Summary: The Vulcan sense of timing does not work in Tuvok's favour.
Characters: Tuvok, Janeway, Chakotay
Disclaimer: Utter smart-assery. I'd think Paramount would be far too embarrassed to claim it, but then again, they did make Threshold.
Notes: This is what happens when you read far, far too many J/C PWPs and get a little punchy.
Part 2: Jefferies Tube
Lieutenant Tuvok observed the readouts on his console in the upper level of Engineering. He tapped his commbadge. “Captain,” he intoned, “I am detecting a malfunction in the EPS conduits in Jefferies tube 11 beta, Deck 10. Shall I investigate?”
Captain Janeway slumped in her chair with relief; at last, an excuse to get off this bridge! She’d spent almost her entire shift in her ready room. She’d pretended to read some very dull supply reports, broken into Chakotay’s replicator account and worked her way through a week’s worth of rations in coffee, and penned yet another list of reasons why getting involved with her XO was a bad idea. But when she could no longer avoid staring wistfully at the edge of her desk and touching her lips, thinking about that kiss, she’d had to report to the bridge, where for the past hour she’d been fidgeting uncomfortably next to her silent first officer.
“No, Tuvok,” she responded over the comm channel, “stay where you are. I’ll go and take a look.”
She nodded to Chakotay without meeting his eyes; it had been especially difficult to look at him since her moment of insanity the previous afternoon. “You have the bridge, Commander.”
“Aye, Captain,” he answered, his gaze following her longingly as she entered the turbolift.
I make that Soulful Look #13, Tom Paris reported to the Ops station. Harry Kim rolled his eyes and sent back a message of his own. Can’t we talk about something else for a change, Tom?
Sure, Paris typed. I’m taking odds on whether you’ll end up heartbroken or dead once we finally get to the Klkhztx planet. What’s your bet, Harry?
Shut up, Paris, Harry returned, sending the back of the pilot’s head a fair imitation of the Janeway Death Glare.
Nine decks down, the captain hauled open an access panel and clambered into Jefferies tube 11 beta. She made her way down the cramped tunnel to the EPS junction and flipped open her tricorder. “Janeway to Tuvok,” she said into her commbadge. “There’s a failure in one of the plasma regulators in junction 87. I’m going to try realigning it.”
She pulled an engineering kit out of the storage compartment and rummaged through it. “Hyperspanner… duotronic probe… damn it, where’s the gravitic caliper? Tuvok,” she snapped, hitting her commbadge again, “beam me a gravitic caliper right away.”
~Transporting it to you now, Captain. Do you require assistance?~
“I think I’m capable of realigning a regulator without you, Lieutenant, thank you.”
The caliper materialised beside her and she got to work, wiping the perspiration from her forehead as she concentrated. God, it was warm in this Jefferies tube. Warmer than it should be, surely. She tapped her commbadge. “Janeway to Tuvok. Is there a malfunction in the environmental system in this access tube?”
~The ambient temperature is thirty-four degrees Celsius, Captain. It appears to be a result of the plasma flow build-up in that section. Are you well?~
“Fine,” she said shortly. “It’s just hot in here. Janeway out.”
She took a minute to pull off her jacket and fling it down the tunnel, then pulled off her turtleneck as well, leaving her in her Starfleet-issue tank. If it got any hotter in here she’d be indecent, she reflected as she got back to work.
A few minutes later she heard the access hatch open at the other end of the tunnel. “Who’s there?” she called out.
“It’s me, Captain,” Chakotay answered. “Tuvok reported temperature fluctuations in this Jefferies tube, so I thought I’d bring you some water. Damn, you’re right. It’s steamy in here.”
Well, your presence isn’t exactly going to cool things down, Janeway thought in dismay. She sat back on her heels as Chakotay handed her a bottle of water, gulping it down in relief. Chakotay tried not to watch the movement in her long white throat as she swallowed. “Thanks,” she said, handing the bottle back. “Since you’re here, mind giving me a hand?”
“I can even give you two,” he joked lamely. Janeway tried not to think about his hands and what she’d like him to be doing with them. He pulled off his own jacket and turtleneck and she averted her eyes from his muscular shoulders in the tank.
“Here.” She handed Chakotay a phase decompiler. “Realign the secondary plasma flow compensator while I adjust the phase variance in the isodine relay network.”
Chakotay stared at her, embarrassed. “Um, Captain? I’m sorry, but I have no idea what you just said.”
“Put that long hard thing in here,” she snapped. “Wiggle it around a bit. Let me know if you need some lubrication.”
“Well, I understood that,” muttered Chakotay. He shuffled into place behind her, reaching around her to get to the panel. Their hands bumped as he manoeuvred the tools into place. His chest pressed up against her back and she could feel his breath stirring against the back of her neck.
“Am I doing this right?” he whispered, trying not to bury his face in her hair.
“Your angle is wrong,” she said breathlessly. “Move in a bit closer.”
Chakotay gulped, but obeyed. “Better?”
“Much,” she said unsteadily. “Turn your hand to the left a little… There, that’s perfect.” Lights popped into life on the panel. Janeway twisted the caliper into the access port. “Almost got it … Just a little more … Damn!” The decompiler had slipped out of Chakotay’s hand and fallen between her legs. “Uh,” she said, “you’re going to have to get that. I can’t let this go or we’ll dump raw plasma into the power relays.”
“Okay,” Chakotay whimpered. Leaning even closer into her, he reached blindly between her legs for the decompiler. “Oh God, sorry,” he mumbled as his fingers traced up her inner thigh. She was breathing hard by the time he finally closed his hand around the decompiler.
“Put it back in there,” she instructed, trying to keep her voice steady, and he complied. She fiddled with her tool for a bit, watched the lights turn green, and sighed with relief. “We’re done.”
“Done,” Chakotay repeated. “Okay. That’s good.”
“You can move back now,” she told him. She took the tool from him and placed it in the engineering kit.
He didn’t move back. His hand, now free, was stroking up her arm.
“Chakotay?” The hand had slipped around to her side and was now whispering across her ribs. She turned her head, trying to see his face; no easy task when she was practically immobilised between the control panel and his body. His very warm, very delicious body.
“Yes, Kathryn?” His lips were tracing gently over her cheekbone.
“What are you –”
But she never finished her sentence, because his lips found hers at the exact same moment that his wandering hand cupped her breast, his fingers lightly pinching her nipple. The captain squeaked.
“Kathryn,” her XO groaned into her mouth, and started manoeuvring her gently to the floor of the Jefferies tube until she lay half-beneath him on her back, his hand on her breast, her arms gripping him around the neck as they kissed passionately.
~Tuvok to Chakotay.~
The first officer wrenched his lips away from his captain’s, and slapped violently at his commbadge. “What?” he barked, as the warm bundle of woman in his arms blushed violently and scrambled to get away from him.
~I am detecting a significant increase in the ambient temperature in your location. Do you need assistance?~
Chakotay muttered something in his native language that made the universal translator blush. “No, thank you, Lieutenant. Everything is just fine.” Was just fine, he mentally corrected, watching his captain hastily pulling on her jacket and crawling away from him at speed. Well, at least the view’s nice from here, he thought dejectedly.
Outside the Jefferies tube, the captain took a deep breath, ran her fingers through her hair and stomped down one deck to Engineering. “Tuvok,” she snarled, upon spying the hapless Vulcan, and marched up to him, ripping off one of his pips and replacing it with a hollow-centred one.
“Captain, I fail to understand why –”
“Not another word,” she snapped. “Tomorrow at 0800, you’ll report to Lieutenant Mulcahey in the power distribution centre. Dis-missed!”
But the captain was the one who turned on her heel and stormed out of Engineering.