DISCLAIMER: Star Trek is the property of Paramount, this story contains a loving/sexual relationship between women.
SERIES: Sequel to Shadows of Love, Doubt & Distance.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

By Cirroco DeSade


I watch my `ex' from across the room easily mingling with the crew. I cannot find a way to miss him, except maybe as a friend. He cannot seem to be friends with me after I left him. But what should I have done? He was not my equal. Quite simply, and more importantly, he was not her equal.

I had long since realized that.

I longed for her, I knew she loved me. I didn't understand why we couldn't just be together. Actually, I still can't.

I watched her even as I was out with him. I was bored with him. I broke off the farce after a short time. My heart was never in the affair, even if it would have been so much easier for me. It is illogical how long I allowed the lie to be perpetuated.

Somehow, I feel lonelier than I ever did before. Not for the lack of him, or any other lover, but because I realize I will never have her, someone I feel real passion for, the one person who has ever made my heart race.

I cannot stand the `silence' of the crowded Christmas party any longer tonight. I make my way stealthily as possible to the doors, intent on my escape, and I am sure I am about to escape unnoticed when the door opens directly in front of me and I halt my stride so I won't plow over the woman whose past words and smiles torment my long, solitary nights.

The air is electric between us, as we stand only inches away from each other.

Looking up slightly, greenery catching my eyes, I see one of the patches of mistletoe that hang in the various doorways around Voyager. Previously, I always thought the very idea of dying greenery as a reason to kiss to be patently ridiculous, another bizarre human custom that was well worth avoiding.

Yet, suddenly, I find the bizarre tradition to be, if not logical then, serendipitous.

I lean down. I give her ample time to avoid what is coming, staring into her surprised eyes as I close in. Keeping my eyes open briefly, I watch as she closes hers. I deepen the kiss far beyond the point of holiday propriety but she doesn't stop me.

Her hands are suddenly upon my shoulders. First they pull me closer to her. I hear a soft growl mixed with a moan. Then her hands travel down to my upper chest and push me away. I blink, the spell broken, the audacity of what I have just done now hitting me like a phaser blast. However, I have no regret. There is no dishonor in my love for her.

Cupping her cheek in my palm I stare into deep brown pools I could drown in.

"Merry Christmas, B'Elanna. I love you. Always."

She looks like she might panic, and since I don't want to cause that or see her descend into denial or anger, I push past her and into the hall. Before she has a chance to recover, I am long gone.

I may end up alone in my quarters tonight. I may be without her. It may have been illogical and a `stolen' kiss. But this was as close as I would get to my Christmas wish. And much more than I thought I'd ever have.

As I enter my quarters, stand before the alcove and prepare to `sleep' this Christmas night, I am grateful for my eidetic memory as I can almost relive the scent of her, the taste of her... all of the memories of the kiss I stole this night.

Perhaps there is something to be said for illogical human holidays and customs... and I've begun to like mistletoe.

The End

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