my official muses. Thanks, you two!
Rated: PG (adult language)
Ensign Tom Paris sighed as he went through all of his files. There had to be a few that were worth deletion. He needed more room for a new holo-program, and to get that some of his other files were going to have to go.
No, not Sandrines...or the pirate program. He grinned to himself as he thought about that one. B‘Elanna had actually enjoyed it, after she had gotten used to the skirts and the low necklines, which he had liked the most about her authentic costumes...
He was pulled out of his thoughts by a file he didn‘t recognize, but which had his name in it: TorresAlphaParis. Had B‘Elanna created a program for them? If it was supposed to be a secret, he probably shouldn‘t read it. However, maybe she had meant for him to find it. Should he read it? He wasn‘t sure, but then his curiosity took over and he pressed the "read" button.
When he saw the beginning of the file, the smile he had been wearing faded, to be replaced by an angry frown. Why had she done this to him?
The file read:
To: Thomas Eugene Paris
From: Admiral Owen Paris
I was surprised to learn that Kathryn made you a Lieutenant. I suppose she knew what she was doing... However, I‘m not counting on that. She just felt sorry for you, I‘m sure.
I doubt that you have changed much. You are probably the same arrogant ass that I allowed to go to prison. I wish that I had let you stay there instead of finding you such a good position on Kathryn‘s ship. She always has had a soft spot, and I should have remembered that.
You weren‘t good for anything four years ago. That can‘t have changed, even if you do have a prestigeous position on Voyager now. Don‘t let it go to your head. When you get back to the Alpha Quadrant I‘ll make sure that you go straight back to New Zealand, where you belong. You won‘t get off so easily for your crimes.
You have not earned my forgiveness, and you never will.
Your mother, on the other hand, never resented you for the shame you brought us, so it should please you to know that I have informed her of your safety and health. She is pleased and sends her love, as do your sisters. I don‘t know why.
Don‘t take this as a softening of my attitude towards you. I simply felt that it would be good for you to know how the people in your life feel.
Tom stared at the message. The message that B‘Elanna deliberately hid from me, he thought furiously. He couldn‘t believe that she would do this to him, even though the message from his father was the most awful thing he had ever read. He could have—would have handled it.
Tom transferred the message to a padd and then stood up abruptly. He was in his quarters, and now he just wanted to rush to hers and demand an explanation. Her shift was over by now, so she should be home.
Tom left his quarters and headed for the turbolift. "Deck 9," he said absently as he entered it. He was fuming. The thought kept running through his head: why did she do this to me?
By the time he reached B‘Elanna‘s quarters, he was angrier than a Klingon could ever hope to be. He just tapped in the security code which she had given him more than a year ago and barged in. She was standing by the replicator, a cup of something that smelled like raktajino. She looked up when he came in, and from the look on her face she could tell that something was wrong.
"Tom? What happened?" she asked, as if she was the most innocent person in the Delta Quadrant.
B‘Elanna knew that something was definitely wrong with Tom when he rushed into her quarters. He had a furious expression on his face, and she was sure that she imagined the betrayed look in his eyes. What could she possibly have done to make him so angry? Nothing, as far as she knew. So why was he standing there glaring at her?
"What do you know about this, B‘Elanna?" he practically spat at her.
He shoved the padd he held into her hands.
When B‘Elanna looked down at it, she felt her face pale. He had found it! She had thought that it was impossible, that it would never happen, but it had. He knew what she had done, and he hated her for it.
She had to try to save the situation—and their relatoinship, even though she had a horrible feeling that it might be too late. "Tom, I‘m sorry. It‘s just that, everyone else got such good news, and they were all so happy. I just didn‘t want your father to hurt you any more than he already had," she tried to explain.
Tom cut her off with a sharp motion of his hand. "I don‘t want excuses, B‘Elanna. I trusted you. Didn‘t you think that I could handle this? Did you think that I would fall apart?" he asked harshly.
"I was trying to protect you!" she said.
"I don‘t need your protection! Dammit, B‘Elanna, I should have known about this! You let me have the hope that my father had forgiven me, and you knew he hadn‘t! You knew!" Tom yelled. His eyes flashed blue fire.
"I know that! I‘m sorry. I just didn‘t want you to feel as awful as I did back then. I wanted one of us to be happy!" she yelled back.
"No, this was purely selfish! You needed someone to lean on, someone who didn‘t have to worry about anything else. You needed to be cheered up. You needed to be distracted. Hell, it was all about you! I never even figured into your little equation, or you wouldn‘t have kept this from me; you would have trusted me to handle it!" he shouted.
B‘Elanna felt as if she had been punched in the stomach. He was right, she had been thinking about her needs, but she had wanted also to protect him from the knowledge that his father hated him!
"Tom, we can work this out, please—" she began.
"No, B‘Elanna, we can‘t. I can never trust you again. And I will never forgive you," Tom said coldly. He turned and started for the door.
"You‘re just like your father,then, Tom Paris: stubborn and stupid! And you can both rot in Hell together!" B‘Elanna shouted after him.
Tom didn‘t look back. He just kept going, until the door swished shut behind him.
B‘Elanna stared after him. Her heart felt as if it had broken into a thousand pieces. There was no way she could fix this. She had ruined the most precious thing in her life, her relationship with Tom. There was nothing left for her.
A single tear slipped down her cheek as she sat down on her couch, still staring at the door. It was all over.
You didn‘t think I‘d leave it like that, did you? Of course I won‘t. However, Tom and B‘Elanna are going to have a few more bumps in the road before this is resolved.