Thirty Days--Captain's Log by PJ in NH
Synopsis: The Captain's personal account of events following the episode Thirty Days. And answers the question of why Tom was treated so harshly.
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Today marks thirty days. For thirty days he's been in the brig. But he deserved it. Deserved it not for disobeying me or for disregarding the mighty Prime Directive. He deserved it for breaking my heart. For refusing to notice me, for not recognizing all of my attempts to get him to pay attention to me, for not touching me...for not loving me.
I thought that I was making headway that day in my ready room. We both shared our love for the classics, for Jules Verne and the tales of the sea. It was something special to see those blue eyes dance with glee, and then cloud over when he spoke of dashed dreams--of his father. But he hadn't really noticed me. Hadn't even noticed when I 'accidently' had forgotten the time of our scheduled early morning tea and had greeted him at the door still clad in my nightgown. He had blushed so beautifully I wanted to touch his flushed cheeks, not only on his face but--well you get the picture. He retreated back to the corridor to wait for me to dress when all I wanted was for him to come in and undress me. So I settled for the talk and the tea. When I wished him bon voyage, he looked so pleased, so grateful, but he didn't express his gratitude the way that I had hoped. Instead, he probably rushed to *her* arms.
You would think that he would be more appreciative when I saved her life from that alien leech. Yes, he did thank me in the staff meeting after he had so nobly and...yes...selfishly pled for the holographic Cardassian to perform the operation to save her life. It wasn't enough. I wanted more than a simple heart- felt thank you. I wanted him to physically thank me. To take me in his arms, and truly express his appreciation. But wishes aren't reality. Wishes and dreams don't always come true.
So Tom Paris went on his little mission in the company of his first mate, Harry Kim; boatswain, Seven of Nine; and alien scientist Riga. Please, I prayed as I stared out of the viewport of my ready room, come back to me after your journey to the briny depths and thank me again, really thank me. How I longed to feel his touch. To feel his long elegant fingers upon my skin. It had been a long time. It had been over four years since I had been with Mark. I came close to having a relationship with Chakotay, but why settle for skim milk when might be able to have the cream? It was Tom I realized I wanted, my mentor's son.
He did come back, and he was upset by what he had discovered, how the Moneans were destroying the ocean. He confronted Burkus until finally I had to tell B'Elanna to leave the room and lay down the law to my Chief Pilot. The anger I felt when he overstepped his bounds both annoyed me and delighted me. As much as I appreciated his passion for this problem, it angered me that he would forget his place, would speak up without my approval. I finally left him standing in the ready room staring out at the ocean below. Later I vowed I would speak with him, attempt to calm him before he regretted what he might say if confronted Burkus again.
I met briefly with Chakotay and Tuvok to review the Delta Flyer's status. Exiting the meeting I asked the computer were I could find Lt. Paris. As I expected, he was in his quarters. What I didn't expect when I requested access into his cabin, was that I'd find him and B'Elanna quite literally--joined at the hip. Tom looked up from his position on top, but just before he would have noticed me the door slid silently shut, leaving me pale and shaky on the other side. A repetitive list of questions scrolled through my brain as I walked to my cabin. How dare he! Why would he settle for the Chief Engineer when he could have the Captain? Why can't he see that I want him. That I need him to hold me, to pleasure me, to love me?
Three cups of coffee later, each laced with salty tears, Tuvok paged me to the bridge. Not long after, I found that the Delta Flyer had launched without permission. Tom and his infernal, irrepressible, irresistible passion had acted. If I couldn't help the Moneans and save their planet he had decided that he was going to. Damn him. Damn him for not listening to me. Damn him for disobeying protocol. Damn him for not adhering to the Prime Directive. But most of all--damn him for loving B'Elanna Torres. Damn him!
The countdown commenced--nine, eight. Harry looked pale and ready to pass out.
Five, four, three. I swallowed and prayed. He had deliberately ignored my hails. His fate was sealed.
Two, one. I ordered Tuvok to fire the depth-charge.
Tom and Riga, and the Delta Flyer survived. But now it was time for discipline.
Tom stood at attention, straight and very tall, looking directly in front of him, over my head--just like his father had taught him. As I read off each charge he simply answered 'Yes, ma'am' but it was without the delightful charm that he had spoke those words in the past. When he asked to speak freely with me, my heart almost broke, looking up into those beautiful blue eyes and hearing his passionate words of explanation. Then I remembered that he had chosen B'Elanna Torres over me. Me, who had rescued him from prison, had restored his rank and had placed him on my senior staff. He chose that Maquis woman over me. With resolve I sentenced him to thirty days solitary confinement and stripped him of one of his pips reducing him to the rank of ensign.
For thirty days, he languished in the brig. For thirty days I had but one thought. B'Elanna was a very lucky woman.
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Author's Note: While I personally don't believe that Janeway has any romantic love towards Tom Paris. I think it makes a unique scenario and explanation for Janeway's actions, compared to how other people's action on board of Voyager received no such punishment.