Only for a Minute  PG-13
Author:Annie M
Series: Voyager
Rating: PG-13
Code: P/T

Summary: Low-key PWP, set just before Torres, Janeway and Tuvok decide to pay the Borg a house call in Unimatrix Zero.

SPECIAL NOTE: Please read DangerMom's companion piece to this story, "Moments of Hope," AFTER you've read this one.  Thank you.

Please ask for permission before archiving anywhere.

Thanks to DangerMom and PJ in NH for answering the call to duty once again.

Disclaimer: Paramount/Viacom etc own the rights to the characters and the ship.  I'm just doing what I want.

August 3, 2000

Only for a Minute by Annie M

"I couldn't sleep tonight.  I missed you."

I lean over him again and give him a half-smile, brush my fingers over his cheek.

"Are you finished now, are you coming to bed?"

He sounds so tired--sleep tired, yet hopeful--his blue eyes fluttering around as he strains to keep them open for me.

I shake my head, no.  "I just wanted to see you," I whisper.

He groans aloud, and in my heart I echo the sentiment.  I say nothing and settle instead for stroking his hair off his forehead and biting my lip.

"I shouldn't have come," I admit.

It's the middle of the night and I'm pulling a triple shift in Engineering for about the third night in a row.  Voyager's becoming more difficult to sustain the longer we're stuck out here--we all know it, and I guess because we do we accept the sacrifices we all have to make to keep her going.  Right now, I can't even remember what "down-time" is.  I wonder what a shore-leave would feel like too, it's been that long since I've been planet-side.

"No.  I'm glad you came... miss you."  He struggles to sit up, his hands reach out to me.

"Hey," I soothe.  My hands instinctively go to his shoulders to try and push him back against the pillows.  "I can't stay long, Tom, and you need to sleep."

"Lie down with me, B'Elanna, for just a minute."

His hands are gentle and coaxing upon my elbows and I follow him willingly down to our bed.

Only for a minute.

I snuggle my face into the curve of his neck and feel his fingers against my hair, his breath on my temple.  He exhales deeply and sighs.  I turn my head slightly and touch my lips to his throat.  Tom murmurs something against my hair and his hands relax against me even as he's pulling my hip closer to his own.  His breathing starts to deepen.

I close my eyes and inhale.  He smells of soap, the one he keeps telling me smells of the sea.  I've taken his word for it, as the only seaports I ever visited stunk to the high seat of Kahless of rotting sea creatures and vegetables.  But I like this smell, it's his "clean" smell, the one I put right up there with his natural scent--that drives me to distraction when he's sweaty from a workout or he has his head buried in my bosom and his fingers are busy seducing all sorts of pleasures out of me.  I inhale again and lick his throat.

He's asleep.

I want to stay.

Slowly and carefully I move away from him, quieting his whispered moans with a kiss and a caress.

He shifts more deeply into his pillow, and I can't help myself, I have to kiss his ear--very gently. I use my index finger and trace a line against his softer skin there.  I smile as I withdraw from him and remind myself to be this gentle when we're both fully awake.  And have the time.

I need to get back to work before I'm commed, and I don't want to wake him again so I leave.

The work is still as important as it ever was, I'll never lose sight of that.   Nicoletti hands me a PADD with more data on it; Seven has a theory that she insists will enhance engine efficiency; Vorik's just found another leak in the plasma manifold.  I inwardly smirk a little with all the attention and action, calling out orders and quick responses as fast as my synapses can carry them.

I only had the chance to see him for a minute.  I wonder if he'll ever know how much that means.

The End

Now, just in case you forgot... please go and read DangerMom's response to B'Elanna's musings in "Moments of Hope."