By A‘Lehsen Paris
Summary: The sequel to "Dire Consequences", set a day after. There‘s briefing, and there‘s lots of tension thanks to the break-up. The rest of the crew are very confused by this, it‘s obvious something is wrong. Oh, and a very important discovery is made by B‘Elanna.
Disclaimer: Paramount owns Voyager and the crew. I‘m just writing the story. Of course, the idea did come from some recent rumor, and my friend Kat. So, if the rumor comes true (which I most sincerely hope it does NOT), I‘d like to say that this is my version.
Rated: PG (adult language)
Dedicated: Again, to my muses. All of this is possible thanks to you! :o)
Lieutenant B‘Elanna Torres sighed as she made her way across the Bridge. She was late for this morning‘s briefing. She‘d had so much trouble getting to sleep that, once she had finally dozed off, she had slept right through her alarm. As a result, she hadn‘t been able to eat any breakfast, and she still was a minute or so late. This just was not her day.
The rest of the crew gave her odd glances as she took the only seat left around the horse-shoe shaped table, between Harry and Chakotay. So, Tom had somehow managed that. It made sense that he also was the only one not looking at her.
B‘Elanna knew that she looked terrible. She didn‘t really care, either.
She felt so unhappy...
Janeway cleared her throat. A worried expression clouded her face, but she didn‘t mention B‘Elanna‘s tardiness. "Now that everyone is here, let‘s get started," she said quietly.
B‘Elanna sat through the boring security and communications reports. She occupied herself by staring at her hands folded on the table in front of her. This helped her to resist looking up at Tom, who sat across from her. To pass the time, she began going over quantum formulae, normal pro-cedure during a core breach, anything to keep her from thinking about the man who had once loved her.
"B‘Elanna?" Janeway‘s voice called her back to reality.
B‘Elanna looked at her captain. "Yes?"
"The engineering report, Lieutenant," Janeway said. The worried look intensified. B‘Elanna knew it was because she hadn‘t acted like this in a long time. She just couldn‘t help herself.
"Sorry, Captain. Engines are at maximum power, only minor repairs to the EPS conduit on Deck 3 last night, and two gel packs on Deck 5 were re-placed after burning out in a freak accident," B‘Elanna said in a flat, expressionless voice. She knew that that would tell her fellow officers more than anything else that something serious was wrong. She was always enthusiastic about Engineering, no matter what else was goin on in her life.
B‘Elanna sat through the rest of the meeting the same way she had through the beginning. She tried her damnedest to ignore Tom‘s voice as he gave the CONN report, but it was so hard. She had always considered his voice as one of his biggest attractions. It had so many different inflections, it was so smooth and almost always sounded light and cheerful.
Not this time. Tom sounded just as expressionless as she had. Good. Let him suffer the way she was. He deserved to. His overreaction to her keeping that message secret... It had proved that he didn‘t really love her as much as she had hoped. He had never said the words to her, after all. She had just been deluding herself.
Finally, the briefing was over. B‘Elanna had hoped that she would make a clean escape without any questions asked, but no such luck.
"Lieutenant Torres, may I see you for a moment?" Janeway asked just as she reached the door and her ticket away from anxious friends.
B‘Elanna turned back. "Yes?" she asked.
Once everyone else was gone, Janeway said, "I‘m concerned, B‘Elanna. Your behavior today was...well, I‘m not sure how to describe it. What‘s wrong?"
B‘Elanna shook her head. "It‘s nothing, Captain, just a few late nights and double shifts that I didn‘t have to take catching up to me. I‘ll try to get more sleep tonight," she promised. Although I doubt I can, she added silently.
"B‘Elanna, if anything has happened, anything that I can help you with...." Janeway persisted. She touched B‘Elanna‘s arm and looked into her eyes. B‘Elanna turned away, afraid for the Captain‘s sake of what she would find there.
"I really am fine, Captain. I should go now. We have a lot to do in Engineering today," B‘Elanna said. Well, that wasn‘t the whole truth. There was a drill she had been planning on giving, but now she wasn‘t sure that she wanted to spend the energy it would take.
"Is it anything that Carey can‘t handle?" Janeway asked.
B‘Elanna thought about that. "No, I don‘t think so..." she said warily.
"Then you are going back to your quarters to get some rest," Janeway said firmly. When B‘Elanna began to protest, she held up a hand. "That‘s an order, Lieutenant. If I have to I‘ll get the Doctor to examine you and give you an official medical leave. You can‘t do this to yourself! This ship needs you in top shape!"
B‘Elanna hung her head for a moment. She knew that. Besides, she did not feel like a trip to Sickbay. "Yes, Captain," she said.
"Good. I expect you to go straight to your quarters, B‘Elanna. Dis-missed," Janeway said. She didn‘t look reassured, but at least she hadn‘t pressed the issue about what was bothering B‘Elanna.
B‘Elanna left. She stopped in the Mess Hall to get something to eat in her quarters. Word must have traveled quickly, because everyone stared at her as she walked over to Neelix.
"Neelix, I missed breakfast. Do you have anything to eat around here? That I can take with me?" she asked him.
Neelix looked at her, and his odd gold eyes showed that he was distressed by what he saw. Did she really look that bad?
"Of course, B‘Elanna. Banana pancakes?" he asked.
"If you could make them quickly, yes. I‘ve been ordered to get some rec time by the Captain," she tried to joke. It came out very weak.
Neelix chuckled anyway. "I understand," he said as he went into his cooking area. Neelix had grown rather good at making her favorite breakfast food, almost as good as her grandmother had been.
B‘Elanna didn‘t look around as he worked busily. She could feel the eyes on her, and could nearly read the minds behind them. They were all speculating on what could have happened.
Neelix handed her a container with five banana pancakes and a fork in it. She thanked him and left as quickly as she could. The stares were be-ginning to annoy her. She supposed that annoyance was better than the in-different mood she had been in for the last ten hours, ever since...but she wouldn‘t think about that now.
B‘Elanna thought she would make it to her quarters without running into anyone else, but she was wrong. Harry was lounging against the wall across from her door, and he didn‘t look happy.
As soon as he saw her, Harry pointed to her door, an unspoken command to get in there so that they could talk. B‘Elanna sighed and didn‘t argue with him.
She keyed in her code and the door opened. She said over her shoulder, "You‘re going have to talk while I eat, Harry. I‘m starving."
"At least that‘s something normal. B‘Elanna, what the hell‘s going on?"
Harry asked her as she sat down at her table. He sat across from her.
"What makes you think anything‘s wrong, Harry?" she tried to ask as casually as possible. This was Harry, one of her best friends, and he wasn‘t going to take "no" for an answer, she knew. He could be damned persistant when he wanted to be, and it looked like he wanted to be. B‘Elanna took a big bite of her pancakes to stall the conversation a little.
"B‘Elanna, I‘m not stupid. You and Tom looked dead today. You‘re both acting like someone‘s died, and I want to know why!" Harry said.
B‘Elanna took a second large bite and chewed it slowly. What could she tell Harry, and how?
Once she had swallowed, she said as calmly as possible, "Tom and I are no longer seeing one another."
Harry‘s dark eyes got wide. "WHAT?" he yelled.
B‘Elanna winced. She had been afraid that Harry would get upset. She was having a hard time controlling her own reaction, depression. She really didn‘t need to have to worry about Harry, too, and she knew she would any-way.
"B‘Elanna, why? What happened?" Harry asked. He looked so confused.
B‘Elanna sighed. She supposed that if she didn‘t confess then Harry would just go to Tom and nag him to death until he found out. "Remeber when we were getting messages from the Alpha Quadrant a couple of years ago? I said that Tom‘s message didn‘t make it," she began. She grimaced, thinking about how dumb she‘d been. "I lied. It was—awful, Harry. Owen Paris was so cruel, and I—I—just couldn‘t stand to see Tom get hurt."
She was quiet for a few minutes, staring at Harry with anguished eyes.
"I don‘t know why, but I saved it. And Tom found it last night, somehow. He was so angry with me....and he was right to be. I should have shown it to him, even if it would have hurt. He deserved that much," she said softly. She closed her eyes as she tried to close out the painful memory.
Harry got up and came around the table to squat beside her chair. "I understand, B‘Elanna, I really do. I know that if I had been the one going through those messages, I probably would have done the same. Did you apolo-gize?" he asked as he slipped an arm around her shoulders.
B‘Elanna leaned into him, thankful for his support, physical and other-wise. "Yes, I tried. He just wouldn‘t listen. He was furious. I‘ve never seen Tom like that before..." she let herself trail off as she tried to over-come the tears welling up inside.
Harry sighed deeply. "Tom can be pretty pig-headed. Give him a few days, okay? He‘ll come to his senses," he assured her.
"I don‘t think so, Harry. I think I ruined it all," she said with great resignation.
Harry shook his head. "I don‘t think so. Give him some time. Promise?"
B‘Elanna smiled weakly at him. "Ever the optimist, aren‘t you, Harry? All right, I‘ll try to be understanding and patient," she said.
Harry smiled back at her. "Good. Now, my shift starts in ten minutes, so I should go. Are you going to be okay?" he asked.
B‘Elanna nodded. "Yeah. Get on out of here," she ordered him.
Harry stood up. "Try to get some sleep, B‘Elanna," he said as he headed
for the door.
"I will. Thanks, Harry," she said, almost shyly.
Harry flashed her another smile. "Anytime."
B‘Elanna turned back to her pancakes. They were a little cool, but she
devoured them anyway. After she was done, she set her plate in the replicator and watched as it disappeared. Those atoms would probably make someone else‘s meal later. Such facts usually fascinated her, but now they seemed so common-place and uninteresting.
She went and laid on her bed, not even bothering to undress or even slip under the blankets. She doubted she‘d even get any sleep, but she had to try. She knew that she couldn‘t keep going on like that.
The first thing B‘Elanna noticed when she woke up was how awful she felt. Her stomach ached, and without even thinking about it she knew that if she didn‘t get to the bathroom now then she‘d vomit on her bedroom floor.
B‘Elanna barely made it, and then her stomach started casting out the pancakes she had enjoyed only a few hours before. She felt helpless as she emptied her breakfast into the toilet. Why was this happening? It was the only thought in her head as she wretched violently.
Finally, it was over, and B‘Elanna leaned back against the wall. What was wrong with her? It couldn‘t be the stress over her break-up with Tom. Awful as that was, she had experienced worse, and for longer, a year ago when she‘d been so depressed after hearing of all the Maquis deaths...So what was it?
A thought came to her, and she almost dismissed it as impossible. However, her experience as an engineer said not to ignore anything as being "impossible".
B‘Elanna stood up on legs that felt like rubber and made her way into the front room. She picked up her tricorder, laying on a chair where she had carelessly tossed it after her shift last night. With shaking hands, B‘Elanna ran it over herself. Of course, it could only give basic information on humanoid bodies, but it would probably be able to pick up any—anomalies.
It did. B‘Elanna nearly sobbed when she looked at the readouts. There was no denying it. She was pregnant!
B‘Elanna lowered herself onto the couch. She felt weak, almost dizzy. How could this have happened? She asked herself this four or five times until it actually hit her, all of the reprecussions of this small life that was beginning inside her.
She wouldn‘t be able to hide it forever. Klingon women had a slightly shorter gestation period, and they tended to show earlier than Human women. The whole ship would know in about two and a half months, because, according to the tricorder, she had conceived about a month ago. That was just an estimate, though. Right now, she didn‘t dare go to the Doctor to find out exactly when her child would be born, because Tom would find out if she did.
And the baby would be born. The mere thought of destroying the precious life inside her made her grimace in revulsion. No, this child had been created in love, even if its father no longer loved her. She would keep it and raise it.
B‘Elanna suddenly felt much more tired. She curled up on the couch, determined to forget about the trouble this would cause. Instead, she concentrated on the joy she felt over her baby. And that is why, a few minutes later, she fell asleep with a small smile on her face, one hand covering the spot where life was beginning to grow inside of her, as if she could protect it from the world with that one gesture.
Give me feed back, please? I love to hear what you think. This one was great, in my opinion. Let me know if I‘m just dellusional, ‚kay? :o)