Once as my heart remembers

Title: Far From Morning

Author: Starbaby/MEGDENTON@prodigy.net

Date: 5/1/01

Series: VOY

Disclaimer: I'm joyfully manipulating someone else's creation. The lyrics belong to Enya.

Summary: Tom has been talking to me about what happened after the raid on Sickbay in "Lineage." This is the missing scene, conceived in my fevered P/T imagination. Lots of angst, of course. Feedback rules.

Far From Morning

By Starbaby

Once as my heart remembers

All the stars were fallen embers

Once when night seemed forever

I was with you

Sometimes, all you can do is hold on. After the fiasco in Sickbay, B'Elanna and I just clung to each other for awhile, oblivious to the passage of time. A lone crewman limped in, seeking medical attention. He took note of B'Elanna's half-dressed state and promptly limped back out, obviously valuing his life. Not that she could have done him much harm, not then, when the tears of a bone-deep loss still flowed, draining the stagnant hurt from her battered heart, a salty river of grief remembered. I just held on, as she'd done for me on the nights when I awoke in the dark predawn, assaulted by the knowledge of Caldik Prime, the lingering voice of Alice, or the memory of Pete Durst, who walks, faceless, through my dreams. Somewhere above us, Tuvok was, no doubt, appraising a furious Janeway of the situation. Somewhere farther still, the Doctor fumed in cybernetic oblivion. There would be consequences. There always are, with every choice we make, good or bad. John Torres made his choice. So did I, long ago. I chose B'Elanna, and the chase was on. She told me to take a hike, and I knew I loved her best.

How far we are from morning

How far we are

And the stars shining through the darkness

Falling in the air

I managed to get B'Elanna into her clothes, and added my jacket, bundling her up like we were going spring skiing on the holodeck. Under normal circumstances, she would have resisted. I'm not sure if B'Elanna's stubborn independence comes from Klingon pride or a lifetime of doing for herself, but it's hard for her to be vulnerable. That's where our natures diverge--I wear my heart on my sleeve, always have. Maybe that's why we're so good together. She's too strong for her own good; I'm not strong enough. I give her a safe shoulder to cry on; she gives me a swift kick in the pants when I fall into comforting self-pity. I hope we can teach our daughter all the good things we've learned from one another, and from this journey… live each day to the fullest… face death with honor… wait patiently for redemption, and it will find you…avoid leola root at all costs. I thought about our little girl as I steered B'Elanna through the corridors toward our quarters. She was alarmingly silent on the trip, but managed to glare at every gawking Ensign we passed, to my great relief. The quiet persisted as I tucked B'Elanna into bed, handed her Toby the Targ, and lay down beside her, not bothering to take off my wrinkled, tear-stained uniform. B'Elanna put her head on my shoulder and drifted down that river of grief remembered into the sheltering caverns of sleep. And that was how we stayed.

Once as the night was leaving

Into us our dreams were weaving

Once all dreams were worth keeping

I was with you

I didn't follow her into sleep, just kept watch through the night. My communicator beeped several times. I plucked it off and tossed it toward the dresser, not really caring when it bounced off and disappeared into the single-slice slot on my vintage toaster. Unless we were under attack by the Borg, the Kazon, AND a Malon garbage freighter, I wasn't moving. Sometime during the night, B'Elanna rolled onto my chest and locked me into the mother of all death grips. If you've never been hugged by a Klingon, it's an experience somewhat like a bear hug, a little like sumo wrestling. I find it extremely pleasant. Immobile, I had hours to think about all that had been and all that could be. I remembered the angry B'Elanna that I'd first met aboard the Liberty, and the untouchable B'Elanna that I admired from a distance for two years; the wary B'Elanna that I pursued across a galaxy, and the conflicted B'Elanna that I shared oxygen with in the vortex of space. Dying in her arms, I was at peace.

Once in the care of morning

In the air was all belonging

Once when the day was dawning

I was with you

As morning advanced on us, my muscles cramped up. B'Elanna slept on, dreaming, I was sure, of that long ago camping trip, a child's outing that determined the course of her life. I developed a rather urgent need to visit the Gent's, and really wanted a peanut butter sandwich. But B'Elanna slept on, and I wondered if she was dreaming of her Mother, making peace on the scarred plains of Stovokor. Her face was relaxed in sleep, and I knew that Pete Durst wasn't walking, faceless, through her dreams. I thought back to the Vidiian processing plant, and wondered if she was meeting her other, fiercer self on those scarred plains, offering a truce of sorts. Hours later, I was earnestly wishing for that garbage freighter to come along when B'Elanna's eyes fluttered open. They were troubled, filled with anxiety over the Doctor's program, Captain Janeway's wrath, our daughter's future, her AWOL father, and a million other things.

Once in the care of morning

I was with you

I was with you

I forgot about my screaming bladder, my stiff neck, and my peanut butter sandwich in a heartbeat. I began to tell her stories, tales of my travels after Starfleet booted me. I told her of my visits to exotic places like Katmandu and the Shalimar Gardens, ancient temples and Byzantine churches, Holy places where I didn't belong. I was a drifter then, beyond the healing touch of love and grief. I spoke of my first meeting with Chakotay, and my doomed maiden flight with the Maquis. Finally, I spoke of Voyager, and how glorious she looked when I saw her for the first time, over the shoulder of the doomed Lieutenant Stadi. At last, B'Elanna's eyes closed again. So did mine.

And that was how we stayed.


*Tom's travels are detailed in Jeri Taylor's fine novel "Pathways" Read it, I say!