Private Moments (PG)

Summary: Tom and B'Elanna have a quiet night 'in'.  This vignette is set a few weeks after the episode 'Day of honour', early in the P/T relationship.

Disclaimer: Viacom/Paramount owns the ship and all characters, but not their reactions to certain stimuli.

Private Moments (PG) by Annie M

Slowly, taking her hand, he led her to her bed and they both sat down, leaning against each other, her arms around his waist, his about her shoulders.  They were both too exhausted to do much else than hold each other close.

Tom eased them back onto the bed and using the back of his heels, kicked his boots off and slid down the bed to remove B'Elanna's deck boots as well. After removing her boots and socks, Tom started to rub B'Elanna's feet. Massaging and kneading her arches and soles.

B'Elanna giggled as Tom continued to rub her feet.  He was concentrating on his fingers, while occasionally looking up to smile into his lover's eyes.

'Better?' he asked her after several minutes.  She nodded an affirmative and held open her arms to him. Tom quickly moved to her side and dropped a kiss on her nose before snuggling up behind B'Elanna so that her back was against his chest and wrapped his arms around her waist.

'Computer,' called Tom, 'play Paris music selection number 3.'

The soft soul music started up as the couple relaxed against each other.  The brass section of the song giving a sensuous opening to the track, followed by the voice of a soulful male soprano singing about the 'Reasons' why love would never disappear.

'Tom?' B'Elanna asked, 'Where did you find the time to know all of these songs?  Some of them are so old.'

Tom chuckled as he responded.  'I had a friend at the Academy who was crazy about music history.  Patrick Finidi.  We shared rooms together for a few semesters, he would hunt down music memorabilia like his life depended on it.'  Tom grinned at the memory.  'He would collect everything, from old Earth classical music from the 17th and 18th centuries to Klingon Operas, and everything else in between.  Music was his life.  I guess his enthusiasm rubbed off on me.'

'What happened to him, Patrick?'

'He left Starfleet Academy after the second year.  I think he took up a music scholarship on the Bolian homeworld.  He wanted to bring a love of music to the masses.' Tom finished.

'Well, they've certainly got mass.' B'Elanna chortled.

'Blue maasss, I saw you standing alone.....' Tom started to sing.  B'Elanna got the joke and joined in the singing.  The two lieutenants singing out of tune and laughing hysterically.

After they had both calmed down, Tom asked B'Elanna if she was hungry, left the bed and got some food on his replicator account.  He came back with a bottle of wine and the Bajoran delicacy, hasperat.  B'Elanna sat back against the pillows and crossed her legs as Tom lowered a plate of the spicy Bajoran dish into her lap.

'Mmmm.' she sniffed the air in approval 'I love hasperat.' B'Elanna dug into the rolled spicy meat and vegetable pastry like she had not eaten in days.

'Good huh?' Tom asked teasingly, it wasn't often that Tom got to see B'Elanna actually enjoying a meal.

'Wonderful.' she responded between bites.  'You know,' she continued trying to swallow, as Tom joined her on the bed with his own plate. 'Seska, used to make a really good hasperat, in the Maquis.'  B'Elanna continued to chew on her food then shook her head ruefully.  'Talk about weird.  And all that time she was a Cardassian spy.'

B'Elanna looked up at Tom to find him staring at her, his expression muted at the sound of their former crewmate's treacherous name.  B'Elanna eased the tension.

'Damn, but that bitch could cook.'

Tom laughed out loud at that and started on his own plate of food.

It was good to just laugh and talk like this, thought B'Elanna.  She didn't think they did it enough.  Their busy schedules and the ship constantly lurching from one crisis to the next always seemed to put the skids on their developing relationship.  But what time they did spend together was always memorable and, to her anyway, exciting and pleasurable.

The music that had been accompanying their conversation and laughter changed to a classical, Klingon, aria.  A deep baritone voice sung of his beloved.

'Hey,' B'Elanna said suddenly 'I know this one. My mother used to play this in the house all the time, it's called.....'  she struggled to remember.  Scrunching her eyes closed as she let the memories of her past bring her the answer.

'The song of the ngech.' Tom broke her reverie with the solution.  B'Elanna's eyes flew open and she stared at him.

'Yeah.' she quietly agreed.

'Don't you like it? I can change the selection.  Computer-'

'No. I like it.' B'Elanna interrupted him 'It reminds me of home.' she continued almost wistfully.

'Kessik IV?' Tom asked.  B'Elanna nodded in agreement and continued to listen to the music with almost reverential devotion.  'I got the impression you hated growing up there.'

'It wasn't all bad.' she answered simply.

'Want to talk about it?' Tom asked as he took her empty plate away and stored it with his own on the floor next to the bed.

'Uhm no.' she answered haltingly.

Tom crawled up beside B'Elanna and pulled her into his arms, as he lay back with her against the pillows.  He stroked her back and planted little kisses against her forehead and cheeks.  She stroked his arms and let his strong body soothe the ache she suddenly had for things past; her mother, her Maquis friends in the Alpha quadrant, Kessik IV, her mother.

'I told her I hated her, when I left home.' B'Elanna said quietly.

'Who?' Tom asked as he continued to stroke her.

'Mother.' she whispered.  'I didn't mean it....' she paused, 'I mean.....'
B'Elanna was struggling with her emotions.  'I never got a chance to say I was sorry.'

'I'm sure she knew you were.'  Tom tried to console her.  Her confession got him thinking about his father.

'I don't know.  I miss her sometimes.'  B'Elanna sat up and removed her uniform jacket, then settled herself back against Tom's welcoming frame.

'She was always so strong.  So sure of herself, always going on about honour and duty...... I used to hate it.  I resented all the Klingon rituals she tried to teach me.  She had this way of making me feel like a complete coward.  Her convictions about that stuff used to frighten me.  Now, it's what I miss the most about her.  Does that make any sense?'

'I think so.' Tom answered 'I think, maybe, over time, you can appreciate what she was trying to do for you.'

'What do you mean?'

'You know, being so far from the Klingon homeworld.  I guess it was just her way of showing you a part of yourself.  Your heritage.'

B'Elanna, eased herself up and looked into the pilot's blue eyes, searching.

'When did you get so wise, Paris?' B'Elanna asked affectionately.  Tom
shrugged his shoulders and smirked at B'Elanna.   'Maybe your right.'
B'Elanna continued, 'It's just so hard sometimes, accepting everything I am. Or what it is I'm supposed to be.  I've been fighting inside for so long I don't know if I can ever stop.'

They fell into a long silence, only the soft strains of the aria's denouement were audible.  B'Elanna wondered if she had said too much.  She wasn't comfortable talking about her feelings, but Tom made her feel so at ease that she found herself telling him her private thoughts.  Issues she had never discussed with anyone before, not even Chakotay.

She was trusting Tom with her insecurities.  Was that good?
Whatever it was, it felt good having him close, snuggled against each other as sleep reached out to claim them.  Would he still be here in the morning? would he want to see her again?  Had she bored him rigid with her pathetic inner turmoil?

Daybreaks came and went, duties were resumed, they had a ship to maintain. Evenings passed and new dawns, such as they were on a starship, followed. And each day Tom and B'Elanna would learn something more about the other, something intimate, funny or sad.

Tom was not bored or shocked by her declarations, in fact B'Elanna's candour made it easier to reveal layers of his own inner struggles and pain.  They already knew they were much alike, but the parallels of their own life histories had shocked and delighted them.

It felt good to be loved and it felt wonderful to be trusted.


Credits for the musical selection: 'Reasons' by Earth Wind and Fire.

The Klingon aria I refer to is completely fictitious, as far as I know.  The ngech is Klingon for valley, (as in a woman's cleavage). - Makes you wonder why B'Elanna's mother had it pumping through the house, no?

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