A Single Breath
by Jenn

Credits: To Kat for writing the original inspiration. To Sorcha, who didn't believe I could write something happy.

Disclaimer: Yes, Paramount/Viacom/BIG COMPANY/etc owns them. I know this. I'm just playing with them. If they didn't object, neither should you. The story, however, is mine.


She watched him sleep.

She caught herself doing that often, and didn't know why. One hand rested on his chest to feel his breath in her palm, the other following the curve of her arm over his head, pressed against her own forehead, bracing herself to watch him.

He'd slept lightly at the beginning, she remembered that. Would waken instantly if she shifted position or touched his body. Over time, he had learned to trust her, and slept like this, heavy and deep.

She cherished that. His trust. He wasn't inclined to it naturally.

Blonde hair that she would trim in the morning, but could enjoy looking at now, and she ran her fingers lightly over the stray strands that threatened to tickle his closed eyes. Pushing them back and away, gently, so as not to disturb him. Paused to feel his breath against her fingers, soft and warm. Then lifted those fingers to take in the scent, the taste, the feel.

It was a kind of kiss.

His arm, lying across her waist, tightened, and she moved closer so their bodies touched. He turned his head against her shoulder and she looked down to see his eyelids flicker, as if they might open at the slightest provocation, and held herself still, waiting. And then the eyes were still, and she breathed.

Without meaning to, she lowered her head to brush her lips against his.

It's that taste. The first kiss.

You never forget it.

No matter how many people you've kissed, you've fucked, you've cried over, you've sworn imprecations against, that first kiss is still sweet, still unique.

She could taste it now, a hint of synthehol, a breath against her lips. A wall against her back, his hand in hers.

The moment you have to decide if you really want it.

{I did.}

It's an eternity, that moment. When everything just stops, when your heart drops into your stomach. When you don't know what to do with your arms, and you try to figure out how to get your teeth out of the way.

You try to remember if you've brushed your teeth recently, and of course, you can't remember, and didn't you just eat Neelix's latest culinary experiment? When you don't know whether to open your mouth or close it tight, you can't seem to get an in-between because everything is extreme in that moment, it's do it or don't. No halfway.

For some reason, first kisses never are. You have to put everything in them or nothing at all. It may be tentative, it may be passionate, it may be chaste, but its always the same in that respect.

She felt that now. With a touch--a breath against her lips. Blue eyes coming suddenly and cleanly awake to look in hers. Otherwise, he didn't move.

He trusted her.

She lowered her mouth to his cheek, brushing her lips across the fine bone, up to his temple.

"B'Elanna." Barely murmured. But very awake. He didn't move as she shifted herself lower, they lay face to face. She moved her hand from his chest, slipping easily to his jaw, tracing the bone and the silkiness of his skin beneath a day-old beard. Moistened her lips without meaning to, wondering how he could arouse her with only a look.

With a breath against her bare skin.

He rolled slowly onto his back at the nudge of her hip, still looking at her, his hand unmoving against her waist. With delicate fingers, she traced the line of his lips, his nose, his smooth forehead, up to blonde hair that curled lightly against her fingers. Then pressed her lips against his collar, tasting the mark she had made, feeling the indentations of her teeth with her tongue. Following its lines carefully.

His hand touched her hair.

Slowly, she lowered herself over him, kissing the parted lips gently, softly, feeling his response, his tongue barely brushing her teeth before retreating.

She wondered why he loved her.

She moved over him, parting her legs over his hips, staring down into his eyes. Bracing herself on one hand, she covered his mouth again, moistening his lips with her tongue, finding them parted for her, ready. His hand slipped up from her waist, gently cupping her breast, thumb moving over her nipple. Gently circling it, slowly. She heard herself growl into his mouth.

She wondered how he could accept so much from her, of her, so easily, what he would never accept from anyone else.

Finally, he opened his mouth and she explored it with the tip of her tongue, relearning every taste, every texture, the feel of his teeth when they gently nipped her tongue before parting again. She felt his fingers in her hair tighten briefly before letting go, moving to the back of her neck, stroking. Then finding the line of her spine and following it with the tips of his fingers, coming to rest at the small of her back.

She smiled a little, moving down to brush her lips along his jaw, to his throat, tracing the marks of her teeth in his shoulder, down to the hair on his chest. Finding a nipple to lick, hardening in her mouth. Sucking gently. Moving to the other letting her teeth graze the skin between. Using her tongue to trace a path still lower, finding him by touch. Taking him in her hand, carefully, before lowering her mouth over him. She heard him catch his breath.

She wondered if he had ever let anyone so close, take so much control from him.

His hand had slipped back to her hair again, sifting the strands through his fingers. She traced him with her tongue, tasting salt and other flavors, sucking gently before taking him fully into her. His hips tensed beneath her hand and she drew him back out. Slowly. His fingers tightened briefly before freeing themselves to caress her cheek, her temple, slipping so carefully over her ridges, finding each by touch.

"B'Elanna." A single breath.

She raised herself, moving slowly back up his body, feeling him hard against her breasts, her thighs, her stomach. Then sat up, pulling him with her, finding him again with her hand before lowering herself onto him, feeling him sink in her. She was ready for him.

Their breaths let out together as she settled him fully within her, and one of her arms went around his shoulders.

She wondered why he looked at her as if she were something wonderful. Something precious.

His hands warm on her hips lifted her, and she heard herself whimper as he brought her back down. Buried her head against his neck, kissing the flesh she found there.

"No." And he pulled her head gently up, meeting her eyes. "Look at me."

She set the rhythm, moving him in and out of her, her breath fluttering against his cheek. Becoming uneven, feeling him watch her. Felt the ripple of her orgasm approach and found his mouth. He took in her gasps, her whimpers, her growls, the hardness of her teeth when they drew blood from his tongue. Her fingers tightened on his shoulder, and she raised her other hand to his face, holding it, trying to taste everything he would give her.

She came in a sudden burst of sensation, and his arm went around her waist, hand braced between her shoulder blades so she was pressed against him. Still holding her mouth, taking in her cry, letting the waves consume her.

She knew even before the last wave had faded what would come next.

He rolled her onto her back, still joined, moving hard into her, making her gasp. One hand clenched on her thigh, lifting it so she would put her legs around him. She locked her ankles behind his back, staring up into his eyes.


He smiled a little--she knew he liked it when she said his name.

He found her neck by touch, slowly, taking his time, tasting her skin, memorizing its feel and texture. Warming it with his breath, brushing it with his lips, teeth finding places to nip, then applying more pressure. Moving hard into her again when her skin broke.

Her nails dug into the back of his neck.

"Yes, B'Elanna," he breathed against her.


She closed her eyes, exploring the muscles of his back, his arms. Felt him take one of her hands gently, pinning it beside her head. Another slow stroke that brought a gasp from her, a low growl following.

He lifted his head to look down at her again. Smiling again.

A smile only for her. She smiled back.

She wondered why he had chosen her over flight.

He set a rhythm now, moving easily into her. Lowering his head to her mouth, taking it as he did her body.

She hadn't thought the passivity would last very long.

A slow building of heat in her stomach, he always seemed to know when. Tightening his grip on her hand, finding her center with the tips of his fingers, bringing a low moan she could feel to her toes. His growl in her ear, a whisper she couldn't quite hear.

She knew.


"Yes," she breathed. Turned her head to lick his chin softly.

A gentle rub of her clitoris again, then a hard thrust, a breath faster than before. She strained against him, the heat tightening in her, wanting the release she could taste as she did his sweat-sheened skin. His mouth stopped her sounds, taking it into himself, bracing their joined hands as he began to take her there--

He was whispering to her, she never knew what he said. Against her neck, her cheek, biting the lobe of her ear. Arching her back sharply, as she felt it begin.


His back was slick beneath her fingers, muscles tense under her nails. Another gentle rub, then the lightest pinch of sensitized flesh...


She felt herself begin to convulse, his mouth over hers so he could take it all, taste her moan, letting her ride it out.

{Be with me.}

He came with her. Burying his mouth in her neck, free hand cupping her face, sweat breaking out over them both. The arm on his back locking in place to feel his shudders with hers.

Light brilliant against her wide open eyes. Riding out the feeling for them both.

They lay still. She felt his hand in her hair.

Slowly, he moved out of her, eyes in hers.

She wondered if anyone had ever looked at her like that before.

He slipped himself all around her, her back warm against his chest, his leg between hers. His breath in her hair, against the back of her neck he brushed briefly with a kiss. One arm under her head, the hand resting on her opposite shoulder, his other curved around her waist after pulling the blanket over them both. She snuggled into the tight embrace, closing her eyes.

The End