Title: This Fierceness
Codes: J/T, vague J/7, J/C
Archive: Just ask.
Disclaimer: I don't own the characters and I'm not making money off of them.
Spoilers: If you haven't seen Endgame by now…
Summary: Torres and Janeway meet up post-VOY and talk careers, science, and relationships. Thanks to Djinn for the beta!
You find Kathryn Janeway again when you're five months pregnant with your second child. It's at a scientific conference on Mars, one of the few you've made time for in the five years since Voyager has been home.
You're sweating in your dress maternity uniform in the back of the room when Janeway takes her spot on the panel. And Kahless, you really need to pee, but you can't move as Janeway presents the results of her latest research. Her face lights up as she expounds on the finer points of spatial mechanics, as she relates them back to supporting theorems. And seeing her, seeing her like this, your breath catches and you become slightly dizzy. You see her on the Bridge, or in Engineering, spouting off some line of instructions that would save the ship and five neighboring solar systems.
You come up to her afterwards, worrying that it will be awkward, that you're an unwelcome memory, that you represent what almost destroyed her.
"B'Elanna!" Her voice drops in shock, and before you can say a word in greeting, her arms are around you and she's attempting to squeeze the air out of you.
"Admiral, it was a great presentation. Great defense," you say, your words suddenly completely inadequate.
Janeway leans in, whispers in your ear. "Let's get out of here. We need to catch up." It's that conspiratorial tone that always made you feel inordinately special and weak in your knees when you were on Voyager, and tonight is no different. You follow her into the lobby and the hotel restaurant.
When Janeway's got a glass of red wine in front of her and you've got some pregnancy-friendly synthehol, she fixes you with all the intensity of that stare you know so well and starts questioning you about your due date, your job, Tom, Miral, your promotion to lieutenant commander.
"Tom's not really liking his desk job. You don't fly much beyond lieutenant, just manage people. He's bored."
"Is he going to change tracks—take on command, design, something?"
"I don't know. He might get out, do the whole Starfleet Husband thing. Kahless knows we're stressed enough as it is."
Janeway laughs, drops her head. "And you?"
"I'm perfectly happy. I've got a ton of engines to design and test, lots of new technology to develop. I figure I can easily be occupied with this for at least the next four or five years."
"Mmm. Anything I should know about?" Janeway's expression is almost predatory.
"Just that these new models are going to be really reliable. And fast. But I'm sure you knew that."
"Make sure you have a plan for after that, B'Elanna. There are plenty of higher-level positions you'd enjoy, but you need to figure out how to get there." Janeway leans forward, looks at you intently. "I know you could do great things."
"I'm working on figuring out what I want. I'll let you know when I decide, Admiral."
Janeway grabs your hand as you move to take a forkful of pasta from the massive plate in front of you. "I want you to try calling me Kathryn. I know it'll feel strange, but—"
"Let's just say that I have discretion over this. And that you mean more to me personally than your rank does."
"Okay. Kathryn," you say. You wonder over how small her hand is, and how strong, even as it gently cups yours.
You like the lines on Janeway's face, her slightly tanned skin. You like that under that uniform, her shoulder muscles seem just a little bigger.
"Well, what have you been doing, Kathryn?" you say, unable to bring your eyes to hers as you use her name.
She smiles, pushes a strand of hair behind her ear and back into that bob that pissed Chakotay off so much. "I've been catching up with old friends from when I was a lieutenant. Seeing my family. Writing papers like this. Trying to stay in shape with this old body. Dating a little bit. Trying to convince Starfleet to give me a really big ship."
"They going to give it to you?"
"I think so. They know I'm qualified." She takes a sip of her wine and says, "I'm sorry, you know, that I haven't kept in better touch with you and Tom and everyone else. We all just scattered everywhere, and for a little while, I needed to try and remember a time when my life wasn't only about Voyager."
"I know. I did too. Do you know how Seven's managing?" you ask, knowing that for all intents and purposes the only life Seven ever knew was on Voyager.
"I…I should." For the first time tonight, Janeway's face is pained, and you lean forward in your chair. "A little while after we got home, I told her that she needed to see things on her own, meet some friends, stop relying on me. I didn't mean to be so…harsh, or push her away completely. We haven't had a significant conversation since then."
"I'm sorry." You don't know how to say anything else without tripping on that line between maternal love and desperate, primal need that defined Janeway and Seven together.
"Well, hey, it's my own goddamn fault. Chakotay tells me she's doing well. He's been trying to contact her for me, but it's been difficult with her recent assignments. She's spending a lot of time in space."
Chakotay told you when he and Seven broke up, but he never told you anything like this happened between Janeway and Seven. You make a mental note to beat the ever-living shit out of him the next time you see him for letting you kill the mood like this. And you wonder how he's adjusting to who Janeway appears to be now.
Janeway smiles slowly. "Don't worry. I'm happy. As hard as that is for you to believe, I'm sure."
The restaurant is empty, and your waiter is starting to hover, so Janeway gulps down the last of her wine and you leave together. You're slightly loose, any anger you felt about your old captain temporarily forgotten.
The hallway is dark, and Janeway's arm is around your back, tracing the outlines of your muscles. Her boots and yours fall in unison. You continue to feel that strong, delicate hand on you.
She doesn't seem surprised when you turn her against the wall and kiss her. She tastes like real wine and a lot of other things you shouldn't have. She pulls you against her hard, maps the contours of your mouth with her own, moves her hand from your back down the curve of your waist to the side of your big, swollen belly.
"Admir—Kathryn," you rasp, feeling her breasts against yours, her hands traveling your hips and thighs, lips claiming you as her own.
And as suddenly as it began, this fierceness is gone, and you're standing in a dark corridor, pliant in your old captain's arms, brushing the hair out of her face and slowly tracing the length of her jaw.
"You know," she says, exhaling slowly, "that I sometimes want to be back there."
When you were younger, you would have laughed darkly, would have made some quip to cover up the discomfort.
"I know. I do too."
Janeway straightens up, loops her left arm through your right, and begins walking forward. The last time you walked like this you were in a receiving line with a boy you didn't particularly like at an Academy ball you didn't particularly want to be at.
"B'Elanna, don't think I'm being old fashioned," Janeway says. "This is just the only authorized way I can continue touching your arm." She chuckles. "So where to?"
"I'm afraid you're going to have to take me to the shuttlepad. I'm ticketed for a flight back to Earth in an hour and a half."
And so you walk with Janeway into the artificial atmosphere, arm in arm, swaying slightly as you negotiate a hill together, steps falling in time as the night begins to fade away.