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I am become hollow - a ST: Voyager fic

Fandom: Star Trek: Voyager
Title: I am become hollow
Summary: Immediately after returning from the honeymoon, the Paris curse takes effect.
Characters/Pairings: Paris/Kim, Paris/Torres
Genre: slash, het, angst, episode-based
Rating/Warnings: NC-17, extreme angst, language, violence, hurt/comfort, graphic description of m/m intimacy, shameless melodrama, mush, mild non-con elements, and heavy spoilers for Repression
Prompt/Contest: none, beta'd by militantstemmed
Word Count: 19,051
Author's Note: The idea for this story came from watching Tom and B'Elanna get married at the beginning of season seven. I immediately mourned the loss of future episode-based slash, then decided that sounded like a challenge, so I set one in the next episode. This takes place entirely during Repression and keeps the marriage intact.


At last, everything is perfect. I’m sitting in a perfect vintage theater, about to watch one of my favorite movies, ‘Revenge of the Creature’, with 3D glasses for the first time. The popcorn is perfect, still hot, and literally drowning in butter. And most importantly, I have the love of my life sitting next to me. The most beautiful woman in the world, and now my wife.

All through the honeymoon, I was holding my breath. Waiting for the new Flyer’s hull to breach. For the Borg to show up and reassimilate B’Elanna. Or the replicators to go offline so we have to eat emergency rations. For some random alien I’ve never met to show up and throw me in prison. Again. Anything to fulfill that damned Paris luck.

But somehow, it didn’t happen. Just an entire week of uneventful, blissful peace with B’Elanna. Wild sex, as only Klingons know how, deep conversations, and renewed love. After almost losing her because I didn’t show her how important she is to me, we’ve finally managed to get it together. No hostile aliens, spatial anomalies, or strange viruses. Maybe my luck has finally changed.

Sure, Voyager will have all the regular crises, we’ll meet up with just as many hostile life forms, but we’ll get through it somehow, just like we always do. None of that matters to me now. I finally have a shot at happiness, and I’ll be damned if I’m gonna lose it. Starting with this holodeck date, I’ll make B’Elanna feel so loved that she’ll never be able to forget how much I love her again. That’s the only thing that really matters. As long as she loves me, I can make it through whatever else fate tries to fuck me with.

I ignore the popcorn to stretch my arm around her. “Crick in your neck?” Her dry sarcasm shows that she’s still finding this new romantic me a little hard to swallow. But I’ll make all of that up to her. Make sure she never doubts me again.

“People didn’t go to the movies just for the movies, you know.” I lean over to show her what I mean, kissing her as lovingly as I know how. Long and slow, and to my relief I feel her responding just as tenderly. I pull her closer, eager to feel her small frame tight against mine. The creature roars on screen, and we both jump, breaking the kiss just as I begin to feel the armrest dig into my side. An old fashioned make out session. The reason these old theaters were so great.

B’Elanna makes a laughing comment about it, and a lady turns around to hush her. I can tell she’s a little annoyed by the realism of the program. She would prefer less authenticity and more privacy, I guess, and I can certainly comply. Anything to make her happy. “Computer, delete audience.” The reason holodeck simulations of them are even better. The audience shimmers into nothing, leaving us alone. But there’s still one figure visible in the front row.

I’m tempted to ignore it, but I can feel that little tingle again. The one that says everything’s about to go to hell. And I have to find out, even though I know there’s not a damn thing I can do about it. I get up to check, hoping it’s a computer glitch. Something insignificant and easy to fix. But B’Elanna recognizes Ensign Tabor, and I can feel the hairs rising on the back of my neck. I walk to the front of the theater, B’Elanna a few steps behind, almost afraid of what I might find. He’s going to be dead or taken over by aliens or something. I just know it. And in the middle of my perfect date, my second chance.

Once I get there, I come to a full stop a few steps away. Just can’t bring myself to touch him, to find out what’s happened to him. “You okay?” I ask, to cover my hesitation. But I know he’s not. Couldn’t be. He’d tested the program for me, made sure it was running, and something bad has happened to him because of it. Unwilling to bear the suspense any longer, I reach out to touch him.

He’s warm to my touch, at least. So not dead, and that much surprises me. But clearly not responding. I shake his shoulder a little, hoping maybe I can wake him, jar him out of whatever disaster has transpired. But his head just falls senselessly back, his mouth gaping open. I look up at B’Elanna but don’t know what to say. The Paris curse strikes again.



“When was the last time you spoke with Mr. Tabor?”

Tuvok stares at me, dispassionately of course, but I swear I feel an accusation behind his eyes. He’d never condemn me without proof, but he also won’t discount me as a possibility just because I’m Voyager’s best pilot. Everyone is a suspect until logically eliminated. And although I don’t know what, or who, caused Tabor’s coma, I feel responsible.

“About ten, fifteen minutes before B'Elanna and I got here.” I suddenly realize that I was probably the last one to speak to him. I cross my arms across my chest defensively. Realizing how guilty this makes me look, I am tempted to bring them down to my sides again. But that would only call attention to the movement. “He called to say the program was up and running.” I asked him to do me a favor and help fine tune the theater program. And as thanks, I infected him with my damned luck. Somehow caused whatever happened to him, no matter how indirectly.

I can feel Tuvok’s eyes calmly boring into me. No accusation, just a calmly logical evaluation of my probable involvement. I meet his gaze, trying to convey a confidence I don’t feel. Not that I’m worried of being accused of anything. Tuvok would never conclude his investigation until he had all the facts. I learned that when I was accused of murdering the Benian. But I don’t want my own feelings of responsibility to distract him from finding the real explanation quickly.

“Funny.” B'Elanna’s quiet voice draws Tuvok’s attention and saves me from his penetrating gaze. “When we were in the Maquis together, we used to joke that Tabor must have had his own personal force field.” If he has a force field, I guess I have a target lock. He just got too close and caught the crossfire.

“He’s still alive. Perhaps his force field is holding.” Tuvok tries to encourage B'Elanna, in his own understated, rational way, and I feel guilty at that too. I knew that B'Elanna was close to Tabor in her Maquis days, and I’m so busy doomsdaying that I never even thought to say something to her. Married, what, a week now? And Tuvok’s the one offering support to my wife?

Harry comes in to report his findings, or lack thereof, from the sensor log analysis, and I realize Tuvok’s right. Tabor’s alive. And although I can’t undo the events of the last hour, I can do my best to figure out what happened to him. And protect the rest of the ship from it.

Continue to Chapter Two

Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
aryas_zehral
Jan. 2nd, 2009 06:51 am (UTC)
I've read to the end and I really liked this story. Although Tom sounds like he needs a heap of councilling. *smile*
et_tu_lj
Jan. 9th, 2009 08:25 am (UTC)
lol. I'll take that as a compliment. F'd up characters are always interesting to write. Thank you!
aryas_zehral
Jan. 9th, 2009 03:28 pm (UTC)
It was a compliment. *grin* Characters with no problems are rarely fun to read. :)
et_tu_lj
Jan. 9th, 2009 08:32 am (UTC)
Wait... You're a fellow Ravenclaw from hih, and you discover me through my Voyager fics? That's just too odd. Are you active at hih right now? I am now, but I've been mostly gone for the last two months. I look forward to seeing you around, now that I'm back.
aryas_zehral
Jan. 9th, 2009 03:27 pm (UTC)
I haven't been there in ages. Sorry.
et_tu_lj
Jan. 16th, 2009 09:32 am (UTC)
That's cool. I just recognize your username/icon from somewhere and I was trying to figure out where. We have enough interests in common that it could be anywhere, though. Regardless, thanks for dropping by. =D
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )