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Author's Note: Like P/T fans everywhere, I too felt "Day of Honor" needed a proper tag, and while I'm not the first and dead sure I won't be the last, I hope you enjoy my version nonetheless.

Day of Honour
by LJC

"Get this thing off her--"

"Is she going to be all--

"Everyone stand back, give them room--"

"Lieutenant! Can you hear me?"

Voices. After the pneumatic hiss of her EVA suit's helmet's seal being released, and sweet air rushing to fill her screaming lungs. The black void that had lately been her entire universe was filled with pinpricks of light that slowly resolved into the Doctor's face above hers.

"Lieutenant," The Doctor repeated, slowly it seemed to her, and she blinked. "How long were you unconscious?"

"Tom," was her answer, a frantic one at that as she struggled to sit up.

"I'm here," a voice near her ear, a strong hand gripping hers, and she relaxed, drawing in deep breaths. "I'm here."

B'Elanna closed her eyes, smiling, her hand locked around Paris' as the Doctor ran his scanners over the both of them.Harry followed the Captain and Chakotay out of Sickbay, relieved beyond all measure that his friends were alive and suffering no ill effects from their enforced spacewalk. He was also pretty chipper, considering they had lost the Cochrane--this time for good--and still had to re-install the warp core, not to mention the fact that rations were even tighter than ever thanks to "donations" to the Cataati.

And from the look the Captain and Chakotay had shared before the Doctor had shoo'd them out, he wasn't the only one who'd noticed.

"Ensign," Janeway turned on her heel and Harry had to stop quickly to avoid crashing into Chakotay. "What's the status of the warp engines?"

"Carey is overseeing the re-installation of the core. We should be back on-line in three hours or so."

"Good. After their ordeal, I think our chief engineer and pilot deserve some rest." The Captain's eyes were bright and a smile pulled at the corners of her mouth.

"Still planning to sleep the rest of the day away?" Tom asked as he and B'Elanna exited sickbay, given a clean bill of health by the Doctor.

"I don't know about you, but sleep is the last thing I want to do right now. That was a little too close for my tastes." B'Elanna looked up into Tom's eyes, trying to read his thoughts.

"B'Elanna, when we were out there, thinking we were going to die... I meant what I said."

"So did I," she said softly.

"No regrets?" Tom asked, guileless blue eyes boring into hers, and she gave his fingers a squeeze.

"No. Tom--it may have taken a brush with death for me to admit what I feel for you, but that doesn't make it any less true."

Tom glanced around the empty corridor quickly, and then met her eyes with a tentative smile, and pulled her into a fierce hug. "I don't know what I'd do if I'd lost you."

"Hey--close only counts in darts and horseshoes, right?" she said against his chest, and felt him chuckle. He pulled back, brushing her hair from her face and cupping her cheek tenderly. "I love you, Tom."

His eyes misted for a second, and he leaned forward to kiss her forehead. "I love you too," he said against her hair. "You know that, don't you?"

"I do now" she chuckled, and pulled back to see his face. He flushed, and she raised an eyebrow.

"Still feel like having that dinner?"

"You bet--but there's something I want to do first. The Day of Honour isn't over yet, and there's some unfinished business I want to take care of."

Taking a deep breath, B'Elanna stepped into the holodeck, the doors closing behind her and disappearing into the rock face. Flickering light from torches lit her way as she cautiously entered the ceremonial chamber. She hadn't reset the programme--no reason to have to stomach another bite of Targ Heart if she didn't have to--and if Tom was right, Mr. Surly would probably be pretty ticked to see her.

Sporting a hell of a shiner--B'Elanna felt a ridiculous moment of triumph--the tall warrior stepped out in front of her, blocking her path.

She held up a hand, and offered a rueful smile. "Before you break out the pain sticks--I think it's fair to warn you that today has been quite possibly the most difficult of my life thus far, culminating in floating in empty space in an evac suit with a limited oxygen supply, on the verge of death. So, you'll forgive me if I ask we skip to the chase."

Mr. Surly frowned, but did not raise the cattle-prod like object, a fact for which B'Elanna was most grateful.

"This is most unusual--"

"Yeah, well, I am a most unusual Klingon. You asked me before how I planned to distinguish myself. So I figured I'd fill you in on what I've learned. It won't be as vigorous as a session with a batleht master, I'm sure, but it's about all I'm prepared to give to this ceremony today.

"I was raised in a somewhat haphazard fashion when it comes to Klingon Tradition. And maybe my sense of Honour isn't as finely honed as it would have been if both my parents were Klingon and I'd grown up on the homeworld. But the fact of the matter is--I'm not full Klingon, or full human--I'm me. B'Elanna Torres. And I'd like to think that I'm managing to use the best of both my heritages, though sometimes they seems to be at odds with one another.

"But I was wrong, before. I said I wasn't living among warriors, but that's not exactly true. While I'm far from other Klingons, this crew is as courageous, as fierce and strong, in their own ways, as any Klingon crew. And I am a part of them--they've become my family, and it's important to me that I show them honour by doing the best job I possible can, and by being the best friend I possibly can, among.... other things.

"I know this isn't exactly what ancient Klingons had in mind when they came up with this holiday, but I've learned a lot about myself, today. For one thing, I was a coward. Because I let fear keep me from something.... someone I really wanted, and needed, and I won't make that mistake again. From now on, I'm going not going to let fear stop me from living my life. And... that's it. That's what's important to me. I may not be building any empires, but I'm building a life worth living based on honesty and my own particular brand of personal honour." She took a deep breath, waiting for Surly to give her some kind of lecture about the lagoons of Gorath and winning honour on the field of battle, but the holographic Klingon simply looked down at her with an expression of amusement on his face.

"Well? Come on, I had to beat you up the last time, now aren't you going to call me a p'tak and take a shot at me with your toys again?"

The Klingon laughed--threw his head back and howled. B'Elanna felt a flash of anger surge through her at the thought that he was laughing at her, and adopted a ready stance just in case, but he simply smiled down at her, a terrifying sight given that he had a mouthful of sharp, pointy teeth B'Elanna could only thank her father's genes she hadn't inherited.

"Qua'pla, little one! You may learn the meaning of what it is to be Klingon yet!" he crowed, and slapped her on the back, almost knocking her to her feet.

"You know--maybe this wasn't such a good idea after all." She surmised with a tight smile before ordering the computer to end programme. But she felt--better. Even though she and Tom had programmed this particular Klingon to the best of their ability and she had no idea what a real flesh and blood Klingon would have said, somehow she felt more at peace with herself than she had in a long time. She steeped out of the holodeck with a broad grin, and a bounce in her step.

She had a date to get ready for, after all. And she had a feeling she and Tom had a lot to talk about.


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