Author: Julie Evans
Series: VOY, Scenes From a Marriage
Date posted: 5/22/01
Summary: Just a bit of fluff. As the big moment approaches, Tom and
B'Elanna get in some quality time together. Set immediately after the
events in "Renaissance Man." Part of the "Scenes From a Marriage"
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 ASC, PT Collective website, and BLTS.
All others please ask author for permission.
by Julie Evans
Tom exited the turbolift and strode purposefully down the corridor. Of
course, the day B'Elanna finally finished reinstalling the warp core and
got off early, he ended up working late. In sickbay no less, covering so
the doctor could go on some sort of holoexcursion with the captain.
Tom shook his head, still a little bemused by the lack of punishment the
doctor had received for his latest infractions, though the doctor had
voluntarily confined himself to sickbay for the past week. If it wasn't for
his own sickbay duties, they wouldn't have crossed paths at all. And he
had to admit the doctor had apologized with sincere remorse for the
"misunderstanding" in engineering when he'd been posing as B'Elanna.
The doctor could have used that incident to get in a few jabs at Tom, and
probably would have in the past. But the doctor was ashamed enough of
his actions that he apparently had no intention of revisiting the incident
Tom dismissed that subject from his mind as he stepped through the
door to his and B'Elanna's quarters. There were other things he'd rather
focus on at the moment. He pulled off his uniform jacket--always his
first action when he got home--and tossed it on the bed. Then he
stretched appreciatively, glad to be free of that restriction. He turned
toward the closet, noticing without surprise the light shining from
beneath the bathroom door. Since the lights in the rest of their quarters
were only at one-quarter illumination, he knew B'Elanna hadn't done
more than walk through on her way there. But then, it was her favorite
place these days.
His lips twitched as he moved to the closet and kicked off his shoes.
Right after he and B'Elanna had married the captain had offered them
these quarters, which had been one of the original four "ambassador's"
quarters usually reserved for visiting dignitaries. But dignitaries had
been infrequent visitors during Voyager's previous six years in the Delta
quadrant, so the captain had decided two of her own crew might make
better use of the space. The living area actually wasn't much bigger than
that in his or B'Elanna's old quarters, though the closet was much
roomier, and there was extra shelf and storage space. The real
difference in the design of these quarters was in the bathroom.
Tom glanced toward the closed door again as he pulled off his socks.
Their bathroom now was twice the size of the one in his old quarters, or
B'Elanna's, with a double sink, more vanity space and a large linen
cabinet. The combination sonic/water shower wasn't the usual narrow
cubicle common on starships, but a large duraglass enclosed space with
a built in bench. And next to the shower was a bathtub.
Besides the captain's quarters, the ambassador's quarters' were the only
other ones on the ship equipped with a bathtub. Anyone else on the
crew who had the urge to take a bath had to program one on the
holodeck, or replicate a portable tub in their quarters and then find a way
to get water into it--a real expenditure of replicator rations to say the
Despite having a built in bathtub, neither he nor B'Elanna had made use
of it on a regular basis. B'Elanna generally preferred her sonic showers
because they were quick and thorough, and she was perpetually in a
rush. He used the water setting in the shower when he had time, since
he liked the feel of water sluicing over his skin. On the several
occasions they had used the bathtub during their first few months of
marriage, it had been strictly for...play.
That was until B'Elanna's pregnancy had started to advance. She'd tried
out the bathtub on the doctor's advice, and had found that soaking in a
hot bath relaxed her, and relieved some of the minor aches the weight of
her enlarging belly put on her back. In the past month or so a hot bath
had become an almost nightly ritual, and Tom knew where he would
find her if he arrived home after she did.
He found her there now as the bathroom door slid open to admit him.
The toilet, sink, and linen cabinet were to the left, but he turned
immediately to the right. B'Elanna was reclined in the bathtub, her head
just visible above the rim. Her eyes were closed, and there was a
contented half-smile on her face.
He saw that she'd gone all out tonight. The candles they kept on the
small shelf above the bathtub were lit, and their small flames flickered
warmly. A sweating glass half filled with chilled blue liquid--juice no
doubt--rested on the wide corner edge of the tub, along with a bowl and
a datapadd B'Elanna had obviously been reading. As he approached the
tub, the scent of faljan, a Bajoran herb that had an aroma similar to
Earth's jasmine, became stronger. Its extract had mild muscle relaxant
properties, and the doctor had suggested adding the concentrated oil to
bath water to create a soothing effect.
B'Elanna hadn't reacted to his presence, and he wondered if she was
asleep. She was stretched out comfortably enough along the length of
the sea green tub, and the outline of her body shimmered a little with the
slight movement of the water. She liked her baths hot, and her face and
arms were slicked with a fine sheen of moisture. He was starting to
perspire too from the steam in the room. Her hair was gathered
haphazardly in some sort of clip on top of her head, though tendrils of it
had escaped and clung damply to her neck and cheeks. It was a practical
measure designed to keep her hair out of her face, but he wouldn't be
sorry if she wore it that way all the time. It was disheveled, but it was
B'Elanna's eyes opened slowly a moment after her voice broke the
silence, and she smiled. She patted the edge of the tub where her hand
had been resting.
"Hey," Tom echoed as he sat carefully on the edge, feeling the dampness
there seep into his pants a little. He glanced at the bowl and saw the
remains of potato salad, B'Elanna's passion since she'd become
B'Elanna followed his gaze. "I was still a little hungry after dinner."
He knew she'd eaten in the mess hall earlier, while he'd been stuck
replicating a sandwich in sickbay once again. "I take it you're feeling
"This morning you seemed a little irritated when you woke me."
B'Elanna frowned. "I wasn't irritated this morning. Maybe a little
anxious to finish the warp core installation. And when did I wake you?"
"When you hit me." He'd been in a sound sleep when something--
someone--had punched him in the arm. Not hard, but it had certainly
been enough to startle him awake, somewhere before 0500 hours.
"Oh." B'Elanna shrugged. "That was an accident. My hand slipped."
More like her fist. He looked at her skeptically. "You also called me a
big lug." He'd heard her say that under her breath before she'd told him
to go back to sleep.
"I meant it affectionately."
Tom cleared his throat. "I see."
She glowered at him. "It really isn't fair that you get to sleep all night
while I have to wake up every two hours to pee."
"I did trade sides of the bed with you so you wouldn't have to walk so
B'Elanna rolled her eyes. "Right. That was a very noble gesture on your
"Well, if you want me to go with you and hold your hand--"
B'Elanna snorted. "No, thanks. But like I said before, *you* can carry
the next baby."
Tom smiled. "Yes, dear."
B'Elanna's eyes narrowed, and he knew his tone had been a little too
placating. "I wouldn't be so smug, Tom. That possibility is not
completely out of the realm of medical science. If the doctor put his
mind to it, I'm sure he could figure out a way for you to go through the
pregnancy next time. In fact, I think I'll ask him about it."
Tom wasn't sure whether she was serious, though he fleetingly
wondered if the doctor could possibly stay on his holodate with the
captain for a few years. "You know, it takes a lot of work to raise
children. And they deserve as much individual attention as possible.
Maybe we should stop at one kid--"
Tom sighed at B'Elanna's triumphant look. "Okay, okay. I bow to your
superior physical and mental stamina." He leaned forward, being careful
not to unbalance himself on his precarious perch, and kissed her on the
forehead. "I'm sure I'd be a dismal failure at pregnancy." And birth. He
preferred not to think too much about that aspect until it became
necessary. It was a natural thing, but still, he didn't exactly look forward
to seeing B'Elanna in pain. "You're definitely my hero."
B'Elanna smiled. "Really?"
"Okay, maybe I won't talk to the doctor about rearranging your internal
organs. He's been keeping himself pretty unavailable lately anyway."
"Yeah. Even when I've been on duty in sickbay I've barely seen him. I
think he's said about ten words to me since he got back."
"And after you kissed him with so much feeling."
Tom shook his head at B'Elanna's teasing gibe, though he detected a hint
of sympathy in her gaze. "I still can't believe that was the doctor. I
thought you were acting a bit odd, but I just chalked it up to the fact that
you were preoccupied." And that B'Elanna's reactions were always a
little unpredictable. Her mercurial nature was one of the things about
her that had always charmed him. "I guess I should have realized I was
B'Elanna's expression sobered. "The mind just doesn't make that kind of
leap easily. I know."
Tom understood now a little of how B'Elanna must have felt being
duped by Steth, though that was something neither of them liked to
remember. He changed the subject. "I actually was a little disappointed
when I found out that was the doctor and not you."
B'Elanna stared at him, her expression bewildered and a little
reproachful. "You were?"
"Even if I was a little taken aback by the sentiment, it was kind of a thrill
when you called me sweetheart. Well, I thought it was you at the time."
B'Elanna looked at him curiously. "Do you really want me to call you
sweetheart, Tom?" She trailed a damp hand lightly over his thigh.
"What's wrong with hotshot? Or flyboy? Or...pig?"
Tom grinned at the way she seductively drawled out that last word.
"Nothing at all," he admitted. "As long as you say it just like that."
B'Elanna smiled, satisfied, and let her hand drop away. "Besides, I
thought we decided that the mushy stuff was your--"
Tom tensed as she stopped abruptly and winced, and then touched the
side of her belly. "What's wrong?"
"Nothing. Just a twinge. The doctor said I'd start feeling them during
the last few weeks."
"Maybe I should call him--"
"No! I'm fine." B'Elanna's tone was adamant. "I have an appointment
tomorrow morning anyway." She put her hand back on his thigh before
he could rise, and this time her fingers gripped him tightly. "Don't even
think about getting out the scanner."
He kept a medical scanner handy in their quarters just in case, but he'd
only used it a couple of times. Both times she'd accused him of being
over-protective and had practically thrown it back at him. "I just want to
be sure you and the baby are safe, B'Elanna."
B'Elanna's expression softened a little. "I know. But the doctor said to
expect this. Nothing's wrong, except that my time is getting closer."
Tom relaxed a little. Their baby would be born in a couple more weeks,
maybe three, according to the doctor's most recent estimate. "It won't be
very long now."
"I'm glad of that."
B'Elanna's soft sigh was nearly inaudible, but Tom heard it. Though
she'd never admit it, he knew the past few weeks had worn her down a
little. She'd handled her pregnancy without complaint or difficulty, and
even now she wasn't slowing down at all, but there was more fatigue in
her eyes at the end of the day, and more willingness to let him take care
of everything outside her work. He squeezed her hand that was still
resting on his thigh. "I'm getting pretty anxious myself."
Tom shook his head. "Not at all. I'm just anxious to see her, and to hold
B'Elanna smiled. "I thought I'd be nervous when the time got closer, but
I just feel...impatient. I'm ready to bring our daughter into the universe."
"I think we're both as ready as we're going to be," Tom said.
They'd certainly collected every item they could possibly need, from a
carrier, to diapers, to feeding utensils, to dozens of baby outfits. Even in
here, the dressing table they'd replicated was loaded with lotions and
oils, washcloths and fluffy baby towels. The table was just within his
reach, and he stretched so he could unhook the small hooded towel from
the nearest leg post. As he did he glanced at the pink duraplastic bath
basin tucked under the table. It was occupied right now by a yellow
duck and a cetacean-like Talaxian water creature Neelix had called a
sepheta. At least he thought that was what Neelix had called it--
"You're doing it again."
B'Elanna's voice was low and amused. Tom met her gaze and looked
down at his hands. He was holding the towel as if he was holding a
baby. He'd done that a few times recently with some of the other baby
clothes when B'Elanna and he had arranged them in drawers. Maybe
that reaction was instinctual--imagining his daughter clothed in these
tiny garments, as if she was already here cradled in his hands. And he
was hardly alone.
Tom looked at B'Elanna and smirked. "Don't think I haven't seen you do
B'Elanna shrugged, unperturbed. "I'm just practicing for when she gets
here. It's like an exercise drill."
Tom smiled at the way she made it sound so pragmatic. "If you say so."
He hung the towel back on the post, then leaned down and plucked the
rubber duck from the bath basin. He squeezed it, and it let out a short
quack. "Miral's going to love this."
B'Elanna smiled faintly. "I'm sure she will." She stared at the duck for
several moments, her expression wistful. "I wish Neelix could have
stayed long enough to see Miral."
Tom wished that too. "Neelix was really disappointed that he wouldn't
get to see her." When they'd spoken briefly in the mess hall, Neelix had
told Tom that was one of the things he regretted most about leaving
Voyager. By then Neelix had already been packed and ready to go, but
he'd insisted on cooking one last breakfast--fava eggs, hot oatmeal
liberally flavored with leola root, and banana pancakes. Tom knew the
last dish had been a telling choice.
After breakfast, Neelix had made the rounds to deliver some personal
farewells. They'd exchanged a few words with him, then Neelix had
gripped Tom's hand tightly, and he'd hugged B'Elanna. Finally, he'd
touched B'Elanna's belly gently and had wished Miral a happy life.
B'Elanna spoke quietly, "Don't forget we promised to send Neelix a birth
Neelix had told them in no uncertain terms that he expected to be kept
updated. Voyager was just now moving beyond direct subspace
communication with the Talaxian colony, but Neelix would be waiting
eagerly to hear, even with the slight delay. Tom smiled. "I'll take care
of it. And I won't forget."
B'Elanna nodded, satisfied, and Tom stretched out his free hand so he
could pick up the sepheta from the bath basin. "At the baby shower
Neelix said he couldn't wait to see Miral play with these. Even if he's
not here I'm sure he'll be imagining her enjoyment." He squeezed the
soft rubber sepheta, and it emitted a very high-pitched squeal.
To Talaxian ears it was probably pleasant, but B'Elanna winced. "No
Tom grinned and dropped the two toy animals in the bath water. They
landed with a soft plop. Then he took one in each hand and glided them
purposefully across the surface of the water, directly toward B'Elanna.
Her eyebrows rose nearly to her hairline.
"Tom, what are you doing?"
"Just testing out their play potential."
Tom squeezed the duck again. It opened its mouth and quacked at
B'Elanna. She rolled her eyes in response. "Since you already have the
critical elements down, I guess bathing Miral can be your job."
"I was thinking I'd just hold her under the shower and rinse her off."
B'Elanna let out a small laugh. "Tom--"
"Hey, it's a very efficient method."
"Uh, huh." B'Elanna shook her head, her expression still amused. "I can
just envision you standing in the shower holding her under the spray,
with the water running over both of you." She smiled. "Actually, it's a
Tom's eyebrows rose at that. "Really?"
"Just please wait until she's a couple of months old."
Tom had been kidding, mostly. Now he said solemnly, "You know I
will never do anything that could harm Miral, don't you?"
B'Elanna gave him a startled look. "Of course I know that. I trust you
completely, Tom. If there's anyone I'm worried about, it's me."
Tom smiled. "Don't worry. You'll do fine." He jiggled the rubber
animals in the water. "That is, as soon as you get the hang of playing
with these little guys, who are sure to be Miral's favorites."
B'Elanna moved quickly and snatched both toys out of Tom's hands.
Then she dropped them over the side of the tub.
"There'll be plenty of time to play with Miral's toys, Tom. But I think I
promised you some quality time before she's born, didn't I?"
Tom grinned at B'Elanna's insinuative look. "No time like the present, I
B'Elanna sat straight up, and before Tom could react she pressed her
hand against stomach, and pushed. Even with one hand she had plenty
of strength, and he was unprepared. He slipped right into the tub,
landing smack on his butt in the warm water.
"Argh--B'Elanna!" Tom wiped away the water that had splashed in his
face. "I'm soaked!"
"Oops, sorry. It was an accident."
Tom looked at his unrepentant wife and snorted. "Right." Then he
looked down at the water pooled above his waist. "These pants are
wool, you know. This isn't very comfortable."
B'Elanna's smile was sultry. "So take them off."
Tom's attention was diverted by the rivulets of water still dripping
slowly down B'Elanna's very full breasts, and he swallowed a little. Her
breasts had become very sensitive during pregnancy, making her more
easily aroused, though that had never been a problem for her. Or for
himself, he thought, as he squirmed at the suddenly tight confinement of
his very wet pants. "It'll be a little awkward in here."
"We've managed quite well before."
Yes, they had. "But you weren't seven months pregnant," he pointed
out. Recently making love had become a little more cumbersome for
B'Elanna leaned forward, despite the size of her belly, and placed a
suggestive hand on a particularly sensitive part of his anatomy, causing
him to take a sharp breath. "You're very creative, Tom. I'm sure you
can come up with something."
Tom grinned. "I suppose it would be a shame to waste all those candles.
But we don't have any bubbles."
"I think we can make do without the bubbles this time. Now...take off
Her voice brooked no argument--as if he'd put up one--and though it was
a bit of a struggle he finally managed to remove his sodden pants and
briefs, along with his t-shirt. Then he slipped back into the tub and
wrapped his arms around her. "If we're going to be occupied with child-
rearing for the next eighteen years, we'd better make this count."
B'Elanna laughed. "Do you think we'll never have sex again, Tom?"
He smirked. "Well, probably not twice a day anymore."
B'Elanna smiled and pulled him closer. "I hate to think how we're going
to suffer. You're right, we'd better make the most this evening."
They proceeded to do just that. And B'Elanna was right too--Tom was
nothing if not creative.