Just Between Us  (R)

Author:  Annie M
Series:  Voyager
Rating:  R
Codes:  T, T/m, P/T

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

Summary: Tom finds some of B'Elanna's logs from her time in the Maquis.

Acknowledgements: Thanks to my beta readers Jam, Rook, Tracy, Sarah and to Voyagerbabe and Jamelia for the temporal pointers.

Warning:  Maquis, Cardassians, Alpha Quadrant, you do the math.

Disclaimer: Viacom/Paramount owns the ship and most of the characters.  I own Nachandra II.  To those who are interested Nachandra II also appears in my story "No Easy Answers"

Additions: I know that Jeri Taylor named B'Elanna's mother as Prabsa in "Pathways" but I've never read this book and as far as I can tell this work is not considered canon.  As such I felt I could invent an identity for B'Elanna's mother that was all (well some) my own.  I have also taken the liberty of giving the character Hogan, who appeared in several episodes up to "Basics II", the first name of Jerry.

Completed:  February 1999.

Just Between Us by Annie M

"What's this?" Tom asked as he helped B'Elanna unpack another of her storage crates.  They were both getting used to the fact that they were now living together.  Officially and openly a couple.  B'Elanna stepped into their new living quarters her arms laden with her uniforms in one hand and a few dresses in the other.

"What's what, Tom?" she answered.  Tom held up some data chips and waved them at her with a curious expression on his face.

"Oh those." B'Elanna made a face as she threw her uniforms over her left shoulder and approached.  "There're just some old logs and personal files from before I came on Voyager," she said dismissively.

"Really?" Tom stated his interest piqued.

"Don't get excited, hotshot.  It's just me griping about Cardassians and the lack of engineering equipment."  B'Elanna paused before continuing, "Nothing exciting."
Tom noticed a flicker of emotion cross B'Elanna's features briefly as she answered him but he held his tongue and smiled as he asked her what she wanted done with them.  She took the chips from him silently, giving him a reassuring smile as their fingers gently touched, then withdrew back to their sleep area to resume the organisation of her clothes.


Deep into Alpha shift a few days later B'Elanna found herself alone in her office in Engineering.  She was getting a headache from reading and calculating data on the isolinear matrix that Gamma shift were supposed to be installing for the science decks the following evening.  Upgrading was a bitch.

B'Elanna put down the PADD she was scanning, leaned back against her chair, closed her eyes and let out a deep sigh.  If only her mother could see her now.  Lieutenant B'Elanna Torres, Voyager's chief of engineering.  A woman in love with, living with a Human pilot and to top it all she was now a valuable and respected Starfleet officer.  Mother would probably let out one of her embarrassingly guttural guffaws and then spit to show her disgust and displeasure.
A small smile escaped B'Elanna's mouth as she thought about T'Prenna Torres nee T'Prenna, third daughter of the House of G'Maal.  The more she thought about her mother (and she had been thinking about her a lot recently), the less she disliked her.  With a sudden insight B'Elanna realised they both had the same sarcastic sense of humour and sense of duty.
B'Elanna opened her eyes suddenly and sat up straighter in her chair.

"If you cannot be shamed, you cannot be honoured."  Her mother's often-expressed words to her suddenly took on new meaning.

Quitting the Academy, joining the Maquis, being stranded in the Delta Quadrant, B'Elanna had certainly had her share of shame, regret and honour in the past several years.  In the dim light of her office, sitting alone and surrounded by reports, PADDs and computer consoles, a genuine smile lit up the face of Voyager's chief engineer.  Mother would be proud of me.


"Hey, sexy, what are you doing?"  B'Elanna greeted Tom breezily as the doors to their quarters swished shut behind her.

"Hey." Tom replied a little surprised by her appearance this early after shift change and by her greeting.  He slipped the PADD he was reading on to the desk and swivelled his body around on their couch to see her but B'Elanna was already in his lap, her hands around his neck and stroking her fingers along his nape.

"Are you ok?" Tom whispered against her brow ridges as he pulled her closer.

It wasn't as if B'Elanna was always in a bad mood when she finished shift.  She was simply the kind of person who, normally needed to vent about someone or something before she got this playful.  B'Elanna rested her forehead against Tom's and nodded in answer to his question.  They remained that way for a few minutes, locked loosely together, warm skin against warm skin, inhaling and exhaling each others scent and breath.  Tom's fingers played an intricate pattern against her spine and B'Elanna moved her head to nuzzle into the pale skin of his throat.  Tom expelled a happy sigh and closed his eyes against her moving lips.

"Tom," B'Elanna murmured against his adam's apple.  "I want to share something with you."  Another happy sigh was his only response.  B'Elanna brought her head up and gazed deeply into her lover's clear blue eyes.
Tom sensed that she was suddenly very serious and a little… vulnerable?  She was biting her bottom lip as she continued her penetrating stare.

"What?"  Tom whispered never taking his eyes from hers.

B'Elanna shifted out of his embrace and stood.  Tom waited for her to make the next move.  Finally B'Elanna smiled shyly and extended her right hand to him.  He took it and followed B'Elanna to wherever she was about to lead him.


Stardate 47935

B'Elanna wiped the grease of the leaking food storage container from her hands and shifted it to one side with her foot.

"Hey, Torres.  Stop kicking tonight's dinner around would ya!"  Seska called out from across the temporary home they had made for their Maquis cells.

Three Maquis cells were currently camped on Nachandra II, a former planet of the Federation that lay on the rim of the badlands.  The planet had supported a thriving arable and pastoral agriculture.  The 2800 colonists had developed a thriving trade with the neighbouring planets in the sector, supplying meat, dairy produce and vegetables in trade for textiles and technology not naturally available on the planet.
Nachandra had enjoyed a peaceful and profitable existence under the Federation for many years.  Now the surface of the planet lay broken, the fertile earth split open from phaser fire and repeated photon torpedo impacts.

The Maquis had managed to destroy a small fleet of Cardassians ships, which had been dispatched to the planet intending to forcibly remove Nachandra colonists under the five-month-old border treaties with the Federation.

A bloody battle had ensued in orbit and on the ground as colonists and Maquis fought to vanquish the incumbent Cardassian forces.  The smell of burned flesh still hung in the air amongst the carnage of destroyed farms and buildings.
In the most populated areas, the destruction of the battle, and the Cardassians’ policy of destroying utterly what they could not posses, left rents in the muddy battle field so huge that those of a spiritual nature actually believed that the planet itself was pleading for its own existence.  Dead carcasses of cattle and livestock lay next to the broken bodies of Nachandra colonists, Maquis and Cardassians.

The recent rains left the air thick with death and decay and the clean-up crew, as they had been designated could regularly be seen retching and trembling among the decimated fields as they performed their grisly duties.

In the days that had passed since the battle, the remaining survivors had erected temporary shelters, which housed both the able bodied, and the infirm.   Chakotay and a small crew had left the planet on a mission to replenish their dwindling medical supplies.  The remaining Maquis worked to restore power to the planet's main generator and back up systems.  The work was gruelling and labour-intensive but the unspoken agreement was that this was more palatable than looking at dead and lifeless comrades.

The remaining colonists had agreed to wait for Chakotay's return before performing a burial ceremony for all of the dead.  They were to be buried together, in a quiet cabbage field that had somehow remained untouched by the conflict, Cardassian, Nechandran and Maquis all together in death.  Their war finally over.

"That slop Ayala put together as rations is leaking."  B'Elanna answered to Seska's call.

"Oh God, did Chakotay put Ayala on food detail again?" Seska asked as she approached the half-Klingon engineer.  "As if things weren't bad enough," she continued.

"Do you really want to eat that shit Chell made the last time?"  B'Elanna threw back as she reached for her tool belt, which was hanging from a nearby root.

"How's the generator coming?" inquired Seska as she knelt to inspect the damaged container.

"We're having some problems re-aligning the power couplings in the computer core.  We had it up for a few minutes earlier today but it crashed again.  I've got Roberto, Bandera and Hogan working on it at the moment.  I think we can have communications up by tonight, maybe tomorrow morning."

"Don't work too hard, Torres.  We still need you to help with the warp drive on the Journeyman."

"I thought you and Suder were working on that?"

"Are you kidding me?  Have you seen Suder recently?  He's like a man possessed."

"What do you mean?" B'Elanna asked tightening the belt around her trim waist.

"He's walking around like a man in a trance, just looking for someone to kill.  Chakotay said he went a little crazy in butchering our Cardassian friends.
The big guy was afraid Lon was gonna attack him when he tried to pull him back."  Seska raised herself from the ground and stood next to B'Elanna sidling up to her in a conspiratorial manner she continued.  "Between me and you, B'Elanna, I wouldn't be surprised if Suder had offed some of the locals.  If you know what I mean."

B'Elanna looked horror struck at the accusation.  Her jaw gaping in disbelief.

"I'm not saying he did, but I really don't want to be around him alone right now."  B'Elanna nodded in understanding and they exchanged a few more words before B'Elanna made her way back to work on the planet's generator.

As she made her way across ravaged fields, splintered dwellings, charred and mangled farming equipment and what remained of stray sheep and oxen, grazing among the ravaged land, B'Elanna tried to process the events of the last few days in her mind.  She reasoned with herself that she was an engineer not a killer.  But she had killed and without remorse.

Did she really have a right to consider this her fight?  When B'Elanna had joined the Maquis it was the promise of a bed, food and companionship that had lured her.  She had never had any love for the Cardassians; every other person she had ever met had a horror story about them.

Turning her back on Starfleet Academy at nineteen had sullied her regard for the organisation.  Too many of her tutors there had been decrepit, pompous assholes.  Always ridiculing her theories, questioning her logic and at pains to point out her "belligerent attitude".
Starfleet and the Federation were full of shit and their recent acquiescence to sign a fucked up treaty with Cardassia only proved her point.

B'Elanna looked about her as she came upon the damaged building, which housed Nachandra II's main generator.  Bedraggled and bemused colonists who had survived the Cardassian attack wandered aimlessly about, searching and calling out for family or friends who were probably dead.  Vaporised, B'Elanna thought with distaste.  She paused in her stride and stood silently, watching these people who had flourished on this planet for decades and in the blink of an eye their lives had vanished before them.

Her heart boiled with anger at the injustice of it all.

This was her fight, she realised, and she knew in that instant that she could kill again.  She could take another's life and never regret it; under these circumstances she doubted any sane person would convict her of murder.

A deep rumble filled the air and B'Elanna fought to remain on her feet as the ground shook.  She managed to crouch down in a defensive posture and drew her phaser from her thigh strap.  The colonists she had been watching had either fallen to the ground or stooped low, like her, examining the sky and surrounding land for signs of more Cardassian forces.  Nothing.  B'Elanna looked over at the generator building and saw smoke billowing out of the, already, damaged facility.  "Get help!" She instructed anyone in ear shot then broke into a run and started to call out to her crew.

"Hogan! Roberto! Bandera! Can you hear me?" B'Elanna entered the damaged shelter pushing debris aside and being mindful of falling masonry.  She repeated her call and waited a few moments to listen for responses.  She could only make out the sound of dust settling against the concrete floor.  B'Elanna took a few more tentative steps ahead and was finally able to make out a few flickering emergency lights several metres distant.  Low moans were coming from somewhere to her left and she moved towards them.  It was Hogan.  He lay flat on his back a slab of fallen concrete across his legs.

"Hang in there, Jerry, I'll get you out," B'Elanna reassured her friend with a confidence she certainly didn't feel.  She gripped the edges of the cement block pinning Hogan's legs and gave a mighty push.  It moved and she gritted her teeth and pushed again, her back straining and the muscles in her triceps taught with effort.  B'Elanna gave a roar and managed to overturn the slab, her breath coming in heaving gasps as she sat back briefly and rubbed at her aching arms.

"I think it's broken," Hogan managed between tight breaths of his own.  "My leg," he ground out.

"Helps on the way, Jer.  Don't worry."  B'Elanna knelt by his side and held his hand.  "Where's Kurt and Josè?" she gently asked.

"Kurt was by the sensor relays," he pointed towards the flickering lights.  "Josè went down into the core housing," Hogan paused to draw in a gasp of pain then tried to continue. "He said he picked up some anomalous readings.  Ten minutes later this happened."

"B'Elanna!"  The loud call reached her before the lights of Ayala's palm beacon did.

"Over here."

Ayala led a rescue party of six men and women into the control room.  Their light allowed B'Elanna to view the devastation the explosion had caused.  Conduits were blown out, computer consoles ruptured and smoking, computer relays hanging limply in the air like party poppers after a celebration.  The dust from the fallen masonry covered everything in thick layers of grey.

"Mike, help me find Kurt and Josè," she said, as two figures approached to examine Hogan.  B'Elanna pointed the way and Ayala moved ahead, his palm beacon leading them both.  They found Kurt Bandera a few minutes later; his right shoulder was sporting part of the console he must have been working at when it blew.  Ayala opened his tricorder and took a quick reading.
"Looks like a concussion as well as this," he stated waving at Bandera's shoulder.  "Olsen, Hamilton, over here,” he called out signalling them to Bandera's unconscious body.

They moved on further into the heart of the building.  The computer core was situated underground and B'Elanna and Ayala had to phaser their way through cement and frozen doors employed to limit the damage a power-overload might cause.  This device had undoubtedly saved lives today but Josè Roberto was a good friend to B'Elanna and she was starting to fear the worst.

Help arrived in the form of more colonists and Maquis.  They worked in tandem, phasering through bulkhead after bulkhead until they reached their goal.


B'Elanna paused the log and sat in silence for a long time.  She sat at the foot of their bed her knees drawn up to her chest with Tom beside her, his legs outstretched and crossed, her right hand in his left against his lap.  He caressed his thumb gently across her fingers and waited.

"He was dead, Tom," B'Elanna said flatly.  "Vaporised.  All we found of him was some DNA residue."  She pulled her hand from his and made two fists, which she brought up to either side of her temples.  The pain and anguish in her voice was unmistakable and Tom knew he could say nothing to ease her suffering right now.  He tried anyway.

"B'Elanna, I'm so sorry," placing a hand on her knee he squeezed gently and she let him.  Shaking her head in defeat she reached for Tom's warm fingers, grasping so tightly in return Tom winced.

"We were lovers, Tom." B'Elanna whispered her eyes wide but staring at nothing.  Tom was quiet for a moment then asked, "Did you love him?"

She shook her head slowly, "No, but I cared about him.  We took comfort from each other now and then.  Josè, had a great sense of humour and he used to make me laugh."  B'Elanna looked at Tom then.  Staring into those expressive blue eyes that mirrored the pain in her own, "We were both lonely.  I think only, Ayala knew about us."  She shifted position again and rested her head against the end of the bed.

"We used to sneak out of camp and make love under the stars."  B'Elanna laughed out loud, a warm genuine laugh that brought tears to her eyes.  "I called it lovemaking and by comparison to what I'd had before it was," she continued through her subsiding laughter.
"It was sex, Tom.  I never loved a man until I met you," she continued soberly, her voice catching every now and then in that heartbreaking way that was so much a part of her.
"I never felt anything inside for anyone, not really.  I dreamed about it, about really loving someone but something inside me always knew it wouldn't happen."  B'Elanna turned towards Tom and stroked his cheek, ran her supple fingers over his lips.  Tom kissed them and she smiled, whispering, "I guess I was wrong."


Stardate 47964

ID: MQ5814g
SDEntry                            47961

What if we were close?
Like lovers?
Drinking the scent of each other,
Not caring about the rest of the world.

Would that make us better than anyone?
Or just like everyone else?

Love is not what I seek, only comfort,
A kind of security.

If we were close I would imagine you
As my pillow.
I would hold you until I slept and awaken
Without even remembering your presence.

Morning would be reality but not you.

I can't remember how to breach the distance
Between us.  To stay for more than an instant.

I can't explain it.  Maybe I'm afraid.

The past has a torturous hold on me,
My present and my future.

I want morning to last.  I need reality.

Perhaps love is what I seek.
But how to breach the distance?

Personal Log
Decryption Active 
Disable Run

B'Elanna turned off her PADD and quickly stuffed it into her toolbox at the approach of footsteps behind her.

"Are you ready to go, B'Elanna?"  Chakotay asked his engineer.

"Yeah, I was just checking my gear."  Chakotay arched an eyebrow and an extra dimple emerged from his cheeks.  B'Elanna never had to check her tools; she was a brilliant engineer who could fashion isolinear chips from Starfleet ration packs.   Whatever she was hiding was her business, and Chakotay had other things to think about as he followed her into the damaged storage area.

The Maquis ship Adar was an old Federation transport freighter, which specialised in supplying medical supplies and emergency aid to both Cardassian and colonial planets along the DMZ.  These ships belonged to an ancient organisation, founded on Earth, in the 19th Century called the Red Cross.  This relief agency swore allegiance only to those in need, whoever or wherever they might be.

Several Maquis cell leaders had agreed that this sort of ship would be handy in the Bad Lands, as security checks on board these vessels were minimal.  The nomadic nature of these ships also meant that their crews would not be considered lost for a considerable amount of time.

Liberating the Adar had been relatively easy.  A small group of Maquis ships had hidden in a nebula and sent out a distress call for medical aid, knowing full well that an interstellar hospital was in the area.
The tricky part was deciding what to do with such well-trained and compassionate crew.  A few individuals had decided to remain with the Maquis.  Many more refused and demanded to be given safe passage back to Federation space.

Chakotay and his fellow cell leaders concurred but they knew full well anyone, stupid or brave enough, to fly into Federation space for any length of time was going to be arrested for treason.  How could they willingly send their own comrades to their doom?  Besides they needed all the pilots they could get, even drunken and arrogant ex-Starfleet officers who had been cashiered from the Fleet.

Chakotay wondered at that, Paris, was a good pilot, maybe the best he had ever seen but he could not be trusted.  The man was a bastard and Chakotay couldn't stand to be in the same room as him.
Seska had come to Chakotay's cabin one night, not unusual for them, but she had been furious as she recounted Paris' advances to her.  From her accounts Paris had not been subtle even after she made it clear she was Chakotay's woman.
After that Chakotay had restricted Paris’ movements, only issuing orders to him over the comm or sending a detail of Bandera and Chell to escort him to and from the mess hall, duties and missions.

"What are you so busy thinking about?" B'Elanna enquired as she used her tricorder to scan the walls of the hold.

"Remember that pilot I told you about?"

"The one you keep like a prisoner?" B'Elanna said half in jest.  Chakotay gazed at his feet briefly and stood hands on hips.  B'Elanna was oblivious to his change in body language as she concentrated on her scans.

"We've got some micro-fractures at aft and starboard," she murmured as she pulled a manifold flow regulator from her tool belt.

"I'm sending him on a mission."

B'Elanna crawled under a relay conduit and fiddled with the panel.  She had the covering off in a flash and peered inside.

"These relays are out of alignment. I'm going to have to-"


"What?  What's the big deal, your sending what's-his-name on a mission.  I heard."

"I'm going to let him escort the Adar's crew across the border."

B'Elanna slowly eased her self out from under the relay unit and gave her captain a bemused look of ignorance.  "Into Federation space, are you crazy?  He won’t be able to make it back here!"

"I'm not sure if I want him to."  Chakotay admitted.

"I thought you needed every pilot we could get our hands on.  Is he a loony or something?" she asked still incredulous at such a decision.

"I don't trust him."

"Is he a spy?"


"Chakotay, wait a minute.  Why are you telling me all this?  I don't even know him."

"I guess I just wanted another opinion,” Chakotay said as he stared down at her.  "A neutral with no vested interest."  B'Elanna gave a short laugh and leaned back against her hands, which were braced on the floor.

"Yeah, right."  She shook her head at him and continued, "You don't want my opinion, Chakotay, you want my absolution."  B'Elanna brought her legs together and crossed them.  "I can't give you that.  You have to do whatever you feel is right for us; the Maquis.  If he is a spy then sending him back to Starfleet will be no problem.  The way you've apparently kept him cooped up, the only intelligence he’s gonna have is Kurt and Chell's shoe sizes."

"What if I'm wrong?'

"You’re the one with the spirit guide."


"God, B'Elanna.  Even then you were pushing me away!"  Tom chuckled as he slid a slice of Pizza into B'Elanna's mouth.

"Mmmh," she responded biting down and getting cheese trails as she pulled it away from her lips.  "I didn't know who you were then.  Not that it would have made much difference at the time," B'Elanna managed between bites.

They had replicated a Pepperoni Pizza and were now seated on their couch feeding each other by the slice.  Tom had managed four slices already and B'Elanna was still on her second.

"If you don't watch it, Paris you're gonna start gaining weight again," B'Elanna quipped.  Tom licked his lips as he gathered the last remnants of spicy Tomato and cheese from around his mouth.

"I thought you liked those ‘love handles’, Torres."

"Tom," B'Elanna continued in a deadly serious voice "It took me a whole weekend to kiss you all over and on shift days I could never get further than your ears."  Tom grabbed the remaining Pizza out of B'Elanna's hand and threw it back on the table, mindless of where it fell as he started to tickle his mate.

B'Elanna screeched as Tom pinned her beneath him.  His fingers knowing exactly how to coax some very un-Klingon like sounds from his love.  She was wearing his Big-Daddy-O surfing shirt (she refused to let him wear it in public anymore).  B'Elanna had a penchant for wearing Tom's tee shirts and shirts to bed.  Tom's fingers had no trouble navigating through the button up material to her skin, and he tickled her sides mercilessly.

"Take back the fat jokes, B'Elanna."

She shook her head. No.  Tom continued to torture her.

"Take 'em back, chief."

"Or what, my sexy, fat Targ?"  Tom laughed out loud but kept up his assault.

"Or, as in the words of one of my favourite holo-vids, 'I'm gonna get medieval on your ass!' "  B'Elanna gave a nervous laugh and looked up into Tom's eyes.  Oh shit, not the foot bottoms, she thought.  Tom was reading her mind and gave her an evil smirk.

"I take it back, Tom.  I loved your 'love bicycles'," she pleaded.

"Handles," Tom corrected "Love handles, Be."  B'Elanna shrugged her shoulders and giggled.

"Love goodies, whatever."  Their laughter soon abated but they remained sprawled against the couch Tom caressing her nape and shoulders and B'Elanna with her arms loosely around his neck.  They remained that way for a long time staring into each other's eyes.

Tom broke the spell by leaning down a little to brush her lips with his own.  It was a sweet, gentle kiss.

"I'm sorry I sent you to prison, Tom," B'Elanna said as their lips continued to taste.

"I sent me to prison, B'Elanna.  I was a jerk back then, I deserved it."  Kiss.

"I'm glad Janeway busted you out." Kiss.

"Me too."  Kiss.  "B'Elanna, who wrote that poem on your PADD?"  Tom was nibbling at her shoulder now.


"The one you hid from Chakotay."

"Oh that.  I was young, and stupid, Tom.  I don't think I ever wrote another one."

"You wrote it?"

"Pretty sappy stuff huh?"

"Can I hear it again?"

"It's embarrassing enough you know I wrote it."


B'Elanna bit into Tom's earlobe gently to get his attention.  "If you breath a word of this to anyone, Tom...."

"I promise, just between us okay?"

"Just between us," B'Elanna agreed.  Tom eased off her a bit so she could call for the computer log then she settled her self back down into the cushions and brought Tom with her.

What if we were close?
Like lovers?
Drinking the scent of each other,
Not caring about the rest of the world.

Would that make us better than anyone?
Or just like everyone else?

Tom brought B'Elanna's left wrist up to his face and inhaled deeply.

Love is not what I seek, only comfort,
A kind of security.

If we were close I would imagine you
As my pillow.
I would hold you until I slept and awaken
Without even remembering your presence.

Morning would be reality but not you.

"I'll be here in the morning, B'Elanna.  I promise you that."

I can't remember how to breach the distance
Between us.  To stay for more than an instant.

I can't explain it.  Maybe I'm afraid.

"I was," B'Elanna answered truthfully.

The past has a torturous hold on me,
My present and my future.

I want morning to last.  I need reality.

Perhaps love is what I seek.
But how to breach the distance?

Tom put B'Elanna's hand to his heart and she took his right hand and placed over her left breast, through the partially undone Big-Daddy-O shirt.

The memories they shared and made in these rooms would be just between us.


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