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Summary: A kiss, desperately.


Characters: Torres, Paris

Codes: Paris/Torres


Disclaimer: Paramount/CBS own all rights to the Voyager universe and its characters, which I am borrowing without permission or intent to profit.

Rated K+

“Paris to Torres.”

B'Elanna set her lips in a firm line, eyes fixed on her padd. Her skin still itched, even after trying to scrub the paint off in the sonic shower. She decided the itching was Tom’s fault, too.

K’Leia imagined thrusting her dagger into the faithless heart of Hanog, she read. Never again would that son of a krencha betray her. She would bathe in rivers of his blood before she allowed him to darken her door again.

“That’s right,” B'Elanna muttered, scratching the back of her neck. Her fingernail came away lined with gold sparkles. “He’s a lying piece of gagh.”

B'Elanna, I know you’re in there. Come on, you have to talk to me sometime. Please.”

B'Elanna slapped viciously at her combadge. “No, I don’t have to talk to you, Paris!”

Hey, that’s great,” she heard from the other side of her door. “You’re mad at me. I deserve it. Please, B, open up and let me in so you can yell at me as much as you want.”

A growl issued from B'Elanna’s throat.

Sinking to her knees, K’Leia howled her pain to the skies of Qo’noS, she read. How could she still love that petaQ after what he’d done?

B'Elanna.” Tom’s voice was softer now. “Please let me in.”

B'Elanna flung the padd across the room, stomped to the door and stabbed at the panel with one angry finger. “What?” she snarled when it opened.

Her erstwhile boyfriend stood before her, shoulders slumped. He was still shirtless, his chest shimmering silver. She averted her eyes.

“Hi,” Tom said softly.

B'Elanna folded her arms and scowled.

Tom glanced up and down the corridor. “D’you think I could come in?” he asked hopefully. “I saw Seven hanging around with a padd earlier. If she’s spying on us again…”

“Fine,” snapped B'Elanna, turning her back on him and walking straight over to the cupboard where she kept the alcohol. She tossed back two shots of something yellow in quick succession, welcoming the burn behind her eyes.

“Before you tell me you never want to see me again, could I please explain what you saw?” Tom asked, coming up behind her – but not too close; he still had a sense of self-preservation, after all.

She turned to face him, stony. “It’d better be a damn good explanation.”

Encouraged, he took a step forward. “It was all a huge misunderstanding, I swear,” he said earnestly. “I know it sounds … preposterous… but I honestly thought she was you…”

As his explanation continued, B'Elanna’s expression wavered from disbelief to understanding, to grudging acceptance, and finally her lips twitched in a smile she quickly controlled.

“Do you think you can forgive me?” Tom asked hopefully when he’d finished.

She fixed him with a penetrating stare. “You are one stupid flyboy.”

“I know.”

“You don’t deserve me.”

“I know,” he repeated, head hanging.

“And I’m still mad at you.”

“I understand.”

“But…” she took a small step toward him, “I know you’re sorry and I get that it was a mistake. A really dumb mistake, but an honest one.”

“It was,” he said fervently. He inched closer to her and B'Elanna’s face turned upward to hold his gaze. He noticed there was still a smudge of gold glitter across her cheek, and another streak of it in her hair.

“And besides,” she said, “between that damned body paint and whatever she’s threatened you with, I’d say you’ve already been punished enough.”

All the tension rushed out of him and Tom almost sagged in relief. “I’m forgiven?”

“This time,” she answered, and gave him that smile that always kicked his heartrate into high gear.

“Can we kiss and make up now?” he grazed her cheekbone with his lips.

“Oh, I think we’d better.”

“In that case,” he murmured, “did you know that body paint was edible? Because I was hoping you hadn’t washed it all off…”

B'Elanna grabbed him by the shoulders and yanked him toward her, and the end of his sentence was swallowed in a kiss so fierce and desperate that he hoped that paint wasn’t flammable.

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