Live With A Paris: When Training is Not An Option
Somewhere deep inside her, B'Elanna realized that what she was doing amounted to the unofficial human maternity stage they had once called "nesting". Their quarters were for once sparkling clean, every last object in its stated place. A Starfleet admiral could come through and have no negative comment to make. Hell, the Klingon mother- in- law of a Human female wouldn't be able to say a single word against B'Elanna's keeping house.
In the end, with (according to the Doctor) exactly one week left until the birth of the baby, B'Elanna was left with nothing to do.
She was huge, there was no denying that fact, and contrary to common opinion, pregnancy is not the easiest state for the female body to go through. She tried to take Delta for walks when she was bored stiff, but she could only get a few dozen feet down the corridor before pain began to radiate from her pelvic bone where the baby now rested. No longer did her rib cage feel like it was exploding outwards, no, now she felt like a small bag of cement was being stored against her pelvis and cervix. It was not a pleasant feeling in the least.
In the end, she had come to the conclusion that long walks in the Hydroponics Bay were out of the question. As was working in Engineering at any point in time, since she couldn't actually make it to Deck 11 without taking ten timeouts on the way. So, she found something to occupy her time.
Keeping her handiwork hidden from Tom proved to be the hardest part of the entire situation. The engineering specs she could handle without a second thought; she'd already come up with the premise, it was now just a matter of getting the supplies and putting them together in the proper order. The supplies were no problem either -- there had to be some perks from being the Chief Engineer. For the last three days she'd spent hours (between her many trips to the bathroom and the occasional nap) tinkering and playing with this component and that, chewing on her lip as she shifted and slid about her chair to remain comfortable.
Her ever constant companion, Delta, rarely moved from her side. His growing, gangly body, slowly losing its baby fat for a thicker coat of fur, lay upside down next to her chair. His feet fought against gravity to stand in the air, his ears lay flat out beside his head, his tongue hanging out the side of his mouth, almost touching the floor. Sometimes, however, he would just sit there beside her, not being cute, not being loving, making B'Elanna wonder exactly what was going through his puppy mind. She would relax, however, when those
pensive moments would pass, and the puppy would resume his happy panting. He'd rest his head against her thigh, careful not to disturb her more than necessary for a loving stroke.
As it had for the last three days, the chronometer chirped, indicating that her husband would be off duty fairly soon, leaving her just enough time to clean up her mess and hide it once again from curious eyes. Today, however, she chose not to move. If she worked quickly she could have her project finished before the next hour was out, and then it would only need the final test.
B'Elanna was so engrossed in her work ten minutes later, that she barely heard the door to their quarters slide open, and her husband stroll inside. His handsome face bore his usual boyish grin that for once went unnoticed by either her heart or her libido.
Happy to see his master, Delta wagged his tail quickly, and moved to the other side of the table, but still he sat next to his mistress and waited for Tom to come to him. What had started out to be Tom's dog had decided instead to become B'Elanna's, but Tom didn't mind. He got to have all the fun, and none of the nuisance; having a dog was great, being followed around 24/7 was not.
"Hey, beautiful." Tom murmured, leaning down to kiss the top of B'Elanna's forehead as he leaned across her to view her handiwork.
B'Elanna murmured something barely audible as she leaned into his caress for an instant and then slipped right back into work mode.
"What're you building?"
Her response was mumbled and directed away from him.
"What was that? I think I missed what you said 'cause I could have sworn you said you were making..."
B'Elanna sighed in exasperation. "A transporter-operated dog litter box."
"Yea, that's what I thought you said." Tom afforded her one of his
ever-suffering-with-a-semi-insane-pregnant-wife looks, before sitting down at the chair across from her, watching her work.
"We can't keep taking him to the Hydroponics Bay every time he has to go. And we can't let him go in here without replacing something every few days, and that just isn't healthy to begin with. So there had to be a compromise."
"Uh huh. And this compromise works how exactly?"
B'Elanna launched into a technical explanation, leaving Tom and his grudgingly passable engineering skills staring at her with a vacant expression.
"Rephrase. It works how, not so exactly?"
She smiled. "It's very simple. His waste is collected here, a micro
transporter built into the base of the box is activated immediately by the change in weight and transports all cellular remains into Voyager's waste disposal system."
"And this won't transport half our dog away because?"
B'Elanna snorted. "Give me some credit, would you? I rigged it with a weight sensor that is only activated when more than 1 ounce but less than 2 kilograms is resting against the base of the box. Therefore it will be activated immediately after Delta steps off the platform."
Tom raised his eyebrows and gave her a good natured shrug. "My wife, the inventor of the instant pooper scooper. We'll make a fortune!"
"Keep it up, Tom. My next project is a dog house."
He frowned. "What for?"
She smiled sweetly. "Because with your measure of sarcasm, I have a feeling you'll be sleeping in it in the near future."
B'Elanna patted Tom on the shoulder, ruffling his hair as she stepped past him and towards the washroom. She couldn't wait for the day when she could go back to safely being more than twenty feet from a toilet. True to form, Delta followed her to the bathroom, taking up his usual position outside the door, guarding his half Klingon mistress from whatever harm could come her way.
Tom shook his head and grinned. They weren't exactly a typical family, but they were his family and he loved them.