One Heart

Heart and Soul I fell in love with you.
Heart and Soul the way a fool would do,
Madly because you held me tight
And stole a kiss in the night.
Heart and Soul.*

Day 257:
I hit the transmit button and sent the coordinates to Voyager. Just in time, too. I felt a transporter beam grab me, giving me only a brief moment to wonder where I might end up.

I found myself materializing in unfamiliar territory. Unfamiliar until I turned and saw the chocolate brown eyes, widened in shock, staring at me. My heartbeat tripled. It had been so long since I'd seen her.


My voice sounded funny. Kind of strangled sounding, but she heard me. She took a step toward me then hesitated as if unsure. I almost smiled. She never was the type to go running into a man's arms. That was okay. I could do the running. After two months in solitary confinement on the Krenim ship with plenty of time to think and then what followed in the subsequent months on Annorax's ship, I would have followed her anywhere just to be near her.

I saw Chakotay, who had evidently been beamed off the Krenim ship at the same time as myself, start to move forward at the same moment as I did. I moved quicker, cutting him off. I wasn't about to let anything get between B'Elanna and myself again.

Oblivious to the other people present, I quickly strode toward B'Elanna, my eyes never leaving hers. Reaching her at last, I pulled her into my arms, needing her near me. Her arms slid around my waist, trying to draw me even closer.

"Tom." Her voice broke. My heart nearly did too at that moment. Pulling back far enough to cradle her face in my hands, I peered into her eyes. She'd suffered. I could see it in her eyes. Suffered and seen too much this past year to cover in a few brief moments. I smoothed the hair back from her face and gently kissed her forehead before leaning my own forehead against hers.

Her hand slid inside the neckline of my Krenim shirt to rest over my heart, almost as if she needed to feel my heartbeat. "I love you," I whispered. I'd shown her in so many ways before Annorax unexpectedly stole me from her but I had never actually uttered those three words to her. I don't why. She knew I loved her. I'm sure of that, but everyone likes to hear those three words said to them by their lover from time to time. Like I said, I'd had plenty of time to think while aboard the Krenim ship.

She pulled my head down, her lips seeking mine. I happily obliged her. It was like we had never been apart, so perfectly did we meld together. It was also one of the scariest kisses I've ever shared. There was nothing erotic about it. We were both too overwhelmed for that. It was full of sorrow and gratitude, despair and hope, but most of all a deep abiding love that refused to be broken.

Finally, we reluctantly parted. Still holding each other close, I peered over B'Elanna's head to see Harry behind her. He was smiling but there was a haunted look to his eyes that hadn't been there before. I held out a hand to him. He grasped it and we reaffirmed our friendship with that one simple touch.

Chakotay moved around us to stand next to Harry. He had a smile ghosting about his mouth as he watched us. He and I hadn't talked about B'Elanna while aboard the Krenim ship. I'm not sure why. Too many things going on and maybe, just maybe, I was a little afraid to hear what he had to say. Afraid he would tell me I wasn't good enough for her. That wasn't what his gaze was saying at the moment though.

I looked down at the woman in my arms. She looked up, her gaze locking with mine. The truth finally hit me at that moment. We were One. One soul. One heart. How was it the Vulcans put it? Always together. Never apart. I felt unexpected tears grace my eyes but quickly got them under control.  Some old habits die hard. She had seen the tears though. She seldom missed much when it came to me. Her fingertips brushed my cheek. I trapped her hand in mine, kissing the fingertips. We must have presented quite the picture to those on the bridge of the Nihydron ship. I didn't care. Nothing mattered but her at this moment.

My attention was abruptly pulled away from her, however, when a weapons blast knocked our ship to one side. A comlink was opened somewhere on the bridge and suddenly I could hear Tuvok and then Janeway and what they were saying grabbed everyone's attention.

"All our ships have been disabled, Captain," reported Tuvok from the nearby Mawasi ship. "Do you have weapons?"

"Negative," came Janeway's grim voice. "Torpedo launchers are down. I'm setting a collision course."

I took an involuntary step forward at this. Janeway plotting a kamikaze course for Voyager? This wasn't supposed to be how it happened. I kept my arm around B'Elanna's waist as she stepped forward with me. Chakotay came to stand at my other shoulder and Harry was on the other side of him. We all stared at the small forward viewscreen and I got my first good look at Voyager in months. My breath caught. She was hardly recognizable any longer. Big chunks were missing from her hull and where the hull was intact it was deeply pitted with wounds. She was clearly on her last legs. B'Elanna's arm tightened around my waist. I couldn't take my eyes from the viewscreen as Voyager headed straight for the Krenim ship.

"Janeway to the Fleet. Take your temporal shields off line."

B'Elanna started to protest but Chakotay spoke quietly. "No. She's right. It's the only way we might stand a chance."

Then we heard Tuvok's voice from the other ship. "Captain, we won't be protected."

"Exactly," replied Janeway tersely. "If that ship is destroyed, all of history might be restored, and this is one year I'd like to forget."

We watched in stunned silence as Voyager drew closer and closer to the Krenim ship like an aimed torpedo. If the Captain was right, all this wouldn't matter. Time would be set right. But if she was wrong, then this would be the end.

"Kathryn," I heard Chakotay softly utter. I placed a hand on his shoulder. He didn't seem to notice. His gaze was mesmerized by the forward screen, as were all of ours. We watched in helpless agony as Voyager hit the Krenim ship, the impact decimating her and the Captain. Then both Voyager and the Krenim ship were gone and a temporal wave was traveling at high speed toward us.

I turned to B'Elanna. We gazed into each other's eyes. One soul. One heart. We kissed and the world exploded in a white haze of light as the temporal wave hit. . . .

Day One:
Finally! End of shift! I turned over the helm controls to second shift, grateful the long day had ended. Today had seemed to drag on inexorably and I'd been having the strangest feelings all day. I was feeling sorry for Chakotay suddenly and I'm not even sure why. I just did. And I'd felt a strong urge all day to spend time with B'Elanna. Nothing really out of the ordinary about that, except for this feeling that I had to make up for lost time or something.

The minute I was off the Bridge, I tracked her down. She was in Engineering, of course. Usually I found her at work at a console but today she was in her office. I stepped inside.

"Interrupting anything?" I asked.

She stood. "No, you're just in time. I was about to call it a day." I watched her move around the desk, liking the way her hips swayed. She noticed where my gaze was and lifted an eyebrow. "Thinking about close contact already, Lieutenant?" she teased.

I grinned before peering over my shoulder to make sure we weren't being observed. Seeing no one, I pulled her into my arms. We eagerly kissed, both of us anticipating it. I was the first one to pull back. "B'Elanna." I hesitated.

Her eyes clouded. "What's wrong?"

"Nothing," I replied. "I guess that has me a little worried. Seems like there's always something wrong." I knew my expression was suddenly too serious because B'Elanna frowned. I was seldom serious unless I had something heavy on my mind or I was angry.

She sighed. "You might as well spit it out and get it over with."

I suddenly knew what it was I wanted to say. What it was I had been wanting to say to her for sometime. I gave her a quick kiss on the lips, then taking one of her hands in mine, said, "You know I love you, don't you?"

She stared at me thoughtfully and I began to wonder if I had messed up again. Would I never figure women out, especially this one? Then she was reaching up to take my face in her hands. "It's about time," she growled good-naturedly. Grinning widely as she let her happiness bubble to the surface, she said, "That wasn't so hard, was it?"

She was right. It wasn't. I decided to try it out again. "I love you," I told her softly. We kissed, a long drawn-out kiss that took both our breaths away. It wasn't until the kiss ended that I realized her hands had moved down to cup my buttocks possessively. Yeah, she owned me all right. Heart and soul. What was the saying? Something about one soul. One heart. That was us all right. It was going to be a good year.

But now I see what one embrace can do.
Look at me, it's got me loving you madly,
That little kiss you stole held all my Heart and Soul.*


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* Lyrics by Frank Loesser from Heart and Soul.