Broken Wings

Disclaimer: Voyager and her crew belong to Paramount. What I choose to do with them is my own.

Warning: This story contains the death of a main character.

Harry Kim was in his quarters practically bouncing off the walls. They were gong home, they'd found the worm hole they had all hopped for and dreamed of all this time. Once they were through it they would still be a month's travel from home, but that didn't matter. A month was a hell of a lot less then sixty-five years. He'd get to see his family, his friends, and Libby. Part of him couldn't help but hope that she'd waited for him. But another part couldn't bare the thought of her being alone for all that time.

He sat down, then jumped up again and headed for the door. He just couldn't sit still. Tom would find something for them to do. Maybe they could go join the party in Sandrine's or one of the ones in the mess hall, observation lounge, and assorted other places around the ship.

Moments later he walked in to Tom's quarters. "Tom?" He called knowing his friend was here since he'd asked the computer. No sign of him maybe in the excitement Tom had just forgotten his com badge. He was just turning to leave when something caught his eye. A dark stain on the floor just barely visible through the bed room door. Harry moved a step closer, then seeing the pale hand in the middle of the stain he bolted across the room. But the sight that greeted him stopped Harry in his tracks before he got there.

His best friend was sprawled on the floor the dark stain now easily identifiable as blood. It took a moment to get past the shock then Harry was on his knees beside his friend, a shaking hand frantically searching for a pulse in Tom throat. He was horrified by the coolness of the other man's skin. Tom couldn't be dead not now, not when they were so close to home.

But he was.

Harry raised a shaking hand to his com badge. "Kim to sickbay." He never could remember exactly what he said to the doctor. He vaguely remembered Tom's body disappearing in the shimmer of the transporter beam. All he knew was it had been nearly an hour between then and his next clear memories. Those were almost as bad. He'd still been kneeling on the floor hand covered in blood. Tom's blood. The Captain kneeling beside him gently urging him to stand. "Captain." He'd rasped his voice rough from crying, though he didn't remember the tears.

"It's all right Harry." She'd said softly steadying him as he'd stumbled to his feet. "Let's get you back to your quarters and cleaned up." She'd continued in that same soothing voice, and she'd wrapped an arm around him and lead him back to his quarters.

Nearly an hour later Janeway had left Harry's quarters, the Ensign sleeping soundly with the help of a sedative. She'd put him on a suicide watch and the doctor was monitoring him. She didn't want to lose him not now. Walking back down the corridor she entered Tom's quarters again. Glancing around she found what she was hopping for on the desk. A neatly folded note addressed in Tom's hand writing 'Captain Janeway' and a small pile of disks.

I had to Captain. I just couldn't go back. I'm sorry.


And that was it save for a tiny PS asking her to distribute the disks to who they were addressed to. A quick look revealed they were for her, Chakotay, B'Elanna, two for Harry, and a general one for the rest of the crew.

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Tom's suicide threw the whole ship in to turmoil. Emotions were running high, there where a few fights. Janeway delayed the journey through the worm hole. Tom's memorial service was held. They all watched as the capsule carrying his body was launched in to space. Tom had wanted this way not willing to leave the one place he'd finally made something of himself. He'd said as much in his message to the Captain. As she watched the capsule floating in space in the recording she thought about that massage.

Tom had been sitting cross legged on the ground on the ground next to the hole he'd been digging the day she'd come to talk to him at Auckland. This time in his uniform instead of prison gray.

"Well I certainly have come a long way since you pulled me out of here haven't I Captain." He began with soft smile nothing like his trademark smirks. "I'm sorry things had to be this way. But I jut couldn't face coming back to this place, where no one trusts me, where my father visits me and gives me that look that says 'I love you, but you really screwed up this time.' I don't want to be buried at home. No one there knows what I've become, leave me here in the Delta quadrant. But there's a wooden box in my closest Captain. It's for my father to bury it's all I really am. You're welcome to look through it and add anything you feel should be there." He paused here then continued in a tight voice as though he were close to tears. "Thank you for giving me this chance Captain. It's nice to know someone trusts me."

She had looked through the box. It had taken her a week to decided if it was right then finally she'd gone and found the box. She'd sat on his bed and carefully opened the lid of the fine wooden box. Inside she'd found mementos from many of the planets they been to, a pad with his field commission and a list of all his commendations, a disk labelled Sandrine's, a few carefully written out poems, and a piece of Harry's sheet music.

She'd replaced everything in the box and headed for Chakotay's quarters, to ask him if he could set Tom's insignia and pips in the lid.

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Each of the other crew members who'd received disks reacted in different ways.

B'Elanna stonily ignored her disk shoving it to the back of her sock drawer. And refused to discuss Tom's death with anyone. Everyone said she was in denial, but the Captain never once urged her to talk or get help.

Chakotay had been more than a little surprised when the Captain had handed him the message disk from Tom. And he had to admit as he hesitated before starting the program that he had the tiniest worry that it was just one final practical joke.

But it wasn't Tom appeared at the conn in uniform looking very much a proper Starfleet officer.

"Well Chakotay, here we are. I'm gone, so you're safe from practical jokes." Tom grinned. "Okay you're probably sitting there say can't he even be serious now. Here you go the only time you'll ever see me totally serious. I know you didn't really like me all that much, Chakotay and at the very least you resented owing me your life. So I've decided to believe you. Wrong tribe. And if you still feel you owe me something. Just get this ship home. She's a Lady who deserves the honor, look after her for me. And look after Harry I know he'll take this hard I almost stayed for him..." In that final moment before the recording ceased Chakotay could read Tom's face no masks just an open book.

It took Harry a week before was past the shock of finding his best friend dead and ready to watch the message Tom had left him.

Went to the holodeck in the middle of first shift knowing he'd encounter fewer people then. Of course he could have gone anytime since he was no longer on active duty. Janeway had invited him to the bridge just to watch when they passed throughout the worm-hole, trying to raise his spirits he supposed. But he'd turned her down and stayed locked in his quarters instead. Now he was in the holodeck. "Computer run program." He said shakily.

Around him the gridded walls disappeared and were replaced by Sandrine's. And there was Tom looking just the same as he always had. "Hey Harry." He grinned then the grin faded. "I'm sorry Harry, I know you're probably the one who found me. It can't have be pleasant. But I had to do it, you understand I know you do or you will. I couldn't go back there... Out in the delta quadrant I was a real person again a Fleet officer not a court marshaled screw up convicted of treason.

Harry every thing I've got is yours, the stuff I've picked up out in the far reaches of the galaxy, it's probably worth a fortune. Any back pay I've got coming for services rendered, but I wouldn't count on that Harry you know how the Fleet feel about me. And most importantly this program Harry. Take it with you where ever you go. It makes people happy. At least I have that to offer. Good Bye Harry." And then Tom disappeared.

Harry dropped to his knees and cried some more. He'd thought after the last week he'd have cried himself out. But here were more tears.

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In the month it took to get home to earth Harry cried many more times. The first day they could see earth on the screens, the beautiful planet was plastered on every monitor on the ship. Harry turned his off. The first thought he had upon seeing in was the blue of it oceans, was just the color of Tom's eyes.

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