Timelines By Kate O'Riley

Original idea by K.L. Torrie

Disclaimer; While we wish we lived in an alternate timeline where Voyager was real and Paramount wasn't, we don't. They own all.

A/N: Thanks to Karri for the story idea and the original beginning. I re- wrote the beginning, and wrote pretty much everything after the first scene, but it was Karri's idea, and she got started on it. This is definitely not the best piece I've written, but after not publishing anything in AGES....(Cue the music!) I FEEEEEEEEEELLLL GOOOODDDDD!!!! I KNEW THAT I WOULDDDDD....

ADVERTISEMENT: Please help this poor author out! I'm looking for zany, crazy challenges to put in "Survivor: Voyager". No unreasonable offer refused! Send me a e-mail, with "Survivor: Voyager" in the title, or better yet, review my story, and while you're at it, write "I've got an idea" and leave your e-mail.

And now, back to the story...

=/\=

"We've got to go back!" the Doctor said frantically.

"We can't!" shouted Tom, hurriedly hitting the Flyer's various controls, trying to keep the tears out of his eyes so he could see.

"We have to warn someone, we can't just-"the Doctor began to protest.

"Doc!" Tom's tone softened. "We've got to get out of here before they do the same things to us as they did to the others. You heard the captain's orders! 'Whoever is left will proceed to the escape pods and rendezvous when out of this sector,' and since we're the only people left, we can't actually rendezvous. So, we're not going back, and we're not altering our course. We're going to keep going until we're out of this sector." He said the words with a lump in his throat, wishing they weren't true.

=/\=

Flashback

Captain Kathryn Janeway exited the turbolift onto the bridge at 1100 hours, having came in late thanks to some much needed sleep, insisted upon by her first officer. She looked at Chakotay, who stood up from her chair.

"I know," she said as she walked toward him, with her hand up in a familiar protesting gesture. "I'm late!"

"You deserved to be late, you've gotten...what, seven hours of sleep within the last week?" he asked, raising an eyebrow.

"Six, if that," she sighed. "I know, I'm working too hard!" she said, catching his look and anticipating what he would say.

"I have half a mind to stage a mutiny and send you back to bed," he said, but their conversation was suddenly interrupted by Tuvok.

"Captain, I am detecting a fleet of unknown vessels on a direct heading towards us at warp 8," the Vulcan said. Janeway took on the extra stiffening of her bearing that meant she was interested. "Time till intercept?" she asked.

"Fifty-three minutes."

"Let me know when we're in hailing range."

"Aye, Captain."

She looked at Chakotay. His face was expressionless, but his eyes told her all she needed to know. He was puzzled as to their purpose, worried they might be hostile, curious as to who they were. All things she agreed with.

"Commander, you have the bridge. I'll be in my ready room."

=/\=

Janeway sat at her desk, reviewing crew reports, tensely waiting for the call to inform her they were in range. Finally, it came, and she hurried out onto the bridge.

"They've dropped to impulse, and they're in visual range," Chakotay reported.

"Onscreen," she said, heading for her chair. As she sat down, she looked at the screen, and felt the unwelcome weight that suddenly appeared in her stomach; dread.

"How many?" she asked, through a mouth gone dry.

"Forty-three," Harry Kim reported, his voice little more than a whisper.

There was a good reason why. The ships were huge, and bristling with armor and weapons. Obviously not intended for friendly meetings.

"They are three times bigger than a Galaxy-class starship, with enough weaponry altogether to destroy a small planet," Tuvok calmly reported.

"Time to intercept?" Janeway asked.

"Ten minutes," Tom reported. "Captain, maybe we can outrun them."

"Negative, Lieutenant. Their engine capacity is easily one and a half times ours," Tuvok said.

Janeway raised her chin defiantly. "Hold on. Maybe they're not hostile. Perhaps they're just uncertain about our intentions. Harry, hail them."

A moment went by. "No response, Captain," Harry said.

"That doesn't seem very friendly to me," Chakotay commented.

"Fine. They don't want to talk, and we can't outrun them. Shields up, red alert, all hands to battle stations." Janeway clenched her jaw. This wouldn't be good.

=/\=

Present

"There's a ship ahead," the Doctor said. It was the first thing either he or Tom had said in hours. "They're hailing us."

A face appeared on the screen. It was a light shade of sky blue, lighter than that of a Bolian, with close-cropped purple hair. The alien wore baggy white clothing and a friendly expression.

"Greetings! I am Relith, of the Kalora. I have not seen a ship such as yours before! Where are you from, strangers?" the alien said, purple eyes bright.

"I guess we're not from anywhere, now. Tom Paris and the Doctor, formerly of the starship U.S.S. Voyager," Tom said.

"Formerly?" The alien frowned. "Did you abandon your ship?"

"No, our ship was...it was destroyed. A fleet of ships came and attacked us without warning or provocation. We're...we're the only survivors," Tom said quietly. "We don't mean to trespass in your space, we're just trying to escape."

"Ah." The alien looked sad; already, it seemed an unnatural expression on his face. "You were attacked by the Nevace."

"The Nevace?" asked the Doctor.

"Yes. They're a strong race, attacking weaker ships, stealing what they can, and destroying what remains. So far, only one race is known to be their equal, the Fendomar. Unfortunately, they're a distance away – many lightyears. They're able to survive because of their advanced technology. They have one device, the transchronos shifter, that will take you to any time."

Tom and the Doctor looked at each other. "How do we contact them?" Tom asked cautiously.

"They will not answer the traditional hails; you must contact them in person. I will be happy to give you their coordinates."

"That would be very appreciated. Delta Flyer out." Tom switched the channel off.

"Lieutenant? Why do you want to contact these people?" the Doctor asked cautiously.

"Because, Doc, if we can go find a way to defeat the Nevace, and travel back in time, we can save Voyager."

"But Lieutenant! That would be breaking the Temporal Prime Directive!"

"Will you stop it!" Tom whirled around in his seat, his eyes cold fury. "Doctor, I don't care about the Temporal Prime Directive. B'Elanna was killed, and so was our daughter. I've got to save them. And Harry, and the captain, and-"He stopped speaking, trying to keep from crying.

"Lieutenant-"

"And stop calling me that! There is no chain of command. There is no rank. They all went up with Voyager!"

"Tom, then. Those people were my friends too. Don't think I don't miss them, just because I'm a hologram!"

"But they weren't your family. It wasn't your wife, and it wasn't your child. You didn't see your wife get killed right in front of you," Tom said, choking.

The Doctor was silent for a moment. "I know I don't have as much of a claim to suffering as you do. But, I miss them too." He sat there, thinking, for a moment. Finally, he looked at Tom.

"All right. What else can we do? We have to try and save them," he said, almost reluctantly.

Silent thanks shone in Tom's eyes, before he opened a channel to Relith.

=/\=

Two days later, stocked with provisions and given the coordinates, they took their departure from the Kalora.

"I have to admit, as friendly as Relith was, I'm glad to be gone," the Doctor said.

"Neelix?" Tom asked softly.

The Doctor gave a brief nod. "The exact same personality."

They both fell silent, thinking about their lost friend. Relith had indeed had the same exuberant personality as Neelix. Even their tone of voice was the same.

It was a two-week journey to the Fendomar, in the tough, hardy little Flyer. Tom's love for the ship grew even more, seeing firsthand the impact of a two-week journey at warp. Not many ships or shuttles could handle that.

Perhaps the best way to chronicle the journey would be excerpts from Tom's log.

"This is our first day heading towards the Fendomar; three days since Voyager was destroyed. It's still so acute of a loss. I'll wake up expecting to see B'Elanna laying beside me. When I'm hungry, I'll start wondering what Neelix has made. When I'm bored, I want to go banter with Harry, or work on a new holodeck program. While I love piloting the Flyer, it's nothing compared to the feeling of power you get when you're piloting Voyager."

"Sixth day. It's no better. In fact, if anything, it's worse. Brings a whole new meaning to 'cabin fever'. I've taken to running almost endless laps around the back of the Delta Flyer, but it's no help. I could almost swear there's a pattern on the carpeting by now."

"Ninth day. Of all the things I miss about Voyager, B'Elanna's what I miss most. I would give so much to hold her right now. To feel the baby kicking inside her, to kiss her forehead ridges, just to relax with her."

"Eleventh day. Two weeks since Voyager was destroyed. The shock is just beginning to set in. It's still so hard to believe we won't be rendezvousing with Voyager, and I won't be landing the Flyer in the shuttlebay, and I won't step out and see B'Elanna and Harry meeting me, and then go give a report to the captain about our away mission, like I've done so many times before."

"Thirteenth day. I was thinking about Captain Janeway today. How she came and asked me to help her find the Maquis, back in New Zealand. It seems like a lifetime ago, and in a sense, it was. That Tom Paris isn't around anymore. This Tom Paris has – had – a family, friends, a job he loved. Captain Janeway trusted me. Not at first, but after the experience with the Caretaker, she began trusting me, enough that she let me pilot the ship. Captain Janeway became a real role model for me, one of the few people I've ever really respected. I would have died for her. But I didn't get the chance."

=/\=

Flashback

"Hull breach, decks 14 and 15!" Tuvok reported, over the pounding the ship was taking, and the squealing of alarms.

"Shields down to 17%!" Harry shouted.

"We've lost impulse engines!" Tom added in, alarmed.

"Shields are gone!"

"Captain, they've latched on and are attempting to board the ship." Tuvok's voice remained Vulcan calm.

Janeway bit her lip and looked over at Chakotay. His dark eyes were grave. She swallowed, trying to get past the lump in her throat and get the tears out of her eyes.

"All hands, this is the captain. Voyager is being boarded. Arm yourselves and use all force necessary."

It took only a few minutes for the invaders to find the bridge. They stormed out, firing. Ensign Wildman took a hit almost immediately and went down, being unfortunate enough to be in their way. The bridge was filled with phaser fire, but it soon died down; all the enemy had been stunned or killed.

"Chakotay, we're not going to be able to keep this up," Janeway said quietly.

"Agreed. Kathryn, we have to try to evacuate and destroy the ship."

"All hands, this is the captain! Report to the escape pods and evacuate! Rendezvous at the last planet we stocked up at! Repeat, evacuate and rendezvous at the last planet we stocked up at! Computer, initiate self- destruct. Set for ten minutes. Authorization Janeway-pi-110."

"B'Elanna," Tom breathed suddenly. Hurtling into the turbolift, he ordered it to go to deck 11, full speed.

When the lift stopped, he cautiously peeked out. No invaders were in sight. He slipped along the corridor, trying to get to Engineering.

=/\=

Present

The Delta Flyer dropped out of warp, virtually right on top of a busy planet. Ships were everywhere, seeming to follow careful orbits around a world with a definite red-purple tint.

"Class-L environment. You can survive, as long as you don't stay around for too long," the Doctor told Tom, checking the scans. "Naturally, the environment means nothing to me, as long as it doesn't damage my mobile emitter."

"Great." Tom opened a channel. "This is Tom Paris, of the Delta Flyer, asking to speak to anyone who knows about the Nevace."

There was no reply. Just as Tom was about to give up and try again, a voice came on. "Why do you want information about them?" The voice was suspicious.

"It's a long story. Suffice it to say, our ship was destroyed by them, for no reason at all. We're trying to find some way to go back in time and stop them. We were told you might be able to help us."

"Go back in time?" Suddenly, an image appeared on the screen. "Why? What good would it do?"

"We'd like to try to save them. They're our friends...our family," the Doctor said simply.

"We don't share our technology with outsiders." The alien cut the channel.

The Doctor looked at Tom, frustration clearly written on his face.

Tom shrugged. "We'll try again. They're probably not all like that."

=/\=

Flashback

Tom went along the corridor as quickly as he dared. There seemed to be an extra charge in the air. He tensed, constantly expecting to feel the quick heat of a weapon hit him, then nothing. He was suddenly sensitive to every little sound made by the ship, things he'd never even noticed before, but now meant life or death, literately, if he couldn't hear the invaders coming.

Luckily, and unluckily, they had apparently already passed this way. He found the bodies of his crewmates scattered around. One, Ensign Montgomery, was clearly dead of a broken neck. Others had charred, blackened holes in their bodies. No one was possibly alive. He fought back the nausea he felt and continued.

Finally, outside Engineering, he was forced to stop and consider for a moment. Likely, the invaders were already in there; if he was lucky, his wife was still alive. But he couldn't go barreling in.

He looked around and found a Jefferies tube. Quickly scanning his brain, he tried to remember if that particular one led to Engineering. He thought it did. He crawled inside, quickly sealing the hatch behind him.

It took him up a ladder, eventually depositing him on the upper level of Engineering. He cautiously pried off the hatch cover and slipped out. Upper Engineering was deserted, but he heard voices below; among them, B'Elanna's.

He crawled to the edge and looked down. One of the invaders had his weapon aimed directly at B'Elanna. He was asking her how to turn off the self- destruct.

"I can't!" B'Elanna insisted. "Only the captain can do that."

"Not good enough," the invader barked in his gutteral tone. Lifting his weapon a little higher, he shot her in the chest.

Tom couldn't do anything. All he could do was lay there, frozen, staring at B'Elanna's crumpled form.

"Self destruct in three minutes," the computer chimed. Somehow, it penetrated through the haze that surrounded Tom.

He crawled to the door, numbly dragging his phaser rifle behind, exiting on deck 10. Then, it felt as if all his strength was drained from him. He flopped against the wall, unaware of his surroundings.

"Lieutenant!" The voice broke through his haze. Numbly, Tom lifted his head up in order to see the speaker, hoping to be shot, so he wouldn't have to feel the pain of B'Elanna's death. As he did so, a small, distant part of his brain wondered why the invader who was going to kill him knew his rank.

It was no invader; rather, it was the familiar, albeit oft unwelcome, face of the Doctor. "Lieutenant! Tom! We have to evacuate the ship!" he hissed frantically.

Tom stared at him numbly, unable to move. The Doctor grunted, grabbing the man's arm and dragging him to his feet.

"You'll have to pilot the Delta Flyer and try to get us out of here," the Doctor said, pulling Tom along to the shuttlebay.

"B'Elanna," Tom said weakly, pulling slightly away from the Doctor.

"No, Lieutenant!" The Doctor's tone was harsh. Seeing Tom's distraught face, he softened it. "There's nothing more we can do for her."

They entered the shuttlebay, the Doctor carefully looking around first to make sure there were no invaders.

He pulled Tom into the Flyer, closing the hatch and going to the cockpit to start it up. Tom followed numbly, having barely regained the power of locomotion on his own. He slumped down into the co-pilot seat.

"Computer, how many Starfleet personnel are left aboard Voyager?" the Doctor asked. There was no reply for a moment; the sensors were looking to find out. Finally, it replied.

"There are no Starfleet personnel aboard the U.S.S. Voyager."

=/\=

Present

It seemed hopeless. No matter who they talked to, the answer was the same. No. No sharing with outsiders. No. No. No.

The Fendomar varied in politeness. Sometimes it was abrupt, said before Tom could hardly voice the request. Sometimes it was with an apologetic look, but always, with the same answer.

The Doctor and Tom had begun to feel desperate. Which was why, one day while eating lunch (well, Tom was, anyway), Tom voiced an idea.

"No," the Doctor said, in the same tone Tom had heard from the Fendomar. "Absolutely not."

"Why not?" Tom challenged. "Why shouldn't we? They're not giving it to us, and if all goes right, they won't even notice it's gone."

"We can't! It goes against all our standards!"

"What standards? We don't have any. Starfleet had standards, but now, for all intents and purposes, Starfleet no longer has any presence in the Delta Quadrant. It's dead, gone, along with Voyager!"

"But Captain Janeway would have wanted us to uphold-"

"Captain Janeway's dead! She's dead, Chakotay's dead, Tuvok's dead, they're all dead! It doesn't matter anymore!"

"How are we to know that by preventing Voyager's destruction, we won't be irreversibly messing up the timeline?"

"How do we know that Voyager's destruction didn't already do that?"

"It's dangerous, to tamper with time."

"We were planning to go back anyway. It only happened three weeks ago; I doubt anything would be affected."

The Doctor seemed to have run out of arguments. "All right," he said grudgingly. "How are we going to steal one of their transchronos shifters?"

=/\=

Flashback

Tom numbly began the powering sequence of the Flyer, running through check after check, trying to wrap his mind around the idea. Dead. They were all dead. B'Elanna, Harry, the captain. The Doctor had asked how many escape pods had been ejected from Voyager. The answer was chilling; none.

Alone. They were alone in the universe. Two people, without a ship, stranded lightyears away from their home. No. Home was gone. Home was Voyager, about to be destroyed. Home was B'Elanna, whose crumpled form was still laying in Engineering, a large, charred hole through her. Home was Harry, and the captain, and everyone else whom he had grown to care about. Home had just been violently ripped away, existing now in nothing more than a metal shell containing the crumpled, carbon groupings, the shells of everyone he had loved, everyone he cared about, everyone, everyone, EVERYONE! It wasn't fair! If they had to die, why couldn't he have, why couldn't he die so that he wouldn't have to feel the unbearable pain, the sensation he was suffocating, the sharp pain in his chest that he was sure was his heart ripping in pieces, why? He'd have given his life for them in an instant. He would have died the most horrible deaths in the universe if B'Elanna had lived. He would have given himself over to Cardassian torturers, or jump into a star, or out an airlock into the cold, airless space. But he couldn't.

=/\=

Present

"We'll be there."

Tom turned the screen off, then went to the back of the Flyer. "It worked; we're supposed to go over there in two hours."

"Are you sure passing ourselves off as traders was the best idea?"

"How else are we supposed to get onto their ship?"

"All right," the Doctor grudgingly admitted. "What now?"

"How good of an actor are you, Doc?"

"What?"

"You've got the starring role in 'The Great Transchronos Shifter Heist'."

=/\=

"What's in your pocket?" the Fendomar guard asked suspiciously.

Tom was standing in a ship's corridor, next to the airlock he'd just come through. The whole place seemed to be a metallic lavender, with yellow tinting. The crewmen aboard the ship looked to be wearing single piece jumpsuits, in navy blue and a dark green.

"Oh, that? It's a hologram, of my father, may he rest in peace," Tom said, lowering his head in what he hoped was a respectful manner.

"Let's see it."

Tom took the mobile emitter out and activated it. The Doctor blinked into existence, freezing perfectly still.

The guard walked around him. "I'm guessing you look like your mother. It's all right, you can go ahead."

"Thank you." Tom deactivated the Doctor. "Would you mind if I scanned you? Part of my trading is by sharing the biological information of different species. Just to help identify them, you know."

The guard peered suspiciously at the tricorder Tom held. "What is that thing?"

"It's a tricorder, a scanning device."

"Go ahead."

Tom scanned the guard, then smiled. "Thank you. I'm sure several cultures will find this interesting. You look to be a prime example of your species."

The guard looked at him suspiciously, before leading him down the corridor.

Tom arrived in the room and greeted the ship's captain, one "Echnorak". He then asked to be directed to the nearest head. Yes, he was sure their species were similar enough. No, he did not have to be shown how the toilet worked. Yes, that would do nicely, thank you.

Once alone, he activated the Doctor. "Your father?" the hologram said gruffly.

"Well, you don't look like me. We can't exactly be brothers."

The Doctor sighed.

Tom quickly took out the tricorder and downloaded the information he had gotten into the Doctor. Within a few seconds, the Doctor looked like a Fendomar guard.

"Great. Now, leave after I do. Find the shifter, take it, and just give me a beep on my comm badge. I'll find an excuse to leave."

"Got it."

"Good luck, Doc."

=/\=

The Doctor prowled around, trying not to attract attention. His goal was in sight; according to the information the Kalora had given them, that small device plugged into the console around the corner was the transchronos shifter.

He looked. No one was in sight. Walking in what he hoped was a casual manner, he strolled to the spot and examined it. It was only about the size of the tricorders that had been in use a century back.

"Emitter," he whispered, "activate revision 22-alpha."

It didn't make any change visible from the outside, but inside, there was a new compartment being formed of photons and forcefields, large enough to conceal it. Who would think of looking inside? He lifted the drape of the uniform and fitted it in. He then scanned the computer for information files pertaining to the Nevace. There! He downloaded it directly into his program for later. Now, the escape.

"Centanion!" a voice called, and he heard feet going down the corridor. "Centanion, wait up!"

He stopped, and felt a hand clasp his shoulder.

"Hey, Centanion, weren't you supposed to be on airlock duty?" The speaker was another Fendomar, a male.

"Uh, uh, yes, I am, but I was told to...run an errand," the Doctor said, trying to improvise. "I'm heading back there now."

"All right. We still planning on getting together later for some drinks?" All right. Obviously, the Fendomar whom he was disguised as was a friend of this one.

"Sure. I'll meet you then."

"Sounds good. See you." The other Fendomar left.

The Doctor gave a relieved sigh, then started to walk as quickly as he could towards the airlock.

He stopped around the corner. The guard was still there. The guard whom the Doctor was disguised to look like. He didn't look like he had any intention of leaving either.

The Doctor waited a few minutes, then decided on another course of action. From what little he had seen of the Fendomar, they weren't terribly different in appearance from one another. He made a few changes to his holographic disguise, came up with what he would say, and headed boldly for the airlock.

"Who are you?" the guard – Centanion – asked suspiciously.

"New transfer. I've been ordered to search this ship, make sure there isn't anything dangerous aboard. They want to be sure this trader is who he says he is."

The guard still looked suspicious, but he gave a nod, permitting the Doctor to go inside. The Doctor quickly slipped forward, into the Flyer. Stepping over to the console, he gave the computer a command to alert Tom. Phase 1 done.

=/\=

Tom had been desperately trying to maintain the appearance of a trader. He was grateful he'd seen Captain Janeway negotiating so many times; without it, he'd have no idea what he'd say. As it was, he was barely holding his own. Time seemed to be extended. What was taking the Doctor so long?

Finally, there came the small beep he'd been waiting for.

"Excuse me," he said to the ship's captain. "I'll need to go back to my ship. That was informing me I have a message I've been waiting for, and I'm afraid it's very urgent."

The captain looked startled. "Certainly. We will await your return."

Tom smiled and quickly got up and left. They were a nice, pleasant group, but he was eager to get back to the Flyer...and hopefully, undo the past.

He walked down the corridor confidently. It was a straight shot to the Flyer's airlock.

"Back already?" the guard asked.

"I needed to check something. If you don't mind," Tom said pleasantly.

It was obvious from the guard's look that he did mind, very much, but he moved aside anyway. Tom slipped through the airlock and into the Flyer.

As soon as the door closed behind him, he turned and encountered another Fendomar. He was slightly disconcerted, until the Fendomar said "I've got it. Let's go."

"Nice outfit, Doc," Tom commented, sliding into the pilot's seat. "Disengage docking clamps."

"Clamps disengaged."

"Moving us out." Tom quickly piloted the Flyer away, and set her on a course that would lead back towards open space. "Now, let's figure this thing out."

The device lay beside the Doctor on the console, half-forgotten until now. Tom picked it up and looked at it.

"Well, I'm not the engineer of the family, but I say this will covert to fit the Flyer pretty easily. We could probably power it up with some warp plasma."

"It may work," the Doctor said dubiously.

"Have some faith, will you? There's three possibilities, the way I see it. One, we plug it in, it works, we save Voyager. Two, we plug it in, it doesn't work, we're stuck here without them. Three, we plug it in, it doesn't work, it blows up the ship. And honestly, if we can't have one, I don't think I'd mind three."

=/\=

Thanks to the fact that neither Tom nor the Doctor had any engineering skills to speak of, it took them a day to fit the shifter into the systems. Tom kept thinking that B'Elanna could have done it in an hour. They rigged a control panel for it, then took their seats. They sat there, looking at one another.

After several minutes, Tom sighed. "I guess this is as ready as we'll get. Coordinates set?"

"Set."

"On my mark then. Three, two, one, mark."

Tom's vision erupted into reds and oranges. We didn't do it, we're dying, his mind screamed. It was followed an instant later by his vision being filled with blues and purples, before going to black.

When he woke up, he was being checked by the Doctor. Tom pushed him away. "Did we make it?" he asked, both hopeful and horribly afraid.

"I haven't checked," the Doctor admitted, stepping back and going towards a console.

Tom felt his heart beating, so fast he was almost afraid. Fighting to keep his voice steady, he asked, "Computer, scan for signatures of Starfleet ships in the area."

It was only a few seconds, but it seemed to last an eternity, before the computer replied, "There is one Starfleet ship within three light years."

His breath caught in his throat. Behind him, he faintly heard the Doctor. "Computer, identify."

"U.S.S. Voyager, NCC-74656."

"Computer, set a course, maximum warp," Tom managed to order, despite the tears running down his face.

It seemed like an eternity, but they soon drew into hailing range. The Doctor predicted that they would be hailed the second they were within range. He was right.

The light started blinking furiously, signaling the incoming hail. Tom hesitated half a second, looking back at the Doctor, before putting it onscreen.

"Who are you and why do you have our shut-"Captain Janeway began to demand, stopping when she realized whom she was seeing.

"Captain!" the Doctor said, happiness in his voice. Tom's attention had been drawn behind Janeway, though. His breath caught in his throat.

"B'Elanna," he breathed. She was staring at the screen with surprise on her face. She glanced at the helm, where he sat, and back at the screen.

The other Tom Paris looked as well. "Oh no," he groaned, closing his eyes briefly.

Captain Janeway finally spoke up. "I'm sure there's a lot of talking we need to do. We'll beam you aboard."

Within seconds, they were standing on Voyager's bridge. Tom felt his knees wobbling, almost like he'd collapse, but a firm grip on his elbow caught him before he could. He looked and saw Captain Janeway.

"Why don't we three go into my ready room?" she suggested. Tom pulled away. "One minute, please," he begged, and before Janeway could respond he'd darted up to where B'Elanna stood. He stopped a few feet in front of her, not daring to come closer. Her face filled with confusion, she looked at the two Tom Paris'; one standing by the helm, the other, scruffier-looking one, right in front of her, with a look in his eyes like she'd never seen before. Happiness, relief, love, all shone through.

Next to the Doctor, Tom Paris stepped forward. "Hey, that's my wife," he said indignantly, but the Doctor caught his arm.

"Trust him," the Doctor said softly. "Trust yourself."

Tom was standing in front of B'Elanna, tears streaming down his face. "B'Elanna," he choked, "you have no idea how beautiful you are, or how much I love you, in any reality or timeline." With that, he suddenly turned and fled into the ready room.

B'Elanna blinked a few times. "Well," she said, "that was...interesting."

=/\=

The Doctor and Janeway followed Tom into the ready room. Janeway requested a cup of coffee from the replicator and indicated that they should sit down. They did, and Janeway did as well. "Why don't you tell me how you got here?" she said, leaning back.

The Doctor told most of it, Tom adding some in occasionally.

"So, you're saying, in about eighteen hours, Voyager will be attacked?" she said, when they finished.

"Yes. There's one way we can avoid it, but the only way means we'll have to adjust our shields so we're invisible to them, then fly around them."

"From the information we have, we think you'll be all right if you can just do that. They seem to stick together in one large group; you'll probably be able to avoid them after that," the Doctor added.

"We? What about you?"

Tom and the Doctor looked at each other. "I'm not sure what will happen to us," Tom confessed.

"Well, we'll deal with that later. Right now, we have to make sure we'll survive," Janeway said. "I'm calling a meeting of the senior officers."

=/\=

After the meeting, both Tom Paris' stayed behind in the briefing room, looking at each other.

"So. You're me, just a few weeks older," said the Tom who belonged there. (A/N: To prevent confusion, we'll call him Tom 1)

"Yeah. With some experiences you never want to see." Tom 2 said.

"Like what?"

"Watching Voyager get taken over. Seeing B'Elanna killed right in front of you, and being powerless to stop it. Seeing the ship explode, and knowing you're the only human left in the quadrant."

Tom 1 bit his lip. "Worse than the accident?" he asked softly.

"Worse than anything you can possibly imagine," Tom 2 said honestly. "I don't know what's going to happen in the next few hours, but I want you to know; despite every time she's insulted you, despite every time she's injured you, despite everything B'Elanna's ever done to you, you need her. You love her. And when you try to imagine how you'll feel if you have to live without her? Doesn't come close."

With that, he left.

=/\=

It was a tense time. Tom 2 and Doctor 2 kept taking nervous glances at the time, seeing it creep closer to the time Voyager had seen the invaders. Right on cue, Tuvok announced it.

"Shields?" Janeway said.

"Adjusted, Captain." Kim reported.

"Proceed."

The air felt thick. No one dared to breathe.

"Time?" Janeway asked.

"1207, Captain."

"It looks like we might not be destroyed today after all," Janeway commented.

Finally, after an eternity, the Nevace ships were gone, off their scanners. Janeway turned to where Tom 2 had been.

"Tom," she started to say, before realizing he wasn't there. "Where did he go?" she asked, looking around. Neither Tom nor the Doctor were there.

"No one left the bridge," Tuvok said.

"Well," said Janeway, sitting back down. "I guess that takes care of what they'll do. We must have gotten past the danger point."

The bridge was silent.

=/\=

Epilogue

Tom Paris walked into his quarters. The light on the console informed him he had a message. Curious, he activated it, and saw the slightly older version of himself.

"Hey, me," he said. "If you're seeing this, it worked. If not, we're dead. Well, except for you and the Doctor, if things go as they did before. Do me a favor, all right? Let B'Elanna know how much you love her. Let her know you really can't live without her. It's true."

With that, the screen went dark.