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A Time To Remember

A time to remember Pt I
Annie — 15 Sep 1998, 9:32 PM

This part comes right after Maureen's part in the beginning named (Meahwhile back at the ranch...) Basically it is a beginning to the Tom/Mr. Chakotay Torres/B'Elanna Torres history.

Tom had indeed been up all night. He had meandered into town to Quarks to try and give himself a little distraction. Spending time with the lovely Miss Jenny was one of his favorite things to do. In fact, spending time with any of the women at Quarks was his favorite thing to do. Miss Jenny was by far his favorite though.

There he was, shootin' the breeze and playin' a little poker with some of the local geezers. Miss Jenny was diligently giving him her undivided attention as usual. Normally he fancied the attention she bestowed on him, but he found her attentions to be a little annoying tonight. He couldn't keep his mind on the game either. <What was wrong with him he pondered.>

"Tommy boy?" came a voice from one of the geezers. Tom barely heard his name.

"Tommy, yoo hoo," came another voice.

This time he came out of his thoughtfulness and looked up.

"Wha... What?" he said wide eyed.

"Are ya in or out boy?"

He looked down at the cards in his hands, and realized it was the first time he even looked at them. <Damn, he thought.> He threw his cards face down on the table, and scooted his chair back.

"Well, gentlemen, it's been real swell, but I'm out. I'm callin' it a night," he stood, and reached for his unfinished whiskey, and downed it in one gulp. Placing his hat on his head, he sauntered toward the door.

Miss Jenny saw him heading out, and ran over to hook her arm in his before he could reach the door.

"Where ya goin' Tommy?" she smiled sweetly up at him, batting her eyelashes.

Secretely, she fancied herself married to this dashing young rancher. She had given him enough of her time she had. She weren't about to let him leave so early.

"I gotta go Miss Jenny, I got things to do," he said. Paying her little mind, he attempted to unlatch her hand from his arm, and continued for the door.

"Oh Tommy please stay fer awhile. I hardly got to spend any time with ya," she pouted, puffing out her lower lip. This always worked she thought to herself, grinning inwardly.

"Miss Jenny, I truly apologize to ya, but I really have to be gettin' along now," he loosed her hand, and strode out the door, leaving a dejected Miss Jenny in his wake.

Tom mounted his horse, and took off at a gallop from town. He didn't know quite where he was goin' but he was gonna get there fast. About a mile from his homestead, he brought his mount to a halt. He and the horse were both exhausted from the long fast run. He dismounted, and walked over to a large rock next to a watering hole, and let the horse lap up the cool water. He splashed some water over his face, and through his hair in an effort to cool himself down as well. Then he sat, and leaned back on the rock, He looked up at the night sky. The stars were ablaze, and the moon was full and shining. It's light casting a glow on the land. He pondered briefly on what it was like way up there with the stars, away from all the troubles that plagued his mind.

RE: A time to remember Pt 2
Annie — 16 Sep 1998, 12:29 PM

He looked over to his right, and saw the Torres house not far away. There were lights in the window he saw. *I wonder what she is doing* he thought. Ever since Mr. Torres, and his daughter B'Elanna had arrived at the Delta Q, he couldn't keep his mind off her. He had seen her a few times growin' up, but hadn't seen her in a long while before Ma had hired Torres to help her manage the ranch. The girl had gone off to some Academy in Federation City, and come back a woman, and damn good horse trainer. Boy if she weren't a pretty one too, he had to give her that, and sakes alive did she have a temper. Of course, she would have nothing to do with him. Told him one day straight to his face that he was a pig. A pig! Surely her Pa had filled her in on what a bad apple he was. So, he really couldn't blame her. He and Mr. Torres certainly did not see eye to eye, and had had a few scrapes between them since he had been hired on. He knew Mr. Torres didn't like him, and knew he had been good friends with his Pa.

Sittin' there thinkin' all this, he dropped his head to his chest, and shook it from side to side. He knew he had a reputation, a bad one at that, and was none too proud of it. He was always tryin' to live up to his Pa's expectations, and could never quite make it. Everything he did was wrong it seemed. He had gone to gambling, and women to ease himself, but that had only gotten him into more trouble than he cared to remember.

Then he heard a noise, He lifted his head to look around. Coyote were no strangers to these parts. Then he heard a voice cursin'. He tuned his ears in, and perused the landscape. He thought he saw movement to his right. He gingerly drew his gun, and slowly raised himself into a crouch by the rock. He moved slowly forward to the slightly moving heap he saw on the ground ahead. Moaning is what he heard as he got closer. Baffled to be sure, he holstered his gun, and lunged on the heap he saw before him.

"What do you think you are doin'," came the angry reply from underneath him.

He rolled the bundle over, and pinned it beneath him. Realizing it felt like a very womanly figure underneath him, he looked up to see the face of his prize. He gazed into the firey eyes of none other than the object of his thoughts. One B'Elanna Torres.

"Get off me," she spat.

He didn't move. "What are you doin' out here this late at night," he demanded.

"That is none of your business!" she responded, struggling underneath him.

"What's all yer moanin' and groanin' about?" he asked, still pinning her underneath his body.

"I twisted my ankle you pig! Now get off me!"

Tom rolled off from atop her, and pulled her into a sitting position. He immediately reached for her ankles trying to feel for swelling underneath her boots.

"Keep your hands off of me!" she said shoving his hands away.

I'm just tryin' to help. I think you should get yer boot off quick, and put that there ankle in the cool water over here.

"I'm not an idiot. I know what to do," she grumbled, glaring at him.

"Fine Miss B'Elanna," he sighed. "I'll just go back over here and resume my sittin', and let you be."

RE: A time to remember Pt 3
Annie — 16 Sep 1998, 2:50 PM

He sauntered back over to the rock, and sat down. He watched her try to stand, and grimaced a little in sympathy of her pain when she promptly fell back to her knees with a curse. She looked over at him, and even though it was dark, he knew she was glarin' at him. He couldn't help but let a chuckle escape him at her evil look. He wanted to go help her, but he stayed put. She tried to stand again, and actually made it to her feet, but when she tried to step forward, she fell to the ground again crying out in pain. That was it, he could take no more. At this rate, by the time she got to the watering hole, her ankle was gonna be so swelled, she would have to saw that boot off. He stood up, and walked over to her. He leaned down, and scooped her up in his arms, and headed for the watering hole with her squirmin' and kicking the whole way, and demandin' that he put her down. He put her down next to the water, and reached for her boot.

"I can do that," she bellowed at him.

"Woman, quit yer bellyaching, and let me get this boot off yer foot," he bellowed back.

Amazingly she shut up, and he reached for the boot again. Before tugging on it, he looked back at her, and just as he knew, she was glarin' at him real mean like.

"This is gonna hurt, but I will try to be as tender as I can," he said in a soft voice.

She didn't say a word, she just looked at him. He began gently pulling the boot off her foot. He heard her gasp in pain, and turned a worried look back to see if she was okay.

"You all right?"

"Yes, I'm fine. Just get it off please."

"Well now, you need me, I'm touched," he teased, giving her a little smile. Then he went back to pulling on the boot.

When he finally had the boot off, he pulled her stocking off as well. Taking her foot tenderly in his hand, he examined the ankle in the dim light of the moon, and saw it was swollen. Not too awful bad, but swollen none the less. And the lady was bein' mercifully quiet for once. He looked back at her, and his eyes went wide. She was layin' on the ground, passed out cold. "Must of really hurt," he said aloud to himself. He lifted her, and placed her closer to the water, and pulled her skirt up slightly so as not to get it wet. He put her injured ankle in the cool water, and then rested her head on his legs. Dipping his hand in the water, he brought it to her face, placing his cool wet palm on her cheek, then the wet back side of his hand on the other cheek. Lookin' down at her restful face, he thought he had never seen anything more pretty in his whole life. She was part Klingon Indian, and had the ridges on her forehead to prove it. The ridges just seemed to make her all the more appealing. She started to stir, and he quickly placed his hand in the water again to repeat his ministrations. Her eyes slowly opened, and met his own. Their gazes locked for a few short moments before he broke the spell.

"You feelin' better now?" he asked slowly raising her to sit up.

"Yes, thank you. I guess I must have passed out?" she shifted herself slightly, and lifted the back of her hand to her forehead.

"You sure did," he said, watching her as she then loosed the top button on her shirt, then the next one.

RE: A time to remember Pt 4
Annie — 16 Sep 1998, 2:57 PM

"You want a drink from my canteen?" he asked in wide eyed wonder. <She sure aint shy> he thought.

She looked up at him, and he looked away quickly. His eyes had been focused on the smooth skin of her throat exposed by the open buttons of her shirt.

"Yes, please,"

"Yes what?" he returned. She was makin' him feel like a schoolboy seein' a woman's throat for the first time. Damn her.

"Yes, I'd like a drink from your canteen."

"Oh yeah, right."

He stood up and rushed to his horse, and pulled the canteen from the saddle bag. Returning to her, he knelt down, and handed the canteen over. He watched as she took a swallow, and then sat on the ground next to her. Then, they just began talking. Mostly about the ranch and the horses in particular. Before he knew it, they had decided to work together to run both the chestnut filly, and the bay colt in the upcoming Big Race. They must have sat there for an hour or two strategizin' on the race.

"Listen, I better get you home before your Pa comes out looking for you."

"You're probably right," she agreed.

He stood, and bent to help her to her feet, and to his surprise she let him help her. He wrapped an arm around her waist to hold her steady on her one good foot.

"I take it you didn't ride out here?"

"No, I didn't. I felt like walking. Until I tripped into that stupid hole that is," she smiled up at him.

"Guess I'll give you a ride home then."

"Listen Tom, I'm sorry about earlier. I might have been a little sensitive...about the fall and all."

"Don't worry about it," he gave her a smile, and she smiled back.

He picked her up effortlessly into his arms, walked over to his horse, and lifted her gently on the saddle. Then he walked back to get her boot, stocking, and the canteen which he placed in the saddle bag. Placing his hat on his head, and taking hold of the reins, he hefted himself into the saddle behind her. They had to do a little shifting to get comfortable, but once they were, he took off at a slow trot toward her house. He held B'Elanna close to his chest with one arm around her waist, so as not to let her slip, and he was enjoying every dad blame minute of it.

Once they got to her house, her Pa came out on the porch, looking none too pleased that his daughter was sharing a saddle with his least favorite person.

"Girl, where have you been. I was just about to come lookin' for ya. And what in the holy cow are you doin' with him."

"Don't start Pa, I'm fine."

Tom climbed off the horse, ignoring Mr. Torres, and reached up to take B'Elanna around the waist to pull her down. She put her hands on his shoulders, and he lifted her to the ground gently. Once there, they both lingered a little longer than they meant to, gazing into each others eyes.

"Come on girl, let's get you in the house, and offa that foot," said Mr. Torres as he took hold of her, and Tom reluctantly let go.

"Pa, I'm fine. Actually Tom helped me out there. I fell, and luckily he came by. He got my boot off, and got my foot into the watering hole. The swelling is almost gone already."

Chakotay just grumbled. B'Elanna looked back at Tom, and gave him a sweet smile, and he smiled back. He removed her boot and stocking from his saddle bag, and placed them on the porch. Then he mounted his horse, and rode off into the night. He rode for a long time, just thinkin'. Boy oh boy, he couldn't wait till the next day, when he would start working with her on the horses for the race.