DISCLAIMER: Star Trek is the property of Paramount, this story depicts a loving/sexual relationship between women.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
"Was that a blush, Captain?" B'Elanna Torres queried as she viewed Janeway from close quarters. Surprise and a glimmer of humour were evident on her face in the wake of her superior having reached out to steady her after she'd stumbled on the planet's rocky terrain.
The captain, embarrassed, quickly pushed B'Elanna upright, taking only moments to recover her normal composure and pallor. But although her face no longer showed how her hands around B'Elanna's midsection had affected her, the memory of it was still playing havoc with her hormones. So she busied herself, conscientiously brushing away a great deal of imaginary dust and dirt from the front of her uniform. Which wasn't there, of course. It was just a diversionary tactic.
But B'Elanna wasn't having avoidance. "Huh?" she pushed, staring. "Was it?"
Janeway aborted her self-imposed spring-clean and looked pointedly at the engineer. "Captain's don't blush," she informed, in a voice that camouflaged her embarrassment. "They're taught not to, at the Academy." She held the lieutenant's gaze, daring her to take this further.
And of course B'Elanna loved a challenge. "Then I'd say you failed," she countered, folding her arms and staring at the captain.
"You have nothing to base that assumption on," argued Janeway. "You've never SEEN me blush, so I'd say you have no point of reference." Oh, this was fun. She was enjoying it. And she HAD been blushing. B'Elanna's move.
The lieutenant's quick mind was thinking on the double. From out of the air she pulled her next words, delivering them with a velvet purr and one hell of an expression. "Captain," she purred, "I think you have the sexiest smile I've ever seen."
"If that's supposed to make me blush again," said the captain evenly, walking away, "I'd say it was YOU who'd failed this time."
"Again!" pounced B'Elanna, bouncing after Janeway like Tigger from Winnie-the-Pooh. "You said 'again', which suggests you did it before. Which suggests I was right... wasn't I?" She could smell success within her grasp.
Janeway sighed and stopped walking, sweeping her hands out either side of her in a shrug. "Oh really, B'Elanna. This is ridiculous. Why on earth would you think I was blushing anyway?" she attacked, hoping to throw the lieutenant off the scent. "I simply steadied you when you fell, that's all."
"And blushed... when your hands went around my waist - I know what I saw."
"It was simple exertion, from the effort it took to hold you up. It brought the colour to my cheeks temporarily; nothing more," Kathryn dismissed, deciding the matter had better be closed as she stalked back towards the habitat she and B'Elanna were sharing on this scientific excursion to the planet's surface.
Torres fell into step behind her while under her breath she mumbled, just loudly enough to be heard, "Honestly, a person blushes, a person CLEARLY blushes, and then they deny it. Huh? Why would they deny it? It doesn't make any sense for a clever person, (one who leads others into battle on a daily basis, I might add) to lie about such a thing as a teensy-weensy blush. Why I..."
"B'ELANNA!" Janeway stopped and spun around abruptly to face B'Elanna as the engineer slammed straight into her, unprepared, having aimed her grumbling down at the ground as she'd walked along.
"What?" B'Elanna asked sweetly, backing up, her innocent face shining with question marks.
"SHUT UP!" Janeway turned around again and stalked off, trying to be angry. At least, she hoped her body language would hint at such a thing, although her face was wreathed in smiles, hidden from B'Elanna's sight.
Following her, the engineer sensed all was not as it appeared. And so she pushed it. "That's nice, that is," she grumbled on, in the same quiet voice. "I find someone doing something they're obviously doing and they deny they've been doing it. I challenge them and I get told to shut up. Not 'be quiet' or anything so polite... noooo. I get 'SHUT UP!' I mean, it really is too..."
This time, when Janeway spun around abruptly, B'Elanna was ready for her. What she wasn't ready for was the look on her face. A wide grin was sitting there for the whole planet to see. Not that anyone else was around, mind you.
"That mean I'm forgiven?" B'Elanna asked politely, stifling a grin.
"Nothing of the sort."
"But you're smiling. Or are you going to deny that, too?"
"To the very last breath in my body. I NEVER smile. I want that understood."
"So what's this... indigestion?"
Kathryn Janeway burst out laughing. "Yeah, it's gas," she said through her giggles. "Honestly, you're the most impossible..."
"Uh, uh," B'Elanna corrected. "I'm entirely possible," she said grinning, waving a finger in the air. "I wouldn't be here otherwise."
"Trust me, impossible fits you better."
"So, you WERE blushing?"
"YES, I was BLUSHING, damn you!"
"S'all I wanted to know," the lieutenant said mysteriously as she walked off.
The captain stood watching her departure for a moment with her mouth open. "Is that it?"
From up ahead, continuing to walk away and waving a hand out to the side, B'Elanna called out, "Yep. You blushed. I asked. You finally admitted. It's all I needed to know."
"For what?" asked Janeway, smiling again. She hurriedly ran to catch up, drawing level with the engineer.
"For the courage to ask you out, that's for what."
That shut the captain up. She didn't know which words she could trust and so she chose none. But she smiled. It broke out on the left side of her mouth and then spread to the other side, and then it migrated to her eyes, and THEN it jumped the gap and spread to B'Elanna's face, which proved smiling to be totally infectious. Which didn't really matter as they were the only two people around to possibly catch it.
And, in such silence, the two officers walked back to the habitat, grinning like Cheshire cats, the pair of them, thinking that life was perhaps threatening to become a little different, from now on.
And all because of a blush.
A rather fortuitous blush.
From a captain, who'd denied it.
And then changed her story.
Proving that truth is probably best after all.
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