The Gift

Summary: Tom presents Janeway with a very special gift.

Warning/Disclaimer: No warnings. I own nothing. Everything belongs to PBC-Paramount. This is just for some fun.

Tom made his way to Janeway's quarters, carrying a very cute doggy in his arms. Okay, so it really wasn't a doggy. But she looked an awful lot like one and he thought Janeway would like her. It was the first animal they encountered in the Delta Quadrant that reminded him of his and the Captain's favorite species on earth.

'Maybe she won't feel so lonely with her,' he thought with a small smile forming his lips as he came upon his destination and juggled the doggy, holding her in on one arm and hit the chime. She answered a moment later, still in her uniform and her eyes brightened upon glancing down at the doggy in his arms, who started wagging its small tell and stared excitingly back at her. He coughed a little, clearing his throat as her eyes looked up and found his, silently asking for an explanation as she folded her arms against her chest, waiting.

"Hello Captain. I've brought you a pet. Her names Katie. I named her after you," he said handing her the pet. She carefully adjusted her new doggy into her arms and petted its head as she smiled gratefully at him.

"Rehearse that much, Mr. Paris?" she probed, but he could see the teasing glint in her eyes. "She's beautiful. Thank you." He smiled brightly at the acceptance of his gift.

"She reminded me of you. I thought you'd like her." He didn't know why he was so nervous. They were friends now, good friends, so he liked to believe. She continued petting the doggy's head, eying him with that something in her eyes.

"Oh, I love her! She's gorgeous. Would you like to come in?", she suddenly invited moving aside to allow him access. He really wished he could, but he had a date with B'Elanna and he was already running late. He shuddered. She was going to kill him.

"I wish I could. But I got a date with B'Elanna and I'm running late. Maybe we could catch up sometime? You know. Just the two of us."

She smiled even more.

"I'd like that. I'll let you know. We hardly get to spend anytime together anymore do we?"

He shook his head sorrowfully. He really did miss spending time with her. She really was fun to be around once he got her to open up.

"I miss you." And that was the god awful truth. She gazed long and hard at him, before sighing and tilted her head to the side a little.

"I know. I miss you too. You better get going before B'Elanna kills you," she teased going back inside. He watched the door swoosh closed after her and placed his hand against it, wishing things could be different.

"I'll always be your friend," he silently vowed before heading to meet up with B'Elanna for their date hoping she wouldn't actually kill him for being late. 'I'm a dead man. But the Captain comes first. It's the rule.'

The End. Please let me know what you think?