Disclaimer - Paramount own the names.
For Morgan and Karma, who told me to write this.
B'Elanna nodded at the crewman who greeted her, forcing something resembling a carefree smile while simultaneously trying not to crumple the PADD she held in a death grip with her left hand like a piece of paper.
A few steps later she reached the turbolift which opened immediately for her. Unbelievably thankful that it was there - and empty - she almost leapt in, so eager at that moment for a little privacy.
Ordering her destination to the computer, she then exhaled heavily and leant against the wall of the 'lift.
There wasn't any one specific thing that had put her in such a bad mood - although it didn't often take more than one thing to put her in a bad mood, even if she didn't like admitting it. No, on this occasion, it was a culmination of things. Tom, overworking, Tom, lack of sleep, Tom, lack of relaxation, Tom, Vorik, Tom, Tuvok, Tom, Harry, Tom, Seven, Seven, Seven...
Growling, her fist clenched into the PADD further and she thought she heard a slightly audible crack. Immediately relaxing her hold, she sighed and closed her eyes, willing her control to last at least as long as this encounter would take. After that she could take her frustrations out on the holodeck.
That last one was a particularly pleasing thought.
The first genuinely happy thought of the day entered her mind.
Perhaps this wouldn't be such an annoyance of a day, after all. Now she had something to look forward to, rather than something she would have to endure.
As the turbolift came to a halt, she pulled away from the wall and stood straight. The doors opened and she stepped through, and although she wasn't quite smiling, she definitely wasn't glaring quite as much as she had been.
After a brief walk along the corridor she reached her destination and pressed the button requesting entry. A few seconds later she received the audio - and somewhat hesitant - response.
"Umm...who is it?"
"B'Elanna," She responded, thinking that there was nothing particular unusual going on.
"Oh...I...just a second."
Nodding to herself, she shrugged mentally. There were plenty of reasons for him to be busy and she wasn't going to allow herself to contemplate any of those reasons as this specific moment in time.
The doors opened then, almost surprising her, to reveal a Chakotay who was wearing only a robe and a stupid grin. He very carefully didn't invite her in. "Hi, B'Elanna. How can I help you?"
Frowning, she held out the PADD to him. "My engineering report, remember? You asked me to get it to you by 1900."
He looked genuinely surprised. "Oh...right. I'd completely forgotten about..."
It was as he continued to talk about nothing of any significance that she began to notice it. As much trouble as they were, her Klingon biological systems provided her with certain advantages. Certain...senses...that could be used to notice things that others might not have noticed so readily. She cut into his conversation somewhere around the point where he was thanking her and asking her to leave. "Chakotay..."
"Can I come in?"
His eyes widened. "B'Elanna, I don't think that's such a good idea."
With what she knew now, it probably wasn't such a good idea. From his point of view, anyway. "Trust me, Chakotay. You don't want me to say this in the corridor where any passing crew member can overhear."
He contemplated her words for a few moments then, glancing over his shoulder, he stepped back into his quarters.
She joined him, and waited until the doors closed.
"Well, what is it?" He asked urgently, throwing the PADD onto a chair.
Never one to back down when she had something to say, she blurted it out. "You're wafting."
Chakotay blinked, several times, then frowned. "Wafting?"
"Yes," B'Elanna continued, crossing her arms over her chest and a smile beginning to form on her face. "Wafting. I just thought I should warn you if you were considering leaving your quarters anytime soon." Oh but this was so enjoyable - the mixture of embarrassment yet satisfaction playing across his own features.
"Thanks for the tip, B'Elanna. Now if you could just-"
"So who is it?" She asked deliberately, twisting the knife. "One of the natives?" They were currently in orbit of Arackus Prime - he could well have met someone down there. "A mysterious alien who has been trading on the planet? A secret lover you've had for years but never told me about?" With each suggestion she took a step closer - this was even better than the concept of torturing Seven. "Come on, old man. You can tell me." It occurred to her that she had probably been spending too much time with Tom, but there was no way she was stopping now. "I am your oldest friend, remember?"
He unconsciously took a step away. "Look, it's none of those," He admitted in his desperation for her to leave. "Can you just go now?"
Frowning, she halted her advancement. "Well if it's none of those it has to be a new lover from Voyager. I didn't think there was anyone on board you wanted to have sex with except for...and the chances of that happening after all this time..." As her words ran on the realisation settled in, and in one second she knew with absolute certainty who was in his bedroom. "Oh my GOD!"
From the expression on Chakotay's face, there was no doubt about it. "B'Elanna please-"
But she couldn't have stopped her legs from moving any more than she could have stopped breathing, and she stepped into the bedroom just in time to see the blanket settle over a blurred form.
There it was then.
There it was.
She couldn't see who was under the blanket, but there was no mistaking the strands of hair that hadn't been completely covered by the blanket.
After all these years.
There it was.
There she was.
Trying to shove that mental image out of her mind, she turned towards her old friend who was standing in the doorway looking resigned, chagrined, and a little damn pleased with himself.
"Congratulations," Was all B'Elanna said, taking a step towards him and giving him a very brief but heartfelt hug. Stepping back, she grinned. "It'll probably kill me, but I won't tell a soul."
"Thanks," Chakotay whispered.
Nodding, she stepped around him and headed towards the exit, only pausing when she trod on something. Bending down, she picked up the tiny object and studied it as she held it between her thumb and her index finger.
As if she needed anymore confirmation, there it was.
After a quick look around she found another one under the table, one on the sofa, and the last one in - of all places - the bathroom. Deciding not to ask questions and also deciding that she could create that mental image entirely by herself, she handed all four to him. "Tell her to be careful where she puts these. Wouldn't do at all for someone of her authority to loose her pips."
Raising her eyebrows and grinning wickedly, she sashayed out of the room.
Humming to herself, she walked along the corridor and thought that maybe she should end the day on an absolute high.
"Torres to Seven."
"Seven, would you care to join me for a game of Velocity...?"
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