Title: Recovery (Coda to Juggernaut)
Author: PJ in NH
Series: VOY Codes:
P/T Rating: PG-13
Synopsis: A short story set immediately after the episode Juggernaut. (spoiler warning)
Disclaimer: Voyager owns all the characters, etc., I am just using the characters for a little fun and relaxation.
Posting: OK to ASC, ASCEM, PTF, & BLTS. Please notify me if you post anywhere else.
Recovery (Coda to Juggernaut)
by PJ in NH
"Activate sonic shower," B'Elanna ordered and turned around so the sonic waves could wash her clean. She wished it could also wash her memories clean, memories of what she had done on that Malon freighter. Memories of bashing that radioactive monster until....
"Computer, discontinue sonic shower and activate warm water shower. Charge credits to Ensign Tom Paris." The pilot then stepped into the cascade of water to join his mate.
"Tom," she gasped in surprise as the water hit her body.
"Sssssh," he said soothingly and he pulled her close. Cradling her to his chest, flesh pressed against flesh, he could feel the tension in her body. "It's all right, B'Elanna. You're home now. I've got you."
She shook her head. "But, Tom, you don't know..."
"I know that I was very worried about you and that if you want to tell me what happened, you will. And if you don't want to, that is fine as well." He reached for the soap-covered washcloth that he had previously hung on the towel rack. Wetting it beneath the warm water, he began using it first on her face. Careful to keep the soap out of her eyes, he gently washed her soot-covered forehead, cheeks, and chin.
"I can do that..."
"Sssssh, let me take care of you tonight." He paused, waiting for her to protest, but B'Elanna was uncharacteristically silent. "Let me do this for you, B'Elanna. Please." Not waiting to hear her complain, Tom brought the washcloth over the pert nose that he adored and wiped away the grime that clung to her skin. When the nose was finally clean, he bent down and blessed it with a kiss, touching it lightly with his tongue.
Tom then pulled her even closer into his embrace, so her bare breasts was pressed up against his chest. Holding her with his left arm, he brought his right hand holding the washcloth down over her back. Lovingly, he washed her with slow firm strokes, beginning at her shoulders and working his way down her sensitive spine until he finally spanned the limit of his reach--her buttocks--making sure that he didn't miss a spot.
"Please, Tom, I don't ..." her voice broke with emotion. "I d-- don't de...deserve..." The sounds of the water showering down upon them, almost drowned out the sound of her crying as hot tears streamed down her face to join the warm water.
Beneath his arms, Tom could feel her shoulders tremble as she cried. His heart broke for her. His B'Elanna, his strong, speak-her-own-mind, I-can-take-care-of-myself B'Elanna was crying in his arms. She had never done that before. Not it all the years that he had known her had he ever seen or heard her cry. Oh, she had told him that she had cried her eyes out when she had learned that so many of her Maquis friends were dead, and he didn't doubt her, but he had never witnessed the miracle for himself.
"Easy, B'Elanna. Just let it all out," he suggested fingering back the wet hair from her face so he could kiss her now clean cheek. "No one can see you in here. No one but I can see or hear you cry. It's okay, just let it go," he urged.
"But...but...you weren't there. You didn't see what...I..."
"It doesn't matter. Don't you understand? I love you, B'Elanna, no matter what."
"...but to access.... the controls...I...I hit him...I hit him until he fell," she tried to explain in between her sobs. "My temper...it raged. I tried to...con...trol...Janeway said...but..."
"Ssssh, sssssh. If you didn't have your precious temper, we might all be dead now. If you hadn't hit him, and if you weren't so enraged, you might not have hit him hard enough. You saved us all, B'Elanna."
"No buts," Tom insisted firmly. "Now please turn around so I can clean your front." Helping her, he pivoted her around so her head rested against his shoulder and her back against his chest. He applied more liquid soap to the washcloth and started washing her again. First her shoulders, then her breasts, her stomach, and finally her hips and in between her legs. Then bending down, he at last washed her legs and feet. He took it slow, his purpose right now wasn't to arouse her, but help her relax and to clean her--to rid her of any reminder of what had happened on the Malon ship. When Tom was satisfied that her body was clean, he stood up again. "Better?" he asked.
"Hmmmm," she murmured her head resting comfortable again against his shoulder, she sounded almost asleep.
"Now just ease up a bit," he suggested. "I'm going to wash your hair."
"My hair?" she asked. He had never washed her hair before.
"Take pity on me, B'Elanna, I feel like pampering you. I've even replicated some shampoo that smells like orange blossoms," he explained. Tom squirted some of the aromatic shampoo into the palm of his hand and held it under her nose so she could smell the fragrance.
"Mmmmm, it does smell good."
"I thought you'd like it," he replied. Rubbing the shampoo between his palms, he placed both hands against her head.
Feeling the coolness of the shampoo touch her scalp, the half- Klingon brought her hands up to her head, out of habit, to wash her hair.
"No, love. I'm doing it all. I don't want you to lift a finger."
B'Elanna was tempted to protest again, but it felt so good just to have someone take care of her. For someone--no not just 'someone' she corrected herself...for *Tom* to take care of her. For him to care enough, to love *her* enough, to be here for her. When even she hadn't realized how much she needed to be with him tonight. So she gratefully relented.
Using his long strong fingers he massaged her scalp while the suds built up. Then focusing on the nape of her neck, he worked at loosening the taught muscles that seemed to permanently reside there. Finally, he positioned her under the water and he rinsed away all the soap and suds from her body and his own.
Tom almost hated for the shower to end, but he had already used all of his credits, including the ones that he had borrowed from Harry and the Delaneys. So it was with reluctance he ordered: "Computer, terminate shower."
The water flow stopped and a fully clean, wet B'Elanna Torres stood before him. A more beautiful sight he didn't think existed in the universe. But he had promised himself no overly erotic thoughts tonight. Tonight was B'Elanna's night, and she didn't need sex tonight, she needed to recover. She needed to try and get past what had happened to her on that alien ship. He reached for one of the large thick bronze-colored terrycloth towels that he had brought with him. Holding it up he enveloped her in its thirsty softness. Taking another, he proceeded to towel dry her hair, taking care not to pull her silky strands.
Each touch and each caress conveyed to her just how much this man loved her. "Tom, I..."
"Sssssh, B'Elanna. Later." he urged placing two fingers across her full lips.
She paused, swallowed down a lump in her throat, and finally nodded. She would let him take care of her, at least for tonight. So B'Elanna waited while he toweled himself off and had wrapped a towel around his waist.
Next, knowing her bathroom almost as well as he knew his own, Tom pressed a button on the wall that enabled a hidden drawer to open. There inside he withdrew a comb and a brush. Then taking B'Elanna by the hand, he led her from the bathroom to the main living area.
Motioning towards one of her dining chairs, he bade her to sit. She smiled and did as he asked, which was easy because she was so tired her legs could barely hold her up. Working gently and patiently, he proceeded to brush and comb out her tangled hair. Taking only small sections, he combed and brushed until all traces of her ordeal with the Malons had been removed. Once again, her mane that B'Elanna was so proud of, framed her beautiful face.
Tears glistening again in her eyes. "You are so good to me, Tom," she finally said.
Placing the comb and brush down on the table, he walked around to face her and offered her his hands. Willingly she placed her hands in his and he pulled her up from the chair. "If anybody deserves it, you do."
"Later, B'Elanna." Tom bestowed a kiss on her full lips, a kiss that reflected how precious she was to him. It wasn't probing and it wasn't a peck. It was a simple expression of his love that demanded no commitment of her own, just that she be there to accept his gift. "May I?" he finally asked reaching his hands out to grasp her towel. She nodded and raised her arms to provide him easy access to the material. Tom pulled it away and then dropped the towel on the table. Next, he reached down, and swept her lithe body into his arms like she was just a child and he carried her toward her bedroom.
Tom paused just inside the doorway and B'Elanna looked around. She was somewhat surprised to see that the bed had already been turned down for the evening and that the lights were dimmed. Obviously, she concluded, Tom had thought a lot about this evening before he had interrupted her in the shower. Strike that, she thought, he evidently thought a lot about *her*. That thought made her heart warm.
Very tenderly, almost reverently, he laid her down on the fresh sheets. The dim light and shadows played beautifully across her body and it made his heart skip a beat. Removing the towel from around his waist, he laid down beside her and pulled the covers up over them. Out of habit, B'Elanna positioned her head onto his right shoulder, or as she liked to call it: 'her own personal pillow.'
Tracing the curve of her cheek with his left hand, he tenderly kissed her on her forehead and then on her lips. "Now you can tell me, B'Elanna. Tell me everything."
She reached around his chest with her right arm and swung her right leg up protectively over his body. She pulled him close to her for comfort. Tom reached around her back and stroked her upper arm. Taking a long cleansing breath, B'Elanna started to talk. She told him about the experience on the away mission, about how difficult it had been for her to control her temper, about how she wasn't that successful. And she spoke of other times that her anger had got the better of her. Relating her first experience with anger on the playground when she was a child, was difficult, but even that she shared.
Through it all, Tom listened. He told her it was okay when she needed to hear the words or he would just be quiet when she needed to talk. He didn't try to make their time together a sexual experience--he knew that there would be plenty of opportunities for that later. Tonight, Tom realized the what B'Elanna needed most from him was not sex, it was just to have him be there for her, to listen and not to judge.
And if B'Elanna hadn't realized it before, tonight confirmed to her that Tom Paris truly accepted her for who she was--faults and all. And B'Elanna knew that she felt the same way about him. It was destiny that had brought them together. Tom was half of her whole, and she was his.
After a while, after her voice faded and her grip around him slackened, she drifted off into a blissful sleep. Tom remained awake for a while still touching her lightly and planting little kisses upon her orange-blossom scented hair. And he prayed. Prayed for her, himself, for the two of them together, and for the future that they were forging for themselves. For tonight they had reached a new level of their relationship. Their love had grown that night, more than either one had thought possible. Tom smiled, placed one last kiss upon her head and then he too fell to sleep.
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