Fever when you kiss them
Fever if you live and learn
Fever 'til you sizzle
What a lovely way to burn*

He watched her closely and he waited. His desire to take her as a mate may have been puzzling emotionally, but then he was not an emotional creature. He was guided by logic, and logically she appeared to be the perfect choice. He would not need to be concerned that his Vulcan strength might injure her. Her Klingon strength would equal his Vulcan. She was a passionate creature, her emotions always boiling near the surface, and she would match his pon farr-induced fervor easily. His hand shook. He steadied it, returning his attention to his monitor when she turned, as if sensing him, to look in his direction. He could feel the turmoil of the mating urge lurking just below the surface of his usual Vulcan-calm demeanor. It flamed brightly, demanding release. He held it under control, but that would not hold true much longer. His time had come, and he would have to approach her soon. Very soon.

B'Elanna frowned, uncertain what to make of Sadak's behavior. The young Vulcan ensign had performed his Engineering duties faithfully, as usual, today, but something about his behavior had been off. Since his performance was always above standard and he never drew attention to himself, B'Elanna had never had much reason to become better acquainted with Sadak. The Vulcan generally kept to himself. In fact, he seemed to prefer it that way.

She had the oddest feeling all day, however, that he had been watching her, studying her, but whenever she had turned in his direction, Sadak's attention had been studiously focused on his Engineering station. Shrugging, B'Elanna wondered if she didn't perhaps need to take a break from her Engineering duties. She was due for a day off in another two days. Maybe it would be better if this time she didn't spend her day off in Engineering as she had the last two times. In the meantime, perhaps she'd drop into Sandrine's tonight. Beating Paris at a game of pool or teasing Harry about Lucia Olivetti's amorous attentions should get her mind off Engineering for a time at least.

Looking around Engineering, B'Elanna realized that it was nearly deserted. Checking a nearby chronometer, she found that it was two hours past the end of her shift. Time to call it a night, she decided.

B'Elanna stood in front of the entrance to Holodeck One. As usual, Sandrine's was running. While she stood there debating whether she was really up for spending time at Sandrine's or not, she sensed a presence behind her and turned. It was Sadak and the intent look he was giving her was not her imagination this time.

"Lieutenant," greeted the young Vulcan. His dark hair was immaculate as usual but there was something unreadable in his nearly black eyes that B'Elanna couldn't, or didn't want to, define. In any other male, she might have called it -- no, she shook her head. Impossible.

"Ensign," she returned the greeting.

"Lieutenant Torres, may I speak with you?" Sadak politely inquired.

Surprised at the request, B'Elanna's response was automatic. "Of course."

Sadak looked slightly disconcerted. "May we speak in private, Lieutenant?"

"Oh. Of course." Looking around, B'Elanna noted that the other holodeck was empty at the moment. "Why don't we go in here?"

Once inside, B'Elanna turned and was startled to find Sadak standing close. Taking a step back, she asked, "What can I do for you, Ensign? Are you having difficulties in Engineering?"


B'Elanna stared curiously at the Vulcan. He was behaving oddly. She couldn't exactly pinpoint it, but something about him was definitely off.

Looking uneasy, Sadak began speaking in a low, measured voice. "Lieutenant Torres, are you familiar with the Vulcan pon farr?"

B'Elanna shrugged, wondering where this was leading. "I've heard vague references to it. Nothing concrete though."

"A literal translation would be 'the time of mating.' For most Vulcans, this occurs only once every seven years. At that time, the pon farr creates an urge so strong in us it cannot be denied. Many Vulcans are betrothed at a young age and the time of their pon farr brings them fully together. My parents chose to let me remain unbetrothed and select a mate when my time arrived. It has arrived. I am experiencing the pon farr, B'Elanna Torres, and I request your assistance."

"Mine?" B'Elanna didn't understand why Sadak would come to her. "Perhaps I should call Tuvok. He--"

"No! Tuvok cannot help me." Clearly agitated, Sadak took a step forward, grasping her right hand in his, matching their palms together. "It is the time of mating, B'Elanna Torres, and I choose you."

"You choose me?" B'Elanna's eyes suddenly lit in comprehension. "You mean . . . No, Sadak. I have no desire to-to mate with you." B'Elanna tried to step back, but Sadak tightened his hold on her hand, refusing to release her. His eyes were fever bright now, his face flushed as the pon farr came fully to life in his chosen mate's close proximity.

He spoke in Vulcan, the universal translator rendering it for B'Elanna. "It is the time of pon farr. My blood burns for you, B'Elanna Torres."

Another longer phrase was uttered by Sadak but B'Elanna didn't hear it. Her mind was speeding ahead to what she knew of this Vulcan custom, which was damn little. "Let go of me, Sadak," she demanded, her voice tight with anger.

He didn't appear to hear her. Sadak's dark eyes seemed to look right through her. No, B'Elanna amended, it was more like he was looking into her. His right hand released hers and his fingertips moved toward B'Elanna's temples for the traditional mind-meld.

Instinctively knowing what he intended, B'Elanna tried to pull back, but Sadak had a firm grip about her waist with his left arm. She gasped as his fingertips made contact and she felt a fiery trail of what felt like molten lava rush through her. All the fight rolled out of her for a moment and her knees threatened to buckle as his mind reached into hers, lighting a fire along its path. Infuriated once she realized what was happening, B'Elanna tried to push away once more, but his grip was like steel, refusing to budge.

"Let. Me. Go. Sadak." B'Elanna's voice was ground gravel.

The Vulcan ignored her, moving instead to seek a deeper mind-meld. Gasping from the invasion of his mind into hers, B'Elanna's right fist shot upward, all her Klingon strength behind it, and slammed a right uppercut into his jaw. She heard an ominous-sounding crack and realized with some satisfaction that she had quite possibly broken his jaw. Unfortunately, it didn't seem to deter Sadak. He continued his pursuit of the mind-meld. Her blow to his jaw, however, had caused his grip around her waist to slacken and B'Elanna was able to push away.

Her mind still reeling from the attempted mind-meld and the fires it had ignited, B'Elanna reached for her commbadge to summon help, but Sadak was already upon her again. Backed up against the wall, B'Elanna found herself trapped. She hit out at Sadak again but, regardless of what she tried, his Vulcan strength met her Klingon strength match for match. Sadak, deep in an aroused state of pon farr, seemed immune to all her strikes against him.

B'Elanna had momentarily forgotten about her commbadge until it chirped and Harry Kim's voice came over the link.

"Kim to Torres."

"Harry!" B'Elanna called out, watching helplessly as Sadak's fingers descended toward her face once more.

"B'Elanna, is everything all right?" Harry's voice sounded concerned.

"Harry! Holodeck Two!" B'Elanna gasped as Sadak's fingertips once again positioned themselves on the contact points of her face and she felt the fiery depths of his desire -- of the pon farr -- seep into her mind, rousing her blood to a boiling point.

In Sandrine's, Harry and Tom dropped their pool cues and shot out of the holodeck, heading for the one next door. Luckily, the privacy mode wasn't engaged. When the door slid open, they were greeted by the sight of the young Vulcan ensign from Engineering pressing B'Elanna against a wall.

Harry spent a confused moment wondering what in the world was going on. So did Paris, until he saw the way Sadak's hand was splayed over B'Elanna's face. Mind-meld? What the hell did Sadak think he was doing? Tom moved forward, tapping his commbadge as he did so. "Paris to Security. We need Security to Holodeck Two on the double."

Just as Tom, considering his options, positioned himself behind Sadak, B'Elanna landed a solid kick to the Vulcan's abdomen, sending him flying back into Paris. Tom, his reflexes quick, grabbed Sadak. Knowing he was no match for Vulcan strength, Tom, nevertheless, attempted to restrain him. "Harry," he grunted, "I could use a little help here."

Between the two of them, they managed to pin Sadak against the wall but were encountering difficulties in detaining him there and were about to lose the battle when Tuvok and two security guards arrived.

Tuvok took in the scene with one glance. Approaching Sadak, he looked into the younger Vulcan's eyes and realized immediately what must have happened. "Release him," he instructed Paris and Kim. Both men looked ready to protest but at a single uncompromising look from Tuvok, they cautiously relinquished their hold on Sadak.

Grasping Sadak firmly by the shoulders as he made a move to go back to where B'Elanna, still striving to regain control, sagged against the wall, Tuvok said, "He is experiencing the pon farr."

Tom and Harry's eyes widened. They didn't need to know specifics; both were well enough acquainted with the term to know what it meant.

Tom's gaze traveled back to B'Elanna, who, now that the furor had died down, seemed to be regaining her equilibrium. Head bowed, she remained half bent over, hands resting on thighs, as she panted heavily from the exertion of her struggle with Sadak. Concerned, Tom kept a close eye on her.

Ever so slowly, B'Elanna straightened up, leaning back against the wall, and Tom got his first good look at her expression. Her eyes were heavy-lidded and had a wild look in them he had never seen before, and her breathing appeared to be even more labored than it had been moments ago. But it was the expression in her eyes that caught his attention. It was a look that had been described to Tom once by a friend, but he himself had never experienced it firsthand. Until now.

Tom whistled softly under his breath. If what he suspected was happening, B'Elanna's Klingon side was about to erupt in a big way and he was fairly certain she wouldn't want witnesses. Tom was momentarily distracted from these thoughts when Tuvok spoke.

"Two to beam to Sickbay. Lieutenant Paris, Ensign Kim, please see to Lieutenant Torres. You," he addressed the two security guards, "may return to your posts."

As Tuvok and Sadak twinkled out of sight, Tom turned his attention back to B'Elanna, who had remained backed up against the far wall, eyeing them. When their eyes made contact, Tom felt a jolt clear down to his toes. It was as if a magnetizing current had been triggered between them, rousing a latent attraction that had lay unclaimed -- until now.

"Everybody out," said Tom suddenly.


"Now, Harry. No arguments."

"But, B'Elanna--"

Paris turned to Kim, steering him toward the door after the two security guards who were already exiting the holodeck. "Harry, no time for explanations. Sadak's started something in B'Elanna that needs to be dealt with. I'll catch up to you later." He pushed Harry out the door and engaged the privacy lock.

As he turned back to the room, a body slammed into him, pinning him against the wall. Definitely a feminine body, thought Tom as his eyes lifted to meet B'Elanna's, their faces mere inches apart. Her gaze was filled with the untamed promise of Klingon blood fever. Tom swallowed audibly as he considered what he had heard about Klingon blood fever. Carefully he said, "B'Elanna, do you know who I am?"

"Paris," she growled. Before he could discern her intentions, B'Elanna moved forward and Tom felt a sharp sting on his left cheek. She bit me! his inner voice screamed at him.

"Take it easy, B'Elanna. That's no way to--"

She moved in again and Tom couldn't help his involuntary flinch, but she didn't bite him again. Instead, her mouth latched onto his, and Tom's senses began awakening as he became aware of her body pressed so closely to his own. Grasping her around the waist, he pushed forward and twisted around, slamming her, hard, against the wall he had moments before been pinned to. She gasped.


"Yes?" He smiled against her mouth, kissing her deeply, probing with his tongue, tasting a sweetness he had never dared dream would be his.

B'Elanna's hands framed his face, her thumb roving over the bite in his left cheek. "I've caught your scent," she murmured. Placing her thumb to her mouth, she tasted his blood. Her eyes still aflame, she growled softly, "I've tasted your blood."

Tom had heard about Klingon blood fever. Once aroused, it was difficult to quench, unless one satisfied the hunger the fever induced. He felt a stirring in his groin. Evidently, B'Elanna did too. Her hand moved downward to cup him possessively, squeezing slightly and causing Tom to gasp, then moan.

Tom wanted this, more than he had wanted anything in quite some time, but his sense of honor was warring with his libido. "B'Elanna," he groaned as she squeezed again, then her hand moved upward, ripping at the front closure of his uniform. "B'Elanna," he tried again, "are you sure this is what you want?"

For answer, she ripped the uniform from his shoulders and pulled the turtleneck over his head, flinging it to the far side of the room. She took control once more, leaving Tom to wonder vaguely if he had ever had control of the situation to begin with. B'Elanna pulled him around and, once more slamming him against the wall, quickly divested him of the remainder of his clothing.

I'm going to be sore tomorrow, Tom thought, but that was driven out of his head when B'Elanna gained full access to him, her hands bringing his nether regions to life.

With B'Elanna's assistance, Tom worked equally quickly and had her uniform and undergarments off in no time. Their hands roamed over each other's bodies, exploring, caressing, exhilarating in the touch, agonizing in the ecstasy. Tom's fingers found the moist channel between her legs and dove in as she arched against him. The holodeck was filled with the sounds of their panting and sighs, intermingled with shouts of surprise and pleasure.

When Tom bent his head over her shoulder and nipped gently at it, B'Elanna gasped, "Harder." Tom had heard Klingons liked to bite. He just hadn't been sure B'Elanna was that Klingon; however, tonight he had no doubts. Caressing her breasts, he leaned over her shoulder, biting hard enough to leave red indentations and was shocked at the almost orgasmic scream she released. Her hands grasped his buttocks and pulled him tightly against her body, her hands stroking him to a fevered pitch.

Panting, B'Elanna took a step back. Tom followed her, his hands looping around her waist. Their mouths locked together as they stumbled toward the middle of the room, where they slammed to the floor, Paris landing atop her, the breath momentarily knocked out of both of them.

"I want you. Now," B'Elanna growled in a low-pitched voice as she reached for him. Their aroused bodies moved together, bare skin rubbing against bare skin, and Tom found he couldn't hold back any longer. He plunged into her. B'Elanna released a loud howl, startling Tom into inaction for a brief moment. Brief because within seconds B'Elanna began moving underneath him. They quickly found a rhythm, their groans enticing each other on. Before he knew what was happening, Tom released into her, shuddering from one of the most wildly intense orgasms he had ever experienced. B'Elanna peaked with him and their cries of consummation were uttered in perfect harmony.

Breathing heavily, Tom barely restrained himself from collapsing atop her and was not at all sure that he didn't for a brief moment. He kissed her shoulder, moving upward to her jawline and on toward her mouth. B'Elanna caught him unawares when she suddenly grabbed him and flipped him over onto his back, never allowing the junction where they were so intimately brought together to be broken. Still buried deep within the heated core of her, Tom moaned with pleasure when B'Elanna began moving up and down, her fever-hot walls clenching around him, bringing him to full hardness again.

Her nails dug into his shoulders, and Tom, lost in her, was dimly aware of the double tracks of deep welts her nails left down his back. As they picked up the pace, Tom gasped out, half in plea, half in benediction, "B'Elanna!" Feeling the excitement of moments ago happening all over again, a dim recess of Tom's mind claimed astonishment that B'Elanna was once again bringing him to the brink. He felt himself slowly sliding over the edge.

Smiling with a feral gleam, B'Elanna leaned down and bit his shoulder. Tom, to his surprise, found it stimulating, his heightened nerve endings crying out in pleasure. His hands moved to grasp her hips, pulling her down upon him, and they both slipped over the edge, releasing simultaneously once more, both yelling loudly.

Harry had tried to re-enter the holodeck after Tom had pushed him out the door only to find the privacy lock engaged. That only confirmed his suspicions as to what was taking place in there. What was it Tom had said? Sadak started something. Frustrated about being left in the dark, Harry's indecision surfaced as he wondered how smart it was to leave this matter solely in Tom Paris' hands. On the other hand, he was not willing to take this matter to the Captain or Commander Chakotay, especially if what he suspected were true.

Resigned to letting matters stand as they were, Harry returned to his quarters. Once there, he called up information from the computer's database on Klingon mating rituals to verify his suspicions. The more he read, the wider his eyes grew. Was Tom nuts? he wondered. Then again, given Paris' reputation, maybe this was just the opportunity he had been waiting for. Harry had to wonder if Tom and B'Elanna's friendship would survive this.

He spent several minutes agonizing over whether he should wait for them outside the holodeck or remain in his quarters, pretending to be oblivious to it all. Curiosity, however, seemed to override his better judgment and, settling on a compromise, Harry set his computer to alert him when the pair exited the holodeck.

Tom, feeling battered and bruised but better than he had felt in a long time, pulled the remains of his uniform on. B'Elanna did likewise and Tom was startled to discover that her uniform was as in as much disarray as his. They should make an interesting sight as they strolled down Voyager's corridors together. He winced slightly as he pulled on a boot. The wince turned into a loud groan of pain when he was abruptly hauled upright and once more slammed into the wall. B'Elanna liked to slam her lovers into walls. He was going to have to remember that.

Right, Paris, a sardonic voice in his head spoke up. Like this will ever happen again. He looked at the woman before him. Good God, but she was beautiful. He wondered if he looked as disheveled as she did. Her hair was all over the place. The front closure of her uniform was ripped, as was one sleeve which hung loosely from her shoulder. There was a bruised scrape on her right cheekbone. Had he done that? He reached out and ran a gentle finger over it, surprised when she allowed it. He was even more surprised when she spoke calmly to him.

Her voice still held a bit of a growl in it but her tone was civil. "I'm sorry, Tom. This shouldn't have happened."

Shocked by her apology, especially when he had been expecting a threat to prematurely end his life should he tell anybody about this, he blurted the first thing that came to mind. "I'm not sorry. I'd do it all over again if given a chance." Her grip on him tightened and Tom watched as the fever roared to life in her eyes once more.


With a low-throated growl, she pressed him into the wall.

This time, Tom didn't even have to stop and take inventory to know that he was probably going to have to pay a visit to Sickbay. This last little romp seemed to have pretty much quenched B'Elanna's fire. They hadn't even managed to get all the way out of their uniforms this time. Groaning as he shifted position prior to climbing to his feet, Tom was startled when a hand appeared in his vision. Taking it, he allowed B'Elanna to pull him to his feet. Once there, he pulled her into his arms, where she stood stiffly. Yeah, he thought sadly, the fire's definitely out. Trying for a little tenderness instead of the rough tumbling that had recently passed between them, he rested his head atop hers and softly asked, "You want to talk about Sadak?"

Silence greeted his question, but her arms came around his waist, and she relaxed against him. "Tuvok said he was experiencing pon farr," Tom continued. "I don't think Sadak's very old. This may have been his first time."

"Well, he should have picked somebody else," B'Elanna muttered into his shoulder. "I prefer to be consulted first."

"Uh huh."

She straightened away from him, pulling out of his embrace. "What's that supposed to mean?"

"Nothing. Stop being so touchy."

She reached out tentatively to touch the bite on his cheek. "I didn't mean to--"

"--hurt me? You didn't, but a trip to Sickbay might help some of the aches and pains. Let's hope the Doc's not feeling inquisitive today." He took her hand in his. "Come on."

"Wait a minute. I'm not going to Sickbay."

"B'Elanna. No arguments. Come on."

He was surprised when she reluctantly followed him out of the holodeck, allowing him to retain his hold on her hand.

The Captain and Tuvok looked up from their consultation with the Doctor when Tom and B'Elanna entered. The Captain's grim expression dropped away and was replaced by one of shock and concern. Tom was perfectly aware of the picture they presented in their torn uniforms, mussed hair, and bruised faces. They had garnered more than a few looks as they traversed Voyager's corridors to reach Sickbay. Tom suspected they would be the talk of the ship by breakfast tomorrow morning.

"B'Elanna? Tom?" The Captain approached them. "What happened? Are you all right?"

"Did Ensign Sadak inflict this damage on you?" asked the Doctor. "Why are you just now reporting in for treatment?"

"Ensign Sadak did not inflict these injuries on them," replied Tuvok calmly, recalling their status when he had beamed out with Sadak.

Tom and B'Elanna exchanged an indecipherable look before Tom said, "Uh, no. I guess you could say these were self-inflicted."

B'Elanna's gaze, carefully averted, refused to meet their questioning gazes. Tom, however, met their gazes head on, daring them to offer further comment or questions.

The Captain couldn't help but notice Tom had what appeared to be a bite mark on his cheek. Given what Tuvok had interrupted, she began to speculate on just what had taken place between these two but curbed her curiosity for the moment to address a more pressing issue.

"B'Elanna, Tuvok told me what took place with Sadak."

B'Elanna really didn't want to discuss this with anyone, particularly in such a crowded room, but her gaze was drawn to Janeway's at the Captain's next words.

"I'm sorry to say that, under the circumstances, since Sadak was unable to complete his pon farr, we lost him."

"Lost him?" repeated Paris stupidly, not catching on right away.

"He expired, Lieutenant," said the Doctor.

"It was unfortunate," said Tuvok. "If I had known, if Sadak had confided in me, we might have been able to postpone this occurrence. Unfortunately, by the time I arrived in Holodeck Two, Sadak was already caught up in the plak tow and it was too late to halt it."

"Plak tow?" repeated B'Elanna, still trying to curb her anger at the young Vulcan. Dead young Vulcan, she somberly amended.

"A literal translation is blood fever," explained Tuvok. "Once a Vulcan attains it, it is nearly impossible to draw them back from the urge. Only the pon farr will satisfy it. Unfortunately for you, Lieutenant Torres, Ensign Sadak chose you as his mating companion."

Tom felt a slow blush creep up his face as he realized that B'Elanna had chosen him for her mating companion. Of course, he had been an all too willing participant, unlike Sadak and B'Elanna's near union. His gaze moved to B'Elanna. She blushed deeply also, but at the same time she let her eyes rove over him appreciatively.

Swallowing, Tom looked away to find the Captain, Tuvok and the Doctor all eyeing him contemplatively and felt a fresh warmth of heat flood his face as his blush deepened.

Taking pity on her obviously ill-at-ease pilot, Janeway cleared her throat and said, "The two of you obviously are in need of medical attention. We'll finish discussing this at the staff meeting tomorrow morning. Both of you please have your reports on my desk prior to the meeting." She motioned to Tuvok and the two of them exited Sickbay.

Walking over to the biobeds, the Doctor said, "Have a seat. Both of you."

Tom gingerly sat on a biobed, watching as B'Elanna sat on the one opposite him. He was distracted momentarily from her by the Doctor, who was checking the medical scanner readout after having run it over Paris.

"Hmm. What appears to be a bite mark on your left cheek. Klingon/Human saliva present. There appears to be a similar mark on your right shoulder and a double row of lacerations, approximately six to eight centimeters in length, on your back, along with assorted bruises and abrasions. I also find evidence of--" The Doctor abruptly cut himself off. "I see," he said dryly. "Lieutenant," he addressed Paris directly, "may I caution you on engaging in sexual activities with Klingons?"

Tom ignored the snort from the other bed as he rolled his eyes. Before he could retort, the Doctor was continuing. "If you will remove the top half of your uniform, I'll heal your injuries and then we'll see what we can do for Lieutenant Torres."

B'Elanna watched as Tom pushed down the top half of his uniform and removed the turtleneck. She winced at the various bruises and bite marks that stood out vividly on his pale skin. At the same time, however, she felt the faint stirrings of the blood fever starting to come to life again as she gazed at him.

As the Doctor finished healing his various wounds, Tom looked up to see B'Elanna watching him, a predatory gleam in her eyes. Her words spoken in the holodeck came back to him:  I've caught your scent. I've tasted your blood. He hadn't taken it literally at the time, but seeing the look in her eyes now, he wondered if perhaps he should.

"All healed, Mr. Paris." The Doctor's voice broke the tense silence and the predatory look slowly faded from B'Elanna's eyes.

As the EMH turned to run his scanner over B'Elanna, he commented, "I will require you to also remove the top half of your uniform, Lieutenant Torres."

Tom sat there for a moment before he realized that B'Elanna was eyeing him expectantly. The quip he was about to utter died on his lips at the expression on her face. "Uh, I'll wait for you in the corridor."

As he exited Sickbay, he heard the Doctor say, "Perhaps I should warn you against engaging in sexual activities with certain Humans, Lieutenant," and couldn't stop the grin that spread across his face. The door slid shut before he could hear B'Elanna's retort.

Leaning against the wall in the corridor outside Sickbay, Tom absently rubbed at his newly healed left cheek where B'Elanna had bitten him as he once again heard her voice echo in his mind:  I've caught your scent. I've tasted your blood. Tom wasn't sure if he should be worried or not. Hell, he wasn't sure about anything at the moment. What happened next? Did he and B'Elanna act like tonight never happened? He wasn't sure he could do that. Was there some truth to what B'Elanna had said about having his scent? And if so, how did he feel about that?

Harry slowed as he rounded the corner on the final approach to Sickbay. The computer had advised him that Tom and B'Elanna had exited the holodeck and were now in Sickbay. He wasn't sure what his intent was in coming here himself or what excuse he could use for showing up; however, he came up short when he spotted Paris leaning against the wall next to the entrance to Sickbay. Taking advantage of Tom's obvious distraction to study him, Harry couldn't help but note the mussed hair and ripped uniform. Clearing his throat loudly, Harry approached his friend.

Tom was startled out of his musings by the sound of someone approaching. Looking up, he discovered it was Harry, and his friend's eyes were full of questions. Sighing, Tom shifted his position against the wall, unable to prevent a slight wince from escaping as he moved to lean back against the wall. Crossing his arms, he waited for Harry to speak first.

"Sore?" Harry asked, his expression bland, but the crinkle of laughter around his eyes giving him away.

"You could say that," replied Tom.

"How's Sadak?"

Tom's expression sobered. "He didn't make it."

"He's dead?" Harry's voice was full of disbelief.

Tom nodded sorrowfully. "Not a pleasant way to go. Tuvok said if he had come to him before it went as far as it did, it might have been prevented."

"How's B'Elanna?"

"Fine." Tom's gaze shifted evasively from Harry's to the wall behind him.

"So, you want to tell me what happened in the holodeck?" encouraged Harry.

"No." Tom's gaze was suddenly locked on the floor.

"Come on, Tom. You throw me out of the holodeck after telling me that Sadak has started something with B'Elanna, engage the privacy lock, end up in Sickbay--"

"I'm not in Sickbay," interjected Paris.

"Okay, lurking outside Sickbay," amended Harry.

"How'd you know I was here anyway?" asked Tom.

Harry sheepishly met Tom's suddenly direct gaze. "I had the computer notify me when you left the holodeck." He then leaned in close, his hushed voice conspiratorial. "I did some reading on Klingon mating rituals tonight, Tom."

Tom's attention returned to the floor as he shrugged, feigning disinterest. "So?"

"Come on, Tom. I was there. We both heard Tuvok say Sadak was going through pon farr. He obviously had chosen B'Elanna. You said he started something. It was the Klingon blood fever, wasn't it?"

"Harry, where do you get these wild ideas?"

Harry stared at his friend long and hard. He was silent for so long that Paris was finally forced to look up and meet his gaze. "You aren't going to tell me, are you?" said Harry.

Tom smiled slightly, his only acknowledgment that there was something to tell.

"How much do you know about Klingon blood fever?" asked Harry curiously.


Harry rolled his eyes. "Obviously. I hope you know that Klingons, once they've chosen a mate, are monogamous."

"B'Elanna's half-Human," retorted Tom, then wished he had just kept his mouth shut when Harry's face lit at the admission he had inadvertently gleaned from him.

Before Harry could probe any further, the door to Sickbay slid open and B'Elanna strode out. She seemed a bit startled for a moment to see Harry there, as evidenced by a slight hesitation in her gait; however, after that brief hesitation, she continued past both of them, never uttering a word.

Harry watched as Tom strode quickly after her and decided he'd better leave well enough alone. At least until tomorrow when he could manage to corner Tom and quiz him further.

Quickly catching up to B'Elanna as she strode toward the turbolift, Tom broached the silence. "B'Elanna--"

"I don't want to talk about it, Paris."

Tom sighed. They were back to "Paris" again. "Never?"

"Not now," she finally conceded.

Once in the turbolift, she made sure she was on the other side of the lift, as far away from him as the small compartment would allow her to get.

Frowning, Tom tried again. "B'Elanna--"

"Later, Paris." Then she sighed. "Look, Tom, I know you're probably as confused as I am about this. I just -- look, can we just drop it for now?"

He shrugged, relieved that she appeared as confused by recent events as he, but distressed that neither of them seemed to know what the next step was.

When the turbolift deposited them on their deck, B'Elanna made straight for her quarters without another word. Tom watched as her door slid shut behind her before heading for his own quarters.

That night was a restless one for both Tom and B'Elanna. Recent events weighed heavily on both their minds as they carefully worded their reports to the Captain.

Janeway stared out over the briefing table, her eyes touching on each of her officers.  Tuvok, to her immediate left, presented his usual calm and impenetrable Vulcan presence. Tom Paris, looking a bit tired and distracted, sat watching her, but when her gaze fell on him, his eyes quickly flitted away. Harry Kim, his gaze vacillating between Paris and Torres, looked to be in good humor. Not so with B'Elanna, who sat at the other end of the table, looking for all the world as if she'd rather be anywhere but here. Then there was Kes, who offered the Captain a heartwarming smile. Chakotay, to Janeway's immediate right, was his usual placid self, but a small smile lurked at the corners of his mouth. He had come to her this morning after reading the reports on yesterday's events in Holodeck Two and had  given her his impression of what he suspected might have taken place.

Never one to beat around the bush, Janeway began the staff meeting by immediately addressing yesterday's incident. "As you're all aware, we experienced an unfortunate incident yesterday when Ensign Sadak, undergoing pon farr, attacked Lieutenant Torres. Fortunately, Ensign Kim and Lieutenant Paris intervened and called in Security." Her gaze settled briefly on Lieutenants Torres and Paris, who both seemed to suddenly find the tabletop of extreme interest.

"I regret to say that the Doctor was unable to save Ensign Sadak," continued the Captain. "The Doctor and Lieutenant Tuvok tried everything within their powers; unfortunately, Ensign Sadak was already too deep into the pon farr to be helped." Kathryn Janeway was silent as she allowed herself a moment to privately grieve for another lost crewmember under her care. It cut deeply. Looking at her first officer, whose eyes were full of sympathy, she said, "Commander, you have something to add?"

Chakotay leaned forward, his hands clasped together on the table before him. "Just a brief statement, Captain." Addressing the senior staff, he said, "There will be a service held for Ensign Sadak tomorrow at 0930. If any of you would like to speak at the service or know of someone who would like to, please let myself or Captain Janeway know."

"Thank you, Commander," said Janeway. "Ensign Sadak's death was an unfortunate tragedy. While your attendance at his service is not required, I hope to see all of you there. Does anybody else have anything to add at this time?" Janeway was not surprised when Tuvok spoke up. She had been expecting it after their private discussion yesterday.

"Lieutenant Torres," the Vulcan addressed B'Elanna directly, "as head of Security, I must inquire if you wish to file a complaint against Ensign Sadak to be placed in his permanent record."

All eyes turned to B'Elanna, who sat with her arms crossed in an unconscious defensive display. She remained silent for a long moment, as if weighing her decision, but when she spoke, it was clear she had already given this some thought and arrived at a decision. "No, I won't be filing a complaint." B'Elanna thought back to the night before. It wasn't until she had pulled up a file on Vulcan pon farr that she had begun to understand what Sadak had been going through. Despite her anger over the incident, she couldn't hold it against Sadak, especially given that it had cost him his life. Privately, she couldn't help but wonder if she had known that so much was at stake when Sadak approached her if she might have obliged him. Now they would never know. Sadak was dead, and she and Tom -- she shook her head, trying to get off that train of thought.

"You had something more to add, B'Elanna?" asked the Captain.

"No, Captain."

"Very well," Janeway nodded approvingly. "What's next on the agenda?"

That's it? No 'What happened in the holodeck last night, Lieutenant Paris?' or 'How did you arrive at your injuries, Lieutenant?' Tom was surprised. He hadn't really come up with an explanation in his report to the Captain. To be quite honest, he hadn't known what to say. Maybe B'Elanna's report had adequately explained everything to the Captain's satisfaction. His gaze slid to B'Elanna to find her watching him. He gave a slight shrug and turned his attention back to the staff meeting as the Captain called for updates on ship's status.

Captain Janeway stood as she drew the staff meeting to an end. "I think we've covered everything," she said, "unless anyone has anything to add?" When nobody spoke up, she promptly dismissed them.

As everyone stood to file out of the briefing room, Janeway called, "Lieutenant Torres. Lieutenant Paris. A moment, please."

Tom and B'Elanna traded a look, not the first they had shared that morning but certainly the longest. Resigned to the impending talk, they both returned to their seats.

Captain Janeway waited until the others had exited the briefing room before addressing the two junior officers. "I've gone over both your reports of yesterday's incident. They're remarkably similar."

Tom began to smile. Maybe this wasn't going to be so bad after all, but Janeway wiped the smile off his face with her next statement.

"That wasn't a compliment, Lieutenant Paris. Both your reports were very vague as to why it took you so long to report in to Sickbay and how you arrived at the injuries you did."

Janeway watched as Tom and B'Elanna once again exchanged looks. The expressions they wore were nearly identical. Resigned embarrassment. Sensitive to what her intuition was telling her had happened between these two last night, Kathryn Janeway spoke softly, carefully leaving her captain's voice behind. "If it helps any, I have received the Doctor's reports on both of you. He was very explicit. I don't wish to pry; however, it has been brought to my attention that Sadak's attempted meld with you, B'Elanna, may have triggered what's known as Klingon blood fever." There was an awkward silence which Janeway filled by saying, "The Doctor's report would seem to confirm that. Given what I've been told about blood fever, I'm concerned that what apparently occurred between the two of you last night might not have happened with both your consents."

Tom felt like crawling under the table. B'Elanna, however, was getting that obstinate look in her eyes that warned him she was about to speak her mind.

Leaning forward to glare at the Captain, B'Elanna said, "It sounds as if you have it all figured out, Captain. So, yes, I'll confirm your suspicions. Paris and I engaged in . . . certain activities. What those activities were are private and should remain private. It has no bearing on what happened with Sadak or our positions on this ship."

"Do you concur, Lieutenant?" the Captain asked Paris.

Tom fidgeted uncomfortably. He couldn't believe he was sitting here discussing his sex life with his commanding officer. "Yes, ma'am."

Janeway watched as Tom and B'Elanna once again made eye contact with one another. This time there were no shutters in place and, for a brief moment, the blood fever of yesterday flared in B'Elanna's eyes. There was an answering flash in Tom's eyes. Witnessing this, Kathryn Janeway began to get the definite impression that this particular coupling may not have been so accidental after all and that it was far from finished.

Her captain's voice back in place, Janeway said, "I just want to be clear:  This will not affect your working relationship."

Still watching B'Elanna, Tom replied, "No, Captain, I don't think we'll encounter any difficulties working together."

"B'Elanna?" queried Janeway.

Putting a lid on the inferno inside her, B'Elanna arrived at the sudden realization that she was more than a little reluctant to leave this incident with Paris behind. In his own way, Tom had gone through his own blood fever last night and had matched her far better than she would ever have thought possible. "No, Captain. No problems."

"I'm relieved to hear that. If neither of you have anything further to add then, you're dismissed."

Once outside the conference room, both Tom and B'Elanna stood in the corridor in awkward silence. Finally, Tom said, "Well, that wasn't as bad as I thought it would be."

"It could have been worse," agreed B'Elanna. Wishing nothing more than to escape from this embarrassing situation, she added, "I'd better get to Engineering." She turned to go.


Turning back, she looked at him. He looked . . . what? Unsure? Tom Paris unsure?

"You have tomorrow off, right?"

Nodding slowly, she said, "Yes. Why?"

"I'm off tomorrow too. Would you like to do something together?"

"What did you have in mind, Paris?" she asked dryly, purposely misunderstanding him.

Realizing how that had sounded, Tom colored. "Uh, I didn't mean that. I mean, I would like to, yeah, but we don't have to-I only meant . . . Oh hell." He ran a hand through his hair. He felt like a schoolboy asking out a girl on his first date. Taking a deep breath, he said, "I have a new holoprogram. Would you like to try it out with me?"

Eyeing him suspiciously, she said, "This isn't another Sandrine's, is it?"

"No. I think you'll like it."

Making up her mind quickly before she had time to think about it, she said, "Sure. What time?"


"I'll be there." Then, unable to resist, she added, "Holodeck Two?"

Tom colored. "Uh, yeah. Two's fine."

Nodding, she resumed her trek down the corridor.

Tom couldn't just let her go, not without getting one of his usual quick-witted retorts in, even if it was rather lame. "Hey, Torres," he called. "I've got your scent too, you know."

She didn't acknowledge him, but a slight faltering in her step told him she had heard him. Whistling, he turned and headed for the Bridge.

B'Elanna, knowing he couldn't see her, allowed a smile to escape. She wondered if Tom had any idea what he was in for. On second thought, she had to wonder if she knew what she was in for. Whatever the case, it should prove interesting finding out.

Still smiling, B'Elanna boarded the turbolift and headed for Engineering, and for once her thoughts weren't on Voyager's engines but instead were focused on Voyager's pilot.

The following day, many of Voyager's crew gathered for Sadak's service. By unspoken mutual consent, Tom, Harry, and B'Elanna sat together.

As the Captain began speaking, B'Elanna thought back to yesterday. It had been an interesting day, to say the least. Though she refused to admit it, she had still been a bit stiff from the day before, some muscles that hadn't had a workout in far too long protesting the previous day's activities. B'Elanna had been acutely aware of the whispers and glances directed at her in Engineering throughout her shift. There had been talk. On a ship this size it was nearly impossible to avoid that, but she had ignored it and had buried herself in her work. Until lunchtime, that is, when she had happened to hit the mess hall at the same time as Harry and Tom.

B'Elanna strolled into the mess hall, intending to grab a quick bite before returning to Engineering. Harry waved her over to their table and B'Elanna was very aware that the usual mess hall conversation died down as everyone turned to watch her and Tom Paris. For a moment, she had an insane urge to grab Paris, pull him possessively against her, and thoroughly kiss him, just to see what sort of reaction they'd get out of the bystanders. Then common sense prevailed and, ignoring all the curious eyes, she joined Harry and Tom at their table.

"You two are the talk of the ship," was Harry's first comment as she seated herself.

Glaring at him, B'Elanna shot back, "I really needed to hear that, Harry."

"So," drawled Paris, "what are they saying?"

B'Elanna shot him a look, which Tom promptly ignored. Instead, he leaned back in his seat as he grinned at Harry. "Come on, Harry," he encouraged. "You've been dying to tell us."

Harry colored slightly but plunged right in regardless. "There's a betting pool on you two."

Tom's brows raised. "Do tell."

"Don't encourage him, Paris."

"Oh, come on, B'Elanna," taunted Tom, "don't tell me you aren't a little bit curious. So, Harry, what's the bet?"

"Well, uh, the first bet--"

"First bet?" B'Elanna's voice was reaching dangerous levels.

"Uh, yeah . . ." Harry trailed off at the expression on B'Elanna's face.

"Don't let her intimidate you, Harry." Tom's grin widened. "Her bite isn't so bad."

That remark caused a sudden vivid picture to form in B'Elanna's mind. Glaring at Paris, she said, "Just tell me what they're saying, Harry."

"Right. Well, the first pool is on whether you guys actually, you know, if you actually did do it or not."

"It?" prodded Tom, his face a mask of innocence.

Now Harry's face did flush a deep red. "You want to hear this or not?"

Paris relented. "Sure, Harry. What's the second pool?"

"If you'll do it again and if so, how soon?"

Tom couldn't help it. He laughed aloud, drawing even more attention their way.

Glaring at both men, B'Elanna said to Harry, "And I suppose Tom's been giving you the scoop on when this supposed event is going to take place."

"I've got to go talk to Neelix before we have to report back to the Bridge," Tom suddenly said. "I'll be back in a moment."

After he left, B'Elanna looked at Harry. "Well?"

"Well what?"

"Come on, Harry. What's Tom been telling you?"


"Nothing? Come on, Harry. We both know better than that. Now what's he told you?"

"I'm telling you the truth, B'Elanna. Tom won't tell me anything. He's been mum on the subject."

B'Elanna sat back. Well, well, she thought. This was a surprise. So, Tom Paris can keep his mouth shut. Her eyes moved to the man in question. He was talking to Neelix, describing something from the way his hands were moving around. Those hands. She remembered how it felt when they touched her--

B'Elanna abruptly returned to the present as those in attendance at the service stood in salute to their fallen crewmember. She climbed to her feet as well. After the service had concluded, Tom turned to B'Elanna. "Still on for 1300?"

B'Elanna nodded. Tom eyed her uniform critically. "You're not going to wear that, are you?"

"Listen, Paris--"

"Hey, hey," Tom held up his hands in mock surrender, "just suggesting you wear something a little more casual."

"I'll think about it. Are we still in Holodeck Two?"

"Uh huh."

"See you there then." As she walked away, she could hear Harry quizzing Tom.

"Holodeck Two? What's going on, Tom?"

Unfortunately, she was already out of earshot by the time Tom made his reply.

B'Elanna stopped at the door to Holodeck Two. The program was already running, but she hesitated to enter as that aggravating little voice from within her spoke up. Is this really a good idea, B'Elanna? Aren't you just encouraging Paris?

But I want to encourage Paris, she shot back, awareness sweeping over her that she had been anticipating this holodeck time with Tom ever since he had first suggested it. Shaking her head slightly, she took a deep breath and stepped onto the holodeck. She stood just inside the door, mouth slightly agape, as she took in the surroundings.

Tom stood back in the shadows, undetected, and watched B'Elanna take in his holoprogram, pleased at her stunned reaction. He was doubly pleased that she had worn something other than her uniform. The  deep russet intermingled with the dark green complimented her coloring well, not to mention that the pants, shirt and dark leather vest accentuated her figure much better than a Starfleet uniform ever could. Stepping forward, he said, "Like it?"

B'Elanna's gaze roamed over him, taking in the forest green long-sleeved shirt and black trousers he wore. His shirt, nearly the same color as the green in her outfit, fit loosely and had a V-neckline that revealed just a hint of the golden hairs she now knew resided on his chest. He had the long sleeves rolled up, revealing his forearms. B'Elanna realized she had been staring when Tom spoke.

"You look nice," Tom told her.

Ignoring the compliment, more because she didn't know what to do with it than out of modesty, she looked around the holodeck, saying, "This is nice. Really nice. Where is this?" She gazed outward. They stood in a clearing that had knee-high grasses that waved in the gentle breeze. Wild flowers dotted the clearing. On the far side was a forest that had some of the most majestic looking trees B'Elanna had ever seen. The sky was a soft mauve, clueing her in that this was not Earth.

"It's a little spot I found on Raymos III," Tom told her. "I haven't been there in years but it's always stuck in my mind. It's particularly spectacular at sunset. Come on, I'll give you the tour."

She followed him into the woods, surprised to find that the forest was not at all gloomy with shadows from the giant trees. Rather, it was refreshingly cool and very lush. "You did all this from memory?"

Tom nodded. "I've been working on it awhile. You're the only person I've shown it to."

In the near distance, she could running water and soon discovered that a large stream ran through the middle of the forest. They came to a ledge that overlooked a spectacular waterfall. The sun hit it at just the right angle to cause a pyramid of colors to reflect off its surface. On the ledge a blanket was spread out, a picnic basket on it.

"Thought we'd have a picnic lunch," said Tom as he watched her take in the view. He eyed her speculatively while her back was turned. No way was he going to be the one to broach the topic of what had occurred in this holodeck a couple of days ago. He didn't even know where to begin and B'Elanna had made it more than clear that she wasn't ready to discuss it, which had made it all the more surprising, but pleasing, when she had accepted his invitation to join him today.

B'Elanna turned, catching him watching her. "What makes you think I haven't already eaten lunch?"

Tom shrugged. "I told Neelix not to feed you if you showed up in the mess hall."

"I could have used some of my replicator rations."

"But you didn't."

"How do you know that?"

Tom didn't answer her; instead, he knelt down on the blanket and flipped up the lid of the picnic basket. "Shall we check out what we've got here? I asked Neelix to leave out the leola root. I think he's starting to get the idea we don't much care for it. He didn't protest too much this time."

Seating herself across from him on the blanket, B'Elanna peered into the basket. "Neelix knows about this?" She tried to sound casual but knew she didn't carry it off very well.

"Knows about what?" Tom pulled out a loaf of bread, along with a bottle of wine and two glasses. "That we're having lunch together? We do that several times a week, Torres. Only difference is we're in the holodeck today instead of the mess hall."

She eyed him critically. "This is different, and you know it."

"Why?" Tom flashed one of those incorrigible grins at her. "Because the crew has a betting pool going on us?"

Ignoring his comment, B'Elanna softly said, "You didn't tell Harry about . . . us."

Tom's brows raised. Handing her a glass of wine, he said, "Is there an us, Torres?"

Her eyes met his. Although his tone was light and teasing, his eyes were serious as he awaited her reply.

B'Elanna sipped at the wine. "Not bad," she commented. "It has potential."

Tom was confused. Was she talking about the wine or the two of them? Whichever it was, the message was clear. She still wasn't ready to discuss them. He didn't like this feeling of limbo, but if he were truly honest with himself, Tom wasn't sure he was ready to discuss recent happenings either. For now, a pleasant afternoon in the holodeck in her company would have to suffice.

B'Elanna stopped outside the door to her quarters and turned to face Tom. The afternoon had been a pleasant surprise. Not once had Tom made a move toward her. Not once had he made a suggestive comment. He had been the perfect gentleman. Nor had he made any wisecracks about Klingon blood fever, which she had feared he might. She was uncomfortable enough as it was with her Klingon heritage without having someone else adding their two cents worth. Tom hadn't even tried to get her to talk about Sadak. Instead, they had passed a pleasant afternoon talking about Voyager and ideas they both had for improvements to the engines and helm controls.

Now as she turned to face him from her open doorway, she found no expectation in his eyes. Oh, she felt it. That sexual attraction that had ignited between them was still there. It had never left. It waited in the wings with a hopeful expression that someone would ignite it once again.

Tom shifted the now nearly empty picnic basket to his left hand as he said, "I had a nice time, B'Elanna. We'll have to do it again."

She impulsively reached out, grabbed him by the shirt front and pulled him into her quarters. As the door slid shut, she pushed him up against the wall next to the door and kissed him. Not a simple kiss either. She plundered his mouth, sliding her tongue between his lips to probe the depths within. Tom opened his mouth, no hesitation in his reply. He was dimly aware of the picnic basket dropping from his hand as he reached up to cup her face between his hands. "B'Elanna."

"I don't want to talk about it."

He smiled as she pulled his shirt loose from the trousers and began unfastening it. "B'Elanna, look at me."

She stilled for a moment. When her gaze lifted to meet his he was gratified by what he saw there. "No blood fever this time? Just you and me?" He gently caressed her face with the back of his hand.

B'Elanna continued with unfastening his shirt. "I want you, Tom. I don't need the blood fever for that. Just you." She pulled the shirt off his shoulders and he lowered his hands, allowing her to remove it.

"Maybe I should go get a dermo regenerator from the Doc first," he said, only half-joking.

"No time," said B'Elanna breathlessly as his hand reached beneath her shirt to cup a breast. With the touch of his hands came full-fledged arousal. Not as strong and potent as the blood fever, but still there nonetheless. Pulling back to look into Tom's eyes, she saw his answering fevered response flash there. "No promises," she said softly.

Tom didn't ask what she meant. He knew. "No commitments," he replied.

"No commitments," B'Elanna confirmed as his mouth claimed hers.

Still clinging together, they made their way toward B'Elanna's bed, leaving a trail of clothing in their wake. By the time they fell onto the bed, both were clad only in their underwear.

Resting atop Tom, B'Elanna reached down between them, stroking him through the now tight black briefs he wore. Tom, in turn, ran his hands over her back, letting them come to rest on her buttocks. He slipped his fingers beneath the waistband of her underwear and slid them down. As B'Elanna kicked them off, she quickly removed Tom's briefs, eyeing his erection with a lascivious gleam, but before she could do anything about it, Tom flipped her over on her back, holding her there, both of them knowing she could break his hold should she so choose. She didn't choose. She lay there in anticipation of his next move. Tom didn't disappoint her.

Spreading her legs, he knelt between them, letting his fingers go to work in that already moist channel between her legs.

"Tom!" she gasped, wriggling in ecstasy.

Smiling, he leaned down, letting his tongue flick over her erect clitoris, teasing it. B'Elanna moaned and Tom could feel a spasm run through her body. Her hands wrapped in his hair, pulling insistently. He slid up her body, hands moving to caress her breasts. Lowering his mouth to one, he suckled at it greedily. She arched up against him. Her fingernails raked over his back and Tom dimly felt her leaving tracks there once more. He moved up to claim her mouth as his right hand moved lower once more and slipped one, then two, fingers between the open inviting lips there.

"Oh!" B'Elanna shuddered. Tom could tell she was near. She was so responsive. He'd never been with a woman that heated up as quickly as she did.

B'Elanna's hand found his hardness and wrapped around it, stroking, squeezing. Tom let out a startled cry of pleasure. B'Elanna guided him into her, both of them letting out loud groans of pleasure as he filled her. Just as before, they quickly found a rhythm, bringing each other to a peak, only this time, they held still atop that peak for a long moment. Tom stared down into B'Elanna's eyes. Eyes dark with arousal, he allowed a gentle smile to touch his face as he sank into her, their world bursting into flame as the orgasm hit.

B'Elanna, feeling rather amazed, lay in Tom's arms. She had really thought that what had occurred while she had been in an aroused state of blood fever had been a one-time deal. It had been wonderful and they had seemed to come together so well, but it had been the blood fever, or so she thought. Now as she lay here, she knew better. What had just happened a short while ago had been B'Elanna and Tom. No blood fever. And while it had been different, not the aggressive sex they had shared in Holodeck Two, it had been just as fulfilling and arousing. In short, it had been wonderful. She pulled away from the dozing man slightly and looked into his face. In sleep he looked different somehow. He usually wore that irritating smirk on his face, but that was gone now. That defensiveness that he so often wore like a shield crept away in sleep and left in its place a rather young looking Tom Paris.

She recalled the expression on his face when he had hovered over her just prior to them both climaxing. He had given her a smile that had taken her breath away. It had been a smile meant only for her and it had lit up his entire face and warmed her. B'Elanna wanted to see that smile again.

Her thoughts were drawn back to the present when Tom stirred and opened his eyes to find her watching him.

Tom felt awkward suddenly. He was in B'Elanna's quarters, in B'Elanna's bed, and she was watching him with an indecipherable expression. Sitting up, he said, "Sorry, didn't mean to fall asleep." He climbed out of bed and began gathering his clothes, which were scattered every which way.

"What are you doing?" asked B'Elanna from the bed.

Without looking at her, he said, "Getting dressed. I'll go back to my quarters--"

"Why?" she cut him off.

Surprised, he stopped what he was doing and turned, trousers in one hand, shirt in the other, to look at her. Thinking about it, he shrugged his shoulders, wincing slightly as the skin pulled over the minor lacerations she had left on his back with her nails. "I guess I just figured you'd rather be alone . . ." He trailed off at the look in her eyes.

"I wouldn't have invited you in here if I wanted to be alone, Paris."

"Wait a minute. You didn't invite me. You dragged me in here."

"I didn't hear you complaining."

He slowly walked back toward the bed, his eyes lighting up. They eyed each other speculatively for a moment, then Tom let the clothes fall to the floor and slipped back into bed.

"Who do you suppose won the bet?" he murmured teasingly.

B'Elanna bit at his lip warningly, but in good humor, as they moved together once more. Just mere contact seemed to ignite both of them and B'Elanna idly wondered how soon it would be before the flame burned itself out.

You give me Fever, when you kiss me
Fever when your hold me tight
Fever in the morning
Fever all through the night*

Email Sapphire (Fever)                                                             Home

* Lyrics from Fever by J. Davenport and E. Cooley.