I'm In Your Space
Posted originally on the Archive of Our Own at

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Archive Warning:
No Archive Warnings Apply
Star Trek: Voyager
Tom Paris/William Telfer, Harry Kim & Tom Paris
Tom Paris, William Telfer, The Doctor (Star Trek), B'Elanna Torres, Kathryn Janeway, Harry Kim, Seven of Nine, Eugene Paris, Tal Celes
Additional Tags:
Amnesia, Alternate Universe - Canon Divergence
Part 3 of Chemistry (Eugene Paris)
Published: 2023-08-10 Completed: 2023-09-20 Words: 17,009 Chapters: 8/8

I'm In Your Space


Eugene Paris feels like he's finally starting to get a hang of his life. He's doing well at his job, he's actually starting to make new friends and mend old friendships, and his relationship with William "Billy" Telfer is going extremely well.

An alien attack threatens to upend all of that, causing Seven of Nine to be abducted, Harry to fall into an coma, and Eugene inexplicably experiencing moments from Tom Paris' past -- a life he can't remember.

The key to saving Seven and Harry may lie with his mysterious condition. Can he and the crew figure it out in time?

Sequel to Put Together My Broken. Amnesia and Canon Divergence tags are for the events in PTMB. Contains mild series spoilers.


This fic takes place chronologically just after Homestead in Season 7, and is a direct sequel to Put Together My Broken. (Takes place between chapters 8 and 9 of PTMB.)

If you haven't read that fic, you really just need to know: Tom Paris permanently lost his memories (through just after Author, Author), started calling himself Eugene "Gene" Paris, ended his relationship with (and marriage to) B'Elanna, and started dating Billy Telfer.

It had previously occurred to me that basically everything I write is contemporary or at least romance focused, so this fic is my attempt at a more SciFi-plot-driven work. We'll see how well that works.

Fic and chapter titles from Magic by Kelly Clarkson, continuing the theme of the Chemistry series.

Where To Begin

"Sorry it's been a while," Harry says, setting his plate of food down across from Gene.

Gene waves away the concern. "Don't worry about it. You've been busy. I get it."

"Still. It's been a while since we've had lunch, and I've bailed on our last two scheduled times," Harry says.

"Really, Harry. It's fine."

Harry nods, spearing a piece of root with his fork. "How's work been going? Getting the hang of reading spectrographic analyses yet?"

"Crewman Paris is a competent individual," a voice says, and Gene looks up to see Seven, with a tray of food, walking past their table. "My apologies. I did not mean to eavesdrop."

"Thanks, Seven," Gene says, and she acknowledges him with a nod before continuing to a table in the corner.

"High praise," Harry says, smiling.

Gene nods. "I know. I understand now why Billy's always so happy when she praises his work."

"Speaking of 'Crewman', how's it feel to have Billy outrank you?" Harry asks. "Sorry. Unless you don't want to talk about it."

Gene honestly hadn't thought about it that much. Just about two months ago, the Captain had thanked him for his recent work, apologized, and talked about the rigors of the Academy curriculum and Starfleet requirements, before formally removing his -- really, Tom's -- rank.

It hadn't mattered too much to him then. He didn't feel like he'd earned the rank of Lieutenant anyway, and it felt fitting that he should have to start anew. He wasn't Tom, after all.

"I hadn't really noticed," he says, watching Harry chew on a piece of root, and chasing a piece of his own with his fork. "Rank doesn't feel like such an important thing, anyway."

"Ouch," Harry says, and Gene remembers too late that the reason Harry had been so busy lately was extra work to try and prove himself to the Captain, chasing after a promotion to Lieutenant.

"Sorry," Gene says. "I didn't mean to imply..."

"It's fine," Harry says, with a smile that isn't quite full. "I just... remember how upset you were back when you were... Tom was demoted to Ensign, although that might have been because you... he was stuck in the brig for 30 days. And B'Elanna outranked you... him then, so I just... Never mind."

"I'm sure the Captain notices and appreciates your effort," Gene says, wanting to be reassuring. "She..."

A strange buzzing noise draws his attention, and he looks around for the source of the noise. The middle of the room shimmers before a creature appears, tall and black with multiple long appendages. The creature itself appears to be shimmering and fading in and out, almost as if it wasn't entirely there.

Harry's immediately on his feet. "Kim to security! Intruder in the..."

Before Gene knows what's happening, the creature has jumped on Harry, throwing both of them clear across the table and landing at Gene's feet. Harry's scream is quickly silenced when the creature sticks one of its appendages down Harry's throat.

"Harry!" Gene yells, instinctively jumping on the creature, trying to pull it free. It turns its head -- at least, he assumes that's what it is -- toward him, and an appendage connects with his forehead.

The world goes black.

"Doctor!" says a familiar voice, and Gene slowly opens his eyes. "He's waking up!"

He's lying in sickbay, on a biobed, with Billy standing over him and holding his hand, looking worried. He watches through slightly blurry vision as the Doctor walks over to the two of them and runs the scanner of a medical tricorder over his head.

"Report," says Janeway, striding into the room, and Billy stiffens, seemingly automatically, standing at attention.

"Crewman Paris has just regained consciousness," The Doctor says, grabbing a hypospray and pressing it against Gene's neck, and Gene's vision seems to clear up as it medicates him. "Ensign Kim remains unconscious but stable. Both of them are infected with parasites that seem to be in a state of temporal flux. In Mr. Paris' case, they are isolated to his brain and do not appear to be migrating. Mr. Kim shows signs of infection across all systems."

Gene cranes his neck and can just make out Harry, lying unconscious in another biobed. Other than the fact that he was unconscious, he doesn't look like he'd just been attacked, and Gene is thankful for that, at least.

"Gene's... infected?!" Billy says, dropping his formal stance and looking frightened for a bit, and Gene remembers how Billy used to be deathly afraid of diseases.

He takes the fact that Billy isn't letting go of his hand as a good sign.

The Doctor looks at Billy reassuringly. "There is no risk to any of us, Ensign," he says.

"If the parasites are in a state of temporal flux," Janeway says, seemingly to herself, "maybe the alien was as well. That would explain why weapons weren't effective." She looks over at Harry. "Can you destroy the parasites, Doctor?"

"I have tried most of the known techniques, as well as some unknown ones," The Doctor says. "Including a chroniton-based serum, to bring the parasites back into temporal sync so they can be eradicated. None of them have been successful, but it's harder and riskier to experiment on Ensign Kim or Mr. Paris, and I haven't been able to extract a parasite for direct analysis." He stops. "Seven?"

Janeway looks sad for a moment, and shakes her head. "There's still no sign of her. We've been running every scan we can think of, but..."

"Did you run a multiphasic bioscan with the temporal sensors in..." Billy starts, stopping when Janeway looks at him with a harsh expression. "Sorry, ma'am... Captain. Of... of course you did."

"Do what you can for them, Doctor," Janeway says, heading back toward a door, but looking back at The Doctor with a sympathetic expression. "I'll let you know if we find anything. And focus on extracting a parasite. Maybe more direct examination would help."

"Yes, Captain," The Doctor says, and Gene watches her walk out of the room.

"Should I... stay here?" Gene asks. "Do you need to run more tests?"

The Doctor shakes his head before pressing a button on the biobed. "I see no reason why you should have to remain in sickbay, Mr. Paris. I don't have any alternate treatments to try at this time, and Ensign Kim will be available if needed. I would suggest you return to your quarters and get some rest. Let me know immediately if you experience any symptoms."

Gene nods, standing from the biobed and clinging to Billy, more for comfort than out of any need. "Thanks, doc." He stops. "What kinds of symptoms?"

"I'm not sure," The Doctor admits. "I'm not sure what effects this kind of infection could have. Generally: headaches, nausea, issues with vision..."

"I'll make sure he reports anything out of the ordinary," Billy says, and The Doctor rolls his eyes at that.

"I'm sure you will, Ensign."

"That was really brave," Billy says as they walk together toward their quarters. "Jumping on the alien."

Gene shakes his head. "It was... instinctual, somehow. But stupid. I don't know why I thought I'd be able to... pull it off of Harry."

Billy squeezes his hand and gently kisses his cheek. "Brave," he repeats, and Gene blushes.

"I just..." Gene starts before he's suddenly hit by a wave of nausea. He releases Billy's hand and bends over in pain.


"I'm... I..."

Gene can just make out Billy through increasingly blurry vision, tapping his commbadge. "Telfer to sickbay! Medical..."

And everything goes black.

"Get us out of here, warp six!"

Gene opens his eyes just as the room shakes. He's sitting in an unfamiliar seat at an unfamiliar station. A large screen in front of him shows a large alien ship that he doesn't recognize, and it seems to be firing at them.

"Tom! Warp six, now!"

He recognizes Captain Janeway's voice, but doesn't dare turn around, instead studying the console in front of him. It's unfamiliar, and he quickly reads some of the words on it: Engage Warp Engines, Activate Impulse Engines, Thrusters...

He realizes this must be the conn, likely for the entire ship. He must be on the bridge.

And he realizes, with a sinking feeling, that Captain Janeway was talking to him.

"They're launching another torpedo," Tuvok says from somewhere behind him. "I am targeting their torpedo launchers, but phasers are not penetrating..."


"Warp six, ma'am!" he responds, but as he stares at the controls, he realizes he has no idea how to drive the ship. His only piloting experience had been in the Delta Flyer, and the Delta Flyer's controls hadn't looked anything like this. His fingers hover over the controls as he tries to figure out how to set the course.

"Chakotay!" Janeway says, and before Gene knows what's happening, Chakotay is pushing him aside and tapping some buttons on the console.

The room -- the entire ship, Gene realizes -- shakes again, and he looks over just in time to see a panel at the back of the room explode, sending the crewman in front of it to the floor.

He looks away. He doesn't like the thought of an injured crewman.

"Direct hit," Tuvok says. "Shields at sixty percent, but are ineffective against their torpedoes, which appear to be in a state of temporal flux. Hull breaches on decks nine and ten. Emergency force..."

"We've lost warp drive!" Harry yells. "They're firing again! They're targeting the bridge!"

"Chakotay!" Janeway yells. "Evasive maneu..."

Gene watches the viewscreen in frozen horror as the torpedo moves toward them. He hears an explosion, and his vision fills with white.

I Can't Forget

Gene quickly sits up, breathing heavily and feeling like his undershirt is soaked through with sweat. Even without looking, he knows that it's Billy holding his hand tightly.

"Welcome back, Mr. Paris," The Doctor says, already standing next to him and scanning his head.

"Voyager was destroyed," he says, trying to catch his breath. "I was at the conn, and I couldn't... figure out how to steer the ship. We were under attack with... torpedoes with a temporal flux? They were... The Captain was calling me 'Tom'."

"It was just a dream," Billy says, squeezing Gene's hand, but looking worried. He looks over at The Doctor. "Right?"

The Doctor frowns and runs the scanner over his head again. "Hmm."

"It felt so real," Gene says. "And I... I've never been on the bridge, at least that I can remember. I don't know how my mind would make up all of that."

"Maybe suppressed memories?" Billy offers. "I know you did that mind meld with Tuvok, and he said that... that Tom's memories were gone, but we were on the bridge a couple times after you lost your memory, so maybe it's... that?"

"Your brain was out of temporal sync," The Doctor says, folding up the tricorder and setting it down. "I'm not sure how, but it's returned to normal."

"What... does that mean?" Gene asks, looking between The Doctor and Billy.

Billy frowns. "Temporal dynamics is, um... not an area I know a lot about," he says. "Seven does, but she's..."

"I would recommend you remain in sickbay, Mr. Paris," The Doctor says, interrupting as he prepares a hypospray. "I'm going to inject you with a chroniton serum to keep your brain synced with our time."

Gene nods, and The Doctor presses the hypospray to his neck with a soft hissing noise. "Thanks, Doc."

"Our shift starts soon," Billy says, after a bit. "You're obviously staying here, but I could..."

"Go," Gene says, smiling at Billy, hoping he's being reassuring. "I'll be fine."

"I'll call you if anything changes, Ensign," The Doctor says, heading back over to the biobed with Harry in it. "Get some rest, Mr. Paris."

Gene nods, and Billy leans down and kisses him, gently.

"I'll be fine," Gene says again, and Billy smiles this time.

"I... I hope you're right."

He reluctantly releases Billy's hand and watches as he walks out of sickbay, with one last look over his shoulder back at Gene.

Gene closes his eyes. He's feeling extremely tired, all of a sudden.

"Warning. Lieutenant Paris. An environmental seal has been compromised. Oxygen depletion in thirty seconds."

The computer's voice is familiar but harsh, and seems to be projected directly into Gene's ears, accompanied by an annoying beeping sound. He can feel a heavy weight on his back.

He opens his eyes. The environment around him is orange and barren, and he can make out steam rising from vents in the distance.


He drops the weight on his back, and turns around to look at it. It's Harry, in an enclosed suit of some kind, and Gene suddenly realizes he's wearing the same kind of suit.

He's also starting to feel a little lightheaded.

"Harry! Where... where are we?"

Harry doesn't respond, and -- when Gene studies him more carefully -- seems to be unconscious. Gene reaches down and shakes him, with no effect.

"Warning. Oxygen depletion in fifteen seconds."

The lightheadedness is getting worse, and Gene's vision starts to blur. He collapses to the ground, fumbling for the commbadge that he expects is on his chest.

"Paris to Telfer. Are you... can you..."

"Warning. Oxygen depletion in five seconds."

"Paris to anyone! H... help me!"

The world goes black.

"Easy, Mr. Paris," The Doctor's voice says, and Gene opens his eyes to find himself in sickbay, with The Doctor standing over him. His heart is beating quickly and he feels drenched in sweat again.

"I had... I had another dream. Or something."

The Doctor nods. "You passed out again, this time while you were asleep. Your brain temporarily fell out of temporal sync, but appears to be returning to normal. The serum was apparently ineffective."

"I was... on a red planet. In a... spacesuit." He can feel heart rate returning to normal.

The Doctor stops tapping on a panel next to him and looks over at him, brow furrowed. "The Demon planet?"

"I... don't know what that is," Gene says. "But the computer said I was running out of oxygen. And Harry was there too, in a suit. I passed out and... woke up here."

"Stardate 51902," The Doctor says. "Lieutenant Paris and Ensign Kim went on an away mission to the surface of a class Y planet to mine deuterium."

The Doctor looks at Gene expectantly, and he isn't sure what The Doctor wants from him. "I... don't remember any of that. I think I know what a class Y planet is, though. Toxic atmosphere, radiation, excessive heat..."

The Doctor nods and grabs a medical tricorder. "Do you remember anything else?"

Gene shakes his head. "No. I woke up in a suit, and ran out of oxygen, and passed out. It was only about... 30 seconds. That's what the computer said, at least."

"Hm." The Doctor runs the scanner over his head. "I'll need to run a more detailed scan, but this does not appear to be a case of Tom's old memories resurfacing."

Gene isn't sure if he's relieved or upset by the news. He'd gotten used to the idea that he didn't -- and never would -- remember Tom's "old" life, but there were still moments where he wishes he could draw on those experiences to simplify his life now.

"You're saying these are new memories?"

The Doctor nods, setting the tricorder down. "Go back to sleep, and I'll have the computer start the scan."

"What if I... dream again?" Gene still isn't sure he'd characterize the experiences as 'dreams', but he isn't sure what else to call them.

"That would actually be useful, crewman. The scan will be able to more directly monitor your brain patterns while you're having these hallucinations, and might give us more insight into their nature."

Gene likes that term even less. "They feel real, Doc. I don't think I'm hallucinating. But they feel more real than dreams, too."

The Doctor nods and hits some buttons on the panel next to the bed. "Other than a sense of panic you may feel when you wake up from them, with elevated hormones to match, these 'dreams' do not seem to be having a negative effect on you, physically. Get some rest."

Gene isn't sure he likes that, but also doesn't think he has another choice.

He closes his eyes again.

To his relief, he doesn't dream -- or hallucinate -- again, and opens his eyes to find himself still in sickbay. He looks over to see Billy sitting in a chair next to his bed, reading something on a padd.


Billy's immediately on his feet, grabbing Gene's hand and holding it tightly. "Hey. Sorry. I was... reading."

Gene shakes his head. "What are you doing here? It's probably..."

"0400," Billy says, with a smile. "I'm not going to go back to our quarters and leave you stuck here in sickbay by yourself."

"What about The Doc? He doesn't like it when visitors..."

"Ensign Telfer is very convincing," The Doctor says, walking over to Gene's bed. "But Mr. Paris is right. Visiting hours are over."

"I was reading up on time travel," Billy says, ignoring The Doctor and holding his padd out toward Gene. "The Doctor said you had another... experience. Of Tom's time on the Demon planet."

"That's what he called it, yeah," Gene says, taking the padd from Billy. It's full of words that he can read but can't really make any sense of.

"I thought that maybe, because the parasites are in a state of temporal flux, and they're in your brain, that you were experiencing these events. For real." Billy shakes his head. "I don't know if that makes any sense."

Gene hands the padd back to Billy. "I don't know either. I know even less than you do about any of this."

"But you said Voyager was destroyed in your first experience. That's obviously never happened, and if you had been in the past and been able to affect it, that should have altered the present, as well. The ship should..."

"I appreciate your theories, Mr. Telfer, but they can wait until the morning."

"Did the scans complete, Doc?" Gene asks, wanting to delay Billy's departure as much as possible.

The Doctor sighs. "Not you, too. Yes, and there were no anomalies other than the parasites. But the results confirmed that your 'experiences' were indeed new memories, rather than Lieutenant Paris' previous memories resurfacing. Your brain, at least, seems to believe that they're real. It's not making them up, and it's not recalling them from your subconscious."

"That doesn't make sen..." Billy starts, but The Doctor grabs his arm and starts to guide him toward the door.

"Visiting hours start at 0800," he says, and Billy looks back at Gene as Gene's forced to release his hand. "Mr. Paris will be fine."

"Get some rest, Billy," Gene says, trying to be as convincing as possible. "I'll be fine."

Billy nods, stopping at the door as it slides open. "I... I'll miss you."

"I'll miss you too."

Billy's gaze stays fixed on Gene's until the sickbay doors close behind him.

Where You've Been

The Doctor releases Gene later that morning, and Billy clings to his arm as they walk back to their quarters together.

"I'm fine, Billy. I can walk."

Billy blushes. "I know. I just... want to hold on to you, right now."

Gene smiles at him and grasps Billy's hand with his other hand. "In that case, this is more than fine." His stomach growls. "Are you sure we can't go to the mess hall first?"

"Sonic shower first," Billy says. "Change of uniform. Then lunch."

"Yes sir," Gene says, grinning.

"I didn't read anything that would give any further insight into what's happening," Billy says. "But I..."

Gene's suddenly hit with a wave of nausea, and he's immediately thankful for Billy's grip on his arm as he doubles over.


"I... I'm..."

"Telfer to sickbay!"

The world goes black.

"Tom? Tom, wake up."

Gene slowly opens his eyes and blinks away the blurriness. The figure before him slowly comes into focus.


Harry smiles at him. "Bad dream?"

"Um." He looks around the room. It seems to be an extremely small, cramped space, furnished with only a bed and a small sink and toilet in one corner. "I... Yeah."

"You know, you look like hell," Harry says, smiling but also looking sympathetic.

Gene absentmindedly runs his hand over his chin and is surprised by the stubble there -- significantly more than he'd had when he'd been in the hallway with Billy what felt like just moments ago. He looks down at himself, expecting to see the teal and black of his uniform, but instead finds only the purple of his undershirt. "Harry. Where am I?"

Harry frowns. "Very funny, Tom. I'm not going to spring you out of here."

So he was 'Tom' again. "What's the stardate?"

Harry shakes his head. "The Captain only gave me a few minutes. Are you really going to waste it like this?"

Gene decides to play along. Maybe he'd be able to learn something that way. "Sorry, Harry. How are you doing?"

Harry laughs. "How am I doing? I'm surprised you're not taking the opportunity to complain at me. At least you only have another fourteen days in the brig."

Gene remembers a conversation from what feels like yesterday to him. Harry -- the real Harry -- had said something about Tom being stuck in the brig for 30 days.

This was clearly also an experience from Tom's past.

"Yeah. I can't wait to get out. And back to... B'Elanna." He actually has no idea what the date is, but hopes he has it right.

The gamble pays off, because Harry looks at him sympathetically. "She misses you."

Gene nods, trying to be convincing. "I miss her, too."

"How've you been passing the time? I've never known you to be able to stay in one place for two weeks," Harry says, a smile playing on his lips.

"Not like I have much of a choice this time," Gene says, trying to turn the conversation back to Harry. "Really, though. How are you?"

Harry shrugs and goes with it this time. "Can't complain. Feel like I have a bit of a headache this morning. Actually, my whole body feels a little sore. I don't remember doing anything strenuous yesterday, but I must have."

That gets Gene's attention. "You have a headache?"

"It barely counts, Tom. I'm not sure why I even told you."

"But you..."

"Looks like my time's up," Harry says, looking at something -- or someone -- outside the cell. "We'll catch up when you're out."

"Wait," Gene says, standing up from the bed, but Harry steps out of the cell and a force field pops up between them before he can do anything.

"Take care of yourself, Tom."

Gene watches Harry leave the room before collapsing back on the bed.

"This is real. I'm actually here," he says out loud, reaching up and running his hand over his stubble again. He has no idea how long it'd been since he -- Tom, in this time -- had shaved, but he thinks two weeks feels about right. "Two weeks..."

Before he knows what's happening, he feels a wave of nausea and doubles over in pain. The guard outside the cell looks mildly concerned.

He tries to call out, to ask for medical attention, before the world goes black.

"He's back," The Doctor says, and Gene sits straight up, eyes suddenly wide open, finding himself in sickbay again.

"I... I... was in the brig."

"Report," Captain Janeway says as she walks through the door.

"I have not been successful in isolating or extracting a parasite for analysis, and Ensign Kim's condition has begun to deteriorate," The Doctor says, turning toward the biobed with Harry in it. "I've been trying to stabilize him, but nothing I do seems to be working. The decline isn't precipitous, yet. At its current rate, unless I can do something, he'll be dead in 2-3 days."

Janeway nods, clearly bothered by the news. She looks tired, and Gene wonders if she'd slept since all of this started. "And Mr. Paris? You said he just had another incident."

"Crewman Paris has lost consciousness three times," The Doctor says, scanning him as Billy worriedly holds his hand. "Each time, his brain temporarily enters a state where it is out of temporal sync with our time. At least one of those times, he experienced events consistent with Lieutenant Paris' life."

"Two," Gene says, trying to catch his breath. "I was just in the brig. For... 30 days?"

"Two times," The Doctor says, with a raised eyebrow. "Stardate 52179, give or take 30 days, in addition to stardate 51902, when Lieutenant Paris and Ensign Kim were on the demon planet. My scans indicate that these are new memories, rather than Lieutenant Paris' suppressed memories returning. As far as Mr. Paris' brain is concerned, he believes he was actually there."

"You said the parasites were in a state of temporal flux," Janeway says, studying Gene's face but looking at him with sympathy. "Could they be causing his consciousness to time jump?"

"Ensign Telfer had a similar thought last night," The Doctor says, putting down the tricorder.

Janeway turns to Billy. "Ensign?"

"Oh." Billy seems temporarily lost for words. "Um. I... discounted that theory because, the first time, Gene said the ship was destroyed because he couldn't remember how to steer it. If he really was time travelling..."

"...the ship's destruction in the past would have made it cease to exist now," Janeway completes for him. "Could he have travelled forward in time?"

"You... The Captain called me 'Tom'," Gene says, and Janeway nods.

"Then maybe we're still here because the ship's destruction would have caused a temporal paradox," Janeway says, rubbing her head. "No ship, no Eugene Paris to travel back to be Tom Paris and destroy the ship." She shakes her head. "Temporal mechanics always make my head hurt."

"Captain?" Billy says, seeming surprised at that, and Janeway looks at him with half a smile.

"I get... nauseous just before I pass out," Gene says, Janeway's comment reminding him of that symptom. "And just now, before I came back here, I got nauseous and passed out. In the other... timeline."

"Are you absolutely sure these aren't suppressed memories, Doctor?" Janeway asks, and The Doctor nods.

"I am. And I have no explanation for the nausea, other than the fact that the parasites are located in his brain. By the time I'm able to scan him, there are no abnormalities other than the temporal shift, and elevated hormones indicating general mental stress or strain, which are hardly surprising given the situations Mr. Paris has described."

"Then maybe he's not travelling through time," Janeway says, rubbing her head again. "I wish we had Seven or Harry here. They would know what to look for."

"Ensign Telfer has been reading up on the subject," The Doctor offers.

"I... have, ma'am," Billy stammers, surprised to be put on the spot again. "But I don't... I don't think I'll be very useful here."

Janeway pats Billy's shoulder. "Not with that attitude, Ensign." She turns back to The Doctor as Billy stammers an apology. "Do you have any idea what's causing the jumps? Even if they aren't actual time jumps, his brain seems to believe it's going somewhere."

"I don't," The Doctor says. "He passed out twice in different corridors on the way back to his quarters, and once here in sickbay."

"And sensors haven't picked up any temporal abnormalities since Seven's abduction," Janeway says before standing up straight and looking authoritative. "Doctor, figure out what's causing these jumps."

He nods. "Aye, Captain."

"And Ensign," she says, turning to Billy. "I want a new theory. Maybe what's happening to Gene is related to Harry's condition. And maybe it can help us find Seven."

Gene isn't sure how they could be related, but Billy nods. "Yes, ma'am."

She looks back at Gene and pats his arm. "Hang in there, Gene."

Gene nods, not used to this more casual interaction with her. "Yes. ...captain."

The Road To Maybe

"Once in sickbay, twice in the corridors," The Doctor says, pacing in front of Gene's bed as Gene and Billy look on. "Ended up once on the bridge, once in the brig, and once on a class Y planet."

"Two different decks," Billy says, thumbing through the padd in his hand. "Sickbay on deck five, a corridor on deck five, and a corridor on deck ten. The bridge is on deck one, and the brig is on deck nine, so two different decks there as well."

"So nothing common about the locations," The Doctor says. "Could there be a temporal anomaly moving throughout the ship?"

"Decks five and ten are fairly far apart," Billy says, thumbing through the padd again. "And sensors haven't picked up any anomalies."

"Then we're still missing something," The Doctor says. "There's no physiological reason why Mr. Paris should be experiencing these jumps. And there are no indicators afterward."

Gene shakes his head, wishing he could contribute more, but feeling like all of this was solidly outside of his knowledge. He looks over at Harry, still lying in the biobed in the isolated alcove, wishing he could do something to help his friend.



The Doctor and Billy both turn toward him. "Harry?"

"Every time I jump, Harry is there," Gene says. "He was on the bridge during the attack that destroyed the ship. I was carrying him on my back on the planet. He was visiting me in the brig."

"And you and Harry are infected with the same parasites," Billy says, jumping on the lead, tapping something into his padd. "It would make sense that you two have been tied together somehow, temporally."

"And when I was in the brig, Harry said his head and whole body ached a little," Gene says, trying to remember the conversation. "Did Harry... have any issues while I was in the brig? Back on stardate... whatever."

The Doctor shakes his head. "Not any that I was made aware of. But I wouldn't expect him to report minor symptoms to me. He wasn't Mr. Telfer." The Doctor glances over at Billy. "No offense."

"None taken," Billy says, completing his tapping. "Okay. Maybe that explains the 'where'. You always end up somewhere in proximity to Harry."

"I'd hardly call three times an explanation," The Doctor says. "But it is a coincidence, and it's all we have to go on at the moment."

"If you and Harry are temporally linked, somehow," Billy says, deep in thought, "could that also explain the 'why'? Maybe Harry experienced some fluctuations in the parasites, or they interacted with a specific part of his brain."

"I've been continuously monitoring Ensign Kim," The Doctor says. "The parasites haven't moved, and there haven't been any changes in his condition, including at the times Mr. Paris lost consciousness."

"If we're temporally linked," Gene says, speculating now, "maybe there's something about when we're far apart? Time is just another dimension of space, right? The last time, while I was in the brig, I felt fine until Harry left. Then I got nauseous and passed out and woke back up here."

"You said you woke up after you fell unconscious the second time?" Billy asks, and Gene nods in confirmation. "And the first time, if the ship was destroyed, I guess that's kind of like falling unconscious. So maybe you return when you fall unconscious."

"That could explain when I come back," Gene says. "If it happens again, I could try to... fall asleep. But it doesn't explain why I jump in the first place."

"Maybe it does," Billy says, tapping on his padd. "Two out of the three times, we were on our way back to our quarters. Maybe you moved beyond a certain distance away from Harry."

"That doesn't explain the second jump," The Doctor says. "Mr. Paris was sleeping here in sickbay at the time."

Billy nods. "I know. But twice is still a coincidence."

"We need more data," Gene says, swallowing heavily and forcing himself to say his thoughts out loud. "If it's related to distance, we should be able to cause another jump if I... leave sickbay again."

Billy immediately looks worried and grabs Gene's hand. "Gene..."

"As much as I wouldn't recommend intentionally subjecting your body to strain, there don't seem to be any permanent effects from these jumps," The Doctor says.

"You're not going to intentionally pass out!" Billy objects, staring at Gene before shifting his gaze to The Doctor. "Doctor!"

"I could have a medical kit on hand and scan you as you walk," The Doctor says. "But this is entirely up to you, Mr. Paris."

Gene swallows again, and nods, turning to The Doctor. "If this'll help us figuring out what's going on, I want to do it. Maybe it'll give us something we can use to help Harry. And Seven."

"Gene..." Billy says, and when Gene turns back toward him, Billy's looking at him with concern but also with...

...with love, he thinks.

The Doctor picks up a tricorder and a hypospray from a table, and walks toward the cart where Gene knows he keeps his mobile emitter. "Whenever you're ready, Mr. Paris."

"10 meters," Billy says, eyes focused on the tricorder he's holding in one hand while he firmly grips Gene's arm with the other.

"Mr. Paris was 51 meters away from Ensign Kim when he lost consciousness on this deck," The Doctor says, following behind them with a medical tricorder, scanning Gene. "How are you feeling?"

"Fine," Gene says, smiling over at Billy, even though Billy isn't looking at him. "Nothing yet."

"11 meters."

"We can speed this up a little," Gene offers. "Do we need an exact distance?"

Billy looks at him, sternly, and Gene loves how determined Billy looks. "An exact distance might help. We don't know what we're looking for." Billy seems to catch himself and smiles apologetically at Gene before looking back down at his tricorder. "12 meters."

The three of them continue down the corridor, slowly, with Billy calling off every meter.

"36 meters," Billy says, and Gene stops walking.

"Wait. I feel a slight... headache."

He turns toward The Doctor, who frowns. "Everything is normal. There's no reason you should experiencing a headache. Is it getting worse?"

Gene stops for a moment, focusing on the way his head feels. "No. I don't think so."

"Then I would suggest we keep going," The Doctor says. Gene nods, and starts walking again.

"Wait," Billy says. "I don't..."

"37 meters?" Gene asks, trying his hardest not to focus on Billy right now, in case Billy managed to convince him to stop. He couldn't stop. It was working.

"....yeah," Billy says, catching up, and grabbing Gene's arm again. "38."

"It's... getting worse."

"Still no change," The Doctor says from behind him.

"Gene. You can't..."

"39, Billy?"

There's no response for a moment, and Gene looks pointedly at him. "39," Billy says, finally, reluctantly, unwilling to meet his gaze.

Gene's vision starts to go blurry, and he stops walking. "Billy, I'm..."

"I've got you," Billy says, dropping the tricorder and grabbing Gene solidly with both hands. "It's okay. I've got you."

As Gene stares at Billy's worried face, the world slowly fades to black.

"Come in."

Gene opens his eyes to find himself standing outside the door to Harry's quarters. He moves to enter, but when his clothing doesn't feel quite right, he looks down at himself, finding that he's dressed in some sort of button-up shirt imprinted with what looks like clouds, trees, and flowers.

He hopes Harry knows what activity they were going to do.

Gene walks into the room, finding Harry sitting on the floor, wearing a simple gray outfit, surrounded by candles. His eyes are closed, and his hands are pressed together.

"Vulcan meditation?" Gene asks. He'd done it a couple times himself, after the operation. The Doctor had suggested that working with Tuvok might help Tom's memories resurface, and while it hadn't served that purpose, he'd found it relaxing anyway.

He reminds himself to give it another try after... after all of this is over.

Harry nods. "I'm trying to suppress my emotions."

Gene frowns. "Why?"

"No reason," Harry says, and Gene waits for him to continue, but he doesn't.

"Are you... ready to go?" Gene asks, and Harry opens one eye and looks at him.

"I'm meditating."

"I can... wait on your couch until you're done."

Harry closes his eye again. "It'll be a while."

"I have time," Gene says, and he supposes he really does. He expects that -- based on the prior incidents -- once he manages to fall unconscious here, he'll return only seconds after he'd passed out in the real world. Real time. In real life. And he wants to test whether falling asleep sends him back, anyway, so he has plenty of time before he'd be able to convince Harry it's time for bed.

Harry doesn't say anything else, so Gene makes his way to Harry's couch and sits on it. He looks around the darkened room. It's familiar, but a lot of items are out of place from what he remembers from his last visit. He spots what looks like a musical instrument in the corner that he isn't familiar with.

He tells himself to ask Harry about it, once Harry gets better.

"Computer, standard illumination," Harry says suddenly, breaking Gene out of his thoughts. The lights come up, and Harry stands, turning to Gene with a confused look.

"Ready to go?" Gene asks.

Harry just stares at him. "What are you up to?"

"What am I... up to?"

"You obviously didn't come here to sit and watch me meditate. You're dressed up for the luau." He stops. "I get it. You're trying to guilt me into going with you."

"Is it working?" Gene isn't sure what exactly a 'luau' is, and he'd happily sit around this room with Harry for a while regardless, but he does find himself more than a little curious about his current attire.

Harry stares at him for a bit longer, then shakes his head. "Fine. Let's go." He holds his arm out toward the door.

"Should we blow out the candles?" Gene asks, not sure how he feels about leaving fire unattended in Harry's quarters.

Harry moves to the candles, blowing each one out a little more aggressively than necessary. "Fine. There. Let's go."

"Lead the way," Gene says, hoping that Harry knows where they're supposed to be going.

Harry sighs, and heads toward the door, and Gene follows behind.

The holodeck seems to be in party mode, and Gene had only experienced such a crowd once before, although he's never seen this particular program before. A woman who he's pretty sure is a hologram drapes some sort of flower necklace around his neck before looking at Harry with disdain.

"You're not dressed for the occasion," she says, and Harry looks down at his shirt.

"I forgot," he says, looking over at Gene. "Why did I agree to this? Marayna's going to laugh if she sees me like this."

"We don't have to attend the... luau," Gene says, wondering who 'Marayna' is. "The mess hall is probably pretty empty. We could get something to eat. Maybe play a game of chess."

"Now I know you're up to something," Harry says, nevertheless heading back out the door.

Gene follows behind him.

"This is an intervention, isn't it?" Harry asks as they approach the mess hall doors. "Have you been talking to Tuvok?"

"Apparently you have, if you're trying Vulcan meditation." Gene's pretty sure that meditation wasn't Harry's usual thing, even though he also doesn't know much about Harry back when... however long ago this was.

"I knew it!" Harry says, stopping and looking at Gene, a slightly maniacal smile on his face. "Tuvok told you! I knew I never should've told that... that Vulcan."

"Computer, what's the stardate?" Gene asks -- because he isn't sure how to answer Harry's accusation -- as he continues to walk toward the mess hall.

"50464.8," the computer responds as the mess hall doors slide open.

Four years ago.

Gene isn't sure what to do with that information.

The mess hall is fairly empty. Only a few crewmembers are scattered around the room, mostly reading or speaking quietly to each other. In one corner, furthest away from the window, Gene spots...


Billy looks up, clearly surprised to hear his name, and when their gazes meet, there's only the slightest recognition from Billy.

"Lieu... lieutenant!" Billy says, dropping his padd as he scrambles to his feet. "Ensign!"

"Hey," Harry says back, stopping next to Gene, and looking more confused than ever. "What are you doing?" he asks Gene.

"I'm just saying hi to Billy," Gene says, hoping that's enough of an answer for Harry. He walks over, picking up Billy's padd from the ground. "Andorian, Ankaran, and Arethian Flu," he reads from the top of the screen.

Billy swallows, still standing at attention. "Yes, sir. Just some... light reading... sir."

"You... you don't need to do that," Gene says, uncomfortable now, holding the padd out toward Billy. "It's just me."

Billy nods, taking the padd and relaxing slightly, but remaining at attention. "Thank you sir. Was there... something I could do for you? Sir? Lieutenant?"

"Not going to the luau?" Gene asks, figuring that was a safe enough question. He doesn't like the way Billy seems almost terrified by his presence.

"Oh." Billy looks even more uncomfortable at the question, and seems to retreat inward into himself, and Gene's pretty sure he hasn't seen this side of Billy before. "No, sir. I... was... was that tonight? I didn't... If... if you wanted me to go, I... I could..."

"Can I talk to you for a sec?" Harry asks, grabbing Gene's arm and pulling him behind the galley counter without waiting for an answer. Gene looks back to see Billy sit back in his seat, staring at his padd again.

Billy looks like he's on the verge of a panic attack.

"I'm just being nice," Gene says, pushing aside his desire to comfort Billy and trying to preempt whatever Harry's going to say. "He seems like a... good person."

Harry releases his arm once they're in the kitchen, surrounded by pots and pans and vegetables. "Really?! Billy Telfer?!"

"He is!" Gene says, getting defensive. He reminds himself that this is the past, and that Harry wouldn't have really known Billy then. Nor would Billy have really known either of them.

But he's still not going to let Harry insult Billy.

Harry stares at Gene for a bit before sighing. "This is your idea of helping me get over Marayna?! Billy TelferThat hadn't been what Gene had been expecting. "No! I just..."

"I guess he is kinda cute," Harry says, a small smile on his face before he shakes his head. "What am I saying?! Tom! No!"

"You're right. Bad idea." Gene doesn't like the direction this is going. Even though he'd never considered himself to be a jealous person, he doesn't like the idea of Harry and Billy together. Even if it wasn't actually real.

Maybe he actually was a jealous person.

"Let's go back to the luau," Harry says, sighing. "I'll replicate a shirt. Just... keep me away from Marayna."

"I can do that," Gene says, following Harry back out of the kitchen. He sneaks one last glance back at Billy before they walk back out to the corridor.

'Marayna' ends up being a hologram, and Gene wonders what he's gotten himself into when he finds himself, once again, being dragged somewhere by Harry -- this time, out of the holodeck.

"That two timing Vulcan!" Harry says, when they're in the corridor again. "He told me to forget about her!"

"They were just talking," Gene says, pulling his arm free and rubbing it.

"This is your fault, Tom. I didn't want to come tonight. I've had a headache all evening, and now I..."

"Headache?" Gene stops rubbing his arm and stares at Harry. "And... slight aches all over?"

"Yeah," Harry says, heading down the corridor in the direction of the turbolift. "I'm heading to bed. Maybe I can sleep off the..."

"We should get you to sickbay," Gene says, chasing after him.

Harry laughs. "Sounds like something Billy would do. Are we on him again?"


Harry stops walking. "Look. Tom. I appreciate what you're trying to do. Really. But I think I just need to call it an early night."

"We could have a sleepover," Gene says, remembering a comment Billy had made when Gene had moved back in with him.

Harry stares at him. "A sleepover?!"

"It'll be fun," Gene says, hoping the suggestion is working. "You could play me your... instrument."


"And... meditate." Gene actually does like the sound of that, given the past few days.

Harry looks at him in disbelief, and shakes his head. "Fine. I'm not sure your distractions are the best idea, but maybe they'll keep my mind off of her, so fine."

Gene opens his eyes to find himself lying on a biobed in a darkened sickbay. Billy's sitting in a chair next to him, slumped over and clearly asleep, a padd sitting in his lap.


Billy stirs, and he looks up at Gene with half-lidded eyes before suddenly snapping to attention. "Gene!"

"H... hey," Gene says, suddenly finding himself wrapped up in Billy's arms. "How long was I out?"

"A... a long time," Billy says, his voice slightly muffled from Gene's shoulder. "I thought... I thought you died!"

"Welcome back, Mr. Paris," The Doctor says, walking out of his office and grabbing a tricorder. "You were unconscious for almost five hours."

"I thought was only out for a few seconds the last three times," Gene says as The Doctor scans him, and Billy nods against his shoulder.

"You were," The Doctor says. "This time was significantly longer."

"We were... worried." Billy said. "You always woke up almost immediately before. Did... did something happen?"

"It was stardate... 50464.8," Gene says, hoping he was remembering it correctly. "There was a... luau?"

"Ah yes," The Doctor says, folding the tricorder up and setting it down. "If I recall correctly, that was when Ensign Kim and Lieutenant Tuvok were fighting over a hologram who turned out to be a lonely alien."

"They... what?!" Billy says, finally releasing Gene, although Gene thinks that explains some things.

"I spent the evening with Harry," Gene says, wanting to focus on the issue at hand. "Five hours sounds about right, actually. I fell asleep in Harry's quarters and woke up here."

"Then it would seem you're experiencing these 'events' in real time," The Doctor says. "Or something very close to it. The question remains: Are they memories? My scans seem to indicate otherwise, but Ensign Telfer doesn't have any other time-travelling theories."

A thought comes to Gene's mind. "Billy. What were you doing that night?"

"Of the luau? I... don't remember," Billy says, looking guilty. "I remember when the luau happened, but I didn't like big crowds because of the risk of... I just didn't like big crowds."

Gene thinks Billy's still somewhat uncomfortable in a crowd, but he feels like he can relate to the sentiment himself, so he doesn't press. "Did you spend the evening in the mess hall?"

"I could have," Billy says. "I used to spend a lot of time there, either by myself or with Celes, especially when it was quiet."

"Andorian, Ankaran, and Arethian Flu," Gene says, and there's suddenly recognition in Billy's eyes.

"That sounds right! I was studying different flus that evening because I was sneezing that morning, and thought I had a slight fever. I wanted to make sure before I bothered The Doctor, since he was going to the..." Billy stops talking and blushes. "Sorry. That sounds like what I was reading."

"Mr. Paris?" The Doctor asks.

"Do you remember seeing me... seeing Tom that evening?" Gene asks. "At any point?"

Billy shakes his head. "No. I definitely would have remembered that." He blushes again when he realizes what he'd just said.

Gene nods, taking Billy's hand and squeezing it. "Then there's no way my brain could have remembered that title, because there's no way Tom could have known it. I'm time travelling. And I'm able to control what I do when I'm there. I don't know why it's not affecting the future, but it's not."

"50464.8," The Doctor says, moving to a console and tapping some buttons. "Just as I thought."

Gene slides off the biobed, standing next to The Doctor and looking at the screen.

"At the moment you lost consciousness, your brain experienced a temporal shift corresponding to the interval between that date and now."

"Show him the fields," Billy says.

"Ah, yes." The Doctor taps some buttons, and the screen switches to diagram of a stick figure human with lines radiating out of it. "Your extended trip gave me enough time to scan your brain more thoroughly while you were fully temporally displaced. We found this."

"What... am I looking at?" Gene isn't sure he understands the schematic.

"Your head, and Ensign Kim's entire body, are emitting temporal fields," The Doctor says, pointing to the stick figure. "Ensign Kim's has a radius of 28.82 meters. And yours has a radius of 7.16 meters."

"That's just about 36 meters," Gene says, realization setting in. "That's about when I started to have a headache."

"You were 36.11 meters away, exactly," Billy says, grabbing a tricorder from the table and holding it up. "It can't be a coincidence."

"With the additional information we've now gathered, I would suggest we wake the Captain," The Doctor says.

"How did we miss this?" Janeway asks, staring at the screen and the temporal field diagram. "We've been running temporal scans trying to see if they'll help us locate Seven. These didn't show up."

"I was able to take a detailed scan of Mr. Paris' brain while it was out of temporal sync," The Doctor says. "The length of time he was 'away' helped me narrow down the frequency. Once I scanned on that exact frequency, these showed up."

"These must be extremely tightly focused fields," Janeway says, seemingly to herself. "And if they're centered on the bodies..." She turns to The Doctor. "Doctor, are you sure that they're parasites in Harry and Gene's bodies?"

"I can't scan them, even on this frequency," The Doctor says. "So I can't tell you what they are. Physically, they resemble parasites, as they're too large to be a typical virus or bacterium. Except they haven't moved since the first scan, which is unusual for a parasite."

"If you hadn't encountered a Borg nanoprobe before, and you couldn't scan them to understand that they're machines, you might think they were parasites," Janeway says. "Small machines that invade the body. Assimilation runs its course similar to a disease."

"I might..." The Doctor says. "But what does that have to do with this?"

"Emitters," Billy says, looking like he's come to a sudden realization. "They're tiny field emitters."

"Small machinery that invades the body," Janeway says, nodding in agreement. "And that might explain why Seven was abducted."

"If they're emitters, how can we disrupt them?" Billy asks.

Janeway taps her commbadge. "Janeway to Torres. Report to sickbay."

In The Dark

Chapter Notes

"This doesn't make any sense!" B'Elanna yells, storming through the sickbay doors and aggressively pointing a tricorder at Gene.

"You haven't had any luck?" Gene asks, trying to stay as still as possible while she scans him.

"The field is there! It registers on my tricorder! It registers on sensors! Why doesn't anything interact with it?!" She hits some buttons on the tricorder. "This is exactly the frequency I'm using!"

Gene wishes Billy hadn't literally just stepped out, quickly, to get food for the two of them. He wonders if Billy might have any ideas. "I... don't know."

B'Elanna snaps her tricorder shut, aggressively, and growls in frustration. "What the hell am I missing?!"

"This isn't an area I really know much about," Gene says, apologetically, and that seems to break through her anger, because she looks at him and starts laughing.

"Sorry," she says between fits, trying to calm back down. "Just... you and Tom both. If it wasn't a warp field, he wasn't interested."

"And if it's a warp field, I'm not interested," Gene says, smiling at her, and B'Elanna cracks up again at that.

"Sorry! Sorry! I'm just... tired. And cranky. But you're right. Where's that boyfriend of yours anyway?" She looks around the room. "Maybe he can be useful."

Gene blushes at 'boyfriend'. He and Billy had never really formalized a term for each other, but he finds he really likes this one. "He went to get us some food. He should be back soon."

"Should've just replicated something here," B'Elanna says with a wink. "Use the excuse to avoid Chell's cooking. It almost makes me miss Neelix's food."

"Some of us actually liked Neelix's food," Gene says, and B'Elanna seems to crack up again at that. "But uh... is there something I can do to help?"

B'Elanna calms down and seems to think. "Maybe there is. Your field plus Harry's field together are about 36 meters. You passed out around 40. That's a discrepancy of almost four meters where your fields wouldn't have overlapped."

"That's... true." Gene isn't sure what she's getting at.

"The fields have extremely well-defined edges. If they're going to have an effect on you, that effect should be exact. Why four meters?!"

"Um." Gene's starting to get an idea of what she's going to ask, and he isn't sure he likes it. "I... don't know. I had a headache at about that distance, but it didn't get worse until I moved further away."

"Nothing I try can interact with the field," she says, staring at him now. "But you can. When you move, the field moves with you. And when you move so your field and Harry's field no longer intersect..."

"You need me to repeat the experiment," Gene says, trying to keep his nervousness from showing.

B'Elanna nods. "And this time, since we know what we're looking for, maybe we can follow what happens."

Gene swallows the lump in his throat, glancing over at Harry, unconscious on a biobed. He thinks about how Harry's condition continues to deteriorate, and wonders how much time Harry might have left.

He wants to help Harry, if he can. Even if it's uncomfortable or distressing for himself.

"Let's do it."

"I said no, Chakotay," says Janeway's voice. "I'm sure it is highly effective, just like you said, but that will do us little good if he's dead."

Gene opens his eyes. He doesn't recognize the location, which looks like it could be underground. Harry's chained to the wall of the room, his lip bloodied and his eye black and swollen. Standing in front of the cell, staring at Harry, are Janeway and Chakotay.


Janeway and Chakotay both turn toward him. Gene can't help but think that Chakotay looks... deranged. The Captain just looks bored.

"Do you have something to say, Mr. Paris?" Janeway asks.

"I, um..." He isn't sure what to say, and as his eyes dart between the two of them, he realizes why things feel off, and it's not just the way they're looking at him. The uniforms are slightly wrong, displaying an insignia he doesn't recognize. "I... agree with Chakotay?"

Chakotay looks gleeful, and Janeway frowns, studying his eyes for a second. She raises her hand and motions, and before Gene knows what's happening, he can feel a phaser pressing into his back.

"And there's number two. I should have known."

"Ma'am...?" Gene doesn't dare move his head to see who's behind him.

Janeway moves toward him, slowly, looking him up and down. "Harry's too stupid to have ambitions that big. You, on the other hand..." She stops in front of him and crosses her arms. "Tell me the name of your handler in the Alliance and maybe I'll let you live."

"I... don't know what you're talking about."

Janeway turns to Chakotay. "Looks like you'll get a chance to try out Mr. Telfer's modified Ulcartic virus after all. If he doesn't break, we still have Mr. Kim."

"With pleasure," Chakotay says with a grin, and as he approaches Gene, Gene can see a hypospray in his hand.

He's pretty sure he isn't going to like whatever's in that hypo.

"Chakotay... You... you don't have to..."

"This won't hurt," Chakotay says, stopping in front of him, then laughing. "No, it'll hurt. A lot. Normally it kills its host in minutes, but this version..." he taps his hand against the hypo casing. "...This version will leave you in agony for hours."

"Last chance, Mr. Paris," Janeway says, looking bored of the situation again. "We don't have all day."

"I..." Gene stops and thinks. B'Elanna probably already has what she needs in terms of sensor readings. Even if the phaser was set to kill -- and he's pretty sure it wouldn't be, if they wanted information from him -- he would still jump back to his own time if he was shot. And he doesn't seem to be in a position to do much in this... time, anyway.

He makes a decision, lunging for the Captain.

And everything goes black.

"Easy, Gene," Janeway says, and Gene bolts upright.

He's back in sickbay, and Janeway's looking at him with concern, one hand on his back. Billy's at his side in a flash, taking his hand in his.

"That one... didn't feel like time travel," Gene says, frowning and trying to catch his breath. "Everything was... off. We were underground? And Harry was being tortured. Chakotay was going to use a... Ulcartic virus on me."

Janeway looks concerned. "Sounds like Chakotay was being mind controlled? I don't remember any incidents like that. Is it possible that you travelled to the future?"

Gene shakes his head. That doesn't sound right, either. "It was almost like I was in another... universe."

"Another universe," Billy repeats, grabbing a padd and tapping on it. "Oh, here's something about the multiverse. I remember reading about that a few years back. Let me... let me refresh my memory."

"Captain," B'Elanna says, striding into the room so quickly she almost runs into the doors as they open, and Gene and Janeway both turn toward her.

"What is it, B'Elanna?"

"I think we have something."

"The field stretches," B'Elanna says, pointing to a screen on one of the sickbay consoles. "Like a rubber band. And it... I wish we could do this in astrometrics."

"I would not recommend moving Ensign Kim at this time," The Doctor says. "Crewman Paris' insights have proven useful, and this is the only place where he can be present, at the moment."

"B'Elanna," Janeway says, urging her to continue.

B'Elanna shakes her head. "I was saying that the field stretches. When the two would stop overlapping, there's a bit of 'give', and the fields both stretch to maintain their connection."

Billy frowns at the screen. "And when it stretches too far, it snaps?"

"Exactly," B'Elanna says, hitting a button on the screen. Gene watches the circle around the stick figure bounce slightly as it changes size. "Gene didn't move very far outside the range, so the snap back was relatively minor."

"That could explain the second jump," Billy says. "From sickbay. We had gotten all the way to deck ten before that. If both fields snapped back more violently, maybe they were still oscillating when Gene and Harry were both here in sickbay. Enough to cause a second jump, even when they would have normally been within range of each other."

"That's possible," B'Elanna says. "I've stopped trying to understand this thing. It doesn't behave like any temporal field I've ever seen. And look at this..."

She taps another button and the screen switches to a side view of the ship. A small blip appears on the screen, and Gene isn't sure what he's looking at.

"A temporal rift," Janeway says, following along with B'Elanna's explanation. "At the point where and when the two fields snapped."

"Not just temporal," Billy says, staring at the screen.

"Ensign?" Janeway asks, turning to him, and Billy blushes.

"Sorry. Um. Look at this." He points at a line on the side of the schematic. "This almost looks like..." He stops, looking like he's had a sudden realization. "The multiverse."

"Of course!" B'Elanna suddenly looks excited, tapping some buttons on the screen. "That would explain why nothing I do here can interact with the field. It's not just temporal. It's also trans-universal."

Gene must look confused, because Billy looks over at him and launches into an explanation. "The multiverse is the multiple parallel universes that exist, side by side. A new one is created for every possible outcome of every possible action or decision. If you're jumping around in the multiverse in addition to through time, it would explain why your actions in the past don't affect our universe now, like when Voyager was destroyed. These universes normally don't interact, but on rare occasion, they can intersect at a weak point, and material from one universe can unintentionally cross over into another." He stops. "At least that's, um... what I read."

"Or someone can intentionally cross between them," Janeway says, turning to Gene. "Gene, you said your last jump was to a universe where Chakotay was using an Ulcartic virus as a torture device?"

Gene nods, even as Billy looks distinctly uncomfortable. "That's right."

"That sounds like the mirror universe," Janeway says.

"Captain?" Neither Billy nor B'Elanna seem to be following.

"First encountered by Captain Kirk in 2267," Janeway says. "It's a parallel universe whose progress and progression closely mirrors our own, with some pretty big exceptions around morals and ethics. A number of crossovers between that specific universe and ours, some intentional, have been documented."

"So it's possible to build a device to intentionally travel between universes," B'Elanna says, following along now. "Such a device would have to create a rift both in spacetime and between universes. And the rift would look a lot like..."

Gene stares at the screen. "Like that?"

B'Elanna nods, and then grins. "We need to cause a bigger snap."

Chapter End Notes

Yeah, yeah. We're going to assume there have been intentional crossover incidents other than the ones directly shown in DS9 because the entire rebellion (and the entire Alliance) can't just be focusing on the DS9 cast for victory. Voyager launched 48315.6, which aligns with the first half of DS9 season 3, so we have Crossover to reference, and aren't far away from Through the Looking Glass, so let's say there were previous tests of the multi-dimensional transporter (Smiley probably wouldn't test it on himself or risk Sisko first), and something something Captains-only knowledge about the incidents (because Sisko was still a Commander at the time).

We'll also assume that Janeway and Chakotay are somewhat in positions of power in the Mirror Universe as well and that, even though the rebellion is still ongoing, the old Terran desire to progress through assassination or incapacitation is still ever-present.

The Way You Feel

Chapter Notes

The Captain puts a hand gently on Gene's shoulder. "Are you ready?"

Gene nods. "I have the easy part, Captain," he says, for his benefit more than hers. He hadn't really followed Janeway and B'Elanna's discussions -- about transporter beams and annular confinement -- even when Billy had jumped in with thoughts on ways to adjust the targeting scanners to more easily and quickly detect life signs.

But he thinks he probably did have the easiest job. All he had to do was to cause a... snap.

Janeway nods, moving to a console in sickbay and tapping her commbadge. "Janeway to transporter room."

"Torres here," B'Elanna says over the comm.

"Are you ready down there?"

"Yes, Captain," B'Elanna says. "If this works the way we expect, we should have enough time to scan through the rift, lock on, and beam her back. Billy's convinced that he'll be able to find her, if she's there."

"And within range," Billy's voice adds. "'am. Sorry."

Gene smiles, despite himself, and Janeway nods, tapping her comm badge again. "Janeway to Tuvok."

"Tuvok here. We are in position, captain."

"Good. B'Elanna and Billy are standing by. Energizing in 5... 4... 3..."

Gene swallows the sense of panic threatening to rise in his chest, and steels himself.

"2... 1... Energizing," Janeway says, and Gene's world dissolves around him.

He finds himself in the Delta Flyer, and Tuvok and The Doctor stare at him expectantly. He can make out Voyager, alone in the vast darkness of space, through the front windows of the shuttlecraft.

"Mr. Paris," Tuvok says, nodding at him, and The Doctor pulls out a tricorder.


Gene shakes his head. "Not ye..."

Before he can complete his sentence, his head suddenly feels like it's on fire. Lights dance in his vision, which is suddenly full of a blinding white, and a loud buzzing fills his ears as he collapses to the floor. He clamps his hands over his ears, squeezing his eyes as tightly shut as he can, but with no effect. He's pretty sure he's screaming.

"Tuvok to Torres," he makes out through the light and pain and sound before everything, mercifully, goes black.

"Are you sure that was okay?"

Gene feels warm, and safe. He can feel someone up against him, flesh on flesh, their hand gently tracing nonsensical shapes and patterns over his chest and through his chest hair.

That voice had been Billy's.

He opens his eyes, and his vision takes a second to focus. They're in their quarters, and Billy's curled up against his side, eyes shut with a soft, contented smile on his face that Gene doesn't think he'll ever get enough of. They're both naked, legs intertwined, and he can feel a wet spot on...


Gene remembers this. He thinks he'll never be able to forget this. This was about a month and a half ago.

"Gene?" Billy asks, opening his eyes and looking up at him, the contentment on his face now sharing space with a slight expression of concern. "Was that... not okay?"

"That was perfect," Gene reassures, kissing Billy's forehead. "Sorry. I was just... distracted. By you. And by... this."

Billy blushes and closes his eyes again, his head returning to its position on Gene's shoulder. "Me... me too."

In truth, Gene's distracted by the question of why he'd jumped here. Harry clearly wasn't here, and he only jumped to places that were in physical proximity to Harry.

He's starting to worry that they'd gotten something wrong -- that the plan was ruined because of him and his wild conjectures -- when the door chime sounds.


"Go away," Billy murmurs, and Gene remembers this too. "Not you. The door. The... whoever's at the door."

Gene pauses before gently sliding away from Billy in the bed. As much as he didn't want to move -- and hadn't back in the real timeline -- he's pretty sure he'd hate having to contend with intense nausea before he wakes up, more.

And, either way, he'd spoil the mood.

Billy makes a frustrated noise, his eyes following Gene as he grabs his underwear and a robe, figuring they were sufficient for now.

"Sorry," Gene says, with a smile he hopes will make up for the interruption. Billy nods and pulls the sheet further up, covering his chest, and grabs a padd off the end table.

Gene stands at the door and hits the button. It slides open, and Harry's standing there, a smile on his face that turns sheepish as he notices Gene's state of undress. "Hey."

"Hey, Harry. Sorry. We weren't expecting company."

Harry coughs, awkwardly. "I got off duty early today and wanted to stop by and see if you were... free. But you look busy, so I'll just... go..."

Gene almost nods before realizing. He reaches out and grabs Harry's shoulder. "Wait!"

Harry turns back, surprised, and Gene can tell that Billy's staring at him now, too, from his bed.

"Unless you're... not busy?"

"Wait right here," Gene says, hitting the button to close the door again.

Billy's sitting up in bed now, looking at Gene with confusion. "Is everything..."

"Everything's fine. I just..." Gene looks around the room, trying to think of a way to knock himself unconscious before Harry left. "I need a... I need a seditive."

"You need... what?!" Billy's definitely confused now, and maybe also a little worried and upset. Gene has to tell himself that the real Billy wouldn't remember any of this afterward. He can't stand when Billy's upset.

"It's a long story," Gene says, before giving in to the look Billy's giving him. He stops, sits on the side of the bed, and kisses Billy, gently.

"A... sedative?" Billy murmurs, even though the kiss had had its intended effect. "Why would..."

"I... I can't explain," Gene says. "I just... it's not you. This is perfect. You're perfect. I love you."

He freezes, and Billy's eyes grow wide at that. Neither of them had ever said the words before, but as he sits there, staring into Billy's eyes, the panic of the situation subsides -- at least a little -- replaced with a quiet contentment.

He does love Billy, he realizes.

Billy's eyes grow soft, and he smiles at Gene. "I... oh," he says, before blushing. "I... I didn't..."

Gene kisses him again, quickly, both out of need and a desire to move the situation along. "A sedative," he repeats.

Billy nods. "Um." He seems to think. "Replicator. Improvoline. 3 ccs, or up to 7 if needed. The Doctor suggested it for me a few times back when I... needed to be calmed down." He pauses. "Who's it for?"

Gene kisses him again before forcing himself to the replicator. He doesn't dare answer Billy's question. "Computer. A hypospray with 7ccs improvoline."

There's a whirring noise as the replicator assembles the molecules together. He picks up the hypo, and it feels heavy in his hand.

He doesn't want to leave this moment. Even now, in this timeline where he'd changed the course of events from the original -- where they'd quietly fallen asleep in each others' arms -- and confused Billy, he doesn't want to leave. He wants to return to bed with Billy. Kiss him again. Pull him close. Wrap his arms around...


Gene brings the hypospray to his neck and presses the button.

"Hey," Billy's voice says as Gene opens his eyes and his vision slowly focuses on a smiling Billy. "We did it. You did it."

"I love you," Gene says before he can think better of it, the memory from just moments ago still fresh in his mind.

Billy's eyes grow wide, just like they had in their room, before he squeezes them shut and he blushes.

"I... me too," he says. "I still can't believe you..."

Gene reaches up, grabbing Billy and pulling him down for a kiss. It's quick, and Billy makes a face when he pulls away.

"Sorry. I like kissing you, but the number of bacteria that..."

"I haven't brushed my teeth for a few days," Gene says. "Sorry. This... wasn't the most romantic thing I could've done."

Billy chuckles, softly, moving down for a kiss again, although Gene notices he aims for his cheek, this time. "Still. I..."

"How is she, Doctor?" Janeway asks, striding into the room with B'Elanna, and Gene notices, for the first time, Seven on the biobed next to him.

"Extremely malnourished and dehydrated," The Doctor says, preparing a hypospray and pressing it against her neck. "If she was fully human, she would have died."

"Can you wake her?"

Gene isn't sure he'd heard her properly, and the Doctor looks at Janeway like she's crazy. "Captain. I just said that Seven..."

"We still have no treatment for Harry," Janeway says. "He's running out of time. Seven might have an answer for us, since she was inside the rift. Can you wake her?"

"I can, but it would be..."

"Do it."

The Doctor hesitates for a bit. "Captain, I really think that..."

"Unless you're going to tell me it'll kill her, Doctor, we don't have a choice. Wake her."

The Doctor nods, grabbing the hypospray again and pressing it to Seven's neck. Seven makes a coughing noise, and her arm seems to flail.

"Seven," Janeway says. "You're back on Voyager."

"Voyager," Seven murmurs, her eyes fluttering open but not focusing on anyone.

"We need to know if you have any information on temporal trans-universal field emitters."

"Temporal... flux..." Seven says as her eyes close again. "Emitters..."

"Seven!" Janeway yells, and Seven's eyes snap open. "Yes, the emitters. I need you to tell us how to destroy the emitters."

"Nano... probes," she says, her eyes starting to shut again. "Vaccine..."

"Seven!" Janeway yells again, but Seven doesn't react this time. She looks at The Doctor. "Revive her. Again."

"Wait!" B'Elanna interrupts, The Doctor stopping, already halfway to her neck with a hypospray. "Captain. I think I understand."

Janeway nods. "Explain."

"The emitters are in a state of temporal and trans-universal flux. There's no way to extract them once they're in place, because they're never both here and now at the same time. But they have to be inserted, either by accident or intentionally, somewhere and sometime."

"You're saying we can prevent them from being inserted, at the time and place when they're inserted," Janeway says, seemingly understanding now. "With nanoprobes."

B'Elanna nods. "Because they're temporal and trans-universal, that prevention somewhere and some time should be effective everywhere amd every time. We need to inject Harry and Gene... or I guess that would be Tom... with specifically-programmed nanoprobes, at some time prior to the attack in the mess hall. The nanoprobes can destroy the emitters before they get a chance to activate."

"But to do that, we'd need someone to travel through time," Billy says, before realization sets in, and he turns toward Gene, a look of fear and regret on his face. "No..."

"Gene." Janeway puts her hands on his shoulders. Her grip is firm, but reassuring. "You've already done a lot, but you're the only one who can do this quickly enough to save Harry's life."

Gene swallows, his throat suddenly dry.

"Gene..." Billy says, his voice full of worry.

Gene nods. "I can do it, Captain."

"This is what to look for," The Doctor says, handing a tricorder to Gene. "You can see the emitters on this scan when you tune to this temporal frequency. Make sure it's a medical tricorder."

"I understand, Doc," Gene says, reviewing the screen one more time to make sure he has it straight. He hadn't quite understood why any time before the attack wouldn't work, but B'Elanna had said something about temporal effects and it had all gone over his head.

He prefers having a definitive signal to look for, anyway.

"If you don't see the emitters, you're clear to proceed, and need to give me this information," B'Elanna says, handing him a padd. "I've reduced it down as much as possible, but the more detail you can provide, the easier and quicker it'll be for me to program the nanoprobes."

Gene studies the information on the padd, committing it to memory. He idly wonders if Tom's memory had been as good as his now seems to be, or if it was a side effect of the operation that cured him. "Got it."

"And if you do see the emitters," The Doctor says, "come back, quickly. We'll need to try again."

"What about coming back when he's done?" Billy asks, and everyone looks at him. "I mean... if Gene eliminates the emitters in his brain, will he be able to get back here?"

"A shot of anesthizine," The Doctor says -- as if he'd already been thinking the same thing -- as he turns back to Gene. "With the nanoprobes. Inject Mr. Kim first and then yourself. It should act quickly enough that you'll be returned before the nanoprobes have neutralized the emitters."

"Anesthizine," Gene repeats, going over all the other information in his head as well. "Got it."

"Gene," Janeway starts, but he smiles at her.

"Captain. I can do this."

She nods, and smiles back at him. "I know you can. Just one more thing. Alpha Pi 20, Phoebe Mollie 70."

Gene frowns, repeating the words in his head. "Ma'am?"

"If you have difficulty getting Seven, B'Elanna, or The Doctor to cooperate, find me, and give me that sequence. I'll know what it means. Ready?"

He nods, running over all the information again, watching as Billy and The Doctor walk out the sickbay door together. "Ready."

He squeezes his eyes shut, reminding himself that they're putting him just a couple meters outside the range this time. The jump won't hurt this time. Billy will be waiting for him this time.

It only helps a little.

Janeway taps her commbadge. "Janeway to transporter room. Energize."

Chapter End Notes

I feel a little bad for the alternate universe Toms and Genes (and Billys and Harrys) afterward, left to pick up the pieces of Gene's brief impact on their timelines. Imagine you've just had sex for the first time and your partner knocks themselves out with a sedative and then wakes up with no memory of why he did what he did. I'm sure you'd be real assured by that reaction.

Also Mirror Paris is in for some bad times now. (But let's be honest... he's probably actually guilty of trying to overthrow Janeway's control of their rebellion cell.)

Through The Raging Sea

Chapter Notes

"How much for the entire tray?"

Gene opens his eyes to find himself in an unfamiliar room. As he looks around, he realizes it's not just a room. It appears to be the central area of a large, multi-story atrium, surrounded by walkways and bustling with people. He thinks the closest thing he's seen to this is engineering, and this is much bigger.

"Cash or credit?" an unfamiliar voice says, and he turns toward it, spotting Harry talking to a short man with large ears, behind the counter of what looks like a bar.

"Harry!" he calls, quickly making his way over.

Harry turns toward him, looking confused. "Um... I'm sorry. Do I know you?"

"Sorry. I just... what's the stardate?"

"48039.4," says the man behind the counter. "Now go away. This young ensign and I were just discussing his souvenir purchase for his family."

It's the earliest stardate Gene thinks he's ever heard -- at least with respect to his and Tom's histories -- and he's pretty sure he's not on Voyager, nor in the holodeck. He considers going back, and trying again, but he isn't sure he wants to experience the jump transitions again, even when they're more gradual.

He resolves to make this work, if he can. Besides, there was no guarantee his next jump would be any better, and besides, B'Elanna had said something about 'the earlier, the better' despite temporal unpredictability.

"Do you know Seven of Nine or B'Elanna Torress?"

"What's with all these questions?!" The man asks, angry now. "Leave! Or do I need to call security?!"

Harry looks at him, confused, and Gene remembers B'Elanna telling him about how the Voyager crew consisted of both Starfleet and Maquis members, who joined forces after the ship's launch from Deep Space Nine. Looking around, he supposes that's where he is now, based on Harry's reaction.

Which would mean no B'Elanna. And no Seven of Nine.

He's about to give up when another memory surfaces of Harry, telling Gene over lunch one day about how he and Tom had met. And how Tom had saved him from a Ferengi bartender trying to sell him Lobi crystals.

Which would mean the man behind the counter was Quark. And Quark, as B'Elanna had said, was notorious with the Maquis for selling anything.

"I'd like to make a purchase, myself," Gene says. "I'm looking for Borg nanoprobes."

Harry's eyes grow wide, and Quark scoffs. "Nanoprobes?! Those are illegal to possess for any reason in the Federation. Why would I have nanoprobes?!"

Gene puts on his friendliest smile. "Worth billions of times their weight in latinum." He hopes he's remembering the correct word from his conversation with B'Elanna.

Quark stares at him for a moment longer before grabbing his collar and pulling him close. "How much?"

"Double," Gene says, hoping the response is both vague enough and enticing enough.

Quark considers for a moment. "Charge?"

"Charge it to Eugene..." he starts, before realizing. "I mean Thomas. Thomas Paris."

Quark releases his collar, bending down under the bar briefly before returning with what looks like it should be a padd. "Fingerprint."

Gene presses his fingerprint into the padd. The device beeps, Quark looks at it and nods, stealthily handing him a small vial.

"Thank you," Gene says, tucking it into his boot. Quark had indicated they were illegal, and although he thinks it could have just been a sales tactic, he doesn't want to find out.

"For what? I didn't sell you anything," Quark says, turning back to Harry. "About those Lobi crystals..."

"I need a science officer," Gene says to Quark. "Or an engineer."

Gene thinks it's a miracle he'd been able to convince Harry to follow him, after that exchange, in search of a Lieutenant Dax. He'd been hoping Harry hadn't been exaggerating how much he'd appreciated Tom getting him out of the situation at Quark's.

And Gene had apparently just done the same thing.

"Okay, stop," Harry says, grabbing Gene's arm. "How do you know who I am? Are you stationed on Voyager, too?"

Gene nods, looking around Harry for a woman in teal 'with spots'. "Yeah, I... it's a long story, but I was sent to take care of you."

"Thomas Paris," Harry says. "Why is that name familiar? Is there an... an Admiral Pa..."

"I... don't know," Gene says, spotting a candidate for Dax. He grabs Harry's arm and pulls him through the crowd. "Come on!"

"My mom's going to kill me," Harry yells into the wall. Gene doesn't look at him, instead staring out through the forcefield of the security cell. "I should've just bought the freaking lobi crystals."

"I'll take responsibility," Gene says, hoping to calm him down. "I was my fault. I..."

"Here they are, Commander," says a voice that Gene recognizes as Odo, and Odo walks into the room with a man wearing a red command uniform. The pips on his collar indicate the rank of Lieutenant Commander.

Gene had expected Chakotay, but he doesn't recognize this man.

"Thank you, Constable," the man says, standing in front of the cell and staring into Gene's eyes.

Gene looks away. The man's gaze is piercing.

"The observer," the man says, not even bothering to hide his disdain. "And Ensign Kim."

"I need to speak with Captain Janeway," Gene says, not daring to turn around to look at Harry. The man scoffs.

"At least we can agree on one thing," the man says, looking over at Odo. "Are they free to go?"

"Lieutenant Dax has declined to press charges," Odo says, looking disappointed as he taps a control panel on the wall. The force field in front of Gene disappears. "I recommend you escort them off the station. Quickly."

The man nods and grabs Gene's arm, roughly, dragging him out of the cell and toward the door. "The captain's waiting."

"You'd better have a good explanation for this, Mr. Paris," Janeway says, glaring at him from her desk in a room Gene doesn't recognize. "And you, Ensign! What the hell were you thinking?!"

"It's my fault," Gene says, hoping to draw her attention away from Harry. "I can explain."

"I'm waiting."

He swallows, trying to think through whether to tell her the truth or not. There was no way she'd believe him. But...

"I'm from the future..."

"Get them out of here," Janeway says, throwing the padd she's holding down on her desk and turning away.

"Wait!" Gene says, as he feels Commander Cavit's grip on his arm. "Captain!"

"Don't make me stun you," Cavit growls. "Paris."

"Alpha Pi 20," Gene yells, trying desperately to remember the Captain's words as Cavit drags him toward the door.

"Security to the ready room," he can hear Cavit yell behind him.

"...Phoebe Mollie 70!"

He can hear the door to the room slide open, and footsteps of two -- maybe more -- people entering the room.

He closes his eyes and lets Cavit drag him along. He'd failed.

He'd need to try again.

He hopes it wouldn't be too late.


The room is silent. He opens his eyes again, watching Janeway turn to face him. Neither of them speaks for a bit.

"What did you say?"

"Alpha Pi..." he starts again, but she holds up her hand, cutting him off.

"Temporal authorization code," Janeway murmurs to herself before returning her gaze to Gene. "Who told you that?"

Gene doesn't dare look over at Harry, or Cavit, or the security officers who were in the room. He swallows. "You did. Seven years from now."

She stares him in the eyes, as if searching for something. He forces himself not to look away.

"Captain," Cavit says from behind him. "You can't seriously belie..."

"You're dismissed," Janeway says, shifting her gaze to Cavit. Apparently she'd found what she was looking for in Gene's eyes. "Everyone except Mr. Paris."

"And Harry," Gene adds, quickly. "Um. Ensign Kim."

Janeway nods, even though she clearly doesn't understand. "And Ensign Kim."

"Ma'am?" Harry asks, his voice shaky. Gene doesn't blame him. After everything he'd put Harry through today, he wouldn't trust himself at the moment, either.

"Captain..." Cavit objects, but Janeway glares at him.


Gene waits until the footsteps fade away and the door slides closed before he lets out a breath he hadn't realized he'd been holding. He watches Janeway sit at her desk, her eyes on him the entire time.

"Now, Mr. Paris. The truth. Why are you here?"

And Gene tells her.


Cavit, standing beside Gene and Harry, shakes his head. "Captain's orders, Jeff. Hell if I understand."

Dr. Fitzgerald stares at Cavit for a moment, some unspoken message passing between them, before shifting his gaze to Gene. It's hard and unyielding, and Fitzgerald makes no effort to move.

"I... I'm in a hurry," Gene says, and Fitzgerald rolls his eyes, nevertheless grabbing a tricorder from a table and slamming it, with more force than necessary, into Gene's waiting hand.

"Anything else?" he asks, his tone definitely unfriendly.

"Two doses of anesthizine," Gene says, already setting the tricorder to what he hopes are the correct settings. He kicks himself for not having started with the scan. If the emitters were present...

"No," Fitzgerald says. "No way. I don't know what the hell you're planning on doing with it, but I'm not going to..."

"Cavit to Janeway," Cavit says, tapping his commbadge.

"Janeway here."

"Mr. Paris has requested two doses of anesthizine. Surely..."

"Give him the anesthizine, commander," Janeway says. "Janeway out."

"You heard the Captain," Harry says next to him, a slight bounce in his voice, and Gene swears Harry's actually enjoying this now.

Or maybe Gene had just driven him to hysteria.

Gene's fingers shake as he enters the last setting and pulls out the scanner. He almost drops it, but manages to steady himself, holding his hand out toward Harry.

"Am I... infected?" Harry asks, understanding the significance.

Gene doesn't dare breathe as he passes the scanner over Harry's torso, his eyes focused on the screen. The device seems to take forever as it processes the results.


He lets out his breath, turning the scanner on himself, running it over his forehead and hair.


He almost drops the tricorder, and wants to yell in triumph, but reminds himself they're not done yet.

"Hypo okay?" Fitzgerald asks, returning and aggressively holding out a hypospray that Gene takes gratefully.

"Yes," Gene says, giving him a smile that is definitely not returned, and handing the tricorder back to him. "Thank you."

"Anything else?"

Gene shakes his head. "Not from you, Doctor. Thank you for your help." He turns toward Cavit. "I need a padd, and I need the chief engineer."

Cavit glances back at Fitzgerald before starting toward the door. "From first officer to the errand boy," he mutters. "Fine. Let's go find Honigsberg."

Honigsberg squints at the padd that Gene had handed him, as if he doesn't quite understand. "What the hell is this?! I'm supposed to program Borg nanoprobes?! To emit a specific temporal resonance frequency?! And latch onto and self-destruct with... what?!"

"Do the instructions not make sense?" Gene asks, worried he'd misremembered some part of the instructions. "If there's a part that..."

"No, these instructions make sense, but..." Honigsberg scratches his head. "Nanoprobes?! Where the hell am I supposed to get nanoprobes?!"

Gene bends down, reaching into his boot, his chest filling with relief when he finds the small vial there. He thanks his past judgement for not showing the vial to Dax immediately upon confronting her. He pulls it out and holds it out toward Honigsberg.

Honigsberg looks a combination of horrified and intrigued as he stares at it, while next to Gene, Cavit jumps backward.

"Cavit to Janeway!"

"Janeway here. What now, commander?"

"Mr. Paris has..."

"You are to give Mr. Paris your full cooperation, commander," Janeway says, annoyance in her voice. "Was my order unclear?"

Gene really likes the look on Cavit's face.

"No, ma'am," he says. "Cavit out."

Honigsberg takes the vial from Gene, gingerly. "I've never done this before," he says. "Hell, I bet no one in Starfleet has done this before."

"Can you do it?"

Honigsberg nods. "Probably. Let me... give me a few minutes. This shouldn't be too different than regular nanobots. I hope."

Gene watches him walk off with the vial through a door in the side of engineering. Cavit sighs next to him. "What now?"

"Now," Gene says, "we wait."

Harry, Gene, Cavit, and Honigsberg stare at the hypospray in Gene's hand.

"What are we injecting?" Harry asks, half a smile on his face. "A bulkhead? A gel pack? Tissue sample?"

"You might want to sit down for this," Gene says. He wishes he understood more about the nanoprobes, or the programming. He'd feel more comfortable with this if he could check Honigsberg's work.

"Right. Because you're going to inject me," Harry says with a laugh. His eyes grow wide as he realizes Gene isn't laughing with him. "Wait..."

"Alex...?" Cavit asks, looking at Honigsberg with trepidation, and Honigsberg shrugs.

"Their original programming is gone, so Ensign... uh, the Ensign shouldn't start turning into a Borg. But uh..."

"Phasers," Cavit says holding his hand out.

"Phasers," Honigsberg agrees, quickly grabbing a couple from under a nearby workstation.

"Computer, erect a level 10 force field around the primary workstation in the science lab, and a level 9 force field around the science lab. Release only with authorization from Lieutenant Alexander Honigsberg or Lieutenant Commander Aaron Cavit."

The force fields pop into place, and Gene watches the two of them set their phaser settings and aim them at Harry, who sits heavily on the floor, looking up at him. "Tom...?"

Gene kneels next to him, and tries to put on his most convincing smile. "Harry. I know this all seems insane. But trust me."

It shouldn't work, but Gene can't help but think that somehow their friendship must transcend time and space (and his two 'lives'), because Harry nods and closes his eyes. "I trust you. Do it."

Gene looks up at Cavit and Honigsberg, both holding their phasers, and both watching him. Gene notices their arms are steady, their faces betraying no fear. Gene knows he wouldn't be nearly as put-together at the moment, in their position.

He tells himself to look the two up when he gets back to his own time. He wants to meet them, if they ever get back to Earth. He wants to thank them.

"Here goes nothing," he says, his own arm shaking as he brings the hypospray to Harry's neck and presses the button. Almost immediately, Harry slumps against the wall.

The three of them watch for a few seconds, but there's no change, and Gene takes that as a good sign. He looks up at Cavit and Honigsberg, who stare at him for a few moments before shifting their phasers to him.

"Thank you, Commander," he says, holding the hypospray against his neck. "And Lieutenant. For your help."

"Godspeed," Honigsberg says with a smile. Cavit just nods, his expression still hard. Gene presses the button on the hypospray.

And everything goes black.

Chapter End Notes

This chapter was inspired in part by the Cavit Ro Voyager Series by ApostropheN, because he made me fall in love with the OG crew, and I couldn't pass up the opportunity to throw them in here. Cavit and Fitzgerald's first names also taken from that series.

It felt to me like Janeway would spend at least some of her free time planning for contingencies, so a code someone could repeat to her in the event of (planned) time travel feels like a very her thing to do.

I'd Like To End With You

"How was your first away mission?"

"Hm?" Gene looks down at Billy -- whose head is lying comfortably on his chest with their arms around each other -- and gently runs a hand through Billy's hair. "Sorry. I was... thinking."

Billy chuckles and kisses Gene's chest. "I'm not surprised. It's been a long few days."

It had, but Gene's still surprised by how quickly it had ended. He'd returned from his trip -- to what had indeed been Voyager's launch from DS9 -- to find Harry already awake and recovering, Seven continuing to improve under The Doctor's care, and his own head now free of the emitters.

He had asked the Captain why everyone still remembered the emitters if they'd never been put in place, and she'd rubbed her head, reminded him that temporal mechanics gave her a headache, and promptly told him and Billy that they were off duty for three days. The Doctor hadn't been able to resist chiming in, ordering him immediately to bed to rest.

He and Billy hadn't gotten much rest, so far.

"How was... what?"

"Your first away mission," Billy says, closing his eyes and nuzzling into Gene's shoulder. "I still remember mine. It was a really good experience, in retrospect. And I was thinking that, in some ways, this was like an away mission for you."

Gene thinks about it for a bit, finding that he agrees with the sentiment. "You're right. It was a bit like a tour of Tom's life, or at least his friendship with Harry. I... feel like I know Tom a little better now."

"I'm glad."

"Yeah." Gene thinks for a bit. "I know I've been avoiding learning about him, and just finding out facts as they come up in conversation. But after this, I feel like I... want to read a bit more about him. His past. His role on the ship. Who he was." He pauses. "Is that... okay?"

"Why wouldn't that be okay?" Billy asks, confusion in his voice, and Gene can feel him frown against his chest.

"I guess maybe I've been afraid to learn more about him, because I wanted to be my own person," Gene says. "There were already so many expectations of me when I first... woke up, I guess. After being shot. And you're important to me, so I don't want to... dig into something that would make you uncomfortable."

Billy shifts so he's looking up at Gene and smiles. "As you keep saying, you're not Tom, and Tom isn't you. Learning more about Tom isn't going to... change you into him."

"That's... a good point."

Billy returns to his position on Gene's chest, against his shoulder. "I didn't really know, uh... Lieutenant Paris that well. But he always seemed like a really good person. I'm actually glad that you got to understand him a little more."

Gene nods. "Yeah. It was kind of like I met Tom." He thinks back to his last jump, and to Cavit and Fitzgerald and Honigsberg. "And a lot of other really good, brave people."

"Sounds nice."

The memory of the jump where he'd ended up right in this room, curled up with Billy just like this, enters his mind, and he smiles. "Some of it was very nice."

"In the jump where we rescued Seven... where did you go?"

Gene kisses Billy's head again, loving that they were both thinking about the same thing. "Here. Just about 7 weeks ago."

"Oh," Billy says, and from his reaction, Gene knows that Billy remembers that time as well as he does. "...wait."

"Harry was at the door."

"Oh." Billy shifts again, and Gene looks down at him. Billy's staring straight into his eyes, a slight smirk on his face. "Harry made you realize you loved me?"

Gene laughs, despite himself. "You did that on your own, Mr. Telfer."

That's apparently the right answer, because Billy captures his lips in a deep kiss.

"Billy! Gene!"

Gene stops walking at the sound of Celes' voice, and he and Billy turn around to see Celes running down the corridor toward them.

"I thought you'd be waiting for us in the mess hall," Billy says, smiling at her as she slows to a halt in front of them.

"Sorry!" she says, sheepishly. "I was finishing up a sensor analysis and wanted to double-check it, so I ran a little late. You know I've handed in five reports in a row now without errors?"

"You say that like error-free reports are unusual these days," Billy says, smiling at her as they start walking toward the mess hall again.

"Good thing too, since you never have time to help me anymore, given your new beau," she says, grinning at Gene. "I'm kidding," she adds, even though it'd been obvious to Gene that she had been.

Billy blushes. "Sorry. It's been a..."

She hits Billy's arm. "Oh, shush. I know both of you have been through a lot this past week, Gene especially. I'm glad he's okay, and you're okay."

"And Harry and Seven are okay," Gene adds.

Celes and Billy exchange a look that he doesn't understand, and then she's grabbing Gene's arm. "So what exactly happened? Billy just said you were jumping through time and had to save Seven of Nine and Ensign Kim."

"That... covers it, actually," Gene says, and she shakes her head.

"Nuh uh. I want details! Time travel?! When did you go?"

"Maybe we should... talk about something else," Billy says, knowing Gene still isn't sure about he feels about the entire experience.

Gene shakes his head as they walk through the doors to the mess hall. He thinks he doesn't mind so much anymore. "No, I..."

"Gene!" Harry and B'Elanna are sitting at a table with cups of what looks like coffee. Harry waves at him. Gene's immediately filled with a sense of relief. He'd known, of course, that Harry had fully recovered and been released from sickbay, but he hadn't seen him since then.

"I'll join you in a bit," Gene says to Billy and Celes, and Celes nods, releasing his arm and grabbing Billy's instead, pulling him to a seat in the corner.

"You look good," Gene says, sitting in the chair next to Harry.

"Careful. Your boyfriend might get jealous," B'Elanna says, smirking into her cup.

Gene blushes, but Harry just laughs. "Thanks. I don't actually remember anything after the alien jumped me. I just woke up in sickbay with a headache and..."

"...and a full body ache," Gene finishes. "Heard that one before."

Harry nods. "B'Elanna was telling me how you and Billy saved my life."

"And Seven's life," B'Elanna adds.

Gene shakes his head. "It was a group effort. We wouldn't have been successful if The Doctor and B'Elanna and The Captain hadn't..."

"In case you didn't know he wasn't Tom," B'Elanna interrupts, looking at Harry and smiling. "He's modest now."

Gene frowns. "Hey! I'm sure Tom was very modest!"

B'Elanna explodes into laughter, and Harry seems to inhale his coffee and launches into a coughing fit.

"Really though," Gene says, wishing he had a coffee mug to hide his face in. "It was a group effort."

"You know," B'Elanna says, calming down and looking serious now. "I thought it would be weird. You and me, working together like we did."

"I'm sorry," Gene starts, but B'Elanna shakes her head.

"No. I'm saying it wasn't weird. It felt like were just colleagues." She punches his arm and smiles at him. "And you did good, Paris. I was impressed."

Gene feels prouder than he thinks he should at that. "Billy had most of the insights. And you, after..."

"See?" B'Elanna says, grinning at Harry again. "Modest."

"How's Seven?" Gene asks, wanting to change the subject. He doesn't really like it when the conversation's about him.

"Our Borg queen's back to her old efficient self," B'Elanna says, sipping her coffee. "Oh! Did you hear why this all happened in the first place?"

Gene shakes his head. "I hadn't. It wasn't a random attack?"

B'Elanna shakes her head. "Apparently Seven had modified her nanoprobes to give off a low level of chroniton radiation. It was part of an experiment to try and make herself more efficient or something. It caused her to generate a temporal field that the aliens mistook as one of their species' lifesigns."

"Huh." It's one of the strangest things Gene's ever heard, but he admittedly hasn't had a lot of experience with... anything. "So we're not likely to experience another attack? Incident."

"The Doctor theorized that the attack was purely defensive," Harry says, shaking his head. "I almost died because trans-dimensional aliens thought I was a threat to Seven. Me!"

"In any case, we've removed her modifications," B'Elanna says. "And she's agreed to speak to myself and The Doctor before attempting any changes in the future."

"I bet Billy would be interested in reading the final report," Gene says, looking over at Billy and Celes, who are chatting in the corner. After the adrenaline of the mission had worn off, Billy had actually been interested in learning more about the aliens.

"I'll pass it along," B'Elanna says. "And we get it, Paris. You're in love. Stop giving him heart eyes across the room."

Gene blushes and stares down at his hands. "I... wasn't..."

B'Elanna downs the rest of her cup and stands. "Well, I should get back to engineering."

"And I should get to the bridge," Harry says, finishing his own cup. "First duty shift back."

"It was good to see both of you," Gene says, standing as well. "I'm glad you're better, Harry."

Harry nods. "Tomorrow's our usual holodeck time, and I hear you and Billy are off duty through then. Beach program?"

"I look forward to it."

Gene watches the two of them leave, reflecting on B'Elanna's words. She was right -- he feels like their first time working together, and seeing each other outside of casual lunch or coffee meetings, should have been awkward. Instead, in the moment, they'd both focused on what needed to be done. And afterward, the awkwardness that had remained in their interactions ever since he'd moved out of their quarters hadn't returned.

Billy looks over at him, meeting his gaze, and smiles. It's not anything, but it makes Gene blush anyway.

Maybe B'Elanna had been right about that too.

And as he makes his way over, and loves the feeling he gets when he hears Billy laugh with Celes, he thinks that maybe he doesn't mind.


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