Tender Loving Care

by A. Magiluna Stormwriter

DISCLAIMER: I don't own them, as much as I wish I did. Cuz if I *did* actually own them, things would be a lot diffferent, and CONTINUITY would be a given. BTW, this story deals with f/f type issues. If that bothers you, or you're not old enough to read it, DON'T. Thanks.

AUTHOR'S NOTE: A sequel to my story "Marquess" was requested, so I wrote one. Note, the bulk of this was written AFTER I'd been to the convention in Bellevue, WA, where I was able to meet Ms. Kate Mulgrew.

This story is dedicated to Mr. Dark....because he was a good boy.

Kathryn Janeway was firmly ensconced in her Ready Room. A thermal pot of coffee within reach, she was surrounded by PADDs. Reports, supply requests, cabin reassignments. She'd been reading for so many hours, she wasn't even sure who long she'd been at it.


"Come in," she called wearily, not looking up. She assumed it to be her First Officer with a fresh batch of reports needing her perusal. When the PADD she was reading was plucked from her hands, she looked up, startled. "What the--?"

"You need to take a break, Captain," came the soft reply. "You've been at it for nearly eleven hours straight."

A warm smiled replied the surprise on her face. "Since when does the Chief Engineer tell the Captain when she's worked too hard? I thought it was the other way around?"

"Normally it would be," B'Elanna replied, offering a hand to the older woman. "But this particular captain tends to be a bit....recalcitrant."

Kathryn let out a hearty laugh. "Recalcitrant? I don't think anyone's ever called me that before." She let the younger woman pull her up, then lead her to the couch in silence, tenderness in her eyes.

"Maybe someone should once in a while," came the reply as B'Elanna moved to the replicator, an extra little sway to her lips that only Kathryn ever saw. Kathryn had been about to protest again when the younger woman began to order their meal. "Computer, charge to rations account Torres two chicken salad sandwiches, two glasses iced ginger tea, and one plate of caramel brownies."

Bright blue eyes sparkled, catching the warmer brown as B'Elanna brought the food over. "You are entirely too good for me, pet."

"Anything for my marquess," came the soft reply, a hand stretching out to caress the paler cheek. "Besides, if I don't make sure you eat properly, no one will."

Kathryn smiled, reached for a brownie, had her hand slapped. This caused a wry chuckle. "You won't even allow me a brownie yet?"

"Not until you've eaten your dinner. By Kahless, being a marquess, you should know that."

They ate in companionable silence, each relaxing back against the couch. B'Elanna watched as Kathryn's eyes drifted off to the stars speeding by. A sure sign the older woman was deep in thought...and beginning to relax. She ate her sandwich, chewing thoughtfully, and kept a surreptitious surveillance of her lover. Her own eyes began to droop a bit, fatigued from the widespread refits they'd finally finished in Engineering.

"Penny for your thoughts, pet," came the soft voice in her ear a moment or two later.

B'Elanna shivered at the nearness of her lover. "I was just thinking about the refits we just finished. They should last us a while."

"And? I know there's more." Kathryn began to twirl the dark locks about her fingers.

B'Elanna's eyes twinkled impishly. "Oh yes, but they're gonna cost you far more than a penny."

Now Kathryn's eyes widened in delighted shock. "Is that so, pet? What if I ordered you to tell me?"

"As my captain or my marquess? One has no jurisdiction over my very secret, private fantasies." Her smile grew as she watched Kathryn digest this information.

"Your marquess is dying to find out, pet," came the husky reply.

B'Elanna tucked her legs up under herself, leaning in closer toward Kathryn. Her own voice was soft, husky with the nearness to this woman. "I was just picturing us later tonight. The pet caring for her mistress. Total silence. No words exchanged. Communicating simply by touch. By taste. By desire. A slow, sensual, relaxing backrub. A soft trail of kisses down your spine, feather light, barely felt. And you'd wonder whether you'd truly felt them or merely imagined them."

Kathryn swallowed audibly, her pupils dilated with desire. "Oh, B'Elanna," she murmured.

Suddenly B'Elanna leaned over, kissed Kathryn's nose, then stood up. "Well, I've got to get back to work now. We've got a major refit scheduled this evening. Nice lunch we shared. I'll see you later on tonight." She was nearly to the door when Kathryn's voice stopped her.

"You can be such a bitch at times, pet," Kathryn groaned raggedly.

"I learned from the best, my marquess," she replied, laughing, then breezed out of the Ready Room.


*3 hours later*

Kathryn walked into her quarters, hoping to find B'Elanna there. After their little lunch, she'd found it nearly impossible to concentrate on anything but the images her young lover had planted firmly in her brain. Finally, frustration -- and desire -- forced her from her already too-long shift.

Finding no signs of B'Elanna, she hailed the younger woman. "Janeway to Torres. How are things going down there?"

She heard a muffled curse, then B'Elanna's voice. "We've hit a bit of a problem with a relay refit, Captain."

"Do you need any help?"

"Don't do that, Carey!" B'Elanna suddenly yelled. "Uh, no, Captain, we've got it covered, but this damned relay may need some help before I'm finished with it. Carey! What did I tell you? I have to go, Captain, I'll let you know how this turns out later. Torres out."

A soft sigh escaped Kathryn's lips. B'Elanna was just as dedicated as she was to her job. She wouldn't see the engineer for some time. "Don't do anything foolish," she whispered softly. Never much of a religious woman, Kathryn nevertheless stood for a moment in her quarters' dark silence, reflecting on the depth of her feelings for B'Elanna Torres before wearily stripping off her uniform and crawling into bed.


B'Elanna slowly trudged into the dark bedroom. She was grimy, sweaty, smelled of burnt conduits and singed hair. And she was in pain. But all she wanted to do was get into a hot shower, then crawl into bed, safe in Kathryn's arms.

Suddenly Kathryn bolted up into a sitting position. In the dim light, B'Elanna could see her chest heaving, sweat-slicked skin tightly molded by her damply sheer nightgown. But what most drew her was the look of stark terror in the blue eyes glistening with tears. She was quickly at the woman's side, taking Kathryn into her arms, calling the lights to one-quarter illumination.

"Shh," she soothed. "It was just a dream, Kathryn. I've got you. You're safe."

Kathryn stared up at her, took in the singed hair, soot besmirched face, and the trickles of dried blood. A shaking hand reached up to B'Elanna's face. "What happened? I dreamt you'd been hurt."

"A minor explosion with a relay. I'm fine, Kathryn. I was more upset about the relay than myself."

"I want you to see Doc, B'Elanna."

"I'm fine, Kathryn."

"Please? Just put me at ease?"

B'Elanna nodded, waiting as Kathryn got up and threw clothes on. She knew it would be pointless to fight her lover. Taking the older woman's hand firmly, they made their way to Sickbay. Upon entering, B'Elanna explained what had happened, underwent Doc's examination to be told she suffered only a few minor burns and abrasions, which were healed on the spot.

Returning to their quarters, she led Kathryn through the bedroom and into the bathroom. Filling the tub, she began to gently remove Kathryn's clothes, then her own. She settled into the tub, stretched a hand toward the still silent redhead, who eased between B'Elanna's legs, resting back against her chest. B'Elanna wrapped her arms and legs around the smaller woman, lips lightly pressing against the pale temple.

"It's alright, Kathryn," she murmured. "I'm fine, and I'm here with you. There's nothing to worry about. Just relax and rest. I've got you now."

"I love you, B'Elanna," Kathryn finally whispered, full of emotion, tears welling in her eyes again. "You are so much more than 'pet.'"

"I know. I love you, too, Kathryn," came the soft reply, then she gently kissed the pale temple again.


Kathryn shivered as she awoke. The water had turned cold and she needed to be in bed. "B'Elanna?" She murmured, realizing she was alone in the tub.

"Right here," came the reply as a large white towel appeared before her. "I was just getting the bed ready. Didn't mean to scare you."

Kathryn stepped into the towel, stood there while B'Elanna dried her off, then let the young brunette guide her toward the bed. She could smell cinnamon. "Pet?"

"Lie down, Kathryn, on your stomach. I believe I owe you a backrub. And after the fright you had earlier, I think you need it."

Nodding happily, Kathryn crawled onto the towel lying on the bed. Her cheek lay on top of her hands, and she let her eyes drift closed as B'Elanna unstoppered the bottle of oil. A contented sigh escaped her lips as the warm, pungent oil was lightly spread over her skin by B'Elanna's steady hands. She relaxed, let the tension flow out of her body.

B'Elanna watched her lover closely, felt and saw the tension leave her. Smiling, she added a few more drops of the oil to her hands and continued lower, fingers deftly molding and gliding around and between the twin gloves of Kathryn's buttocks, before continuing on down to her thighs and calves.

Repositioning herself, she paid close attention to Kathryn's calves, then leaned over and lightly ran her tongue along the backs of the exposed knees. She smiled at the slight gasp from Kathryn, repeated herself just to hear it again.

Kathryn shivered as she felt B'Elanna's tongue languidly glide up the length of her left thigh, not missing anything. Then the tongue slid down the crease toward her sex. She shifted her body, slightly spreading her legs, opening herself to B'Elanna. A groan of frustration escaped when the brunette's lips moved to her right knee to travel the same upward path. Again she felt that tongue follow the crease between thigh and buttock.

"B'Elanna, please," she moaned, beside herself with desire.

B'Elanna stood then, retrieved something from the night stand. Kathryn recognized the scarf instantly, understood the younger woman's meaning. Nodding her agreement, she closed her eyes, her head falling back to the pillow. Smirking to herself, B'Elanna returned to her former position. Stretching, she leaned up to nuzzled under Kathryn's left ear, then began a slow, deliciously slow trail of kisses and gentle nibbles down the contours of Kathryn's spine.

The redhead bit her lip to hold back a moan, hands clutched tightly at the corners of her pillow. And then she stiffened at the touch, faint as a butterfly's kiss. Her entire body quivered then, desire-clouded brain trying vainly to discern if she'd truly felt B'Elanna's lips brush her sex, or if she imagined it. She longed to ask B'Elanna, oh she longed for it, but she'd made a promise not to speak. The only problem was that she now was powerless to even look at her lover.

B'Elanna sat back on her heels, gazing at her lover with a bemused smile on her face. She could see with a glance the sweet torment the woman was in. The red hair was damp along the edge of her face. Her skin flushed a deep rose beneath the thin sheen of sweat. The oh so expressive eyes were squeezed tightly shut, no doubt giving her wild images in her mind's eye. White teeth appeared as she bit her lower lip. Kathryn's small hands were white-knuckled as they clutched at the pillow. B'Elanna's eyes followed the line of Kathryn's back, delighting in the obvious quivers caused by her own ministrations. She reached out a hand, caressed the air above the shapely ass, into the space between the spread thighs. Her mouth watered, feeling the heat radiating out, seeing the glint of wetness within.

This was as much *her* torture as it was Kathryn's. And now she couldn't stand it anymore than her lover could. With a quickness that defied resistance, she held her hands under Kathryn's hips, angling the tinier body up, bringing her face in closer. And her tongue poked out, eagerly delving into the sweet wetness within.

Kathryn's knees slid down to support her, then her body stiffened again and she cried out as she came. Her body convulsed, even at that odd angle, but still B'Elanna would not stop. The Klingon was relentless in her desire, greedily sucking and licking at the tender flesh, the sweet nectar spilling forth. Over and over, she wrung the tortured cries of ecstasy from Kathryn's lips until at last she lay her lover's body back on the bed, finally sated.

Kathryn lay in a limp mass, whimpering and quivering in the aftermath. B'Elanna stretched catlike, then crawled up to curl around her spent lover. It was then that she noticed the tears. Tenderly she kissed them away, but still Kathryn didn't open her eyes.

"Kathryn? Love, what is it?" she finally asked.

"I love you," came the murmur. "I don't deserve you, B'Elanna, but damn I love you."

"Don't deserve *me*? I beg to differ. *I* don't deserve *you,* Kathryn. Do you realize how grateful I am every time I set foot through that door? Or into your arms?" She paused a moment. "And do you know that when that relay blew, all I could think of was how much it would hurt you if I was injured? I didn't care for my safety per se, only your reaction."

Now Kathryn opened her eyes. "I was terrified I'd lose you. That dream nearly killed me. And then to wake and find you'd actually been in an explosion...."

"Hey! Listen to me. It was just a freaky coincidence, okay?" she asked, gripping the woman tighter. "I'm not going anywhere, Kathryn, not unless you want me to."

"No!" came the sharp cry. "Don't leave!"

"Shh." Gentle soothing kisses covered her face. "I won't, my love. You can rest assured of that." B'Elanna's lips gently brushed hers then, reassuring in their tenderness. "I'm here, my marquess, always your loyal, willing servant. Rest now, love, I won't leave you."

Kathryn nodded, settled more comfortably in B'Elanna's arms and drifted off into a deep, dreamless, satisfied sleep.

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