A Little Distraction
Summary: It’s logical to assume that a human whose emotions are turbulent will be easily distracted into addressing her turmoil, but some humans defy all logic.
Characters: Janeway, Tuvok
Codes: Janeway & Tuvok
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 for #fictober2018 Day 19 prompt: “You should have seen it.” Episode addition to Night.
Consistent with my Janeway & Tuvok buddy fic, Her Constant Companion.
“Kal-toh?” She folds her arms and treats him to a deadpan stare. “Really, Commander?”
“As you have declined invitations to engage in several forms of human distraction, I offer a Vulcan one.”
Tuvok’s long fingers arrange the board precisely on the coffee table. He sits back, meeting her eyes.
“As you are aware, Captain, kal-toh can enable a player to find balance and harmony in the midst of emotional chaos. You may find it beneficial.”
“Thank you.” Her reply is heavily laced with sarcasm. “But my emotions, as you can see, are hardly chaotic.”
“Then perhaps you’ll humour me.”
The captain raises one eyebrow at him, but it’s a futile gambit and she knows it. She accedes with a wry, half-hidden smile, seating herself opposite him.
“Fine. Who goes first?”
“You may start.”
She leans forward, a slender metal rod poised between finger and thumb, but a few moments’ contemplation is enough and, losing patience, she shoves the t’an haphazardly into the jumble. Several rods eject themselves from the stack and fall, chinking loudly, to the glass table.
She rolls her eyes, suspecting Tuvok is doing the same, if only internally. “I really don’t know why you enjoy this game.”
“As you well know, Captain,” Tuvok slides a t’an into place, “I do not experience enjoyment.”
The rods reposition themselves with a smug tinkling sound, and the captain, watching her companion’s equally satisfied expression, snorts aloud. “If you say so.”
Tuvok apparently elects to ignore her, slotting another t’an onto the pile. The captain watches with growing intolerance as the polyhedron takes shape, and as Tuvok fits the last rod in and the sphere glows silver-blue, she clicks her tongue in disgust and stands to pace the room.
“It would appear my attempt to help you order your emotions has been unsuccessful.”
“Vulcan clarity isn’t what I need right now,” she returns fire. “And I certainly don’t need you to humour me, Commander.”
Tuvok rises calmly. “Then what do you need, Captain?”
“I need you all to leave me alone.” She turns to stare out at the void. “Just leave me be.”
“You are wallowing,” he informs her. “Worse, you are neglecting your duty to the crew.”
“Oh please,” she mutters, unmoved. “Like this is the worst I’ve done.”
She can all but feel his perturbation.
“Didn’t expect that reaction, hm?” she turns. “Thought you’d shock me out of my funk?”
“Yes,” he replies. “It would appear I’ve misjudged you.”
“Errors in judgement must be catching.”
He lingers just long enough to make her frown, and then he draws back, collecting the kal-toh board on his way to the exit. Just before the door he pauses.
“We have a lengthy journey through null space,” he reminds her. “Should you decide to seek distraction to avoid further wallowing, I am at your disposal.”
“Don’t hold your breath,” she says to the empty doorway, and turns back to the viewport, searching for signs of hope in the endless night.