Fear and Comfort by Ronda

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Title: Fear and Comfort
Author: Ronda Sexton
Series: VOY
Code: P/T
Rating: PG13
Part: 1/1
Summary: Tom and B'Elanna's last night together before she is assimilated.



Fear and Comfort
By: Ronda Sexton

Tom stared at B'Elanna. The soft flickering candles were reflected in her warm brown eyes. He wanted to commit every single feature and nuance to his memory. For tomorrow, she and the others would undertake the most dangerous mission any of them ever had been involved in. They would be infiltrating the Borg. If anything went wrong, this could very well be their last night together.

Reaching out, he took both of her hands in his. "I know that it's necessary, but I wish you didn't have to go tomorrow."

She gently squeezed his hands. "Tom, if I can help put an end to the Borg's reign of terror, the it will be well worth the risk. They've destroyed countless lives. They have to be stopped."

"I know," began Tom softly. "It's just I'm so afraid that something will go horribly wrong. I love you, and I can't bear the thought of losing you."

B'Elanna nodded. "I understand, Tom. I won't deny it, I'm scared, but I can't allow my fear to prevent me from taking action. If we didn't take this opportunity that has been presented to us, and then later, the Borg assimilated you........I'd never forgive myself."

Without releasing his hold on her hands, Tom stood, came around the table, and drew her into his arms. He held her tightly, and her arms slid around him in a powerful embrace. They stood there holding each other for several minutes, each drawing strength and comfort from the other.

Finally, B'Elanna began steering them towards Tom's bed. They both had every intention of making what could be their last night together count....................

They lay quietly in each other's arms. They had made love slowly, with sweet tenderness each wanting the other to be fully aware of their depth of love and devotion. In the darkest recesses of their minds, they knew this could be their last time.

"Tom," murmured B'Elanna drowsily. "Hold me all night, because tomorrow....." she trembled in his arms.

He pulled her even closer. "Shhhh, B'Elanna, I'm here." He gently stroked her back to soothe and comfort her. Slowly, she drifted off to sleep.

Tom stared at her lovely face. He knew tomorrow that she would be assimilated. The images that whirled in his mind were not pleasant. He recalled their encounters with the Borg drones since their arrival in the Delta Quadrant. He was deeply grieved that B'Elanna would have to suffer so. He purposed in his heart that when she and the others were rescued and the Doctor reversed the assimilation process that he would do everything in his power to help her recover from the trauma of being assimilated. He would be there for her as she readjusted to individuality and being on Voyager. Tom was well aware that her intense suffering at the hands of the Borg would take a long time to heal. Physically, the Doctor could repair the damage inflicted on her by the Borg. However, her mental and emotional wounds would be a different matter entirely. He vowed to be there for her and help her in any way he could.

Slumber finally began to claim him as well. With B'Elanna securely enfolded within his arms, he drifted off to sleep.

Before they left the next morning, Tom to go to the bridge and prepare to intercept the Borg ship, and B'Elanna to make last minute preparations for the mission, they embraced and shared a kiss of passion and promise. No matter what happened, each of them know the other's love would go with them and sustain them through what was to come.