Title: Marrying In Haste
Code: J, P/T
Part: 1/1 NEW
Date: Aug. 03, 2000
Disclaimer: Star Trek: Voyager and all its characters are Ó Paramount. I don’t own the toys, I just play with them.
Posting: The Parisite Page, ASC, and PTC Archive; anywhere else, please ask me first.
Dedicated to T.K., just because she’s a great person. :-) Love ya, Tracy!
Marrying In Haste
By JoAnna Walsvik
"Are you sure you’re prepared for a mission with ‘the lovebirds’?" Chakotay asked jokingly, grinning at the woman walking alongside him.
Janeway smiled indulgently. "It’s hardly a lover’s excursion – collecting dilithium from an L-class moon isn’t my idea of a romantic getaway. Besides, you know that Tom and B’Elanna are perfectly capable of behaving themselves on an away mission – especially when I’m along."
"Think they’ll ever tie the knot?" he said lightly.
She considered this for a moment. "Maybe," she replied. "However, I get the feeling that both of them consider ‘tying the knot’ as in around their necks. They seem perfectly happy together just the way they are – and I couldn’t be happier for them." She grimaced slightly. "Although I still feel slightly guilty when I think of how I yelled at them during those ‘scientific experiments.’"
"Well, in your defense, you did have needles drilling into your skull – and they were acting a bit out of control," Chakotay pointed out.
"True," Janeway admitted, "but for all I know they were out of control because the aliens increased their hormones or
something. It probably wasn’t their fault."
"You haven’t told them that, have you?"
She gave him a sideways glance and grinned. "Of course not. How else can I make them behave, if not for fear of another lecture from me?"
The two officers were laughing as they entered the shuttlebay. "What’s the joke?" Tom Paris wanted to know.
"Oh, nothing," Janeway said lightly. "Well, Mr. Paris, are we ready to set sail?"
"Aye, aye, ma’am, everything’s shipshape," Tom said, saluting smartly.
"Oh, you’re such a ham," said a disgusted voice from inside the Delta Flyer.
"With eggs and bacon," Tom said cheerfully, climbing into the shuttle.
Janeway rolled her eyes and winked at Chakotay. "See you in a few days, Commander."
Chakotay shook his head, smiling wryly. "Have fun."
*** *** ***
B’Elanna sighed, resting her head on the headrest, closing her eyes, and stretching her legs. "Tom, have I ever told you how grateful I am that you didn’t put those claustrophobic, cramped Starfleet chairs in here?"
"No, you haven’t, because you’re the one who designed them, remember?" Tom said good-naturedly.
"Did I?" she said offhandedly. "Hmm. I’ll have to remember to reward myself when we get back to Voyager."
Tom smiled mischievously. "Sounds like fun. Can I help?"
She opened her eyes and glared at him. "Behave yourself. We’re on an away mission with the captain."
"What about the captain?" Janeway asked, entering the cockpit.
"Oh, nothing," B’Elanna said quickly, sitting erect in her chair. "Just Tom acting juvenile."
"So what else is new?" Janeway said, flashing the pilot a grin.
"Hey," he protested, laughing. "This is unfair. You two women are ganging up on the helpless male."
"More like the hapless male," B’Elanna said dryly.
The two women shared a laugh while Tom groaned. "Oh, don’t worry, Lieutenant," Janeway said pleasantly. "We’ll get back to Voyager in a few days, and you won’t have to put up with us anymore."
"Oh, that’s comforting," Tom said, a slight, playful whine in his voice. "The next few days are going to seem like years – uh oh."
All three of them stared at the viewscreen in dismay. Before them was a rather nasty-looking nebula. "Why didn’t that show up on Voyager’s sensors?" Janeway asked.
"Probably for the same reason it’s not showing up on our sensors," B’Elanna reported uneasily. "According to this," she tapped her console, "we have clear space ahead."
"It’s a chameleon nebula," Janeway realized, holding back a groan of frustration.
"A what?" Tom asked.
"A chameleon nebula," the captain repeated. "It’s a very rare phenomenon in which the nebula somehow adapts its readings to conform to its environment. There are some scientists that believe it’s not a nebula at all, but some sort of life form. Unfortunately, no one’s ever been able to find out for sure. They’re extremely rare in the Alpha Quadrant, but we do know that once inside, most ships are mysteriously destroyed."
"Then I assume we’re not going inside," he said.
The captain nodded grimly. "It looks pretty big. It would probably take days, maybe weeks, to get around it."
"We’ll have to turn back," B’Elanna said, her disappointment almost palpable. Janeway knew how much she’d counted on getting some more dilithium for the warp engines.
"We’ll find another source somewhere, B’Elanna. Don’t worry," she said gently. "Tom, turn us around."
"Aye, Captain," Tom said, complying immediately.
"Wait a minute," Janeway said a moment later, staring blankly at the viewscreen. "Tom, didn’t you turn us around?"
"Yeah, I did," Tom said nervously. He gazed at the swirling nebula still on the viewscreen. "Do you think the sensors are malfunctioning?"
"I think," Janeway said with a sinking heart, "that the nebula has surrounded us."
As if the nebula had heard her, the Delta Flyer was suddenly rocked with what seemed like phaser blasts.
"It’s firing at us with some kind of bioelectric energy!" B’Elanna shouted, dodging sparks from the console next to her.
"Evasive maneuvers! What sensor readings are we getting?" Janeway asked, grabbing the back of her chair for support as the Flyer was tossed about.
"They’re erratic. I can tell what is being fired at us, just not who’s doing the firing or where it’s coming from," she reported. "According to the sensors, we’re being fired on by empty space."
"Well, that helps," Janeway muttered, working feverishly at the console. "B’Elanna, send a distress signal. Tom, can you get us out of here?"
"I’m trying," he said tensely. "The warp engines have been damaged. We’re running on impulse."
Another blow rocked the ship. "We just lost impulse," Tom announced, his voice strained. "Thrusters are on-line, though. I’ll try to – hey, is that really open space out there?"
Janeway peered hopefully at the small patch of black ahead of them. "It might be – damn!" The patch had disappeared as the nebula closed in.
"The distress signal got through, but just barely," B’Elanna said distractedly. "Voyager probably won’t know what happened, but they’ll know something’s wrong."
"Thank goodness for small mercies," Janeway said, hanging on to the console for dear life as the Flyer jolted roughly from another blast. "Can you reconfigure the sensors to detect the nebula?"
"Maybe, if I had four or five days."
"You have four or five minutes."
B’Elanna sighed. "Aye, Captain," she said, beginning to work rapidily.
Suddenly, an alarming shudder rippled through the Delta Flyer’s hull. "What was that?" Janeway barked.
"It’s stopped firing," B’Elanna reported, her fingers dancing nimbly across the console. "Now, it’s – " She stopped and squinted at the console, horror dawning on her face.
"What? It’s what?" Tom pressed.
"If these readings are right, it’s surrounded us with some kind of gravimetric field." She shared a grave look with Janeway. "If we don’t get out of here soon, it’s going to slowly crush the Flyer to pieces."
With difficulty, Janeway suppressed a shriek of rage and frustration. "All right," she said, her tone firm and her face set. "Tom, I want you to work with B’Elanna. A warp field might disrupt the field – see if you can get the warp engines online. I’ll work on the sensors. If we can get more information on this thing, we might be able to come up with some way of getting it to back off."
"Yes, Captain," the two of them said in unison, and disappeared to the back of the Flyer.
Janeway began working busily. She was so intent on her work that she didn’t notice the continual shudderings of the Flyer as the gravimetric field pressed closer, nor the urgent, whispered conversation going on behind her.
Ten minutes later, she was no closer to reconfiguring the sensors than Tom and B’Elanna were to getting the warp engines back online. "It’s no use, Captain," B’Elanna reported, discouraged. "The plasma coils are shot. We have impulse back, but warp power is out of the question."
"I’m not having any luck with sensors, either," Janeway replied, her anxiety matching B’Elanna’s. "Any other ideas?"
The three just gazed at each other solemnly as the Flyer shuddered again, more severely this time. Tom and B’Elanna exchanged a glance that Janeway couldn’t interpret – desperation, maybe? She didn’t even want to guess what they were thinking right now, or even begin to imagine how terrible it must feel to be so young, with your whole life ahead of you, and know that you were about to die.
"Captain," Tom said earnestly, "B’Elanna and I have a request to make."
"Will you marry us?"
Amid her initial shock, Janeway swallowed a ridiculous urge to laugh. However, the genuine sincerity present in Tom’s eyes, and B’Elanna’s, too, indicated that this was no joke. "E-excuse me?" she said, stammering slightly. "Now?"
Tom and B’Elanna exchanged another unreadable glance. "We’ve discussed it," Tom began, "and neither of us want to die without being husband and wife."
"It’s something we’ve been wanting to do for a while," B’Elanna explained, "and we – well – we just never got around to it, I guess. We do want to be married, though, even if it’s only for a few minutes."
"It sounds silly, I know," Tom said, taking B’Elanna’s hand, "but this may be our only chance. Could you? Please?"
"Well – " Janeway said, still trying to get over her astonishment, "I suppose I could." She took a moment to gather her
scattered wits. "I’ve never done this before, but – all right," she said finally.
Her mind raced as Tom and B’Elanna looked at her expectantly. How do I start? she thought frantically. The traditional "Dearly beloved" isn’t really appropriate given the circumstances, and neither is "We are gathered here today," since it’s just the three of us. I might as well just get to the point right away. She cleared her throat, and began speaking
"Thomas Eugene Paris, do you take B’Elanna Torres to be your wife, to love, cherish, and honor, in sickness and in health, as long as you both shall live?"
"I do," Tom said softly, gazing into B’Elanna’s eyes.
"B’Elanna Torres, do you take Thomas Eugene Paris to be your husband, to love, cherish, and honor, in sickness and in health, as long as you both shall live?"
"I do," B’Elanna said, also softly, her gaze locked on Tom’s.
The Flyer abruptly shuddered and jolted, nearly throwing all three of them to the deck. Wordlessly, B’Elanna rushed to her station, Tom to the helm, and Janeway to Ops.
"Captain!" B’Elanna shouted. "It’s Voyager! They’re trying to get us out! They’ve created a hole in the nebula. I’m reading normal space up ahead."
An explosion rocked the Flyer, throwing Tom out of his chair, a nasty gash on his forehead. B’Elanna cried out in alarm, but remained at her station.
Janeway assessed the situation at a glance. Though the pilot was still conscious, he was in no condition to fly. She hurriedly took the helm. "I’m heading toward the rift at full impulse," she said. "I think we can make it."
Consoles exploded around them. "The nebula – or whatever it is – is firing more bioelectric charges at us," B’Elanna reported.
"I think I can avoid them," Janeway said, narrowing her eyes. "All right, here we go."
As the Delta Flyer speeded toward the hole, Janeway half-turned in her chair. "Tom, B’Elanna," she said hurriedly, talking very fast while keeping one eye on the viewscreen and both hands on the console, "by the power vested in me as the captain of the U.S.S. Voyager I now pronounce you husband and wife HOLD ON!"
A sharp turn, a final, desperate blast of the impulse engines, and the Delta Flyer cleared the nebula. A last bolt of energy caught the starboard side as they cleared the boundary and sent the ship careening out of control. Voyager followed in hot pursuit and locked on a tractor beam.
Once Janeway felt the hard, reassuring thump of the tractor beam being locked on, she breathed a sigh of relief. The comm system was down, but her crew knew what to do without her instructions, and no doubt the sensors told them that all three were alive and not in any immediate danger.
She looked over at the newlyweds. Tom was still lying on the floor, his head wound bleeding profusely, B’Elanna kneeling beside him and holding his hand. "We’ll get you to sickbay in a few minutes," she was saying. "Just hold tight."
Tom smiled weakly. "Gee, I just can’t wait to be subjected to the doc’s tender mercies," he said, his voice raspy.
Janeway felt a surge of relief – as long as his sense of humor was intact, Tom would be all right. She knelt on his other side, across from B’Elanna. "Congratulations, Mr. and Mrs. Paris," she said quietly.
B’Elanna looked startled for an instant, then smiled almost bashfully. Tom, for his part, had a blissful, ear-to-ear grin on his face. "That sounds nice," he said dreamily. "Really nice. Mrs. Paris."
There was another thump as the Flyer landed in Voyager’s shuttlebay. "Chakotay to Janeway. Are you all right?"
"Yes, Commander. Mr. Paris hit his head, but other than that, no serious injuries. We’ll meet you in sickbay."
"Aye, Captain. Chakotay out."
*** *** ***
While the doctor treated Tom’s head wound and mild concussion, Janeway filled Chakotay in on their adventure with the chameleon nebula. Voyager had received the Flyer’s distress signal, Chakotay explained, and once they’d arrived at the nebula Seven of Nine had realized what it was, having encountered the phenomenon a few times while in the Collective. Using her Borg experience, she’d devised a way to neutralize the graviton beam and open a hole in the nebula, allowing the Flyer to escape successfully.
Janeway intentionally left out the tale of Tom and B’Elanna’s hasty nuptials, not knowing if the two would prefer to announce it themselves. Truth be told, she didn’t know how to quite break the news to everyone. Luckily, Tom took care of that almost immediately.
"Lieutenant, you can let go of his hand," the doctor said condescendingly to B’Elanna after both stories had been told. "He’s not going to be spirited away from us."
"Hey, Doc," Tom said, his voice groggy from painkillers. "Don’t talk to my wife that way."
"You must have hit your head harder than I thought if you think you’re married, Mr. Paris," the doctor chuckled patronizingly. "Lieutenant Torres, could you hand me the -- "
"Paris," B’Elanna said, quietly.
"Excuse me?" the doctor asked absently.
"Paris," she repeated louder. "It’s Lieutenant Paris."
The EMH raised his eyebrows, looking as though he were wondering if B’Elanna had hit her head as well. "Yes, that is
Lieutenant Paris," he said, his words slow and exaggerated.
"No, I’m Lieutenant Paris," B’Elanna announced firmly. "B’Elanna Paris." She stared at him almost defiantly. "The captain married us on the Flyer."
"The captain – married you -- " The doctor looked over at Janeway, clearly expecting someone to start laughing uproariously at their practical joke. "You’re kidding."
"It’s quite true, Doctor," Janeway said, enjoying the befuddled countenances of both the doctor and Chakotay. "They are married."
"But – but – but -- " the doctor sputtered.
Chakotay finished the thought for him. "But why?"
B’Elanna shrugged, an odd, almost triumphant gleam in her eye. "We thought we were going to be killed, and we wanted to get married before it happened. So we did." She glared at the first officer ferociously. "Do you have a problem with that?"
Chakotay blinked and, to Janeway’s amusement, took a step backward. "No, no, not at all," he said hastily.
"Congratulations. It’s just that – it’s a little sudden, that’s all."
There was a certain dignity to the way B’Elanna lifted her chin. "Well, we’re married," she said with a haughty toss of her head. "Get used to it."
"Commander, why don’t we go break the news to the rest of the crew," Janeway suggested sweetly, gently pushing a
still-stunned Chakotay toward the sickbay exit. "Perhaps you can help Neelix arrange a celebratory reception or something once Tom’s back on his feet."
"Yeah," Chakotay said, still a bit dazed. "You don’t think this is a case of marrying in haste, repenting at leisure, do you?" he asked suddenly.
As the sickbay doors shut with a soft whoosh, Janeway glanced back and saw B’Elanna leaning down to kiss her new
husband. She laughed softly. "No," she said, smiling. "I think they’ll be very happy together – and I couldn’t be happier for