Tears of Pain 
By Misti (aka Lark, aka A'Lehsen)

Summary: This is another Tom-or-B'Elanna-dies story. I know it's 
been done by countless other P/T authors. I, personally, don't read
them unless I need to cry. I never thought I'd write one, certainly.
But this idea came to me when I was listening to a song on the radio,
and I had to write it. It's set sometime in the sixth season, pretty
early on. For any technical errors, SORRY! Well, here goes...

Disclaimer: The characters are theirs, the story is mine. There's
not much else to say except that this was written for entertainment,
not profit. The song "As Long As You Love Me" belongs to the Backstreet
Boys. It's theirs. I only used it because it seemed appropriate.

Rated: PG



"Captain, we *need* those resources!" Lieutenant B'Elanna Torres
said fiercely. She stared into Captain Kathryn Janeway's troubled
eyes, trying to will her into agreeing.
Janeway sighed and looked away. "I know, B'Elanna, but there's
so much risk involved," she said. She looked around the table at her
other officers. They all seemed to agree with B'Elanna.
"Captain, the *Delta Flyer* could probably take it," Ensign Tom
Paris offered quietly.
"Mr. Paris?" Janeway knew her voice was stiff, but she could not
help herself.
"Well, we wouldn't even have to go into the giant's atmosphere. 
We could take her into a low orbit just in the ionosphere, the *Flyer*'s
sheilds should be able to take any turbulence. We could transport the
minerals from the atmosphere below into sealed containers. It wouldn't
take longer than an hour to transport what we need," Tom said.
"The electromagnetic storms concern me, though," Janeway said.
"There hasn't been any evidence that the storms come into the 
upper atmosphere, Captain," Ensign Harry Kim commented, looking up from
the padd he had been studying.
"Please let me try, Captain," Tom said. His blue eyes begged her 
to trust him.
Janeway stood up and paced over to the window. She looked out at 
the stars, which were still for a change. The planet they were talking
about was visible to the left. It was a gas giant, beautiful in its own
way. Like most gas giants, it was an incredibly dangerous place.
"All right," Janeway said finally. She turned back to face them 
all. "All right, Tom, you can do it. Take another ensign with you, and
be as careful as possible."
"Yes, Captain!" he said as his blue eyes lit up.
"Be ready to leave in ten minutes. Dismissed." She looked back out
at the stars and sighed again. Had she done the right thing?


B'Elanna sat at the engineering station on the Bridge. She was 
determined to see how Tom's mission went, as if her presence on the 
Bridge would keep him safe. She watched as the *Delta Flyer* sped away
from *Voyager* and hovered over the planet. It looked so small and 
There was not much to do while they waited. B'Elanna went over
recent diagnostics reports.
Finally, Tom hailed them. "Paris to *Voyager*." His handsome face
appeared on the screen. "We're all done, Captain. I'm transporting 
the cargo now. I'm sure B'Elanna can't wait to get her hands on it,"
Tom said with a smile. B'Elanna smiled back, and thought that there
was something else she couldn't wait to get her hands on.
Tom looked down for a moment, and then Harry said, "Transport received."
"We've got them, Tom. Now get back here," Janeway said firmly.
"Yes, ma'am," Tom said. "Paris--"
Tom did not get the chance to sign out. B'Elanna watched as he and
Ensign Carson were tossed to the left.
"Damn!" Tom said in anger. "It's an electromagnetic storm! It
came up from nowhere!"
"Shields at seventy percent and falling!" Carson said, her eyes wide
with panic.
"Tom, get out of there!" Janeway ordered.
"I'm trying! The engines have been damaged! Damn! Captain, we
aren't going to make it. The storm is pulling us in!" Tom said. He 
looked at B'Elanna, and she could see the tears in his eyes.
"Tuvok, can we get a tractor beam on them?" Janeway asked desperately.
"Negative, Captain. The electromagnetic currents of the storm
would interfere with any attempted rescue."
Just then, the *Flyer*'s computer warned, "Five minutes to hull
B'Elanna felt her heart break as Tom looked at her. His eyes were
full of fear. She knew that he was afraid of dying, afraid of what might
come next.
"I love you, B'Elanna." It was the last thing she had expected him
to say. Hearing those words, the ones she had longed for, made the re-
maining pieces of her heart shatter into smaller bits.
"I love you, too," she managed to choke out around her tight throat.
Tears began to well up in her eyes. "I'll never forget you, Tom!"
"You made my life worth living. I'm sorry I didn't tell you sooner,"
he said with a regretful smile.
"That's all right. I knew anyway," she answered. She managed to
return his smile weakly.
They stared into each other's eyes as the *Flyer* counted out the
last minutes. The silent Bridge and Carson's frantic sobbing did not
exist for them. Their world was about to fall apart, and they just wanted
to be together.
"Goodbye, my love," Tom whispered.
They were his last words. The viewscreen went blank, and B'Elanna
knew that Tom was dead.
One tear slipped down her cheek, and she lifted a hand to touch it
in amazement. She had not cried in years!
As if that realization broke a dam inside her, more and more tears
followed the first. They began as silent tears, but soon sobs were 
shaking her.
"NO!" B'Elanna heard herself moan. She hid her face in her hands
and let the sobs come harder. She was not aware of Harry walking over
and slipping his arm around her shoulder, supporting her.
"Hush, B'Elanna. It'll be okay," Harry said. She knew he was trying
to be reassuring, but it did not work when he did not sound convinced of
it himself.
"No, Harry, it will never be okay, NEVER!" B'Elanna cried. 
"Harry, why don't you take her to her quarters. I'll have the Doctor
stop by and give her something for the shock," Janeway said quietly.
"All right, Captain," Harry said.
B'Elanna did not protest as he helped her to her feet and led her
to the turbolift. She was so tired...How could her life go on without
Tom? It all seemed so useless now.
"Deck Nine. Try to calm down, B'Elanna. Tom wouldn't have wanted 
you to make yourself sick, would he?" Harry asked soothingly.
B'Elanna took a few deep breaths. "No, I guess not. I--Harry, I
just don't want to go on living if he's not here with me!" she wailed.
"Don't talk like that, B'Elanna! Do you really want your friends
to go through double the grief? I lost one of my best friends today.
Do you want me to lose the other one?" Harry asked. He actually looked
angry with her. What had she done?
Then, she saw how selfish she was being. She knew then that she
had to go on living, that she couldn't leave her friends with the same
kind of pain she felt.
"You're right, Harry. I'm sorry. It's only that I feel so alone
right now," B'Elanna said quietly.
"You'll make it, B'Elanna, because you aren't alone. We're family,
and we'll always be here for you. Sometimes I think you're the sister
I never got to have," Harry said with a sad smile.
"Just like Tom was your brother," she stated.
"Yeah. So, see, I'm your family. We have to stick together through
this," Harry said.
"All right, *little brother*," B'Elanna said. The paused, almost
ashamed that she could joke at a time like this. No, someone, she was 
not sure who, once said that laughter could cure anything. She wondered
if it could cure a broken heart.
Harry smiled. The turbolift opened, and they got out. 
"I can make it from here, Harry. You should get back to the Bridge,"
B'Elanna said as she started for her quarters, which were only a few meters
"Nope, the Captain said to take you to your quarters. I'm going 
to make sure you don't collapse before you get there. You look like 
you will," Harry said frankly.
"Thanks, Harry." She keyed in her passcode, then turned to her 
friend as the door opened. "I really would like to be alone now. Okay?"
"Okay," Harry said reluctantly. He hugged her once more and left.
Entering her quarters was like pouring salt on a fresh wound. He
was everywhere. They used to cuddle on the couch and talk for hours.
They fought in that doorway more times than she cared to count. They
had made love on her bed too many times to count. One of his uniform
jackets was hanging over the chair back. He had forgotten it last night.
B'Elanna felt like crying again, but she didn't. Instead, she 
curled up on the couch and stared into space for an indeterminable 
amount of time.
His voice startled her. She looked over at her console, and was
shocked to see him staring back at her. He looked so serious!
"Hello, B'Elanna. If you are watching this, I am no longer among
the living. I programmed this message to play if my name was entered
into Janeway's 'death list'."
As she stared at him, Tom's image continued. "I hope I told you
before I died how much I love you. If I didn't, I was a damn fool. I'm 
sorry for the pain you must be feeling. If I could be there for you 
right now, I would be! But that isn't all that I wanted to say, or 
the way I wanted to say it." He looked down for a few moments. When he
raised his eyes to hers, there was a light in them that took her breath
"B'Elanna, these last few years have literally been the best in my
life. It's all because of you. No matter what, I knew you loved me,
and that made all the difference in the worlds. You were my idol, my
reason for staying as much on the straight-and-narrow as I managed."
"I know we've had our fights, but I've always loved you, and I 
always will, even after I'm gone. You are so special to me."
Tom paused to clear his throat. He smiled sheepishly. "Also, if
you are hearing *this* message, it means I didn't have the courage to 
ask you to marry me before I died. I was planning on it, you know. I 
guess I never found the right time or place. But I replicated a set 
of rings, and engagement ring and a wedding ring. I want you to wear
them, and I would be honored if you would take my name anyway. I found
a way to make it legal, and Janeway should be reading that now."
Tom's smile grew tender. "Don't cry for me, B'Elanna. I know how
much you hate it, and besides, I want your memories of me to be good 
ones. So smile, while I play a song I found in the cultural database
that perfectly describes how I feel about you."
The music started to play softly, and after hearing a few lines,
B'Elanna smiled a little through the tears that had begun again.

"As Long As You Love Me"

Although lonliness has always been a friend of mine,
I'm leaving my life in your hands.
People say I'm crazy and that I am blind,
Riskin' it all in a glance.
How you got me blind is still a mystery,
I can't get you out of my head.
Don't care what is written in your history,
As long as you're here with me.

I don't care who you are, where you're from,
What you did, as long as you love me.
Who you are, where you're from,
Don't care what you did, as long as you love me.

Every little thing that you have said and done
Feels like it's deep within me.
Doesn't really matter if you're on the run.
Seems like we're meant to be.

I don't care who you are, where you're from,
What you did, as long as you love me.
Who you are, where you're from,
Don't care what you did, as long as you love me.

I try to hide it so that no one knows,
But I guess it shows
When you look into my eyes.
What you did and where you're comin' from...
I don't care, as long as you love me.

I don't care who you are, where you're from,
What you did, as long as you love me.
Who you are, where you're from,
Don't care what you did, as long as you love me.

Who you are, where you're from, what you did,
as long as you love me...

Who you are, where you're from, what you did,
as long as you love me.

Who you are, as long as you love me.
What you did, I don't care, as long as you love me...

(By the Backstreet Boys)

B'Elanna sighed as the song ended. Yes, it did describe the way
she had known he had felt for her. Now that was gone, though...
"B'Elanna, I want you to make me a promise. Never let our love
die, even after I'm gone. Remember me. I'm not asking you to stay 
single for the rest of your life. If you make it back to the Alpha 
Quadrant, you'll probably find someone new. But even if you do, please
remember me. That's always been my biggest fear, that I would die 
unnoticed and unlamented."
"I promise, Tom," she whispered.
As if he had heard her, he smiled broadly. "Thank you! Now, go 
get some rest. You don't get enough sleep, you know," he said, as he
so often did.
"Goodbye, my B'Elanna. Have a wonderful life, full of love and 
happiness. Don't let my death get in the way of your living."
B'Elanna almost felt like sobbing again when the message ended, 
except that now she felt a strange peace about it all. She had to 
admit, a nap sounded so good... 
B'Elanna dragged herself into bed, fully clothed, and in seconds
she was asleep. There were no nightmares waiting for her, just the
remembrance of a pair of loving arms and warm lips pressing against hers.
In her sleep, she smiled.

The End (For now!)

Of course, I'm already planning the sequel. Bet you can't wait, huh?