Sometimes

Summary: J/P, slightly angsty. A short story. Kathryn thinks of the times she and Tom shared together. G

Disclaimer: These are Paramountís toys. Iím just playing with them.

By Daffnie

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Sometimes I think of you, Tom. I remember back to when we first met. Your father introduced you to me. I smiled like the good child I was, politely shook your hand, and said I was glad to meet you. Then you forced a smile and returned the greeting to please your father. You wanted to be a good boy, and I remember how one time you told me that you were jealous of me. You wished you could be so perfect. I laughed and said no one was perfect. I still believe that.

Sometimes I think of how stupid I thought you were, Tom. I was twenty, and you were still a little runt. You would hang around me and ask me irrelevant questions. I told you to go away, said you were bothering me. I had work to do, and you were in fact being a pest. But I admit that I admired your flare for life. You were always the outgoing one between the two of us. One time I said that you were all right, and your face lit up with an ear to ear grin. Iíll never forget that day. It was unseasonably cold, but I didnít notice the cold when you were around. Of course, I would have never told you that. I still wouldnít.

Sometimes I think of when you would ask me out on a date, Tom. I laughed and told you that you were too young for me. But you insisted, and so I gave in and said you could buy me a drink. It turned out to be several drinks. We went to your place afterwards, and we stayed up all night talking. I donít remember what was said because I was too drunk at the time. I remember that you were too much of a gentleman to take advantage of me that night. I fell asleep leaning against you on the couch early that morning. You were polite enough not to tell me to go home, and we suffered through the hangover once I woke up. That was the only time I ever missed a day at the Academy. But I never regretted it. I still donít.

Sometimes I think of when I went to the penal colony in New Zealand where you were at, Tom. You were still a little immature then, and you never seemed to grow out of it. But you were still the same gentleman I knew from years past. I remember how you told me you couldnít believe that Iíd want a convict to fly the ship. I said that youíre the best pilot I ever knew. It was the truth, but I know you thought poorly of yourself anyway. You didnít have faith in your abilities. You said that your father never really liked you, but how you worked so hard to please him. You told me that you pleased him one; that was when we first met. I assured you that you were a nice young man and that those abilities of yours would not go to waste. It was your time to shine. I actually said that, and you smiled but asked if I really meant it. I said that I did. I told you that you would be important to me. I still think you are.

Sometimes I think back to the times that I put a friendly hand on your shoulder as you sat at the helm, Tom. You seemed uncomfortable about it at first, but I think you became grateful that someone believed in you. Then you would glance at me when I went into my ready room when you thought no one would notice. I did. I always knew when you were looking at me. And whenever my eyes were on you, you acted that you didnít notice, but I knew you did. We always noticed each othersí staring, but neither one of us ever said anything about it. I suppose that we didnít need to. We both knew that we were attracted to each other. I still treasure those moments.

Sometimes I think to when you would come visit me in my quarters, Tom. I knew that there was always another reason to going there than to bring me status reports or data padds. You wanted to see me. I didnít mind. I was lonely, too, and I suppose most people were. We all missed our families and friends back in the Alpha Quadrant, but you told me that you didnít want to go back. You said all you had there was your father who was never proud of you and too many bad memories. I asked if you missed your sisters. you said no because they were just like your father. I asked about your old girlfriends, about Sandrine in France. You laughed and told me that they never really mattered to you. Then you told me all you ever needed was on this ship, in this room. I was stunned when you said that. Maybe I shouldnít have been because I guess I always knew, but it was just so unexpected. You told me that you loved me. I didnít say anything. I suppose itís because I still had feelings for Mark, even though he had married. You got up and left, and I was sad. I still am.

Sometimes I remember back to that next day and how I wrote you a letter, Tom. I said I was sorry for not saying anything. I said I loved you, too. I hoped that was enough. You wrote me a message back, saying that it wasnít enough. I was heartbroken until I read on and understood what you meant by that. You told me to prove it, and I knew exactly how to do so. That night when you were sleeping, I left a holographic picture in your quarters, on the table next to your bed. It was a picture of us that you took when we got drunk together. I kept it all this time. You contacted me the next day over the comm and told me to come to your quarters. I didnít, and that was where we shared our first kiss. I can still remember the feel of your lips on mine.

Sometimes I think of how unfair it was for you to die, Tom. How I wanted to die with you. I remained weak for a long time. I missed you terribly. I still do.

Fini