9 Pictures of a Journey
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Looking through my album was like watching my life in the Delta quadrant unfold. And there beside me in nearly every image was B'Elanna.
This holoimage was one of the first ones of B'Elanna and me. It was taken shortly after we arrived in the Delta Quadrant. Captain Janeway is there in the back with her hand on Chakotay's shoulder. She's talking to Neelix and Kes. It was taken in sickbay after we all came back from the Ocampan homeworld. Chakotay is lying on a biobed so I reckon Doc hadn't got round to fixing his busted leg yet.
I wonder who took it. It could have been Tal. She was around in sickbay with Billy.
Did I realise even then I'd fall for B'Elanna? Yes, I think so. Even with the sores on her face and her eyes wild with temper, she had that vulnerable look about her that she tried so hard to hide and it got right under my skin. A look unlike the other women on the ship; the Delaney sisters for example, strong, confident always ready to party. Not B'E. At that time she was all anger and aggression.
I think this is the second picture in which we are together. Well not exactly alone together. It was taken during the luau on the holodeck. We worked so hard on that programme after a dodgy start in Nellix's Talaxian spa resort. I think that was the first proper party we had on board ship. B'E looked so beautiful in a vibrant Hawaiian dress.
That was the first time I realised how shy she was under that Klingon front. We are all grinning and holding Rekarri Sunbursts. Not sure what was so funny, probably Neelix trying to limbo. I'm clearer about what happened after the limbo. That was the first time she actually smiled at me, I mean really at me.
Now comes a more important one. This is the first one of just B'E and me, not me and B'E you note, but B'E and me. That's because it was taken in engineering and there she is in her element. Queen of all she surveys. I don't think she has any idea how many men on board had a crush on her. Hell it would have probably scared her to death if she had known.
My grin stretches from ear to ear because it is the first time she actually asked me on a date. Well it wasn't really a date but it was just her and me in a holodeck simulation working on some navigational upgrades. I should really look a little shamefaced because her last minute invitation meant that I had to cancel a teaching session with Tal. The girl really struggled with quantum mechanics. Looking back I can see how cruel I was and how I hurt Tal. But I can offer no excuses other than that I was young, selfish and rapidly becoming besotted with our Chief Engineer.
The Doc said I should play it cool, not make it so obvious that a snap of her fingers could bring me running whenever she wanted. Where was the confident man I always thought I was? Hell I'd had plenty of relationships before, even a long term one, but apparently I had trouble hiding my feelings for B'E. I thought I hid them quite well until Doc mentioned it, but perhaps his noticing was a holographic medical thing. Nobody else seemed to notice.
What on earth is this one? What does it say on the bottom? Oh yes, 'B'Elanna, Harry and the wreck of the Flyer. I remember it was taken when we all got back after the shuttlecraft crashed on that L Class planet. I don't think we ever found out what it was called. It was an odd place, feudal, exciting and man the strange play that fellow Kellis made up about us and Voyager in the Delta Quadrant. What was it called again? Something about Eternals I think.
I think this is my favourite picture of B'E by her self, beautiful, glowing, in love. How happy she looks. When I first got this picture, it was shortly after we had received our first messages from home and it made me even more nostalgic if anything. I hadn't got a message myself and that was a mixed blessing. It was so hard looking around the ship. Things were very tense, some good news, some really sad. The photo was taken on a shore leave before we heard about the terrible fate of the Maquis in the Alpha Quadrant. It was the last time I saw her smile for a long time.
There's a long gap in my collection after that. I just didn't seem to have the time to take any. Real life and work just took over. The Doctor was really busy too. Having the portable emitter meant he got on more away teams but it also gave him the opportunity to concentrate on images to further his medical research, which had the knock on effect of giving the rest of us extra work to do.
B'Elanna was strangely ambivalent about being engaged. It wouldn't be sensible to get married quickly she told me. It was best to wait until we got home. Life was too uncertain in the Delta Quadrant. It was too hectic on board Voyager to give the extra time to building a married life. It was hard to pin her down.
And then came 'The Race.' We look so good in the new white uniforms we had specially made for us. It was a shame about the xenophobic terrorist who tried to kill us all.
You couldn't guess at first glance how important this event was when this image was taken. Everyone in the mess hall, in uniform; if it wasn't for Captain Janeway wearing her dress uniform you wouldn't know it was any kind of special event. But there we all are, the bride taking centre stage looking as if all her dreams have come true at once. That was one hell of a day. We lost the race but gained the first married couple on the ship since we were flung out here.
I wonder if they realise how much of an impact their relationship had on me. Tom would laugh at my infatuation with his wife. "Harry, Harry, Harry, a hologram, the wrong sister, a Borg, an alien and now your best friends girl." I can just hear his laughter. B'Elanna would probably be embarrassed.
Ah! And here's the best wedding picture, a typical wedding group, family and friends in descending order of importance. There's Chakotay on the end, or what you can see of him behind the rather plump auntie in the flowery hat. Hey, I never noticed before, he's holding the Captains hand! Then there's Tom, B'Elanna, Me, Tal and the rest of the family.
And finally, the best till last. My wife and I with our beautiful baby boy. This one isn't staying in the album now we are home. It's going in a beautiful frame to take pride of place in our quarters.
We pose looking every inch the proud parents, Tal and me and our son. Tom says he's a 'chip off the old block' and I have to agree, he does look a lot like me. I don't think I have ever seen such a photogenic baby; he steals the scene from everyone.
When I joined Voyager I was expecting a simple two week mission. Instead I got the job of a lifetime with the best Captain ever. Had more adventures than most people would see in several lifetimes. Gained the two best friends a man could ever have in Tom and B'Elanna and found absolute happiness with my wonderful, beautiful wife and my gorgeous son.
Perfect. Well I think so anyway.
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