Perspective

By: Lesera128

Rated: K+

Disclaimer: The all powerful Paramount owns all characters and things related to Star Trek: Voyager including Chakotay, Tom Paris, B'Elanna Torres, and the events in the episode "Blood Fever." I am simply borrowing Chakotay, Tom, and B'Elanna and giving them happier and more interesting lives. But, I promise to return them when I'm done...maybe.

Summary: Chakotay reflects on his love life a few weeks after the mission to the Sakari Homeworld, during the episode "Blood Fever," as recorded in a personal log. Paris/Torres. Shades of Chakotay/Seska and Chakotay/Janeway. One-shot. Complete.

Author's Note: As I am going through my harddrive, I am reposting some of my various fan fic pieces that I have written over the years. This particular piece holds a special place in my heart because it was the very second fan fic piece I ever wrote… way back in 1998. I like to think my style (and plot skills!) have matured since then, but it still tickles me to look back and see where I started. So, without further adieu, enjoy!~


Personal Log- Stardate 50542.9

The word "vicarious" has a very interesting definition. The official meaning states "of someone else's experiences which one shares." It almost seems as if that is how I have been living my life lately. It is so frustrating that I feel like I am going out of my mind. That is why I am recording this log. If nothing else, I hope that it helps me to get my thoughts straight and life back in order.

In all of my lifetime, I have known a few people that I feel I understand who they really are at the core of their being. In certain regards, I am or have been closer to some more than others, but I know them all. They can't hide their true selves from me because I have seen who exists beneath all of the barriers that they put between themselves and the outside world. Some of them hide their true identities because they have been hurt in the past by someone or something, and they don't want to risk being hurt again. Others have disguised who they really are because they are trying to escape the truth of their own individuality . For them, lies are easier to handle while they live in their own creations of fantasy. Living with the reality of the truth is just too hard. At all costs, they do anything they can to avoid it. If possible, escape it.

When I think of a person who fits into that later category, one woman comes immediately to mind. Despite the fact that I may not have known her as well as I thought because she did her best to hid her true self from me, I eventually came to know her as well as all the others. Sometimes, it just happens like that. In some aspects, I knew every intimate detail of her life. Her name was Seska.

Once upon a time, I thought I loved her. When I had first met her, she had appeared to be a Bajoran freedom fighter that had joined the Maquis to win freedom for her home planet of Bajor. I had been attracted to her from the first time we met, and that attraction had led to a love affair that I regret to this day. A part of me died when I found out she had been lying to me for years about who she really was. Ironically, it was through lies and deceit of my own making that I found out she had been a Cardassian operative assigned to infiltrate my Maquis cell. But even after she betrayed me and Voyager, to the Kazon Nistrem of all people, I still believe that I knew what was inside her heart.

A long time ago, I thought that she had never felt anything for me, had only slept with me to get information about the Maquis and their activities. Now, I am not so sure. Once she had told me that she had deliberately disobeyed Captain Janeway's orders by negotiating with the Kazons to make allies because she wanted to get us home safely. The cost didn't matter. That was the same day she had told me that, despite the fact she was a Cardassian operative, she had fallen in love with me. I will never forget how I felt when she said. She had told me that although their had been no deviations from her mission, one problem had developed along the way. She had fallen for me. I think about that every now and then. I try and figure out if she was really telling me the truth or just lying. I can never decide upon an answer.

When Seska kidnapped me, and took my DNA to impregnate herself, those thoughts occurred a lot to me. Did she do it solely to have something to blackmail me with, my child? The one thing that she knew I couldn't and wouldn't abandon? And she knew that Kathryn wouldn't let me go after the boy alone. Thus, Voyager fell right into her clutches, as we all fell into her trap. Or, despite everything, did she do it because a small part of her wanted a tangible reminder of the love I thought we once felt for each other? I guess I'll never know for sure. That answer died when Seska perished. When she had yet again betrayed this ship and her crew by hijacking Voyager and abandoning us on a primitive planet, she paid the price for her deceptions. Seska lost her life when she was killed as Voyager was retaken.

It was only later that I came to understand the fact that Seska couldn't help what she did by betraying me. It was a part of her nature. She was a Cardassian; betrayal and deception are inherently a part of the personalities of a majority of the species. She could do nothing to change the way she felt compelled act because of who she was. That would have been like asking her to go against Nature. It just can't be done.

After thinking about Seska, there aren't many thoughts that can cheer me up. She is just a part of such a depressing portion of my life that it takes a lot to raise my spirits. Only one person can really do that. I know her well, and she is so different from Seska. It's unbelievable how dissimilar they are. While Seska valued lies and deceit, she honors truth and loyalty. Oddly, she is probably the most recent individual that I have come to know very well. She has let me into her heart, and for the life of me, I don't know why. To many people, Kathyrn Janeway is a mystery. Not to me, though. Despite the fact that I am getting to know who she truly is, every once in a while another piece of the mosaic that is Kathryn Janeway is revealed to me. She is such an incredible woman.

Even though she is my commanding officer, we are friends, too. We have become even closer friends after what happened about two years ago. We had contracted a disease, from a bug bite, forcing us to remain separated from the crew on a planet we called New Earth. When no cure could be found for whatever had infected us, Kathryn had no choice but to order Voyager to leave us behind. She wasn't willing to sacrifice the ship & crew just for her own personal motives. Thus, we spent weeks isolated from Voyager with no one but ourselves for company. It was that solitude that brought us to a new level in our relationship.

We share such a special bond. With the passing of each day, as that bond grows stronger, we only get closer. Maybe one day it will even become love. I can't say for sure. All I know is that despite all the other relationships that we have had while on Voyager, nothing has changed about how we feel about each other.

Our friendship has survived obstacles such as Kathryn's fiancé, Mark Johnson. All of us on Voyager know that the people back home will eventually have to go on with their lives, even if that means without us. I know that Mark will do that. Although he may always love and care about Kathryn, he will eventually come to believe that she is dead and lost forever. It's only natural given Voyager's current situation. While he will have grieved for her and then moved on with his life, Kathryn remains faithful to him. Until she tries to get past her feelings for him, she'll never be able to have other romantic relationships.

As for me, since Seska, I have always been careful about not letting my heart rule my actions over my head. It has seemed to work over these past two years. Only once have my actions been dominated by my heart. And the strange thing is that one time really didn't count because I had been under the influence of the Borg Collective. Riley Frazier and her effects on me impaired my ability to rationally think. I still regret the actions that I took because of her. Even still, if I hadn't had those experiences with Riley, I don't think I could appreciate my feelings for Kathryn as much as I now do.

I am not sure what will happen between Kathryn and me in the future. All I can do is to hope for the best in what the future will bring.

As I said before, lately I have been living very vicariously. It seems that I have been living through Tom Paris as of late because of what has been happening between him and my closest friend. Those two people are apart of the dilemma that has been plaguing me so much as of late.

Both Tom Paris and B'Elanna Torres are a couple of the most aggravating and frustrating people in the entire universe. And coming from me, that's bad because I know that I have a lot of patience and a high level of tolerance. But, sometimes, Tom and B'Elanna even push me past those very generous limits.

As betrayal & deception were a part of Seska's nature, there are certain personality traits that make Tom and B'Elanna who they are. I have known both of those individuals longer than any other two people now onboard Voyager. I first met Tom when he first came to join the Maquis to escape the jurisdictions of his overbearing father. B'Elanna, I had met even before that. She had come to the Maquis to fight just as Tom had come to fly.

However, the cause of B'Elanna joining the Maquis was similar to Tom's. It was just different in the fact that it had more to deal with her relationship with her mother than her father.

B'Elanna is my best friend; she has been for a long time. I always thought that she would be. When we were in the Maquis, we were always a team. One never did anything without the other. I believe in her so much that I would even feel safe entrusting her with my life, and have done so on more than one occasion because I trust her that much.

I am not sure why B'Elanna and I get along so well. Until now, I never have really stopped to question it until now. I first met B'Elanna about ten years ago. I had just resigned my commission from Starfleet to fight the Cardassians. As a matter a fact, we were both at Starfleet Headquarters in San Franciso when I first saw her. I was there to formally hand in my resignation from Starfleet. She was doing the same with her appointment to the Academy. I didn't talk to her on that occasion. I just remember that being the first time I saw her because of all the commotion that she caused, and needing to have the MP escort her out of the building.

If I remember correctly, security had to escort her out of the building because she had threatened a Starfleet admiral's aide. A commander, I think. She had promised to give him a black eye if he didn't back off. The man had been pressing her to admit verbally the reasons for her leaving the Academy although most everyone already knew. She was the daughter of a high ranking Starfleet officer. Gossip spread fast when one of the Fleet's own didn't make it through the Academy.

I remember she had been the one to make me smile that day. It had been the first occasion I had had a reason to smile about in a long time. Ever since the Cardassians had been causing trouble in the DMZ, I had been a very dismal person to be around. But when I found out that had been the reason why she had been removed from the building, I grinned right then and there. And since I hadn't had something to smile about in a long time, I remembered B'Elanna for the gift that she had given me. It was one of the best gifts that I have ever received.

I wasn't officially introduced to B'Elanna for about another six months. After the Maquis had verified the truthfulness in me joining the Resistance, I was almost immediately put in charge of a Maquis cell as they wanted to take full advantage of my wealth of strategic training and knowledge while in Starfleet, A couple of months later, after having left the Academy, B'Elanna joined the Maquis. She was still dealing with a lot of anger that she had kept hidden deep inside of her ever since her father had abandoned her.

She had been five years old when he left her. The resentment her Klingon mother harbored for B'Elanna didn't help any, either. Her mother treated her very badly, not only because B'Elanna was a living reminder of her husband's abandonment of her, but also because B'Elanna wanted to be more human than Klingon.

B'Elanna's mixed heritage was another source of her anger. Many people rejected and hurt her because they saw her as a 'half-breed'. Not many individuals in B'Elanna's life have stopped to look past who she is on the outside. Not many take the time to see what lies within. I think I may have been one of the first to have done so, and that is why

B'Elanna and I became such good friends. So another irony in both of our lives is that what has been the source of so much pain in her life, leading to her hot temper and violent outlashes, caused me to meet the best friend in my life.

The problem that has been hanging over me recently is that I now seem to have lost that friend. It is also the reason that I have been living vicariously through Tom Paris. The cause for both problems is quite obvious, if you think about it. Yes, because of Tom Paris, I have lost my best friend.

I suppose I should start at the beginning to make the causes of the problem a little clearer. For about four months now, I have observed changes in B'Elanna's attitude and behavior. The first time I noticed it was after both she and Tom returned from a shuttle mission. They had both been attacked and shot by aliens with energy weapons during the mission. And when the ship had been overrun by the macrocosms, those killer viruses that had infected the entire crew, B'Elanna stayed with Tom and vice versa during the entire quarantine of the ship. Warning bells really went off in my head when B'Elanna come to Neelix's luau a few days ago with Tom as an escort. I had been with Kathryn at the time, but still noticed when B'Elanna showed up with Tom. Even though she left him not long after arriving to join Ensign Vorik, I could still see something was going on between them. Whatever it was, it came to a culmination a few days ago.

Gallacite is a material that we require to overhaul the warp coils. It was about three days ago that Voyager came upon a planet that was rich in metal. Since Voyager had not had the warp coils refitted in over three years, we decided to collect some gallacite to do as the opportunity had presented itself. And on occasions when sources of rare supplies are found during Voyager's travels, they are seldom passed up. B'Elanna was in charge of the mission. It was only natural that she be as she is Chief Engineer. Everything seemed to be going fine at the outset of the mission. Then Vorik and his damned condition changed everything. He not only managed to risk the lives of the entire team, but he also drastically changed my life forever in a single day's work. To be honest, until this very moment, I hadn't realized how much.

The away team to find and collect the gallacite had initially consisted of Tom, B'Elanna, Neelix, and Vorik. However, around that time Vorik had decided to seek a mate to cure his condition of pon farr. He selected B'Elanna and was quite open in declaring his intentions. When he declared 'koon-ut so`lik', his desire to become B'Elanna's mate, he placed his hands on her face and initiated a telepathic bonding. B'Elanna's response was to break free. She broke the Vulcan's jaw in the process.

I knew something was wrong the moment that I walked into sickbay. Although B'Elanna had been infected only for a few minutes, I noticed slight changes in her demeanor. I had paid no heed to them at the time. They simply seemed to be a natural reaction; how B'Elanna normally behaved after her she had lost control of her anger and acted upon it. Although they still occurred on a few occasions, ever since B'Elanna broke Joe Carey's nose, her outbursts had become fewer and fewer. They had even diminished more so after the Vidiians assaulted her when they genetically split her into two separate people, one human and one Klingon.

Now that I look back upon that incident, I realize how much B'Elanna had changed just during the time frame of that mission. I had always thought that it had been due to the fact that she finally realized that, without both her human and Klingon sides, there would be no B'Elanna Torres. Each heritage helped to define her and make her who she is.

Without both of the people in side her, the B'Elanna Torres that I have known for so long would cease to exist. It's the fight between the cautious, brilliant Human engineer and the courageous yet unbridled Klingon warrior that created the incredibly unique individual she is. After that mission, I thought she changed because she had realized that and made some peace with herself. But, I now know that was not the primary cause.

The main reason I think B'Elanna changed so much is that, during the time the spent in the Vidiian prison together, she and Tom reached a new level in their relationship. B'Elanna let Tom see who she really is beneath that hard exterior and was rewarded with a new friend. B'Elanna is like most of the ex-Marquis. The majority of us don't make friends easily because of things that have occurred in our pasts that have emotionally hardened us. We wouldn't have been fighting the Cardassians if we weren't strong enough to.

And when B'Elanna let Tom get a little closer, even though it may have been hard for her, it was a big step. Like I said, she has never been good at making friends. However, after the Caretaker brought us all to the Delta Quadrant, B'Elanna made friends a little more easily. That was due, in part, to the bond that she had formed with Harry Kim when they both went through the trauma on the Ocampan Homeworld courtesy of the Caretaker. Also, B'Elanna needed to fine-tune her people skills when she was promoted to Chief Engineer. That forced her to be easier to get along with… she adapted, just like we all had to in those first few days. When B'Elanna let Tom get closer to her, something I don't think that either of them anticipated started to grow. And whatever it was culminated on the Sakari Homeworld.

When B'Elanna sent Vorik to sickbay to have his jaw treated, and the causes for his erratic behavior analyzed, she should have stayed there herself. As I said before, it's only now in hindsight that I realize she had been exhibiting signs of the early stages of pon farr even then. Her uniform had been unusually loosened so that more of her gray turtleneck was exposed. And she kept fanning herself as if trying to keep cool. Her face looked warm and flushed. I was going to ask her if she was okay after I had gotten an update about Vorik from The Doctor. However, before I had a chance to talk to her, she took off from sickbay to leave for the away mission, minus Vorik.

I attributed that breach in protocol to her embarrassment over her popping Vorik in the jaw. I truly wish that I had paid attention then to what I had been seeing in sickbay. Later, I was told by Neelix about the beginning of the mission. B'Elanna had met both Tom and him in the transporter room. She was quite brusque when going over the mission plan. It seemed as if she was in a rush to get the gallacite. And she was deliberately antagonizing to Tom, challenging his expertise in rock climbing, among other things. It continued when Tom and Neelix had stopped to look at some ruins near the coordinates of the place where they had beamed down. Of course, I didn't hear about this until much later. I was still on Voyager at that point. It was a couple of hours later until I became actively involved in the situation on the planet.

I will never forget when Tom called to make his report. I knew something was wrong as soon as he signaled the ship by saying, "Paris to Voyager. We've got problems down here."

I had been reading a status report and not really paying attention to what he was saying when the call came in. Although I was listening, I hadn't really heard what was being said. Beside me, Kathryn was on the bridge. She was just sitting in her chair and watching Voyager's efficient crew go about their tasks. This in itself was unusual as she almost always was never sitting when she was on the bridge. She usually was up, moving around, and doing things.

However, as soon as Tom reported that B'Elanna had deserted the team, my ears perked up. She and Neelix had fallen because his piton had failed while the team had been trying to get to the gallacite. After they had fallen, B'Elanna had just left Tom and Neelix alone and continued on further into the caves.

Tom interrupted my thoughts when he reported, "I haven't been able to contact her. She's either out of communications range or just not responding."

I said nothing as Kathryn responded, "Where is she now?"

Tom answered something, but I don't remember what he said. I was too worried, as to why B'Elanna was acting the strange way she was, to care.

However, I couldn't control my immediate response when Tom made his next statement. Tom had just said to Kathryn, "I tried to stop her from leaving, Captain. But, she got very hostile...and bit me."

I looked up at his last comment and asked in both a stunned and mystified voice, "She bit you?"

Apparently the comm line picked up my question, because Tom responded, hesitant at first as he struggled for words, "And she seemed to be… enjoying it...in a Klingon kind of way. She's really not herself."

If I had paid attention to Kathryn's facial expression or looked behind me at Tuvok's reaction to the news, I might have laughed. It was such an unreal situation that it was almost Kathryn ordered that another away team beam down to find B'Elanna, I wanted to choke Tuvok when he requested a delay. As soon as he left the bridge, I quickly followed suit as soon as Kathryn had ordered me to prepare the necessary personnel and equipment for the mission. I did my best to hide my anxiety and fear for B'Elanna's safety, and I think I was successful in doing so.

At least Kathryn didn't say anything to me about my behavior. All the captain said to me was, "Be careful, Chakotay. Find B'Elanna, and bring everybody back safe."

I replied with a smile, "Yes ma'am."

Kathryn chuckled at the remark. It was the same reply that Tom usually used when he was being playful about her rule of not referring to her as "sir."

For some reason, I had found a need to break the tension that had suddenly manifested itself on the bridge. So I used Tom's joke to lighten the mood. Although it may have helped to alleviate some of Kathryn's stress, I was still as worried as before.

I rushed to the transporter room and found Tuvok there waiting for me. He was the only other member of the away team. We wanted to keep the number of people on a unexplored planet to a minimum. Once I got to the transporter room, I was again shocked by news that Tuvok reported to me. It seemed as if I would continue to be jolted be unexpected news all day. Tuvok told me about his hypothesis as to why B'Elanna was acting strangely. He said it was because she had been infected with the pon farr, or in Klingon terms, the Blood Fever. After I knew the specifics, I was even more in a hurry to find her. I had to locate B'Elanna so I could get the help for her that I knew she so badly needed.

After finding Tom, he gave me a more detailed report on the condition that B'Elanna had been in when she had left the team. I finally decided that, despite how her sexual drive might be influencing her, the engineer in B'Elanna would help force her to complete her mission. I told everyone that we would go after the source of gallacite that the tricorders detected and hope B'Elanna had done the same. We made our way to the readings of the gallacite, and once the away team did find the gallacite, we found B'Elanna, too.

All of us tried to get B'Elanna that she needed to come back to the ship, but she only stayed near Tom. We were in the middle of trying to convince her to come with us when we were interrupted by undetected natives of the planet. We discovered that the planet was populated with a race called the Sakari. They were a race of cave dwellers that hid their existence from a group of invaders that had, many years before, destroyed most of the population. We almost had persuaded them to let us go after we had explained that we were only there to get a supply of gallacite and find B'Elanna. They had seemed to accept that as the truth and were going to let us go. However, that was not what ended up happening. To make a long story short, B'Elanna reacted in quite a hostile manner when one of the natives tried to help her during what they aliens called a "seismic alert." A syruggle ensued. Tuvok and I were separated from Tom and B'Elanna in the chaotic aftermath. The aliens had grabbed us and transported the group to safety minus Tom and B'Elanna. Apparently, they couldn't get to Tom and B'Elanna in time before they transported out. That's why we were isolated from each other.

After talking with the Sakari leader for about an hour, it might have been two, I assured him that we meant his race no harm. I am not exactly positive how I managed it, but I made negotiations with the Sakari leader, Ishan, to find B'Elanna. During that time, I'm not sure what happened to Tom and B'Elanna. The only thing I am positive of is that they were trapped in some of the caves when a rock slide occurred. I don't think I'll ever really know. But, I can say this. Whatever happened during the time we were separated, it was during that something happened between Tom and B'Elanna that changed their relationship forever.

We had been searching for what seemed like hours before we finally found the cave in which Tom and B'Elanna had been sealed.

As soon as I reached Tom, he said, "B'Elanna needs help. We have to get her out of here."

I helped both of them out, although Tom was much more possessive and protective of B'Elanna than I had ever seen him before… And the amazing thing was, she didn't protest his actions at all. Once we had all made it safely to the surface, I left B'Elanna sitting on a rock resting while I went to confer with Tom and Tuvok. I had immediately tried to contact Voyager, but I couldn't raise the ship. For some reason, communications were down. It was only later I found out that Vorik had disabled communications, transporters, and the shuttles in his attempt to claim his 'mate'.

When no response could be received from Voyager, I glanced back at B'Elanna. She looked even worse then she had just moments before. She was rapidly deteriorating before my eyes, and there was nothing I could do to stop it. There didn't seem to be anything that anyone could do as long as we were stuck on that damn planet.

Apparently I was wrong, and I was proven so when I heard Tuvok's next remarks.

That damned stoic Vulcan said, "I am concerned about the rapid progression of her symptoms. You must help her now, Mr. Paris. If she does not resolve the pon farr, she will die."

I glanced up at Tuvok, but don't say a word. I think Tom was amazed as I was when he heard Tuvok's comments. I mean, basically, he is telling Paris that if he doesn't have sex with B'Elanna right now, she is going to die. And if there were one person in Voyager's crew who would be the perfect one to give that order to…. It almost seemed as if Tom was about to say something, but he only shook his head. After a few seconds had passed, he moved away from us and towards B'Elanna.

I didn't want to leave them alone, but Tuvok steered me away from their current position to offer them some privacy. I am not sure if Tuvok knew the inner turmoil that the current situation was causing me. However, he gave me silence and isolation. Both were things that I needed right then. He moved a far enough distance a way and sat down on the ground. He began to stare at a shrub that was producing a type of burgundy flower. It looked like a cross between a long-stemmed rose and an orchid. It would have been beautiful had I been in the frame of mind to appreciate its appearance. However, I had been left with my thoughts, and all I wanted to do was to try to sort them ut.

I sat down on a rock, and I reflected on the events that had just occurred. I even laughed out loud when I realized that Tom had been given the order of his dreams. If he didn't have sex with a woman I knew that he found attractive, she would die. Not only would he be a hero for saving her life, but he would also get the pleasure of sleeping with her. It was such a twisted concept that it was funny. At my unexpected outburst, Tuvok said nothing. He only raised an eyebrow in that annoying Vulcan way of his, and then went back to examining the fauna he had been looking at.

Even though Tom and B'Elanna were but a few meters away, I didn't seem far enough away for me. I was going crazy… absolutely crazy. And what I couldn't understand was why.

Half of me wanted to yell, "Let me save, B'Elanna. I'm the one that cares about her. I should be the one to do what has to be done. Not Tom. It should be me. Not him!"

The other half of me was confused as hell as the image of Kathryn came into my mind. The question was, if I had such strong feelings for Kathryn, maybe even love, then why did I want to be the one to sleep with B'Elanna?

My contorted thoughts were abruptly interrupted at someone's yelling. To sum things up, Vorik had interfered with Tom and B'Elanna's...activities before anything had happened. Some part of me wanted to kiss that Vulcan as relief flooded over me. But that relief was promptly dissipated as soon as Vorik challenged Tom to fight for the right to B'Elanna. That relief twisted even further into a knot of tension when B'Elanna challenged Vorik herself for the right to fight him.

I don't really know why she did that. Maybe it was to get revenge upon him for interrupting her and Tom. Or maybe it was because she was trying to protect Tom from being hurt. All I did know is that she was going to fight Vorik herself, and I couldn't stop her.

Believe me. I tried. But Tuvok said that if Vorik's and B'Elanna's pon farrs were not quickly resolved, they would both die. Thus, I consented to the fight. I had no choice. It was either the fight, Tom, or death for B'Elanna. In my opinion, all three were pretty lousy choices. B'Elanna won the fight after she had knocked the hell out of Vorik. She then collapsed into Tom's arms as soon as she had been declared the victor by Tuvok.

As soon as the fight was over, I jumped into action. I had to get help for B'Elanna, and that meant getting her back to the ship. I immediately thought about how Vorik got to the surface. Since transporters were off-line due to his tampering, that meant he had come in a shuttle. I instantly thought, *Vorik's shuttle!* I scanned for the vessel and found that it was located not far away. Tuvok and Tom helped Vorik and B'Elanna to the craft as I got into the pilot's ship. I think that day was one of the few times in his life that Tom had never raced for the pilot's seat. He was simply too preoccupied with taking care of and worrying about B'Elanna. We hurried back to Voyager and immediately beamed the entire party to sickbay.

The Doctor was more then happy to have so many patients to treat at once. Tuvok and I were released almost immediately. Tom was also discharged as soon as a number of cuts, bruises, and a facial laceration had been treated. He was let out not long after us. However, both Vorik and B'Elanna had to be kept for observation. After Vorik had convinced The Doctor that he had been cured of his pon farr the last time, The Doctor was taking no chances. He had decided he would release them no sooner than after at least five days' time.

All these events occurred about four days ago. Although B'Elanna had been allowed to take her station during our fight with the Borg cube yesterday, The Doctor had insisted that she return for further observation. B'Elanna had only done so after Kathryn and I both ordered her there. Not that I had been in much of a shape to give orders. I was still weak after my experiences with Riley Frazier and her colony. The Doctor had released me as long as I promised to sleep and then come to sickbay for a checkup. I had slept for almost ten hours and then reported to The Doctor as ordered.

Sickbay is where I've just come from. I had gone to The Doctor as soon as I had awakened, which was during the middle of the ship's night. I couldn't sleep after The

Doctor had finished examining me. He had cleared me for duty the next day, and had turned to leave me. However, I wanted to check on B'Elanna's condition, so I asked the EMH about it. The Doctor told me that he would be releasing her in the morning as everything seemed to be fine. He also said that she was a terrible house guest. He then said good night to me, and left. He went into his office, leaving me alone with my thoughts. Although The Doctor had reassured me about B'Elanna's condition, for some reason, I had to see for myself that she was really okay. I went to look at her, and started to walk out of the examination area. I went toward the bio beds where patients resided during their stays in sickbay. The beds were on the other side of the partition from where I was. I was half way to my destination when I stopped in mid-stride.

Somebody was standing over B'Elanna's bed. It was Tom. He was there, just standing and watching B'Elanna's slumbering form. She looked so peaceful in her sleep, and Tom looked contented as well. But, contentment wasn't all that I saw. He didn't know that I was in the room and watching him. It's almost as if he was oblivious to anyone or nything except B'Elanna. That unawareness led to Tom's facial expressions being very unguarded and in plain sight on his face. It was at that moment that I saw how he really felt about B'Elanna. It was in his eyes more than anything else.

I guess everything in life has a different view. It just depends on each individual's perspective. That's how I saw the truth at that moment in time, even though Tom may not have known yet. Or if he did, he hadn't admitted it to himself, let alone B'Elanna. He had fallen hard for her. He was in love with B'Elanna. When I realized that, I knew that I had lost my best friend. Of course, I knew that B'Elanna would still be my friend. She'd be a close one at that. But things wouldn't be the same.

Tom was now going to become B'Elanna's best friend. He would be the one she would turn to for help with a problem or comfort when she was hurt. Of course, it would take

time, but it was only inevitable that the position I had held for such a long time would be given to Tom. I was being replaced in the sense that he would become her closest friend and confidant, maybe even more than that if they were given time. The position I held in B'Elanna life was not one I wanted to relinquish. When you've had something in your life for so long, it becomes a part of you. It won't be an easy thing to give up. But, I don't have a choice.

As I sit here making this log, I'm not sure what will happen between Tom and B'Elanna. That's left to the future and for fate to decide. All I do know for sure is that I want B'Elanna to be happy. And if Tom will make her happy, then who am I to deny her what has eluded B'Elanna her whole life? A lot has happened in the last few days. A lot that will have lasting ramifications as neither the lives of Tom, B'Elanna, or myself will ever be the same again.

End Log Entry.


~The End~