Fandom: Star Trek; Voyager
Timeline: Missing scene in the Voyager novel "Section 31 - 'Shadow"
A/N: To all the wonderful girls and boys at P&P.
Beta: None. What a surprise.
Disclaimer: Not mine. I play with other people's toys.
"I should be the one doing this. I'm the most qualified and it's my fault this whole thing going on." Torres began removing the protective material from her hands as she scowled at the captain. "And why are you taking Seven again?"
"We've already been through this Lieutenant." Janeway replied formally, unwilling to go into the argument all over again. She couldn't keep doing this. "The decision is final." As with before, she made sure her voice emphasized that her mind had been made up.
"And what happens if you're wrong and the ship kills both of you the moment Seven steps off the escape pod?" Then again, it hadn't worked the first time, either. She held out her hand and her engineer grudgingly handed the gloves over, making it clear she disliked having to do it. But she still sat down against a huge console to remove her boots. The expression on her face reminded Kathryn so much of so many similar situations a few years ago after late nights when she'd have to plead with B'Elanna to go home with her to get a few hours sleep with Torres always arguing there was too much to do. Back when they were Kathryn and B'Elanna, not 'Captain' and 'Lieutenant'. Only a few years ago.
She held her gaze steady, though, not looking away. If she wanted to take Voyager back her self, it's her prerogative as Captain. After a minute, B'Elanna looked away, going back to the task of removing her suit. She was almost done when she spoke again, resigned this time, sounding like she didn't think the plan would work.
"You know, if anything goes wrong, if something happens and Voyager figures out what you're trying to do, we're all doomed." B'Elanna didn't have the usual intensity behind her words and her voice lacked the emphasis which always had her sounding like she was challenging everything. That, more then anything, made Janeway bristle. Torres was not going to give up on her now.
"It's good to know you have such faith in me." Torres glared at her and the fire came back into her eyes.
"You know damn well that's not what I meant. But Luke was one of the best at what she did. And I don't think Seven's arrogance and convictions that she's invincible are going to protect you from an insane ship!"
Still feeling slightly bitter from the earlier comments and unwanted memories, Janeway gave Torres a hard look.
"Is that what this is about? Because I chose Seven to go with me on this mission instead of you?"
"Do you have that little faith in me?" B'Elanna stopped what she was doing one leg out of the space suit and looked at the Captain is shock like she couldn't believe the question. Too late Janeway realized she couldn't have been more wrong.