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.

Part Five

Kathryn took one last look at the table and smiled in delight. Everything was perfect. Her grandmother’s
famous bean casserole was the final touch. The last week had been wonderful. Her relationship with Tom
had been progressing smoothly. Now that she’d sorted out all his problems for him, he’d been able to
relax and just be happy with her. She’d kept the trouble making members of the crew so busy, they’d had
no time to torment Tom.

She’d also smoothed things out with Neelix and Harry. Neelix had felt so guilty about upsetting Tom that
he’d spent the whole of the week cooking all of Tom’s favorite foods. Harry had been a little harder.
She’d been really angry with him. Tore strips off of him to be exact. How dare he speak to Tom like
that? How dare he think he had the right to say whom she could go out with? How dare he make Tom
feel so bad?

She had let Harry know how disappointed she was in him. What a poor friend he was. Since he and Tom
had patched things up the very next day, she knew that she’d done the right thing. Tom had been a little
worried about how upset Harry was, and she had been a little worried that Harry may cause some
trouble, but that hadn’t happened. Tom was under the impression that Harry was worried that he had
caused irrevocable damage to their friendship, so he had gone out of his way to prove to Harry that
nothing had changed between them. It just made her love him all the more, to see how compassionate he

Harry was still stiff and uncomfortable around her, but she could live with that. As long as Tom never
found out that she’d spoken to Harry, and she knew that Harry would never tell him. Last night Tom had
actually told her how happy he was. He had her, his friends, and the crew were leaving him alone now.
Kathryn couldn’t keep the smile off of her face. Everything was perfect. They could only go forward
from here.

The door chime sounded and she smoothed down the low-cut red dress she was wearing. It was very
form fitting and she knew it left very little to the imagination. Tom’s eyes would bug out. As she opened
the door she let out a sigh of frustration. Chakotay was standing there. He had a couple of padds in his

"Chakotay, I think we’ve been through this before. You have a lousy sense of timing."

"I’m sorry, but I need to speak to you." He didn’t even seem to notice what she was wearing.

"Not now, Commander. I’ll see you in the morning." She used her best command voice.

"This can’t wait."

She was a little taken aback. "Well it will have to. Tom will be here any second."

"I know what you did," Chakotay said accusingly, completely ignoring her. "Does Tom know?"

Just as he said this Tom came into view along the corridor.

"Go away," Janeway hissed. "We’ll talk about this in the morning."

Chakotay glared down at her.

"What’s going on?" Tom asked as he joined them.

"Nothing," she answered quickly. "Chakotay was just going."

Chakotay continued to glare down at her. "I really don’t think this can wait until the morning," he said

Tom gave a small chuckle. "If it’s that important, I can come back later."

"No!" Kathryn said, while Chakotay said at the same time. "Thanks Tom."

Tom looked at them both in confusion. He then leaned over and gave Kathryn a quick kiss on the cheek.
"You look wonderful," he said softly. "Comm me when you’re finished." He then walked quickly away.

"Damn it!" Kathryn said fiercely as she stomped back into her quarters. Chakotay followed her in and the
doors slid quietly closed. "What the hell do you think you’re doing anyway?"

"I could say the same thing to you. I’ve just had an official complaint from B’Elanna. Apparently three of
her engineering crew have been working double shifts all week. And some pretty filthy jobs at that. She’s
apparently needed them for other things and has been told that they are unavailable. My orders. Strange. I
don’t remember giving any such orders."

Kathryn sighed and sat down. "Tell B’Elanna to pull some of the other crew from their other duties."

"B’Elanna doesn’t like interference with her crew. She made that quite plain to me just then. I explained
to her that it was some sort of mistake, as I hadn’t issued any such orders."

"B’Elanna doesn’t give the orders around here."

"No, apparently I do. Even when I don’t. I’ve also had the ships maintenance at me about some more of
the crew. Jobs being assigned that they know nothing about. My orders too. I do get around, don’t I?"

Kathryn shook her head, a small smile playing at the corner of her mouth. "I just thought it would be
easier if the orders seemed to have come from you."

"So, I’m just your fall guy am I?" Chakotay waved one of the data padds around. "Every crew member
on this list is someone that has been giving Tom a hard time. I checked. You’re getting your revenge, and
using me to do it. I don’t appreciate that Kathryn."

She stood up angrily. "I will not have maliciousness on this ship, Chakotay. I’ve kept those people so
busy that they haven’t had time to scratch themselves let alone goad Tom."

"And the reason you put the orders in my name instead of your own? You didn’t want it to look like you
were protecting Tom. You didn’t want him to know, did you?"

"No," she answered softly. "He doesn’t like me interfering."

"But you still do anyway." Chakotay shook his head. "What happened with Harry? It’s obvious
something did."

"I found out what they’d argued about and put him firmly in his place. Neelix too, for that matter. And
before you say, I shouldn’t have, just let me say that it worked. They’re friends again and Tom’s never
been happier."

"So the end justifies the means."

"In this case - yes."

"And what if Tom finds out? He’s not stupid you know. Harry might say something one day about the
dressing down you gave him, anyway."

"I’ve warned him about that."

"Oh? What are you going to do? Throw him in the brig?"

"Of course not. I just made him realize that his and Tom’s friendship would never be the same again."

Chakotay shook his head in disgust. "You’ve really gone over the line. We obviously stopped your
counseling too soon."

"What’s that supposed to mean?"

"Kathryn, you’re not behaving rationally. Think about it. Sooner or later, he’s going to find out just how
much you interfered. What will you do then?"

"If he does, he won’t mind. He’s just glad that it’s all stopped. The crew are leaving him alone and he has
his friends back. He’ll probably thank me."

"You don’t really believe that, do you? Why hide it from him at all then? Tom will find out Kathryn. He
doesn’t want you protecting him."

"We love each other. It will all work out," Kathryn said obstinately. "I apologize for dragging you into it.
You’re right I shouldn’t have put those orders in your name. If that’s all, I have a dinner date."

Chakotay shook his head again, before he left.

Tom sat in the mess hall drinking one of Neelix’s latest fruit juice concoctions. It was really very good.
He watched B’Elanna as she picked out something to eat and then walked over to join him. She seemed
mad about something.

"Hi," he said as she sat down. "Something wrong?" Everyone seemed out of sorts tonight. Chakotay had
been furious - in that controlled, big Indian way of his.

B’Elanna frowned. "Mason, Evans and Lancaster have been working double shifts the whole week and
I’ve had no say over them whatsoever, all because of some mix up. The computer kept saying it was
Chakotay’s orders but I’ve just found out he had nothing to do with it."

Tom smiled. "Computer glitch heh?"

B’Elanna shook her head. "I don’t see how. You should hear some of the stuff they had to do too. They
were covered in gelpak lubricant, last I saw them." She gave a small chuckle at the picture in her head.

Tom merely sniffed. "Well, I can’t say that I feel too terribly sorry for any of them. They were giving me
a pretty bad time of it. That’s why I probably haven’t seen any of them all week. Too busy doing double

"Chakotay’s pretty mad about it. He also got complaints from ship’s maintenance. All these orders that he
never gave."

"That’s probably what he wanted to talk to Kath about then. He looked furious when I saw him a little
while ago. Although why he had to talk to her about it now, I don’t know. It could have waited till the

B’Elanna looked thoughtful. "As soon as he saw the complaint padd from ship’s maintenance he went all
quiet and angry. You know how he does. Said he had to talk to the Captain straight away. There was
something he had to sort out."

"Sort out?" Tom remembered the look on Kathryn’s face as she stood in the doorway of her quarters.
She’d looked guilty. Like she was trying to hide something. "You don’t know if ship’s maintenance had
any crew members doing extra shifts do you?" he asked slowly.

B’Elanna shook her head. "I didn’t read their report."

Tom stood quickly up from the table. "I need to see Lieutenant Peters." Peter’s was in charge of ship’s


"There’s something I need to know." With that he quickly hurried away.

Kathryn commed Tom as soon as she had calmed down and told him that they could now get together.
He’d told her he’d be right there, but that had been a good twenty minutes ago. She was starting to get

Finally the door chime sounded and she rushed over to answer it. "Tom," she greeted him as he entered.
"I thought you’d got lost."

"No, I just had something to finish first."

To Kathryn, Tom’s voice sounded a little cold. "Is something wrong?"

"That depends. I’ve just been talking to Peters in Maintenance. Seems that there was a mix up in orders
down there. Only affected a certain few though. A certain few that have been hassling me actually.
Funnily enough, the same thing happened in engineering and security. Strange coincidence that. Wouldn’t
you think?"

She felt herself pale a little. Tom’s eyes were glittering angrily. God, she didn’t want to have to handle
this tonight. Not after everything she’d just put up with from Chakotay.

"Apparently Chakotay ordered it, but B’Elanna tells me he knew nothing about it," Tom continued.

B’Elanna again!!!!! She gritted her teeth to stop the jealous words from coming out of her mouth.
B'Elanna and he were just friends. Her mind played the words over and over again.

"Kath, do you know anything about this?" Tom's voice penetrated her thoughts.

"You know I do," she answered quietly.

"Damn it!! I asked you not to interfere. I could handle it. It would have all blown over."

"Now it has even quicker."

"Do you think so? What are you going to do? Keep them working double shifts in the bowels of the ship
forever? Cause that’s what you’ll have to do, to keep them off my back now. As soon as they all get
together, they’re going to realize what happened, but they’ll think I complained to you and used our
relationship to get back at them."

"Tom, I can’t have that sort of behavior on the ship, and I’ll tell them so."

"What are you going to do? Threaten to throw them off the ship?"

"If I have to."

"Damn it Kath!! You’ve just made things worse. I don’t want you doing stuff like this. Dad used to do it
all the time. No one was allowed to look at his precious son cross-eyed. I wasn’t allowed to fight my own
battles. Dad was always there. Throwing his weight around. Threatening and bullying. Everyone hated me
for it."

"Tom, it’s not like that."

"Of course it is. It’s exactly the same. I fought damn hard to get where I am now, and now I’ll just be
looked at as the Captain’s boy."

"Tom that’s not true. Everyone on this ship respects what you’ve accomplished. You’ve made a lot of
friends. They won’t look at you like that. I only did it because I love you so much. I hate to see you

Tom’s voice softened a little. "I know why you did it, but it doesn’t make it right."

"I’m sorry," she whispered. "I just wanted you to be happy. I wanted everything to go smoothly."

Tom sighed and ran his hand through his hair. "I know, but you can’t do this. If things had got completely
out of hand, I would have put in a complaint to Tuvok or Chakotay, but things weren’t at that stage. I can
certainly handle a little teasing and verbal abuse. I’ve had to put up with a lot of it over the years."

"You’re right. I should never have interfered. I’m so sorry, Tom. Do you really think the crew will treat
you worse now?"

Tom nodded emphatically. "Definitely. I’ve been through it before, remember?"

"What are we going to do?"

"Nothing. Let it be. If they get no reaction they’ll tire of it eventually. I just have to put up with it until

Kathryn reached out tentatively to him. When he didn’t resist, she pulled him into her arms for a hug. "I
promise I’ll never do anything like this again," she whispered huskily. "I was just so scared that you’d
leave me, if things got too difficult."

Tom pulled back from her embrace with an incredulous expression on his face. "How could you think
that? I couldn’t ever do that Kath. I’ll never leave you. You’re everything to me."

Kathryn stifled a small sob. "I’ve been acting kind of crazy about you. Chakotay told me I wasn’t being
rational and needed more counseling. Do you think he’s right?"

Tom frowned. "I wouldn’t go that far. If you feel you need to though?"

"Not now that we’ve got this straightened out, I don’t."

Tom pulled her to him again and kissed her soundly. "We’ll get through this Kath," he said when they
came up for air. "Everything’s going to be fine."

"I know," she answered with a smile.

"Okay then," Tom said letting her go. "Where’s this famous bean casserole you promised me?"

Kathryn laughed. "I’ll probably have to reheat it again." As she hurried over to serve their dinner, she felt
immense relief that Tom had only found out about what she’d said to the crew. If he knew about what
she’d said to Neelix and Harry he’d be even more upset.

A prick at the back of her conscience told her to tell him now. Get everything out in the open. No secrets.
That’s what she’d made him promise. She was worried how he would react though. She didn’t think he’d
be too bad about Neelix, but Harry was another matter.

But she couldn’t tell him about Neelix in case he guessed she’d had a talk with Harry as well. Considering
how upset the young Ensign had been, she knew Tom would be furious with her. Chakotay was right
though. He would find out eventually. Maybe she could have another talk with Harry. Apologize to him.
Try to clear the air a little. That way Tom wouldn’t be so upset.

Harry walked down the corridor towards his quarters, feeling better than he had in ages. The Captain had
just called him into her ready room and apologized for what she had said to him the week before. All the
things she had accused him of. What a terrible friend he was to Tom - everything. She had explained that
she had not been herself and had acted and spoken without thinking and had felt terrible about it all ever

She had also told him how flattered she was over the way he thought of her and hoped she hadn’t ruined
everything between them. Harry had been overcome. She had been truly repentant and he did all he could
to reassure her. His old Captain was back and he was just so happy.

Tom and he were firm friends again and he still had the respect and support from his Captain. Life
couldn’t get much better.

"Jeez Harry, I think we need a dimmer in this corridor."

"Huh?" Harry looked confused as his friend came towards him.

Tom laughed. "You were beaming so brightly we sure didn’t need any other lights. What’s got you so
cheery anyway?"

"Nothing really. It’s just a great day."

"It is? I’ve been stuck in sickbay all day and I can assure you it isn’t. I think Neelix tried to kill some of
the crew with his special lunchtime treat of peppered steak. The peppers were so hot that some of the
crew passed out. What it did to some of the others," he shuddered delicately. "Well, you don’t want to

"He made that especially for you, you know."

Tom sighed. "I know. Thank God I was on second lunch shift and didn’t get to eat mine. Last night’s
pasta is still repeating on me. I wish I’d never told him I like hot peppers."

Harry laughed and entered his quarters. Tom naturally followed him in. "That’s what you get for
becoming Neelix’s pet morale project."

Tom frowned a little. "Actually Harry, I wish he’d stop with that. I don’t need my morale boosted any
more. His apology to me was enough." He sat down on the sofa while Harry got them both a fruit juice.

"You know how he is. He just feels so guilty," Harry replied, handing Tom his drink. "This is his way of
making it up to you."

"But it’s been over a week," Tom protested.

"Well, he said some pretty awful stuff to you. Not as bad as what I said of course, but it was bad."

"Harry, don’t start that again. You didn’t say anything that bad. I overreacted. We’ve been through all
this. You’re not going to start with the guilt trip thing again are you?"

Harry shook his head.

"Good," Tom answered. "Now if you could just get over your embarrassment with the Captain you’d be

"I have," Harry assured him. "All that’s sorted out. I just came from talking to her actually. She told me
she’s flattered about the whole thing and hopes I’ll always think of her in that special way." He gave a
small laugh. "She said she’d rather I think of her as an older sister though. I guess that’s why I was
beaming before. It just feels so great to be back on good terms with her again."

"I’m glad Harry." Tom frowned suddenly. "How did you know what Neelix said to me? Did he tell you?"

"No, the Captain did actually."

"The Captain?" Tom’s voice was incredulous. "Why would Kath tell you about that? And when?"

"Just then actually. She explained it all. About how upset she’d been when she found out what some of
the crew were saying. How they were all treating you and then what Neelix had said." As Tom’s frown
deepened he added. "What’s wrong? Do you feel uncomfortable about the Captain talking to me about

"No, it’s not that," Tom answered slowly. "But I just don’t understand why she would. No offense Har,
but you’re not the one she normally would confide in. That would be Tuvok or Chakotay."

"Well normally she wouldn’t of course. It’s just that she wanted to explain why she was so mad at me.
Finding out about the way I’d reacted was the last straw. She just sort of blew up at me. I can understand
it now."

"When was all this?" Tom asked quietly. "When did she blow up at you?"

Harry remembered belatedly that the Captain had told him Tom would be upset if he found out about
their little conversation. "It doesn’t matter now. Everything’s all right now. She’s apologized and it’s fine

"She apologized? Why? What exactly did she say?"

"It doesn’t matter now Tom."

"It does Harry. It matters a great deal. Is that why you were so upset? Is that why you tried to put things
right between us? Kath made you?"

"Of course not. I tried to apologize to you before that. You just wouldn’t listen."

"So Kathryn ordered you to be more insistent?"

"She didn’t order me to do anything. She told me a few home truths, that’s all. I spent the night thinking
about all she’d said and realized she was right. I never meant to upset you the way I did."

"And the reason you were such a mess when we spoke that lunch time was because she had made you
feel so guilty. She’d also made you think nothing would ever be the same between the two of you again.
You kept on saying that you’d ruined everything. You meant between the two of you as well as the two
of us, didn’t you?"

Harry nodded miserably. "It doesn’t matter now though Tom. I was wrong. Everything’s great between
us now."

Tom stood up grimly. "I’ll bet she told you that it would be better if I never knew about what happened

"She said you’d be upset. And look at you. She was right."

"She manipulated you Harry. God! I suppose she thought that if everything was all right between the two
of you I wouldn’t be so angry." He headed for the door.

"Tom, where are you going?"

"To see Neelix. I wonder if the Captain talked him into apologizing to me too."

Kathryn wandered aimlessly around her quarters. She should take advantage of having some time to
herself, but she had a vague worry that something was wrong. Tom had cancelled their date at the last
minute, saying he had to help the Doctor in sickbay. He had sounded funny.

She had checked with the Doctor to see what was going on and he’d told her that they had had a busy
afternoon, due to some unforeseen side effects to some of Neelix’s cooking. It hadn’t sounded pleasant,
so it was no wonder that Tom had sounded funny.

The problem was that Tom had left sickbay and then contacted the Doctor an hour later to say that he
would come back that evening to help him clean up. The Doctor had been surprised. She was also. Tom
never volunteered for extra duties in sickbay. Especially considering they were supposed to be going
sailing that night.

She wondered whether Tom was trying to avoid her. But why would he? If he was still upset with her
about what she’d done with the crew, he would have avoided her the day before. Anyway the night that
he’d found out, they had cleared the air. Everything had been wonderful the past two days - and now

Of course, it could just be that Tom was trying to become more responsible with his sickbay duties. As
much as he grumbled about them, he was becoming very good and he did have a lovely bedside manner.
She had set everything right with Harry, so was sure that it wasn’t anything to do with him. She decided
that she was worrying over nothing and proceeded to clean her quarters.

A few hours later she was busy reading some reports, when her door chime sounded. "Come in," she
called out hoping that Tom had called in to see her when he’d finished in sickbay. She smiled as Tom
entered. "I was hoping it was you."

Tom stood just inside the doorway. "We need to talk," he said quietly. "I stayed away until I was calmer,
because I didn’t want to say anything in the heat of the moment."

Kathryn watched him in alarm. "What’s wrong?" she asked getting up from behind the desk and
approaching him.

"Sit down," he said gently leading her to the sofa.

Kathryn sat down and looked up at him worriedly. He sat down next to her. "I found out about Harry and
Neelix. What you did. How you manipulated them both. You should have told me the other night."

Kathryn swallowed. "I didn’t know how you’d react. How you’d feel about it."

"Pretty much the same as I did about Lancaster and the rest of them. That’s not what I was upset about
though. It’s the fact that you still didn’t tell me about it, when I thought we had everything out in the
open. You still kept secrets when we’d promised not to."

"Oh Tom, I’m sorry. I only did it---"

Tom held up his hand. "I know why you did it. I also know you did it before promising me you wouldn’t
interfere again."

"And I meant that Tom. I won’t."

"God, I hope that’s true."

"Of course it’s true," she answered a little indignantly. "Don’t you trust me?"

"I don’t know," Tom answered honestly. "You haven’t exactly given me reason to."

Kathryn felt like he’d just stabbed her with a knife. "I was wrong. I should have told you the other night,"
she said in a choked voice. "I was scared about you finding out. Harry was so upset, and you’d been so
worried about him."

"You still think I’d leave you?"

"I don’t know. You and Harry are so close. I just didn’t know."

Tom’s eyes filled with tears. "Kathryn, you’re hurt that I said I didn’t know whether I could trust you,
but don’t you see? You’re doing the same thing to me. You don’t trust me to stay with you. You don’t
trust my feelings for you. I wish you understood how much I love you. I wish I could make you feel
secure. You seem to think that our love is all one-sided. What do I have to do to convince you?"

The tears slid down his face and she wiped them gently away with her fingers. Choking on a sob, she
said. "You’re right. I only just realized it. I guess I’ve been scared all along that you really didn’t love me.
That you’d walk away when it all got too hard. Oh God Tom. I’m so sorry."

Tom wrapped his arms around her. "I could never leave you Kathryn. I don't think I could live without
you anymore. Please never doubt that."

"I never will again," she promised softly.

"So you believe me?"

She nodded and he hugged her tighter. "Everything really is going to be all right this time, isn't it, Tom?"

"It's going to be better than all right. It's going to be wonderful."

The weeks passed and Tom and Kathryn’s love blossomed. The gossip settled down and the crew soon
got used to seeing them together. Most even smiled a little enviously. They were so good together. So
happy. So in love. Sometimes they held hands when they were together and there was an occasional hug
or quick peck on the cheek, but that was all. Kathryn adhered to her strict rules about public displays of
affection and everything else was kept behind closed doors.

B’Elanna’s romance with Lieutenant Chan Mangrove was the next hot topic of conversation, but since
Chan was a big bear of a man and B’Elanna’s temper was legendary, the gossip was kept to a minimum.

Neelix and Sam Wildman were then seen in the mess hall late one night having a very intimate dinner and
that started all sorts of speculation. Especially as a few days later Naomi announced that Mummy and
Neelix were ‘dating’.

Harry then proceeded to start seeing both Delaney sisters at the same time and the gossip ran wild. He
didn’t seem to mind though. There seemed to be a permanent smile plastered on his face these days.

It wasn’t long before Tom and Kathryn were getting ready to celebrate their six-month anniversary and
Tom was starting to seriously consider marriage. Was it too soon to propose? He was pretty certain that
Kathryn would say yes. Was he ready for that? He just felt that it was the next step in their relationship.

Perhaps he should wait a little longer. Wait for their twelve-month anniversary. But he didn't really want
to wait that long. Their future was uncertain out here. Why wait? There was no reason to, he decided. He
eagerly made plans for their anniversary dinner. It would be a night to remember. It looked like the
Mostreterians implanted memories would come true after all.

And then they entered Taman space and all his future hopes and dreams disintegrated around him.

The End

Watch out for 'Confusing The Memories' - Coming soon. - I hope :)
Okay everyone what do you think? Feedback is highly appreciated.