Disclaimer:  The Star Trek Voyager characters, and the Star Trek universe that I borrow them from belong to Paramount/Viacom.  The story belongs to me.  You can link to my story if you want, just let me know first.

Title:  Hidden Emotions II A New Beginning
Rated: PG-13 (for language)
Pairing: P/T
Author: Peggy Schultz
Email:  thejourneyhome@msn.com
Website: StarTrek Voyager The Journey Home
Date:  02/03/02
Summary:  A sequel to Hidden Emotions.  Can Q help B’Elanna to change the future?  Takes place during the events of Day of Honor, and seven months after Hidden Emotions ended.

Please note: 
When I was looking for a Beta reader for my stories, everyone who agreed to read my stories for me ended up MIA, and never got back to me..  My fiance'e read my first story "Hidden Emotions for me, and said that he liked it, however, when he sat down to read this one he said he didn't like it.  I do like it, though, and I decided to put it online anyway, to find out if anyone else agrees with my fiance'e.  I don't think that I did a good job of keeping Q in character, but other than that I like it.     If anyone would like to beta this story for me (or my other stories), and will definately get back to me, please I could use the help, just use the email address above to send your messages.  Please let me know what you thought of this story, good or bad, you can also use the poll at the end of the story to let me know what you think. 

Hidden Emotions II A New Beginning 

B’Elanna Torres watched helplessly as Tom Paris rested his head against the inside glass plating of the helmet of his environmental suit.  His eyes were closed, and she could not tell if he was still breathing or not.  “Tom,” she called.  Her voice sounded weak even to her own ears, and she was already finding it difficult to breath properly.  Tom did not stir and she began to become scared. 

“At least I’m not alone,” she thought, although Tom’s words that he had said to her earlier still rang through her mind.  He had told her that he would leave her alone, and that she would be alone if she kept pushing people away who tried to be her friend.  She wondered if he was still mad at her, but now she would never know.

Suddenly she was surrounded by a bright light, and thought that it was ion turbulence again.  Then just as suddenly, she was no longer floating through the darkness of space, she was laying on a biobed in sickbay.  As her eyes adjusted to the light, she realized that all of the other biobeds, including the surgical bed were all empty.  And she was alone in sickbay.

“T- Tom,” she stammered, “where’s Tom?”  The holographic doctor should have been at her side immediately after she regained consciousness.  “Computer, activate Emergency Medical Hologram,” B’Elanna said. 

“Sorry,” an oddly familiar voice said from behind her, “I’m afraid that no one can hear or see you including the computer.”

B’Elanna whirled around to find Q standing behind the biobed, with an odd smirk on his face.  “Where is Tom?  What have you done with him?”

“Miss Torres, I am shocked that you would think that I would harm your helmboy.  After all I am here to help the both of you foolish humans, although I am not quite sure that you humans are worth the trouble.”

“How can you help me and Tom?”  B’Elanna asked and suddenly was surrounded by the bright light again, as her surroundings changed, and she found they were no longer alone in sickbay.  She was surprised to see herself talking with the EMH.

“Let me introduce you to Mrs. B’Elanna Torres-Paris.  She made a wish last night that I felt the need to try and help her with.  And in order to accomplish this, we will observe your future self, and her crewmates.”

“Future.  Are you trying to tell me that I will marry Tom Paris?” B’Elanna asked, unsure how she felt about the prospect of being married to any one, let alone Tom.  The B’Elanna that stood in front of her talking to the doctor, was older, and looked very sad.

“Yes, you will marry him in three years from now,” Q informed her.

“Three years,” she repeated. 

“Yes, in order to grant Mrs. Paris her wish, you will need to observe her and your friends.”

“And if I refuse,” the engineer asked.

“You are stuck here until I think that you had observed enough to grant your future self her wish and perhaps change your future.”

“Wait let me guess, the future she wants to change is to not marry Tom in the first place.”

“If I tell you that, this whole trip into your future won’t be any fun.  Why don’t you listen to their conversation,” Q told her waving his hand towards where her future self sat on a biobed while the doctor scanned her.

“Is he all right?”  B’Elanna Paris asked, looking very worried.  B’Elanna Torres noticed that the woman on the biobed had seemed almost ten years older than she was.

“He is fine, a very healthy boy who was no doubt demonstrating the same restlessness that his father had,” the doctor assured her.

“Yeah, Tom sure wasn’t one for sitting still for very long.  He would have been so proud to know that he was going to have a son.  I know he would be glad to know though that he has you to make sure that his son will be healthy, and Harry to help to make sure he grows up into a fine young man…” she trailed off as she obviously thought lovingly about Tom.

B’Elanna felt a strange tightening in her stomach as she took notice to the sadness in B’Elanna Paris’ eyes.  She also noticed the love, unhidden in those same brown eyes. 

“Yes, we will all do our very best to help to raise him   to be a fine young officer,” the holodoc agreed.

“No,” B’Elanna Paris argued, “he will be what ever he wants to be.  I will not force Tom’s son to join Starfleet if it is not what he wants to do, regardless if he, Naomi and the Borg children were the only crew left to take over the control of Voyager, after we all are dead, or too old to perform our duties,” The EMH simply nodded, and continued to scan his patient.

“Well Lieutenant Paris,” the doc began, “you and your son are fine.  I would like to see you in a week from today.  This is a very stressful time for you, and like you said I need to make sure that your son is healthy.”

B’Elanna Paris simply nodded, before she slid off of the biobed and left sickbay.  The holographic doctor, and the two unseen observers watched silently as she left.

“Tom is going to die, without ever seeing his son, and leave me to be alone.  Did she wish that she could have known that he was going to die, so she could prevent his death?”

“No.  As I understand it, you humans would not appreciate the interference with the timeline.  I believe you call it the Prime Directive.  Let’s go and visit some of your crewmates,” with a snap of his fingers the two “observers” disappeared as the bright light engulfed them.

After the light dimmed to normal, B’Elanna was surprised to see that Harry and Chakotay were sitting in the first officers office.

“How have you been handling everything?” the commander asked.

“I’m fine,” the ensign said.  He no longer looked so young and naïve. 

“Harry, I know that you are trying to be strong for B’Elanna and the baby, but I also know that he was your friend and in the past year a lot of changes had taken place between your two best friends, only to end in tragedy.”

“This really was a year full of changes,” Harry agreed.  “I was so happy when they finally admitted their feelings to each other, even though it took a near death experience to finally convince them to share their feelings.  I was not the least bit surprised that they only dated a month before they were married.  I just can’t get over that they were only married for five months before he died, and only together as a couple for six.  It should have been me who died not Tom.”

“Harry,” Chakotay said.

“No.  I was feeling sorry for myself, because of how happy they were, and how lonely I was.  And now B’Elanna is sitting alone in her quarters, just as lonely as I am, and their son will have to grow up without a father.  I keep thinking that if I had been the one to go to the back of the caves, it would have been me that died and not Tom.  Every time I try to sleep, I see Tom die again in my arms.  What am I supposed to tell the baby when he gets older and wants to know how his father died?”  Harry asked, he stood up and began to pace the room.

“You tell him the truth that his father died while on a mission to collect gallicite, to keep Voyager operational.  You know that Tom would not want you to blame your self for what happened to him-” before the commander could finish his words the observers again were surrounded by the bright light, before they relocated to empty quarters. 

If the combined décor of both Tom’s and B’Elanna’s possessions were any indication, she assumed that they were in the couples living quarters.  A framed photo on the desk of B’Elanna and Tom smiling as they embraced in one another’s arms on the desk seemed to prove her assumption. 

“Why are we here?” B’Elanna asked, “there is no one here to observe.”

“Ah, you are very adept at the prospect of observing, but I thought that you may benefit from hearing something first.  I will leave you to listen to the logs alone.  Do you have any questions that you would like me to answer before I leave you?”

“Is this all true?  Will he really die only six months after we finally become a couple?”

“It is possible, yes but if you grant your future self her wish, it is possible the future will be changed in many different ways, perhaps ways that the events leading up the away teams desperate search for dilithium, will lead them to a different planet altogether.  Simply knowing the slightest detail of the future, could drastically alter the future in many different ways.”

“Why, do you want to help her, me?” B’Elanna asked.

“I don’t know.  Perhaps I’m a sucker for a happy ending.  Or the thought of the unfairness that I have to spend eternity with my mate, while do to unfortunate circumstances, and your stubbornness, had caused you two to spend mere months together.  The prospect of my spending eternity with my mate while your helmboy gets out of it, in less than a year, and even gets out of changing diapers is alarmingly unfair.”

B’Elanna rolled her eyes, and Q snapped his fingers again.  This time the light was not as bright and B’Elanna was left alone in her future quarters.  B’Elanna felt uncomfortable in the room.  She tried to open the doors, but they would not open, and none of her override codes worked to open the door.  As she worked on the control panel of the door, suddenly, the familiar voice of Tom Paris could be heard through out the room.

“Tom Paris personal log star date 48315.6.  We found Harry today.  Captain Janeway let me go along to search for Harry and the Maquis engineer.  She is so beautiful, half Klingon and half human,“ B’Elanna stopped trying to get the doors open and looked up to where his voice seemed to be coming from.  “She has a fiery personality that I found myself drawn to.  Her name is just as beautiful as she is, B’Elanna Torres.  B’Elanna and Harry were sick when Neelix, Kes and I found them and I was worried about both of them.  Harry had told me that the Ocampans couldn’t cure them.  I was relieved when the holodoc said they would both be fine.  After we found Harry and B’Elanna the day got better than I could ever imagine, Captain Janeway made me an official part of the Voyager crew.  I am now a lieutenant, and if that wasn’t amazing enough, she made me the new chief conn officer. 

“I am kind of nervous, I don’t know if I’m ready to run a department.  My father drilled everything I would need to know about commanding lower ranking crewmembers, into my head since I was old enough to walk; but this is overwhelming right now.  I never thought I would get another chance to use what the Admiral had taught me.  I wonder how the rest of the conn department will feel about a Starfleet reject, Maquis traitor, and ex-con commanding them.  This should be one hell of a journey, if I survive long enough to make it home.  Chakotay, Voyager’s new first officer, told the captain that he would make sure that no one harmed me, but I know that even he can’t watch my back all the time.  End log.”

“. . . star date 48546.2.  Today I showed my holoprogram of Sandrine’s to the crew.  Most of the crew seemed impressed by it or just glad to have a place like that to go to.  Of course, it didn’t change their opinions of me though.  Most of them still think that I don’t deserve to be sitting at the conn let alone being the chief helmsman.  Hell sometimes I don’t think that I belong there either, but I’m glad for the chance to fly again.  B’Elanna told me that I was a pig because of the holographic character Gaunt Gary, who I created in the program to play pool with.  I don’t know why but it really bothered me that she thought I was a pig, although considering my past, and all the rumors about me I really can’t blame her.  It shouldn’t have bothered me so much, she’s part of the Maquis crew, and they all hate me.  Even the Starfleet crew hates me except for Harry, and Captain Janeway.  If it wasn’t for Harry I think I would ask Janeway to drop me off at the next habitable planet or space station.  At least then, I wouldn’t be on the receiving end of the two crews frustrations, anymore.  Last night I stole a dermal regenerator from sickbay.  I had 3 broken ribs, and a sprained wrist for trying to fight back.  I could imagine what Harry would say if he knew, god’s he is green.  Maybe I’ll get lucky and the next time the crew decides to let me know how much they appreciate my presence on the ship, they’ll at least fight me one on one without someone holding my arms.  I almost wish that they’d actually kill me already and get it over with.”

B’Elanna could not believe what she had just heard.  She knew that in the beginning, both crews had given Tom a hard time, but she didn’t realize how hard of a time they had given him.  She started to try to get the door open again, feeling very uncomfortable listening to Tom’s personal logs.
“. . . star date 48784.2.  Today I think was my worst day since coming here to the Delta Quadrant.  The Vidiians took B’Elanna, Pete Durst, and myself prisoner while we were on an away mission.  They sent Pete and I to work in the mines, and I thought that they had killed B’Elanna to harvest her organs.  I was so scared.  She is ok, more or less though.  The bastards took her DNA and split her into two people, one fully Klingon, and one fully human.  I didn’t really see too much of the Klingon B’Elanna, but I think I got to know the human B’Elanna pretty well.  She actually confided in me.  I don’t know if it was a result of her being fully human at the time or that there really wasn’t any one else she could talk to; but I’m glad that I was there to listen. 

“The Vidiians killed Pete.  They should have killed me, not Pete.  I was the one in charge of the mission.  Pete probably had a family back in the Alpha Quadrant waiting for him to come home.  I know that by know my dad has already given us all up for dead, and I’m sure he’s glad.  He’ll find it much easier to tell everyone that his only son is dead, instead of a screw up sitting in prison.

“B’Elanna told me that she used to try to hide her forehead ridges with scarves.  It reminded me of the haircuts that my father would make me get when I was a kid.  For some reason it seemed to make her feel a little better.  I don’t understand why she wants to hide her Klingon side though, it’s part of what makes her, her.  She gets her fiery spirit from her Klingon side.  Without the two halves together she is not B’Elanna Torres; at least not the B’Elanna that I love. . .” B’Elanna stopped trying to get the door open and leaned against the closed door, stunned by the pilot’s words.  She remained still as the silence of the long pause filled the room.  “I can’t believe I just said that, I’ve never said that out loud to anyone since Odile in the Academy, and I vowed I’d never say it again.  There is something about her though, the way she smiles, the way she argues, god’s I do love her.  Funny huh, I just realized that I’m in love with the one person on the ship who I would have the least chance of feeling the same way about me.  At least maybe I can convince her to be my friend.”

“. . . star date 49373.4.  Today I crossed the warp 10 barrier, got sick, died, came back to life, mutated into . . . Some type of lizard, kidnapped Captain Janeway and took her through the warp 10 threshold (so she too would mutate), had mutant offspring and then was returned to myself again.  Other than how sincerely concerned for me B’Elanna seemed to be when I started getting sick in the mess hall, I think today was my worst day yet. 

“I knew I was dying, I could see it in the faces of the doc and Kes.  I was scared.  I wanted B’Elanna with me, but they had sent her to find out more information about crossing the threshold from the Cochran’s computers.  And they had to put a force field around me because I could no longer breath oxygen and only the holodoc could come inside.  I was more of a freak than the crew already thought I was.  I realized today that I really don’t want to die.  I kept thinking of my father and wondering if he would be proud that I crossed the warp 10 barrier, and actually accomplished something good before I died.  I wished that I could have gotten to see him, to tell him I was sorry for being such a screw up.  After all these years I still want to impress him, and make him proud of me.  If only I would have tried a little harder to get better grades, maybe, my life would have turned out differently.”

“Tom Paris personal log, stardate 49447.  I hope Janeway puts her plans into action soon because I am really getting sick of lying to people.  Today B’Elanna was getting on my case about my appearance and about the rumors she heard about my behavior, it seemed like she actually cared and really wanted to help me.  I wanted so badly to tell her that I have to act that way for the captain, so we can find out who the traitor is, but I can’t tell her.  I’m starting to regret agreeing to do this for the captain.  Just when B’Elanna seemed to consider me a good friend, and then I have to act like a jerk.  Worst of all is that Chakotay finally seemed to be tolerating me, I have to make him believe that I am the jerk that the crew first thought I was.  I guess that’s why Janeway asked me to do this, she knew that the only one who would have a hard time believing that I was really wasn’t the jerk they all first thought I was, would be Harry.  Once B’Elanna hears about the clash that I’m going to have to have with Chakotay, she’s going to really hate me.  She probably won’t forgive me for it.”

“ . . . star date 50252.3 Today B’Elanna and I were alone in a shuttle,  I thought that since lately we seem to be becoming better friends that I would ask her to check out one of my holodeck programs.  But after she had just finished telling me what a child she had thought Freddy Bristow was, she told me that she would rather go out with him than me.  I hadn’t expected her to accept, but she really hurt me.  It made me wonder if she really was my friend at all; I just don’t know why I continue to set myself up like this?  But one look at her, and all reasoning seem to go out the airlock.  Her friendship is probably the only positive thing I can hope to achieve from our relationship, and sometimes, I‘m not sure if we are really friends or if she just tolerates me because of our mutual friend Harry Kim.

“Strange aliens attacked us, they shot us with very painful energy weapons.  B’Elanna recovered without any problems, but of course, just my luck, the doc’s program began to have problems, and he couldn’t remember how to do the surgery that I needed, so I was stuck in sickbay for a while.  Luckily, Kes was able to perform the surgery.  B’Elanna was repairing the doctor’s program when Kes finally said I could leave.  I’m really beginning to get sick of sickbay.  Even before Voyager, I seemed to always windup in some type of medical facility.  My sisters used to call me danger prone.  They’d say that if there was a way to get hurt in an empty room I’d find it. I‘m beginning to think that they were right.”

“ . . . star date 50537.2.  Today B’Elanna had experienced a strange chemical imbalance, which caused her the urge to want to mate.  Unfortunately, she chose me to try to mate with.  It was so hard to resist her, but I had to.  I couldn’t bare the thought of her hating me afterward.  Gods did I want to, though.  I’ve never been so drawn to anyone in my life.  She told me that her wanting to mate with me is what she had wanted for a long time, but I knew that she didn’t mean it.  She was very convincing though.  When we kissed, I felt it throughout my entire body; I had never felt that way when I kissed anyone before, not even Odile.  When we got out of the caves, we couldn’t contact Voyager and Tuvok said that if I didn’t help B’Elanna that she would die.  I still didn’t want to ruin our friendship, but if loosing her friendship meant sparing her life, I would help her.  B’Elanna began to smell and kiss my wrists, and then she threw me to the ground.  I flipped her over so that I was on top of her, but before anything could happen, Vorik showed up and threw me off of her, demanding that we fight for her.  I was ready to fight even though, with his Vulcan strength, he probably would have won easily, but B’Elanna took the challenge herself.  She beat him and the imbalance was purged.  I just wonder if things will ever be back to normal between us.  I had given up hope a long time ago, of having a chance at a real relationship with her, and then the imbalance, threw me off guard.  I hope the rest of the crew doesn’t find out, B’Elanna would really hate if anyone knew even Harry.”

“ . . . 50912.4.  Today the Nyrians slowly began to replace the crew so they could take over Voyager.  B’Elanna and I again were arguing.  Then we got stuck in an artic habitat to get away from the Nyrians who couldn’t stand the cold.  Not that we would have survived much longer in that freezing habitat, though.  B’Elanna doesn’t have as high of a tolerance for the cold as humans do.  I thought I was going to have to watch her die before me.  I was so scared, I have came close to death many times, actually I did die and came back to life once, but I knew I would not be able to watch her die.  But then Captain Janeway beamed us out to our own habitat,” Tom’s voice chuckled, “I was about to lift her up to carry her over my shoulder, when they beamed us out of there.  I was holding her in my arms; it must’ve looked like we were hugging.  B’Elanna immediately left.  She’s probably mad because of the rumors that will most likely start about us.  The fact that she was caught in my arms, must really of irritated her.  I’m just glad to be in my own warm quarters again.”

“ . . . . B’Elanna was having a really day today.  I wanted to speed up time so that the day would end for her, and hopefully the next one would begin with far less problems.  But of course, I couldn’t do that, and the day actually got worse, for both of us.  It was the Klingon Day of Honor.  We had both worked together on a program for the Day of Honor, I had felt glad that she had wanted to take part in it and equally glad that she allowed me to help her.  I later went to see her in her quarters; she had told me that she didn’t finish the program.  I became upset, and I was tired of her dismissing her heritage any chance she got.  I learned long ago that you can’t change where you come from no matter how much you might want to.  She told me to leave her alone, and I told her that if that is how she treats people who try to be her friends that she’ll be alone.  Then I left her alone in her quarters.

“Later I had to go to engineering to test out the transwarp drive.  We were both trying to avoid one another, which was hard to do when we were working together in Engineering.  We had problems and ended up having to eject the warp core.  But if you can imagine that wasn’t the worst of our bad luck.  Captain Janeway ordered me to go to retrieve the warp core, and had B’Elanna go with me to make sure that the core was stable enough to put a tractor beam on it.  But the Caatati had gotten to it first and they were attempting to tractor it.  When we tried to disrupt their tractor beam, they sent an antimatter pulse back through our particle beam.  B’Elanna and I put environmental suits on and then I beamed us into space seconds before the Cochrane blew up.  We cut it pretty close.  Then due to some ion turbulence out suits were damaged.  Mine was leaking oxygen, so B’Elanna attached an air hose to it so we could share oxygen.  Of course, that wasn’t the worst of the problems either, because her suit had also been damaged and had only about thirty minutes of oxygen left. 

“I told B’Elanna that I was glad that she would have been the last thing I saw.  I wanted to tell her that I loved her, but I just couldn’t say it out loud.  I know that it is true, I really do love her, but I just can’t bring myself to say the words to her.  I haven’t even told Harry how I feel about her, although I think he might suspect it.  I just can’t tell her and risk loosing her friendship as a result,” Tom chuckled again.  “You know she wanted to tell me something, she kept starting to talk and then stopping herself.  For a minute I thought she might actually tell me that she loved me, but I know that that isn’t true.  I couldn’t keep my eyes open any longer so I left myself drift off.  We were probably seconds from death when Voyager finally arrived and beamed us to sickbay.  I guess it’s a good thing that I didn’t tell her because she would probably never talk to me again.”

B’Elanna stood motionless, still in front of the door.  Suddenly Q reappeared in another bright flash of light.  “Are you ready to go?” he asked.

“No,” she said her voice almost a whisper.

“No?” Q asked studying her face.

“Wh- what happened to him?  I need to know how he died?” her voice was still low, but the omnipotent Q had no trouble hearing her.

“I thought you might want to know,” Q said and again snapped his fingers.  Immediately another familiar voice filled the room, but this time Q stayed.

“Ensign Harry Kim personal log star date 54689.3.  Two days ago Tom and I went on an away mission with Commander Chakotay and Lieutenant Ayala.  We were there to find gallicite, when we had finished and were leaving the caves Tom began to get sick.  I noticed that he was sweating a lot, and really looked terrible.  Then before we could make it to the shuttle he collapsed and began to have trouble breathing.  He couldn’t even talk or scream out in pain.  I could see it in his face that he was in a lot of pain, just like when he almost died taking the Sacajewa for a test flight.  Tom had stopped breathing before we had even gotten the shuttle off of the ground.  When we got to Voyager he was already dead.  He had been bitten by some kind of large poisonous insect native to the planet.  Seven tried to use her nanoprobes on him to revive him like she did with Neelix.  I was confident that it would work, because Tom was only dead for a couple of hours.  And at first it had worked, I was there when he opened his eyes again.  But after only five minutes the poison in his system started to attack the nanoprobes.  I had to watch him die in front of me a second time.  But this time there was nothing else they could do for him,” Harry’s voice temporarily wavered, and B’Elanna knew that he was crying.

“I think B’Elanna is still in shock; gods I’m still in shock.  I don’t think I’ll ever be able to sleep again, without seeing him die in my arms like that, and then to finally revive him only to have him die again. It was actually his third time dying, the first was after going to warp ten.  I just can’t believe he’s really gone.  This morning I tried to call him over the combadge because he didn’t meet me in the messhall for breakfast.  It should have been me.  Tom had only just begun his relationship with B’Elanna.  God’s they were only married for five months.  And if that wasn’t bad enough, B’Elanna found out today that she is pregnant, he died without even knowing that he would have a son in less than a year.  B’Elanna said at his memorial service that she wished that they had more time together.  She said that she was reading some of his personal logs and discovered that he had loved her since the beginning of our journey through the Delta Quadrant.  She said that if she wouldn’t have been so afraid of being hurt by him and would have just told him how she really felt that she would have had years to be with him, instead of months.  I think she said that so that anyone who was at the service and was hiding their feelings for someone else, would stop before it was too late.  Gods I don’t know how she could stand up there like that and talk about him so calmly.  I’m really worried about her.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen her so calm, she just stares out at the stars and reads his personal logs over and over. 

“The worst part of this whole mess was that today we discovered a planet with more gallicite, and other resources that we needed.  We didn’t have to go to that damned planet after all, we just had to wait a day or two, to locate the other planet.  If we had waited, he’d still be alive and we’d still have the gallicite we needed.”

Suddenly the bright white light blinded B’Elanna again, and then she was in the environmental suit again, floating in space with Tom Paris, a still breathing Tom Paris, in front of her.  His eyes were closed as he rested his head against the faceplate of his environmental suit.

“Tom,” B’Elanna said, “come on, open your eyes.”

“Warning oxygen level at 87 millibars,” the computer warned, as Tom’s eyes slowly opened.

“I was having a dream,” he told her.

“Tom, there’s something I have to say . . .”

“Me too,” he said his voice sounded very weak and dry, “I’m glad the last thing I’ll see is you.”

B’Elanna pulled him closer to her.  “I’ve been a coward about everything,” she admitted, “everything that really matters.”

“No, you’re being a little hard on yourself,” Tom said.

“No.  I’m going to die without a shred of honor.  And for the first time in my life, that really bothers me.  So I have to tell you something.  I-”

“Warning,” the computer again interrupted, “oxygen level at seventy-one millibars.”

“I have to tell you the truth,” she told him.

“The truth about what?” he asked.

“I love you,” she finally said.  Tom looked at her.  He was obviously stunned by her admittance; he looked like he was about to lose consciousness again.  “Say something,” she said.

Tom smiled weakly, “you picked a great time to tell me . . .”

B’Elanna watched as his eyes closed again, he looked very peaceful.  She pulled him close to her.  Suddenly she was becoming worried.  Could all of those logs she had listened to have been from a Tom Paris from an alternate universe.  She realized though that she did still want him to know the truth even if her Tom didn’t feel the same way about her.  At least if anything would happen to him, he would know how she really felt, and that he was loved.  She let her eyes close as she silently promised him that she would remember Harry’s log and make sure that no one went on that away mission.  Regardless of how her admittance to him may change the future.  And if their love doesn’t last for the nearly three years to come before that day, she will still do everything she can to protect him. 

Suddenly a very familiar voice interrupted her thoughts.  “Voyager to Tom Paris.  Tom, do you read me?  Respond.”

B’Elanna felt very weak and tired, and did not have the energy to even open her eyes.  She didn’t have to she realized when she heard Tom’s weak and barely audible response to the captain, “we’re here,” he said.

B’Elanna knew that nothing would ever be the same again, but she felt relieved.  Maybe it was a new beginning for their future together.  She was more relieved as she felt herself being transported out of the void of space, with Tom still securely wrapped in her arms.

                                                                ***     *     ***     *     ***

B’Elanna sat on the couch in her quarters, ten hours later, trying to piece together the day's events.  She remembered the bad luck that followed her throughout the day.  She thought her bad luck had finally reached its climax when she had to eject the warp core, but she had been wrong.  As she and Tom had gone together to retrieve the core, they ended up stranded in space in environmental suits.  And if that wasn’t bad enough ion turbulence had compromised their suits, causing them to have to share a mere 30 minutes of oxygen.  B’Elanna was fuzzy about the details, but she remembered looking into Tom’s helmet and seeing his head against the faceplate; she was afraid that he was dead already.  She thought about what it would be like if Voyager had found them before she died, but after Tom died; she could not imagine life on Voyager without him, and she knew that she no longer could keep the truth from him.  He didn’t deserve that, so she told him that she loved him.  The look of shock on his face was very funny.  She was hoping that he would reciprocate, but oddly, when he made a feeble attempt at a joke instead, she was not upset.  She knew that Tom had just as much trouble admitting his feelings as she did.  And she decided that at least before they died he would know how she really felt about him.  Now that she knew that they had both been rescued, and were safe aboard Voyager, she decided that she would let him make the next move. 

The End