Author's note:  All in all, I loved "Nothing Human", but the ending was
just a tad lacking (to me, anyway :)  So I'm adding a little coda of my
own.  I had this completely written and half typed before I read some of
the excellent codas written by other authors.  Please forgive any

Disclaimer:  Read it and live with it.  Our favorite pair are owned by
Paramount, as is ship, everyone else on it, Krell Moset, and the giant
slug thing.  Story and erotic mush (I dare not give it the esteemed
title of smut) is mine, all mine.

Archiving:  Just keep my name attached.

Rating:  NC-17.  Go on, kids, buzz off.  You should know better.

Thanks:  To Bri, as always.  Lylas!  Also many oodles of thanks to
D'Alaire and Annette, my beta-readers, for helping me expand this and
patiently listening to me whine, bitch, tear my hair out, take your pick
of adjective, over this story.  They were very needed and I thank them
both for putting up with me.

Dedication:  This one's for Annette - *hugs*!

Human Touch
by Cheile

        After Janeway had left, B'Elanna stared after her for a minute or two.
Her emotional turmoil was still strong.  On one hand, she was grateful
to be alive.  On the other, she had lived because everyone had gone
against her wishes and allowed that Cardassian murderer to operate on
her.  And, that his knowledge, the knowledge that had saved her, had
been gained from the torture of thousands of Bajorans, including members
of Tabor's family.
        She shuddered at the thought.  But there was nothing she could do about
it now.  It was over and done with--it had already happened.  Of course,
she was still inwardly fuming.  Tossing down the padd she'd been
holding, she got to her feet and went to the viewport to stare out at
the stars streaking by.
        *I am kind of grateful to be alive.  Am I?  Knowing that I lived
because that Cardie butcher used the knowledge he had gained from the
suffering of all those Bajorans......*
        She pushed the thought away.  But soon, another crept into her
mind--the memory of that creature trying to suck the life out of her.
        *Why?* she thought despairingly.  *Why is everything--every big
decision--taken away from me?  First Daddy left me, and then the Academy
jerks didn't want me.  My Maquis friends have all been slaughtered
unfairly--and now Janeway made the decision to keep me alive against my
wishes.  Why?  My life isn't worth that much.*
        Abruptly, her anger grew.  *I' hate' it.  I hate being so helpless.*
        A few minutes later, the sound of the door chime snapped her back to
reality.  "Come in," she said without turning around.
        The door opened and closed.  She saw Tom's reflection an instant before
his warm hands came to rest on her shoulders.  Unconsciously, she leaned
back against him, grateful for his closeness.  They were silent for a
long time before he spoke.  "I hope you're not angry with me."
        "No," she said softly.  "I'm upset with the captain, but not with you."
She was the one who made the decision to go against my wishes."
        "I convinced her to," he admitted.
        She pulled away from him and turned to face him.  "Why?!  You of all
people should know how I feel about the Cardassians!"
        "I couldn't bear to lose you."
        She wasn't convinced.  "That sounds a little selfish of you."
        "If it had been anything else, I would have respected your wishes.  But
not at the cost of your life."  He tried to swallow the lump in his
throat and failed.  "I've been alone for so long."  Brief flashes of
Charlie, Bruno, Odile and his mother went through his mind.  His pain
increased.  "I've lost too many people that I loved.  I couldn't lose
you too."
        Tears in his eyes, Tom turned to leave.  He may have lost her love, but
at least she was alive.  Maybe one day--she would find it in her heart
to forgive him.  But he paused when he felt her hand touch his arm.  He
turned back to meet her eyes.
        "You love me?"
        He was taken aback.  "Of course I do....."  He stopped short when he
realized that he had shown her that he loved her, but had never actually
told her.  He moved to hold her close again.  "I'm sorry," he whispered
into her hair.
        "It's all right."
        "No, it's not."  He pulled back.  "I should've told you earlier."
        She tightened her embrace, silently reassuring him.  After a long
minute, he pulled back once more to look into her eyes, then bent his
head to kiss her softly.
        She returned the kiss, suddenly eager for his touch.  "Hold me, Tom,"
she whispered.
        "Whatever you wish, my love."  He lifted her and carried across the
room and into the bedroom, setting her down gently upon the bed.  He sat
beside her and between kisses, removed her tank top, bra and slacks.
She, in turn, did the same for him.  For some unexplained reason, she
desperately needed his touch.
        He lay her back, then moved to lie atop her.  "I love you," he
murmured, as he bent his head to suckle a breast lightly.
        She moaned softly and clutched at his shoulders.  When he finished
lavishing attention on the one, he shifted to the other.  His hand
stroked down her stomach to cup her briefly before he slid her panties
off.  She returned the favor, pushing his boxers down.  He paused only
to kick them off, then resumed his tender loving of B'Elanna.
        Cupping her hips in his hands, he slowly slid inside her.  She moaned
again and wrapped her legs around his waist.  He softly nuzzled her neck
before beginning to move.  Slowly, at first, then faster as sensation
began to overwhelm him.
        "Tom, Tom," she moaned.
        "I love you," he gasped out.
        An instant later, a bright light burst behind his eyes and his cry rose
with B'Elanna's as the sensation carried them to heaven and beyond.
        Tom slumped atop her, eyes squeezed closed, breathing hard.  He could
feel the rapid beat of B'Elanna's heart against his own.  After he had
regained his senses, he lifted his head to brush a kiss across her brow
ridges.  "I love you, 'Lanna."
        She opened her eyes and smiled softly at him.  "I love you, too."
        Pulling her closer, he moved to his side, bringing her with him.
Reaching down, he snagged the edge of her blanket and pulled it over
them.  Tucking her head beneath his chin, he drifted into sleep.


        As her senses became more aware, she realized it was dark.  She
blinked, trying to assess her surroundings.  Then she grew aware of the
heavy weight on top of her.
        *But the alien is gone.....*  She tried to move--maybe she was
imagining the weight--and found she couldn't.  For an instant, fear
crept down her spine.  She tried to move again.  Nothing.  Her terror
growing, she willed her body to struggle.  But she was thoroughly pinned
        The argument with the captain, the talk with Tom, him making love to
her--it had all been a dream.  The thought both scared and infuriated
her--and she kept trying to struggle--kept trying to fight the
        "B'Elanna, calm down," came a muffled whisper out of the darkness.
        "No!" she whispered in terror.
        "'Lanna, it's all right.  I'm right here."
        Her eyes flew open to darkness.  But slowly, her eyes adjusted and the
dim starlight revealed the face of her beloved, eyes full of concern,
hovering above her.
        " that really you?"
        "I'm here, love.  I'm here."
        "I woke up--and I couldn't move."
        "Just a bad dream, 'Lanna.  Here--touch me--know that I'm real."  He
drew her hand to his chest, letting her feel the steady beat against her
fingertips.  She touched his face--taking comfort in it.
        "I'm here," he whispered reassuringly.  "I won't leave you, 'Lanna.
I'll never leave you."  He drew her closer.
        Sighing softly, she closed her eyes, relaxing in the comfort of his
embrace, of his gentle touch.

Legal B.S. above.  Copyright January 25, 1999 by Cheile.
Feedback--please, pretty please???