The Pleasure Principle
Summary: Sikarian hospitality brings no pleasure to one member of Voyager’s crew.
Characters: Seska, Torres, Jor
Codes: Seska/Original Character
Disclaimer: Paramount/CBS own all rights to the Voyager universe and its characters, which I am borrowing without permission or intent to profit.
Notes: Written to Fictober 2018 Day 2 prompt: “People like you have no imagination.” Episode addition to Prime Factors.
Beside me, B’Elanna Torres nudges an elbow into my side and cuts eyes in the direction of Captain Janeway, simpering over a piece of fabric in the Sikarian minister’s oily hands.
“Bet he’d rather be putting those hands all over her,” Torres mutters.
I force a conspiratorial giggle. “How long d’you think it’s been since she last got laid?”
Torres shrugs. “I heard she has a man back in the Alpha.”
“Maybe he doesn’t lay her right,” Jor murmurs from my other side. “Bet I know who’d like to, though.”
I’ve already twisted my lips in the expected smirk when I realise she’s not talking about Minister Labin. Jor’s gaze sweeps over to Chakotay, who’s lurking as unobtrusively as a man his size can lurk, dark eyes fixed on the Starfleet bitch. He’s giving her that look – smouldering, intense, carnal – that used to send a little shiver along my de-ridged spine whenever he turned it on me.
And she’s oblivious.
Rage congeals in my throat and I’m forced to swallow it down.
Torres senses my anger, touches a cautionary hand to my arm. “Shut up Jor,” she warns. “You don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“My mistake,” Jor says glibly and sidles away.
That bitch has never liked me.
“Don’t listen to her,” Torres advises. “Chakotay’s just playing the dutiful first officer.”
But the sick weight in my gut tells me she’s wrong, and glancing at her, I know she knows it.
I’ve been lying to myself for months, pretending he’s coming back to me, but I can’t do it anymore. I lost him long before Janeway came on the scene, if I ever really had him.
I turn to Torres. “Didn’t I hear this place was supposed to be famous for its pleasures?”
“So they say.”
Pulling off my loathsome Starfleet jacket, I loosen my collar and shake out my hair until it swishes around my shoulders. “What say you and I go find ourselves a good time, then?”
Her smile is slow and wolfish. “I thought you’d never ask.”
He’s tall and bronzed, if more slightly-built than I prefer, and he’s made his intentions crystal-clear. He has me crowded up against a pillar with his hands sliding onto my waist before we’ve even been introduced.
“Seska,” he lets the syllables drip sinuously from his lascivious tongue. “I want to take you to my bed.”
“What if I’m not that kind of girl?” I pretend to pout.
He breathes hotly in my ear. “I think you are.”
The moist warmth of his breath can’t compensate for the cooler-than-comfortable ambient temperature. Laughter peals from the other side of the courtyard and my attention wanders.
My would-be lover tilts my chin back to him and mashes his lips to mine. I taste blood as my lower lip catches in his teeth, and like a Klingon, my interest flares.
I bite him back, my fingers grasping for neck-cords that aren’t there and settling instead for digging into the meat of his shoulders. He cries out and goes limp, and, frustrated, I push at his chest.
“Get off me.”
“But I can give you so much pleasure,” he sulks, his perfectly smooth forehead marred by a perplexed wrinkle. “And I’d be delighted to –”
“Forget it,” I cut him off. “You wouldn’t have the first idea of how to please me. People like you have no imagination.”
The Sikarian – I’ve already forgotten his name – gapes like a Bajoran guppy as I shoulder past him, scowling to dissuade Torres from following me. Right at this moment all I want is to be alone, somewhere I can drop the act for just a few minutes.
But when I step off the transporter pad, back on Voyager, the doors to the corridor are just closing behind the command team. Some hurtful impulse compels me to hurry after them, following silently in their wake, though as it turns out I needn’t have bothered staying quiet.
They are completely wrapped up in one another, heads bent close, strides matching despite their markedly different statures. As they talk their gazes slip frequently to watch the shape of each other’s lips. Chakotay’s palm hovers over Janeway’s lower back, and I watch the way his shoulders relax as he dares to make contact, the way she takes in a deeper breath than usual.
Poisonous envy spears my gut, and the last shred of denial dissipates like mist. My talent for duplicity should never have extended so blindly, so wilfully, to self-deception.
Because it doesn’t matter if Chakotay is enamoured of Starfleet duty, or of the Starfleet captain. Either way, my days on this ship are numbered.