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Perils Aftermath

VC: Perils Aftermath
D'Alaire — 5 Oct 1998, 1:48 PM

Her face had lit up just as he'd expected it to, but her answer froze him there. There in the evening moonlight, the water of the Little Coffee intoxicating the ambiance with its flow and sound, and his girl looking as lovely as he'd always known her to be, Tom was in shock. She was still smiling at him, holding his hands warm, leaning close to him. But..."Huh?"

B'Elanna sighed happily. "Oh Tom, I don't wanna get married. You're just so much a gentleman, you had to ask, didn't you? Or did Pa put you up to it? I know he's itching to see things made proper, now that he's accepted you."

Somehow, real words found their way to Tom's lips. "No, it was my idea. But your daddy looked as though he'd approve, so I thought I'd ask."

She giggled. "Well, I appreciate it. But I'd much rather be as we are now--for now."

Tom was frustrated, and showed it, shaking his head as he drew a breath to settle the twisters in his head. "Hold on, let's go back. When we first came together, you were the one who asked if I'd do right by you, do the honorable thing."

"And you have," B'Elanna said. "You're my mate, Tom. We've claimed each other, and even though you're not Kilingon Indian, I trust you to that. Isn't that enough for now?"

He grinned. "Yeah. But I'd like to be able to share your bed without anyone thinking wrong of it. I'd like to come home to you--and you to me--to start a family."

"We can still do all that."

"Not when you're not my wife!" Tom laughed. "Your daddy won't have it--to say nothing of Mama!"

B'Elanna moved closer to her lover, touching his face with strangely gentle fingers. "Is that why you want to marry me? So other people will approve?"

His met her wisened eyes, and in all honesty had to nod. "That's part of it. But tell me this: Why don't you want to get married?"

He'd turned it back on her, and knowing that made her jaw tighten. She held on, anyway. "In a way, we already are."

"That's not an answer." Her eyes turned away, and Tom pulled her close to him, kissing her gently. "Tell me the truth: Is it because we've been going so fast?"

"That's not it," she finally sighed. "But I'm not ready to get married yet, if that's what you're asking."

Tom nodded. "Okay. But is that a yes or a no or a maybe to my question?"

"It's none of those," she told him. "We already belong to each other--ain't nothing gonna change that. But...getting married is another thing. It doesn't feel right, going in front of the reverend and having him tell us things we already know so you can stick a ring on my finger. It don't mean anything--and I don't have any room in my life for that...for now. When it feels like it'll mean something, I'll let you know."

Tom eyed her carefully. "You're afraid," he said.

She froze in his gaze, and suddenly realized he was quickly wising up to her. So she nodded, bending her head a little as she considered how she was going to tell him. "For more reasons than one."

"Then why don't you tell me what the real reason is? 'Cause for the life inside me, I don't know."

"You wouldn't understand. I don't know if I even understand." She shook her head. "I wish I'd asked D'A before she left, but I was too dang scared to hear the answer. Now I don't know what to do, how to...." She cut herself off, turned her face away again.

"Well, tell me, and maybe we'll figure it out together." He touched her chin, drawing her to face him. "B'Elanna, I am your mate, and I love you. I have the right to know what's going on in there, just like you have the right to refuse me."

RE: VC: Perils Aftermath, part 2
D'Alaire — 5 Oct 1998, 1:54 PM

"I haven't refused you," she whispered. "I want you more than even you might know." Her eyes closed for a moment as she collected the words. "Pa made Mama marry him, convinced her to go before a reverend and have it done right. He was being proper and thinking for the best in loving her and I can't blame him for that. But as a result, she was disowned, dishonored by her people. I wouldn't have minded that before. Ma made her choice, and seemed happy with it. She made a good life for herself with Pa and me."

She paused again, then drawing her misting eyes up to the stars. "I turned her away, cursed her ways, hated her sometimes for trying to force them on me--and Pa too for encouraging it all the time. I was so...angry at them, for not giving me the choice, for making me an outcast on both sides. I mean, what good are these scars on my head if the people who wear them won't even accept me because of my mother's dishonor?"

Tom let out a soft breath. He'd never known it'd been like that with both her parents. "I don't know. I guess they just wanted to carry on a tradition, give you the best of both worlds."

"I think so. And I understand that now--even more since I met D'A and K'Ehleyr. I used to think I'd gotten the worst of both worlds, and shut myself away from people because I felt it so much, let Pa be protective of me so I wouldn't have to. But I can't do that forever, and now I see I don't have to. Even as half-breeds, D'A and K'Ehleyr found a balance between those two lives, and were accepted as they were. So now I see it's possible to restore Ma's place among her people, and gain mine, too."

B'Elanna shook her head, as if amazed she actually said what had been spinning in her head since Mogh and Koloth's words had sunk in, that Klingon honor was a possible thing for her to have--that they had accepted her in the first place, fought proudly beside her.

"I never imagined I'd think that was important--but now I know it is. I need to try." She took Tom's hands, held them warm to her heart. "Tom, you've gotta make some decisions now, too. I don't want to live the life of a Klingon Indian--it's not for me and we both know it. But I don't want to endanger any chances I might have in restoring my mother's honor by becoming any more different from her people than I already am.

"You need to decide how far you want to be with me on this. When I can work up enough money, I'm going to Cha'Kago."

"The reservation D'A's from?"

B'Elanna nodded. "If there's a way to reclaim Ma's honor, she'll know it. If I have to, I'll fight for it again, and for mine. When I fought the Cardassian Indians, I revenged her death, and staked a claim to my honor. But it's not done. I've faced the land of the dead; I have to face the world of the living now, prove myself to them, and to me. Until then, I'll never be complete. Until I know one way or the other, I can't marry you the way everybody here sees fit. Not yet."

Tom heard her soft words well, felt them sink into his heart. Never since he'd known her had he heard her words so gentle yet assured. Never had she spoken of her honor as anything aside from propriety. But he knew, too, how much more important her Klingon honor was at that point, knew what it'd mean to be assured of it. "You were wrong, B'Elanna," he said, and grinned slightly at her expression. "I do understand."

B'Elanna's eyes closed, and she breathed a sigh of relief, opening them again when he brought her hands to his lips and kissed her fingers.

He met her gaze again. "You wanted me to decide how far I wanted to come with you?" he asked. She nodded. "No matter how far you go with this, I'll be right there by your side, fighting alongside you. If not having your honor settled is making you incomplete, then I'll do whatever it takes, too. It'll take a while to get the money together, but it'll be worth the wait. I'm with you, B'Elanna."

RE: VC: Perils Aftermath, part 3
D'Alaire — 5 Oct 1998, 1:58 PM

B'Elanna threw her arms around him then, holding him tight and nearly to tears with relief and love of that man...that man who she couldn't believe she's held in such distaste once. Once again, she thanked what what powers that were that they'd been given the blessing of change.

Pulling back a little, she placed her hand on his cheek, running her pinkie across the scar that'd formed on his cheek. "Tom," she breathed, "in all the ways that are really important, I am your wife. You are a part of my honor, a part of me, and I'm a part of yours....I can't tell you what this means to me, that you'll stay by me."

"I think I know," he whispered, leaning down to kiss her. "And I meant it." When their lips touched, his hands ran down and around her body, pulling her astride his legs and drawing his fingers into nape of her thick hair.

The response came like nature: Their kiss deepened as their bodies pressed together firmly, soon expectant of the enevitable rejoining. Their legs entwining, they fell back onto the soft grass together, not losing contact on the way, and quickly comfortable in that changed position. Her touch sifted through his soft hair and around to his neck, drawing away his collar. She whispered against his lips, "Make love to me."

"Yes," he breathed and pressed to her again.


The moon had passed the sky, and she had finished buttoning her blowse, smiling to her lover, her mate, as he pulled on his second boot. "Reckon we're late for supper yet?"

Tom chuckled. "That's all right. They weren't expecting us, anyway." She scowled at him and he shrugged. "Your daddy figured I was going to pop the question, so he said he'd tell Mama not to set places for us."

B'Elanna's eyes went wide. "Mercy, Tom! You didn't tell him you were gonna propose, did you?"

"Well, actually...When we were trapped in the cave, I did tell him I wanted to ask you. --Well, d@mn, B'Elanna, he had to know I'd only do right by you, and I was sick of him accusing me of using you like a toy. So yeah, he's gonna figure we're getting away together for a reason."

She was not appeased. "But now they're expecting it! And now we've gotta walk in there with them expecting us to be all happy and smiling and ready to jump on the altar."

Tom grinned. "Well, no altar, but why wouldn't we be happy and smiling? We're just gonna wait a while, right? Take a little time for a change and get ourselves settled before going through with it. There's nothing to mourn in that, is there?"

B'Elanna thought about that. "I guess Pa won't be devastated to think I'll be in the house a while longer, and that we're thinking about things, getting ourselves straightened out first...And he's been obliging about our...meeting each other."

"Exactly." He got to his feet and held his hand down to her. "So why don't we go on back home and give them the good news?"

"You smooth-tongued b@stard," she smiled, taking his hand. "Only you would make us not getting hitched into a joyful event."

"Just a part of my undying charm, Miss B'Elanna," he replied, bending to kiss her fingers softly--then laughed when she rolled her eyes. Still holding her hand, he started them back up the trail, happier than he'd expected he'd be after being put off by that wild filly of a lady. Or maybe that she never failed to surprise him was the reason he was so pleased in the end. And it was only beginning.