Rescue (Matter of Perspective)


Author: Gwen Slaughter
Rating: PG (a little language)
Codes: P (P/T)

Disclaimer: Tom, B'Elanna and all of Voyager belong to
Paramount and Star Trek. I am simply borrowing them
for fun not profit.

Authors notes: this "moment in time" focuses during
and after "Extreme Risk" from Tom's point of view.
This was written in just over an hour so be kind and
don't expect too much. :) As happens this story led
itself to its own conclusion. All within is of course
my opinion only and if it comes close to anything
anyone else has written it was never my intention
though I do humbly apoligize. :) (so it's late at
night – hee,hee) This one is dedicated to my friend
Lori, and she should know why by now.
As always – feedback is CRAVED. :)

"Rescue (matter of perspectives)"

The first time I saw her I rescued her, inadvertent
though it was. On the Ocampan home world my priority
was Harry, my only friend at the time. But there was
something about B'Elanna Torres from the instant I saw
her. As weak with disease as she was then, somehow I
still knew she could rip me apart without even trying.
Physically that was. Emotionally – she looked lost;
something beyond the simple fact of being stuck on a
strange planet in the middle of a strange quadrant.
And I knew the instant our eyes met, though it was
only a moment, I wanted to go on rescuing her for the
rest of my life.

The first time I MET her, she laughed at my lack of
intellect and then called me a pig to my face. Not
that she didn't have every right to call me that; back
then I was. But being that and not being overly fond
of her myself I did the only thing I could. I fought
back. I could tell that that surprised her – she
hadn't been expecting a challenge. But then neither
had I.

Back in those days, I was determined to be the hero.
I had to prove to Captain Janeway that her rescuing me
was worth it. B'Elanna was an easy mark for rescuing.
She seemed to be in danger as much as I was in to
heroics. I know now though, that she was simply
trying to prove herself as well.

What changed everything for both of us were the
Vidians. Never had either of us been so vulnerable in
every way. She gained what she always craved, while
losing a part of herself as well. It is this part she
foolishly believes is what makes her strong. And me,
losing one under my direct command and forced to deal
with the feelings I had begun to develop for a woman
who was fighting for her very soul. Despite it all, I
will always be grateful it was me who was there with
her. I think it allowed both of us to let go of the
masks and see inside each other – and ourselves. Even
if it was just for a while.

After that – we were friends. I still tried to rescue
her though: from Dreadnought, from a hologram hooked
on a Vulcan, from Vorik, from myself in the Sakari
caves, from frostbite, and ultimately – from herself.

So what was so different about this time? All this
runs through my head as I stand watching her lying
here in sickbay. The sedative the Doc gave her is
keeping her asleep. I watch her sleep for a moment
brushing her hair back from her forehead. She looks
so peaceful right now. Too bad that is not her
reality at the moment.

Everyone thinks that I was totally oblivious to the
whole situation. Only I wasn't – not really. I knew
something was wrong; only this time I couldn’t figure
out a way to save her. I never knew that it had
gotten so bad though. When the Doc called me to
sickbay and Chakotay and I discovered the programs she
had been running… I have never been so scared in all
my life. I almost lost her – for good this time.
Damn, how could I have not seen what she was going
through. I knew that she had been upset after the
destruction of the Hirogen relay network, but hell we
all were. We just dealt with it in different ways.
The Captain hid out in her quarters. Even Harry has
been acting strangely, more rebellious somehow. And
me, well, I almost gave it all up in an instant;
hiding out, pushing everyone away, including the one
who mattered most. As terrible as the entire
experience was I can almost be grateful to Steth for
that. He managed to show me exactly what I stood to
lose if I continued down the path toward what I
thought I wanted. But B'Elanna – sure I knew that she
was upset and a little withdrawn but she just seemed
to bounce back quicker. Of course this was my mistake
– I had forgotten somewhere along the line just how
good she is at appearing strong when she is anything
but inside.

During my whole reclusion period and just after she
put so much of her effort into "us" that… I guess in
some way she felt she had to be strong for me, for the
ship – to save us. What she didn't and doesn't
realize is that she already saved me a long time ago.
She saved me when she told me she loved me.

As I glance down at her again, I notice that she is
starting to stir. I lean down to gently place a kiss
on her cheek and then I leave slowly. As much as I
want to be here when she wakes up, we have decided
that Chakotay be the one to confront her. It can't be
me to rescue her this time.


That mission and her confrontation with Chakotay
jump-started something in her. We talked for a long
time after that about what had happened and where "we"
were going. But there were still some things we never

I told her that I wished I had been able to do more.
She told me that it was enough that I was still there.
I never truly gave up; I never let go. She told me
that with total conviction. And I know that she means
it, though it makes me feel guilty in some way that
she was trying to comfort ME. I guess that deep down
I still want to be the one that rescues her. I know
that I always will.