Author's Note: This is part seven of the series "Voyager: The First Year." Tom and Harry spend time on the holodeck talking about Earth.
Clink. The sound of a ball going into the pocket was the first thing Harry heard when he entered the holodeck. He wasn't surprised to see only one occupant in the holographic bar. It was very late and most of the Alpha shift had already gone to bed. Harry knew he should also be headed to bed but he did promise Tom he was stop by Sandrine for one game of pool before he went to his quarters to get some much needed sleep.
Harry was about to say something when he heard Tom say, "It's about time Harry…I was just about to give up on you."
Harry watched as Tom sunk another ball into one of the corner pockets. Harry gave him a little smile, 'Tom you are getting pretty good at that…maybe next time you challenge the Captain so won't embarrass you so much."
Tom smirked, "Very funny Harry." .
"I'm sorry I'm late but I was having dinner in the mess hall with B'Elanna and we were talking about some engine improvements and I guess I lost track of time."
Tom stood up from the pool table and looked at his friend with a little smirk on his face. "Harry…Harry…Harry how many times do I have to tell you all work and no play makes Ensign Kim very boring."
Harry smiled. "I know…but B'Elanna has some interesting ideas about how to improve engine speed. . .It could save years off our journey."
Tom frowned. "I don't see why everyone on this ship is in such a rush to return to the Alpha Quadrant…I like the idea of a seventy years away from the New Zealand Penal Colony."
"Tom you know Captain Janeway will do everything in her power to see that you and the rest of the Maquis are not sent to the penal colony."
Tom put his pool cue back in the rack and said, "Harry…sometimes you are so naïve…Out here the Captain maybe in charge but if we ever do get back home she will have a lot of Starfleet Admirals to answer to…I'm sure Captain Janeway will be too busy keeping the Maquis out of prison and herself out of trouble to worry about me."
Angrily Harry said, "You know that's not true…the Captain cares about everyone on her crew and I'm sure she'll keep you out of the penal colony."
Tom frowned, "I'm sure she will try…but I don't know what the rush is….you know once Voyager does get home I'll probably never be allowed behind the helm of a Federation starship….I always loved flying but I never realized how much I missed it until I was locked up in New Zealand."
"Tom that may not be true…Maybe Starfleet will allow you to keep your field commission."
"Yeah right Harry…Starfleet will let a convicted criminal fly one of their Starships…I will be happy if my sentence is converted to time served…You know if I was still there I would be out by now and I would probably spending my days drinking and hustling pool at Sandrine."
A thought came into Harry's head, "I've always meant to ask you this… How authentic is this holographic Sandrine."
Tom laughed, "What are you afraid if you ever went to the real bar Sandrine will be all over you?"
"Relax Harry…there are certain aspects of Sandrine's personality that I enhanced…She was like a second mother to me…Sandrine was there for me when everyone else gave up one me…including myself."
Harry frowned, "Tom you told me that after you confessed about Caldek Prime you got as far away from your family as you could…you never gave them a chance to be there for you."
Tom walked over to the bar and grabbed a half empty beer glass he left there earlier. He gulped the rest of the drink and said, "Harry…I better hit the hay …I have a early bridge shift in the morning and an afternoon shift in sickbay."
"You are doing it again?"
"Avoiding talking about Earth…You are always there to cheer me up when I get depressed thinking about my parents or Libby…I want to do the same thing for you."
"No you are not fine…You are just an expert on hiding your feelings…Tom why can't you admit you miss Earth like the rest of the crew does"
Tom was about to make a dumb joke but the look on Harry's face told him that Harry wanted him to open up to him. Sweet, innocent Harry Kim, who was one of the few people on Voyager to treat him like a human being when he first arrived, deserved a honest answer. Tom gave a slight smile and amd motioned for Harry to yake a seat at the nearest table. After they were bith sitting down Tom said, "Okay Harry…your right there are things I miss on Earth…I miss my mom and my sisters Kathleen and Moira."
Harry smiled, "I always wished I had a brother or sister…Tell me about them."
"Kathleen and Moira never wanted anything to do with Starfleet…Kathleen is a lawyer and Moira is a doctor. I use to love when my Mom and Dad went out at night because whenever Kathleen or Moira babysat me they let me eat anything I wanted and they stay up late and watch horror vids."
Harry smiled, "That sounds nice."
"What I loved about them most was that they use to let me hang out at their places when I was in high school. Every once in a while Dad would go on a rampage about me not working hard enough in school to get into the Academy…I use to run to one of their apartments and they would let me stay overnight until Dad cooled off."
Harry smiled and said, " I bet they miss you a lot too…and so do your parents."
Tom frowned, "I'm sure my mom miss me but I think my dad is glad I'm not around the dirty the great name of Paris."
Harry frowned, "I don't believe that…Tom since you've arrived on Voyager you have been doing everything in your power to change your life….I'm sure when we get home your father will realize that you are not the same man you were when you left Earth."
"Harry you don't know my dad…once he makes up his mind about something he never changes it…The last words he said to me was that I was no longer his son."
'Tom I'm sure he didn't mean that…People often say stuff they don't mean when they are angry….If you can change maybe he can change too." Harry gave Tom a friendly pat on the shoulder and said, "B'Elanna changed from calling you pig to helping you with your Maquis problem."
Tom looked surprised, "What Maquis problem?"
Harry smiled, "Tom I'm not as naïve as you think I am….I saw the bruises your were trying to hide and I noticed they stopped after B'Elanna starting hanging around with you."
Tom looked at his friend and smiled, "Harry why didn't you say anything?"
Harry looked at Tom with real concern in his eyes. "I know you Tom…If I went to you with my speculation you would of lied about getting hurt on the holodeck…but I would of went to the Commander or the Captain if they didn't stop…I wasn't going to let your stubbornness get you killed."
Tom stood up and smiled at his best friend. "Harry…thanks you being my friend."
Harry stood up and said, "Somebody had to do it…but if I knew then what I know now I would of asked for combat pay."
Tom laughed, "Maybe we can ask the Captain if she can arrange that in our next senior staff meeting. Tom put his right arm around Harry's shoulder and said, "Come on Harry we better get to bed….If I'm not fully awake during my bridge shift the Commander will have my head."
Harry laughed, "What if you are not fully awake at your sickbay shift."
Tom frowned, 'That's even worse…last time I started dozing during one of Doc's lectures he sang Opera to me."
"Yeah…he has a strange fascination with Opera…I'm going to talk to B'Elanna tomorrow and ask her if she can reprogram him to play Rock and Roll"
Harry laughed as Tom led him out of the holodeck. One thing Harry was grateful for was that with a friend like Tom the next seventy years would be anything but boring.