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Star Trek - Voyager: B'Elanna And Kathryn Part 3 (no sex)
by Kazlman69

B'Elanna had reached engineering before calming down. Tom had a right to be
angry, but dammit just because he said *he* loved *me*, I'm not his property
or something. Then her mind turned to Michael. How would he react in similar
circumstances. Well for starters he would be so afraid to share his feelings.
B'Elanna couldn't imagine Michael Sargolis mad at anyone for any reason. The
more she thought of Michael, compared him to Tom, the more she wished he were
here with him, that she could get her anger and guilt out of her system.

"Looking for me?" B'Elanna whirled around, slamming into the rail around the
warp core.

"Where'd you come from? And how'd you know I wanted to see you?" She was
stunned by his sudden appearance at that moment.

"The communications monitor room can be quite slow this time of day, or any
other," he smiled. "I was hoping we could have lunch together."

"I'd like that," B'Elanna smiled, suddenly self-conscious.

"Good," Michael kissed her. "12:30 hours, I'll meet you here."

"12:30," B'Elanna repeated numbly. Michael walked past the warp core, said
something to Carey, who was running a diagnostic on the holo-generators, and
disappeared to deck 13, to watch and handle all the internal and external
communications Voyager had. Not that it was a difficult job, here in the
delta quadrant, where there were no personal messages or Starfleet
communiques being sent or received. Michael was often out helping in other
departments.

Suddenly B'Elanna didn't want to prepare to investigate a Federation ship.
She didn't want to get home, or go anywhere but to a room alone with Michael,
where they could spend the rest of time just being together.

Of course, that was something that she most certainly could not do, so she
called Carey over and briefed him on the situation. Then the two of them sat
down to discuss who would be appropriate to the team. Carey talked, suggested
this person or that person, and B'Elanna didn't hear one word in twenty.

"Lieutenant?"

"Yes, Carey?" She looked at him, as though seeing him for the first time
today.

"I asked whether you thought Ensign Delanney or Ensign Caufman would be
better to inspect the ship for micro-subspace traces."

"Oh...well, I think Lieutenant..." B'Elanna stopped softly. She had been
about to say Hogan. "Um...probably Delanney, she attended the academy more
recently than Caufman." Whether Carey noticed her slip, she couldn't tell,
but he did seem to be noticing her inattention. Damn, she had to get with
it, Michael or no Michael. The same goes for Tom Paris, she thought.

"All right then all we need is a coordinator and the team is set." That
should be one of us, B'Elanna thought. It should be me, actually. But
B'Elanna didn't want to do any scientific studies or creative experimenting
right now, just the dull everyday stuff. Stuff that would leave her time
to daydream about Michael. 'God, I'm acting like a damned puppy dog. Is this
what being in love is? Ugh.'

"Do you have any experience with this type of ship, Carey?" The question
must have surprised him. She had never asked his qualifications, or even a
personal question, of him before.

He looked shocked, but recovered almost instantly, as though hoping yet
doubting she would ask him. "Actually, I do. During my summers from the
academy, I worked servicing similar ships for a tourist company based out
of Io."

"Then you coordinate the team, you should have an idea what to look for. I'll
tell the captain." Carey beamed. "Oh and don't worry, I'll be watching over
you every step of the way." Couldn't let him get too full himself, lovesick
or not.

* * *

The captain hadn't been too keep on leaving Carey in charge of the
investigation. She had relaxed though when B'Elanna told her of Carey's
experience with intrasystem craft. And she relaxed even more with
B'Elanna's promise to keep close watch on the him.

B'Elanna found herself happily delighted by the trust Janeway put in her
over Carey, particularly since not so long ago the situation had been the
opposite. Not so long ago? Three years! they'd been out here for almost
three years. Instead of filling her homesickness and depression, the
realization made B'Elanna chuckle with delight. So much so, that Jenny
Delaney turned to look at her. B'Elanna suppressed the giggles, but
couldn't hide the smile. She didn't want to.

Michael arrived punctually at 1230 hours. He put his arm around her, as he
had so often around Jason after a long day apart. B'Elanna felt at once
awkward and grateful as they left the engine room, Carey scrambling to get
his first look at the misplaced ship they were approaching.

"So where are we going?" B'Elanna asked as Michael requested deck six from
the turbolift.

"I thought we'd spend some time in your quarters, since we breakfasted in
mine." He smiled at her.

"Oh, better yet, the holodeck. No one'll be using them since Carey took them
off-line for the diagnostic."

"Great, we can stop by your quarters and replicate a picnic lunch." He
grinned at the idea but B'Elanna cringed, he'd see the rose. Which would
leave her explaining.

"You tensed suddenly. Is something wrong?" Half an hour ago, I wanted to pour
out everything about Tom to him, now I don't want him to know a word. Why?
Because that meant he'd see how she could forget to care about people. Maybe
he wouldn't want to be in love with her. "Nothing," she muttered.

"B'Elanna, you can trust me, I'm not going anywhere."

"All right..." And the whole story came tumbling out, along with her doubts,
fears, everything.

"I see. What do you want to do about it?" That damned question.

"Honestly, I just want to be alone with you and never have to see anyone else
again."

"Really?" He stroked her cheek as they entered her quarters.

"No, I want Tom never to have decided he loves me." Michael said nothing, he
just looked at the crystal rose.

"You should read this." He handed her the note without glancing at what it
said.

"That's not true, what I said not what you just said. I want him to love me,
as a friend. I want to be free to be in love with you and still care about
him." The truth at last.

"Are you in love with me?" Michael looked vulnerable and yet strong at the
same moment. He was calm and quiet, waiting for her to answer, accepting
whatever she said.

"Yes, Michael Sargolis, I am. I think I have been for a while, but it just
wasn't real until we made love to one another." It was so true and so
powerful that B'Elanna sank in to the chair, stunned.

He kneeled beside her. And with his chin level to her breasts, he gazed
into her eyes and whispered "I love you too, B'Elanna." B'Elanna cried, she
couldn't help it. She'd wanted to hear those words, sincerely from someone,
anyone for so long. He just wrapped his arms around her.

"What about Tom," she whispered.

"We'll see."

* * *

The picnic was wonderful and afterwards, B'Elanna read the note. It said
"B'Elanna I don't want to push you, just hold you, please let's just talk.
I'll be in holodeck 3 from 0800 to 0930, Tom". Brief and simple. Well,
hopefully Tom would calm down so they could talk. Michael had offered to
talk to Tom instead, but B'Elanna didn't like that idea. Tom could fly off
the handle and she didn't want Michael hurt, especially because of her.

Carey had gotten some good work done already, though they still didn't know
very much about how the commuter got here. It seemed to be in excellent
shape, almost brand new. The team was about to beam over a tricorder to scan
for DNA. B'Elanna gave Carey some space to work and set about checking the
inter plasma warp seepage she had pegged down weeks ago. If it kept on
leaking it might not be long before Voyager's nacelles became locked in one
position. Not a pretty concept. Actually, it was nice to be able to get some
real work done without interruptions.

As she worked, B'Elanna thought about Tom. She did care about him, but she
would probably never trust him enough to fall in love with him. Maybe it was
first-impression or his history but Tom Paris had left dozens of broken
hearts in the alpha quadrant, she had no intention of becoming his first in
the delta quadrant. Still, she cared about him. She didn't want to hurt him.
Did he really love her or was it just a crush? And what about Michael? How
would Tom react to that?

By the time she finished cleaning up the seepage and resealing the conduits
that carried the plasma, both her shift and Tom's were over. That's what you
get for trying this on your own. Still, the time and tedious work had given
her some much needed time for thought. "Torres to Paris."

"Paris here," The first syllable sounded shocked, the other two cold.

"Tom, we really need to talk, can I meet you for dinner?"

"Well, I was willing to talk this morning. Where were you then?" 'Making love
to a man who has an infinitely better grasp of my feelings than you'll ever
have,' she wanted to say, but forced it back.

"Tom, I'm sorry. I know that hurt you and I apologize. Let's talk, I don't
want either of us to get hurt."

"Me, hurt? That certainly wasn't your concern when you had me against the
wall by the throat earlier. It seems you've gotten what you want, so why
bother with little old me?" The sarcastic tone was getting to her. Dammit,
she was trying to give him a truce and hope they could get over this.

"Tom, can we just talk about this like two civilized adults, for a minute?"
That is if you are an adult.

"A Klingon and ex-con, civilized? Sorry I don't think we-"

"Damn it Paris, stop these childish games! Just because I feel in love with
someone else, can't you at least be a little fucking understanding or are
you such a macho pig...ow!" She had snapped her head up, banging it on the
jefferies tube ceiling.

"Look you want someone else, fine just don't blame me for what you'll lose,
no more talk honey!"

"Tom..." B'Elanna was pleading, not knowing what Tom would do to Michael in
the state he was in. She heard only the crackle of the comm link being broken
from the other end.

* * *

"B'Elanna? Is something wrong with Carey's work on the commuter?" Janeway sat
at her desk in the ready room.

"No..." B'Elanna hesitated, wondering if the situation with Tom had gone far
enough to involve the captain.

"Then what?" Janeway looked confused and concerned. "Some other problem with
the ship?"

"Actually, Captain, its more of a personal matter."

"Oh, I see. Go on." Janeway stood and gestured for B'Elanna to be seated on
the couch off to one side of the room.

"Well, it started a few days ago, just after we returned to Voyager..."
B'Elanna proceeded with Tom's affections, her falling in love with Michael,
and Tom's hostility.

"It certainly doesn't sound like the most comfortable situation for you, and
I am bothered by the what you say happened in the conference room. Do you
feel that this is going to pose a problem for you working with Tom?" Janeway
rubbed B'Elanna's shoulder in a motherly way.

"I don't know, but I'm worried about Michael. Tom is so angry...and I'm
afraid when he finds out the whole story, one way or another..."

"That he'll fly off the handle and do something violent," Janeway finished.
B'Elanna nodded, shaking with fear, rage and despair. "B'Elanna, I sympathize
with the situation you're in, and you're right that Tom isn't handling it
well at all..."

"But you're not going to do anything about it." B'Elanna didn't even bother
to phrase it like a question.

"There's not much I can do. Tom hasn't done anything but taunt you. His
performance for this ship and crew has been exemplary." Janeway paused and
continued before B'Elanna interrupted ,"as has yours."

"But Captain, he's already been in a fight with me over this and he does have
a violent past..." B'Elanna stopped speaking knowing the response she would
give in the same situation.

"So do you, and so does half this crew." Mercifully, Janeway didn't point out
that it was B'Elanna who had actually started the physical fight with Tom.
"If he does something, then I'll have Tuvok restrict him to quarters when not
on-duty, but till then..." B'Elanna nodded, tears welling in her eyes, unable
to even ball her fists. "I will talk with him about this, and I suggest you
stay with Mr. Sargolis as much as possible..." Janeway trailed off.

"Thank you, Captain." B'Elanna straightened, pulled herself together as best
she could and left the ready room.

* * *

Michael hadn't really known Tom Paris before coming aboard Voyager. He had
met him once in the Maquis, but it was a quick brief meeting. Having served
on Voyager for nearly two years, Michael still could not say that he knew
Tom Paris well. But that was going to change. Tom had offered his heart to
B'Elanna and through no one's fault, had been rejected. Michael wasn't sure
what he could offer Tom but he had to try.

Tom was sitting at the bar of Sandrine's with Harry Kim when Michael entered.
Michael knew Kim fairly well because, in ordinary circumstances, the two
would have shared the job of handling comm traffic. Despite the fact that
Harry could handle nearly all the signals himself out here, the two still
worked closely often. Michael walked up to the two of them.

"Gentlemen, enjoying the evening?" Harry turned, smiling.

"Michael! I've never seen you in here before."

"Harry, sometimes holodecks are better shared by only two people," Michael's
tone was light but he saw Tom tense at the words. "Besides, tow people can
find enjoyment many other places." Michael faltered a moment.

A flashback of Jason holding his face, pulling him into a long deep kiss.
There hands sliding along each others body. Michael could feel Jason's
hard-on echoing his own, pressing against him. But then the Kazon stormed
into the deserted library....

Michael shuddered, the memory was only a few days old, yet it seemed
light-years away. "I'm so sorry about Jason, I know how much you two cared
about each other." Harry stopped speaking and hugged him.

"Yes...but its Tom I need to talk with." Michael turned from Harry.

"Me? Why me?"

Michael debated the answer and settled for honesty. "It's about B'Elanna,"
he said simply.

"About B'Elanna? What about...." Tom's face froze for a moment, shifted to
startled comprehension and anger and finally softened into amusement,
something Michael had patently not been expecting. "You're the one, aren't
you?"

"Yes." Michael prepared to duck the punch he expected, waited for Tom to
whirl around and attack him. But nothing happened. Tom just sat there,
smiling slightly and nodding his head. "You're not angry?"

"I....no I'm not," Tom sounded as surprised as Michael felt. Harry looked
from one of them to the other trying to catch on and then suddenly stared at
Michael.

"You and B'Elanna?" Michael nodded. "But...Tom, are you okay?" Tom nodded.
"But you said you would take and..." Harry hesitated.

"I know what I said but it's weird. I don't feel angry now, just surprised
and..."

"And?" Harry prodded.

Tom didn't answer at first. Then, ignoring Harry completely, he turned to
Michael. "Can we go someplace private and talk?"

Michael wasn't sure it was a good idea to be alone with Tom. B'Elanna was
terrified for his sake and hadn't even wanted him to come see Tom. "Yeah."

"Good." And with that the two left the holodeck, perfectly calm and rational,
leaving behind a rather confused Harry Kim.

* * *

They ended up in the library, one of the few quiet and empty places on
Voyager. They sat before the floor to ceiling windows that faced directly
aft. The warp nacelles illuminated the black of space and the quiet serenity
of the library lent a grace and power to the place.

Tom was the first to speak. "I don't know you very well, but from what I do
know, you'd never do anything to hurt B'Elanna, even without thinking of it."
It was a statement and yet a question. Michael didn't answer it directly.

"I've known B'Elanna for four years. In that time I've seen her grow from a
frightened and confused child into the most confident and talented woman I've
ever known. I helped her through many rough nights before we joined Voyager
and quite a few over the first months we were here. I never imagined I'd
fall in love with her, with any woman for that matter. But there is something
different and sacred about how she helped me deal with Jason's death,
something that has bound me to her and that I don't dare lose."

Tom listened to the poetic words, understood most of them and knew Michael
Sargolis would love and honor and protect B'Elanna until her last breath,
with his life if need be. Trying to stop that would be almost impossible,
yet Tom couldn't help but feel excluded from someone he cared so deeply for,
someone he thought felt the same way about him. "I couldn't break you two
apart, however I tried." It was meant to sound accusatory and yet came out
a soft whisper.

"Maybe, but I doubt it. I don't know you very well, Tom, but I do know that
you love B'Elanna and that you and she have had very hard and similar lives.
I hope that, over the past four years, I've helped her overcome that, and I
hope that I have that chance with you."

"Is that saying you want to be friends?"

"In a way, in another way it means I know you are hurting and I want to
help."

Tom was confused. He wanted to stand up and scream that all the help he
needed was B'Elanna, but that wasn't true and screaming wouldn't make it
true. "How can you help someone like me?" Again it was meant to be a
powerful statement and was a whisper.

"By loving you, showing you that you are so much more than you think you are,
and showing you who you really are.." Michael reached slowly across the space
between them and held Tom's hand. "I know you are in love with B'Elanna, and
I now you see me as obstructing that, but that doesn't have to be."

Tom almost yanked his hand back. "I don't want a threesome."

"Why not?" Tom couldn't answer that right away.

"Because...my father wouldn't approve." Tom was shaken by that realization.
He was 70,000 light-years from home. What did his father's approval mean
here? Tears welled in Tom's eyes. Could he ever get away from his father, or
would the old man always be there in his head disapproving all the time.

"Oh Tom..." Michael's soft voice held nothing but empathy and compassion,
something Tom had always thought useless for his relationship with his
father. They wouldn't change it. Or would they? Michael's hands, holding
him, stroking his hair and that soft voice made him wonder.

    

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