Title:  Morning Ablutions
Author:  Julie Evans
Contact:  Juli17@aol.com
Series:  Voy, Scenes From a Marriage
Part:  1/1
Rating:  PG13
Codes:  P/T
Date Posted:  11/1/00
Summary:  First story in the "Scenes From a Marriage" P/T series, a
series of vignettes focusing on Tom and B'Elanna's married life.

Disclaimer:  Star Trek and its characters are the property of
Paramount/Viacom.  I am borrowing them for fun only, not profit.

Archiving:  Okay to archive to the ASC, PT Collective website, and the
BLTS.  All others please ask author for permission.

Notes:  I decided to write some vignettes dealing with Tom and
B'Elanna's adjustments to their wedded state, and include them under
one series title, "Scenes From a Marriage."  This is the first vignette.  I
can't say when another idea will strike me, but there will probably be
more to follow ;-)

Acknowledgement and thanks to Robert Duncan McNeill, whose
musical performance at the Galaxy Ball inspired me to change my tune--
literally (at least one of them ;-).

"Morning Ablutions"
by Julie Evans

B'Elanna groaned and rolled over.  Something was disturbing her sleep,
and she didn't appreciate it.  It was a very persistent noise, a distant blast
of strident harmonics punctuating by a warbling sound that her fuzzy
mind was slow to recognize as music and vocal accompaniment.

She groaned again and put her pillow over her head, but she could still
hear it.  And she could just make out words.

"--and tell me I'm your lovin' man."

She recognized that voice.

"Will you give me all your love, and do it, babe, the best you can."

Tom was singing.

She sat up and focused her bleary eyes.  The covers on Tom's side of the
bed had been pushed aside into a rumpled heap, and his pillow still bore
the imprint where his head had rested last night.

"Oh, that's the way, uh huh, uh huh, I like it, uh huh, uh huh."

B'Elanna looked at the chronometer on her bedside table.  Six twenty-
two hours.  Great.  She rubbed her arms.  Besides being rudely
awakened so early, the bed was felt cold without Tom's body warmth.

"That's the way, uh huh, uh huh, I like it, uh huh, uh huh."

B'Elanna sighed and pushed the covers down.  There wasn't much point
in trying to sleep now.  She got up and stalked across the bedroom,
prepared to give Tom a piece of her mind.  The bathroom door was
closed--Tom's effort not to wake her she supposed.  It slid open at her
approach, and the music blared out loudly.  She stepped across the
threshold--and then stopped and stared at her husband.

He'd started to dress, but hadn't gotten any further than his jockeys and
his regulation t-shirt--and his socks.  His hair was still spiky from the
sonic shower.  He was obviously in the middle of brushing his teeth,
since he was holding his toothbrush, though his grip was odd.  He was
holding it like one might hold a microphone.

Before she could speak the tempo changed, and he started to sing again.

"When I get to be in your arms, when we're all, all alone...
when you whisper sweet in my ear, when you turn, turn me on."

B'Elanna watched in fascination as Tom belted out the words into the
toothbrush, gyrating his hips and moving his body to the beat all the

Well, she already knew he could dance.  And that he had a strong clear
tenor.  But this early--

"Oh, that's the way, uh huh, uh huh, I like it, uh huh, uh huh."

He never took his eyes off the mirror as he sang, as if there was an
audience beyond the glass watching him, an audience he was playing to-

"That's the way, uh huh, uh huh, I like it, uh huh, uh huh."

He shimmied forward, doing a quick spin and then thrusting his pelvis

And at that moment he saw her.  He stopped singing, but he kept moving
forward as his socks slid on the tile--and slammed right into the sink.


Tom's hand went immediately to the point of impact.  Luckily he'd hit
the sink just high enough that he hadn't damaged any of his...equipment.

B'Elanna managed to suppress her smile.  She also ignored the fact that
she'd been rather enjoying Tom's performance, and that he'd looked
pretty appealing in action.  He'd woken her from a sound sleep, after all.
She frowned deliberately.  "What are you doing?"

Tom waved his toothbrush with one hand, while rubbing the sore spot on
his lower abdomen with the other.  "I was just doing my morning

B'Elanna looked curiously at his toothbrush.  "That was an interesting
way to brush your teeth."

"Sometimes I like to listen to music while I'm getting ready," Tom said,
still looking a little pained.

"Listen?" B'Elanna asked dryly, lowering her voice a little since the
music was starting to fade out.

Tom shrugged.  "Sing too."  He gave her a nonchalant look.  "And throw
in a few moves."

B'Elanna smirked.  "That was a nice move right into the sink."

Tom smirked back.  "Thanks.  It's not part of my usual repertoire, but
I'm glad you liked it."

B'Elanna moved next to him and picked up her toothbrush.  "So, is this a
regular habit of yours, Tom?"

"When I have an early shift, it helps me wake up," Tom replied as he
pressed the toothpaste dispenser for her.

"It helped me wake up too," B'Elanna told him pointedly.  "But my shift
doesn't start until 1000 today, since I have a late meeting with the beta

"Right," Tom said.  He gave her an apologetic look.  "I guess it was a
little loud."

"Uhh huhh," B'Elanna murmured through the toothbrush in her mouth.
She brushed vigorously, then spit into the sink.  "I know that you like to
sing in the shower..." she gave him a meaningful look.  "But I didn't
know that you perform in front of the bathroom mirror first thing in the

"You didn't?" Tom asked, his brow furrowing.  "I guess that's because
when we were together in my quarters, you were usually done in the
bathroom and out before me in the mornings."

That was true.  Though she'd spent dozens of nights in his quarters, she
did tend to have the earlier shifts, and she'd usually vacated his quarters
quickly to get something or other she needed in her own quarters.  Even
when he'd spent the night in her quarters, she'd often been the first one

She reached for her washcloth, which was on the opposite side of the
sink.  Tom didn't move very far to accommodate her, and she had to
squeeze between him and edge of the sink.  Though it wasn't exactly a
painful position, she raised her eyebrows at him.  He immediately took
advantage and kissed her.

"I'm sorry I woke you," he murmured against her lips, the taste of
toothpaste mingling between them.

"S'okay," she murmured back.  She smiled.  "I just had no idea you had
aspirations to be a--what was it called...ah, yes, a rock star, as well as an
ace pilot and a back up doctor."

"I only have rock star aspirations in the privacy of our bathroom," Tom
told her.  Then he grinned.  "You know me, I'm just not an exhibitionist
by nature."

B'Elanna rolled her eyes at that assertion.  "Oh, not at all."  She twisted
around to turn on the cold water.  "Well, I guess this is just one of those
little things you find out about your mate *after* you're married," she
said as she wet the washcloth and pressed it against her face.  "Anything
other surprises you plan to spring on me?"

"I'm sure I'll think of one or two things..." Tom drawled.

B'Elanna looked at him and raised her eyebrows at his provocative
smile.  "Just be careful what you surprise me with before I've had my
morning raktajino," she warned him.  She dropped the washcloth in the
sink and picked up the hand towel.  "I'm not always this cheerful in the
morning, you know."

Tom grinned, unperturbed by her purposeful scowl.  "But you are
beautiful in the morning," he said, dropping a light kiss on her shoulder.

She snorted dubiously, and started to dry her face.

"Which reminds me of a particular piece of music..." Tom mused.
"Computer, play selection four twelve, and lower the volume by twenty

Music with a strong pulsing beat blared out, albeit at a reduced sound
level, and B'Elanna looked at Tom over the towel she was still patting
against her face.  There was a mischievous gleam in his eyes, and he
winked at her.  She shook her head and moved for the door before he
started singing again.  "I'm going to go get that raktajino--"

"Pretty woman, walking down the street, pretty woman, the kind I'd like
to meet..."

B'Elanna turned at Tom's crooned words and found his gaze locked on
her.  He appraised her deliberately and appreciatively with his eyes, and
she gave him a warning glare.  "Tom--"

He started singing again, undeterred.  "Pretty woman, I don't believe
you, you're not the truth, no one could look as good as you."  He slapped
his hand over his heart and his eyes widened.  "Mercyyy..."

B'Elanna rolled her eyes, and then threw her towel at him for good
measure as she stepped through the door.  He caught it easily before it
hit him in the face, grinning unabashedly.  She strode out shaking her
head, but she also couldn't help the small smile that played around her
lips as his words followed her even after the door closed.

"Pretty woman, won't you pardon me...pretty woman, I couldn't help but
see...pretty woman, you look as lovely as can be..."


Ten minutes later B'Elanna was comfortably settled on the couch, with
her morning cup of raktajino steaming on the coffee table in front of her,
and a datapadd displaying the previous evening's engineering logs and
status reports in her hand.  There had been silence from the bathroom for
the past several minutes.  She snuggled a little deeper into Tom's blue
robe that she'd pulled on to ward off the slight chill of the room.

Actually, it was *her* blue robe now.  When Tom and she had moved
into their shared quarters they'd agreed to make several compromises in
their individual living habits.  The pressure level on the sonic shower
had been reset a little lower than she usually preferred, since Tom's fair
skin was more easily abraded than hers was.  They'd also agreed to
readjust the thermostat to a temperature in-between their individual
preferences, a bit higher than he was accustomed to, but a couple of
degrees lower than her usual comfort level.  She'd exacted a price for
that compromise though--Tom's blue flannel robe.  He'd offered to
replicate her another one exactly like it, but she'd insisted on *this* one.
It was soft and comfortably worn in, and it smelled good.

She was scanning one of the warp core status reports when she heard
Tom come out of the bedroom, and she glanced up as he approached her.
His hair was neatly combed, and he was in full uniform now, with every
crease perfectly in place.  He looked spit and polished, ready to pass the
captain's discriminating perusal on the bridge.  He stopped beside her,
and then picked up her cup of raktajino and took a quick sip.

"I can replicate you one of your own," B'Elanna told him dryly.

"No time," Tom said as he set the cup back down.  "I'll get a cup of
coffee on the bridge."  He leaned over and rested his hand lightly on her
shoulder, and pecked her quickly on the lips.  "Gotta go," he murmured.
But he didn't rise immediately.  Instead he let his hand slip inside the
robe and he cupped her breast lightly as he kissed her again, a soft
grazing of his lips and tongue over hers.

When he would have straightened she closed her hand over his, pressing
his hand tighter against her breast, feeling the warmth of his palm
through the thin satin of her indigo nightgown.  "Maybe you can be just
a little late," she suggested, her voice husky.

"That's very tempting," Tom murmured against her mouth.  "But I don't
think the captain would approve of my excuse."

Not likely.  "I guess you'd better get going then," she said regretfully.

"Yeah," he agreed, as he pulled his hand reluctantly away and stood.
"Dinner tonight?"

"It'll be about twenty thirty hours," she reminded him.

"Okay," he said agreeably.  "Twenty thirty hours.  Then we can celebrate
making it through our first week."

B'Elanna's lips quirked at his droll tone.  "It seemed so much longer,"
she said, teasing him back.

"Endless," Tom drawled in mock agreement.  Then he smiled.  "See you

B'Elanna reached for her raktajino as Tom took several steps toward the
door.  Then he stopped abruptly and turned around so quickly that he
startled her.  A moment later he was bending over her again, brushing
his lips across her cheek.  "By the way, I like being married," he
whispered softly into her ear.

He was up again and at the door before she could do anything more than
stare nonplused after him.  He threw her one last smile as he slipped out
of their quarters.

B'Elanna stared at the closed door thoughtfully.  A week.  They'd been
married a week now.  And it had hardly seemed endless.  It had seemed
to go by in a matter of seconds.

Of course, their first two days as husband and wife had been spent on the
Delta Flyer.  She wondered briefly how she would feel the next time she
went on an away mission, knowing that virtually everywhere she looked
she'd remember how they had made use of almost every surface--decks,
chairs, even consoles...

No one else but Tom and she would ever know it, but they'd barely left a
centimeter of the Flyer untouched by their lovemaking.  It wasn't like
they'd had a lot of other things to do drifting in space for two days.  Or
had wanted to do anything else...

B'Elanna shifted a little, warmed by that memory in more ways than one.
Then she set down her datapadd and picked up her cup of raktajino.  She
glanced around the room as she sipped it and she felt an odd sensation in
her stomach seeing her things and Tom's things intermingled--seeing the
evidence of their lives so fully merged now.  It still felt strange, though
it wasn't an unpleasant sensation at all.

She hadn't been sure she would feel any different being married.  After
all, she and Tom had practically lived together at times, drifting in and
out of each other's quarters at will, making themselves at home, and
even keeping some of their individual things in each other's closets and
drawers.  But Tom's quarters had still been his, and her quarters had
been hers.  There had been a definite and meaningful separation between
the two.

Being married did feel different.  What she saw around her was no
longer hers, or his, but "theirs."  When they'd moved their things into
one shared space five days ago, she'd had a brief sense of apprehension
about it.  She'd wondered if she'd feel too confined, if she'd miss her
privacy, and the refuge of her own quarters.  That available retreat was
something Tom and she had both clung to and had taken advantage of at
times throughout their relationship.

It had been a trade off, giving up her own sometimes rigidly protected
space in exchange for having someone else here--for having Tom here--
through all the ups and downs, for both the good and the bad.  But she
didn't regret it.  Tom and she belonged to each other now in a way they
hadn't before--in a way they hadn't let themselves belong before--
because they'd both held back entrusting that last bit of their hearts to
each other.  They might both have nowhere to hide anymore, but they
had the promise now of each other's unconditional support in return.

B'Elanna knew from bitter experience that it really wasn't that simple,
and that there were no absolute guarantees, but that wasn't something
she'd let herself think about right now.  She'd only been married a week,
after all.  She picked up her datapadd, and as she sipped her raktajino
she focused on the one thing she was discovering about marriage so far.
Make that two things.

Tom liked being married.

And she liked it too.


song acknowledgements:

"That's the Way I Like It" written by H.W. Casey & R. Finch, copyright
1975 by Sherlyn Publishing Co.

"Oh, Pretty Woman" written by Roy Orbison & William Dees, copyright
1964 by CBS Records.