CONTINUING THE MEMORIES
Standard Disclaimer: Tom, Katherine and the rest of the crew, belong to Paramount. (Except of course for the ones I made up myself.) No copyright infringement is intentional. This story is for fun only - no profit will be made.
This story is the direct sequel to ĎMisleading Memoriesí. It begins the morning after. There is a lot of angst (donít you just love it? *BG*) but I truly donít believe that Tom and Kathy could get together without a lot of hassles. Especially after what I did to them in ĎMisleading Memoriesí. Kath feels that she knows Tom so well, but he only knows her as his Captain. I donít believe that in the 24th century age will be an issue, but I think rank would be. There are references to things we found out about in ĎMosaicí.
Continuing The Memories
Captain Kathryn Janeway of the USS Starship Voyager awoke slowly. She stretched languorously and smiled in delight. Life was wonderful. She lay in bed for two full minutes, a luxury she seldom indulged in, and reflected on just how wonderful her life was.
She was in love. Totally, absolutely, completely, utterly head over heels. With Tom Paris. Thomas Eugene Paris. Admiral Owen Parisís youngest child. His only son. It was a dream come true that he felt the same way. Of course as Captain, she had a certain professional dignity to maintain at all times. But here in the privacy of her quarters she could indulge herself. She sighed dreamily as she remembered his kisses from the night before.
Closing her eyes again she pictured his handsome face. Pictured his gorgeous blue eyes twinkling at her mischievously. She sighed again and climbed out of bed. Enough self-indulgence for one morning, she told herself sternly. She quickly went into the bathroom to get ready for the day.
As she prepared herself, her mind kept drifting back to Tom. He really was all sheíd ever dreamed of. Smart, funny, kind and gentle, and extremely handsome she added with a smile. She thought about what they had discussed the night before. Tom had said that he loved her more than anything. He wasnít worried about what the reaction to their relationship might be. As long as he had her, he didnít care what other people thought, or felt, or said, he had told her.
She hoped that it would be that simple. They had decided that they would not sneak around. Everything would be out in the open from the start. They would be discreet but certainly wouldnít hide their relationship. If anyone asked, they would not deny it.
Humming a little tune, she walked out of her quarters and made her way to the mess hall. It promised to be a wonderful day.
Ensign Thomas Eugene Paris of the USS Starship Voyager groaned as he rolled over in bed. The computer had been chirping at him for the last ten minutes. "All right. All right," he grumbled. "Computer shut off wake up call." He yawned loudly as he sat up.
He stumbled out of bed and made his way groggily over to the bathroom. Splashing cold water on his face to try and wake himself up a little better, he looked at his reflection in the mirror. Did he look any different? His life had changed so much. He now had Kath, as well as his self-respect and a true place on the ship. Life couldnít get any better. Could it?
Quickly showering, shaving and dressing, he made his way to the mess hall. If he hurried, he might be able to see her before they went on duty.
As soon as he entered the mess hall he saw her sitting with Tuvok, at a table at the far end of the room. She looked up and smiled at him and he grinned back.
"Tom; good morning," Neelix greeted him. "What can I get for you this morning?"
"Just some toast and coffee thanks Neelix."
Neelix frowned at him. "Are you sure thatís all you want? Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, you know? Iíve made a big batch of porridge. No lumps this time, I promise." He gave a little laugh.
Tom laughed also, trying to hide an involuntary shudder. Neelixís last batch of porridge had been yellow. Bright, canary yellow - to be exact. And lumpy - very, very lumpy. He said that he was trying to brighten it up a little as porridge always looked so boring. It had been more than Tomís stomach could handle at that hour of the morning.
"No thanks Neelix. Iím not very hungry this morning."
Neelix handed him a tray, grumbling about the poor eating habits of most of the crew, but Tom wasnít listening. Kath was waving him over to her table. Good. She was serious about them not trying to hide anything. "Thanks Neelix," he said absently as he made his way over to her.
"Tom, come and sit here," she said, patting the seat next to her.
"Yes Maíam," he answered, his eyes twinkling.
"Mr. Paris," Tuvok greeted him as he sat down. "I trust you slept well?"
"Out like a light Tuvok. How about yourself?"
"I too, slept soundly."
"Thatís good." He turned to look at the Captain. "You look like you had a good nightís sleep."
"I did thank you Tom." Her eyes twinkled back at him.
If Tuvok could feel an undercurrent, he showed no signs of it. It wasnít long before he left however, saying that he had a meeting with his security team, and they were left alone.
"Well, did you tell him?" Tom asked as soon as the Vulcan security chief had walked off.
Kathryn smiled and shook her head. "Iím not going to make a ship wide announcement, you know."
"Why not?" Tom replied with a grin. "I want the whole ship to know."
"Theyíll know soon enough, the way gossip travels around here. If he asks me, Iíll tell him, but Iím not about to volunteer any information. Itís our business."
"Thatís true," Tom agreed. "I guess I just wanted everyone to know how lucky I am."
Kathryn laughed. "That goes both ways I think."
They ate their breakfast in a comfortable silence, just happy to be with one another. Tom kept darting little looks at her. She looked different this morning. Softer - and she seemed to almost glow. It felt wonderful to think that he was responsible for that.
They left the mess hall together and headed for the bridge. No one had given them a second look at breakfast. The thought that there could be anything going on between the two of them never entered anyoneís head.
It continued this way for a full week. Tom and Kathryn dated each night with no one being the least bit suspicious. Any of the crew that realized they were using the holodeck some time most nights, just thought that they were working on some project together.
Tomís best friend Harry Kim, thought that it was nice that the two of them were spending so much time together. He assumed that Tom was helping her with her latest holodeck creation. The thought that it could be anything else, never occurred to him.
It was on the eighth night of their blossoming romance that things began to crumble. Kathryn was brushing her hair in front of the full-length mirror in her quarters when the door chime sounded. She assumed that it was Tom, even if he was a little early.
Putting the hairbrush down she took one last look in the mirror before hurrying to the door and sliding it open. Her welcoming smile turned to a look of curiosity as she saw Chakotay standing there. "Hi," he said smiling broadly at her. "If youíve got a few minutes, there are a couple of things I need to speak to you about."
She noticed that he had some data padds in his hands. "Iím sorry Chakotay, nowís not a good time."
"Oh?" Chakotay looked at her in surprise. It suddenly seemed to register with him that she was all dressed up. "You look nice. Where are you off to?"
She felt herself beginning to blush, despite all her brave talk of not hiding anything. "Iíve got a date. Weíre having dinner here actually. Heíll be here shortly."
Chakotayís eyebrows rose up, in a good impression of Tuvok. "A date?" He made it sound like sheíd just announced that it was raining in her quarters. That the possibility of her going on a date was so remote that it was unthinkable.
"Yes. You know, the type of thing where two people mutually attracted to each other have a quiet dinner together," she said dryly. "Is it that unbelievable?"
"Iím sorry," Chakotay apologized. "I guess that did sound a little rude. Itís just that I never pictured you going on a date thatís all." He quickly added. "Not that you shouldnít be able to of course."
"Thatís right. I should be able to," she said firmly. "I am entitled to a private life of my own."
"Of course you are. Iím sorry. Can I ask who the lucky guy is?"
"Itís Tom," she said quietly.
"Tom? Kathryn, I donít think youíve thought this through."
Kathryn sighed. This wasnít the time or place to be discussing her private life, with Chakotay standing in the doorway to her quarters and Tom due in a few minutes. Anybody walking past could hear. And even though she said it didnít worry her if and when the whole crew found out, she didnít want it to be like this.
She indicated for him to come in, so she could shut the doors. "Chakotay, youíre wrong. I have thought this through. We love each other." As he frowned darkly she added. "Nowís not the time for this."
"I think nowís the perfect time. Before he gets here. Youíre not thinking clearly. Youíre vulnerable right now. Youíre still reacting to those implanted memories the Mostreterians gave you. They made you believe that the two of you were married, that you loved each other. But none of it was real. Remember?"
Kathryn dismissed it all with a wave of her hand. "Of course I remember. Itís taken some time and a lot of therapy sessions with both you and the Doctor to put all that behind me. I know that that wasnít real. But I also know that it was what I wanted to happen. What I secretly wished for."
"Kathryn," Chakotay tried to interrupt, but she wouldnít let him.
"I love him. Iíve loved him for years. I just wouldnít admit it to myself. And no, I am not mixing up the implanted memories with reality. I realized how I felt about him after what the Mostreterians had done to us, I admit, but the feelings were there before. I think I was attracted to him the first moment I saw him in the penal settlement at Auckland."
"But you were engaged to Mark then."
"I know. Iíve never really explained about Mark to you have I?"
"No. I know you loved him and missed him."
She nodded. "In my own way, I still love Mark." She sighed deeply. "Mark and I were childhood friends." She laughed a little at that. "I donít know if you could call us that really. I didnít like him, at all. I thought he was Ďvulkyí. He was my neighbor and we kind of grew up together. He went away to college and I didnít see him for a few years. He came back into my life after my father and fiancé were killed."
"Iím sorry. I didnít know you were engaged before."
Kathryn nodded. "His name was Justin. He was a rather difficult man to get to know, but I loved him deeply and passionately. I was very young at the time. If he hadnít been killed, I donít really know if we would have lasted. Thatís something Iíll never know. Mark helped me to get on with my life and we sort of drifted into a relationship. It was comfortable and safe, and I was more than happy to settle for that. Tom is different. I love him the way I did Justin. Only more so. Much more."
"Kathryn, I can see that you have feelings for Tom. Tuvok and I discussed this actually. I said at the time that it was your business, and I meant it. I hate to see you delude yourself though. Tom does not share these feelings. He couldnít possibly. He and BíElanna have only been broken up for just over a month."
"Youíre wrong. He loves me as much as I love him. We have committed ourselves totally to one another. Weíve been together for over a week." She could feel the anger mounting. She deeply resented the fact that he made her feel that she had to explain herself.
"Kathryn, listen to me. Although I do admit that when I spoke to Tom a few weeks ago, he seemed torn between BíElanna and you - so I know he does have feelings for you, itís far too soon to be so serious."
"Chakotay thank you for your concern, but I donít need you to counsel me now. I know what Iím doing." She knew her face was flushed, but this time it wasnít with embarrassment.
"I seriously doubt that, and Iím speaking to you as a friend, not a counselor," Chakotay answered her softly.
"Then, as a friend, Iím telling you to butt out." The door chime sounded just then. "That will be Tom now," she said going over to the door.
Chakotay turned to face Tom as he entered the room, the disapproval clear on his face.
"Hi," Tom said as he entered the room. He looked curiously at the both of them. "Iím not interrupting anything, am I?"
Kathryn took his hand in hers. "Iíve just been telling Chakotay about us. As you can tell, he doesnít approve."
"I see," Tom answered quietly staring at Chakotay.
"My approval or disapproval isnít the point. I just donít want to see you hurt," Chakotay growled. "And that is the only way that this can end."
"Iím sorry you feel that way," Tom said quietly. "I have no intention of hurting her."
"Youíve jumped in awfully quick, havenít you Paris? I hope youíre not taking advantage of the Captainís emotional state."
Tomís hand gripped hers tightly and she decided to put a stop to this. "Iím a big girl now, Commander. I can look after myself. I donít need a protector. Quite frankly, youíve overstepped your boundaries. Because I consider you my friend Iíve let you have your say, but no more of this. Enough is enough."
"I apologize for upsetting you, but Iím worried about you. Both of you."
"Donít be," the Captain said shortly.
Chakotay nodded. "Iíll see you both in the morning," he said and then walked stiffly from the room.
Tom let his breath out as the doors closed. "Phew! That was pleasant. Was he giving you too hard a time before I got here?"
"Not really. I can handle Chakotay."
"I know that." Tom went over and plunked himself on the sofa. "Heís got a high opinion of me, hasnít he? He seems to think that Iím just using your implanted memories for my own gain. Taking advantage of the situation."
"I donít think he really believes that. He just said that in the heat of the moment. Anyway, I know that itís not true." She sat down next to him.
He turned to her, still looking a little worried. "You do, donít you? You know Iím not like that anymore. Iíve changed."
Kathryn put her hand on his knee. "Yes Tom. I do know that. No one knows that better than me. Remember I know you better than anyoneís ever known you before."
Tom looked seriously back at her. "Thatís a kind of scary thought, actually. I canít hide anything from you, can I?"
Kathryn took one of his hands and placed it between hers. "No, you canít. Does that bother you?"
"A little. I mean you know all there is to know about me. Iíve gotten to know you fairly well over the last five years, but itís all on the surface. I just wish the Mostreterians had given me memories of you, the way they did with you of me. It would make things a lot easier."
"Think of the fun youíd be missing out on. Getting to know all there is to know about me could be exciting. Seriously Tom, anything you want to know about me, Iíll tell you. Itís only fair. There canít be any secrets between us."
"All right. While weíre eating dinner, you can tell me about some of the exploits you got up to as a kid. You obviously know a lot of my stunts."
"To be honest Tom, a lot of the things I know about you, I heard from your father. He used to talk about you all the time."
Kathryn nodded. "I was quite jealous there for a while. I wanted my father to be half as proud of me as yours obviously was of you."
Tom turned away. "Yeah, well thereís such a thing as being too proud. Having too many expectations and we all know how that ended. You know, I donít remember my father ever telling me he was proud of me. Not even once."
"My father sort of did the same thing. He just assumed that I knew it. And of course, I didnít. Luckily, I managed to sort things out with him before he died."
Tom looked at her and smiled. "Iím glad," he said. "Now if I remember right you once mentioned something about sneaking out of the house back when you were in high school. At the time you told me to let my imagination fill in all the details. Well now I want the full story. How many times did you sneak out? Whereíd you go? Whoíd you meet and what happened? Spill it."
Kathryn laughed. "Only if you promise not to be too shocked. I was a rather head strong child."
"You? I would never have believed it," Tom said feigning surprise.
"Just for that you can set the table while I serve up."
"And then youíll give me all the juicy details?"
"Yes, then Iíll give you all the juicy details." She leaned over to give him a kiss, and it was quite some time later that dinner was served.
Harry Kim watched his best friend pretending not to watch the Captain and Commander Chakotay talking the next morning in the mess hall as they ate their breakfast. After attempting to start a conversation with Tom on three separate occasions and receiving only a grunt in reply, Harry gave up.
Dropping his fork down loudly on his tray he sat back. "So Tom. Are you going to tell me or do I have to guess?"
Tom turned startled eyes towards him. "Huh? Sorry Harry, what did you say?"
"Well. The first time I asked you what sort of eggs these were. I then asked you if you were sure you wanted to put sugar on them. Since you ate them without complaint, I assume you did."
Tom looked quickly down at his plate. "I put sugar on them?"
Harry nodded his head up and down. "You sure did. You also put salt in your coffee." Tom had been just about to take a sip and quickly put his cup down. "I then asked you what youíve been up to since Iíve hardly seen you all week," Harry continued. "Now Iíve decided, youíd better tell me whatís going on."
"Going on? Nothing. Why?"
"The way you keep watching the Captain and Chakotay. Youíre obviously in trouble again, arenít you?"
"No. Itís nothing like that."
"Well, what is it then? Youíre obviously worried about something. Maybe I can help."
"Thanks Har, but not this you canít. There is something I want to tell you though. Iím seeing someone."
"You are? Oh, I see the problem. Youíre worried about how BíElanna will react, if she finds out. Although it is a little soon, Iím sure sheíll be fine about it. The two of you seem quite friendly these days."
"No Harry, Iím not worried about BíElanna. At least, I am in a way. I donít want to hurt her."
"How serious is this?"
"Already? Are you sure this isnít a rebound thing?"
"Positive. This is different Harry. Iíve never felt this way before."
"Who are we talking about here? I donít even know how youíve had the time anyway. Youíve been that busy with the Captain all week." Something flashed across Tomís face when he said that, but Harry wasnít sure what it meant. "So tell me. Who is she?"
"Itís the Captain, Harry."
"What?" He turned around in confusion. The Captain was still sitting, talking to Chakotay. "Whatís the Captain?"
"Thatís who Iím seeing."
"Tom, thatís not funny. Who are you really seeing?"
"Harry, Iím serious. Itís the Captain."
"Our Captain? Captain Janeway?"
"Well I donít see too many other captains around here," Tom said with a laugh.
Harry stared at him in shock. "Oh my God! I donít believe it. Tom; how could you?" Harry knew that all the color had left his face. "Sheís still getting over those implanted memories."
Tom frowned at him. "What are you trying to say? That Iím taking advantage of her?"
"No," Harry said quickly. "Itís just that sheís obviously still not thinking straight and youíre still getting over BíElanna."
"Youíre wrong on both counts Harry. We love each other. Weíve had feelings for one another for a long time. She wouldnít admit to them and I didnít even realize what they were."
"Listen to yourself. Youíve talked yourself into this. The Mostreterians made the Captain believe that she was in love with you and I think that youíre just very confused about your feelings."
"No Harry, thatís not right. I know exactly how I feel. I love her, and she feels the same way. It has nothing to do with the memory implant. Kath told me that sheís been attracted to me right from the start."
"Donít call her that," Harry said sternly. "And it has everything to do with the Mostreterians memory implant where sheís concerned. And as for you, well you went through some pretty rough times with BíElanna; on top of the pressure the Captain was unknowingly putting on you at the time. Not to mention the torture the Mostreterians put you through. Youíre vulnerable at the moment and not seeing things clearly."
"Theyíve never been more clear Har. When Kath and I kiss, itís---"
"I donít want to hear about that," Harry said firmly. "And please Tom, donít call her that. It sounds disrespectful."
"Itís what I call her when weíre together."
"I donít want to know about when youíre together. I mean it. Take a long hard look at whatís happening here. Youíre flattered that a beautiful, older woman is attracted to you. Hell, I would be too, especially since weíre talking about the Captain here. Sheís a wonderful lady. We both feel the same way about her. Sheís our mentor. Someone we both look up to and admire and respect greatly. Take a step back and examine your feelings. Youíll see Iím right."
Tom shook his head and looked at Harry sadly. "Youíre wrong Harry. Dead wrong."
Harry looked up when he noticed the Captain and Commander leaving the mess hall. She was looking back at them, a worried frown on her face. Her eyes lingered on Tomís and something seemed to pass between the two of them.
A horrible thought suddenly came to him. Leaning forward he whispered urgently. "The two of you havenít done anything have you?"
"Done anything? Like what Harry?"
He felt himself flushing. "You know - it."
"Thatís none of your business. Anyway I thought you didnít want to know what we did when we were together."
"I donít. Itís just that if things have gone that far it will be a lot more complicated. For both of you."
"Well they havenít, so theyíre not." Tom stood up suddenly. "Weíd better go."
Tom didnít say another word to him as they made their way to the bridge. Harry felt a little guilty. He knew that his reaction had hurt Tom, but he felt that it was his duty to tell him the truth. Snap him back to reality. After all, wasnít that what best friends were for?
End Part One