There is Something to Fear

hello there, seabiscuit here, and this is my first voyager fanfic, my first p/t fanfic, yada yada yada, please don't tell me i suck too acerbicly. not satisfied with tom's line about b'elanna not being as happy to see him as he expected, i wrote a coda to the season 5 ep 'gravity.' what belongs to paramount belongs to paramount, and if they sue me, they -really- need more to do. :P yes, this is a songfic; yes, it's shticky, but i've found so many great p/t songs, i couldn't resist. ^_^ this one's anna begins, by counting crows. pleeeeease let me know what you thought! e-mail me any time at

::There is Something to Fear::
written Feb 12, 2003

My friend assures me
it's all or nothing
I am not worried
I am not overly concerned

My friend implores me
for one time only
make an exception
I am not worried

Wrap her up in a package of lies
send her off to a coconut island
I am not worried
I am overly concerned with the status of my emotions
Oh, she says, you're changing
We're always changing
It does not bother me to say this isn't love

Lieutenant Tom Paris stalked the halls of the USS Voyager for lack of anything better to do. Philosophical thought was not his forte, but he felt disposed toward them right now.

Time is an invention in the human perception; 0200 hours, 2330, what does Nature care if the seconds pass with or without numbered designations? Nature was far too busy playing tricks with his mind, sending him and Tuvok to a planet where time spun out of control and spastically attacked the fast-forward button. A month to him. Two days to her.

'Cause if you don't wanna talk about then
it isn't love
I guess I'm gonna have to live with that but I'm sure
there's something in a shade of gray or something in between
and I can always change my name if that's what you mean

Before B'Elanna, there was sex. There was physical attraction, lust, sex, and occasionally delusions of true romantic inclinations, but that was all. Well, not all, per se; charisma and looks had always gotten him much more than 'all.' Sex. With B'Elanna, he made love. And that scared him.

When is a playboy not a playboy? When he falls in love and can't imagine himself with any other woman. What frightens a former playboy? That his affections may not be returned in full.

How does someone who has never had a chipped heart learn to mend a broken one? How does someone who has never before given a heart cope with the knowledge that the decision is irrevocable?

She hadn't missed him as much as he had her; understandable, many more days had passed since his last meeting with her than vice versa. If only his brain could wrap itself around that idea and really integrate it... disintegrate these haunting fears that she did not truly love him.

My friend assures me
it's all or nothing but I am
not really worried
I am not overly concerned
about the things you try to tell yourself
the things you try to tell yourself
to make yourself forget
to make yourself forget
I am not worried

She was in his quarters when he came back to them.

If it's love, she says,
we're gonna have to think about the consequences
She can't stop shaking
and I can't stop touching her

He stood just inside the doorway, and since she didn't notice him at first, he took the opportunity to study her, really study her, like a portrait pumping blood or a statue carving its own face.

And so there she was, in the middle of his bed, her legs curled demurely beneath her. The sheets were as immaculate as they had been that morning, save the depression where B'Elanna had pulled out the pillow she now hugged to her chest. She wore one of his own t-shirts, a plain blue garment, and her ebon hair fell in sinuous curves along her cheek; her lashes quivered in time with the closed lids.

He wanted to go to her, to place a hand against the cold bronze cheek and reassure himself it was not really unrelenting metal, that she was a living creature and not some elaborate machination conjured by detailed fantasies. But he knew better, or maybe knew himself better. Or herself. Or themselves.

And this time
when kindness falls like rain
it washes her away
and Anna begins to change her mind

Like any feline, she quickly sensed his presence; her look when she cast it upon him was so apologetic that he half expected her first words to be that rare 'I'm sorry,' although what for he didn't know. Instead: "Hello."

He offered a reassuring smile, took a tentative step into the room. "Hello." A beat. "What brings you here?" he said lightly, and wondered why the tension in the room burned.

She dropped her head as though embarrassed. "I just came... to... memorize you," she said unexpectedly, her voice dropping with each word till it reached a whisper.

These seconds when I'm shaking leave me shuddering for days,
she says
and I'm not ready for this sort of thing

He hesitated only a moment before closing the space between them and gingerly perching upon the bed. "Memorizing?" His tone was gentle, but the probing lift was there.

"Yes," was her almost defensive reply, but the vulnerable look in his eyes, the way he tried to hide it, the way he -could- hide it but not from her, prodded her into continuing. "I... I don't want you to... die... without my having you properly fixed in my mind."

A wry smirk touched the corners of his lips. "So sure I'm going to die?"

Her look was a mix of anguish and frustration, and it wiped his face clean. "I thought you might die today... and if you had... I don't know," she finished lamely, no more used to a baring of the soul than her partner.

But I'm not gonna break
I'm not gonna worry about it anymore
I'm not gonna bend
I'm not gonna break
I'm not gonna worry about it anymore
No no no no no

Bittersweet irony lifted his soul: his death would sadden her. How far gone is a man when such a paradox gladdens him?

He took the chance and touched the back of her hand. "I thought... for you it was only two days. You didn't seem to have been worried..."

The clear sable of her irises met his unflinchingly. "For you it was a month. Time enough to change your mind."

He hid behind the normalcy of removing his boots, speaking through the circle made by the crook of his elbow. "Change my mind about what?"

It seems like I should say
as long as this is love
but it's not all that easy

Her voice was icy. "You know what I mean." And he did. And he knew he didn't always make his feelings clear--not that he was alone in that quarter. Still, for all that he had a rough childhood too, his insecurities were not so deepseated as hers, nor so widespread, and she suffered from a far more deplorable lack of self-esteem than he. He knew she appreciated the little looks, the romantic bright spots of their lives for all that she pretended to be indifferent. He knew, but he was afraid.

So maybe I should snap her up in a butterfly net
Pin her down on a photograph album
I am not worried
'cause I've done this sort of thing before

When he'd had the odd relationship, he hadn't feared the end. Regretted, perhaps, but never feared. He feared losing B'Elanna.

But then I start to think about the consequences
and I don't get no sleep
in a quiet room

He leaned forward unabashedly and wrapped her in an embrace, pressing her body close to his, inhaling her scent... memorizing her. He memorized her scent as she had his, concentrated on each point of contact and imprinted it in his brain in a place of prominence. To lose, to forget B'Elanna: there is something to fear more than fear itself.

And this time
when kindness falls like rain
it washes me away
and Anna begins to change my mind
and every time she sneezes I believe it's love and
oh lord
I'm not ready for this sort of thing

"Never," he whispered, and she could not doubt him. "I will never change my mind."

She's talking in her sleep
It's keeping me awake
and Anna begins to toss and turn
and every word is nonsense but I understand and
oh lord
I'm not ready for this sort of thing

He lay in his Utopia with her beside him, listening to each individual inhale and exhale that trickled forth from her lips, recording it like music, a snowflake that, once melted, will never be again.

Her kindness bangs a gong
It's moving me along
and Anna begins to fade away
She's chasing me away
She disappears and
oh lord
I'm not ready for this sort of thing