Hard Work (NC-17)

Title: Hard Work
Author: Annie M
Series: Voyager
Rating: NC-17
Codes: P/T

Archiving: PTFArchive and ASC. Anyone else please ask for permission first.

Summary:  B'Elanna forgoes a night of pleasure with Tom for over-time in Engineering.
There are no spoilers in this short tale but I think of it as being set after the trauma of "Nothing Human" and "30 days".

Disclaimer: Viacom/Paramount owns the ship and all characters, but this particular scenario belongs to me.

Additions:  The character Ashmore makes an appearance in this tale.  As far as I know TPTB have not issued him with a first name so I took the liberty of giving him one--Carl.

Dedication:  For Monica (Starmei) - my fellow Feverite, who asked.

Completed February 1999.

Hard Work by Annie M

Neelix surveyed the Mess hall with a sense of pride as his patrons filed in after their duties or took breaks from shift.  It was 19.50 hours and this was one of the busiest times of the day for the Talaxian.  Lunch times could be busy too but this was Neelix's favourite time.
He loved to watch his friends unwind after a hard day of work.  Relationships and gossip seemed to bloom here under the friendly and informal atmosphere he had helped to develop over the last four years.
We have all grown so much, he thought, dishing up another portion of nestle strips and wood lice pate.  Even with his developing duties as a supplement to commander Tuvok's security team, Neelix would always make a special effort to prepare food or late night snacks for his comrades.
Cooking would always be his favourite way to relax and eating seemed to be this crew's favourite way to socialise.  The holodecks were a big favourite but Neelix had noticed that when relaxing, humans liked to eat and drink wherever they were.

"Hi Neelix. What's for desert?"

"That's not very nice lieutenant," Neelix remonstrated, with humour, to his latest diner.  "Besides," he continued, "I know for a fact that you missed lunch today."

"You know how it gets in engineering, Neelix."

"That doesn't mean you should starve yourself, B'Elanna."  The Talaxian admonished in a gentle tone.  B'Elanna rolled her eyes at the chef and reached for a plate of....food?  B'Elanna crinkled her nose as she inspected her plate.
Neelix's culinary skills had become a running joke on Voyager and B'Elanna had to admit that while his dishes normally looked like poison, most of them, especially in recent months, had actually tasted pretty good.  Of course, B'Elanna corrected herself; the secret to enjoying these Delta Quadrant dishes was not to inquire after its ingredients.  The less you knew the more likely you were to enjoy it and after four years most of the crew had stopped asking.

"Looks delicious," B'Elanna lied.  Neelix gave her a satisfied smile and pored her a mug of steaming coffee.  "Thanks," she said in genuine gratitude and headed for her usual table at the far end of the mess.

He was late, again.  He was always late, for breakfast, lunches (when she could spare the time) and holodeck time.  What's with him and time-keeping anyway? B'Elanna mused.   She wondered if he was always this tardy for duty shifts as well.  B'Elanna would bet that he was probably only early for his Captain Proton adventures.

They had arranged to meet for dinner after Tom's shift in sick bay had ended.  B'Elanna was officially off duty tonight, but she really wanted to sort out the injector flow to the warp core.  It had been showing some erratic fluctuations all day and neither Joe Carey, her second or Vorik, who had been assigned to it, could provide an explanation to the cause.  So it was back to work for B'Elanna.

"Sorry I'm late," Tom said rushing up to his lover as she sipped at her now luke-warm coffee.  "The Doc and I were running some tests.  He wants to write a paper on the psychological effects of being stranded in the Delta Quadrant," he continued to explain.
B'Elanna gave Tom an unimpressed look and took another sip of coffee.

Tom stood at the table for a minute more looking from his lover to the other crewmembers, who were busily ignoring them, either engaged in conversation, or eating, then took the seat opposite her.  Tom leaned forward in his chair and rested his elbows on the table crossing them in front of his chest.

"Aren't you hungry?" B'Elanna asked, indifferently, after a couple of minutes of silence.

Tom shook his head, "No, not really," he said simply.  They sat together in an uneasy silence, Tom watching B'Elanna pick at the remnants of her meal, she watching him through an averted gaze.

Tom pursed his lips, deep in thought.  B'Elanna could be so prickly sometimes and he often found it hard to keep up with her quixotic moods.  She looked tired and exhausted; he wandered if that was the reason he was getting the silent treatment.

"Rough day?"  Tom asked, breaking the quiet again.

B'Elanna finally raised her head and looked at Tom.  He stared back at her with a small smile playing at the corners of his mouth, his blue eyes unreadable.  The Paris "mask" was back up, not much of it but enough to make her choose her words carefully.

"A little," she admitted, not taking her eyes from his.  B'Elanna pondered what had brought on Tom's introspective mood this evening; he wasn't usually this quiet.  "You look a little tired, yourself, Paris."  B'Elanna said, showing him a diminutive smile of her own.

"Yeah," Tom agreed.  Suddenly an inspiration popped into his head.  "Wanna' go take a bath with me?" he whispered. "I might even give you a back rub."

B'Elanna gave him an even broader smile and brought her hand up to cup it under her chin in a provocative manner.  Tom knew she was about to agree but as her mouth opened to speak her face fell.

"I can't," B'Elanna answered, her voice full of regret.  "I have to get back to engineering tonight."

"I thought you'd finished duty shift, B'Elanna," Tom's voice pleaded.

"I know," she answered apologetically, "but we've been having some problems with the injector flow regulator-"

"Let Joe or Vorik handle it," Tom interrupted, letting his frustration show.

"I did.  That's why I have to get back."

Tom heaved a disgusted sigh and sat back against his chair, his head thrown back in defeat.

"Why don't you come with me and help," B'Elanna suggested to Tom's chin.


Tom Paris was crawling closely behind Voyager's chief engineer and enjoying the view of her shapely derrière as it sashayed from side-to-side.  They were making their way through Jeffries tube 33 alpha, a narrow crawl space, which intersected decks 13 and 15.

After returning to engineering, with Tom in tow, B'Elanna and several of her team had run a series of diagnostics on the warp core and the injector flow regulators.  All readings were within safety parameters.

Ensign Ashmore had noticed some spiked readings from his own diagnostic board which regulated life support, environmental controls, shuttle and cargo bays.

"When did these show up?" B'Elanna asked when Ashmore called her over.

"According to the logs, small variances have been showing up all day."  B'Elanna gave her subordinate an icy glare.  "They were all within tolerance levels," he quickly continued.

This is all I need, Ashmore thought miserably.  Oh well, he thought, in for a penny in for a pound, as his grandmother used to say.

"But I've noticed an irregular pattern to the spikes, lieutenant."

"Show me." B'Elanna ordered.  Tom stood at B'Elanna's shoulder and they both peered down at Ashmore's board as he ran the logs in question.

B'Elanna shut out everything around her as she concentrated on the readings.  Fluctuations in ships systems were not unusual but when they appeared in groups like this, to apparently unconnected power sources, there was normally a bigger problem somewhere else.

"What are we looking for, exactly?" Tom asked; still trying to puzzle out what figures B'Elanna and Ashmore were reading.

Ashmore rolled his eyes but daren't look up.  Why risk the chief's ire when she was standing close enough to snap his neck?
B'Elanna turned briefly, her hair whipping around, and stared at Tom Paris.  Her brown eyes flashed impatiently for a fraction of a second as Tom waited, guilelessly, for an answer.

"Data correlation's," she patiently told him.

Carl Ashmore's lips curled in amusement.  The engineering chief was notorious for her impatience with staff who asked "elementary" questions.  Of course, Carl reflected, this wasn't a member of the engineering crew she was dealing with.  This was Tom Paris, probably the only guy on the ship who could have asked that question, without receiving a frosty blast of disgust from the Lt.  Carl wondered what the chief's reaction might have been if she wasn't being 'boned' by the helmsman, on a regular basis.

B'Elanna spun away from Tom and resumed her study of the data, shaking her head in slight amusement.

"I knew that," Tom offered feebly.

After a few more minutes of endlessly scrolling data, B'Elanna asked Susan Nicoletti to transfer the warp and injector flow readings to the terminal in her office.  Ashmore was instructed to do the same.  As his superior officer and her blond assistant moved away from him B'Elanna turned and paused mid-stride. "Good work, Carl," she said.  Then she was moving again, her step sure and full of purpose.

Carl relaxed a little and smiled.


"So all of those readings mean there's some sort of power surge, in the conduits on this deck?" Tom Paris asked again as B'Elanna removed a panel from the section flooring and passed it to him.

"Not a power surge, Tom," B'Elanna explained.  "The EPS relays must have been misaligned during one of the maintenance checks, two days ago.  If it was a power surge the nacelles would have automatically started to vent drive plasma, from the warp core to compensate."

"I guess we would have noticed that," the pilot said wryly.

B'Elanna scanned the exposed junction with her tricorder.

"Here it is," she said in triumph.  "Look, two of the IPS regulator coils have been attached to the EPS ducts.  If Ashmore hadn't noticed the irregularities on his board we might have been looking at a series of disruptions to most of the ships critical systems."

"Just from a couple of phase coils?" Tom responded in amazement.

"It's a little more complicated than that, Tom," B'Elanna continued.  She was clearly enjoying showing off her expertise and knowledge to the pilot.

As she continued to lecture her lover, Tom found his gaze drawn to the rise and fall of B'Elanna's breasts as she leaned over the open network of cables and computer chips.  The way she looked as she explained her work, her eyes dancing and her small fingers flying over her tricorder.  Her, thick dark-brown, hair falling into her face as she leant further over the access hatch.


She was so animated when she worked.  B'Elanna's whole body becoming an extension of the ship she so lovingly nurtured.  He watched her lower herself to lay on her stomach then gently move aside cables as she set to work.

"Hey, sleepy," B'Elanna called again.  "Am I keeping you up?"

"Hmm?" Tom Paris answered intelligently.

"I asked you to pass me the hyper-spanner, twice, Tom."

Without apology Tom reached for B'Elanna's toolkit and rummaged around for her hyper-spanner.  He handed it to her and held on to her fingers for longer than necessary.  B'Elanna held his penetrating stare for a few moments, recognising the look of hunger in his eyes.

"You're so beautiful, B'Elanna," Tom breathed.

B'Elanna blushed, lowering her head but not removing her hand from Tom's.  Tom released her hand and traced a line, with his index finger, from her jaw to the beauty spot just under her right eye.  He caressed the spot with his thumb, enjoying the way B'Elanna's skin warmed to his physical contact.  A pang of arousal coursed through B'Elanna's body as she lent into his touch.

["Carey to Torres."]

The interruption from the comm system brought them back to reality with a start.  B'Elanna quickly pulled her face away from Tom's caress and sat up, pushing herself back against the Jeffries tube wall.

"Torres, here."

["How's it going, B'Elanna?"] Carey asked.

"I'm just about to go into the system and re-configure the alignments on the IE's," she responded.  Sliding smoothly into her chief engineer persona.

Sitting with his legs crossed on the other side of the open panel, Tom Paris returned to watching B'Elanna.

["How does it look?"]

"It shouldn't take too long to get this finished.  I'll contact you when we're done, Joe.  Torres out."  B'Elanna broke the connection, closed her eyes and rested the back of her head against the wall.  "We need to finish this, Tom," her voice whispered after a minute of silence.

"Yeah," Tom agreed his voice soft.

B'Elanna resumed her previous position and went back to work.  Tom remained silent but helpful as he passed her various tools on request, he was still aroused by her nearness and the silence about them seemed to heighten his sensitivity.

B'Elanna was feeling increasingly uncomfortable in her uniform.  She was sure the environmental controls had somehow been increased; Tom's continued non-verbal communication wasn't helping either.  He kept staring at her.  He knew how much she hated to be stared at.  The sensation made her flesh crawl, and when Tom did it her knees always trembled.  B'Elanna was suddenly relieved she was prone on the floor; A half-Klingon swooning in a Jeffries tube was not in her play book.  She threw a cautious look his way to find him turned away from her as he returned a Phase Inducor to her toolkit.

B'Elanna's mouth went dry as she took in his well-developed ass and thighs.  For a pilot he really does have strong legs, she thought.  An unbidden memory surfaced as B'Elanna continued to admire Tom's physique.  She remembered licking a line up his left leg and blowing raspberries against the back of his knee; Tickling and pulling at the hairs on his legs, biting gently against his inner thigh, just before her mouth moved on to....

Tom turned around and found himself facing an open mouthed B'Elanna Torres.  Her breathing was getting louder and there was no way to mistake the predatory look in her eyes.

"All finished?" he asked, slyly.

B'Elanna was caught and she didn't care.  She could not drag her eyes away from the bulge in the front of Tom's pants.  Slowly, B'Elanna brought her self up to her knees and snaked a hand over the opening that still separated them.  She reached out and gently used her fingers to stroke around the confined, but still growing, swelling of her mate.

"I don't think so," she murmured.  Tom sucked in his breath at her intimate caress.  He scooted forward a little more, enjoying her touch, and found himself bracing his hands against the narrow walls of Jeffries tube 33 alpha.  Oh God, the things she can do to me!

B'Elanna looked up into Tom's face; he had his eyes closed and was biting at his bottom lip.  She unzipped his uniform jacket with one hand and pulled his tunic out of his pants, slipping her hand underneath it to play with his left nipple.  Tom opened his eyes as a low moan escaped his lips, B'Elanna was staring at him, her lids heavy with arousal, her fingers full of purpose.

Their breathing took on a rasping tone as they fed off the others contact.  Tom leaned in and brushed a chaste kiss across B'Elanna's full lips, he pulled back slightly from her as her mouth turned up for another, then he dipped his head and kissed her again.  He repeated the action several times until B'Elanna growled in impatience, grabbed his head with both hands and crushed her mouth to his.  Tasting his tongue, biting his lips and devouring his breath as their kisses deepened.  Tom managed to keep them both upright as he wrapped an arm around her waist and kept the other one braced against the wall.  As their lips parted, both of them panting for breath, their eyes locked and held.

I want you.

It did not matter, at that moment, who spoke the words or if they were said at all, they both felt it.  An irresistible urge to mate, become one, complete the other.

Tom brought his hand away from the wall and let it join its companion as he began to stroke and cup her bottom through the material of her uniform.  B'Elanna moved closer to him, her knees resting dangerously close to the aperture of the abandoned power relays.  She nuzzled the base of Tom's throat and licked at his jaw and chin, loving the way his sighs and moans went straight to the juncture between her thighs.  B'Elanna reached behind her and grabbed at one of Tom's hands, bringing it around to clamp onto a breast.  Tom kneaded it firmly as his lips found her ear lobe and sucked, bringing a keening whine from his beloved.

They struggled for a few moments to remove the tops of their uniforms.  Tom had little trouble divesting him self but B'Elanna got entangled with her tank top and bra, in his haste to remove them.
She nearly fell into the opening beneath them and Tom laughed as he grabbed her by the waist and hauled her over to his side of the tube, out of harms way.  B'Elanna ended up sprawled beneath Tom's heaving chest and couldn't resist nipping her teeth against the abundance of springy, golden red, chest hairs.  Tom arched against her, bringing her hands over her head and diving back down to find her lips with his own.  B'Elanna's right hand felt something cool against her fingers; she grasped it and smacked it against the side of Tom's head.

"Oww."  He fell with an "oomph" on top of her as stars danced into his line of vision.  "B'Elanna!" he moaned in protest.

B'Elanna simply flipped him over and straddled his thighs with her own, grinning down at his perplexed expression.  She raked her nails up and down his chest in wild abandon and rocked her hips against his, still restrained erection.  Tom gave B'Elanna's breasts a weak smile (his head still hurt) then brushed at her nipples with his thumbs.  They hardened immediately at his gentle friction and he groaned with a need to have them a little closer to his mouth.  B'Elanna started to tug fiercely at Tom's pants, her engineering expertise apparently deserting her.

"Wait," Tom cried, as he attempted to raise his hips and assist his lust crazed woman.

"Gahhh," B'Elanna cried with glee, as she yanked the material down to his ankles.  "Mine," she growled.  Tom's freed erection was bobbing about, and he momentarily enjoyed the heated atmosphere hitting his swollen, but freed, glands before B'Elanna was on him again.  She licked up the underside of his shaft and twirled her tongue against the tip of his penis.  Tom let out a loud groan of approval as he tried to raise his head to watch her pleasuring him.

B'Elanna caressed his sack and balls with her hands as her mouth licked and kissed around Tom's engorged flesh, she loved to watch it throb and twitch.

She traced a delicate line up his shaft with the nail of her index finger.  Tom bucked and sucked in a sharp breath.  A bead of seminal fluid escaped his tip and B'Elanna engulfed it and the rest of his length in to her warm, wet mouth.

Tom had his hands in her hair as she worked on him.  The sounds of her sucking and licking at him were driving him crazy.  The feel of her tongue and teeth as they gently scraped up and down his long, lean length were making his eyes water.  His lips were dry.  He didn't want to come yet.  He wanted, desperately, to suckle at her breasts, to taste her skin.  Touch her pussy with his tongue.  Impale her.  Penetrate her; He really didn't know what he wanted to do first.

B'Elanna squeezed at the base of Tom's erection, she could tell he was losing control (something in the back of her mind reminded her that they might have to explain themselves to the captain if they found this area covered in Tom's semen).  Tom was pulling at her hair; she let his penis fall from her mouth as she gazed up at him.  He looked exhausted.  Tom found his throat constricted and he couldn't speak.  B'Elanna seemed to understand as she crawled up his body, enjoying the sensation of Tom's textured skin against her nipples.  As she moved over him, Tom inserted his hands into the waistband of B'Elanna's trousers and panties.  Easing her out of them as she continued to climb his body.

As her mouth found his, Tom had her outerwear around her knees and felt for her wetness by sliding his right hand down the cleft of her ass cheeks to the warmth beyond.  He tasted himself on her lips and tongue, bathed his fingers in her arousal for him.  B'Elanna growled into his mouth and ground her hips against his questing hand.

Tom's free hand reached between their sweaty bodies and found a plump breast to play with.  B'Elanna was practically purring with pleasure.   They rolled to the side as Tom broke the exchange of deep kisses and pulled her further up his body, only stopping when he could finally take a breast between his lips.  He suckled like a ravenous babe, holding her to him with one hand as he inserted two fingers into her luxuriant warmth.  Playing her centre with all the skill he used at the conn and with all of the knowledge he had gained as the EMH's assistant.

B'Elanna gasped time and again as she shivered with the double sensations of his mouth suckling so roughly at her breasts and his fingers which, gently, coaxed her ever-growing desire from below.  She ran her short nails down his back and bit at his shoulder, loving the taste of his blood as it mingled with his sweat and scent.  Every part of this man was just so gorgeous; she could eat him alive.  It felt like he was doing the same to her.

Tom worshipped B'Elanna's nipples.  He could never get enough of them and wondered idly what she would think if she knew he sometimes fantasised about them, when he was on duty at the conn or in sick bay.
He loved the texture of them, the way they expanded in his mouth.  He knew them so well he could notice the small abrasions he made to them, from one night to the next, against his tongue.  Thank God, B'Elanna liked it too.

B'Elanna was stroking at what she could reach of Tom's body, circling her nails against his textured abdomen and navel, murmuring his name softly, between bites of his muscular shoulder.
Tom bit into her breast and she screamed as she experienced her first climax of the evening.  Her inner thighs gripped at Tom's fingers as the unexpected peak washed over her.  Tom tore his mouth away from her breast and tossed his head around the confines of the Jeffries tube.

"Sorry," B'Elanna panted.

"Do you think anyone heard?" Tom asked, his own breathing laboured as his tongue delved between B'Elanna's bosom to lick at the rivulets of perspiration gathered there.  As he spoke his fingers continued to flex within her.

"Hope not," she managed, burying her face in his, damp, short blond curls.

They were both beyond caring about the interesting exhibition they would make, if someone from engineering or security decided to investigate the sounds of their lovemaking.  They lay tangled about each other, their uniform pants and under wear bunched up around their ankles and boots.
The captain would give them more than a lecture regarding public displays of affection if she ever found out.  B'Elanna giggled at the thought.  Tom disentangled his fingers from her pussy and pulled her higher against him.

"What's so funny?" he muttered against her skin.

"The captain.  PDA's, that sort of thing," B'Elanna moaned as Tom dipped his tongue into her belly button.

"Think she'd throw us in the Brig?"

"Off the ship, more likely."

Tom had her pussy just where he wanted it and pulled at B'Elanna's hips to settle her down over his mouth.  Suddenly Tom couldn't breath.  Her pants were pressed down on to his windpipe.  B'Elanna raised her legs and allowed Tom's head to come up a little, he ducked as she brought her thighs down on either side of his head.


"Umm," Tom answered as his lips came into contact with B'Elanna's sopping wet chamber of half-Klingon delights.  Another series of moans and whimpers escaped from B'Elanna as she settled herself more snugly above Tom.

Tom licked.

B'Elanna sighed.

He flicked his tongue around.

She whimpered.

The human drank.

The half-Klingon moaned.

Paris rubbed his teeth against the nub of her clitoris.

Torres growled in delight.  "That's it, Tom, right there."


Carey wondered if he should call down to his commanding officer.  B'Elanna and Tom had been gone for quite a while now and the repairs should have been made.  According to Ashmore, the relays looked like they had been re-calibrated and were ready to power up.  All they needed was a signal from the chief to go a head.  Knowing how thorough B'Elanna was, maybe she had decided to double check some of the other relays in the section for sloppy maintenance as well.
Carey made a mental note to check the logs and see who performed the maintenance in the first place.  A half-assed job like that could not go unpunished, he concluded.

Carl Ashmore caught Joe's attention and shrugged his shoulders in impatience.

"I'm sure the chief is just making sure everything, in that section, is in full working order, Carl," Joe appeased.

If B'Elanna had had the words to speak at that moment she would gladly testify that everything - Tom Paris - was performing at a much higher rate of efficiency than one could ordinarily expect.


Tom sucked in a breath as he entered her.  Oh shit, I'm not gonna last, he thought.  He was laying full length against his mate and love B'Elanna Torres, his legs in between her thighs.  B'Elanna drew her legs up to wrap over and around his hips as she usually did in this position.  The pants at their ankles serving as only a minor distraction.

Tom moved slowly, ever so slowly pulling out of B'Elanna then sinking himself back into her wonderful heat.  He had his arms up under her shoulders and held her to him as he moved.  B'Elanna gripped his scalp with both hands as they found a rhythm.  He ground himself against her with slow, sensuous thrusts, making her whimper his name over and over again as her hips pushed up against his.

"Oh, sweet love," Tom moaned against her neck.

Nobody had ever loved him the way B'Elanna did.

B'Elanna caressed a soft hand down along Tom's spine to his ass and scratched lightly at his butt.  "Say it again," she crooned.

"I do, B'Elanna," Tom said in a harsh whisper, his voice hoarse with emotion.  "I do love you.  I do."

He'd never said those words to her before and she never realised how much she needed him to say them to her.  B'Elanna felt tears sting her eyes, she had always known that Tom loved her.  She had never doubted it (well maybe once or twice), but the words from his lips to hers....

Something happened to her heart at that moment and she could not describe what she was feeling.  It was like coming home after a long journey or a pilgrimage to a holy place.  There was a peace inside of her that she had never known before.  Could never have imagined even existed, until this moment.  This simple admission.

Tom found her warm lips and kissed them deeply, his own mouth trembling even as his body continued to delve back and forth into B'Elanna's.

"I love you, B'Elanna," he said again.  He saw the tears that threatened to fall against her skin and his own fell against her cheeks while she loved him.

B'Elanna smiled up at him and wiped at his tears with a delicate finger.  Tom kissed at her watery eyes.  They both laughed, quietly, as love's admission flowed through them.

"You really are mine, Tom."  B'Elanna sighed into his lips as her ascendancy into bliss approached.

"I know," he murmured huskily.  He'd always known.  He Held on to B'Elanna more tightly as his seed erupted into her.

They enjoyed the silence and each other's arms for a long time after they had come.  Not wanting to rush, although the goose bumps along B'Elanna's arms were telling Tom that they needed to get dressed at the very least.

They dressed slowly, in the manner that they had made love, helping each other to dress and finger combing each other's hair.
The silence between them was no longer filled with self-doubt and misunderstandings; the tensions from earlier this evening were gone.

Tom replaced the metal grate over the open access panel and he took B'Elanna's hand as they exited Jeffries tube 33 alpha.  B'Elanna called Carey over the comm and instructed him to power up all of the previously affected systems.  She told him she was going to bed and that she would appreciate them not calling her out again, tonight.  Joe promised he wouldn't and thanked them both for sparing the time to help out.

Tom and B'Elanna made their way to her quarters in happy and tranquil silence.  Tom set a bath and he bathed B'Elanna lovingly, paying special attention to her nipples.  B'Elanna towel dried Tom from head to toe.  They moisturised each other's bodies and B'Elanna used the dermal regenerator against Tom's scalp, healing the small cut she had given him, when she had whacked him on the head with her tricorder.

They snuggled up together in bed and Tom read her a chapter of "Women Warriors at the River of Blood", one of B'Elanna's favourite Klingon romances.  B'Elanna promised to read Tom some Jules Verne, as soon as he could figure out which story he wanted read first; "Twenty Thousand Leagues under the sea", or "From the Earth to the Moon".

Some time later, B'Elanna gave a contented sigh as she drifted off to sleep in Tom's arms.  No one had ever loved her so well as Tom Paris.


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