Curiosity Killed the Cat

Disclaimer: Voyager and her crew belong to Paramount. What I choose to do with them is my own. This story is PG-13 for adult themes.

Part One

Tom Paris sat in Sandrine’s staring in to his drink, ignoring everything around him.

He jumped slightly as B’lanna sat down beside him. “Why so glum Paris?” She asked.

“I’m not glum B’lanna.” He said hoping she’d get the hint and leave him alone.

“Paris you’re never this quite.” She persisted. “What’s up?”

“What is there a law now that says Tom Paris must be loud and obnoxious. I can...” Tom had been about to say more but he broke off as the holo-deck doors opened admitting Harry Kim.

“Paris, hello Tom you in there.” B’lanna said waving a hand in front of his face.

“Huh?”

“You can what? Tom” She prompted.

“Never mind B’lanna. I’ll see you later, I’ve got stuff to do.” Tom said practically bolting out of the holo-deck.

She stared after him for several moments until Harry joined her. “What’s with Paris?” Shed asked as a greeting. “Is acting weird.”

“What?” Harry asked sitting down.

“Paris. He’s been acting weird.”

“I hadn’t noticed, I hardly see him these days.” Harry sighed.

“Like I said he’s acting weird.”

“Yeah I guess that’s a bit odd.”

“You should ask him?”

“Why me? Why don’t you ask him.”

“He’s your friend.”

“He’s yours too.” Harry pointed out.

“Like he’d talk to me.” B’lanna scoffed.

“He might.”

“Harry.” She growled.

“Okay I’ll ask him.” Harry said taking a swallow of his drink.

“Wellll.”

“Now? B’lanna I just got here.” He complained. B’lanna glared at him. “Okay, okay, I’m going.” He said gulping down the rest of his drink, and getting to his feet.

*****************************************************************************

Tom was sprawled on his couch when Harry walked in. Tom stifled a groan, he wasn’t sure he could handle this right now.

“Tom B’lanna has ordered me to find out why you’re acting weird.” He said dropping in to the chair across from the couch.

“I’m not acting weird, I already told her that.” Tom said staring at the ceiling.

“Well you aren’t acting normal either.” Harry countered. “Come on Tom if you don’t give me an answer I’m going to end up on the bottom of the warp core.”

“You don’t want to know Harry.” Tom sighed heavily. “And besides the bottom of the warp core isn’t that bad.” He added in a shadow of his usual sense of humor.

“Tom.” Harry groaned. “And I do want to know.”

Tom finally turned and looked at him. _God. how do you tell your best friend you’ve fallen in love with him_ He thought sadly. “No you don’t Harry, didn’t anyone ever tell you curiosity killed the cat.”

“Yes, but I’m not a cat. Now tell me, I can help you with it whatever it is.”

“No you can’t.” Tom snarled. “Now get out.”

“Not until you talk to me.” Harry said stubbornly.

“Fine you want to know.” Tom said sitting up his control snapping. Harry nodded. “I love you , I want you.”

Harry jumped to his feet back in away. “No, you’re just trying to scare me off.” He said backing away shaking his head.

Then suddenly Tom was on his feet. Grabbing Harry by the shoulders he kissed his friend. Harry froze for a moment in shock. Then he gathered his senses and raised his arms pushing Tom away with all his strength.

Tom stumbled back a few steps. “Now you know.” He said sadly.

Harry didn’t say anything he just walked out of the quarters.

Tom watched as he left. Damn. He’d done it again fallen in love with someone he couldn’t have, but this time he’d lost his best friend in the process. From the expression on Harry’s face just then he was pretty sure his friend would never speak to him again.

*****************************************************************************

Then next morning Harry was eating what passed for breakfast on Voyager these days when B’lanna sat down across from him.

“So, did you find anything out last night?” She asked.

“No.” He said stonily. There wasn’t a chance he was going to tell her what had happened in Tom’s quarters the night before.

“Nothing?” She asked incredulously. “You must have got something out of him.”

“Nothing, I pestered him for awhile, then he ordered me out of his quarters.” Harry told her, it was true after all, he just hadn’t left then. “He doesn’t want to talk about it. Just leave him alone B’lanna.”

B’lanna sat back. If she wasn’t mistaken, Harry had just given her an order. She’d never thought he had it in him to stand up to her. If he had found something out it must be big. Well it’d come out soon enough, things involving Tom usually did. She could wait... for awhile.


Part two

B’lanna waited very patiently for two weeks before she seriously settled down to try and figure out what was going on. She’d asked Harry again. He’d flatly refused to talk to Tom again. She’d asked Tom, he’d told her to leave him alone. A statement Harry had reinforced telling her again to leave Tom alone. She’d finally given up deciding that any thing that was big enough to break up Tom and Harry’s friendship was probably too big for her to meddle in. All she knew for sure was that except for when they were on duty, she hadn’t seen Tom in two weeks. He didn’t eat in the mess hall, didn’t go to Sandrine’s or the resort any more. And to top it all off now Harry was starting to act weird too.

*****************************************************************************

It was late, and Tom knew he should be in his quarters sleeping but he didn’t move from where he was. He was laying on *his* bed, the one in his room, at home on earth. Or at least a holographic representation of it. Then walls of the room were plastered with banners and awards from high school and some from the academy. There was a picture of the whole Paris family, parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, and even one set of great-grandparents. Every thing in this room held good memories.

That was why he was here, laying on his bed staring at the ceiling trying not to think of Harry. He’d tried thinking of new and wonderful things Voyager could do in his hands, but hiss mind kept wandering back to what a certain ensign would do in his arms. Not that there was any point Harry hated him, nothing would ever happen between them now.

Oh well at least he’d had a friend for a while. It had been better then nothing. Maybe it was time to move on, off the ship, or maybe discover if there was an afterlife or not. Nah that probably wasn’t really a good plan if there was a hell he’d end up in it for sure. Of course he already felt he was in hell, but he’d rather not discover that the real thing was worse. Not this time, there was no where to run to this time he had to face his problems and deal with them himself.

But of course here on Voyager he didn’t have to deal with it alone, he could talk to Kes, or Chakotay, or even the Captain. Well the Captain was out she’d take this all wrong, he was sure of that. Kes? No way she’d listen then she’d give him that ‘oh poor you look’. No way he hated that look, he hated it when anyone pitied him. That left Chakotay. Oh wonderful. The man hated his guts, but he’d jump at a chance to practice his councilors skills. Especially on the seemingly insane Tom Paris.

He sighed and raised his hand to his comm badge. “Paris to Chakotay.” Maybe he’s asleep Tom thought hopefully. The first call might not wake him up.

“Chakotay here.” The Commander replied promptly and Tom could here the sound of Sandrine’s in the back ground. “Uhhh, Commander if you aren’t busy I was wondering if I could talk to you.” He paused then quickly added. “The councilor you.”

“I’m not busy.” Chakotay said with barely disguised eagerness. “Where?”

“I’m on holodeck two.”

“I’ll be right there.” The Commander told him and before the comm channel closed he heard the beginnings of an apology. “Kathryn I...”

Tom stared at the ceiling contemplating changing the program. Nope he’d give the commander something to analyze.

Chakotay entered the holodeck expecting Sandrine’s or something like it. He definatly wasn’t expecting Tom Paris’ bedroom. “Your bedroom at home?” He asked.

“Yeah.”

“What do you want to talk about?”

“Well... ummm.” Tom paused. “This is all confidential right.”

“Of course.” Chakotay said trying to sound reassuring.

“Well I suppose you’ve noticed Harry and I don’t spend time together any more.”

“B’lanna metioned something about you two having a disagreement.”

“Not really a disagreement, sort of more he hates me these days.” Tom sighed.

“Why? You two were such good friends.”

“I fell in love with him.” The pilot smiled sadly. “And made the mistake of telling him.”

“Ouch.” Chakotay said before he cold come up with anything more professional to say.

“Yeah. Now I can’t have who I want, and I lost my best friend.”

“Tom I really don’t know what to tell you. If we back home, I’d say take a vacation, or request a transfer. But here....”

“I know Commander.” Tom sighed. “I’ll just have to live with it there’s no where to run away to this time.”

Chakotay was silent for a while. “Tom how long have you loved Harry?”

“Probably since the day he told me he didn’t need anyone to choose his friends for him.” Tom smiled faintly at the memory, then his face went dark. “But I didn’t realize it until after Akiteria.”

“Didn’t tell him for so long why did that change?”

“B’lanna thought I was acting weird so she sent him to find out why.” Tom sighed. “He just wouldn’t give up so I told him.”

“Just like that?”

Then he didn’t believe me... So I kissed him.”

“I take it he didn’t take that very well.” Chakotay guessed.

“No he didn’t.” Tom said flatly. “Actually he bolted out of the room.”

“Tom what do you want, if you what your friend that might be possible. But you can’t make him love you.”

“I know Chakotay.” The pilot sighed. “Thanks for listening to me. Go back to the Captain, she’s much better company than I am.”

“Any time Tom, and she’s already gone back to her quarters.” Chakotay said, he saw an impish gleam apear in Tom’s eyes but the younger man stayed quite.

*******************************************************************************

The Commander had barely stepped out of the holodeck when his comm badge sounded. “Kim to Chakotay.”

“Chakotay here.”

“Commander could I talk to you if you aren’t busy?” The ensign said almost hesitantly.

“I’m not. Where do you want to talk?”

“My quartrers.”

A few minutes late Chakotay settled himself on the couch in Harry’s quarters. “What do you want to talk about ensign?”

“I... ummm....” Harry paused akwardly. “I’ve been having these dreams, and well I was wondering if you could help me figure them out.”

“I can try.” Chakotay said. “What are the dreams about?”

“They’re... Thay’re about me and Tom.” He paused blushing furiously. “Kissing.”

Chakotay blinked. Hmmm... maybe Tom didn’t need to make Harry love him. Maybe he already did. “Whan did the dreams start?”

“Right after...” The young man stoped sudenly. “Does that really matter?”

“Yes.”

“Well a while ago Tom told me he loved me. I didn’t believe him he kissed me to convince me.” Harry kept his eyes glued to the floor.

“Okay have you been thinking about it alot.”

“No, well yes but the dreams aren’t anything like the real one.”

“How are they different?” Chakotay asked.

“When Tom kissed me I just wanted to get out of there. But in the dreams...” Harry trailed off blushing again. “I like them, I want more.”

“Have you told Tom?” The Commander asked already knowing the answer.

“NO” The younger man exclaimed. “I didn’t want to encourage him... or make him think...”

“Think what?”

“That I wanted him to kiss me.”

“Well some people would say that’s what your dreams meant.” Chakotay said carfuly.

“What would you say?”

“I might say the same thing, but it could just be you’re curious about what it would’ve have been like if you’d stayed went Tom kissed you. Either way you and Tom probably need to work a few things out, one way or another.”

Harry sighed. “I know we do. Thank you Commander, I think that’ll help.”

Chakotay rose to leave, at the door he turned. “Um... I don’t know if it’s my place, but Tom was still up when you called, if you want to deal with this tonight....” Then he turned and left the ensigns quarters.

Harry though a momment. “Computer what is the location of Lt. Paris.”

“Lt. Paris is on holodeck two.”


Part Three

Tom looked up in surprise as the holo deck doors opened there shouldn’t be anyone else around at this hour of the night.

“Tom?” Harry questioned softly as he entered.

“Harry what are you doing here?” Tom said sitting up.

“I wanted to talk to you.” Harry said stepping the rest of the way into the holodeck and allowing the doors to close.

“What about?”

“About...” Harry paused a little nervously. “Well us. I miss my friend.”

“I miss you Har.”

“I’m sorry Tom I know this is my fault. But...”

“It isn’t your fault Harry. I scared you.” Tom said sadly. “I should have just kept my mouth shut.”

“I wouldn’t let you.” Harry said sitting down on the foot of the bed. “Tom ever since you... Well since you kissed me I’ve been having these dreams about us... And well I talked to Chakotay and he ummm....” He paused then blurted out. “He thinks they might be because I’m curious about what would have happened if I hadn’t bolted out of your quarters when you kissed me.”

“Curious? How curious?” Tom asked carefully.

“I don’t know.”

“Well is it a I’m curios but I’d rather not know curious, of a experimental curious. Or something in between?”

Harry fought his instinctive desire to run, then after he’d mastered it. “Well um... It might go as far as experimental curious.”

“Harry are you...” Tom began only to be interrupted but the younger man.

“Serious? I don’t have a clue.”

“Well let’s see” Tom said suddenly grabbing Harry by the shoulders and kissing him.

Harry blinked in surprise, then closed his eyes and considered Tom’s kiss. It was... well it was nice, more then nice it was well really nice, it felt better then anything he’d ever felt before.

Tom paid very close attention to the man in his arms, ready to let him go at the slightest sign of resistance. But there wasn’t any the less experienced man was passive not really participating in the kiss but certainly not fighting it. Tom slowly deepened the kiss, gently parting his friend’s lips and slipping his tongue into a warm mouth, then slowly retreating over joyed to feel Harry’s tongue tentatively follow.

After a few more seconds Tom reluctantly drew back. “I’d say you’re serious.” He murmured running a finger down Harry’s cheek.

“Umm hmmm.” The young ensign sighed shyly raising one hand to imitate Tom’s gesture.

“Oh Harry.” Tom said happily hugging his friend tightly. “If any thing... That is if anything ever get to be to much...”

“Don’t worry Tom.” Harry smiled at Tom’s rare awkwardness. “If I have a problem with anything you’ll hear about it.”

“So what do you want to do.”

“Tonight? Sleep.” Harry yawned slightly. “It’s late, we have duty in five hours, and I’m exhausted.”

“Stay here with me.” Tom asked almost shyly. “Just to sleep.”

“I’d love to Tom, but what if someone from a different shift wants to use the holodeck?”

“Oh good point.” The pilot said. “Your quarters or mine?”

“Yours.” Harry decided, yawning again. “They’re closer.”

**********************************************************************************

Since he didn’t think Harry was quite ready for sleeping together naked Tom produced two seldom used pairs of Pajama pants from the back of his closet. One pair Starfleet issue, the other a slate gray, it took Harry several seconds to place that color. Prison issue.

Tom tossed Harry the Starfleet pair then disappeared in to the bathroom giving Harry privacy. The young man stripped out of his uniform and pulled on the pajamas then neatly folded his uniform and lay it on a chair. Unsure of what to do next he sat on the edge of Tom’s bed nervously.

Tom emerged from the bathroom, ,a tender smile crossing his face at the sight off Harry. “You okay?” He questioned.

“Yeah.” Harry said in a quiet voice.

“You can still go if you want to. I’d be okay with it.” Tom said softly sitting down beside his friend.

“I don’t want to go.” Harry said leaning slightly against Tom, he was instantly pulled in close.

‘I love you’ Tom thought, wondering if he could say it without Harry bolting for the door. Keeping one arm around Harry Tom pulled him to his feet and pulled back the covers on the bed. Glad that he’d made it for a change this morning.

Releasing Harry Tom slid in to bed moving back against the wall. Harry lay down beside him, realizing Tom was making it possible for him to slip away in the night if he wanted to. Tom reached out gently pulling him into his arms but leaving them loose around him, not holding him. Harry sighed sleepily almost unconsciously snuggled close and lay his head on Tom’s shoulder. Thinking how good it felt to be held as he drifted off to sleep.

Tom stayed awake reveling in the feeling of holding Harry in his arms. Even if nothing ever came of this at least he knew how this felt. And after a while he to drifted off to sleep.

********************************************************************************

Harry woke up, with a yawn, stretching he realized he wasn’t in his quarters. These were Tom’s quarters. What was he doing in Tom’s quarters. For that matter what was he doing in Tom’s bed. Then he remembered, and he smiled. “Tom?” He said softly.

“Yeah Harry.” Tom said sounding a little worried.

“Morning Tom.” Harry sighed throwing an arm across his friends chest in a loose hug.

“So it is.” Tom said in a relived voice. “Computer what time is it?”

“The time is 7.30.” The computer replied in its pristine voice.

“Oh man, we’ve gotta be on the bridge in half an hour.” Tom scowled.

“It isn’t fair I’m *too* comfortable.” Harry complained.

“So am I. But unless you want to inform the whole crew we’re sleeping together , you’d better get a move on.”

“I suppose I’d rather we decided if we have a relationship before the rest of the crew does.” Harry said sitting up.

“Relationship?” Tom questioned.

“The as of yet non-existent one that may or may not come in to existence in the near future.”

“Oh that relationship.” The pilot smiled.

“I need a shower, I should get back to my quarters.” Harry yawned as his got out of bed.

“Use mine, by the time you got dressed and went back to your quarters you wouldn’t have time for a shower if your planning on getting to the bridge on time.” Tom pointed out. “Just be quick I need a shower too.”

“Okay.” The younger man agreed heading for the bathroom.

Tom watched him wishing he’d had the guts to suggest they shower together. Oh well maybe tomorrow if things went well tonight. At least it was a new month so he had rations to spend, he could wine and dine Harry in style. Worry about it later Paris he told himself as he got out of bed and pulled a fresh uniform out of the closet.

Several minutes later Harry exited from the bathroom a towel wrapped around his waist. He waited until Tom disappeared in to the bathroom them took his uniform off the chair he’d left it on last night. He had to admit he thought, as he pulled the uniform on. That he hadn’t slept as well as he had last night in Tom’s, arms in ages. It had been nice and warm and most of all comforting.

********************************************************************************

Kathryn Janeway knew something was up. Both Lt. Paris and Ensign Kim had arrived on the bridge moments from being late. Okay nothing knew for Tom, but Harry? He was never late. It was consistent that he and Chakotay were always there well before their shift started.

Her second clue was the bridge chatter. Tom and Harry almost seemed to be flirting, in any case it certainly wasn’t their usual bantering.

Well she’d find out soon enough Tom was hardly one to keep secrets. Nor was the rest of the crew any good at keeping secrets about him.

The End


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