Title: Unbroken (1/4)
Author: Asuka Jenius
Pairing: J/P despite P/T
Feedback: Please ([email protected])
Disclaimer: I don’t own anything but me.
“Tom?” She looks worried, I shouldn’t have come. Her touseled hair reminds me of the ungodly hour, I try not to notice her silk nightgown.
“I’m sorry, did I wake you?” I’m still standing in the doorway, I wonder if she knows I can’t quite meet her eyes.
“No…please, come in. Can I get you something?” She motions to a half glass of wine at her side. I shake my head and try to get comfortable on her sofa. She sits beside me, pulling her robe around her in an endearing attempt to retain authority. I can’t help but smile. I see she’s watching me but when I look up, this time she turns away.
“You didn’t wake me. I couldn’t sleep.” She spoke quietly. I can tell she’s waiting for me to talk.
“Must be going around.” It’s almost a whisper but she smiles.
“You have a good excuse; I don’t think anyone gets a good night’s sleep before their wedding.” She’s still smiling and still waiting. I look up, finally looking directly at her. The look in my eyes chases away her smile. She always sees right through me…
“Jitters, Tom?” She’s smiling again, trying to calm me, trying to get me to open up. Her hand brushes mine. “It’s okay, I won’t tell a soul.” She squeezes my hand, a comforting gesture, but as she starts to pull away I hold on. She moves to resist but stops. “Tom…are you okay?” She sounds truly concerned, I’m scaring her. What is wrong with me?
“I…no.” I admit. Now I’m scaring myself. She waits. She knows I’ll say what I want to say when I can. What I need to say. But I don’t know what to say or how to start or why I’m even here.
“How was the party?” She makes the question lightly, giving me time to collect my thoughts. I thank her silently.
“It was…well, you know Harry.” She laughs. I love her laugh, not the Captain's laugh, but Kathryn’s. When she lets go…
“Well now I’m curious!” She stands to refresh her glass of wine and this time I join her.
“Well, it was…traditional. Nightclub, dancing girls, the whole thing…only…” I sip the wine.
“What?” I smile and lean back, enjoying the wine and her impatience. “Tom!” I lean in and she follows, we’re inches apart now.
“All the girls…were klingon.” She bursts out laughing. “And abusive.” She pulls away, barely able to put her glass down before she spills. “Tuvok was less than amused, but Harry really seemed to enjoy it,” She’s laughing uncontrollably now, her beautiful laugh, and I want it to go on forever, “And Chakotay! Well, we all know he likes to be abused.” I say it before I can stop myself, thinking only of making her laugh…but she stops abruptly at that and turns away.
“I didn’t mean that the way it sounded…I mean I never meant to imply…” Shut up, Tom. Better to say nothing at all.
“I know.” She speaks quietly and betrays nothing. That sound is worse than any heartbreak.
“Kathryn, I would never…”
“I know.” The voice of authority now. Shut up, Tom. “It’s very late, Tom.” Is it an excuse? A dismissal? If I have anything to say I’d better say it.
“I was walking back to my quarters after the party. B’Elanna isn’t there tonight, she said somebody convinced her it was bad luck.” Kathryn smiles at that, just the ghost of a smile, but enough. “Oh. No wonder she listened. Anyway, I couldn’t sleep. But Harry and everybody were off to bed. I decided to keep walking. I thought I’d get tired…but I just kept going. I ended up here. I’m sorry.”
“What were you thinking about?” I admire her restraint, I’d’ve asked ‘Why here? But that’s her way.
“B’Elanna.” I answer immediately, simply. As if it’s simple.
“Tom, if you’re having any second thoughts, it’s normal.”
“I love her. She’s beautiful and strong and sexy and everything I wish I could be. And for some reason, she loves me. She’s given me everything I’ve ever wanted.” Kathryn sits watching me, waiting, listening, trying to understand. I turn to her directly, almost angry, and so tired. “ What’s wrong with me? Why isn’t everything enough?”
“Tom, I don’t understand.” Of course she doesn’t. How could she when I haven’t said anything that makes any sense, even to me. But there are things that can’t be said. Things that words can’t say. She’s standing now. Beside me. She’s worried and probably tired. Who knows what was keeping her up tonight…
Things that words can’t say.
“I lied.” I speak so quietly I can’t hear myself. But she heard me. I feel her hand on my shoulder. A familiar touch. “I wasn’t thinking of B’Elanna.”
“Tom…” Gently she tries to turn me, but I pull away.
“I should go.” I’ve said too much already.
**End Part One**
Go To Part Two