Catch Me


"Catch Me"
Author: Gwen Slaughter
Rating: R, to be safe

Synopsis: the evening after "Revulsion", and what
may have followed

Disclaimer: Tom, B'Elanna and all of Voyager belong
to Paramount and Star Trek, I am just borrowing them
to have a little fun.

Notes and acknowledgements: there are still a few
notes at the end of the story, but it would spoil
things to put them here, however feel free to read
first if you want to. I rated this R to be safe, as
I was originally writing it NC 17, then realized I
neither the talent nor the experience to make it
real so... In some opinions it doesn't even rate an
R. Thanks to my many friends who proofed this for me,
especially to Lori who said "don't put that in, I
just don't like that" :).

Catch Me

It was late, deep into ship's night and Gamma
shift, but one person on board wasn't working or
sleeping. Tom Paris lay in bed staring unseeing at
the ceiling. He sighed, as he turned and regarded the
other occupant of the bed, one B'Elanna Torres, who
curled up asleep. He thought she looked almost like a
child the way she buried her head into the pillow and
curled one of her fists up next to her head. It had
been a harrowing few days for both of them to say the

When she had told him she loved him 3 days ago,
the stunned disbelief had been palpable. Not quite
knowing what to say in the gravity of the moment, and
using a joke to cover as was his custom, all he could
do was pull her close (as close as possible in
environmental suits) and hold on for dear life. The
fact that they were dying lent an ironic quality to
the whole situation. That fact more than anything had
been what had kept him away from her those 3 days, the
belief that she had said it out of a dying need rather
than true feelings. Even now, he still couldn't quite
fathom that she actually loved him - Tom Paris, pilot,
womanizing pig - he could hardly see what there was to
love about him. Though God knows he did love her.
Her half-Klingon beauty, coffee colored skin and eyes
and strength that spoke of her heritage but belied her
small stature. Her forehead ridges, which he knows is
a part of herself that she detests; that feature to
him gives her an exotic look. He knew she would not
be the stunning beauty that she is without them.
Getting her to believe it, however, is another matter
entirely. But what he loved about her went far beyond
her appearance. As quick a mind as a temper, a lot of
times frightening to others, to him simply made her
more appealing. In fact at times he had piqued her
temper just to revel in it and increase his desire for
her. But hiding beneath all that is an inner
vulnerability, a child of sorts crying out for
attention, to be needed, wanted and protected, even
though physically she may not need such protection.
Most of this stemmed from a childhood that he could
easily relate to and empathize with, if not understand
completely. All of this and more is what had been
running through his mind over the past few days since
she had confessed her love to him and again since he
had forced her to reaffirm it that day. That had also
taken Tom quite by surprise. He had been attempting
and somewhat willing to give her an easy way out of
her confession, expecting her to take it as she had
after Sakari. But she had surprised him by standing
by it, before again retreating with the reasoning that
he needn't reciprocate. This time, however, he wasn't
allowing it.

Then only a few hours later she had almost died
again. Add to that he knew she hasn't slept much over
the past few days; he was surprised slightly when she
had invited him here tonight. That much strain in so
short a time would be too much for anyone. Looking
back on it, it really wasn't surprising their night
had turned out as it did...

She answered the door with a kiss. That more
than anything told Tom how this night was going to go.
But as she dragged him in and devoured his mouth,
pushing him up hard against the bulkhead, he got the
distinct impression that something was off somehow.
Not to say the kiss, and by extension B'Elanna
herself, was not amazing. But there was a distinct
desperation to it; almost as if she were using it as a
tool to hold on to something she couldn't quite
believe was real. Not that he couldn't completely
understand the feeling.

He found it hard to focus however as B'Elanna
tore his shirt down his arms in her apparent haste to
get to him and started trailing kisses down his face
his neck and back up again. In retaliation he
attempted to slow things down he pulled her closer and
slowly slid her shirt off her shoulders and slid his
thumbs down along the straps of her bra to lightly
caress her breasts before moving back up to slowly
trace each of her forehead ridges with a finger before
following the motion with his mouth. He felt more
than heard her moan into the base of his neck as she
placed kisses and light nips to his shoulder blade and

"There you go again when you
Rub up against my skin
I have to catch my breath
I began to sweat, oh
Lips tracin' down my neck and
it's scarin' me to death..."

For her part, B'Elanna was lost in sensation.
She had had no real expectations or plan when she had
asked Tom to meet her here. But the look in his eyes
when she answered the door took her breath away and
she found she simply couldn't wait. She had been
agonizing, thinking and rethinking for three days and
she was tired of it. She simply wanted to hold him
and have him hold her, though the situation still
seemed almost like a dream. A dream she hoped that
she wouldn't wake up from. She reveled in his kiss as
he explored her mouth with his tongue and quivered
from the touch of his skin on hers. She moaned and
began to lose all thought as he caressed her and began
to kiss his way down the ridges of her forehead. She
began to bite slightly harder into his neck and felt
him pull her closer, as if to encourage her Klingon
side out to play. As he did this however, she felt
herself tremble as she began to lose complete control.
Feeling suddenly terrified at the fall she was
starting to feel, she pulled away. Breathing hard,
B'Elanna slowly stepped back from Tom and sat curled
protectively on the couch.

"We..I... slow down, we can't do this right now," she
said in a trembling voice, not trusting herself to
look up into Tom's eyes lest she lose herself again.
"Okay," Tom stated slowly, though his breathing and
obvious arousal belied his casual comment.

At that, B'Elanna looked up, eyes flashing with sudden
anger. "Okay, just okay?!?! That's all you have to
say to me?!" Then taking a deep breath and glancing
at Tom to see the total confusion in his eyes, she
sighed deeply and looked away.

"Sorry," B'Elanna said softly, not looking at him.
"It's okay," Tom said insistently, then paused, still
trying to catch his breath, slow his heart; "want to
tell me what's going on?"

B'Elanna sighed again; "I don't know, it's just..."
In a sudden burst of energy she jumped up and started
pacing the room.
"I've never been in love before, Tom!" she exclaimed.
She spun and looked right at him. "I mean..." she
laughed harshly. "I've had sex but..."
Her voice dropped to a near whisper and Tom had to
strain to hear her. "I'm not sure how to feel really
and it's intense I..." she broke off suddenly and
retreated refusing to look at him.
"Freefall," Tom said quietly.
B'Elanna's head snapped up and she noticed Tom was
watching her intently.
"What?" she asked.

He looked at her for a moment more as if contemplating
and then continued. "It's like freefall. That loss
of control, putting faith in some outside force to
catch you, never sure of what'll happen." He paused
here, leaning back against the bulkhead watching her.
"Kind of scary isn't it?" he asked gently.

As if her strength had suddenly left her, B'Elanna
went and sat on the corner of the couch again facing
outwards, away from Tom, staring at the stars.
"Yeah," she said, her voice barely above a whisper.

Tom studied at her closely for a long moment before
speaking again. Her shoulders tensed as if poised to
jump at any given moment. Yet he clearly saw the

"It does take something of a leap of faith," he said
quietly before moving towards her. When he was just
behind her he stopped and said in a near whisper, "But
I'll make you a deal."
B'Elanna flinched at his sudden closeness but
otherwise didn't react. He sat down slowly, beside
and behind her and continued.
"I'll be there to catch you," he said intently, "if
you catch me too." He placed his hands on her
shoulders and slid them slowly down her arms, reaching
to take her hands in his. He laced their fingers
together and drew their arms up around her in a light
embrace, pulling her back against him.
"Because, B'Elanna," he said in a whisper at her ear,
"I am just as scared."
He paused slightly as she shivered and leaned into him
"And," Tom continued, just as in love."
B'Elanna felt herself begin to tremble as he put his
arms tighter around her, not expecting the effect his
words, especially the last, would have on her. She
had to bite her lip hard to keep from crying,
something she hadn't done in years. She couldn't
quite stop the harsh sigh though as Tom pulled her
closer to him, cradling her to his chest in an effort
to ease her tension.

Tom kissed her cheek and rested his head on her
shoulder as he whispered gently, "Sometimes it's
important to be able to just let go."
At that, all her hard fought control was lost as a
choked sob escaped her and she pulled Tom's arms
tighter around her and buried her face in his
shoulder, curling up like a child.

Tom simply held her, rocking them slowly back and
forth as he whispered soothing words to her. The
emotional toll of wrestling with her feelings on top
of almost dying twice in 3 days had simply become too
much for B'Elanna to bear. She clung to him for a
good twenty minutes. Pretty soon she began to drift
off in Tom's safe embrace.

"It's getting late, and you really need sleep," Tom
said softly as he rubbed his hand down her hair, then
down her shoulder in a soothing motion. "I should
B'Elanna pulled him closer at that. "No," she said
shakily, her voice barely audible, "I need you to
Tom smiled softly. "Okay," he said, "but let's at
least get you to bed, okay?"
B'Elanna nodded and stood up, pulling Tom with her.
"Thank you." She whispered, still embarrassed by her
"Anytime," he said with conviction forcing her to meet
his eyes.
B'Elanna smiled slightly and walked to the bathroom.

"I wanna be strong
But I don't want to be alone tonight
I wanna believe that I can save the world
And make it right....
Right here in your arms
Is the safest place, the safest place."


Tom smiled suddenly. He looked down at the woman
lying in his arms, over at her table where dishes from
the dinner they never got to still lay, and out at the
stars. He could wait, Lord knows he had waited this
long already and he knew that she was worth any...

A very awake B'Elanna rolling on top of him and gazing
at him with a determined yet wanting, serious and
gentle _expression pulled him from his thoughts quite

"Tom?" she whispered softly.

"Yeah," he responded, unable to control in any way the
effect her body positioning was having on him.
B'Elanna leaned in closer to his mouth, their breath
virtually mingling, and whispered,
"Catch me?" she smiled, still determined but looking
slightly unsure of his answer.
"If you catch me." He responded, his smile matching
Her response was a kiss; slow, long, deep, and very
satisfying; though Tom knew, with certainty, he would
always want more.
They caught each other and, at least for one night,
neither was afraid of the fall.


"Damn, I hate the way you know me and
Damn, you kill me when you hold me
Like I'm your world, like this won't hurt
Like a favorite curse hittin' every nerve
Damn I'm fightin' and I'm losin' and
Damn you, you're pullin' and I'm pushin'
I'm wrestling with, I toss and twist
Till finally I give in, Damn."

B'Elanna Torres' personal log:

"I guess I just never realized how it would be. To
let go like that, I mean. Be totally real with another
person... *sigh* I'm not explaining myself too well
here. It's just, the loss of control, I guess, to
really let someone in. I've always been too afraid of
getting hurt. I guess that's something huh? *laugh*
Admitting being afraid I mean. And I am still, a
little. But for the first time in a really long time
I truly felt safe. It's a heady feeling. I let Tom
in last night, he saw the real me, Klingon fire and
everything else and he's still here... *small laugh*
well not physically of course, I could never say this
if he was. But despite all he has said and been
saying, I still wondered if... well that doesn't
really matter now. Because it didn't happen. *sigh*
Not that that is any guarantee for the future, Lord
knows we'll still fight like crazy *snort* But it's a
wonderful beginning isn't it?...

End personal log

And The End

Song Credits...

"The Safest Place" by Desmond Child, sung by Leann
Rimes, copyright 2002 WB Music Corp

"Damn" by Dennis Matosky, sung by Leann Rimes,
copyright 2002 WB Music Corp.

Author notes and ruminations:

I wrote this story for many reasons. First I don't
believe that anyone could go through the type of
stress that B'Elanna did and not still have some
lingering doubts and considerations. Some may dispute
that and it is after all only my opinion. I also
think that it is unlikely that Tom didn't say "I love
you" at all or even immediately, after all B'Elanna
herself only said it once on camera.

Thanks for seeing this through to the end w/ me. :)